Beneficial Shock! Magazine
A bi-annual magazine for film lovers and illustration enthusiasts that champions progressive thinking from contemporary image-makers.
Rather than your standard film magazine full of reviews, celebrity news and press images, Beneficial Shock! aims to use illustration, and visual storytelling in humorous and unconventional ways to expressively interpret film-related content.
[COMING SOON] Issue 8: Awe & Wonder
The Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami is quoted as saying in an interview that "a good film is one that has a lasting power which you start to reconstruct right after you leave the theater."
The films that have the greatest impact on us are often the ones alluded to by Kiarostami – stories that resonate on a deeper, subconscious level and that teach us something about our own, or the greater, human experience. Cinema, in effect, acting as an 'Empathy Machine' as famed film critic Roger Ebert so fittingly described it. To capture awe or wonder onscreen is one thing, but to instill it in the viewer through a deeper connection is something altogether different, and it's this unique perspective that we look to explore in the pages of issue 8.
Larger-than-life 'performers' such as Muhammad Ali and Aretha Franklin, who's onscreen presence has been majestically and authentically captured. Directors like David Cronenberg, Sofia Coppola and Terence Malick who's films get beneath our skin in undeniable ways. Epic creatures that fill the widest of widescreens and city symphonies that embody a place's connection to its varied inhabitants in mysterious ways. All of these and more set us on a path of discovery and a search for meaning.
Featuring words and images by Jez Conolly, Mario Damiano, Eilis Dart, Will Dodd, Alexandra Dzhiganskaya, Neil Fox, Matthew Frame, Georgina Guthrie, Daniel Hwang, Tommy James, Halil Karasu, Kamilla Krol, Canto Kun, Raphaelle Macaron, Beth Morris, Celine Moya, Elena Mompo, Daniel Nelson, Craig Oldham, Thomas Puhr, Callum Reid, Alexander Sayf Cummings, Camille Smithwick, Gabriel Solomons, Tony Stella, Akiko Stehrenberger, Ben Turner, Valentina Vinci, Viktoria Vladenovski, Aleksander Walijewski and James Yates.
[OUT OF PRINT, LIMITED COPIES] Issue 1: Food
Food doesn’t just fill our bellies, it is laboured over, passionately discussed and is the diverse glue that binds many families and communities together. But, as we’ll see, it is also on occasion used as the basis of alien artillery, stepped on, penetrated, stabbed and thrown. Oh, and lest we forget, we are food too. Let the banquet begin!
Issue 1 features work by Jay Wright, Dave Biskup, Eleanor Shakespeare, Gary Embury and Jakob Hinrichs lending their penmanship to features on surreal food in Roald Dahl films, food fights from east European art-house cinema and a theoretical treatise on the digestive process of Hitchcock's Psycho. Alongside these more meaty features are a bevvy of graphic novels, mock adverts and an abridged history of cinema's most humble snack: popcorn.
Issue 2: Mind
In this second issue we peel back the layers of the human psyche to reveal just what it is that makes us tick. From 'The Method' employed by actors to fully inhabit a character to dangerous little vermin literally invading our brains intent on devilish mind control, the content of this issue should get your own grey matter going.
Issue 2 features work by Ellice Weaver, George Mccullum, Jack Mears, Katia Fouquet, James Graham, Joe Munro and Robert Rubbish lending their barmy imaginings to features on mirrors as devices of altered perception, a revisionist take on Snow White and an answer to the question: what exactly did happen to Barton Fink after the end credits rolled? Alongside these more cerebral features are a mind-boggling array of graphic novels, mock adverts and visual prescriptions to cure even the most headstrong cynic.
Issue 3: Sex
The beast with two backs, hot yoga, mingling limbs, venerean mirth. However you describe sex, we're all at it or if not, quite often thinking about it. It's no wonder then that movie makers are wont to inject a little slap n' tickle into most storylines to pep them up and keep us awake in the back. Sex isn't just about the act of course, it's also about power-play, self-actualisation and identity – helping to define ourselves, orient our way through life and interact with others.
And so, with this broader definition of sex in mind, we've put together a fine collection of content to uncover the myriad ways in which sex is played out onscreen, from the rules by which to judge a film’s gender credibility and exploring the seductive power of showing less, to analyzing unconventional relationships and sitting beside some unscrupulous characters on Hollywood’s notorious casting couch. All this and much more is why we’re sure the content in this is guaranteed to get you suitably hot under the collar.
Issue 4: War & Peace
Statistics indicate that of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8% of recorded history. This makes it plainly apparent that our penchant for brutality is very much at odds with a desire to live in peace and harmony. It's not all doom and gloom however, as to counter every act of terror, torture or takeover there is a redeeming act of courageous heroism.
Movies let us experience these dichotomies from the safety of a cinema seat – seeing the ebb and flow of conflict and resolution at arms length. But what can we learn from these films that can inspire a change of behaviour? We're hoping that the wide and varied collection of features and comics in this issue will provide some insights into our particularly volatile human condition. From alien invasions and the motivations of cinematic deserters, to the ties that bind crime families together and the topical relevance of Casablanca in contemporary America, it's time to head for the front line to see what we're all made of.
Issue 5: Secrets & Lies
Just as with the proliferation of conspiracy theories during times of massive global events such as these, secrets and lies fester in the dark, hidden parts of the human mind – and have the potential to change not just the course of an individual's life, but that of the world as a whole. It's this shady area of moral ambiguity that we explore in issue 5, as we shine a light into those dark corners where unscrupulous deals are done, dangerous truths are hidden and illusions are created to pacify the masses.
We lift the lid on the covert alliance between Hollywood and the US military, expose the deceptive nature of cinema's hype machine and look at the dire consequences that result when parents keep dark secrets from their offspring. We throw some fun stuff into the mix of course that includes a selection of memorable movie masks and a rogues gallery of Coen Brothers detectives, amongst many other illustrative delights for you all to enjoy. Just try to keep it under your hat, ok?
Issue 6: Courage & Strength
The courage to face any kind of adversity, and the strength it often takes to persevere is what we explore in this issue, and film offers up some doozies when it comes to bold acts of brawn and epic feats of fearlessness.
Filmmakers themselves often lead the charge, so inside you'll find pieces on Steve McQueen, Mirata Mita and Derek Jarman who have all taken courageous steps in raising awareness for vital causes both in front of and behind the camera. We shine a light on the life of Henri Langlois, often credited as the saviour of cinema, reveal some of our favourite ballsy whistleblowers, celebrate some unconventional screen mentors and even make a case for the movie coward.
Featuring illustrative work by Mr. Doodle, Zara Wilkins, Neil Webb, Dolce Paganne, Ian Moore, Isip Xin, Matt Lee, Rafal Kwiczor, Arthur Buxton, Liam Barrett, Richard Falle, Jacob Hinrichs, Jono Lewarne, Gary Embury and Andy Carter.
Issue 7: Together/Apart
Although we come into and leave this world alone, the rest of our lives are spent in the company of others (whether we like it or not). Existentialist philosopher Jean Paul-Sartre made his mind up with the adage that 'Hell is Other People' – but more often than not we only really discover who and what we are through the interactions we have with our friends, family, colleagues, strangers, allies, adversaries and enemies. Taking this as the starting point for a deep-dive into the ways in which movies have explored these notions of together-ness and apart-ness, in this issue you'll discover why twins and doppelgängers often scare us silly, meet the unconventional ‘family’ at the heart of Duncan Jones’s Moon, confront aliens and alienation in Greg Araki's Queer LA of the 1990s and (possibly) cry at the saddest movie goodbyes. Oh, and that's just for starters.
Featuring illustrative work by Paul Davis, Bart D'Angelo, Zara Wilkins, Bessa, Tomekah George, Matt Johnson, Heather Savage, Ian Moore, Jayde Perkin, Jess Warby, Harry Wyld, Ian Whadcock, Liam Barrett, Richard Falle, Jacob Hinrichs, Anna Mills, Gary Embury and Andy Carter.