KEN LOACH’S ‘I, DANIEL BLAKE’: A BRIEF NOTE ON TWO ILL FOUNDED CRITICISMS

(1) ‘It’s sentimental‘ . No, it isn’t. ‘Sentimental’ is when you focus on how much you are enjoying your own sensitivity. Sentimentality’s essential object is oneself, and it’s faux, inauthentic, self indulgent. ‘Love Story’, for anyone who can recall it, was sentimental. IDB is emotional: its object is on the people portrayed and yes, it aims to upset you and make you angry – that is, if you are emotionally alive as a human being. This is not ‘sentimentality’. (2) ‘The working class characters aren’t realistic: they don’t swear, scream or drink’. This one says more about the assumptions of the … Continue reading

Desiring and Acting Differently: A Sketch Towards a Critique of Consent

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1. As I write the verdict in the retrial of footballer Ched Evans has just recently been announced. The verdict itself is a shock but what is even more disheartening are the facts of the trial; that the complainant’s personal sexual history was used against her after the judge made a rare exception to allow it as evidence and that the family and partner of Evans was known to have offered a cash reward for information leading to his acquittal. The repercussions of this verdict and the precedent that the judge’s exception may set will undoubtedly be felt for years … Continue reading

Talking Like Adam Curtis

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I can say that I have sat through the whole of HyperNormalisation. It is arduous viewing, putting it kindly. It’s extremely rich, some might say decadent. If Bitter Lake was a cornerstone, I suspect this film is the excess that followed from it. Everything about it is overdone. If you’ve followed Adam Curtis closely, you’ll note that the footage carries with it his obsessions from recent years. He was writing about Iran, Syria and Libya on his blog back going back five years. For more 15 years or more, Adam Curtis has been able to captivate mainstream audiences with his … Continue reading