5 Highly Recommended Female-led Films

Thanks to the unreliability of movie marketing, our understanding of what ticks our proverbial boxes is often unreliable. How many times have you thought you’d love a film because it has X Y & Z, only to walk out feeling short-changed? Or dismissed a perfectly good comedy the first time around because the pink colour-blocking and female strong cast made you believe it was a cliched rom-com? (I’m almost exclusively thinking of Bridesmaids here).

This is where I come in. A long time believer that women are just people, I’ve compiled a list of female-led films anyone can and probably should watch, since well-rounded characters are infinitely more interesting than reinforcing stereotypes. Plus, the imaginative process inspires our empathy in a way that factual storytelling simply cannot. Please be aware the main criteria is ‘films that are good and happen to have women in them’. If it’s not got credentials, it’s not getting in.

Most of these I saw as a teen’ but still consider timeless for the screen.

Thelma and Louise

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Ridley Scott directed this early ’90s classic. Sociopolitical and visually stunning, with an ending so iconic it still gets referenced in popular culture today. Mix with ingredients like Susan Sarandon, 1/4 of the cast of Resevoir Dogs and a shirtless Brad Pitt, and you’ve got a hearty 130 mins of craft mastery in front of your peepers. Essentially a road trip gone wrong, two women grow tired of their suburban housewife roles so escape in search of freedom, only to be met with the inevitable misogyny they sought relief from. Its tone varies from light-hearted sentimentality to heavy-hitting wisdom, mostly from the wise Louise, so you learn as you laugh.

Erin Brokovich

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Based on the true story of an ordinary woman who managed to build a legal case in protest against contaminated Californian drinking water without any technical expertise, this is a rags to riches story where success stems from one woman’s compassion rather than self-serving greed. History was made thanks to Erin’s courage and resourcefulness. It’s inspirational to watch a person succeed despite the odds in a noble crusade because her goals are philanthropic and really, what’s more badass than defying expectation to fight for what’s right?

Mermaids

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Fun and frollocks. That’s the perfect way to describe this flick. Superstar Cher plays the effervescent Mrs Flax, while a young Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci entertain alongside her wily ways. It’s a defiant nod in the direction of independence juxtaposed with the coming-of-age need to fit in. The dialogue and direction of this film is whimsical and yet entwined with a wholesome aura that says ‘accept yourself for who you are’.

Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion

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Off the walls (but firmly on the ceiling), Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion is the zany 90s comedy we don’t get blessed with enough nowadays. If I wrote the copy to advertise it, I’d convey the central message: it doesn’t take itself too seriously. One of my favourite elements is the use of flashbacks because character backstory gives us a chance to vicariously cringe at universal high school experiences. Afterwards we’re left with the maturity of realising our enemies are “a bad person with an ugly heart and we don’t give a flying fuck what you think.” That’s about as deep as the film gets since it’s mostly silly irreverence and flat-out fun.

Heathers

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The original Mean Girls but with black humour and a young Christian Slater. Veronica is the part-time badass you identify with as she navigates tricky high school dynamics and the allure of sociopathic men with dimples…we’ve all been there. Every line is memorable and you’ll be saying ‘fuck me with a chainsaw’ in the face of crisis for decades afterwards. ‘Sass’ levels are off the charts so if you want more savage insults at your disposal, Heathers has got you covered.

My Brother Julius

I come from a big family. My immediate family contains several generations, ranging from my folks; born in the 1940s, to me, a 90s kid. I’m the youngest of 5, which is a fortunate position in some ways. I’ve been blessed with the wisdom and support of my older brothers and sister over the years. My eldest brother is 19 years older than me. (A crazy big age gap, I know). Like any milennial blogger, the necessity of gratitude is just as familiar a concept to me as it is to Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love. And as such, here is a list of reasons as to why I’m grateful to Julius.

Useful and Kind things Julius has done for me

Awoke nightly to feed and comfort me when I was just a weepy baby.

Let little me watch Beavis and Butthead with him, thus making me a punk-ass metal child \m/

Took me to Elhap, an adventure playground where I could play all day with other kiddies.

– Took me on memorable trips with said adventure playground, like the time I had my face painted like a ‘multi-coloured butterfly’ and stayed on the swings for literally hours.

When I was 11, he took me to the cinema one summer to see lots of different films, including Pirates of the Caribbean, School of Rock, Lizzie McGuire movie etc. We saw LOADS of films.

He used to walk me home from school, often buying me crisps and chocolate to treat me. Some slight rule-breaking going on here as my parents weren’t as keen on the sweets.

In the 2000s, he took me to Amnesty International meetings and encouraged my empathy for those seeking asylum at a young age.

Every year he buys me extravagant birthday cards and presents. Always huge cards and thoughtful gifts.

As a young whippersnapper, he gave me books on astrology because I enjoy indulging theories about the universe and spirituality, as does he. Not many people are so open-minded so that’s a stroke of luck.

His poetry circle is vast and he invited me into his online poetry community so I can attain feedback on my words if I so wish, as well as reading other contemporary poets.

Lastly, and perhaps most cruicial of all, he tells me vital pop culture information, like the fact R.E.M refused to play ‘Shiny Happy People’ because it got too popular maaaaan, or that Elvis has the same birthday as David Bowie.

There is obviously more but I have to cut the blogpost off somewhere eh?

Thanks, bro. 

5 Steps To Selfie – How to Pose for a Photo

Some people love to point their phone’s camera right at their face for some radical selfie loving while others dread the lens in self-conscious trepidation. No matter which side of the spectrum you fall upon, the impromptu photo is an unavoidable way of life and it pays to be prepared!

Love or loathe to pose, you have the chance to turn a chore into an art form – measure your selfie know-how against this short checklist so you can put your best face forward at any given moment.

  1. Face down, eyes up; instantly more flattering than a straight-on shot.

  2. Smile with your eyes; Tyra made ‘smize’ happen for a reason. 

  3. Decide what you’re doing with your mouth; pout, pursed smile or toothy smile.

  4. Tilt your head from left to right to see if you have a ‘side’; Most people have a preference.

  5. Three popular go-to poses; peace sign, hand on hips, tongue out.

Memorise a particularly hard-hitting one of these vanity morsels so you’re armed with ammo the next time someone slings a camera in your face without much warning, or for when you find yourself in the midst of a self-portraiture crisis but still want to look bangin’.

Selfie ready? You woke up like this (*WINK*)

12 simple cures for temporary sadness

1.Cook yourself a huge portion of your favourite meal so you feel full of love (and more importantly, food).

2.Watch some comedy! Viral videos, comedy shows, pranks, sketches etc. Go back to old favourites if you know they’re guaranteed to make you laugh.

3. Open up Messenger and click the name of a friend you love to talk to. Don’t be afraid of rejection – they want to hear from you! 

4.Look at inspirational quotes on Pinterest, Twitter, Google Images… let the words do the positive thinking for you.

5.Pick an item from your To-Do list and make it a Done list.

6.Help anybody that needs it, from your best friend to a homeless person. Focus on giving out hope and you’ll receive it back.

7.Seek comfort! Go to sleep : wake up happier. Win.

8.Acknowledge how you feel, accept it, then let it go.

9.Listen to upbeat songs to curb any dwelling on feelings early (it doesn’t matter if the music is classified as cheesy). Bonus points for dancing around uninhibitedly.

10.Think of the last 3 compliments you received and let yourself believe them.

11.Dig for gratitude – this includes any good experiences occurring in recent times to you or anyone else, whether big or small. 

12.Do an everyday activity that feels suspiciously adult as a victorious distraction.

 

 

Signs You’re From London (But Live Elsewhere In The UK)

  • When you travel outside of London, you’re referred to as ‘posh’, whether you’re from Forest Gate or (legit proper fancy) Notting Hill. Silently, you’re convinced it isn’t you with the accent…
  • 24 hour Tesco is a rare privilege you’d been taking for granted all. this. time. People want to get home to their families? How dare they – it’s midnight and I want Texas BBQ Pringles here and now.
  • Tea is apparently a meal as well as a drink, and nobody has lunch because they’re all having dinner before their tea. Everyone agrees on the concept of breakfast though, which is nice.
  • The novelty of Camden Market wore off after copious empty-handed visits as a teenager, yet you’ll relay nostaliga-tinged memories to make your centrally-located youth seem inexplicably cool. 
  • Chips and gravy make so much sense: carbs + OXO = xoxo <3.
  • People ask if you’ve ever seen anyone from Eastenders on the tube, and you invariably answer yes like the walking stereotype you really are. Bonus points for Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt).
  • “You sound like you’re from LANDAN!” is not just a line from a film when tipsy strangers come across you and your Southern vocal chords. Your laughter is fake each time.
  • Bus journeys require pound sterling and phrases like “a return to town please” – this is charming while simultaneously alien to your anti-social transport tendencies.
  • You’re ready to defend generalisations of ‘more expensive’ pubs/clubs and foods from tourists who stayed in Central/North London only and thus know nothing of LDN LYFE.
  • You witness the gentrification of places like Walthamstow and Hackney from afar, amazed at how ‘professional graffiti art’ and gastro-pub conversions apparently make an impoverished area trendy for the rich. You pray for it to stop.

Finally, when you revisit the capital, you notice how cockney everyone around you sounds, how wide the streets are and how much has changed in the ever-progressive metropolis since you left to adventure elsewhere. It’ll always be home to you.

Signs You Are In Your Twenties

  • You have no idea what you’re doing.
  • 18 year olds have started to look 12.
  • You log into Facebook every day and you don’t know why. It’s just a habit: a necessary tool for connecting with friends & acquaintances.
  • Conversations you once pretended to enjoy have now become mildly pleasant experiences; small talk is no longer the enemy – you can talk about tax if you wanna. (And sometimes you genuinely need to).
  • Relationships are a whole load more scary than they used to be – a feeling intensified by the myriad of ‘we’re engaged xo!’ posts that crop up on said Facebook ever so frequently.
  • Chart songs are unrecognisable to you, just like the baby-faced singer’s of said songs. Once upon a time, you thought adults were bluffing when they heartily laughed, “Who’s this?!” but nowadays you can’t feign the effort required to keep up. You are the adult.
  • People in their 40s and above begrudge your false sense of old age while simultaneously asking you questions regarding marriage and babies.
  • You have no idea what you’re doing.
  • Alcohol exists that isn’t vodka – you understand this now. Also, you don’t need to double up all night! Single measures get you just as crunk without the “did I ruin my life last night?” feeling in the morning.
  • Strong emotional reactions are triggered by these words: ‘Nickelodeon’ ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ ‘Power Rangers’ ‘Toy Story’ ‘I’ll never let you go, Jack’
  • You genuinely think your mum is cool and have new-found respect for her. If you aren’t hip to this yet, you are a shitbucket.
  • Hangovers are not myths anymore.
  • You went from ‘mature for your age’ to ‘childish’ in a few swift years…
  • Britney is important – Britney matters: fan or no. You understand this in a way the youth of today seemingly cannot.
  • Only recently did you realise how many years it has been since you were 16/17/18, and therefore relating to people that age is inexplicably difficult. You try, and often succeed, but secretly know they think you are past it.
  • This picture affects you on a deep, emotional level

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  • You have no idea what you’re doing, but that’s okay because you’re still young enough to have fun and you’re entitled to live in the moment. Nobody knows at any age, you’re just supposed to keep on truckin’…

7 Perks of Being Home Alone

Recently I had the flat to myself for a few sweet days and made some discoveries to share with you. Here is some small scale satisfaction you can indulge in the next time you find yourself home alone.


1. Shower for as long as you like – Being home alone means no queue for the bathroom and thus no need to cut your shower time short. There’s also nobody around to judge you if you’d rather leave the daily cleansing ritual to an unorthodox time of day, or if you need to do the now risk-free naked run.

2. Walk around nakedSelf-confessed exhibitionist or not, the exhilarating feeling accompanying a naked traipse around is worth it. The pressure to cover up suddenly vanishes when you know you won’t be seen by anybody, with a heightened sense of body confidence (and maybe vanity) taking its place.

3. The kitchen is your domain Cooking can be stressful: it requires equipment, ingredients and spare time to supervise your efforts, along with an occasional stir with the big spoon. Most people eat their evening meal in tandem, making the kitchen a competitive area; suffice to say, this will no longer be the case, and it feels so good. It’s also a good time to try out an ambitious recipe since you have time to clean up any mess you totally didn’t make. 

4. Tidying-up can wait until the last minute – Consideration for other people engenders an enhanced responsibility to clean up after yourself – unless you’re home alone. If your housemates or family are away for more than one day, postpone damage repair to the last day of homely freedom and relax. 

5. Do the activities you’re usually too self-conscious to do Ideas include: singing, practicing an instrument, painting on a canvas; anything you’re afraid to do in front of other people is now open to you as an activity. Take advantage of this: create! Keep creating upon their return.

6. You can talk to yourself Lots of us process thoughts, feelings and decisions via communication and since you’re the expert on your life, there’s no better person to verbally consult than yourself. If you need to reel off your to-do list or relieve your brain of current obsessions aloud, you can freely do so.

7. Borrow something, return it ASAP and voilaSometimes you don’t have a household object to hand and suspect a housemate might possess it, yet you’d rather not disturb anybody. Fear not, you can now use whatever utensil you like and put it back without any human interaction involved. It’s the little things.