Top 10 Articles I Wrote in 2021

Since we are still within the narrow window of opportunity to look back upon 2021, I imagined it would be a good idea to – in addition to counting down my favourite films, a task at which I may have failed – examine how far I have come (it at all) in my journey as a self-taught writer and a self-confessed cinepreacher. Therefore, I thought I’d share the top 10 articles I wrote last year I am most proud of.

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HALLOWEEN II – a Blueprint for THE TERMINATOR

Universal Pictures

It goes without saying that John Carpenter’s Halloween was never envisioned to sustain a sequel, let alone an entire franchise. It probably was a bit surprising when the film became iconic and gave birth to one of the most – if not the most – recognizable villains in history of cinema, Michael Myers. Therefore, the question of following up the unexpected success of what became one of the most profitable independent movies of all time was both inevitable and challenging given the strong possibility that John Carpenter wasn’t that interested in exploring this world any longer. 

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The Uncut Gems Podcast – Circling The Matrix Marathon

If you’ve been keeping up with our show, you probably know by now that all throughout the last month-and-a-half we’ve been exploring films tied somehow to The Matrix, which we did in the run-up to the release of The Matrix Resurrections in cinemas. However, if you just discovered us, I thought it would be a good idea to gather everything we’ve done towards this goal in one place.

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How THE MATRIX Became STAR WARS of My Generation

I wasn’t around in 1977 to witness how George Lucas’ Star Wars took the world by storm. I was born a bit too late and in the wrong country to experience the queues, the hysteria, the toys, or the sudden emergence of the hardcore fandom that not only has persisted to this day, but grew into a self-sustaining part of the modern popular culture. Star Wars came into my life when it was already established as a trilogy, in fact just a few short years before the release of its then-anticipated-but-now-widely-reviled Special Edition. So, even though I thoroughly missed out on the cultural germination, I grew a part of the Star Wars phenomenon; moulded and surrounded by it. What I did get to witness first-hand was the inception of another worldwide juggernaut, as I was a teenager with an impressionable mind – in the cultural ‘Goldilocks zone’, so to speak – when The Matrix was unleashed upon the world in 1999. And I have to say that those two movies have quite a bit in common.  

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The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

WB

Wow, déjà vu. 

Have you ever wondered why certain songs by certain bands do not lend themselves well to being performed by other bands as covers? Granted, many songs – in fact, probably most of them – do lend themselves to such treatment. You will always hear perennial classics of pop music recreated by young musicians, rearranged and reharmonized by pros, or translated into other genres, which is all great. I do enjoy the novelty of hearing George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” reimagined by post-grungers of Seether just as much as I always had a soft spot for Metallica’s version of “Whiskey in the Jar” or Marilyn Manson’s rendition of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams”.  

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Spencer (2021)

Neon

Spencer opens with a long, static shot of a deserted kitchen, dimly lit by the barely awake sunshine of a misty early morning, eerie with silence. Typically bustling with life, filled with busy people working hard to prepare meals on time, the place is ominously empty. While inspecting this clinical landscape of studiously kept surfaces and perfectly arranged kitchenware, our gaze locks onto a sign hanging overhead. Using the familiar graphic template of the “Keep calm and carry on” slogan – itself a motivational poster from the times of The Blitz now reduced to a cliché souvenir one is expected to bring home from a trip to London as a royal keepsake – the sign reads “Keep the noise to a minimum. They can hear you”.  

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House of Gucci (2021)

Universal Pictures

It would seem it wasn’t that long ago when I sat in the cinema to watch The Last Duel and emerged positively amazed at the fact a man well into his eighties could direct a movie this aggressive, poignant and provocative, all in the guise of a familiar medieval epic. You shall also be informed that in a recent podcast I was a part of (available over at CLAPPER’s Patreon channel that I strongly suggest you subscribe to) I may have confidently suggested that Ridley Scott just doesn’t miss at all and the worst he can do is mediocre. Boy, was I wrong! 

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