The Top 15 Best James Spader Performances

 

James Spader started his long acting career as a teenager in a minor role in the 1978 film Team-Mates, received his first big role as Brooke Shield’s brother in the 1981 film Endless Love, and has acted non-stop in a wide variety of film and television productions since 1984. For an actor with nearly 40 years of experience, who has starred in everything from teen gang films (Tuff Turf), made-for-TV family dramas  (Cocaine: One Man’s Seduction), major blockbusters (Avengers: Age of Ultron), a hit legal drama show (Boston Legal), science-fiction romps (Supernova) and arthouse classics (Sex, Lies and Videotape), he has strangely eluded popular notice. In line with many similar actors who never found superstar status, he proudly remains a cult icon and a true actor’s actor, daringly picking obscure productions because of a great script or unique potential. “I like to be cast against type,” he told a reporter in 1987, “and I like directors who cast me against type. I like roles that are confusing to me, that have a lot of questions, questions which take the whole shoot to answer.” Now Spader’s starring role in the hit NBC show The Blacklist has brought him to the forefront of actors on TV and finally given people reason to re-evaluate his career. I’ve watched every film he has played in, and aim to pay homage to the notable classics and also uncover hidden gems by picking Spader’s best performances.

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Kanye West – Reanimator

 

The waiting was gruesome, but Kanye never faltered. Every now and then he applied his ear to the chest of the specimen, and bore the negative results in typical Kanye fashion: by throwing a non-sequitur rant. He’d wax hyperbolic about breadth and width of his art, claiming that it couldn’t be contained by mere genre conventions like “life.”

Growing up in a Dutch suburbia, which to friends, acquaintances, and the occasional individual in the pub I often refer to as “The Whitest Place on Earth”, my fascination for Kanye West was only inevitable. As far as our similarities go, we both studied English and once rewarded ourselves with pet fishes for a major achievement. At the age of seven I bought a gold fish with my pocket money after I got my swimming diploma; Kanye purchased an 18th century aquarium with 30 koi fish after the successes of College Dropout (2004). Both well-deserved rewards I would say, but undoubtedly my fascination is more based on the allure of otherness than on the comfort of familiarity. And so I have no illusions that my attraction to the Other is any better than a white baggy trousered teenage boy shouting “Fuck the Police!” from his new housing estate bedroom or any other instance in which black culture becomes, as bell hooks puts it, “a seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture”[1]. Not wishing to participate in this white escapism, my affairs with Kanye are strictly private and rarely find their way past my own ivory white bedroom door. Instead, I indulge in his music the way I experience a Thomas Pynchon novel: from a respectable and self-aware distance but engaged enough to be overwhelmed by the sheer genius of it all. Continue reading “Kanye West – Reanimator”

Writer’s Block #32

This newest issue of Writer’s Block Magazine is as all-round as ever! In it you can find interviews, short stories, essays, poems, reviews and columns. And moreover, it reveals the winner of our short story competition! Click on the cover below, and take a look inside!

Would you like to see your piece published in an upcoming issue? Please send us your work at submissions@writersblockmagazine.com! Continue reading “Writer’s Block #32”

Sanderson in Review

A reader’s job these days is hard. More books get published in a single year than any of us could read in a lifetime – and that’s without even taking into account petty complications like school and jobs and family that seek to diminish our precious reading time. Today, I’m hoping to convince you that there is one author of the fantasy genre in particular whom you should not simply let pass by you: Brandon Sanderson. Continue reading “Sanderson in Review”

Room

 

Room, written by the Irish author Emma Donoghue, was published in 2010. It was around that same time that I read her novel and now, 6 years later, a film adaptation of the novel has been released, directed by the Irish film director Leonard Abrahamson. Room is about Jack, a 5 year old boy, and his mother (referred to as “ma” throughout the story) who live in a small room because (as is later found out) Jack’s mother was kidnapped by a man seven years ago. This man, who goes by the name of “Old Nick”, is the only one who has the key to their space and who brings them food and other basic necessities. Horrifyingly, “Old Nick” frequently abuses Jack’s mother and rapes her. Jack is the product of this, and he grows up in the room with his mother, whom he calls “ma”. The entire plot is narrated by Jack, which is very special, in my opinion, because we get the perspective of an innocent 5 year old boy who is in a situation that is otherwise very serious. His voice provides some comic relief to the plot. Continue reading “Room”

Experiencing That Dragon, Cancer

I put off writing this for a long time, which is unusual for a text about a video game. Then again, I put off playing that videogame for an even longer time, because I was afraid of playing it. Now I’m putting off actually introducing it… I’m writing to you today about That Dragon, Cancer, a game created by a father of a young child that suffers from terminal brain cancer. It is unlike any type of game you’ll ever play, both in terms of gameplay and the emotional impact it has on its player. Continue reading “Experiencing That Dragon, Cancer”

Writer’s Block #27

We are proud to present to you our 27th issue, full of poetry, fiction and artwork by our talented contributors. In addition, the editorial board hopes to broaden your literary horizon and add to your list of must-reads. So what are you waiting for? Sit back, grab your beverage of choice, and enjoy! Click the cover to see an online version of WB #27.

And don’t forget, we’re still looking for submissions for the next issue! So go, go, go, and send your work to us at submissions@writersblockmagazine.com!

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