Born OTD in 1936, British director of television & independent film, Ken Loach. Loach’s film Kes was voted the seventh greatest British film of the 20th century in a poll by the British Film Institute. Two of his films, The Wind That Shakes the Barley & I, Daniel Blake, received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, making him the ninth filmmaker to win the award twice. Loach, a social campaigner for most of his career, believes the current criteria for claiming benefits in the UK are “a Kafka-esque, Catch-22 situation designed to frustrate & humiliate the claimant to such an extent that they drop out of the system & stop pursuing their right to ask for support if necessary”

The Cinema of Ken Loach examines the connection between art and politics that distinguishes the work of this leading British … More

Slavoj Zizek, the maverick philosopher, author of over 30 books, acclaimed as the “Elvis of cultural theory,” and today’s most controversial public intellectual. His work traverses the fields of philosophy, psychoanalysis, theology, history and political theory, taking in film, popular culture, literature and jokes–all to provide acute analyses of the complexities of contemporary ideology as well as a serious and sophisticated philosophy. His recent films The Pervert’s Guide to the Cinema and Zizek! reveal a theorist at the peak of his powers and a skilled communicator.

Now Verso is making his classic titles, each of which stand as a core of his ever-expanding life’s work, available … More

Born OTD in 1949, Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Žižek. Enjoy Your Symptom! commands the title Slavoj Žižek’s classic work of cultural criticism. And the title is just the first of the many startling asides, observations and insights that fill this guide to Hollywood on the Lacanian psychoanalyst’s couch.

Zizek introduces the ideas of Jacques Lacan through the medium of American film, taking his examples from over 100 years … More

My Song is an inspiring story of performance and protest, from a superstar singer and actor who was on the front lines of practically every progressive political battle in modern memory. Along the way, he befriended some of the most influential figures of the 20th century, from Tony Curtis, Marlon Brando and Sidney Poitier to Martin Luther King, the Kennedys, Eleanor Roosevelt, Fidel Castro, James Baldwin, Bob Dylan and Nelson Mandela.

From his impoverished childhood in Harlem and Jamaica, through his meteoric rise as an international calypso star, provocative crossover into … More

When it was first published in 1897 – 120 years ago – Irish author Bram Stoker’s Dracula was ranked above work by Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe, as well as Wuthering Heights. Yet it never made Stoker any money. Since 1931’s film Nosferatu the Vampire, however, it has never been out of print and is legendary among fans of the dark, macabre and mysterious …

Critic John Sutherland, a Dracula fan since childhood – and author of the literary puzzle classics Is Heathcliff a Murderer? … More

Out now. “Connecting pop culture and philosophy, the personal and the political, k-punk generously created a map to make sense of the world we live in, and a guide to help us invent a new world that makes sense for everyone. I can’t think of a more important person to read than Mark Fisher.”

Edited by Darren Ambrose and with a foreword by Simon Reynolds, this comprehensive collection brings together the very best work … More

Born OTD in 1960, Neil Gaiman, author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films. “When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead.”

But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him – after all, he is … More