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New technologies are allowing us to understand far more about what we see when we watch a screen. Arthur Cruz

Gogglebox and beyond: lifting the lid on eye tracking research

What are we really looking at when we watch a screen? There's more to it than Gogglebox. Advances in eye-tracking technology are transforming how we understand film and TV spectatorship.
Foreign PR campaigns have been waged for decades. Films like 1930’s All Quiet on the Western Front were significantly altered to appease Germany’s Nazi Party. filmjunk.com

How foreign governments can influence American media – and tried to block my documentary

Feature films and television shows notoriously play fast-and-loose with the facts. When prologues proclaim “Based on a True Story,” they’re gracefully implying that what follows is mostly fiction. Awards…
All that research has made Tom a dull boy. BBC/Company Productions Ltd

Wolf Hall may be historically accurate, but it’s also a bit dull

In his biography of Sir Thomas More, Peter Ackroyd audaciously asks us to imagine pre-Reformation London as the street markets of Marrakesh. Cheapside would have been a bustling surge of traders and customers…
A Dahl for Christmas. Endor Productions/Nick Briggs

Esio Trot is one of the best screen adaptations of Dahl I’ve seen

Roald Dahl hated adaptations of his work, and often I agree with him. The original books have such a place in so many people’s hearts and open up the imagination so much that once on screen they can feel…
As much as we like to think that we vote on substance – not style – studies have shown that physical appearance matters to voters. Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Welcome to Politics4K

While much of the 2014 midterm election analysis centered on the Republican takeover of the Senate, the pundits may have overlooked an important development: the end of a time when politicians looked a…
Cinema has always been about spectacle – it’s not yet walking dead. AAP/Marcus Walters, Gerrit Fokkema

TV’s golden age has freed cinema to do what it does best

At the opening night of the Victorian College of the Arts graduate film screening season this month, keynote speaker Clayton Jacobson (writer/director of Kenny, 2006) mentioned to the audience his belief…
Benefits Street is back and it’s ok if you don’t like it. Joe Giddens/PA Archive

Who is censoring who when artists dismiss their critics?

ITV has recently announced that it will not commission a second series of the controversial comedy series Dapper Laughs. The decision comes after a petition to have the programme removed from the air gathered…
Come play with us. For ever. And ever. And ever. Alex Eylar

Humilitainment – the sorry story of reality TV

Yesterday the Danish Toymaker Lego announced its plans for a reality TV show to be launched in 2015, rumoured to be based on the idea of Master Builders, the top “construction workers” in the insanely…
The suspense of reality TV hangs on viewers' votes for contestants. Can social media predict winners and losers? AAP Image/Nine Network/Paul Broben

Online fine line: using social media to predict the Big Brother eviction

Reality television, alongside shows such as Q&A – which may be Reality TV in all but name – frequently drives social media conversations about the Australian television industry. Big Brother, currently…
A fundamental aspect of drama is the need for rising tension. Maria

Tepid TV? Australia needs to sharpen its cutting edge

A special thing happened in August this year: Foxtel launched BBC First, a premium channel showcasing the best of contemporary British television drama. As a global channel that chose Australia as its…
Back in town. BBC/Mandabach/Tiger Aspect/Robert Viglasky

How Peaky Blinders made 1920s Brummies hard but hip

Your living room is in danger of being invaded by criminals with Brummie accents. Not a reason for fitting a new burglar alarm, I hasten to add, but an alert for the BBC’s new series of Peaky Blinders…

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