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indigo 10.05.12

’s e r e h t t a h t u o y s indigo remind y a M s i h t s m a x e n a th o t d r a w r o f k o o l o more t


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Thursday 10th May 2012 | INDIGO

indigo

Indigo Editors: Alexandra Groom & Molly Fowler indigo@palatinate.org.uk

contents

editor’s letter

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t’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring… Perhaps not the most cohesive of nursery rhymes, but one I feel is particularly appropriate when gazing wistfully at the groggy mush of North Road from my bedroom desk, which, since you ask, I do indeed feel like I’m chained to. At least for the foreseeable future. Studio is resolutely hushed as people walk briskly past, staring at their shoes and shielding themselves from human contact with huge umbrellas (although the ‘lol’ potential when one blows inside out is paramount for getting me through this perilously humdrum revision period). Even the godsend that is North Road Tesco (anything still selling Dairy Milk bars at 10.59pm on a Sunday deserves some kind of knighthood) is strangely silent. And do you know what I attribute it to? Pathetic fallacy. If my beloved year eight English teacher – who I had more than a bit of a crush on – were reading this, I know that I would be getting several ticks, a smiley face and perhaps even a gold star for using those words. Since I’m currently revising for third year English Literature exams admittedly I don’t expect the same awed response from you all, but hear me out. According to my longstanding friend and ally Wikipedia, pathetic fallacy can be defined as the poetic practice of attributing human responses to nature, inanimate objects, or animals, and, in the case of this incessant rain, John Ruskin couldn’t have been more right in his coining of the phrase. So really, it’s all nature’s fault that we’re acting like this at all. Kudos, Rusky. The start of the dreaded Easter term brings with it feelings of stress, anxiety, lethargy, and, most noticed by me, monotony. Meetings with beloved friends become dominated by conversations of how much revision each of us have done as we all try to gauge on an imaginary scale whether we’re indeed going to fail Introduction to Chinese History because we’ve done less work than the John or Jane Doe sitting next to us. Trips to Newcastle or plans for general merriments are cancelled due to people’s fear that if they have time for ‘fun’, they’re clearly not working hard enough. And don’t even talk to me about imbibing large quantities of alcohol and hitting the town. Leaving the safety of my desk – are you mad? All this negativity set alongside a backdrop of soggy shoes and running mascara as the rain continues to pour is enough to persuade us to get the violins out. But do you know what I say? I say enough of stress – it only shortens your life span and gives you those ghastly forehead wrinkles that would make you a prime candidate for a L’Oreal antiageing ad campaign. Don’t be downtrodden. Come on Durhamites, grab your umbrellas, your welly boots, and your 200-watt smiles and hit those streets. Splash your way to Spags for a slap-up meal, wade over to Klute and get absolutely sozzled – bantah! – or get yourself over to one of the incredibly swanky new library booths and have a bit of a group ‘revision’ sesh with your buddies. Leave your homes – I’m officially giving you permission. Let’s work together to kick pathetic fallacy’s posterior by not acting like mindless overworked drones this wet and windy May. Subversive… MF

Page 3: What Caryl-ings on: indigo reviews The Hill Colleges Theatre Company’s brave new play

Page 4&5: Procrastinating and

library etiquette: indigo kindly helps you through exams Pages 6&7: Caught up in The Temper Trap: Larry Bartleet chats to Toby Dundas about musical influences and touring in the UK Pages 8&9: Never letting go: Christian Kriticos examines the continued success of the novels of Kazuo Ishiguro

Pages 10&11: Roaring back to the twenties: Jess Denham explores

the resurgence of twenties fashion with a nod to The Great Gatsby this summer

Pages 12&13: Student fine dining: Annie Fairchild shows us

that there’s more to student cooking than beans on toast with this exquisite three course meal Page 14: Film Censoring: Should the guidelines be

reviewed?

They said what?

On this day:

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds” - Albert Einstein

1497: Amerigo Vespucci leaves for his voyage to the New World 1774: Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette become King and Queen of France 1824: The National Gallery opens to the public 1872: Victoria Woodhull becomes the first woman nominated for President of the United States 1940: The first German bombs fall on England, in Kent 1940: Winston Churchill is appointed Prime Minister 1960: Operation Sandblast: USS Triton completes first underwater circumnavigation of the earth 1994: Nelson Mandela inaugurated as South Africa’s president

Page 15: Stargazing and the Monaco Grand Prix: But not at the same time.


INDIGO | Thursday 10th May 2012

stage

Stage Editor: Anna Bailey stage@palatinate.org.uk

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Outrageously naughty

Gabriel Samuels is left titillated by HCTC’s latest theatre offering. Those with a delicate disposition, look away now... Cloud Nine

The Assembly Rooms

««««« Gabriel Samuels

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aryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine concludes its second act with the words “If there isn’t a right way of doing things, you have to invent one yourself”, bringing to a close over two and a half hours of sexual mayhem and questionable morality, written to challenge the concept of a “right way” when it comes to relationships. A brave prospect for the Hill Colleges Theatre Company to take on, four years old and with excellent productions of Stags and Hens and The Canterbury Tales behind it; the result was a marvellous evening of fun and professional theatre. During the first act, there was indeed an established “right way” to behave, yet no-one involved paid any attention to it. We land in Victorian colonies in Africa, greeted by a comfortable domestic situation (the characters even introduce themselves in rhyming verse, and sing in unison) centred around an upright-thinking colonial

administrator Clive and his eccentric family and friends. It isn’t long before rampant sexuality takes hold, prompted by the repressions of polite society. The action that follows is chaotic and enthralling in equal measure – so claustrophobic the circumstances, so blithely immoral are Churchill’s characters that there is no guessing what will happen next. What made the first half so engrossing was the synthesis of humour with loftier considerations of race and gender in the Victorian era. Melodrama, physical comedy and nods towards pantomime abounded to have audiences rolling in the aisles. The comic timing of all actors was immaculate, lines delivered with wit and aplomb that did justice to Churchill’s unusual characters. Betty and Maud, inhabited splendidly by Michael Huband and Idgie Beau, deservedly harvested the biggest laughs, breathing life into the tiresome comedy staples of cross-dressing and mother-inlaw jokes with breezy innuendo. Not all Churchill’s humour is in good taste – references to paedophilia, incestual relationships and misogynist ideas about “dark female lust” leave a sour taste – yet the cast overcame such moments with a calm

professionalism belying their student theatre status.

The comic timing of all actors was immaculate throughout In the second act every actor switches parts as we shift focus to late ‘70s London. Sam Matthey, impressive as the fruity voiced Clive in the first act, played young daughter Cathy in the second half to much amusement. This shorter half was more difficult to follow as societal lines blur to an almost absurd extent. Siblings Edward and Victoria and their friend Lin strive to pin-point their own identities and suffer the extremes of sexual bewilderment, leading to a confusing orgy of bisexual incest, adultery

and role-reversal, made all the more baffling by the re-emergence of first half characters, still dressed in Victorian garb. In a twist at the play’s end, the action culminates in a Beckettian reprise of the first half’s final scene, as Clive, reborn in this 70s setting, is shot by Victoria as his wife eggs her on. Some scenes in the second half were shocking to the point of vulgarity, so hats off to the cast for keeping straight faces throughout – Betty’s eye-opening monologue on female masturbation single-handedly warranted Cloud Nine’s billing as the “most outra-

geous show in Durham this year”. Yet what a production it proved to be. The whole show was produced to perfection. The exam period made for relatively poor audience numbers; a lot less than this wonderful play deserved.

Not for the faint-hearted Photograph: Sarah Garner

ETO’s Barber really packs a punch T

he approving advice of a 51-year-old Beethoven to a young Rossini in 1822 was “Never try to write anything but an opera buffa,” having enjoyed an early production of The Barber of Seville; “any other style would do violence to your nature.” Quite a feat to impress the ill-tempered and largely deaf musical titan in the early 19th Century. Rossini’s strength lay in his ability to provide what an audience really wants to see; not lofty Gods or aristocratic tragedy, but cantankerous characters, copious wit, and an overindulgent plethora of show-stopping coloratura arias. Like a 19th century Simon Cowell, he was, (and still is), the ultimate pop-

culture mogul, and The Barber of Seville, which he supposedly scrawled in a mere 12 days, the culmination of all the ingredients of an audience favourite. The overall plot follows Count Almaviva’s attempts to rescue the beautiful Rosina from the confines of her patron, Dr Bartolo’s house, aided by the famous ‘factotum della città’, Figaro himself. The punchy characterisation and sheer wit of the piece, however, distance the piece from the archetypal stock-plot on which it is based. It is this sitcom quality of Rossini’s masterpiece which the English Touring Opera have managed to recreate for the modern British audience. With some lively conducting from

McGrath, and gags in abundance, Guthrie’s new production bubbles with peculiarities and crowd-pleasing eccentricities, such as a precariously swinging chandelier and a penchant for cross-dressing. Though the colourful concept of the production’s set and costumes was suited to the “opera buffa” style, I became confused by the design; on one hand, pastel-tinted twee landscapes worthy of a nursery school, and on the other, a fluorescent popcultured ambience, complete with bright, Andy Warhol-style 18th century portraits. Though to some extent excusable due to the eclectic nature of this production, I can’t help but feel that the latter would more effectively

have complemented the punchy, audience-aware direction. The nursery rhyme-like illustration of the man in the moon hanging throughout the first scene was hardly in keeping with the overtly sexual direction of numerous other scenes. Kitty Whately (Rosina) demonstrated a pleasing and vibrant soprano with impeccable diction. Her portrayal of a spirited, highly intelligent and unapologetically catty Rosina consistently recalled the ingenious but bored mind of a teenager confined to her room. Equally effective was Grant Doyle’s clever and restless Figaro, who proved to be equally likeable from his charming rendition of ‘Largo al Factotum’.

The stand-out performance, however, came quite unusually from Andrew Slater’s scheming Dr Bartolo, who provided a hilarious performance, having mastered his grumpy-and-confused-old-man face to a tee. Guthrie’s punchy new production has succeeded in capturing and recreating Rossini’s extraordinary skill of audience awareness, with a witty and accessible, if conspicuous, performance, which conjured up more than a few bursts of genuine laughter; an impressive feat for this 200 year old libretto. Anna Bailey Rossini’s ‘The Barber of Seville’ will play at the Gala Theatre, Durham on the 14th May 2012, 7.30pm


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Thursday 10th May 2012 | INDIGO

features

It’s that time of the year again… the library fills up, books are unavailable, and stress levels rise as the exams draw closer. To prepare you for the exams indigo has some tongue-in-cheek etiquette tips.

The Art of Procrastination You definitely missed a spot! Photograph: Nicoletta Asciuto

Probably the single biggest issue facing students during the exam season, indigo delves into the psyche behind procrastination

Photograph: Nicoletta Asciuto

In the library:

1. Learn how to use the swipe machine: queuing behind someone who hasn’t figured out by third term that you have to swipe your card the right way up is just plain annoying. 2. Justin Bieber blasting through headphones is not ok. We get that you do sociology but people doing real subjects don’t appreciate yet another accoustic version of Baby. 3. Just because your Blackberry isn’t playing its usual rendition of Adele’s latest anthem does not mean we can’t hear an effective power drill every time you get a text. Vibrate and silent. Definitely not the same thing. 4. “No way! And then she said? OMG. NO WAY!” I’m sure whatever Pete got up to last night with Antonia is a most engrossing topic. But whispering louder than actually talking at normal volume is great way to get the whole room to stare meaningfully in your direction. We don’t care whether the old time dilemma of the ex-boyfriend and the best friend is socially acceptable, we just want to get back to our post-modern art history theories!

In the exam hall:

1. Don’t get ill. Then you won’t distract others by coughing and blowing your nose. Stock up on every form of cold and flu medicine available at Boots to be sure. 2. Don’t look at other people. Then if you see someone cute you won’t distract yourself for the next three hours trying to catch their eye. 3. Don’t be a mouth breather. This goes well with No.1 because a blocked nose will do that to you. 4. Don’t tap. If possible don’t listen to any music up to a week before. Then you won’t have any beats stuck in your head that could come out subconsciously. Good luck!

Matilda Barr and Michelle Wray

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rocrastinate study, procrastinate assignments, procrastinate writing this article. Whether we like it or not procrastination is a global epidemic and one which manifests itself commonly among students. A quick, unofficial survey reveals several categories of procrastination among students; ranging from ‘high’ to ‘low’. The art of ‘high’ procrastination is the purest form involving the liberal brushing away of any attempt to work on essays, lab-reports or revision. The key tools of such a calibre of work avoidance include (most commonly) Facebook, Youtube, and various other internet sites of dubious relevance to any part of your life, the more obscure the better. The second form of procrastination is a sort of middleground in the art of delaying endeavour. These are activities that are no doubt ‘work’ in the widest sense, but do not have any relation to your degree. This includes cooking, shopping and making your bed and room as un-Tracy Emin-like as possible.

It is amazing what the practiced procrastination artisan can achieve in especially pressured circumstances; developing an attention to detail that requires a mastery of cleaning products, plastic bags and sheet folding. The last form of procrastination is ‘low’ in the dallying stakes and can be practiced even the most novice workphobia convert. It is a collage of work and non-work, having the veneer of studiousness, a hue of serious study, but with a background of unrelated but fascinating things. E-mails are a particularly good source material, especially when mixed with various newspapers and perfecting the art of tea-making, folder organising and doodling down margins. So why do we do it? There is no rhyme nor reason, no convoluted psychological issue or preventative steps. Procrastination is human nature; to take the easier option and do something you’re actually interested in or want to know is obviously a more preferable option than complex theories and mindboggling equations.

However, there are times when it can take over your life. In their 2010 publication on procrastination, Durham Counselling Services identified the main ways in which we procrastinate, breaking them down into categories including pleasurable tasks, socialising, distractions, low priority tasks and daydreaming. They believe “what tends to distinguish more general ‘putting-off’ or ‘delaying’ from a more serious procrastination problem is how bad the negative consequences are that follow the procrastination.” There’s no real reason for procrastination, apart from having to complete an unpleasant task but human nature does play its part. It’s free will; no one likes to be pressured and when hit with a time-limit, we panic and procrastination rears its manysided face as a defence mechanism, or just sheer defiance. There is the theory that people work better under pressure and when it really hits home that your deadline is so tantalizingly close you can actually count the hours, procrastination is no longer a viable option and we’re

driven to suck it up. Whether this applies to all is doubtful. Let’s face it: Procrastination is like Primark; full of rubbish with the occasional gem. It’s so easy to find a million things to fill your basket with that you’ll probably never wear but it’s too tempting to resist. Likewise, filling our time with trivia and activities we enjoy may not always be valuable, but what’s the harm if we know that when the time comes, we will get it done? Optimistic maybe, but there’s some value in procrastination, as it can clear all immediate distractions so that one can focus. Plus there’s always that silver lining in the rare occasion when you can transform your ‘learning’ from procrastination into something applicable to the task in hand, making that ‘time wasting’ productive after all. That means we can stay on Facebook a little longer, right?

Sarah Murray, Emma Richardson and Erin Bourke


INDIGO | Thursday 10th May 2012

Features Editor: Sarah Murray feature@palatinate.org.uk

The awkward moment when... ...you embark on the unprovoked hug

Miriam Skinner encounters a classic awkward social situation while revising in the library

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xam term is prime time for awkwardness. The combination of lack of sleep, stress and close proximity in the library is a recipe for social incompetence. This is of no consequence when you’re knuckling down; in fact, an inability to hold conversation is to the reviser’s benefit. It does become a problem however, when one is forced to make a trip to Yum. I’m afraid my social ineptitude manifests itself in ‘overfamiliarity’. People whose names

I barely know from tutorial groups in first year, the Yum man, friends’ exes and the lollypop lady all become victims of my over-enthusiasm. This has led to some painfully awkward greetings. On one occasion I went in for the bear-hug, and the friend’s ex-housemate, at whom my hug was launched, quite reasonably went for the handshake. The extended arm then became wedged in the centre of my inappropriate hug. The awkward arm - far superior to any turtle or giraffe - is literally

dire. As usual, I am highly qualified to advise you on what not to do - dissect the awkwardness slowly and painfully. “Oh, ha ha, you were trying to shake my hand, isn’t it funny that I went in for the hug, and oh look, I’m still hugging you, why haven’t I let go? This is quite awkward, ha ha ha, I’ve been in the library for five hours and twenty three minutes, how long have you been here?”. Keep to yourself in the library; that’s all I can say.

Photograph: kanu101 on Flickr

Mrs Elvet sorts you out indigo’s very own Agony Aunt solves all your problems Dear Mrs Elvet, I am getting increasingly frustrated by pointless abbreviations. It takes me longer to decipher what has been left out of a word, and thus to answer, than it would for the offender to give the proper English expression in the first place. I can follow the common ‘blates’ and ‘obvs,’ but the other day I was cooking for a friend who enquired whether ‘Tatty Dophs’ was on the menu. What cutting retort can I use to encourage her to drop this trying habit? Or should I just accept that the English language as we know it is on its way out? (The dictionary - Chad’s College) Oh honey, either respond with a frank ‘illiud Latine dici non potest’ (that can’t be said in Latin) and she is bound to use correct English to avoid the embarrassment of confessing that she doesn’t know basic schoolgirl Latin (the eschewing silence might create tension, but it will avoid anymore awky momos in the future) or, suck it up and go with the flow. FYI the best languages are dead anyway. Dear Mrs Elvet, My housemate is a rower and therefore drinks copious amounts of milk. As our house works on a rota system, I feel like I’m giving more than I’m getting. Any suggestions? (Penniless - Trevs College) This season is all about ‘the home-grown cottage effect,’ so buy a cow to keep in the garden. It’s so Joules.

“So great to see you!” Not! Photograph: Anni Pekie

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Dear Mrs Elvet, With the April Showers on the way, I think I need some new shoes to tackle the puddles.

Hunters are getting frightfully common, but as far as I know they’re the only wellingtons that exist. (Shoeless - St. Mary’s College) My dear, I quite understand your predicament. Personally, I think it most rude to your tutors to enter a classroom in farming attire. Is it versatile footwear that you wish to invest in? If so, I recommend the highest platforms Office can sell- your toes will be well above water-level and they can be worn at night too, which can only be said for gum boots during snow storms in Studio. Otherwise, go for roller skates. Not only will you move quicker, but you’ll splash everyone else in the process.

Dear Mrs Elvet, I’m pretty keen to get my hands on some Bailey Stash next year- they seem to be the thing to wear around Elvet these days, regardless of whether you’re particpating in sport or not. Which Society would you suggest I join? (Wannabe socialite - Jospephine Butler) You are perfectly entitled to invent your own society and get an elaborate series of initials embroidered upon your right leg - it seems all the rage, nowadays. Consider, for example, ‘DUCPSC,’ which a chosen few can identify as standing for ‘Durham University Clay Pigeon Shooting Club.’ I would sincerely like to know at what stage of their Sunday morning proceedings a warm up in need of tracksuits bottoms takes place - presumably somewhere in the narrow gap between Spennymoor cooked breakfasts and The Seven Stars’ pub lunch. Elizabeth Briggs


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Thursday 10th May 2012 | INDIGO

music

Larry Bartleet caught up with Toby Dundas, drummer of The Temper Trap, prior to the release of their self-titled sophomore album and UK tour

Caught up in The Temper Trap

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oby, how’s it going? Whereabouts are you at the moment? We’re in London. The weather’s been pretty rubbish in this last week since we’ve been back from tour, but we’ve been living here for about three years now, so we’re used to it! What have you been up to recently in the build-up to your album release? Since we finished recording in February, we’ve been back in London, we did about a month’s rehearsal to get songs ready for the road, and a month’s tour to America, played at SXSW and a bunch of other shows around America. Then we went to Australia, to do some promo and stuff like that, and we’re now back in London, doing more rehearsals, shooting a video and the UK tour starts in a couple of weeks. It’s been a long time since Conditions – it seems like you toured for about two years! What’s happened to you as a band since your debut and how has that affected you? Our lives have completely changed. When we were writing Conditions we were working jobs and going to university, living in the city where we grew up. When we were working on the second album, it was a lot different, there was a lot less time, we had a lot more focus. We had a rehearsal studio here, and we’d just go in for five/ six days a week, just writing and recording demos. We spent about eight months doing that, and then a couple of months recording. That took us through to February, and then we turned our attention to working out how to play the new songs and remembering how to play all the old songs, getting back into the touring side of things. You’ve got a new band member, Joseph Greer? How has that changed the band? Joseph has been playing with us since the Conditions days, he came in just before we recorded the first album. Since then he’s been a touring member, so he’s been in the band for about three years now. To us he’s always felt like a permanent member, but obviously we’ve gone through the writing stage of this

The Temper Trap do their best Resevoir Dogs impression ahead of their new release Photograph: Ian Cheek Press album with him in the band this time. He’s a really good keyboard player so we’ve had more synths and keys on this record. Having his skills definitely helped. From your new single Need Your Love it seems like you’ve got a heavier sound. Is that indicative of album? Need Your Love is definitely a big jump. Between Rabbit Hole and Need your Love is a pretty broad gap and most of the rest of the album sits between those two songs. What kind of things influenced this album? Often it’s just what equipment we have. We bought a few synths while we were touring, so just having those in the room was definitely a big influence. Musically we’ve played some shows with Yeasayer, we’ve been listening to Zola Jesus a lot, so just listening to things with keyboard and having keyboards around

meant that we got excited about the new sound. Tony the producer is really into that sound too and he had a pretty good arsenal of synths, so it was really coming from all directions.

You need a lot of luck but if you work hard you can put yourself in the right place at the right time, and take advantage of any opportunities that you come across on the road

What’s your favourite track on the album? My favourite track is on the deluxe version, it’s called The Trouble with Pain. It’s got more sparse beats, I really like that kind of stuff, and with Dougy’s lyrics and vocal

melodies, it’s a really powerful song. The Karate Kid takeoff in the Need Your Love video is great do you get much artistic input for music videos? We had a director, Dugan O’Neal, and that was his idea. We thought it suited the song, giving the reverse perspective of the bully in The Karate Kid, having him be a guy that needed a little love. It was fun to film, we spent one day shooting our little bits in the background, and watching those guys doing the martial arts was pretty intense! We’re all really happy with how it’s turned out. Are you excited for touring the new album in the UK? Yeah, we’re doing a 10-show run in May, so that’ll be great, and maybe in November and December we’ll be back again. We’re also playing the Truck Festival and T in the Park.

Is there any music you’re excited about at the moment? At SXSW my favourite person was an Aussie, Chet Faker, soulful vocals and good beats. I saw Blood Orange playing, that was a great show, and there’s another Australian band called The Twerps, they were pretty cool as well. Do you have any words of wisdom for young bands looking to make it big? When we started out we just practiced our arses off, played as many shows as we could. You need a lot of luck but if you work hard you can put yourself in the right place at the right time, and take advantage of any opportunities that you come across on the road. The Temper Trap is released on the 21st May. The band plays Northumbria University on 13th May, T in the Park on 6th July, and Somerset House on 11th July.


INDIGO | Thursday 10th May 2012

Music Editors: Will Clement & Jess Denham music@palatinate.org.uk

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Music: the best medicine It’s often been said that music has a therapeutic effect, for patients as wide-ranging as Alzheimer’s sufferers and unborn babies. Palatinate Music has formed a student-friendly playlist with five easy stages to soothe library blues and provide your revision with a fitting soundtrack The Classical Cure Your first go-to genre to calm the fear of impending doom that pervades the University in exam term. We recommend a heavy dose of Bach’s Cello Suites, a drop of Erik Satie and a ‘Moonlight Sonata’ before bedtime. Ambient Aid If the symptoms persist, submerge yourself in a warm bath of The Cinematic Orchestra or Explosions in the Sky. Compliment this with an innovative meditative tonic, pioneered in Scandinavia by Sigur Ros, Jonsi and Alex, or Röyksopp.

Film Soundtrack Therapy Ideal for those who have languished for too long in the library. Let the transformative melodies of Yann Tiersen whisk you to an idyllic suburb of Paris, or the western twang of Ennio Morricone take you to the frontier. For an escape into the depths of your own subconscious, Inception is the perfect prescription. This latter remedy will make you feel as though the revision you’re doing is the most important revision in the history of the world.

Homeopathic Folk Treatment There’s no need to resort to radical treatment when there is a man and his guitar on hand to help. Resident adviser The Tallest Man on Earth and Surgical Consultant Bon Iver are happy to lend their dulcet tones. If it’s the feminine healing touch you’re looking for, Lucy Rose, Angus and Julia Stone, and This is The Kit are all on call. Rejuvenating Remedies Be wary of allowing your brain to slip into a catatonic stupor. Sometimes the best cure is an injection of liquid motivation. The choices are wide-ranging, from AWOLNATION’s ‘Sail’ through to Grimes’s ‘Oblivion’. For those who are craving the prospect of Klute and a full recovery, any of the old Now compilation CDs will remind you that pain is temporary, and there are three glorious weeks of R&R to look forward to in June.

Listen on Spotify: http://spoti. fi/IOw8Py Plug in your headphones for some audible escapism Photograph: Asher Haynes

Festival Focus: Bestival

Festival fans head to Bestival for some fancy dress fun Photograph: David Jones

Closing the festival season in style is Radio 1 DJ Rob Da Bank’s brainchild, Bestival. The colourful, spontaneous and often hypnotic weekend offers just about everything a festival-goer could want. The annual fancy dress parade (this year the theme is wildlife) is a collection of the weird and wonderful, and adds an extra dimension to a festival already loaded with alternative entertainment. While the music at Bestival is no doubt among the best of all festivals, it combines this with a slew of extra amusements: a Bollywood tent, Roller Disco, Inflatable Church and the all new “Slumbarave”. The actual music should not be overlooked, however. This year Bestival is boasting a huge lineup, with something to please

every type of music fan. The big news is that musical legend Stevie Wonder will be playing live in a UK festival exclusive. Beyond this, dance music fans will be salivating at the prospect of Justice, Nero, SBTRKT, and Sub Focus, while Hip Hop fans can look forward to De La Soul, Dub Pistols, and Roots Manuva. Indie music abounds as per usual, with Two Door Cinema Club, Django Django, and The xx all appearing high up the bill. With hundreds of other bands and DJs already confirmed. Bestival 2012 is shaping up to be the biggest, and perhaps best yet. Django Shelton

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For more Festival Focus visit palatinate.org.uk


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Thursday 10th May 2012 | INDIGO

books

Never letting go o

Christian Kriticos explores the various reasons for Kazuo Ishiguro’s enduring success

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t seems that Kazuo Ishiguro embodies the recurrent character trait of all his protagonists: a reluctant resignation to fate and the harsh realities of existence. The novelist frequently acknowledges in interviews that, at his current rate, he only has time to write five more books before he dies and even admits that his greatest work may be far behind him. Having said that, Ishiguro’s latest novel Never Let Me Go has been described by some critics as his very best, and was even included in TIME Magazine’s prestigious ‘All-TIME 100 Novels’ list on the year of its release. Throughout his career, Ishiguro has been honoured with the Whitbread Prize, the Booker Prize and an OBE, suggesting that his talent is far from waning. Born in Nagasaki in 1954, Ishiguro moved to England with his family at an early age and has continued to live here ever since. He studied at the University of Kent before taking a creative writing course under the guidance of acclaimed writers Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter. Ishiguro’s MA thesis was bought by the publishing house Faber & Faber for a £1000 advance and was soon crafted into his debut novel A Pale View of Hills. This was released in 1982 to widespread celebration from critics.

Ishiguro’s enduring popularity may be owed to his ability to leap between genres

As Ishiguro’s early work focusses on life in Japan, his third and arguably most famous novel, the quintessentially English The Remains of the Day, came as a surprise to his growing fan base. The protagonist, a middleaged butler named Stevens,

carries the typically English mentality of dignity at all costs, whilst failing to realise that his commitment to work has come at the price of love. As Stevens travels on a well-deserved holiday, he reflects upon his life and meets up with a figure from his past who once offered him a chance at true happiness. The Remains of the Day pushed Ishiguro further into the spotlight, bringing him universal praise. Following this, a film adaptation starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson

led to a popularity that caused each of his subsequent novels to soar into bestseller charts upon their release. With his next venture, 1995’s The Unconsoled, Ishiguro shocked his readers once again. The book is a 500 page surreal dream story narrated by Ryder, a world-renowned concert pianist who arrives in an unidentified European city to play a concert he can’t remember agreeing to. In this confusing novel, as time and space constantly shift to confound our expectations,

Ryder finds himself becoming a voice of hope for the town’s underground community of hotel porters, attending a black-tie reception in his dressing gown, and befriending an alcoholic conductor with an amputated leg. Unsurprisingly, The Unconsoled puzzled critics, who were expecting another novel in a similar vein to The Remains of the Day. Many responded by simply labelling it as ‘bad’. However, over the years the novel has grown considerably in repu-

tation, and was even named the third best novel of the last 25 years in a poll conducted by The Guardian, beating The Remains of the Day, which placed eighth. 2005 saw Ishiguro dramatically shift genres to the dystopian science fiction of Never Let Me Go. The novelist’s latest work examines the lives of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, three students at an unusual boarding school in an alternative version of 1990s England. The protagonists are clones created to become organ donors for


INDIGO | Thursday 10th May 2012

Books Editor: Justina Crabtree books@palatinate.org.uk

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of Kazuo Ishiguro

s and advises readers on continuing on their Ishiguro-inspired reading journey If you liked The Unconsoled you might like Immortality by Milan Kundera. It would be a difficult task to provide a synopsis for Immortality, a novel whose plot somehow manages to weave in Milan Kundera himself, philosophising by the side of a swimming pool; Ernest Hemmingway and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s unlikely friendship in the afterlife; and the misadventures of Agnes, a character who we are told does not exist. The novel – like Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled – insists that its reader does not constantly question the content, but simply accepts it. It is unclear what is real and what is not in Immortality, but this is of no importance – it is engrossing, hilarious and endlessly illuminating.

If you liked Never Let Me Go you might like Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.

Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan bring Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go to life in the 2010 hit film, sparking new interest in the novel Photograph: Fox Searchlight Pictures ‘originals’. Ishiguro plays down his futuristic concept by never directly explaining any of the specifics, instead focussing on character presentation and relationships to draw out the novel’s key themes of love, friendship and coming of age. Despite his paranoia that all great authors write their masterpieces before reaching the age of fifty, Ishiguro seems to disprove his own theory by consistently writing to a standard few others ever achieve. Whilst he may not be Britain’s

most prolific living author, in terms of quality he is arguably one of the greatest. This enduring popularity may, in part, be owed to Ishiguro’s ability to leap between genres; no two of his books are comparable in terms of plot. By the writer’s own admission we are unlikely to get more than five further novels from him. However, judging by what has come before, we can expect something as compelling as Ishiguro’s previous works, yet markedly different.

Wallace’s 1000 page magnum opus revolves around a video tape so compelling that anyone who watches it becomes totally engrossed. Very much a satire on commercial American culture, Infinite Jest is set in a dystopian future where years are no longer numerically named, instead labelled by their corporate sponsors, the first being The Year of the Whopper. Like Never Let Me Go, the dystopian elements of Infinite Jest are present largely as a vague backdrop, allowing Wallace to focus on his characters. Although his cast of characters is much larger than Ishiguro’s, the sheer length of the work allows the writer to thoroughly explore each of them, making this a rich novel that ensures you will find something new with subsequent re-readings.

If you liked The Remains of the Day you might like To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. To the Lighthouse is one of English literature’s greatest classics, regarded by many as one of the greatest novels of all time. The action takes place over two days – ten years apart – in a cottage on the Isle of Skye. Though Woolf firmly roots her story in the present, her characters seem more concerned with the past, constantly replaying in their minds scenes from years before. The shifting perspectives of the novel’s stream-of-consciousness style presents us with a cast of characters who are so internally focused that they seem to become completely unable to express their feelings to those around them, much like Ishiguro’s protagonist in The Remains of Day.


fashion

Roaring back to the ’20s

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Thursday 10th May 2012 | INDIGO

Coral maxi dress (£65.00) Mint tiered dress (£90.00) Ivory Beaded Dress(£60.00) All from Sorella Boutique, 89 Elvet Bridge, Durham Photographs: Nicoletta Asciuto

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ith the long awaited remake of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s quintessential jazz age novel, The Great Gatsby, due for release this year with a stellar cast of Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, the fashion world is preparing to go ga-ga over the glitz and glamour of the roaring twenties. The Great Gatsby follows the mysterious life of Jay Gatsby as he immerses himself in the sumptuous yet superficial world of 1920s New York, in an effort to rekindle romance with his lost love Daisy Buchanan whose voice is ‘full of money’. Widely considered a classic “American Dream” novel of personal quest, materialistic excess and inevitable tragedy, Fitzgerald’s influence remains pertinent to this day, still oozing the inspirational charm of effortlessly elegant chic. In a world of economic prosperity, alcohol bootlegging

and lavish parties, Gatsby’s girls understood the paramount importance of nailing a look.

Jazz Age afictionados look no further. The twenties are back, just in time for summer

Finally, Long Island fashion is making a comeback with the spring/summer catwalks giving a firm nod to Daisy Buchanan’s enviable upper class wardrobe. Gucci showcased a shimmering array of black, white and gold sequinned flapper dresses with drop-waists and beaded fring-

ing, while Ralph Lauren catered his collection for both day- think cloche hats, patterned headscarves and silky florals - and night- add some feathers and gold art deco jewellery. Riding on the riotous success of black and white silent film The Artist, footwear centres around classic takes on the curved Louis heel with girlish Mary Jane straps, while it’s all about the embellished purses and cigarette box clutch bags. Furthermore, if you’ve always fancied accessorising for a lazy summer picnic or classy cocktail party with a lacy parasol, your opportune moment has arisen. Hope and promise, for Gatsby, takes the symbolic form of Daisy’s green dock light; for Durham students, in this dark age of revision, minimal sleep and hourly Yum coffees, it hovers on the horizon in the form of hazy summer balls, boozy formals and that all-important buzzword among finalists,

“graduation”. Already puzzling over what attire to indulge in? Look no further than Durham’s own Sorella Boutique, with its pretty pastels and 1920s inspired offerings. Soon we’ll be saying goodbye to exams, and hello to diamonds, daiquiris and decadence… Jess Denham


INDIGO | Thursday 10th May 2012

Fashion Editor: Olivia Swash Deputy Fashion Editors: Ella Cole & Sophia Chan fashion@palatinate.org.uk

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indigo at Newcastle Fashion Week With numerous stylish offerings, this fashion week proves there’s much more to Newcastle than fake tan and Geordie Shore

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s exams draw to a close, what could be better for all us sartorial enthusiasts than the arrival of a huge fashion event right on our doorstep? From Saturday the 26th May to Sunday 3rd June NE1’s Newcastle Fashion Week is taking place a mere 15 minute train ride away. This year’s event, sponsored by Chamilia and Mercedes Benz, promises 9 fashion-filled days of entertainment as it hopes to cement Newcastle’s place as the fashion capital of the North. With a packed programme of events including catwalk shows, VIP shopping, industry talks and exclusive after show parties hosted across the city, it is sure to do just that. The opening weekend will kick off with two catwalk shows at 12 noon on Saturday 26th May. Taking place at Grey’s monument, the first will be a showcase of design talent from Newcastle College, the second, entitled ‘Work It’, hopes to inspire its audience to dress for success, featuring outfits suitable for the office and interviews. Surely a definite must for any fashion conscious student entering the workplace this summer? The international clothing brand Barbour will then take to the stage on Sunday 27th to showcase its Spring/Summer Collection. Presented by fashion

expert Brix Smith-Start (accompanied by her equally fashionconscious pooches) the show will undoubtedly be a perfect mix of fashion and entertainment.

NE1’s Newcastle Fashion Week hopes to cement Newcastle’s place as the fashion capital of the North

Organisers have even promised that if the weather proves inclement, there’ll be a host of male models on hand to hold a Barbour brolly or two! But what’s a Fashion Week without a few celebrities? Marking the events arrival on an international scale, Fashion TV makes a return to the event this year with its own exclusive catwalk show and Fashion Week closing party on Sunday 3rd June. The week’s lecture programme promises to be filled with fashion

greats like Elizabeth Walker, a senior member of Marie Claire magazine for over a decade, speaking on Monday 28th May. Local legend, Donna Air will also be talking about her career from Byker Grove to Catwalk as she heads a Q+A session on Saturday 2nd June entitled ‘From Byker to Burberry’. With free admission, this is definitely a great opportunity to hear from one of the North East’s most fashionable women. Donna will make a second appearance at the event on the Saturday as she announces the winners of Newcastle’s Most Stylish competition at a major awards ceremony. Last year this event was hugely popular with competitors and voters alike. This year it returns with four X-factor style categories; most stylish group; most stylish male and female and most stylish over-30s. To register for tickets and to keep up to date with what’s on during NE1’s Newcastle Fashion Week 2012 look at www. getintonewcastle.co.uk/nfw Alex Calvert Clockwise from top: Dresses designed by Piyanut Tosawad and Harriet Deva Ferris from Northumbria University Baltic Fashion Show ‘11 Photographs: Alexandre DuretLutz, Garage PR


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Thursday 10th May 2012 | INDIGO

food & drink

This incredibly elegant-looking dessert is proof that students can do more in the kitchen than microwave a readymeal Photographs: Annie Fairchild

Student fine dining Annie Fairchild is served an impeccable three course meal at a friend’s dinner party, proving student cooking in Durham doesn’t always have to be boring

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arly at the start of second year, when some of us come to terms with the fact that we do not have culinary talent (and dreams of a perfect Stepford household slowly wither away whilst the stack of dirty dishes quickly starts to turn the corner out of the kitchen), there is a daunting realisation: we just have to get something on the table. However, it doesn’t have to be so. When a lovely apartment of second years welcomed me in for supper, I did not set my expectations high; with a quick survey of their basement kitchen I noticed that they didn’t have an AGA - what a shame. (There seems to

exist an urban legend that an AGA simply magics meals into life with no effort invested. I prefer to think that this isn’t a fabrication.)

Beans à la toast is not the only pièce de résistance Durham student chefs have to offer

With some of us slipping into the favourite student routine of pasta with a vari-

ant of sauce every night (or a take-away for the more adventurous ones) the thought of fine-dining is a very bleak hope. Yet, I was determined to prove that student fine dining is not a myth, and beans à la toast is not the only pièce de résistance Durham student chefs have to offer. Jenny Dell and Alice Carter, a culinary enthusiast extraordinaire and an accomplished Orchards Cookery graduate respectively, have a 3 course supper down to a tee. Indeed, I would say that it is a fine one. They shared their culinary wisdoms and recipes for creating a perfect high-quality supper in Durham.

French Onion Soup For Soup (serves 6) 6 medium onions (3 red, 3 white) 2 tbsp oil 2 tbsp Demerara sugar 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar 1 litre of beef/chicken stock Thyme, salt & pepper to season

For Croutons (per crouton) 1/2 small red onion 1 mushroom 1 tsp of demerara sugar slice of Gruyère Whole wheat brown bread

Method . Slice the onions into big rings. Add oil, onions, demerara sugar and balsamic vinegar, leaving the ingredients to caramelise on medium heat for approx. 20 minutes. Move this to a pan, adding stock and leaving to simmer for 30 minutes with a lid on until bubbling, add seasoning upon finish.

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INDIGO | Thursday 10th May 2012

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Food & Drink Editor: Belinda Davies food@palatinate.org.uk

. Caramelize the finely chopped red onion by cooking it on low heat with sugar, and add equally finely chopped mushrooms to the pan. Put a large tablespoon of the mix onto a slice of bread and place the Gruyère on top. Warm up in an oven until the Gruyère melts. Serve floating in the soup, or on a side plate. All vegetables were purchased from Robinsons Grocers on North Road, and the cheese and bread came from the Claypath Deli.

sauce over the top. . Chop the avocadoes into medium sized cubes and add lettuce and walnuts. Boil the mange-tout for 5 minutes and slice in half, adding to the salad bowl. Duck breast was purchased from the butcher at the Market, vegetables from Robinsons.

Seared Duck breast with a Raspberry sauce and Green Side Salad

Pastry (makes one 18cm tart) 50g butter 100g flour 2 tbsp water

Seared Duck Breast (serves 6) 6 Duck breast fillets 6 tablespoons honey 3 teaspoons sea salt 2 pinch of ground cinnamon Raspberry Sauce 100ml red wine 4 tbsp crème de cassis liqueur 1 tsp cornflour 100g raspberries

Green Side Salad 2 small avocadoes 70g walnuts 50g mange-tout 1 medium lettuce head

Method . Score the skin of the Duck breasts with a knife, without going all the way through to the meat. Glaze the skin with a tablespoon of honey. Fry the duck breasts skin side down, until the skin browns and the fat is released for approx. 10 minutes. . Remove the breasts from the pan and pour off most of the fat into a bowl. Returning the breasts to the pan, fry skin side up for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to rest on the baking tray. Mix the sea salt and cinnamon together to sprinkle over the skin of the duck. . For the Sauce: mix the red wine, crème de cassis and cornflour, leaving to simmer in a pan for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick. Add raspberries cut in half, and simmer for another minute until the sauce is heated through. . Cut the duck breast into thin slices and pour the

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Woksupp review, Claypath

5

Bakewell Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream amidst a Raspberry Coulis

Filling Strawberry jam 50g butter 50g caster sugar 1 egg Almond essence 25g self raising flour 25g ground almonds 50g flaked almonds Method . Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles bread-crumbs, then stir in just enough water to make a pastry. Use the pastry to line a greased flat tin. . Spread the jam over the pastry. Cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg and almond essence (a couple of teaspoons). Stir in the flour and ground almonds. Spoon over the jam and level the surface. Sprinkle with flaked almonds. . Bake at 190 °C/ 375F/ Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes until the sponge filling is cooked and the almonds toasted. . To serve: add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to a raspberry coulis (made by blending a handful of raspberries cut in half with a teaspoon of sugar) and decorate with fresh raspberries and icing sugar.

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With my hunger satiated beyond my expectations, this dining experience was an extraordinary treat. It reminded me that with time, a bit of effort and a few extra pennies, Durham students are perfectly able to put together a wonderful three-course meal.

If you were impressed by Woksupp’s pun of a name then take a visit – there is plenty more where that came from, written on the wall of Durham’s new noodle bar. If not, go anyway – the food is great and there’s a Tokyo cityscape on the other wall if wok puns aren’t your thing. No longer are noodle bars a dining experience of edgy, cosmopolitan cities; Durham now has one of its very own, and I for one am certainly not complaining. Yes, we all love pizza, but there’s only so many Italian restaurants one very small place can take, and it’s truly refreshing to see something different in the centre of town. Tasty, great-value, and unpretentious, Woksupp ticks all the boxes and has somehow managed to take the best bits of fast food and restaurant eating and fry them up to create a genuinely stylish and laid-back little eatery. Woksupp has opted for a Subway-style 3-step menu and all the components (which seemed impressively fresh – the prawns are even cooked from raw) are laid out for you to get a good peer at before making any fundamental decisions. After picking a rice/noodles base, choosing from a variety of meat/fish/veg additions and deciding on a sauce, you then get to see it all “wokked up” in front of you and popped into

one of those authentic little boxes, to eat there or take away with a pair of chopsticks (forks available for the incompetent/ unwilling). All in less than five minutes and for just threepounds-something (show your student card for a 20% discount).

Tasty, great-value, and unpretentious, Woksupp ticks all the boxes

The portions are generous and if you’re feeling greedy (I was) then you can go large for an extra pound. Thankfully the staff haven’t taken any tips from Subway and seemed cheerful, friendly and willing to explain the differences between the four available types of noodles to us ignorant few. Open all day, it’s good for lunch or dinner. Or a late breakfast if you’re ever struck by hungover noodly inclinations. It would be great with a big group, ideal for that keep-it-casual first date, but also the sort of place you could easily go on your own, especially considering the entertainment provided by the impressive variety of wok-

related puns (‘wok, stock and two smoking barrels’; ‘wok this way’). I won’t give them all away. If you’re yet to be convinced, Woksupp also markets its meals as low-fat, low-salt, healthy business(which you probably find hard to believe if you’ve experienced how satisfying they are), so you can walk out of there with the knowledge that as a result you will almost definitely do better in your exams and become irresistibly toned. Or at least feel less guilty than if you’d gone to Domino’s. It’s also nice to know, while you’re sat there attempting to enjoy noodles without too much sauce-on-face hassle, that you’re supporting a local, independent business, instead of a multinational chain. There was always a little gap in the Durham food market for something you don’t have to eat out of a paper bag in the rain or sit down and spend a third of your student loan on. Woksupp has done well to fill it, and without being tacky or trying to be something it’s not. Essentially we’re talking about uncomplicated, good quality food, and I’ll definitely be going there again. In fact, screw it, I’d even go as far as to say... um... it woks..? By Ismay Milford Photograph: Molly Fowler


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Thursday 10th May 2012 | INDIGO

film & tv

Film & TV Editor: Ed Owen film@palatinate.org.uk

What’s On...

Bede Film Society As part of indigo’s ongoing commitment to student life, the film section is once again proud to give you the listings of film and cinema-based societies in Durham. This edition’s society is the Bede Film Soc, Durham’s largest working cinema, staffed entirely by students. Here are their Easter Term films:

The Woman in Black (12th & 13th May) Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (26th & 27th May) Safe House (2nd & 3rd June)

Jennifer Lawrence in the violent Hunger Games Photograph: image.net

The 12A problem - not for kids? Alex Leadbeater addresses the great white elephant of censorship

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he Hunger Games, an adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ immensely popular book series about twenty-four teens forced to fight to the death, arrived this year with an in-built audience that would be simply unable to see it in cinemas. Unsurprisingly for a film with such dark subject matter, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) originally offered a 15 certificate when it was submitted for rating. Distributor Universal could see the profits slipping away, so a selection of cuts were made, darkening shots and removing gore. This self-enforced censorship resulted with the film walking away with a 12A rating. In the ten years since its introduction with Spider-man, the 12A, which allows anyone under twelve to see a film if accompanied by an adult, has become the

desired certificate for any budding box-office behemoth. It clearly attracts the widest audience; children of all ages will be able to see it, in turn forcing their parents to come along as guardians, and teenagers won’t feel like they’re going into a kiddy film. However, there’s no denying it’s changing the way blockbusters are made. Unlike the groundbreakers of Star Wars, Jaws and E.T (all rated U back in their day) which played out a wholesome story inherently suitable for all, many modern blockbusters are a collage of ideas designed by committee to appeal to all demographics. Despite the cuts, The Hunger Games is still very much director Gary Ross’ vision- yet this is not the most immediate concern. The real problem with the 12A is less in its baiting the studios to make films that tick certain boxes

(only one use of strong language, only brief elements of nudity etc.), but more in the public’s view of what the rating means.

Just because a child can see a film, doesn’t mean they should.

It’s becoming increasingly common for any borderline 12A release to be accompanied with a Daily Mail scandal on how it’s unsuitable for children, backed up by ill-informed parents complaining how it was too much for their young child. This is exactly why the rating doesn’t work. As time goes by, the

lines between 12A and the lower U and PG ratings are blurring in the public’s eyes, creating the idea all three are simply accessible to all. What seems to be at the centre of this debate is a misunderstanding; just because a child can see a film, it doesn’t mean they should. This moaning will undoubtedly return when ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ arrives in July. The previous instalment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy attracted a lot of controversy for its 12A rating and its unlikely things will be toned down this time around. Whilst the BBFC does attempt to provide clarity on this debate in the form of in-depth descriptions concerning a film’s rating, this response is severely underused and woefully inadequate. Controversial as it may seem, the solution is clearly simple: we must get rid of the ‘A’.

We Bought A Zoo (6th June) The Hunger Games (9th & 10th June) 21 Jump Street (16th & 17th June) The society also offers a large array of sweets, in the form of both pick’n’mix as well as chocolate and popcorn. Drinks and alcohol are also permitted during the screening, and can be provided by Hild Bede’s bar, the Vernon Arms, located adjacent to the cinema. The Bede Film Society’s films are shown at Caedmon Hall at the College of St. Hild & St. Bede. The films start at 8pm, and admission is £1 for members, £3 for non-members. Email hildbede.filmsociety@ durham.ac.uk to join the mailing list.

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For further film society listings, see www.palatinate.org.uk


INDIGO | Thursday 10th May 2012

travel 15 Star-gazing in Northern Chile

Travel Editor: Ellie Ross travel@palatinate.org.uk

Georgia Gray heads to the Atacama in search of the Milky Way

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he little blue bus trundled out of the town of San Pedro and deep into the dense darkness of the Atacama Desert. My eyes strained, seeking recognisable shapes among the blackness, but to no avail; we were truly in the middle of nowhere. Yet onwards we rattled, ever further into the wilderness of Northern Chile towards an empty spot free from light pollution – ideal for stargazing. “I’m sorry,” sighed the guide as we arrived, shaking his head. “The visibility isn’t great tonight, but we’re hoping the sky will clear.” I looked up – the remnants of a fierce storm that had been whipped up seemingly out of nowhere earlier that day still lingered over the sky, shrouding the planets and stars that we had all travelled all this way to see. This was my last chance to see the South Hemisphere sky in all its glory, yet the clouds, annoyingly, were stopping me. The guide began to talk, and what would have been grippingly interesting in any other circumstance was undermined by acute disappointment; there was a limit on how much enjoy-

ment could be gained from a stargazing tour with no stars, and the clouds showed no sign of giving up their hostages. Then, as the guide weaved slowly through thousands of

It was almost as though a bag of silver glitter had spilled over a black velvet tablecloth

years of astronomical history, we were blessed with a miracle; the clouds began to ease, little by little, separating like a pair of giant celestial curtains to reveal the stars. At first I could only see a few, and then as the clouds pulled further back, there were hundreds and thousands. It was almost as though a bag of silver glitter had spilled over a black velvet tablecloth. As they

appeared from behind the thick clouds, without city lights, an illuminating glow was produced over the desert that even the sun would have been jealous of. Then the fun really began. We picked out constellations from the creamy, translucent sweep of the Milky Way. I could make out the Hubble Space Telescope, doing its rounds while meteors swept past in front of it. Through monstrously powerful telescopes we saw the craters of the Moon and the rings of Saturn, as crisp and clear as if they were on Earth. We were told mindboggling statistics about the universe we inhabit until I was lost in a wave of numbers so great that my brain could not even begin to compute them, numbers so huge that nothing in my experience could serve as a comparison. That desert night in Northern Chile had chilled us to our bones and we retreated to a cosy, dimly-lit hut to huddle up and drink hot chocolate. A delicious surge of warmth spread over me as we sat, sipped, and contemplated our insignificance in aweinduced silence.

Star-gazing in the desert Photograph: Flickr ID: Slworking2

The Monaco Grand Prix for the Monégasques by Alexandra Groom It’s famous for a reason. Its narrow winding roads are the streets used by the resident Monégasques for the remaining 361 days of the year. Yes, 361, not 363, I’m not that bad at subtracting. The Monaco Grand Prix actually lasts for four, noisy days. This year the track, our main roads, will close at 7am on Thursday 24th of May and not reopen til 7pm that night, with this being the pattern until Sunday 27th. The Formula 1 clearly attracts most people’s attention; it has glamorous celebrities queuing up to be spotted mingling with the daredevil racers in cars with top speeds of 370 km/h, for whom careering down straights and playing chicken with the last opportunity to break before slamming into the corner is “fun”. Saturday obviously plays host to the F1 qualifiers. But what about the Thursday and Friday? On the Thursday morning our alarm call is the 8:30am Formula Renault 3.5 Series, who have just under an hour to train. This is followed by Formula 1, GP2 and Porsche Supercup training, and the GP2 qualifying round. With only a 1 and a half hour break for lunch and short turnarounds, this is a very noisy start to the 4 days. I feel I should explain another aspect which draws the crowds back, year after year: the noise. It is like no other circuit in the world. Apart from the fact that unless you leave the country, you cannot get away from the track, it is by far the noisiest. Geographically, Monaco is perched on a cliff, running down into a natural bay. Sounds Picturesque, doesn’t it? It is. But come the last weekend in May at 9am, I sometimes wish it was as flat as the Netherlands.

Photograph: Alexandra Groom

The track opens at 7pm The noise reverberates round the bay, hitting the sides of the cliffs and bouncing back again. Every time a car accelerates, we hear it repeated three times. And those many corners and hills means lots of acceleration. It’s all part of the unique experience. As is the smell. For those of you who love the smell of a petrol station, Monaco is heaven. A glorious mist of benzene hangs over the city for a week; the Grand Prix really is for all the senses. It is an incredibly intense four days. Monaco as a country is almost unrecognisable. Steel girders and tires line the roads, huge stands are erected, full garden roundabouts are lifted off the road and bridges are positioned to be able to get around. This all needs preparation. My Easter holiday revision was considerably hampered by all the banging and crashing of metal on metal. I wonder if this counts as serious adverse circumstances? Monaco also, irritatingly, becomes known as MonteCarlo for these few days, (Monte-Carlo is just a quartier of Monaco) by the quarter of a million people who descend upon it, a slight increase on its normal population of 35,000. All this in an area less than a mile squared, or equivalent to a third of Hyde Park. And since you ask, I’m Team Webber. Just love him. So, tune in, 3pm, Sunday 27th May. Turn the TV up on full volume, and hear the real noise.


Thursday 10th May 2012 | INDIGO

the back page 1

River Walk: don’t sit still for hours on end! Go for a walk round the river to get some fresh air and get your blood circulating again. (And you can watch the rowers. That will also make you feel better about your troubles; they certainly look like they’re in more pain...) Eat: The Court Inn do amazingly-priced huge hearty meals, and are conveniently located. Brain food. Pamper: Full use of the Marriott’s gym, pool and sauna for £20 for the day. Sometimes you just need a little extra help. Afternoon Tea: More brain food to be found at The Living Room, Newcastle. £30 for two, and utterly delish. You need to SLEEP.

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5exam stress busters

comedy

Described as a show of a man “gawping blindly” and “blinking wierdly”, Stewart Lee is performing his stand-up show Carpet Remnant World at Durham’s Gala Theatre on Friday 11th May. Tickets are £18.50, so book now at galadurham.co.uk

app hype

i: Who was your last text from and what did it say? A: Actually, it’s from my housemate, asking how much rent we are meant to be paying. (We’ve been there a year and he’s still over a month and a half late.)

film

Durhamite Alex Yandell has impressed Apple with his innovative new cookery app Cook.Taste.Summer.Smile. which transforms the cookbook experience with beautiful photography and tasty recipes. Exclusively designed for the iPad, it’s now available to buy in the iBookstore. See palatinate. org.uk for more on the app.

Willy Mason and Lucy Rose are performing on 11th May at Hoults Yard in Newcastle as part of the Communion Unplugged weekend. Tickets are £15 for the day, or £25 for the weekend, so go ahead and grab yours at seetickets.com

Dark Shadows begins showing tomorrow at Durham’s Gala Theatre. Johnny Depp and Tim Burton team up once again in this revamp of the quirky ‘60s gothic comedy. Tickets are £4.50 on Student Mondays

travel

visual arts

food&drink

Lose yourself in a little daydream of Venizia. Michelle Wray talks us through falling in love and in canals in That’s Amore. Read the full article at palatinate.org.uk

“His real genius lies in his lunacy and limitless creativity.” David Siesage reviews Damien Hirst’s new exhibition in his article Modern Art: A novice’s perspective Read the full article at palatinate.org.uk

Molly Fowler shares her experience of the BBC Good Food Show Spring, featuring reviews of the best food and drink stalls and a commentary on the live Masterchef cook-off. Read the full article at palatinate.org.uk

sudoku 5 minutes with...

concert

the indigo diary

indigo online

Archie Dallas, DSU President Elect and current DUCK Officer

i: Worst student cooking experience? A: Well, let me think... I had a rabbit stew which was revolting, or my housemate’s uncooked carbonara lasagne. The pasta sheets were still hard...

i: Most embarrassing moment as DUCK Officer this year? A: Anything after the first twenty minutes of the All-Exec Hatfield formal. I’m not saying any more than that.

i: Tell us your best joke. A: I’ve got two: one for English students and one for Maths students. # 1 -Knock knock. -Who’s there? -To. -To who? -No, it’s to whom...

# 2 There are 10 types of people in this world... those who understand binary and those who don’t... (Think about it)

Look out for another interview in the next edition of Palatinate!


Indigo Issue 740