About this site

(Raising Arizona, 1987)

Scattered thoughts on form, content, style and reception.

Raison d'etre

Grace Notes is a journal, a repository of work, a long-form portfolio, a central hub for anything I've written anywhere else and also maybe a physical manifestation of the most malignant parts of my consciousness inscribed in arcane text like the book from Evil Dead- in short, it's anything I need it to be, but it's focused on my writing. The site is mostly an archive of everything I've written for other publications, in addition to some brief thoughts on other websites (well, mainly Letterboxd). Sometimes, I may also write something specifically for this journal. I also plan to use this for updates about my filmmaking projects.

A little (well, maybe not so little) bit about myself

I'm in the final year of my undergrad Anthropology degree at UCL- outside of that, I am an erstwhile critic and rookie film curator. Every now and then I write, mainly about film (though I've written about other forms of art and plan to do so in the future). Whilst I've no formal training in the medium besides documentary filmmaking, I would consider myself reasonably skilled at dissecting cinematic form, authorial intent and thematic implications. I started out writing for nationally-distributed newspapers like The Daily Times in my home country, Pakistan, in 2019. Since then, I have consistently written on film and other artforms (including music) in both self-published formats and for other publications.

Most of my writing is for the Journal of the UCL Film & TV Society, for which I am a former Sub-Editor (and also the current Workshop Producer of the society). As part of the Journal, I've covered a range of highly-anticipated theatrical releases, such as Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter, as well as direct-to-video features from established genre veterans, such as John Hyams’ Sick, in addition to more extensive 5000-word essays on thematic undercurrents throughout the filmographies of venerated auteurs, such as changing representations of gender and sexuality in the films of David Cronenberg. In my capacity as Sub-Editor of the Journal from 2022-23 I've also contributed to a range of carefully-curated collaborative pieces highlighting seasonal/thematic selections, amongst which my contributions include Douglas Sirk’s magnum opus All That Heaven Allows as a definitive Christmas film and Gregg Araki’s The Living End as a definitive work of queer cinema.

Along with having contributed these pieces to the Journal, I've also covered a range of film festivals in the UK, particularly the 2021 and 2022 editions of the London East Asian Film Festival, where I was awarded the Best Essay prize as part of the 2021 edition’s Young Critics’ Programme (where I was also mentored by a Telegraph film critic, Tim Robey). At the past 2 editions of LEAFF, I have covered debut features from promising directors such as Ricky Ko’s Time, as well as late-style work from established East Asian auteurs, such as Soi Cheang’s Limbo. Along with LEAFF, I've also covered the 2023 and 2022 editions of the BFI London Film Festival, as well as the 2022 edition of the London Indian Film Festival. In addition to UK-based festivals, I've also covered two of the largest film festivals on the planet in the past two years: the Venice International Film Festival last September, and the Berlin International Film Festival this February.

My experience in writing about film also goes beyond the bounds of the Journal to international film journals. These publications include Little White Lies, for which I wrote a reappraisal of Paul Schrader’s The Canyons, one of Schrader’s more unfairly maligned works, as well as a retrospective discussion of Gregg Araki's Nowhere (the former of which was reposted by the director on his Facebook account). Other publications I've written for include (but are not limited to) Senses of Cinema and Bright Lights Film Journal. I'm also a contributor for the upcoming edition of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Being a part of the organization UK-China Film Collab (as part of its Future Talent Programme) has also allowed me to write about East Asian cinema through various conduits, including companion pieces accompanying the season The Heroic Mission: Johnnie To Retrospective at the Prince Charles Cinema in July 2022. Most recently, I was part of Barbican's 2023 Emerging Curators Lab, for which my team's cinema programme, Changing With The Tides, was successful in the proposal stage and is due to be screened at the Barbican in spring 2024.

This winter, I'm also planning to start shooting a script for a horror movie I've written, called Velveteen.

Any inquiries about my writing or myself can be directed to aryan.tauqeer@gmail.com.

P.S: I am always open to commissions, which can be directed to the email above.

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