Issue Two December 2019 Free
END OF DECADE PULLOUT
STAR WARS THE RISE OF SKYWALKER The end of a decade and the end of an era.
HEAD OF PUBLICITY EDITOR
Jack Nash email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org DEPUTY EDITOR
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
CULTURE & FILM EXECUTIVE
RECORDS & LIVE EXECUTIVE
HEAD OF DESIGN
HEAD OF PUBLICITY
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, we began our journey across the universe with Luke, Leia, Hans and Chewie; and now, 42 years later, we are concluding the third (and possibly final) trilogy. This is also the final issue from The Edge this decade - and what an issue we have in store for you! We look at why you should be excited by the latest disney addition to the Star Wars saga; Rise of Skywalker (p. 7). However, as it is the final issue of the decade, we thought we’d go over all the best entertainment of the 10s.. We’ve thought long and hard about what albums are the best of the decade (p. 15-16), the best films (p. 13-14) and the best video games (p. 19-20). Also, our centre page is a useful timeline for some of the biggest entertainment news stories to break across the decade (p. 17-18) to remind you of some of the news stories that you may have forgotten about. Bringing it back to 2019, we have some brilliant articles of what to look forward to in the coming months as we approach 2020. We look towards the live-action musical adaptation of Cats (p. 10), it looks like an extremely interesting- but will the cat get the cream at the box office? We also have a look at the Pokemon franchise - and whether or not it deserves all the hype (p. 28). A personal favourite of our live editor, we also look at Bon Iver’s live performances in the past, and why, if you get the chance to attend one, you should (p. 31). Now some special thanks. It breaks my heart but unfortunately, our design goddess Charlotte Morris is stepping down from her role as Head of Design. She has been on The Edge committee for the past year and a bit, and she has made The Edge the best it can be, leading to nominations at the Student Publication Association National Awards. She has designed all the magazines (including this issue) and the social media imagery. I can’t thank her enough for her dedication to the magazine (and I’m certain that my predecessor Thea Hartman would say the same). I think I can speak for all of committe in saying thank you and we wish you the best of luck in everything you do.
Now all that’s left to say is enjoy the issue - and may the force be with you!
Jack Nash, Editor
HEAD OF EVENTS
VICE PRESIDENT ACTIVITIES
Fiona Sunderland email@example.com
Welcome To Issue Two
How Much Should Artists Connect With Their Fans?
Hidden Gem: Steve Lacy - Apollo XXI
Genre In Focus: Post-Punk
On Edge: Anticipating Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
Hidden Gem: Predestination
Stay Paw-Sitive: Cats Incoming
Actor In Focus: Saoirse Ronan
Closer To The Edge: Our Favourite Films Of The Decade
Closer To The Edge: Our Favourite Albums Of The Decade
Nostalgic News: Timeline Of The 10S
Closer To The Edge: Our Favourite Video Games Of The Decade
Most Iconic Live Performances Of The Decade
Editorsâ€™ Picks: Best Of The Decade
Battle Royales: Which Are Peasants & Which Are Royalty?
On Edge: Anticipating The Witcher
Modern Day Literary Successes
In Criticism Of Pokemon
Preview: Sean Mcgowan At The Joiners, 21/12/19
Live Act In Focus: Bon Iver
An Interview With Couples
Follow Us! /theedgesusu @theedgesusu @theedgesusu Cover image courtesy of Lucas Films Ltd Back image courtesy of Andy Langager
THE NEWS BOX NEWS
IN BRIEF The BRIT Awards have decided not to scrap gender based categories at their 2020 ceremony. My Chemical Romance have announced a reunion concert in LA on 20th December. Little Mix announce they’re starting a talent show to form a group to support them on tour. BBC announce new series Dracula, from the team behind Sherlock. Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Saunders have been cast in Sister Act: The Musical, running at London’s Eventim Apollo next July/August.
DANCING ON ICE ANNOUNCE SAME SEX
THE EDGE’S ENTERTAINMENT PICKS EDITOR THE WITCHER, NETFLIX, 20/12/19
The much anticipated adaptation from the popular video game series will be hitting Netflix later this month, just in time to binge watch over the Christmas break.
RECORDS EDITOR HARRY STYLES - FINE LINE, COLOMBIA RECORDS, 13/12/19
Harry Styles recently saved the day with ‘Lights Up’, so I’m totally hyped for his upcoming album, hopefully full of ‘kiwi’-level bangers
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, DIR. BY JAKE KASDAN – 11/12/19
Forget about Star Wars. The blockbuster I’m most excited for this month has to be the Jumanji sequel, The Next Level. The reboot proved an unexpected treat, with a cast all on the top of their game. This time around, Danny DeVito’s mind is inside Dwayne Johnson’s body. Sign us up.
CULTURE EDITOR LIFE IS STRANGE 2: EPISODE 5 - 03/12/2019
The final instalment of the episodic adventure from Dontnod, Life is Strange 2’s fifth episode is bound to bring some heart-breaking twists and turns where Sean and Daniel risk everything to reach their destination.
SAM FENDER @ O2 ACADEMY BOURNEMOUTH, 14/12/2019. With the release of Hypersonic Missiles earlier this year, I am incredibly excited to see what Sam Fender’s music will be like experienced live. I have no doubts that he will put on an amazing show completed with tons of energy-filled, catchy tunes.
Same sex pairings have been a hot topic for many years now, and each year speculation mounts as to whether this will finally be the year that Strictly Come Dancing introduces them. However, quite surprisingly it seems, Dancing on Ice has beaten them to it. It has been confirmed that Ian ‘H’ Watkins from the pop group Steps will be partnering up with Matt Evers, a professional skater who has been on the show since the beginning. The announcement has, predictably, been met with mixed reactions. Many people have welcomed the change, as it offers more visibility to LGBT+ people on prime time television, acting as a vehicle to improve conversations within families about sexuality, but others have criticsed the move away from tradition. It will be exciting to see how this goes when the series begins in January, and whether this will pave the way for more acceptance of same sex partnerships on TV dance shows in the future.
How Much Should Artists Connect With Their Fans? VICKY GREER
ans have always felt a deep connection to their favourite artists by listening to their lyrics, but outside of their music, few artists really engage with their fans in a personal way, with many preferring to keep a distance in the name of privacy. Should artists keep their personal lives separate from their fans, or should they be engaging more with the listeners to whom they owe their success?
Throughout the years, artists have always tried to maintain their privacy. It can be argued that musical icons like David Bowie and Freddie Mercury maintained their legendary status by being eternally mysterious. Yes, their lyrics were profound and personal, but there was always some unknowable divide between their stage personas and the real-life artist. Tabloid journalism posed a threat to this privacy that continues in the new form of social media. When we compare the press’ obsession with defining the late Queen frontman’s sexuality with Twitter’s similar speculation about artists like Harry Styles, we can understand why more and more musicians choose not to speak about their most personal moments. Fans are simultaneously the reason behind an artist’s success, but the pressure put on their personal life is perhaps too high a price. On the other hand, some artists choose to take a much more personal approach too engaging with their fans. Nick Cave recently launched The Red Hand Files, a website on which fans can submit questions, no matter how personal, which he answers in a regular newsletter. It’s an insight into the singer which is every bit as eloquent as his songwriting. He’s never been one to shy away from his emotions; the latest album from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds dealt with the death of Cave’s teenage son. On his website, he talks about everything, from love and grief to past relationships and writing. Advice is given, stories are shared and respect is mutual. It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen from an artist; such a raw honesty and desire to connect with fans. It’s easy to understand why an artist would want to keep their distance from fans; in the age of social media privacy can quickly become a thing of the past, your words can become over-analysed and people
04 courtesy of Red Hand Files Image
can get more involved in your life than you’d like. But when it’s done right, as Nick Cave has succeeded in doing, a musician can create a beautiful dialogue between artist and fans which supports one as much as the other. Of course, fans will always be attached to their favourite musicians. Online speculation and a desire for interaction have been the norm for a long time. But at the end of the day, fans must be respectful of people’s boundaries: they are human just like us.
HIDDEN GEM STEVE LACY - APOLLO XXI Anyone who has seen me on a night out they will probably hear me rant about how amazing Steve Lacy is and how he is extremely underrated. The release of his debut album came at the start of summer 2019 making for a perfect summertime record. Apollo XXI is a raw and unique record blending soul, funk, jazz and hip-hop to create an absolute masterpiece. Unlike most other debut albums, Steve Lacy created Apollo XXI in the comfort of his sisters’ room while she went off to college, giving the record a personal touch. It is also incredibly impressive the amazing musicality of the album considering it was made in a bedroom. His experimentalism is shown throughout especially when he explores different vocal styles, from high pitched in ‘Playground’ to laid back speech/rap in ‘N Side’. The second track ‘Like Me’ is a clear centrepiece of the album. It is the longest song on Apollo XXI (9 minutes long) and can be considered the introduction not only to Lacy as an artist, but to him as an individual. Shown as the track opens with “Hello/ This is about me / And what I am”. Lacy discusses his sexuality, his worries about coming out as bisexual, and his concern on what others think and if anyone else feels the same. Its important to note this is one of the first songs where he openly identifies as bisexual proclaiming “I only feel energy/ I see no gender”.
Artists like Thundercat, Prince and the Neptunes are a few of Lacy’s music influences. This is highly evident in Apollo XXI, especially in (my personal favourite) ‘Playground’ shown in the one chord rhythm guitar and the chilled funk tunes. Songs like ‘N Side’ and ‘Lay Me Down’ are both as sensual and erotic as Prince. ‘Amandla’s interlude’ takes a different sound compared to other tracks. It is an instrumental truck featuring Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg who plays the violin on the track. Steve Lacy debut is a raw and unique sound bringing jazz and funk back to mainstream music. At 21 years old he has created such a masterpiece which deserves much more recognition. Apollo XXI is a perfect introduction to Steve Lacy as an artist and I cannot wait to see what the next decade has in store for him. If this hasn’t convinced you enough that Steve Lacy is incredibly talented, only two years ago he released Steve Lacy’s Demo with the song-series solely being made on his iPhone, producing guitar and bass arrangements and singing his vocals into the phone’s microphone. As well as being a member of Grammy nominated band The Internet, Steve Lacy as a solo artist is one to look out for in the 2020’s. Steve Lacy’s Apollo XXI is out via 3qtr. Image courtesy of Grand Stand Media
GENRE IN FOCUS
POST-PUNK REBECCA ORMSBY
Throughout the last decade there has been a rising number of bands inspired by the genre of Post-Punk, so is it making a comeback? Post-punk (originally called New Musick) is a genre that evolved from Punk-Rock in the late 1970’s. By ignoring the conventional rules of rock music, post-punk musicians developed a separate sound, praising the benefits of free expression. It was a more experimental version of Punk-Rock, as artists were not scared to mix traditional rock and more ambiguous genres together, like electronic music. Therefore, the genre is quite a broad one and has bridged the gap between many other genres. A lot of Post-Punk artists in the early 1980’s were inspired by politics and modernist art and were adopted mainly by independent music labels. An example of popular bands that have made the genre a success are Bauhaus and The Cure. During the 1980’s, the genre had a high influence on popular pop and rock music as a whole but was swallowed up by the birth of Alternative music. However, it started to emerge again in the 2000’s as bands (like The Strokes and Deerhunter) began to draw direct inspiration from it, resulting in a postpunk revival. In my opinion, the Post-Punk bands that have formed over this decade have been even more experimental than before, and these bands are on the rise to become extremely influential.
06 courtesy of Dan Kendall and Pitch Perfect PR Image
Parquet Courts are a Brooklyn-based band that began to make music at the beginning of the decade. Their lyrics often question relevant issues in society, such as the track ‘Almost Had to Start a Fight’, which was inspired them seeing a fan wearing far-right political memorabilia. I highly recommend Parquet Courts, as they are easy to listen to but driven to convey a message in their music. Another band that echoes post-punk is Black Midi. They also fit into the genre of experimental rock and are known for their beautifully chaotic live performances, sometimes featuring improvisations that can last for over 10 minutes. In the last year their popularity has exploded and they were nominated for the Mercury Prize. Their debut album Schlagenheim was released this summer. The band NOV3L has a sound that echoes the early Post-Punk genre, which is interesting to hear from a band that released their first single last year. Their songs are often politically driven, for example, the song ‘To Whom it May Concern’ which features anticapitalist chants. They are known to give a good live performance through their use of unsynchronised riffs and disco beats and are definitely a band to watch. Post-Punk has been making a slow return in recent years and people seem to like it, with bands such as Squid, Pottery, Fontaines D.C and The Murder Capital popping up on our radar.
ON EDGE: ANTICIPATING
THE RISE OF SKYWALKER Uncertainty. That’s the word to describe how most Star Wars fans are feeling about the latest and final instalment in the sequel trilogy, the finale to the ‘Skywalker Saga’ that consists of all nine films in the primary canon. It hasn’t been a smooth road towards release. Colin Trevorrow, the director of Jurassic World, was initially at the helm before leaving the project due to the all-too-familiar reason of ‘creative differences’. In came J.J. Abrams as a pair of safe hands, ready to steer this uneasy ship into shore. The script has been rewritten numerous times, with the final product credited officially to Abrams and Chris Terrio. Add in the mixed reception of The Last Jedi amongst diehard fans and the poor box office of Solo, Star Wars as a franchise may just be in a precarious position heading into The Rise of Skywalker. As part of the contingent that enjoyed The Last Jedi, and the daring nature in which Rian Johnson shook things up, I did still feel that the film tied up all the loose threads which The Force Awakens had left hanging – there didn’t seem to be anywhere else the story could go. Yes, the state of The Resistance is still up in the air, with the shackles now off for Kylo Ren after the unexpected death of Supreme Leader Snoke, but my appetite for Episode IX went cold after mulling on The Last Jedi‘s conclusive tone for a while. As usual, the finer details of the plot are carefully under wraps. The first two teaser trailers, premiering at Star Wars Celebration and D23, raised some big questions. There doesn’t appear to be the impression of an ending here, rather a whole new beginning (the title fits with the idea of rebirth). The decision to reintegrate the Emperor – last seen falling into the Death Star II’s reactor core – is all kinds of mystifying. How? Why? We’ll soon find out. Still, there were plenty
of other things to be excited about. The inevitable final showdown between Rey and Ren, Lando Calrissian piloting the Millennium Falcon once more, and the promise of an epic space battle all produce that sense of nervous expectation. It was the stunning final trailer, dropped in mid-October, that really ramped up excitement. On the dark side, we see Kylo Ren walking through a huge wave to confront Rey, an ominous shot of an imposing throne, with Palpatine sneering: “long have I waited…”, and a ginormous Imperial Star Destroyer rising from the ground. On the light, the emotional final appearance of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, and a bittersweet moment as C3PO remarks how he is “taking one last look…at my friends.” All of these teases gave me goosebumps. Most importantly, this final trailer actually creates the feeling that this is the end of an era. Some fans have been there since the very beginning, others have had the Skywalker story passed down from generation to generation. For me, it all started when I borrowed my brother’s copy of Lego Star Wars II for Nintendo DS at the age of eight. With Disney+’s The Mandalorian series now available in the States, and other film projects in the pipeline, the mythical setting of the Star Wars universe isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Hopefully, though, The Rise of Skywalker will be able to close the chapter on George Lucas’ original trilogy with a fitting climax. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, directed by J.J. Abrams, will be released in the UK via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on the 19th December.
Image courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd
Postgraduate Christmas Social Wednesday 04 December
17:00 - 19:00 The Stagâ€™s
FREE mince pie & drink on arrival No ticket required
More info at www.susu.org
Australian sci-fi thriller Predestination, directed by the Spierig Brothers and starring Ethan Hawke, is a true hidden gem. The film grossed a measly $44,000 on its opening weekend in the US, with an eventual worldwide gross of less than $5 million. It is hardly known in most circles despite being an excellent example of the genre, a real mind-bending oddity. The film was first released in mid-2014 down under, with an early 2015 release in the UK. Despite 2014 being a good year for intelligent thrillers like Nightcrawler (with a tiny budget of $8.5 million) and Gone Girl, Predestination didn’t make the cut. Possibly due to little advertisement or a lack of star power, though Hawke is long overdue status as a household name.
The film is based on the 1950s short story ” ‘—All You Zombies—’ ” by Robert A. Heinlein, one of the big sci-fi writers of the day – the filmmakers have even named one of its characters after him in tribute. Predestination is mainly a faithful adaptation of the story, but does add in some additional elements. Hawke plays a ‘temporal agent’, a time traveller, tasked with stopping a mysterious terrorist bomber before he can initiate a deadly attack in New York – in the year 1975 – that kills thousands of people. There are only three proper characters, with some played by different actors as they age and evolve. The use of time travel and scientific time travel concepts, such as paradox, is the highlight of the film. Predestination has a consistent ability to surprise, one which it properly relishes in.
The set design is very of the period, regardless of what period, as the film spans from the 1940s all the way to the ’90s. Decor and costume clearly mark out the different eras that Hawke’s character is exploring. You can feel the financial constraints as the film mainly contains itself to small interior sets, but this lack of large outdoor spaces actually complements the intimacy of the story. Predestination‘s twisty narrative is something else – go in without any spoilers and you’ll be frequently amazed. The world set up in the film is so intriguing. A government agency formed to stop disasters before they happen is an endlessly interesting idea, and the morals of such an organisation are explored here. Predestination is a more cryptic examination of the theme than Minority Report, which simplifies the concept down to its most basic level. The visual style is decidedly anti-science fiction, in the sense that it avoids the flashy aesthetics. The time machine itself is essentially an instrument case with a few adjustable parts. One potential drawback of the film is that it is so insular, so involved in its own mesmerising logic. The entire plot is exclusively about the bomb threat and our very small set of characters. Predestination doesn’t extend its universe far enough to involve the other temporal agents, who all work in the same department as Hawke’s character. In the days of sequel after sequel and reboot after reboot, though, this kind of mentally stimulating and alwaysengaging standalone thriller is just the medicine.
Image courtesy of Screen Australia
STAY PAWS-ITIVE: CATS IS COMING It was said by the ancient Greeks that ‘fortune favours the bold’. This is a helpful proverb: it can be used to motivate people to take risks, or to encourage others not to judge before they have experienced something for themselves. Where this particularly comes in handy is in facing one of the most terrifying aspects of the end of this decade: the release of the musical fantasy film, Cats. Most people will understand what you’re saying if you ask them about Cats. The only slight confusion can be on whether they think you’re referring to the furry mammals, or if you’re talking about another kind of mammal dressing up as their feline friends and prancing around onstage. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s surreal musical, based on the work of T. S. Eliot, has always been something that people have feared to discover. Its original production did well in the West End, but received very mixed reviews on Broadway. Still, it ran in both locations for a number of years (21 in London, 18 in New York). It has been referenced and mocked repeatedly in popular culture, so a question that seems to be circling the adaptation is simply: why? The answer: why not? The creative team behind Cats would have anticipated this uncertain response, especially with the reveal of the CGI technology that blends cat and human, so have enlisted a string of experts in order to help audiences navigate the question mark that is the musical’s story. The director is none other than Tom Hooper, who was able to craft a fantastic recreation of Les Misérables and won the Oscar for The King’s Speech. The film’s choreography is in good hands, too, with duties falling to Andy Blankenbuehler – yes,
10 courtesy of Universal Pictures Image
THAT Andy Blankenbuehler, the choreographer for Hamilton! Expect rhythmic perfection, as he has won three Tony awards for Best Choreography. The film’s cast is also full of amazing talent. Our protagonist Victoria, the White Cat, is played by Francesca Hayward, a principal dancer in the Royal Ballet. This will not just be another simple retelling of an old withered classic, as it features an entirely new song, ‘Beautiful Ghosts’, written by Taylor Swift and Lloyd Webber. This will be belted out by Hayward, followed by a reprise by Dame Judi Dench. Dench’s character demonstrates another interesting change, with Old Deuteronomy being gender-flipped for this adaptation. How will this affect the social order of the cinematic feline world? Who knows! But it’s even more reason to be excited as they are trying something new, something daring. The fact remains that the trailer left much to be desired. Despite explosions of colour and extravagant backgrounds, the CGI on display gives us little more than hairy humans with tails – where are the paws, Tom, where are the paws? Still, there’s lots of other things to look forward to with Cats, and the effects may work better over the course of two hours. The vocals from the varied cast are going to be untouchable; if you can just close your eyes and ignore the scary cat people, it promises to be a whole lot of feline fun. Let’s be bold and hope fortune favours cinemagoers on this one. Cats, directed by Tom Hooper, will be released in the UK via Universal Pictures on the 20th December.
ACTOR IN FOCUS
While most people know her for her notoriously hard to pronounce name (the first three questions that come up on Google are all related to her name – which rhymes with ‘inertia’, by the way), her knack for accents, or from Ed Sheeran’s ‘Galway Girl’ music video (although I hope not), Saoirse Ronan is one of the most talented, prolific, and underrated actresses working in Hollywood today. Well, as underrated as someone with three Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe to their name can be. With Greta Gerwig‘s adaptation of the classic American novel Little Women coming out this Christmas, now is the perfect time to take a look back at the outstanding career of the 25-year-old (only 25!) Irish-American actress.
Ronan’s breakthrough happened with the thrilling adaptation of Ian McEwan’s Atonement, released in 2007 and also starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. As a 12-year-old, she played aspiring novelist Briony, a very creepy and precocious little sister lacking a sense of sympathy. Ronan’s bloodcurdling performance got her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, making her the seventh youngest Oscar nominee in history for that category. She soon proved that she was not a one-hit wonder, playing challenging characters as a teenager in quite a few moderately successful films. She received her second BAFTA nomination as a 14-year-old for Peter Jackson‘s The Lovely Bones (2009), and was next in the spotlight as teenage assassin in Hanna (2011) alongside Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana. Even when acting in critically unsuccessful films, Ronan still managed to come out clean. Her performance was praised in the otherwise universally panned adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s The Host (2011) – a regretful watch even for those whose Twilight phase went beyond just Twilight. A streak of under-the-radar films ended with the widely acclaimed dramedy The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014, where she played the quirky Agatha,
lead character Zero’s love interest. It became clear then that it was only a matter of time until the prodigal Irish teen was to shine again as a lead. And she did very soon after, playing homesick Irish girl Eilis – an immigrant in 1950s’ New York – in the acclaimed drama Brooklyn (2015). Her heartfelt performance as an outsider unable to find their place saw Ronan receive a second Oscar nomination. However, the actress’ image as a true coming-of-age queen was invigorated by her next hit, Lady Bird, written and directed by Greta Gerwig and also featuring indie sweethearts Lucas Hedges and Timothée Chalamet. Her performance as the rebellious title character was expansive, powerful, and incredibly relatable, as she navigated her way through first love, an identity crisis, and a devastatingly real relationship with her mother. Such an astounding performance did not go unnoticed. Lady Bird scored five Oscar nominations, including one for Ronan – her third nomination by the age of 23…could that weird feeling I’m getting be… underachievement? For the role she won her first Golden Globe, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical or Comedy. After a fierce performance in forgettable historical drama Mary Queen of Scots last year, Ronan has a few star-studded projects coming up, reteaming with Gerwig on Little Women, which boasts an exciting reunion with her Lady Bird co-star and fellow difficult-name-holder Chalamet. With an incredible cast, ridiculous media hype, teased by a tear-jerking trailer, Little Women might just be the alignment of the stars Ronan needs for that Oscar win, 12 years after her first nomination. Because it’s about damn time. Little Women, directed by Greta Gerwig, will be released in the UK via Sony Pictures Entertainment on the 27th December.
THEA HARTMAN Image courtesy of IAC Films
END OF DEC ADE
END OF DECADE
CLOSER TO THE EDGE:
OUR FAVOURITE MOVIES OF THE DECADE Somehow, it’s almost the end of the decade. 2020 is nigh, and you know what that means? The opportunity to ponder our favourite movies of the last ten years, of course! It’s been a great decade for movies – most are, if you look hard enough – and our writers have been racking their brains to choose their top picks. Here they are, collected in their full eclectic glory:
The Social Network (2010), dir. by David Fincher
Just as the noughties came to a close, David Fincher released The Social Network, a voyage of classical storytelling exploring love, betrayal and friendship all through the process of Facebook’s creation. The film feels like a true collaboration, with every aspect of filmmaking coming together in perfect harmony to create a sensational character-driven drama. The nuances of cinematography, editing, and direction all work brilliantly against Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield’s powerhouse performances. In their portrayals of Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin, there comes across a genuine chemistry that suffuses the downfall of their relationship with a power reminiscent of Shakespearean tragedy. Fincher, working with Aaron Sorkin’s script and the music of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, constructs a tale with masterly precision that transcends its subject and becomes applicable to society at large.
Winnie the Pooh (2011), dir. by Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall
Winnie the Pooh saw a reinvention of little ol’ Pooh and friends, with an updated style of animation that diverged from previous instalment in the cuddly franchise Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (2005). The 2011 film follows the story of Pooh and his pals (the usual gang, Piglet, Tigger, Owl, etc.) on the hunt for Eeyore’s missing tail and ‘The Bakson’ (later revealed to be a note saying ‘back soon’) that has captured their beloved Christopher Robin. With its usual silly antics, funny songs, and purposely awry spelling that leads to confusion, not forgetting as well Pooh’s rumbly tummy that always getting him distracted and on the search for ‘hunny’, you can’t help but enjoy watching this updated retreat into our childhoods. Winnie the Pooh is a wonderful, kind-hearted movie that went underappreciated on release. It is one with frequent replay value; personally, I can’t count on two hands how many times I’ve seen it!
21 Jump Street (2012), dir. by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
21 Jump Street sees Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill go undercover as high schoolers to investigate the spread of a new drug circulating amongst students, one that goes by the inconspicuous name of HFS (“Holy F*cking Sh*t”). One of the comedic highlights of the decade, it works to disregard all of the cliché stereotypes of the American high school landscape (the jocks, the nerds) and instead give us a more authentic – and very funny – look at the way students interact in the 21st century. The emos and hipsters are the in-crowd now, and caring for the world and the environment is the new ‘cool’. 21 Jump Street was our big introduction to the comedy stylings of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. It’s stupidly smart; and some of the lines here have become favourite movie quotes: “organised sports are so fascist it makes me sick.” A stoner classic, the amazing cast is topped off by a bulldozing turn from Ice Cube.
Images courtesy of Columbia Pictures and Walt Disney Studios
END OF DECADE
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), dir. by Stephen Chbosky
Combining delicate themes, intimate relationships and a nostalgic soundtrack (including ‘Heroes’ and ‘Come On Eileen’), Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, adapted from his own novel, very much deserves a place in the pantheon of classic coming-of-age drama. As a story about an awkward teen, dubbed a ‘wallflower’, struggling to make friends in high school, the film is an easily relatable one for many of its young adult target audience. It’s this empathetic understanding of adolescence that makes it so compelling, with Perks delving into darker areas of the teenage experience which certainly contributes to its dramatic effect. The dynamic friendships between the primary trio of characters, played by Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, are extremely memorable. Chbosky succeeds in sensitively exploring mental illness and the trauma of abuse, effortlessly and truthfully. The iconic tunnel scene really captures a fleeting essence of youth.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), dir. by Wes Anderson
The decade has produced some truly fantastic films. However, one stands out proud amongst the rest: Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. This comedy-drama is able to evoke almost every kind of emotion under the sun out of the audience. It is one of the few films that has taken a hold on me, left me utterly captivated, from start to finish. Anderson’s film is a story about telling stories. It is fairly fast-paced, but still creates plenty of tension built through elongated chases in dark, panoramic vistas. It’s full of the filmmaker’s distinctive style and utilises a typically tricksy narrative structure, beginning with a few layers of intricate inception before getting into the main story of lobby boy Zero and hotel concierge Gustave H. Their tale is one of murder and mystery, loyalty and deception. Above all, it has a delicious sense of humour. The star-studded cast, led by Ralph Fiennes, is nothing short of perfection, with each performer going above and beyond to convincingly embody the eccentric melange of characters.
Whiplash (2014), dir. by Damien Chazelle
One of the best films of the decade has to be, drumroll please… Whiplash. Miles Teller gives an incredible performance as Andrew Neiman, a first-year jazz student at a prestigious music academy scouted by the terrifying conductor Terrence Fletcher (J. K. Simmons). Damien Chazelle’s film tracks the turbulent development of their relationship, which verges on abusive. Fletcher will stop at nothing to make Neiman the best drummer he can be. The title ‘whiplash’ is appropriate as it connotes violence, a slave/master dynamic, a traumatic injury, and even a musical piece performed in the film. The electrifying plot of Whiplash keeps you on the edge of your seat; the nail-biting scenes are at some points hard to watch, but also hard to look away from. The film received international acclaim, winning three Oscars. An unstoppable film with a suitably jazzy soundtrack, Whiplash is a must-see.
14 courtesy of Mr. Mudd, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Bold Films Images
END OF DECADE
CLOSER TO THE EDGE:
OUR OUR ALBUMS ALBUMS O O MAC DEMARCO - 2
You don’t come by a moniker like “The Prince of Indie Pop” without good reason, and Mac DeMarco has more than earned it. Speaking solely in terms of trendsetting, DeMarco’s first full-length project 2 deserves recognition as one of the most important of the 2010s. The trail blazed by DeMarco on 2 has energised the indie pop scene and helped dispel the untimely reports of guitar-driven music’s demise. A brief, 30-minute album that doesn’t outstay its welcome, 2 plunges listeners into a suburban, nicotine-stained idyll, a dreamy conception of both everyday life and DeMarco’s own personal background. His lyrics touch on familiar topics – wanting to skip town, falling in love with a girl – for the most part. The album really shines during tracks like ‘Ode to Viceroy’, DeMarco’s love song about his preferred cigarette brand, or ‘Cooking Up Something Good’, a relentlessly upbeat track about his father’s illicit dealings in the family basement. These tracks infuse the record with an irresistible sense of personality, often desired but rarely achieved.
Somehow, we’ve made it the end of another decade, and with that it’s time to get reflective. When we think back to the ‘70s, ‘80s or any other decade, it’s the classic albums that come to mind. So how will the 2010s be remembered by the generations that come after us? Our writers take a look at some of the most iconic albums of the last ten years, the records that went above and beyond and changed the game forever.
The cardinal sin of entertainment is to be boring. Mac DeMarco has never fallen into that trap, most of all on 2. Lightning-paced and authentically weird, 2 was likely as fun to write and produce as it is to listen to.
SLAVES ARE YOU SATISFIED? JACK NASH
Slaves’ Are You Satisfied? is one of the best British rock albums of the 2010’s. There’s simply no doubt about it; however, if you have even an inkling of confusion as to why the Maidstone Duo’s debut album is a massive hit, let’s get into it.
Proper grimy British punk died out in the 70s. That’s until Slaves (along with a few other artists and bands, such as Yungblud and Idles) caused a mass revival in the genre. In a fucked up world riddled by discrimination, poverty and corruption, new era punk is such a vital platform - and Are You Satisfied? calls this out. From critiquing the existential idea of existing to work and the idea of money not being the main purpose of life in ‘Cheer Up London’ to taking profits from charities and standing up for beliefs in ‘Hunter’, Slaves’ work in Are You Satisfied? is multidimensional and helped relaunch a genre.
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It’s the album that brought us the iconic singles ‘The A Team’ and ‘Lego House’ - Ed Sheeran’s + really was ‘the start of something beautiful’. Released in 2011, it was an absolute success in the charts; it was certainly Sheeran’s commercial breakthrough in his musical career, and from then on he has gone from strength to strength, and is now one of the biggest singer-songwriters around. Alongside the popular tracks that everyone knows, + also blessed us with the gorgeous melodies of ‘This’ and ‘Autumn Leaves’, and some upbeat, exciting tunes like ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ and ‘The City’, meaning this album has a little something for everyone to enjoy. From tunes about hopeless drunkenness, break-ups, and finding love again, it’s safe to say that Ed Sheeran’s debut studio album is one of the most iconic of this decade.
SUFJAN STEVENS - CARRIES & LOWELL
ED SHEERAN - +
FRANK OCEAN - BLONDE
Frank Ocean’s Blonde is more than just album of the decade but is album of the century. Other than Ocean’s beautiful vocals, the album features an incredibly abstract experimental sound featuring guest vocals from Beyoncé in ‘Pink + White’. Having Beyoncé feature as a backing vocalist already shows how great the album is. It’s 45 minutes of pure bliss, full of emotion and is incredibly intriguing. One of the highlight tracks of the record must be ‘White Ferrari’ as it truly showcases Ocean’s beautiful and captivating vocals. The merge of different vocals playing at the same time creates a dynamic sound portraying psychedelic rhythms. No one can argue that this is not one of the best albums of the decade: it’s an astounding and completely raw record.
Sufjan Stevens’ seventh album Carrie & Lowell whispers intimate family portraits in sleepy childhood trips to Oregon, in memory of Stevens’ late mother. The quiet, understated and modest intimacy of Stevens’ experience with abandonment and death may seem heavy, but the album became an unexpected album favourite of 2015 – and in his personal subject matter, stood away from other releases to become a truly original piece of the 2010s. Tinged with the bitterness of grief, lyricism wonders and plays around on how to deal with the memories left behind after a parent’s bereavement. Although taboo, Sufjan Stevens does not shy away from nor filter his thought processes, allowing listeners to follow along with him as he tentatively learns to live again. And that is what the album is about: learning and re-learning about life, with and without loved ones. Sufjan Stevens illustrates that sometimes, an iconic and memorable album isn’t in the grandness of production, but in the ability to create a raw and honest body of work.
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NOSTALGIC NEWS: NEWS: NOSTALGIC
Britain itself is a forefront for great entertainment. The turn of the latest decade also saw a huge celebration for a timeless British classic. Coronation Street turned 50 years old! The nation’s favourite soap had given lots of drama for half a century (including death by fridge, multiple fires, and more murder than you could ever imagine), and did not disappoint with its lead up to the celebratory live broadcast in December of 2010. After almost a year of dramatic build-up, faith was affirmed in the soap by still leaving viewers shocked and upset by its unfolding of the ‘Four Funerals and a Wedding’ storyline.
Originally a Twilight fan fiction, the first instalment of E. L. James’ Fifty Shades trilogy was re-released in 2012 and quickly became a sensation. The mass amount of attention this novel received made James a best-selling author, replacing J. K. Rowling and bumping Harry Potter from the number one spot.
Coronation Street even got two Guinness World Records for being the longest running soap and having the longest running soap actor (big up Ken Barlow). The original writer had planned to destroy the street after the 13-episode first season, and never once imagined 2010 would be its 50th birthday.
Despite this, there is no doubt of its place in literature history. The novel prompted a film adaptation of each book, a classical album of the same name, as well as numerous parodies (film, literary and stage). Fifty Shades of Grey is immortalised in history, though perhaps for many of the wrong reasons.
CORONATION STREET TURNS 50 YEARS OLD
THE FIFTY SHADES VIRAL SENSATION
The success of the novel is clear in its sales, however this success didn’t come without a backlash. Many criticised the novel for its representation of sex, particularly BDSM, as well as its writing style leading to censorship of the book in many places around the world.
LONDON OLYMPICS OPENING AND CLOSING CEREMONIES
London made history when it was the first city to host the Olympics on three different occasions (1908, 1948, and 2012) but the opening and closing ceremonies in 2012 were something spectacular. The 15-minute long sequence titled “Pandemonium” went through all stages of British history, showcasing the industrial revolution to a minute’s silence for the fallen soldiers of war, with an amazing use of staging and choreography all accompanied by Underworld’s track “And I Will Kiss”. The sequence’s climax of the glowing Olympic rings hoisted above the stadium became an iconic moment of the whole adventure. Both ceremonies looked at the best of British culture, with fictional characters James Bond and Peter Pan joined by words from Shakespeare, J.K Rowling, and music from Queen (including recordings of Freddie Mercury). Almost eight years on, the ceremonies stand as some of the best in recent memory, and, if nothing else, the games achieved its motto and “inspired a generation”.
LOUISE CHASE 17
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TIMELINE OF OF THE THE 10S 10S TIMELINE 2013
After 10 years together, on the last night of their anniversary tour Girls Aloud officially announced their split. This broke the hearts of millions of fans across the globe as the band who had brought us so many girl power anthems over the years, carrying on the legacy of the Spice Girls, were finally coming to an end. Their discography is a seemingly endless list of banger after banger, with tracks like ‘The Loving Kind’, ‘The Promise’ and my personal favourite ‘The Show’; they really displayed their versatility and had a song for every mood. The group were formed on Popstars: The Rivals back in 2002, which put Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh together and lead to the release of their iconic debut single, ‘Sound of the Underground’, which became the Christmas number one that year.
On 25th March 2015, Zayn Malik decided to go another direction. Fans were screaming, hearts were broken, and the world was falling apart, because the beloved fivesome became a foursome - ironically after they’d just released an album entitled Four.
GIRLS ALOUD ANNOUNCE THEIR SPLIT
ZAYN MALIK QUITS ONE DIRECTION
Zayn’s departure came as a shock to many fans across the globe as One Direction were in preparation for their fifth studio album. However, Zayn cited that he “felt it was the right time” to leave the group as he wanted to live a “normal life”. His departure served him well - he has released two hit solo records since and has done duets with Taylor Swift and Sia - showing that maybe he chose the right direction.
Let’s hope the 2020s give us the Girls Aloud reunion we are all waiting for!
The rest of the band only lasted one more album before calling it a day themselves and going on hiatus, and since then each of them have joined Zayn in becoming successful soloists in their own right.
BANKSY’S SHREDDER STUNT LEAVES THE WORLD IN SHOCK
This decade, one of our most beloved contemporary artists, Banksy, made arguably his boldest statement yet. In October 2018, one of his most famous pieces ‘Girl with Balloon’ took on the new title ‘Love is in the Bin’ after being partially shredded, having been sold at auction for just over £1 million. Witnesses at Sotheby’s auction house in London, along with art aficionados worldwide, were left completely baffled and the shredded painting has now become its own unique piece. Even now it still raises the same questions: was it all just a cheap publicity stunt? Or, rather, was it the decade’s greatest prank that happened to further increase the value of the work? Better yet, perhaps it was a dig at the art market, where his painting’s value increased as it was destroyed? This was the prank that firmly cemented his status as an artistic icon as the decade comes to a close.
ELIZABETH SORRELL 18
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CLOSER TO THE EDGE: OUR FAVOURITE VIDEO GAMES OF THE DECADE The 2010s certainly saw the rise of some of gaming’s best titles. From an award-winning RPG series to indie titles that made it big, the fast-paced to the slower and relaxing, video games arrived in all shapes and sizes during the decade. And with 2020 upon us, several writers from The Edge have looked back at these releases, and picked which ones they feel are the best of the bunch.
MINECRAFT (2011) I could just jump on the fact that Minecraft is the best-selling game of all time (out-selling sold copies of Tetris, in less than a quarter of the time), or the sheer volume of user-generated content, from in-game creations recreating places real and fictional alike, to extensive modifications that can entirely change how, or even why you play, to external works from artwork and memes, up to full-blown parodies of existing music. But no, why Minecraft is one of the best games of the decade is because it’s a world to make your own. A world you can shape and explore. A world you can build and, if you so wish, destroy. Having that level of freedom to create things you normally couldn’t can both satisfy dreams and inspire futures, building a house in Minecraft can give root to a love of architecture, tinkering with Redstone (in-game electronics) can lead to messing with robotics and computers.
THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT (2015) The multi-award-winning 2015 RPG from CD Projekt RED, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the best games of the past decade, if not the best. Recognised as Game of the Year by numerous publications and awards ceremonies, The Witcher 3 has been highly praised for its acting, soundtrack, and story. With wonderful graphics and Marcin Przybyłowicz’s soundtrack truly build the world around Geralt and Ciri; the powerful themes and mechanics as part of the world are masterfully blended into forceful battle tracks and the lighter ambient tracks like ‘Kaer Morhen’. A personal favourite of mine has to be “A Story You Won’t Believe” which plays during the mini-games of card game Gwent. And when you look at the legacy of the game after its release, there’s so much to explore. From the minigame Gwent becoming its own title, to its source material receiving a Netflix adaptation that is being released in December 2019, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has proven to mean more than a single video game title. Anyone for a round of Gwent?
Image courtesy of Mojang and CD Projekt Red
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SKYRIM (2011) Since its release in 2011, I have never found myself growing bored of Skyrim. There’s so much on offer: from wandering the snowy lands of northern Tamriel; striking down dragons with from the sky; walking at a turtle pace as I attempt to carry a boat-load of cheese to the nearest vendor; forcing Shadowmere to climb horizontally up the Throat of The World; emptying that one random chest in Dawnstar of its colossal amount of loot (why did you put it there Bethesda?); crafting hundreds of iron daggers at a time and selling them off to the poor soul closest to me; marrying Lydia so she isn’t thrown off a mountain (again) - and that’s not even scratching the surface! Your time in Skyrim is what you make of it, and with 6 Dragon Priest Masks still to go, I don’t think I’ll be stopping playing anytime soon.
LITTLE BIG PLANET 2 (2011) Released in 2011, Little Big Planet 2 added more levels, stickers, costumes, creative ability, tools - helmets and the grabinator - and even robots! With co-op play both local and online boosted to four players, new jump pads and 2D levels that see you flying on bees, the excitement never ends. The greatest thing about Little Big Planet 2 was the online levels created by other users, with levels from Little Big Planet carried across so not to lose any of your favourites. Anything you could think of to play, this game pretty much had, from an Angry Birds themed bomb-survival (made even cooler with the new tools) to shark attack survival levels (both personal favourites), it truly brought endless fun to my childhood. So if you’re feeling nostalgic and missing the good old gaming days, why not hook up your PS3 and play the rage-worthy (when you have to re-spawn AGAIN) yet fun Little Big Planet 2.
OVERWATCH (2016) Blizzard, the developers behind the World of Warcraft and Diablo franchises, are known to develop some of the best games on the market, each with their own unique identities steeped in lore and groundbreaking mechanics. Overwatch was no exception to the rule, gaining traction with a massive fan base. However, it is not just the lore that draws people in, it is immersive combat experience which completely rewrote the first-person shooter genre. The game contains over 30 heroes, each with their own specialist abilities to bring to the battlefield. From the towering German giant Reinhardt, who wields a shield to protect their team; to the combat medic Baptiste, who’s hi-tech devices can protect against death itself. Or if you prefer to deal damage rather than protecting your team, maybe the cybernetic ninja Genji or Ashe, a rebel who runs one of the biggest gangs in the American south-west. There are heroes to suit every playstyle. The game has not only reached a casual player base but also has given birth to a whole eSports phenomenon; The Overwatch League. The professionals love the game and casual players love the game, which is why, in November 2019, Blizzard announced that Overwatch 2 will be coming to PC, Switch, PS4 and Xbox before the end of 2021.
20 courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment, Bethesda and Media Molecule Image
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MOST ICONIC LIVE PERFORMANCES OF THE DECADE
PARAMORE PARAMORE READING READING FESTIVAL FESTIVAL 2014 2014
Paramore are already one of the most iconic bands of the decade and always put on a great performance. This was definitely evident at Reading Festival 2014 which they headlined and, although there was three power cuts and loads of technical difficulties during their set, they still put on a killer performance. One of the standout moments was the performance of ‘The Only Exception’, the only thing working onstage was Hayley Williams’ microphone, so the instruments were barely heard. The whole crowd put their lighters and phone torches in the air and sang along with Hayley to this tear-jerker. I remember being 14 and absolutely falling in love with festivals because of this performance, and the crowd felt connected as it became an intimate setting due to the full stage production pretty much falling apart.
MUSE MUSE DRONES DRONES TOUR TOUR 2016 2016
Muse are known globally for their extravagant and insanely talented live performances, better than any other artist right now. Love them or hate them, nobody can deny the fact that Muse are an act best enjoyed live. For me, a truly iconic performance was during their Drones World Tour in 2016 which saw the Teignmouth proggers play at the coveted O2 Arena in London. They played ‘in the round’ meaning that rather than appear conventionally on a stage at the front, they instead had a circular, rotating stage in the centre of the floor with two long ramps running off left and right, which each had its own small stage. During the course of an immense 20-song long setlist, a mammoth flying drone flew around alongside huge LED lanterns which also flew over heads. Fireworks, confetti, flames, CO2 and lasers were all used in abundance. It was more than just a gig.
Images courtesy of Ralph PH and Warner Records
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THE CURE CURE THE GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL FESTIVAL 2019 2019 GLASTONBURY
The Cure’s headline set at Glastonbury this year was nothing short of magnificent. After a weekend of stages full of extravagant dancers and over-the-top spectacles, the post-punk icons’ lengthy set was beautifully simplistic, a satisfying break from some of the more over-embellished performances that came before. Just five musicians onstage, celebrating their 40-year career from start to finish. The choices they made on their setlist were one delight after another: from deep cuts like ‘Play For Today’ and ‘Last Dance’ to an encore packed with their biggest tracks. It would have been easy to play only their greatest hits in a bid to appeal to as many as possible, but The Cure have never been a band to try and fit in. This set was for the fans, the ones with them on Worthy Farm, and the ones on the other side of the TV screen.
TWENTY ONE ONE PILOTS PILOTS TWENTY READING FESTIVAL FESTIVAL 2019 2019 READING
Twenty One Pilots have always tended to brand themselves as a band who writes for “the few, the proud, and the emotional”, so their performance at Reading Festival this year in front of hundreds of thousands of people was certainly a special one. Hearing some older fan favourites like ‘Holding Onto You’ at such a large capacity was truly inspiring, as this band easily represent just how far hard work and dedication can get you. Alongside the incredible musicianship of both Tyler and Josh, the light show was absolutely impeccable. The band always put on a great show as their energy radiated from stage is so contagious, but the act of getting the security guards on stage to join a dance was simultaneously hilarious and heart-warming. It truly rallied up the crowd, and somehow managed to create such a unified, happy atmosphere amongst the masses.
LINDSEY STIRLING STIRLING LINDSEY ARTEMIS TOUR TOUR 2019 2019 ARTEMIS
For someone that a certain judge of America’s Got Talent said would never be popular, Lindsey Stirling has definitely made her mark during the past decade. From the 2010 series of the show and YouTube stardom, Lindsey Stirling’s 2019 world tour named after the Greek Goddess Artemis went through the strengths of the violinist’s repertoire. From rapid costume changes to playing her instrument blindfolded and stunning visuals on the surrounding screens, Lindsey Stirling knows how to entertain an audience. But the whole time Stirling was humble and warm to her audience; her London date was the final stop on a whirlwind tour, and the passion was still there. Stunning visuals and an atmosphere of sheer wonder - from the moment where you could hear a pin drop to the roar of the crowd, it was a tour that any fan of hers did not want to miss.
22 courtesy of Universal Music, Fueled By Raman and Lindseystomp Music Image
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EDITORS’ PICKS: BEST OF THE DECADE EDITOR: BORDERLANDS 2 - 18/09/2012
The best shooter looter of the decade, the sequel established Borderlands as a fan favourite series that was madder than anything we’d ever seen. With a unique design style, gory animations and more innuendo than you can shake a stick at, Borderlands 2 masterfully redefined the first person shooter experience
DEPUTY EDITOR: KENDRICK LAMAR - TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY - 15/03/2015
If there is one album that has had a greater impact on its genre, Kendrick Lamar’s magnum opus ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ would be a contender. With it’s vibrant, colourful fusion of jazz, hip-hop, rap, and funk along with approaching topics about race, culture, and discrimination, Lamar has created a musical collage that celebrates black music tradition, which will stand the test of time and be treated as a blueprint for upcoming artists in the decades to come
RECORDS EDITOR: IDLES - JOY AS AN ACT OF RESISTANCE - 31/08/2018
This album changed the modern punk scene with its heavy sound and cutting, politically-charged lyrics. IDLES are only going to get bigger and better in the next decade after releasing this masterpiece in 2018.
FILM EDITOR: AVENGERS INFINITY WAR (26/04/2018) & ENDGAME (25/04/2019), DIR. BY THE RUSSO BROTHERS
Marvel came through near the decade’s end with a one-two punch of comic book spectacle that brought the story started in Iron Man, kicking off the MCU way back in 2008, to a satisfying and emotional conclusion. For good or ill, the cinematic output of Marvel Studios - masterminded by mega-producer Kevin Feige - has defined the film landscape of the 2010s. Endgame smashed all the box office records in its path on the way to becoming the highest-grossing film of all time, bringing an end to Avatar’s ten-year reign.
CULTURE EDITOR: STRANGER THINGS - 15/07/2016
The nostalgia for the 1980s and nerdy culture is everywhere in this Netflix show, right from the opening scenes featuring Dungeons and Dragons, and it’s no wonder that so many fell head over heels in love with it. From the synth score mixed in with classic period hits, to the stellar cast (which includes Winona Ryder and The Goonies’ Sean Astin), the Duffer Brothers have created something that has even earned praise from Stephen King himself.
LIVE EDITOR: ED SHEERAN - X - 20/06/2014
My favourite entertainment moment of this past decade was the release of Ed Sheeran’s X (Multiply). After a 3-year break from releasing albums, Sheeran returned with a masterpiece that had all the big hits like ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and ‘Sing’, but also some gorgeous tunes like ‘Even My Dad Does Sometimes’. The press leading up to the album release was extremely effective in rallying excitement, with the acoustic version of ‘Sing’ becoming very popular on YouTube. I remember feeling SO excited for it to arrive in the post, and instantly fell in love with ‘I’m A Mess’.
NEWS EDITOR: POLDARK - 08/03/2015
For me, it would be impossible to reflect on this decade without thinking about Poldark. This show started when I was in Year 10 and ended as I finished my first year at uni, and during that time I’ve laughed, cried and fallen in love with every character. Poldark has come a long way since we first saw those pictures of Aidan Turner scything in a field. It’s impossible not to get emotionally attached to the stories of Ross and Demelza, as well as the friends and enemies they make along the way. It’s certainly one of the best TV series of the decade, and it’s such a shame it won’t be carrying on into the next one.
WINTER WONDERLAND SATURDAY 07 DECEMBER 22:00 - 02:00 DOUBLE FOAM CANNONS LIVE MUSIC & FESTIVE TUNES SANTA’S GROTTO DRINKS DEALS
SUSU.ORG/BOXOFFICE More info at www.susu.org
EVENT IN AID OF THE UNION’S CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES.
WHICH ARE PEASANTS & WHICH ARE ROYALTY?
The 2010s as a decade birthed an entirely new genre of shooter games; the battle royale. The fast-paced PvP action has kept players hooked for years, but why? What makes them successful? Why do we still play them even though the concept is so simple? Every battle royale has its own unique selling points, be it the graphics style or class systems. Personally, I struggled with the building aspect of Fortnite whereas the class-based systems in Apex Legends really mixed up the combat styles. It’s a matter of personal taste. By “objectively” looking at the pros and cons of each:
The big daddy in the genre, Fortnite had us flossing for months on end. The simple world and character design made the game really appealing to a more casual audience, and assisted in bringing in a younger player base. We’ve all seen the videos of kids crying when their Fortnite is taken away and those news articles about Fortnite addiction - and there’s good reason with, not only Fortnite, but the whole genre. It’s so easy to get a “one-more-game” mentality. The cons with Fortnite are from where it became too popular. The merch and the season passes kept bringing in money, and now only the hardcore Fortnite players remain. The reach to try and pull as many players in with its free to play on so many platforms has made it kind of messy, as it doesn’t work well on mobile or the Nintendo Switch, due to the complex nature of the building mechanic which just makes combat clunky and difficult.
The new kid on the block - Apex Legends takes the Titanfall saga in a new direction. In this class based shooter, gun modifications and champion abilities can swing a shoot-out in your favour. Hailing from four different classes (offence, defence, support and recon) - you need to play around each individual’s kit, and synergise with the rest of your team. Unlike other battle royales, Apex Legends is usually only available to play as teams of three - meaning that coordination and communication is a must with more realistic modern day graphics set in a futuristic space-aged shooter setting. The criticism of Apex though is how rarely there is new content for everyone (that isn’t a pay-to-play like some of their collection events) - new events come around each month but actual champion release and map updates are done each season (which is once every three months).
PLAYER-UNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS & CALL OF DUTY BLACKOUT
I’ve grouped these two together as there’s quite a bit similar between the two - they both have similar aesthetics and similar gameplay mechanics, such as vehicles. They are both polished, however, there’s nothing exciting about the two - granted that PUBG was the OG battle royale; it’s just dead in comparison to the likes of Fortnite or Apex Legends. There’s nothing exciting about a modern military battle royale that other games are doing better with more unique USPs. So, to summarise, if pure combat is your thing, go with PUBG. If you like combining abilities with your teammates to completely decimate the enemy squads, then go with Apex Legends, and if you just like to play The Sims but have violent tendencies, then Fortnite is the one for you.
Images courtesy of Epic Games, Respawn Entertainments & Xbox Game Studios
ON EDGE: LOUISE CHASE ANTICIPATING THE WITCHER Most famous for the 2015 Game of the Year, The Witcher adaptation by Netflix comes to our screens this December. After the series was first announced in 2017, Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill takes up the mantle of the titular Witcher Geralt of Rivia; the casting announcement in September 2018 led to some controversy, however since the recent release of the trailers, Cavill has received praise from fans for his portrayal. Cavill himself is a long-time fan of the video games, apparently calling up his casting agent every day until the role of Geralt was confirmed. Much like Stranger Things, the cast contains a few major names like aforementioned Cavill, but most of the principal cast is made up of less well-known thespians. Princess Ciri, heiress to the throne of the Cintra, is portrayed by Freya Allan, while sorceress Yennifer of Vengerberg is played by Anya Chalotra. Neither actress has had many major television roles, so I am excited to see how both portray these muchloved figures. Other characters from the novels and games are billed to make an appearance, including fellow sorceress Triss, played by Anna Shaffer, and the bard Dandelion. Geralt’s horse Roach also makes an appearance, and no doubt the vast hoards of monsters are going to follow from script to screen. While mentor Vesemir has yet to be confirmed for the show, I do hope that later series will bring him to life. With no single main foe for the main characters to be battling against throughout the series, the show will instead be focusing on the moral shades of grey that exists across The Continent; in the time of war, people are going to pick the lesser of two
26 courtesy of Netflix Image
evils when making decisions. The concept is reflected in the posters and advertising for the series, with lines such as “The worst monsters are the ones we create.” Geralt’s fight sequences from the trailer have been speculated to include some from the incident where he earned the moniker “Butcher of Blaviken”.
The concept of choice and destiny seems to be a key focus for the series, with Geralt, Ciri, and Yennifer all setting off on their own quests because of it. Each much overcome their own challenges, whether learning about their true destinies, or just turning away from the simple “monsters and money” mentality. For someone who is perhaps more familiar with the video games produced by CD Projekt RED, the jump away from Geralt seeing Ciri as his adopted daughter might be jarring, but I look forward to seeing how the dynamic changes over time. Chosen locations already revealed in the trailers look stunning, and the line between bloody realism and stunning fantasy is balanced in the way that shines. And only time will tell as to what influences from the games will make their way over to the show. For me, I long for the day that I see Kaer Morhen, infamous home of the Witchers. The Witcher joins the lineup of liveaction fantasy adaptations that are coming in the aftermath of Game of Thrones’ final series. With His Dark Materials already on our screens, and Amazon producing shows inspired by Lord of the Rings and an animated series of Critical Role, it is definitely the time to be a fan of fantasy television. With a fantastic cast and more series destined to follow, being able to see these stories play out on screen cannot come soon enough.
MODERN DAY LITERARY SUCCESSES It’s a wonderful time to be a book lover. Don’t get me wrong, the classics are great and all but in recent years we’ve had one masterpiece after another. From thrillers to dramas, the last few years have brought something for everyone, but there are some novels that just can’t be missed. Here’s just a few of the books that every avid reader needs to get their hands on.
DONNA TARTT - THE GOLDFINCH Donna Tartt releases a book approximately once every decade. In doing so, she arguably manages to write the best book of the decade every time, so 2015’s The Goldfinch is a must-read for any End of the Decade reflection. Following the grief-stricken Theo Decker into adulthood, The Goldfinch is captivating, and few novels have managed to project the protagonist’s anxiety so strongly onto the reader. The omnipresent role of Fabritius’ titular painting is unlike anything else, and we will no doubt see the influence of Donna Tartt for generations to come. Although reviews of this year’s film adaptation weren’t promising, the original novel is unmissable.
GILLIAN FLYNN - GONE GIRL Released in 2012, Gone Girl quickly became a must-have among bibliophiles and casual readers alike. Gillian Flynn’s novel is truly one of the most enchanting thrillers of the last ten years. Full of twists and turns, we learn that the two protagonists are the most unreliable narrators in fiction, and so each new surprise catches you off guard. Its popularity soared with the film adaptation starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, and Amy Dunne remains to this day a flawed icon of fiction. Gone Girl is not just one of the best of the decade, but one of the finest thrillers out there.
GAIL HONEYMAN ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE Few authors see so much success in their debut novels, but Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was an unexpected dark horse when it was released in 2017. The titular character is a social outcast, struggling to connect with the people around her, when she suddenly becomes infatuated with a local musician. Eleanor is a fascinating and surprising character, and her story is one you can’t pull yourself away from as you find out dark secrets from her tragic past. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine rightfully dominated the bestseller lists after its release and is no doubt one of the most memorable novels of the last 10 years.
NEIL GAIMAN - TRIGGER WARNING Another writer who frequently makes these lists is Neil Gaiman with his unique stylings of science fiction. A recent highlight of his is Trigger Warning, a collection of weird and wonderful short stories from one of the biggest names in sci-fi. From twisted fairy tales to stories that link in with his previous work, Trigger Warning proves that full-length novels are not the only books worth talking about. Another fantastic read from the same author is his more recent The View From The Cheap Seats, his collection of articles and essays on what inspires him to write science fiction – a truly inspiring ode to fiction and creativity.
IN CRITICISM OF
POKEMON It’s 2029 and the Kanto region looks as good as ever. Let’s Go Pikachu 2: Please Let Me Evolve Into a Raichu is out, full of Ultimate-Mega-Gigantamax forms for all of your favourite first-generation Pokemon! Other new things include; Charizard having 5 forms (yet only one them is a dragon type), Pikachu can get an even bigger afro than before, and all 151 Pokemon have brand new remastered models. Unfortunately, none of the other 700+ Pokemon are included, but you can at least get the evolutions of all Kanto Pokemon from other generations. This means you can get Sirfetch’d, and honestly, what else do you need from a Pokemon game?!
With the resurgence of Pokemon with the help of Pokemon Go in 2016 (I can’t believe it’s been 3 years either), it makes sense that Nintendo utilised people’s nostalgia to get players back into the main franchise. This was the main push for Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee, which are in-fact interesting games - they created a new experience combining gameplay aspects of the main franchise and Pokemon Go. I thoroughly enjoyed not being interrupted by wild Pokemon every few seconds and being able to decide when and what I battled in the wild. The catching system worked, and it felt a tad more balanced. But, it was still just Kanto again.
For context, from the age of 7 to 15 I lived and breathed Pokemon. I was an active member of the competitive Pokemon TCG community, I played every single Pokemon game that I could afford - I even travelled to America to compete in the TCG World Championships. Pokemon was my life, and though I’m not currently as obsessed, I still thoroughly enjoy it. But, to this day there is one thing that bothers me about the Pokemon franchise, and that’s Kanto.
I’m also afraid the Pokemon Sword and Shield will be cluttered with Pokemon from the first generation. It’s already been confirmed that not all the Pokemon will be available in-game on launch as they have to update all 800+ models to be compatible with the Nintendo Switch. But, with the first 151 already having updated models from Let’s Go, it’s very likely that most - if not all - will be included. So with a predicted 350 Pokemon pool on release, most of those Pokemon will probably be from the first generation. Additionally, with announcements of Galarian Forms for Ponyta and Weezing, even if the originals aren’t included, variations of them will.
I enjoy Kanto, but there have been 10 main series English Pokemon games which have included Kanto - not including spin-offs like Let’s Go. Then, even in games where the region itself isn’t included, the first generation are still a big focus. Generation 4 included a large collection of evolutions from the original generation, Generation 6 was overshadowed by Mega Evolutions, Generation 7 by Alolan Pokemon, and now Generation 8 with Galarian Pokemon. Though these features aren’t exclusive to the first generation of Pokemon, they are a continued excuse for Game Freak to shoehorn the original 151 into these games.
28 courtesy of Game Freak Image
I understand that nostalgia sells, but the hype around Kanto is wearing thin. Something new and excited is necessary to keep current Pokemon fans engaged. I’m personally tired of Kanto - unless it’s Sirfetch’d, then I’m totally in.
SEAN MCGOWAN AT THE JOINERS, 21/12/19
GEORGIE HOLMES With the coming of Christmas and New Years, the live music scene in and around Southampton naturally quietens down a bit. However, luckily, with his release of his latest EP Curate Calm, Create Chaos just last month, Sean McGowan is here to grace our otherwise dead live music scene, on December 21st at The Joiners, and this promises to be an evening you do not want to miss.
After supporting Brand New Friend on their tour this past September, Sean evidently gained more recognition. Selling out his first night at The Joiners on December 20th, this extra date added certainly proves the popular and unmissable nature of this event, as it is clear his talent reaches many fans who desperately cannot wait to witness Sean’s musicianship live. Curate Calm, Create Chaos consists of just five songs, but this does not prevent Sean from showcasing his vocal talents as it is more stripped back than any of his previous releases have been. The acoustic nature of these songs truly expose the voice, and Sean revels in this as his somewhat rough and deep voice resonates beautifully against subtle strings. Contrasting somewhat to Curate Calm, Create Chaos, but still maintaining his addictively gorgeous vocals which make his music so memorable, his latest album Son of the Smith (released May 2018) demonstrates his heavier side, where there are some absolute perfect songs to jump and move to. With the combination of these more upbeat songs with his stripped back EP, this night at The Joiners will no doubt have a little something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re into your moshing and jumping, or appreciate a good stripped back acoustic session, Sean McGowan will certainly deliver to your needs. To be prepared for Sean’s performance, I recommend listening to ‘Romance Ain’t Dead’, which will give you a taste of the upbeat, exciting nature of his tunes, and also ‘No Show’ which perfectly showcases his Britishness so obvious in the vocals. Don’t miss out on Sean McGowan’s performance at The Joiners on December 21st. It will definitely be a night to remember, and since tickets are in such high demand (proved in the addition of an extra show!) be sure to grab them fast!
Image courtesy of Sonic PR
Quiz & Curry More info at www.susu.org/places
Every Sunday in The Bridge from 19:00 Curry from 19:00, quiz starts 20:00 2 to enter, winning teams split the pot!
LIVE ACT IN FOCUS
BON IVER With gorgeous sounds, hypnotising lights and a entirely respectable, quiet audience, a Bon Iver concert is certainly something I’d recommend to anyone who appreciates experiencing talented musicianship. For those who are not familiar with Bon Iver, their sound has altered and developed over the years from their first album For Emma, Forever Ago and their most recent release i,i. Both albums showcase frontman Justin Vernon’s amazing vocals, however the experimental aspects of their music has certainly changed. This development and range in sound and music from their much-established career is just one of the many reasons why a Bon Iver concert is so enthralling; the audience get to experience some older, gorgeous classics like ‘Skinny Love’, and also some more recent singles like ‘22 (OVER S∞∞N)’ and ‘10 d E A T h b R E a s T’, which never fail to wow the audience with their unique experimental timbres combined with beautiful vocals and lyrics. Fronted by Justin Vernon, whose presence on stage is somehow incredibly humble yet cool simultaneously, the dynamics of the band is amazing to witness as it seems these incredible timbres and tunes are produced so flawlessly and effortlessly. Attending a Bon Iver concert is also special due to the arguably sparse appearances they make here in
the UK. A few years ago when they toured in England for the first time in years after breaking their musical hiatus, tickets sold out fast and therefore being in the audience felt like a special kind of privilege, and no one dared to break the silence within the auditorium. When I had the privilege of witnessing Bon Iver perform in Blackpool (after a long 6 hour drive), although the entire venue was seated (which is a rarety nowadays, and something I really appreciated as it meant everyone’s view was unobstructed and the sole focus was on the musical experience) people still managed to show their joy in standing up and swaying for a few songs. A Bon Iver concert is not complete without a simple yet effective lightshow, which perfectly complements the beautifully emotive songs performed. For songs such as ‘Babys’ and ‘Holocene’, a single light permeates from the stage, creating a dramatic aura around the band, effectively plunging the audience into darkness, which further encourages them to focus their attention entirely on the musical performance in front of them. More recently, Bon Iver have experimented with their use of lighting within shows, and I’m aware that on their recent tours across the USA this has been tested out on their audiences. This is just yet another reason why it is vital to attend a Bon Iver concert if you ever have the chance - it’ll be a night you won’t forget, guaranteed.
Image courtesy of Shore Fire Media
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Couples have been labelled as a band to watch out for in the next decade, shown in their hit single ‘Rip Em Out’. They may still be relatively unknown but after they all graduate they will be unstoppable. We were lucky enough to have a quick chat with the band and find out what to expect from them in the new millennium.
Why ‘Couples’, how did the name come about? When we first started we actually named ourselves after a good friend of ours from school, ‘Roya’, but a year or so down the line (when we were travelling together) we got an email from a woman from America saying that she’ll sue us over the name so we decided to change it. We flitted through a few names, and then settled on Couples when we came back from travelling. It was supposed to be ironic at the time because we went travelling with our partners that we’d had at school, and came back and all pretty much split up. We thought it was funny at the time, but it’s become part of the furniture now. How would you describe your music to a new listener? I guess we describe ourselves as post-punk, but we’re been described as everything from indie, to rock, to new wave and even ‘newer wave’. We try not to pigeon hole ourselves, as we think it can affect songwriting and could stop us from experimenting with our sound, which we are doing more and more. What’s your favourite venue to play? I don’t think we particularly have a ‘favourite venue’. We play the majority of our gigs in Camden, as there are some amazing grassroots music venues there, like the Dublin Castle and The Camden Assembly. We always found it quite exciting playing outside of London. We’ve played the Black lion in Brighton
for the alternative escape 2 years in a row now and that’s always a really amazing weekend, like a big family holiday. We played the Casa De Musica in Portugal last year which was super exciting, but the stage was so big and quite overwhelming. We’re definitely more comfortable in small, sweaty venues right now. Any chance you’ll be playing Southampton next year? Never say never! After we graduate next year, we will be looking at going on tour again! Top 5 musical influences? Recently we’ve been influenced by bands like Slint and Swans, but we are also into 80’s new wave like The Cure, Joy Division and Sonic Youth. What’s in the future? We are looking at releasing a single in the next few months, then after that an EP later next year. We’re all still students as well, so our dissertations are looming over our heads at the moment, which definitely stunts progress. We have a few big gigs coming up, we’re playing the Zine UK’s Christmas Party at The Monarch in Camden, then we’re headlining The Social for the Modern Age Music’s ‘Ones to Watch 2020’. As for the New Millennium, we’ll be focussing on putting out our EP.
L IST I NGS LIVE MUSIC December 11th – Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers @ O2 Guildhall December 12th - Avalanche Party @ The Joiners December 13th – Jools Holland & His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra @ BIC, Bournemouth December 13th – Bury Tomorrow @ Pyramids, Portsmouth December 14th – Warehouse Presents: Michael Bibi @ Switch December 14th – All Day Honeymoon Event @ The Loft December 14th - Sam Fender @ O2 Academy Bournemouth December 15th - Stout @ The Joiners December 16th - Snow Patrol @ The 1865 December 17th – Clutch @ O2 Guildhall December 19th – Mostly Autumn @ The 1865 December 20th – The Edit @ Heartbreakers December 21st – Sean McGowan @ The Joiners December 31st – On A Mission – NYE 2019 @ Switch January 4th – Accrington Stanley @ The Joiners January 17th – Giuda @ Pyramids, Portsmouth January 17th – The Music of Prince (New Purple Celebration) @ Bournemouth Pavilion
THEATRE November 23rd - January 5th - Cinderella The Musical @ NST City December 14th - January 5th - Peter Pan @ Mayflower Theatre December 20th - The Night Before Christmas @ Mayflower Theatre January 8-11th - Buddy @ Mayflower Theatre January 12th - What’s Love Got To Do With It? @ Mayflower Theatre
COMEDY December 7th - Daniel Sloss @ NST Campus January 17th - Jeremy Vine @ NST Campus
ART December 6th - Haroon Mirza in conversation @ John Hansard Gallery December 14th - Talk: The Pre-Raphaelities and their Weird Relations @ Southampton Art Gallery
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The final issue of the decade and what an issue it is - with a best of the decade pullout plus some brilliant articles on the latest in the...
Published on Dec 13, 2019
The final issue of the decade and what an issue it is - with a best of the decade pullout plus some brilliant articles on the latest in the...