Off the Shelf Eurogamer Expo Everything Everything USA vs UK TV pilots
Friday October 11 2013
short fuse. comments and rants on entertainment news.
We miss 90s Britney, bitch!
’m sure the name ‘Britney Spears’, to many of you, creates the mental image of a young girl barely out of her teens dancing around a basketball court in a short skirt and very stylish fluffy hair bobbles. I’m pretty sure that I’m also not alone in thinking, at the time, that she was some sort of idol. The iconic track, ‘Baby One More Time’ is 15 years old this week. Apart from making me feel incredibly old (I was 4 when that track was released), it also makes me intrigued as to how Britney has grown up through the industry, and whether or not she has had a lasting impact on pop music.
Britney Spears, to most 90s kids, defines the era of N Sync, Five and the Spice Girls; the true pop era. Britney Spears’s video for ‘Baby One More Time’ has over 83 million views on Youtube, and the fact that it is still a popular choice for, not only just the Pop Tarts DJ on a Saturday night, but in many music venues up and down the country, just goes to show how iconic both the track and the video are. Many people are critical of the direction she has chosen to take since she was signed in 1997. Indeed, many of her videos do sadden me; she simply does not have that same effect nowadays that she
did in the 90s. Her new song and video ‘Work Bitch’ lacks both creativity and class, for example. However, it should be noted that she has grown up; she can’t be dancing around in school uniform forever! It’s safe to say that Britney will forever be what many consider as a “pop princess.” Despite leaving this image behind as she has grown older, it can’t be disputed that, along with many others, she has helped shape the pop industry. Phoebe Gomes
Banksy won’t back down that easily
ord is that two new pieces painted by Banksy in New York have been defaced within a week of him painting them. What a surprise. Currently in New York for his month long exhibition, Banksy painted his piece ‘The Street is in Play’ in Lower Manhattan at the start of October. The piece, featuring two young boys trying to get to a sign that reads “Graffiti is a crime”, has already undergone a rather shoddy white paint job. His second piece reads “This is my New York accent” in graffiti font and below it is a neater, italicised “…nor-
mally I write like this”. As if it wasn’t bad enough his first piece in New York was defaced, even his second piece has been tagged by some anonymous. As a Banksy fan, you would think I’d be enraged that someone would dare deface the great Banksy’s work. But I say bring it on. Who doesn’t love a cat fight, especially if it’s done in a passive aggressive way between street artists? For those of you that aren’t so Banksy crazy, let me remind you of how in 2009, Banksy defaced a piece in Camden done by another graffiti great, King Robbo. That one devious move by
Banksy then kicked off a feud between the two graffiti legends; a graffiti battle attacking each other’s work. If he can dish out some artistic defacing, then he definitely should be able to take some as well and this man definitely loves a challenge. By now, I’m confident Banksy is used to his work being removed, defaced or destroyed, so two more pieces being defaced will probably not ruffle his feathers too much. Let’s not forget just how much each of his pieces is worth, this legend will continue to do what he loves. Nikita Kesharaju
ello, oh mighty Fuse readers! Another fortnight, another issue. We are here to bring you yet another fantastic issue of student journalism to break up the dull monotony of lectures, seminars and hangovers that encapsulates life after reshers’ week. This issue Games ventured to London to visit the Eurogamer Expo, check their excellent feature on pages 6-7. Arts stayed closer to home with a feature on the wonderful Off the Shelf Festival that is here in our very own Sheffield. We’ve got live reviews of Ellie Goulding’s latest tour and the oh-so enticing new Metallica film. And if this doesn’t satisfy you, head to our website, Forgetoday.com to keep you going for the next fortnight. Amelia Heathman Kaz Scattergood
This cover was by Philippa Spottiswoode , inspired by the Off the Shelf festival. Thanks, Philippa! Can you draw? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon Oct 18 6pm-7.30pm, Activities & Sports Zone, £3
Broadchurch USA: Don’t be surprised if it works
he track record of US remakes of British television is, quite frankly, atrocious. From recent stellar comedies whose American reincarnations were less than inspiring, to the mishandling of dramas such as Life on Mars and Skins, viewers would be forgiven for thinking the Broadchurch project is doomed from the start. Fear not though, loyal fans, there is precedent to suggest Broadchurch’s remake could not only be faithful, but successful in it’s own right. The failing of many a remake was that it was a uniquely British core that made the originals so successful. The high school life
and humor of Skins and The Inbetweeners proved hard to replicate because it is so alien to both the televised and real life high school experience of Americans. That is also true of the office politics of The I.T. Crowd, the police and 70s culture of Life on Mars and so on. However, the key to Broadchurch was not its Britishness, but the clever manipulation of the mystery and tension a murder in a tight-knit community can cause. You just need to look at shows like The Killing, a successful foreign adaptation itself, to see that these stories are something Americans can do well. Furthermore, with the confirma-
tion that both executive producer Chris Chibnall and David Tennant are reprising their roles’, there is less danger that the show will follow the path of Simon Pegg’s Spaced and be warped into something unrecognizable when all original cast/crew are removed. There is a tendency amongst UK television fans to mock the efforts of American networks, but if this adaptation builds on positive beginnings, there is a real chance it could go beyond the original and become a success in its own right, as Shameless recently proved is possible. Keir Shields
o you have spice-specific self destructive tendencies? Do you think you can handle the hottest of all of the chillies? Do you need a good punishment to throw onto the losing end of a bet? Test your tastebuds or humiliate your korma-loving friends with this unmissable Give it a Go experience. Just £3 for the chal-
lenge of a lifetime. They say do one thing every day that scares you. And do one thing every day to make yourself proud. This is most certainly a two birds one stone situation. There’ll be all varieties and levels available so whether you’re a chilli veteran or a spice virgin, you’ll be more than welcome. You’ll definitely need a bottle of water. And maybe some milk.
Friday October 11 2013
q&a. We interviewed Philosophy student and author, Helen Hiorns Helen Hiorns, Philosophy student, won a book contract with Random House and is now going to see her work in print. Laura Marsden got the chance to chat to her about her work. What made you want to enter in the first place? I’ve been writing books for years, it’s kind of ‘my thing’. One of my friends who I write with sent me a link to the competition. It was a young writer’s competition so you had to submit 40,000 words and then picked 10 that were judged by random house and out of the top three Malorie Blackman picked the winner. How was the writing itself, stunted or did everything just flow? I knew what the plot was going to be because I had it planned out I just hadn’t got round to actually writing it, so I guess I knew what I was doing! For anyone who doesn’t know, tell us the basic concept of the book. It’s a young adult novel and the main idea is that in this world where it’s set, everyone has the name of their soul mate printed on their wrist. And the idea is that they have to try and find their soul mates but my protagonist Corin, doesn’t really like the idea of it and she doesn’t want to be found. So I guess the book is about her journey.
What made you take something as accepted and romantic as ‘soul mates’ and question it? It’s not an idea I even really like either. I think it’s a bit of a weird concept that there is only one person that you are meant to be with and I think a lot of romance in literature and books is over romanticised and I wanted to do something a bit more cynical with it. So Helen, as a second year student here, how has being in Sheffield enhanced or hindered your writing? I have much less contact hours than I had at school so I have more time in terms of time at home to write which is nice and I wouldn’t have been able to write the 40,000 words whilst at school. I know that sounds strange because I have more time at university but I generally like Sheffield more than I like being at home so it’s helpful. I have good friends here. Has studying Philosophy made you think differently or affected your writing in anyway? One of the site owners who judged the competition said that when they found out I study philosophy he can kind of see that in the book. So I guess there are a few philosophical questions in it. I hadn’t really thought about it too much, until I started
re-writing. Because I had already written 20,000 words of the book and when I finished it off- I was like “wait this is actually quite philosophical”. But I think the book does reflect my degree in terms of questioning things. What happened after you won the competition? I found out when I was backpacking around Europe with my two best friends. I got a phone call from my editor, Natalie, to say that I’d won, and that was a bit of a shock. The prize comes with £2000 advance- I was very poor this summer until that happened. Then there was an awards ceremony too. What doors has the competition opened for you now? They were only meant to be doing an ebook at first, but they said they would do a paperback of it if it sells well; and now they have committed to doing a paperback so that will be out on the January 2 that’s really exciting. What now? What are your plans for the future? I have always wanted to be a writer so I have a sequel for this book, which I have started writing, and I have a few other ideas for novels I want to write. I have a proper contract with Random House like most other authors, so now I do have that option.
Photo credit: Movellas
Available from the SU box office
The Room: Fri Oct 18 19:30
Monsters University: Sat Oct 19 15:30
Oblivion: Sun Oct 20 15:30
Friday October 11 2013
t’s everyone’s favourite time of year. And no, I’m not talking about Intro Week, the long awaited arrival of our loans and the inevitable freshers’ flu, but rather the beginning of a new season of television and the chance to get hooked on a whole new array of TV shows. But to get hooked, we need a good pilot episode, especially at a time of the year that promises so many great new shows or long awaited returns to old favourites. Whether it’s superheroes, mythical figures or period dramas, a pilot episode is the watershed moment of a TV show, and with more and more British shows being remade in the States, it bears asking; who does it better? Coming up against Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, the UK offers Atlantis, helmed by the creators of Merlin and Misfits. Atlantis undoubtedly has to be taken with a pinch of salt and any need for historical accuracy has to be left at the door. Pilots, after getting ideas optioned in the first place, are one of the hardest moments in a new TV show, and this is where Atlantis gets it right in its enjoyable simplicity. But S.H.I.E.L.D tries that bit too hard; you can almost hear Joss
Whedon begging you to like it. Unfortunately, although the pilot would be enough to keep most of its audience watching, particularly families, Atlantis goes up against The X Factor for viewers, which sadly, even with the best pilot, may mean it doesn’t survive past its first season.
“How would Jaffa Cakes and a cuppa make sense in Hollywood?” But there’s still hope for pilots across the pond. Already a favourite among viewers at Comic-Con and starring Karl Urban who, let’s face it, carries 90 per cent of films he stars in, Almost Human managed to pull off a pilot with so much potential that people are hotly anticipating the series premiere in November. There’s no perfect first episode but Almost Human feels polished as it draws out complex and touching character relation-
ships which you can’t help but hope to see more of. And best of all, it isn’t predictable. Again, balance was the key to this pilot’s success; sharing sci-fi aspects with detective shows; perhaps a result of J.J Abrams influence, who is well versed in creating shows that grab a cult following. I can’t wait to see what they do with Almost Human, and its grittier, darker edge would be a nice antithesis to the many Hollywoodesque shows that are returning or premiering this autumn. Likewise, once the chunk of this season that revolves around new reality TV and comedy has passed, in the coming months the UK has a lot to look forward to. A Doctor Who anniversary special in November promises to be the ultimate episode, which to the extensive, loyal fan base could either be a blessing or a burden in regards to this pilot of sorts. There’ll be much anticipation for the franchise to stay true to its formula, but it has strayed from the wishes of its fans in the past and was always ultimately met with success. Doctor Who is almost a television institution at this point and will unlikely be a letdown. In the US vs UK debate, interest-
ingly many of the best British export shows, particularly the pilots, are copied. If not almost word for word, as in the case of The Office, then at in theme, perhaps to bank on the success of the original. Though, where House of Cards and The Office flourished in moving away from their British cousins, Skins and Life on Mars really struggled to translate past the first episode. It’s horrific to think of the attempted Spaced remake; how would Jaffa Cakes and a cuppa make sense in Hollywood?
“It seemed a bit behind the times, like an episode of The X Files but with superheroes” Perhaps the most intriguing of the UK’s brand new offerings is Dracula, a dark drama based in Victorian London. If it can toe the line between supernatural thriller
and period drama, then it could easily become a new UK TV favourite, especially considering the tour de force that makes up its cast and crew, ranging from Downton’s production crew promising “pure eye candy,” to Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the lead, and Supernatural’s Daniel Knauf in the writing team. This pilot will hang on the fact that it can avoid the cheesier aspects of British period television, particularly the supernatural, and instead be both enjoyable, and at times genuinely sinister. There are definitely some things that the UK does better, often with its pilots, but it’s just not there yet this season, when up against US heavyweights S.H.I.E.L.D, Arrow, Almost Human and Masters of Sex. The UK are relying instead on the return of already popular shows like Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Doctor Who, which will undoubtedly snatch up audiences. For this season at least, we should be more focused on stateside shows; but whether you’re watching Holmes or Coulson, it’s all definitely off to an exciting start.
Friday October 11 2013
t’s been a big year for Everything Everything. Since the release of their second album Arc in January, they’ve embarked on tours, done the festival circuit and are currently enjoying some downtime (aka, a couple of weeks). Taking cues from marriage breakdowns, mental illness and television show Lone Ranger, Arc artfully revealed the darker side to human nature: paranoia, despair and isolation, pinned against Jonathan Higgs’ frantic vocal delivery and the band’s natural penchant for jagged, glitchy, complex song structure. On record, it makes for rewarding and compelling listening, but how best to translate the material to the stage? Bassist Jeremy explains how they have constructed their new live show. “We’re definitely aware of the more visual elements”, says Jeremy, but he’s keen to steer away from claims that the band are aiming at a more theatrical edge for their new shows. “People might be expecting suits, Talking Heads, David Bowie. We’ve got the money now and the time to do more. There’s nothing wrong with doing something different.”
“That’s all you need, practice and pants” As well as more material and more freedom, the band also have a great team behind them, allowing for more creative collaboration behind the scenes: “We’ve got a very talented lighting engineer called Ben, and we put a lot of trust in him. He’s very musical and very sensual man, and we do have ideas which we give to him and we work quite closely with him.” Collaboration seems to be a big part of Everything Everything’s day -to-day life. Having a good creative relationship within your crew is one thing, but Jeremy insists it’s keeping your friends around which is the key to a happy tour. The band has just begun their new UK tour with best mates
5 and fellow Mancunians Dutch Uncles. Dutch Uncles are cut from the same musical cloth as Everything Everything: a zealous love of melody, oddball time signatures and a clear debt to pop music. Their live show is as compelling as their music too; lead singer Duncan Wallis’ dance moves are famed all over the live circuit. Will there be any dancing competitions on the road this time? “Not in the slightest,” Jeremy laughs, “he’s in a league of his own. They’re a great band and I can’t believe they’re about to start work on their fourth album.” The band has always tried to play with their mates, but now they are enthusiastic about using their newfound influence to help other bands find new audiences.“Now, we’re choosing bands we like and bands which compliment us and those our fans will hear. I love that aspect of it. Hopefully they enjoy playing for our fans and gain a few fans themselves; that’s the idea.” Audiences can expect the Liverpudlian trio All We Are, as well as upcoming band Outfit as support. It’s not the first time this year that the band have been on a UK tour, but when asked what he does to prepare for a tour like this, Jeremy can offer some sage advice: “We do try not to blowout, but I don’t know how well we do that. We all talk about it, we decide we’re drinking less and things. But at the end of it you’re going to spend a month sitting down and drinking beer and playing on stage every night. You do have to do your best to get a grip. We pack all of our pants and rehearse and that’s basically it. That’s all you need, practice and pants.” Over the course of their tour, the band will be playing two sold out nights at the Ritz in Manchester as well as at the Forum in London. But where’s best to tour in the UK, north or south? “The things about the north of England is that you get more cultural cities” Jeremy laughs. “Down south, you play Bristol and you play London. In the north of England you’ve got a really big string of industrial cities with extraordinary nightlife and they’re only
about 50 miles apart. It’s such a small area but it’s so diverse and rich in live music.” So the more northern, the better.
“Being a fresher is about shedding your skin after you leave school” The band have played in Sheffield many times, and are no strangers to university crowds. Everything Everything as we know it was formed in part at Salford University under the guise of a Popular Music degree, but did they have a good time there? “It seems so long ago! 10 years ago now. I was quite shy as a fresher, and I wish I hadn’t been” says Jeremy. “If I have one piece of advice it would be to just throw yourself into it - you may as well be a massive idiot and meet some people. There’s this old saying that the people you hang out with in freshers’ week you‘ll never see again, and it may be true, but I think that’s part of it. It’s shedding your skin after you leave school for the first time and you can start again. The whole experience of socialising is the most important thing. I had a good time, and I enjoyed having the time and the space to read, study and get fucking wasted.”
Everything Everything play at the O2 Academy Sheffield on October 22
Snap, crackle and glitch-pop Everything Everything’s Jeremy Pritchard chats to Rachel Smith on touring, freshers’ week and pants
Friday October 11 2013
EUROGAMER EXPO 2013 We got to preview some of the hottest upcoming titles at the UK’s biggest gaming event DRIVECLUB With many racing games on show at Eurogamer Expo we didn’t expect any particular one to stand out, but DriveClub certainly did. While the graphics didn’t seem quite up to that of Forza 5, DriveClub was a lot of fun and will be a strong exclusive for the Playstation 4. DriveClub puts the competitive, social aspect back into driving games. As soon as you start, your timing is being compared to other players, and you’re presented with challenges throughout the laps. These challenges include average speed targets and drifting skills, with the stats of other players being brought to your attention throughout. This competitive feel is something that obviously exists naturally when playing a racing game with your friends in a multiplayer mode, but is often totally lost in the single player experience. The social stats here put that competitive element straight into the single player, making it just as intense as when you’re playing with friends- because in a way, you are. You’re directly competing with your online friends, trying to beat their stats. The car handling and graphics were as great as you’d expect from a next-gen release, but it’s the competitive stats which really elevate DriveClub above other driving games for PS4, and for the next generation in general. RN
CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS Call of Duty is back, with its new title Ghosts taking it into the next generation of consoles. After watching a short single player campaign trailer, we got to the good stuff, the multiplayer. We played a game of Domination on a partially destroyed city map (the staple of modern-day shooters). Guns felt noticeably heavier and beefier, the map looked great on next gen and of course there was a new list of killstreak rewards. One of the big changes found in Ghosts’ multiplayer were how explosions cause parts of the map to change shape, often forcing players to change routes. It kept the match frantic throughout and if these changes happen randomly, they will also make sure the maps feel fresh long after the initial release. Another change to gameplay is the introduction of in-game Field Missions, individual objectives (such as capturing certain areas of the map, or killing enemies in certain ways) that shake up players’ approach to the game. However, as fun as these changes were, it still felt very much like just another Call of Duty. While Ghosts is innovative enough to satisfy the franchise’s current fans, it is not quite revolutionary enough to win over critics of the series. RN
TITANFALL This brand new first-person shooter, scheduled for early 2014, was easily our game of the expo. To be so impressed by a demo multiplayer experience pre-release is incredibly rare, and we were blown away by just how awesome this game is. You take on the position of a pilot, with special abilities such as double jumping and running up walls. The map reflects this, providing opportunity to get to higher levels and use different strategies to what you’d use on other multiplayers. You can also fight as mech-style walkers called Titans, which drop in during the match. Both pilots and Titans have different classes with different weapons, so you can tailor your play to the tactics you prefer, even when taking on the huge machinery of the Titan. The real beauty and fun of this game definitely comes from striking a balance between these two modes of play. Real wow-moments include turning round a corner as a pilot and seeing Titans stomping towards you, and handily being hinted to use an anti-Titan rocket launcher. If you’re a Titan having a machine-gun battle with another Titan (which looks awesome) and you’re about to get destroyed, you’re prompted to eject. This sends you straight up into the air where you not only get a great view of the map, you see your poor Titan body explode below. Land back on the ground as a pilot and carry on. Amazing. Titanfall’s ‘campaign multiplayer’ form gives some real depth to a usually fairly superficial mode of gameplay, adding engaging cutscenes and story elements and actual objectives which drive the multiplayer. This works particularly well when a match ends, and the ‘epilogue’ begins. The losing team must escape on an evac ship, while the winning team tries to kill escaping pilots. It’s like an extra mini multiplayer match but with tons more panic, kills happen fast and everything’s super hectic. It’s an inspired idea we can’t believe we’ve not seen before. Titanfall truly deserved its prize as ‘Game of the Show’, doing exactly what it claims to do in pushing the boundaries of the genre. KS
OCTODAD: DADLIEST CATCH Imagine the gaming equivalent of having your limbs being turned into noodles and having to be extremely cautious of anyone finding out that your limbs have been turned into noodles. That’s a bit like what it felt like to play Octodad. The premise is simple – you’re an octopus, no one can find out you’re an octopus. The mechanics are a bit like QWOP and maybe even Surgeon Simulator, deliberately ridiculous and difficult whilst being kind of hysterical. The context of the game makes total sense that your controls would be such a challenge, and the narrative – not wanting to get caught out as an invertebrate – means you’re more likely to concentrate on getting the controls right and actually complete tasks properly. It’s certainly a challenge, but one that had us in stitches laughing as the game warns exactly how many eyes are on you as you flail about, knocking over everything in sight. Whether the game speaks closely to your chaotic mind and deep personal anxiety of your perception to the world, or just gives you a right good laugh, it certainly seems to succeed in a really hilarious way. KS
DYING LIGHT Dying Light is an upcoming survival-horror zombie game. It is being made by Techland, the creators of Dead Island, and it shows. The game feels very similar and seems more like Dead Island 3 than a new series. While Dying Light didn’t feature the on screen stats and XP awards that often made Dead Island look messy, the setting of the game and the first person melee combat against zombies felt more than a little reminiscent. One key mechanic that Dying Light features is a focus on free running to get around the city, which made for particularly exciting getaways from hordes of zombies. Dying Light had very average graphics and didn’t visually impress as much as other games at the show, however this may be attributed to the fact that it was running on current gen, unlike many of the other big titles. If you enjoyed Dead Island and were disappointed with the lack of innovation in Dead Island 2, this is definitely the game you’ve been waiting for. However if you were turned off by both Dead Island games, this may be another Techland title that you want to avoid. RN
More game previews available online at forgetoday.com/games
Friday October 11 2013
Words: Reece Nunn & Kaz Scattergood Art: Philippa Spottiswoode
Friday October 11 2013
a celebration of literature and media
ff the Shelf Festival of Words returning for its 22nd year, brings a host of top creative talent to the great city of Sheffield for a month long celebration of the written and spoken word.
“Right on your doorstep, it is definitely worth a look in” Since this Festival of Words began, it has invited people of all ages to get involved in reading, storytelling, talks, walks and even workshops on the subject of literature today. With the vast range of events taking place around the city, there is something for everyone. Off the Shelf has taken place annually for over two decades and has become one of the region’s many enchanting literary festivals. Attracting key members of the literary world, Off the Shelf encompasses literature at its best: quirky, imaginative and inclusive. It will feature events with the likes of Roddy Doyle, Dan Snow and the University of Sheffield’s own Simon Armitage. If these famous faces are anything to go by, Off the Shelf will live up to its blurb of one of the best literature festivals currently circulating in the UK. Right on your doorstep, it is definitely worth a look in. Saturday October 5 brought one of the first events of the diverse and didactic month, The North with Paul Morley at Foundry. A chat-show style interview with the music journalist and author of The North, Paul Morley, kick-started the festivals collaboration with the University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union. Everything great about literary festivals, Off the Shelf and Sheffield itself seemed to come together for this eye-opening event.
“Fuse were lucky enough to grab a few minutes with Morley before the show”
October 12 - November 2
Twitter @otsfestival Facebook Off the Shelf Festival of Words
A music journalist who grew up in Stockport and lived and wrote at the epicen-
Tickets available from the SU
tre of the music revolution of the 70s, Morley’s casual countenance yet strength of opinion was engaging from the outset. Beginning his professional career as a writer for NME, he has progressed to one of the key music journalists around today. After a career of kickass journalism, at this year’s Off the Shelf it was time for the interviewer to become the interviewee. Interviewed in a chat show style by Pete McKee, the audience were exposed to the thoughts and ideas behind Morley’s newest, less musically orientated publication, The North. Hearing him discuss his reasons for writing the part memoire, part historical text brought to light what Off the Shelf is all about: the poignant use of the written and spoken word. Fuse were lucky enough to grab a few minutes with Morley before the show to ask him about his take on the festival and the ideas behind his work.
“If you’re a comedian, a musician, or an entertainer then you can get away with it” In The North, Morley has used his skill as a writer and his strong identity to write, somewhat controversially, about “what it means to be a northerner”. Only a week after the infamous freshers ‘North vs Midlands vs South Bar Crawl’, the somewhat sensitive topic of Britain’s geographical stereotypes returned to Sheffield, but Off the Shelf replaced the uncouth t-shirts with literature and discussion. Unluckily for the so called ‘Southern Softies’ and ‘Midland Mingers’ of the bar crawl, Morley is a northerner through and through. So much so that even after having lived in London for 30 years he claims he will die the day he is called a ‘Londoner’. In our pre-interview interview Morley’s assumed yet equally authentic northern identity came across as the force behind his book. He said his book was about “what being northern is”, he spoke of a “northern energy” that he believes separates northern folk from the rest of Britain. He explained, “The North, for me, is a collection of great ideas over centuries, the industrial revolution and the trains, all the stuff around us happened in the north.” Morley’s affinity to the north, considering he moved to London as a young man, was impressive and refreshingly sincere.
Friday October 11 2013
Arts editor Lizzie Hyland caught up with music journalist and OTS guest, Paul Morley He admitted in the interview, and again later in the show, his views of the south and its “institution, elitism and privilege”. He talked passionately to Fuse about “an attitude towards northerners”, he said that “If you’re a comedian, a musician, or an entertainer then you can get away with it, but not if it’s anything serious. They didn’t move politics to Manchester, that stayed in London”. Again and again Morley pushed the idea that he was not attempting to cover every aspect of the north or assume a one size fits all approach. He explained that although the book’s title The North hints at this attitude, he confessed that My North or even A North would be a more fitting title, but harder to publicise. Publicity itself seemed to be the main motivation for participation in Off the Shelf, the need to “get on the road” he said. He talked about “the importance of self-promoting” and the opportunity that local literary festivals give to writers. “Very, very famous people do them to distribute their ideas and their books”.
“There is a sense of a lingering energy that believes in the idea of the book” The best moment of the interview was the way Morley spoke about the audiences at Off the Shelf. “You know that the people who come to the festival love books; they are a secret club that need to be kept alive. There is a sense of a lingering energy that believes in the idea of the book”.
Morley claimed to be optimistic about his live interThe provocative passion of Paul Morley as well as his views and talks distributing ideas as well as advertising his book. There seems no reason to doubt him if he appreciation of a good bookworm further proves that encompasses his own definition of a northerner,“It’s all Sheffield is the place to be if you’re looking to be imabout fighting to be at the centre of attention, finding mersed in a celebration of culture and art this autumn. ways to do that”
“You know that the people who come to the festival love books; they are a secret club that need to be kept alive” When asked by a member of the audience to sum up the north in one word, without a pause for consideration Morley chose “underdog”, a label he has quite clearly proved wrong through both his life and his work. As well as being an advocate of the north, Morley was an excellent spokesman for Off the Shelf. “The increase in literary festivals is a fascinating side of the times” he said at first, “people are fed up with usual ways of receiving information, television or mainstream media; they’re looking for something else. Each festival has a different characteristic and knowing how people respond makes a difference to what you write and how you write”.
Artwork by Philippa Spottiswoode
Friday October 11 2013
Fuse. games Fifa 14
Xbox 360/PS3/Wii/PC 8/10
oasting new features, a fresh interface and updated squad lists, Fifa 14 is back, in an attempt to get you to splash out once again and utter the same lie you tell yourself every year: “next season I won’t buy this damned game”.
“Dipping and rising shots just like in real life” Fifa 14 offers you the chance to play anyone from the reigning Champions of European Bayern Munich to Accrington Stanley. With no serious competition again, Fifa 14 is set to dominate student consoles for yet another year. The first thing you notice is the sleek new interface, which resembles the Xbox dashboard and makes scrolling through the menus easier on the eye. Despite all this, the colour scheme can take time to get used to and you may find yourself getting angry before you even kick a virtual
Grand theft auto V Xbox 360/PS3 9/10
ne of the most anticipated and massively hyped pieces of media in recent years, Grand Theft Auto V has taken over five years and £120 million to develop, and it is indeed a masterpiece. GTA V is a departure from all GTA games so far in that it follows the lives of three initially independent playable protagonists (who you can switch between on the fly anytime) rather than a single main character. The events that lead to the fusing of their journeys are intense, and most importantly, fun. This is the most remarkable aspect of GTA V, that it masterfully brings back the insane atmosphere of last gen’s San Andreas and Vice City, but in a beautiful, colour-
ball as you select the wrong option in the menu. In Fifa 14 you find the same plethora of game modes you have come to expect. Career mode has seen small improvements making scouting easier, and there has also been the introduction of a new game mode, a co-op online tournament. Ultimate Team has seen the addition of ‘legend cards’ to its Top Trumps style deck, so you can now add the likes of Pelé and Dennis Bergkamp to your fantasy squad. The biggest disappointment in the game is the graphics. EA seem to have tried to get away with changing the brightness to make it look like they have made improvements. The definition in the grass appears to have been reduced as well making it feel like you are running around on a cartoon field at times. With the inclusion of ‘precision movement’ the game has taken one step closer to realism. Every turn counts, you find yourself looking for space to run into rather than a rash sprint and hope, making for more enjoyable build up play. Shooting has also been revamped, with ‘pure shot’ the ball flies more realistically through the air. Previous iterations of the game
saw shots that looked the same every time, now we see dipping and rising shots just like in real life. Despite this feature, finesse shots feel overpowered again so you can find yourself cutting inside from wide to abuse them and score that game changing goal. This year’s addition to the bestselling franchise is a worthy one. The new features might not make you immediately want to go buy yourself a copy, but they should.
ful, and massive new open world. If your reservations about GTA IV were its dark, drab, and limited tones, then GTA V will make you very happy indeed. The charm of GTA V is how everything is just plain fun, and the attention to detail spans everything from the sharper driving controls to the game’s awesome art design. The shooting mechanics are very much like Red Dead Redemption, which is definitely a good thing. GTA V isn’t perfect, but the issues are mainly small and technical. It only runs in 720p for example, it tops out at 30fps and very occasionally drops below 20 (but only when something particularly hectic is going on). There isn’t a way to respawn your painstakingly pimped vehicles after driving them off a mountain and into the roof of a hillbilly’s trailer, nor can you make custom playlists of the excellent in-game music.
These are not features GTA has ever had, but when we’ve experienced these features in the latest Saints Row games it’s slightly annoying that they aren’t included in this game. The issues with GTA V are minor, they are design choices or console power limitations, not the fault of the game. Everything that’s there is pure gold, a demonstration of open world nirvana. Rockstar have shown the world how much fun a game that masters so many gameplay mechanics can be. That’s the most important thing; fun, and Grand Theft Auto V has more of it than anything else in recent times. If anything deserves a high score, it’s this. Chris O’Grady
“You will be sucked into the best game of the series” The game is more fluid and enjoyable for them and any small gripes you have, such as the lack of improvement to graphics, can be ignored as you won’t notice them after you have been sucked into the best game in the series to date. Jake Stothard
CULT CORNER War for The Overworld - Beta PC
n unapologetic throwback to the classic Dungeon Keeper franchise, War for the Overworld initially started as an unofficial fan sequel. Near the end of the Kickstarter campaign, it even received backing from the creator, Peter Molyneux. Using the indie-friendly Unity engine, WFTO provides a visually appealing game, with great lighting effects that pull the gamer into the world of a dungeon keeping, minionslapping, Underlord. A nostalgia trip for those lucky (or old) enough who have played the original Dungeon Keeper, the general purpose of the game is to expand your dungeon via rooms. The rooms have many purposes from spawning specific unit types (minions) to providing gold, income or food. The all-encompassing objective of WFTO is to destroy the other underlords. The need for micro-
managing is very minor compared to recent RTS and MOBA style games, which provides an easy-to-jump-in experience, something that will be a welcoming feature for many seasoned gamers. Although the game is in beta, there isn’t very much guidance in the game besides the tutorial and an overused narrator. This feature is likely to be added later but in its current state it means a lot of trial and error. At best the game is lacking; there are only six maps to choose from (two of which are the tutorials) and the choice of upgrades will leave you wanting. If you are a heavy Dungeon Keeper fan, or love the nostalgia that a great 90s classic provides, then this game has a lot of potential for you. In its current form, WFTO is playable with lots of potential. Corwin Bex
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Friday October 11 2013
Fuse. arts The Ugly Sisters Studio 8/10
ashDash theatre group completely flip the traditional fairy tale Cinderella with their production, The Ugly Sisters. Not only do the evil step sisters become the victims, the contemporary setting sets out to question the morals of society as we classify individuals into good or bad categories. The ‘ugly sisters’ themselves have seemingly written the play in order to tell the public the truth about Cinderella – or Arabella as they call her. The classic fairy-tale is completely de-romanticised as the cast use powerful yet intermittent moments of song and physical theatre to convey some rather thought provoking messages. The audience is forced to consider the very prevalent problems with the media and other controversial topics such as plastic surgery and family relationships. An extremely talented group of musicians play live music as the audience enter the intimate studio space and take their seats. The
informal atmosphere which is created by the band is instantly shattered as the electric guitar comes to an uncomfortable stop and two actresses limp onto the stage under harsh white floodlights. What proceeds is a slightly odd dance like sequence. The physicality of Emerald (Abbie Greenland) and Pearl (Helen Goalen) as they roll around together, automatically presents their intense sisterly relationship. This theme is continued throughout the piece, as both Emerald and Pearl randomly burst into moments of physical theatre in which they depend upon each other to stand upright. The raw emotion and enthusiasm of both Pearl and Emerald contrasts perfectly against the unrealistic acting of the musicians who double up to represent both Cinderella and Ruby (the twins’ mother). The musicians are increasing comical as they purposefully do not make any attempt to become the characters they are playing. This heightens the loneliness of the twins and reflects their lack of a mother figure. Overall, this short piece is not your orthodox piece of thea-
tre, expect to feel slightly uncomfortable as the actors strip down to their underwear on stage, play loud recorded sounds and even break the fourth wall by talking to the audience. If you want to be entertained in a classic uncomplicated way this show is not for you. However, if you want to witness the product of some extremely creative and talented young individuals, then be sure to head down the studio where the aggressive drumming and violent use of voice will not disappoint. Laura Marsden
inside the circle of fire Millenium Gallery 6/10
T Image: Museums Sheffield
BOOK CORNER Captain Correlli’s Mandolin Louis de Bernières 8/10
e Bernieres’ addictive novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, firmly captured the hearts of my entire A Level English Lit class. As credit must be given where credit is due, I feel the need to acknowledge this accomplishment. As we are led down the paths of characters such as Dr Iannis, his daughter Pelagia, the self-sacrificing Carlos and (of course) Corelli, the 500 pages stretch from the isolation of Cephalonia to the
he BAFTA award-winning Sound Recordist, Chris Watson, returns to his home town of Sheffield with an almighty bang in his current exhibition at the Millennium Gallery, Inside the Circle of Fire. The exhibition encompasses a largely empty space, only occupied by four mauve sofas in the centre of the room with three projection screens dwelling on its walls. Yet the exhibition hardly feels vacant. Once you take your seat in the dimly lit room, the sounds of Watson’s Sheffield fill your ears and the exhibition bursts at the seams
offices of Mussolini. De Bernieres’ tackles a vast range of controversies such as homosexuality in the military, Communism versus Fascism in twentieth century Europe, and the female role in Greek society, and so we gain a greater appreciation of many aspects of the World War II that we may not have picked up from our ink and coffee-stained history text books at GCSE. When asked to write on my favourite book, Corelli sprang to mind not due to the promise of romance, but for the realism with which de Bernieres writes. By keeping the majority of his novel relatively light without trivialising or romanticising any aspects of the war described, we are handed a thought-provoking portrayal of the time, whilst still
Image: Sheffield Theatres rush hour traffic, the sounds of a diversity of sport, the sounds of the two universities squeezing the city centre from either side; appear lost from this map. It is evident from the sounds of Inside the Circle of Fire that the exhibition has more worth as a historical depiction of the sounds familiar to Watson himself with his past experiences of Sheffield. Although Watson creates a physical ‘circle of fire’ with the four sofas at the centre of the room, one feels somewhat removed from the circle whilst desperately attempting to take in the photographs of Sheffield appearing on projection screens. Although the images remain for a prolonged time, the visitors appear to constantly glance left, right, in front and
with content. In his efforts to fulfil a “contemporary, not nostalgic” exercise, Watson includes a variety of sounds from a variant of locations in Sheffield recorded over the past 18 months. These range from the tweeting of birds and the flowing of rivers from the edges of the Peak District, to the chants of football fans, to the sounds of machinery typical of Sheffield’s industrial heritage, to the droning announcements of the train station. While these sounds are reminiscent of the city and somewhat familiar to the modern visitor, Watson does not entirely succeed in dispelling nostalgia. The map largely misplaces the sounds of the city centre itself, by day and by night. The sounds of local bands trying to make their way, the sounds of
being provided with comedy (once you’ve read chapter two, ‘The Duce,’ you’ll know what I mean). This is an awe-inspiring novel, which you will have trouble putting down. WARNING: the film is yet another example of Nicholas Cage ruining a plot. Daisy-Ann Francis
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behind them in order to check if the image has changed. In this sense, Watson has created a visual map damaging of his audio map as ones efforts in hearing become clouded by what is available in sight. The sound map is one well worth hearing, but close your eyes and imagine a different time. Raven Levi Tolson
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Friday October 11 2013
Fuse. music DRAKE
Nothing Was The Same Released September 20 5/10
rake’s latest offering, Nothing Was The Same, was hyped in the build-up to its September 24 release as his best work yet. However, the claims that nothing is the same aren’t quite justified. Long-time fans of
Superfecta EP Released October 1 6/10
uperfecta are clearly no strangers to the idea that hard rock should be energetic, punchy, and guitar-driven. In the EP Superfecta, they cover all these bases, in addition to a generous dash of melodic vocals and catchy choruses. The London four-piece kick off their debut EP with ‘She’s a Star’, which is packed with hard-hitting riffs, setting up a theme for the rest of the release. As good as the vocals are, it’s a shame that the lyrics aren’t more original, for example: “she wants, she wants more”. The second track, ‘Paradox’, shows that Superfecta are not afraid of adding atmosphere to their sound. Haunting vocals and a sinister riff lead into a powerful four minutes, complete with a smashing classic rock-inspired solo. Though dangerously
Drake won’t be disappointed, with the best songs on the album boasting the heartfelt lyrics that gave him his ‘nice guy rapper’ image, reminiscing about past loves and losses. The standout track on the album, ‘From Time’, falls in line with this ‘nice guy’ image, which includes a feature from up-and-coming singer songwriter Jhene Aiko, combing perfectly with Drake’s combination of softly spoken rap and singing. The album has an introspective feel, with the best moments coming from Drake’s singing rather than his rapping. However, people who aren’t already fans of Drake aren’t likely to be swayed. The one downside is that the album feels slow, lacking the pace and tongue in cheek lyrics (‘YOLO’ being an obvious one) that made his last album Take Care a hit. Slick intros and outros to each track work well when you listen to the album as a whole, yet grate when you try to listen to tracks individually, making it feel disjointed and a bit annoying after a few individual listens. Overall, the album has some great tracks that will no doubt see a lot of radio airplay, including ‘Hold On We’re Going Home’ and the already a hit ‘Started From The Bottom’, but, above all, it just doesn’t meet the expectations set by his previous offerings. With the extensive fan base and contacts
similar to the first track, overlooking this is easy considering how enjoyable it is. Unfortunately, the second half of the EP begins with a clichéd acoustic tune. ‘Inside’ does not benefit from the turbulent riffs of the first two songs. Over-abundant lyrics such as “it hurts so much inside” are cringeworthy and fall flat. However, this is not to say the song doesn’t have a place on the EP – four songs much like the first two would easily saturate its soundscape. All is redeemed in ‘Pendulum’, closing off Superfecta’s EP with their finest so far. Compelling, raucous, with plenty of rock ‘n’ roll, the 17 minutes end on a definite high. This is a fun, exciting release despite any shortcomings, and to linger too long on these seems against the spirit of the Superfecta EP. This is about enjoying the music, and if you like hard, fast paced rock music, Superfecta are definitely a band worth following. Theo Cole
Drake has (Lil Wayne, Jay Z, and Eminem to name a few) it seems like he could have taken more risks to create an album that really wasn’t the same. Kaia Mccoll
M.O. Released September 30 3/10
ow many years have to pass before we can describe something as ‘retro’? The new batch of freshers will scarcely remember the 90s, so Pop Tarts might need to consider that question soon. If it depends on how quickly the sound or look feels embarrassing, 38 year-old Nelly can be pleased with the success of his 2010 single ‘Just a Dream’ and doubly pleased that he took the plaster off his face before anyone remembered it was there. But like an aging pub rocker who splutters about ‘real music’ before drowning in his pint, the king of diet R&B is ignoring a decade of evolution and playing almost exactly what he did in the early 2000s. It’s admirable in its own way. New album M.O. is a simmering pot of leery, bumpy, grindy pop with splashes of sentiment. No hashtags, no dubstep drops, no Azealia Banks. Though he samples largely urban sounds (inoffensive beats that ostensibly came from hip-hop but were quickly commodified), there is an eclectic undercurrent which passes through funk, rock and
WHAT’S ON YOUR PLAYLIST?
Valeriya Gosteva Psychology Favourite band: The Crookes Favourite track right now: ‘Sal Paradise’ - The Crookes
Jeremy Telford Medicine Favourite band: Muse Favourite track right now: ‘Knights of Cydonia’ - Muse much else besides. Such versatility is entertaining, but the lack of conviction makes each change rather forgettable. ‘100k’ and ‘Get Like Me’ are pec-flexing club tunes, but ‘Hey Porsche’ is so cutesy it would make Carly Rae Jepsen blush. The peculiar brand of heartfelt misogyny (“Yo bitch bad / but my bitch better”) never fails to endear itself either. Anyone who remembers ‘Hot in Herre’ will know that Nelly’s best days are behind him. He may be able to make something that sounds like that kind of party, but nobody’s dancing without any hooks. These are the songs being played at 3:05am in the small room while security waits for the last straggler to leave. Duncan Geddes
UPCOMING: COURTNEY BARNETT:THE DOUBLE EP/ PAUL MCCARTNEY:NEW / TLC:20/ FALL OUT BOY:PAX AM DAYS
Friday October 11 2013
Fuse. music Ellie goulding Thursday October 3 The Leadmill
llie Goulding is back. After a time spent breaking America (successfully), she has returned to the UK triumphant, kicking off her tour in Sheffield. Rushing on to the O2 Academy stage in a blur of blonde and sequins, Ellie appears every inch the commercial pop star. However, it is apparent as soon as the show starts that she is not to be underestimated. Her husky vocals hold their own both in her earlier ballads and newer dance anthems equally, meaning the show is consistently good, and as diverse as her own back catalogue. The setlist echoes the development in her music from unassuming folk to bold, dubstep inspired beats, gained from working with producers such as ex-boyfriend Skrillex. Her time spent Stateside has given her music a bold edge that, when combined with her lyrical talent and trademark synths, creates chart hits that have lasting power beyond the top 40. This change in style also seems to provide a new confidence for Ellie, as she dances,
head bangs and genuinely just seems happy to be back on home ground throughout. At one point she quips how excited she is to be home, where people “actually know my songs!”. At times her stage presence is reminiscent of Stevie Nicks or Debbie Harry, as she commands the crowd while remaining self-deprecating and sweet. Though she is already recognised as a successful artist, her live performance is, for me, what made her stand out among the great British female artists of this century. Her individuality, both in musical style and personal dedication to her music is something to be admired. Throughout the set she plays her own instruments, including drums, electric guitar and synth, returning to the guitar for an acoustic version of her cover of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’. Rather than selling herself for shock value, she is consistently focused on the real reason she is there - music. The gig served to remind everyone what a force Ellie really is, and left the audience with the expectation for more. Kaia Mccoll
King Krule: Stephanie M Nicola-Miller
Thursday October 3 The Harley
I Ellie Goulding: Elijah Cohen
Thursday October 3 Foundry & Fusion
he Crookes first met on this dancefloor and the joy that their homecoming brings to them is clear to see with an exuberant and engaging performance which is hungrily devoured by an expectant and plainly loyal crowd. The four-piece have a nostalgic, toetapping style that somehow seems fitting, despite the young age of themselves and the fans. Smooth, mournful lyrics reminiscent of the Smiths have the audience slow dancing by the second song – if students, of which there are many here tonight, could afford to smoke then lighters would surely be waving in the air. One bopping, knee-jerking song segues into another and it becomes hard to discern between them. Singer George Waite
dedicates an old number to a fan who has come “all the way from Stockholm” but the gesture is lost by the similarity of the track to almost every other on their setlist. But the crowd are never bored by this homogeneity and react with a huge cheer
across the stage, hurling angst and bitterness in every direction like some kind of long-lost introverted Weasley sibling. There is a delicate balance held between the warm, soulful hum of the backing band and the punctuating cries of King Krule. It seems like a difficult connection to make between a casual and chilled backing sound and the anguished, romantic and more often than not angry words at the forefront of the performance. Given the absence of many of the production values present on the 6 Feet Beneath the Moon album, this contrast is maintained admirably, with the band producing a soundscape which finds itself desperately in need of the kind of raw energy Archy Marshall provides. Occasionally the balance falters, leaving some tracks a little too dreamy and melancholic. But before long, the brutal sharpness is back and by the end of the set, chants of “Kruley! Kruley!” burst out, permeating the applause as the band leave the stage. It is hard not to see the immense potential in King Krule. Regardless of his future, there is one thing we can be sure of here: this is dark stuff kids, dark stuff indeed.
t is safe to say that there are very few acts around today who sound anything like King Krule. Archy Marshall is very angry about something, and he’d sure love to let us know all about it. His sound is cynical, urban, bleak, almost restless and entirely personal. When he takes to the stage in the Harley, it is somewhat hard to match the world-weary and acidic musical persona to the gangly youth onstage. He appears mild and thoughtful up until the music starts and the voice emerges. Suddenly, every aspect of
his work falls into place. His voice breaks and holds with the mood of each song, which is naturally paired with his raw punk lyrics, his Morrissey style attitude and his grizzled cockney accent. He launches through his bourgeoning repertoire of songs to a dense crowd of students in oversized shirts, desert boots and neo-vintage hairstyles. Particular highlights come in the form of the anthemic ‘Easy Easy’ and the mellow and hypnotic ‘The Krockadile’ as the man himself alternates between his guitar and vocals. His stance onstage, with just the microphone in hand, is a fascinating cross between west-coast rapper and rambling drunk as he lurches
as Waite proclaims the band’s determination to make this the “best gig we’ve ever had” before launching into their final trio of hits. New single ‘Bear’s Blood’ has the crowd the most excited they’ve been yet, belting the lyrics back at a frenetic and red-faced Waite. The following song ‘Afterglow’ is the most well received song of the night, with its rousing “oohs” giving rise to a sea of waving hands before they close with the melancholic yet heart-lifting ‘Backstreet Lovers’. The band depart to chants of one more song which they duly oblige. ‘Yes, Yes We’re Magicians’ is a perfect choice to finish, allowing the crowd one final thrash
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before Waite announces that the only reason they’re in a band “is for nights like these”. They’ve had the time of their lives and you don’t doubt it, marking a triumphant return to their birthplace. William Blakeston More reviews online Read more reviews online at Forge Today
The Crookes: Elouisa Georgiou
UPCOMING: CHVRCHES:LEADMILL OCT 12 / BOWLING FOR SOUP:O2 ACADEMY OCT 18 / WET NUNS:QUEENS OCT 19
Friday October 11 2013
Fuse. screen How I live now Dir: Kevin Macdonald 6/10
ased on the novel of the same name by Meg Rosoff, How I live Now is an earnest tale of loss, love and upheaval. Daisy (Saoirse Ronan), an American sixteen-year-old, with a predilection for being fiercely strongwilled and sulky: ‘It’s Daisy. No-one calls me Elizabeth.’ is sent to live in the English countryside for the summer with her cousins. In an unfamiliar house full of animals (a goat dubbed a ‘unicorn’ is a personal favourite), she struggles to warm to her over-the-pond family. But when the already-unstable political situations descends into world war three, she finds herself growing closer to Isaac (Tom Holland), Piper (Harley Bird) and particularly Edmond (George MacKay), who she eventually falls in love with.
Sunshine on Leith Dir: Dexter Fletcher 6/10
n integral part of Sunshine on Leith is the Proclaimers – we all know a little of their work. You probably all know the words to ‘I’m Gonna Be’ (more commonly known as ‘500 Miles’). If all of a sudden you have a desire to familiarise yourself with the Proclaimers’ back catalogue, you’re in luck, because Sunshine on Leith to the Proclaimers is what Mamma Mia! is to ABBA. The film, which was adapted from Stephen Greenhorn’s stage musical, follows Davy (George MacKay) and Ally (Kevin Guthrie) – two soldiers who return from service in Afghanistan and have to re-adjust to life in Edinburgh. Ally is looking forward to continuing his romance with Davy’s sister, Liz (Freya Mavor), and she is keen to set Davy
No time is wasted in introducing the four main characters and making them individual from one another in mannerism and turn of phrase. Bird’s portrayal as Piper, the youngest, is especially humorous: ‘I know what a wanker is by the way’, and there are moments before the plot darkens where she carries the dialogue completely. Ronan gives a solid performance as the lead, but while her New York accent is consistent and accurate, the sense that she isn’t quite stretching herself emotionally remains present throughout. Aside from having the voice of a young Daniel Radcliffe, if you close your eyes (he even has the circular glasses to boot), Tom Holland has his well-meaning yet
up with her friend Yvonne (Antonia Thomas). Meanwhile, Davy and Liz’s parents Rab (Peter Mullan) and Jean (Jane Horrocks) are just about to celebrate their twenty fifth wedding anniversary. There’s not one, not two, but three lovesick couples to deal with. You’ll either be basking in the joy and romance oozing from them, or sinking into your seat and cringing at how soppy they all are. When it finally gets to Rab and Jean’s anniversary celebrations, everything goes horribly wrong. Suddenly all of the couples have problems to deal with, nothing is perfect anymore, and you’re left feeling a little bit lost after this sweeping turnaround. Bearing in mind that Sunshine on Leith had to incorporate thirteen of the Proclaimers’ tunes, it simply had to be written this way. Songs like ‘Oh Jean’ and ‘Let’s Get Married’ can be chucked in when everything is running smoothly, but this happy
slightly awkward character Isaac down to a T, but lacks the screen presence to make him memorable. MacKay is distant as Eddie, and though he has moments of poignancy, he doesn’t make the most of his character either. The plot moves slowly throughout, occasionally bordering on lethargic; however, the intense nature of several action sequences makes up for this - as does the stunningly beautiful scenery, most of which was filmed outside in the meadows and forests of England and Wales. This comes as a pleasant surprise, considering most production teams film ‘English countryside’
abroad. Daisy’s internal monologues are a nod to Rosoff’s novel, however her ideas about willpower aren’t fully narrated until the end. Although this acts as a conclusive way to tie up the story, it seems wasteful to not have discussed the idea more throughout. The author’s themes of youth and naivety are interestingly brought to the fore in the form of virtually no adult or parental presence for the first half of the film. Music features heavily in the film, with Daisy’s punk/rock tunes at the beginning (matching her outfit completely) giving way to more lyrical pieces that subtly match the nature of the outdoors. Although ultimately not an astounding piece of cinema, How I live Now explores the fascination with decay we all seem to have, giving both graphic and tender depictions of events in a teenager’s life. Kate Lovatt
and prosthetics normally required to create movie monsters. The protagonist is an alien with the mundanely human name of Derek (David Love). Having read a book before the film starts, Derek gains a heart and does not like the idea of raising gargons which will destroy the civilised creatures on Earth. His fellow aliens scoff at this, because they have been raised in an uncaring society where everyone must conform. Derek escapes from his kinsmen and ends up in a typical 1950s American suburb. In his travels he meets, and eventually falls in love with a teenage girl called Betty (Dawn Bender). Derek’s feelings for Betty are revealed when he says: “You make me angry… but I like you very much.” This romantic line is brought spectacularly to life by his love’s eloquent delivery, making liberal use of a dramatic pause.
Meanwhile, another alien called Thor (Bryan Grant) is sent to retrieve or kill Derek. Throughout his hunt, Thor murders a number of humans and a dog with a disintegrator ray, a fearsome weapon which turns people into skeletons, much like the models foundin Biology classrooms. The film is courtesy of Tom Graeff, who made it on a tiny budget. With that in mind, it comes across as a noble effort, despite the lacklustre writing, cheap effects and hilariously wooden acting (the lobster definitely steals the show). Ultimately, Teenagers from Outer Space is a terrible film, but entertainingly so. Graeff’s sheer commitment to it is heart-warming. There’s no excuse to miss the giant killer lobster and a gun that turns you into a classroom ornament.
atmosphere needs to be changed in order to accommodate a song like ‘Hate My Love’. The need to include all these songs means that the plot is completely shaped around the music. Sometimes the events accompany the song quite nicely and other times they don’t. It’s just embarrassing when Ally sings ‘Make My Heart Fly’ to Liz in order to stop her from going upstairs, but rather touching when Jean sings ‘Sunshine on Leith’ whilst sitting by Rab’s hospital bed. The plot is pretty weak and the Proclaimers haven’t really had enough hits to allow the music to carry the film singlehandedly. Having said that, Sunshine on Leith is vibrant and upbeat for the most part; there are some instances of comedy gold, and you’ll be glowing after that final scene. Laura Heffernan
Teenagers From Outer Space Dir: Tom Graeff
ne of the many goofy scifi films from the 1950s, Teenagers from Outer Space is a prime example of the so-bad-it’s-good film. Humanoid aliens land on American soil in order to use the planet as a gargon farm. Gargons are extraterrestrial creatures that can grow to monstrous sizes and are the main food source for the aliens. Only one gargon features in the film and it is truly something to behold. This terrifying monstrosity from the other side of the galaxy is played by an ordinary lobster. The performance is so naturalistic that the actor forgoes the make-up
Friday October 11 2013
Metallica: Through the Never Dir: Nimród Antal 8/10
etallica have always had the ability to blow minds; it’s just what they do. So it’s no surprise that their new concert/movie, Metallica: Through the Never, is absolutely awesome. Set in between a huge, interactive stage performance and an apocalyptic wasteland, this film gives you the full gig experience, while also telling a basic, but complete story. It follows Trip (Dane DeHaan) as he embarks on a mission to collect a bag which is essential to the band’s show. On his journey, the world around him transforms into a flaming wreck, filled with gangs of masked lynch mobsters bent on destruction. Trip uses the power of Metallica’s music to overcome the obstacles ahead of him, letting their lyrics and guitar riffs evolve his ability to fight and survive. Just why all of this is happening is not explained, but this doesn’t really matter. In its own strange way, the storyline works when backed up by the music in between. While the storyline itself is short and simple, the production is far from it. Such careful, creative transitions are used to send the viewer back and forth on between Trip’s journey and the concert, which directly affects the world around him.
At one point, the flailing arms and weapons of the gangsters slide seamlessly into those of the front row of Metallica’s crowd, and all the while the beautiful, colourful cinematography massages the senses into the wonderful music that features throughout. The effects used onstage all reflect upon the songs which are played, such as lasers and smoke representing the gunfire and bombs being dropped at the beginning of ‘One’. When Trip’s actions outside the stadium affect the stage’s props, knocking everything down like the world around him, the band casually bring out their ‘garage’ equipment, and finish their gig in a very personal, very intimate, nostalgic way. Through the Never lets fans relive some of their favourite musical moments, while enjoying a cracking film at the same time. In an IMAX cinema the sound is phenomenal. It surrounds you in rapturous music, launching you into the concert spiritually; you can really feel the atmosphere buzzing around you as you glimpse various fans’ reactions to Rob Trujillo crabbing for their cameras, or James Hetfield shredding in their faces. At first there are some comic releases, such as when Trip randomly falls off his skateboard, or when we see Rob warming his thighs up in a room whose walls are made up of stacked amps. There’s something almost comic book-styled about the introduction of the band members as the film opens. But once the story
Dir: Jon S. Baird 8/10
T SMALL SCREEN Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Dir: Joss Whedon 7/10
ith punchy fight scenes, steadily building character development and the rumoured cameo that everyone was hoping for, episode two is a much needed improvement on episode one. ‘0-8-4’, begins as dramatically as the pilot, with an explosion blowing a hole in Coulson’s aircraft, and the lovable man himself hanging on for dear life. Joss is really feeling trigger-happy with blowing things up. A flashback to 19 hours earlier leaves us itching to know what could have caused this chain of events, and whether or not Coulson will crash out of the plane. The team head for Peru, to investigate an 0-8-4, which Coulson explains to Skye is an object of unknown origin. He makes a squealworthy reference to Thor by stating: ‘The last one turned out to be pretty interesting.’ ‘What was the last one?’ ‘A hammer.’ The end sequence is far more dynamic than last week’s and comes across as less clichéd. The character development unfolds at an ideal pace, particularly for Skye who proves her worth by saving Ward,
but then receives an encrypted message to her phone about the rising tide. Is she a double agent working for the other side? The music has hints of Avengers Assemble, without being too similar, and is used to great effect in the Peruvian fight scene. Apart from one or two remaining one-liners that needed to be incinerated from the script, the dialogue is a vast improvement. There’s less humour, but it doesn’t detract from viewing enjoyment. The final moments, however, steal the show entirely. Perhaps someone heard the prayers from last week for a much-needed cameo, because they were answered in the tremendous form of Samuel L. Jackson. The eye-patch toting grandmaster of S.H.I.E.L.D makes an appearance to berate Coulson for destroying his aircraft, with his usual sarcasm and vigour. Now the characters have been introduced, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D looks set to give us the flare we were all expecting. With more episodes and cameos like this one, we can easily be bribed into forgiving the poor quality of the pilot. Kate Lovatt More reviews online Read more reviews online at Forge Today
kicks in, all comedy disappears and the dark, twisted world that unfolds reaps all but desolation from the suburban location. Standing in for the film’s antagonist is a gas mask-wearing, hammer-wielding black horseman of the apocalypse, stylised by the band’s various artwork. Many other well-known images pop up, such as glowing white crosses, people buried alive in glass-topped coffins, tesla coils firing towards an electric chair and of course, Lady Justice herself. Having 3D didn’t really add much to the film, though it rarely does, if not for clichéd horror flicks. The one issue is that only a few cinemas are screening the 2D version, meaning you’ll have to fork out that little bit extra. But fret not, for if you were off to see Through the Never in the first place, you will not be disappointed. That said, the IMAX experience is definitely worth it. You can safely expect a next-best-thing gig experience, and for those of you who haven’t managed to see Metallica live, you’ll get the chance to now. Expect shivers. Expect foot-tapping. Your enjoyment is inevitable. Will Ross
he fact that it’s a dirty, dirty film is what makes Filth great. As the adaptation of an Irvine Welsh novel, the film is in the uncomfortable position of standing in the shadow of that British classic, Trainspotting. Yes, the two films share similarities, namely graphic content and moral depravity all wrapped up in a stylish presentation. However, Filth is its own beast and a particularly savage one at that. Like with Danny Boyle and Trainspotting, Filth is Jon S. Baird’s second feature film as director. The main character is Edinburgh Detective Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy). He is tasked with solving the murder of a student, but almost immediately, the case is forgotten as Bruce indulges in his multitude of vices: sex, drugs and alcohol. The film industry has had plenty of practice portraying corrupt cops from Hank Quinlan in Touch of Evil, to Woody Harrelson’s David Brown in Rampart. He may not be the first dirty cop, but Bruce still manages to shock with his repulsive antics. In an early scene he sexually blackmails an under-age girl. Nice. Bruce comes across as a conniving monster; frequently, he is shot in unpleasant close-ups, accentuating his greasy hair, unshaven face and sickly pale skin. However, Bruce’s amoral persona eventually falls apart and it is revealed that besides being a racist, homophobic, junkie, he is also mentally unstable. Surreal visions slowly inject themselves into the film. It starts as a trickle, but soon the horrifying imagery completely takes over. Although it is difficult to sympathise with a character as morally bankrupt as Bruce, Baird’s writing and McAvoy’s acting make an admirable effort, especially in the final scenes.
McAvoy may carry the film, but the rest of the cast pull their weight to create memorable characters. Eddie Marsan plays Bruce’s friend and victim Clifford Blades. Meek and impressionable, he bounces off Bruce’s riotous behaviour brilliantly. Jamie Bell and Jim Broadbent are also great fun with equally outrageous characters. Amid these sensational performances, Imogen Poots may be unjustly forgotten as Bruce’s only female colleague. She lingers in the background, until the end, when she confronts Bruce in a great scene that has the film slamming back to reality, if only for a moment. Filth will divide audiences. Some may cry sexism and some homophobia. However, the presentation of gender and sexuality becomes more nuanced, as Bruce’s psyche begins to unravel. Regardless, Filth is not for everybody; certainly not the squeamish, but it would be a much poorer film if it had been less graphic. The film loses some steam halfway through and some of the more superfluous scenes in the middle could have been cut. Fortunately, the climax is the best part, providing some of the most memorable moments. It is doubtful that Filth will become a classic like Trainspotting, because it lacks the societal relevance that Danny Boyle’s classic had upon release. Even so, it is still a great film in its own right. After a summer of squeaky-clean CGI spectacles in PG-13 films, Filth is a refreshing dose of, er, filth. Joseph Brennan
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FORGE’S DESERT ISLAND Every fortnight, we ask a couple of our editors to pick their Fuseesque desert island necessities. This issue we ask our Games editors which items they couldn’t live without.
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