Geek, Memory: Lisa Simpson

At Christmas when I was a kid, while my big brother was unwrapping toys, I received my annualpile of books, which I would read happily to the tinny Pokemon soundtrack jangling from his new Gameboy. Shy and bookish, I began to forge affiliates – idols – out of fictional characters. Typically, they were vegetarians, often […]

Entourage, Insiders and the Death of Cool

In my younger and more vulnerable days – when I still thought fedoras were cool and would unironically quote Gatsby – I was a big fan of Entourage. For someone who aspired to work in the film industry, but who was a bit too fat and ugly, Entourage offered something concrete to aspire towards. So […]

A Fan Letter to James Horner

Dear James Horner, There are approximately three things I think about on a daily basis: Harry Potter conspiracies, what shade lipstick to buy next, and the 1997 film Titanic. Whilst the plum vs blue dilemma and the futile ‘Nagini/London Zoo Boa Constrictor debate’ may have little to do with you, my obsession with James Cameron’s […]

Working Class Heroines: the Women of Walford

For about 16 years now I’ve been engrossed in EastEnders and the lives of Albert Square residents. I’ve watched Dirty Den being buried in The Queen Vic, Archie Mitchell get his comeuppance on Christmas Day, Zoe Slater scream “you ain’t my muva” at Kat, and seen the love of Sonia Fowler’s life, Jamie Mitchell, die […]

The Art of the Iceberg: An Ode to Stanley Tucci in The Devil Wears Prada

I. “That’s all.” Two pithy words; a whole universe of cold indifference. Those words reemerge insistently in the reviews for The Devil Wears Prada, David Frankel’s 2006 adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s bestselling roman à clef. They’re delivered a couple of times in the film, always by Meryl Streep as Anna Wintour stand-in Miranda Priestly, editor […]

Jason Reitman and the Cactus-Gram of Abandonment

Oh, and she inexplicably mails me a cactus every Valentine’s Day. And I’m like, “Thanks a heap coyote ugly. This cactus-gram stings even worse than your abandonment.” It’s easy to forget about Juno McGuff’s mother, because, frankly, who needs her? When you’ve got JK Simmons for a dad and Alison Janney for a stepmom, you […]

What it means to be Swiftian: Taylor v Jonathan

TS Eliot once said that “real irony is an expression of suffering, and the greatest ironist was one who suffered the most – Swift.” Let’s be playful, and assume he punned on both Jonathan and Taylor. The first two books of Jonathan’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726) famously work like a telescope. In the first, Gulliver is […]

The Romance of Male Virginity in Outlander

Outlander’s Jamie Fraser is not your average hero. He is one part terrier, one part action hero, with a smidgeon of baby angel thrown in. He’s also a huge virgin. None of these things are mutually exclusive. The action hero part of him sees Jamie riding a horse with a bullet in his shoulder, taking […]

A Brief History of McDonald’s in Cinema

Cultural icon and delicious fast-food joint, the golden arches of McDonald’s tower proudly over the gateway to modern Americana. Since the restaurant chain was founded in 1940 in San Bernadino, it has grown consistently and ruthlessly, to the point where McDonald’s has become a synonym both for fast food and for corporate globalisation. Since its […]

Transgressive Treats: Food and Shame in Children’s Literature

On Easter Sunday, baker Ruby Tandoh implored her twitter followers, voraciously eyeing her food-filled feed, to “please channel Bruce Bogtrotter today as you triumph over those who use food to shame & subdue you”. Tandoh and Roald Dahl alike recognise food’s power as a currency of control. Tandoh attached to her tweet a frame of a triumphant Bruce from […]