Weeks 6-9: Sep 6-29

September has been a mixed bag. It feels very weird to witness everybody around me in Back to School mode… and to not be going back to school myself. This feeling hit home especially hard on a brief visit to the Kings College London open day with my little sister.

That isn’t to say this month has been all doom and gloom, though. I spent a week writing for Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival in Bristol, after winning a place on their New Film Journalism workshop c/o IdeasTap and NISI MASA (European Network of Young Cinema). I ate the most sublime pear and chocolate tart from the Arnolfini, interviewed Peep Show writer Jesse Armstrong, and, best of all, got to hang out with some really cool people. The Inside Encounters team hailed from Estonia, France and Romania, as well as here in the UK, and despite the fact that we were staying in a dirty hostel situated above a nightclub (I wish I was joking), it was wonderful. You can catch up on my blog posts from the festival here.

Arctic Monkeys cover Drake’s ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ (a great song in its own right). Much has been made of the Monkeys’ recent restyle — quiffs, sequinned blazers and phoney American accents notwithstanding — but I see this video as proof that Alex and co. are continuing to do what they do best: taking the piss. Not out of Drake, or the song — but out of us. Watch, and you will understand.

The British film industry is having a moment — but where do Black Britons fit into the equation?

I’m not sure where I stand on the pro-porn vs. no porn debate (though I think Cindy Gallop is an incredibly smart woman).

I worry that the notion of porn being addictive lets men off the hook. In much the same way, talking about boys who have been “sexually traumatised” by watching porn diverts attention from girls who are having to deal with demeaning and dangerous sexual demands from young men.

This piece in The Independent has some interesting things to say about pornography and gender.

I unashamedly love Jesse Eisenberg. His column in The New Yorker is the gift that keeps on giving — his voice has all the wit of Woody Allen, but an abrasiveness that is all his own.

Stop telling women to smile.

This really spoke to my love of food writing. Further reading: Nigel Slater, always, and Beth Kirby of Local Milk, for recipes as delicious to read as they are to eat.

Ah, Jonathan Franzen. While his recent essay (or shall we say, diatribe) on modern technology has been widely praised, I found it awfully worthy. I did, however, love this response from The New Inquiry’s Fiona Duncan and Sarah Nicole Prickett, a riff on the work of feminist writer Chris Kraus. It only really works if you’re familiar with Kraus — though if you’re not, now is as good a time as any for me to recommend the brilliant ‘I Love Dick‘.

Texts from William Carlos Williams.

Is online advertising killing music journalism? And could the same be said for film journalism?

Speaking of film journalism, I’m really looking forward to Mark Kermode’s new book, ‘Hatchet Job: Love Movies, Hate Critics’. The Observer published an extract from it, and predictably, it’s an engrossing, entertaining and compassionate insight into contemporary film writing. Bonus: I spied praise for Hope Lies, the film website created by my dear friend and colleague Adam Batty!

Finally, if you watch one thing today, make it Zane Lowe’s four-part interview with Kanye West. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny his creativity, his passion or his drive. It’s one of the most generous, inspiring and moving interviews I’ve ever seen. You can see part one above, but don’t miss parts two, three or four.

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