Cambridge must do more to address its BME access problem

Originally published by Varsity on 20th June 2018 Earlier this month, Cambridge released an open letter responding to a Financial Times article which accused the University of having a “dearth of black students”. Rather than addressing the article’s claims directly, however, the letter diverted towards the University’s broader ‘diversity’ strategy, a vague, bloated term that encompasses not only raceContinue reading “Cambridge must do more to address its BME access problem”

After Juliet preview: ‘sensitivity and complexity’

Originally published by Varsity on March 4th 2018 Once upon a time in fair Verona, Romeo and Juliet lived, loved and died, leaving in their wake two grieving families and a violent feud only tentatively resolved. So what happened next? This is the central question posed by After Juliet, which follows the young Capulets and MontaguesContinue reading “After Juliet preview: ‘sensitivity and complexity’”

Zoetrope: Diasporic voices

Originally published by Varsity on 12th February 2018 Disney and Pixar are known for a lot of things, but one thing they are decidedly not known for is diversity. Both companies have racked up considerable criticism over the years for the underrepresentation of marginalised groups in their work – Pixar, for example, did not have a femaleContinue reading “Zoetrope: Diasporic voices”

Zoetrope: Adventures in the beginning

Originally published by Varsity on 12th February 2018 When thinking about the history of the animated feature film, it is easy to imagine Walt Disney as the pioneer. The legendary animation magnate produced his first feature in 1937 with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Disney films completely dominated the animated feature market for decadesContinue reading “Zoetrope: Adventures in the beginning”

Zoetrope: the existential crises of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Russian cousin

Originally published by Varsity on 23rd November 2017 For children all over the world, Winnie-the-Pooh is one of the most beloved and instantly recognisable characters ever created. Through countless theatrical shorts, TV specials, and branded merchandising, we have all grown familiar with the image of the dopey, plump, honey-yellow bear called Winnie and his raggedyContinue reading “Zoetrope: the existential crises of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Russian cousin”

Zoetrope: Pixar’s humble beginnings

Originally published by Varsity on 5th November 2017 When Toy Story first debuted in American cinemas in late 1995, it was a watershed moment in film history. No studio had ever made a feature film that was fully computer-animated before, let alone one that was so successful – the film grossed over ten times its original budget.Continue reading “Zoetrope: Pixar’s humble beginnings”

Zoetrope: Shedding light on The Illusionist

Originally published by Varsity on 28th October 2017 In Sylvain Chomet’s 2010 animation The Illusionist, a French stage magician struggles to make ends meet in 1960s Europe, moving from city to city to find work, performing his routines in increasingly tawdry venues to dwindling audiences. In the process, he inadvertently becomes the father figure to aContinue reading “Zoetrope: Shedding light on The Illusionist”

Zoetrope: the quiet politics of Hayao Miyazaki

Originally published by Varsity on 13th October 2017 Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan’s most revered filmmakers. He is also one of the Japanese government’s harshest critics. When PM Shinzō Abe revised Japan’s constitution to allow for increased militarisation in 2014, Miyazaki, a staunch pacifist, was not shy about his disgust. In fact, Miyazaki is notContinue reading “Zoetrope: the quiet politics of Hayao Miyazaki”

Zoetrope: Small beginnings in Canadian animation

Originally published by Varsity on 8th October 2017 Canada’s film industry gets a raw deal. Canada is home to two of the biggest North American filmmaking cities in Vancouver and Toronto, sometimes described as “Hollywood North”, and has produced an array of successful stars and directors, from James Cameron to Ryan Gosling. However, the longContinue reading “Zoetrope: Small beginnings in Canadian animation”

A tribute to Manchester

Originally published by Varsity on 31st May 2017 There was a moment, sitting up restless at half past midnight watching the Manchester Evening News live feed in despaired silence, when the reality of this week’s tragedy really hit me. The reporter turned around to show the area surrounding the police cordon, and though I’d neverContinue reading “A tribute to Manchester”