Tom Jennings

Clampdown: pop-cultural wars on class and gender, by Rhian E. Jones

A superb addition to Zero Books' list of slim volumes reaching the sociocultural-political parts other publishers can't reach

Top of the Lake, by Jane Campion, BBC2

This bewitching imaginary of symbolic expression and obscene realism has far more depth than your average TV police drama.

The East, directed by Zal Batmanglij

A rare cinema fiction tackling radical environmentalism ties itself in knots trying to offer a 'balanced' argument

The Spirit of '45, directed by Ken Loach

This elegy to the gains for ordinary people made in the UK after 1945 – now largely clawed back – fails to inspire due to its lack of analysis of what went wrong.

Ill Manors, directed by Ben Drew, and The Angels' Share, directed by Ken Loach

Official 'truth' being more dishonest as well as stranger than fiction, Tom Jennings looks instead at feral youth fairytales screened since last August's riots.

Reacting to Reality Television, by Beverley Skeggs & Helen Wood

A welcome and invaluable critical analysis of some of the effects of the genre on its viewers.

UK screen representations of youth in austerity

Two decades-worth of British poverty porn reveals more than might be thought.

The War on Terra, by Verbal Terrorists

“Rhyming for a reason, we ain’t here for the hell of it: Fuck ya deficit!” (Efeks, ‘Mass Production’)

Wuthering Heights, directed by Andrea Arnold

Never mind the prissy costume drama bollocks. This raw punk historicism is a landmark, in several senses, of British cinema.

Top Boy, by Ronan Bennett, Channel 4

Yet another teenage gang tall story glimpses beyond the moral panics and tired miserabilism of most poverty porn.