Best enemies

National Review Magazine founder William F. Buckley Jr. is seen in an undated handout photo. Writer and commentator William F. Buckley, a revered figure and intellectual force in the American conservative movement for decades, died on Wednesday at age 82, said the magazine he founded, the National Review.  REUTERS/National Review (UNITED STATES).  NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS..

The feud between Gore Vidal and William F Buckley, Jr. is legendary. Yet it has not been the subject of a documentary until now. This may be down to the litigious tendencies of the Buckley-Vidal agonism. Best of Enemies is a wonderfully crafted film combining grainy rolls of film with high definition footage. It sets out to encapsulate the clash of egos. More importantly, the project frames the clash as the beginning of the ‘culture wars’: the struggle between two Americas. In many ways Vidal and Buckley play out the liberal-conservative split in US public life. Though it’s worth noting … Continue reading

The phony outrage of white men

In recent months, the mass-media has been watching events at Goldsmiths University with a particularly close eye. What could’ve sparked such interest? It wasn’t the fastidious standards of contemporary art. Nor was it the occupation of Deptford Town Hall. Never mind the occupations at LSE, UAL and KCL. You would think that this is worthwhile news. But no, none of that! It’s all down to Bahar Mustafa, the Welfare and Diversity Officer of Goldsmiths Student Union. Mustafa posted a Facebook message asking white men not to attend an event for black and ethnic minority women. The conservative elements of the … 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