Issuu on Google+

Photo by Greg Mann | Model; Rob Sesemann

VENUE

Concrete’s fortnightly culture pullout

issue 265 | 14/02/2012


03 IE

VENUE CONTENTS

www.concrete-online.co.uk

ssue 265 | 14.02.2012 ditor-in-Chief | Chris King | concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk

V

enue Editor | Alex Throssell | concrete.event.uea.ac.uk With this issue of Venue we decided to vaguely play along with Concrete’s kinky games. Some articles are sex orientated, others aren’t. Any excuse to feature loads of topless pictures and fulfil our dream of turning Concrete into a tabloid though, right? The real reason behind the issue, not that showing off this dashing couple and the finely follically-endowed gentleman on the front and back of Venue isn’t enough, is of course the fact that it is being released on Valentine’s Day. Ah Valentine’s, the day that, whether you are single or coupled up, is ultimately a bit ridiculous. Those in relationships feel pressured to go overkill with some false sense of romanticism, and the singletons, for some strange reason, feel that being left out of the whole facade is the worst thing ever. Okay, for some Valentine’s will become a celebration of gin-soaked debauchery, where by the end of the night the 4ft pink stuffed bear bought for them by their “valentine” is no longer holding a velvet heart with pride, but propped up, lopsided, next to the bawling wreck who is stting alone clutching a picture of their ex ... But most aren’t. The majority of people will just have a normal night and then get on with their lives. Regardless, whether you plan to do anything for Valentine’s Day or not, why not take along a copy of Venue and give it a read; be that on your own or with your partner? And they say romance is dead ...

Music | Editors | Alex Ross & Jordan Bright Music Contributors> Rianna Hudson, Oliver Balaam, Sam Warner. Harry Denniston, Marco Bell, Leo Hunt, Sam Parker, Lucy Jobber, Hana Lockier, Beth Wyatt.

Alex

Wired | Editor | Josh Mott Wired Contributors> Joe Fitzsimmons, Leo Hunt, Timothy Bates, Callum Watson, Robert Austin. Fashion | Editors | Hannah Britt & Milly Sampson Fashion Contributors> Hannah Britt, Hana Lockier, Kelly Paxman, Becky Evans. Arts | Editor | Emma Webb Arts Contributors> Harriet Farnham, Chloe Seager, Jenny Grimes, Angeline Dresser, Sarah Boughen.

TV | Editor | Matt Tidby TV Contributors> James Sykes, Sam Richards. Film | Editors | James Burrough & Anna Eastick Film Contributors> James Bearclaw, Kieran Rogers, Jack Rice, James Lillywhite, Tom Moore, Harry Denniston, Joseph Murphy, Sam Warner, Tim Bates, Julia Sanderson. Competitions and Listings| Editor | Sam Tomkinson

Photo by Greg Mann

Creative Writing | Editor | Ella Chappell Creative Writing Contributors> Laura Westerman, Marco Bell, Peter Wallis, Alexander Hodson, Rachael Lum, Tom King


MUSIC

14.02.2012

concrete.music@uea.ac.uk

album reviews Maverick Sabre Lonely Are the Brave Lonely Are the Brave is the debut album from English/Irish singer-songwriter Maverick Sabre, which has seen him come to the forefront of the brilliant new music of 2012. The album boasts a perfect blend of soul and rap, making Sabre’s sounds reminiscent of the likes of Plan B, without the high notes. The first single released from the album, Let Me Go is a cool and likeable track which managed to take a spot in the UK Top 20 Singles Charts. The track has definitely gained Sabre some attention, but compared to the rest of the album it is barely a taster. Sabre (real name Michael Stafford) was born in London, but grew up living in Ireland. His music appears to express some nostalgia for the past, in particular the eighth track from the album, Sometimes. The track was originally released as a part of his mixtape, Travelling Man, back in 2011.

But it seems to have made its way back onto Sabre’s debut, and rightly so, as it is one of the most emotive and memorable tracks featured on the album. Both Memories and I Used To Have It All also awaken some nostalgic roots in the album, and evoke a feeling that all Sabre sings is truly genuine and honest. His cover of Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come embodies the soulful side of the album, while songs No One and Running Away prove to be much more upbeat, and easily likeable tracks. On his track, I Need, Sabre sings, “I need blue skies/ I need them old times/ I need something good”. The second single to be released from the album, also making it to a Top 20 spot, I Need has perhaps the most emotionally moving lyrics of all. The album has not a bad track on it, but the highlights are definitely; I Need, Memories, Sometimes, I Used To Have It All, I Can Never Be and Running Away. Sabre’s voice is rough and soulful, incredibly distinct, and once hooked you will spot it a mile off, but his sound is one that will never grow old. Rianna Hudson

Tennis Young & Old In 2010 Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley married and set out on an extended sailboat trip along the US east coast like a couple of hipster Ellen MacArthurs. They returned as Tennis and promptly wrote Cape Dory. Every track was an island or a hidden cove along a journey that we shared with them; it was a special album but also a sickly sweet, one note affair. A year later they have returned with a second album, Young And Old, and while their sound has evolved slightly, it’s broadly more of the same. Suitably the album opens with It All Feels The Same which sets the easy-going retro tone, reminding us that Tennis are still cute as a button. Indeed their greatest draw is undeniably their dedication to a nostalgic aesthetic. Named after a sport whose popularity peaked in the 60s and with album covers that wouldn’t look out of place in your dad’s record collection, their records are headfirst dives into the past. The aesthetic has its drawbacks however. While the lo-fi recording conjures an idealistic image of the songs spilling out of an AM radio, at some points it also makes the record feel distant and indistinct. Moore’s voice has similar issues, mostly nailing the band’s mellow beach vibe but occasionally

04

Air Le Voyage Dans la Lune

just sounding tired. Most tracks on the album are simple guitar-led structures accentuated by Moore’s vocals and while this works well, the best tracks progressively work old sounds into new structures. Petition is a good example of this, with the same surf pop sounds arranged into an understated r’n’b track. Take Me To Heaven and Travelling both add organs to the mix and accompanied by Moore who really stretches herself on these tracks, slowly build into what could loosely be labelled soul. The tracks that show real artistic progression are still few and far between though and the album’s muted recording does little to highlight them. Overall, this results in an album that’s pleasant, exciting in spots, but not particularly memorable. Oliver Balaam

The ambition of soundtracking a film made 110 years ago is always going to spur profound creativity within an artist (or artists). And you would think that Air, with their trademark integration of the vintage within their dreamy electropop would be the perfect heirs to undertake a new spin on the classic Méliès film (you know, the one where the rocket hits the less-than-pleased moon in the eye). The French chillout masters do (to a degree), but achieving a feat like that has its drawbacks. Le Voyage Dans la Lune certainly commands a cinematic feel from the start. Combining dreamy soundscapes and subtle melodies, standout track Seven Stars brings in the spacey setting of the original film, which is only given increasing mysticism with the combination of Victoria Legrand’s (Beach House) husky vocals and the low-key build-ups. This and Who Am I Now? provide the only vocal-tinged tracks, the latter with contribution from Au Revoir Simone. But the rest of the album, although mellow and interesting, seems more like something that you’d hear playing over the speakers at the science museum, possibly in the gift shop. But that is in no way a bad thing. It is Air’s niche, and Voyage works purely in that

respect, it is intended as a soundtrack after all. But if there was one track to tie it together, Cosmic Trip would be a good candidate. The plinky-plonky undertone makes you want to shout “We’re going to the moon!”, even if it’s in a spaceship made of budget cardboard; plus the Floyd-esque sound also brings in a prog-rock dynamic. And the album bridges the old and new in this way brilliantly. However, it leaves you striving for something more. Ultimately Voyage is an engaging record, but only achieves what it sets out to do: provide background music. Although it never reaches the majestic heights of Moon Safari, it is a creative effort in terms of what they do best – quiet simplicity. Bon effort. Sam Warner


05

14.02.2012

Django Django Django Django This Scottish four-piece has produced a joyous debut created and recorded entirely in drummer/head honcho David MacLean’s bedroom: the joyous part being that the album isn’t scrappily produced and lazily crafted selfindulgence. Instead MacLean and co. have crafted thirteen fun, well-drafted and intelligent songs, each boasting a mean hook and a keen groove. The fact that the band hangs on to the ragged hem of a semi-psychedelic 60’s cloak throughout does not matter, because the concise songs still feel refreshing. The two minute introduction begins to hack into the electronic jungle that Hail Bop marches into in earnest: a fantastically playful track that stomps around the theme of the Hale-Bopp comet, using the foolish wordplay to turn the song into a dancing celebration. The lyrics throughout the album are something of a speciality: almost every line is an incredibly self-aware analysis of the band’s song-writing style and music; a kind

album reviews of meta-lyricism that imbues each song with an immediate re-listenable quality. Default messes wonderfully with the idea of a sing-along refrain, with a brilliant and simple guitar chug powering over a formidable shaker/ tambourine infused rhythm. That MacLean is behind the album’s wheel is not only obvious from in the immaculate sound of the drums, but in the way that every song has a lovingly created and intricate rhythm integral to its development. Frequently the electro-groove of songs like Zumm Zumm and Skies Over Cairo sound like the soundtrack to a desert level of a Super Mario game, but the music is certainly not electronic at heart, as the breathtaking WOR with its cowboy riff and the tight-reigned jangle of Life’s A Beach demonstrate. Django Django have the wonderful gift of being able to blend the perfect amount of electro-textures into an ultimately organic guitar/drums/bass composition with the kind of beat-pushing that would make Hot Chip envious. All this adds up to making the band very exciting. Not only do they boast a sweltering live reputation, but, given their debut, their trajectory can only face upwards. Harry Denniston

Of Montreal Paralytic Stalks

Paul McCartney Kisses on the Bottom Paul McCartney could be excused for wishing to stick his feet up and enjoy retirement with his latest wife of fifty one. Yet the sixty nine year old has just released his 15th solo album with the same enthusiasm that saw him achieve such greatness with The Beatles. In an era when many artists’ shelve lives are a matter of years he continues to add to an impressive back catalogue and Kisses On The Bottom is arguably his finest solo album of recent times. The album consists mainly of a host of covers that inspired McCartney from a young age, with an interesting mix of artists thrown in. It certainly sees McCartney take a new direction vocally, with a much softer tone suited to the predominantly piano based tracks. The highlights are the opening and closing songs, Fats Waller’s I’m Going To Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter is adapted into a soothing ballad, and satisfying finale Only Our Hearts includes Stevie Wonder on harmonica. The duo create a catchy melody as do many of the songs, More I Cannot Wish You and My Valentine (one of the two new tracks on the album) the other standouts. The songs do sound strikingly similar and seem to merge into one continuous story; some may find the album too repetitive at times.

MUSIC

concrete.music@uea.ac.uk

Guest appearances from Diana Krall and Eric Clapton ensure things are kept interesting and are a reminder of the talent that still lines up to work with McCartney. You can tell the album is quite self indulgent, McCartney sings the songs in such as way as to show each one holds significance. Still McCartney serves up a very well crafted and easily listened to album which, whilst not setting the music world alight, is thoroughly enjoyable in its own right. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea though, but you get the sense that McCartney is not too concerned with this possibility. The album benefits from his carefree attitude, bringing a refreshing side to his music which as a solo artist has at times been rather predictable. Marco Bell

I have very little doubt that psychedelic pop outfit Of Montreal would respond to my dislike of this album by saying that I just don’t understand it. It’s experimental; it’s too ‘deep’ for me. I would like to pre-emotively respond by saying that I understand the album perfectly well, and my dislike has nothing to do with it being beyond my understanding. I don’t like Paralytic Stalks because I found it to be a confused, dispiriting mess of sound with little or no regard for the listener. The album has nine songs, and if like me you were hoping they were brief affairs, how wrong you would be. Although Spiteful Intervention (probably my favourite track, if I were forced at gunpoint to pick one) clocks in at a reasonable length, most of the songs are past the five minute mark, and three are longer than seven minutes. And what tedious slogs these songs are. Of Montreal are evidently capable of writing an enjoyable riff if they wanted to, and one can catch hints of them in tracks like Dour Percentage or We Will Commit Wolf Murder (which is admittedly a decent title). However, the band have unwisely decided to bury these riffs under a sea of crashing noises, discordant harps and weird tuneless chanting. Worst

offender for this is the epic Exorcismic Breeding Knife, a seven minute dirge of cellos, woodwinds and chanting which the band’s frontman describes as an “experiment in anti-tonality”, going on to say of the song’s inclusion “it seemed that more people were against it than for it”. Personally, I think that quote tells you everything you need to know about this record: it’s a group of people who are very pleased with all the sounds they can make and don’t really care whether you’re as fascinated by these sounds as they are. People, presumably friends of the band, told Of Montreal not to include Breeding Knife on the record and yet they did so anyway, and then I had to listen to it. Leo Hunt


MUSIC

14.02.2012

concrete.music@uea.ac.uk

album reviews The Ting Tings Sounds From Nowheresville Yes, they are back. After falling off the public radar for four years, and rumours circulating that one album had been scrapped, you would expect that the Ting Tings would only build on the sound and success of their debut album which set the charts alight. Right? The album opens with Silence; no, not three minutes dwelling in the absence of sound, but a track which leaves you wondering if you picked up the right album. Yes, it is the Ting Tings, but not the contagious playground chant or whining rap that was so prominent in their chart success. Instead we find ourselves listening to repetitive, hypnotic vocal lines which progressively get lost under a dominating layer of atmospheric synths and pounding, stadium rock-like drumbeats. If the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” rings true for judging an album by its opening track, then this is no exception. Silence does not set the precedent of what to expect from

06

the following tracks, but instead is just the beginning of an eclectic mix of musical styles which Katie and Jules have tried to squeeze into one album. Songs such as Hang Up and Guggenheim reassure us that the familiar trademark sounds of the Ting Tings have not been lost with the return of standard guitar riffs and rudimentary drum patterns, all whilst Katie raps about “living like a hoodie” as if she’s some sort of rebellious schoolgirl. This, however, is the only glimmer of what anyone may have expected following their debut. The duo proceed to experiment with musical styles with Soul Killing being based heavily on ska; acoustic-meets-electro ballads popping up in the form of Day-to-Day and Help; and the stripped back In Your Life which ditches the rap for mellow, reflective vocals accompanied by an angsty violin and shimmering acoustic guitar which makes for a very different sound. The failure of this album is its inability to decide on a specific sound, resembling something closer to a compilation CD than a follow-up to a double platinum, number one album. Sounds from Nowheresville can only be compared to Marmite. You’ll either love it, hate it, or be left thinking: what on Earth was the point of it? Sam Parker

live reviews Kaiser Chiefs UEA LCR 06.02.2012 After a two year absence from the music scene, the Kaiser Chiefs recently reemerged from the depths of their studio with the long-awaited album, The Future is Medieval. The Chiefs have left their signature sound, bar a few audacious leaps into less obvious sources. With several critics noting a strong Beatles influence and a delve into 80s synth, thrown in with a few tongue-in-cheek Bowie puns, such as Man on Mars and Things Change. The gig kicked off with support from Native Tongues, a relatively unknown band but nonetheless catchy in the delivery of their synthy tones and well-worth keeping an eye out for in the future. They were followed by All the Young; the lead singer reminiscent of who can only be described as a “hipster Charlie Brooker” with a penchant for shouting “NORWICH!” But despite their somewhat pretentious exterior, they livened up the audience after the mellow vibes of Native Tongues; the highlight of their set being the instrumental

cover of The Cult’s She Sells Sanctuary. After the somewhat grandiose cry from All the Young to, “Enjoy the rest of our lives!” The Kaisers swaggered on after an uproarious cheer from the audience, immediately launching into the classic Everyday I Love You Less And Less. Playing to a smaller crowd who know their back catalogue well, the band seemed reluctant to play too many songs from The Future is Medieval with lead singer Ricky Wilson, jesting to the audience to “just blag it and mouth the words” when playing their recently released single Little Shocks. Ricky’s relaxed tone and intimacy with the audience completely made the show and, well-known for his crowd-surfing tricks, he didn’t disappoint. The set included classics from I Predict a Riot to the infamous Ruby, and the enthusiasm from the audience showed they still contained as much appeal as they did upon their release. After deafening chants, the band reappeared and ended the concert with the band’s first top ten hit Oh My God. It’s safe to say, after a long break, Kaiser Chiefs have retained their position amongst the kings of indie rock and will hopefully reign for many more years to come. Lucy Jobber


07

14.02.2012

MUSIC

concrete.music@uea.ac.uk

like a cardle in the wind

regardless of whatever musical prowess you think the 2010 x factor winner might possess, matt cardle is rubbish at talking about his music. so hannah lockier got bored and asked him how he was in the sack.

Now it’s not everyday a member of Venue gets to speak to an X Factor winner: Leona Lewis? Nope. Erm, Little Mix? Guess again. Joe whats-his-face? No, we were given the privilege of chatting to 2010’s winner, Matt Cardle. It would be an understatement to say that this interview was mildly anticipated. Post-interview the feeling was anticlimactic and slightly similar to bad sex; you think its great at the time until you have better sex with some one else. But it’s not all doom and gloom. We did manage to scramble together a few interesting things about Matt, a mere five of them. One: He requests Haribo and Peroni on his rider. Two: He is sick of playing Run For Your Life live. Three: His favourite song to play is All for Nothing because it’s “just really fun”. Wow. Fascinating. Who are we kidding, we can barely list three fascinating facts let alone five. If this counts as a mouth-watering slice of information, Mr Cardle was also on the brink of man flu when the interview took place. Apparently the singer’s idea of curing a cold is not to drink detoxing green tea but to eat a carrot. A carrot. Matt Cardle’s funny. Chatting to Matt, the conversation was mainly based on his up and coming tour; no he is not coming to the LCR, before you ask. Pity really, considering even Cher Lloyd is making an appearance; she knows where her fans are. When confronted with his lack of an LCR tour date he simply answered “I won’t next time”. Yeah yeah, whatever Matt. At an attempt to make the conversation a little more riveting, the focus shifted to the album and the recording process. Again, we didn’t really learn much about the man. He is happy with Letters, wouldn’t change a thing. Right okay, maybe if probed about his new material he will open up and finally sound a little excited about his music. When quizzed about the possible new direction of his second offering, his answer was more than bleak. “I think the heavier stuff will go heavier, and the more stripped back stuff will go even more stripped back.” Enlightening. In the second half of the interview a different tactic was used; quizzing him about other people’s music. Let’s try and make Matt Cardle seem a little more appealing than he is coming off. When given the option of who he would rather listen to for the rest of his life out of Abba or The Libertines, he rightly chose Abba. Favourite song? Chiquitita. If we were to scroll through Mr Cardle’s iPod we would apparently find James Morrison (bit

Yeah.. I dunno..maybe a bit of John Mayer? A bit of Slow Dancing In A Burning Room or something like that. Not a bit of R. Kelly’s Bump ‘N’ Grind? Oh God no. I don’t think he’s a good ambassador for getting people in the sack. What about your bed braker? Erm, er.. Cotton Eye Joe? (Laughs) Imagine if that came on the stereo just as your about to get your clothes off! Have you ever sung a woman into bed? No, I can’t remember if I did. Don’t think so. (Really. Come on Matthew…) And a question from our sex survey: On a scale of one to ten how would you rate your sexual prowess? Umm..(asks manager Will) Manager Will says minus 3. Minus 3? That’s a bit harsh. Minus 4? Fucking hell. I dunno, I’m 28 so.. Well that’s 28 years of experience..maybe not exactly 28 years of experience… Yeah, haha, that would be fucking weird. I really don’t know; I couldn’t possible say. An average 6 maybe? That’s a little bit low. 8.5? That sounds about right.

predictable), Adele (of course), Pearl Jam (now we’re getting somewhere) and Rage against the Machine (How. Ironic.) But worst of all we found out that Matthew has committed the cardinal sin of the music world. He has David Guetta on there too *shivers*. Now if you haven’t already realised this issue of Concrete is heavily focused on sex and all the fun things that come with it. And if Matt Cardle thought he would be

able to get through one interview without being quizzed on issues surrounding the well-known no pants dance then he thought wrong... Can you pick a song that is a bed breaker (a song that ruins the moment) and a bed maker (one that makes it even better)? A song that I think would be good if I was about to jump in the sack with someone?

So to conclude, Matt Cardle is not the easiest person to talk to, but when pushed firmly in the right direction he does loosen up a little bit. However one can’t help but feel a little disappointed with the music side of the interview. Therefore we extend apologies to those of you who opened this page in hope to read a world wide exclusive about the 2010 X Factor winner. On the more positive side we did learn that Matt thinks he is an 8.5 in bed. Now if that isn’t nail biting news we don’t know what is. It was a pleasure conversing with Matt, but he ruined it. He broke a promise. I asked one more thing... Can you follow me on twitter? Yes! He hasn’t.


MUSIC

14.02.2012

concrete.music@uea.ac.uk

debelle of the ball

08

beth wyatt talks to mercury prize winner speech debelle ahead of the release of her new album. Your second album Freedom of Speech is being released this month, how does it feel different this time around? I had more confidence, more understanding of the business. Last time was more like an experiment. You tweeted frequently during the London riots and released your track Blaze Up a Fire early, do you still think that was the right decision? Yeah definitely, I think it was the right decision. I definitely stand by it, I support that if you believe something you should stand by it. You speak out about your opinions on current issues, do you think other music stars and the like should do the same? I don’t care, it’s not for me to say what they should and shouldn’t speak about. Why do you choose to speak so honestly? I don’t have the ability to think before I speak [laughs]. Your track Spinnin’ has become an official Olympic anthem, covered vocally by Tinchy Stryder and Dionne Bromfield. How did that come about? It came about... Tinchy Stryder and Dionne Bromfield did a cover of it and the cover was used as the Olympic torch anthem. What are your thoughts on the Olympics and do you think they’ve got a good role to play? Erm, I wish I knew a bit more about economics to be able to answer the question, you know? I’m not sure, it’s not my avenue. I’m gonna watch it on telly. What are you most excited about this year? I’m playing the Jazz Cafe in London on the 23rd February, which I’ve always wanted to do and then I go off to tour Europe. And I’m going to do a few music festivals and yeah it will be really good to get out and tour. And I’m doing a documentary as well which is going quite well. Yeah I think it’s going to be out like in April and it’s about young people and homelessness. Do you have any ambitions outside music? Well yeah, I mean I don’t think I’ve reached the [highest] level as an artist yet, you think of how many artists have been around and have like seven albums, you know what I mean? I want to continue to make music. My other big passion is cooking though, and I’m going to make a YouTube cooking show. What do you think you’re going to cook? I’m not sure, I could teach how to make my jerk chicken. I don’t know, I’m a big fan of fish, so some nice fish dishes.

Well I could use some tips. Great, well check it out, check it out, I’ll have a glass of wine while cooking [laughs]. What do you do on days when you want to write but have no inspiration? Erm, I mean it’s... I kind of started to learn to switch on to the job I think. You have to have a day job. You have to learn how to choose, you have to learn how to switch off and carry on with other things and then the next opportunity you switch it back on again. Would you like to go in a new musical

direction next? I think I’d like to stay in the same, but I definitely want to be bigger you know, I want to have that string quartet you know. I want to get bigger. I’ve always been a fan of big rock ballads so if I could try and mix that with hip hop that would be a goal of mine. What rock stars do you like? Who would you collaborate with? Oh dear... erm I like Kings of Leon, I’m not sure if they’re called rock or something else but yeah I’m a big fan of Kings of Leon. I like their song Manhattan.

Who’s an example of a current artist you like of any genre? I like the new Wiley album. When will you announce what festivals you’ll be playing at? We’re just talking about that at the moment, so by the time I come back from tour we should have those dates. And finally, what is your dream festival to headline? It’s got to be Glastonbury!


WIRED

14.02.2012

concrete.wired@uea.ac.uk

10

a question of maturity: video games and sex In 2008, Bioware’s Mass Effect came under a hailstorm of criticism from the mainstream American media for some of its content. What was the cause of this outrage? The 40 hour epic contained a 40 second scene where the main character is depicted having sex with the romantic interest of the story. How is it that a video game can cause controversy for including such a brief and inexplicit scene, whilst other mediums often feel free to include sex of a very explicit nature without fear of backlash? To answer this, we have to look at video games’ historically uneasy relationship with sex and sexuality. Sex has been present in video games since their invention, though it’s fair to say that it has rarely been treated with maturity. The first real case of controversy about sex in video games was in 1982, when Custer’s Revenge was released for the Atari 2600. The player took control of a naked American

general George Custer, and the object of the game was to avoid oncoming arrows and reach a nearby captive Native American woman, in order to rape her. Over the next few decades, video games began to grow as a creative medium. Developers not only pushed the boundaries of gameplay and graphics, but also sought to explore the issues video games could deal with as an art, including human aggression, fear, friendship, and various life philosophies. Strangely though, sex and human sexuality seemed to be one issue left behind in the dust. Instead, hyper-sexualised stereotypes, one dimensional token female characters and pandering to the dumb became the accepted norm. Sadly, video games are just as guilty of this today. From Soul Calibur V’s recent derogatory

marketing campaign (as well as an entire series of female characters that seem all too eager to don combat armour that offers zero protection to the breast and crotch areas) to Call Of Juarez: The Cartel’s immature and offensive handling of the subject of human trafficking in modern day Mexico. There are, of course, exceptions. Some video games manage to treat sex as a serious subject through their narrative and their mechanics. Take Kanji Tatsumis battle with his shame of his homosexuality in Persona 4, and Samus’ championing of gender equality in the Metroid series, (that is until Team Ninja took over and completely ruined everything). All too often though, video games seem

stuck in a very immature mindset of objectified women, hyper masculine men, and a general avoidance of tackling sex and gender with any level of sophistication. From Grand Theft Auto to Call of Duty, Gears of War to Final Fantasy. We can see then, that whilst the backlash against Bioware might have been overdramatic and ignorant, it clearly highlights the need for the video game industry to develop maturity in dealing with sex in order to be taken seriously. If video games are to ever win mainstream artistic acceptance, if the industry is to ever make its Brokeback Mountain, its Picture Of Dorian Gray, then we need to show that, as gamers, we can show maturity and restraint when it comes to sex and sexuality. Joe Fitzsimmons

opinion: mindfullness and first person shooters

I have a dark secret which isn’t really a secret to anyone who knows me personally: I like to play First Person Shooter games. Specifically, I play them competitively online, against other, anonymous, human players. This is arguably an antisocial pastime, as I have been told by various parental authority figures, who have also described it as “mindless”. Now the antisocial part I can just about accept, although as an activity it’s surely no more antisocial than reading or drawing or watching TV. The part I can’t accept is the description of my hobby as mindless, because in reality it’s anything but. First Person Shooter (FPS) games are characterised as violent by ratings boards, although I personally don’t find them that violent either. In a competitive FPS, a “dead” player will return to the battlefield after a few seconds of downtime. The deaths are more like the deaths of Looney Tunes characters

than the actual cases of violent death which afflict unfortunate people across the world. Death in the FPS is a slap on the wrist to encourage you to perform better next time. I prefer to see competitive online games like Halo: Reach or Counter Strike as exercises in geometry and math rather than violence. This might seem like a strange angle to take, but my goal in these games is to “tag,” as it were, the opponents with my bullets in order to send them into the death state and earn myself a point. They then return to the battlefield and try to tag me right back, while I attempt to repeat my success. Winning these games is a matter of geometry: my position within the battlefield is vital to my survival. One is consistently trying to become aware of where the opponent is, and how to put solid objects between oneself and this opponent as fast as possible if things go belly up. This

involves an intense amount of calculation: my movement speed, his movement speed, the angle and speed of various grenades and other projectiles involved in the encounter. Competitive FPS players understand these equations intuitively, because they are taught to you under the guise of having fun. I don’t mean to argue that FPS games teach the player mathematical skill, rather that they represent a peculiar breed of applied maths, math conceptualised as armed struggle. In fact, the more competitive you become, the more important the maths becomes. Professional Halo or Quake players (believe me, there is such a thing, and they compete for eyewatering sums of money) have spent long stretches of time perfecting this strange brand of murdermaths, and truly top tier Halo teams have the spawn times of every rocket launcher, power-up and widget available memorised, and are in position to

grab these power items almost as soon as they appear. There is clearly more to these games than staring glassy eyed at the TV while things explode and the bad men die. Why do I play? Because, contrary to what some people believe, I find it a way of achieving a peculiar state of mindfulness which eludes me with almost every other activity. Plunged into a Halo match, the background hum of every day worries (work, money, the body in the trunk of my car) no longer disturb me. Instead I am consumed with the absolute mindfulness of the game: the spawn times, positioning, there is a grenade hurtling towards you right now where are you going to go? And if I appear to have somehow lost my mind, if my body before the game seems vacant, it is because I am concentrating on it about as hard as it is possible to concentrate. Leo Hunt


11

14.02.2012

review: final fantasy xiii 2

Few JRPGs have polarised fans so much since Final Fantasy XIII. Long-time fans felt betrayed by its concessions to linearity, and western RPG fans didn’t appreciate the rigid structure and sometimes incomprehensible plot. Well, much like its last flagship generation title, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XIII is getting a second chance; its keeping its old looks and characters, and changing everything around them (in some cases, literally), in an effort to answer its critics. The big gimmick here is time travel. It is hardly the first JRPG to use the idea, but it’s a fresh approach that no one expected after XIII. Lightning, the protagonist from the previous game, is trapped in a timeless space known as “Valhalla”, locked in an eternal, unwinnable battle with a mysterious man named Caius. Back in the post-FFXIII world of Pulse, however, no-one seems too worried. They all believe that Lightning was killed during the events that concluded Final Fantasy XIII. Only Lightning’s sister, Serah, knows that she is still alive somewhere. Of course, this being a JRPG, Serah isn’t just going to sit around moping for thirty hours, and it isn’t long before a mysterious stranger called Noel appears, claiming to be a visitor from the distant future, looking to change the dystopia he was born into. Together, they set off through a nearby time gate, with the help of an “artefact” (an object stuck in their time which does not belong there), to find

WIRED

concrete.wired@uea.ac.uk

Lightning, and change their future. The linearity of Final Fantasy XIII’s quest is a thing of the past; XIII-2 presents you with a hub, from which you can travel to any point in time you have already been to, whenever you want to. While there, you’ll be presented with side-quests from the non-playable characters who live there. Again, this is ground JRPGs have been treading since the NES, but compared to the original XIII, it stands as both a call back to its roots, and a positive sense of perspective. It’s all wrapped up in the same flowing, role-based combat system which sees the player changing each character’s parameters and abilities on the fly, with the interesting addition of monsters you can train and develop, taking the permanently empty third slot in the party left by Serah and Noel. The only problem from the first game that Square-Enix don’t seem to have addressed very well is the presentation of the story. It’s become a bit of a given now that, once they’ve been translated, Japanese games, and JRPGs in particular, will come out with scripts a cut below the western equivalents. If you can see past this intermittent problem, you’ll find a game bursting with the potential of the direction this series seems to be taking. Even if you do not end up changing Noel’s future, Square-Enix seem to have saved their own here. Timothy Bates

under the radar: broken sword II With the advent of the console and the inevitable rise of the button-mashing-mindnumbing-soul-destroying shoot ‘em up, it seemed there was no room left at the table for the humble and understated point and click adventure: it was all but dead and buried. But fear not intrepid adventurer! Smart phones and tablets have given the genre a new lease of life and provide the perfect platform for remastered editions of countless old favourites. One of the best and most significant of which is Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror. Don’t let the name fool you, this game is an intelligently crafted and beautifully realised 2D adventure. Originally released in 1997 for Microsoft Windows, the game puts you in the shoes of George Stobbart, an American lawyer who witnesses the kidnapping of his French girlfriend Nicole Collard. In trying to rescue her, George encounters everything

from CIA agents to Mayan shamans and the player must travel the globe solving puzzles and conversing with the locals in order to save Nicole. Of course, as an older game there are aspects of the game which leave something to be desired, such as the dated sound effects and the slow loading times, but for the most part the port to the iPad has ironed these problems out. If you’re willing to overlook some minor issues, you will find a rich compelling s t o r y underneath this throwback to the old Sierra-style adventure. Full of witty humour, plot twists, and a varied cast of characters, Broken Sword II is part of a larger golden age for the point and click adventure. For those who missed out on the series the first time around this is an opportunity that definitely should not be missed. Callum Watson

wired’s top five video games characters with sex appeal 5. Special Agent Tanya Adams (Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2) Westfield Studios had the idea of using live action women in their cut scenes, and have not looked back since. The motto of ‘a girl with guns’ became a staple for the series and has become synonymous with the name Tanya Adams. The combination of pretty hilarious bad acting, cheap backdrops and questionable special effects meant the series had its

limitations, but as funding and special effects increased, the role of Ms Adams was finally given to Jenny McCarthy, which meant Tanya suddenly became a blonde, which didn’t bother anyone. 4. Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem Series) Sexist? Most likely. Arrogant? Most certainly. Is he the kind of person who wouldn’t call you the next morning? It goes without question. Call him whatever you like, but Duke Nukem is the embodiment of bad boy. His bulging muscles and kick-ass persona is likened to Rocky in his heyday or Arnold Schwarzenegger, and would be a certain hit with the ladies. In addition, he has a sense of mystery that would want you crawling back for more. What’s behind his glasses? Does he have emotion? Plus he has balls of steel, what more do you need? 3. Tifa Lockhart (Final Fantasy VII) In 1997 when Final Fantasy VII took over the world with its immense role playing epic, its only woman stole the show. Tifa, the underdog with a heart of gold, and

a chest full of surprises became an instant classic with the male audience. Her spunky and attractive nature made her easy to fall for. After Ariel’s unfortunate demise and death, Tifa is the emotional rock that holds the FFVIII universe together. Plus with constantly improving graphics, we at Wired can’t get over how much better she looks in each subsequent game release. 2. Nathan Drake (Uncharted) Developers Naughty Dog tried very hard to make their lead character Nathan Drake your everyday average Joe. Instead, what they created was the dream man for 13 million PS3 fans who have bought the Uncharted series. This rough-and-tumble guy next door brings freakishly good looks, charm, attitude, and courage, which is fast making him the face of PlayStation. His witty dialogue and strong, nuanced character makes him unique in the video gaming world, the developers were able to give him a

likeable attitude which matched his near perfect cheek bones. In a sense, he is a mix of Lara Croft and Indiana Jones, a winning combination. 1. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider) Arguably the biggest female video game icon in history. Since her inception Lara Croft has been at the heart of most gamers and movie fans alike with her unmatched curves and British accent, she single handily made video game characters a fantasy for both men and women. Lara’s tease factor and small wardrobe means we can’t help but forgive her every time she locked her butler, Winston, in the Croft Manor freezer. However with the upcoming Tomb Raider release toning down on the sexy and upping the levels of beaten, bullied survivalist we may have seen the last of this particular icon.

Robert Austin


FASHION

14.02.2012

concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk

take it off

Sexy ^

the hotlist smokin’

David Beckham for H&M Bangin’.

The Charizard Google it. It’s smokin’. Literally.

12

hana lockier on what to wear when getting down to it You’re going out, not alone, but with friends. You’re hoping to pull and, hopefully, the guy on the end of your lips is not going to be that old Indian man who often frequents Pulse. You think to yourself: what do I wear? I know we think about clothes everyday but tonight is different. Tonight you might get sex. Yes ladies, sex. Now, us ladies put a lot of effort into getting ready for sex. So for the benefit of the male population of UEA, I thought that I would shed some light on what might go through a girl’s head when getting ready for a sexy night out. When I say “getting ready” I am not talking about those conversations with guidance councillors and pretentious PSHE teachers that they force upon you at school. Neither do I mean those annoying problem pages which basically preach celibacy. I am instead talking about the thought process that goes into one’s clothes selection before engaging in sexual jovialities … We want to wear clothes that boys will

want to take off, or rip off. Clothes that can be physically removed with a certain level of ease. A prime example of an item of clothing which should be avoided before the naked pants dance is skinny jeans. Although they may make your bum look plump, full and juicy, they are not attractive to get off. The legendary take-your-jeansoff shuffle should be limited to when you are alone in your room and in fitting rooms worldwide. Dragging your feet out of them while raising your knee to your chin does not provide a sexy angle for your potential partner. It might even make him run to the door, before returning to ask you to unlock said door so he can continue running. So, if jeans are a no-no, what else can one wear. A skirt? Skirts are good, and sometimes might not even need taking off if you are that hot for each other. Or, if you’re just feeling a little bit slutty in an alleyway. Perhaps a dress? Dresses are always nice, as long as you can undo them without looking like an absolute idiot. By this I mean

you should aim to wear one that you can remove without having to bend over and tug repeatedly until it eventually comes over your head and onto the floor where it belongs. By way of summary, a pre-game outfit needs to make you look attractive, without giving too much away (think a sexy Kinder Egg Surprise). It also needs to be easy to take off. Perhaps it should also be important to factor in that whatever you choose to wear may also need to be easy to put on if it turns out that you are in fact the one attempting to run out of the door as fast as you can. Personally, one my sexiest outfits is my leather leggings. They slip off before you have time to say Ross Geller. I team them with a spotty blouse that you can just about see my bra through, putting the Kinder Egg theory into motion. So ladies, go home and try everything on you own. Then grade each item of clothing by how swiftly you can remove it. Also, don’t judge me if you see me wearing my sexy outfit in the LCR.

find your match

Lustwire Sundays. 9-10.30pm. Livewire 1350.

kelly paxman on the importance of matching underwear

chokin’ Louis Vuitton condoms At £50+ a pop, it would be cheaper to raise a child.

This thing Remote controlled, apparently.It looks like it would hurt. And why is it orange?

Victoria’s Secret We’re confused. Why don’t we look like this on the beach?

You never know when you could meet Mr Right, or if you’re just going to get lucky. Your once perfect hair and beautifully applied makeup is more than likely a little dishevelled by the end of a night out, so the sight of some pretty lingerie may just be your saving grace in restoring some sex appeal. There is nothing worse than realising that you’ve got your five-year-old Bridget Jones-style granny pants on whist on the way back from the LCR with a potential beau. Never underestimate the importance of nice matching underwear my friends. Not only can matching underwear

make a very nice impression on that certain someone, but it also makes you feel so God damn sexy. The thought that you look hot-totrot underneath is a great confidence booster, even if you don’t intend for anyone else to see it. For all you loved up couples out there who perhaps don’t have the fear of what they could find underneath the clothes anymore, some lovely matching undies can also be a great way to keep the fire burning and the magic alive, so to speak ... Your underwear doesn’t have to be expensive. You can pick up some seriously

sexy sets in Primark, New Look, and H&M for little more than a tenner, so ladies, there is no excuse. As for you boys, what you wear below the belt is just as important. Don’t think that us girls don’t notice. Invest in some clean boxers (sans holes) please. Chuck those greying Y-fronts in the bin: nothing is more of a turnoff. Remember, us girls talk, and you could become known for what’s under your jeans … and not in a good way. So, ditch those granny pants, holey knickers, dingy bras, and grubby boxers, UEA. And make way for the underwear revolution.

what do the concrete editorial team find sexy? “A sense of fun. Kinky.” - Matt Tidby, TV editor

“A girl in a playsuit.” - Billy Sexton, Features editor

“Somebody that won’t talk to me when I don’t want them to. And good hair.” - Harry Slater, Chief copy editor

“Dark eyes, dark hair.” - Rianne Ison, Lifestyle editor

“Double denim.” - Alex “alternative” Throssell, Venue editor

“Someone who closely resembles a bear. Who smells nice.” - Hannah Britt, Deputy editor

“The ability to have a good conversation. And a great pair of boobs.” - Josh Resoun, Comment editor

“Big arms and nice eyes.” - Emma Webb, Arts editor

“A beard and a nun’s outfit.” - Matt Scrafton, Sports editor

“Arrogance. That, and sarcasm.“ - Freya Barry, Concrete president

“French knickers.” - Sam Tomkinson, Competitions editor

“A man in a blazer.” - Suze Wood, News editor

“A Scottish accent.” - Anna Eastick, Film editor

“Spontaneity.” - Milly Sampson, Fashion editor

“I hate jeggings and Ugg boots.” - Greg Lewry, Travel editor


13

14.02.2012

concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk

FASHION the lingover

Photo by Helen Haines

by becky evans For an evening out on the town, a lot of time and effort goes into putting together the perfect outfit. Dolled up to the nines, you strut into your favourite club and your night begins. You see him. Your eyes meet across the dance floor. It is like love at first sight. No one in this world could keep you two apart. Now, it’s not because you’ve had 12 double vodkas and those beer goggles could make a Shrek look alike take on the appearance of David Beckham. Oh no. Its love and you both know it. His style is fabulous and so is yours. You just have so much in common. Your dress is from Urban Outfitters. So are his chinos. It’s a match made in heaven. All evening you share romantic dances and then he poses the question you’ve been waiting for: “Do you want to get out of here?” All you remember the next day is an extortionate cab fare after inhaling some questionable chips. What followed can only be described as a drunken fumble. Maybe those twelve jaeger bombs were in hindsight, not such a brilliant idea. After such a disastrous decision, at least you can find comfort in the peace and tranquillity of your own bed. That is, unless someone is occupying it with you. Someone who will not leave. As if a hangover wasn’t bad enough, now you are suffering from “the lingover”. Now, “the lingover” is when a guest from the evening before lingers in one’s room/ flat/house far past their welcome. Radical decisions often have to be made in a desperate attempt to force them to leave. If you have suffered from one of these asphyxiating guests, don’t worry, you are not alone. If you truly want your visitor to stop lingering you must be prepared to be brutal and potentially embarrass yourself. A simple “Hey, I’ve got work to do, I’ll text you later” will not suffice with this kind of pest. Here are a few hints and tips to make your Gary Lingerer run for the hills. “Last night when I said I was on the pill, I lied. I can’t wait to have our baby.” “You might want to get checked later…” “Hey, do you want some breakfast? Off you go then, McDonalds is around the corner.” “Let’s snuggle.” “I can’t wait for you to meet my parents. They’ll be here in half an hour.” “Do you want to see my collection of My Little Pony outfits? I want you to have one to remember me by.” One may think these statements are a little too much. However, if someone really is truly outstaying their welcome, then desperate times call for desperate measures. All the hope and excitement you felt last night has evaporated. It also appears that your beloved dress now has a mysterious white stain down the front… You look at the floor to see his chinos. You look at the label. They aren’t from Urban Outfitters after all. They’re from Topman.


ARTS

14.02.2012

twelfth night

Last week, The Movement Theatre Company blessed Norwich with their compelling performance of Shakespeare’s comedy, Twelfth Night. The adaptation was decidedly down to earth, and fittingly

hello dolly!

-

Norfolk & Norwich Operatic Society’s amateur production of Hello, Dolly! was decidedly tailored to an older generation, although this is probably to be expected from a 1960s musical, the story of which can be traced back as far as 1835. The content was incredibly tame (even more so than Gene Kelly’s famous moneylosing filmic interpretation) and the production focused largely on outdated humour. However, the show was still entertaining and did have a certain old world charm, giving an exciting glimpse into the glamorous turn of the 20th century.

-

concrete.arts@uea.ac.uk

the playhouse

so with the Playhouse itself. Although the theatre is Norwich’s most modern; with exposed beams, a cosy bar, and an unassuming atmosphere, the venue radiates a refreshing modesty. In the play’s accompanying literature the director Rory Attwood reveals startlingly honest criticisms of previous contemporary productions of the play. He condemns past performances, and mocks their audiences, saying: “Twelfth Night’s mechanism is trapshaped. It shows us the callousness of selfindulgence and the suffering it can cause, but it also seduces us into it. Most of the play’s comedy – most of our pleasure – is pitilessly at the expense of the characters […] Twelfth Night makes us laugh at people for being exactly what we show ourselves to be when we laugh at them: self-absorbed, self-indulgent short of compassion”. He concludes by assuring us that his production “is an attempt to recalibrate the mechanism of Shakespeare’s most complex comedy, to rediscover a bleaker, sadder, more confrontational play, but one that strikes the heart of something: something, hopefully, that matters”. With this warning, Attwood’s conflation

of comedy and bleak realism commences, with the voice of a young boy singing a rather unpleasing and melancholy tune. The bleak, sad, and confrontational nature to which Attwood refers is certainly present throughout, offering a strong contrast to the scenes of pure hilarity and bawdy absurdity. The character of Malvolio embodies this juxtaposition, as he plays the role of the love-struck servant particularly humorously, whilst he later confronts the audience with an uncomfortable crying scene. Similarly, the clown does not play a conventional role, but is presented in an almost awkward and creepy manner, highlighting the play’s attempts to question expectations and appearances. The audience received Attwood’s adaptation well, for the theatre was filled with unrestrained laughter and eager engagement throughout. With few costume changes, a simple stage-set, and the cast unashamedly joining their audience in the bar mere minutes after the play’s close, this production was a million miles away from the gimmicky nature of the West End, but all the better for it. Harriet Farnham

theatre royal The story centred around Dolly Levi (Gloria Dashwood), the vivacious widow and well-known meddler intent on bagging the rich Horace Vandergelder (Peter Howell) as husband number two. Whilst posing as his match-maker, Dolly manipulates her own way to the altar, and after introducing Horace to a string of unsuitable women he cannot but be convinced Dolly is the only one for him. Although her interpretation was never going to live up to Barbara Streisand’s on-screen performance, Dashwood made a bold and brassy Dolly. Through moments of lingering loyalty to her long dead husband, Dashwood also managed to expose a touching vulnerability beneath Dolly’s front. The subplot concentrated on Horace’s employees Cornelius Hackl (Joe Phelps) and Barnaby Tucker (Gary Higgs), who made a hilarious, hapless duo with the united sole aim of “kissing a girl”. The pair secretly venture to New York despite being forbidden by their boss, only to find themselves constantly crossing his path. The set was questionable at times, with cast members entering “iron gates” by slipping through a pair of curtains. Howell seemed plagued with practical misfortunes, from his chair breaking beneath him to almost falling down the set of wobbly stairs. The dancing was not always completely polished and a few actors put an arm out of place here and there. These instances served as reminders of the play’s amateur status. However, there

were also some very commendable moments, for instance a highly impressive acrobatic display in the form of a parade, complete with a marching band, jugglers, stilts, clowns and even a Statue of Liberty. Despite a few mistakes, the audience gave a highly enthusiastic reception. The theatre rang with rapturous applause after every joke, song and dance, and the overall performance was bright and enjoyable, with colourful costumes and catchy songs. Chloe Seager

14

uea student hosts series of literature lectures in jarrolds pantry Ever wondered how the words “Quidditch” and “Hogwarts” were translated into French? Or what going for a walk has to do with philosophy? Well, the Cafe Conversations literature and translation series may be your answer. The series was started this year by UEA student Alex Valente and each “conversation” is held in Norwich Jarrold’s, run partly by UEA staff. Coming up in the next few weeks is The Exporting of Harry Potter run by Janet Garton, a UEA lecturer specialising in European Literature, on Wednesday 15th at 2:30pm. Janet Garton is going to discuss the often overlooked work of the translators in the publishing of the Harry Potter books and how they have tackled all the words and concepts that J. K. Rowling invented, although you don’t need any foreign language knowledge to understand the event. The iconic Harry Potter covers will also also be discussed and whether you can, indeed, judge the books by their covers. If you are a fan of Harry Potter and want something slightly more civilised than the Harry Potter LCR, have a look at this. The next event on Wednesday 29th 2:30pm is mysteriously called A Line on a Walk run by Philip Wilson, which starts by talking about how going for philosophical walks can be good for you and will be mentioning the Swiss painter Paul Klee and the Austrian philosopher Wittgenstein. For those interested in the place where philosophy, literature and going for walks around the lake on campus intersect, this Cafe Conversation is perfectly suited to you. On Wednesday 7th March at 2:30pm UEA drama lecturer Holly Maples will be talking about the social dance craze of 1913, where members of the public danced in unusual places, like at work or on the street and how women taking part were protesting against their place in society. This Cafe Conversation is exploring an unusual part of history that not many people may have know about, but along with the others it looks like an enjoyable and informative way to spend an afternoon in Norwich. Jenny Grimes


15

14.02.2012

romeo and juliet

The Moscow City Ballet’s performance of Romeo and Juliet is a truly captivating one. Prokofiev’s ballet is startlingly fresh with performances from the dancers as heart-rending as your first encounter with the story. Whilst for much of the audience the story demands little explanation, the company does not fail to provide a gentle steer for those who need it. The opulent set suggests a high budget and illuminates the story brilliantly, allowing the imagination to be spirited away by the beautiful choreography and the original Tchaikovsky score. The ballet production would, of course, be nothing without an engaging Juliet and Liliya Orekhova does not disappoint. Her dancing is in perfect symbiosis with Romeo, danced by Daniil Orlov, and the two coax complete sympathy from the audience with their passion. Amidst the tragedy, the touches of comedy brought to the performance by Mercutio (Artem Minakov) and Nurse (Lyubov Lysak) are a delightful surprise. Mercutio particularly plays to the audience with many cheeky glances and gestures. This is a ballet production

ARTS

concrete.arts@uea.ac.uk

-

theatre royal

with an appeal for everyone, filled with laughter, tragedy and fantastic costumes, and certainly sets out to showcase it. The corps de ballet serve to illuminate the principal dancers and created a powerful atmosphere with faultless grace and synchronicity. The whole performance is aesthetically dazzling with a clever use of the stage. There is particular poignancy in the emphasis placed on the mounting death toll as the dead characters are paraded around the stage each time a new tragedy takes place, in a haunting pose of a cross. The symbolism of death is communicated as the dancers are drawn by the dark and mystifying pull of death, embodied by wraith-like figures. The ballet concludes with a magnificently macabre scene where Romeo dances with Juliet’s body, flinging and clutching her with adoration and heartbreak. Opening with a silent prologue and closing with an identical scene, the Moscow City Ballet honours Shakespeare, the art of dance, and tragic love itself. Angeline Dresser

this week in arts history

... 1950

disney’s classic animation cinderella was released in the usa on 15th february 1950.

“I regret to inform you Sire, that the young lady has disappeared, leaving behind only this glass slipper.” These words can only relate to one story; Cinderella. The rags to riches tale of the beautiful Cinderella is the epitome of all love stories, beautifully presented in the timeless Disney film.

On the 15th February 1950, Disney’s Cinderella was first released in cinemas as the 12th feature-length animation for the company, and immediately the film secured a place in the hearts of thousands, with Cinderella becoming the heroine of little girls across the world.

Now, 62 years later, it would be difficult to argue that this classic fairytale has lost any value from its first release; love and romance are still very much alive. One only has to look to the Royal wedding of April last year to see how much the country can enjoy the celebration of love in such a public manner. The elegance, grace and mass festivities of the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton truly demonstrated the extent of which the celebration of love can be embraced. In many senses, Kate Middleton became Britain’s very own, modern day Cinderella; a girl from an ordinary background becoming a princess, a true romantic story which could not be lost on anybody. It is this idea of a real-life fairytale wedding, so clearly seen and celebrated in Disney’s Cinderella, which many view as a true definition of romance. The phrase “fairytale wedding” is so frequently used, from the brides-to-be in BBC3’s Don’t Tell the Bride to the descriptions of celebrity weddings with horse-drawn carriages set in stunning castles and country manors. For many, wedding days are the only time when dreams come true and, a bride can be a princess, just for one day.

All of Disney’s adaptations of classic fairytales are awash with romantic gestures from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to Beauty and the Beast and it is love stories which Disney does so well. However, the story of Cinderella, following a servant girl as she overcomes all obstacles to be with her true-love and becomes a princess, really is the original love story which is set in the hearts of many who dream of their very own fairytale. Sarah Boughen


CREATIVE WRITING SPOTLIGHT Q&A with UEA writers. This week - Laura Westerman what are you studying? American and English Literature. Final year. what’s your favourite word? That’s challenging as I have quite a few favourite words, but I really like the word “thaw”. It sounds nice on the tongue. how do you defeat writer’s block? I don’t really have a way. I just keep on perservering until I produce something I consider at least half-decent. what inspires you? Memories, books, music, people. who are your favourite writers? Aldous Huxley, Anne Sexton, Jeffrey Eugenides, Hayden Carruth, Christina Rossetti. The list definitely goes on. to kindle or not to kindle? Not to Kindle. Nothing beats the real thing. do you prefer handwriting or typing? I actually find it easier to type when I’m writing as it makes it easier for me to edit my work, but I do keep a notebook for whenever I want to write a great word down or splurge something onto a blank page. Actually, “splurge” is a rather good word isn’t it? what’s the weirdest thing that’s inspired you? The sensation you get when you stick your arm out of the window of a fastmoving car.

You

meet God at the pearly gates. What would you like him to say to you? Now the party really starts.

14.02.2012 concrete.creativewriting@uea.ac.uk

The Love Poetry Corner i made my acquaintance with you

by Marco Bell

I made my acquaintance with you In the laundrette last night You were so sweet Down on your feet Scrambling for that twenty pence piece I was happy to aid Knew our colours wouldn’t fade

compost heap

16

by Peter Wallis

Down past my shrubs and fig, my unproductive veg, Down past your herbs and our need for separate beds, Past the lawn you sowed and I refuse to mow And the shed not for me but you wanted anyhow, Past the trellis where the wind piles up the leaves, To the bottom at last, where the bin is, plus Our steaming heap of old compost. We sling in peelings, Parings, weeds, harsh words, apostle spoons, regrets; All, all our sins. It is writhing with worms and yet It is at bottom, warm as breath; soft as velvet;

Got on so well That my suggestion went swell When I asked, can we share a dryer? In went our clothes, and around they did swirl Romanticised hand in hand

Moist as a kiss and dark as our rich secret.

We parted at the door And you said to me, “next week, same time” I said, “that sounds divine” So with a spring in my step I went on down, 4am, in my dressing gown

the spark

But all that was left Was a twenty pence piece on the floor.

He first saw her from across the room. She was smoking and he was bouncing Off a young, hot twenty watt or so.

why won’t you tell him that you care

by Rachael Lum

“My friend, why won’t you tell him that you care? He blushes when you catch him glance this way. I see your face lit when you find him there As his in silent hope that you should stay.” “My heart, I know, is ready for that chance. I hoped that all these years found him that voice. But I get subtle hints and not the dance. Without his hand I cannot make that choice. How sad that we should suffer changing times! He would not say the words I long to hear And I regard it tough to steal his lines. Ever in us uncertainty I fear. Locked I my heart and coyly hid the key. He will find it if we were meant to be.”

the affair

Annoying fly. At first, It buzzes round in competition With the fizz of her neon bulbs.

She flashes A strip-tease Of luminescent blue and he is hers. Kisses her with puckered lips As if her competition, her fizz, is alluring. They are inseparable. He is twitching. Enamoured. A hundred sparks are tessellated In his million heart-shaped eyes. It was the best he ever had. It reduced him to a Melted Valentine chocolate. A quivering husk. Afterwards He is love-struck. Stuck In the heat of the moment.

by Tom King

I had always dreamed of having an affair. A woman of age, you know, a dame to show a new dog old tricks. But when it came along I quivered, naked, and leapt upon her. Disgusting. Poetically I gave her excuse after excuse. I’ve never been with a girl like you, a woman, indeed, with swallowed eyes and flaxen hair. I love you. No. I’m shy, my love. I don’t know what to do. So I let her be; left it a while. My excitement was wild. Then poisonous. I moved on. And so did she.

by Alexander Hodson


17

14.02.2012

TELEVISION

concrete.tv@uea.ac.uk

rtd and lgbt: sexuality on tv

writer russell t davies has been changing perceptions of sex on tv for over a decade, but has there been lasting change? For some reason, the British public get a bit funny when they see sex on their television, (usually just two people under a sheet, kissing a bit, for shame) or any nudity (Irene Adler. Destroying the innocence of our children! Burn her!) or even characters overtly discussing sex. It is, bizarrely, a controversial topic, and it used to be even more controversial when it was non-heterosexual in nature. Luckily, things have gotten better. TV writer Russell T Davies has been rather good at ‘normalizing’ homosexuality, and to a degree, bisexuality, for the viewing public. His show Queer as Folk, running for two series from 1999-2000, was extremely controversial when it aired. It was about gay people, and it had gay sex scenes in it. Surely not! People got quite annoyed about that, but they were idiots; television needed something like this to say “actually, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be on TV”. It was no different to the endless mountain of shows about heterosexual people going about their ordinary lives and doing sexy things, and blazed a trail for LGBT representation on TV. RTD, as he is known on the internet, continued in the same vein when he brought back Doctor Who in 2005, in what fans termed his “Gay Agenda”, a somewhat reactionary term for the number of

homosexual characters in his “Whoniverse”. The most famed of these arrivals is Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman, one of the most prominent examples of the fluidity of sexuality on television today. In his debut story, the Doctor offhandedly notes that as a 51st century guy, Jack is “just a bit more flexible when it comes to dancing”; this is not presented as a threat or worry, but a fact of Jack’s character. When forced to say goodbye to the Doctor and Rose, Jack kisses them both on the lips, in exactly the same way. He has been referred to as “omnisexual” (as he flirts with aliens as well as humans) but he’s a good figurehead for bisexuality and pansexuality, and will hopefully lead to more characters like him. Spin-off Torchwood has occasionally been panned for its immature relationship with sex, but as the show grew, the writing and the characters matured too. In short, British science fiction, under RTD’s guidance, has become an effective vehicle for equal representation on television. Nevertheless, beyond his work, many still question the realism of certain representations, particularly of the lesbian community. Shows such as BBC3’s Lip Service (the televisual equivalent of being sensually smothered to death by sentient candy floss) or the latest teenage lesbian story line in Coronation Street

A NEW EVE FOR BEING HUMAN

Being Human is one of the most quietly popular dramas on television. After three series, Toby Whithouse’s original concept of a comedy drama in which a werewolf, vampire, and a ghost share a house still has small ties to its black comic roots, but has flourished and exploded into its own mythology and deliciously complicated storyline, which makes for compelling, spooky viewing. Now Series Four has (if you’ll excuse the pun) clawed its way onto our screens, and, much

continue to demonstrate that female sexuality is often still represented in a voyeuristic or immature fashion, with a lack of cogent characterisation and camera work that would suggest a predominantly male audience. Nevertheless, contemporary television is at

least more normalized towards the presence of LGBT characters; the more stories are told, the more intelligent these representations will become, and Davies has certainly made an invaluable contribution. James Sykes

New Series, BBC3, Sundays, 9pm

like anybody who encounters some of the characters on a full moon, the first episode has split fans. It’s a problem that I like to call “New Doctor Who” syndrome. People don’t like change, especially in the realm of casting and characters. They can at times have a knee-jerk reaction to anything that changes this area. But, while changes in the cast have been made (and I won’t list them here as they could be considered spoilers), Being Human is still

as glorious to watch as it has always been. What you get in this episode are flashforwards to what looks like a post-apocalyptic world in 2037, presumably the fallout of a werewolf/vampire/human war, and, there’s a character that appears that I’m willing to bet we’ve seen elsewhere in the episode. This is a bold new move for the series, and one that I, for one, am intrigued by. But enough of this speculative-yet-unspoilery banter. The episode, as a whole, does

its job; it ties up loose ends, it makes us thirsty for more, upping the ante to new levels while still remaining as witty as its always been (look out for “Stoker Industries”, a nod to Bram). With a werewolf who doubles as a male Buffy, a paranoid George, a new revelation about supernatural genetics and a character named Splodge, Being Human is as great and jam-packed as it’s always been. Jump on this bandwagon while you can. Sam Richards


FILM

14.02.2012

concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

18

carnage The general public should deem itself extremely lucky that, amidst a life overrun by horrific events and its fair share of controversy, Roman Polanski has found the time to direct some of the most memorable films of the past few decades. With roots both in European art cinema and the American film revolution of the late 60s/ early 70s, Polanski earned his reputation by being one of the most consistently adept blenders of genre-filmmaking and art cinema conventions (along with Stanley Kubrick), going from horror to period films by way of film noir and romance films with seamless ease. As such, Carnage comes across as something of an oddity in the simplicity of its premise. Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly’s Brooklyn couple face-off to Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz’s upper-class duo, after a schoolyard altercation between their respective sons forces them to congregate to write up a suitable statement. The entire

narrative of the film (except for the opening credit sequence) then unfolds in real time and within the confines of the former couple’s New York apartment, Polanski’s camera ruthlessly observes every movement in the couples’ downward spiral from artificial etiquette to the implosion of their own moral universes. Inherent to any film adapted from a play is the necessity for actors of the highest quality to take on the complexities of character interplay within the narrative, while simultaneously avoiding theatricality to introduce a naturalistic style better befitting of the film medium. Thankfully, Polanski’s status as a filmmaker enables him to hire some of the greatest talents in order to breathe new life into his borrowed narrative to superb effect. Especially notable are Foster, who perfectly underscores her character’s engaged liberalism with an irritating measure of self-indulgence and Winslet’s impeccable mannerisms of grace,

which thinly cover a world of imperfections and insecurities. Equally brilliant but understated are the performances of the male actors who both act, at first, as calm counterweights for their respective partners’ more immediately obvious issues. Yet both characters suffer a change of sorts, with one shedding his polite facade for a loud presence and another slowly revealing his taste for chaos, taking pleasure from their ridiculous situation. Polanski’s advantage with regard to the play is the ability to shoot and reshoot until he achieves the perfect pitch and delivery for what is an outstanding source text, while the latter form implies the possibility of a myriad of improvised variations and evolutions over numerous performances. With this in mind, Polanski has managed to immortalize a compelling character piece that swivels, slithers and swerves as we joyfully observe the undoing of the couples’ presumably life long artifice. Combined

with meticulous attention to detail in set design and an unintrusive camera, Carnage allows us to indulge in the pleasure of observing what is effectively a living room massacre conducted by actors delivering a masterclass. However, the screenplay is still a playwright’s work and the relevance of this particular adaptation might be debated. While he has crafted an effortless and enthralling film, Polanski has still only recreated what can be done to similar effect on the stage. Indeed, the film lacks some of the unique characteristics of the medium and at no point are formal techniques put in use to convey meaning outside of the script. Yet, arguably, these represent wider debates that can be largely be ignored when the film itself allows us to take so much unrestrained pleasure from these grotesque but insightful situations. James Bearclaw


19

14.02.2012

the muppets

Before reading the rest of this review, be warned that it is very hard to summarise the sheer amount of joy that is caused when viewing this film. Rather surprisingly, The Muppets actually works best for teenage audiences and older Muppet fans. Like 2010’s overwhelming success Toy Story 3, most of the jokes will go over the younger children’s heads, but any students who choose to go and see the film will certinaly be in for a sugar-coated treat. This is a film that, upon viewing, makes you feel as fuzzy inside as the felt the characters are made of. Wannabe Muppet

FILM

concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

young adult

Walter is a charmingly cute main character, along with his equally lovely human cohorts (including the co-writer Jason Segel). As you follow them in the admittedly used-todeath plot, you meet the insane amount of cameos, ranging from Jack Black to Whoopi Goldberg, and even a tiny bit of Dave Grohl. The songs are as catchy as they are witty, and the dialogue as quick as it is self-aware. I challenge anybody to find a more feelgood experience in 2012 than watching this loveable, anarchic bunch of multicoloured misfits. Long live The Muppets. Sam Richards

Young Adult sees director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody collaborate for the first time since 2007’s Juno, constructing another offbeat comedy about sex, age and responsibility. Thus far, Cody has made a career out of subverting expectation, for scripting female characters with idiosyncratic panache. Her latest creation, Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), a 30-something alcoholic who lives an unfulfilled and solitary life as a writer, abides by this trend. A beautiful yet self-destructive narcissist, Mavis returns to her hometown with plans to rekindle a romance with her former high school sweetheart, despite his content in

back into conventional society. A slight, intimate film, Martha Marcy May Marlene nevertheless makes for uncomfortable viewing, with its provocative subject matter and often harrowing scenes. Deftly weaving together the dual narratives of Martha’s time in the cult and her later emancipation, this is an assured directorial debut from Sean Durkin, who crafts a deceptively warm landscape. This sense of comfort and tranquillity mirrors the self-

Kieran Rogers

ranter’s corner

martha marcy may marlene Elizabeth Olsen gives an unsettling, nuanced performance as Martha, the deeply troubled fugitive of a sinister cult. At the hands of the males in her “family”, Martha is subjected to recurrent abuse in an attempt to cleanse her of the past she initially intended to escape. Given the pet name Marcy May by the menacing cult leader Patrick (John Hawkes), Martha’s warped notions of identity and sexual behaviour are brought to the fore as she struggles to adapt

his new family life. By both twisted intention and nature, she should be an alienating figure, yet it is of compliment to Theron and Cody that she proves an intriguing and strangely empathetic anti-heroine. Beyond its protagonist, Young Adult is a film full of strong performances, engaging secondary characters and dynamic relationships. And even when it threatens to, it never descends into romantic cliche. The result is, instead, a jarring, cynical character study that surpasses all of Reitman and Cody’s previous work.

delusional means by which Martha justifies her continuing captivity, and later provides the nauseating backdrop for her gradually declining mental state. With echoes of real-life events, such as the mythology surrounding the Manson family, Martha Marcy May Marlene resonates beyond its decidedly ambiguous conclusion, establishing itself as a haunting piece of cinema. Jack Rice

There are always complaints about the Academy’s nominations for their most coveted of awards. “Where are so and so?”, tweet a flock of film students and critics? “That film for Best Cinematography? You must be joking!” However, this year some of these complaints are more than warranted. For, the fact that Nicolas Refn’s Drive was snubbed is an absolute travesty. The coolest film you will see all year, Drive had everything. The perfect haunting electronic score. The slow build up to one hell of a crescendo. Ryan Gosling. Everything a cinephile could want. Gosling rules over this picture, with his nameless stunt driver carrying this film on his scorpion adorned back. The supporting players aren’t half bad either, with Albert Brooks’ haunting performance as the heartless gangster Bernie Rose standing out. The actor formally known as Nemo’s dad delivers on every level, showing an antagonist more than capable of squaring off with Gosling’s silent-butdeadly hero. Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actor. Three categories in which this excellent film deserves to be, at least, nominated. James Lillywhite


FILM

14.02.2012

a dangerous method

concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

20

the popcorn chart venue’s 5 worst date movies

Despite his own claims to the contrary, David Cronenberg’s work bears the mark of a true auteur. The expression of insecurity and desire through visceral physicality has been the primary motif of his work for many years and, with the release of his latest film, A Dangerous Method, it is clear that not much has changed. Regrettably, Cronenberg chose Keira Knightley to act as his dramatic ‘conduit’, whose initial madness is conveyed through the truly bizarre combination of jutting her lower jaw forward and flailing in a fashion that makes one wonder whether the young actress was left with severe muscle spasms after a day’s shooting. Following

this bewildering sequence, the tremendous Vincent Cassel – joining Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender (as Freud and Jung, respectively) to complete the trio of stars who rescue the film from mediocrity – sashays onto the screen as Otto Gross who, in keeping with the subject of psychoanalysis, appears to be more a manifestation of Jung’s id than a character in his own right. While not Cronenberg’s finest work, A Dangerous Method manages to overcome the limitations of its leading lady to provide what is a moving, if at times slightly shallow (due in part to its brevity), historical fiction. Tom Moore

the woman in black

blue valentine (2010)

It’s got two attractive young stars in it! And one of them was in slushy romance The Notebook. Sounds ideal? Well it would be, if it wasn’t one of the most unsentimental, raw and brutally honest portrayals of divorce ever committed to the screen; so much so that at times it’s genuinely painful to watch, as the relationship slowly breaks down beyond any hope of repair. Not only are you admitting that you don’t expect anything to last, you’re also rubbing in the fact that neither of you will ever be as good looking as Ryan Gosling or Michelle Williams.

irréversible (2002)

The key to this haunting and somewhat oldfashioned film is its refreshingly simple plot line. Where so many modern horror films twist, turn, and get hopelessly lost, this unnerving tale pivots around the simple and pertinent axis of an inescapable curse. Drawing on the novel and certain aspects of the play, the film builds brilliantly, and is shot impeccably with intricate camera work sweeping the scenes forward until their final, desperate ending. Daniel Radcliffe is excellent as the doomed solicitor Arthur Kipps, sent to sort the troubled affairs of the recently deceased Alice Drablow, proving that with the right direction he can truly excel in a role,

making it all his own. Every scene within the accursed house is carefully constructed; every piece of furniture or dark corridor is made unnerving, and when the pace picks up, no scare is superfluous, and every snatched image extremely chilling. There is, too, a distinct lack of tremulous violins or thumping drums to give the game away; the scenes build on the tension of silence, with Radcliffe’s gaunt face tightening as the horrors pile upon each other. Refreshing, too, is the malevolent finale. No doubt you’ll be seeing her face in every dark corner a long while. Harry Denniston

Another one to steer well clear of, largely because it’s one of the toughest, most gruelling watches you’ll ever have to endure. Unlike Blue Valentine, in which the central relationship falls slowly apart over several years, in Irreversible it’s wrenched apart without mercy or a second thought. Set over the course of a single night, and told in reverse chronological order, there’s a smorgasbord of unromantic images and set pieces, from the infamous nine minute rape scene to that fire extinguisher sequence. It’s grim, nihilistic and brutal enough to put an abrupt and very definite end to any prospective relationship.

antichrist (2009)

Horror movies make great date movies, and a film called Antichrist sounds perfect, right? Nope. Seriously, don’t do it. Although it might start out creepy and unsettling, by the time you get to the leg drilling and genital mutilation you’ll either want to leave and find a bucket or think the whole thing is a bit silly. That’s if you make it past the talking fox without snorting

with laughter. It’s Lars Von Trier, the king of gloomy posturing at his provocative, woman hating peak. Because nothing says ‘I love you’ like some gory ultra-violence and barely disguised misogyny.

crash (1996)

No, not Crash the overly sentimental, Magnolia-lite Oscar bait that beat Brokeback Mountain to best picture a few years ago. Actually, that would be quite a good date movie: vaguely intelligent and uplifting but not overly taxing. It’s certainly more likely to impress than the movie of the same name from 1996, a hugely controversial film from the king of twisted body horror David Cronenberg, based on the equally controversial and downright disturbing post modernist JG Ballard novel about people who sexually fetishize car crashes. Why not bring your mother along as well? Particularly ill advised if you’re driving home.

blue velvet (1986)

No amount of pointing out that it’s a surreal masterpiece will distract your date that the film opens with the discovery of a severed ear and doesn’t get any lighter from there. Instead it spirals down through kidnap, uncomfortable voyeurism, some pretty nasty violence against women and the world’s creepiest rendition of a Roy Orbison song. Most of all there’s Dennis Hopper giving a terrifying performance as one of the all time great psychos of the screen as the oxygen sniffing, profanity hurling Frank Booth; a character twisted and frightening enough to put an awkward end to any budding romance. Joseph Murphy


21

14.02.2012

FILM

concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

bafta review 2012

Oh the wonderful awards season. Year on year film industry officials tune up their wardrobe (and their egos) for the big awards nights; Golden Globes, Spirits, WGA, PGA, DGA, SAG... (basically anything with a G or an A in it) and of course the ostentatious Oscars. Oh, and there’s the Baftas. Now in no way should we slam the “British Oscars”. Certainly in recent years they have been a strong predictor towards who will saunter up to the podium at the Kodak Theatre and receive a little golden man (with a suspiciously sharp sword through his private parts) in two weeks time, and they do celebrate the fine crop of the truly formidable cinema that Britain has to offer, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Tyrannosaur to name just a few. But the Baftas felt, well, expected, and in many respects deservedly so. The ceremony got underway with a clear plug to the Bond series on its 50th anniversary with Tom Jones singing his hit Thunderball. It seemed to give the ceremony a more Oscar-y feel, with the British equivalent usually neglecting the performance side. Stephen Fry took the less than glitzy reins of hosting the evening after an all too long absence, and how we have missed you Stephen, with your subtle humour and charming witticisms! But, of course, the evening was about the awards. And predictably, there were hardly any surprises. Each season there’s always that one film to beat, whether it’s No Country for Old Men, Slumdog Millionaire, or even last year’s triumph, The King’s Speech, and this time the unique and

charming silent film The Artist clearly holds that mantle. Essentially sweeping the board with seven wins, the recipients involved seemed genuinely humbled. Director Michel Hazanavicius was on his feet more times than Fry,

on one occasion collecting an award for an absent Artist winner while jokingly declaring that the recipient would have thanked him firstly. Nevertheless, it was not all about the silent gem, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy received a few awards, at one point putting up some worthy competition. The night’s only (minor) surprise came from Rising Star award winner Adam Deacon (Kidulthood) who beat out an all-male category including Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) and Eddie Redmayne (My Week With Marilyn). It seemed to be a triumph of the underdog, but to be perfectly honest they were all “underdogs,” it was the Rising Star award after all! The remaining awards were as expected, with The Artist scooping Best Film and Best Actor for Jean Dujardin, with the marvellous Meryl Streep, in her own Streepish way, accepting Best Actress for The Iron Lady, losing a shoe in the process. In fact, the only real highlight was Martin Scorsese modestly accepting the prestigious Bafta Fellowship, a deserved honour for a true cinematic icon and legend. Despite the predictability of the ceremony, the Baftas

acknowledged the advent of cinema itself with The Artist, as well as a few wins for Hugo. They also restored some credibility with the choice of host, bringing in the British essence of the awards and contrasting to the pomp and ceremony of the Oscars. But the big Os are the ones that all the lights of the film industry will be turned to in the coming weeks, and if the last few years are anything to go by the Bafta results could easily transfer into those genitalia-less golden men come 26th February.

bafta fashion

the best and worst outfits on this year’s red carpet Classy and elegant were the styles in vogue at this year’s Baftas. It was carpet-sweeping gowns as far as the eye could see, with the women opting for simple, classic silhouettes, while the men looked dapper in an impressive array of tuxedos. Here are our best and worst dressed. Michelle Williams (left) is the embodiment of poise and serenity in H&M (yes, you read that right). This is the dress everyone is going to be talking about. The standard has been raised. Oh Edith Bowman (right). I like vintage as much as the next girl who’s arrived at a party to find three others wearing the same Topshop dress, so I understand what you were trying to do here. But the sleeves, the cut, the gloves. No.

film preview

Sam Warner

django unchained

By this point in his career, there’s very little Quentin Tarantino could do, short of remaking The Age of Innocence, that would surprise anyone. This is the man who took the 70s and 80s style action movies (kung-fu, slasher films, the works) and brought them into the modern day under a tight aesthetic design, with just enough originality to keep his audience guessing. He’s given us a heist movie, a blaxploitation movie, and even World War II (if World War II had been written by Nicholas Cage). Now he’s going back even further, to tackle perhaps the one genre you weren’t expecting; civil rights. But don’t worry, put all thoughts of Martin Luther King with an AK-47 out of your mind. Tarantino seems to see the idea of a spaghetti western about a slave going on a vendetta against his cruel Southern master as more than a gimmick; “its not a big issue movie”, he told the Telegraph in 2007, “[it’s meant to] deal with everything that America has never dealt with, because it’s ashamed of it”. Everyone involved seems to be taking this idea very seriously; more seriously at least, then Tarantino’s last foray into a specifically race-defined world, Jackie Brown. Jamie Foxx has the lead, in a role so badass you’ll be amazed every time someone tells you it isn’t Samuel L. Jackson (he’s in it, don’t worry). The main character, Django, is on a mission across America with a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter, played by another Tarantino veteran, Christoph Waltz, to save his wife from the evil plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Not many details have been released, but, really, what more do you need? The whole thing reads like a Malcolm X wet dream, and it’s backed up by a cast including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sasha Baron Cohen and Kerry Washington. When Tarantino came out, critics loved the films, but felt confident that he would “grow out” of his grindhouse inspired roots. 20 years later, that still hasn’t happened, but, with Django Unchained, it finally looks like he’s going for more than simple entertainment value. And who knows? Maybe if this works, he can go retcon all other sources of conflict in Human history; look out for Knights of the Crusades Reloaded, or The Spanish Inquisition of Quint ‘Motherfucker’ Jones coming soon to a theatre near you! Tim Bates

Attention Slackers! On the 23 February E4 Slackers Club brings you Todd Phillips’ new film, Project X. This out-of-control comedy follows a group of friends who set out to throw the most epic birthday party ever. It’s gonna get messy! Get your free tickets from Cinema City.

Julia Sanderson


COMPETITIONS

14.02.2012

22

concrete.competitions@uea.ac.uk

across 6. The artist who sang Mambo Number 5 (7) 11. The most popular men’s magazine (source topten.com) (7) 12. What can be found in Earlham Park and under a girl’s bed (13) 16. Exciting appealing (4) 17. Dance duo who are sexy and know it (5) 19. She kissed a girl and liked it (9) 20. A drug, food etc., that excites sexual desire (11) 21. The winner of 2010s FHM’s Sexiest Woman in the World (10) 22. The star of the film ‘One Night in Paris’ (11) 23. Winner of the MVP at this year’s Super Bowl (10)

1 4

5

6

2 7

3

8 9

11

10

12 13

14 15

down 16

1. The quickest FA Cup final goal scorer at old Wembley (15) 2. British popstar arrested for ‘engaging in a lewd act’ in 1998 (13) 3. Type of dance that has been sampled by Jennifer Lopez (7) 4. Gardening equipment and sex position (11) 5. One of the five ‘Ls’ (10) 7. GQs International Man of the Year 2011 (13) 8. The first professional rugby player who openly admitted to being gay (12) 9. The ultimate sex manual (9) 10. Actress who was a friend with benefits (9) 13. Film featuring two male cowboys in love (17) 14. Who was established in 1979 making them the first all male stripping troupe (12) 15. What is the world record for children by one woman (9) 18. What does Argentina call the Falklands islands? (8)

4 2 3 8

18

19 20 21

22 23

win a pair of tickets to pulled apart by horses’ gig at

8 5 4 3 9

1 5 7 6 2 6 9 8 5

17

the waterfront on tuesday 21 february...

5 9 6

8 7

...submit

your completed

crossword to union house reception by midday on monday

20 february. name:

9 3 4 1

email address: mob. no:


23

14.02.2012

February 2012

Tuesday 14th

Wednesday 15th

Waterfront gigs: Ghostpoet (7:30pm) Price: £11.00 The Waterfront

Chilli night Price: £6.50 or FREE if the extreme chilli is eaten under 15 minutes Garden House

LCR club nights: Anti-Valentine’s (10pm) Price: £3.50 UEA LCR

Cabaret (8pm) Price: £2 The Birdcage

Thursday 16th Waterfront gigs: Hyro Da Hero (7:30pm) Price: £8.50 The Waterfront Elephant Gun (8:30pm) Price: Free Rose Tavern

Films: Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter (9pm) Price: £2.80 Lecture Theatre 1

Sunday 19th

Monday 20th

LCR gigs: Rizzle Kicks (7pm) Price: £10.00 UEA LCR

LCR gigs: Skrillex (7:30pm) Price: £15.00 UEA LCR

Waterfront gigs: Alestorm (7pm) Price: £13.00 The Waterfront

Horrible Histories 2012 (7pm) Price: £5.50 - £15.50 Theatre Royal Norwich

Pub quiz (7:30pm) Price: FREE UEA Blue Bar

Friday 24th Waterfront gigs: The Kabeedies album launch party (7pm) Price: £5.00 The Waterfront Films: Shorts Programme (7:30pm) Price: £2.80 Lecture Theatre 1

LISTINGS

concrete.listings@uea.co.uk

Saturday 25th Waterfront gigs: Depth @ The Waterfront Studio (7pm)Price: £5.00 The Waterfront LCR club nights: A list UEA LCR (10:30pm) Price: £4.50

Tuesday 21st Waterfront gigs: Pulled Apart By Horses + The Computers (7:30pm) Price: £8.00 The Waterfront LCR club nights: Rio Carnival (10pm) Price: £3.50 UEA LCR

Sunday 26th Pub quiz (7:30pm) Price: FREE UEA Blue Bar Poker Night (8pm) Price: £5 Kings Arms

Friday 17th

Saturday 18th

LCR gigs: NME Awards Tour 2012 (Two Door Cinema Club / Metronomy / Tribes / Azealia Banks) (7pm) Price: £19.10 UEA LCR

Waterfront Gigs: Dressed To Kill presented by Metal Lust (7pm) Price: £12 / £10 NUS The Waterfront

Media Bowl Pub Quiz (7:30pm) Price: FREE UEA Blue Bar

LCR club nights: A list (10:30pm) Price: £4.50 UEA LCR Media Ball (3pm) Sportspark

Wednesday 22nd

Thursday 23rd

LCR gigs: Ben Howard (7:30pm)Price: £13.00 UEA LCR

Waterfront gigs: Cash (7:30pm) Price: £10 / £8 NUS The Waterfront

Adult clothes swap (5pm) The Stanley

Monday 27th LCR gigs: Steve Hackett (7:30pm) Price: £18.00 UEA LCR

Bar 150 @ Loft NR1 (10pm) Price: £1.50 Loft NR1

Tuesday 28th LCR club nights: Movie Stars (10pm) Price: £3.50 UEA LCR


Photo by Greg Mann | Model; Rob Sesemann


Venue 265