PREVIEW: April 2022

Another month has come and gone, and the major Awards shows have all happened, whilst The Apprentice Series 16 is over. I have published a fair amount of content this month and will hopefully have a fair amount of new stuff published during April 2022. I will continue my ongoing series of posts on past seasons/series of US and UK Apprentice – I have done 44 out of 60 posts so far, I had hoped to be further in by this point, but I have not had the time (not helped by the fact that I had COVID early on in the month), but I wholly intend to get past the 50 mark this month (hopefully I can reach the 55 mark).

I have some more new release reviews to post from recent days, including Ambulance and The Worst Person in the World, which I will upload in the next few days or so. There are also a number of cinema trips that I have planned for April. These include The Bad Guys, Downton Abbey: A New Era, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, The Lost City, Morbius, The Northman, Operation Mincemeat, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. I will endeavour to get reviews for all of these posted, as well as some other content (time permitting). One other thing I will definitely post is my Top 10 Films of 2021 list – still doing some deliberating on that.

Thank you as always for visiting this blog and for the month ahead I, as ever, wish you good health and Happy Reading!

FILM: Umma (2022, Iris K. Shim)

Supernatural horror film Umma is distributed by Sony. Korean-American single mother Amanda (Sandra Oh) has given her daughter Chris (Fivel Stewart) an isolated upbringing on their farm. However, when she is brought the ashes of her estranged mother (MeeWha Alana Lee), who had abused her as a child, the old lady’s ghost begins to haunt the farm – a malevolent spirit who wants to make Amanda pay for their broken relationship.

PROS

  • Sandra Oh gives an excellent and emotionally-driven performance, whilst Fivel Stewart really comes into her own during the climax.
  • Some scenes have a good sense of mystery around the ghost, and a number of these are atmospheric thanks to cinematographer Matt Flannery.

CONS

  • A predictable and anti-climactic narrative which is replete with clunky dialogue, and is far too dependent on genre clichés and cheap jump scares.
  • The film’s exploration of the long-term impact of childhood trauma and American race relations is done to a very surface-level extent.
  • An underwhelming supporting cast, particularly Dermot Mulroney and Odeya Rush, the latter giving a very forced performance.

VERDICT: 4/10

TELEVISION: Dug Days (2021)

American animated miniseries Dug Days is a spin-off to the Pixar film Up that ran for 5 episodes on Disney+. Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner) and talking dog Dug (Bob Peterson) move into a new house in the suburbs, but the latter has difficulty settling into a domestic lifestyle and gets up to all manner of mischief.

WORTH NOTING: this miniseries is a poignant one to watch as Ed Asner sadly passed away 3 days before it premiered.

PROS

  • As with Up, the animation is absolutely stunning with a rich colour palette, lots of detail and texture, and very expressive character designs.
  • Very energetic and fast-paced narratives for the most part with good physical comedy and also some very witty verbal gags – particularly in final episode “Science”.
  • Each episode has a lot of warmth to it as – despite Dug’s antics – the heart of each episode is in the close relationship between Dug and Carl.
  • Bob Peterson voices Dug with great energy and enthusiasm, whilst Ed Asner gives real curmudgeonly warmth to Carl.

CONS

  • At 6-9 minutes in length (including opening and end credits), the narratives could easily be fleshed out more and do at times feel rushed.
  • Not featuring the other talking dogs from Up and giving Russell (Jordan Nagai) a mere guest appearance shows a lack of awareness of the fanbase’s wishes.

VERDICT: 7/10

FILM: CODA (2021, Sian Heder)

Coming-of-age comedy-drama and an English language remake of French film La Famille Bélier, CODA is distributed direct-to-Apple TV+, following its premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. The eponymous CODA (Child Of Deaf Adults) is 17-year-old Ruby (Emilia Jones), whose whole family are deaf and for whom she acts as an interpreter. Ruby has a huge passion for music, but it is one which she ultimately cannot share with her family for obvious reasons. When her high school choir director Mr Villalobos (Eugenio Derbez) convinces her that she has the potential to be accepted to Berklee College of Music, she becomes conflicted – should she pursue her dream or stay home to help the family who have a dependency upon her?

PROS

  • Director/screenwriter Sian Heder takes a very mature and grounded approach to depicting a CODA, exploring not only the pressures one may feel as a result of that status, but also the resultant stigmas through depicting how Ruby has experienced a lot of bullying over her family, as well as highlighting just how wrong and offensive it is to deaf people to stigmatise them.
  • This is a very good portrayal of deaf people as it shows that they are not defined by their disability, and are capable of being small business owners and leaders within the community. Furthermore, Sian Heder’s ultimate stroke of genius is her decision in two key scenes to show the world from their perspective by muting all sound and showing how deaf people look to the body language of others and feel vibrations to help inform their understanding of what is happening.
  • The depiction of Ruby’s struggles to help her mother (Marlee Matlin), father (Troy Kotsur) and brother (Daniel Durant) understand why music is so important to her is a very interesting and different take on the decades-long cinema trope of the power and joy of the creative arts. Furthermore, there are little nuances here and there in the depiction of her singing that highlight how doing such an activity when surrounded by deaf people offers more freedoms for expression.
  • Despite the premise, there is a lot of humour to the film, not just in Ruby’s interactions with her peers, but in how people miscommunicate with her family and how her family are totally oblivious to things such as how loud they can be (namely her parents when they engage in coitus) – showing how deaf people can have a sense of humour about such things is a wonderful nod to how Marlee Matlin has great self-deprecating humour in real life.
  • A unanimously strong cast, with Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur and Daniel Durant all conveying their characters’ emotions and relationships through wonderful expressions and body language, and the casting of so many deaf actors ensures authenticity (20 years ago at least 1 of those characters would have almost certainly been played by a non-deaf actor). Emilia Jones also proves to be a natural talent full of passion, who has a wonderful chemistry with her co-stars, and I have to praise her singing abilities and her commitment to the film by learning fluent sign language and how to operate a fish trawler.

CONS

  • Although it is a different take on a coming-of-age film due to Ruby’s familial life, the narrative ultimately proves to be quite predictable as it follows a basic formula of the genre which has been done time and again over the last 40 years or so.
  • Siblings Ruby and Leo’s relationships with respective love interests Miles (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) and Gertie (Amy Forsyth) are realised more poorly than those of Ruby and Leo with each other or their parents.

VERDICT: 9/10

THOUGHTS: The Apprentice Series 16

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I have never made it a secret that I love The Apprentice. Whether it is an episode that is serious and therefore interesting, or whether it is an episode that is more guilty pleasure entertainment than anything else, I love watching a batch of ambitious, aspiring entrepreneurs battling it out to become Lord Sugar’s next business partner every year. Naturally I was gutted that there was no new series in 2020 or 2021, but it was ultimately inevitable for very obvious reasons. So I was, of course, very excited when Series 16 aired in early-2022, and I did weekly posts on the new episodes as I did for Series 15 back in late-2019.

My weekly posts contained a brief summary of the task, my thoughts on the task, my thoughts on Lord Sugar’s decision on who gets fired, and my thoughts on all other candidates (both their performance in that task and in the process up until that point). Below is a list of the 12 weeks of this series, with each title containing a hyperlink to my thoughts on that episode. As ever, I wish you Happy Reading with these!

Favourite Task

Due to the complications raised by filming in late-summer 2021 when a lot of businesses still had self-imposed restrictions, there was sadly no discount buying task this series. The tasks this year were still quite good and varied, but my favourite was Task 8 – the corporate away days at Silverstone. On Infinity, Aaron and Brittany were an absolute dream team in providing tours and activities at Silverstone, whilst Harpreet was a very effective (if dictatorial) PM; whilst on Diverse it was hilarious to see Stephanie try and fail to wing a tour.

Favourite Candidate

Whilst I did like a number of candidates during the process, my favourite was semi-finalist and youngest candidate Brittany Carter. Although somewhat naïve at times, she was an excellent candidate who showed a very varied skillset and a decent business brain over the course of the process. She was an absolute natural with people and a very good presenter, which reflected her background in hospitality, but most of all reflected the fact that she was an all-round genuinely lovely, kind and sincere person, and also one who displayed genuine humility – a.k.a. the type of person that is always a delight in a series so full of big egos. Brittany was also incredibly passionate and enthusiastic, plus she made an absolute dream team when paired with Aaron Willis, and her performance was an all-round pleasure to watch.

The Apprentice Series 16, Week 12: The Final

Twelve weeks ago, sixteen ambitious entrepreneurs entered The Apprentice process, each hoping to win a £250,000 investment and a 50-50 business partnership with Lord Sugar. Ten tough tasks and a series of gruelling interviews have wittled that number down to two finalists – desserts parlour owner Harpreet Kaur, and online pyjama store owner Kathryn Louise Burn. Only one can win Lord Sugar’s investment, so let us take a look now to see what the final result is for The Apprentice Series 16!

Final Summary, avec My Thoughts

At the British Museum, Lord Sugar told Harpreet and Kathryn that they each had three days in order to come up with a name for the company they were pitching (BBC regulations mean that they cannot use the existing name as that could be seen as free advertising for their business), branding, a digital billboard and a television advert and something niche for their business, before pitching it to him and industry experts. Like with every past series, Lord Sugar brought back eight past candidates so that both finalists could make a team. Harpreet chose Brittany, Akshay, Nick and Navid, whilst Kathryn chose Stephanie, Amy, Akeem and Harry. I was surprised that Amy was Kathryn’s second choice given that, out of everyone who returned, Amy was the only one who was fired after being chosen for the final boardroom by one of the finalists, and that finalist happened to be Kathryn – if anyone had reason to want to see her lose then it was Amy. I was also gutted that Aaron and Francesca were not amongst the returning candidates, given their good overall performances in the process. For USPs, Harpreet decided to create some unique desserts and make delivery an option for her business, whilst Kathryn went for matching pyjamas for the family, including the dog…the latter was not unique to her business.

Harpreet and Brittany did branding, and came up with “Oh So Yum!” after deciding to come up with something Instagrammable. The branding/logo was decent enough but could have done with some black outlines around the blue and purple colours. Over on the marketing team, Akshay directed the digital billboard, but Navid was being quite frankly very extra in his attempts to be super expressive over some desserts, so his 10 seconds of fame required dozens of takes. Nick decided to demonstrate to him what to do and was so good that Akshay decided to make Nick’s one take their digital billboard. Nick was brilliant – the only other candidate of Series 16 to be as naturally expressive as him was Akeem. The next day Brittany swapped with Navid, and she and Nick starred in the 30-second-long advert, which was directed and edited well by Akshay and was a pretty good advert. It was inferior to the advert which Thomas Skinner conceptualised for Series 15 winner Carina Lepore, but still a solid piece given that they had only had a few hours to create it, plus Brittany and Nick were good for non-actors. Meanwhile, Harpreet and Navid created some little bowls out of cookie dough, filled with sweet centres that could be sucked through accompanying chocolate straws – they did look delicious!

Over on Team Kathryn, she and Stephanie came up with brand “Pyjamily”, which I thought was very good and made it clear what the company was all about. They also came up with a logo that had 2 adults and a child shaped like the people on toilet doors, plus a dog’s face, all within a circle. The logo was not so good – as Lord Sugar put it, it looked like the people on the toilet doors had made a baby. Amy, Harry and Akeem went off to make the digital billboard, which had Akeem and Amy in matching pyjamas and playing a couple. It took many, many takes as director Harry wanted them to look more natural as a couple, to look like they actually had some chemistry. Whilst he was right to want them to come across as more in love given that that was their concept, I could not help but feel that he was wanting to get back at Akeem for throwing him under the bus in Task 1. The next day, Kathryn and Stephanie created a set of matching pyjamas with a jungle theme/pattern. Meanwhile, Amy, Akeem and Harry made the 30-second-long advert, which featured Akeem giving wife Amy a present that contained some matching pyjamas for their dog. It was a nightmare creating it as Amy was trying to direct it and star in it, but was telling Harry how to direct it and the two clearly had different visions and did clash. Poor Akeem, he really was just caught in the middle, but at least they managed it eventually.

The next day it was time for the two candidates to pitch their businesses. Kathryn went first and her pitching was excellent. However, when asked why she went for a jungle design for her pyjamas, she said it was because they were “on trend”, only for Asda’s senior buyer to say that they were not sold by Asda. Kathryn insisted that they were on trend as she had seen them in clothes stores, but in arguing with the industry expert she proved that she was not as up-to-date with the trends as she thought and did not come across as the expert she believed herself to be. That was confirmed when Lord Sugar consulted some of the experts, who pointed out that jungle designs had been on trend two years ago but are now a much poorer seller. Harpreet also did an outstanding job with her pitching and her dessert samples went down well with the experts, but there were questions around whether she had left it too late to create a chain of parlours, given the number that boomed within the last 2-3 years. Despite concerns raised, Lord Sugar was visibly pleased at how well they had pitched, and I do not blame him.

Kathryn Louise Burn

The Final Decision (plus My Thoughts)

The next day, Lord Sugar had both teams back in the boardroom to discuss everything, and it was a bit like a university reunion. There was a lot of banter, with the business magnate dropping a lot of puns and Lord Sugar expressing fondness for Harry (who clearly felt a little awkward about the clashes with Amy), although Navid admitted to being (and I quote) “pissed” with Akshay over his using Nick’s one take for the digital billboard. Nevertheless, everyone praised the finalists for their performances in the final and the business ideas that they had. After the returning candidates left, Lord Sugar consulted with Tim Campbell and Karren Brady. They were both clearly more impressed with Harpreet, not least because Kathryn showed far less expertise in her industry as she continued to insist that jungle designs were “on trend”. At least she did not deem them “bouji”.

When the two finalists had one last chance to convince Lord Sugar that the were the right one to go for, it was clear who had the advantage. Harpreet showed clear expertise in what consumers look for in the desserts industry and also conveyed clearly and convincingly why her business could be the more profitable venture for Lord Sugar. Kathryn made it clear that a lot of the investment would go towards marketing, and a lot of that marketing would be getting Instagram influencers to promote the pyjamas. I just cringed at that point – Instagram influencers are primarily followed by teenagers and early-20s, not young families, plus if Kathryn had done her homework on Lord Sugar then she would know that his and Series 10 winner Mark Wright’s digital marketing agency Climb Online would be an effective and convincing way to make her online business a hit.

Harpreet Kaur

After deeming it a tough decision, Lord Sugar eventually declared Harpreet Kaur to be his new business partner. Whilst it has often been what I considered a close one in previous years, I think it was an obvious choice this year, and the obvious winner and right winner was indeed Harpreet. She had far more expertise and experience in her industry of choice than Kathryn did, she was a lot more willing to admit to and address faults that were raised by Lord Sugar, Tim and Karren, and her business was clearly a much more profitable and much less risky enterprise. Furthermore, I made it clear last week that Kathryn should not have made the final – yes her business would be profitable in Year 3, but only after making a combined loss in Years 1-2 of around £600,000. Kathryn has a good skillset, is a nice person and has a profitable business at present, but her proposed bigger-scale business just had too many things to be concerned about.

FILM: The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild (2022, John C. Donkin)

Released direct-to-Disney+ (and with zero involvement from the team at their now defunct Blue Sky Studios), The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild is the sixth and final film in the animated Ice Age franchise. Wanting to prove their independence, Crash (Vincent Tong) and Eddie (Aaron Harris) leave home, only for an accident to result in them returning to the Lost World and reuniting with Buck Wild (Simon Pegg). They then team up with him and his friend Zee (Justina Machado) to stop Orson (Utkarsh Ambudkar) and his raptor army from taking control of the Lost World.

CONS

  • Originally meant to be a Disney+ TV series and one which they barely cared for, the fact that it therefore had a lower budget than a film would have is most obvious in the considerably inferior animation to the rest of the franchise – it looks far more dated than the original from 2002, with incredibly stilted character movements and dreadful raptor designs.
  • A very poor screenplay with a dreadful range of gags made up of poor verbal gags and dreadful physical humour, and also a considerable lack of emotional weight. Furthermore, the screenwriters clearly had no idea of how to appease fans of the franchise as Scrat does not appear at all, and also summaries of the previous films at the start completely leave out some of the major characters and events from films 3-5.
  • Despite being in the title itself, Buck Wild is actually a supporting player in his own film, with the main focus being on Crash and Eddie, who continue to be highly irritating, their only slight development coming in the climax.
  • Simon Pegg is the only returning cast member from the previous films, and this proves to be a bad thing as the majority of the replacement voices give much more wooden performances than their predecessors. Utkarsh Ambudkar is also a poor addition as he does not sell Orson’s cruelty or cunning in the slightest.

PROS

  • Simon Pegg, Vincent Tong and Aaron Harris voice Buck, Crash and Eddie with energy and enthusiasm.

VERDICT: 1/10

Top 5 Candidates of The Apprentice Series 12

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Continuing my series of Apprentice posts to mark the long-awaited return for the UK Apprentice, I am now revisiting Series 12 of the British Apprentice. Originally airing from October-December 2016, 18 candidates entered to win Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment into a 50-50 business partnership. Of those 18, some naturally stood out more than others and with presences that I liked more than others. It is worth clarifying that these are my favourite candidates rather than the candidates who did best (or showed the most competency). Before writing on my Top 5, there are some who just missed out, so here are the…

Honourable Mentions

  • Grainne McCoy (5th): a real grafter who was unafraid to call others out when necessary.
  • Dillon St. Paul (8th): a really lovely guy and creative with great flair, but he exemplified why perfectionism can be detrimental in business.
  • Paul Sullivan (9th): winning PM in Task 1, he had a good skillset but was very passive-aggressive…which became less passive as the process went on.

5. Trishna Thakrar (6th)

Trishna was a breath of fresh air in the early weeks of the process – particularly before the first mix-up of the teams – as she was unwilling to be a loud presence just for the sake of it (unlike a number of her teammates) and did not only avoid getting into arguments, but also tried to calm down her teammates when they were arguing and called out such behaviour for what it was – childish. That made Trishna distinctive – she did fight her corner in the boardroom, but did it in a way which was respectful to her teammates and was more a calling out of them for their behaviour or mistakes (often ones which they were trying unsuccessfully to deny). Trishna took a very serious approach to the tasks and business in general, being a good leader due to her strategic nature and shrewdness in identifying where best to allocate roles, and was also good in sales, pitching and branding. Easily one of the most consistently professional candidates…up until Task 10, when she got drunk whilst creating a new flavour of gin and pitched whilst hungover. It was so unexpected that one had to laugh.

4. Karthik Nagesan (11th)

Karthik became one of the most memorable candidates of all-time pretty early on due to his incredible energy, distinctive appearance (that monobrow though!) and some of the quirky things he would say – in the first episode he told Lord Sugar that he could call him “Special K” if he wanted to and declared “I love the sound of money.” However, early on he also proved to be very opinionated as he was very argumentative in the second task and massively clashed with PM Mukai, leading to Lord Sugar deeming him “a loose cannon”. However, Karthik took the business magnate’s criticisms on board and worked hard to improve his performance, being far calmer on tasks, much less argumentative and regularly charming people when selling and pitching (he did excellently at the latter in Task 5). However, he was no leader (despite his claims to being an outstanding project manager) as proven when he led his team to one of the biggest defeats in Apprentice history in Week 7 (they made about £188 compared to over £40,000 made by their opponents), which naturally led to his firing before the final boardroom.

3. Courtney Wood (Runner-up)

Whilst the men’s team become notable for the passive-aggressive Paul and overly energetic Karthik during the first two tasks, there was one team member who was neither of those things yet still proved to be a key asset – eventual runner-up Courtney. He had a far more laidback style and a very calm demeanour, which was a breath of fresh air on a team filled with people who were getting stressed or frustrated, but Courtney’s way of doing things paid off as he was integral to multiple victories and had the best track record in the process (8 wins, including 2 as PM). A very shrewd person and an excellent strategist, Courtney was a natural leader who allocated people roles based on their strengths, whilst also himself bringing a variety of skills to the table – most notably branding and design, plus he was also a good salesman with an approachable style. Furthermore, Courtney was humble enough to accept his weaknesses – he knew that he struggled with pitching, and whilst preparing for the final he addressed that, leading to a total turnaround in a matter of hours. Plus, he was also an all-round really nice guy who treated everyone with respect and dignity, being unwilling to get involved in arguments.

2. Jessica Cunningham (4th)

Jessica was another candidate who became amongst the all-time most memorable in Apprentice history fairly early on. Karthik may have been energetic, but Jessica was hyperactive to the point that multiple times in the first 3 weeks Lord Sugar and Karren Brady had to tell her to calm down or take a breath. It could be quite amusing at times though, as she was incredibly expressive – no prizes for guessing why her friends refer to her as being “a female Jim Carrey”. She was also quite scatter-brained, famously turning up to a jeans photoshoot without jeans when PM in Task 2, which made her quite teary and required a rare intervention from Karren. However, Jessica did settle down as the process went on, proving to be the top seller on a number of tasks and an excellent pitcher, doing so with a very calm and approachable style which was the total opposite of how she conducted herself in the early weeks, yet not to the point where she was without personality as she always managed to convey an underlying sense of passion for the products being sold or pitched.

1. Alana Spencer (Winner)

Alana’s arc was quite possibly the ultimate underdog story in the history of The Apprentice. She was brought back to the final boardroom in the first 2 tasks – the first time for being sub-team leader, the second time for personal reasons rather than business. Lord Sugar did not feel that she deserved to be in that second one and visibly sympathised with her when she got overwhelmed and tongue-tied when trying to defend herself. However, Alana showed that she was not a candidate to write off in Task 3 as she was a very decisive winning PM who proved that she knew how to lead. In future tasks she was a good saleswoman and pitcher, and also did well in the creative sides of tasks, although it took a while for her to lose her underdog image as Karthik forgot her name on Task 5, and Karren Brady told her that she should not be so unconfident as she had a wealth of skills after Task 7. From then on though, Alana became a lot more assertive and confidence, and she was the key reason behind her team winning Task 10. It was a wonderful arc to watch, and it became increasingly apparent throughout the process that she had a good business brain, so when she won it came as a real delight to much of the Apprentice viewership.

FILM: The Phantom of the Open (2021, Craig Roberts)

Biopic The Phantom of the Open is distributed by Entertainment One, following its premiere at the 2021 BFI London Film Festival. The film tells the true story of how, in 1976, middle-aged crane operate Maurice Flitcroft (Mark Rylance) entered the British Open Golf Championship, having only recently decided to take up the sport and resultantly got dubbed “the world’s worst golfer”. In the subsequent years he continued practicing and significantly improved his game, but had to enter future championships in disguise, having been banned after the 1976 incident.

PROS

  • A very whimsical narrative makes for an engaging viewing experience and, despite the absurdity of the situations, director Craig Roberts keeps the comedy subdued and plausible.
  • Mark Rylance plays Maurice straight – a perfect choice as we believe his sincerity and he feels real, despite the absurd situation in which he is positioned.
  • A good sense of period authenticity thanks to good costume and production designs, use of archival footage and Kit Fraser’s decision to shoot on film.

CONS

  • The whimsy is in some ways to the film’s detriment as the exploration of British social class is insubstantial due to a lack of seriousness, whilst the conveyance that anyone should be allowed to enjoy a sport regardless of skill is surface-level.
  • A number of the supporting cast members get little chance to shine and some who do (such as Rhys Ifans) get a lack of screen time.
  • A few jokes are just too obvious and will almost certainly induce eye-rolling.

VERDICT: 6/10

TELEVISION: The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011)

British documentary series The Story of Film: An Odyssey originally aired on More4 for 15 episodes. Here filmmaker and documentarian Mark Cousins narrates a journey through the first 115 years of world cinema, from 1895-2010. Going from cinema’s origins in the 1890s through to the Digital Revolution of the 1990s and 2000s, via the Silent era, the Classical Hollywood era, New Hollywood and a plethora of cinematic movements in Europe and Asia, amongst other things, Cousins seeks to provide a love letter to cinema that teaches about film history and culture.

PROS

  • The sheer amount of detail to which Mark Cousins researched cinema for this series comes through not just in the sheer variety of topics that he covers, but also in the amount of detail which he incorporates into his narration, and he also incorporates interesting textual analysis that testifies to the joy of examining and interpreting art.
  • This is a pure love letter to cinema, and the fact that Mark Cousins not only explores film history but also world cinema testifies to how this art form transcends era and nation alike, as well as to the fact that people should look beyond their home country’s output for interesting and beautiful art, made more apparent by the clips which he incorporates which demonstrate the wonderful output by a plethora of countries.
  • Although his delivery remains consistently calm and subdued, Mark Cousins’s passion for his subject-matter comes through in the fact that his voice has a noticeable sense of fascination with cinema and an underlying sense of pleasure to be sharing about the art form which he fallen in love with.
  • Towards the end of the series, Mark Cousins takes a very interesting approach by not only analysing modern cinema and its place in film history, but also by considering what cinema of the last few years suggests about the potential future of the film industry.

NITPICKS

  • More a fault of the network who aired it, Mark Cousins’s voice can be soporific as he remains consistently calm and subdued in his enunciation, a fact made noticeable by the fact that it aired post-watershed.

VERDICT: 10/10