Independent Film (and) Women

A one day symposium organized by the Department of Communication and Media (University of Liverpool) and the Department of Media (Edge Hill University)

Thursday 21 May 2015

12:45 – 7:30pm

Rendall Building, Lecture Theatres 2 and 3, University of Liverpool

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2015: The Year of Change for Women’s Sport?

When Clare Balding is eventually canonised, she should be remembered as the patron saint of women’s sport. Last week the woman who confesses in her autobiography to marking the years by Grand National winner opted not to be at Aintree (causing disgruntlement in the horse racing world) and instead front the BBC’s coverage of the women’s Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race – sharing the water and the airwaves with the men’s crews for the first time since the women’s race was introduced in 1927. It is the sort of move to convince the jaded among us that this might, after all, be the point at which women’s events become part of the sports-media nexus from which they have been excluded for so long.

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Behind the Scenes of Televised Political Debate

Staff and students from the department were at St George’s Hall this week for a Granada Reports election debate featuring candidates representing five parties in the North West: Tom Crone of the Green Party, Nigel Evans (Conservative), Labour’s Luciana Berger, the Liberal Democrat Tim Farron, and the UKIP candidate for Stockport, Steven Woolfe. A viewers’ poll had identified the NHS, the economy, and immigration as the three key topics for debate, although treating them all as separate categories seemed an over-simplification, and so it proved once the candidates got talking.

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The Colonel’s Workers

The second episode of the BBC’s documentary on KFC, Billion Dollar Chicken Shop, asked: What is it really like to work for a giant fast food chain? It’s been a diverting series, if somewhat failing to probe anything beyond what KFC want to show them, and this episode was no different. Yes, it turns out that it’s a bit grim to clean human excrement off the toilet walls, that washing things coated in chicken fat is unpleasant, and no-one wants to deal with a drunk Glaswegian at four in the morning. But there was a theme that ran through the first twenty minutes or so that deserves more attention.

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Channel 4 Coalition drama was far too polished to really shine

Reviews of Coalition, Channel 4’s drama-documentary which recounted the coalition negotiations that followed the 2010 election “based on extensive research”, have generally been good. Radio Times called it “funny, absorbing and moving”. Writing for the Guardian, Lucy Mangan described it as “gripping and moving”, despite being very sceptical at the start. In The Conversation, Steven Fielding produced a broadly positive review.

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