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Quench EDITOR Emily Giblett
DEPUTY EDITOR Hollie Cambridge FEATURES Emily Jones
COLUMNIST Maria Mellor
CULTURE Beau Beakhouse George Caulton
FASHION & BEAUTY firstname.lastname@example.org Jamila Gandhi @QuenchFashion TRAVEL Alice Dent Lucy Pierce MUSIC Jack Glasscock Erin Gillespie James Ivory
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FILM & TV Eleanor Parkyn Sadia Pineda Hameed
FOOD & DRINK Zenn Wong Daisy Lane-Murley
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COLUMN ILLUSTRATOR Naomi Brown
thank you! WE MADE IT! I feel like I might be a bit premature in saying this as I am writing before the magazine goes to print with the inevitable hitch or two along the way, but we made it! Welcome to Quench Issue 158 - the last of this year. When I was hired as editor last April, it only took two days for my excitement to subside and utter panic to take over. I was a first year with very little experience of managing a team, designing pages or sounding like a grown-up in emails. Six issues, one multimedia music magazine and five national award nominations later*, I still have the social skills of a potato but Quench is here to stay and I’m about to pass the baton to George Caulton, who I am sure will do a fantastic job as Editorin-Chief. Now for a few thank yous. Thanks to the Quench editorial team for working their socks off all year - there have been some incredible features and projects managed by this lot throughout my tenure as editor and you’ve been a joy to work with. I’d also like to apologize to all of you for being embarrassingly drunk at pretty much every social event we’ve attended together. To all our designers, especially Jasper Wilkins for his incredible photoshop talents, Bryn Evans for his puns and toucan drawing skills and our Head of Design
Olivia Thomas for providing sass that has kept me going all year, thank you! I’ve been lucky to work in the office alongside Joe, Kieran and Alice, heads of Gair Rhydd, Xpress Radio and CUTV respectively. All three have done a truly fantastic job and as this issue goes to print we will all hopefully be drinking copious amounts of free wine at the Cardiff Student Media Awards. I don’t have anything profound to say at this point, but if you take anything away from this note, I’d like it to be the fact that Billy goats urinate on their own heads to smell more attractive to females. So whether this is your first time reading Quench or you’ve been picking it up all year, I hope you enjoy this issue, and return for even more mermaids, unicorns and shit puns next year. Happy reading! *Let’s be honest, I was never going to write my last note and neglect to mention our Student Publication Association nominations. Congratulations once again to the Gair Rhydd team who scooped up the awards for Best Sports Coverage and Best Interview!
- EMILY MORE SPECIAL THANKS TO Elaine Morgan whose tireless efforts to organise the CSM awards have been amazing, and everyone who has contributed to Quench this year.
C O N T E N T S 17
19 F E AT U R E S
How to be a Mermaid
Ellise Nichols explores the controversial underworld of legal highs.
Dip your toes into the world of professional mermaiding
C U LT U R E
Poetry in Film
FA S H I O N + B E AU T Y
A Plus Sized Opinion
Emily Turner discusses body positivity in the fashion industry
Fashion sheds light on this seasonâ€™s biggest trends
T R AV E L
Culture contibutors discuss the incorporation of poetry in films
Elis Doyle investigates how new languages are created in film and literature
C O LU M N I S T
In this weeks column Maria Mellor sticks up for men - theyâ€™re not all bad you see
FIND OUR QUENCH AWARDS SUPPLEMENT AT THE CENTRE OF THE MAG!
Travel Photography Competition The long-awaited results of our travel photography competition in partnership with Print Centre
Pay your Way to Paradise How working abroad can fund your life in the sun
The Meaning of Music
What lies at the heart of our obsession with our favourite music?
Jack Glasscock interviews the singer about originality and breaking the mould
Hold the Phone! We trawled through the app store to bring you our top mobile gaming picks
Crying over the Controller Why cry about your degree when you can weep over these sad video gaming moments
FILM + TV
Cult actors go head to head in the clash of the century (hyperbole included)
A whistlestop tour of cinema from around the world - old and new
FOOD + DRINK
Nosh on the Net
The Early Bird
Food & Drink drool over their favourite food blogs
Following the last Quench food evening, contributors discuss cheesecake and chill at The Early Bird
Ellise Nichols gives us her insight into the controversial world of illegal highs
Ellise Nichols explores
It was New Year’s Eve 2013. The barn rave started in good nature; alcohol fuelled and surrounded by friends, new and old, some of which were frequent recreational drug users. In the lead up towards midnight, the atmosphere oozed a wild and uncontrollable mist of elation. Hordes of 20-something students danced erratically, permeated with feelings of ecstasy behind glazed eyes. The air was intoxicating and enticing and it seemed almost unnatural not to join the crowd of pleasure seeking friends and strangers into a state of otherworldly pleasure. Sniffing white lines of the newest legal high ‘poke’, purchased earlier from our local ‘head shop’, we eagerly waited to experience what the shopkeeper had assured us newly 18 year old’s were similar effects to that of taking cocaine. At a price of £7 compared to the hefty costs of the real deal, it did not, at first, disappoint. Before all but 15 minutes had passed, I was a dancing, floating bubble of confidence, euphoria and energy. As is the norm with stimulants however, throughout the night I felt the need to take more and more of this ‘magic’ powder in a desperate attempt to reach a high not humanely plausible or possible. I snorted my last gram at sunrise, partying until I could no longer stand up. After a brief taxi ride that has escaped my memory, I was in bed, but sleep was far from within my reach. Agitation, stress and exhaustion hit me like a tonne of bricks, and a growing wave of nausea left me cowered over the toilet in a muddle of regret and
the controversial world
of legal highs
vomit. Night came and I fell into a fitful sleep, eagerly anticipating the next morning, desperate to feel human again. Yet my torturous night did not relent in the face of daylight. For three consecutive days, I journeyed to and fro between bedroom and bathroom only leaving my bed to sprint to the toilet, and only leaving the toilet to find solace in my bed. Is this what death feels like? I frequently wondered to myself in a simmering haze of pain and terror. Ironically, though, I find myself very fortunate to have survived the whole affair with little more than an ounce of shame and an inkling of self-pity. Welcome to the world of legal highs. People are quick to associate being high with the consumption of illegal pills, herbs and powders, but in recent years it has been increasingly possible to achieve the pleasurable effects of drugs via a legal purchase made over the counter. Ultimately, this means that it has been very possible, and very popular, to get high by narrowly avoiding breaking the law. With the rise of the new world rave culture, the 21st century has experienced a surge in popularity of so called ‘legal’ highs, and as hard-core alcohol fuelled university students begin to seek a more euphoric and intense escape from the stresses of everyday life, it is almost impossible to avoid them. Yet too many have consumed legal highs based on the incorrect assumption that because they are legal, they are free from the risks that plague Class A substances. In reality, legal highs are constantly reformed to allow them to bypass the law, making it impossible to know the product’s contents and the dangers they may pose.
The media have been active in covering legal high related incidents which occasionally lead to death, but as the culture of clubbing continues to establish itself as a societal norm, the terrors of taking a legal high has had little to no visible effect on the popularity of the products. However as the war on substance abuse in Britain continues as a cause for debate, recent government plans will work to knock legal drugs down from their high ground within the coming months. First of all, it’s important to understand exactly what legal highs consist of. Legal highs are officially described as new psychoactive substances (NPS) and contain one or more chemical ingredients that produce a similar effect to illegal drugs. They will either create the effect of consuming a stimulant (such as cocaine), a sedative (such as marijuana), or a psychedelics (such as magic mushrooms). Often, there is not significant research concerning the chemicals and their reactions to other substances including other drugs or alcohol. This has meant that some users have suffered adverse effects when consuming a legal high, leading to paranoia, seizures, and even death. Drugs covered in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 are classified as illegal through their chemical composition; hence legal highs, which tend to be slightly altered compositions, allowing them to be sold and purchased legally. To name a few, they are sold in powder, pill, capsules or liquid form and can be purchased online or at ‘head shops’ that tend to stock drug paraphernalia and other new world items. Often more potent than the illegal substances they
unresponsive after taking ‘Spice’, in St James Park Bristol and subsequently died. August 2015 saw the death of Elvis Snelson at a gay pride festival after overdosing on ‘Acetylfentanyl’, and Adam Owens was found dead in a Northern Ireland housing estate following a two year addiction to the legal high ‘Doob’. Commonly labelled as plant foods, bath salts, or research chemicals, their brightly-coloured and enticing packaging can be deceiving and is not reflective of the dangers associated with consuming a legal high. Many people, such as Nathan, 21, seem largely unaware or untroubled by any potential negative effects. “The first time I ever did a legal high was the best time, it was a green goblin. I remember being so happy that my cheeks started to hurt from smiling so hard.” He acknowledges though that further attempts to reach the same level of elation have been disappointing. Indeed, not all experiences of legal highs are positive – Sarah, 20, comments “Poppers gave me a bit of a headache, they weren’t worth it. I didn’t feel much from it.” Originally due to come into effect on 6th of April as a means to tackle the significant rise in legal high related incidents, the Government blanket ban has been postponed for at least a month following confusion regarding the definition of a psychoactive substance. The difficulty in encompassing legal highs within one enforceable definition highlights the multitude of legal substances that must be available online and in head shops across the country. Though shrouded in mystery and offering an unparalleled promise of ethereal excitement, the hospitalisation of three 15 year old schoolboys on 8 March perhaps illustrates that not
enough is being done to educate easily impressionable young people of their effects. For university students in particular, it is not uncommon to have dabbled in a bit of ‘Poke’ or ‘Spice’. For many, experiences with legal highs have transformed the clubbing culture and experiences with the widely popular Nitrous Oxide in particular (otherwise known as laughing gas or ‘Nos’), are largely very positive. Maisie, 19, says “The first time I did it, it made me feel really light headed, that kind of head rush feeling where you think you might faint. The people around me looked strange too, cartoonish almost. Since the first time, I’ve found that it just gives me that pleasant light heartedness and floaty feeling. My sense of touch feels more sensitive too.” Dave, 21, agrees “Nos is definitely the best legal high, its effects are so short but can be absolutely crazy, especially when taken with alcohol.” Yet debate continues as to whether a blanket ban will be successful in reducing consumption of these unpredictable substances, or push the legal high scene underground and into further demand. It has become apparent that Ireland’s introduction of a similar legislation, which succeeded in closing head shops and online outlets, has led users into a darker and more dangerous world of illegal street dealings and purchases on the dark web. In light of this, Sarah, 20, is sceptical; “people will still get hold of them as easy as people can get hold of class A’s. It doesn’t make a difference whether they’re legal or not.” It seems that banning substances as a means to combat their harmful effects may evoke more problems than it solves. But not all are in opposition of the impending blanket ban. Taylor, 20,
says, “Personally, I think it’s a good thing. These ‘legal high’ creators always find a way around the system with the current laws, playing Russian roulette with people’s lives. If people want to go out of their way to find this stuff, fine, but having shops actively promoting the sale of ‘legal highs’ should be banned.” While critics remain unconvinced that our party generation will turn away from the temptations that promise that ultimate euphoric ‘buzz’, the Psychoactive Substances Act at least stands as recognition of the fatal effects of legal highs. Taylor continues, “Taking the legal high ‘Pink Panther’ was a complete out of body experience. I had almost zero control of my body and every move I made was extremely slow and over calculated. The paranoia came almost instantly and I was jittery, my mind was overactive and everything was very intense.” From one overly curious and slightly irresponsible university student to another, the world of cheap legal highs may sound glamorous, but lying on a bathroom floor amongst your own vomit and shame is a far cry from the no-shits, fun loving party lifestyle that many may envision whilst sniffing lines of Poke amongst equally inebriated strangers. Though they say that curiosity killed the cat, for those prone to indulging in the wilder side of life before the onset of adulthood, the temptation to delve into the underworld of drugs often remains too hard to resist.
Calling all final-year students! Graduation is looming and we all know graduate job hunting is a nightmare that we really do not want to live through. Right now a summer of binging on Netflix and eating one’s weight in chocolate sounds rather more appealing than entering the real world of professionalism. But there’s no need to gaze toward impending graduation with dread of a life beyond the bubble that is university Quench has the answer to your career woes. No longer will we have to gaze upon our double-chinned faces looking like over-engorged goldfish, hopelessly gaping at the black screen in between episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Abandon the guppy goldfish reflection, don some shells and glitter and become a more elegant creature of the ocean. Now it’s your chance to embrace life as a professional mermaid. Yes, you read that right… a mermaid. For the most part, our childhood dreams are washed away by the conventions society pushes upon us, and the educational system is designed to encourage us to conform to fixed patterns. We go to school, we go to university, get a grad job, and then we work in an office from 9 to 5 and take a holiday a year to the Costa del Sol, before re-entering the cycle of adult mundanity and predictability. Departing from this sequence that is so ingrained and normalised within everyday life is not an easy task, but those who do break the mould and embark on a more whimsical path have some advice for any third year pondering over what to do with the rest of their lives. This month, Quench had a chat with Mairead, part-time mermaid and founder of the Cambridgebased company, Merlesque. Throwing inhibitions into the wind (or ocean) and turning a fairy tale into a reality may sound like a poorly planned pipe dream, but in light of our fascination with all things mythical, the concept of embracing The Little Mermaid as a viable career path was too hard to
ignore. And it seems that being a mermaid doesn’t just involve putting on a fancy tail and swimming around for a few hours. According to Mariead, mermaids are actually in high demand. ‘We perform in land and water and mostly do children’s parties, festivals, corporate events, modelling and aquarium swimming.’ Mermaids are characteristically associated with exotic hot climates, white sand beaches and coral reefs, so how, we asked, did three girls from Cambridge decide that forming a mermaid company in the middle of a not-so-tropical country was a feasible plan of action? ‘My business partner Demi suggested ‘mermaiding’, which she found out about whilst doing an art degree. Her final project was on mermaids and she found out about professional mermaids in nice warm countries like Australia, but there wasn’t really anyone else doing it in the UK at the time, so we sort of found a gap in the market.’ ‘We talked about it for a long time – it was about a year before we were eventually offered our first gig as mermaids – that was the tipping point as to whether we really wanted to move forward with this, and we decided that we definitely did. It was a big decision.’ As students, we are pushed through an education system that causes us to abandon childhood spontaneity and creative flare and replace it with worry and stress of real life. Life has become about passing tests, and doing a job that you’re good at or pays well rather than for enjoyment. We are taught that at the end of the day, impressive CV’s and a truckload of work experience will ultimately get us a top notch job that will pay off our mortgages. Yet a degree in Engineering, English, or Sociology does not define who you are or what you can do. The creators of Merlesque took their passion for performing and fairy tales to life and made it reality with a viable business plan.
FEATURES ‘I had absolutely no business experience. All you really need to do is take that first step and work on it and build it up slowly, and I think people are put off by a ‘company’ as something multi-national like Google or Amazon, which is so far away you are sitting in your bedroom with a laptop.’ If you’re passionate enough about something and ready to push yourself out of your tightly woven comfort zone, doing something you love and making it into a business need not be a dangerous path. ‘It seems like something you can’t achieve but if you break it down into small steps it’s completely doable and it’s something you can do alongside your job or alongside studying, you don’t have to wait to finish university – start working on it as a side project.’ Let’s face it, not all of us are going to be using our specific degree subjects in our career. Plenty of humanities graduates have ended up in finance, as Mairead tells us, ‘I studied Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic at Cambridge. I’m now a chartered public finance accountant and I work as an Internal Audit Manager.’ Don’t be restrained by the repressive influences of our education. We follow the system out of fear of failure and a lifetime of student debt and hesitate to nurture our creative ideas and control our own futures. Yet turning a whacky hobby or something you love into a sustainable business is not in itself a mythical and unachievable concept. ‘Don’t undersell yourself – turning your hobby and something you’re passionate about into a business is the best thing! It’s definitely impacted my life positively.’ Life is too short to be pushing paper in an office for the rest of your life; it’s not fun and it really is not healthy! ‘I had a tumour on my pituitary gland called a pituitary adenoma. I actually started mermaiding around the time of my first surgery and I’ve found that it’s been a great distraction, something to put
my energy into, it’s been really good after both my surgeries because it’s been a goal to get my fitness back up. I always think: you could be hit by a bus tomorrow, and you’d have spent the past few years doing something you didn’t enjoy! Why wait? Maybe it’s because I have had a lot of health problems, but I really do believe in seizing the day.’ If you feel like seizing the day in a mermaiding way, check out Quench’s top 5 tips to becoming a mermaid. (Yes, Merlesque are actually recruiting, we checked!) ‘All mermaids (and mermen) will need to provide their own high-quality full mermaid costume and accessories.’ Get your sewing kit out, invest in some glitter and fabric and make yourself a swanky tail. ‘We will accept applications for mermaids who perform on land only; if you’re applying to be a water-based performer as well, you must be extremely comfortable in the water, have a good level of fitness, and be experienced at swimming in a mermaid tail for long periods of time.’ Hit the pool and channel your inner mermaid. Now that you look like a mermaid, you must become the mermaid. What’s in a name? Get yourself a cool mermaid name! Mairead’s is ‘Mermaid Odine’. Mermaids are fun-loving, creative and confident creatures so channel your inner mythical being and don’t be shy – mermaids get a lot of attention! You must be friendly, great with kids and be able to deal with unexpected questions like “where do mermaids sleep?” and “I bet you’re not a real mermaid!’ – As mermaids are rare creatures, people often have a lot of questions about life in the ocean! Be prepared to be the object of fascination (we can think of worse things)! So if you’re up for a challenge and ready for some glitter-fuelled fun, give mermaiding a go! You’ll thank us when you’re living the glamorous lifestyle of a mermaid instead of sipping on some Tropicana with your mundane lunch at your desk in the office. So whether you want to be a mermaid or embark on your own creative passion we say, forget whatever you think you know about the world of work, and go for it! Emily Jones and Emma Riches
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HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA and save lives? Being caring is seen as feminine, and being seen as feminine is seen as a bad thing. I think Madonna puts my point perfectly: “Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots cause it’s okay to be a boy. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading. Cause you think being a girl is degrading.” This view that runs fairly unnoticed in our society is what we call the patriarchy. I wanted to see the other side of the story, so I asked my male friends what they think. Bradley, a second year English Literature student said “It especially affects those of us who don’t have any, or few, of these typically male traits, very negatively. How do we identify ourselves if we don’t fit into the stereotypical image of a man?” Feminine qualities, or indeed qualities not considered traditionally masculine, are viewed negatively in society. Men are encouraged to hide their feelings. They’re called pussies, and wimps. They’re told to man up. The effects of using language in this way run deep, and reinforce the way we see gender. Take the example of how society views male victims of rape. There are countless horrific instances of sexual abuse happening to men and boys across the world. Men’s rights activists rightly point out that we accept the stories of women being raped by men much more readily than stories from male rape victims. One victim from India noticed “we get abused, but we have no right to voice it because we’re supposed to be the protectors.”
ILLUSTRATION BY: NAOMI BROWN
Men’s rights activists, otherwise referred to as ‘meninists’ face a lot of schtick in society. Honestly they don’t help themselves a lot of the time, and I’m not here to defend the actions of some of the more butt-hurt, but for the most part they have a point. ‘Woah, Maria, I thought you were a rampaging radical feminist!’ you cry! That is true, dear reader, however it is my opinion that any true feminist cannot ignore that men face problems due to gender inequality too. Men are more likely to be expected to go into harder and more potentially dangerous manual labour jobs. They’re more likely to be mocked for their sexuality, such as for owning sex toys or being anything other than your traditional hetrosexual. Fewer people are willing to help male victims of rape, and overall men are more likely to commit suicide than women. Fathers are at a disadvantage when it comes to trying to gain custody of their children, and there are more homeless men than women. There is, as you may have noticed, a unifying factor to all of these examples - men who don’t live up to society’s expectations of traditional masculinity are at a disadvantage. Sex and gender are different and in my opinion should be viewed as such. Sex is the biological feature that deems you to be either male or female, however gender is something society imposes on you from birth. I’d like to think this concept isn’t new to most of you reading this, but it shows how society sees ideal typical features for boys and girls, and how certain people deviate from these typical notions of gender. Men aren’t better at fixing things just because they were born with a penis. Their genitalia doesn’t determine whether they like sport, or if they cry at the end of Marley & Me. These are just expectations imposed on men from birth, and there are those who conform and those who don’t. I’m actually shocked at the extent to which these deviations are seen as a joke. If you want evidence, all you have to do is look at how the media sees masculinity. I’ve been watching a lot of Friends recently, and there’s an episode when Joey has a female roommate, and learns how to arrange flowers, and begins to enjoy the art she puts around the apartment of babies and flowers. This is turned into a thing of comedy, and ends up with Joey exclaiming in horror “I’M A WOMAN!”. I just want to ask whoever wrote that what they think is so wrong with being a woman and what is so wrong with a man finding a new hobby that he enjoys, whether it’s kicking a ball around a field or making potpourri. Along these same lines, what I find extremely weird is the cultural view that nursing is a job for women. Male nurses, both in comedy and in real life, are looked down upon and belittled but seriously what is so bad about nursing? Is it so terrible to look after people
Once we realise that the problems in our society aren’t because of men or women, but rather our traditional views of gender, the sooner change can happen. Feminism is for everybody: it benefits all genders, even though the name may be deceiving, hence why some people prefer to be called ‘equalists’. Feminism, while the focus is primarily on helping women, it also aims to fix the problems surrounding how femininity is viewed. Whether you’re a meninist, feminist, equalist, or any other ‘ist’, you should know that turning against others is only going to weaken your own argument. You can find politicians whose main policies involve helping men in society, such as members of the ‘Justice for Men & Boys’ party, who also think it’s part of their job to turn on women and feminists. They call feminists ‘whiny’ and ‘gormless’, but what does that make them? If we truly want to see a change for the better we all need to recognise that gender inequality affects everyone. Sure women face a lot of problems, but men have their own, and I hope if you consider yourself a feminist, you consider men too.
Poetry can have multitudes of meaning. Whether this be on its own in a book, read aloud by another or re- enacted through the mode of film. For the final issue, Quench Culture have looked at the ways that poetry can convey meaning through film, in both cinematic and universal ways.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind- Alexander Pope
Before Sunrise - Dylan Thomas
- STEPHANY DAMYANOVA
Poems, just as any other text, are stories. However, they seek to tell tales not just through words themselves, but through the rhythm and aesthetic that exists almost in-between the lines. Similarly, films portray meaning through the context of their images, which makes the two able to work with each other. Poems are often recited in films to enhance the emotional impact such as in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A genius of storytelling, the film uses diverse techniques such as combining film and poetry to portray the relationship between two lovers. It’s a film about love in its best and worst forms. In a non-linear timeline it tells the story of Joel and Clementine, two people that want nothing more in the world than to forget each other. As the plot progresses we find out that Clementine has undergone a procedure that has deleted all her memories with Joel and now has no memory of him. Realizing this, Joel wishes to do the same. The audience witnesses the procedure being performed on Joel by going through his every memory. It is there that we hear the poem, recited during one of Joel’s happiest memories with Clementine: “How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d” The poem gives meaning to the film’s title and enriches the plot. It helps us understand the actions of the protagonists and explains them. Not only do we comprehend now why Joel and Clementine wish to forget each other, we also identify with them, because that is the power of good poetry - it makes you feel and understand. In four short lines Alexander Pope sums up the message of the film - oblivion might be bliss, but it is also ignorance. In Before Sunrise, directed by Richard Linklater, a man and a woman meet on a train near Vienna. Jesse and Celine discover
- BEAU BEAKHOUSE
a connection and they decide to spend the day and night in Vienna before Jesse has to leave to travel back to America. The potential of a romantic connectioin is explored throughout the course of the day as they spend their time getting to know each other. Poetry is threaded throughout the narrative in minor ways. At one point they meet a street poet who composes poetry on the spot based on the word, ‘milkshake’ that Celine gives him spontaneously. It prompts the two to discuss the event and brings out Celine’s optimism and Jesse’s subtle cynicism. Later as they sit under a statue, the two have become increasingly close, and Jesse quotes a W. H. Auden poem, ‘As I Walked Out One Evening’, impersonating Dylan Thomas who he heard read it. He quotes the lines: ‘But all the clocks in the city Began to whirr and chime: “O let not Time deceive you, You cannot conquer Time.’ In the moment, his faux British accent amuses Celine, but it is also a poignant metaphor for the film. Jesse and Celine’s time in the city is limited, they have only the day and night with each other, and at the back of their mind’s they are aware that the exciting and beautiful moments together are transitory. And this thought brings with it even larger ones, about how transitory all things are, as the final stanza of the poem reads: ‘It was late, late in the evening, The lovers they were gone; The clocks had ceased their chiming, And the deep river ran on.’
Four Weddings and a Funeral- W.H. Auden - GEORGE CAULTON
Isn’t it weird how poetry can transform over time? The way a poem which used to mean2` one thing has now culturally adapted to signify another. W.H. Auden’s renound poem, Funeral Blues was at first satirically used to mock a dead politician as part of a play, called ‘The Ascent of F6’, co- written by Christopher Isherwood. ‘Funeral Blues’ meaning has adapted over time and ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ effectively exemplifies this. Auden’s poem compliments the emotion within ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ and creates a deeply thought provoking scene within the film. Whether you know someone who has passed or not, the poem holds a sentimental value which is displayed between the relationship of Gareth and Matthew within Curtis’ romantic comedy.
sense that each text deals with the confrontation of one’s creator. It can be argued that whilst Blade Runner does share Miltonic themes, the film itself is more indebted to William Blake’s ‘America, A Prophecy’ (1793). Within the poem, Blake depicts the American Revolution as a rebellion against not only Imperialism but also oppression and a revolt against the tyrannies of heaven and earth. Within ‘Blade Runner’ the lead Replicant Roy Batty embodies the apostate angel and reworks Blake’s climax: ‘Fiery the angels fell, deep thunder rolled around their shores, burning with the fires of Orc’. Roy’s invocation and subversion of Blake’s revolutionary poem emphasises the failure of the American Revolution with ‘the fires of Orc’ still burning in the opening of the film, represented by the dark and polluted cityscape of Los Angeles‘the City of Angels’.
Apocalypse Now- T. S. Eliot
“Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come…”
- ELIS DOYLE
Auden encapsulates the universal feelings of memory and sadness upon the loss of a loved one as well as signifying a loss of self, helplessness and how everything comes to a halt when loved ones pass away. Despite this being a rather morbid choice of poem, it cannot be denied that the use of Auden’s ‘Funeral Blues’ encapsulates the threshold between happiness and sadness which is clearly emphasised throughout the entirety of ‘Four weddings and a Funeral’.
Blade Runner - America: William Blake - OLIVER LEIGH
Poetry has always been a significant mode of emotional and personal expression. It enables a writer or poet to construct a reality in accordance with his or hers own feelings, and in the world of film this is no different. One such film that utilises the power of poetry is Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’, an adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s ‘Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep’. The premise of the story revolves around a group of human like androids known as ‘Replicants’, and their violent rebellion against their shortened life-span and enforced purpose of colonializing hostile planets, heavy labour and unsavoury duties in a industrialised dystopian Los Angeles. Whilst Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is often viewed as a descendant of both Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ and John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’, in the
How many films have you seen where a powerful piece of poetry within the narrative ends up falling flat? (I’m looking at you M. Night Shyamalan, you rascal.) It is the sole reason that I find exercising prudence to be of paramount importance when reading into this topic in particular. However, ever so often the subtle art of poetry blends seamlessly into a movie, in a way which enriches a message, or contradicts and makes us question our own personal values. Apocalypse Now (1979) directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is heavily centred around themes explored in the poem ‘The Hollow Men’ written by T.S. Eliot. The Military General Kurtz, who is driven insane by the chaos of war quotes a passage from the poem, “We are the hollow men, We are the stuffed men, Leaning together, Headpiece filled with straw.” Without diving too much into it, the harsh backdrop of the Vietnam war highlights Eliot’s fear of the modern man, existing simply as a nameless tool with no real thought and no choice but to accept his boring fate. Hardly the most optimistic of poems, but certainly among the most thought-provoking, especially in accordance with the film. For a more positive note Dead Poets Society (1989), which effectively centres around poetry uses the most notable of Walt Whitman’s pieces ‘Oh Captain! My Captain!’ The original meaning was of a eulogy after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, but in the film the poem is quoted by students standing in solidarity with their disgraced English teacher, and encouraing us to stand up for what is most important.
From A Clockwork Orange to The Lord of the Rings, Elis Doyle takes a look at how language is created in both film and Literature.
To me, the modus operandi of constructing a language to fit into a piece of film or literature can be one fraught with peril. Recently I’ve been reading a series of high fantasy novels written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski named Wiedźmin (The Witcher). In the book, there are many languages created that correspond to different races within the book, from Elves to Dwarves and Monsters alike. In this way, languages are formulated to lend credence and enhance the books reality; you’re more likely to believe the world exists when there are such intricate details included. You have to ask yourself, “Who would go to such lengths to make a believable world?”. Not only that, but several instances of language in the book can be directly tied to real life languages. Being a Welshman myself, I was surprised (to say the least) when I saw the ‘Elvish’ word “Gwynbleidd” in the book. Ironically, it means the exact same thing translated from Welsh as it means in the book, “White Wolf ”. When
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language is used in this way, it gives the reader a thread to follow, a way to digest the book that links it to real life. Whilst fantasy novels are, for me, a form of excapism, this use of language to establish another world began a long time ago in the 1930’s... The skill of splicing bits of real language with fabrications using existing letters, in order to create an entirely new language is quite impressive. Tolkien was the first to master this, but with his magnum opus The Lord of The Rings he not only created an entire language, but modelled it with his own artificial scripts, which are mentioned throughout the book and even seen represented in the feature length movies. You could suggest that this was an easy feat, that you scribble a bunch of random symbols on paper and say they mean ‘cow’ and that’s all there is to it. But Tolkien spent a good 60 years constructing the language of ‘Elvish’. In fact, he was still finalising the grammatical history of the language til his dying breath in 1973! Yes, you read that right, Tolkien believed that to truly construct a language, you also have to give it an actual history, especially in relation to other existing languages in the book. So much, that the language ‘Black Speech’ spoken by the Orcs and Demonic entities of the book was used as a dystopian parody and antithesis of the more artistic and nuanced Elvish language. Tolkien crystallised the importance of constructing language in fiction, but his sole intention was to create an image of the ‘otherness’ of the world. Although the world he created has shared similarities with our world, it is a different set of rules completely, and the intricate historical details of the language further detach Middle Earth from our own reality. Anthony Burgess wrote the novel A Clockwork Orange with the oppositional purpose of creating a world extremely close to our own, but warping the dialect spoken by the people in such a way that it would be clear that this world was far from normal. In fact, I even did an analysis of the book’s Russian-English dialect (Nadsat) for my A-Level English coursework because I was so fascinated. Burgess himself was a linguist, and he sought to use language as a mouthpiece for the antihero, protagonist of the novel. Alex to highlight his dissatisfaction with the society he was thrust into. It isn’t just dialect which has been warped to help the reader understand the plight of the characters. In the novel Trainspotting, written by Scottish author Irvine Welsh, several characters throughout the book including the protagonist, heroin-toting Mark Renton, speaks in the Scots’ dialect, and to further amplify the effect, Welsh
spells the words spoken in their inner monologue phonetically. So for example, “I wouldn’t get to watch it” becomes “Ah wouldnae git tae watch it”. Welsh managed to capture the Scottish dialect in a way which conceptualised and helped visualise it for an audience not accustomed to the accent. I mean, I’ve had a fair shot in my lifetime at doing an impression of a Scottish accent, but other than yelling “Scootlund” violently, I was unable to appreciate the varying intonations until I read Trainspotting. This extends not only to traditional literature, but to film as well.
“I’ve had a fair shot in my lifetime at doing an impression of a Scottish accent, but I was unable to appreciate the varying intonations until I read Trainspotting.” In Mad Max, we know that the film takes place in a dystopian Australia because Mel Gibson spends the entire film sounding like dingoes stole his baby. Of course it was actually murderous wasteland robbers who kidnapped his wife and child, but that’s beside the point. Or how about in James Cameron’s Avatar, where I spent a good thirty minutes saying ‘Jake Sooly’ out loud instead of paying attention to the horrible indignations suffered by the Na’vi people. Language is a powerful thing in literature and film, and in some cases it can leave the viewer itching for answers left unsolved, or simply have you doing impressions of a certain Austrian bodybuilder for weeks on end. I don’t know about you, and call me a cynic if you must, but I definitely advocate the latter.
From Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, to English Literature and Architecture, these (among many other subjects) have been categorised as ‘creative’ for many years. But to what extent are they actually ‘creative’? Quench Culture looks at different student experiences of subjects in the arts and how they can be deemed as creative.
PREPARATION BA Jounalism, Media & Cultural Studies
Even though the Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies degree is regarded as a creative course it should be mentioned upfront that it is still an academic course and as such it does not offer a lot of practice based modules. Despite the fact that the curriculum consists of many interesting subjects, all highlighting the importance of the media, journalism, public relations, advertising industries as well as political economies and hegemonic ideologies, the course provides opportunity for creative thought rather than physical creation. As with any course there are tumultuous amounts of readings, which at first glance doesn’t always reflect individual thought process. Using others’ ideas to shape your own may not at first seem ‘creative’, yet in many modules, JOMEC students look at discourse and representation and how industries creatively produce meaning. The interesting thing I have found whilst studying Journalism, is that you can never really guess the approach that a certain professor is going to have. The range of modules, however, from Popular Culture to Digital Media and Media and Gender do ask for independent thought and creative flow, which is a clear signification of how the course can be deemed as creative in comparison to others. Students who enroll into JOMEC are creative, ambitious and full of ideas regardless of which module they choose and what professor they end up dealing with. They usually find an outlet for their passion no matter if it is the development of a blog or the student media that they are working with as well as freelancing in professional industries.
BA English Literature
As a subject focused on interpretation of texts, in which answers are never necessarily wrong, English Literature lies at the forefront of ‘creative’ courses. However this is not simply due to the possibility of following the ‘Creative Writing’ path, as although modules in that discipline are available, so are many alternatives. When enrolling for ENCAP at Cardiff, first years find their core modules provide a broad base knowledge of many types of literature that therefore assist students in deciding what to study further in second year, third year and ultimately perhaps in a dissertation. One significant factor of Cardiff ’s English Literature course is the variety of topics and modules to choose from and also how far in-depth you can go with each. From Children’s Literature to Medical Fiction or The Canterbury Tales, it is possible to have studied literature from every time period by graduation. Essay writing, unsurprisingly, takes up a large majority of assessment, but we have the freedom to create our own questions and the ability to apply creative arguments, interpretations and theories to the texts. Perhaps in comparison to more ‘practical’ courses, English Literature may be seen as less creative, and to some, reading and writing may appear dull. Nevertheless, seminars, and sometimes lectures, become outlets for creative discussion, often culminating in in-depth debates, as a text becomes more than just a novel, poem or play. Students of English Literature need ambitious and creative minds for this course, not only for writing but also for completing the vast reading lists!
Architecture is such a broad subject. I guess everyone knows we design buildings but there is so much more to it than that! More often than not, we are always asked to think of what architecture actually is, but honestly- there isn’t one clear answer. We study spaces - thinking about people, places and how to create a unique meaningful experience within them. We creatively analyse locations, looking at factors including climate, topography and demographics. We then think of what impact the space we design could have on communities and individuals. As well as this, students of Architecture have to think creatively about articulating layouts, hierarchies and sequences that will occur within the place. This ties into the ways we think about using and manipulating materials for construction and for their aesthetic qualities. Lastly, we have to creatively devise ways of representing our ideals graphically for presentation. It has to show off every concept behind the design clearly to anyone who doesn’t know anything about the place or space, or even architecture for that matter.
Music When you tell people that you’re doing a Music degree, many seem to picture your life spent in a small room practising Bach on the piano. However this is far from the reality of studying Music as an academic subject at university, where the outcome of your degree varies greatly depending on your module choices. Most courses do not allow students to choose many modules until their final year, but in the School of Music you are offered an extreme range of modules from year one, from the more ‘academic’ historical and analytical modules to the ‘creative’ composition and performance courses. This wide selection means that each student is effectively taking a different degree to the next. For example, I spend my week composing and creating film music in a studio, rehearsing in choirs, and practising my own repertoire along with some more traditional theory lectures; whilst the next student may spend theirs reading ethnomusicology papers, analysing jazz and rehearsing with the orchestra. Another factor that makes Music quite different from most degree courses is the contact hours. Whilst I only have 6-8 teaching hours a week, I spend a further 9-11 hours rehearsing in ensembles for performances and seeing concerts, as you are expected to perform in and see as close to a total of 44 performances a year to achieve a perfect score in the performance module. Of course these hours are not a final total, as it is expected that you will arrive at these rehearsals already familiar with the material. Saying this, rehearsing in groups, eventually finding yourself performing with great musicians is definitely one of the more fulfilling ways to get a degree.
MA Creative Writing The Creative Writing MA is a balanced mixture of textual analysis, writing techniques, literary theory, writing workshops, teaching creative writing, and a lot of writing itself. The course is structured so academic and creative modules run parallel to each other; the autumn semester consists of studying the creative process, analysing various texts of multiple genres and modes – poetry, prose, script etc. – whilst putting those techniques into practise every week, submitting work to be critiqued by the other students in the group. The spring semester begins the teaching aspect of the course, allowing us to understand the difficulties of teaching creative writing whilst being taught valuable lessons on the craft. Weekly creative writing workshops also run alongside teaching seminars, and the impending portfolios begon to take shape mid-semester. There are four assessments in total: two
essays of 3000 words each, and two portfolios of 6000 and 10,000 words each. The hand-in dates are spread out between January and September which allows for a good amount of time to work on our creative pieces. Though the course sounds strangely academic for a creative writing MA, the techniques learned enhance our creativity and we have each been able to hone our styles, giving us the tools to grow as writers, making the goal of publication less daunting.
BA Philosophy Some may find it strange to call philosophy a creative subject, as the common connotations seem to center around the apparent thoughtfulness philosophy brings out in students. I would argue that whilst it is uncommon for philosophy to be called creative, it is not misplaced. Philosophy at Cardiff brings out the creativity of students in a different way. We are taught different theories and arguments from distinguished philosophers and then encouraged to form new ideas and opinions based on these. This is then translated into our assessments when we are usually given an open essay title to interpret in our own way. Originality, although one of the most difficult things to execute in philosophy, is actively supported by our lecturers, who praise students for interesting ideas and concepts that perhaps even they have failed to consider. I have found that in small group scenarios students tend to bounce ideas off of each other; hence my creativity within philosophy is quite often stimulated by other students. Also, the modules that are on offer are themselves creative, for example next year a module based on the philosophy of time travel is available for third years. This allows students to explore topics that they potentially have not previously considered. All in all, although not an obviously creative subject like art, philosophy at Cardiff does show creativity in other areas, such as forming original opinions and being engaging in essays.
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trusty travel apps
words by felicity urquhart
The world of travel is changing. The era of technology has risen - and brought with it a much smaller world for us all to explore. We can find where we are and where the best places to stay, eat and visit are, in an instant. But with all this technology it can be difficult not to get lost. We’ve compiled a list of the top travel apps we can find to help make sense of the muddled world of smartphones
Before you go anywhere it might take a fraction of forethought. Skyscanner cuts down scrolling through hundreds of different website and is an app (and website) invaluable to the budget wary and impulsive traveler. Not only does it allow you to find the cheapest flights for a specific journey, but it’s flexible and customisable search filters allow the adventurous to choose and find the cheapest flight destinations and time of year, combining the two things students seem to have - time and no money. Simply click destination ‘Everywhere’ and ‘Cheapest month’ to find the inspiration for a spontaneous trip away for as little as £10. Skyscanner also provides hotel and rental car bookings.
There are tons of money sharing apps out there, designed to make payment simpler and faster. Whilst apps like Paypal are useful for online and commercial payments, Splittr is designed specifically for group travel and therefore allows you to input costs (and who paid what) as you go, so you don’t have to do any calculations. It also supports all currencies - meaning you don’t need to worry about the conversion calculations you haven’t done since GCSE. Although it does cost, in the long run you’ll gain that back by having exact bill calculations at the tap of your fingers.
If you haven’t had time to take advantage of Cardiff ’s Languages for All courses, or you didn’t know you’d be caught short in Norway and therefore didn’t foresee that you’d need to know how to ask for a bucket to throw up in (hey, it happens) Duolingo provides a quick and fun way to learn the basics as you’re sat waiting in the airport or train station. Though not a replacement for comprehensive tuition this app will help you to pass yourself off as not quite a native, but not quite a typical tourist.
TimeOut compiles reviews and information on restaurants, bars, concerts and other attractions around you - allowing you to make the most your holiday. You can create a customised travel guide for your holiday as the app takes on your past bookings and suggests things you might like to do. The event finder tool allows you to find one-off events, festivals and concerts happening near to you - meaning you don’t miss out on some great opportunities. Put simply, TimeOut provides almost everything to plan an exciting and full itinerary.
More comprehensive and interactive than the standard google maps app, Citymapper takes into consideration real time departures and will notify you of any disruptions to your journey. It is also fully integrated with Uber and cycle routes (great for those of us trying to travel on a student budget!) An informal format makes planning the quickest routes from bar to bar fun and far less stressful.
A vital app for group travel, Tripit brings all your confirmation e-mails about hotels, flights and tours together into a single place. From there it is easy to share plans with the other members of your group and (hopefully) not turn up at different times. It’s equally useful for the solo traveller as it prevents the endless scrolling down your e-mails in search for the tour confirmation as you hold up the queue trying to find it.
THE QUENCH TRAVEL
PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION This term we asked you to send us your best holiday snaps for the chance to win prizes thanks to the print centre. The results are in and youâ€™ve truly outdone yourselves! turn over to see if your shots made the top ten.
BY JESSICA GARRARD CHICK
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THIS COMPETITION IS KINDLY SUPPORTED BY
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For many of us, the only way we are going to get through this final semester is if we have something incredible planned for summer. Travelling would fit the bill, but realistically, can we make it to the Sahara Desert when the only thing resembling a desert at present is the sad reality of our student bank account? The answer, thankfully, is yes! You don’t need to save up all your money before you go; finding little jobs throughout your travels could cover you for both the unforeseen expenses and the bare essentials.
Au Pairing Au pairing is a great option. The job usually consists of taking care of the children, picking them up from school, helping them with homework, and maybe performing other household duties. Nothing too strenuous, although you must enjoy working with children. The best thing about being an au pair is that you’ll get plenty of free time, allowing you to explore the country while you earn. The salary varies significantly and depends upon the host country and the nature of your role. In Spain, I was earning €65 p/w and this was more than sufficient. In terms of experiencing a country’s culture, the job couldn’t be better. I spent a whole month indulging in delicious Mediterranean cuisine. It’s also a given that your host family will know the best restaurants in town and they’re usually keen to take you to them. If you’re lucky enough to work for a really generous family you might even be invited to go on holidays with them! My host family had a beautiful second family home in a small village in the mountains and another in Marbella. It’s also a great opportunity to pick up the basics of a new language or practice one you’re learning back home. This is not forgetting the undeniably eye-opening experience gained with children; experience which will come in handy…in time! Lauren Griffin
English Language Assistnant
Last summer, I worked as an English assistant at a language academy in Northern Spain. I had no previous teaching experience whatsoever and did not expect to enjoy the placement as much as I did. It was a challenging but brilliant experience, and one which I would highly recommend to anyone. A job as a languages assistant abroad is an opportunity to teach, to learn and to travel. Working in a teaching environment provides daily interaction with native speakers, the best way to improve your own languages skills, fluency and pick up some colloquial phrases. In many cases, there’s also the chance to earn a qualification along the way, allowing you to then work in different countries across the world. The perception that you absolutely have to be a languages student or bilingual to work as an assistant is entirely false. While some assistant positions will require a certain level in the language of the country, others require only a native-level of English. There are numerous programmes such as TEFL and the British Council Language Assistant scheme offering placements, support and even grants to those looking for teaching positions, although these are usually aimed at Year Abroad students or graduates as the majority will last for at least a full school year. However, the heavy focus on language learning, particularly English, across the world, makes it possible to independently find shorter, flexible placements, both in and out of term-time. Harriet Thornley
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Ski Season Imagine Chalet Girl, but way better! Winter ski seasons are not a stroll in the park, but they are a humungous amount of fun… yes, imagine that hangover after YOLO and then having to clean loos and cook breakfast… well at least you know that the blue skies and fresh powder are ready waiting to reward you for your hard work – they do say the mountain air cures hangovers! Upping sticks and moving to a ski resort for 5 months can feel like a big decision, but as the sun shines and afternoon BBQ’s and après become part of your daily routine, the end of season depression will leave you counting down the days until the next winter season, or even leave you considering moving to New Zealand to catch their
winter season! If cooking and cleaning isn’t enticing you, there are plenty of bar, transfer or instructor jobs in resorts all around the world, you may have thought France and Italy were your go tos, but there are actually ski resorts in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and even California! Becoming a seasonaire is not going to make you a millionaire. However, many jobs will offer you a ski pass and accommodation, while the experience is invaluable, not to mention the transferable skills you will gain, especially customer service. I know that’s where I'll be heading this winter!
Volunteer in the Czech Republic
Volunteer in Peru
I was 120 miles away from the epicentre, Chincha, of the horrendous 2007 8.0 on the Richter scale earthquake in Peru. The south of the country had been struck hard, and the aftermath was devastating as the country had not been equipped with the suitable emergency plans. As the media reported the disaster to the capital, it was not long until my school, Markham College – which is well known for its community service – responded with aid. Within a couple of weeks, I was driving to Chincha with a dozen volunteers from my school to help move rubble from homes that were destroyed by the earthquake and build temporary houses, as well as classrooms for schools that had been affected the worst. Never in my life have I been as sad as when I accompanied my project leader for a long drive along one of Chincha’s main avenues. 90% of the houses were deserted and had an ‘X’ marked on their front door, signifying that the property was unstable and inhabitable. I grew a strong affinity for Chincha. I would return at least twice a year for the following 5 years, leading projects in 2011 and 2012 which have been two of my proudest accomplishments. Nothing is more satisfying than making others happy, especially if it has been a fruit of your physical, hard work. Service projects are so rewarding, and you truly meet the best people on the way, both locals and fellow volunteers.
The Global Opportunities Centre is a fantastic organisation which offers a range of different volunteering placements from Italy to Fiji. I volunteered in a conservation project in Czech Republic which was absolutely incredible, and not just because of the 30 degree heat. I spent a month helping out in rural communities, in a relatively hands on project, which focused on landscaping, gardening and renovation. It was an amazing experience and I had the opportunity to meet like-minded people from all over the world, who had grown up with entirely different cultures and backgrounds. You live, work, eat and sleep with these people so it is impossible not to be on the same wavelength. The project was located in small villages, so it was easy to absorb the country’s culture (I ate enough goulash to last a life time) and also have direct contact with the people. In the afternoons and weekends our group leaders would organise excursions such as climbing, swimming and being a standard tourist which kept us entertained. The incredible thing about volunteering is being able to see the difference one person can make to such a large organisation, and the amazing feeling of accomplishment at the end of it. I must say, I have probably taken this project for granted, but it was great to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. It was an added bonus that I got to travel, experience a new culture and meet some really awesome people in the process. Madeleine Banfield
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CELEBRATE THE END OF TERM WITH SUN, SEA AND SANGRIA
A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM CARDIFF UNI SURF SPORTS
Beach parties, bikini weather and bell tents in the sunny South of France… What better a way to celebrate the end of this grim time of dissertations and exams (you’re nearly there xxx) than heading to the French coast for a week of surfing and camping in June. Cardiff Uni Surf Sports are teaming up with the guys at Star Surf Camps and Outgoing to bring you a 7 day surf, yoga and general good times trip from the 12th-19th June. For a measly 300 quid, we give you return transport from Cardiff, 3 meals a day, accommodation and 6 days surfing. You’ll be camping in lush bell tents in a pine forest next to the beach and surfing (or tanning) all day and partying from sunset onwards. If you’ve never surfed before, no worries! For an extra £49 you can have surf lessons with fully qualified and experienced instructors (and the sea is way warmer than the UK!) with photos and videos of you surfing to take back and show off to your pals on Instagram when you get back. Trust me, there is nothing more fun than catching your first wave- you will be hooked! Aside from surfing all day, there’s tons of other things to do, such as exploring the gorgeous towns of Biarritz, and San Sebastián in Northern Spain where you can spend the day sampling tapas and sangria before heading for a night out. Or you can chill out at the camp, have a yoga class by the sea, skate on the mini ramp or simply hang out and have a few beers with students from other Universities. It’s the perfect opportunity to try a new sport, or improve your skills whilst meeting a ton of like-minded people. Even if you don’t surf, it’s the best way to celebrate the end of term with your mates: its basically a week-long beach festival with some surfing, city trips and lots of sangria thrown in for only 300 squids!
So spend the last of those student loans and book yourself an epic trip for an absolute bargain. Good times guaranteed. Surf love xxx
The end of term is near, and if you’re as frazzled as everyone in the media office then Cardiff Uni Surf Sports may just have the perfect solution as Dani Wickham explains.
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£300 BASE PRICE GETS YOU: 6 NIGHTS ACCOMODATION IN LUXURY BELL TENTS IN A PINE FOREST 5 MINUTE WALK FROM THE BEACH COACH TRAVEL THERE AND BACK 6 DAYS SURFING 3 MEALS A DAY BEACH PARTIES, A MINI RAMP, AND INCREDIBLE MEMORIES TO ROUND OFF A GREAT YEAR! SURF LESSONS FOR BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED ARE ONLY £49 FOR THE WEEK WHICH INCLUDES ALL BOARD AND WETSUIT HIRE, 8 HOURS COACHING AND PHOTOS AND VIDEOS FOR YOU TO KEEP.
A PLUS SIZED OPINION
FASHION & BEAU T Y
Plus sized models have long been few and far between in the mainstream media. Although itâ€™s now widely recognized that a size zero may not be a true ideal, weâ€™re still a long way from the most common dress size - a 14 - being the most common model size.
FASHION & BEAU T Y
very brand seems to have a ‘token’ plus size model, yet it appears that these plus size models still rarely reflect a true plus size woman. In late 2014 when Calvin Klein released a new advertising campaign that featured Myla Dalbesio, who wears a US size 10 and UK size 14, the internet responded in outrage with comments on twitter such as ‘genuine wtf moment. Plus size???’. To the fashion industry a woman may be seen as plus size, yet normal people don’t see them that way. The public is crying out for normal women to be represented in the fashion industry and Calvin Klein’s attempt on the matter just wasn’t accepted by the people. Besides the underrepresentation of plus size woman in the industry, there is also the necessity for plus sized women to be shown in films (imagine the damage it could cause to a generation if only skinny actresses were used in films… oh wait). Yes the fame of stars like Rebel Wilson and Amy Schumer have brought attention of the struggles of breaking into the entertainment industry as a ‘bigger woman’ and positively influenced the youth but why do we need stereotypical pigeon holed roles? I mean Fat Amy, really? What we need is to be able to have plus sized women play a character without their size needing to be justified by a funny character trait; we see slim women in roles without being told that they go for a run every day, so why do I need to see a shot of Fat Amy eating when no other girl in the scene is? On an optimistic front, there are increasing amounts of body positive posts and profiles all over social media such as Instagram and Twitter and yet it’s a shame that it’s still not fully embraced and taken on board by the consumer fashion sector. With over two thirds of the American population wearing a size 14 or above I can’t see why the industry lacks the drive and courage to increase their
The public is crying out for normal women to be represented in the fashion industry
It’s baffling how the plus sized audience is still classed as a ‘niche market’ profit through making more beautiful clothes for beautiful women. It’s baffling how the plus sized audience is still classed as a “niche market”, making decisions for cuts an easy choice which limits the range of clothing on offer. In any case how can something be niche when it applies to over half the female population? A weak argument I came across the other day debated how one reason why plus sized ranges are still “niche” and limited is because of the belief that the wearers aren’t fashionable; designers don’t want their clothes being showcased by plus sized women. Fortunately the recent surge in plus size accounts on Instagram are encouraging the slow yet steady change to take place which hopefully will clear any such assumptions. Designers, like Ashley Nell Tipton, are leading the shift in accepting plus sized women and giving them the choices and risks in fashion that slimmer women already possess. Tipton does say that people still message her saying that she promotes an unhealthy lifestyle, but a woman’s health shouldn’t have any basis on whether she should be able to wear clothes that make her beautiful. If you’re to take anything from this, remember that size doesn’t always define health. I’d like to echo the words of Jenny McQuaile, director of “Straight/Curve” a documentary that discusses the complexities of the fashion industry and body image: “You can be beautiful at any size or shape, as long as you are healthy. You can naturally be a size zero and be healthy, and you can naturally be a size 16 and healthy. One is not better than the other.” And this is what the fashion industry needs to be reminded of. EMILY TURNER
FASHION + BEAU T Y
Quench’s fashion editor jamila gandhi gives us the lowdown on this season’s must haves
From skirts to shirts, nothing screams spring luxe more than ruffles and drapery. Florals might have been the obvious choice in the yesteryear for a transformation into the warmer season, however the elegant upgrade of ruffles on the runway has us feeling brave enough to venture out of our comfort zone. Whether in silk, suede or raffia, the endless customization possible is proof enough than anyone can incorporate a touch of this detail into their closet. Keep it classic with the traditional airy blouses or dive into the architectural art that the likes of Alexander McQueen and Jason Wu have inspired in intense colors and halter sheaths. Wear them soft, wear them loose, wear them cascading in tiers or wear them falling in gathers; the options are infinite.
the slip dress What was once a staple for comfort in the bedroom
has now progressed into a wearable day piece. Minimalists and hipsters can rejoice with this 90’s iconic vibe going strong this spring. Admittedly a controversial trend due to the resemblance to lingerie, there was no stopping Proenza and Mcqueen to up this embodiment of simplicity with a touch of decorative lace, leather and even bright colours. Clearly made to be seen, unlike classic underwear, this trend is definitely not one for the faint hearted. Yet layering a slip over turtlenecks and black boots is one way to make an edgy statement and also feel at ease.
Gone are the days when the reason behind opting for a cap was down to protection from the sun. Whether or not the blue sky delivers this spring/ summer season, chuck on your best cap as the statement piece in your OOTD. Besides simply upping your accessory game, say goodbye to your bad hair days… or at least the pressure to conceal that bad hair day and look presentable in public. Leave behind the nineties boyband snapbacks and get inspired by the athletique structure of baseball caps. Plus the incredible versatility of wearing it in leather or suede and with denims or smart attire, is all the more reason to sport this trend.
the cold shoulder
Give your books and stress levels the cold shoulder and welcome the warmer months by sporting the season’s most popular trend. There’s nothing new about exposed shoulders, I hear you say. But with the well thought out designs that exude elegance and subtle sex appeal simultaneously are exactly why it’s referred to the X Factor. Quite literally, the ‘X’ that is making its mark in various SS16 collections is an intersecting high neckline which also bares the shoulder. A hassle-free piece, there’s no room for constant readjustment as the top or dress in this style sits comfortably with an elastic seam, as seen with the shoulder – baring action in Prabal Gurung’s cutout knitwear and Proenza Schouler’s flowy architectural flair.
Yes it’s springtime but is Cardiff really Cardiff without some unexpected showers? If and when you dread that commute from your room to the library, take comfort in the comeback of anoraks. The rainwear has become synonymous with chic as brands like Alexander Wang have taken the standard boring trench and transformed it into a high – end yet light nylon handy cover up. Although the choices with patterns and solid colours can make you overwhelmed, the most popular and common pick remains the transparent style and why won’t it be, when it goes with everything you already own? But if splashing out on some waterproof see – through material doesn’t sound like appealing, simply dig in your attic and bring back your vintage raincoat which will do the same trick.
the wide-legged trouser Boys pack away your skinny denims for another time and get loose and comfortable with your bottom half options. There’s a new found appreciation and love for wider legged trousers and jeans on the runway and we’re all for this new trend. However don’t mistake wide legged for baggy – structure is key to look put together and a pair of these can even pass as smart casual! The designs by Casely – Hayford and Dolce & Gabbana are proof enough that relaxed trousers don’t always mean pajama bottoms. In many ways similar to the feminine culottes, a tailored loose pair of bottoms can be worn with a smart blazer or even with classic sneakers and voila! You’re no longer obliged to wear skin tight trews in summertime.
If you were asked to describe Grader with one word, that word would almost certainly be ‘resilience’. The Aberdeen hardcore outfit have been battling on the toilet circuit for more years than they should have been. Their distinct lack of record label support affords them the freedom to be a law unto themselves, but it also comes at severe financial cost and risk. If there’s any justice in the world, their latest audible articulation of their blood, sweat and tears, ‘Wholly’ will seem their efforts are at least recognised if not rewarded. The backbone of grungeladen riffs supports the emotionally charged hardcore, led by what are some of the most distinct vocals in the game at the moment appearing as the combination of the late Lemmy Kilmister and Louis Armstrong incarnate. If that blend doesn’t at least spark a degree of interest in you then what hope left is there? For fans of: Your Demise, Letlive. Download: ‘Feel This Low’ Facebook: facebook.com/GraderMusic @GRADERHC
Local Welsh band, The Cradles, took over Clwb Ifor Bach on a cold Wednesday night for the launch of their new EP, ‘Ideal Girl’. Taking the crowd away from the modern streets of Cardiff to a time of jangle pop and psychedelia. Through frightening twangs and hypnotic riffs The Cradles created quite the spooky enticement. This was emphasised through their new track ‘Ideal Girl’ which was the pinnacle point of the gig. With a humbug style vibe meeting a coral like bass, the crowd loved the energy the band conveyed throughout the new track. However, the gig would be nothing without a stage presence, so fortunately playing live is what this band do best. The gig received quite the appraisal as the crowd insisted on an encore. The boys delivered with a track which screamed “you can’t stop thinking about me”, which after that nights gig, can be confirmed to be true. The Cradles have finally been born and they sound better than ever. For fans of: The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys. Download: ‘Ideal Girl’ Facebook: facebook.com/TheCradles @TheCradles
Words: Jack Glasscock
words: Erin Brown
PATRICK CRAIG Since busking in the middle of festival campsites, Patrick Craig has continued to inspire awe and jealousy with his ability to effortlessly write Springsteen-like narratives with an outspoken punk attitude. Debut album ‘True Story’ is set for release at the end of April, and from the two current singles ‘True Story’ and ‘Begin Again’, the album looks set to provide a fistful of creative anecdotes of drunken mistakes and successes, depicting love, hate and all the grey in between. Interestingly, whilst Craig writes love songs, they are not from the monotonous, utopian dreamlike perspective but from the point of view of a realist, a quality which makes him both instantly relatable and overwhelmingly likeable. Even if you aren’t particularly a fan of folk/punk, check out Patrick Craig for his simple yet elegant songwriting - you won’t be disappointed. For fans of: Bruce Springsteen, Frank Turner. Download: True Story Facebook: facebook.com/pcraiguk @PCraigUK Words: James Ivory
THE MEANING OF MUSIC What does music mean to you? Is it something you write? Is it something you play? Is it something you can sing to? Do you run with it? Do you work with it in the background? Or do you just put it on when you feel like it?
Music can be derived from aeons ago, when we were still working with primitive tools. India is notable for its ancient findings of flutes carved from animal bones and various stringed instruments. The oldest surviving piece of music is the Hurrian song discovered in northern Syria. So there’s no doubting that it has lived among us for years, but why has it survived this long? There’s a simple answer to that. Music is the greatest form of communication. Unlike speaking, music travels in both a physical and emotional medium. If you’ve ever watched the film Zulu you’ll know what that means. Four thousand Zulu warriors bore down on Rorke’s Drift, manned by only 150 British soldiers of the 24th Regiment of Foot. During battle, Zulus often intimidated their opponents by drumming against their leather shields with their spears whilst singing war chants. The British Army responded with a rendition of ‘Men of Harlech’. Despite being outnumbered, their unity in song provided a sudden determination to stand up for their beliefs. This is no different to the notorious New Zealand ‘all blacks’, who perform a haka before every Rugby match to boost their team’s confidence for the game. Neither is singing hymns during mass to let the Lord know that you’re speaking directly to Him or head banging enthusiastically at your favourite death metal concert. Many authors have made small references to music and its importance in society. Orsino, in Shakespeare’s famous Twelfth Night, once said, “If music be the food of love, play on; give me excess of it that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and so die.” Through Albus Dumbledore, J. K. Rowling once wrote, “Ah music...a magic beyond all we do here!” Popular science fiction series Doctor Who had the Tenth Doctor explain the concept of music to Daleks: “It plays music. What’s the point of that? Oh, with music, you can dance to it, sing with it, fall in love to it.”
New technology has helped to consolidate the popularity of music, such as iPods, Spotify and Bose audio equipment, but many continue to utilise the old vinyl records, being partial to their genuine sound. Nevertheless, the demand for music when artists have new albums or singles released is consistently high. Many people strive to collect their favourite songs, debating whether or not a certain genre is better than another. It’s a unique experience for each person. Suffice to say, music has incorporated itself into the very fabric of human life. Whether it’s the soundtrack to a film you’re watching in the cinema, a background noise as you choose your next pair of shoes or attempting to get your restless baby to sleep, there’s no escaping it but that’s probably a good thing. On a more personal note, I find music has quite an intimate relationship with life. Some of my favourite songs are only my favourite because they recall a period in my life when I was genuinely happy, almost like an audible deja vu. For example, every Christmas when my parents and I would drive through the winding fields of Monmouthshire to visit my grandparents, my father would always play ‘Turn of the Century’ by progrock band, Yes. It continues to be a tradition, and every time I hear that song, that’s all I can see. So, when you next listen to one of your favourite songs, consider its relevance in your life and recall when you first heard it and maybe then you’ll understand what music means to you. THOMAS FIRTH
After two years largely spent out of the spotlight, Welsh trio The Joy Formidable emerge from their Mold studio with ‘Hitch’, and it’s worth the wait. Despite most of the tracks stretching well past the four minute mark the record never drags, owing much to Ritzy Bryan’s unique guitar style. The songs take on inventive structures and changes of pace that keep you guessing, backed by superb musicianship from rhythm section Rhydian Dafydd (bass) and Matt Thomas (drums). ‘A Second in White’ opens the record with intent, the urgent riff of the verse unleashing a monster chorus. Lead single ‘Last Thing on My Mind’ on the other hand slinks along on a groovy bassline and pulses with lusty energy. Championed by the likes of Dave Grohl and Mark Hoppus, The Joy Formidable can be one of the loudest bands around and there’s plenty of evidence on show here, ‘Radio of Lips’ boasting guitar solos and drum fills that cascade over one another for six glorious minutes. The second half of the album yields some more pensive moments, showcasing the trio’s developing versatility. ‘The Gift’ acts as an interlude piece with slow spoken vocals from Rhydian and dreamlike slide guitar, while ‘Underneath the Petal’ strips right back to vocals and fingerpicked Spanish guitar and finishes with a plaintive flute solo. Although recorded to the backdrop of an emotional split between two band members, the music of The Joy Formidable has never sounded as unified as it does on this, their third record. The songs feel more like healing than heartbreak; ‘Blowing Fire’ comes closest to succumbing to sadness but the moving middleeight still manages to be uplifting in its honesty. The best music transports the listener, and The Joy Formidable’s evocative pieces do just this, conjuring images of vast forests and winding rivers. Never ones to shy away from the grandiose, yet capable of a rare intimacy, The Joy Formidable are a Welsh national treasure. ‘Hitch’ is testament
The Joy Formidable
Zayn Malik Mind Of Mine Zayn Malik’s ‘Mind of Mine’ has gone straight to number one in the UK album charts, selling 4,000 copies more than Adele’s 25; proving that the ex member of One Direction definitely hasn’t been a onehitwonder The boyband escapee from Bradford’s debut album is everything it was predicted to be. Raunchy, downbeat R&B jams make this album. It is without a doubt very sexy and Zayn has given everyone a clear indication of what he wants his own individual rebranded image to look like. He’s definitely moved away from his cleancut boyband days, and songs such as ‘TiO’, ‘lUcOzAdE’ and the lead single, ‘PILLOWTALK’ display this clearly. The songs ‘BeFoUr’, ‘sHe’ and ‘dRuNk’ are ready made synthy chart toppers, with slow simple chilled beats and catchy melodies. The lyrics “drunk all summer” from ‘dRuNk’ along with the trap style of the song make it a textbook summer tune. Speaking of his earlyon success with the album, Zayn told OfficialCharts.com “I want to thank all the fans and my team at RCA and First Access Entertainment for everything they have done to help me start my journey as a solo artist. It really is the beginning.” A far cry for the labeldictated straightup cheesy pop hits and cutesy ballads from his past, Mr Malik has shown us that he’s not a boy, but indeed a man. MARED PARRY
The Last Shadow Puppets Everything You’ve Come To Expect The long awaited return of the puppeteers has arrived. Since 2009 we’ve been left without the duo’s creative, vintage 60s snarl that we’ve come to know so well. In this time the Monkey’s have surpassed expectations with a fluidity and growth in sound and direction, whilst Kane continued his stylish force in his Weller esc attack. The two return to us slightly older, maybe wiser, with different haircuts and that’s not where the changes end. ‘Everything You’ve Come to Expect’ provides a change in the seductive, sinister theme that runs throughout this theatrical trip back to the 60s. ‘Aviation’ is where we start “strolling through the open scene”; the fear of the violins greets us marking the start of the sinister feel. Comforted by Kane’s unique snarl it’s a trip down memory lane, this time not back to the 60s but back to 2009 and ‘The Age of the Understatement’ where the choral northern twang echoes in harmony. Owen Pallet’s way with a string section gives us the uniqueness of the duo’s musical approach. This continues onto the Bond film feel in ‘Dracula Teeth’. The flowing, energetic guitar riff withholds the rock and roll fluidity throughout ‘Aviation’ and ‘Used to be My Girl’ which allows an increase in pace that is needed at times. ‘Miracle Aligner’ sees a return of Turner’s softly, seductive, low vocal swing in a realm of romanticised slow dancing cynicism, causing one to sway as calls of “get down on your knees again” provide the seductive backdrop. The dark lyrical undertone and deep, rusty guitar is where we see the duo’s partnership at its greatest strength, who would’ve known Merseyside and Yorkshire could be this in sync? The pace of the drums in ‘The Element of Surprise’ and the flow of the guitar in ‘Pattern’ show the two have strengthened in musical direction with age. Turner, as a lyricist, has come along way from simple indie kid songs about 2005 Sheffield, whilst Kane goes beyond his aggressively played guitar of The Rascals with the two forming a wiser more skilful musical partnership. SEAN KIRKPATRICK
In 2016 there’s plenty of reasons to be cynical about music, whether it’s the impending disaster that is a cash hungry Guns N’ Roses reunion or the pseudo -revolutionary hot air of Twenty One Pilots and company. Revel in that at your peril; it’s a fast root to despair and if you dare to dwell on it too long you’ll have missed the unbridled enthusiasm and honest passion in your peripheral. Enter, Creeper; a band from Southampton that are vying for the opportunity to bring back what has been missing.
First up, let vocalist Will Gould explain exactly what angle Creeper are shooting from: “We all come from hardcore punk, but growing up I listened to David Bowie and a lot of the glam rock stuff my dad liked, whilst Ian (Miles, guitarist) grew up listening to Metallica. Both of those are very different musicians and very different styles, but the bombastic and grand nature of the ideas is what really excited us at quite a young age.” It’s the theatrical vision that Will describes in his formative years that is most distinct about the band’s output thus far. So it’s almost no surprise when he reels off some more influential and intertextual idiosyncrasies. “There’s a film by Brian De Palma, ‘The Phantom Of The Paradise’, that I obsess over and the songs from that were a massive aid to our writing”, Will divulges before nonchalantly citing Jim Steinman, who wrote songs for the mighty Meatloaf and Bonnie Tyler. He admits that “his records weren’t punk records at all, but the ideas, the scope of them and the storytelling, were something that we took a lot of cues from. We try and temper that with punk. It’s kind of weird, it shouldn’t work on paper, but we try out best to fuse them.” Fuse them they do; and seamlessly so. It’s a fusion that’s certainly grabbed the
attention of key and influential parts of the music media, but Will refuses to take any attention of the hype. “It’s really odd. We don’t think a lot about the way it’s all being perceived. We’re more focused on our songs. We try not to take too much notice of what other people are doing or saying. As shitty as that sounds, you tend to lose your focus and you can lose your muse really quickly when you start concerning yourself with what other people are saying. As nice as it is to hear, I don’t want to get caught up in that.” Creeper’s refusal to buckle and give in to the superlatives that surround them aids in the feeling of community among their small, but perfectly formed and ever growing fan base. In fact, they refuse to even call them fans; followers of Creeper are known affectionately as a cult. It’s these small aspects, such as the manner in which they choose to address their audience that piece together the larger narrative puzzle of Creeper’s universe. It’s a world that is far more complex than anyone outside of its centre to imagine, but its more than overtly hinted at in the way they present themselves. Six members, clad in black denim and leather, each emblazoned with one sole ‘Callous Heart’ patch on their back; and that’s just the start.
“We take great care over every little detail, all the t-shirts designs, everything; I’m meticulous with detail. We try and keep it all together, so when people are into our band, it’s more than just liking a record”, enthuses Will. “I’ve found that a lot of bands are more like small businesses than they are bands; it’s all so formulaic”, he adds with a sense of disdain. “So for us, visuals are extremely important because we are presenting the whole piece to everybody, every time. When we play on stage, we’re in character and are playing those parts, so we do things that we couldn’t normally do because we use that to our advantage, as a storytelling technique. It’s all part of the project.” But it’s more than just a gang, or a means of presentation. This isn’t just an aesthetic, or a state of mind. Creeper use their music as a means of storytelling in a very traditional sense. Reading their lyric sheets is an experience more akin to reading a novel than a poetic, sycophantic or nihilistic diary. “I’ve found over the time we’ve been doing Creeper that using story mechanisms to express how I feel has been a lot easier. ‘The Callous Heart’ has a lot of references to Peter Pan, to The Lost Boys and all these things in it
because I used that as a storytelling guise.”
his records weren’t punk records at all, but the ideas, the scope of them and the storytelling, were something that we took a lot of cues from. We try and temper that with punk. It’s kind of weird, it shouldn’t work on paper, but we try out best to fuse them. In most instances, a cheap reference to an insubstantial concept behind a particular band or album is pretty brittle. It serves as an afterthought to feign at some kind of substantiation and false validation, but Will takes
great pains to explain the depth of Creeper’s narrative. “I got some books from the library, some J. M. Barrie, a book called ‘Tigerlily’, which was a book written from the focal point of Tigerlily the character from Peter Pan who was his other love interest. So we kind of used the crux of that, but threaded our own lives through it. So they become songs that bind us all together. The songs are about us as a group. So everything we sing about is from a very real place. I always try and explain it like when you see a hardcore punk band a lot of the time their telling you it’s sincere, but they give you pantomime. I feel like the difference with our band is that we promise you pantomime but we actually give you something quite sincere”, Will gestures. That’s what sets Creeper apart; a real sense of sincerity in an industry overrun with falsity. They practice what they preach and they deliver something of true substance that they’ve crafted as more than just a means to an end. This band have more than just potential to mean so much to so many. JACK GLASSCOCK
If you’re granted any time with newton faulkner its hard not to come away from that conversation thinking that he’s a man that’s comfortable in his own skin. If it’s not the slow, zen manner in which he speaks, then the content will certainly convince you he’s happy as he is.
“I feel my career is stable”, Faulkner muses. “It just works. I can go out and do a certain amount of tours a year. I’ve got to a point where I feel like ‘I’m there’.” This period of seeming nirvana comes after the success of his fifth studio album, ‘Human Love’. Looking back on the months its been out, Faulkner reflects on the album’s reception in hindsight: “to be honest, its been received better than anything I’ve ever done. It’s gone down ridiculously well.” It’s a place every musician dreams of being, five albums deep into your solo career and your hardcore fan base is still fervent with anticipation, hanging on your every move, telling you that you’re improving. No wonder he’s so relaxed. But how does he do it? “I have no idea”, replies Faulkner before quickly adding “we spent a huge amount of time on it”, to remind us that this level of career satisfaction doesn’t come without its tribulation. “‘Studio Zoo’ was done so fast that it didn’t feel like I’d done an album when it came out because I’d written and recorded in the space of 10 weeks which is completely mental. Nobody does that. I now know what you can gain from writing in such an intense way and what you can potentially lose, as well as what you definitely gain if you spend more time. There’s pros and cons to every single writing method. I think I kind of felt right the whole time.” It seems that part of reaching a level of comfort comes from pushing the boundaries of convention, as Faulkner is not hesitant to divulge. “I think the way that I work and my whole approach to music isn’t conventional. I’m not looking at the top 10 and thinking ‘how can I fit into this?’. I’m almost purposely not looking at the top 10 and then thinking ‘what do I feel like?’ and, from watching the global situation, ‘what do people need to hear at the moment?’. I’m coming from a completely different angle. Sometimes that goes very well and sometimes, commercially, I do completely the wrong thing for that time.” Yet, as a man that prides himself on progression, how does he feel about the potential pigeon holing of himself as ‘that bloke that hits the guitar’? “I don’t mind it at all”, he freely admits. “It’s a huge part of what I do. That’s part of the reason why I’m still around because it’s such a visual thing live. It’s strange to have a playing style that is kind of 50% visual. It’s performance art as much as it is anything else, it’s just really fun to watch.”
Even within that niche technique Faulkner insists on progression as he reveals his recent work on a potentially revolutionary guitar mechanic. “I’ve designed a guitar with Nick Benjamin which is an electric that works in really low tuning and, in all the points that I’ve been hitting the guitar for years, there’s MIDI triggers. So I can play it in exactly the same way and make a completely different noise”, before noting, “and I’m just scratching the surface of the possibilities.” One thing that is hugely endearing about Faulkner as a person is his infectious passion for what he enjoys. He even describes himself as a “massive nerd”. The benefits of such a characteristic is potential for deviation and digression, not just in conversation, but also in his career. “I’ve got the ‘American Idiot’ script in front of me now because I’m doing that over the Summer. That’s my first kind of acting role.” As if taking a lead role in a touring play wasn’t challenging enough for him, he admits that he “purposely hasn’t seen it” as if to compound that difficulty and force a sense of discomfort in a man that seems so comfortable. If you thought you had Newton Faulkner penned, think again. Whether he’s pushing himself as a musician, designing guitars, acting or even streaming himself play video games, he’s an everevolving enigma and more power to him.
“I’m coming from a completely different angle. Sometimes that goes very well and sometimes, commercially, I do completely the wrong thing for that time.”
I’M COMING FROM A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ANGLE. SOMETIMES THAT GOES VERY WELL AND SOMETIMES, COMMERCIALLY, I DO COMPLETELY THE WRONG THING FOR THAT TIME. 37
April/Ebrill Treatment Presents: Dusky, Heidi & more
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MUSIC THE DEAR HUNTER The six members of The Dear Hunter could be forgiven for their relieved smiles upon taking to the stage at Bristol’s Lantern. It’s the band’s first ever show in the city and they aren’t exactly a household name, prompting fears from vocalist Casey Crescenzo that they “might be playing to about 10 people.” The Rhode Island rockers repeatedly express their surprise and appreciation at the sizeable crowd gathered in what is a fairly large room. After a captivating set by moody Bristol newcomers Youth, Grumble Bee frazzle the front rows with frenetic riffs and, due to their singer losing his voice, additional screaming. The former display excellent shifts in dynamics along with guitar wizardry, while the latter prove to be a bit much for some punters this early in the evening. The Dear Hunter are known for their wildly ambitious projects, principally a sixpart ‘Acts’ album series of which they have recently released ‘Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise’. They open with a riproaring rendition of ‘The Old Haunt’ from that album, Crescenzo hitting the highest notes with consummate ease. Dipping in and out of the ‘Acts’ along with selections from their 36song ‘Colour Spectrum’ project and their only standalone ‘Migrant’, the six musicians are masters of their craft and don’t miss a note throughout some complex and meandering arrangements. Swerving between progrock, folk, baroque and even disco on the surprisingly groovy ‘King of Swords’, The Dear Hunter make it all look easy. The crowd are to a man floored by the perfect delivery of pieces like the glorious ‘Waves’, the band’s closest resemblance to radiorock. They may be an acquired taste due to the bulk and density of their output, but The Dear Hunter are a unique outfit in today’s scene. After thanking the attentive audience one final time they bow out to a euphoric ‘Whisper’. On tonight’s evidence, if they do return to Bristol there will be plenty of people waiting for them. DILLON EASTOE
CATE LE BON With around a month until its actual release, Cate Le Bon brought her tour of fourth album ‘Crab Day’ into Cardiff ’s The Gate, an intimate Grade II listed church that lent well to the atmosphere of the night. Before the main display, Le Bon’s supporting band BANANA play a collection of orientalinspired ambient instrumentals that are haunting in their execution. After the supporting act, an extended version of the Crab Day trailer, shot in Berlin and directed by filmmaker Phil Collins, was played to the amassing crowd. Stunning overhead longtakes were juxtaposed by various bizarre dance numbers over the top of instrumentals from the upcoming album. Not to be outweirded by the film, Le Bon and co. walked out in matching Asian sun hats and what seemed to be safari-inspired gear. Starting with a simple “Croeso i Crab Day” (“Welcome to Crab Day”), the new tracks gave off the impression that Le Bon had taken from previous project DRINKS, a collaboration with White Fence’s Tim Presley, and stirred it in a pot with the ingredients she already has at her disposal. Stand out track ‘Wonderful’ sounds amazing live, with the frantic Le Bon repeating “My supper, my supper, my supper” on top of crashing guitar riffs. Playing through the full album gave the set a nice flow, with Le Bon only breaking up the action to state, “That’s the end of side 1. Fittingly, here’s side 2.” While the spedup tracks such as Wonderful were present, it’s reassuring to fans of old that Le Bon still has space for ballads. Le Bon has one of the most unique, eerie-yet magical voices around, and her thick Welsh accent lends well to both the stoneyfaced garagerock pieces along with the lamenting heavier tracks. JACK BOYCE
OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE MOBILE GAMES When it comes to mobile games, you have to sieve through a lot of fodder in order to get to the good stuff. As smartphones get bigger, faster and stronger, the potential for better games increases. Snake and Brick Breaker have to step down as we enter an era of more sophisticated gaming on the go. Saman Izadyar has done all the sieving for you; so that you can enjoy, to your heart’s content, a good set of apps to keep you company when you are on the loo or are avoiding writing an essay.
Bloons Tower Defence 5
Imagine you had a book capable of summoning any object you could possibly think of. Maxwell, the protagonist of Scribblenauts, has a magical notebook that does exactly that. Sounds too good to be true, but be assured there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different objects you can spawn in the game. This means that essentially your imagination is responsible for how much fun you have as you solve the numerous challenges that are thrown your way. Having a seemingly unlimited number of objects means you can complete the majority of the levels in a multitude of different ways. Will you be boring and use an axe to cut down the tree, or will you disintegrate the tree with an alien ray gun? It’s totally up to the player.
The Bloons franchise has come a really long way since 2007. Back then it was the flash game to play on the school computers whilst your IT teacher wasn’t looking. Now the franchise has spanned multiple genres and proved to be quite successful. There isn’t much story to the series, fundamentally it’s just a couple of monkeys popping an endless number of balloons by hurling darts at them. The thing that makes it stand out is how all the towers are unlocked (in this case, monkeys) straight away- unlocking their abilities is the hard part. Each of the monkeys have two distinct upgrade paths, from the Sniper Monkey’s night vision goggles to the Monkey Wizard’s power to conjure a phoenix.
Granted, the challenges are extremely simple and inappropriate suggestions won’t work either due to the game’s younger age rating. You can’t just create a bunch of strippers and hand out class A drugs when tasked to ‘liven up the party’. In turn this does kind of ruin the fun for the older player who enjoys more graphic games like Grand Theft Auto. That said, the ability to add adjectives to objects helps to resurrect some of the fun. Never in my life have I ever seen a tiny, friendly, pink Cthulhu or a giant, scary, invincible, zombie baby. Thus if you want to be truly impressed by your brain or how far freedom in gaming has come then Scribblenauts Remix is for you.
All the monkeys play differently and feel unique, you get really invested in seeing what power you will unlock next. It doesn’t really innovate the genre but the whole game is just so vibrant and colourful with a nice and varied level design that it becomes a joy to play. There are also a myriad of different modes that alter the levels in various ways, for example restricting certain monkeys or setting a limited amount of cash to spend on monkeys at the start. The social options aren’t too bad either, allowing you to see what level your friends got up to on each level and subsequently teaches you who to laugh at behind their back or who to dedicate a shrine to for their awesome strategic skills. Definitely the hardest game on this list but also the one that will last the longest.
Monument Valley Hands down the best game available on iOS or Android is Monument Valley. You most likely will already have it on your phone if you have even the slightest interest in mobile gaming. Monument Valley is a gorgeous puzzle game where you guide Princess Ida through a series of optical mazes. Honestly I can’t even begin to describe how good it looks, every frame is literally a work of art. You manipulate Ida and the architecture in several different ways, from pushing buttons to spinning entire buildings. The sound design can be applauded as there is no unnecessary repetitive music like most mobile games feature, instead what plays in the background is minimal ambient music that has the same relaxing capability as one of those odd-looking head massagers. Using a head massager whilst playing Monument Valley is probably the secret to achieving a true state of total euphoria. Every move you make has a unique sound, each increment of the structure you move plays an alternating note. It’s crazy how a game with barely any dialogue can have such a huge emotional impact; there’s even a moment of intense sadness which I refuse to spoil if you have yet to play this masterpiece. It takes so much self-control to not just finish Monument Valley in a quick one-hour run, but it needs to be savoured. Maybe lock yourself in a dark, soundproof room for 15 minutes every day and symbiotically focus all of your senses on the wonderful world that unfolds in front of your very eyes. If this paragon of digital art doesn’t blow your mind then gaming simply isn’t for you.
“Using a head massager whilst playing Monument Valley is probably the secret to achieving a true state of total euphoria.”
Ridiculous Fishing Can’t say I’ve ever looked at fishing and thought: “that looks fun” (no offense to any fishermen or fisherwomen). Yet, Ridiculous Fishing creates a formula that transcends both the activity of fishing and the adjective ridiculous. You follow Billy’s quest for international recognition as he starts off in a humble little boat with basic fishing equipment: a 50 metre line… and a handgun. The gameplay revolves around three mini-games. First, you cast the fishing line and try to go deep as possible, avoiding any fish in your path by tilting your phone left and right. Once you reach the limit on your line you have to do the exact opposite and catch as many creatures as possible on the way back up to the surface. Finally your catches are flung into the air and you shoot them until they explode. The rarer and harder to kill the fish the more sponds they are worth. Doesn’t sound too challenging, but bear in mind that killing jellyfish equates to a loss in money. Akin to real life, money is important. “The purchasable power ups have so much charisma that they make even the greatest socialites feel inferior.” [Pull Quote] All sorts of guns are available to purchase in the pursuit of fame and dead fish, like the blunderbuss, the bazooka or even double miniguns. There are slight variants of drills that can be used to viciously cut through fish instead of dodging them and furthermore there are a few electrical appliances one can attach to their line to receive extra chances in the inevitable event of hitting a fish too soon, such as the $2,300 hairdryer with the label “the most expensive hairdryer in the world”. All of them have a little witty comments like the one mentioned above and once the fishopedia (“#2 best fishing guide of 1996”) is purchased, every animal in the game can be viewed, each with their own equally funny name and description. The rarest fish can be found at the bottom of the three oceans, with the fourth ocean being infinitely deep. Once the legendary fish has been obliterated by gunfire, the remains can be worn as a hat, a fleshy little trophy.
Alto’s Adventure Time and time again, llamas have proven that they are the keys to success in the medium of entertainment. The Emperor’s New Groove and Napoleon Dynamite are two examples that utilise the llama to achieve feats that no-one dared think possible for the furry mammals. However, llamas had never received this spotlight in video games, until now. Alto leads a simple life, looking after his herd and taking in the beautiful snowy mountain views that surround him. One day a few of his cheekiest llamas decide to escape and of course, without his llamas, Alto is nothing. He grabs his snowboard and gives chase down the mountaintop. If you thought that this was some sort of llama simulator then I apologize for having misled you. As Alto, your goal is actually to snowboard as far down the procedurally generated mountain as you can, slapping disobedient llamas on their backside to show them their place. In terms of gameplay, your move set is quite limited with jumping and doing backflips being the only two things that are controlled. The terrain opens up the gameplay a lot with rocks that you can jump on and sheets of ice that increase your speed, there are lines of bunting you can grind on and coins scattered everywhere to collect. Three challenges are required to be completed in order to level up; new characters with different snowboarding attributes are unlocked every 10 levels. The game starts off quite slow but as you unlock better characters and buy the wingsuit, it really starts to shine. Chaining together backflips, rails and rock bounces as I was chased by a village elder is the most satisfying and tense experience I have ever had on my smartphone (and I used to have Tinder).
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS As we come to the final iteration of Quench for this year, we look at how an arrangement of polygons can blow our hearts to smithereens and reduce even the most hardened players to nothing
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV
THE WITCHER 3 WILD HUNT
Grand Theft Auto is notorious for its violent and shocking screenplay, yet the penultimate scenes in GTA 4 left myself and many others shedding a few tears over our game controllers. At first, it seemed great how the fourth edition of the game allowed the player to make certain decisions about how the narrative context will play out. Yet the same cannot be said for the final choice of the game, which allows you to inadvertently kill off our “favourite cousin” Roman Bellic. In the final act of the storyline, protagonist Niko Bellic has a decision to make; he can either make a deal with the man who betrayed him… or kill him. Niko turns to his consistently loyal ally Roman for advice, who begs Niko to make the deal so they can finally move on with their lives. However, by persuading the player to opt towards this decision, it unwittingly results in Roman being shot and killed on his wedding day, in the arms of his pregnant wife. This tragic and gut wrenching turn of events sees the franchise killing off arguably one of GTA’s most beloved characters, who was completely undeserving of this unforeseen, cruel twist of fate. Roman brought joy and comic relief to the game, but most importantly his warm and infectious company helped develop Niko’s merciless and pessimistic character into a more likeable anti-hero. So if you’re new to the game or want to avoid this traumatic scene, ignore Roman’s wishes and opt for the alternative choice of revenge, as we all (including Niko) need the presence of a loyal and trusting character in our lives; even if this means putting up with his pestering for a game of bowling.
There is a plethora of ways that a bombastic fight scene, or a dramatic death can be botched more easily in the video-game medium. However, the Battle of Kaer Morhen in The Witcher 3 succeeded in encapsulating the scale of the fighting, without losing touch of the individual characters involved. We see the witchers Geralt, Lambert and Eskel on the ground, driving back the gorging hordes of Wild Hunt footsoldiers as they attempt to siege the crumbling fortress. Whilst the sorceresses Yennefer and Triss struggle to protect the warriors from the larger threat of Eredin and the main chunk of the invading forces. When I was playing this I felt an utter hopelessness, akin to the siege of Helm’s Deep in Lord of The Rings courtesy of the overwhelming Uruk-hai. The Gandalf of this iteration; Ciri, whilst donning long white hair, is of a completely different calibre. Young and reckless, she allows herself to be caught by Eredin whilst the rest of the characters are incapacitated. The ageing witcher, Vesemir is also held captive by one of Eredin’s men. Up until now in the fight, there have been near-death moments for many of the characters, and with Vesemir in a desperate situation he attempts to save Ciri, only to have his life unceremoniously snuffed out in a bone-crunching instant. The abruptness of it, coupled with Ciri’s tear-jerking reaction moments later sent shivers down my spine when I first played. I even had to set down my controller and pause the game for a second just to absorb what had just happened. After Vesemir’s death a melancholy tone sets in, and suddenly the brutality of the Witcher’s world becomes all too clear.
SPARED OR IN THE GUTTER?
THINGS GET CIRI-OUS
FORWARD INTO PIECES Can a game about a faceless, armoured space man slaughtering hundreds and thousands of aliens from varying races across the galaxy make you sad? Apparently it can. A younger version of myself succumbed to his emotions in the form of a sobbing, blubbering mess. How embarrassing. We had been through so much together, the Chief and I. Flying Hornets, sticking Grunts, accidently mowing down innocent marines in the Warthog (oops). In a game that makes the least effort possible to make Master Chief a relatable character, I feel strangely attached to the guy. The last level, dubbed ‘Halo’, gives an epic conclusion to the trilogy: an action-packed race to safety, surrounded by explosions, flood and the Covenant. You reach the end, crashing into the dock of the ‘Forward Unto Dawn’, and everything seems alright. That’s when Arbiter and Chief attempt to jump into slip-space to escape the implosion of the Halo ring. The ship splits in two, Arbiter gets saved by the humans and Chief ’s status is unknown, presumed dead. The final cutscenes display a memorial of all the fallen soldiers, slowly panning past generic NPCs, Sgt Johnson, and finally ‘John 117’ aka Master Chief. Tearjerker! Not the Chief, you can’t kill the Chief! Fortunately, after completing the game on legendary difficulty, I discovered that the green metal killing machine was still alive and kicking in cryo-stasis. Alexander Jones
THE LAST OF US
A FATHER’S LOVE WILL NEVER FADE When it came to The Last of Us, I deliberately chose not to engage in any story based spoilers prior to its release. This was both a blessing and a curse, a blessing in that I got to explore arguably the greatest video game story without any preconceptions, but a curse in that I was barely emotionally ready to deal with what happens. However the saddest moment comes during the outbreak of the cordyceps infection as the game begins. Playing as the vulnerable 12-year-old Sarah, you witness the final moments of a genuine human relationship, one between daughter and father. As the perspective changes to the father (Joel), you are hounded by the newly infected, and chased with other civilians attempting to escape the horrors of a dying society. It appears you’ve made it to safety as a soldier helps you out. However, after a hesitant radio call, he ultimately fires on you. Joel recovers but Sarah was hit, what follows is one of the most harrowing moments in gaming. A father begging for his daughter to cling to life, a daughter suffering for her father’s wish. Sarah’s death is easily one of the saddest moments in gaming history.
RED DEAD REDEMPTION BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS
For all it’s worth, Red Dead Redemption is ultimately a game about injustice. As people, we measure injustice by knowing what is right and what is wrong because we love good stories where the heroes defeat their villains, underdogs beat the favourites and, to some extent and to some perspective, there is a happy ending. Make no mistake: John Marston is not a hero. John Marston is the gritty personification of an era of murderers, thieves, bandits and outlaws that are dying for the greater good of society. Yet, as we discover his family is being held at ransom by a crooked government, the player knows where the loyalties should lie. Towards the end of the game, the Marston family is reunited and John has redeemed himself. The player has seen him grow into a man who can let go of his past life and embrace greener pastures. Then the rapture comes. The ghosts of John’s past have returned to lay him to rest and you step out of the barn as the underdog because it’s a sacrifice you have to make to save your family. It’s wrong. It’s sitting there as the cheaters and the corrupt win as the frustration kicks you in the teeth. It’s not fair that John has been robbed of his happy ending after being used and abused while the people he loves are held hostage. He escaped his cruel world and was dragged back into it and executed by the very people he helped; any player will tell you there was no justice for John Marston. Caspar Jayasekera
THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 1 WALKERS ARE DEAD-LEE
Few who played through Telltale’s heart-tugging video game adaptation were left without at least a few emotional scars. There is a plethora of potential moments to choose from in the series that left players a weeping mess, but the moment that still gets me reaching for the comfort pillow when it gets brought up is the end of the first season. The final choice: where you decide whether the adorable Clementine will leave her protector Lee to turn into one of the flesh-eating walkers that haunt their every step, or will truly face up to the harsh realities of the new world she lives in and put him out of his misery, lead to the head style. We’ve controlled Lee through thick and thin, and to see him in such a state is heartbreaking. It’s even worse for Clementine, who has had to live with her parents and almost everyone she meets dying. To then have to face up to the stranger, who became her ever-present guardian, and decide whether to kill or abandon him, is just an impossible choice. The Walking Dead took no prisoners, not even Lee. Simon Banks
MINDS BEHIND THE MODS WORDS BY TOM MORRIS PC gamers have always prided themselves on the small contingent of super-fans amongst them who go the extra mile to improve their favourite game for the good of everyone. Filip Victor, creator of the Half Life 2 graphical mod, HL2 Update, is a great example of this long-running trend. Unlike similar projects such as Black Mesa, the remake of the first Half Life, Filip developed HL2 Update entirely by himself. He received no monetary compensation except for some computer upgrades from NVidia, and the go-ahead from Valve to release Update on the Steam store as a standalone title, although it is free and requires that HL2 be installed to run. Filip seems quite humble, his name wasn’t plastered all over the game, and when I added him on Steam he was happy to answer my questions for a few hours. I started by asking about the project. He is happy with how the initial Update has been received, expecting maybe 100 downloads, when it got past 600 he saw it as a good sign- now the count has passed 600,000! He is currently working on mods for Half Life 2: Episode One and Episode Two, the confusingly named sequels to HL2. Filip says he likes to work at his own pace and that meant the solitary project suited him. If Update was more complex, he would have needed to get coders, modellers and audio designers involved. Update just improves the game in very small ways to bring it up to modern standards, with water detail, animation tweaks and community commentary all included. Comparing
himself to Black Mesa, a full team who have already worked on their mod for longer than him and have not yet finished, he says that “Doing something simple and very meticulous can be a good success.” This is the primary source of praise for Update- it doesn’t drastically change the game from Valve’s original vision (named by many as the greatest game of all time). “Those who played the game recently or more than two times [sic] will see the difference.” Filip is from Romania, where until more recently internet coverage was far from great. In 2005, having obtained Half Life 2 and the expansion Lost Coast from a torrent, he had enjoyed the game but had no internet connection to download more games. “I decided to update HL2 way back in 2005. I did build a version that was running on Lost Coast [the slightly improved engine used in the expansion].” He called this HL2 Update 0.5, which he never uploaded online. By 2009, after the release of the Episodes and Portal (and as hype for Half Life 3 built up), he had the first version of Update which “received media attention.” With this success he was able to reach out to sponsors and contacted Valve to get Update on the Steam store. “The hard part was getting the media stuff for marketing, email, videos, logos… Now here is a new playground, which was much harder than the game itself!” I asked Filip whether he is a game developer by trade, but he is not- he has a day job working in IT. Filip told me: “Even if I am not a programmer, I still somehow
learned Visual Studio and made some changes to the engine.” After that, he ordered an expensive DVD about Source level-editing from a now-defunct company that taught players how to become amateur developers. Though Filip prefers to discuss his passion project, I was eager to find out more about him. He told me that he was born in 1989, so would have been about 15 when Half Life 2 originally released, and about 16 when he started to tinker with it. In 2009 he got his IT job and in 2012 he started studying Computer Science at university. However he dropped out because he found the course uninteresting and already had a stable job. He is keen to add that if anyone actually wants to make a whole game they should stick with higher education: “I’m not saying here, “don’t go to college or leave school if you think you have a game idea.”” I concluded the interview by asking Filip his opinion on the industry and whether it might have a place for him. Like many others, he blames “engines like Unity and Unreal” and “small devs” which release “game after game” for saturating the market. When asked whether he might hope for something more out of the project which has brought classic HL2 to a new generation of PC players, he mentioned that Valve discussed employment with him. “They did not say no to me, but they were like- we are keeping an eye on you.”
Pros: Innovative gameplay Smooth design Cons: Short storyline Cheese potential Rating: 8/10
“Is it REALLY the most innovative shooter yo u’ve played in years?”
REVIEW: SUPERHOT Everyone would like more time. More hours in a day, more days in a year, more years in a life. Superhot gives you exactly that: time to think, time to consider your actions before you do them. The anonymous protagonist stares down incoming bullets, dodges them Matrix-style, and then finishes off the enemy with a punch or a bullet of their own. It’s a shooter, but it plays like a puzzle game. There are guns, and there are melee weapons. You can also throw these and other items like bottles and mugs, as well as sometimes delivering a punch. There are a few small twists that get added to the player’s repertoire later, but these few weapons make up the vast majority of gameplay. Pistols are satisfying; with a good shot feeling like a sniper rifle, even at close range. Enemies aren’t realistic and seem to be made from glass, their bodies shattering as bullets pass through, after one hit from a melee weapon, or three punches. Superhot’s time mechanic is a work of genius. As stated, it is a shooter and you can play it as such, strafing and jumping included (but not crouching). When you stop still, everything moves extremely slowly, so that it may as well be stopped (in one mode, everything is completely stationary). If you look around, things move a tiny bit faster, but as soon as you use WASD or an attack, the game returns to normal speed. You can even choose to jump in slow motion which makes for good action set pieces. As bullets move only when you move, stopping time gives you time to consider which way to dodge and dive. However, it also means your bullets aren’t moving either, so the player is forced to move, and risk death, in order for enemies to get their comeuppance. It essentially creates a kind of turn-based shooter… where everyone’s cheating and not waiting their turn. The main game is pretty short, easily done and dusted in
about three hours. It offers a great deal of replayability in the form of Endless and Challenge modes which are unlocked at the end of the game. There are also apparently secrets to be found, and there is plenty of fun in uploading your real-time replays to Killstagram, a built-in service which records your replays and uploads them to YouTube. Challenges are good fun, and when you go back to the main game it seems incredibly easy in comparison. They involve modes such as each gun only having one shot, or only being able to use a katana to get kills. Endless is what you might expect, a few arenas where players are challenged to last as long as they can, using every trick in Superhot’s book. Superhot is the first game I’ve backed on Kickstarter (the other, Steve Swink’s Scale, should be arriving soon too) and it took a while longer than expected for the Polish dev team to finish polishing it up. They really could have just done more of the same after the success of their little tech demo back in 2013, but they’ve gone above and beyond that and the game is all the better for it. It’s not true to say Superhot is flawless. There are two main problems, mainly to do with how enemies spawn. The player can, in many levels, find a small place to hide away and then stand there with a melee weapon such as the katana (obviously this works great in Katana Only mode) and just kill every Red Dude who comes around the corner, as you can swing faster than they can shoot. The other problem I found is that once or twice enemies spawned quite a long way from the player character, and didn’t move from their starting position. The developers of Superhot seem to be fairly upstanding people however and can be expected to patch out many of the issues. As for the “spawn camping” trick, it’s a single player game and you get out of it what you put in- the fun in Superhot comes from creating a bullet-dodging, multi-enemy-skewering, slow-motionjumping spectacle. If you do feel like playing like a
killjoy, the option is there, but it is never essential to beat a level. All in all, Superhot is a great indie game- it’s very fun, with solid controls and exciting gameplay. Asking whether it was worth the wait is silly, many people habitually wait years for games then beat them in a week so the fact that you can see every level in the game in less than five hours is fairly inconsequential. For the price, it’s very much worth it- especially considering the extra modes. I just hope that I don’t start to wait in bed all day, imagining that the rest of the world won’t move if I don’t. Tom Morris
FILM + TV
D A V I DL Y N C H
The cinematic style of David Lynch’s work is so distinct that it necessitates the term ‘Lynchian’. They are dreamy, mystifying, slightly peculiar and often eccentric, exploring the undergrowth of the idyllic in surreal ways. Be it in a neo-noir, sci-fi or a soap opera; this Lynchian style, its themes and its strangeness run through his broad filmography as well as in his art, music and writing. Whilst he is often thought of as the father of contemporary avant-garde cinema, his genrebending works such as Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive are interestingly popular within mainstream culture. Perhaps this is because Lynch speaks a curious yet understandable language of film that envelops the viewer into his world of a velvety atmosphere; brooding songstresses singing in dusty bars, absurdist imagery and haunting soundscapes create a mysterious world in which the dark subconscious is explored, and brought out of repression. Lynch’s haunting works exist within a state much like a dream. When we’re asleep, it all makes sense and feels almost real. We don’t question the strangeness, the darker aspects or our fears lapping onto our everyday life; but when we wake up and think over the experience, we wonder which recesses it all came from.
Inland Empire (2006)
Inland Empire could be described as one of David Lynch’s most ‘difficult’ films. The plot is centred on an actress (Laura Dern) who begins her role and soon starts to realise she is impersonating or becoming the character she is playing. Soon the events become surreal, the film becomes a dream, quickly distorting into a nightmare, and events of fiction and reality are completely blurred. Following the narrative becomes increasingly difficult, and it is almost impossible to tell what is fiction and what is fact, where the layers of the film begin and where they end. There are characteristic Lynchian moments throughout, with that sense of nightmarish horror mixed with comedy that makes his films so distinctive. Inland Empire is more difficult to follow than that of Mulholland Drive, a film that has some tonal and plot similarities, but here the tone is even darker, without the stylish gloss that was characteristic of the earlier film. Whilst the narrative is highly complex, Lynch’s telling of the story is still expertly done, and the scenes seem to flow based on an unfathomable logic as you watch in a state of mild horror and apprehension, in an attempt to discover the truth behind the events of the actresses life. Beau Beakhouse
Blue Velvet (1986)
There is an amazing mysticism that surrounds Blue Velvet and which helps to catch the spectator’s attention. This extraordinary film by David Lynch takes the spectator to experience the authentic inner of society. It is a journey to the core of humanity. The plot starts with Jefferson returning home after his father suffered a stroke to take care of the family business. After founding a human ear, Jefferson will untangle a secret story, full of perversion and mysticism. Lynch helps the spectator to get involved in the film by revealing the story through Jeffrey’s eyes. A dichotomy between detective and voyeur, Jeffrey will only reveal to the viewer what he sees and hears. At the beginning of the film, he starts acting as a detective. Then, he will follow the clues to reveal a voyeuristic gaze hidden in his unconscious mind. Lynch also plays with the colours and the lights in the film. Happy and juvenile scenes are emphasized with pastel colours and singing birds while danger is accompanied by dark colours and violent music. The script also helps the viewers to identify any change in style. While the scenes that are meant to represent hope are characterized by female characters with sweet voices, the ones that are used to explore the irrational and the perverse are characterized by dangerous male characters. Blue Velvet can be summarised as a perversion feast for our unconscious. It is a highly recommended film for anyone willing to explore the thin line between right and wrong. Mariana Diaz
FILM + TV
Mulholland Drive (2001) Twin Peaks (1990-91)
Twin Peaks is one of those rare television shows where if you’ve heard about it, it means you probably love it. And if you don’t love it, well, you probably haven’t heard about it. It was an instant sensation from the moment it was first aired in 1990, and still, 20 years later it not only remains a cult classic but its writer and director David Lynch’s influences can be felt in many television shows since; from Lost to True Detective. Similar to Lynch’s previous work on Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks starts off just like any other television drama would with attractive characters and beautiful sets with a gripping storyline but as you continue watching the series you realise the depth and darkness it holds. It seems to be a favourite tactic of Lynch’s to cover up the dark and grisly aspects of his work with comedic and quirky moments, creating an almost surreal and ambiguous feel. Twin Peaks is set in the titular Washington town and starts off with the discovery of homecoming queen Laura Palmer wrapped in plastic. Called in to help with the investigation is clean cut, slightly eccentric, Agent Dale Cooper. He continues to serve as the main protagonist, while Laura’s murder investigation serves as the main storyline. As it is set in a small town, all of the characters know each other and as we get to know them it is clear many have secrets and are leading double lives. While this may sound like many other detective shows on television, it’s the originality and depth of Lynch’s work that really makes Twin Peaks so special. Lynch creates a blend of supernatural, horror and surrealistic elements, which all blend together and give a very unsettling and dreamlike feel to the show. However, it is this blended with the aforementioned comedic aspects, which really holds the audience; one episode alone can feel funny, scary and sexy while always being slightly mysterious. If you haven’t watched it before start watching now as fans rejoice over the announcement from Lynch that there will be a nine episode new season coming in 2016. Clearly, now it holds an even higher cult status than it did when it first aired over 20 years ago. Kera-Louise Frost
Mulholland Drive is a captivating production by David Lynch, drawing the viewer into a mysterious interplay between reality and dream. The complexity of this thriller lies in the fusion between these two dimensions, constructing and de-constructing the narrative, as seen through a psychological prism. The director manages to capture deeper meanings of human experience, which transcend reality and feelings, touching the texture of the subconscious. The cinematographic effects, the echoing sound and the juxtaposition of disrupted images build the template for an ephemeral reality, resembling a dream; images of disturbing memories take a different form, but retain their distressing meaning and return to the protagonist, who re-imagines them. The story is two-layered, split into a former narrative which introduces us with two main characters, Rita and Betty, who attempt to discover a central mystery. The other dimension of this plot is revealed in the second part of the movie, which contests previous accounts: characters overlap, embedded actions are restricted to suggestive symbols of past experiences, the entire diegesis reconfiguring its meaning potential and structure. The theme of impersonation is subtly contoured in motifs of the dream, anchored also in the idea of acting, performance, or theatre. Another latent theme is created in the antithesis between the hopes of a young girls and the fading of such hopes into the darkness of a cruel industry. Love is also dissolved in jealousy, and feminine beauty is contrasted with the discomposure of a corpse, expressing again the diffuseness and instability that reality shows, as well as the transformative nature of humans. Addictive and thrilling, this cult movie offers a puzzle whose pieces are broken from shifting realities, so that the viewer is himself a participant in the interpretation of chaotic scenes, which do not find easy resolution; the viewer is given no reassurance of what is truly happening and what is not, actions being conflated with visions. There is no control assigned to the viewer, who is situated in an equal if not subordinated relationship with the characters, immersed alongside in the sublimal violence and obscurity of this film. Overall, the film punctuates the way in which reality is itself constructed, in our imagination and through our senses, marking an intermediate stratum between an inner and an outer experience. Beautiful and ingenious, it is fascinating and challenging in the same time, bearing the style and creative dogma that consecrated its author.
Remember that episode of The Simpsons when Homer is watching The Giant dancing with a unicorn in Twin Peaks? And he’s just like ‘I have absolutely no idea what’s going on’? Well, I think you would be forgiven if this were your reaction to David Lynch’s first feature film, Eraserhead. If you haven’t seen Eraserhead, explaining the general outline is quite hard without bringing out a notebook detailing all the possible allusions and theories Lynch could have brought up through a cast of lonely characters trying to get through life, or the version of ‘life’ Lynch creates for them. This is where Eraserhead’s greatness comes through, as the reason you, and I mean ‘you’ as an individual and not a collective member of an audience, have to watch it to gain insight into what is happening is because every person will extract what speaks to them from Eraserhead. For one person the opening shot of Henry’s head being superimposed over what looks like a planet could be a microcosm for man and the world, while for another the juxtapositions of black and white holes can symbolise Henry’s entering and exiting of the dream state. This is easily a film about loneliness (see: the shotreverse-shots in the hallway between Henry and the Beautiful Girl Across the Hall – we only see each character alone in their frame, with an unseen boundary keeping them apart), as much as it is about fertility, with one example including the small chicken scene. ‘Lynchian’ is a term used a lot when describing Lynch’s work, and, while there isn’t a definition for the word, I view it to summarise Lynch’s statement: ‘I don’t know why people expect art to make sense. They accept the fact that life doesn’t make sense.’ So, if you want a visual definition of what it means to be ‘Lynchian,’ turn to Eraserhead. Sinead McCausland
FILM + TV
For our final issue of the year, Film and TV enlists contributors to defend their corner for their fave cult actors, and we are flower crowning the winner
'Arnie,' 'The Governator' and even the 'Austrian Oak;' the plenitude of nicknames given to him over his illustrious career speaks volumes to his impact in the industry. From his humble beginnings as a body-builder, to his eventual rise to Governor of California, his true power yet untapped seems to have no bounds. Simply put, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a person who has continuously used his weaknesses to his advantage. Nobody ever questioned that his performances in films such as The Running Man, Kindergarten Cop and the incomparable Batman and Robin were dire, considering half of his lines comprise of one-liners, puns and inane yelling. However somehow he manages to make viewers beg for more! Maybe it's simply that although he lacks the acting chops, he really does give it his all in whatever role he's in? Or maybe it's because of how such a large, imposing hulk of an individual can be so caring and loveable, that its just impossible for the audience to dislike him?! Whatever the reason, since the release of Pumping Iron (1977), the Austrian body-builder has become well-known for his enormous build and his hilariously imitable accent. He is undeniably at his best in action films such as Predator, The Terminator, Commando and Conan the Barbarian. However, he's also lent his talent to comedies such as Twins and Junior and has somewhat saved numerous films that would have otherwise sunk without his star power guiding it. As for his political career, well I don't claim to be an expert on the subject, but with an approval rating of 36% at the end of his political tenure it must be said that films remain his forte. Elis Doyle
Awkward, uncomfortable, perfect; Steve Buscemi is a rose amongst the thorns. A favourite of Tarantino, Adam Sandler and the Coen Brothers, Buscemi has never failed to outshine main characters in feature films with his one liners or simply with his glorious presence. Having started his career in small-budget, independent films such as, The Way It Is (directed by Eric Mitchell), it wasn’t until his role as Mr Pink in Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 neo-noir crime thriller and directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs that Steve Buscemi caught the public’s attention. Following the great success of Reservoir Dogs, Buscemi worked with Tarantino again, though this time playing a minor role, in Pulp Fiction. His first major, leading role was in Alexandre Rockwell’s In the Soup, playing a screenwriter desperate to find a producer who will bring his screenplay to life. Ever since, Buscemi’s career has not stopped blossoming. The man has proven to have a vast repertoire of skills, taking on a great variety of different characters, from the pitiless Carl in Fargo, to the homeless guy in Big Daddy. However, it is his role as Nucky Thompson in Boardwalk Empire where Buscemi excels the most. After some experience in the gangster genre by appearing in 5 episodes of The Sopranos, Buscemi plays Nucky in Boardwalk with a fierce and dramatic approach. It’s hard to recognise the man who played weakling and bullied Donny in The Big Lebowski, when we see him play Nucky Thompson, an progressively ruthless and unforgivable character. His work in the series has rightfully earned him two Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe. It is evident that Steve Buscemi still surprises audiences with his talent, and has yet a lot to offer. Marielle Wilkinson
FILM + TV
I spent ages trying to decide what to write in this article, but then I thought to myself “JUST DO IT”’ (Shia LaBeouf, 2015). I originally saw Shia LaBeouf in his first television performance in the popular Disney show Even Stevens. I was captivated by his eccentric, energetic and hilarious character and since then not much has changed. After featuring in a few fairly successful films, LaBeouf turned his attention to art, and this is where his career turned a strange corner to say the least. In 2014 it arose that he had supposedly plagiarised Daniel Clowes and following this produced a series of weird public displays - beginning with wearing a paper bag over his head at a premier which stated “I am not famous anymore”. Ironically, this is where he started to become even more famous. LaBeouf ’s performance art raises eyebrows, and you could write a whole book on the absurdly hilarious things he has done in the past couple of years. My personal favourites have to be Shia LaBeouf Live by Rob Cantor and his Just Do It motivational speech, both are hugely comical and bemusing in equal measure. If you’re in need ofr some inspiration for a 9am lecture just stick on that motivational speech and you will be pumped for days. Who knows where Shia gets his ideas for pieces like this, but there is no doubt there will be many more to come, and I for one cannot wait. He is certainly a successful cult icon, and he didn’t get there by simply dreaming of it, he ‘worked hard at it’, and we all should too.
This year, on the night of the 88th Academy Awards, the world was stunned. One of the most popular men in film with a back-catalogue of acting masterpieces was the talk of the town. Yes, it finally happened: the world stood up in defiance and proclaiming "it should’ve been Nicolas Cage!" Hot off his 'Best Actor' win for grunting for 3 hours, seasonal bear-hugger, Leonardo DiCaprio asked; "Why hasn’t Cage received a lifetime achievement award yet?’" Presumably Di Caprio then left the press to go home and cry with envy over National Treasure. The biggest thing to exist on the internet since the ‘delete browser history’ button, Lord Cage is a god amongst men (or maybe just on Tumblr). But what about his pre fangirl era? You know, the one with leading roles in Moonstruck and Face/Off and of course the Academy Award winning Leaving Las Vegas. But to that I say, who cares? Have you SEEN Con Air? King Cage kills a man for taking his daughters stuffed rabbit, what a legend! But let’s not detract from his masterful acting talent in The Wicker Man, exemplified when he he enacts being engulfed by bees when, believe it or not, there actually were no bees whilst filming! We truly are not worthy of the wonders Supreme Overlord Cage can bring, instead we worship him through internet memes and unanimously forgetting that Ghost Rider ever happened. To our dear lord and saviour, Nicolas Cage: We love you, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice-related warts and all.
If your film taste is half decent you would have seen this man in at least one film, whether it was in the iconic Jurassic Park or the more recent The Grand Budapest Hotel. Before blessing our TV screens in various Curry’s’ adverts by teaching people how to receive bad presents with grace and dignity, he has touched our lives with some fantastically memorable moments in cult films over the years. In 1984, a younger Goldblum starred in an out of this world film, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai where he played New Jersey (yes, that was his name), helping to fight off evil aliens. Whether he managed to save the world from alien invasion is unknown… until you watch it. In 1986 he played an eccentric scientist in The Fly, whose experiment goes wrong, resulting in him turning into a fly-hybrid creature. This of course was followed by the sequel The Fly II which unsurprisingly, like many sequels, was not as favoured. However, Jeff Goldblum’s skills and pure talent to grasp the exact character’s traits, in order to create an experience for the audience to become immersed in is honourable. The cult films Goldblum has starred in, are known by all generations, and if you have not seen these films, then please, watch them. He is a man of great versatility and talent.
FILM + TV
W RLD CINEMA NORTH AMERICA
OLD CINEMA: Since the silent era, the American film industry has led the way. Often called the 'Inventor of Hollywood', D.W. Griffith was key to the development of film grammar as exemplified in his controversial film The Birth of a Nation (1915). The Jazz Singer (1927) marked the decline of the silent film era of Charlie Chaplin films and epics such as Ben-Hur (1925), with Hollywood then producing some of the greatest films of all time, such as Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941) and 'master of suspense' Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958). Hitchcock in particular utilised the Hollywood studios to create some of the most innovative cinematic experiences that have influenced future generations of filmmakers. NEW CINEMA: American cinema continued to produce incredible and successful films such as Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Part II (1974), Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982).Franchise films also became prevalent in Hollywood particularly from the 1980's onwards, with films like Star Wars and Back to the Future being released. More fitting with ‘world’ cinema is of that coming out of Canada, especially that from Quebec where French is spoken. Xavier Dolan is an upand-coming director from Quebec, with films such as J'ai tué ma mere (2009), Heartbeats (2010) and Mommy (2014), which all discuss family issues and homosexuality; topics which are prevalent in more recent North American film.
Film and TV editors Sadia Pineda Hameed and Eleanor Parkyn teach you the ways of old and new world cinema
OLD CINEMA: The film industry in Latin America truly began with their Golden Age of Cinema in the 1940's to 50's. Fernando de Fuentes was a pioneer in Mexican and global early sound cinema, and Emilio Fernández brought Mexico's first film to Cannes Film Festival with María Candelaria (1944) winning the Grand Prix (now Palme d'Or). Cinema Novo, based in Brazil, was the region's experimental movement influenced by both Italian neorealism and French New Wave. From the 1960's to 70's, the movement experimented with both visuals and narratives, strongly themed on the 'aesthetic of hunger', exposing the disparity in standards of living in South America such as in Luis Buñuel's Los Olvidados (1960) and Glauber Rocha's Black God, White Devil (1964). NEW CINEMA: Latin American cinema often struggles more than other nations to break out into the rest of the world. Yet when it manages to, the films become global hits, like City of God (2003) and Alejandro González Iñárritu's Amores Perros (2000), both Oscar nominated. More recently, like many foreign films from the past few years, LGBT related themes are starting to emerge and become successful in countries outside of where it was produced. This is apparent in the Brazilian film The Way He Looks (2014), based on the internet short film I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone (2010) which gained enough popularity to be made into this feature length film, and was even released in cinemas across the UK.
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OLD CINEMA:Futurism such as Bragaglia's Thaïs (1917) was Italy's first influential movement, which Russian futurists such as Vertov and Eisenstein followed on from. After these experimental beginnings came Italian Neo-realism, known as the Golden Age of Italian cinema. Characterised by their concerns with poverty and moral conditions, films such as Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948) and Roberto Rossellini's Journey to Italy (1954) were beautiful, tragic and poetic responses to the post-war landscape of Italy. Italian cinema then developed the additional layer of concerns with the human condition, alienation and communication; Federico Fellini's masterpiece 8 ½ (1963) and Michelangelo Antonioni's Red Desert (1964) being two prime examples. NEW CINEMA:Italian cinema continued to thrive, with the works of Bernardo Bertolucci, such as the controversial Last Tango In Paris (1972) and his more recent film The Dreamers (2013) upholding this distinct Italian style. Luca Guadagnino's I Am Love (2009), Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty (2013) and Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso (1988) - all of which received accolades and high regard from around the world - pay tribute to the country in the films' settings and continue the beautiful and nuanced filmmaking legacy of Italy.
OLD CINEMA: From the avant-garde works of Germaine Dulac to the sound comedies of René Claire that inspired Charlie Chaplin, France has had a great influence on both experimental and Hollywood cinema. One of its most significant contributions, however, is the French New Wave movement which saw young critics from Cahiers du cinéma transition into revolutionary filmmakers. Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows (1959) and Èric Rohmer's My Night at Maude's (1969) indulged in innovative visuals, narratives and existential themes. French directors continued to experiment: Agnes Varda's Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962) is in 'real time', and JeanPierre Melville's The Samurai (1967) combines multiple genres.
NEW CINEMA:In more recent years French cinema has become increasingly popular around the world, even with casual cinema viewers. This was evident with the release of Amélie (2001), which became the highest-grossing French film to ever be released in America. Many of the French language films that make it out of Europe are those which depict the lives of famous French icons, such as Coco Before Chanel (2009) and La Vie en Rose (2007), a biographical musical based on the life of singer Édith Piaf, which won 2 Oscars. Another genre that has grown in popularity over the past decade in French cinema is that of films involving parkour, which can be seen in District B13 (2004).
OLD CINEMA: Silent films were still being produced in Japan into the 1930’s, including Kenji Mizoguchi’s The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939), which experimented with long takes of up to 6 minutes. The 1950’s, however, was Japanese cinema’s Golden Age. Films in this period responded to the post-war and American occupied environment, resulting in innovative cinema. Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1950) largely popularised Japanese cinema in the West, pioneering what is now known as the ‘rashamon effect’ in storytelling, whilst Yasujirō Ozu’s Tokyo Story (1953) popularised stylistic visuals. The Best Director Oscar nomination for Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Woman in the Dunes (1964) only exemplifies Western intrigue in Japan’s experimental style of filmmaking. NEW CINEMA: Before the 90’s, Japan saw a lull in its cinematic productions as many film studios and cinemas struggled to keep running due to the poor economy. However the emergence of films directed by and starring Takeshi Kitano (of Takeshi’s Castle fame) helped return Japanese cinema to its former glory. One such film is Battle Royale (2000), which reinforced the hype in Western countries for Japanese horror, with notable examples being Ringu (1998), Dark Water (2002) and The Grudge (2002). Nowadays the most popular cinema coming out of Japan are anime films, which make up over sixty percent of the films produced in Japan. Studio Ghibli is one of the main anime studios in Japan, with releases like My Neighbour Totoro (1988) and Spirited Away (2001).
N JAPA 51
FILM + TV
Some movies are so bad they have gained a cult status, but does that make them good? The Oscars have come and gone, celebrating the crème de la crème of cinema; every week new films get released into the cinemas, some becoming massive blockbuster hits, whereas others are quickly forgotten. But what about those films so bad they don’t even get a chance to be shown on the big screen? Instead they are pushed past the realms of the horror that is Grease 2, and into the deepest, darkest corners of Netflix. While some such films are terrible, with absolutely no redeeming factors, (think anything Adam Sandler has made over the past decade), others have surpassed their awfulness and transcended into cult worthy films. And despite their barely-even-one-star ratings, a lot of these films can be considered to be so truly appalling that they are actually good. The most obvious example of this is The Room. When it comes to The Room, you’ve either never seen it, or you’ve watched it so many times you can recreate the whole movie in some bizarre one-man/woman show. The film itself is centred on a love triangle, but other than that I’m not sure there is a plot, or that anyone is actually able to follow it if it does exist. Basically the entire film comprises of anatomically impossible sex scenes and Tommy Wiseau wandering around saying ‘oh hi’ to a whole bunch of unnecessary characters no one knows. Although lead actor Tommy wrote, directed, produced and funded the film himself, he consistently sounds like he has never seen the script before. The rest of the cast also sound like their voices have been replaced by one of the Google translate voices. While it is absolute trash, The Room does provide a great test of friendship; someone who is willing to sit through the entirety of the film with you is the kind of person you need around when the end days come. Despite its absolute failure at early attempts to be released in cinemas, The Room is now screened especially for cult fans of the film who, much like Rocky Horror enthusiasts, dress up as characters and throw things at the screen. Arguably, had The Room been flawlessly made; with good acting, good cinematography and a plotline that actually made sense, it would be even less well liked than it currently is, and completely forgotten about. Because these films rarely make it to the big screen, they are somewhat like a tree that falls in a forest when no one is there; they would go completely unnoticed unless you actually go looking for them. Movie 43 is one example; a film so bad that all major film studios rejected it, despite the fact that it stars everyone in Hollywood from Chris
Pratt, to Emma Stone, to Kate Winslet. No more than ten minutes into the film and Winslet is staring at the pair of testicles dangling from Hugh Jackman’s chin, and that pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the film. And honestly that’s one of the classier scenes. Another is The ABCs of Death; a series of short horror films each relating to a letter of the alphabet. Although none of them are particularly scary, they are certainly horrifying in terms of how warped the director’s minds must have been to create some of these shorts. Some of the topics covered are somewhat harrowing and in all honesty, to this day some scenes still haunt me. When I say you have to see it to believe it, it’s not necessarily a recommendation. Finally, a more famous film series whirls up and blows in in the form of Sharknado, a disaster movie involving a tornado full of sharks. The three films that have been released so far have involved sharks on planes, sharks in space, and chainsaws for hands, as well as an infinite number of celebrity cameos, ranging from David Hasselhoff to Jedward. Thanks to its questionable CGI and the pretty abysmal performances from the cast, the Sharknado films can definitely be seen as being so appalling they are amazing. This is even proven by statistics which revealed that very nearly the same number of people tuned in to watch Sharknado 2 as the Breaking Bad finale. But why do we like them? Maybe it’s because they’re so mind numbing we can switch off after a long hard day of Netflix binging, or maybe we just love irony; either way they provide us with material for drinking games that will put us under the table before the end of the opening scene. Eleanor Parkyn
BAD FIL FILM CLUB 52
FILM + TV
Sinead McCausland discusses the recent developments in film animation styles and whether these have
MAKING OF MOVIES
helped change films for the better
With a new generation of children being introduced to the world of Disney through live-action and CGI crossover films rather than their hand-drawn animated predecessors, it is clear there has been a mainstream shift in cinema in the way it approaches animation. The release of films like Maleficent (Stromberg, 2014), Cinderella (Branagh, 2015) and the upcoming The Jungle Book (Favreau, 2016) showcases not only the younger generation’s newly digitalised world, nor the film company’s realisation at how much extra money they can make by rebooting old, well-loved characters and stories, but our generation’s – the generation who grew up with the hand-drawn fairytales of Beauty and the Beast (Trousdale, Wise, 1991) and The Little Mermaid (Clements, Musker, 1989) – interest in animation and the places it can go; just like cinema, it is still an extremely new art form, after all. However, it is because of these well loved characters and stories (and the fact that it’s, y’know, Disney) these films are provided with such a high budget to create impressive scenes of animation, making it seem as though the ‘old-style’, classic effects and animation are markers of a film with a lack of budget, thus leading audiences to judge a film’s worth and/or value not on its quality of animation, but how extravagant it is. Yes, the scene in Cinderella when the eponymous princess’ dress transforms is magical, but Wes Anderson’s use of stop-motion puppetry (with Henry Selick doing the animation) to portray Steve Zissou’s depression/ loneliness when discovering the jaguar shark in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) is just as magical and emotional.
The authenticity of stop-motion, animatronic and basically handcrafted animation provides comes to be ironic. While CGI is primarily concerned with looking authentic due to it being completely computer generated, the animation of styles like stop-motion are often more concerned with emotion rather than authenticity, with imperfections often being left, for example subtle hints at fingerprints in clay in Wallace & Gromit. Rather than this being a hindrance for stop-motion, its ‘mistake’ comes to help the film as it makes it, as Tim Burton once described at a lecture on animation at TiFF, more “real”. This view that stop-motion animation and other handcrafted styles is more “real” than their CGI counterpart has led to some viewing the former platform as higher and more artistic than the other. This is obviously not the case. From the development in graphics and animation in the original Star Wars (Lucas, 1977) to 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams), it’s clear from this franchise’s development alone that changing to CGI does not mean losing artistic integrity, largely due to the role the visual effects played in The Force Awakens in terms of narrative and setting. The Oscar-winning Ex Machina (Garland, 2015) once again proves this, as the ability for the visual effects artists Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett to make audiences repulsed by the very human and real sight of blood yet intrigued and in awe with Alicia Vikander’s far-from-human ‘body’ emphasises the depth and potential for meaning CGI has; in the case of The Force Awakens and Ex Machina, CGI goes beyond the visual to the metaphorical. The fact that a stop-motion Claymation like Anomalisa (Kaufman, 2015), a blockbuster like The Force Awakens and Pixar’s Inside Out (Docter, Carmen, 2015) can each be released in the same year emphasises the space there is for all kinds of animation, be it digital or hand crafted. It’s obvious directors like Michael Bay have no problem turning to CGI while Guillermo Del Toro almost always uses actors in prosthetics in protest of CGI, both styles have one thing in common: they are not taken seriously enough.
FOOD + DRINK
Serious Eats If you’re tired of half-baked posts from style-over-substance blogs and want to step up your foodie game in an accessible and friendly way, Serious Eats is what you’re looking for. Started in 2006 by published New York food critic Ed Levine, the website counts American celebrity chef Mario Batali as well as numerous trained and experienced restaurant chefs amongst its contributors – it’s #legit. A highlight of the site is the Food Lab series which aims to “unravel the mysteries of home cooking through science”. Lest you think this is only for geeks and pros, the articles are written in an approachable and often humorous manner with anecdotes and jokes intermingled with technique and Science, making for equal parts entertainment and education. A personal favourite is The Science of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, an inspiring and insane 5000+ word article (around half a dissertation!) in which the author describes his noble quest to bake the ultimate chocolate chip cookie, burning through “32 pounds of flour, over 100 individual tests, and 1,536 cookies”. If that isn’t commitment, I don’t know what is. The dazzling array of articles on the site are also wellcatalogued, making the user experience highly intuitive – a click on “The Serious Eats Guide to Breakfast” takes you to a page with further categories like Eggs, French Toast and Pancakes, including some slightly more niche pieces like How To Shop for Eggs and Why Jianbing is China’s Most Popular Breakfast. This website really has everything you want and more, from basic techniques to the history of obscure food and drink. Zenn Wong
The Internet is great. Food & drink is great. It’s no wonder that the combination of the two is enjoyed by so many, be it hardcore foodies or casual spectators. Food & Drink take you through some of our favourite online destinations, ranging from healthy to indulgent, from practical to utterly and unashamedly useless. There’s something for everyone on the World Wide Web.
NOSH ON THE NET
FOOD + DRINK
@TASTEOFSTREEP This is one you really have to see for yourself to fully appreciate its glory. The low-down: photographs of food with Meryl Streep skilfully Photoshopped into them. Meryl Streep hugging a corndog? Check. Meryl Streep having a mac & cheese bath? Check. If those aren’t enough to entice you to check this gem of an Instagram out, there’s also Meryl Streep on avocado and toast and Meryl Streep in Lunchables, just to name a few. And we’re talking the classy sort of photo manipulation (in most of them anyway), not that shoddy Microsoft Paint job you did when you were ten. The only thing more unbelievable than the fact that no one thought to harness the fusion of two of the world’s most laudable assets (Streep and food), is the proprietor’s feat of finding (or editing) photos of Meryl Streep in outfits that match the food almost too well. Case in point: Meryl Streep wearing a glittery golden dress that bears an uncanny resemblance to the churros she is superimposed on – you can hardly tell where Meryl ends and the churros begin. How many times will I have to say ‘Meryl Streep’ to make you check this out yourself? As the account’s bio goes, “because what more could you want? [sparkle emoji]”. Zenn Wong
@THEBBKITCHEN The Bagel & Burger Kitchen, @thebbkitchen on Instagram, really know how to get your mouth-watering. All of their #foodie photos are taken in the right light to make their burgers look juicy and their buns gleaming. Most of their posts show you trays filled with their signature burgers and bagels stacked tall, surrounded by an array of condiments and sweet potato fries. There’s even a photo of their infamous Krispy Kreme burger, allowing you to at least see the legend if you don’t have the guts to order it. Adding to their social media cred, the eatery also appears to be a celeb favourite, as their account boasts a starstudded list of customers; Kano, Krept and Konan, Big Narstie, and rapper Tyga are among the customers who have visited the hotspot. Even TOWIE’s very own James Lock has stopped by! With their student-friendly location on Salisbury Road, they really try to get students’ attention by hashtagging their posts with #CardiffUni, making them as easy to find virtually as they are physically. Just a warning, you may become a regular there! Shaz Ali
Burger & Lobster’s Instagram account is exactly the type of thing that keeps you in the procrastination mode. Scrolling the feed, you’ll see bright, saturated, vibrant photos of glistening buns and juicy lobsters. They post stunning snaps of their famous chunky burgers; cut open, showcasing the cross-section filled with layers of cheese and drizzled in sauces, topped with smooth buns, speckled with seeds like freckles on a cheek. It’s exactly the account you shouldn’t be trawling through when you’re hungry, but you probably will anyway! Not only are they doing well on the #foodporn front, their witty captions are always entertaining: a photo of lobster pincers spray painted gold is followed by the words ‘When you’re all dressed up and your squad’s on point #FridayFeeling’. To add to their friendly, humorous image, they occasionally throw in a photo of their employees having fun on the job, giving it a real family feel to show you what you’re missing out on. They’ve recently launched a YouTube channel (named Burger & Lobster, obviously) with a few videos that use dramatic cinematography and striking shots, to entice you to try out not only the mouth-watering food, but also the fun, exciting atmosphere. Shaz Ali
MIND OVER MUNCH If you are into healthy eating, you probably know that there aren’t all that many channels on YouTube that provide us with high quality videos with tips and tricks, recipes and ideas for clean meals. But there is one witty woman, Alyssia Sheikh from Mind Over Munch, who fills this gap for us. She used to just like one of us stereotypical students – junk-foodjunkies – yet she’s managed to ‘unjunk’ her food while still being a pizza-lover. So if you are looking for healthier recipes for your favourite classics, tips to start eating healthy, quick and easy 2-ingredient snacks or meal prep ideas, you have to check her channel – she has it all. Both vegans and meat eaters will find lots of inspiration and recipes for every occasion. But that’s not all! Alyssia is also a great entertainer – her hilarious (but also educational) commentary will make you hit that ‘subscribe’ button. Dominika Kusnierska
FOOD & DRINK
THE EARLY BIRD W
ith its bright yellow exterior, this unashamedly cheery artisan bakery and cafe draws passing pedestrians in with handwritten promises of “Brunch, Bakes, Brews” on the chalkboard outside. Once inside, you are met with a rush of warm air and the comforting smell of freshly baked bread, matched only by the friendly greetings from its staff. Opened in late 2015 by baker Ceri Johnston with the assistance of head barista James Bower, The Early Bird has already established itself as a local favourite Cathays-dwelling regulars as well as curious visitors eager to check out the food and coffee. But this popularity was not a result of aggressive advertising or hard selling. “It’s not really about making loads and loads of money,” Ceri explains, “we just want to be a part of the community.” This is evident in the unpretentious, homely feel of the bakery, no mean feat considering the amount of remodelling that had to be done by Ceri, James and her mother. Showing me barely recognisable ‘before’ photographs of the space, Ceri explained that they opted for a truly DIY approach as far as possible in order to reduce renovation costs. After weeks of grouting, drilling, painting, wiring and generally working tirelessly, the bakery began to take shape. With its well-coordinated furniture (largely upcycled and from charity shops) adding to the cosy, rustic feel. Giving back to the community is a large part of The Early Bird’s purpose. A key way in which this is done is through the bakery’s apprenticeship scheme. Having started out in London as an apprentice herself, Ceri realised a lack of apprenticeship opportunities specifically for bakers, and sought to remedy this in a tangible way. Her current apprentice, Lucy, develops her skills through working at the bakery under Ceri’s supervision. The bakery also places an emphasis on using fresh ingredients from local suppliers such as Ellis Eggs in Hirwaun and flour from Talgarth Mill near Brecon. This support for local businesses is a testament to The Early Bird’s community-centric approach, and they hope to encourage customers to continue supporting more local and independent businesses.
One of the most eye-catching features of the bakery is the vintage glass case housing a tantalising spread of treats, sweet and savoury alike. From rye brownies and sweet potato cupcakes to chocolate twists and cinnamon rolls, to sourdough sandwiches with fillings like lemon chicken, there’s something for everyone in this range of fresh, homemade goodies.
FOOD & DRINK (Fun fact: the case, bought off eBay from a London seller, was originally made by Cardiff shopfitters – even that’s local!) On the wall behind the case, loaves of sourdough and rye stacked in the shelves are routinely cleaned out by regulars, proving that contrary to popular belief, there is in fact appetite for artisan bread in Cathays. The daytime menu is made up of a selection of popular brunch dishes featuring the high quality ingredients characteristic of the bakery. Cowboys is a dish of homemade baked beans, pork sausage and a poached egg with barbecue sauce from Cardiff ’s own Hangfire Smokehouse, all served on the bakery’s sourdough toast – a perfect balance of sweet and sour, savoury and spicy. For the avocado-obsessed, HULK SMASSSSHHHH consists of Cholula hot sauce-spiked avocado and poached egg on the same signature sourdough, a step up from our standard make-at-home versions, with the hot sauce adding a real kick to the creamy green stuff.
The Cheese a Lady was made with fresh, high quality ingredients, making it a winner despite its simplicity. However, several attendees seemed to agree that Chicks Not Unusual was the standout of the night. The chicken was tasty and not overpowered by the taste of barbecue and soy sauce, with the spring onions providing a fresh bite to the dish, and the sesame seeds adding a subtle smoky finish, all in all a rather unique and sophisticated pizza. Burning Down the House received rave reviews as well, although some found themselves wishing for the rather more interesting flavours in Chicks Not Unusual. Dessert did not disappoint as well. The vanilla bean cheesecake was rich and creamy with a noticeable vanilla flavour, served with a delectable salted caramel sauce that was neither too sweet nor too salty. The Mississippi Muddle, a dish consisting of a warm brownie served with a rich chocolate sauce, vanilla ice-cream and chocolate biscuit chunks, was delightfully decadent, perfect for sharing after a meal. But don’t just take it from us, this is what our contributors had to say:
For those craving something a little sweeter, there’s also brioche French toast, the Dixieland Delight featuring bacon, maple syrup and butter – a winning combination that’s hard to beat. On top of baking their own bread, the bakery also roasts their own coffee beans. Green (unroasted) coffee is sourced from Falcon Specialty in Lewes, and roasted on-location by head barista James in the bakery’s bread oven. This gives the bakery more control over the taste of the coffee, and allows for room to experiment with different roasts. The passion and knowledge behind the coffee is obvious here, with consistently stellar cups served each time. Speaking to Ceri about the bakery’s future, the plan so far seems to be to keep doing what they’re doing – serving up quality food and being a part of community.
I’m not really a foodie but I hadn’t had pizza in ages so I came along. We ordered early so we didn’t have to wait too long for our food to arrive. The staff were nice and the barista, James, gave us free drinks and apologized for the really rather short wait for dessert. The pizza was great if a bit expensive – it could have been bigger for the price. Good stuff though, a good way to break the pizza-fast. The chocolate dessert was nicer than the cheesecake one, which was indeed very cheesy. - Tom Morris
There are also plans to perhaps expand the menu and opening hours, starting with hosting more pizza evenings in the bakery, which Quench Food & Drink have been lucky enough to be a part of so far. On 2 March we hosted our very first Quench Pizza Night, a lovely food evening featuring The Early Bird’s artisan sourdough pizza.
We could wax lyrical about how great the dishes are, how addictive the bread is, or how it’s become one of our favourite places to get coffee in Cardiff, but what really sticks with us is the people and principles behind it. It’s apparent upon entry that The Early Bird has already become a stalwart of Cathays’ community and it’s easy to see why, with its crew of hardworking, amiable staff always happy to welcome you to the club.
As someone who wishes it was socially acceptable to put ‘brunch’ under the ‘interests’ category on LinkedIn, I was celebrating when The Early Bird opened its doors practically on my doorstep. Cathays was crying out for somewhere that did a really good avocado on toast, and sure enough, if you’re looking Working with Cardiff ’s fellow independent to start your day right, it’s the place to be. But they’ve businesses is also on the agenda, with plans for only gone and outdone themselves by starting to possible pop-ups in the bakery. To celebrate host themed evenings. Their foodie transition from the opening of their back garden, the bakery morning to evening was as smooth as the bases of collaborated with local cocktail bar The Dead Canary their pizzas, all of which also have the cheesiest puns for a pop-up at their Garden Party in early April. as names. Shout-out to the décor and desserts too – The party featured the bakery’s own stone-baked all in all, The Early Bird is the perfect place to have a sourdough pizzas and live music from local musician slightly classier society social. Tobias Hall, with money from ticket sales going to - Ellie Philpotts the Young Minds charity.
With a menu of made-to-order artisan pizzas and a BYOB policy, this was set to be an evening of delicious food and chill vibes. The menu was full of cheeky Tom Jones references, with pizzas like Chicks Not Unusual (BBQ chicken breast, spring onions, sesame seeds and soy sauce), Cheese A Lady (parmesan and buffalo mozzarella on a tomato base) and Burning Down the House (chorizo, bacon bits and hot sauce), all stone-baked and made with seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. Freshly baked pizza and Tom Jones – what more could a Cardiff Uni student want?
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