Analysis Hollywood Hegemony

Dead Labour and Dark Shadows

It has been 10 years since I first got one of my film critiques published. While the magazine it went out in has long since ceased to exist, you can find it below… if you dare.

Time flies when you’re having fun – and it almost escaped me that I’ve officially been writing about films for a decade now. Well, I was writing about things for a long time before that, of course. But the first time I was published, and really felt like I might have something to offer in terms of film criticism, was 10 years ago.

A free local zine called Cell had advertised for writers to help it fill out its debut edition – which also happened to be a Halloween special. I loved horror films, but also was disappointed by a lot of the apolitical takes I saw from other writers on what is often a deeply politicised genre, so decided to seize the opportunity.

You can decide for yourself how cringe-worthy the outcome of that decision was. Quoting Marx to commence a political polemic is probably not something I would ever do again – it feels a bit like a freshly inducted politics undergrad starting an essay with a dictionary definition of ‘democracy’ – but hey, it certainly helped set out my stall quickly.

An important idiom to live by when setting out as a writer in any field is; don’t get it right, get it written. And imperfect as it may be, Dead Labour and Dark Shadows was an important first step on my journey as a film critic – putting me on the path which would eventually birth Indy Film Library. So whatever you make of the article below, I’ll always see it as a success.

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