Moonlight isn’t just a part of the conversation for film of the year, it is the conversation

by Shane Thomas Content note: this review contains spoilers It’s often said that a key facet of healthy relationships is open, honest, and clear communication. Perhaps less emphasised is that this applies to familial relationships as well as romantic ones. Eight years after his debut feature film, Medicine for Melancholy, Barry Jenkins has made a movie… Read More

2016’s Racism in Review

It’s Nothing New by Shane Thomas Racism. The obvious kind. We saw plenty of it in 2016. We’re likely to see more in 2017. But we’re less likely to get a nuanced analysis of it from the thinkpiece carousel. In truth, there’s the overt racist, the anti-racist, and a whole lot in between. You can be… Read More

A United Kingdom: Love In The Time Of The British Empire

This review will contain spoilers. by Shane Thomas  Once the year in film began with #OscarsSoWhite[1], was it coincidence that 2016 is closing – and 2017 beginning – with a raft of movies featuring people of colour? We have Hidden Figures, Lion, Fences, and the magnificent Moonlight to come. We recently had the release of Queen… Read More

When A Poppy Becomes State-Sanctioned Remembrance

by Shane Thomas  It’s said that Christmas starts earlier every year. It increasingly feels the same regarding the wearing of poppies in November to commemorate Britain’s Armed Forces. Two years ago, the cause célèbre was the wearing (or non-wearing) of the “poppy hijab”. In 2016, it’s football that is the site of controversy, as England played… Read More

On the struggles of being the ‘other’ in film and TV remakes 

by Shane Thomas   One of the most evident phenomena of Western pop culture is film and television’s propensity for remakes and reboots. It’s a topic as polarising as it can be profitable. While I understand how remakes can subsume original ideas, personally I think they can also serve an useful purpose, as it allows tales… Read More

Men’s Silent Consent Of Rape Culture

CONTENT NOTE: This piece will discuss rape and sexual assault (Here is a list of support services for survivors – via Alison Phipps). by Shane Thomas For those who don’t know, here’s what you need to know: Footballer Ched Evans was found not guilty of rape in a trial that ended last Friday. We’ve written about… Read More

White is Right, But Light-Skin is the Next Best Thing

by Shane Thomas The arrival of summer means a number of things: Intermittent sunshine, music festivals where at least one white person gets their cultural appropriation on; and superhero movies. Lots of superhero movies. Box-office takings are the engine of established Western cinema, and few things fuel that engine more than a superhero tale. Last week… Read More

When the white gaze is automatically seen as informed opinion

by Shane Thomas What do you know about the Large Hadron Collider? Personally, I know it’s a science thing, and… that’s about it. So what would you think if I declared I was going to talk at length about the LHC in this piece? You would be entitled to think me asinine, and wonder how on… Read More

Prince: Black Music’s Liberated Son

by Shane Thomas  The first thing that struck me about Prince was his voice. Not his singing voice – as marvellous as that was – but his speaking voice. It’s measured. It’s calm. Mellow without ever being monotone. You know who it reminds me of? Toni Morrison. It’s the vocal signature of someone who is totally… Read More

The Police’s Ban on Bashment Reveals Their Fear of Blackness

by Shane Thomas When thinking of police interactions with black citizens, one often visualises the nuisance of harassment and the tragedy of death. But long held anti-black maxims also appear in their involvement in the most innocuous areas of British life. The Metropolitan Police were recently in the news after they allegedly instructed Dice Bar in… Read More