Manifest (Season Two)

Manifest (Jeff Rake, USA, 2018) and passengers of the show’s fateful flight 828 have returned for a second season. With more of the same dross that made the first so unbearably irritating. After leaving the previous season on an unconvincing cliff-hanger, and having it embarrassingly answered in the first seconds, no new information on the mystery of 828 is provided in the ensuing 12 episode bore. And, to watch the season is a bore, to the most extremities of the definition. 

Where to start analysing this car crash of a TV show? In comparison to the previous season, the acting is still as equally bland proportionate to the colour beige. Main characters are only capable of expressing the emotion of surprise. The writing is still as lousy, continually force-feeding us exposition that tells us ‘it’s all connected’ because it’s too lazy to provide meaningful narrative construction and needs to convince itself that it has a clever story. As if this wasn’t enough to stop viewing it the editi…

Murder Most Foul

2020 seems to be the year of unpredictabilities: WW3, Britney Spears breaking the 100m sprint world record and now Bob Dylan releasing a 17-minute single. The only difference the last of three actually happened. Making a surprise release on March 27th ‘Murder Most Foul’ saw Dylan break his eight-year lull in new material since 2012’s Tempest. It also takes the accolade for the longest song in Dylan’s discography. 

Initial readings of the song can be viewed as simply a eulogy to John F. Kennedy, as well as the 60s and subsequent cultural landmark moments. The song quickly digresses into a bombardment of references, some on the nose, some beguilingly subtle. The Beatles are first to get a mention with ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, alluding to the impact of Beatlemania on the youth population at the time as their swift adoption of pop music’s escapism. Woodstock and Altamont also get a mention, a juxtaposition between the ideals of the counter-culture and a loss of innocence. Jimmi Hendrix’…

The Isolation Series: Books

As these tough times continue I thought I’d offer you some book recommendations to get you through the ever-increasing period of lockdown. As always there are familiar favourites which warrant a re-read and others that I hope you will enjoy as much as I did. All the books featured came to me at a time of reflection and stillness, therefore, I had time to absorb their messages and get to know them assiduously. I hope in this time of isolation you take solace in the seclusion and make the most of the bad situation.  

Stay safe.

You Are Here: Art After The Internet
Omar Kholeif (Editor)

These collected essays (including 'The Context of the Digital: A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships' by Gene McHugh which provided inspiration for the title of The 1975's third studio album) explore contemporary conceptualisations on culture in a 'post-internet' society. Engagingly, Kholeif splits the book into thirds, starting with 'Essays' that set up the theory that is anal…

The Isolation Series: Films

Continuing on from the first instalment of the isolation series, this week I'm recommending some films to get you through the ever-extending period of lockdown. There are some familiar favourites and others that one day might top those favourites. 

As always look after yourself and each other! 

Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, Italy, 1948)
Sica’s post-war Italian classic investigates the father/son relationship and sets up what would become the Neorealist film movement. The heartwarming story follows Antonio (Lamberto Maggiorani) in his new job putting up posters when his work bicycle is stolen. An engaging analysis of family relations, as well as, a societal and economic evaluation of experience subsequent to the events of World War 2. A great introduction into foreign language film and neorealist movement.

Airplane! (Jim Abrahams, David Zucker & Jerry Zucker, USA, 1980)
This wacky comedy situates Ted Striker (Robert Hays), an ex-war pilot, who is afraid of flying, in an attempt…

The Isolation Series: TV Shows

Firstly I hope all of you reading this are doing well under the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. As a large percentage of the population are currently self-isolating I thought I'd share my recommendations on what media to consume during your quarantine. The atmosphere about the earth is peculiar at the moment, to say the least, everyone feels like they're a part of some dystopian horror film or television show (something akin to The Walking Dead or Shaun of the Dead). One solace, of course, is Netflix and escapism, others, however, may prefer to address the issue full-on. Therefore, I hope my mixture of TV shows holds something for everyone.

Stay safe, wash your hands, respect people still at work and don't be the dickhead stock-piling bog roll.

Limmy's Show
(Brian Limond, BBC, 2009-2013)
Available on: Netflix
Having recently been introduced to Limmy by friends I can tell you, from experience, that his style of humour is a slow burner. Once you are m…

R.Y.C. (Raw Youth Collage)

R.Y.C (or Raw Youth Collage) is Mura Masa’s (Alex Crossan) sophomore effort after 2017’s self-titled debut. Adapting his style towards a more nostalgic indie sound the album presents the listener with a scathing presentation of youth culture and its vexation at contemporary Britain. 

Taking such a drastic change in sonic direction has opened Crossan up to severe criticism. With claims that the music is "so mediocre, it's not even entertainingly bad." A gross underestimation of the musical capacity to influence and affect the youth's cultural perception of society. Crossan's artistic influences and tastes have evidently varied from the unique perspective of his earlier projects, in which he combined glitchy beats with smooth and lyrical melody lines. R.Y.C. adopts a scrapbook feel of contemporary fashion presenting lots of collage pieces but never fully exploring them to their full potential. This trend has seen a significant increase as of recent with projects suc…