Posted in advice, education, Film and TV, People, People and Lives

Murdered for Being Different.

I have failed to post for three months now. This post, however, is too important not to write.

Tonight, I finally sat down, amongst my abundance of moving boxes and cleaning supplies, to watch Paul Andrew Williams’ Murdered for Being Different and I am in awe.

To say that I am in awe seems almost thoughtless. That something of this measure could be considered wonderful and incredible seems unjust. Yet, those are just a handful of words that I could use to describe this BBC drama.

Telling the harrowing story of the murder of 20-year-old Sophie Lancaster, Murdered for Being Different is a tale of love and hate. With almost 70,000 reported Hate Crimes in Great Britain alone last year, the importance of telling this story is so astonishingly clear.

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Image courtesy of BBC.

Nick Leather’s script delivers this story so well, recording such an unfair and one-sided crime that was unprovoked and so plainly unnecessary. It begs the question: why not choose love? Why are we each not celebrated for our differences, rather than our similarities? Humans were not created to fit a mold. We have our own minds, our own opinions and our own beliefs. That is what is so beautiful about humankind and to pretend otherwise is to provide a disservice to ourselves as well as those around us.

I am keen not to go into too much detail of this tale, though many of you will remember this story from ten years ago when Sophie died due to the injuries that she sustained when she and her boyfriend, Rob, were assaulted purely because of their gothic looks. I do not want to go into these details because I am of the firm belief that everybody should watch this story themselves. Never would I want to write a post that makes you feel that you have already seen it because never could I deliver such an important tale so eloquently.

It feels wrong to call Murdered for Being Different a ‘story’ or a ‘drama’ because it is true. It has happened. Sophie was murdered and this cannot be denied. Yet, this is what it is: a true story that is yours to watch, to learn from and to hold in your heart.

Based on this tragic tale alone, Murdered for Being Different is extraordinary yet the added wonder of Paul Andrew Williams’ direction, Vanessa Whyte’s cinematography and a phenomenal use of music make this drama a cinematic masterpiece. From the very first second, when we are reintroduced to the “world of pure imagination” that transports us straight back to our childhoods, we are hooked on the tale that is about to unfold. We are drawn into a love story of two young adults who had their entire lives ahead of them, but mostly, we are drawn to Sophie, who never had the chance to see how her life would turn out or even to see the movie world of Harry Potter come to its end.

Murdered for Being Different is haunting and beautiful, harrowing and chilling, heart-wrenching and imperative. My heart stayed in my throat throughout but the last fifteen minutes will make you rethink everything you have ever thought of the world. I have never felt such heartache when watching television and I mean that in the most wonderful way.

Film and television is such a powerful medium for storytelling and this is no exception. Murdered for Being Different is, quite possibly, Williams’ best work. A must-see.

 

(I have linked every reference to Murdered for Being Different in this post to BBC iPlayer so that you, Reader, have no excuse not to watch it. Thank you.)

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Posted in About Me, education, People, People and Lives, Uncategorized, university

“To infinity and beyond!”

The only phrase that I find fitting to mark this moment in my life is “Geez, Louise.” With a mark of 70.8%, I just managed to squeeze myself into a First Class Honours degree from the University of Portsmouth. So, this is it. I am done. In less than a month, I will be an official graduate. My profile picture will, no doubt, see me dressed to the nines in a cap and gown. Education is over. I think it is fair to say that I am chuffed.

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Continue reading ““To infinity and beyond!””

Posted in About Me, education, Film and TV, Reviews, Uncategorized

“How sad and bad and mad it was – but then, how it was sweet”: There is always a place for nostalgia.

Way back when, I was obsessed (to put it lightly) with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Thanks to my lovely Nan, who I inherited my love of books and movies from, I had all of their films and even the So Little Time dolls. She would also buy me biographies so I could learn all I could about them. This is probably where my love of useless information comes from, as well as my ability to recall said information at random moments. (Fun fact: if you have ever told me what time you were born, I probably remember.)

These biographies taught me that my favourite twins started their acting careers as Michelle Tanner in Full House, the late-eighties sitcom that graced screens until 1995. I had never seen Full House before, which was probably due to a couple of reasons: 1) I was born in 1995 and 2) I never noticed it featured on any British television channels so I’m pretty sure it didn’t come here, or maybe it just came to cable television which I never had.

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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen with John Stamos. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. TV via TV Line.

Anyhoo, one day, about a fortnight ago, I was scrolling through the beautiful, mystical and ever-changing land of the TV Shows list on Netflix UK and, lo and behold, what do I see? The bright and smiley faces of Bob Saget, John Stamos (*faints*), Dave Coulier, Lori Loughlin, Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber and one of our beloved Olsen twins: the Full House gang.

Continue reading ““How sad and bad and mad it was – but then, how it was sweet”: There is always a place for nostalgia.”

Posted in About Me, education, People, Uncategorized

“You can make anything by writing.” C.S. Lewis.

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison.

This is a short one. I love writing. One of my biggest achievements growing up was the 36-page “novel” I wrote about a girl named Molly and her challenging life (cheating parents and wanting a horse really badly). I also wrote (and illustrated!) a short story called “Concentration”, which was about a German soldier who helped a family escape a concentration camp during World War Two which I would force everybody who visited my house to read.

As a child, I was convinced that I would grow up to be a world-famous actress and author. I would write books, turn them into screenplays and be the star of every adaptation. I’m not quite there yet, but who knows what the future holds?!

As my teenage years came around, I strayed a little from the world of fiction (though I’m still very 50/50 with the projects I whimsically jump into – and drop – every now and again) and discovered a love for reporting. You could call me a gossip or an airhead but I just love knowing what’s going on and telling everybody about it. I love researching and learning and I realised that journalism was definitely something I would gladly consider delving into.

Continue reading ““You can make anything by writing.” C.S. Lewis.”

Posted in About Me, advice, education, People, People and Lives, Uncategorized, university

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”: My Feelings Towards University Essay-Writing

I am struggling. I’m currently ‘enjoying’ my Easter holidays, the last Easter holidays that I will ever have (unless I go into teaching but that’s highly unlikely). I spend my days looking at my notebook, filled with a year’s worth of notes on all things Film Studies, and thinking, “I should really start writing those 10,000 words.” I only have six assignments left to hand in before my university career is over and, currently, I am doing nothing about it. I think about it a lot. Oh yes, I think about it. But the fear of the white blank page is rearing its ugly head again and I am struggling. Where do I begin? Which assignment is most important? Do I do the ‘fun’ ones first or the more difficult and time-consuming ones? HELP ME.

I had dreams of really focusing this year. “It’s my last year,” I thought, “I’ve got to make it count.” I thought that I would be able to trick my brain into wanting to write essays. Boy, was I wrong!

Continue reading ““Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”: My Feelings Towards University Essay-Writing”