All published work

Looking for the sum total of the Blaise Radley writing career till now? Then look no further. Ignoring my earlier student writing career, and a select few print-only pieces this is everything I've had published since graduation. You can even use the filter to navigate by publication.

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Feature: Good Time and the contradiction of compassion

Two months on from considering how Daniel Lopatin undercut the anxious energy of Uncut Gems (2020), it seemed fitting to analyse his work on Good Time (2017). While both films feature abrasive scores by Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never, the purpose of that abrasion is distinct. Where Uncut Gems is giddy, Good Time is dour, and where Uncut Gems saw Lopatin twist anxiety into cosmic purpose, in Good Time he’s far more in tune with the minute-to-minute seat-of-your-pants propulsion. Subservient, however, he is not.

Film review: The Rental

Few trends have captured the millennial sense of self worth and (occasional) sense of self awareness as mumblecore. Defined primarily by muffled naturalistic dialogue, lo-fi production values, and a near-total preoccupation with the trials and tribulations of young middle class Americans, over the past two decades directors like Andrew Bujalski, the Duplass Brothers and Joe Swanberg have carved out their own niches in a genre characterised by nicheness.

Interview: LA Priest

Samuel Eastgate's best friend is a robot. In fact, for a period of time, it sounds as if his only friend was a robot, or rather a slightly cantankerous drum machine. With a creative process that sounds awfully similar to certain social isolation protocols, when Dork reaches him on the landline of his home in rural Wales, the current chaos all seems quite distant. "I live with my family in a really empty, isolated area. It's almost like I planned ahead... but I mean I haven't, I haven't."

Feature: Uncut Gems and the climax that never comes

What does winning sound like? Is it the rolling thunder of hands beating together; the final beep test *beep* after everyone has collapsed; the ding of a microwave containing molten leftovers? Victory, of course, doesn’t have one tone, but sounds do hold an uncanny power to trigger deep seated feelings of validation. There’s a reason mobile developers spend years perfecting the sound a treasure chest makes, hoping to trigger precious endorphins and lock you into another cycle of delayed gratification. Humans crave catharsis.

Film review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a rare example of pure beauty

What marks Portrait of a Lady on Fire as a more full-bodied work than its impressive romantic thread, is the wider angle Sciamma takes regarding loving relationships. With men largely regulated to off-screen spectres and the things of ancient myth, the full spectrum of female communal spirit grows in the spaces left behind. In Sciamma’s frame no woman is perfect, and yet through sororal companionship something perfect begins to take hold.

Film review: The Lighthouse fuses high contrast horror with dark comedy

The Lighthouse isn’t simply a film shot in black & white—it’s a picture that resonates deeply with stark binary contrasts, even as these oppositions frequently collapse. Where many might accuse A24 of having fanned the flame of shallow visual gimmicks since their inception in 2012, with his second feature Robert Eggers proves striking imagery and strong storytelling are no strange bedfellows

Film review: The Rise of Skywalker coughs, splutters, soils itself and dies

Star Wars is in absolute tatters. Disney’s tenure has felt like a game of internal chicken, eyeing up Lucas’ disastrous prequel trilogy and egging themselves on to balls things up even more. There’s been a bevvy of aborted standalone films, a trilogy that totally lacked for a unifying vision (despite the first two parts both being plenty entertaining), and a fanbase that’s never been more divided on what constitutes Star Wars. $4 billion well spent, huh?
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