Paul Mason on Post-Capitalism – A Reply

Artwork by JonasDeRo At the recent FutureFest conference in Shoreditch, journalist and Culture and Digital Editor at Channel 4 News, Paul Mason, gave a short lecture on the future of society and the economy. Most important to his discussion, which ranged over economic history and recent cultural and social trends, was the question of whether […]

The City and The City, Structures of the Mind – Part 2

What makes the ideological constructions in the City and the City so effective? The legal apparatus bring into focus the strange mental conceptions that work to sterilise any of the cultural or political tensions that would normally be present in such a place. The cities are part mental construct, a visual and ideological architecture (upheld […]


The film begins with Ryan Gosling, the chillingly cool ‘‘Driver’’, announcing to one of his employers over the phone – “I’ll give you a five minute window – anything happens either side of that, and you’re on your own”. The part-time stuntman and full-time stoic dips his leather-clad hands into Los Angeles’ crime world, whilst […]

Dark Souls

Japanese developer FromSoftware’s Dark Souls makes no grandiose statements of hope or heroism. You begin the game as a wanderer, clinging to life in a new dark age, with civilization all but collapsed and humanity broken. The land has been scarred by the flames of untold wars and disaster, and now a blanket of darkness […]

What is the Alien?

The original 1979 Ridley Scott sci-fi horror film has always stuck with me. It’s dark simplicity has never quite been matched by any of the sequels. It is the first time we are thrust into the unknown depths of space to witness the brooding violence of the Xenomorph. It is these original, glimpsed images of […]

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a confident visual recreation of 1970’s cold war espionage. In line with the conflict itself, it appears as a suffocating but fascinating simulation of a period of intense political disillusionment. There is a mole in the British Secret Intelligence Service, and the solemnly astute George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is brought […]

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes shows us a twisting double helix of evolution and revolution, yet despite some faint cinematic moments and some well rounded character development, it feels all-too simplified and, disappointingly, all too human. The prequel, set sometime in an early 21st Century San Francisco, sees the hubristic tampering with Mother […]

The City and The City, Structures of the Mind – Part 1

  “Escapism” is a word/concept often used to describe fantasy and science fiction. In the most simplistic sense, the term seems to appropriate a field of distance or extension between the text, those engaged with it, and our actually existing reality. The word seems to attribute to readers a certain passivity and disengagement towards the […]

Wu Xia

Wu Xia is an interesting historical fantasy that treads both old and familiar ground, as well as injecting some fresh ideas into the genre with great stylistic flare. Set in the southwestern province of Yunnan in 1917 China, the film takes place away from the royal courts of the ancient and imperial era, instead concentrating […]