Are you looking to spice up your uni life? Need a passion project to get you through 2022? Despise this paper and want to tear it down from the inside?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, this notice is for you!
The De Minimis AGM is nigh and it is time for a new committee to take the reins. Above you will see brief descriptions of the positions up for grabs and the rough time commitment you can expect of each role. Anyone wishing to be considered should attend the AGM, become a member of De Minimis (if you haven’t already), and nominate for the most subjectively desirable place in the pecking order.
There will also be constitutional amendments and policy changes proposed at the AGM. Topics will include ‘preventing any editor from conducting secret investigations, character assassination operations, and other such black ops-esque undertakings without the informed consent of the rest of the committee’.
Further details and exact date/time/location will be posted in the near future.
Commencing Class of Aspiring Human Rights Lawyers Metamorphises Into Graduating Class of Corporate Suits
In a tale as old as time, a commencing class of would-be human rights lawyers have emerged from the MLS cocoon as fledgling corporate cowboys.
Three years ago, the dozens of bright-eyed young whippersnappers had walked through the doors of the Law School, cradling dreams of doing good in the world. Arts degrees in hand, they had hoped to become tomorrow’s ICC prosecutors, Greenpeace in-house counsel, and pro bono civil rights defenders.
Over the course of a three-year transformation, those fatty juvenile impulses were carefully pared away, and a beautiful, billowing thirst for wealth grown in their place.
‘Most people, when they see a vampiric corporate lawyer, don’t appreciate the complex natural process that gave him the wherewithal to draft foreclosure notices,’ an unnamed MLS professor told De Minimis.
One of the graduates is Fleur,* who had once dreamed of prosecuting war criminals in the Sudan. ‘I didn’t read ten thousand pages of dusty judgements to make hippy money,’ she confided in this reporter.
Another student, Christophe,* told De Minimis the decision was one of convenience. ‘I had this crazy plan to defend Tibetan prisoners of conscience,’ he laughed, ‘but do you know how bloody cold it gets in Tibet?’
The complex natural phenomenon, which occurs every year, has been cited by biologists as a rare example of ‘autoacquisitive acclimation’. It is only seen elsewhere in the animal kingdom in failed rock stars, private school potheads, and geese.
Perhaps nowhere is this circle of life better embodied than in Joe,* who as an undergraduate environmental activist had spent a summer living amongst a herd of elephant seals as one of their own. He had come to MLS to bring to justice the hunter who had slain his seal-wife, Margaret. Now, he has accepted a job at Rio Tinto, drafting legislative amendments which would make it illegal for Aboriginal people to leave their culture on top of mineral deposits.
Despite disruptions caused to the MLS habitat caused by COVID-19, the population of corporate lawyers in Australia is expected to rebound quickly. There is still a plentiful supply of greed in the environment, and diverse habitat available, stretching from William Street to Spring Street.
‘We are so blessed at the amount of litigation coming out of this pandemic,’ said one researcher. ‘The financial carcass of just one insolvent tradie can sustain a young corporate for over a year. Remarkable.’
*Some names have been modified.
This article is the result of a collaboration between De Minimis and legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough. It was originally published in the journal Nature.
I've heard it said around the hallowed halls of the #1 Law School in Australia that De Min is a sorry excuse for a publication; a journal of absolutely no note that serves only as a soapbox for hypocritical malcontents to fruitlessly snipe at their fellows in law student politics. All of which might be perfectly accurate; still, I must object. Not to the content of the comments below every article that mentions the recent MULSS election, but to any imputation that such charges amount to criticism of our beloved student publication. And so I find myself moved to write, in De Fence of De Min, of the sense of the sublime instilled in me upon reading a recent article.
My synapses were set a-tingling at the first - "A spectre is haunting..." - for I knew that to see so bold a filching from the Manifesto in a student publication meant that I was about to read the thoughts and furies of a literary talent befitting a second-year polsci student. I expected spittle, blissfully unaware self-implication in minor acts of immorality, and an unstated sense of entitlement that can only come from failing upwards one's entire life. And let me tell ya folks, I was not left wanting. But imagine my delight to find, six paragraphs in, so abrupt a change of topic that I was left reeling. To draw your readers in with platitudes of a problem universally acknowledged before awkwardly framing a personal vendetta as a case in point - why, it takes practice to care for the ills of the world only as far as one is personally affected, and here I beheld a master of the art.
"But why," you fairly ask, "would you want to read such drivel?"
Allow me to answer my rhetorical device by means of simile. Consider the McDonalds Cheeseburger. A $3.65 agglomeration of industrial starches and congealed fats, eating one is by any measure an objectively dreadful experience. And yet, by virtue of that one burger I ate while pissed drunk at 19 in the gutter by the 24 hour Elizabeth Street Maccas, every cheeseburger I have eaten since then has evoked the chemical memory of that perfectly contextualised ur-burger, and is transmuted into something subjectively good.
As the cheeseburger is, dearest void, so be de Min. Reading it calls to mind those heady days of my first weeks of my first semester of my first degree, with my youthful potential stretching out ahead of me and a stack of student magazines toppling to my side. I picked a copy up and beheld the articles within - so much passion! so much pique! so much unattributed borrowing from core readings that I, too, would briefly skim in due course! While nothing can truly return what time generally and two years of MLS specifically has taken from me, reading de Min evokes that fading memory of feeling so young that I still thought that student politics mattered enough to whinge about. So I must stand in defence of this august journal and applaud its utterly gutless anonymous contributors for never letting the pettiness to be found in stupol north of Grattan Street lift from our hearts.
 Read: FB group chats.
 Now #5 in the world; moving on up, natch.
 Excepting, of course, the competent satires within.
 Read: is.
 When did a cheeseburger get so dang expensive?.
 Read: rotten to the core.
 And I am proud to now count myself among their number.
Anonymous is a Second Year JD Student.
A spectre is haunting the MLS – the spectre of clerkships. A delirious aura of exhaustion surely hangs over every law student who has spent weeks writing cover letter after cover letter to law firms they’re not even interested in. If they’re lucky, they get to sit a psychometric test deliberately designed to stress them. If they’re even luckier, they get to sit through an interview trying to explain why they’re interested in a job they’re not interested in. Then, at the end of it all, they are probably going to get an email about the “large number of strong applications this year”, with no idea of how to get a job in law other than through a clerkship.
With clerkship offers rapidly approaching, maybe we should reflect on what this process is doing to us, and how it became this way.
The state of affairs is familiar to all of us: there are vanishingly few positions in clerkship programs compared to the number of applicants, and most people end up finding jobs outside of clerkships and graduate programs with the big commercial law firms. Even though we know this to be the case, a massive amount of resources are spent advertising seasonal clerkships, and providing advice on how to ace your interview, spruce your C.V., or compose a killer cover letter.
Clerkships often dominate discussions about career opportunities after law school. Even though only a few people will get into a clerkship, it is treated as the default path, if not the only way, into a ‘successful’ legal career. A large number of law students wind up with the tacit impression that their whole worth as a legal professional depends on getting into a clerkship at a commercial law firm, with perverse ethical outcomes.
We all do our fair share of puffery when advertising ourselves in job applications, but the hyper-competitiveness that is cultivated by the clerkship process in particular seems to encourage seriously unethical behaviour, and hostility among us all.
As an extreme example, De Minimis has been made aware of allegations that a member of the MULSS executive committee misrepresented their employment credentials in order to secure personal benefits. De Minimis understands that the individual has been employed as a casual at a prominent law firm in the past, but continues to mislead others, both face-to-face and via platforms such as Linkedin, into believing their employment is ongoing.
A senior representative for the firm at which the individual claims to be employed confirmed to De Minimis that although the person had not been formally fired, their contract was unambiguously casual, and they had received no work from the firm since February. De Minimis understands that the lack of work for eight months means that the person is no longer considered an employee as a matter of law.
This raises questions about whether they deceived electors during their 2021 election campaign and whether it would be most appropriate for them to step down from the MULSS Executive Committee. Also in question is when exactly other figures on the Committee became aware of the deception.
It isn’t our place at De Minimis to name and shame this person, or to engage in a private crusade against members of the MULSS, but we are genuinely concerned about this as a manifestation of the toxic, hypercompetitive behaviour that the clerkship process in particular seems to encourage.
While singling someone out for lying about their work status might seem petty, this is the kind of unethical behaviour that could prevent someone from being admitted as a lawyer, and beyond that, it’s the kind of behaviour that makes people cynical about participating in life at MLS, and makes life miserable for those who try.
This concern leads us to raise a question: why is the careers information provided by the MULSS seems so heavily skewed towards the clerkship process, when it is ultimately relevant to so few of us?
While events are run to provide information about legal careers in the public sector, or criminal law or public interest law, it nowhere near matches the amount of information or resources devoted to raising awareness about clerkships at commercial law firms, which get their own handbook – which is two and a half times the length of the more generalist careers handbook. Why?
Is it perhaps because of the massive amounts of revenue generated by selling space in the handbook to commercial law firms? Is there a conflict of interest experienced by those who organise and publish the careers information?
Again, we would like to emphasise that De Minimis is not trying to launch a crusade against members of the MULSS. We all sit in a structure that incentivises hyper-competitive behaviour, and we are not suggesting that members of the MULSS have acted with nefarious intentions. Nevertheless, the pattern is clear, and its malign effects are evident.
We need the MULSS to recognise that they put too much emphasis on clerkships as the default pathway into a career, and devote more resources to raising awareness of the normal ways of getting a job after graduation. Clerkships can be a great way to gain experience and exposure, but they are not what most people will experience, and the MULSS has a duty to put its resources into information that is more relevant to the student body at large, who won’t get into one.
Note: This article is the result of an investigation by De Minimis. Anyone seeking to learn more about the methods involved in that investigation, and the veracity of the information, may contact the Editor-in-Chief at: email@example.com.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article cited an incorrect reference. Sorry about that.
This is the absolute, ultimate, final ranking of the signs. The results are not up for debate. The following is, in order from best to worst, which signs reign supreme.
1 - Pisces
2 - Libra
3 - Virgo
4 - Capricorn
5 - Gemini
6 - Cancer
7 - Leo
8 - Scorpio
9 - Sagittarius
10 - Aquarius
11 - Taurus
12 - Aries
As Melbourne enters its 253rd day in lockdown, Garry Gale is pretty sure he fucked up.
Back in 2019, it had seemed like such an easy call to take the MLS offer over USyd’s. Melbourne was the cool city – Sydney, the place for people who wear boat shoes.
Not to mention the prestige. Every man and his dog knows MLS is Australia’s top ranked law school. And if you don’t know, it’s JD students will be sure to tell you.
But it doesn’t take a law degree to know a lot has changed since 2019.
Since moving from Sydney to Melbourne, Gary has now spent two-thirds of his degree online.
“It just feels like a bit of a stitch-up, y’know?” he told our De Minimis reporter this morning.
“We did everything right, but now Sydney gets to open back up again. Before us. I can’t even doomscroll instagram to pass the time anymore. Do you know how it feels to see my old friends share beers at the pub and then kick on the beach? Let me tell you – it’s not fucking great.”
More to come.
Bumblebee is a first year JD student.
Volume 20, Issue 10
Our culture today seems very willing to throw the label movie star towards any up-and-coming actor after only a few good films in a row, with an increasing number seemingly ascending to the divine status of membership of the ‘A-list’. A few good movies in a row are undoubtedly an achievement, but what is almost unfathomable is four decades of classic after classic. With a career entering its fifth decade, there’s a strong case that for the entirety of his career Tom Cruise has been at the very top of the A-list. This led me to the question: what about Cruise has enabled him to achieve such success over four decades and counting?
Are there more important questions to be asking in today’s world, even ones people might be more interested to read about? Probably, but let’s have an explore of Cruise anyway to try and find the answers.
The Beginning: 1981-2001
Risky Business, Top Gun, The Color of Money, Rain Man, A Few Good Men, The Firm, Jerry Maguire, Magnolia, and Eyes Wide Shut.
If Cruise were to have retired even as early as 2001, he still would have been left with one of the greatest film careers of all time. His filmography in this period is truly absurd, and what is even more astounding is that these classic films came one after another. With the change of the film industry in recent years, and the rise of streaming and actors flocking to TV, I really wonder if any actor in the future would be able to ‘achieve’ a run of hit films to this extent.
Moviemaking is really a team sport, with winning (making a good film) requiring the entire team, both players and coaches, to be of high quality. While Cruise has worked with a litany of great actors, what sticks out is the coaches that have directed his films. These directors included a list of names that are etched into the history of cinema, such as Coppola, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Stone, Scorsese, Pollock, De Palma, Robert Towne, PTA, and Kubrick. Advocates for Belichick in the Brady-Belichick debate would suggest this identifies Cruise’s success is caused by the quality of the coaching staff he has worked with. However, like with Brady, when you have had so much success, and you are in so many good films, eventually some responsibility must rest with the common denominator, Cruise.
The Tom Cruise Character
In looking at these films in the list above, several similarities appear. The characters Cruise plays are all narcissistic, self-assured, arrogant douchebags. These characteristics never reach an extent where they cross the line to being truly unwatchable, and as William Goldman suggests movie stars tend to avoid such roles. However, I would argue that many of these roles could very easily cross that line, and it is only because of Cruise’s infatuating charisma and irreverence that the audience is prevented from ever disliking his characters. Rain Man and Charlie Babbitt is a great example: Charlie is undeniably horrific and while we as the audience might be able to identify that, Cruise is so enjoyable we never want to look away. In Michael Caine’s view, Charlie's actions are so overwhelmingly hateable that Charlie should be unwatchable - Cruise’s ability to lead the audience to like Charlie could therefore be classed as a best of all-time acting performance (and one arguably better than that of co-star Dustin Hoffman, who won the Best Actor Oscar for the film).
Cruise’s off-screen life and general intensity makes it by no means difficult for one to imagine why he is so easily able to play these douchebags, often returning to these parts. Specifically, these similar characters often have an extremely similar arc, something critic Roger Ebert conceptualised in what he calls a ‘Tom Cruise Picture.’ They open with a hyper-masculine and greatly confident flog that has raw skill in a particular craft, the meeting of a mentor to help him develop these skills to defeat an enemy, and ending with the defeat of said enemy, resulting in the character transforming into a better man. In effect, a straightforward three act structure we all learnt in primary school, nothing too elaborate or unique, merely a tried and tested formula that effectively guarantees an entertaining narrative. While it is true that many classic Cruise films are simplistic, when the outlined elite directors are coupled with the specific skills of Cruise to play his archetypal character, the result is almost always a great movie that is endlessly rewatchable.
Like a true A Lister, his inability to age only furthers his legend and divinity, with Cruise looking like the youngest fifty-nine-year-old in human history. Movie stars have familiar traits and aspects to their acting they repeatedly deploy across movies. For Cruise, his intensity, facetiousness, strangely enthralling yelling, and distinctive running style are all seen time and time again. To me, Cruise is at his best when he’s either loud and dominating or when measured and taciturn.
Both can perfectly be seen in that courtroom scene in A Few Good Men. Nicholson deservedly received praise for the scene, even receiving a supporting actor Oscar nomination effectively for it alone, but to me the better actor in the scene is Cruise. Tom’s ability to suck the attention of the viewer entirely onto himself, through his engrossing magnetism and acting skill, builds the scene to a point where it almost didn’t matter what Nicholson brought to the table. So, to me, Cruise’s work in the scene is far more difficult and impressive than what Nicholson provides.
The Legend of Tom Cruise: 2001-2021
First of all, apologies, I was not expecting this to be this long, and ya boy most definitely does not have the time to edit this down, so congrats if you’re still reading. Shifting now to the next two decades of Cruise’s career: Mission impossible 2-7, The Last Samurai, Collateral, Jack Reacher 1-2, Edge of Tomorrow, Oblivion, Top Gun 2. Two decades of classic after classic gave Cruise a level of power rarely seen in Hollywood, and to me he uses it to establish and promulgate ‘The Legend of Tom Cruise.’ He transitions into becoming almost exclusively an action star, playing himself in every movie with little variation or nuance (also known as becoming a student of the Jason Bateman School of acting). Some argue the catalyst for this substantial shift in Cruise’s career was his lack of an Oscar win for Magnolia, with Cruise consequently shunning traditional dramatic acting. To continue the sports analogy, Cruise’s power build up is like Michael Jordan transitioning into becoming an NBA Franchise owner, except Cruise took it a step further by establishing himself as a player-coach-owner.
When you have such power, you obviously must let everyone know how great you are. TOM CRUISE DOES HIS OWN STUNTS. HE HUNG ON THE SIDE OF A PLANE FOR MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, DID YOU HEAR? HE BROKE HIS ANKLE DOING A STUNT! HE WANTS TO GO TO SPACE FOR A MOVIE! HE FLEW PLANES FOR TOP GUN! ALSO DID YOU HEAR HOW X PERSON TOLD HIM X STUNT WAS TOO DANGEROUS BUT HE DID IT ANYWAY? WOW! TOM CRUISE, WHAT A LEGEND. This legend creating is not only applied to acting, with many articles discussing how Tommy boy is the one calling all the shots on his films, by being a hands-on and intimately involved producer. Are we really going to believe the “leaked” audio of him ‘politely’ talking to his cast and crew, while also talking about how seemingly all of Hollywood calls him all the time just magically appeared? It could be argued that it was instead the careful cultivation of a brand - Cruise remains a beloved cultural figure, drawing eyes to screens simply for the purpose of seeing him, his schtick, and his production efforts.
Well, we’re now scarily deep into this, so it’s probably time to wrap it up. Travelling through Tom Cruise’s four-decade career has hopefully illuminated to both you and to me why he's been able to achieve this incredible career. To close, this clip of Cruise opening the 2002 Oscars is a perfect example of his skills as an actor, his magnetism, and his deeply engaging ability to tell a story. Tom Cruise: a true movie star.
Tim is a First Year Student.
Volume 20, Issue 10
Dear Ousted and Offline,
This question is predicated on lawyers and law students not only having the time to socialise but wanting to. This is incorrect. Therefore, there are no secret social channels for lawyers beyond the company Slack group and Microsoft Teams chat. If you are thirsting for some kind of outlet, the cesspool that is Twitter is ready and waiting for your extremely unimaginative and uncontroversial auspol opinions.
Want to talk to your friends and family? Make the bold move and pick up the phone.
Your Learned Friend
Volume 20, Issue 10
This vaccination rollout has felt like the worst group project imaginable. I never thought I would have to again depend upon the kids in high school science who did nothing during class – not after VCE. But alas, the freedom of my family, friends, and myself now depends upon these people yet again. Without coercive measures of sorts, the vaccine hesitancy of these individuals would likely have prevailed.
Now, hopefully, it won’t.
Vaccines provide individual protection (in most cases), but they work best in their ability to create herd immunity. The concept of herd immunity is simple: the more people vaccinated, the fewer people there are who are able to carry the virus and facilitate its replication for prolonged periods of time. Thus, there is less virus around. This is especially important because vaccines don’t actually produce efficacious immune responses in all individuals (esp. the elderly, immunocompromised, etc), nor are all individuals safely able to get vaccines for health reasons.
I used to think vaccine hesitancy was pure selfishness – and I still do, to some extent – but now I can also appreciate the effect the government’s poor vaccine messaging has had on vaccine uptake. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe – they have been approved by Australia’s thorough, rigorous standards. Of course, there are risks associated with the vaccines, but that is literally the case for most medicines and vaccines. Yet, these COVID-19 vaccines have been utterly demonised by people who should have known better, even before they were deemed mandatory.
We are living through the first coronavirus pandemic in recorded history. Consequently, coronaviruses, unlike the plethora of influenza strains, have not been studied as thoroughly, making them unpredictable. Neither SARS nor MERS became pandemic, ultimately disappearing by themselves– SARS-CoV-19 (COVID-19) has not. Scientists have been trying to make a coronavirus vaccine since the SARS outbreak (2002-2004) and their research has essentially culminated in the production of the vaccines we can freely access today (albeit, for a different coronavirus). The biotechnology that went into the production of the Astra-Zeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer vaccines in Australia all benefited from years of SARS-initiated research and, of course, supercharged funding. People don’t realise how poorly funded medical research usually is, and how this inevitably affects the speed in which new medicines and prophylactics are produced.
Volume 20, Issue 9
This reading assumes that you’ve been locked down for an extended period of time in 2021, or isolated from the university/friends/family overseas. For best results check your MOON sign.
Sagittarius – Require many adventures and personal freedoms, currently in an extended breakdown.
Scorpio – Break down on a semi regular basis, will almost certainly crash again before the year ends.
Pisces – Has not faced reality in a long time, will crack as soon as they engage with the present.
Aries – Their need for excitement has been seriously stifled, chances of lasting the year are low.
Cancer – Will reach out to others for support, but may be overwhelmed by other’s needs.
Gemini – Requires a lot of stimulation, possibly running out of activities, may already be spiralling.
Libra – If single or living away from loved ones, catastrophe. If loved intimately, should pull through.
Leo – Will probably never have a full-blown breakdown, they release their dramatic woes regularly.
Aquarius – Unless overwhelmed by the troubled world, will likely remain cool and detached.
Taurus – Forced themselves into a strict routine and will likely see the year through to the bitter end.
Capricorn – Calm in the streets, weep in the sheets, they’re always distressed and will never show it.
Virgo – While the future is uncertain, the present is routine. Virgos will hold steady.
Volume 20, Issue 9
Second-year Billy Baker has completely squandered his mid-sem break in bed watching Netflix. Facebook memes had taken him to Sex Education, and before he knew it, he had used up his break binging all 24 episodes of the show.
The young man was starting to wonder if he was just destined for this sort of thing.
He had planned out a list of lectures to catch up on, just like he always did. He had said he would at least skim over the key readings this time, just like he always did. The semester now felt past saving, just like it always did.
So there was an eerie silence in Billy’s Corps tute when his tutor asked him about the Federal Court’s judgement in ASIC v Healey.
“Ah, yes, uhh, ASIC and Healey….” Billy said dumbly, trying to buy some time.
But some things can’t be bought. Nothing came to mind, of course. He had not even heard of the case.
“Well?” his tutor asked, firmly and plainly. A little coldly, even. The voice of a disappointed father. A tone Billy’s own father had often been called on to use.
Billy snapped his mouth shut and eased back, saying nothing. He had accepted his fate.
His tutor had started to blah blah blah about how important it was to do the readings, but the young man had stopped paying attention.
So what if he would never have the good grades needed to cop one of those top-tier clerkships. He could always pad his resume next year by joining the LSS – preferably in one of those roles no one else in the elections would run for, like President.
Joe is a first year JD student
Volume 20, Issue 8
I am writing this piece in my personal capacity as a third year student at MLS, not the Managing Editor of this frivolous paper.
This piece is inspired by a comment from ‘DM Editor From Years Gone By’ on the recent ‘You Cannot Be Pro Brain and Pro De Minimis’ article. For those who didn’t see it, the comment essentially laments the decline in quality of De Minimis and calls on students to join the editorial team to rectify the ‘low effort year’ of the 2021 committee. This prompted me to reflect on what De Minimis actually was in ‘years gone by’ and how it has become what it is today.
The paper began in 1948 and dissolved in the late 60s/early 70s. In that time it evolved from being a news bulletin for the staff and students to becoming a gossip-driven, scandal-ridden magazine. The paper was revived in 2012 and has been in operation ever since. In 2019, my first year at MLS, I noticed that this revived version of the paper had slowly but surely inched closer to the controversial gossip tabloid of the late 60s. When COVID-19 came banging on the world’s door and the paper could only operate online, this direction only escalated. When I joined the committee I wanted to start this year by publishing an array of pieces from the archives to give students an idea of what the paper has been like in the past. If you head to the February 2021 archive you’ll be able to read those articles for yourself. I hoped displaying those older pieces would inspire students to get involved and contribute. This somewhat worked.
At present De Minimis has a team of five fantastic regular contributors: a satirist, media reviewer, current affair reporter, everyones’ Dear Learned Friend, and more recently, a wannabe astrologer. It has been my pleasure to get to know these people and work with them to produce the bread and butter of the paper. They have written on the Family Court merger, given advice to anxious clerkship applicants, and commended MLS for securing the latest season of The Walking Dead thanks to its ability to produce zombie-like students. De Minimis also has an insightful podcast, with recent interviews from Julian Burnside QC on public interest advocacy and Scott Stephenson on constitutional law.
So, what about The Other Stuff? Why is it that everyone I approach is not interested in sharing their nuanced opinions and the only students submitting work do so via auto-generated gmail accounts? I am not here to discuss any pieces in particular. I am instead interested in how the trend towards the inflammatory came about.
The most obvious cause I can see is precedent. Again, my cohort came to know De Minimis as the controversial paper that prompted heated discussions between classes or over a round of beers at PAs. This reaction was mitigated in part by seeing physical copies around the law building that also displayed lighthearted comics and satire, as well as people having the opportunity to talk to the editors face to face. Having a human to confront tends to increase peoples’ ability to give constructive criticism instead of writing anonymous comments to no one in particular. Since COVID lockdowns have almost completely destroyed the collegiality MLS is famous for, De Minimis has been reduced to a website where readers can be more selective about engaging with certain pieces over others. No more Kirby comic next to an anti-LGBT law firm hit piece.
Another cause is likely the state of our lovely little world. Try as we might to bring joy to MLS, staff and students alike are struggling mentally and emotionally. I remember during my time as one of the MULSS Education Directors in 2020 we received a couple of particularly mean-spirited emails from staff members who were clearly not coping well with the pandemic pressure. At present my friends and I are constantly anxious and exhausted. The desire to air any complex opinions on current affair topics is weak to non-existent. Anger and frustration reign supreme.
And finally, I hypothesise that the function of the De Minimis of the past has been replaced by meme groups. Why read about double-speeding a lecture in your university paper when Dank Law Memes posted about it two months ago? We’re going elsewhere for our laughs, and with a plethora of enriching legal and current affair critiques flooding our screens 24/7, there are plenty of other places people may wish to have their opinions published.
Well, as James Wilkinson wonderfully and completely unsolicitedly articulated, nothing would bring me greater joy than having the student body contribute. Remy Marshall’s response to Publius would have been another fine example of the back and forth debate that De Minimis used to publish had she chosen to send it to us. Of course being the new MULSS president, for which I congratulate her immensely, I understand why she chose the MULSS-produced Purely Dicta platform instead.
On a more personal note, I appreciate any criticisms you may wish to discuss with me. I guarantee there is very little you could say that would hurt my feelings. Even better, I would love to hear from anyone interested in taking over De Minimis in 2022 and talk about the future direction of the paper. I will endeavour to read the comments on this article, but I admit that I too am exhausted and will be channeling my energy into interim assessments rather than refreshing the website. If you’d like a more personable conversation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘to the dogs’.
Wishing you all a restorative mid-sem break,
Volume 20, Issue 8
Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances the third article for this week will be postponed. Instead, De Minimis thought it would re-publish an example of the 2012 publication for students to draw inspiration from:
Volume 20, Issue 8
Dear Nosy in the Neighbourhood,
This is going to be short and not so sweet: whether your friend is or is not breaking lockdown rules is not your business, plain and simple.
If you feel more comfortable asking an online rag about your friend’s activity than your friend, you’re probably not that close. Putting aside the million compliant explanations – the person could be the partner’s roommate, she moved house, her relationship status has changed, she’s providing caregiving – even if she is bending the rules, it’s not your place to do anything.
While it is appropriate to report some breaches, such as massive house parties or someone breaching quarantine while infectious, this is not one of those cases. Melbourne has spent in excess of 220 days in lockdown. Is this an anti-lockdown piece? No. Am I saying it’s ok to break the rules? Also no. However, given the situation, shouldn’t we be understanding, kind and forgiving to those around us rather than pointing the finger? And this goes for neighbours and strangers, let alone someone you consider a ‘friend’.
Lockdown boredom gets the best of all of us but try baking bread or rewatching Tiger King before playing “Real-life Stasi Simulator”.
Your Learned Friend
The views in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of De Minimis or its Editors.
Through the course of my JD so far, De Minimis has been plagued by submissions which incite racism, sexism, and perhaps worst of all, the big-brained centrist “think”-piece that was “The Woke Oblivion.”
It is a testimony to the privilege of some at this law school that they see nothing wrong with speaking first on topics they know little about. This became obvious to me with “You Cannot Be Pro Choice and Pro Vaccine Mandate,” which couldn’t have had stronger “cis male speaking out of turn” energy if its author used the piece to announce their running for elected office with the Liberal Party.
The issue here is the prevalence of works which do little to promote constructive thought. We see too many articles which betray privilege; treating major issues as mere semantic curiosities, rather than considering the experiences of real people.
Before we proceed, yes, I have one of those privileged standpoints. If you’ve ever managed to peer through the blinding glare of my pale skin, you’d know that. I’m another cis white man with something to say. But the purpose of this article isn’t to play saviour or speak for anyone else. It’s to reflect on the state of this publication. We need more of the student body to bring forward their experiences and perspectives. We need more thought-provoking pieces, more witty zingers and satire, more high-quality discussions and debate in this publication. Don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty of articles published by this masthead that I’ve loved reading, and that they have published works polemic enough to inspire this chronically lazy student to write something is to the editorial team’s credit. Still, I don’t think the dogged “neutrality” claimed by them in publishing certain submissions, to the point of having to endure external probes into racial discrimination, is actually very neutral at all.
So what are we, the incensed law school public, to do about this state of affairs? It seems to me that we represent the overwhelming majority. Should the LSAT test what it’s supposed to, we are supposed to be rationally minded, intelligent people, and rationally minded, intelligent people tend to be upset when their law school, or an aspect thereof, represents values misaligned with their own. Furthermore, rationally minded, intelligent people tend not to propagate values such as vaccine scepticism, racism, or “anti-political correctness” (which, as far as I can tell, really means being anti making others feel comfortable, and anti allowing those who have not enjoyed as easy a life as you to join your elite spaces).
Volume 20, Issue 7
This semester especially might have left you in a bit of a health and wellbeing funk, instead giving way to Uber Eats dinners and laps around the fridge. If you start to put in the work to get a sustainable routine going for the rest of the semester, you’ll see excellent results both physically and academically.
This week should herald in a big confidence boost to get you passionate about the rest of semester, especially if you’ve been pining over a certain someone. Go get ‘em. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by your insecurities or fear of failure, it’s time to be bold.
If your work from home space has been feeling old and tired, now is the time for an overhaul. You’ll likely find you have ideas for more refreshing ways to go about your work and study routines, just make sure you plan out your changes before doing anything drastic. Start small if you need to.
You might have met some cool new people this semester and want to be better friends, be confident and organise that zoom call. As for cool new ideas for your summer, tread carefully, you don’t want to overload yourself with full-time clerkships while also pursuing passion projects.
It’s time to manifest that money baby, bring those financial goals into focus and kickstart that idea you’ve had. This is especially true if you’ve lost work due to the lockdown, have another look over your resume and apply apply apply, you’re about to have a much better time finding work or a side hustle.
You might feel like you’re been taking on too many obligations as of late and are putting other people way ahead of yourself. It’s time to throw all that to the side and focus on yourself and your near future. Think about what you truly want out of the rest of semester and shoot for that goal.
A lack of mid-semester break in the middle of semester is tough Virgo, but don’t let that personal pain you’re occupied with get you stuck in a study rut. This is your sign to seek professional help if you’re struggling to process intense emotions or a difficult situation.
If you’re taking a subject with any kind of group assessment or a project outside of your studies, now is the time to reach out and get those going. Lucky for you, being online is going to help your group dynamic, since making small talk in person isn’t exactly your jam.
Your power is in business right now. If those clerkships or job applications aren’t coming through for you, this is the time to be manifesting your own career direction. Talk to people outside of the law school box and test some fresh ideas you have about what your employment path might look like into 2022.
You might have been stewing over your true feelings and perspectives in the first half of semester, it’s time to express them. There’s an interesting JD opportunity that will pique your interest and present itself to you in the next couple of weeks. Take a risk and apply.
If you’re in a relationship, now is the time to put off your responsibilities and interim study sessions and spend some quality time with your lover. Your relationship and results will be better for it. If you’re single, you might begin forming an unexpected connection with someone in your class.
You might be feeling tensions in your personal relationships, especially those you live with. It’s time to have a talk about some boundaries, especially with those who don’t appreciate that you’re trying to study a full-time course in the middle of an especially draining lockdown. This will be difficult but absolutely necessary for your exam success this semester.
Volume 20, Issue 7
A 23-year-old JD student has reportedly sat through a two-hour Corporations Law lecture in just one hour.
The Melbourne Law School student, Tammy Thomas, launched into lecture capture like a bat out of hell this past Monday.
“You might think I have broken the laws of space and time, but no. I am just clever enough to have discovered this lifehack,” Tammy told De Minimis when our reporter sat her down for a chat.
“You see, us JD students are busy enough as it is. Sometimes I wonder if I’m the first person in my family to truly understand what that means. Anyway, that’s besides the point – these online lectures are totally boring. If you amp them up to x2 play speed, you will save half your time. It’s simple maths, really.”
However, Tammy’s housemate is not so convinced.
“I don’t know what the #$%^ she thinks he’s doing,” Hayley told us this morning.
“Playing lectures at that speed is just ridiculous. There’s no way she can hear a thing that’s being said. Half the time, it just sounds like some sort of robotic cult chant is blaring from his room. And even if she could make sense of the words themselves, Tammy is way too slow to keep up. I know that for a fact.”
Tammy did not seem bothered when we asked her about this later in the day.
“Sure, I might not understand every last thing that’s being said. But who cares - the important part is that I’m watching all the lectures. No matter how they look, when my grades come back in December, nobody will be able to say Tammy Thomas didn’t try her best.”
More to come.
Icarus is a first year JD student
Volume 20, Issue 7
Since the Texan legislature passed their ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ abortion legislation last week, I’ve had to endure a bunch of cringy takes from classmates cosplaying as Americans. As much as Texas is beginning to resemble a ‘shithole state’, the sky remains safely above our heads in Melbourne.
The dry, uninteresting observation that almost none of us have any connection to Texas whatsoever didn’t prevent ‘my body my choice’ from swamping my Instagram feed. I found this tiresome, precisely because I agree with it; precisely because we all agree with it. Pretending that you are part of the thin red line holding the breach against the Victorian Taliban is annoying. It minimises the real courage of women in the American South, and a hundred other places besides, who face the very real prospect of their bodies being taken from them.
Here, bodily autonomy is sacrosanct.
Bodily autonomy, of course, is the fundamental right which abortion recognises. It is a foundational premise of our law. Ironic then, that many of the people who vocally support this principle when it pertains to overseas abortion rights, are also those in favour of vaccine mandates right here at home. The two are weird co-travellers in the left-wing political space I inhabit.
Volume 20, Issue 6
Featured in Upcoming Movies Part #1, yours truly had previously written the following in anticipation of the film: “Will you know the entire plot of the movie if you watch the trailer? Probably, but nonetheless it’ll be a likely effective and heart-warming film.” Boy oh boy is that selling this film short.
CODA is an acronym for a Child of Deaf Adults, and the protagonist of the film is the hearing daughter of a Deaf family, with Deaf parents and a Deaf sibling. All the deaf roles are, thankfully, portrayed by deaf actors, with Oscar winner Marlee Matlin (West Wing, Children of a Lesser God) and Troy Kotsur portraying the parents, and relative newcomer Daniel Durant as the brother. Understandably, this results in roughly 40% of the dialogue of the film being spoken in American Sign Language. The family operate a fishing boat and are heavily reliant on their hearing and high school aged daughter, Ruby, to successfully manage the boat, their income, and their wider lives. Ruby is played by the delightful Emilia Jones, a 19-year-old British actress who spent nine months learning ASL for the film. Unfortunately, Ruby has a true passion in the form of singing, leading to conflict with her family over both her and the family’s future.
There are some faults with this film. As alluded to initially, if you know the premise, and the fact that to some extent this is a coming of age film, you may be able to reliably predict the entirety of the plot. Furthermore, the film was produced for the relatively low figure of $10 million, meaning the production and general quality of the filmmaking does struggle at times, with the film looking quite ‘Netflix generic teen movie like.’ Quite frankly, these faults are absolutely and completely irrelevant for the simple reason this film will kill you with how heart-warming it is. Is the film trying to exploit your emotions with a generic plot you’ve seen before? Yes. Does it succeed in doing this? Overwhelmingly. Prepare the tear ducts because they’ll be fucking emptied. It might be overstating things to say that this film is a soul-cleanser, but I do truly believe that it achieves exactly that. It’s the exact type of thing that a cynical and borderline depressed law student needs to fight on another day.
Considering the media, culture, and Hollywood’s long-established association with representing minority voices and perspectives (sarcasm), it’s fantastic to see a recent appreciation for deaf stories in films such as CODA and The Sound of Metal. As mentioned earlier, and without turning this into a Sound of Metal hate piece, a key difference between the films is that CODA exclusively features deaf actors portraying Deaf characters. In my humble opinion, this is greatly advantageous for CODA, as the deaf actors bring a depth to their performances unavailable to those who are incapable of truly connecting with Deaf characters. This enhances not only the conventional acting, but it adds an extra element and extra flair for the Deaf characters of an individualised and adapted means of ‘speaking’ their dialogue through their sign language. That is, the way the sign language is ‘spoken’ changes to reflect the moods and thoughts of the characters in what I imagine must be a heavily authentic manner.
While 40% of the dialogue is in sign language, this presents the same difficulties as watching a subtitled foreign film, and by that I mean none. The acting of the sign language further makes this no barrier at all, as the abilities of the deaf actors to portray their characters emotions and thoughts results that in large sections the subtitles are borderline not even necessary. As outlined, our protagonist has an affinity for singing, and consequently the success of the movie arguably entirely hinges on whether said singing is of impressive quality. Thankfully, the voice of (I assume) actress Emilia Jones is fantastic, which strongly enlivens and heightens the stakes of the film, only causing more tears as it progresses towards the finale. So, if you love musicals you’ll really love this film, and even if you don’t you’ll still really love this film.
If the film didn’t catch me in my feelings as much as it did, I would be willing to write more about the fact it’s a remake of a French film. Furthermore, there is much to be said about a tech goliath like Apple potentially trying to enhance its image through filling a streaming service with as much deeply popular heart-warming material as it can get its hands on, however again I don’t care (which is probably exactly what Apple wants).
The film’s simply great. It’s only available on Apple TV+, and you can get a free trial to watch it and avoid paying. Do yourself a favour and chuck it on.
Tim is a First Year Student
Volume 20, Issue 6
Dear Qualified and Questioning,
Following on from last week, if you want to be a lawyer you will be a lawyer. If your only motivation for transitioning out of the space entirely is being worried no one will want you, that is a trash call. Being unwanted never stopped a single man named Jared, Nick, or Sam, why should it stop you? Shamelessly slide into those HR rep DMs with a ‘so we linking up or what?’ until you get your foot in the door.
If you really are done, there are of course options. Let’s not forget, you’ve got a whole undergrad to fall back on – you could dust that baby off and take her to market. The market probably won’t want her, but worth a shot. Otherwise, just sign up for another masters or PhD to prolong this problem for another couple years.
If the former isn’t an option (rip Arts kids) and the latter makes you want to vom, there are plenty of law-related jobs out there. Which one to target largely depends on what drew you to study law in the first place. Wanted to make a morally questionable amount of money? Have people go ‘wow that’s interesting’ when you tell them what you do? Help others (while getting paid and not having to interact with the public)? If you can figure out what the initial draw is, you can find out which avenue to go down to meet those needs.
Are you a massive wanker with a huge yet fragile ego? Politics or journalism could be the go.
Enjoy making money and doing glorified busywork? Consulting or some other Big4 circle jerk.
Hate yourself and want to bring others down to your level? Human resources or recruitment.
Like helping others, but mostly want a cushy 9 to 5 with decent pay? Government or policy making.
Want to actually help others and plan to live in a sharehouse until you’re 35? Advocate or community worker.
Are you a massive nerd, obsessed with the law, and billables make you nauseous? Academic or judge’s associate.
None of these hitting? There are a million jobs that don’t require a degree at all, or you can start studying around the med school during SWOTVAC and secure a cushy house-spouse position. If all else fails, a professional son or daughter is always on the table.
Your Learned Friend
Volume 20, Issue 6
Australia has continued to break records this week as the number of Covid-19 cases continue to skyrocket. On the 30th of July 2021 the National Cabinet met and formulated a four-phase national plan to get Australia to a ‘Covid normal’ as soon as possible. While currently in phase 1, it is vital that the government implements the most effective measures it can to contain the virus. We at De Minimis thought we would help the process along and formulate some restrictions we think would be consistent with the health advice and get our case numbers trending down immediately.
1 - 22 hour curfews
The curfew has been very effective in reducing the number of cheeky home benders and one night stands that contributed to transmission in the past, but more can be done. That’s why we think that the curfew should be flipped. Rather than being confined to our homes from 9pm-5am every day, there should be a two hour window in which people are allowed out of their homes. This will help ensure that there can be no more sneaky indoor gatherings with friends during daylight hours.
Of course if everyone is allowed out during the same two hours each day, the streets will be busier than ever and the restriction will be completely useless. That’s why every morning at 9am, Premier Daniel Andrews should hold a press conference and pull star signs out of a hat to decide who gets their two hours when. The first sign drawn gets its two hours from 9am-11am, then the second sign from 10am-12pm, and so on in that fashion. With a reduced opportunity for compatible signs to have overlapping outdoor time, not only will there be fewer people out, but the ones that are likely won’t get along or want to be near each other.
2 - full body condoms
People are spending too much time in each other’s proximity without adequate COVID-19 protections. That’s why we think that everyone should wear a full body condom whenever they go to densely populated areas.
These should be of the form-fitting sex shop variety as opposed to the comedy costume variety, as the latter still allows air to circulate through the costume, exposing the community. The outfit must also be airtight. We understand that people will be unhappy with this - we know no one realistically wants to witness air pockets travelling up their partner’s back, and to see sweat covered latex stuck to armpits, but this is something we must do.
Some critics have taken aim at the claim that the outfit will 100% prevent COVID-19 infection, citing that this is only so because lack of oxygen will kill the wearer first. This is why we want to introduce an extra restriction, in that only free divers and others with exceptional lung capacities are able to wear them for longer than 2 minutes. We realise this would make exercise exceptionally challenging, but Victorians are tough and will figure it out. After their activities, suit wearers must report to certain designated parks and sporting fields, where they are to be hosed down en masse before being allowed to go home.
Disclaimer: if these placements don’t make sense to you, check your Mars and Mercury placements, the planets that rule action and the mind respectively.
Wants to make a positive difference in the world
Pisces, Libra, Virgo, Aquarius
These signs can be deeply idealistic and might almost feel obliged to make sure they are helping humanity as a whole. Libra and Pisces are especially able to take on the many perspectives of others. The Libra thinks that studying law will help them to bring harmony to a conflict-driven world and Pisces is driven by a need for a near spiritual understanding to humanity as a whole. Aquarius tends to think they alone have a unique enough approach to life and that with a law degree they will be particularly placed to further their altruistic goals. Virgos may be less outwardly emotive and driven more by rationality, but deep down they tend to pursue righteous causes rather than self-centred dreams.
Likes the idea of arguing a lot and getting paid to help people Cheat The System
Aries, Gemini, Capricorn, Scorpio
Often stubborn and cunning, these signs are in it for themselves and those they are loyal to. Aries and Gemini live for the fight, but where Aries probably care more about beating the competition outright, Gemini just likes mind games and plans to use their legal studies to further frustrate their opponents. Both Capricorn and Scorpio are truth-seekers and have a strong sense of right and wrong, but while the cool Caps prefer to take the high ground, Scorpio intends to use the law to play dirty.
Literally has no idea, but they’re in too deep to quit now
Taurus, Cancer, Leo, Sagittarius
It’s not that these signs don’t want to study law or be lawyers, but they may find that their initial motivations don’t quite align with this particular area of study. The wandering Sagittarius has a strong desire to understand the world, but will probably move on to other pursuits once they’ve learnt all they can about the legal perspective. Whatever initially drove Taurus and Leo to the law isn’t that relevant, because the Taurus commitment to finishing their projects will carry them through to graduation, and the Leo enjoys the prestige and admiration that comes with a legal education too much to give it up. The Cancer needs to help everyone that they can and a legal education definitely satiates that want, but if their heart isn’t 100% in it for the long haul, this career will be a huge burden. They will likely snap.
MLS BRINGS BACK WAMNESTY FOR SEMESTER 1; TOP TIERS WINK AND AGREE NOT TO LOOK AT THE GRADES WITH LITTLE ARROWS NEXT TO THEM
Volume 20, Issue 5
Spirits are high at Melbourne Law School this week. The LSS – champion of student rights – has declared triumph in its battle with the university’s cold-hearted bureaucracy.
It is said that students shall no longer have to slave away beneath the lash of online learning as it slowly yet endlessly deteriorates their grades. Indeed, the so-called ‘WAMnesty’ means that just like last year, students can opt to have this semester’s grades not affect their WAM in any way. For example, on one’s academic transcript a grade will look like this: ‘75^’ to indicate that it should not really be considered part of a student’s academic history.
The celebration of students throughout Carlton and the wider world reached a fever pitch when the most prestigious top tiers agreed to keep WAMnesty in mind when assessing graduate applications.
“Well, yes of course we won’t look at the grades students have elected not to affect their WAM,” a partner from one firm who asked not to be named told De Minimus.
“To be honest, I just take a sharpie to the grades with little arrows next to them. Or if I’m feeling lazy I close my eyes and open them when I think I’ve skimmed past those subjects. By accident I saw that one student copped a 50 in Contract Law. But fear not! I made sure not to include that in my consideration when it came to rejecting his application,” the partner added.
De Minimis should also report that the partner seemed to be suppressing a giggle throughout the interview, and may have burst into laughter on one or two occasions.
Diogenes is a first year JD student.
Volume 20, Issue 5
Degrees by research are not something that most of us, especially in the law faculty, give much thought to unless we are directly considering doing one ourselves. But the importance of research to well-rounded universities, and indeed society as a whole, cannot be underestimated. It is for that reason that the government’s proposed changes to research funding should be criticised by all students no matter what we study.
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment is the body that oversees funding for research degrees (HDRs - Higher Degrees by research), and it has been tasked by the Government’s 2021-2022 budget to implement a new scheme ostensibly aimed at increasing researcher employability by increasing funding to universities whose research degrees incorporate industry internships. This initiative is part of the Research Training Program (RTP), which is the scheme under which the funding given to universities for their research degrees is determined. Currently, funding is determined according to three factors given different weight – 25% of funding per student is determined according to how much competitive income the University receives for that research, and another 25% is allocated on ‘Engagement’ income (essentially non-competitive income).
The other 50% of funding per research student is determined by ‘completions’, or essentially how many students actually graduate with their research degrees. This is obviously problematic for many reasons beyond the scope of this discussion. These completions are, confusingly, further broken down and sorted according to various weightings (on a positive note, completions by indigenous students are weighted higher than non-indigenous in an effort to encourage a greater indigenous presence in research). It is through these weightings that the industry internships changes will take effect – once implemented, researchers who undertake an industry placement of at least 60 days over three months, within the first 18 months of their degree, will net their university a greater completions weighting than those who do not. For example, current low-cost research doctorates attract a weighting of 2.0, whereas the same doctorate with an industry internship will, under the new scheme, attract a weighting of 4.0, doubling the value of the 50% of research funding that graduations bring universities.
Volume 20, Issue 4
Director: Sara Colangelo
Cast: Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci, Amy Ryan, and Tate Donnovan
Release Date: September 3, 2021 (on Netflix)
Based on the true story, this film follows mediation and ADR specialist Kenneth Feinberg as he is appointed to administer the US government's Victim Compensation Fund. Created in the aftermath of 9/11, the fund provided varied levels of compensation to victims in exchange for an agreement that they could not sue the airlines involved. The film explores the ‘nuances of determining the value of a lost life’, which from both an ethical and legal perspective may be of great interest to us Law students. Michael Keaton and Stanley Tucci are greatly underappreciated actors that can be relied upon to deliver great performances, especially in a film such as this that provides them meaty material to sink their teeth into. It was not greatly rated out of Sundance, but it may be a rewarding watch.
No Time To Die
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective, Beasts of No Nation)
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Ana de Armas, and the rest of the usual Bond crew
Release Date: October 8, 2021 (in Cinemas)
Bond films are always exciting and worth viewing, and this one, Craig’s final outing as the character, has the added benefit of being able to provide a firm, conclusive ending to its narrative. Through Skyfall, Sam Mendes was not only able to create a good Bond film, but he was able to elevate the franchise by creating one of the better films of its year of release. The highs of Skyfall only made the lows of follow-up Spectre more disappointing, with that film returning to a more generic franchise style instalment. The reins of the franchise have since been handed over to Cary Joji Fukunaga, and it will be intriguing to see the direction in which he decides to take it. What may also garner attention is the unique combination of Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), who is credited as co-screenwriter after conducting rewrites on the high budget action film.
Top Gun: Maverick
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Cast: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Val Kilmer, Ed Harris, Jon Hamm, and Glen Powell
Release Date: 19 November (in Cinemas)
It’s been thirty-five years since the release of the original Top Gun (1986), a film that is arguably the complete personification of toxic masculinity. Or, if you ask Quentin Tarantino, outrageously homoerotic. Does the original have… questionable elements, including being fundamentally military propaganda? Undoubtedly, but fuck it’s good. The premise of this sequel, the introduction of Miles Teller (Callsign: Rooster) as Goose’s son, and Maverick as an instructor, is enough to completely justify the decision to make this film. Korinski’s past projects include Oblivion and Tron: Legacy (not a great sign) but it does identify his strong skills with CGI. Take your dad along, guaranteed he’ll love it.
Don’t Look Up
Director & Writer: Adam McKay (Vice, The Big Short, the good Will Ferrell movies)
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, Merryl, Chris Evans, Timothee Chalamet, Ariana Grande, and many others
Release Date: Unconfirmed, late 2021 (on Netflix)
Two low-level astronomers, DiCaprio and Lawrence, must convince the world that an approaching comet will destroy the earth. This plotline, from what I can understand, acts as an allegory for the climate change debate with much allegorical satirisation of climate change deniers. This likely explains why keen climate change activist DiCaprio agreed to do the film, and in particular play a comedic role that is somewhat unfamiliar terrain for him. McKay has described the film as in-between his films The Other Guys (which I consider better than even Step Brothers) and The Big Short, which means this film should be hilarious while also masterfully explaining concepts and ideas in a theatrical manner.