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August 2020 Favourites

I'm posting this a bit after the end of August because I wanted to end the month with my birthday post. This month has gone extremely quickly. Then again, I do feel like I completely forgot what the start of this month even felt like. I looked at my Letterboxd diary and remembered just how many films I watched this month, ones that I remember watching but felt like I had watched ages ago. I'm not the first to say this but time truly is not real.

It has not been a particularly productive month, though I'm glad of the consistent amount of posting that has been happening on this blog. A lot of research went into my post discussing whether reading classic literature is important for modern readers and I'm glad of how it turned out. I also posted a poem to my blog for the first time. One thing I can say has been my favourite this month is how into writing I've been. 

I set up my Ko-fi so that I could maybe feel like this was work and not something I'm wasting my time on. I maybe feel like this could be a career for me. I might even be a bit optimistic.


Around the middle of this month, I watched a film called Thoroughbreds (2017). I thought it was okay but what really struck me was the soundtrack. I love a good movie soundtrack and this one really impacted me. 

A white back ground with two knight chess pieces facing one another. Inside of these pieces, there are faded images of faces layered over one another. The text 'Thoroughbreds' 'Original Motion Picture Soundtrack' 'Music by Erik Friedlander'
Source: Spotify

It made the film more tense and whilst I definitely had issues with the film itself, the soundtrack was just so weird and minimalist that moments that would have been cliché felt more realised. I have been listening to it on repeat whilst doing various bits of writing and it has definitely allowed me to focus, if unintentionally making me more anxious.

A playlist made by me that I've been listening to is called 'rave rave rave' and consists of all the dance music I used to listen to when I was younger.

A spotify playlist titled 'rave rave rave'

It's like I suddenly remembered that Basshunter existed and from there, a whole flood of other songs came rushing through, evoking car journeys and barbecues of my youth. I feel most people are introduced to seminal artists when they are younger, usually of the rock n' roll genre. But no, my parents introduced me to Scooter and The Prodigy. And I love them for it.

As for playlists by other people, we have a theme this month apparently and that theme is nostalgia, because the playlist I most enjoyed was called 'we're gonna be partying till 7 o'clock'  and consisted of every song you would find a Year 6 disco if you grew up in the early 2000s. 

A spotify playlist titled 'we're gonna be partying till 7 o'clock'

And to finish off this section, I have my August faves list over on YouTube.

A youtube playlist titled 'august 2020 music faves'


Yes God Yes (2019) 

A pink background with a girl sat in a pew praying. The text reads 'Natalie Dyer' 'Yes, God, Yes'.
Source: IMDb

I remember watching a trailer for this film and being really excited. The film looks at sexual freedom, naivete and the repressive tools of religion that are used on young people to shame them out of exploring sexual avenues. And though this description sounds heavy, the film manages not to take itself too seriously, offering a light-hearted tone and respite from heavy topics like shame, with humour. Films that explore young women's sexuality make me nervous because they can so very often border into youth fetishism and exploitation. What I was happy to learn is that this film was directed by a woman, which helped my perception of how this topic was going to be handled. I enjoyed this film a lot, particularly how it took an honest look at how young women observe themselves and those they are attracted to, depicting the exploration of sexuality as frequently as the shame being pushed upon the protagonist.

All Cheerleaders Die (2013) 

A white background with a cheerleader sat a desk covered in blood and eating an apple. The text reads '"A smartly bloody horror comedy" - Screen Daily' 'All Cheerleaders Die' 'You can't kill their spirit'
Source: IMDb

The reality of going to watch this film was that I wasn't expecting much. The poster didn't look great and this was a cheerleader horror film directed by two men. I was expecting too much sex and flat characters that I just wanted to die because of how annoying they were. However, when I watched this film, I found that I really fucking loved it. This film follows Maddy reeling from the guilt of capturing her friend, Alexis, dying in a cheerleading accident on camera. As a result, she seeks refuge on the cheerleading squad. Without spoiling too much, this bond is tested in extreme ways as the four main cheerleaders and their witch friend become more connected that they previously expected and have to use this power to take down the abusive head football player, Terry. By elite filmmaking standards, this film isn't the best. But, it's very campy and I genuinely believe that it has a lot of heart. If you enjoyed Jennifer's Body, you will probably enjoy this film.

Tickled (2016) 

A white background with a picture of a feather. The text reads 'Tickled' 'It's Not What You Think'
Source: IMDb

I'd heard buzz about this film a while ago and whilst I could only expect weirdness from a documentary about tickling, but I did not expect this level of weirdness. This film goes from baffling to horrifying and back to baffling again. I would try to go into this film without any prior knowledge and not looking up anything about it. Just know that tickling isn't going to be the weirdest thing you come across when watching this film.

A film list I would like to recommend this month is one I made about films that allow characters to explore repressed desires, with varying results. It is called 'wouldst thou like to live deliciously?', a reference to the The VVitch (2015). If you've watched the film, you know why this is an apt title.

A letterboxd list titled 'wouldst thou like to live deliciously?'


Derry Girls (2018 - present) 

Four teenage girls and one teenage boy in school uniforms.
Source: Channel 4

I did a rewatch of Derry Girls because I needed some comfort television and this show does not disappoint. I don't think I can accurately describe how funny this show is. 

It takes five teenagers, a TV concept that has been done to death, and makes it so original and interesting because of how distinct the characters are from each other. Setting the film in 1990s Ireland is such an interesting way for the writers to explore the comedy of being a teenager alongside the political unrest that was happening at the time. It doesn't take itself too seriously but when it needs to be, it's so heartwarming. I love this show a lot.

Pure (2019 - present) 

Five people on a train. Outside the train, there are various naked bodies.
Source: Radio Times

This is a show I found by accident when scrolling through Netflix. Originally a Channel 4 show, this explores the life of Marnie, who is struggling with troubling intrusive sexual thoughts. Whilst this does sound like a harrowing subject matter for a TV show, I'm glad that it was comedy, otherwise I fear that this would have just been depressing. This has the vibe of a typical 'I'm a quirky twenty-something woman who doesn't know what she's are doing' but it manages to distinguish itself by how it explores OCD and addiction recovery. 

I will say that I had some issues with how it was structured - there is a dual perspective that is introduced in the second episode and maintained, though I don't think it is done that well. I do like the characters, though I wish the side characters were either centred more (with the help of longer episodes) or cut out entirely. I thought they slightly detracted from the protagonists journey. Overall, I liked what I saw and where the show was heading. I would happily watch more.


Axiom's End by Lindsay Ellis 

The planet earth made to look like an ink blot on an orange background. The text reads 'Axiom's End' 'A Novel' 'Lindsay Ellis'
Source: Goodreads

I worked very hard to finish this book by the end of the month just so I could write about it here. I wanted to give this some love because it's not something I thought I was going to enjoy. Sci-fi really is not my genre and the more of it I consume, the more I realise this. I bought this book because I am a fan of Lindsay's video essays and I trusted that she would produce a creative and interesting novel, despite my own preferences. And I was proven correct.

The story revolves around Cora, who is inexplicably made the sole contact between an alien, Ampersand, and the humans attempting to understand why he has landed on Earth. Ellis is able to explore the complexity of communication and its link to trauma through the lens of alien "invasion", a concept in itself that is deconstructed. I found myself drawn into this so easily because of how well written and paced the story is. I know that this book is going to be part of a series and, again, I am not a fan of series', but I might have to make an exception for this one.


GarfieldEats and the Raiders of the Lost Plush

I watched this video having followed the controversy on Twitter, where a YouTuber I followed, Quinton Reviews, had ordered a giant Garfield plush from the restaurant Garfield Eats and was instead delivered bags of sand. This is a weird and interesting story, and I really enjoyed the video where he explains his history with the restaurant and the aftermath of the controversy. From what I know, he did eventually get the giant Garfield but it wasn't without a struggle.

Why #FreeBritney is a Disability Rights Issue 

In this video, Jessica Kellgren-Fozard is able to talk with authority and empathy on the situation surrounding Britney Spears and her potentially abusive conservatorship. She looks at Britney's past as well as the nature of conservatorships in general and how they may serve or be used to manipulate disabled people. I honestly didn't realise how little I knew about this situation and I'm shocked how this abuse of power has seemingly been swept under rug.

As always, I have full Youtube. playlist of all the videos I enjoyed this month if you'd like to check them out.

A youtube playlist titled 'august 2020 fave youtube videos'


I discovered the independent online magazine Unpublished Zine when researching for another blog post I'm writing. 

The website 'Unpublished Magazine'. An image of a pair of hands draped around another person from behind. The text on this image reads 'intimacy'

The text reads 'Love & Relationships'. There is an image of a woman lying on her front on some grass.

They write thoughtful pieces and created beautiful art spreads, covering a wide range of topics. Like I said, they are independent and I have been looking more and more to support indie projects. I think a publication like this is one I would like to work for in the future.