The Struggle for Hetero-Free TV

If you’re anything like me and have no problem with heterosexuality whatsoever, yet find yourself letting out an involuntary gasp of shock whenever you see two individuals of the opposite sex as much as touching hands, then you probably share my dilemma of what to watch on television. After all, no one can deny that in the past few decades heterosexuality has become more and more prevalent in mainstream media, and it is now hard to turn on any program without being confronted with the sight of two heteros bumping uglies on some seedy excuse for a mattress at one point or another. While I repeat that I am in no way heterophobic – I in fact have many straight friends, and probably at least one family member, who swing that way – this does not mean I have to be comfortable being exposed to it all the time, especially when in the privacy of my own home, from the comfort of my bed, while eating ice-cream, wearing sweatpants and picking my nose. And quite honestly, television just isn’t what it used to be anyway: one moment you’re watching a mildly interesting cop drama and then the next thing you know two straights are locking lips and rubbing privates on the nearest piece of furniture. It’s a disgrace. So, to all of you fellow movie lovers of class and moral uprightness, know that I have made the ultimate sacrifice of watching a whole stack of films and series over the course of the past year. Some were great, others terrible, but I was relentless in my quest. And, after painstaking hours of effort and more than several moments of intense heterosexuality-induced nausea, I here have a list of films and series you can watch with minimal exposure to any of that hetero hanky-panky. Trust me, you’ll thank me later:
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Pity

WARNING: there are spoilers in this review. Spoilers that will definitely affect your first viewing of the film. Just sayin’.

I’m going to tell you about a film I recently saw. Pity (2018) is a Greek film directed by Babis Makridis. I’m giving you information about the director because that’s what people usually do when they review films. I, however, care more for the writer: Efthymis Filippou. Filippou has previously written two other films which will forever hold a place in my heart and in my film recommendations, namely the Greek film Dogtooth (2009) and The Lobster (2015). Both those films are award-winning works directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.

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How To Love Boys

When I was in my awkward, painful late teens, romantic comedies were all the rage. Girls my age couldn’t stop thinking—and talking—about the dreamy guys featured in movies like The Notebook, Mean Girls and Twilight. (I realize that these must seem ancient by now.) We all wanted a Noah, Aaron, Edward or Jacob. But we would never have them. Because, later rather than sooner, we found out that guys aren’t really like that. Guys don’t build you houses. They don’t just offer to tutor you. And they’re definitely never superhuman.

But is it a bad thing that these boys weren’t real? In The Notebook, the protagonist couple fights all the time and cheats on the people they’re actually with. In Mean Girls, Cady dumbs herself down to get the guy. And the Twilight series, to be honest, portrays a toxic, overly-dependent relationship. Love can hurt, sure. But if it hurts that much, you might have to look for something… healthier.

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The Curse of the Video Game Movie

At the beginning of the year, I was asked to write a short introduction on myself to be used on the Writer’s Block website. Honestly, I don’t know how people are able to condense their entire person to less than three sentences and still manage to make themselves sound even remotely interesting. Instead, I just figured I could mention some of my interests and then proceed to write about those. Looking back at the little Writer’s Block archive dedicated to my ramblings, however, I noticed a gaping hole in the subject material (and no, I am not talking about my failure as of yet to write an entire piece on my love of Ice Tea). I have written about films, I have written about video games, I have written about memes, but never about the ultimate combination of the three: the utter meme that is the video game movie.

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The Ten Best Alice in Wonderland Films

This year marks the 110th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s death, and though it might sound a bit macabre, this may nevertheless be a good celebratory occasion to review the best Alice in Wonderland film adaptations.

Perhaps more fascinating than Alice in Wonderland itself is the mind from which the story sprang. Contrastive to his work, Carroll, or Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), was said to be a rather dry and stiff man. As a mathematician and logician at Christ Church Oxford, he was orderly and meticulous, maybe what would now be characterized as bordering on OCD. But more than adhering to rules and order, he loved to break them, twist them, and turn them around completely until he arrived at the insane world that is Wonderland. Yet, saying that Wonderland is only a trippy celebration of chaos and disorder would be wrong. Alice in Wonderland very cleverly challenges the taken-for-granted logic of the adult world by using a child as a heroine who questions and doubts everything. In this, Carroll brilliantly captures a child responding to a world that has rules and logic that she, other than adults, does not yet fully understand and accept as ‘normal’. Continue reading “The Ten Best Alice in Wonderland Films”

Pretentious Pirates: Why My Favourite Film Is Actually Awful But I Still Love It

 

There are certain expectations you have to meet when you tell someone you love movies, especially if that other person is a self-professed film aficionado. For example, you absolutely have to have seen *insert random “classic” here*, been to a midnight screening/premiere at least once, preferably dressed as a character from said movie. You also have to have gone at least once to a small, obscure art-house cinema where the seats are sticky and, instead of eating popcorn, people drink chardonnays while discussing the latest feat of an equally obscure foreign filmmaker. God forbid you mention an interest in the cinema without having done at least one of these arbitrary acts associated with a bone-deep passion for “the moving pictures”. Luckily for me, I can often pass this first hurdle in conversation. For me, the real danger lies in the unavoidable follow-up question you get when you pass level 1 in the cross-examination posed by a fellow film lover; the question to surpass all other questions that will determine definitively your past, present and future as far as your acquaintance with that person is concerned. “So then, what is your favourite movie?” To me, it is both the most difficult and dangerous to answer; not because I don’t have an answer (although picking just one film is an almost impossible task) but because of what my answer is. My favourite movie of all time is Pirates of the Caribbean *cue gasp*.

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#ExplainAFilmPlotBadly: Why Describing A Plot Badly Might Make A Good Movie

 

A meme did the virtual rounds a couple of months ago, called “explain a film plot badly”. It asked internet users to take a well-known and universally loved movie, and write down the plot as horrible and in the most misunderstood way possible (think Harry Potter but with Voldemort as the hero). Not to read too much into a meme, but when these pictures with new and often hilarious captions littered my Facebook timeline it got me thinking.  Continue reading “#ExplainAFilmPlotBadly: Why Describing A Plot Badly Might Make A Good Movie”