In my book Time’s Lie: The Narrativisation of Life I make clear my dislike for rules, and specifically formulas, for storytelling. The most notable of these is the much lauded Monomyth as defined in the book Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, which sets out the different moments in every story as being all exactly the same in their narrative purpose. On paper, I like things like this, something that decodes structures and the psychological roots of archetypes and trends. The Monomyth, however, since George Lucas credited Campbell’s tome with giving him the structure for Star Wars, has…


I played Assassin’s Creed II at a friends house not long after it came out and I loved it. I bought it, played it to death and subsequently played every AC game up until Origins which was when I jumped ship on the franchise. The reason for that being, since the needless ‘Reboot’ in Origins, they are no longer related to the original games in terms of purpose, gameplay or style. …


It’s easy to rag on the TV sitcom Friends these days. In fact, it’s become a hobby for a lot of columnists over the years. For instance, why did Joey and Chandler who both confess to loving the movie Die Hard but say nothing when Bruce Willis, the actor who portrayed John Mclane in the movie, started dating Rachel? And how did Monica afford that luxury apartment when she was unemployed? Even with the hastily ret-conned excuse of ‘rent control’ in the last few seconds of the show? With the benefit of hindsight it’s also easy to point out its…


Where the Beatles came from and the hope they still bring for the future

From Source

I watched Hard Days Night for the first time in years the other day and what a lovely little film it is. It’s not an artistic milestone nor is it particularly deep or thrilling but it is just a nice, witty, silly story about a great band at the height of their fame with a banging soundtrack. But the appraisal of it as ‘light entertainment’ perhaps undersells it a bit. The restored HD version I saw revealed the beauty of its cinematography. The black and white film is gorgeous but it’s also shot in a strangely (for its time) verité…


I consider myself to be ‘Of The Left’ in that I hold with Left Wing political ideals and policies. I do not align myself with any political party (anymore, thanks Labour) and after 5 years of being part of different, purportedly left wing organisations and groups, I have stopped being a part of them too. The reason being is that I have seen how largely ineffectual they are. Most of the groups are mired in internal disputes, debates and discourse that is not only unwelcoming to all but the hardcore but equally never extends beyond this. We on the left…


You know the score: some inhuman creature that looks suspiciously like a puppet, a wireframe model or a digitally created monstrosity pulled from the depth of the uncanny valley, looks at the lead actor as they cry, or beg for mercy, or plead for their lover’s life, or offer to sacrifice themselves in exchange for clemency on the human race, or whatever noble act the writer pulled out of his backside for the climax of act three, and the beast pauses to stare at the frail representative of our species and says

“You Humans Are Strange…”

Whether its a giant…


The video games Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are two of my absolute favourites but I didn’t get round to playing Arkham Knight, the third in the series (we do not count Origins), until recently. When I did, I enjoyed my time with the Dark Knight back in Gotham but it paled in comparison to the vastly superior City which is the the jewel in the crown of that series, inspiring many games and their mechanics that came after it as it did. Though Knight wasn’t as good as its predecessor overall, it was actually better in some places. …


While enjoying looking at people’s Spotify Wrapped they posted over Christmas, something struck me about it. It was when a friend highlighted their preferred genre was ‘Vapour Soul’ saying “haha that’s me”, I wondered, what the hell is vapour soul? I mean I can surmise that its a combination of Vapour Wave and Soul music but… what? While that might sound like a perfectly valid description of some music I doubt the composers thought that’s what it was or what they intended it to be. And when did that genre become ‘a thing’? From these questions I jumped down the…


I read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code back in 2004 when the paperback came out because it was all anyone would talk about at the time. Before the film had even come out it was a cultural phenomenon, becoming one of the best selling books of all time, only outsold that year by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It had spawned several cash-in documentaries about anything even vaguely attached to the story, attendance at the Louvre had skyrocketed and everyone suddenly had very firm opinions on Christian doctrine. I wondered what all the fuss was about…


BFI’s ‘Film Forever’ was their plan to invest in film production between 2012–2017. When I saw this title it got me thinking about what ‘Forever’ actually meant. You see the word in a lot of marketing, things like “make a memory that lasts forever” etc, but the sad fact is, nothing lasts forever. All things are destined to decay and cease to exist eventually. We are all aware of this but still use the word nonetheless. It is a strangely unique word in that, unlike words of a similar bent like ‘infinite’ or ‘perpetual’, Forever is more glibly tossed around…

Leo Cookman

Peripatetic Writer and Musician. “Time’s Lie” out now from Zero Books.

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