In ‘Gwen’, Horror Lies in the Cruelty of Patriarchal Capitalism

“Steal a sheep, and they’ll take your hand. Steal a mountain, and they’ll make you a lord.”

Set in 1855 Snowdonia, Gwen (2018) is a brooding Welsh gothic drama on the brutalities of poverty, the patriarchy, and capitalism. As William McGregor’s debut feature, the film finds its horror in the inhumane ways men appropriate, control, and abuse women’s bodies for self-serving purposes. 

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Art, Autobiography, and Sexuality in Desiree Akhavan’s ‘The Bisexual’

Many critics of Desiree Akhavan’s The Bisexual have condemned it for not being explicitly subversive enough, somehow implying that because of Akhavan’s bisexuality, she necessarily has to write a neat arc which leads up to a climatic acceptance of main character Leila’s sexuality. I believe that form of criticism in itself is worth interrogating: Why do we expect LGBTQ-centered media (particularly, those by LGBTQ artists) to live up to a totalising and universalising narrative, when all of us have differing experiences on sexuality because of our varied socio-political circumstances? And why do we place the burden on LGBTQ people to figure out all there is to do with sex, gender and sexuality when the world is persistently denying and censoring our access to all these things?  Continue reading “Art, Autobiography, and Sexuality in Desiree Akhavan’s ‘The Bisexual’”

Black Mirror Review: ‘Metalhead’ – The Technophobe’s True Nightmare

This review contains spoilers for Black Mirror Season 4 Episode 5: Metalhead.

 

When commencing the annual black mirror binge-watch, I noticed one thing – social media had already very much made up their minds over the runaway favourite of the season (‘Hang the DJ’, this year’s ‘San Junipero’), and the relative dud. That dud, based on popularity, is most likely ‘Metalhead’; not only does the episode appear dead last on many people’s personal lists, but I’ve even seen recommendations to skip it altogether.

As I’ve now watched the series through, the very first thing I would say is this: please do not skip such a brilliant example of filmmaking. Partly because I don’t believe there is reason to skip an episode purely based on its popularity in the eyes of others, but also because ‘Metalhead’ is just so damn good.

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