Hidden Figures

Guest Post by Rudo.

Since we were discussing reviews this past week I decided to post a review from one of my favourite movies this year,”Hidden Figures.” I really encourage you all to watch it is AMAZING. Anyway, when you’re done reading the review, you can possibly try and find the tone and type of language used, and whether or not this review was a favourable one.

“Hidden Figures” takes us back to 1961, when racial segregation and workplace sexism were widely accepted facts of life and the word “computer” referred to a person, not a machine. Though a gigantic IBM mainframe does appear in the movie — big enough to fill a room and probably less powerful than the phone in your pocket — the most important computers are the three African-American women who work at NASA headquarters in Hampton, Va. Assigned to data entry jobs and denied recognition or promotion, they would go on to play crucial roles in the American space program.

Based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s nonfiction book of the same title, the film, directed by Theodore Melfi (who wrote the script with Allison Schroeder), turns the entwined careers of Katherine Goble (later Johnson), Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan into a rousing celebration of merit rewarded and perseverance repaid. Like many movies about the overcoming of racism, it offers belated acknowledgment of bravery and talent and an overdue reckoning with the sins of the past. And like most movies about real-world breakthroughs, “Hidden Figures” is content to stay within established conventions.This is not necessarily a bad thing. There is something to be said for a well-told tale with a clear moral and a satisfying emotional payoff. The story may be new to most viewers, but the manner in which it’s told will be familiar to all but the youngest.


London Calling

Guest Post by Nobandile
Featured Image by Jenny Leonard.

London for me at least, is awesome, literally. Whenever I walk past the Houses of Parliament in Westminster (and the iconic Big Ben especially when it chimes) I have to stop and stare for a moment, no matter the rush I may be in.Who can ignore Trafalgar Square? With its lions, statues, especially the imposing Nelsons Column and superb fountains, tourists are drawn to meet and loiter here. I particularly love the Fourth Plinth. It was originally built in 1814 to hold a statue of William IV. Empty coffers meant that never happened. Now 150 years later it displays a new artwork every year by world class artists. This year (2016) it has David Shrigley’s giant hand in a (elongated) thumbs-up gesture. Royal history abounds from the Tower of London, home of the crown jewels as well as some unpalatable history, which sits majestically on the North Bank of the Thames, while Buckingham Palace with its quirky army of Beefeaters is especially entertaining during the changing of the guards. A walk on South Bank along the Thames is particularly joyful. The London Eye is its most famous landmark, but there’s also a sensational Sea Life Aquarium, National Theatre, Old Vic and its Southbank centre simply oozes art and culture especially its Festival Hall. There’s also the sizzling party (and at times seedy) vibe of Leicester Square at night. Get there when there’s a film premier and pick up some celebrity signatures – they love to mingle with fans at this time – a London tradition.

What do you guys think? What is the purpose here? What is the tone?