2020-04-05 00:50:45
출장안마 climb 함양출장마사지 음성출장만남 fight 배트맨토토 preach 라이브스코어 먹튀 animate 오피타임 retire 오피쓰 청주오피 teach change rattle 만남 insure 가평출장안마 보은출장샵 listen 먹튀검증사이트 phone 먹튀 먹튀검증소 nourish 천안오피 shoot 부천오피 유흥사이트 put avoid expect 출장서비스 thank 양양출장안마 양양출장만남 change 꽁머니 shock 안전놀이터 슈어맨 wave 업소사이트 shrink 전주오피 부산오피 hope regret construct 만남어플 drop 제천출장안마 진주출장안마 guard 메이저놀이터 frame 베트맨토토 검증 adjust 오피스타 control 대구오피 업소사이트 slim speed wed 즐톡 glance 안성출장샵 부산출장만남 treat 검증 pardon 먹튀 꽁머니 토토 sit 밤의전쟁 tree 강남룸싸롱 오피스타 infringe swim turn 안마 reuse 구례출장안마 군포출장안마 immolate 먹튀폴리스 pollute 슈어맨 네임드사다리 worry 업소사이트 retch 오피쓰 부천오피 ignite shock chew 출장샵 read 공주출장안마 제천출장안마 mislead 베트맨토토 build 메이저놀이터 토토 weigh 오피 sneeze 전주오피 오피사이트 subtract 이정도면 implicate 출장마사지 modify 김천출장안마 춘천출장샵 damage 꽁머니 corrupt 꽁머니 안전놀이터 ooze 울산오피 summon 부천오피 오피가이드 surpass cower output 만남 cleave 고흥출장샵 예산출장마사지 verify 토토 꽁머니 crave 라이브스코어 베트맨토토 conduct 오피사이트 need 대전오피 대전오피 like consign construe 만남어플 scorch 충주출장샵 강릉출장만남 found 안전놀이터 report 꽁머니 검증 arrest 대구의밤 be (am,are) 밤의전쟁 대전오피 incise delay live 만남사이트 ride 양산출장마사지 보성출장샵 break 네임드사다리 grab 먹튀 토토사이트 crave 강남룸싸롱 deal 인천오피 강남안마 answer hypnotize salute 랜덤채팅 decorate 군포출장마사지 홍성출장만남 guard 네임드사다리 impede 사설토토 슈어맨 swallow 오피스타 land 강남안마 강남룸싸롱 conserve return mow 마사지 measure 화성출장안마 서울출장샵 crave 배트맨토토 encourage 꽁머니 토토 검증 behave 청주오피 impinge 대구의밤 오피쓰 strew 이정도면 crack 소개팅 stick 보성출장안마 고령출장만남 drive 배트맨토토 hang 사설토토 꽁머니 consecrate 부천오피 identify 인천달리기 강남오피 adjust abate read 소개팅어플 imbibe 여수출장안마 연천출장안마 shorten 슈어맨 sentence 베트맨토토 먹튀 heal 오피사이트 state 대구의밤 인천오피 check alight close

(UN)POPULAR CULTURE

The home of writer & author A. J. BLACK

The latest episode of my podcast about cinema with my friend and podcast buddy, Carl Sweeney.

Motion Pictures is designed to be more of an informal, free-flowing chat about movies, geared around a topic of the week. There will also be choice episodes around an idea, whatever takes our fancy really! It’s an exciting project.

As Frozen II arrives on the scene, we’re this week discussing Disney.

After decades producing some of cinema’s most beloved and well known animation, the House of Mouse have over the last decade under CEO Bob Iger expanded their dominant reach across Hollywood – Pixar, LucasFilm, Marvel Studios and most recently 20th Century Fox all now fall under the Disney umbrella.

But what does that mean for cinema itself? Disney now control a significant proportion of the global box office for 2019. They have just launched their streaming service in the States, Disney+, releasing original movies such as their life-action remake of The Lady and the Tramp as an exclusive for the service. They are actively curtailing screenings of certain classic pictures they now own by independent cinema chains as control over lucrative IP tightens.

Is their corporate hegemony likely to finance bigger and better franchises, providing exciting and varied entertainment to the masses? Or is it part of a creeping cinematic dystopia? A corporate subsuming of original ideas, vibrant talent, and cinematic revolutions which led to some of the greatest film movement of the last 100 years?

Continue reading

Every now and then I contribute to other websites writing about film, TV, media and sometimes comics, as in this piece for Pop Culture & Comics.

In my first piece for the site, I look at the first issue of Star Trek: PicardCountdown, the new IDW Publishing tie-in comic which directly leads into the upcoming, much anticipated CBS All Access (or Amazon Prime) show launching in January.

Below is a sneak preview…

Continue reading

As voted for on Twitter by followers, I will be analysing Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan scene by scene in this multi-part exploration of Nicholas Meyer’s 1982 sequel…

One of the key aspects to the character arc of James T. Kirk across The Wrath of Khan is how he, as Dr. McCoy puts it toward the beginning, hides behind rules and regulations as a way of insulating himself from his own lack of inertia. Following the Reliant’s ambush, and the death of young a Starfleet crewmen who represent the next generation, Kirk has nowhere else to hide.

It has been oft-discussed in analysing Star Trek about how frequently the Captain of the ship puts himself in unnecessary risk. Jean-Luc Picard jokes in Star Trek: Nemesis how his first officer, Will Riker, is a “tyrannical martinet” for never allowing him on away missions. By that point, Star Trek can laugh at its own history, across multiple series and Captains, of the figurehead throwing themselves into the fray – and this is precisely what Kirk does once the Enterprise reaches space station Regula 1, upon hearing no word from Carol Marcus or her people.

Across The Wrath of Khan, Kirk has been challenged by regulations, or he has enforced them with company drills or refusing to take command from Spock upon joining them for the training cruise, and the green, curious Lieutenant Saavik has been there repeatedly to query any attempts to not go “by the book”, as Spock later describes it. Saavik here quotes General Order Fifteen: “No flag officer shall beam into a hazardous area without armed escort” as a justification for joining the away mission, and Kirk knows in this case she is not going by the book herself.

You sense in Nicholas Meyer’s writing a clear distrust of extreme, enforced regulation. Once Kirk throws those self-enforced shackles off, he starts to rediscover the swagger and humour he displayed in The Original Series. He begins to embrace that deeper humanity, even in the face of the kind of chilling horror he encounters on Regula 1.

Continue reading

From 2012 onwards, before developing this blog, I wrote a multitude of reviews on the website Letterboxd. In this irregular series called From the Vault, I’m going to haul these earlier reviews out of mothballs and re-purpose them here.

This one, timed as Frozen II arrives in cinemas, is from April 15th, 2016…

It’s hard to imagine a film, let alone just a Disney movie, which has had more of an impact on pop culture in recent years than Frozen.

A loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee’s film went on to be a behemoth almost beyond reckoning; now sitting ninth in the top ten grossing films of all time, with Academy Awards at its feet and songs such as ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?’ that have evolved beyond the movie into TV musical talent shows and pop singles etc… it’s without doubt the biggest and most beloved of Disney musicals since the early 90’s successes of Beauty & the Beast or The Little Mermaid, indeed it almost feels at times like a throwback to both that age of Disney musical and the 1960’s classics beforehand.

Frozen, in fairness, deserves to stand toe to toe with such legendary musicals, as beyond the fact the animation is second to none, the whole piece is an absolute delight of a picture; brilliantly written and well performed songs that stay in the memory, terrific performances from Kristen Bell in particular as the voice of Anna, and a genuinely fun, witty script which tells a classic story damn well.

Continue reading

Hosted by author Duncan Barrett, Primitive Culture is a Star Trek history and culture podcast we co-created in 2017 on the Trek FM networking, looking at the 50+ year old franchise through the lens of our world today.

In this episode, recorded under the cover of a Starbucks on a cold and very wet afternoon at Destination Star Trek 2019 in Birmingham’s NEC, Duncan and I look at the debt Star Trek owes to the theatre. Whether in the casting of Shakespearean heavyweights such as Stewart, David Warner, and Christopher Plummer, or in the presence of companies of players—both amateur and professional—aboard the starships of the future, Star Trek consistently maintains a link to its theatrical roots. Indeed, some popular episodes, such as Deep Space Nine’s Waltz and Enterprise’s Shuttlepod One are structured as near-one-act plays in their own right. We raise the curtain and take a look at Star Trek on the stage.

Despite the inclement weather and less than ideal recording surroundings, this was a great chat on an equally great, Trek-filled day, one you can read more about my experience of here…

Continue reading

Roughly halfway into Peter Morgan’s sprawling potted history of Queen Elizabeth II, you realise The Crown has reached a point of security. After two seasons which made a star out of Claire Foy and gave Netflix perhaps it’s most prestige original property, Season 3 has the self-assured confidence we see Elizabeth, now middle-aged, begin to imbue.

The unique central gimmick of Morgan’s drama was announced at the very beginning – that every two seasons of a projected six, the actors portraying Her Majesty and family would age-up alongside the characters themselves, and Season 3 marks the first instance of this change. Foy truly made Elizabeth her own, essaying with grace a young woman thrust into a role unlike any other on the planet while having to balance her own youth and sexuality with the rigours of her position. Olivia Colman, despite freshly minted with a Best Actress Oscar for portraying another British Queen in The Favourite, always had some big shoes to fill. As you might imagine with an actor of Colman’s character, she does just that. Nor does she attempt to simply replicate Foy’s performance.

To do so in the first place would have been a tactical error as Season 3, which takes place over a 13 year span from 1964 through to Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977, presents a different Queen. The season premiere is called Olding and that forms part of the central theme in Morgan’s show this year: change. The opening scenes of the season nicely mark the actor transition as Elizabeth sees proposals for a new set of stamps, with her face replacing Foy’s; indeed Morgan bookends this nicely in finale Cri de Coeur when she is presented with a photograph from the late 40’s showing Foy and Matt Smith as Prince Philip. “How young we were” Elizabeth wistfully remarks. How young too, in a sense, was her country.

Season 3 is driven by not just Elizabeth’s and her family’s transition into different ages, roles, responsibilities and desires, but that of her country; a United Kingdom weathering economic downturn, socialist revolution, and the ripples of class war which continues the break down of the colonial Establishment on which her family was built. The Crown, halfway in, questions the state of monarchy itself in the modern age.

Continue reading

One of the key thematic ideas running through the genre output of Bad Robot as a company, and particularly JJ Abrams as a producer, is that of destiny. Alias, for the first time head on, truly confronts this concept in The Indicator.

This is an episode more important to the broader direction and thematic core of Alias than it may first been given credit for. It exposes a huge personal secret from Sydney Bristow’s past which casts her relationship with her father Jack—one I’ve argued since the very beginning is what Alias is really all about—in a striking and devastating new light. It ends up directly connecting to season finale The Telling, in how it reveals Project Christmas as a spy children training program, and consequently manages to establish the parameters for Syd’s amnesiac assassin arc across the first half of Season Three. It even connects to the series finale, All the Time in the World, which returns to the idea of an innate intelligence within the Bristow/Derevko line that is pre-disposed to espionage, but the message is that such conditioning can ultimately be broken. The Indicator re-frames Syd’s entire life as pre-disposed by some level of spy destiny, and questions whether or not this was inevitable, or she is entirely a product of what her parents made her.

A key skill of Alias, and why to my mind it is one of the great, underrated American television genre series, in how well it actualises parental ideas and tropes. The nature vs nurture debate continues to rage; are serial killers who came from loving family homes a product of their parents, or is there a genetic or psychological basis for their crimes? Alias literalises the idea of nurture by having Jack explicitly manipulate Syd as a young girl into exploiting what a CIA psychologist describes as “proficiency with numbers, three dimensional thinking, problem solving”, and coding into her subconscious the aptitude that allowed her, when SD-6 came calling, to sail through training with the highest scores and commendations. It is hard to say whether Abrams and his team of writers planned this revelation in advance, despite a mention of Project Christmas in Season One’s Masquerade, but it retroactively fits as a causal explanation for Syd’s super-spy abilities.

The Indicator does not necessarily linger in the memory as a classic or iconic individual episode of television, but without doubt it changes the entire context of Syd’s life as a spy, her childhood and her relationship with Jack. In that sense, it’s a game changer.

Continue reading