FEBRUARY 2011 // FREE INSIDE: PhotoSoc / Reviews / Arts & Crafts
THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 1
THE ORBITAL EXECUTIVE EDITOR // SARAH RAHMAN firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR // ANOOSHEH DASTBAZ email@example.com ARTS DIRECTOR // JAMES HEARN firstname.lastname@example.org CULTURE EDITOR // CHRIS PRITCHARD email@example.com LIFESTYLE EDITOR // KATHRYN COLWELL firstname.lastname@example.org SOCIETY EDITOR // EMILY SMYTH email@example.com
CORRESPONDENTS DIALOGUE // LOUISE QUICK FASHION // ELOISE WILLIAMSON ARTS & CRAFTS // ANNA SNOWBALL LITERARY // JAMIE ATKINS MUSIC // SEL BULUT
WITH EXTRA SPEKTRAL THANKS TO COVERS // MAX CAMBRIDGE PHOTOS // PHOTO SOC ARTS TEAM // SUBMISSIONS TEAM
EDITORIAL Welcome to another wonderful edition of The Orbital. This issue, we’re celebrating photography and the awesome power of the image. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all, and we’ve used at least like, three or something on this page - that means you’ve digested 3,000 words already! Slow down there, Usain Bolt, before you go off to read Tolstoy’s War and Peace in the time it takes to make a cup of tea, we’ve got an introduction to get through. The front cover is courtesy of our very own Max Cambridgepretty sweet, isn’t it? Yes, it is. It’s also indicative of the upcoming Superbowl and the coverage you can read of it on The Orbital’s shiny new website. We’d like to be able to keep more up-to-date with you cool cats and thus keep you more up-todate: we’re taking submissions now and the site will be updated daily for the most part. If there’s something you’ve got a burning urge to write about, then send it in to submissions@ theorbital.co.uk or use the submissions form on the website. Our vision is for the website to be amongst your daily e-haunts. Wake up, check your emails, moodle.rhul.ac.uk, facebook.com, thejerkcircle.wordpress.com, isitchristmas.com, stuffonmycat. com and theorbital.co.uk: that’s a perfect internet session down here at T’Orbital HQ. Since the Sabbatical Elections are coming up soon, we’ll be providing coverage of that online. An excellent reason to make us your homepage, I’m sure you’ll agree. If you haven’t been reading previous editions, we want to be useful to you; we’re only as good as what we get, (which is pretty good this edition) so we’re always happy for your help. If you have any suggestions, we really want to hear them. If any of the articles here have inspired you to elation and joy, we want the fruits of that inspiration. If you feel the righteous bile of indignation building up in your throats, spew it all over us: we love it. Here’s to a kick-ass second term and new year, readers. Stay groovy, keep calm, and rock on.
Submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org Art & Design: email@example.com 2 // THE ORBITAL 2010 // THEORBITAL.CO.UK
INSIDE THE ORBITAL THIS MONTH
Arts & Crafts
40 & 41
Small Steps to Big Goals
16 - 21
RHUltimatum: The Kingâ€™s Speech
Pictures at an Exhibition London Venues
67 acres saved. 68 acres to go.
Up & coming acts, and where to find them
SABB OFFICER ELECTIONS 2011 THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 3
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Sabbatical officer elections 2011 ARTICLE // Gemma Jackson
This is always an exciting time and a great opportunity for those who are passionate about representing the Holloway students or for those who simply want to help friends campaign. Indeed, for those who wish to pursue a political career after university taking part provides invaluable election experience. The four sabbatical positions available are of course; the President of the Student Union; Vice president of Education and Welfare; Vice President of Communications and Campaigns and Vice president of Student Activities. However, candidates need voters too, and you can also hatve your say in who you would like to see nominated. Unlike previous years you can now register online and vote for your favourite candidate on the Student Union website. Campaigning is an effective part of the election process that involves other students. Each candidate is allowed ten campaign assistants to help their campaign and each
aide needed to sign the nomination pack in order to take part. The President of the Student Union, Rachel Pearson, states that, “Running for a Sabbatical position is a great way to help improve the experience of students at Royal Holloway and get involved in you Students’ Union. Student Trustee is a new position, which will give two students the opportunity to have a say in the strategic direction of SURHUL and make sure the organisation keeps to its charitable aims.” For continual updates on these Sabbatical Officer elections, and to find out the post election news make sure you listen to Insanity Radio News, Monday to Friday from 12-12.30pm or 6-6.30pm, or check out The Orbital’s website. For more information don’t miss Candidate question time on the 3rd of February in the Student’s Union.
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ROYAL HOLLOWAY RAINFOREST PROJECT ARTICLE // Ashley Coates
The area we are attempting to save is in Ecuador, where 80% of the country’s rainforest has already been destroyed
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he Royal Holloway Rainforest Project is the campaign to save an area of rainforest the size of the university campus.
We are doing this through the World Land Trust, a UK registered charity that boasts David Attenborough as it’s patron. Buying acres of rainforest is still remarkably inexpensive, at £50 an acre. Royal Holloway has a 135-acre campus so we need to raise £6750. Over the last year £2700 (enough for 54 acres – or roughly 9800 trees) has been raised. Donors have included the Royal Holloway Switchboard Team, last year’s Student Union Sabbatical Officers and RHUL BEARS. Outside of Royal Holloway, there have been donations from the Wentworth Club, the Dhillon Group, and Richard Caring, owner of London’s Ivy Restaurant and ESPIRIT stores. Local media interest has come from BBC Radio Surrey, the Surrey Herald and Brooklands FM. The area we are attempting to save is in Ecuador, where 80% of the country’s rainforest cover has already been destroyed due to deforestation. What remains of this habitat is now an important home for over 400 different species of amphibian, 1600 species of bird and 4000 species of orchid. Some of the rainforest’s inhabitants are known to be
67 acres saved. 68 acres to go. Saving an area of rainforest the size of our university campus.
endangered, including the two-toed sloth, the jaguar and the ocelot. We have until June to raise £4000. Since 1989, the World Land Trust has been offering individuals and organisations the chance to save acres of rainforest for £50/acre. In reality £50 is an average, this has fluctuated between £25 and £75/acre but they will buy an acre of rainforest for every £50 donation made. Unlike ‘adopt an animal’, where individuals help pay for the conservation of a given species without the animal actually being adopted, with the WLT scheme, a genuine acre of rainforest is protected. Unfortunately, in the last few years, carbon sequestration projects have raised the average cost of mature rainforest from £50/acre to something approaching £100/acre. In the US, large carbon-producing firms can get out of paying carbon credits by
buying acres of rainforest. This is what GM, Chevron and American Electric have been doing and it is pushing up the cost of land. After June 2011, the Royal Holloway Rainforest Project will have to raise £100/acre as opposed to £50/acre. The Royal Holloway Rainforest? The Royal Holloway Nature Reserve? The Royal Holloway Wildlife Conservation Park? Call it what you like, if we raise over £5000, the WLT will identify a specific area of threatened rainforest that we will have saved. The co-ordinates can be given for the location of this area on Google Earth and it could potentially be visited by staff and students for many generations to come. There will be a campus in Egham and a campus in Ecuador, only the Ecuadorian one will be entirely absent of people. It will be an incredible legacy for this university. THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 7
Royal Holloway continues to endorse sustainability in 2011 ARTICLE // Emily Smyth
n January, Royal Holloway hosted a promotional lecture centring on the socio-economic efforts which must be
made in order to adequately preserve the natural world. The event was led by Professor Lord May of the zoology department at Oxford University who is a leading researcher in energy and sustainability. The lecture was in accordance with college’s efforts to continue its trend of supporting ‘green’ projects to allow for better energy efficiency within Royal Holloway itself. Last year, new requirements prepared by the Higher Education Funding Council for England led to College’s review of its own emissions and sustainability features. The talk, entitled ‘Best of times, worst of times: hard choices for tomorrow’s world’ discussed overpopulation, mass extinction and energy effectiveness in terms of a healthy society. While Royal Holloway last year made a commitment to reducing carbon 8 // THE ORBITAL 2010 // THEORBITAL.CO.UK
emissions, it is one of many universities who have not yet joined the ‘Universities that count index’ (UTC) which measures universities sustainability and efficiency systems. Professor Simon, head of RHUL’s geography department said we are moving forward despite this. He said “this timely public lecture by one of the UK’s leading scientists addressed related and profound sustainability challenges facing us in these uncertain times. Business as usual is no longer tenable and the future will rapidly come to look very different from the past or present. Few subjects could be more important.” The Royal Holloway Student’s union are also beginning to fiercely promote the importance of ‘green’ living. The highlight of which is the ‘Go green week’ campaign beginning on the 7th of February during which competitions, events, and advertising will aim to target student’s green awareness.
Royal Holloway rocks intercollegiate study programmes Words // Emily Presnell
ne of the cool things about being at Royal Holloway is that, being a student of The University of London, you may have the opportunity to take one or more modules of your degree at another London college. Many people might think that there’s far too much effort involved in lugging yourself, your laptop, and your notes up to London every week, all for the sake of one or two hours of lecture. But trust me, if King’s College, UCL, Queen Mary or Goldsmiths are offering a course that you think would interest you, go for it. Not only, as in my case, are you likely to be studying something of far greater interest to you than the modules offered by Royal Holloway, it also looks great on your CV, it shows initiative, and perhaps one of the greatest benefits; it gets you out of Egham and into the Big City!
together, King’s (and I guess the other London colleges) is dotted around London, which proved to make the task of locating one single classroom pretty difficult. On the day of my first lecture, I asked a man for help. “It’s like a bloody maze in here”, he said. “You don’t say.”
I have to admit, I was pretty nervous at first. Not knowing anyone, I felt like a fresher all over again. My module was at Kings, which, if you haven’t been, has a completely different layout to our familiar campus. In fact, it doesn’t really have a campus as such – one minute you’re walking along the Strand, wondering whether to pop into Topshop, and thinking that this year, you should definitely go ice-skating at Somerset House, and the next, you walk through some revolving doors and you’re in the King’s Building, the main hub of their university. Unlike Royal Holloway, where the academic buildings are clustered
surprised me. But she explained why – everybody lives dotted around London. Even the halls of residence are intercollegiate, and located all over the city. These universities lack the contained feel of our campus, which means that they really don’t have the sense of community that is so undeniably felt at Royal Holloway. Even if you have classes with the same people, she explained, the chances of you living near enough to socialise are low. Quite often, you might live in Stockwell but your old flatmate’s house is in Camden, a situation hardly conducive to impromptu nights out! This got me thinking. Whilst it is pretty awesome
Next task: make new friends. I got chatting to the girl next to me, and explained that I was an intercollegiate student from Royal Holloway. As the class was made up of second and third year students, I assumed that everybody would know one another, but she soon corrected me. “I hardly know anyone in here”, she said, which
“Don’t disregard what we’ve got here - a university which, despite its flaws, we love”
to have the opportunity for intercollegiate study, something which I’d definitely advocate to anyone, it’s really made me realise how much I love Royal Holloway. Yes, it’s small, and yes, there’s not much going on in Egham, but actually, if we need that London fix we can just hop on the train. What’s more, we have something which all the other London universities don’t – a campus where you can walk around and always see someone you know, lectures where you recognise every face, and houses that don’t require a Zones 1-6 Travelcard to get between! So definitely, sign up for that intercollegiate course, but don’t disregard what we’ve got here – a university which, despite its flaws, we love.
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NO NEED TO IMAGINE ARTICLE // Dave Cobb
“I thought you said this was a juice bar with smoothies… what’s it called? Inspire?”
itting on a sofa straight out of the Mad Hatter’s tea party with a close friend who is, incidentally, drinking tea:
she’s excited by the sheer variety of stuff on offer in the latest addition to the Holloway Campus. Without too much fanfare, Imagine opened its social-learning-space doors on the first day of term, offering up a selection of international drinks, herbal teas, pic ‘n’ mix (yes, you just read pic ‘n’ mix!), homemade cupcakes and much more! If you’ve missed the rather reclusive advertising campaign, lack of a web presence (beyond Facebook) and non-existent sign posting, you’ll find Imagine in the lower part of the HUB. To pre-empt the question of where this is: head into the canteen and down the stairs to the laundry/toilets and follow the double doors. You really can’t miss it; the flooring alone is vibrant enough to make Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen happy. The space has
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been outfitted in a unique style described by one visitor as if it “had been put together in some kind of Alice in Wonderland induced sugar haze”. Indeed, there are enough sugary treats on sale to support the hypothesis. But does this impact imagine as a study space? It seems not, given the heated discussion and frantic typing of the four students opposite me. The slightly retro-meets-sugar-high furnishings should draw in those bored with the HUB’s sterile white monotony and the pay-per-use Wii could prove interesting after a particularly stressful day, but there were concerns this may just be a ploy by the University to attract new students and push the issue of critically low study space to the background. Having only 0.6m2 of study space per student ranks us at the bottom of the 1994 group (the collective of universities Royal Holloway is a member of ) and Imagine can hardly be classed as true study space like the libraries.
Finalist Katie Blow expressed her concern that this may be gesture politics by College to “show how ‘down with the student body’ they are”, though Katie does add that she has already secretly fallen in love with the space. This seems to be the ‘Imagine effect’ with Geographer Charhys Baldwin stating it was like being in her own head. The concept of Imagine, The Orbital is told, is to provide something for everyone in a series of custom designed sub-spaces. From a financial perspective, Imagine is entirely funded by third party revenue streams – a spokesperson commented that money made by catering outlets, conferences and weddings is used by Facilities Management to improve its services rather than fill a general, central fund. You can drop in 10am-10pm on weekdays or 11am-10pm Saturday for a “unique culinary and sensory experience, and understand what it is to really ‘Imagine’”.
What’s occurrin’? RAG SURHUL Newsletter
RAG (Raise and Give) have been super busy recently with weekly meetings, off campus raids and an incredible RAG week to top it all off.
With thanks to Americano for their support!
To kick off activities for the week, members of the RAG board raided in local towns such as our very own Egham high street, Staines and Ascot raising some significant amounts to start the week in a really positive way.The charity, StreetInvest, was chosen to be the charity for RAG week with all proceeds going to this productive and worthwhile cause. StreetInvest is a developmental charity working to support investments in street children so that their rights, needs and potential can be fulfilled. They do this through the training of professional and committed workers who serve as trusted adults in the lives of street children and by contributing to the investments the workers and children need to secure a real future. On Tuesday, the SU was turned into a photo exhibition by Photosoc who did an amazing job of putting on an original and imaginative event. With the opportunity to bid on photos and to buy postcards of favourite snaps, an impressive figure was raised for RAG. This was followed by a slave auction on Wednesday. With some innovative lots such as the opportunity to have the ladies rugby team clean your house or to have a big poster of your choice outside the SU, bidders were generous and pulled out all the stops to win their desired slaves! An incredible £700 was raised and the RAG board are grateful to everyone who took part. Thursday saw the final of Royal Holloways Got Talent. With nine diverse acts, the competition was fierce with support from friends being vital in securing the winning spot. Holloways very own X-factor star, Ethan Borian tried his luck once again but faced a tough battle with the cheerleading tomcats who won a place in the final. In third place was Esli Matathia second place was the tomcats and in first place, with a beautiful rendition of an Adele song was Emily Bartlett. Finally, RAG took to the union on Friday night to join in with the pirate and ninja fun. Collecting money at a union night is always a good move with generosity very apparent after a few VKs! The grand total for RAG Week 2011 is around the £2500 mark which is incredible and blows last year’s total out the water. The RAG board would like to think everyone who got involved, especially to the Squash club who organised a raid collecting over £500 in one day. In our last newsletter, we were boasting of our upcoming abroad trips and two months down the line and we’ve finalised plans for an incredible opportunity to climb Mount Kilimanjaro later on this year.With ten Royal Holloway students signed up, the fundraising commences. Look out for events on campus in which the proceeds will go to the organising charity, Childreach international, a charity committed to giving hope to children facing poverty in developing countries.
We meet in the Arts Building (AG03) every Wednesday at 6pm. Come along to get involved!
Want to know more? Email firstname.lastname@example.org THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 11
ARTICLE // Cat Stiles
For three nights in February, Jane Holloway Hall will literally be transformed into a cage in which, if you enter, you will find six characters, each totally absorbed in their own thoughts. The relative peace is interrupted, however, when the mistress who keeps them introduces the Wild One, who tries to convince them to break free of their prison, but are they happy with their confinement? This exciting new production will bring together different types of persona that span across generations and force them together, investigating how they all contribute to our understanding of who we want to be seen to be. This is a play which asks us trying questions: how do we know who or indeed what we are? In acting out a specific role, do we too lock ourselves away? The audience should be prepared to join the birds in their 12 // THE ORBITAL 2010 // THEORBITAL.CO.UK
cage, and follow them on a journey which will either end in liberation or self-destruction. The piece promises to be a visually dynamic thrill-ride for the senses as the variety of costumes draw inspiration from a variety of eras from the 19th century, to the roaring 20â€™s, right up to the present day, and the constant chatter which fills the space creates the rising tension which culminates in the playâ€™s final scene. Be prepared to be locked in a cage for a darkly comic evening in which the mood moves seamlessly from the laugh-out-loud funny to the incredibly tense in a heartbeat. The shows will take place in Week 5 of this term, on the 9th, 10th and 11th February.
Bonita Norris doesn’t ‘Ever-rest’ ARTICLE // Anna Jones
Royal Holloway seems to be very good at producing ambitious young women who want to reach new heights in life, and in Bonita Norris’s case, new heights are literally what she’s reached... at only 22, Bonita, a Royal Holloway BA Media Degree graduate, has become the youngest woman in history to climb Mount Everest (which for your general knowledge stands at 29,029 ft.) On the 17th May last year, Bonita reached the summit, accomplishing a dream which started eighteen months previously and raising £13,000 for Global Angels a charity which supports children and communities in desperate situations around the world. To make the trip possible Bonita had to raise around £40,000 in sponsorship which she obtained from Royal Holloway Annual Fund and the company Mobile Phone Top Up at ATM. Bonita injured her shoulder during descent and had to gain Sherpa assistance.
No stranger to challenges – in 2009 she became the youngest person ever to climb Mount Manaslu in Nepal (standing at 8,156m and the world’s 8th highest mountain) and is already looking forward to her next project: travelling to the South Pole during the Antarctic season of 2010/11. Bonita’s website (www.bonitanorris.com) says: “Her team’s aim is to leave from the true coast of Antarctica and ski unassisted to the Pole, arriving in January 2012. She follows in the footsteps of Tori James, another Royal Holloway student who climbed Everest in 2007 but as well as the title of youngest woman she was also the first welsh woman to make the ascent successfully. Bonita will be giving a talk about her trip up Everest on Thursday the 3rd of February in the Windsor building auditorium at 6:15pm entitled “Small Steps to Big Goals”.
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The Orbital talks all things Union with Sarah Rahman- Vice president-communications and campaigns SURHUL.
Firstly, welcome back! Hope everyone’s ready for an excellent 2011 at the Students’ Union! Rachel’s been quite busy preparing for the up and coming Sabbatical elections, nominations had been open for two weeks and have just closed this Monday. Campaigning starts on the 2nd so look out for all our candidates. And remember to vote, which you can now do online at www.su.rhul.ac.uk. Beth’s been helping out with RAGs excellent week which was from the 24th-28th of January, had another nonalcoholic film night, been at her regular Academic Affairs senate which has come together nicely with course reps
attending and feeding back from their departments. Beth and Dave Cobb, Undergraduate Library Representative, have also begun preparations for ‘Your Library Loves You’ week (14th – 18th February). I’ve been quite busy with our Green Impact application, collecting evidence with Ed Resek, Ethics and Environment Officer, in the hope that we will achieve Silver, or even better a Gold award this year. We’ve got great things planned for this year’s Go Green Week (7th – 11th February.) Beth and I have also begun planning for One World Week (28th Feb – 4th March) which hopes to be in-
credible this year so if you’ve got any ideas or want to get involved please feel free to email me at vpcomcam@ su.rhul.ac.uk. Finally, Victor and the Student Activities department began the term with ‘THE VIDEO’. All sports, societies, media, and RAG were involved and it will be showcased at the SA Balls and the re launch of the SA website. Last but not least, tickets for Societies, RAG and Media Ball and Colours Ball have gone on sale, both these events should surely not be missed. That’s basically what we’ve been up to in a nutshell. We hope to see more of you this term, have a superb one! THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 15
LIF ESTY LE 16 // THE ORBITAL 2010 // THEORBITAL.CO.UK
A RESIDENT’S GUIDE TO SAN FRANCISO
This guide will take you through some of the most interesting of the 113 Neighbourhoods, and give you insider tips that you won’t get in a guidebook, as well as ways to make sure you get plenty for your buck. And to make this all legit: I lived in SF for a year. China Town Try some bubble tea and make sure you go to the little Chinese restaurant on the corner of Grant and Jackson. It’s a dive but the food is cheap and cheerful. Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg used to eat here. North Beach Home to the famous, ‘Little Italy’. Famous also for the place where the Beat Generation kicked off: City Lights Bookshop is located right in the centre. Stroll around and you’ll definitely experience those infamous steep hills. Walk up Filbert and I promise the view from Coit Tower is the most detailed and breathtaking you’ll find anywhere. Make sure to go and visit the curvy Lombard Street at sunset. Downtown The ‘city centre’ is good for shopping and Union Square is actually quite aestheti-
cally pleasing. Market St can get sketchy past the 2000 mark. This actually goes for most of SF. Eat at Naan ‘N Curry on O’Farrell St. Haight Ashbury A name you might be familiar with, Haight Ashbury is often associated with the hippie movement. They had to keep moving the street signs as people kept stealing them (H.A. gets its names from the two streets that cross each other)! Expect vegan cafés, piercing salons and a lot of second hand stores. These too, are cheap and cheerful. Also home to Amoeba records: the largest independent record store you’ll ever find. The Marina This district is beautiful. Hit Chestnut Street and eat at both The Grove and LETTUS. You’ll want to go back every single day. Visit the Palace of Fine Arts.
Golden Gate Park A lot of people miss this out: don’t! The park takes up almost a quarter of SF and is breathtaking. Visit the De Young Museum. At the end of the park you’ll be greeted by the Pacific Ocean. Gig Venues Warfield, Filmore, Bottom of the Hill, Popscene, Slim’s, Bimbo’s 365 And also: 1) It’s about the views: have a picnic at Alamo Square and enjoy. 2) Fisherman’s Wharf is overrated and touristy. 3) If you’re into street art head to The Mission and the Castro.
ARTICLE // Ange Suprowicz
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THE EG & HAM CHALLENGE ARTICLE // Matt Lewis
Minestrone is an easy to make Italian soup, and can be put together with just about anything. Itâ€™s a great way of finishing off any leftover ingredients lying around the kitchen and though it can take a while to cook, once the ingredients are prepped leave it to simmer away without any hassle.
Minestrone Soup Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 50 minutes Ingredients: 1 large onion 3 carrots 2 stocks of celery 2 tomatoes 1 garlic clove 2 pints of vegetable or chicken stock 1 Teaspoon of Dried Basil 1 Tablespoon of Tomato Puree
3) After two minutes add the remaining vegetables and the garlic which can be cut or crushed. Placing the lid on the pan and reducing the heat will allow the vegetables to sweat making them tender instead of colouring them. Keep these on the heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 4) Add the stock, reducing or increasing the amount depending on how you prefer the consistency of the soup. At this point also add the tomato puree and basil. Bring to the boil, and then leave to simmer for 30 minutes. 5) Add salt and pepper to taste and then serve with some ciabatta or focaccia bread and olive oil. Other additions
1) Chop up the onion into small pieces and the remaining vegetables into your preferred size, remembering they will take longer to cook at a larger size. 2) Heat up some olive oil in a large pan and once hot add the chopped onions. 18 // THE ORBITAL 2010 // THEORBITAL.CO.UK
The addition of cubed potato or a handful of risotto rice can add some substance to the dish, while the addition of leeks or savoy cabbage adds some greenery. When serving why not add a sprinkle of parsley and parmesan cheese to the soup to finish it off.
CENTRAL RESERVATION: A Review of ‘Jamie’s Italian’
was thinking only the other day that of the vast number of Italian restaurants in my home town, none of them offer alternative dishes that venture away from the pizza/pasta classics. Jamie’s Italian is different and sees Jamie Oliver abandoning his ‘cor blimey’ roots in favour of Mamma Mia’s Italian cooking. There is no pizza on the menu, and it’s always pasta with a (fusilli) twist (sorry). Deep fried aubergine, tomato and mozzarella caught my eye on the specials board. Alongside these carby Italian feasts sit some spectacular Italian dishes and, for a special occasion, a student friendly price. The chain of restaurants was originally marketed as a kind of upmarket student eatery; you cannot book, to avoid exclusivity/lengthy waiting lists, and the atmosphere is friendly, cosy and laid-back. Decor is stylishcontrasting areas allow for a different eating experience each time you visit, and although you can’t book, part of the pleasure is in seeing whether you’ll get a table in the graffiti inspired basement, or up the winding staircase past the bar, to a European, cafe-style restaurant; the shelves against the walls stacked with every imaginable
ARTICLE // Kathryn Colwell
pasta (and of course, Jamie’s latest cookbooks). Small touches add to the bigger picture- the tea towel to be used as a napkin, the bar you order drinks in before walking through to your table. The food made me equally as happy as my surroundings, being of a high standard with an authentic feel. I’ve been a couple of times now and have managed to sample, with the help of a dinner date, antipasti of garlic mushrooms, squid (beautifully cooked with garlic mayo) and ‘nachos’, which are actually deep fried ravioli. Main courses tried and tested are: lamb shanks, beef “You cannot book [in advance] to avoid exclusivity and lengthy waiting lists and the atmosphere is friendly and cosy” steak, burger and fritto misto (fried mixed seafood)- the crowning glory, which I had chosen after seen the fish paraded out of the kitchen in brown paper bags, accompanied by squid, sardines, a GIANT prawn and Italian style tartar sauce. Yum. The lamb was a bit too fatty for me, I wasn’t left with a lot of ‘shank’ after I’d got rid of that but what I did get was nonetheless tasty and nicely cooked (and I’d just
“Hi, I’m a student and I’d like the cheapest wine on the menu please” eaten a plate of deep fried ravioli so it was probably for the best). As for the burger, personally, it didn’t beat GBK on taste or value for money, and was weirdly salty. This is the point in a food review in which wine might ordinarily be discussed but “hi, I’m a student and I’d like the cheapest wine on the menu please”. Incidentally it was Merlot and a little bitter, but nothing a hardy student couldn’t pallet. Finally, I managed to find room for something dolce, a creamy pannacotta served with a compote of berries. Delizioso. The bill came to about £55 for two, including drinks, starters, maincourse and a shared dessert. Mr Oliver’s offerings are not exactly Tesco’s reduced shelf student friendly, but for a manageable price, you get some five star food. Visit Jamie’s Italian at one of the following (This list only includes those Jamie’s Italian restaurants in reasonable proximity to Egham): Canary Wharf, Convent Garden, Guildford, Kingston, Westfield, Reading. THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 19
Johnny Flynn is one of many artists Communion has helped to achieve recognition.
LONDON TALENT: WHERE TO FIND UP & COMING ARTISTS 20 // THE ORBITAL 2010 // THEORBITAL.CO.UK
Marcus Foster will perform on February 10th at The Borderline as part of HMV’s Next Big Thing.
SONGS FROM A ROOM This concept began in March 2009 and brings together fans of new music in an intimate and innovative setting. There is a secret gig once a month in the capital; subscribers receive the address a couple of days beforehand. The location is usually the living room of a volunteer and music fans meet to hear some of the best emerging musicians in the city. Past performers have included The Magic Numbers, Jack Savoretti, and an impromptu song from Robert Pattinson. Co-founded by singer-songwriter Passion Ate Dave, the movement is already spreading with gigs in Paris, New York and Texas and more planned for L.A. and Sydney this year. Head to www.sofarsounds.com to find out more.
COMMUNION Communion was founded in 2006 by Ben Lovett (Mumford & Sons), Kevin Jones (former Cherbourg bassist) and Ian Grimble (producer). They run nights in Notting Hill Arts Club in London on the first Sunday of every month. Performers have included Brit-nominated musicians Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons, as well as Noah and the Whale, Alan Pownall, Pete Roe, and Johnny Flynn. The aim is to help spread the music of new artists, and to encourage collaboration. There is an inclusive vibe
to Communion nights, and the chance to hear artists that are on the brink of great success. Rumours of an all-day Communion festival in May- keep an eye out! www.communionmusic. co.uk
HMV NEXT BIG THING From 4th – 13th February HMV will be promoting more than 100 up-and-coming artists across 6 venues in London, as well as venues in Edinburgh and Birmingham. The event will feature live music from multiple genres and each gig will be £10 a ticket, including booking fee. The festival began last year and included some now well-known artists, such as Ellie Goulding and Professor Green. Acts for this year include James Blake, Dry The River and Chipmunk. Soon to come is a Communion night at The Borderline, which will include sets from the brilliant Marcus Foster and Pete Roe. Marcus has recently signed a record deal and is set to release his album Tumble Down. This week of gigs is sure to uncover rising stars, don’t miss the chance to catch them in an intimate venue at a bargain price. Words // Katherine McKenzie THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 21
5 of the Best... STUDENT BLOGS ARTICLE // Kathryn Colwell
theblondesalad.com Italian fashion student Chiari who describes herself as ‘student, blogger, fashionista but above all, life -lover!’. The blog comes in English with the Italian translation underneath, perfect for language students who want to brush up on their informal Italian. Read about this girl’s crazy fashion lifestyle, a typical day involves ‘6 lovely fashion shows and two parties’. Insider fashion info as Chiari takes us backstage with her at fashion shows. A great looking, easy to navigate and image heavy blog. ponyarts.com Fashion journalism student Liisa Ennuste also writes for Marie Claire Estonia. This blog exudes high fashion but actually keeps in check with the high street and often includes great travel finds. Lisa’s style is cool and laid back. Her likes include painting and DIY... thecosmicboy.blogspot.com In his own words: ‘A personal account from a boy who found fashion at LCF. A tale of woes, troubles and difficulties within a reflection of the great frivolity of London life’. He likes to think of it ‘as insider info rather than blogging’. ‘Boy’ remains anonymous but his cosmiclove blog is a great one for guys (or 22 // THE ORBITAL 2010 // THEORBITAL.CO.UK
for girls to dream about what their boyfriends might someday wear) and cosmic whispers is a showcase for his awesome illustrations. Apparantly, he also contributes to dazedandconfused. thestylerookie.com This blog is Ugly Betty on acid. Bright and bold and kind of surreal. In Stylerookie’s (aka Tavi Gevinson’s) own words: ’I wish I was Daria [Werbowy??] but I get too excited about things like candy to be deadpan all the time’. Way less high fashion, it’s cute and personal and takes influences from music and film. One of my favourites. llymlrs.com A very student friendly blog, this one even chats about the day-to-day stresses of dissertations and ‘schoolwork’. Styled straight from the highstreet, the fashion is OK, but it’s one of those ‘facebook-esque’, stalky type situations, where you get to read about someone else’s life. And she’s got plenty to say. See www.bloglovin.com to search for or sign up to other great blogs.
As a now established Londoner, I have sampled a number of locations that are perfect to impress a new flame, or keep an established one interested. Tired of being dragged to the usual date locations? Well despair no more! For the perfect first date drinks, why not go for the OXO tower bar? Located on South Bank, at the top of the tower, spectacular sunsets and breathtaking views across London are the perfect accompaniment to pleasant conversation. There is also a restaurant, but it is quite pricey, more apt for couples celebrating anniversaries or Valentine’s day. If things are going well, then South Bank has loads on offer for a blooming romance. Why not show your date your cultural side, with a trip to the National Theatre, a film at the BFI, Art at the Tate Modern or the Hayward Gallery, or a concert at the Royal Festival Hall. Great second date material is a trip to the All Star Bowling Lane on Brick Lane. All Star’s offers an American Diner experience, with a fifties soundtrack to boot. Woo your date with delicious alcoholic milkshakes and substantial burgers and chips. Finish off the experience with some feisty competition on the bowling lanes. London Dungeons may seem a strange choice for a date but it offers a great location for romance. It is the perfect place to assert your masculinity/femininity and cosy up to your new love interest. With hilarious fake cockney accents and jumps around every corner there is plenty to talk and laugh about. Student tickets are available. Now things are getting steamy, cool down with a visit to the Ice
SINGLE IN THE CITY ARTICLE // Louise Hill
Bar on Regent Street. Kit yourself out at the door in the warm suits from the Ice Hotel, where they filmed James Bond. Feast your eyes on the spectacular ice sculptures and snuggle up in the cold. Your first drink is included in the entry price and the cocktails glow in the dark. Leave your love interest stirred, not shaken. Move on to Ronnie Scotts in Soho where, after 11, entry is free with a Student Card from Monday to Wednesday, you can kick back and relax with some smooth jazz tunes.
For a perfect afternoon treat for an established couple, take a stroll around Hyde Park, enjoying the serpentine views with a picnic. You can hire a pedalo and explore the lake together, before looking around the serpentine gallery. Nearby, the Science Museum offers a late night opening every last Wednesday of the month. You can have a few drinks and play on the launch pad games. See what else is on offer; there’s a different theme each month. THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 23
FAIT DU SKI An eventful week of caramel vodka, treacherous tobogganing, and whipped cream is a good way to sum up Royal Holloway’s ski trip to Tignes in the Alps. Samantha Wynn recounts... This was in fact my first ski trip with the Royal Holloway Ski and Snowboard club and will definitely not be the last. The beginning of the week did not start off as planned as I had to fly instead of taking the 22 hour coach journey from campus to Tignes. Yes, I can hear you all now asking me why I am complaining but the “Fun Bus” is much to be desired. Having spent over 3 hours in Geneva airport and another 3 equally boring hours on a transfer coach, I was dropped in a deserted car park at the top of Tignes resort. Luckily, the President of the Ski and Snowboard society, Tash Evans, rescued me from a deserted roundabout away from the traumatic journey to join the longest on-going party I have ever attended. Having only been on family skiing holidays before, this enlightened me to the world of student ski trips where you ski all day and party all night. Most days were spent in Tignes’ Swatch Snow park and exploring the delights of Val D’Isère which provides a relatively big ski area for those staying in the Tignes resort. The drinking overflowed into the daytime, 24 // THE ORBITAL 2010 // THEORBITAL.CO.UK
with a mandatory après-ski Vin Chaud at the end of a hard day on the slopes. The week’s long awaited Valley Rally also involved some daytime drunkenness to provide Dutch courage for those who took part in the debauched challenges that the Ski Reps had planned. Every evening was fun fuelled with a different fancy dress theme every night, making us dressed for the part on the dance floors of the French discothèques. If this all sounds like your cup of vin chaud then be sure to get yourself booked on the club’s Easter trip! The BUSC (British Snowsports Council) trip is where Royal Holloway joins another 2000 students from different universities around the UK for what is essentially a ski competition, a holiday and a music festival rolled into one. BUSC Main event promises some of the freshest DJ talent and less of the cheesy French discothèques along with probably one of the best weeks of your student life! For more information go to www.buscevents.com/ events or join the ‘Roho Does Busc 2011’ facebook page.
FASHION NEWS FOR JANUARY 2011 Eloise Williamson reports on the trends for S/S 2011.
Natalie Portman in Rodarte for Black Swan
TREND WATCH 1970’s Bonanza Season. This diverse decade of dreamy hippies and gypsy rockers has well and truly permeated our high-street shops. Think wide-leg or flared trousers, chintzy floral dresses, boho blouses and floppy hats, and don’t forget the jumpsuit or onesie. Ballet-inspired designs plié there way back into fashion. As Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, hits the big screen, it is sure to leave us lusting after the lavish costumes seen in the film, created by Rodarte - a flurry of feathers and layered tulle tutus. On the catwalk, Erdem’s spring/summer 2011 collection was inspired by the Ballet Russes’s ‘The Rites of Spring’ and ballerina pleated skirts were seen at Chloe SS11. For an easy way to wear this look by day, try floaty midi skirts and oversized sweaters that pick up on muted soft tones such as dusky pink, dove grey, fawn and peach. By evening transition to chiffon blouses, diaphanous dresses and romantic frills. Colour blocking. This season, bold brights burst onto your fashion radar. Kaleidoscopic clothing is the perfect injection of light into the dreary winter months. This look is cheery, playful and fabulous. For coloured knits in every hue, check out Uni Qlo.
Sealed with a siren’s kiss. Statement red lips seem to always be in vogue. A slick of red lipstick is undeniably sexy and harks back to the years of Hollywood glamour. Pair your lippy with fresh, dewy skin.
THIS MONTH I have been Visiting: Selfridges Shoe Galleries, on Oxford Street; A haven of some 10,000 pairs of shoes. Seeking inspiration from: Fashion blogs: The Sartorialist, Karlas Closet and Be Frassy (which also has a sister site, ‘Frassy Rags’, selling affordable fashion). Watching: Breakfast at Tiffanys screened at BFI Southbank (British Film Institute). In celebration of the style icon Audrey Hepburn, BFI are screening a selection of her films until 3rd February. The darling Miss Holly Golightly is the epitome of elegance. Calling All Fashionistas on Campus: Preparations for RHUL Fashion Society’s annual catwalk extravaganza will soon be in full swing with plenty of opportunities to get involved. In the upcoming weeks they will be looking on campus for potential buyers, models, publicists, hair and make-up artists, photographers and a back stage crew. Look out for more news on their facebook page: ‘RHUL Fashion Society’. THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 25
Mona Parki Alnuaimi
PICTURES AT Words // Max Cambridge Generally, I am a pessimistic person. Whether this is a defence mechanism against failure, or part of my developing social outlook is unclear, so when I came to help set-up the first official Photography Society exhibition I was understandably a little anxious. Would we make enough to donate to RAG? Would we even cover our costs? ‘At-leastwe-tried’ became an inner mantra. The Photosoc officers had put massive effort into promotion, organisation and the overall design of the exhibition. It would be a travesty to see this work go to waste, especially in light of the team spirit exhibited (ha) within the society. So, when people started trickling in, it was easy to get 26 // THE ORBITAL 2010 // THEORBITAL.CO.UK
“Would we make enough to donate to RAG? Would we even cover our costs? ‘At-least-wetried’ became an inner mantra” hopeful. The organisers stood speculating and soon the trickle turned into a river. People followed the intelligently designed layout of the exhibition; photographs arranged according to a colour spectrum, with the beginning hosting a black and white section and the final part a multicoloured one. The first ever Photosoc exhibition was about
AN EXHIBITION to become complete success and the theme of choice, “colour” gifted us with a collection of challenging and beautiful images. Then it dawned on me. There is a massive absence of support for a tangible and accessible arts scene. Sure, there is a brilliant and successful Drama Society, Love To Make Noise, and a Creative Arts Society, but the actual amount of events that arts lovers can attend is minimal, creating this sense of the ‘Egham void’, a trundling grey existence only briefly lit up as you walk past Founders. The success of the exhibition proves students and staff and even the residents of the surrounding area have an interest
and genuine desire to attend and experience culture within Royal Holloway and Egham. People came alone, people came in large groups, people stayed for the whole time, people stayed for little but everyone enjoyed themselves and even better, we were able to help RAG and donate a sizeable sum thanks to this support, a support that we couldn’t have even begun to anticipate. However, the need for SU support and extra funding to societies is more obvious than ever. Let’s hope the stringpullers at the SU realise the importance of such events so we can turn this exhibition into a regular occurrence and show to others that is possible, fruitful and satisfying to try and brighten up our time at this university. THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 27
Rebecca Brownlow 28 // THE ORBITAL 2010 // THEORBITAL.CO.UK
Dan Woodruff THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 29
Iona Westlake 30 // THE ORBITAL 2010 // THEORBITAL.CO.UK
J. . Jin
Diana Scalfati THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 31
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FIVE TRACKS YOU SHOULD HEAR THIS MONTH Words // Sel Bulut
UNIVERSAL ENERGY [COURIER OF DEATH] Den Haan are a Glaswegian duo that share a love of ultra-cheesy early 80s italo and hi-NRG disco and who have been responsible for some standout releases over the past couple of years (with songs bearing unashmadely camp titles ‘Russian Boat Commander’ and ‘Burning Cock Theme’). ‘Universal Energy’ is taken from their forthcoming debut album Gods From Outer Space, and if it’s representative of the whole package then it should be a very exciting album indeed. A spaced-out intro leads into an explosion of percussion and synthesisers, leading into vocoder-laden vocals and an overblown chorus, evoking the spirit of classic Patrick Cowley or Bobby Orlando productions.
TAME IMPALA WHY WON’T MAKE YOUR MIND UP? (EROL ALKAN REWORK)
[MODULAR] It seems a cop out to include another Erol Alkan remix here, given the inclusion of his excellent take on MGMT’s ‘Congratulations’ in the last issue, but his reimagining of Australian indie/psych outfit Tame Impala is such an outstanding work in its own right that it deserves its place here. Originally conceived as an eight-minute acid house workout, Erol felt he wasn’t challenging himself enough and asked for it to be removed from Modular’s vaults. In its place (and after another few aborted revisions) he settled on this psychedelic curveball. It retains the dreamy guitars and reverberated vocals of the original, layering lush synths on top, but breaks out into something totally banging yet understated.
HERCULES MY HOUSE [DFA]
Hercules & Love Affair return with for a new album, Blue Songs, moving away from the disco of Studio 54 to the house of the Music Box. ‘My House’ is a wicked jam recalling the deep low ends and jacking groove of early 90s Chicago house pioneers rather than the camped up disco and Detroit-style techno leanings of their last LP. The loss of Antony Hegarty and Nomi Ruiz on vocals could have been a disaster, but upon hearing newcomer Shaun Wright’s excellent turn as the crooning diva, any worries are immediately forgotten.
OPEN HEART SURGERY [DECONSTRUCTION] To call this a Beth Ditto song is a bit of a stretch. The production, courtesy of Simian Mobile Disco, absolutely dominates, reducing Ditto’s contribution into something closer to a phoned-in guest vocal than the driving force of the track. That said, SMD have never put a foot wrong and this is no exception, with the raw, analogue production giving it a distinctive voice in the often identikit world of clean, hyperproduced pop music. It’s also ridiculous-catchy. It’s an odd one, though - not Beth Ditto enough to stick out as her own work yet clearly not a club banger from SMD’s camp.
METRONOMY SHE FEELS [BECAUSE]
‘She Wants’ is an excellent addition to Metronomy’s already-excellent back catalogue. The most striking thing about this song on first listen is that it’s a particularly glum effort, more in line with their introverted Not Made For Love EP than the colourful synth pop of ‘Radio Ladio’ or ‘A Thing For Me’. Structurally it isn’t miles removed from their previous work, but the advances in their sound are heard in the much more ‘live’ instrumentation, characterised by the song’s motorik rhythm and a bassline that owes itself to the tormented post-punk of The Cure and Echo & The Bunnymen. THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 33
Is RHUL a launching platform for new generation Coppolas, Lynches and Tarantinos? “To be honest I don’t dream about specific prize. My goal would be to travel the world doing what I love, which is making films. And make a living out of it.”
ARTICLE // Anna Gavronski
econd year Media Arts students Kristine Flyholm, Sandra Pennington and Mate Palla from Royal Holloway, University of London came third in European competition for their short film Something Less. The competition was organized by The European People’s Party, who was looking for a 60 second films to address increasing poverty in Europe. Three winners were all invited in December to a special award ceremony in European Parliament, were their film was screened in front some most powerful men in Europe. Unfortunately, Mate made it to awards ceremony just when it finished…
M: Our basic idea was to focus on the emotional side of poverty rather than the financial, which means it is worse if you have no people to love and support you than if you have no money. K: The moral is that if you give a person who lives on streets ten pounds, she will use it for something and after, fall back to the beginning. They need help to get back on track with their lives, not just money, but a chance to get a job with support all around them. Where did you get the inspiration for the film?
K: We brainstormed ideas together and I wrote it after having Mate’s and Where did you get an idea to enter the Sandra’s guidelines. I have always competition? been interested in how do you end up in the street, for example when you S: I read about the competition in the live in one of the richest countries in email they sent around in the depart- the world like Norway. Couple of years ment and talked to Kristine and Mate ago I made sandwiches and some hot whether they were up for it. chocolate and I just went out by myself to hand these to people in the What is your film about? main street in Oslo. They told me their
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stories, so it was easy to come up with the idea. How did the shooting go? M: It went absolutely fine. We decided to shoot in the studio, because it gave the whole thing a different atmosphere. K: It went very smoothly, even though we did not have much time beforehand for planning. We have been told that if you have three directors complications could happen, because of the different views. But I think we coped with it quite well. Did you expect to actually win anything when you first entered the competition? K: Not really. You always hope for the best and you always hope a little bit. S: I did not expect to win anything to be honest. We had checked the videos from the last years competition beforehand and there were so many applicants. I thought it is a nice exercise to try out what we had learnt the last
Third place a go-go. “When I read that we actually had won the third place, I was just jumping up and down screaming. I was back in Germany and my parents thought I had gone mad.”
year and to play around a bit. M: I was hoping, yes. It wasn’t perfect but it was far better that the average. And we came third. What was reaction when you found out that you won a prize? M: I got the e-mail and because it was running under my name, so when I emailed the girls. I was happy. S: When I read Mate’s message on Facebook that we actually had won the third place I was just jumping up and down screaming. I was back in Germany and my parents thought I had gone mad. We went out immediately to get some ice cream to celebrate. K: When I got the email form Mate saying, we came third. I was like – what?. I was shocked. I shouted out to my brother: “Oh, my god. We became third. We are going to European Parliament.” How did the trip to Brussels go? S: The trip to Brussels was pretty amazing. Me and Kristine luckily went the day before and the next morning we went to the Parliament. M: There were no highlights for me since I missed the whole thing due to absolutely unnecessary snow hysteria in the UK. Seriously, it’s a joke how British people react to snow, a bad joke. It would have been my first time to walk on red carpet. S: Kristine got the award for him. They showed all the films and we got to
know the other two contestants. The buffet was amazing the best Mousse au chocolate I have ever eaten (laughs). K: We got very good response from the audience which was 50 politicians and about 30 students who study politics. S: In general it was the attention we all got which was really exciting. One really got the feeling of having created something that is worthwhile - which is something that has always fascinated me. What did you feel and think when you found out your train is late because of the snow? M: Well I was sad, but I knew it will happen from the moment the snow started to fall. British people just can’t deal with it, simple as that. Mate, did any of your preparations for the awards show come to nothing because of the train delay? M: (laughs) I bought a suit since I didn’t have one here, but that was it. It’s a nice suit so it’s not a waste. Kristine what did you feel when you walked down on “red carpet” to accept the award? K: It definitely wasn’t a red carpet kind of event. It did not feel like it. It was quite casual. We were called out by the head of the People Party Group.
We didn’t have any speech saying I did this and that (laughs). But I liked it. What does this award mean to you? K: I have it in my portfolio and CV. And I am happy that the film promotes the fight against poverty. It feels good to win something (laughs). Hopefully it will help me in my future in the film business. S: Well although this competition is not an acclaimed film competition it means quite a lot to me. It was the first competition that we won - so to say a milestone in our careers as filmmakers. I am also more confident about my work. M: I’m happy for it, but so far it has not change anything in my life at all. What kind of “red carpet” is your dream “red carpet”? S: When I started dreaming about becoming a film director when I was 10 I obviously figured myself at the Oscars, but now I think any of the big film festivals would be a major success. No idea whether that will ever happen but it is always good to reach for the star (laughs). M: I guess European carpets, Cannes, Venice, Berlin. I would like to be really good at what I do. K: To be honest I don’t dream about specific prize. My goal would be to travel the world doing what I love, which is making films. And make a living out of it. THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 35
Dirty Den and the Subjugation of Nebuchadnezzar “The babyswap story hasn’t gone straight from Israel to Walford” Article // Ben Goldsmith
hey say that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. However, the BBC may beg to differ after flagship soap-opera Eastenders has fallen foul of over eight thousand complaints. Of course, this meant that the show’s name was slapped across the front covers of mass market dailies, but, annoyingly enough for the public relations pool, the articles’ subject matter was cot death. Cot death is, quite obviously, a subject that needs careful treatment. So it will be of no surprise that Eastenders sought the advice off a major cot-death-support charity ‘FSID’, and heeded the advice of David Cameron’s favourite social barometer, Mumsnet.
Ronnie Branning - the mother of the demised infant - gave birth to her late child on the same day as Cat Moon Ronnie, drunk with sadness after the unpredictable death of her baby, spotted Cat’s child unattended. A switcheroo ensued. Cat, it appears, had not formed too firm an aesthetic kinship with her child, as she did not notice that her baby looked completely different... but never mind that. She encountered a corpse, and, I suppose, audiences at home were greeted with some screaming and, if they were lucky, induced vomiting. Sorry, I mean, the audiences at home were greeted with some fine acting by Jessie Wallace.
However, it was not the death that so enraged the audiences, it was what followed.
Both FSID and Mumsnet, along with other organisations and high-profile individuals, have not been backward
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in coming forward when it comes to voicing their displeasure. The main problem is the swap itself. It is widely alleged that the story misportrays bereaved mothers. Ronnie’s actions were, in their eyes, ridiculously unrealistic and did a disservice to the mental stability of cot-death parents. It shouldn’t be, and is not, in The Orbital’s remit to come crashing down inflexibly and immovably on one side or the other of major ontological questions, we’re not the Daily Mail. However, the baby swap is not new. The most famous cultural manifestation is told in the books of Kings, in the Bible. Two women of King Soloman’s united kingdom of Israel and Judah give birth to baby boys. In the New International Version of the good
“In their defense, the hyper-realist manner in which Eastenders is pitched could have made the shit-sandwich that has been thrown at the writers that bit more pungent.”
(or otherwise) book, the babyswap line reads: ‘So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I, your servant, was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast.’ In its idiosyncratic tones, the most famous story book of them all tells as blatant a baby swapping tale as they come. However, the baby swap is not centre stage. The infant changing hands is only the build up to the famous story that enacts the wisdom of King Soloman. The two mothers come before him, both claiming ownership. The wily Soloman’s decrees that the baby shall be chopped in two, each mother leaving with half. The coldhearted, unbiological mother deems Soloman’s judgement just, whilst the real mother declares that she would rather let the unreal mother live on nurturing her son, than)see him die. Of course, this was all part of Soloman’s plan: real mum gets child, fake mum gets nothing. The babyswap story hasn’t gone straight from Israel
to Walford, though, it has bypassed a ring of powdered sedimentary rock. The Caucasian Chalk Circle, one of the best plays in world history (says I), reconsiders the fable. In Brecht’s play the faux mother becomes a better matriarchal force in the infant’s life than its biological mother. But real mother or not, love prevails in both stories. The baby swap - dubbed ‘unrealistic’, ‘insensitive’ and ‘silly’ by Eastenders viewers - in the Bible and in Brecht, is merely a caveat to a greater emotional revelation. This is surely what it was meant to be in Eastenders. The swap was not the end of the plot line, but the beginning of a new chapter in the recent East End catalogue of woe. The powers that be haven’t suspended the story in mid-air, replaced the entire cast and resumed with an Archers-esque load of codswallop about some old guy falling off a slippery roof (wasn’t that rubbish?). However, Auntie has released a statement confirming that
the storyline will be coming to an early climax. I am not critical of the complainers, nor of the blue-sky-thinkers for implementing a story line which leaves their ranks open to easy fire. But questions are raised over the writers’ artistic integrity. They could have created Hamlet-sized philosophical cul-de-sacs to piss tears into. But they didn’t. In their defense, the hyper-realist manner in which Eastenders is pitched, and the media’s expectation for wellwatched cultural output to posit some educational message could have made the shit-sandwich that has been thrown at Eastenders’ writers that bit more pungent. However, they did not stick to their guns, they ran in fear of losing their own little Battle of the Bulge in the inter-soap ratingswar. Pride of authorship subordinated to not losing another thousand sets of eyes to Corrie. THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 37
Top 5 narrative to screen adaptations (which you should probably see before you die)
1. City of God (2002) Paulo Lin’s 1997 Portuguese novel became available in translation in 2002 alongside the release of Fernando Meirelles’ groundbreaking adaptation. A film that was not only based on a novel, but a truth. The truth that lies at the heart of every desperate man… the animal instinct of survival. The storyline chronicles three decades in Rio De Janeiro’s City of God, “a neoslum of concrete, brimming dealerdoorways, sinister-silences and cries of despair.” Fuelled by drug wars, samba, smoke and sex, Lin’s own experiences living in Rio’s slums are brought to life on screen through a cleverly crafted narrative. After the mammoth task of picking apart three drafts, the directors and producers constructed a script that epitomised the fear and instinct for self preservation that kept Rocket (the leading protagonist of the film, not the book) on the straight and narrow. Surrounded by the full scale impact of murderous anarchy, Rocket escapes the grasp of a grotesque wasteland that was once his home. The pistol-packing energy and non-professional cast (recruited from the streets) creates a film that has substance alongside cinematic zest and 38 // THE ORBITAL 2010 // THEORBITAL.CO.UK
poignancy. The hazy sense of brotherhood in a somewhat dog-eat-dog world is reduced to its bare roots, reflecting a gruelling reality. In a world steeped in desperation, you never see the bullet that kills you. 2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) When Jean-Domanique Bauby, editor in chief of French Elle suffered a massive stoke, he was left prisoner in his own body, only able to communicate through the blinking of his left eye. From inside the Diving Bell (as he referred to his body) the Butterfly (his memory and imagination) was set loose. Through this startling form of communication, Bauby achieved his life-long ambition of writing a book. The French film follows this artistic journey of human resilience that allowed that Butterfly to take flight. 3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) By capturing Hunter S. Thomson’s eclectic and insanely drug related imagination of the 1970’s, Terry Gilliam makes the savage journey to the heart of the American Dream an on-screen reality. Only to end up with innumerable black outs, memory loss and a final rendition of Jagger’s Jump-
ing Jack Flash, the film expresses and impresses in a way that makes it all worthwhile. 4. Touching The Void (2003) A documentary film based on the real events exceeding a dangerous ascent of Siula Grande mountain in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. The film was reconstructed from Joe Simpson’s personal account published in 1988. The raw story of survival afforded the cast and crew an award at the BAFTA’s, which was deserved merely for its brilliant and excruciatingly painful near death reminiscence of Bony M’s Brown Girl in the Ring. 5. Where The Wild Things Are (2009) As far as “children’s” films go this one was pretty damn scary. Adapted from Maurice Sendak’s 1963 incredibly short children’s picture book, director Spike Jonze delivers a widely read version of the story of a solitary child liberated by his imagination. A beautifully filmed, animated, conceptually dark and delicate film. Just remember that “inside us all is a wild thing”. (The Arcade Fire trailer-themetrack swung it for me.)
ARTICLE // Emily Copley
RE VIEW THEORBITAL.CO.UK // THE ORBITAL 2010 // 39
RHULTIMATUM ON: THE KING’S SPEECH The Orbital Team went for a little wander around campus the other day to hunt down Royal Holloway’s verdict on The King’s Speech; and, as expected, none of you lot were shy about speaking your mind, unlike poor George IV. We offered two options, ‘Majestic Milestone’ if you liked the film and ‘Queen-Mum Mayhem’ if you disliked it. Thumbs up, or thumbs down. This is RHULtimatum on The King’s Speech.
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THE STUDENTS: ARTICLE // Chris Pritchard Majestic Milestone : 78 - ‘It gets ten thousand thumbs up from me’ (Carl) - ‘Colin Firth is going to win an Oscar for this. And Rush deserves one too.’ (Sally) - ‘The British version of the Odd Couple.’ (Shaun) - ‘This film taught me to swear in between-shit-bugger-fuck-words’ (Ed) - ‘Colin Firth is like a bit of a hero. I kinda worship him. Not in a praying type way – well actually I pray he’ll do things to me – but you get what I mean... a great film.’ (Anonymous, she shuffled away too quickly) - ‘The Queen Mum: I would. Who wouldn’t?’ (Phoenix) - ‘The proverb: cometh the hour, cometh the man springs swiftly to mind’ (Lawrence) - ‘I thought the royals were a bunch of c**** before I saw this film. I still do,
but the film was good. (Loli) - ‘It gave me a temporary stutter, but it was worth it. The end scenes are similar to watching a celebrity on one of those stupid celebrity tasks, where you’re really into it and really willing them on. But the stakes are higher. A whole nation was a stake, not a bushtucker-trial or 1000 pounds for a cat charity.’ (Salman) - ‘Wow.’ (Francesca) - ‘I’ve seen it four times now. It still makes me tingle.’ (Sophia) - ‘Lovely, twisty plot-line, it was funny, it was moving, it was uplifting and, ultimately, makes me feel proud to be British.’ (Michael) -‘Allow the King.’ (Will.i.am... apparently) Queen-Mum Mayhem : 23 - ‘I was truly shocked to see Gambon play an angry man and Firth an en-
dearing bumbling fool.’ (Emily) - ‘Where was Helen Mirren?’ (Anonymous, to whom we replied ‘where’s your common sense’) - ‘Slow and boring. It needed at least one action scene.’ (Manpreet) -‘There are far better films out this year. The Kings Speech has just been given a massive boost by the media, and in my opinion it doesn’t live up to the hype.’ (Pete) -‘No, just no.’ (Becky) -‘This is just Firthmania – people wouldn’t love it so much if an unknown actor were to play the role.’ (Kieran) - ‘Bonham Carter didn’t do a single evil scream. Disappointed is an understatement. The film was alright, it felt like too much was made of just one speech – which was a tad uninteresting.‘ (Hazel)
THE REVIEW: ARTICLE // Kerry Edwards The rather tame story of curing a stuttering and stammering King in 1939 may not sound like a particularly exciting watch, even with an excellent cast including Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, and Geoffrey Rush. The revival of this historic tale could have easily struggled to make itself heard in the fast paced and action packed world of cinema. Surprisingly though, despite what seems to be an unpromising plot, The King’s Speech is remarkably endearing and extremely gripping throughout, ending in some rewardingly tense final scenes. George VI is excellently played by Colin Firth, who actually
gave himself a stammer during the production process; combined with Geoffrey Rush in the role of speech therapist Lionel Logue, the two create a surprisingly funny, charming, and at times frustrating portrayal of friendship.
The story of the new King’s public fears is set up beautifully against that of his young family striving for some normality, a mood created perfectly by Helena Bonham Carter’s portrayal of a wife’s deep concern and devotion mingled with assertiveness.
As George VI struggles not only with a royal crisis (because of his brother’s sexual promiscuity and his father’s overbearing expectations) the relationship between these two friends is made all the more gripping by the King’s desperation to step up to the mark and make his voice heard. After all, he is trying to compete with the slightly more confident voice of Hitler.
The naivety of the royal lifestyle ‘Bertie’ (George VI) must lead, juxtaposed with Lionel’s unpretentious attitude makes this film and its characters much more than just a dusty history of the royal family. The King’s Speech is irresistibly absorbing and so increasingly powerful that you will soon be urging ‘Bertie’ on from the edge of your seat.
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BLACK SWAN Words // Chris Pritchard Based on the thrilling ballet ‘Swan Lake’, Black Swan is the simple story of nutcase bi-polar Ballerina-Nina (Natalie Portman) who deals with a repressed childhood and the pressures of becoming Swan Queen by dabbling in lesbian sex acts and animalmetamorphosis, which, by the way, may or may not have happened. A lot of things in this movie may or may not have happened, or maybe only happened in Nina’s mind. It’s hardly surprising the film takes such a psychological and unreliable format with director Darren Aronofsky at the helm; a man who has directed mindbending classics such as Requiem For A Dream, Pi and The Fountain. There’s no escaping the sheer graphicness of this film: we are treated to some superb leg snapping, stomach stabbing and even self-inflicted face filing, where Winona Ryder effortlessly shoves a file through her face, which is probably the finest accomplishment of her career - just fractions better than the shop-lifting incident. At one point Ballerina-Nina decides it would be a fantastic idea to peel off her finger nail skin which is very cringey and horrific, but made me chuckle only because it was so incredibly reminiscent of District 9 and the weedy South African guys metamorphosis into a prawn (alien), where his finger nail slips off. Thinking about it, fingers feature quite prominently in this film. For those who have seen the film, you know what I’mtalkin’bout. For those who haven’t, this is what I’m talking about: masturbation, wandering hands in the back of a taxi and full-on lesbian sex. What was billed as a girly movie about
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ballet which mums and daughters and girlfriends would flock to see and giggle at, actually turned out to be every boy’s wild fantasy: Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis doing naughty things with each other. One fifteen year old cinema-goer exclaimed; ‘There is a God.’ In all seriousness, this movie is incred-
ibly good and offers far more than just sexual frolics. All of the action scenes are executed to perfection, the intense over-the-shoulder camera work hooks you into a stream of thrilling tension and Portman should be commended and awarded for her massive range of emotion and ballet skills. In conclusion: Black Swan is definitely a dark horse.
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2011: a year of sequels. Words // JuliaPaynton
o a new year is upon us and the most important thing to consider, ignoring dissertations and exams, is what movies to see. This matter is often complicated by the presence of sequels. As Randy of Scream 2 says “sequels suck - by definition alone, sequels are inferior films” (yes, irony is what they were going for), so what the heck do we go see them? It’s probably down to a large mix of wanting to see what happened next, the safety of watching something familiar, and of course the innocent belief that they’ll be as good, if not better, than the first one. Below are some of the bigger sequels coming out in 2011. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: (May 18th) Pirates is really just about one man and that is the brilliant Johnny Depp, AKA Jack Sparrow. So as Jack heads off to find the fountain of youth, I do actually hold out some hope for this fourth instalment. But if not, then I’m sure they’ll try again... and again... and again. The Hangover Part II: (May 27th) with the first one being so hilarious I am quite happy for them to attempt a se44 // THE ORBITAL 2010 // THEORBITAL.CO.UK
quel, however we’ll just have to wait and see whether the wolf pack’s hangovers are exactly the same in Bangkok as in Las Vegas. X-Men: First Class: (June 2nd) In this prequel sequel, we go back to when Professor X was just a wee little lowercase x, and Magneto was straining to bend spoons. Yes the old best-friendsturned-deadly-enemy story. If you’re into comic book movies then this looks like it could be quite good; and I’m particularly intrigued to see what James McAvoy will look like bald.
“And there might just be some nice vampire-human sex going on in this one to entice you too.” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II: (July 15th) if you’re anything like me you’ve waited for this film since before puberty and before the book was even out; and now that the last one is nearly here, I’m realising that it’s about to all be over ... until, of course, they do the hologram style remakes in 50 years where Daniel Radcliffe plays either Dumbledore or Prof. McGonagall. You never know. Any-
“I’m particularly intrigued to see what James McAvoy will look like bald.” way, the showdown of all showdowns that is Harry vs. Voldemort means that this is one movie that is definitely not to be missed. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1: (November 18th) if you’re not a Twi-hard, you might want to watch this film simply out of curiosity - to see just what the hell is going on in these movies to make people love them so much. Or I could just tell you: Robert Pattinson’s intenseness and Taylor Lautner’s physique. And there might just be some nice vampire-human sex going on in this one to entice you too. Finally! Sherlock Holmes 2: (December 16th) it’s not yet been given an official title, but I’m really looking forward to this one. It’s probably because I love crime drama and Robert Downey Jr. is my guilty crush but never mind, it’ll still be great – it’s elementary dear Watson! (... sorry)
TOP FIVE URBAN ARTISTS OF 2011
2010 has seen a change in the landscape of urban music, both in the UK and USA. 2010 has been the year of the Noveau Riche - starting with UK Top 40 upstarts Tinie Tempah and Example, and finishing with young starlet Willow Smith; urban music is now the scene for the unknown underdog to thrive in. With this in mind, 2011 promises to be a similar year, but who will be this year’s rising star? Words // Rajiv Kakkad.
The illegal substance-loving rapper has been aiming to hit the mainstream world since 2007. With a succession of mixtapes and albums since then, Khalifa has touched on his potential with his Twitter Trending mixtape Kush & Orange Juice, and even more so with his Billboard hit single Black & Yellow. While a mixtape and one single isn’t enough to cement your legacy, Wiz’s 2010 buzz has proven that he is undoubtedly on the fast lane to success this year.
The young artist from Hackney has unquestionably made an impact in 2010. Having produced Tinie’s megahits Frisky and Pass Out, Lab has managed to even win the approval of music-Nazi Simon Cowell. However, with only one solo smash hit single to his name (Let The Sun Shine), and a debut album slated for release in 2011, Labrinth is positioned to make a huge impact this year.
The Tottenham born rapper has been grinding on the grime scene since 2006. Since then he has released a number of mixtapes, guest appearances with chart-toppers like Chipmunk and has been a part of the grime super-group “The Movement”, which includes recent chart entry Devlin. Now, the rapper is ready to release his 2011 single Traktor with it’s ingenious sample, catchy hook, and current mainstream-yet-gritty vibe (in the vein of recent Tinchy Stryder single Game Over). The media hype around the single, coupled with a nominee for MTV and BBC’s artist of 2011, indicates that this year may just be the year of the Tottenham MC.
The Fayetteville lyricist has been developing on a buzz in the rap world since 2007. His talent was corroborated shortly after his first mainstream mixtape, by the legendary Jay-Z, who made Cole his first signing for label
Roc Nation and even gave him a feature on his platinum-selling Blueprint 3. Like his peer Wiz Khalifa, J. Cole’s November 2010 mixtape Friday Night Lights was a Twitter Trending Topic and features artists such as Kanye West and Drake.
While he hasn’t topped the charts yet, Essien has been singing in the UK Urban mainstream for a while now. Propelled into the mainstream in 2007 on Bashy’s acclaimed single Black Boys, he continued his star-studded features on Bashy’s When The Sky Falls and Chipmunk’s debut mainstream single Beast. 2010 saw Essien erupt onto radio and the mainstream with his own debut solo single Love Drunk, which is produced by Labrinth. Essien looks to become a presence in the UK game this year.
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