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New Escapist Column! On the Joker’s Attempts to Hijack “The Dark Knight”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. Because the Monday column is now published with a companion video, we thought it might be worth trying something a bit more visual than usual. Because TENET is still in wide release, we thought it might be interesting to try something visual that was related to Christopher Nolan.

The Dark Knight is an interesting film for a number of reasons. Interestingly, it is the rare Christopher Nolan movie that is almost entirely linear. Nolan’s other films tend to jump around a lot in time, but The Dark Knight progresses quite clearly from beginning to end. This is interesting, because it serves to provide an interesting and compelling contrast to the Joker. Because The Dark Knight is so linear, there’s an interesting tension as the Joker struggles to take control of the narrative and bend the view to his perspective. Sometimes in a very literal manner.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On How We’re Still Talking About “Batman vs. Superman” Four Years Later…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine on Monday. Given that last week was the fourth anniversary of Batman vs. Superman, it felt like an appropriate subject to tackle.

I continue to find myself fascinated by Batman vs. Superman, and I’m clearly not the only one. The film still generates a lot of chatter and attention among movie fans and superhero genre fans, particular when a lot of the discussion around other superhero film from the same period – like X-Men: Apocalypse or Fantastic Four – have faded from cultural memory. Indeed, Justice League is arguably only lingers in the memory because of the continuity fascination with what an actual sequel to Batman vs. Superman might look like.

In an era where so much pop culture is transient and disposable, there’s something endearing in the capacity of a film as odd and abrasive as Batman vs. Superman to linger in the public consciousness. You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On how “Star Trek” has Always Been more about Our Present than Our Future

I published an In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine this evening, looking at the launch of Star Trek: Picard last week.

One of the minor controversies around Picard has concerned the series’ more cynical and world-weary tone, particularly in contrast to the optimism and enthusiasm of Star Trek: The Next Generation. However, the mythology around Star Trek tends to over-emphasise the franchise’s optimistic outlook, ignoring the extent to which the shows are better reflections of the present than reflections of the future. They offer snapshots of moments in time, rather than a roadmap to a better future. In that regard, Picard is very much a snapshot of this moment in time, grappling with the legacy of The Next Generation.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! “Joker” as a Perverted Superhero Origin Story…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine yesterday. Naturally, it tackled the big release of the moment, Todd Phillips’ Joker.

Joker has been the source of a lot of controversy and attention. However, one of the most interesting debates around it has been the discussion over whether it counts as a superhero story at all – director Todd Phillips and actor Marc Maron have been quick to distance the film from the genre. However, despite these claims, Joker actually works very well as a perversion of the archetypal superhero origin story. In doing so, it suggests something interesting about the state of the genre at the current cultural moment.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Escapist Column! How “Mindhunter” Deconstructs the Serial Killer Procedural…

Hey there.

A few weeks back, I launched a new column at Escapist Magazine, titled In the Frame. The idea is to look at pop contemporary pop culture – whether film or television or anything else besides. I’d like to thank Nick Calandra and Samantha Nelson for their support and encouragement in making this happen. Over the course of this week, I’ll be posting links to the columns that have already been published.

First up, a piece looking Mindhunter, and the way in which it plays with the format and structure of the conventional serial killer procedural to produce something much more interesting and compelling. Give it a read, I hope you enjoy. You can read it here, or click the picture below.