Category Archives: Culture

While You Were Sleeping: 19 years and 6,000 words

lucy cat

I am, by my very nature, a fan. I enjoy things and I enjoy enjoying them. And there are few films I enjoy enjoying as much as While You Were Sleeping. It’s a warm, gooey pie of a movie, starring Sandra Bullock at her sweetest, Bill Pullman at his most gravel-voiced, and Peter Gallagher’s lips […]

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10 Things I Hate About You: 15 years and 6,000 words

10 things poster

So, listen. January’s hysterical descent into nostalgia and the depths of unedited self-publishing proved ridiculously, astonishingly popular. This is not false ‘third encore’ modesty. Obviously I believe every keystroke of mine is prize-winning, but I was so pleased and surprised that so many people liked that (half-dissertation length) piece! Seriously, thank you for reading the recap […]

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Being Mary Jane, or onscreen black girls

mj

A few weeks ago, I was very kindly invited by the good people at BET to a screening of their new original drama, Being Mary Jane, starring the talented and ageless Gabrielle Union. After nibbles and drinks in one of the bars in the Soho Hotel, we settled into one of the screening rooms to […]

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She’s All That: 15 years and 5,000 words

SAL Poster

I first watched She’s All That back in 1999, at the Stratford Picturehouse some weekend after school. I remember loving it, because it hit all the spots it was supposed to: boy and girl got to have each other at the end, and bad guy kind of got his comeuppance, which is as it should […]

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On ‘surprises’ and paying attention

The (beautiful) cast of The Best Man Holiday (2013)

Last week, I saw a tweet in which the author was marvelling at having spotted the term ‘twerking’ in a song all the way back from 2006. I think the tweet ended on an exclamation point – it was perhaps a jokey way of saying, “Hey! Pop culture, eh? Undiscovered layers like an onion.” Even […]

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Nostalgia, Recognition and Americanah

Americanah

Last Thursday night I finished Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. If you follow me on Twitter, you would have seen an outpouring of emotion of the most sickening sort; a kind of fawning that one can only ever get away with once or twice a year, max. If I have only two opportunities to do this […]

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While You Were Sleeping, and the Dearth of Working Class Romcom Heroines

Last week I watched While You Were Sleeping, which is but one leaf on my ‘Christmas Movies – Romcoms’ branch. I love this movie. It is cute and funny and genuinely romantic, and it stars Sandra Bullock, a fine actress who has contributed much goodness to the genre. I <3 Sandy, man. And speaking of […]

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Film Africa 2012: Nigerians at the BFI

Phone Swap

A few weeks back, following several days and sleepless nights of terrible illness (a head cold that felt like a troop of ill-tempered monkeys – led by a stompy soldier – had taken up residence in my body), I wrapped up in three layers, biker boots and a headwrap to go attend a film screening […]

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What we talk about when we talk about ‘tokenism’

token

Here’s something I’ve been ruminating on for a while, forcibly brought to the forefront of my mind given recent events, so apologies if it’s not terribly coherent. A quick perusal of comments sections across the breadth of the internet throws up the ‘but do you want tokenism?’ defence. I mean, practically every comment section has […]

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On ‘Black Girl Feels’

Solange

Last week, my Tumblr dashboard threw up a teaser promo for Solange Knowles’ upcoming single, Losing You. I watched the clip (less than a minute long) three times in a row, liking what I heard and saw much more with each viewing. Then I re-read the blurb an earlier poster, Britticisms had written: Preview for the new […]

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In Praise Of Jon B

Last week on my Tumblr dashboard, Cord Jefferson (an excellent writer/editor person in NY) posted a video of Jon B’s ‘Are U Still Down?’. This is the video: Cord’s commentary went as follows: “Without Jon B. there would be no Drake. Belee dat.” And that’s the exact moment I fell in love with Cord Jefferson. […]

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In Praise of Girlfriends

Source All the talk of Lena Dunham’s new show, Girls, has had me looking into the annals (heh) of popular culture, searching for the representation so sorely lacking in Ms Dunham’s HBO creation. So, a quick question: Do any of the names on the t-shirt above ring any bells for you? They should. For eight […]

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The Populist

Around this time last year, I noticed that Love Actually, aka Notting Hill With Added Black People! was a trending topic on Twitter. I’d seen that it was showing on ITV1 that evening, so of course, I clicked the hashtag to see what people were saying about it. Somehow this innocuous little movie manages to divide people as if it […]

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Whip It Good!

At the time of writing this post, Black Twitter was in a frenzy of retweeting links. I refuse to be ashamed at how enthused I was to see the new video for Willow Smith’s single Whip My Hair. It’s a catchy little pop tune that doesn’t feature rude boys giving it up, or brushing teeth with […]

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All Black Everything*

Hi kids! It’s a veritable Feast of Blackness™ today on Yoruba Girl Dancing. Today marks the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence from colonial rule (e ku ojo ibi!), as well as the beginning of Black History Month here in the UK. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s Black Friday and The Friday Pretty – […]

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