Review: ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

“Just exist?” laments the title character in the Coen brothers’ latest treatise on American society. Yet existing is the most appropriate – perhaps the only appropriate – description of the character of Llewyn Davis. Pervasive ennui is not, of course, anything new for a Coen brothers’ film. But here it is taken up a notch – Davis has none of the piety of Larry Gopnik in ‘A Serious Man’, nor the brash self-confidence of The Dude in ‘The Big Lebowski’. Llewyn Davis’s raison d’etre is music – folk music, to be precise – and the film contains probably an album’s worth of heartfelt renditions, most performed as live. Continue reading “Review: ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’”

How Buzzfeed Could Save Politics

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The political journalist Ben Smith surprised many when he joined Buzzfeed as its editor-in-chief in 2011. Buzzfeed has become almost synonymous with the sort of entertaining online ephemera that has spawned such neologisms as ‘lolcats’ and ‘listicles’, costing offices around the world countless hours in lost productivity. Continue reading “How Buzzfeed Could Save Politics”

Creative Licence – the case for a bold BBC under George Entwistle

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The BBC today announced that its Director of Vision, George Entwistle, has been appointed as its new Director-General. The man he will replace in the role, Mark Thompson, has not had an easy eight-year tenure. All manner of controversies – from outrageous comedians to erroneously-named cats – have provoked gleeful tabloid furore, some of which may have contributed in 2010 to the freezing of the licence fee for six years at the government’s behest.

Continue reading “Creative Licence – the case for a bold BBC under George Entwistle”