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All images © to Warner Brothers

A decade ago, this July, the Harry Potter film series came to an end as the final film was released worldwide, concluding the decade-long running series. For many, this represented a ‘closing’ on an important part of their childhood; the end of an era and the ultimate send-off to the story of Harry and his friends. The film received acclaim from critics and grossed over $1 billion at the world-wide box-office. While there is much to be said about the culture surrounding the film, and how the legacy of Harry Potter has changed over the following ten years, I want…


One of the more controversial ideas currently in film discourse is the notion of the auteur: a director with a personal vision that heavily impacts the film. The auteur director, in theory, will produce a body of work that features their identifiable ‘stamps’ in terms of style and theme. …


War of the Worlds, ©Paramount Pictures

The impact of 9/11 threw Hollywood into a state of confusion: the attacks, which had been viewed as frightening and unprecedented, caused an upstir of sensitivity and fraught reflection in American cinema. Images of the towers were removed from movie posters and trailers (most famously Sam Raimi’s Spiderman), the theory being that they might be too upsetting for American audiences still struggling to comprehend the attacks. American cinema has seldom depicted the attacks in any great detail, and for a number of years following the attacks recreation of the event has been seen as disrespectful and tasteless within a nation…


Strength, aggression, violence and high-status are commonly viewed as male norms

The cultural assumptions made around men tend to reinforce a view of men being ‘tough’. This assumption forms into an expectation of how men should and should not behave. A broad distinction is drawn between the appropriate ways in which boys and girls, men and women, ought to behave. This distinction shows a particularly problematic manifestation in how boys and men are expected to conduct themselves, offering not only limitations in how men can behave, but also deeply destructive cultural norms which negatively impact men’s psychological and emotional well-being, as well as breeding negative attitudes towards women and homosexual men.


Oh, to be loved. (Image Credit: Unsplash.com)

It’s a question that’s asked a lot. Sometimes it’s not even asked, but rather asserted as being true. Online many men seem to feel that dating is rigged in women’s favour, that all the heavy lifting is done by men and women simply soak up the validation that comes from being attractive. In its most extreme form, we see this taken to its limits with the incel community: where men bemoan their lack of attractiveness and their supposed genetic failure, raging misogynistically at women who have so “unfairly” overlooked them with their sexual shallowness. …


Faramir & Boromir in the New Line Cinema trilogy (2001–2003)

One of the most hotly contested adaptational choices in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–2003) is the characterisation of Faramir. While his brother, Boromir, is generally seen as being somewhat deepened in Jackson’s scripts, Faramir is felt to be weakened in ways that lead to disappointment, sometimes outrage, among fans. The ‘good-captain’ who shows his quality and lets the Hobbits go from the books is turned into a much more conflicted and negative character to increase the drama. Many find this version of the character unnecessarily cruel and short-sighted, others claim he fixes a major flaw within the book…


All Images Credited to: Columbia Pictures.

Some films I return to every so often, every couple of years, just to look at again. Just to examine them and see if with time, age and greater knowledge, there’s new things to find, whether it’s moments viewed from a new perspective, new interpretations on images, or appreciation for techniques that I failed to notice before, perhaps elements of performances that did not resonate initially. In many cases, coming back, the films are often lesser than I recalled. The more distance that has passed, the more likely I will find things that irk…


(Image: Pexels.com)

Over the last few months, the world has radically changed. It’s a situation unprecedented, never before have I — or most people, I imagine — experienced something quite like this. A mass pandemic rages across the world, entire nations are put on lockdown. Rules about social distancing are enforced, the interpersonal world is shut down. There are no places to go, nowhere to have fun, no one to meet.

At times, the lockdown situation feels as though I’ve been transported back to my early teens, when I was a serious introvert and socially anxious. I spent most of my free-time…


Josef Koudelka

When it comes to constructing a visual image — whether in photography or in film — the placement of the camera is of vital importance. The choice of angle has subtle psychological implications: it affects how we view the person, the environment or the situation. If we consider the mood, the feel or the purpose of an image — whether capturing a real or a fictional depiction — then where the camera is placed becomes essential in conveying those elements to the viewer.

Composition is one of the central elements of photography. Not only does it make the image visually…


Jaws, 1975

There are many impressive visual stylists in cinema, yet few have the compositional and staging grace that Steven Spielberg has been perfecting for over forty years of his career. It’s hard to call a Spielberg film ‘bland’ given that, whether they succeed or fail on the whole, the visual nature of his films is always embedded with fantastic images, complex blocking, and economic storytelling. Spielberg has been noted as one of the great practitioners of the classic Hollywood style: one that makes use of covering ground in a one-shot, often veering through three to several compositions, in order to cover…

Andrew

My passions include cinema, literature, fantasy, psychology, music/guitar, photography and ancient/medieval history.

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