Articles by Jacqueline Palmer

Culture Tip: x + y

Culture Tip: x + y

x + y, a film by writer director Morgan Mathews, is a wonderfully crafted insight into the world of teenager Nathan, played by Asa Butterfield, a bullied maths whiz, struggling on the autistic spectrum. Brilliantly shot, the film brings to life the imagery, patterns, sounds and sensations of Nathan’s world, as well as his impact on others as he navigates the alien world around him. His mother Julie, played by Sally Hawkins, is left to cope with his condition, as she mourns her partner. His father’s instinctual connection contrasts the daily disappointments she...
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The Psychology of 50 Shades of Grey

The Psychology of 50 Shades of Grey

The Valentine’s weekend release of Sam Taylor-Johnson’s film of 50 Shades of Grey is impossible to book, so eagerly anticipated is the adaptation of E.L James' erotic novel, the UK's fastest selling paper back of all time.  The story of the filming pitches the director and scriptwriter in a battle with James as they struggled to make a film of a highly commercial soft porn caper. But what’s it like on a psychological level? There is much of the cheesy tongue in cheek on view, as university student Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) goes to interview entrepreneur...
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Culture Tip: Still Alice

Culture Tip: Still Alice

What do you do when you’re fifty years old, a Professor of Linguistics at Columbia, a writer, a mother, and all of a sudden you start to lose language and memory.   'Still Alice' is based on a book by Lisa Genova, and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, Julianne Moore gives an award winning turn as Dr Alice Howland, whose identity has been built on her intellect, and who teaches the early language skills of an eighteen month old, just as she is losing her own. Visiting her youngest daughter Lydia (Kristin Stewart) in LA, she dismisses her...
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Culture Tip: Whiplash

Culture Tip: Whiplash

Damien Chazelle wrote and directed Whiplash drawing from his own experience, in this edge of the seat ride into the sadistic mind games of a teacher and music conductor at a top New York music academy. Fletcher, (brilliantly captured by Golden Globe nominee JK Simmons) reveals his manipulative techniques the moment he watches Andrew Neiman practise his drums after hours, then leaves without a word. Andrew, (a brilliant performance by Miles Teller), lives and breathes his instrument, as he listens to the greats, thrilled to be asked to audition by Fletcher,...
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Culture Tip: Birdman

Culture Tip: Birdman

In a blackly comic satire targeting Broadway, Hollywood, and the anxieties of the acting profession, Alejandro Innarittu has imagined a manic creative take on narcissism in an actor's paranoia as he heads towards meltdown.   Film star Riggin Thompson (Michael Keaton), made famous in the blockbuster franchise Birdman, aims for prestige through a theatre adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story, 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love'. The grimy dressing rooms contrast the magic of Hollywood.  “We don't belong in this shithole!", Riggin’s Birdman...
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Culture Tip: Electricity

Culture Tip: Electricity

In Bryn Higgin’s film Electricity, Agyness Deyn gives a star turn as Lily, an inspiring fearless young woman, working in a faded northern seaside arcade, taking the audience with her on the inner journey of her epilepsy. The creative camera work explores the otherworldly visual hallucinations, aural distortions, and ellipses in time, and the physical toll she suffers in her electric storms. Based on the novel Electricity by Ray Robinson, Lily’s unique voiceover captures her experience of an epileptic seizure, ‘Here’s the breath, and I’m Alice falling down the rabbit...
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Culture Tip: The Homesman

Culture Tip: The Homesman

Tommy Lee Jones writes, directs and stars in this western set in mid nineteenth century Nebraska, which highlights the story of women, and the hard lives they endured, encapsulated in Hilary Swank’s powerful performance as Mary Bee Cuddy.   She is a resourceful hard working single woman in her early thirties, running from heavy field work, to a quick wash and brush up, as she prepares a meal for Bob, her slim prospect for change. Having fed and entertained him, she proposes marriage, in an effort to make both their lives easier, but he tells her she’s bossy and too...
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