Culture

This category contains 627 posts

Captain America: The First Avenger / The Winter Soldier (2011/2014)

Re-inventing, then re-re-inventing the comic-book hero from WWII saviour to man-out-of-time in the present day, the two Captain Americas are as different from each other in tone and style as chalk and cheese. But while Captain America pulls off the all-American, White Hat hero with spotless morals, there’s an oddly asexual, homo-erotic theme in both … Continue reading

How-to: The Elevator Pitch – ten top tips

Article originally appeared as The elevator pitch – ten top tips  at Philippa’s site Speaking well in Public The elevator pitch: Your fascinating, graceful and – above all – short answer to ‘and what do you do?’ My top ten tips for creating and using an effective elevator pitch for business and social introductions:

How-to: Survive a fashion show

Article originally appeared as How-to: Survive a fashion show at Philippa’s site Speaking well in Public Appearing in a fashion show may not involve speaking – but it’s still a performance for an audience who want to be intrigued. Here’s how to make the most of a great opportunity to shine, often in a good … Continue reading

Movie Catch-up: Chloe (2009)

Gynaecologist Catherine (Julianne Moore – Magnolia, Mockingjay) believes college professor husband David (Liam Neeson – Taken, The Grey) is having affairs with his students. So she hires up-market call-girl (aren’t they all) Chloe (Amanda Seyfried – In Time, Red Riding Hood) to see if he falls to temptation. Like you do. But Chloe develops an … Continue reading

Review: Lucy (2014)

Favourite bonkers French bloke Luc Besson (Fifth Element, Lockout) steps straight from Nikita into Transcendence via 2001: A Space Odessey and with his latest sci-fi thriller of big guns, big brains and big ideas. The science may be specious, but the action is frenetic and stylised. In typical Besson style of throwing everything at the … Continue reading

Review: Alexandra Stan – Unlocked (2014)

The second album from Romanian dance-music queen Alexandra Stan (Mr Saxobeat from 2010) is either your ideal bubblegum pop album or your idea of manufactured musical hell, where every track reminds you of three or four others. Clearly influenced by – or slavishly imitating – the likes of Britney, Rihanna and Sia, the production sound … Continue reading

Review: Nightcrawler (2014)

Jake Ghyllenhaal (Source Code, Prince of Persia) stars in and produces this queasy thriller of a nocturnal LA news reporter chasing the ambulances in search of ratings. Opening with Ghyllenhaal’s Louise Bloom trying to fence metals stolen with violence and trying to talk himself into a job, we already know that his immensely polite and … Continue reading

How-to: Post-It Notes

Article originally appeared as Post-IT Notes at Philippa’s site Speaking well in Public Training, facilitation, meetings, planning, designing, writing, games, memos, messages, even paper sculpture … from postage stamp to flip chart size, like so many of the best ideas, the Post-It note is staggeringly simple – and yet its uses seem to be limitless. … Continue reading

Review: Paddington (2014)

Producer David Hayman’s adaptation of Michael Bond’s children’s book may be more Harry Potter than anything else, but that doesn’t matter. Hayman’s oddly retro-anachronistic take on the bear from darkest Peru is a joy, a delight, a treasure. Ben Wishaw (Skyfall, Cloud Atlas) voices the innocent-abroad, Paddington, not only remade as a slapstick hero after … Continue reading

How-to: Rehearse the Team Pitch

Article originally appeared as How to rehearse the team pitch at Philippa’s site Speaking well in Public You’ve attended the meetings, created the PowerPoint, written your part and said it to yourself in the shower… but sooner or later you’re going to have to get up and rehearse it with the team. And standing up … Continue reading

Review: Hercules (2014)

De-bunking the Hercules myth and rebuilding it as a sword-and-sandals Magnificent Seven (count ‘em at the end), Big Action director Brett Ratner builds big stupid fun with plenty of hacking and slaying around Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson. The cheeky script from Radical Comics’ revisionist Hercules leaves no cliche untouched in this CGI-laden romp, but it’s … Continue reading

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