When a fictional game changes your life

  It is difficult to imagine a time when the University of Oxford was simply associated with ancient buildings, the white bow ties and mortar boards of “sub fusc”, and the archaic Latin speeches. While those images may still hold salience, my friends back home in Australia seem to think that living in this town is akin to attending Hogwarts. Indeed, key scenes throughout the film adaptations have been set on Oxford grounds. You may recognise parts of Christ Church College, New College, and the Bodleian, as sites for Harry’s magical development. You may recognise the image below as the…

Films These Days!: On rerun culture

I’m a little bit worried about what future generations will look back on when they study the beginning of the twenty-first century. It seems to me that since the pop culture and political uprisings of the 60s, Western films have slowly cultivated a culture of repetitiveness and lacklustre creativity. While the creativity of certain individuals has flourished in our mediocre epoch, there seems to be a decline in original thought and mind-blowing talent. Proper art, something that was all the rage just a few decades ago, now seems few and far between. Skilful acts such as directing a film that…

The Horror within Fairy Tales

Crimson Peak is the latest film from acclaimed writer and director Guilermo Del Toro.  In true Del Toro style, the film is grim, yet strangely beautiful. Reminiscent of his earlier work, Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak is more than just a horror film; it’s also about why the expectation of a fairy tale marriage is damaging. We follow the young aspiring author, Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) as she falls in love with a mysterious Baronet from England, Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). The pair meet in New York when Thomas comes to get investment money from Edith’s father, Carter Cushing (Jim Beaver)….

On Writing, Dreams and Aspiration

Like many young writers, my process was – and still is – defined much more by frustrations and insecurities than by achievements and improvements. I was trying my best, but still had a lot to learn. I felt the passion of storytelling, but was plagued with self-doubt. Often, it was also an isolating experience. It seems natural, then, that some of the best encouragement I received wasn’t in the form of advice and wisdom. It was the realisation, through talking to other writers, that this was a normal part of growing as a young artist – that creating something which…

Berlin! All Singing, All Kissing

A. I went to Berlin earlier this year for the first time as part of a month-long jaunt to Europe with a range of stops. I was most excited to see Berlin. I told everyone that the hipster trendiness appealed to me, that the old favourites of Europe – London, Paris, Rome – were growing stale and overrun by tourists (not unlike myself) with jaws hanging open saying, ‘oh my gawd!’ all the time, taking up pavement space and why did I come all this way? Why don’t you move?! But the appeal of Berlin didn’t really lie in my…

Queer Displacement and “The Doom Generation”

The words fly haphazardly across the screen while Trent Reznor screams over heady beats that God is dead: “A HETEROSEXUAL FILM BY GREGG ARAKI.” And on. A young woman is standing at the centre of a dystopian nightmare. Fire burns in drums around her and people shudder and jolt aggressively as they dance, but she is unfazed. She attempts to light the cigarette dangling tentatively from her lips, but her lighter fails her. Annoyed, she speaks the opening line of the film; the line that’ll introduce the audience to both the character and the world and set the mood for…