Film Essays and Analysis

Arrival and the Language of Cinema - In his 2016 science fiction film 'Arrival', director Denis Villeneuve expertly uses the power of cinematic language to take us on a mind bending journey of love, loss, and the inevitability of time. Essay by Margaret Roarty.
5 Reasons Why You Need to Watch Midnight Cowboy - John Schlesinger film 'Midnight Cowboy' (1969) starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight is a classic of cinema, and here are 5 reasons why you must watch it. Article by Katie Doyle.
Sia’s Music Is Not “a Love Letter to the Autistic Community”: It’s Another Unrealistic Portrayal of ASD - Sia's Golden Globes nominated feature film debut, 'Music', a musical starring Maddie Ziegler and Kate Hudson, is another unrealistic portrayal of ASD. Essay by Shona Leigh Pope.
The Enduring Legacy of Stan and Ollie - Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were beloved by legions of fans and described by legends of comedy as the very best around. What makes Stan and Ollie such an enduring act? Louis B Scheuer explores.
You’ve Seen ‘Soul’. Now What? - What does Disney Pixar's 'Soul' tell us about ourselves? What lessons does 'Soul' aim to teach us? How can this Pete Docter film be read? Peter Charney explores.
The Subversion of the Motion Picture Production Code in Cat People - How Jacques Tourneur thriller 'Cat People' (1942) worked with and against the Hays Code to become a much discussed and highly influential film of its era. Essay by Jacob Davis.
The Greatest Film Trailer of All Time? Psycho (1960) - Analysing the iconic trailer to the iconic 1960 horror 'Psycho', starring a first person narration from director Alfred Hitchcock himself. Feature by Kieran Judge.
Shot-for-Shot: Stryker’s Dilemma in Sands of Iwo Jima - How tension is ramped up and a moral conundrum of war is addressed in one particularly well made scene in 'Sands of Iwo Jima', starring John Wayne. Analysis by Kieran Judge.
How ‘What We Do In the Shadows’ Reshapes the “Man Alone” with Vampire Cinema - Reassessing New Zealand cinema's "man alone" trope for Taika Waititi's much-loved vampire mockumentary 'What We Do In the Shadows'. Essay by Jacob Davis.
‘In the Cut’ and How Marriage Can Kill You, Actually - How Jane Campion erotic thriller 'In the Cut' (2003) starring Meg Ryan subverted the expectations of the erotic thriller genre and has gone underappreciated for close to two decades. Article by Margaret Roarty.



Katie Doyle’s “Movies I had a Religious/Spiritual Experience With” Part 5: The Exorcist - "inspiration has come from the most unexpected of places - the 1973 horror film, The Exorcist. God really does work in mysterious ways." - Katie Doyle in Pt. 5 of her Religious/Spiritual Experience series.
Funny Games and the Victimisation of the Audience - How Michael Haneke makes us as much the victims of his world-renowned horror film 'Funny Games' as he does his central characters. A feature essay by Jacob Heayes.
How Midsommar and The Wicker Man Hold Much of the Same Wisdom - How in trying to avoid taking pointers from 'The Wicker Man', Ari Aster made the closest thing to it, 'Midsommar', and how both films use the same wisdom to terrify all of us. Article by Louis B Scheuer.
Requiem for an American Dream - Requiem for an American Dream - how Darren Aronofsky's 'Requiem for a Dream' (2000) is about more than just drugs, it's about commodification, capitalism and modernity. Article by Kristina Murkett.
Loincloths, Muscles, Sorcery and the Rock of Uranus: A Journey Into the Realm of the Italian Peplum (c.1958-1965) - A journey into Italian Peplum, the cinema of mythical gods, muscle-bound heroes, sorcery and loincloths, as presented by Paul A J Lewis.
Harry Potter and the Uncredited Creator of That Chess Scene - The story of Jeremy Silman, the International Master of Chess uncredited with work on 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' and that iconic chess scene. Article by Kieran Judge.
‘Burning’ and Elusive Truth - How Chang-Dong Lee purposefully obscures the truth in his 2018 mystery 'Burning' to provide one of the most engaging examples of the genre in decades. Article by Jack Cameron.
Hollywood Spectacles – Nerds, Perverts and the Morally Deviant - Bespectacled film characters have long been presented with a number of damaging traits, the least of which is "being a nerd". Ciaran Duncan explores this problematic representation in this feature essay.
Nolan’s Films Are Complex, but Are They Deep? - Famed film director Christopher Nolan has long been a filmmaker who pursues interesting concepts, but are movie releases such as 'Tenet' and 'Inception' actually deep? Louis B Scheuer explores.
Christopher Nolan’s Cinematic Chores: Understanding ‘Tenet’ - Nolan frequently assigns his audience chores, engineering his films in such a way that requires them to participate in each narrative actively. 'Tenet' is no exception. Leoni Horton explores.