Oscar Noms, the Death of Hollywood and Early Onset Dementia

Do you ever wonder if you are losing your wits? Do you think it’s much more often than it used to be when you forget someone’s name and then you go on Google to look up dementia symptoms and find all the links are purple? Because that’s more or less where I am now, or at least how I feel about the Oscar nominations.  

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AVATAR 2, Rollercoasters, and Reality Distortion Field

It is honestly fascinating to observe how Avatar: The Way of Water is ploughing relentlessly through the vast expanses of the worldwide box office, now on course to eclipse a whopping target of two billion dollars, all in the space of just about a month since its much-anticipated release. But equally, this unstoppable juggernaut is already slowly evaporating from our consciousness. 

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Letterboxd and the Gamification of Movie-Watching

It’s January and as everyone on Film Twitter will know, it’s the time of getting that nice email from Letterboxd with a beautiful summary of the movies you watched in the previous year, the star-ratings you dished out, the stars you championed, the list you prepared etc., a.k.a. The Year in Review. Consequently, what you will end up seeing on your social media timelines is a veritable slew of stats coming from your friends, followers and complete strangers, some brandishing their ludicrous-plus numbers of movies they consumed in 2022, some casually gloating over their perfect Gaussian distribution of star-ratings and others seeking their status conferred upon them by the society at large due to their impeccable taste in cinema.  

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On the lasting (ir)relevance of The Oscars

When I was laying my head to sleep on the eve of the Oscar night (and for clarity it might be useful to note I do not live in the US and the ceremony itself does not kick off until well into the early hours), I was overcome by a feeling of indifference towards this entire affair. For the first time in my adult life, I was not even remotely interested in following the Awards season enough to make my own predictions about who was going to take the top prize, or even to talk to my friends and colleagues about it. Granted, the pandemic, which according to some has come to an end, has successfully eliminated the coffee break and watercooler culture at work where these types of conversations would usually take place, but if I wanted to, I could always take to Twitter and other social media to look for meaningful discussions. But I decided not to.  

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The Principal Bond Question

Who was the best James Bond? Who was your favourite? These two questions, often rolled into one, have been on the lips of everyone and their mother in the recent days owing to the release of No Time to Die. As a result, a flurry of listicles has been deployed from all corners of movie fandom and seemingly every online publication – big or small, doesn’t matter – added to the veritable ocean of pieces ranking the actors who portrayed Ian Fleming’s iconic superspy and tried to give an answer to this everlasting Bond question which seems ever more pressing now because Daniel Craig’s tenure in the role has come to an end.

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Does It Matter If STILLWATER Is Loosely Based on Amanda Knox Story?

Focus Features

No. It doesn’t. Now you can move on with your life.

Seriously though, apart from the curious case of Matt Damon not being able to refrain from speaking (yet again), the release of Tom McCarthy’s Stillwater (find my review here) was accompanied by quite a controversy. After Vanity Fair published a piece in which McCarthy admitted that the story was loosely inspired by the case of Amanda Knox, who was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for a murder of a fellow student when she was studying in Italy, the entirety of the discourse surrounding the film – such as it was – coalesced around this affair.

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Can OLD Be Weaponized by Vaccine Refuseniks?

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for M. Night Shyamalan’s Old

It took me longer than I would like to admit to come up with a title to this text that wouldn’t immediately ruin the film for anyone who has not seen Old yet. And although I think did a good enough job in remaining slightly vague while still making sure the title corresponds to what I wanted to touch on, something tells me (based on the dwindling conversation surrounding the film and the negative word-of-mouth extinguishing the film’s presence in the zeitgeist) that there aren’t many people left in the world who would care that much anyway.

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Film Festivals in the Post-COVID world

There’s no debate: the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the world. It almost feels like an eternity ago when we didn’t have to worry about maintaining personal space, wearing face coverings, self-isolating and everything else that has since become a staple of our existence. I think it is undeniable that we are living through a paradigm-shifting event of gargantuan proportions and imposing momentum that we have no frame of reference for. And as we are slowly getting used to the new reality, we have to understand that some of the things that used to be the norm are gone forever.

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Rocky Balboa: An Unlikely Role Model for Men

If you ask any young boy who he wants to be when he grows up, you will hear ‘an astronaut’, ‘a rocket scientist’, ‘a professional footballer’, ‘a pilot’. I suppose a correction for Gen-Alpha should be made by adding ‘a youtuber’ and ‘an influencer’ to the pool of answers, but the general theme surrounding the answers to such a fundamental question is achievement. Boys are told to succeed from the minute they become mobile. “Sure, you can do it”, they hear when they are about to take their first steps. “You’re a real champ. you’re are real pro, Billy”, a boy will hear after kicking a ball, and it doesn’t matter if he’s really showing promise or not. What matters is setting little Billy on a path to success. Now Billy knows he not only wants to be an astronaut or a pro wrestler, but he is convinced it is an achievable goal.

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