college tribune entertainment supplement 25.10.11
CHRIS O’DOWD UCD alumnus talks to The Siren
CATCHER IN THE RYE
STYLE ON CAMPUS
PLAYLIST: REBEKAH RENNICK Bombay Bicycle Club – Video Games (Lana Del Rey Cover – Radio 1 Live Lounge) When the words ‘Live Lounge’ and ‘Bombay Bicycle Club’ come to together, you know you’re in for a treat, and this cover certainly delivers. Taking Del Rey’s husky-voiced, nostalgia-ridden ballad, the boys (plus Lucy Rose) make it their own with cresending drums entwined with their trademark enchating harmonies. Better then the original? With that xylophone; perhaps. Nightbox – Bears Born and bred in Wicklow, these Irish fellows have been spending the last year making their name in Toronto. Spreading their musical wings in the same land that produced Bieber himself, this ﬁercly trendy and endearingly funk-ﬁlled tune, threatening to get you up and throwing the shapes, makes you hope they’ll come back again soon, before Usher gets a hold of them. Lady Gaga – You and I (Wild Beasts Remix) While the opening of this song does certainly sound like an interlude of one of Gaga’s concerts, everything changes with the inclusion of Wild Beasts’ frontman Hayden Thorpe’s tinkling piano notes. Stripped of the country-western twang, Gaga as a man and repetitive verses; Thorpe takes the points where her vocals are really something special and turns it into a hazy, moody and all round chilled delight. Jessie Ware - Strangest Feeling Rising from the underground, you might be more acquainted with this girl than you know; having provided the vocals for ‘post-dubstep’ producer SBTRKT’s track ‘Nervous’. Breaking away from the masked DJ sees her fully embracing her amazing vocals. Over drumbeats her voice is like syrup, ﬂowing from one word to another and as the synthesizer leads the way to the end, you ﬁnd yourself already clicking back to the start for another listen.
The Specialist – Slowcore KEITH LEMATTI
he 1990s saw a great deal of change, inventiveness and rebellion against auto-tuned groups, Brit-Pop’s rise and the recreation of the Pixies. In an era that was framed by Nirvana’s intense re-development of rasping guitars, which undermined broken up lyrics rather than shaping them, a host of bands would break the oppression of this noise driven ideology. Post-rock was yet to be established, yet a genre, whose image would soon be diluted by Mogwai’s lyric-less instrumentation, was brewing in the United States. Ambiguous is one description tossed around by many to demean the persona of slowcore. Its obscurity takes most by the scruff, either they believe that it is a positive reaction to the racket of Grunge, or they don’t. The genre’s inﬂuence can be found in Galaxie 500, reverie/dream-pop extraordinaires who took bold steps forward in the aftermath of early R.E.M. LPs. Slowdive, slowcore’s next of kin artist who pre-date the genre, hail from Reading.
England’s response to My Bloody Valentine re-created an approach to ‘shoegazing’ bands. A short record producing lifespan as well as closeness in sound suggest a similarity between the Irish kings of coarse yet subtle guitars and Nick Chaplin’s assembly. However, focused more on delusional back-drop guitars and strings, Slowdive’s brand of dream-pop was in a world of its own. Just 4 years later in Minnesota, 1993, Alan Sparhawk brought together the collaboration between Mimi Parker (his wife) and John Nichols. Slowcore was created out of no hatred for their disparate
Seattle rockers, rather a need for an opposing sound of simplicity in alternative rock. Though they have dabbled in electro-pop sounds and quick tempo guitar tracks, Low will forever be known for their literal creation of slowcore, a genre not known to many. In particular, I have fallen in love with the sparse vocals which are blended between Sparhawk and spouse, Parker, crafting luscious harmonies sweeping through their string-like guitars. The idea of Low’s creation was heightened yet slow-paced guitars constructed upon plenty of reverb, backing these ornate vocals. I Could Live In Hope,
Magnum Opus The Stone Roses CIARAN LEINSTER
ith the news last week that Manchester band The Stone Roses are due to reform, beginning with two sold out gigs in Manchester in June, followed by a world tour and quite possibly new material, now is as good a time as any to reﬂect on the benchmark that any future work will be held up against – their eponymous 1989 debut album. From the slow, grinding, industrial build up of ‘I Wanna Be Adored’, to the breathtaking outro that concludes ‘I Am the Resurrection’, The Stone Roses is a nigh-on ﬂawless record, and quite possibly the one of the greatest debuts ever made. Held up (alongside the Happy Mondays’ Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches) as the epitome of the late-‘80s ‘Madchester’/ Acid House scene, it begins the fusion of guitar pop and dance music that would later
be expanded on by Primal Scream on Screamadelica in 1991. The majority of the album was written by lead singer Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire, but both bass player Gary ‘Mani’ Mountﬁeld (later of Primal Scream) and drummer Alan ‘Reni’ Wren (famous for his distinctive hat) received writing credits, as well beﬁts one of the all-time great rhythm sections in music. Despite all members having a punk rock background
(Brown and Squire originally bonded over a mutual love of The Clash), The Stone Roses is more immediately inﬂuenced by 1960s pop and West Coast psychedelia. That’s not to say the band shed their anarchistic views, as can be heard on the four-line track ‘Elizabeth My Dear’, where Brown sings about Queen Elizabeth II; “Tear me apart, and boil my bones, I’ll not rest ‘til she’s lost her throne, My aim is true, my message is clear, It’s curtains for you,
Low’s ﬁrst full length release, did not take the world by storm. Despite this, through long winded tours and the grace of ICLIH, and with its use of downtrodden lyrics and the fresh voices of one of the most under-rated couples to ever perform together, Low established themselves upon their innovativeness, garnering independent critical acclaim. It may have taken over 5 years to break through the great musical divide, nevertheless, Minnesota’s minstrels created possibly music’s ﬁrst new-original Christmas EP, featuring songs such as ‘Little Drummer Boy’ and ‘Silent Night’. The sometimes bleak minimalistic take on festivity shocked and forced awe amongst the media, from alternative to mainstream. What makes the album is the use of reverberated guitar, which produces incredible sleigh bell-esque noise, pouncing vocals and bleak turned optimistic lyrics (see ‘Just Like Christmas’). The record produces a typically Low sounding apogee for Christmas cover records. Finally, (in relation to Low’s Elizabeth my dear”. He also stated in an interview around the release of the album that he’d like to put a bag over the Queen Mother’s head and shoot her, so it’s fair to say that they didn’t entirely buy into the peace and love message of the music that inﬂuenced them. Planting “psychological bombs”, as Mani later described the above comments, is all well and good, but The Stone Roses had the music to back up their swagger, having no ﬁller on the album could have spawned 8 or 9 singles from this album alone. ‘She Bangs the Drums’ is a delightful slab of pure pop with lyrics that slightly betray the feeling of the music (“I feel my needle hit the groove... Kiss me where the sun don’t shine”), ‘Made Of Stone’ is another gritty-sounding anthem with a glorious, cyclical guitar hook intro, and ‘I Am The Resurrection’ contains wonderfully cocky lyrics (“I am the resurrection, and I am the light”), followed by a four-minute jam which ends the album on a deliriously ecstatic note. The songs mentioned so far were all singles, but the remaining album tracks were of no lesser quality.
more recent records) if any album deserved the accolade of deﬁning a genre, Things We Lost in the Fire takes the award home. From its carefully aligned guitars in opener ‘Sunﬂower’, Sparhawk ignites mystery and loss within the hearts of listeners. ‘Whore’s’ disheveled female vocal takes nothing away from the alternation between picked arpeggios and measured, dwindling strumming. “What is the whore you’re living for?” Forgive me for focusing too much on Sparhawk & Co., as not only did they invent slowcore, they also maintained it (almost single-handedly). However, a signiﬁcant ascent of artists whose styles are deeply rooted in Slowcore and Low inﬂuenced techniques have emerged to top the list of new alternative bands. Red House Painters experimented in over-the-top levels of calm in their music, while minimalistic contemporaries, even as mainstream as Death Cab for Cutie show dedications to slowcore’s architects. Slowcore’s reach has been both varied and immense, and can grasp even the most unlikely observer into the fascinating world of this under appreciated genre.
‘Bye Bye Badman’, written about the 1968 Paris riots, is a scathing polemicdrenched in pop bliss, ‘(Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister’ is so psychedelic it claims that “every member of Parliament trips on glue”, ‘Shoot You Down’ is just wonderful, jazzy pop with Brown’s typically soft vocals over the top, and ‘This Is The One’ gets you so pumped it’s almost a shame it comes as the penultimate track on the album. So, even in one of the most eagerly awaited comebacks of recent times comes something of a damp squib; Brown’s voice seems to have deteriorated almost daily since 1989 and Reni and Squire haven’t played publicly in years. Not to worry, even if the Resurrection is underwhelming, there is always this absolute classic to return too; where the Stone Roses remain frozen in time with all the hope, talent and bravado to take on the world. 22 years later, Brown has stated that as their goal, and with the success they deserved denied to them ﬁrst time round, here’s hoping they succeed next year.
Lou Reed & Metallica
Audio, Video, Disco
ack in June, the news that Lou Reed was collaborating with Metallica on a studio album of pre-war German show tunes garnered a reaction about which nothing original can now be said. The metal world shrugged, while more conventional musical authorities were lost for an opinion. However, those who saw potential in the (admittedly strange) pairing could be forgiven for expecting great things- if Green Day could pull off a bombastic rock opera, so could Loutallica. But they didn’t. It is obvious that Metallica’s willingness to work with Reed was born of delusions of grandeur more than anything else. Possibly thinking that they might ﬁnally be taken seriously in the
high-society circles they now move in, Metallica allowed themselves to bend to the septuagenarian art-rocker’s direction-to ad-lib as Reed rambled about German prostitutes. Teaser single ‘The View’ received positive feedback from the Irish Times, partly out of spite to “meatheaded heavy metal fans” who had rubbished the track worldwide. But it is these same fans that know Metallica’s work and know exactly what they are capable of, and it is more than this. The album opens strongly with a grandiose chord progression on ‘Brandenburg Gate’, but this is also its last hurrah. Third-rate plodders like “Iced Honey” serve only as a platform for a game of Where’s Kirk Hammett, while the album’s
lowest ebb, the God-awful ‘Mistress Dread’, sees the band rattling away for seven minutes while Reed gibbers in the corner. His pleasant synths and string passages almost give the album a saving grace, but we can barely appreciate them before they are ﬂattened by more leaden riffs; despite this irritating dynamic, orchestra conductor Hal Willner’s clueless production makes the whole album sound like wasps in a biscuit tin. There will be posers who will claim to ﬁnd something here to praise, be it Reed’s pseudo-poetic mumbling or the quaint, shouty music he chose to include. However, those who know anything about heavy metal (and that is, essentially, what Lulu is) are the ones to trust on this subject. In the opinion of someone in the know, this is dog shit. Avoid and forget.
t’s been four years since Justice’s debut album, an age in music terms, so to say Audio, Video, Disco has been eagerly anticipated is a massive understatement. That’s not to say that Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay haven’t been keeping busy. Since 2007’s Cross, they have released a live record (A Cross the Universe) and remixed tracks for bands like U2, Lenny Kravitz and MGMT (for which they won no less than a Grammy). A mix for a Dior Homme fashion show was also recorded during that time (‘Planisphère’ appears as an iTunes bonus track). On ﬁrst listening it sounds like the French duo have been inﬂuenced by the hairspray loving glam rock era and try to replicate its sound
on tracks like ‘Horsepower, Canon’ and the mischievous ‘Brianvision’ (think guitar solos on synths). Fans of their earlier ‘poptronica’ sound may be disappointed with the album, but they must be credited for not reproducing their debut. While it doesn’t have the brilliance of ‘D.A.N.C.E.’ or funk of ‘Genesis’, the Parisian outﬁt manage to keep their sound that made them a household name. Having said that, Audio, Video, Disco doesn’t reach the same heights as Cross and for the most part the album remains a slow paced affair. The pick of the tracks is undoubtedly ‘Civilization’ which features vocals from Ali Love, who also did the vocals for The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Do It Again’. The album
is improved by the penultimate ‘Helix’, which somehow successfully manages to fuse the 1970’s krautrock sound of bands like Harmonia, with the aforementioned stadium rock sound that consistently appears throughout. The über-catchy ﬁnal track, ‘Audio, Video, Disco’, manages to ﬁnally up the tempo in what is probably the most radio friendly track. With Queen-esque handclaps fused with vocoded vocals, ‘Parade’ also deserves a mention. On the whole, the term ‘second album syndrome’ springs to mind, but in years to come AVD may be classed as the better of other albums with the lofty ambition of following up over-whelming debuts. Having said this, Audio, Video, Disco can be considered a slow burner and merits repeated listening.
Surfer Blood Tarot Classics
Kelly Clarkson Stronger
8/10 early two years after the release of their critically-acclaimed debut album, Astro Coast, Surfer Blood have returned with a short teaser of new material, in the form of EP, Tarot Classics. The four-piece have made a bold move away from the cheerful summer vibes which coursed through Astro Coast and saw them placed alongside Beach House and The Drums as the new wave of indie rock. Perhaps the group are actively trying to distance themselves from their contemporaries, or maybe they’ve been feeling the cold snap as much as the rest of us, but it’s clear that there is a new-found sharpness and polish to the Surfer Blood aesthetic.
‘I’m Not Ready’ sets the tone from the outset – John Paul Pitts’ vocals take precedent over a simple melodic line and pared-down percussion, a far cry from the hectic, distorted sounds of their debut. Although the lyrics may not be poetic, the fast-paced delivery is insanely catchy – a stylistic trait which is relentless across the record, as Pitts seems to barely pause for breath throughout. With ‘Miranda’, the boys already have a hit. All the ingredients of a commercial pop sensation are there – a stomping “woah-oh” accompaniment, a chanting chorus, and a girl’s name in the title. Some might say it’s a bit early to start referencing your own work on a second release, but that’s what ‘Voyager Re-
prise’ is built upon. With elements of the previous two songs incorporated into its melodies, the result is rather repetitive, and can feel overwhelming when you consider that there are just four songs on the record. However, the use of keyboards and strings save it from feeling stale, and are hopefully a sign of more experimentation on their upcoming sophomore LP. Closing track ‘Drinking Problem’ is a slower-paced, sing-along lament with a serious undertone – a step in the right direction for a group which is evidently trying to escape from the pigeon-hole of trendy surf pop. Overall, Tarot Classics is an excellent sample of the maturity and focus of the Floridian quartet, and will certainly tide fans over until the release of their second album next year.
ithout a doubt Kelly Clarkson is the most successful American Idol alum. Her debut album Thankful reached the Number 1 spot on the Billboard charts in the US and her sophomore album Breakaway spawned four top ten singles and won two Grammy awards. She received further chart success with her following two albums and seems set to achieve this success again with her release Stronger, despite the lacklustre music on offer. Stronger is another poprock post-break-up record which Clarkson claims is inﬂuenced by Prince, Tina Turner and Radiohead. It is generally a decent effort, however, there is very little
that separates this album from every other one currently on the market. The ﬁrst single from the album ‘Mr. Know It All’ has already reached #2 on the Billboard charts in the US and is her second best selling single. It’s your typical break-up inspired pop song featuring repetitive lyrics and a pretty generic chord progression. It is a catchy song, but doesn’t feature anything special. Furthermore, ‘Love Me’, clearly the Prince inﬂuenced song, features some 80’s style guitar riffs, but lacks originality and features lyrics that you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve heard the song previously on the album. However, Clarkson does provide some decent songs.
The title track ‘What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)’ features anthemic lyrics, catchy synthesiser and outshines all the other tracks on the album, all the while burying itself in your memory in a not unpleasant way. It is a clear effort by Clarkson to compete with the current electro-pop trend in the charts and is bound to achieve her some success. ‘The War Is Over’ and ‘Dark Side’ are two honourable mentions as they stood out from the other standard poppy love and heartache songs on the album. Clarkson is clearly a great singer with a powerful voice. Stronger is an enjoyable listen with a few stand out tracks, however, there is very little that is new or original on this album. Although it is bound to achieve moderate chart success, there is nothing new or groundbreaking here, she was on American Idol after all.
EVENT GUIDE SHANE MEAGHER
PLAYS 16 Possible Glimpses -Marina Carr The Abbey Theatre 30th September – 29th October Monday – Saturday: 8pm Saturday matinee: 2.30pm Marina Carr’s latest play deals with the life and times of Chekhov. Having been B For Baby - Carmel Winters The Abbey Theatre 2nd November – 19th November Monday – Saturday: 8pm Saturday matinee: 2.30pm Set mostly in a care home for intellectually disabled peo-
told he has a mere ﬁve minutes to live, Chekov witnesses a selection of scenes from his short life. Starring Patrick O’Kane, the play shows Chekhov as a traveller, returning from his exploits overseas; it shows Chekhov as a doctor of medicine, and as an ailing patient; it shows Chekhov as a family man, and as a lover. But, ﬁrst and foremost, it shows Chekhov as a writer. Cathy Belton plays the role of Chekhov’s wife. “16 Possible Glimpses” is running in the Abbey Theatre until 29th October, as part of the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival. Ticket prices range from €13 – €25. Tickets are on sale at abbeytheare.ie
ple, this play focuses on the lives of B (Louis Lovett) and Dee (Michele Moran), both of whom are residents in the care home, as well as carer Mrs C (Moran), and also D (Lovett). The play shows the subtle aspects of their everyday lives, and, in the process, it allows both actors to demonstrate their versatility at their craft. Ticket prices range from €13 to €25, and are on sale from abbeytheatre.ie
Medical experts throughout the world are perplexed by a deadly infection that is spreading globally in this high budget thriller. Faced with this pandemic, society begins to crumble while urgent attempts are made to ﬁnd a cure. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (who also directed Trafﬁc and Erin Brockovich), the ﬁlm was well received when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year. With a star-studded cast including Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet, the ﬁlm’s tremendous success in the Box Ofﬁce since its US release just over a month ago comes as no surprise. “Contagion” can be seen in Irish cinemas from the 21st October.
The Gaiety Theatre 25th October – 29th October Monday – Saturday: 7.30pm Saturday matinee: 2.30pm King Shahriyar has been betrayed by his wife. To ensure that this does not happen again, he determines to wed a new bride each and every night, and have them beheaded before they have a chance to betray him. Having done this for thousands of nights (and having killed thousands of women), he marries a lady named Scheherazade. Knowing she is about to be beheaded, she asks for permission to tell a story before facing her doom. King Shahriyar is so intrigued by her story that he decides not to execute her. This happens again for 1001 nights, before King Shahriyar decides not to kill Scheherazade, and instead to make her his queen. Ticket prices range from €22.50 to €40, and are on sale at ticketmaster.ie
Paranormal Activity 3 Set 18 years before the previous “Paranormal Activity” ﬁlms, this third instalment in the series sees sisters Katie and Kristi (Katie Featherson and Sprague Grayden) haunted by a supernatural being. Although it appears harmless at ﬁrst, the entity
We Need to Talk About Kevin Based on the novel by Lionel Shriver, this ﬁlm deals with the events leading up to the massacre of a school by a young man named Kevin (played by Ezra Miller, Jasper Newell, and Rocky Duer), from the perspective of the boy’s mother. “We Need to Talk About Kevin” was premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was met with praise from critics. It was directed by Lynne Ramsey, and it stars Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly. Release in the UK and Ireland is set for the 21st of October.
soon becomes a problem for Katie and Kristi, as well as their families. This ﬁlm, which was directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, will be of particular interest to fans of the “Paranormal Activity” formula. “Paranormal Activity 3” will be showing in cinemas nationwide from October 21st.
Have you read this yet? COLM RYAN
ou’re a college student. You’re reading the Arts section. You should by all accounts be an intelligent, capable person. So, the question is…have you read this yet? Every issue the College Tribune will bring you a featured literary work that you should read in order to solidify your position as an intelligent, to-be-taken- seriously academic. (If you’ve stumbled upon this section on your way to Sport, this goes for you as well!) So get your spectacles out and read on. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Holden Caulﬁeld has just been expelled from his fourth prep school for poor performance. After an violent
tussle with his philandering roommate, Holden decides to leave early for a sojourn to the city, ‘a little vacation’ as he calls it, to ease his nerves, before the inevitable face-off with his parents later in the
week. The book was written in 1951 by J. D. Salinger, a short story writer from New York. Catcher in the Rye was his ﬁrst and only novel. Upon its publication it was met with immediate popular success yet critics were divided. Lauded by some as a brilliant ﬁrst novel, the religious press complained about its use of profanity. Now considered a classic, Holden Caulﬁeld shares centre stage with Huck Finn and Jay Gatsby. The novel’s main conﬂict is between Holden and the grown-up world. He feels that most adults he knows hide behind a social veneer, concealing their true selves. He calls them ‘phonies‘. (Ah -ha, now I know who that guy was, on Family Guy shouting ‘Big Fat Phonie’ at Peter Grifﬁn). However it not only the
adults that irritate him but also his girlfriend Sally who is too eager to enter the adult world of superﬁciality and his roommate Stradlater (a play on ‘Straddle‘?) who seems singularly concerned with adding notches to his bedpost. His brother D. B. has just written a successful book of short stories and Holden considers him the best writer. He condemns him for later prostituting his talents out to Hollywood. This distrust of Hollywood was shared by the author who never allowed his book to be ﬁlmed. Holden begins to imagine himself as a purveyor of innocence, the catcher in the rye; as the children play at the cliff edge, he will save them from falling into a sea of impurity. Holden’s adolescent ramblings may irritate some, and while he is self-contradictory on occasion, we cannot help
empathizing with this disenchanted young Flâneur. The story is told in ﬁrst person stream of consciousness, a style which allows us to identify more with the narrator who is able to describe his feelings in a way we would miss, if the story was told from a objective third person point of view. The story underlines that difﬁcult angst-ﬁlled mid-teen period of alienation that many have experienced, as they come to grips with the challenges and perceived hypocrisies of the adult world. As the hours and days wind on Caulﬁeld’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and self-destructive as he careers through a boozedfuelled New York weekend. He gets hustled by a whore and socked in the guts by her pimp, has a bust-up with his girlfriend when she refuses to elope with him, discusses
The Bard with a duo of nuns and has a weird encounter with an old teacher, while never managing to ﬁnd out where the ducks go when the lake freezes over in central park… We hear a lot about his 10 year old sister Phoebe throughout, but don‘t meet her until towards the end. He describes her wise beyond her years, whom he adores as much as he did his deceased brother. Will her affection and loyalty be enough to save him from himself in the end? So dear reader, this writer suggests you take a sojourn of your own into the world of Holden Caulﬁeld and see if he doesn’t get you questioning the often perplexing nature of the human condition.
Hello Ladies... Stephen Merchant talks to Ryan Cullen about his stand-up, The Ofﬁce and Karl Pilkington
“Cult status? I thought I was a household name?” says Stephen Merchant, returning to stand-up performance after nearly a decade’s absence. The writer and star of Extras and The Ofﬁce, Merchant has taken to the stage for his new tour “Hello Ladies...” about the geeky stars escapades and his search for love and companionship. “The show is about my failed search for a wife and how I thought fame would be the answer to everything and it isn’t. My life has always revolved around my search for a mate and the show explores every aspect of that, from teenage hopelessness, to the time I got thrown out of a wedding. It’s very confessional. I don’t use chat-up lines but if I did it would be, ‘Would you like to meet Karl Pilkington?’” So why after so much success in relation to the Ofﬁce, Extras and copresenting The Ricky Gervais show, has he decided to re-attempt the daunting task of a stand-up tour? “Well, originally I did standup after I left university and I was a ﬁnalist in some comedy competitions. I was good enough to get paid, I used to gig regularly, but somewhere along the line I lost interest. Once The Ofﬁce took off, it just seemed easier not do it. I didn’t get enough of a kick from performing to warrant driving up and down the motorway to gigs, eating Ginsters in service stations at midnight. I used to look at Ricky doing stand-up and think, ‘Why’s he bothering? It’s so much effort.’ Then I just woke up one day and I had the itch again. I felt I’d never really nailed standup. So I started doing ﬁve or ten minute slots here and there and I’ve been pottering around the circuit for a few years now. This tour is the result of that itch.” After his many collaborations with friend Ricky Gervais, many critics have found it difﬁcult to separate the pair as independent sources of comedy and after asking Stephen if he found it difﬁcult to be recognised in his own right?, he said that “It doesn’t concern
BBC we were able to develop that character into an entire show. We thought it would be popular with a small cult audience - we never imagined it would go global in the way it has. Nobody predicted that. Ricky and I were ﬁred from XFM but after our TV success we got invited back to host a radio show. Karl was our producer and once we started asking him questions on air we realized he was a comedy goldmine.”
me. I don’t do anything for recognition, I do it because I love writing or performing or directing. I wanted to make TV and ﬁlms when I was a kid and so I spent years learning the craft. I did it because it interested me, not because I wanted to be in Heat Magazine.”
“I don’t use chatup lines but if I did it would be, ‘Would you like to meet Karl Pilkington?’” Stephen’s modesty ﬂows from the off and he speaks of how he never expected
the ofﬁce to take off to the heights of acclaim that it has achieved and how his time on XFM helped him develop his ideas as well as meeting fellow popular co-stars Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington. “Ricky had a boss character that he would sometimes perform for me in our ofﬁce at the radio station. After I got a job at the
“When I visit my parents my mum still makes me unload the dishwasher and peg out laundry like she always did.” For all Stephen Merchant’s success as cowriter and director of The Ofﬁce and Extras, writing and directing his ﬁrst feature ﬁlm ‘Cemetery Junction’, there is something deliciously modest and level headed about the 32-yearold. He tells us that people at home still treat him the same “When I visit my parents my mum still makes me unload the dishwasher and peg out laundry like she always did.” Looking at his life, the evidence is piling up that he is becoming a hugely inﬂuential ﬁgure in British comedy, with aspects of his writings extending to America. He feels that stand up is yet to be a form of entertainment yet to be conquered. “Yes, stand-up is really difﬁcult. It’s also very raw and direct. There is nowhere to hide. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself
by getting back to what I had started my career doing. It seems to have gone well so far.” He notes his inﬂuences as a child being a little more obscure, even though highly popular names in comedy. His love for Woody Allen and John Cleese, have had an inﬂuence on his style and material. “I’m sure I have learned from the people I’ve worked with but I was doing stand-up long before I worked in TV or ﬁlms, so I developed my style a long time ago.” Merchant has been compared both in height and in features to footballer Peter Crouch, when asked was he equally as bad at football Stephen replied, “Crouch is great at football. Look at his strike rate for England. He’s scored 22 goals in 42 appearances. Wayne Rooney has only 28 in 73 appearances. The stats don’t lie. Peter is also an incredibly handsome man.” His resume is ever expanding and the awards are tallying up. Stephen tells the College Tribune that he has done a new sitcom called “Life’s Too Short” starring Ricky Gervais and dwarf actor Warwick Davis. “In the show Warwick is hustling for work and contending with a divorce, a failing career, a giant tax bill and the fact that he is only 3’6”. Warwick is exceptional in it : great at comedy and drama, tremendous at physical comedy as well. Big stars pop up on occasion such Johnny Depp, Liam Neeson and Sting are all in the show. Stephen Merchant plays Dublin’s Vicar Street on 22nd November 2011
STANDING OUT FROM THE CROWD
Donie O’Sullivan talks to Bridesmaids star and former UCD student Chris O’Dowd. Described as one of Hollywood’s “leading men,” O’Dowd recounts his time in UCD, his involvement with the L&H and offers students one very important piece of advice - “Don’t sleep in bushes!”
t the age of 32, Chris O’Dowd has an impressive set of ﬁlms under his belt. Aswell as roles in big Hollywood blockbusters like Bridesmaids, Gulliver’s Travels and Dinner for Schmucks, Irish and British audiences know him from his role as Roy in the Channel 4 show “The IT Crowd.” But life hasn’t always been rosy for the Roscommon man – he once lived in Belgrove. O’Dowd studied sociology and politics in UCD - “I didn’t ﬁnish my degree. The politics part of it was ﬁne, but I
was doing sociology as-well and I could never bring myself to ﬁnd an interest in it. “ Confronted with the prospect of returning to ﬁnish his degree as a mature student, O’Dowd laughed,”oh yeah, so fucking mature!” “Seriously though, I have thought about coming back to ﬁnish the degree a lot. It doesn’t bother me really, but it would be kind of nice, I have never ﬁnished anything – at some stage it would be good to ﬁnish something.” Like many the UCD student, O’Dowd found the move from rural Ireland to Dublin somewhat a culture shock when he ﬁrst came to the university. “What I found weird [about UCD] until I found my clan. It’s so fucking Donnybrook. I found it strange to feel so instantly ridiculed for my accent. But then I started becoming friends
with loads of guys from Ag Soc and then I could ridicule them for their accents. It was just kind of a vicious circle.” O’Dowd who lived in digs in his ﬁrst year before moving onto campus for his second and third year was
of Theatre L was when I was doing a debate. Taking the piss out of world leaders.” O’Dowd recounts one occasion when his role as L&H record’s secretary got him in some hot water. “I remember one time when I was on the
as he came down the steps. The song that I sang was push a palm tree get a coconut. I guess it was pretty disrespectful, a lot of people booed, but there was still a good two dozen people who sang it.”
video which is on YouTube has less than 600 views, involves a young Chris, with his top off, engaging in what appears to be some form of Tai Chi on the Merville football pitches. Chris can’t recall making the ﬁlm but joked “I
“I think I was the head of debating for C&E, I mean most of them couldn’t spell debating,” highly involved in an array of societies on campus: “I found out quite early on that it is the best way to go through college for free. I think in my second year I was on eight different committees and I never bought a pint.” “I think I was the head of debating for C&E, I mean most of them couldn’t spell debating,” he laughs. O’Dowd however was a real debater and was a prominent ﬁgure in the L&H - “I feel like the only time I saw the inside
L&H committee and I was the guy who would introduce people. We had F.W. De Klerk on. My feelings about F. W. De Klerk aren’t great. I always thought he was the guy who decided he wasn’t racist when it looked bad. So armed with that and a few drinks to calm my nerves I decided to welcome him to the packed Theatre L in front of national media by doing the national anthemn of South Africa and I asked everyone to sing it
As-well as the L&H, O’Dowd said he spent much of his time in UCD “under the ground” in the Dram Soc theatre. O’Dowd thought the society had moved to its new base in the student centre, but when he was informed that this was not the case and they were still in the basement, he joked - “it’s the fucking best place for them.” The College Tribune reminded Chris of a mini-soap he made while on campus called “Melgrove Place.” The
imagine it’s amazing, I was a big dude then as-well.” (The video can be seen on collegetribune.ie) O’Dowd made very few mistakes as he progressed to a glittering career in show business, however one poor decision does stand out – he once wrote for the University Observer. “I don’t think I ever held a position at the paper, I would just contribute occasionally, I can’t really remember.” Asked did he ever con-
sider writing for the College Tribune, O’Dowd quickly replied, “I didn’t, only because I had self-respect.” O’Dowd also dabbled in student politics while he was here but never ran for a position himself. “I am sure I always backed some candidate in an election, because there was always the chance of free beer
wasn’t going to pass his exams - “As my ﬁnals were fast approaching and I realised I wasn’t going to pass them I would have done anything to get out of the ﬁring line really. “I think I ran a campaign or two. I got Niall Donnelly elected. He was an Ents ofﬁcer who ran his year at the greatest loss of any year.
get him to make all the societies’ brochures their Freshers’ kind of stuff at the weekends . So that would sort me for the year and would mean I wouldn’t have to get a real job.” Speaking about his meteoric rise to fame, O’Dowd explained that appearing on shows like Conan O’Brien is quite a surreal experience.
air force bases during the Vietnam war.” Sapphire won’t be in Irish cinemas until later next year, but in the meantime we can expect to see Chris in “Friends with Kids,” which also stars Kristen Wiig. Wiig and O’Dowd proved to be a formidable pair in the summer hit “Bridesmaids” “Bridesmaids was so funny
coming out of it.” “I didn’t have, as I don’t now, any big political allegiances. I always found it strange when I saw people who were like young Fianna Fail there. How could you be young Fianna Fail? They stand for everything young people should hate, it always seems so weird to me.” As is the case with some SU sabbatical candidates even today, O’Dowd said he considered running for Ents ofﬁcer when he realised he
“I hadn’t seen him since college and randomly I was in a bar in LA three months ago and bumped into him. “He runs a bar and is a really successful entrepreneur. We have been hanging out, he’s fucking great craic!” O’Dowd said he managed to get through college without getting a part time job by scamming some of the university’s biggest societies, “I managed to work out another scam. My dad is a graphic designer and I would
“My life is surreal, it has changed a lot in a reasonably short amount of time. I am really enjoying it though.” “I have been shooting a couple of ﬁlms for the past month or so. I was doing one in Australia and Vietnam called “Sapphire.” It’s based on a true story about three Aboriginal girls who end up almost becoming an Australian version of the Supremes. I play an Irish entertainment ofﬁcer who brings them on tour of the America
and just so on the money and I always think American humour is more close to Irish humour than British humour is. There is a very similar mentality.” Images of O’Dowd in a swimming pool with Megan Fox and Jason Segel appeared in newspapers and magazine all around the world last month. Fox will also feature in “Friends with Kids” and also alongside Chris in Judd Apatow’s “This is Forty.” On Fox Chris said,
On not writing for the Tribune: “I didn’t, only because I had self-respect.”
“what can I say, she loves to swim. Weirdly the last two ﬁlms I’ve been in, she has been in them too, she just insists on it now,” he laughs. O’Dowd, who has starred in four series of the IT Crowd says that although they may not have time to make another series “we will deﬁnitely do a special, or a few specials.” “I am writing and starring in a TV show in Boyle, which I am just ﬁnishing off writing now with my mate from Kilkenny. We are going to be shooting it in January and it will be on next summer on Sky One – I think it will be really funny.” O’Dowd is a Twitter enthusiast and has almost 70,000 followers, “I have to say I’m not that great at replying to everybody. I just use it as a platform to write jokes and say stupid things. It’s hard to get exactly what it’s for.” He expressed his disappointment at the lack of abuse he receives on Twitter
and has challenged Tweeters - “I really want people to have the balls to give me more shit.” O’Dowd offers a refreshing form of humour, is very humble and his vivid memories of UCD show he hasn’t forgot where he came from – surely the L&H will reward one of their most enthusiastic former members with a James Joyce award in the not too distant future. Asked to offer one piece of advise to new UCD students, O’Dowd, speaking with experience, gave a very important tip - “Don’t sleep in bushes - it always feels like ‘oh it’s ﬁne, it’s one in the morning, it’s so far to walk back to Dundrum,’ or whatever but at four and ﬁve in the morning when it gets so cold you’re going to regret it. Just go around knocking on doors , like a cute Longford whore!” Scan QR code to watch Chris in “Melgrove Place”
Review: By: Marina Carr
Directed by: Wayne Jordan
ences since the late 80’s. ’16 Possible Glimpses’ continues to captivate in a style new to Carr on the Peacock Stage.
16 Possible Glimpses “Don’t talk to me about happiness – it’s for other people”
Venue: The Peacock Dates: 30th Sept – 29th October Cast Includes; Patrick O’ Kane, Malcolm Adams, Cathy Belton, Michael James Ford, and Deirdre Mullins. Price: €13-25. CIARA MURPHY
sually dark with rural undertones, Marina Carr’s plays have been captivating Irish audi-
‘16 Possible Glimpses’ illuminates the life of Anton Chekhov, focusing primarily on his personal life rather than his written works. Checkov played by Patrick O’ Kane is haunted by an eerie grim reaper ﬁgure, The Black Monk, who tries to guide him through his days. The women in his life can never seem to agree on what is best for him and their relationships are fraught with tragedy, unrequited love and joy. The relationship between Chekhov and his sister Masha in this piece is turbulent. It allows the audience to witness Chekov’s relationship
with women both romantically and familially. The title eludes the sixteen glimpses that the audience receives of Chekhov’s life. These nonlinear ‘glimpses’ cover him from man to death. However this play, written by one playwright about another, is mostly an exploration of art and the artist. The most humorous scene, the
discussion between Chekhov and Tolstoy, involves the discussions of semicolons and sentence structure. “I have a feeling that when I killed Karenina, I killed a vital part of myself”, Tolstoy admits. The dialogue between Chekhov and Tolstoy is witty, raw and artistic in its delivery. The emphasis is on artistic preparation not just inspira-
tion in this piece. Carr is writing not about the work of the artist but about the life of the artist. It allows the audience to witness both the preparation and the inspiration involved in producing works of great art. The audience is spoilt for choice on where to look onstage. The cinematic
Review Contagion DONAL LUCEY Directed By Steven Soderbergh. Starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Gwyenth Paltrow, Lawrence Fishburn, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Ehle. 106 mins. 3/5
ontagion is Steven Soderbergh’s new medical thriller which follows the rapid spread of lethal virus which kills in days and has the potential to wipe out a substantial chunk of the world’s population. The movie follows several different characters over a number of weeks during which they deal with the initial outbreak up until the possible vaccine. As the pandemic grows and people begin to panic, the worldwide
medical and health community struggle for a cure. All the while society is falling apart as people look to avoid what seems like inevitable infection. The movie begins with Beth Emhoff (Gwyeneth Paltrow) who is in Hong Kong on a business trip. We follow her as she has a night out in a fancy restaurant where she tries some delicious pork, then onto Chicago where she sleeps with an ex-boyfriend before going home to her loving husband (Matt Damon). The movie then moves up a gear when Beth and her son suddenly become ill and die with shocking suddenness. A confused Damon looks for answers, but at ﬁrst nobody seems to realise that this is the beginning of a virus. That is until it begins to rapidly spread from Hong Kong, Chicago and Minneapolis to being a worldwide problem. For this movie, Soderbergh has enlisted quite an all star cast. The movie could have worked without the famous faces but they do pro-
vide some great portrayals of some very interesting characters. After losing his wife and son, Matt Damon plays the confused everyman who still has to protect his daughter. In a traditional disaster movie, his character would be combined with Lawrence Fishburn’s head of the CDC. But it adds realism that he is exactly like what most of the world would be – powerless and scared. Fishburn along with Kate Winslet, Jennifer Ehle and Elliot Gould portray the leading scientist/doctors who battle to ﬁgure out a vaccine
for this virus. Fishburn plays his character well, illustrating the dilemmas facing anyone who holds privileged information that can affect the ones closest to him. Finally, one of the most interesting characters is the Journalist Alan played by Jude Law. He is a blogger with a loyal online fan base and controversial ideas concerning the virus. Soderbergh has a substantial amount of experience handling large ensemble casts, having directed three Ocean ﬁlms and the Oscar winning Trafﬁc, so it was a surprise for me feeling
that he had not got the best out of the characters and actors at his disposal. The ﬁlm has so many characters and subplots that there just is not enough screen time available to do them justice. Every time it feels like the audience could begin to connect with Jude Law’s character, the movie is pulled away to Asia or some other less important part of the story. By the end of the ﬁlm, the audience is none the wiser as to whether he is meant to be a truth teller or a con man. So too the tale of the epidemiologist portrayed by Marion Cotillard, who shows hero-
qualities give vitality to the performance that perhaps otherwise would be a bit camp and dull. For fans of Carr and everyone else, this production is a must see. A new wave of Carr’s work is put onstage.
ism while trying to help the people of a small Chinese village. Her fate remains frustratingly open ended. There are a lot of good aspects about Scott Z Burns script. Unlike a lot of pandemic movies, this one tries to focus on the human drama of the disaster. There are no big explosions or CGI payoffs. It doesn’t surprisingly turn out to be a corrupt pharmaceutical company’s experiments gone wrong. Instead, all we get is a frighteningly realistic depiction of how an unknown virus could spread so easily worldwide and catch even our best doctors and scientists completely off guard. With the recent panic over Bird Flu and Swine Flu, Soderbergh’s movie evokes a unnerving fear in us. This ﬁlm offers a realism that is not seen often in these kinds of ﬁlms. It has been praised for its ability to stay true to scientiﬁc plausibility and not forsake it for dramatic purposes. But, I believe the structure of this ﬁlm hampers it. Too many times are we whipped around the world instead of a more in depth focus on a character. With so many characters and such a broad scope, too may times I felt myself thinking that this would have been better in a TV mini-series format.
Review - Melancholia DARRAGH O’ CONNOR Director: Lars von Trier Stars: Alexander Skarsgard, Brady Corbet, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland, Kirsten Dunst, Stellan Skarsgard Runtime: 130mins Cert: 15 Out now selected release
hat can be said about Lars von Trier that would encompass his career without getting into a detailed discussion? I think someone who is constantly is pushing the boarders of ‘accepted art house’ will do for now. That said Melancholia is an enjoyable movie despite
itself. On the surface it is a disaster movie about a rogue planet that is set to crash into the Earth, thus wiping out all life. The whole plot of the movie is revealed in the movie’s spectacular opening sequence, so no spoilers here folks. Set against this backdrop is the tale of two sisters, Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg). This device allows the movie to split into two chapters and explore each character in-depth. The ﬁrst part of the movie is focused on Justine, a young woman suffering from severe depression. The ﬁrst section of the movie follows her lavish wedding reception. Her personal troubles plague her throughout course of the day as her depression enfolds her. The veneer of joy and fake happiness slowly tears apart, and then ﬁnally shatters in a glorious Diony-
sian romp on the hotel’s golf course. The second half focuses on the other sister Claire and her family life. It is here that we see that Claire also succumbs to her fears and her own personal melancholia. One focused on the arrival of the “ﬂy-by” planet, the baggage of Justine and her relationship with her increasing distant husband, played by Kiefer Sutherland. The most striking aspect of this move is the scenes that serve to link the movie with the opening sequence or overture (the music of which is Richard Wagner’s prelude to his opera Tristan und Isolde). You are left unsure if these are actually occurring or rather internal conﬂicts of Justine’s mind. Von Trier is genius in his presentation. Wagner is used throughout the movie to remind the viewer of what he has seen in
the overture, and where the movie will end. The overture itself is a weird and distorted vision of the narrative. At the ﬁlms climax, we come full circle and everything makes sense. It is interesting that the horror of a global holocaust becomes an afterthought. The viewer is instead focused on the emotion of the protagonists, the panic of Claire and the stoic relief of Justine. It is chilling! The cast are superb. The outstanding performance of Dunst should leave no doubt of her acting ability. She is truly haunting during her descent into madness. There also some entertaining cameos including Udo Kier as the obsessive wedding planner. Kier well known for his vast corpus of B-movie roles and is a nice treat. As a sidebar, Kier will be appearing in Iron Sky (set for release in 2012), two words...Space Nazis! An-
other noteworthy cameo is that of John Hurt, as the dishevelled father of Claire and Justine. There are various theories regarding the meaning of the ﬁlm, and I have no doubt much ink will be spilt on this
subject. I will just say that Melancholia is the least offensive of Von Trier’s works, and in my opinion his best. As I have stated, despite its gloomy content Melancholia is an enjoyable movie.
Review - ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’. DVD AIFRIC NÍ RUAIRC
irates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides sends Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow reluctantly rattling off on another, vaguely supernatural highseas adventure. This time Jack is setting forth in search of the Fountain of Youth and all the usual Pirates staples appear; ghostly ships loom out of the mist, Jack barely escapes execution in a wildly over-thetop action sequence, people still forget to address him as “Captain” and the annoying monkey is still annoying. The difference between On Stranger Tides and the previous incarnations of the Pirates franchise is that Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom are gone and have taken the overly sentimental romantic plots with them. This frees the ﬁlm up and allows for a shorter, actionpacked, lighter ﬁlm. Gone too is Gore Verbinski who directed the ﬁrst three ﬁlms
with Rob Marshall at the helm instead. On Stranger Tides is a vehicle for Depp and his swaggering Keith Richards impression (and confusingly Richards pops up in a cameo doing his best Johnny Depp impression) and the ﬁlm is free of the baggage previous plots have brought. The ﬁlm is a constant stream of gun-ﬁre explosions and swashbuckling swordﬁghts and throughout Depp leaps from scene to scene, carrying the ﬁlm with his wry smiles and cocky one-liners. Despite this there is a certain staleness to Depp’s Captain Jack which, after four ﬁlms, is to be expected and it is difﬁcult to see where the character can take the franchise in the future. To further develop the character would be to ruin Captain Jack’s mystery yet there is only so far this character can take us before becoming a parody. The ﬁlm also sees Geoffrey Rush return to his role of the pirate, Captain Barbossa and it is this performance that truly saves On
Stranger Tides. Rush is light and humorous and ﬁlls the sparse plot with charm and wit. Rush and Depp together make a wonderful pair, not quite friends and not quite enemies, butting heads at every chance and almost transforming the ﬁlm into a buddy movie. The moments when they are together highlight the triumph the ﬁlm could have become if only there had been more opportunity for their crackling chemistry to develop. Rush once again proves that comedy is not beyond him and he truly is a worthy character actor. With the addition of Ian McShane as Captain Blackbeard there are now so many pirate Captains staggering around the ﬁlm in inch-thick eyeliner that it is a delight to when Penelope Crus pops up as Jack’s former ﬂame Angelica Teach. Crus has proven herself recently in a string of wonderful performances, particularly in director Pedro Almodovar’s Volver and initially it seems that she has been of-
fered a chance to shine here. Her character (literally) turns up as a female Captain Jack which suggests that she will parade the same charm as her male counterpoint. However it soon becomes clear Teach is nothing more than a wooden stereotype and does not afford Crus the same opportunities as Depp and Rush. Once again Hollywood seems unable to offer the same calibre of roles to women as European ﬁlms have in recent years. Rob Marshall utilises his skill as a musical director (he previously directed musicals Chicago and Nine) to ensure the ﬁlm ﬂows quickly and the ﬁght scenes are smoothly choreographed. With the shortest running time of the series and the simplicity of the plot Tides is the most light-hearted, fast-paced and fun ﬁlm the Pirates ﬁlms have seen since Curse of the Black Pearl. It still has many faults but its seems as though the ﬁlm franchise may have been set back on course,, DVD extras include a blooper reel, some
Lego shorts and an annoying feature in which Timon and Pumbaa of Lion King fame try to ﬂog 3D Blu Ray to chil-
dren. Presenting this an extra on a newly bought DVD seems manipulative and unethical.
Man, I Feel Like A Woman Ciara-Louise Murphy discusses fashion’s latest ﬁxation: the androgynous look.
his daring trend of women imitating men in their choice of dress is seen on many of the high fashion runways around the world, but one must ask; is this trend often too daring to wear on the high street? If we look at the catwalk inspired creations using this manly look we can see that
they often team its masculinity with heavy smoky eyes and lashings of bronzer to create Gaga inspired cheeks. This however isn’t feasible for even the biggest makeup enthusiasts among us, but does toning down this edgy daring look mean that we are no longer dressing as androgyny? How much, is too
A typical catwalk androgynous look complete with heavy set make up.
much and when do we cross the line into androgynous style without venturing into the realms of the transsexual with its stereotypical theatrical dramatics. Anyone who has stepped into Pennys, New Look, Awear and top shop can see that the item to have and cherish is the billowing blouse with its full throat buttoning, this is often paired with brogue shoes and a satchel bag which are then classiﬁed as the androgynous look. This style is far more easily replicated than the slicked back hair to rival a greaser and the tux to match that we often associate as androgynous thanks to the catwalks. We have formed our own masculine inspired style on the high streets which incorporates as much femininity as possible to soften this harsh look and make it more attractive and appealing to the eye. Long locks or cute hairpieces are a must with this street style as they liven up the starch stiff seams of a blazer or shirt and
allow a playful tone to ring through. Topman has also become a female favourite cloth store as many of the stores quirky jumpers can be seen on women worn to perfection with cute skirts or tight jeans and various feminine ﬂairs in the form of hair accessories scarf’s or jewellery. It is easy to replicate an androgynous look while remaining feminine with these additions as it seems the high street and people in general are not ready for fully ﬂedged masculine tailoring and a matching male glare. Last week also saw many women “Suit Up” for international suit up day and as I took part myself I found that my choice of suit was a little too masculine for peoples’ liking as I received many strange looks and second glances for my full white shirt, blazer and bow tie combination. In future I will take a leaf out of Ellie Goulding’s style guide and add a feminine twist of stockings, heels and a more modest neck piece.
Ladies we Love: Juno Temple
Miu Miu the label itself perfectly encapsulates Juno Temple’s unique style with its modern and sensual aura, it, like Temple is playful yet reﬁned, possessing an eccentric demeanour whilst maintaining that sophistication she so abundantly radiates. Favouring a taste for ﬁlm roles on the quirkier side, From fashion to ﬁlm, Emma Nolan explains exactly why we Juno shows that she’s not your run of the mill generic worship Juno Temple. Hollywood girl. She enticed us as Lola Quincey in Atonehis week we’re loving attitude towards fashion is has to offer when it comes ment and her portrayal of Juno Temple. This what results in her personal to what she’s wearing. Her the jealous Di in Cracks was style savvy chica is style being so intriguing. more polished award show superb. best known for her roles in This “hobo-chic” Temple looks never fail to disappoint These serious roles demcritically acclaimed movies so effortlessly carries off us, pretty much hitting the onstrate her stunning acting like Kaboom, Atonement consists of her carefully se- nail on the head every time. ability while her more playful and Cracks, to name a few. lecting different textures and As a Miu Miu ambassador, roles in comedies Year One, At the moment she’s in the layering them in a creative her wardrobe is ladened with Wildchild and St. Trinians spotlight for her upcoming way which demonstrates her the brand, and its inﬂuence show us a different side to roles in The Three Musket- natural ﬂare for style. Still on her is noteworthy in her her and illustrate her versaown clothing personality. eers, The Dark Knight Rises the hobo look isn’t all Juno tility as an actress. Some of and Dirty Girl in which she her more obscure, yet highly plays the leading role. But praised ﬁlms in which she her recent Dazed and Constarred include Mr. Nobody fused cover and her edgy with Jared Leto, Glorious 39, photo-shoots for controverand Kaboom. sial celebrity photographer On screen and off, she fasTyler Shields have our style cinates; her ethereal beauty senses tingling about this combined with her edgy style one. and interesting roles serve to The 22 year old has us fascement her “it-girl” status. cinated by her own quirky How to get Juno Temple’s image, she seems utterly look you ask? To achieve Jufearless in her approach to no’s distinctive style, aim for dressing and choices of atbold patterns. She is a huge tire; an admirable quality. fan of decorative prints and Juno is a self-confessed patterns. Evoking a sense of “homeless person” when it decadent luxury, this seacomes to her everyday person designers such as Mary sonal aesthetic, which is true, Miu Miu Resort ‘12 Puff-Sleeve printed Dress, Cruise Collection Katrantzou, Balenciaga and but her daring yet careless
Rochas Autumn 2011 Strapless Gown Juno’s beloved Miu Miu, featured lavish designs in their runway shows. From the humble polka dot, to ornate swirls and elaborate ﬂorals, this is a trend which can be achieved easily from the high street and from a root through your favourite charity shops to attain that Temple ﬂare. Juno loves to mix her textures, combining woollen pieces with silks and mesh, in the same colour. This is a terriﬁc way to add depth to an outﬁt. The same technique can be applied for mixing patterns too, and Juno is
deﬁnitely a fan. Like most girls though, she is a huge fan of heels. Pairing them with the shabbiest ensembles to add an unexpected feminine touch, and the higher the better. Key elements in Juno’s wardrobe are leopard print pieces and her leather jacket (a girl after my own heart), which will add that bad girl element to any outﬁt. Her unconventional sense of style, her talent, beauty and all round alluring charisma is why we’re loving Juno Temple this week; deﬁnitely one to watch.
Knit Picking: Textbook Ties
Whether for an interview, night-out or formal event, Cathal O’ Gara explains the importance in choosing the perfect neck-tie.
he perfect men’s tie can be what makes or breaks an outﬁt. But with the countless amounts of fabrics, patterns, and colours to choose from we are left with a difﬁcult decision which often goes wrong. For most of us, the result is a small collection of similar, simple and safe coloured ties. While there is nothing wrong with choosing this easy look, with the correct styling can inject some charm which is essential for most ‘classic’ men’s looks. A solid coloured tie is the easiest style to match. Simply select a block-coloured tie and match it to one of the colours in your outﬁt and you’re ready for a sophisticated night out on the town. Beware though, along with this minimalism comes the danger of over coordination, a faux pas which is preferably avoided. Avoid black tie/black shirt combinations and instead pick something which can live up your attire;
oxblood, cobalt blue even a metallic-coloured tie can achieve this. Equally classic is the men’s stripe tie, which is easily matched with solid suits and shirts by selecting a stripe that compliments. In the case of a patterned jacket, shirt, or both, the key is to maintain colours that compliment and add a sense of harmony to your outﬁt. A ﬁnely pinstriped suit calls for a boldly striped tie, while a strong checked shirt would be better suited by a more subdued stripe. One note of caution about striped ties: ensure your colours don’t afﬁliate with any local collegecolours (I’m all for pride and patronage but you will end up looking like an extra in Hogwarts). Polka dots, paisley, and ﬁgure – ties which consist of small repeating images and patterns – have become much more common over the years. If chosen with good taste, shunning osten-
tatious colours and designs, these ties can enliven any solid-coloured shirt. Ties like these should be coordinated in your outﬁt by their primary colour, with attention paid to avoiding secondary colours that visibly clash with the shirt. A great statement-fabric when organizing a political march, the knitted-tie is back and it’s here to stay. This should be worn with the plainest shirt as possible and become the focal point of your outﬁt. Always look for quality material and decent construction when choosing a tie, and avoid anything that appears poorly made. A good tie can last a lifetime. The most common tie textile is silk, and for most it is considered unequal in its ﬁeld. Beware of cheap polyester impostors (the devil in disguise); polyester doesn’t hold the same drape as silk, and has a sheen that leaves a lot to be desired. With attention to detail and an eye for sophistication, you can quickly become a master at selecting the per-
Parrot Feathers Say goodbye to leopard and tiger prints and prowl around in some real exotic designs. Peacock plumage will also sufﬁce. fect tie to complete your savvy ensemble. While the solid silk option is a safe and classic choice, don’t be afraid to take a risk with bold designs and textured fabrics. Ties made of tweed are a great way of mixing up the heritage trend with a more formal aspect. Novelty ties are best avoided, unless you’re dressing up as ‘offtrend’ this Halloween. If you really want to impress, the Keeling Gallery have a range of hand-painted bowties from Jack Kirwan with a range of designs from Gogh’s Starry Night to Monet’s Poppies. These require a certain sense of swag to pull off but are remarkable accoutrements nonetheless.
When Fierce Becomes Freak: Nicki Minaj With Minaj possibly at the height of her career, Laura Donohoe debates the highs and lows of the bi-polar fashionista.
icki Minaj- the name which sparks intense debate. The girl is everywhere, she’s inescapable, arguably more so for her eccentric fashion choices than her music. She’s shown more ﬂesh than a Vegas stripper, though it can be forgiven with that killer body, and she’s often found in the best and worst dressed lists. What makes her so odd is her inconstancy- her ﬁrst appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show, she looked stunning in a black body con dress and statement heels, but as her fame progressed, she became more of a circus act, with outrageous colours, themes and face paint make up. Now she looks to be the weirder Lady Gaga of Hip Hop, with downright weird ensembles, emblazoned with some form of tack or trash. Looking at her outﬁt at MTV’s VMAs 2011- This is easily one of the most offensive outﬁt’s the girl has ever worn to date. She literally
looks like she selected the most scary statement pieces and then put them all together. There is a cacophony of colour and texture which most designers wouldn’t see in six seasons. The welded dress, the pink tutu, star printed leggings, white over-the-knee socks, clutching a giant birdlike teddy, while rocking an obnoxious ice cream cone necklace and a printed surgery mask. Even one of these would be reason enough to be sent off to the loony bin, combined, she looks like the modern day female version of Willy Wonka. It’s hard to describe how or where she discovered this look, but for the sake of the children, let us hope it stays there. Nicki also shocked at Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera’s shows. Minaj explodes in with neon colours and looks absolutely obscene seated next to the cool and aloof Vogue’s editor in chief. Surprisingly, most accounts at the event revealed the two
Zooey Deschanel The New Girl star is back and her Christmas album ‘A Very She & Him Christmas’ is out today.
“Every time I go to bed with some guy, I’m looking at my dad’s name on their underwear.”
Frankie Cocozza The Anti-Christ of pop culture, not only has he the vocal chords of a donkey but a face to match too.
Hayley Joel Osment “I… see… fat people” – Stop looking in the mirror Hayley.
were having a chin wag, despite Nicki having the show being put on hold in anticipation of her arrival, and photos of Anna looking repulsed by the cartoon character sat beside her. Nicki tweeted from the show, sporting a multitude of bizarre colours, blended with her interpretation of Harajuku style. Had she been an ordinary person, people would assume that she’s mixing medications. While difference should be embraced and celebrated,
Miss Minaj appears to actually try to be beyond different, which is as counterproductive as a unique person trying to appear ‘normal’. Her strange array of style and her revealing she takes on multiple alter egos just suggests she may not be of sound mind, or simply put, a bit of a freak! Nicki, pick one of your personalities and remain that way, as of the moment, you look like a one woman show of bat crap crazy.
Hangovers So last year. Eradicate that headache with some ‘magic-juice’ (i.e. a screwdriver with Pharmaton).
Top Five Budget Beauty Buys for Under a Tenner JULIE KIRWAN
s much as we wish it, more often than not our student budgets don’t cover the cost of necessities such as MAC eyeshadow quads, Chanel nail varnishes and Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks. Le sigh. So instead left with is a choice of affordable brands. I know, for some this may be a step too far; and I’m not suggesting that all high-street brands are good; but every now and then you can ﬁnd a little gem that means you can eat for the week instead of forking out on its high-end counterpart. Here lies before you the top ﬁve best budget beauty buys for under a tenner. Thank me later! Mavala Nail Polish: Because sometimes Chanel is just too bloody expensive. The Ma-
vala range is available in most pharmacies, has a huge range of colours and textures and costs under €6 for a bottle; so whether it’s a dupe of an expensive nail polish, a dream to create ombre nails or just a little spend thrift, you can’t really go wrong. Sleek Storm Eyeshadow Palette: Whether it’s an unassuming daytime look you’re after or a dark smokey eye; this twelve shadow palette has it all. Shimmers, mattes and the odd base colour thrown in means your €8.50 will be very, very well spent. Available from Sleekmakeup.com Maybelline Falsies Volume Mascara Black: Because,
S U P M CA STY LE Name: Lauren Moore Course: 1st Year English Store of choice: Topshop, H&M, Forever 21. Style Icon: Kate Moss
Name: Sam McGovern Course: 3rd Year English & Drama Store of choice: Harlequin & Topman Style Icon: Franz Ferdinand
Name: Mante Ramoskaite Course: 1st Year Psychology, Film & Classics Store of choice: Zara, UO, River Island. Style Icon: Alexa Chung
let’s face it, mascara isn’t something we want to spend loads of money on. Or share with anyone. Ever. Available in Boots for €10. Bourjois Pastel Joues Blusher: The packaging isn’t that bad and there is a great range of colours to choose from. Favourites for this season are Brun Cuivre and Rose Frisson, for just €9. And last but not least Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick: One, because Kate Moss designed them. Two, because they come in great bright shades that will set you apart from the nude-lipped posse. And three, because they come in at just under €8. Go forth, my friends, and spend, spend, spend!
Julie Kirwan of brokenblush.blogspot.com shows you how to get the perfect spider-eyes for Hallowe’en
f you’re dressing as a Sexy Nurse, Snow White or Schoolgirl for Hallowe’en this year, I suggest you stop reading now. If, however, you’re a bit sick of the slutty Hallowe’en outﬁt clichés and want to attempt something a bit more creative, or even borderline scary, then this may be the place for you. I’m under no allusion that anyone will want to put much effort into their outﬁt, but if dressing up really isn’t for you – play with your face. And this spiderweb look is actually quite pretty. After your base has been set (foundation, concealer, bronzer etc), take any matte black eyeshadow and sweep it across the lid. Then taking a ﬂuffy blending brush, blend the edges out so there are no harsh lines. Taking the same black shadow on a thin angled brush, start to draw lines up from the eyesocket towards the forehead
and smaller lines under the eye towards the cheek, making sure they are not perfectly straight. Once this is done, take the product and draw horizontal curved lines to link up with the vertical ones, creating a spiderweb shape. With a white eyeliner pencil draw small circles throughout the ‘web’ and then taking a black eyeliner pencil, line the inner rims of the eye and apply false eyelashes to the top and bottom lashes (for the bottom lashes, just turn normal
lashes upside down and glue along the lashline). Penney’s have a packet of ﬁve lashes for €8 which would be perfect for this look. Then, take a silver eyeshadow or glitter pigment and apply it to the inner corners of the eyes to open them up. Apply a salmon-pink lipstick like Sleeks ‘Milkshake’ Lip Tar (€5.70, available at beautyemporium.ie) and you’re all set to go. That’s it, simples. And you don’t look like every other girl this Hallowe’en, which has to be a plus. Yes?
Issue 4 of The Siren. Interviews with Chris O'Dowd and Stephen Merchant