Film Essays and Analysis

A Brief History of the Director’s Cut - From the Ridley Scott's Director's Cut of 'Blade Runner' to Peter Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' extended editions and right through to the Snyder Cut of 'Justice League' - the history of the director's cut as presented by Sam Sewell-Peterson.
Birds of Prey Riot Grrrls How Cathy Yan’s ‘Birds of Prey’ Reawakens the Ethos of the Riot Grrrl - ‘That girl thinks she’s the Queen of the neighbourhood, I got news for you, she is!’ - How Cathy Yan's 'Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey' embraces the Riot Grrrl ethos in its fresh attempts to validate female anger. Article by Leoni Horton.
Leonardo DiCaprio Shutter Island 10 Years of Shutter Island – Flawless Directorial Command and Mental Health Examination - Released 10 years ago (2010), Martin Scorsese's 'Shutter Island' has taken on a life of its own to remain a relevant and enticing masterpiece from one of cinema's greatest. Beth Sawdon explores...
The Streaming Romance: Reception and Perception in Modern Moviestaying - Jacob Davis looks at 5 Netflix rom-coms with noticeable disparities between their critic and audience scores to decipher why those disparities exist and hopefully lend a helping hand on which one/s to watch.
Why Parasite’s Oscars Dominance Matters - 'Parasite winning, and winning so big, shows that maybe barriers are being broken down'. Jacob Davis on why 'Parasite' winning big at the Oscars 2020 matters.
From ‘Foreign Language’ To ‘International Feature’: Why A Change In Name Isn’t Enough - The Oscars have renamed their 'Best Foreign Language Film' category 'Best International Feature Film' in the name of inclusivity - but, as Sophie Butcher discusses, this alone is not enough to improve recognition for world cinema.
Frozen 2 Original Song Oscars Could ‘Frozen II’ Win Best Original Song? – Oscars 2020 - "in the final “Into the unknown” in the chorus, [Elsa] goes so far past the safe notes, way into the enchanted forest. Here the chorus acts as a microcosm for the whole narrative." - Sophie Cook on why "Into the Uknown" should win Best Original Song at the 2020 Oscars.
In Defence of The Academy – A Sarcastic Address of the Controversy Surrounding The Oscars - For close to a century, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been a pillar of open-mindedness and has set benchmarks for inclusion. This article celebrates their otherworldly knowledge and passion that totally isn't bought or the source of controversy.
1917 Is Not Nationalistic - Is '1917' inherently nationalistic? The multi-time Oscar nominee and Golden Globes winner has come under fire from certain sections of the press, but Jacob Davis disagrees with the consensus. Full feature/essay here.
‘Joker’ Vs ‘Us’: Their Significance, Similarities – And Why Is One Missing From The Oscar Nominations? - The Oscar nominations for 2020 are out, and Sophie Butcher has a question - why has 'Joker' received so much recognition, and 'Us' none at all, despite their similarities? Click here to read in full.



Ravished by Romance – Before Sunrise’s Antithetical Approach to Love - After a quarter of a century on the big screen, why does Richard Linklater's seminal romantic piece 'Before Sunrise' still resonate with audiences? Joseph Wade explores.
Baz Luhrmann Movies Baz Luhrmann’s Iconic Postmodern Trilogy: An Exploration - Baz Luhrmann exercises postmodernism in his work through his instantly recognisable work in adaptation and reimagining, including in his three most iconic pieces, a postmodern trilogy explored by Sophie Cook.
Kermit Tiny Tim Muppet Christmas Carol Why ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ Has Become Hard To Watch - Why 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' Has Become Hard To Watch in the contemporary landscape of inequality according to Annice White.
Jeremy Corbyn Boris Johnson Politics 5 Christmas Movies Rewritten According to Brexit and UK Politics - As the UK enters another General Election, Katie Doyle rewrites five Christmas classics of cinema to fit the modern political discourse in this entertaining piece.
Le Mans 66 Racing Movie What ‘Le Mans 66’ Gets Right That Other Motorsport Films Did Not - Does 'Ford v Ferrari' manage to satisfy racing fans as it seems to be pleasing filmgoers? Dan Mason analyses in this special feature.
Hitchock on set of Marnie Shot For Shot: Safe-Theft Scene in Hitchcock’s ‘Marnie’ (1964) - Over half a century later, Hitchcock's movies still have us on the edge of our seats. But why? Kieran Judge breaks down how he masterfully manipulates his audience in a shot-by-shot analysis of a scene from 'Marnie' (1964).
The Jedi and The Force Analyzing ‘Star Wars’ Lore: The Jedi - The history, development and contradictions in Jedi lore in the 'Star Wars' franchise. Article by Jacob Davis.
A24 Horror Influence A24 Horror: Success, Religion and Difference in Modern American Cinema - How A24 have managed to tap into the zeitgeist with recent releases 'The Witch' and 'Hereditary' to offer horrors that do more than make you jump out of your skin. Article by Beth Sawdon.
Joker 2019 Analysis Joker: Incels, Violence, the Alt-Right – Tackling the Discourse Around 2019’s Most Controversial Movie - Jacob Davis tackles the hysteria surrounding Todd Phillips' 'Joker' (2019), breaking down the discourse forged by the opinions of high-ranking journalists in an attempt to get to the bottom of the controversy.
Star Wars Lore 21st Century Modern Problems Require Modern Solutions: Expectations of Star Wars Lore in the 21st Century - How expectations regarding 'Star Wars' lore have been cultivated and why it isn't the end of the world that you don't know anything about Snoke.
Wizard of Oz 1939 The Wizard of Oz – 80 Years of Social Relevance - The impact of 'The Wizard of Oz', its context to politics at the time and the profound effect it had during the 2nd world war examined in the year of its 80th anniversary by Beth Sawdon.
Stand Your Ground Movie A Textual Critique of ‘Stand Your Ground’ - 2014 Michael McClendon movie 'Stand Your Ground' sides you with the assailant in a "based on true events" story of a real-life murder trial from the perspective of the perpetrator's mother. Jacob Davis explores its problematic stance.
The Art of the Social Media Thriller; Narcissism, Paranoia and Tools for Good or Ill - "Technological paranoia has always been great fuel for exciting films and filmmaking." Sam Sewell-Peterson takes us through 4 of the best examples from the recent trend of Social Media Thrillers.
Jake Gyllenhaal Spider-Man Far From Home – Throwing Shade at the Superhero Factory - "Compelling character first, crash-bang-wallop second", the compelling subtext of 'Spider-Man: Far from Home' (2019), by Sam Sewell-Peterson.
EDITH is problematic in MCU Far from Home – E.D.I.T.H. and the Morality of the MCU - Spider-Man: Far from Home introduces a problematic new piece of technology that illustrates a genre shift in politics that Jacob Davis explores, here.
Tarantino Basterds Analysis It Just Might be His Masterpiece: Revisiting Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’ Ten Years Later - Will Quentin Tarantino ever top 'Pulp Fiction'? Maybe he already has. Samuel Sybert breaks down the artistry behind the iconic director's 'Inglourious Basterds'.
A Textual Analysis of ‘John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ - An analysis of the use of colour and the narrative progression on offer in 'John Wick Chapter 3 - Parabellum' by Jacob Davis.
Tom Hiddleston Loki Character Loki: The Development of One of Marvel’s Greatest Villains - He became one of the most iconic superhero villains of all time. In this feature, Francesca Militello charts Loki's development from prince to villain to brother between 'Thor' and 'Infinity War'.
Laika LLC Animation Films Laika Animation: Meditations on Alienation and Death… for Kids! - Laika, the stop-motion animation house behind 'Kubo and the Two Strings' and 'Missing Link', have been tackling soft subjects in child friendly ways for a decade. Sam Sewell-Peterson takes a look at how they made death and alienation not only digestible but also relatable.
A Clockwork Orange Retrospective A Clockwork Orange In Retrospect – Its Themes, Its Reception and Kubrick’s Directorial Masterclass - 'A Clockwork Orange', the controversial 1971 release from directorial master Stanley Kubrick, has been analysed by Lucas Hill-Paul regarding its themes, reception and delivery in this exclusive retrospective.
Ellen Ripley Aliens Feminism From Final Girls to Kickass Women – What Modern Female Protagonists Have in Common with Ellen Ripley - "Ellen Ripley stands as one of the first pages torn out of a sexist and archaic rulebook." From Final Girls to Kickass Women - What Modern Female Protagonists Have in Common with Ellen Ripley.
Black Comedy in Film The Fine Art of Black Comedy or Why It’s OK to Laugh When We Shouldn’t - Using three examples by filmmakers from three different continents, Sam Sewell-Peterson analyses the cathartic nature of Black Comedy in this special feature.
Angelina Jolie Alicia Vikander Lara Croft The Legacy of ‘Tomb Raider’ and Its Impact On Video Game Cinema - 21st century Hollywood's biggest attempt at a video-game-to-movie franchise, Tomb Raider, has left an enduring legacy. Craig Sheldon explores in this special feature.
Designing Nightmares: H.R. Giger and ‘Alien’ - When you think of 'Alien', you think of Ridley Scott and the Xenomorph, but the man behind the disturbing visuals is H.R. Giger, the artist profiled by Kieran Judge in this article.
Wandering Earth Significance China The Success and Significance of The Wandering Earth - 'The Wandering Earth' has broken all sorts of records in China and at the worldwide box office. Joseph Wade tackles the significance of this success and why it is successful in this special feature.
Brie Larson Captain Marvel From Captive Maiden to Captain Marvel – The Rise of the Female Action Hero - Captain Marvel is Marvel Studios' first female superhero movie lead, but it has been a long time coming. Craig Sheldon chronicles the development of female action heroes in Hollywood film.
Green Book Best Picture Green Book’s Win Says More About the Academy Than Society - "A Green Book Oscars win is the cinematic equivalent of burying one’s head in the sand" writes Jacob Davis of its Oscars 2019 Best Picture win in this special opinion piece.
Green Book’s Verdant Views on Race Allow Inherent Contradiction - Jacob Davis goes to task on one of this Oscars season's most divisive and controversial films, questioning the morals and ethics of Peter Farrelly's 'Green Book'.
Adam McKay Vice Movie A Millennial’s Take on Vice - Approaching Adam McKay's Dick Cheney biopic 'Vice' from the perspective of someone too young to remember Cheney properly is Jacob Davis.
Hong-Jin Na Director Director Spotlight: Na Hong-Jin - South Korean director Na Hong-Jin has developed a recognisable style throughout his three releases to date, something Kieran Judge dissects and celebrates in this Director Spotlight.
Greatest Showman Darcy Rae The Worst Show – A Historian’s Account of The Greatest Showman’s Problematic Retelling of History - "It’s not hard in this day and age to get your facts right and do some research." - a historian's account of The Greatest Showman's problematic retelling of history (by Darcy Rae).
Far from Typical Love “Shut Up and Deal” – How ‘The Apartment’ is Far From a Typical Christmas Love Story - With "sex, adultery and even suicide", Billy Wilder's 1960 comedy/drama 'The Apartment' is far from your typical Christmas love story. Craig Sheldon explores in this retrospective look at the all time classic.
Abel Gance's Napoleon An Introduction to the Cinematography in Abel Gance’s ‘Napoleon’ (1927) - An introduction to the cinematography of the hugely influential French filmmaker Abel Gance via his epic genre classic 'Napoleon' (1927), by Francesca Militello.
Objectivism Movie Essay The Man of Rearden Steel: Objectivism in Contemporary Cinema - Ayn Rand's Objectivism isn't only potent in 'Batman v Superman' but an unfortunate philosophy of film in general, according to Jacob Davis.
Zombies in Cinema The History of Zombies in Cinema - Drawing from John Landis' "Monsters in the Movies", Rhian Gillah explores the development of zombies throughout cinematic history.
Jacob's Ladder Film Essay Jacob’s Ladder: A Masterpiece Often Forgotten - Why more people should remember 'Jacob's Ladder', a film that "takes the themes and iconography of horror and moves into something deeper and more meaningful" according to Kieran Judge.
Horror Movie Score Composers Instruments of Terror: The Music In Horror Films - "music was the hot new thing in town and no other genre would benefit more than Hollywood’s angsty teenage brother, the horror film." Craig Sheldon's exploration of music in horror films, here.
A Star Is Born 2018 A Look Inward: Introspection in A Star Is Born - "Seeing someone’s true self is important in 'A Star Is Born', but being able to look at one's self is even more important." Introspection in 'A Star Is Born', by Jacob Davis.
Fabric in Gay Cinema Fabric Love: Costume in Gay Cinema - The role of clothing in male-male romances is very distinct. Annice White takes you through the how and why with comparisons between 'Call Me By Your Name', 'God's Own Country' and 'Brokeback Mountain'.
BR2049 Cyberpunk essay More Human Than Human: An Introduction to Cyberpunk - Where did cyberpunk originate and what makes it such an influential sci-fi sub-genre in cinema? Kieran Judge walks you through.
Adam Sandler Movies Why You Should Reconsider Adam Sandler - Why it's time to reconsider Adam Sandler as an actor according to Joseph Wade.
The Nun: The Prequel We Didn’t Need - With a story that lacked narrative and jump scares that avoided originality, should 'The Nun' be the end for the 'Conjuring' universe?
Who Is Jareth In Labyrinth (1986) and Why Has He Got a Bulging Penis? - Jareth's penis bulge has finally been explained. Why is Bowie trying to chat up a child, and why did Jim Henson create a sexually charged labyrinth?
Why Are We Still Scared of Horror Movies? - How have horror movies changed to keep us squirming in our seats and seeking the thrill time and time again? Beth Sawdon investigates in this special feature.
Nostalgia image The Era of Nostalgia in Cinema – Why Are We Watching So Many Remakes? - Beth Sawdon explores the sociological, financial and creative reasons behind Hollywood's current leanings towards sequels, prequels, remakes and reboots in this special feature.
Book to Film Adaptations How To Make A Good Book-to-Movie Adaptation - Beth Sawdon offers advice on how to make a good book-to-film adaptation, taking lessons from the good and often downright ugly adaptations of the past in this special feature.
Brad Bird The Incredibles The Exceptionals: The Philosophies of The Incredibles - In this special feature, Luke Whitticase explores the philosophies of 'The Incredibles' and its director Brad Bird, drawing particular parallels with exceptionalism and Randian Objectivism.
Sci Fi Technology in real life How Science Fiction Movies Have Influenced Technology - "what is science fiction really? By definition, it's science that isn't real. Or is it?" Craig Sheldon takes you through the real-life impact sci-fi movie gadgets and gizmos have had in this special feature.
DW Griffith Artist's Contributions An Artist’s Contributions: David Wark Griffith - Highly influential 'Broken Blossoms' and 'The Birth of a Nation' director David Wark Griffith is the topic of Francesca Militello's latest piece in her "An Artist's Contributions" series. Just how did Griffith influence modern cinema? Find out here.
Jim Caviezel Passion of the Christ A Retrospective Look at The Passion of the Christ and Its Artistic/Cultural Merits - In this eye-opening piece of analysis, Katie Doyle takes an in-depth look at 'The Passion of the Christ' as a piece of art and a cultural phenomenon, flagging issues regarding discrimination and the movie's post-9/11 politics.
The meaning of the crystal in Mother uncovered What Does the Crystal Mean in Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Mother!’? - What does the crystal represent in 'Mother!' (2017)? Elizabeth Howlett takes you through her theory about this vital aspect of the controversial Darren Aronofsky film starring Jennifer Lawrence, here.
Sergei Eisenstein Film Theory An Artist’s Contributions: Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein - Sergei Eisenstein, the father of many modern theories on cinema, is the latest filmmaker to be included in Francesca Militello's An Artist's Contributions series. Take a look at what made him so influential, here.
Italian Neorealism Essay Francesca Militello An Introduction to Italian Neorealism – Essay - Francesca Militello outlines the famous film movement of Italian Neorealism in this introductory essay complete with suggestions on what to watch and why.
Joi from Blade Runner 2049 Blade Runner 2049: Why is the Female Body the Future’s Prop? - Why is the female body the future's prop in 'Blade Runner 2049'? Alex Morden Osborne offers her critique of the Denis Villeneuve sci-fi movie here.
chris pratt film actors on tv How the TV Renaissance Has Helped Film Actors - What was once a death nail to any film actor's career now seems like a more enticing proposition as film actors embrace tv, giving the small screen a bigger draw and changing the industry.
Signs Alternative Theory Featured Image You’ve Been Watching ‘Signs’ Wrong - A 'Signs' alternative theory. Could the aliens in 'Signs' really be angels or demons? Joseph Wade takes you through the facts...
Dark Crystal Movie The Dark Crystal and Why 80s Nostalgia Can Be Good - Katie Doyle presents why she feels the reemergence of 'The Dark Crystal' via Netflix signifies the positive side of this decade's 80s nostalgia trip.
How Robin Williams Affected Millennials - Robin Williams was a legend, but to millennials he was something more. Hear about it straight from the horses mouth in Catherine Giggal's special piece.
Fifty Shades of Grey Feminism Should ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ be Considered a Feminist Franchise? - Sophie Grant sets out to answer the question everyone's been asking for years... Should the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' be considered a feminist franchise?
The Evolution of Disney Dads - What does the interaction a Disney Princess has with her father tell us about how times have changed between 1989 and 2016? James Cullen explores.
Triumph of the Will Propaganda Film Film as a Political Medium: Propaganda and ‘The Triumph of the Will’ - Nazi propaganda film 'The Triumph of the Will' is analysed for its effectiveness as a documentary and comparisons are drawn to contemporary politics in James Cullen's informative film essay.
‘I, Daniel Blake’, Its Significance and Recognition - 'I, Daniel Blake' has become a significant film for more than just its art. In this piece, Joseph Wade outlines how the film transcended cinema and looks at the reasons for its lack of awards show recognition.
Bodies of Power: Masculinity and Femininity in ‘Rambo: First Blood Part II’ and ‘Aliens’ - Ripley from 'Aliens' and Rambo from 'Rambo: First Blood Part II' each represented different ideas of masculinity and femininity in 80s America, according to James Cullen's film essay.
He Sees You When You’re Sleeping: The Psychology of Christmas Horror Films - What draws us to Christmas-themed horror films? James Cullen takes a look in this special seasonal piece.
An Analysis Of John Candy’s Role In ‘Uncle Buck’ (1989) - John Candy's iconic performance in 'Uncle Buck' has been analysed by Catherine Giggal in this special feature.
The Celluloid Threat of Atomic Annihilation – The Cinema of Nuclear War. - Take a special look back at the history of cinema's relationship with the bomb in this special guest publication from Closer To Midnight's Ben Taylorson.
How Everyone Finally Got Over Ben Affleck Being Batman - Ben Affleck won over most of his critics with his performance in 'Batman v Superman' (2016). Joseph Wade analyses how he managed to do so in a follow up to his contentious piece 'Why It's Finally Time To Get Over Ben Affleck Being Batman' (released in 2015).
An Artist’s Contributions: Orson Welles - Orson Welles may be the most influential American director of all time. Francesca Militello has analysed his artistic contributions in this special article.
Kubrick & Kids – The Work of a Dictatorial Director & His Child Stars - Stanley Kubrick isn't the first name you think of when thinking of directors working with children in film, but Jacqui Griffin points out that maybe he should be in this special feature article.
What’s Wrong With the Original ‘Spider-Man’ Trilogy?! - "These movies came at a time when people needed them" in Katie Doyle's special look at Sam Raimi's 'Spider-Man' trilogy (2002-2007).
It’s Not What You Watch, It’s How You Watch It - In Katie Doyle's latest contemplative piece, she writes about how important the ways you watch film can be to your reception of it, and offers a few examples from her own past.
It’s A Wonderful Life: The Truest of Christmas Films - Tis the season for a Christmas rant. Katie Doyle presents hers in the form of her latest piece: 'It's A Wonderful Life: The Truest of Christmas Films', here.
Why I Actually Like ‘The Phantom Menace’ - 'Why I Actually Like The Phantom Menace' by Katie Doyle.
The Main Theories and Interpretations of ‘Toy Story’ - Three of the top fan theories regarding Disney Pixar's 'Toy Story' trilogy have been presented by Jack Gooding in this special feature.
The Most Important Concept in Film - Tricia Lowney presents one of the most important concepts in film today: suspension of disbelief. Read the piece, in full, here.
The Blair Witch Project: How Does It Compare To Contemporary Horror Films? - How does 'The Blair Witch Project' compare to the horror films of the 21st century? This is a question Jack Gooding answers in his latest article, available here.
An Analysis of ‘American History X’ & Its Contemporary Relevance - In his debut piece, Jack Gooding has written about 'American History X' (1998), its controversies and its contemporary relevance. Read the article here.
A Celebration of the Animated Classic “The Prince of Egypt” - A celebration of "The Prince of Egypt" (1998) by Katie Doyle. Discover just what you were missing from the 'original' non-Disney animated feature, here.
In Memory of Christopher Lee – An Analysis of The Wicker Man (1973) - Katie Doyle has dissected the importance and brilliance of the 1973 version of The Wicker Man starring the recently passed Christopher Lee, and has paid a fitting tribute to the actor, here.
Video Games to Films – Where Does It All Go Wrong? - Greg Forrester has asked: "video games to films - where does it all go wrong?" You can read the post that highlights a number of big budget adaptations, here.