Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Elsewhere: My Letterboxd reviews of We are Twisted Fucking Sister!, Respectable: The Mary Millington Story, Warcraft and The Resurrection of Jake the Snake

We are Twisted Fucking Sister!:

As a documentary, it’s unremarkable, though you can say that about nine out of 10 docs out there. But as a visual biography? That’s exactly what this is: an often surprising history of the early years of the hardest – and hardest working – glam rockers the US ever produced, and one that leaves you thirsting for more.

Respectable: The Mary Millington Story:

Quite a sad film, this. Sad in that its subject was too far before her time in terms of being a woman owning her sexuality without shame or guilt. And sad in that, as the old story goes, such free spirits tend to be exploited by the circles in which they must move to survive – and are cursed to be misunderstood by everyone else.

That aside, it would get more stars if it didn’t fall into the usual traps of riches-to-rags stories like this, and had the workmanlike production some imagination to it (it happens when hands at one medium – in this case Millington’s biographer – turn them to another).


Another blockbuster, another critical evisceration, not all of it deserved. Duncan Jones’ adaptation of the MMORPG kingpin falls between two stools for me. As a lapsed WoW player (I’ve got a level 53 dwarf paladin gathering dust on a server somewhere) I could appreciate the layers of references, and the crafting of this world – no pun intended – after the stylised appearance of the game environment. As a film critic, it’s got serious problems with an overstuffed plot that tries to do ALL THE THINGS. As a layman, with no prior experience of the game I can say I’d be totally lost, and alienated by the artificiality of it all. It lacks patience, it lacks focus, it lacks anything really at stake. But at the same time it’s not without heart. There are fleeting moments of real depth and pathos, and it did leave me wanting more, a sequel to tell its tale a bit less breathlessly.

The Resurrection of Jake the Snake:

As a documentary film, this is not good: it’s basically a feature-length ad for DDP Yoga (which is great, but yeah) and relies far too heavily on viewers having seen – and been touched by – Barry Blaustein’s far superior effort Beyond the Mat, which details among its stories the travails of a post-spotlight Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts (indeed one of the many that inspired Aronofsky’s The Wrestler). But seeing the positive changes in Jake’s life that it documents? That’s priceless to this longtime fan.