Category Archives: reality

The Big Short – Faith in the Free Market

The 2008 financial crisis was the result of recklessness, dodgy dealings, and hubris. Like drug addicts, people bought mortgages they would have never been able to pay. Like drug pushers, mortgage brokers fed the beast until it all went belly … Continue reading

Posted in America, American dream, belief, faith, finance/economics, magic, reality, reason/rationality, The Big Short | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Originals – Bourdieu & Hollywood’s tack

The Originals is a most unoriginal show trying to bank on the image of seduction and transgression of vampires whilst being utterly conventional. The Originals are the ‘original vampires’ from whom all other vampires have descended. They come from medieval … Continue reading

Posted in body, Bourdieu, cultural capital, fantasy/supernatural, habitus, personhood, reality, social conventions, society, The Originals | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American Horror Story (Coven) – Witchcraft & the Dark Goddess

The Coven is the third installment of American Horror Story, the first being porn and film plagiarism, the second concentrating on the plagiarism. The third benefits from an injection of irony. It is set in a boarding school for witches … Continue reading

Posted in America, consciousness, Enlightenment, fantasy/supernatural, femininity, gender, horror, knowledge/epistemology, magic, nature, reality, reason/rationality, religion, ritual, The Coven (American Horror Story) | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indiana Jones & Empire Strikes Back – Belief

Religion, as argued in my post on the West Wing, is often assumed to be a person’s belief in a supernatural God. Yet anthropologists and sociologists of religion would wince at this statement. From a social scientific perspective, belief is … Continue reading

Posted in belief, Empire Strikes Back, Enlightenment, faith, fantasy/supernatural, Georg Simmel, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, knowledge/epistemology, magic, Malcolm Ruel, myth, nature, reality, reason/rationality, religion, scifi | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sleepy Hollow – Science, Magic, and Modernity

Faithful to gothic tradition, Sleepy Hollow has fear at its centre. Fear is here understood as what cannot be controlled by scientific reason, but it also associated with the horror of the sublime, as argued by Edmund Burke. Tim Burton’s film … Continue reading

Posted in 'othering', belief, Enlightenment, fantasy/supernatural, gender, Godfrey Lienhardt, horror, knowledge/epistemology, magic, masculinity, Max Weber, myth, nature, reality, reason/rationality, religion, science, Sleepy Hollow (1999), Stanley Tambiah, witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Babadook – the ‘horror’ of parenting and social conventions

(This was first published on Wales Art Review, available here) More than a horror, Babadook is a tale of a woman’s sense of inadequacy before society’s conventions and expectations. Australian director, Jennifer Kent, reinterprets F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) to give … Continue reading

Posted in Babadook, class, fairytales, family, fantasy/supernatural, good & evil, horror, reality, social conventions | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Enchanted – True Love & Autonomy

Enchanted is a commercial film and a crowd-pleaser, but its parodic style allows it to play with gender and the cinematic construct of love. The Walt Disney parody keeps to the safe framework of the happy-end, which allows it to be, … Continue reading

Posted in autonomy, Enchanted, fairytales, fantasy/supernatural, gender, love, magic, myth, Once Upon a Time, reality, romanticism | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Candyman – Class, Race & Durkheimian Religion

Candyman is jolly good fun and great food for sociological thought. As ever, this is not a review, but a short analysis of the film from a sociological angle. Set in Chicago, the film tells the story of Helen (Virginia … Continue reading

Posted in Candyman (1992), class, films, good & evil, horror, knowledge/epistemology, postcolonialism, race/diversity, reality, reason/rationality, religion | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Once Upon a Time – the sanctity of the family

American TV constructs the family as the ultimate value. You can mistreat people, maim them and kill them, but once you get in touch with your inner parent you are redeemed and you’re just one step away from being a … Continue reading

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Grimm – beyond appearances

The action is bad, the romance cringing, and the acting is … well, I guess they are good looking. The only real reason to watch Grimm is Silas Weir Mitchell, who plays Monroe, a good lycanthrope. Yet, the series has … Continue reading

Posted in Erving Goffman, fantasy/supernatural, Georg Simmel, Grimm, Luigi Pirandello, race/diversity, reality, TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment