Stranger Things 3: Cold War Gone Upside Down

By Anne Liebig| 02 October 2019
SPOILERS AHEAD. On 4th July 2019, the third season of Stranger Things hit Netflix and quickly pulled off its favourite stunt – defying the sequel trap. Once again, the show satisfied viewer demands and climbed to critics’ top scores for the third time running. The long-awaited return to monster-ridden Hawkins not only features delightful performances by its stellar cast, but also widens the playing field for the series’ baddies: other than the familiar killer goo that is the Demogorgon, who are Hawkins’ child heroes up against in 1980s America, and on the most patriotic of holidays no less? You’ve guessed it: the Russians.

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Sun Ra Arkestra: a Mythical Rebirth

By Alexandra Huang| 18 September 2019
The American avant-garde jazz band Sun Ra Arkestra is whimsically dubbed after the ancient Egyptian mystagogues in worship of the Sun. Led by the eponymous pianist of the band since the 1930s, the musicians have created some outlandish soundscapes described as “dark, kinetic sounds bursting with spiky electric piano or fuzzy keyboard lines and collective horn freak-outs that would likely send most punk rockers screaming from the room.” Eerie and bizarre as their music sounds, these improvisers blatantly claim themselves to be “tone-scientist” and “architects of the plane of discipline,” namely, scientists of sound who can achieve mathematic precision.

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Making a micro-budget film about Artificial Intelligence

By Luka Vukos | July 16, 2019
A presentation by Luka Vukos – ‘Making a micro-budget film about artificial intelligence’. Presented as part of Blethers, an evening of academic storytelling from the University of Edinburgh, February 2019. Luka describes the making of the short film, ‘Lose Like a Human’. Lose Like a Human won Best Original Score and Audience Choice Award at Hyperdrive Sci-Fi & Fantasy Film Festival 2018.

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Sonic Intensified Continuity in ‘Baby Driver’

By Ruochen Zhao | 19 June 2019
In this audio-visual essay, Ruochen analyses the music and sound used in Baby Driver (2017) – in particular, what theorist Amanda McQueen has identified as the concept of ‘Sonic Intensified Continuity’ used by (director) Edgar Wright in films such as Saun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs the world.

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Mary Queen of Scots: a new kind of Period Drama

Eva Dieteren | 29 April 2019
As a fan of period dramas, I was ready to sit back and enjoy what one can typically expect from a big-budget period drama: beautiful cinematography and gorgeous costumes accompanied by dramatic music. And whilst the film certainly ticks all the boxes, its depiction of female sexuality provides a new – and literal – perspective on the term period drama.

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Feminism Gone Mad? Keira Knightley, mothering and the case against the Disney princess

Tia Byer | March 25, 2019
A presentation by Tia Byer, “Feminism Gone Mad? Keira Knightley, mothering and the case against the Disney princess”.
Tia won the award for ‘Most Controversial’ at LLC Blethers, an evening of academic storytelling with the University of Edinburgh, February 2019.

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The Failed Orlando: Exploring the Reception of Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor

The revered series Doctor Who has faced harsh criticism in its last season: it was too PC; the actors failed to match the previous cast and even the stories lacked the thrilling qualities that Whovians have come to expect from their favourite TV show. Like all previous cast choices, the announcement of Jodie Whittaker taking the reins as the 13th Doctor was met with harsh opposition. Unlike the previous actors portraying the Doctor though, the disapproval did not abate, but seemed to alienate a significant number of fans. Now that Jodie’s first series is over, a closer look can be taken into the her portrayal of the Doctor.

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How Entertainment Dismantles Reality in Black Mirror

Yan Li | 18 February, 2019
Have you ever pondered over the relationship between how we are entertained and who we are? The TV drama Black Mirroris often regarded as science fiction that aims to reexamine the role of technology in our society. However, I see this episode differently. It is more like an attack on (overly) widespread, immoderate and reckless entertainment than a denunciation of technology. In other words, it is the way human beings present and perceive themselves via entertainment that is being mocked, and technology is the accomplice in this five-act tragedy. 

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