High-Rise is not so far from reality


The new film adaption of JG Ballard’s classic 1975 novel High-Rise has been a while coming. Much like the power-cuts that interrupt life in the novel’s namesake, various attempts to translate the book for cinema have been erratic, and ultimately failed. But with director Ben Wheatley’s effort garnering positive reviews and critical acclaim, perhaps it is useful to reconsider the story’s meaning. High-Rise tells the story of Robert Laing – a middle class doctor who moves into a complex of futuristic, luxury tower blocks just outside of London. The building where Laing lives is designed to provide everything its residents … Continue reading

Mad Max: Not a feminist’s film

I watched the new Mad Max last week. If you want fast-and-cool escapism, you should go see it. The hype surrounding it is somewhat mind-boggling, but I guess people are relieved that the franchise has been liberated from the presence of a certain Australian schismatic Catholic fascist. I didn’t see anything particularly ‘feminist’ about the film, unless you regard Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) as feminist (which it may have been for the time). It’s certainly the case Charlize Theron’s buzzcut is reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver. However, we also find the standard basic dichotomies remain in place. Furiosa is working hard … Continue reading