Author: Leshu Torchin
Leshu Torchin is a Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of St Andrews, where she works on the subject of film and human rights advocacy. Her work has appeared in Third Text, and Cineaste. She is the author of Creating the Witness: Genocide in the Age of Film, Video and the Internet (University of Minnesota Press, 2012.)

In the comments section, there is nothing worse than the person who confesses to neither reading the piece, nor viewing/reading/listening to its subject before levying an opinion. And yet, that is what I am about to do. Because I did not watch the Academy Awards, and yet I have an opinion about them. (More…)

It wouldn’t surprise me if, at the close of 2014, L’Image Manquante/The Missing Picture (Rithy Prahn, 2013) remained the best film I’ve seen all year. Premiering at Cannes, where it received the Prix Un Certain Regard, and having screened at most of the major film festivals, the Cambodian documentary is on the shortlist of potential nominees for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. (More…)

It’s hard not to discuss films that have already appeared on critics’ lists. However, most of what we read about in year end favourites like this still elude the majority of moviegoers. Most are unable to attend festivals, and don’t live in major cities, where end-of-year theatrical releases ensures eligibility for major film awards. For such persons, annual picks, however many of them we can read, are essential.  Here are mine. (More…)

On Monday, August 5th, The Hillary Project, tweeted reporters far and wide to ask them, ‘Have you slapped Hillary today?’ Because, it seems, this Republican Super PAC has made this possible, at least virtually, by resurrecting the 13-year-old game, Slap Hillary on their website. (More…)

A clip from a 2012 interview with Dustin Hoffman has gone viral. As a potential antidote to the casual and furious misogyny unleashed during Wimbledon, where women were invisible or too ugly, one can see why.  In the video, Dustin Hoffman describes his experience preparing for the title role of Tootsie (Sydney Pollack, 1982) and the revelation it yielded. (More…)

Museum is horrifying. The video advertises the HTC First, a smartphone which features Facebook Home. This app creates a steady and constantly refreshing stream of posts and photographs, so that, as the website explains, “you’ll never miss a moment with upfront notifications about events, calls and Facebook updates.” (More…)

On Friday evening, Justin Bieber visited the Anne Frank House. On Saturday, the museum shared that information on its Facebook page. Along with a portrait of the nineteen-year-old singer, staff reported Bieber comparing the Holocaust heroine to one of his fans. (More…)

Souciant is no stranger to dissent. Since it was first launched, the site has been subject to repeat hacking attempts by neo-Nazis, and furious posts from the entire spectrum of political opinion. But none of that could have prepared me for Reddit’s scrubbing of links to my meditation on the so-called celebration of Baroness Margaret Thatcher’s passing.  (More…)

Almost everywhere I look, I see condemnations of the celebration of Margaret Thatcher’s death.  I haven’t seen many celebrations, but then, at the moment, I am sadly even more miles from George Square than usual. But I will say for certain, I have not seen any jubilation on my Facebook or Twitter feeds. If only things were that simple. (More…)

People are still talking about Jodie Foster’s speech.  After receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award at the Golden Globes, she kinda, sorta came out, confirming Hollywood’s worst-kept secret. As Alonso Durade noted, Foster has played the coy card for decades – thanks to her publicist, and the fact that “anyone who has a presidential assassin use you as inspiration rightfully gets a lifetime ‘I want my privacy’ pass.” (More…)

A Princess is Not a Career has gone viral. Starring US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Sesame Street video captures the judge informing muppet Abby Cadabby that “princess” isn’t a legitimate or desirable career option.It’s a useful public service announcement to counter the princess meme that’s infected Anglo-American pop culture as of late. (More…)

Club nights are like bands. The better the name, more likely they are to draw a decent crowd. Up the ante by offering free drugs – or at least a safe space to celebrate the most prescribed poppers – and it’ll be a mob scene. Why, then, make adverts for such happenings, more complicated? (More…)