Five unconventional cinematic features in Beneficial Shock magazine

Featuresby Grace Wang in December 2017

A new launch this year, Beneficial Shock! is a film magazine exploring unconventional cinematic adventures. Founded by Gabriel Solomons and Phil Wrigglesworth, both of whom teach at Bristol School of Art and Design, its energetic narrative is driven by witty writing and bold, colourful illustrations. This might bring to mind the inimitable Little White Lies, but we’ve picked out five standout features from their second issue, which evidently sets them apart.

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1. The true nature of the Seven Dwarfs
Decoding animators’ true (and perhaps salacious) intentions, Georgina Guthrie writes a humorously convincing piece on the Disney classic Snow White. If you look closely, Sleepy is actually an opiate addict, while Grumpy is clearly a narcissist (below). Dopey, a “lecherous opportunist”, hides his true intent behind a childish front, evident when he tricks Snow White into kissing him multiple times, as he re-enters the line of sendoffs when they leave for work.

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2. Cinematic Big Brother
Charting the history of film censorship, editor Gabriel discusses the practice and its social and political intentions in countries around the world. The Simpson’s Movie in 2007, for example, was banned in Burma for its use of the colours yellow and red, because in neighbouring Thailand, the main opposing political parties were known as the Yellow Shirts and the Red Shirts (below).

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3. Staying in (a mad) character
Many actors are said to have used ‘The Method’, the acting technique where one ‘stays in character’ throughout the duration of filming. Leonardo DiCaprio, for one, camped out in the wilderness with an animal carcass as a bed in full devotion to his role in The Revenant. But what effect does this have on an actor’s mind and mental wellbeing?

4. A comic on the inner monologues of extras
“Travolta can’t even dance anymore,” one extra on the set of Pulp Fiction thinks in David McMillan’s comic (below). When this extra finally gets called on set, a gimp suit awaits…

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5. The many mirrors of horror movies
What do characters see when they peer into the dark reflections of horror films? Jez Conolly explores the mirror as a supernatural component that suggests another realm beyond reality (below). Looking closely at a haunted mirror from the 1945 film Dead of the Night, he uncovers themes of narcissistic personality disorder and evil spirits that exist on the ‘other side’.

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