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Category: Netflix

Film Review: ANON

Reviewed by Zoe Margolis

Shot in a monochromatic, desaturated style, ANON offers a dulled vision of a near-future where no one has any secrets, or privacy. Unlike now, where people voluntarily upload personal information to social media platforms (or involuntarily, as is the case with Cambridge Analytica’s exploitation of Facebook content), citizens of this society appear to have no choice as to how their data is accessed. Instead of mobile devices capturing events, human beings have biological computer implants – a “Mind’s Eye” – which work as personal video recorders, enabling others to witness their point of view (POV), similar to Strange Days’ S.Q.U.I.Ds. In ANON this happens without the use of external equipment: the brain itself has become a shareable hard drive. Whilst this means people can return to any moment of their life that they wish to, the recording of every millisecond is downloaded to a vast grid called The Ether which law enforcement can access, so nothing anyone does or says is private.

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Film Review: Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

Joan Didion, the subject of this moving documentary now available on Netflix, is one of America’s greatest living writers. Her unsentimental, yet lyric vision surfaced in the essay “On Respect”, when she was a young sub-editor at American Vogue in the early 60s. Her voice was shaped by a childhood spent in her birthplace, Sacramento, California, with its ethos of small c-conservatism, a West conquered by heroic pioneers and a distrust of self-pity. Yet Didion also took that bedrock of values and made a fascinating political shift – from the kind of eccentric Barry Goldwater supporter who would take down JD Salinger and Kerouac for The National Review to blossoming into the one of the Republican Party’s fiercest critics in legendary think pieces for The New York Review of Books. By the mid-70s, she arguably became the only woman who could justly claim, along with Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, Tom Wolfe, Terry Southern and others – that she invented a new kind of journalism.

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Film Review: Okja

Okja looks for all the world like a heartwarming family film about a little girl’s friendship with an adorable giant pig and that’s exactly what it is… for about twenty minutes. Director Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Snowpiercer) uses this time to lay the pipework of the plot. The multinational Mirando corporation has sent out 26 ‘superpigs’ to be raised by farmers around the world., After ten years, the healthiest and biggest pig will win a prize. We get to know 14-year-old Korean girl Mija (An Seo Hyun), who has grown up alongside her grandfather’s superpig, Okja, on his farm in rural South Korea.

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