Go Top

ESSAYS

essays

strange hymns: why seeing lana del rey live is a spiritual experience

What does it mean to be a captivating performer in 2017? Perhaps it has something to do with the stadiums that artists sell out, the pyrotechnics their show uses, or the complex dance routines they train tirelessly to perfect. Or, perhaps it’s something simpler than that. Perhaps, in the case of Lana Del Rey, it’s …

tommy cash: the pioneer of post-soviet sound

An Adidas-clad Salvador Dali gallops through a MacDonald’s drive-thru on a shiny brown horse, clasping a Big Mac and the reigns of his generation. He transcends the boundaries of history, forging a new narrative for eastern Europeans through a bizarre blend of ‘the three stripes’ and a love for equestrianism. This is Tommy Cash, a …

when two hip-hop obsessives come face-to-face with jurassic 5’s chali 2na

Chali 2na has been a mainstay of the alternative hip-hop scene for some 25 years. His work with Jurassic 5 speaks for itself, for many and the “verbal Herman Munster” has cultivated a much deserved, loyal following around the world. This is no accident: he has earned his place among the best-kept secrets in hip-hop …

all of the women in laura marling

When Laura Marling walked on stage in her white cotton dress, she looked exactly like the bride that should never be married to anyone, because no one else truly deserves her. I couldn’t ignore the matrimonial atmosphere of the stage filled with ferns and white flowers, plants twisted and tangled all around the instruments, her …

how ‘original copy’ looks candidly into mumbai’s gentrification

There’s dust in the air and the sun radiates through floating orbs and onto the faces of sign painter Sheikh Rehman and his apprentice. They are in Alfred Talkies, one of the remaining analogue cinemas in Mumbai. The window, which the men are sitting by, looks palatial. A break from this fantastical moment comes when …

arthur abel reviews ‘hounds of love’

hounds of love is a film. i am reviewing this film. i am reviewing the film hounds of love. it is the debut film from australian director ben young. i was asked to review this film because someone else didnt. the premise is that a seventeen-year-old girl gets abducted by two serial killers.

dissecting the sick genius of flying lotus’ ‘kuso’

Man, this film is satisfying. It’s a visceral experience cobbled together from all the dark, sick shit you’ve ever seen. Remember goatse? Remember one man one jar? Remember lemonparty? Remember when you accidently saw someone’s head get cut off after clicking on that weird looking gif? Those images you saw that you can never get …

how ‘i am not your negro’ crafts an evocative and empowering portrait of black america

There is no doubt in my mind that James Baldwin was one of the most significant writers of the 20th century, and I Am Not Your Negro serves as both a history lesson and an introduction to one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Raoul Peck uses an unfinished, 30 page draft of Baldwin’s …

this is why ‘free fire’ misses its mark

Have you ever been to see a film that everyone in the screening seemed to think was really funny and engaging, while you just sat there bemused and thinking: “this is a bit shite”? Well, that’s how I felt watching Ben Wheatley’s divisive sixth feature Free Fire. As I looked around the audience in hysterics, …

how ‘the woman who left’ reshapes movie revenge

If you look at it solely from the perspective of the mention of the ‘revenge thriller’ in its synopsis, you’d think that this four-hour long, black-and-white Filipino film had very little going for it. In reality, it’s a shining example of how the idea of retribution on screen flourishes in the hands of female protagonists.