college tribune entertainment supplement 6.11.12
THE SIREN SPIEL
MUSIC Triangles are my favourite shape By Kathryn Toolan Page 4
ARTS Dramsoc Danti-Dan Debut By Conor Fox Page 5
Video saved the radio star By Lisa Gorry Page 5
reslin Ciaran B Editor Music
The Siren’s Dublin Walking Tour
Dublin will be tuning up the acoustic guitars out this week for the impending arrival of Ben Howard and Bon Iver. Ben is returning off the back of a triumphant Electric Picnic experience (where I just about squeezed into the tent to see him) to play an intimate and sold out show at the Olympia and continue his impressive rise in popularity in the last number of months. It’s a rise that, in many ways, owes a lot to Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Since For Emma, Forever Ago, near compulsory listening when it was released in 2008, and the famous performance of Skinny Love on Jools Holland there has been a steady increase in stripped back acoustic artists of various forms. The acoustic guitar has undergone a creative renaissance, with the advent of all kinds of interesting tunings and guitar percussion (represented by alternately knocking the thing in between strums), the kind of thing Newton Falkner has been insisting on propagating for years. It means that the old fashioned figure of the folk troubadour has suddenly become relevant and perhaps more importantly by extension, marketable again. Ed Sheeran brought it to the mainstream, The Tallest Man On Earth (who was in town last week) kept it pure and folky, James Vincent McMorrow gave it an Irish source. A style of music automatically suited to the intimacy and intensity associated with smaller gigs, the fact that Bon Iver are now preparing to tackle the near 25000 seater O2 Arena in Dublin really shows how far the genre has come.
By Theresa Martus Page 5
The weather’s getting sicker day-by-day and, if you’re anything like me, you’re finding it harder to find the will to leave the house when it looks like it’s literally going to piss rain the second you step outside. So, what to do? Two options: make a run to Lidl and hole up inside for as long as your stock of cheap vino blanco and potato wedges last, or crack up the Arts Section of the Siren and find out how to stay entertained without venturing too far off your couch. Darragh O’Connor picks out some of the best retro games of the moment or you can see if Lisa Gorry’s suggestions on ‘good tunes in good tv shows’ inspire you to find a reason to stay under your duvet. If you live close to a cinema we’ve our usual lineup of what films to see in the city (or try the Student Centre cinema which is overflowing with visitors...). If you managed to make it into your 4pm lecture on Genetics of Genomes or whatever it was (fair play on braving the wind), try sticking around campus and heading down to DramSoc’s production of Danti-Dan - yes, UCD actually does have a drama society which puts on regular shows! On the off-chance we get some nice Autumn weather, Theresa Martus pinpoints some of Dublin’s street art highlights along with a couple of delightful stop offs in our walking tour of Dublin. I’m considering it this week if the wind ever dies down. Finally, Santa is coming to Dundrum Town Centre this week... IT’S NOT CHRISTMAS!
by Lauren Tracey Page 10
Stay artsy UCD.
By Darragh O’Connor Page 7
One man Star Wars By Darragh O’Connor Page 8
y) ka Fox a ( x o F Conor ditor Arts E
The Barbie Industry by Miceala O Donovan Page 10
Style Icon by Roisin Sweeney Page 11
Haute High Street by Erin Dunleavy Page 11
ey Sween n i s i o tor R ion Edi Fash
Come November 15th, I for one will definitely be queuing for Maison Martin Margiela’s H&M collaboration, discussed by Erin Dunleavy in this week’s issue. The line is a real benchmark in terms of the availability of conceptual fashion on the highstreet. Usually, the most important factor behind design for any highstreet store is always saleability; if the shop thinks it will be easy for people will buy into a trend, they will create it. With H&M collaborations in the past, the designs have never been complex; Lagerfeld, Versace, Lanvin, and even Marni, created, when it comes down to it, fairly simple clothing. The Impact of these lines came from colour, drape, or print. With the Margiela line however, the wow factor is inherent in the concepts and ideas behind the design. The line includes suede jackets turned inside out, so every seam can be examined, clutches on which the strap is made from a leather glove, grasping onto the bag, and a dress inspired by the design of a car-seat cover. These pieces analyse modern design, and if the line is successful, as it will probably be, it will hopefully have a knock-on effect on the highstreet, and make it a more interesting place to shop.
Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg
here’s a limited number of personae in the music industry these days, and Jake Bugg, with his debut record, has achieved a very enjoyable synthesis of some the most recognizable names. At first it seems he’s gone for the classic angsty acoustic guitars and introspective lyrics that are so popular these days, a la Ben Howard or Ed Sheeran, but this neatly infused with the kind of small-town lyrical nous that Alex Turner left off the Beneath The Board-
walk tapes. It’s not quite as acidic as Turner sounded in 2005 but at times it’s certainly from the same school, which is a refreshing change of pace and ensures it doesn’t fall victim to the more boring side of lovelorn folk songs. Indeed, hailing from Europe’s biggest council estate in Nottingham, Bugg’s background has a lot more in common with Arctic Monkeys and the Gallagher brothers than the likes of Sheeran. Fresh from supporting the Stone Roses and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, with a bowl haircut and a Fred Perry shirt, he’s certainly tailor made to fit seamlessly into that particular musical lineage. Having ticked the ‘sensitive balladeer’ and ‘cool young mod’ boxes then, Bugg also occupies a position as yet not widely explored in the indie world: ‘the child star’. Now the Arctic Monkeys were all only 19 when their first album was released, and Ed Sheeran, also fresh from an appearance in front of millions at the Olympics is 21, but Bugg is in
age group of his own. He played Glastonbury last year at only 17 to an adoring crowd -like a kind of indie Justin Bieber. And that’s what makes the album all the more impressive: it might not be strikingly original but it’s certainly filled with sentiment and infectious tunes. This is a very talented 18 year old. The last single, ‘Lightening Bolt’, showcases probably the most enduring musical influence on the album, and the one that has drawn the most common critical comparisons: Jake has already been dubbed the “Dylan of the Midlands”. The drawly vocals and skiffle backing band, held together by a catchy and repetitive riff at the heart of proceedings sounds like Jake’s decided that 1965 is the year he wants to sound like. In calling another track The Ballad of Mr. Jones he simply flips around the title of a couple of Dylan songs to title the obvious musical homage. The musical nods continue apace: the beautiful folky Country
Song hails from a different era of Dylan, more quintessentially English, perhaps Donovan or Nick Drake inspired. Two Fingers sounds (brilliantly) like Jake doing his best Noel Gallagher impression, who’s doing his best Paul Mac Cartney. The La’s are in there somewhere too. It seems a bit lazy to simply compare a new artist to song by song to so many before him, but it really feels like a game of spot the reference point. And in that respect, Bugg remains slightly inscrutable. It has a dash of Oasis cool, Turner turn of phrase, Dylan swagger but none of the coherence that those artist’s debut’s had. It might be a little superficial in places but eminently and joyfully listenable. At 18 years old, Bugg has a massive future ahead of him and this is an excellent introduction.
Taylor Swift – Red
here is no denying the catchiness of Taylor Swift’s most recent offering, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. So it is not surprising that Red is topping both the UK and US charts. Released on October 22nd it is Swift’s fourth studio album, following
the success of Speak Now in 2010. Whether you are a fan of Swift or not, four chart topping albums at the age of 22 certainly deserves a pat on the back, if not two. Red is a step up for the singer and her maturity can be seen in this collection of tracks. Although “We Are Never..” is classic Swift (Speak Now is a sixty
seven minute rant about past failed relationships), Red sees Taylor move away from her country roots and towards rock and dubstep. “I Knew You Were Trouble” starts with an upbeat country beat but at 1:05 it takes a surprising turn, womp womp anyone? A sign she is growing up, Taylor experiments with electro-country-dubstep, which is a genre. Well, it is now. If it’s rock you’re craving, Taylor has you covered. “State of Grace” is the first song on the album. Her soaring vocals compliment the heavy drum beat and electrical guitar and there isn’t a banjo in sight. Ed Sheeran accompanies her on “Everything Has Changed” to create a folk love song that works. Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody steps in for “The Last Time”, a heart wrenching ballad of longing and hormones. Swift is catering for every audience on Red. She’s maturing and her music is too. If you don’t like it, that’s okay. Just don’t say it to her face, she’s fiesty and you could very
be the focus of the fifth track on her next multi-platinum album.
Green Day has scrapped the remainder of its 2012 club tour, while also postponing their early 2013 arena dates -just so frontman Billie Joe Armstrong can “get better”. The singer/guitarist (I know, we kid) entered rehab for substance abuse in September following an expletive-filled rant at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. Armstrong threw the strop after being shown a sign with the words ‘one minute’. “You’re gonna give me one minute?!” he yelled, distraught, into the mic. “I’ve been around since f–ing nineteen eighty f–king eight, and you’re gonna give me one minute?! You’ve gotta be f–ing kidding me!” “I’m not f–ing Justin Bieber, you motherf–ers!” he continued. “Let me show you what one f–ing minute f–ing means,” he continued, before smashing his guitar upon the ground, flicking the bird to host, and storming off the stage. “Obviously the timing for this isn’t ideal, but Billie Joe’s well-being is our main concern,” bass player Mike Dirnt jabbered in a recent statement most likely written by their PR manager. “We are happy to say that Billie Joe is doing well, and we want to thank you all for the outpouring of support and well wishes that we have received, and we can’t wait to see you all again soon.” *YAWN*; nobody cares! People say Green Day are sell outs, which isn’t really true. They have always sucked.
by Stephen West
Triangles are my favourite shape
Kathryn Toolan takes a look at Mercury Prize 2012 winners Alt-J, their winning album and what this means for the band’s future
n Thursday evening Lauren Laverne gave Alt-J some good news. Firm favourites from the outset (with odds of 4/5 to win), the quartet from Leeds landed themselves with the coveted Mercury Music Prize. Staving off competition from big names such as Plan B and The Maccabees, their
“Delta”, which in mathematical equations is used to denote change. The foursome were formed in 2007 when Gwil Sainsbury (guitar/bass), Joe Newman (guitar/vocals), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards) and Thom Green (drums) all met at Leeds University. Unger-Hamilton majored in English Literature
Records. A self-titled demo was released in 2011 and on the 25th of May 2012, after five years of work – An Awesome Wave was released in the UK. The band began touring in Europe and America and Wave had an American release on September 18th of this year. An Awesome Wave is a thirteen
“Newman’s haunting vocal style penetrates each track whilst Green’s drum sets rival the beats of some dubstep today.” debut album An Awesome Wave blew away judges and audiences alike. Past Mercury Prize winners include Primal Scream and Arctic Monkeys: an indicator of the bright future ahead of this young band. The foursome humbly accepted their award, thanking everyone on “team Alt-J” and also sending a special thank you to their parents, for “not making us get real jobs.” But who are Alt-J and why have they been causing such Waves in the music world (pun very much intended)? Alt-J’s name comes from the command on a Mac keyboard to type the Greek letter
whilst the others studied Fine Art (influences that can be clearly seen in their music). It was in the dorms at Leeds that the creative process began. Newman showed Sainsbury songs he had created, which were inspired by hallucinogens and a musical father. The band started to develop these ideas, while Gwil did most of the producing using GarageBand on his laptop. After graduation they relocated to Cambridge and began rehearsing in the basement of their house. For two years they explored and fine tuned their unique sound until they were signed in 2011 by Infectious
track musical experience. Each song is crafted carefully, utilising the skill and talent of each of the four men. A hard band to categorise, Alt-J seem to defy genre. Critics have described them as “trip hop” and “folk step”, at times comparing them to other neu-folk bands like Mumford and Sons. There are some similarities between the bands but their differences outweigh the common elements: Alt-J are Alt-J. Wave is a musical representation of four charismatic individuals. Through solid drum beats, lyricism and shuddering guitars, the bands personality is evident. Newman’s haunting vocal style penetrates each track whilst Green’s drum sets rival the beats of some dubstep today. Drums dominate in “Bloodflood”, a song about panic and fear in a time of confrontation. Thick recurring beats resonate throughout, the heartbeat of the song. References to film, literature and history are found in almost every song. The song “Fitzpleasure” is a retelling of the final chapter of “Last Exit to Brooklyn”, the 1964 novel by Hubert Selby Jr. In the final track of the album, “Taro”, Newman laments the loss
of the photojournalist Gerda Taro, who was killed in 1937 near Madrid, whilst documenting The Spanish Civil War, in particular the Battle of Brunete. For Alt-J, words are not simply an accompaniment to music – lyrics are a musical instrument themselves, pouring over each other with rhythmic perfection. Newman’s range is showcased throughout the album, his unique warblings causing shivers, particularly in “Intro”, the first track on the album. In the song “Tesselate” Unger-Hamilton’s crisp keyboard skills shine through, perfectly accompanied by another resounding drum beat. A love song of sorts, it differs slightly from other tracks on the album. It is slow-paced but all-consuming. Compare this to “Something Good” or “Breezeblocks” and the differences become more evident, both are noticeably more upbeat. But the point has to be made that all tracks on An Awesome Wave are inherently different. To broadly categorise them as “alternative” is the safest bet. Every time the album is listened to, a new element becomes more prominent thus dismantling any preset genre. Wave combines so much but never over – complicates. The sound of Wave starts with many different elements, each capable of standing alone respectively, coming together in unison to produce a final sound that is simply beautiful. On September 12th, the shortlist was announced for this years Mercury Music Prize. Competition was stiff. Plan B, Ben Howard and Richard Hawley all got the nod. But as award night drew closer it was the genre-confused Alt-J that had risen through the ranks and were now favourites to win the Prize and
the £20,000 (€24,931). So how will this affect Alt-J? Winning Mercury is a catalyst that, if used correctly, will gain Alt-J worldwide recognition. Already An Awesome Wave has gained a 79% increase in sales since their nomination and this will only increase as time goes on. A recent gig on Later..With Jools Holland further increased these sales and expanded the fan base for the Cambridge quartet. Has it gone to their heads? In a post Mercury interview, Unger-Hamilton commented that whilst the £20,000 was nice, it wouldn’t even pay off his student loans – a sign the band don’t see themselves as megastars yet. Instead, the prize money is going to a far nobler cause: “We’re planning to fly our parents to the same place in the world and buy them all an expensive dinner.” But although they are a humble group, they are confident of their own talent, Unger-Hamilton stating “I like listening to it and I think that it is a testament to it,” (winning Mercury) Where to now for Alt-J? “It’s completely uncharted territory. You can never say. I have no idea what it means for us,” commented Sainsbury. Alt-J’s five years of hard work and dedication has paid off and it is now time to reap the benefits. The Mercury Music Prize celebrates the freshest sound in music today, and they certainly fit the bill in every respect. As long as they stay true to form and continue making extraordinary sounds, Alt-J have an extremely bright future -and we can hardly wait.
Dramsoc Danti-Dan Debut Tackling Gina Moxley’s Danti-Dan as their opening show, Conor Fox looks at how DramSoc set their own bar high n unsettling exploration of loss of innocence and teenage sexuality set in a no hope town in 1970s Co. Cork - “the sort of place where if you lost your virginity, someone would find it and bring it home to your mam” - Danti-Dan is the story of sharp-tongued Cactus, sisters Ber and Dolores, waster Noel, the titular Dan, and how one long hot summer utterly changes their lives. Initially it is Molly O’Mahoney who has the greatest presence on stage as the experienced Ber, inhabiting her character, however at times she comes across older than 16 - a fact due more to the script than O’Mahoney’s portrayal. Aisling Flynn’s Cactus drives the play forward with her propensity for causing trouble; be it rising Noel, leading Dolores astray, or her final actions, Cactus is the friend who you secretly loved for creating delicious drama, but ultimately ruins your life. As Dolores, Laura Byrne
appeared more at ease playing with Dan than taking on more weighty pieces, erring on the side of overdramatic when the time came. The production of the play helped set the scene with particularly good choices made in regard to the characters of Cactus, Dan and Dolores helping the actors appear the age of their respective characters. Ber and Noel weren’t so fortunate, with costume choices leading to uncertainty regarding their characters’ ages. The simple set design allowed the audience a unique insight into Dan’s world view. The sentimental nostalgia of Danti-Dan is underplayed with a comedic edge; an unexpected harsher tragedy erupts on DramSoc’s stage, leaving the audience perturbed and waiting for a comeuppance which never arrives. An initial strong showing from DramSoc, Danti-Dan sets a high standard for their works to come.
Above: Molly O’Mahoney, Aisling Flynn, Laura Byrne. Photo by Katie-Anne McDonagh
Video saved the radio star Lisa Gorry takes a look and a listen at TV/music crossovers
here’s a lot to be said for a good soundtrack. How often have you watched a movie and thought about what it would have been like without the music? How The Shining would have faired without its eerie instrumentals, or if Saturday Night Fever would have been as successful without its funky retro beats. It’s undeniable that a good soundtrack can make or break a production, and so it only seems logical that a good show too can make or break an artist. The crossover between good music and good television has come to particular prominence since the entering of the noughties, and it is now just as likely for TV viewers to not only become obsessed with the show itself but to form a religious following for its soundtrack as well. Take HBO’s controversial new addition, GIRLS, written and directed by hipster messiah Lena Dunham. Not only can viewers get a behind the scenes look at the show via the HBO website, but super fans can now also follow the soundtrack for each episode on the site too, a seemingly ingenious way on behalf of HBO of promoting the artists who say the things that Lena Dunham doesn’t need to write. Certain shows have so become synonymous with good music (here’s looking at you Grey’s Anatomy), meaning that for certain music junkies, following a good show
can be just as beneficial as a venture over to iTunes. One show in particular which spearheaded the good TV/good music crossover was the massively successful The O.C., one of the first shows to really incorporate music into the scheme of its show. Not only did it have the mammoth task of proving that this could work, but it pulled it off with spectacular aplomb, mixing bigger, known bands, most famously The Killers, with unsigned and less known bands. In fact, many acts premiered singles on the show, and the six volumes of music which have been released since have proven to be hugely successful, even after the series has ended. Creator of the show, Josh Schwartz said he wanted music to act as a character on the show, and it seems that he carried this ethos onto many of his other productions, such as Gossip Girl and Chuck, series which have championed the success of the good TV/good music crossover. It would seem that the key to his success is the variety and range of artists which are included in the shows. As lesser known artists are stirred up in a soundtrack with bigger and more established acts, the listener is lured into unfamiliar and yet inviting musical territory. Musical directors are now giving these under-appreciated and little known gems the chance to rub shoulders with the top guns and get their mu-
sic heard in a bigger and brighter universe. I thoroughly encourage a trip to your Skybox/nearest Xtravision/HMV to begin your journey of musical discovery. Here are my three favourites to get you started:
Chuck Act to Hear: Phantom Planet
Grey’s Anatomy Act to Hear: Tegan and Sara
How I Met Your Mother Act to Hear: The 88
The Siren’s Dublin Walking Tour Outside of galleries and guide books, Theresa Martus compiles some of Dublin’s hidden gems both on and behind the walls of the city. Have friends or family coming to town and want to show them a different side of Dublin? Just looking for something new to do on a Saturday afternoon? Whatever it is, this little walking tour around Dublin may be the answer.
E E: Tivoli Theatre car park 138 Francis Street, Dublin 8 One of Dublin’s oldest spots for street art, and one of the best. Many of the city’s - and the country’s – most distinctive artists have worked on the walls of this parking lot and they continue to do so. There is a good chance you’ll discover something new every time you come by.
A: Icon Walk Aston Place, Bedford Lane, Dublin 2 No tour of Dublin is really complete without Temple Bar, and this one is no exception. But there’s more to the area than Fleet Street and the square, as you’ll find out if you turn right at Aston Place. Artist collective Icon Factory has taken over the narrow lanes there and turned them into a tribute to Irish culture and identity, honoring Irish authors, musicians and actors on large panels designed by different artists. The surroundings of dumpsters and big, tag-covered metal doors lend additional authenticity to the shiny, beautifully made pieces.
G: Retro George’s Street Arcade 22, South Great Georges St., Dublin 2 Not really creatively, but very aptly named “Retro” does what it says on the box: it sells retro clothes -and very cute and stylish ones at that. The men’s and women’s 1940’s and 50’s reproduction fashion they stock doesn’t come at high street prices, but then again, they don’t look like it either. In addition to that, you can also find hats, jewellery, corsets and baby playsuits with AC/DC or the Sex Pistols prints.
F: Make Shop Lincoln Place, Dublin 2 Less of a shop and more of a workshop is the Trinity Science Gallery’s Make Shop. Just come in off the street and see what you can make that day – it might be a little robot or your own customized clock!
I: The Bernard Shaw 11 - 12 South Richmond Street, Dublin 2
It’s been an insider tip for some years now, but this pub is still a great place to end your tour. Get a pint and some pizza from the Big Blue Bus or go inside and have a look at the art currently on exhibition. And of course, don’t forget to check out the murals on the walls of the beer garden.
H: South Richmond Street Dublin 2 Walking up Portobello’s Richmond Street towards the canal, you can see neoncoloured, meter-high letters saying “Emancipate Yourself” on the left. They mark one of Dublin’s biggest spots for street art, especially old school graffiti. On the brick walls of Richmond Street South, the lane circling The Bernard Shaw, there are layers and layers of colour, testament to the many artist who have been here. It’s also a place where you have a good shot at seeing artists at work.
B: “Labelz” by adm 22 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2 High up on the wall of Fitzsimon’s, there is a design that is not entirely unfamiliar, but the content is different: adm’s stand-alone piece brilliantly connects creativity, craftsmanship and a message, and is just plain fun to look at.
C: Industry 5 Essex St. West, Dublin 8. Need something new to decorate your room and a break from IKEA? Try Industry, a small independent shop that was opened two years ago in response to the lack of individual home ware stores. As the name says, the focus is on industrial design, but you’ll find post cards and notebooks as well sleek steel lamps. The products, some of which are vintage, others recycled or new, come from Ireland and all over Europe and are hand-picked for their design by the shop’s owner.
D: Tamp&Stitch Unit 3 Scarlet Row, Essex Street West, Dublin 8 Coffee is a great, great thing. So is fashion. And they have found each other in this “boutique café”, a concept probably unique in Dublin. Get one of their coffees made with care and attention then browse the selection of affordable clothes and jewellery by little known, but interesting designers, all of which the owners know in person.
There are literally hundreds of “retro” video games that are worth playing. People are most familiar with names like Sonic, Zelda and Mario on the box. Those, however, are merely the tip of the iceberg, and some of the best games from this era you may never have heard of. I have compiled a list of four games, in no particular order, that may have slipped past you. These are worth dusting off the Megadrive/SNES, plus the investment of your time and your frustration.
Darragh O’Connor provides a blast from the past in his selection of bygone games
Earthworm Jim is a run and gun platformer released for the Sega Mega Drive(Genesis) in 1994, and subsequently to other consoles, like the SNES. It is now available on PSN and the Xbox Arcade in HD. This game has always been known for its beautiful animation that successfully captured the magic of the TV show. The puzzles, awesome 2D gameplay, and boss battles with Psy-Crow, Queen Slug-for-a-Butt and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head, will give hours of entertainment. I would recommend watching the show too, as it will increase your appreciation of this game.
Kirby Super Star is a hybrid of the “classic” Kirby of the NES and the Kirby of the handheld world. The updated controller of the SNES allow Kirby to use more abilities and the improved graphics make this the best Kirby adventure of the 8-bit/16-bit era. Kirby is one of the lesser-known characters, and once you pick up this one up you will know why that’s such a crime.
Kid Chameleon is a platform game released for the Megadrive. The premise of the game is that a young boy, Casey, can use a series of masks which allow him to use different abilities in a virtual reality game. Casey must beat the game in order to escape. This game can be found on a number of compilations such as the Sega Genesis Collection for the PS2 and PSP. It is an essential for those who like a Super Mario-style platformer but with a more “adult” feel. The controls are perfect, but like most games of this era, this is not an easy game.
RoboCop Versus The Terminator is a video game released for a number of platforms and is based on the RoboCop and Terminator franchises. The plot is set in the future in which RoboCop must battle waves of terminators and other Skynet machines to save Delta City. Again, it is a sidescroller, but this one is unlike any other. The array of weapons makes for a fast paces blood bath, and the fun that can be gained from a single play-through rivals any game from the next generation consoles.
Joseph Gallagher views Skyfall as a reminder “that sometimes the old ways are the best.”
ilva questions Bond on his favourite hobby and to this Bond quickly responds with the word, ‘Resurrection’. Ask me what I think of the movie and I may very well reply with that exact word. Skyfall resurrects Bond once again and serves to remind us that sometimes the old ways are the best. The plot sees Bond’s (Daniel Craig) loyalty to M (Judi Dench) tested as he goes after a threat against MI6. Bond is helped along the way by a field agent named Eve (Naomie Harris), Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) and the technological wizard known as Q (Ben Whishaw). Sam Mendes does a tremendous job with the movie and proves that he is one of the most versatile filmmakers out there. Roger Deakins’s cinematography must also be acknowledged as a feat that not even the most elaborate stunts and setpieces can live up to.
Mendes admitted to being influenced by The Dark Knight trilogy and there are many similarities. The older and battered Bond we see in the first act of the film can be compared to the Bruce Wayne we see at the start of The Dark Knight Rises. Also, Silva is to Skyfall what the Joker was to The Dark Knight. Both are eclectic individuals and, like the Joker, Silva escapes custody in a similar fashion and the methods both use to wreak havoc can be compared. Other similarities include instances such as a scene that features Bond following a villain up an elevator shaft in which Thomas Newman’s music sounds much like the notes of Hans Zimmer’s famed score. In fact even some of the sequences are much like those of said trilogy. Now, upon mentioning Silva, what would Bond be without a villain? The villain here is Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), an odd individu-
al who was once an agent at MI6. The introductory shot serves as a splendid introduction to the lisping and eerily mannered villain whose madness will be highlighted in the methods he uses to inflict terror. Bardem is effortless in his portrayal as he proves once again that he can become the scariest man simply through the use of his hair.
But what would Bond be without a Bond girl? Berenice Marlohe brings a sexy yet dangerous European goddess-like aura as the enigmatic Severine. Marlohe is everything you expect in a Bond girl and her voluptuous curves are enough make the movie seem like it’s in 3-D. The ending of the movie is rather
like 007 meets Straw Dogs (1971) and features a very significant moment that I won’t spoil here. Skyfall is one of the best Bond movies in recent memory, and although it wears as much nostalgia as Bond probably does cologne, it never feels tasteless and makes for a fantastic fiftieth anniversary celebration.
Enlightened us Darragh O’Connor does, a force to be reckoned with Charles Ross is
ot so long ago, in a theatre not so far away... A Halloween audience was treated to the genius that is the One Man Star Wars Trilogy. This Off-Broadway play based on the original Star Wars trilogy, and is written and performed by Canadian actor Charles Ross. It premiered over a decade ago in Toronto, Ontario, and has since toured worldwide. This Halloween show was part of Ross’ Irish tour, and the venue for the evening’s show could not have been better. The Mill Theatre is a hidden gem in the heart of Dundrum Town Centre. The decor for the night was outstanding, as they embraced both Halloween and Star Wars in a festive, yet tasteful manner. The staff hosted a Star Wars costume contest and replicated the Cantina from A New Hope in their stylish bar. The night began with laughs from Irish Comedian Aidan Killian. His sharp edged set weaves serious issues such as GMO, Sodium Fluoride and banking scandals together with funny observations on daily life in post-boom Ireland. He is one to watch out for on the Irish comedy circuit. The plot of One Man Star Wars faithfully follows the events of the original Star Wars Trilogy films: the Rebel Alliance vs. the evil Empire, Luke Sky-
walker’s journey to becoming a Jedi Knight and the love story of Han Solo and Leia. The plot of course is shortened to accommodate for time, which is only one hour, but done so without cutting any essentials. The performance is truly remarkable, as the name suggests it is one man, Charles Ross, performing every part. Ross has a firm grasp on the characters that he is portraying and his pacing is stellar. He adds emphasis to the ridiculousness that is present within the Star Wars universe. This allows him to present an overall comedic re-imagining of the Saga, without defiling it. His crowd interaction is masterful. Therefore he easily garnishes emotion responses with ‘in jokes’ relating to Star Wars from the audience, for example; “Was Chewie upset that he didn’t get a medal at the end of A New Hope?” Ross will revive your love of Star Wars with his show. Despite the length of time that this performance has been running, it is obvious this is still a labour of love. It is made for fans by a fan. However it is also very accessible to non-Star Wars fans, with Ross being an amazing visual storyteller and performer with excellent comedic timing. This is a great night out for the whole family, but especially Star Wars fans.
Hellacious Histrionics: Murder on the Nile
Aoife Byrne reviews the latest Agatha Christie production to hit The Gaiety Theatre
he Agatha Christie Theatre Company’s Murder on the Nile at The Gaiety Theatre has all the component parts of an Agatha Christie locked-room mystery, filled with the red-herrings and drama of the timeless whodunit. Commencing with the assembly of passengers on a cruiseliner on the Nile, the audience is introduced to honeymooners Kay Mostyn (Susie Amy) and Simon Mostyn (Ben Nealon). The couple is followed and tormented by Simon’s former fiancée, the furious and scorned Jacqueline de Severac (Claire Marlowe), who shows up moments before the ship sets sail and immediately instigates tension. Perhaps one of the most common criticisms of Christie’s work is that it is outmoded and archaic. This can certainly not be argued for this production of Murder on the Nile. The director (Joe Harmston) emphasises the play’s exploration of monetary issues, effectively striking a chord with a contemporary audience. Set
after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, it explores the effects of market collapse and financial ruin, successfully illustrating the dangerous lengths that people will go to in order to achieve monetary stability. When adapting the novel Death on the Nile to the stage, Christie abandoned the immensely popular Hercule Poirot, reworking the central character and inevitable detective Canon Pennefather into the script. The change to Pennefather works, given the play’s exploration of greed; the whimsical, saintly Poirot is unsuited to the darker subject matter in the way the well-intentioned yet imperfect Pennefather is, and Robert Duncan does justice to the role in this production. Nonetheless, Poirot’s absence on the cruise-liner is a glaring one, and the audience does get the impression that he has (forgive me) missed the boat on this one. The standalone performance is Claire Marlowe’s for her depiction of Jacqueline. It is no mean feat when an actor pulls off an evil laugh without being clichéd or melodramatic. Her nuanced and largely convincing performance commands the stage where other char-
acters fall flat. For instance, the admittedly amusing drunkard Miss Gfoliot-ffoulkes (Nichola McAuliffe) was the predictable favourite, as appreciative laughter from the audience constantly affirmed. Even still, McAuliffe, along with Max Hutchinson as William Smith, was guilty of blundering lines at crucial plot-points. While this is a generally successful performance, The Gaiety’s boxy acoustics amplified every sound onstage. Consequently, attempts by Harmston to create the atmosphere of a bustling Egyptian port in actuality became noisy and distracting. Every movement, footstep, or prop usage onstage could be clearly heard and at times drowned out dialogue. This being said, the sound designer (Matthew Bugg) made clever use of offstage music and sound effects in building suspense. All in all, this is an extravagant production with an aestheticallypleasing use of costume (Brigid Guy) and set (Simon Scullion). You don’t have to be a Christie stalwart to appreciate it, and for those who know the story well, it manages to continually surprise with its spectacular staging.
The force is strong in this one Lisa Gorry examines the Disney/Lucasfilm merger
t’s the sale that’s had the Twittersphere blown up with comedic movie mashups and left fans more than a little torn. The announcement last week that Disney had in fact bought Lucasfilm, the company that brought us the epic Star Wars saga, set Twitter alight with anticipated move titles such as “When You Wish Upon a Death Star”, “Lilo and Sith” and “Snow White and the Seven Droids”. Fans were shocked to learn that the production company, founded by legendary producer and director George Lucas in 1971, had been sold last week to the multibillion, living, breathing, multinational corporation that is The Walt Disney Company for $4.05 billion in cash and
stock shares. Not only was the massive sale a shock to the system, but on top of it came the announcement that we are to be blessed (or cursed?) with a new Star Wars installment, tentatively entitled Star Wars: Episode VII, set to be released in 2015, with planned talks for a further two Episodes to be released every two or three years. “It’s now time for me to pass ‘Star Wars’ on to a new generation of filmmakers,” reasoned George Lucas in a statement. “I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime”. Lucas, founder of Lucasfilm, has directed four of the six Star Wars films. He said that he had decided to do the merger, in essences, to pass the Star Wars sto-
Joseph Gallagher gives the lowdown on the latest and greatest to hit Dublin’s cinema screens
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Director: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon.
Director: Tim Burton.
Stars: Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock, and David Schwimmer.
Stars: Winona Ryder, Catherine O’ Hara, Martin Short.
Plot: Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent - Madagascar style. Why watch it? Dublin Zoo was closed and this may be the closest thing you’ll get to it.
Don’t Miss This! The Big Blue Bus
Plot: Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended -and sometimes monstrous- consequences. Why watch it? When Helena’s away, Tim will play. Why not watch it? You only go to Burton’s movies because they usually have Johnny Depp. Not a good reason, but a reason nonetheless.
Situated in the cool surroundings of the Bernard Shaw’s backyard, if you’re lucky enough to have the right name on the right day, you could be in for a free pizza. The Big Blue Bus; 12 South Richmond Street
Why not watch it? You expect an animated version of Animal Farm.
Lafayette With a pitcher of Woo-Woo going for €20, it’s the perfect place for after work/college drinks. Lafayette; 1-5 D’Olier Street
Lords of Strut
Director: Josh Schwartz.
Director: Ben Affleck. Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman. Plot: A dramatization of the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran. Why watch it? It is the current favourite according to Gold Derby to win Best Picture and it is also a movie that proves Hollywood can, in fact, save the world. Why not watch it? You’d rather watch Bryan Crantston in Breaking Bad and Ben Affleck irks you.
ries onto future generations. This is not Disney’s first big merge however, let us not forget. Disney bought Pixar in 2006, the company that brought us Toy Story, and the Marvel deal in 2009 gave the iconic production company control over one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer, The Avengers, along grossing $1.5 billion worldwide. So while we know that the company isn’t afraid to pay out the big bucks for the right buy, the real question remains as to how this latest big spend will affect one of the biggest sagas in a generation? Some fans have argued that this could be the best thing to happen to the series. While the original Star Wars trilogy of the late 70s/ early 80s became one of the biggest box-office hits of all time, winning numerous Academy Awards and nominations, the prequel trilogy,
Stars: Victoria Justice, Johnny Knoxville, Chelsea Handler, Ana Gasteyer. Plot: Wren’s Halloween plans go awry when she’s made to babysit her brother, who disappears into a sea of trick-or-treaters. With her best friend and two nerds at her side, she needs to find her brother before her mom finds out he’s missing.
Ireland’s (self-styled) dancing, hot acrobatic comedy character’s Famous Seamus and Seantastic. “Two brothers who want nothing more than to be the most famous dancers who ever lived!” take to the Smock Alley stage. Comedy undertaken in lycra. Can you really afford to miss this? I didn’t think so. €10, 9.30 pm, 4th-10, Smock Alley Theatre, Temple Bar.
Why watch it? You simply can’t handle ‘horror movies’ this season. Why not watch it? The creator of Gossip Girl and Chelsea HandlerReally?
released between 1999 and 2005 garnered heavy criticism from fans and reviewers alike, Lucas himself being criticised for constant changes which were made to the original (and best) three films. Many fans have even gone so far as to express relief that Lucas himself is backing out of the company, based on the damage that this prequel trilogy did to the franchise. Fans have also pointed to the success that Disney had in past mergers, most notably Pixar and Marvel, and it’s hard to deny that the results have been high-quality products. On the other hand though, some hardcore Star Wars fanatics would be fearful of the merger, simply for the taint of the Disney name. It was Lucas who brought us the saga through his own genius and imagination; unlike other mega-sagas such as Harry Potter and The Lord
New Writing Week You can’t be sure if you’re gonna find the next Shakespeare or something worse than DramSoc but, for only a fiver, taking a chance on a new production in the New Theatre isn’t the worse thing you do. All the writers have previously been told they were a bit of alright - you might be seeing the next big thing!
of the Rings, the movie was not created on the basis of a previously published work of fiction, but was in fact crafted through the imagination of the G-man himself, and so it will be hard to see how well Dis€5, 7.30pm, 5th-10th, The New ney will be able to navigate the Star Theatre, 43 Essex St. Wars landscape while still remaining true to the original vision. I’m not claiming to be the most knowledgeable Star Wars commenSocial Start-up Poker tator, not by a mile, but I am hoping that fans can reserve judgment on this latest collaboration and give Know how to play poker or at least Disney the chance that they have know how to bluff an attempt at it? proved to be able to pull off. Either Give your hand a chance and meet way, Princess Leia is a Disney prin- some of Dublin’s up-and-comers in cess that I can definitely get behind. the social enterprise start up scene. Win big prizes while changing the world - it’s The Siren’s favourite thing to do! 8pm, Friday 9th, Exchange Dublin, Temple Bar.
Wearable art Lauren Tracey looks back at designer/artist collaborations, from YSL’s iconic Van Gough collection to Vuittons current work with Yoyoi Kusama.
here are fashion lovers world over who would proclaim that fashion is art, and never has this sentiment been truer. In the past number of months some of the most highly regarded fashion houses have transformed their runway models into walking installations based on the work of some of their favourite artists. Coach has included a collection of bags based on the works of James Nares, and Louis Vuitton created their most recent collection in collaboration with the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. It seems that fashion houses are literally taking on board the age old idea of artistic expression through their designs. What has been a hugely anticipated designer/artist collaboration is the Yayoi Kusama for Louis Vuitton collection. Kusama is known for her whimsical, colourful dot motif . Marc Jacobs, co-designer in the collaboration has been quoted as saying “For many people who don’t look at art or go to galleries, or maybe they’re not aware
of Kusama’s work, there will be a new venue, a new place to see this work and to come to appreciate it through the eyes of Louis Vuitton.” It appears that Kusama’s influence is already apparent in the work of Jacobs; his new fragrance has been aptly named Dot. YSL’s art inspired work has always made waves, particularly with their Vincent van Gough inspired collection. He drew inspiration from Van Gogh’s paintings for an exclusive range of jackets and evening gowns. Jacket’s featured play heavily on Van Gogh’s iris and sunflower motifs, and pay homage to the beautifully emotive mystique found in Van Gogh’s art. YSL was also influenced by Matisse, including colourful fabric leaves in many of his gowns. He also used the same vibrant reds and pinks featured in many Matisse paintings. One of the houses most fames pieces is the Piet Mondrain colour block dress. We also have contemporary artist Rob Pruitt lending a hand at
Jimmy Choo, designing a collection of sexy pumps and quirky flats. The line focuses heavily on celebrity and pop culture, and includes neon pinks, zebra skins and sprinkles decorating the shoes. While the designs are new and fresh there are still elements of Choo’s classic shapes in the edged heels and feminine cuts. Handbag designers Coach have also teamed up with painter James Nares, and have featured five of his brushstroke paintings printed onto Italian leather totes. Art has always had its influences on fashion, but not sine the 60’s and 70’s has fashion been so focused on art. The designers are exploring the depths of the their own creativity, and combining it with that of and the results are wonderful. Over the next number of months we are sure to see a increase in the amount of designers following suit, and are sure to have a wide variety of art world collaborators to choose from.
The Industry Miceala O Donovan discusses the controversy surrounding westernizing beauty procedures
e’re all familiar with the concept of globalization. The world-wide domination of Ikea, Justin Bieber and Starbucks are a few well known examples. But while a universal standard for what constitutes a perfect cup of coffee is one thing, something slightly more disturbing has emerged in recent years. As our planet seems to become smaller and ideals become increasingly integrated across each continent, we have seen a gradual homogenization of the concept of the perfect human face and body. Alongside the technology that made globalization possible, ships, planes and the internet, the cosmetic surgery and beauty industries have advanced in equal measure. So as we become more connected as a planet, it seems that we are aiming to look more and more alike too. The ideals of the west have been projected by the mainstream beauty industry as a standard of perfection to aim for. Most young
women of our generation grew up with the iconic features of Mattel’s Barbie seared forever into our subconscious minds as an obvious representation of this. So it’s not unusual to spot that familiar long, straight blonde hair, those big blue eyes and fixed, shiny smile on one of the music industry’s biggest stars of 2012. The unusual thing is that Nicki Minaj isn’t Caucasian like Barbie, but black and Indian. Nicki is proof that with enough money, effort and science anyone can force themselves into the Barbie mould, regardless of race. Though Nicki’s look is an extreme example, there definitely is considerable pressure on girls and women of all ethnic backgrounds to conform to certain standards of western beauty. In recent years a procedure called blepharoplasty or “double eyelid” surgery has become the most popular cosmetic procedure in places like Tawain and South Korea. It is argued by some that this process of altering
the natural eye shape common to some Asian people in order to make their eyes look “more western” is an obvious example of the influence of western beauty. For younger people or those who cannot afford the surgery, there are beauty products available that help to glue or tape the eyelid into this desired shape. A quick YouTube search for demonstrations on how to apply these products prove that their use is widespread. The beauty industry enforces Western ideals in other areas too. In the documentary ‘Good Hair’, presenter Chris Rock explores the perceived stigma that surrounds the texture and appearance of black hair left in its natural state. The black hair industry is worth 9 billion dollars in the US and this makes up eighty per cent of the overall amount spent on hair products, showing the pressure felt by black men and women to change themselves in order to fit into the West’s concept of what is attractive.
There doesn’t seem to be room for difference in the beauty industry, be it racial difference or other, and inevitably this leads to people spending more on products that will “fix” that part of themselves that stands out. Be it a serious pro-
cedure like surgery, or just a small thing like covering pale skin with fake tan, the industry profits as long as it keeps everyone, everywhere, longing to be one version of “perfect”.
Style Icon: Kirsten Dunst
Roisin Sweeney looks at this week’s style icon, Kirsten Dunst
irsten Dunst first came to popular attention as Claudia in ‘Interview with a Vampire,’ for which she was nominated for a golden globe. She also played a lead role in two of Sofia Coppola’s films, ‘The Virgin Suicides,’ and ‘Marie-Antoinette,’ both of which have had huge impact on the fashion world. She has a close friendship with the director, and seems to been influenced by her aesthetics. Dunst is not hugely involved in the fashion industry, but was chosen as the face of Bvlgari jewlery and perfume in 2011, and still holds this position today. Chanel is her design house of choice, a perfect match between two classic points of view.
Kate Upton The busty model is edging her way onto the high fashion scene with a cover and editorial in Vogue Italia, shot by Steven Meisel.
Anna Piaggi The late, legendary, fashion editor’s final photo shoot was published in W magazine this month, showcasing her eccentric style perfectly.
Haute High Street
Abercrombie and Fitch Whatever about the shop, the clothing, or the prices, the hot naked men are certainly a good edition to the Dublin streetscape.
Erin Dunleavy delves into the world of and the house’s recent collaboration with H&M
es, the rumours are true; the renowned Belgian fashion house Maison Martin Margiela is collaborating with the Swedish power house that is H&M. The collection will feature clothing and accessories for men and women and it will be available from the 15th of November in 230 stores worldwide and online. We should all prepare for the ridiculous queues again, as this is due to be a hugely popular collection, and has already garnered positive reviews from the fashion press. This is thrilling news for fans of Margiela’s usually very high-priced designs. This is a platform for the more modest earners among us to indulge in the brand. Maison Martin Margiela is a house which has always followed its own path, often outside the conventional fashion framework. So for the more daring dresser, this collaboration is a real treat. After graduating from Antwerp’s prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1980, Margiela worked as a freelance designer for five years. Between 1985 and 1987 he worked for Jean Paul Gaultier before showing his first collection under his own label in 1989. Between 1997 and 2003 he became, despite his non-traditional design, the creative director of the Hermes women’s line. Throughout his career, Martin Margiela has maintained an extremely low profile. He has never had his picture taken and remains
Scott Schuman The outrageously arrogant street style photographer has criticised Bill Cunningham this week, claiming that he has no influence on his work. How about the fact that he invented your genre of photography Scott? Ugg Boots The company that produces the boots, Deckers Outdoor Corps, are being forced to drop the prices on their products due to weak sales.
backstage after his shows. All media contact is dealt with via fax. Maison Martin Margiela’s ultra-discreet trademark consists of a piece of cloth printed with the numbers 0-23. The badge is attached to the inside of the garment with its four little white pick stitches, exposed to the outside on unlined garments, acting as an outward stamp of admiration for the avant-garde designer. For the 20th anniversary the anonymous tag was replaced by a classic logotype. Margiela famously redesigns
everyday objects such as old wigs, canvases and silk scarves into beautiful and thoughtful garments. Deconstruction is also a key concept of Margiela’s designs, as seen with his H&M pieces, which include a four sleeved dress, and a piece which looks like two dresses stitched together. The issues with Margielas resignation from his beloved house has been clouded in mystery. This makes the collaboration with such a high profile chain as H&M all the more intriguing!
Fashion Theft Amy Winehouses’ wedding dress, due to go up for a charity auction this week, was sadly stolen during a break in at her Camden home.
By Roisin Sweeney