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The X-Files – The List (Review)

This November (and a little of December), we’re taking a trip back in time to review the third season of The X-Files and the first (and only) season of Space: Above and Beyond.

The List taps into a lot of contemporary anxieties.

As with Chris Carter’s last stand-alone script for The X-Files, there is something very timely about The List. The late second season medical conspiracy thriller F. Emasculata had aired at a point where national anxieties about Ebola and other killer diseases were at a high, with the high-profile release of Outbreak and the publication of Crisis in the Hot Zone. One of Carter’s strengths as a producer and a writer was his ability to take the national pulse, and to make The X-Files reflect whatever made nineties America uncomfortable.

A capital idea...

A capital idea…

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Non-Review Review: Diana

Diana is a rare beast. You have to try very hard to make a biography film that is so perfectly and so calculatedly terrible. Diana isn’t the product of people who don’t care, it’s the product of people who care too much about the cynical market of prestige biography films. As such, with focus-group precision targeting, the film hits what might be the most bitter of sweet spots. It is both toothless and incredibly cynical; manipulative and shallow; vacuous and crammed with unnecessary and irritating detail.

Most damning of all is the way that the film seems perfectly calibrated to fit the public image of the People’s Princess, never bold enough to challenge or explore her work, her life or her legacy. Given how raw the public’s nerves are, even sixteen years after her tragic death, it might have been expecting too much to hope for a provocative or compelling exploration of one of the most iconic figures of the past three decades. However, we might have hoped it would at least be interesting.

It's a minefield...

It’s a minefield…

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