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The Essential Journal F A S H I O N
L I F E S T Y L E
C U L T U R E
Founding trio of A Day’s March talk your dad’s old fishing sweater and what the future holds
We delve into Massimo Bottura’s stunning ‘Bread Is Gold’ for a delicious Brazilian stew
2018 brings a new travel experience, allow us to introduce Transformational Travel
Comic book artist John Higgins discusses the colour of emotion and the golden age of comics
TOM HANKS “...lies and marketing and falsehoods exist side by side with the truth, promoting the adage, you can’t believe everything you read.” PAGE 36
W W W. E S S E N T I A L J O U R N A L . C O . U K
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TIME TIMETO TOBEND BEND THE THERULES RULES
NEW NEW JAGUAR JAGUAR E-PACE E-PACE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE FROM FROM £28,500 £28,500 At At last, last, youyou cancan putput thethe brakes brakes on on conformity. conformity. And And park park anyany notions notions of compromise. of compromise. There’s There’s a new a new carcar on on thethe block. block. OnOn thethe one one hand, hand, an an out-and-out out-and-out sports sports car.car. OnOn thethe other, other, a capable a capable and and compact compact SUV. SUV. And, And, of course, of course, a Jaguar a Jaguar through through and and through through – meet – meet thethe E-PACE. E-PACE. Designed Designed to satisfy to satisfy thethe driver driver in you, in you, with with agile agile performance performance and and dynamic dynamic looks, looks, thethe family-focused family-focused interior interior features features connected connected technology technology and and class-leading class-leading stowage stowage to make to make sure sure everyone’s everyone’s boxes boxes areare ticked. ticked. ButBut thisthis unique unique combination combination of rewarding of rewarding Jaguar Jaguar driving driving experience experience and and everyday everyday practicality practicality needs needs to be to be experienced. experienced. Book Book a test a test drive drive today today and and find find outout if the if the rule-bending rule-bending E-PACE E-PACE is up is up your your street. street. Hatfi Hatfi elds elds Jaguar Jaguar Liverpool Liverpool Columbus Columbus Quay, Quay, Riverside Riverside Drive, Drive, Liverpool, Liverpool, L3 L3 4ED 4ED 0151 0151 728 728 2000 2000 hatfi hatfi elds.co.uk elds.co.uk
OffiOffi cialcial fuelfuel consumption consumption for for the the Jaguar Jaguar E-PACE E-PACE range range in mpg in mpg (l/100km): (l/100km): Urban Urban 29.1-50.4 29.1-50.4 (9.7-5.6); (9.7-5.6); Extra Extra Urban Urban 40.4-67.3 40.4-67.3 (7.0-4.2); (7.0-4.2); Combined Combined 35 Model shown is E-PACE an E-PACE First Edition starting at £47,800. Model shown is an First Edition starting at £47,800.
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5.3-60.1 d 35.3-60.1 (8.0-4.7). (8.0-4.7). CO2 CO2 Emissions Emissions 181-124 181-124 g/km. g/km. OffiOffi cialcial EU EU TestTest Figures. Figures. ForFor comparison comparison purposes purposes only. only. Real Real world world figures figures maymay diffdiff er. er.
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Dining Experience LEEDS
E X CH ANGE F LAGS
S P IN N IN G FIELDS
EDINBURGH GE O R GE STR E E T
Coming February 2018
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16 NEW YEAR, NEW SHOE
History’s forgotten sneaker is making a comeback. We take a look at the history - and legend of understated Finnish sneaker manufacturer, Karhu
THE PRIMER A round up of this month’s must-haves and must-tries
10 THE IMAGE Tom Wood’s latest exhibition looks at people in transit, specifically those crossing the River Mersey
ARCHITECTURAL THOUGHTS ON: TRANSITION
This month, as Adam M’s desk calendar signals the 365th day of the year, he ponders how such a ‘change’ can relate to both humans and architecture
12 A DAY’S MARCH We sit down with purveyors of fine Scandinavian menswear, A Day’s March to talk working in a trio, your dad’s old fishing sweater and what the future holds 18 TALKING SHOP NEW! We chat to John Paul Cooper of luxury menswear boutique, Union 22 20 GROOM YEAR RESOLUTIONS 15 tips to take your skin and stubble to the next level in 2018 21 NEW YEAR, NEW LOOK Seldom seen on many resolution lists, Colin Dorricott of Silverberg Opticians offers some eyecare advice for the year ahead 23 A HANDSOME HOME: THE ORGANISED HOME Perfect the space that will let you get to work on all things new you 24 RECIPE OF THE MONTH: BREAD IS GOLD Make the most of the spare vegetables in your cupboards with a Brazilian stew, from the stunning ‘Bread Is Gold’
28 CINEMA AS MEDITATION
We caught up with co-director of the Benedict Cumberbatch narrated ‘Walk With Me’, Max Pugh to discuss why it’s more than just a documentary
40 TOM WILLIAMS’ CINEMA REVIEW
This month Tom returns with his thought’s on Darkest Hour, possibly the most anticipated ‘five films...’ of the year and his round up of what to watch in 2018
CONTRIBUTORS Adam M Angharad Jones Benna Harry Colin Dorricott Elena Signorelli Fabiola Guzman Iain Hoskins John Paul Cooper John Thornton Katarzyna Anna Dąbrowska Marcus Gårdö Massimo Bottura Max Pugh Pelle Lundquist Stefan Pagreus Stephanie Lund
PUBLISHERS Singleton Publishing EDITOR Davey Brett - firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE DIRECTOR Thomas Sumner - email@example.com SUB EDITOR Angharad Jones DESIGNER Jennifer Swaby CINEMA EDITOR Tom Williams COVER IMAGE Tom Hanks
25 POSTCARDS The latest installment of our regular travel feature, this time with best kept secrets in New York, Warsaw and more...
27 TRANSFORMATIVE TRAVEL If 2017 was the year of sustainable tourism, 2018 is taking it one step further with transformational travel experiences 30 THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE: A HEALTHER MIND We’ve scoured the books and played human guinea pig to bring you a selection of mindfulness tips for the year ahead 35 BEYOND DREDD AND WATCHMEN: JOHN HIGGINS We chat to comic book artist John Higgins to discuss iconic strips, the colour of emotion and the golden age of comics 36 COVER STAR: TOM HANKS Is there anything Tom Hanks cannot do? With an already overflowing resumé, Hanks now adds ‘Newsman’ thanks to his latest release The Post 42 BOOKS FOR THE MONTH AHEAD Our recommended reading for January including the nuclear bomb, the origins of your morning cup and airbnb’s unlikely rise 44 THE IAIN HOSKINS COLUMN This issue, Iain looks at how the vinyl revival has spurred on the resurgence of the last remaining high street music megastore 47 GENTS, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT: NEW YEAR NEW ME This month we consider the all-encompassing rebirth of self that is ‘new year, new me’
Online web www.essentialjournal.co.uk @essentialjournal @essentialjournal @TEJOURNAL
CONTACT For all advertising enquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org For all other enquiries including guest editorial and feature opportunities please contact: email@example.com
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THE NEW RANGE ROVER VELAR
NO HEADLINE REQUIRED
One look at the New Range Rover Velar says it all. The exterior silhouette and continuous waistline are the perfect blend of elegance, simplicity, sophistication and glamour. Even the attention to detail has been given careful attention to detail. These few words canâ€™t really do this stunning vehicle justice. Perhaps itâ€™s wiser just to take another good long look. Now available for test drive, contact us to find out more. Hatfields Land Rover Liverpool Riverside Drive, Liverpool, Merseyside L3 4EN 0151 559 3000 hatfields.co.uk
Official Fuel Consumption Figures for the Range Rover Velar range in mpg (I/100km): Urban 22.2-45.6 (12.7-6.2); Extra Urban 37.7-57.7 (7.5-4.9); Combined 30.1-52.5 (9.4-5.4). CO2 Emissions 214-142 g/km. Drive responsibly on and off-road.
The Primer WHAT WE'RE WATCHING:
WHAT WE'RE READING:
ALL THE DIRTY PARTS BY DANIEL HANDLER Here’s one. The man who wrote all of those ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ books, Lemony Snicket, is actually called Daniel Handler and his most recent book ‘All The Dirty Parts’ could not be further away from those gothic vignettes of kids galavanting around avoiding their uncle. Handler’s latest is a short tale (you could read it in a day) of a teenage boy’s rampant
sexual escapades at high school. Surprisingly explicit and provocative, the book is a thoughtprovoking riff on the infiltration of pornagraphy into the male psyche, sexuality and gender norms. Prepare to be caught off guard. All The Dirty Parts (Bloomsbury) is available now
WHERE WE'RE EATING:
A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” oprah winfrey STANLEY’S BAR & GRILL TITANIC HOTEL LIVERPOOL Executive Chef, Bradley Lean has brought familiarity, comfort and a truck load of seasonal veg to the Titanic for early 2018. The bold winter flavours appear to have taken inspiration from their immediate surroundings. The former brick warehouse built in 1854 that today houses the Titanic Hotel, sits across the dock from and offers widescreen views of one of the world’s largest brick buildings, Tobacco Warehouse. Its characteristically solid, arching brick ceilings and original supports do not only tell tales of a city’s glory days, they also create the perfect atmosphere for dinner on a blustery winter’s night, whilst a little theatre is thrown in for good measure thanks to Stanley’s open plan kitchen and dining room.
What we were going to do this issue was have every title as ‘New Year, new…’ Could you imagine? Instead we’ve gone for a mixture. There’s flecks of self-improvement advice among our trademark mixture of style and culture. Columnist Iain Hoskins ponders the vinyl revival, the essential guide delves into tips for a healthier mind, we interview one half of the duo behind an early frontrunner for best documentary of the year and let loose our thoughts on Gary Oldman’s latest cinematic venture. Not to mention the man behind some of the most iconic comic panels ever and a brand new feature in the style section. We can confirm this month’s recipe is delicious too. From everyone at The Essential Journal, happy new year and here’s to 2018. We’ve got a lot in store for you.
WALK WITH ME No doubt the word ‘Cumberbatch’ (Benedict narrates passages throughout the film) will be the pull for this mesmerising documentary, but as a standalone work, it is one of the most calming and spiritual pieces of film we have seen in a while. In fact, it’s difficult to think of a more relaxing film. Taking the viewer into Buddhist Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village, a monastic community in rural France, the film charts the daily routine, interactions and characters involved. Key to the film’s formula is the mixture of delicate, beautiful sound design and vivid cinematography. Not since Jiro Dreams of Sushi have we seen such an affecting documentary. Walk With Me is out now in selected cinemas; go to p.28 for our interview with Co-director Max Pugh THE PODCAST:
book online at titantichotelliverpool.com
ON OUR COFFEE TABLE:
DISAPPEARING GLASGOW BY CHRIS LESLIE We were lucky enough to catch Chris Leslie’s sold out talk last month at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery and as a result we came away with his book, Disappearing Glasgow. The book, a photographic journey through some of the city’s iconic tower block estates and the communities surrounding them is terrific. Even more so are the discussions and stories wrapped up in the imagery. Dreams, destitution, the rise and fall of social housing, gentrification and the small issue of what to do with the buildings when their time runs out. It’s easy to go out and take a picture of a tall
building against a horizon, but to embed in a community and document it, connect with the local people on a human level and observe as it’s transformed forever for the sake of a two week sporting spectacle (The Commonwealth Games) is a much more difficult task. The results are insightful and above all, extremely poignant. The first and second editions of Disappearing Glasgow are now sold out, however a limited run of signed copies are available with prints from the series; disappearing-glasgow.com
If ‘reading more’ is one of your new year’s resolutions, you might want to start listening to the Stack Magazines podcast. Helmed by Steven Watson, the founder of Stack Magazines (an independent magazine subscription service) the podcast is an insightful look into all things indie mags. Coinciding with a real golden time for independent publishing, past guests on the podcast include Zeit Magazine, Mundial Magazine and funnily enough, The Essential Journal (Episode 54). A good place to begin is last year’s Stack Awards episode which saw the year’s best celebrated with a host of awards. The level of magazine variety was striking, from dogs to emotion, there’s a magazine for every taste and Stack Magazines is a good place to discover something new. The Stack Magazines Podcast is available on iTunes; stackmagazines.com
An image from the exhibition ‘The Pier Head - Tom Wood’ launching this month at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery. The show looks at people in transit, specifically the people Wood observed whilst waiting to cross the River Mersey by ferry. The images were selected from 1000s of rolls of film over the course of 25 years. ‘The Pier Head - Tom Wood’ is a free exhibition on until 25 March at The Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool
Seacombe Ferry Terminal, 1985, C. Tom Wood
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WHAT’S ON Liverpool Philharmonic January – March Friday 26 January 8pm
DEAR ESTHER LIVE – Sunday 28 January 12pm Music Room Coffee Concert
TROIKA KLEZMER KABARET – Monday 5 February 7.30pm
LEGENDARY FRONTMEN OF ROCK – Monday 19 February 7.30pm Film 15
FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL – Sunday 18 March 7.30pm Acoustic Tour 2018
Tuesday 20 March 7.30pm
BUDDY HOLLY & THE CRICKETERS WITH THE ENGLISH ROCK AND ROLL ORCHESTRA
liverpoolphil.com 0151 709 3789 – LiverpoolPhilharmonic @liverpoolphil liverpool_philharmonic
Image Dear Esther Live
12 | The Essential Journal
“TWO IN SC DESIGN FOR
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BASIC PILLARS CANDINAVIAN N ARE RESPECT R NATURE AND MATERIALS.” STYLE
words by ANGHARAD JONES
We sit down with purveyors of fine Scandinavian menswear, A Day’s March, to talk working in a trio, your dad’s old fishing sweater and what the future holds
14 | The Essential Journal
MG: Another thing that sets us apart is that we’re a producer-to-consumer brand which means that we only sell in our own stores and online. That’s how we can offer great garments for a relatively low price.
“Inspiration comes from everywhere. I guess the common theme is that everything has a long-lasting quality to it.” Where do you find inspiration for the brand? SP: Inspiration comes from everywhere. I guess the common theme is that everything has a long-lasting quality to it. It may be a book or a film or a record or a painting. We also pick up ideas and details from our own wardrobes, the old stuff that you - for different reasons - never stop wearing. That favourite ‘90s Helmut piece or those tennis shorts or your dad’s old fishing sweater. We talk a lot about what it is that make those clothes special and how to create garments that last longer, both quality and style wise.
t’s surprisingly difficult to get a ‘basic’ piece of clothing right. Those shirts, jumpers and jackets that are versatile, long-lasting and will become your new staples – the building blocks of your wardrobe, if you like A good basic is anything but; it’s cut to precision to give an exceptional fit, made from high-quality fabrics that will last for years, and is devoid of any embellishment or trend-led details that will instantly date the piece as soon as the season is over. There are a lot of brands that try to create such collections, but few that succeed. One of those rare brands that get it right is A Day’s March, the Swedish label founded by Marcus Gårdö, Pelle Lundquist and Stefan Pagreus in 2014. In their own words, the trio’s aim is to “perfect the essentials” through an obsessive attention to detail and equal focus on style and substance, and in just a few years they’ve built up a loyal following that swears by those wool overshirts, thick cords and clean trainers that have become signatures of A Day’s March. We sat down with the founders to talk through their inspiration, Scandinavian design and what sets their label apart. EJ
essential journal: Three of you started A Day’s March. How did that come about? PELLE LUNDQUIST: We are all long-time friends. Marcus always had an eye for interesting business ideas and pitched a direct-to-consumer shirt concept to me and Stefan in 2012. At the time, there weren’t any brands around who offered quality products at a lower price. Stefan and I turned Marcus’s idea into a concept that included a lot more than shirts, more like a one-stop shop for essentials. We all found a lot of energy in this concept and from there we started digging. Are there any challenges that come with working as a three? And any highlights? MARCUS GÅRDÖ: I think it’s more common that a startup has two people running the business. When you’re three, there will be more ideas, more discussions, more arguments and more laughs. The upside is that you will always have one person in opposition. You discuss more and cover more perspectives. The downside is that it’s more time-consuming.
If you were to pick three items from the SS18 collection to have in your personal wardrobe, what would they be and why? PL: Our new, slightly bigger, denim model that we’ll launch in March, a garment dyed oxford shirt and a navy overshirt. These are all garments that are very much A Day’s March - great fits and high quality, easy to style and very versatile. I’m particularly happy that this spring we’ll start to produce all our garment dyed oxford shirts, our most popular product, in organic cotton. SP: Our cord overshirt will be available in more colours and is such a great garment! Our sneakers in white calf leather are another spring essential that I really love. And then we’re doing a very special and personal collab that will result in a small capsule collection this spring, I’m really looking forward to that. What were you doing before you started A Day’s March? STEFAN PAGREUS: Pelle and I met at an advertising agency where we worked together for a few years. We both became tired with the job at around the same time, so I left to study psychology and Pelle went to work with interior and design. Then Marcus came to us with the idea for A Day’s March. MG: I have a background in economics. Like Pelle and Stefan I have no formal experience from fashion retail — apart from A Day’s March I run a book publishing firm. But I think that an outside perspective has been a good thing for us. Scandinavian design has come to the fore over the past few years - fashion, interiors, way of life. Why do you think the rest of the world has embraced it so fully? And where do you think it will go from here? SP: Scandinavian design tradition is very much rooted in functionality, which is likely a part of our appeal. The world is such a complex place nowadays, I think people find comfort in the simple things. PL: Two basic pillars in Scandinavian design are respect for nature and materials. I believe the attraction of those values will only grow stronger together with a strong global interest in sustainability, durability and simplicity. How does A Day’s March differ from other Scandinavian brands? PL: I believe that the common ground we share with Scandinavian brands is a love for materials, simple solutions etc. One thing that separates us is that we take a lot of inspiration from American and Italian menswear which is perhaps not that common in Scandinavian design.
What’s been your biggest highlight since starting A Day’s March? PL: For me it’s every time you see a person who’s well dressed and interested in clothing wearing our stuff. It makes all this work become so real-life. SP: Another really gratifying thing is all our repeat customers, which we have had a lot of since day one. When people come back again and again you know you’re doing something right. What’s next for the brand? Next is my biggest A Day’s March highlight: we’re opening in London this spring. I love London and it’s a big thing for us. It’s like watching your kid grow up and move abroad. We’re a bit nervous, but mostly proud. MG:
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Made to Measure ‘Using the finest British and Italian cloths’
YO U C A N F I N D U S AT
Regina house, 1 Victoria Street, Liverpool, L2 5QA
Tel: 07455 799 097 or 07909 511 884
VITALE BARBERIS CANONICO // LORO PIANA // FERLA // FOX BROTHERS
16 | The Essential Journal
words by DAVEY BRETT
NEW YEAR, NEW SHOES
History’s forgotten sneaker is making a comeback
ne thing you might not know about Karhu: legend has it, they used to own the now iconic three stripe trademark before a little German athletic brand called Adidas bought it off them in the 50s. The stripes cost a meagre two bottles of whiskey and (in today’s money) 1600 euros. Another thing you might not know about the brand is the word Karhu means bear and despite being a modest shoe company from a modest country, in the world of athletics, Karhu is a big deal. From its founding in 1916 to the current day, Karhu has been at the forefront of not only athletic innovation, but performance. From the early days, Karhu was kitting out ‘the flying Finns’ (Hannes Kolehmainen and Ville Ritola), the medal harvesting running duo putting Finland on the athletics map. Karhu went on to develop the first patented ‘air cushion’ technology in a trainer, before ditching it for their ‘fulcrum’ technology, which concentrated on forward momentum over bouncing up and down. Innovation continues in their running shoes, but it’s the casual side of Karhu that has caught our eye. Always collaborating and refreshing old styles, releases of late have been a eclectic palette of colour, texture and design.EJ
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a brief history of
Ab Sportartiklar Oy establishes a small workshop in downtown Helsinki
The company name is changed to Karhu, which is Finnish for bear. “The Flying Finns” dominate tracks around the world, garnering recognition for Karhu running shoes
Karhu dominates the 1952 Helsinki Olympics with 15 gold medal-winning spikes
Karhu officially registers its famous M-symbol—the only trademark used in running shoes—derived from the word “Mestari,” which means “champion” in Finnish
Karhu develops the first patented “Air Cushion” midsole system for its running footwear
Karhu R&D’s collaboration with the University of Jyväskylä results in the development of the “Fulcrum” technology
The innovative Karhu culture gives birth to “Ortix,” the first in-store measurement system that measures the level of pronation in a runner’s stride
The 100 year history of Karhu sees the brand continuing to innovate its footwear collection Karhu develops Ortix Fit to provide runners with the next level of comfort
imagery from Karhu Ortix catalouge 1989
18 | The Essential Journal
words by DAVEY BRETT photography by THOMAS SUMNER
UNION 22 In the first part of a new regular series in which we chat to the folks at our favourite menswear stores, this month we chat to John Paul Cooper at Liverpool’s luxury menswear boutique Union 22
Tell me about the brands and what’s exclusive to the store? Mackage is very exclusive. We were the first store to bring it to the north of England. As far as we know, apart from Harrods, we were the first retailer in the UK to buy into Santoni. We were the first for Corneliani in Liverpool, same with Brioni. Again, we believe it’s moving away from the French brands. We’ve brought in Santoni, which is a luxury footwear brand. Santoni’s leather, it’s that good that IWC use that to make leather watch straps. At essential journal: Tell us about the store, the moment we’re the only ones really concentrating on the Italian and British brands. how long have you been going for? john paul cooper: We opened in December 2017, so we’re just over a year old. The building, Do you have any particular pieces that are Union House, was the former headquarters popular at the moment? of Tetleys Tea and is Grade II listed. Recently Mackage outerwear is massive. It’s Canadian, we’ve gone to two floors and we’ve brought in waterproof, down-filled, luxury trim. Santoni more Italian brands. We’ve brought in Brioni, footwear again, finest leathers in the world, Canali and Ermenegildo Zegna. What we be- designed and handmade in Italy and the shape lieve since we first opened a year ago is that of the shoe is very italian, a sleek neat shape. fashion is moving towards the Italian brands Then Cheaney footwear across the board, fanagain. We’ve come in at an early stage, saying tastic quality and made in Britain. we think it’s going to be moving towards softer Are the customers on board with your Italtailoring. ian luxury revolution? Who do you cater for? Who is the typical We’ll have a blazer, but inside the blazer will be a chest piece detailing that stands out from Union 22 gentleman? We have everyone from football players to ac- any other blazer. Footwear will be, for instance tors, the customer base stretches all the way with Corneliani, a trainer with luxury suede down to London. We see ourselves as a union detailing on it, but it will be a different shape to and regular customers can sign up to our loyal- any other trainer that’s out there. It’s easily recty card, we can let them know what new brands ognisable and now our customers will look at are coming in. We source brands that you won’t footwear and immediately be able to say, that’s find anywhere else. Everything we do is usually Corneliani. They’ll see a blazer and they’re new to the UK, certainly new to Liverpool or if looking for a stitching colour detail or a suede it’s the same brand as another store, we’ll buy it trim detail. They notice that and they like that differently. We’ll buy garments that have luxu- every brand has heritage and an incredible ry detailing, luxury fabrics, cuts, that’s what we story behind it. look for to make a point of difference. ohn Paul Cooper, or ‘JP’ as he’s affectionately known on Merseyside doesn’t half have some stories. Having cut his teeth at northern fashion institution Wade Smith and travelled the world in the name of menswear, he’s got a few tales to tell. His latest venture with co-founder Dale Allman, Union 22, is a sleek menswear boutique on Liverpool’s majestic Victoria Street. When we visit the store in early January, there’s still evidence of the huge Union House Christmas display, a bold, multi-tiered light display inspired by his time in New York and the likes of Macy’s and Saks. We sit down with JP to talk Liverpool fashion trends, prized possessions and the Italian luxury menswear revolution he’s bringing to his hometown. EJ
How would you describe the style of Liverpool over the years, past and present? How does your customer fit into this? The younger Liverpool customer will tend to follow a brand rather than product, whereas our customers are following product over brand. They are looking for key pieces that will fit into their wardrobe and complement their style. What I would like to say about Union 22 is that if they’re after something a little bit different, a little bit niche, something that they’ve maybe already got in their wardrobe, but with a twist, they will find it here. We’re suited to either the young lad who wants to dress a little bit smarter to the guy who just wants to get rid of his Hugo Boss wardrobe and is saying, ‘I want something completely new, fresh and different.’ How do you think the fashion in Liverpool has changed? It has always been based very casual and around sports. Golf wear, tennis wear, ski wear, the entire sports spectrum. Hugo Boss conquered the market for seven years in Liverpool with a branded polo in every single colour you could possibly think of. People from Liverpool will always invest in jeans, whether it’s Jacob Cohen or Tramarossa, the jeans don’t tend to move a lot, luxury denim, nice slim fit. But when it comes to torso, outerwear is a big one, and Mackage
has taken over from Moncler. Do you have a prized piece of clothing that you own? A favourite piece? I’ve got a Borsalino flat cap and every winter I pull it out. It was the first thing I bought when I moved to New York. I came in off the flight and my head was freezing cold, so I went into Manhattan, JJ’s Hat Store on Fifth Avenue. I went in and I had never bought a hat in my life. I said I’m after some sort of flat cap and the man in the shop looked at me and said “It’s that one.” He gave me a newsboy cap and I’ll never forget what he said. “Fresh off the boat.” It is my favourite ever purchase. What’s in store for the year ahead? New brands on board. The new season stuff will start coming in at the end of January, start of February. It’s taken us a year to finally get the brand list that we want, so from now, this is Union 22. Pitti this month in Florence, then we’ve got a couple more brands on our hitlist that we want to approach. It’ll be nice to catch up with everyone in the industry.
Brioni, Santoni, Canali, Mackage, Ermenegildo Zegna, Tramarossa and Corneliani are all available at Union 22; Union House, 23 Victoria Street, Liverpool, L1 6BD
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words by JOHN THORNTON, themodernman.co.uk
15 TIPS TO TAKE YOUR LOOK TO THE NEXT LEVEL IN 2018 01 BACK OF THE BOTTLE Just picking products based on the colour scheme? Here’s what to really look for: DRY SKIN Glycerin, shea butter, and natural oils like jojoba, argan and coconut are all packed with moisture OILY SKIN Salicylic acid and glycolic acid make light work of cutting through grease, whilst kaolin and bentonite clay are great at absorbing dirt SENSITIVE SKIN Alcohol and/or Parfum-free formulas are your friend. Alcohol dries out your skin, whilst parfum can irritate it RAZOR BURN Aloe vera, menthol, and peppermint oil all give off a cool, soothing burst EXFOLIATORS avoid microbeads (bad for the planet, bad for your face) and look for natural alternatives like coconut husk, nut shells or volcanic sand
DRINK MORE WATER You knew this was coming, right? It’ll keep everything cleaner and better hydrated. The better you are on the inside, the better you’ll be on the outside.
USE A HAIR DRYER They make styling so much easier, use a dryer with a cool burst to set your look in place.
USE PRE-SHAVE OIL Nothing stops razor burn quite like a good pre-shave oil. Apply before your shave cream for a much smoother experience.
ENJOY A HOT TOWEL SHAVE You have to try it, at least once. It’s one of the most affordable luxuries there are.
STOP TOUCHING YOUR FACE From Tube rails to traffic light buttons, your hands touch some grim places throughout the day. Don’t transfer all that to your face.
USE LESS HAIR PRODUCT Just as your NYE was almost definitely a let down, you’re almost definitely using too much. Start small, add more if needed.
VISIT YOUR BARBER MORE Book your next appointment in whilst having your cut so you don’t put it off and let it slide.
SCRUB BEFORE YOU SHAVE Using an exfoliator to smooth your skin will help stop the razor dragging - only use it on your jawline though (see 11).
WASH MORE If you’re just cleansing in the morning you’re leaving a day’s worth of grime on your face whilst you sleep.
STICK TO YOUR SKIN TYPE Figure out if you’ve got dry, oily, combination or sensitive skin, and buy products geared towards them.
SHAMPOO LESS Rinse your hair daily, but only shampoo it when it really really needs it.
GET A BEARD TRIM Whilst you’re there, treat yourself to a professional beard trim. From inch-perfect under-chin lines to shaping the biggest Brian Blesseds, it’s well worth the occasional splash.
SHAVE WITH THE GRAIN Those long sweeping upstrokes from the adverts are just ingrownhair magnets.
SCRUB LESS Scrubbing your T-zone more than once or twice a week will upset your oil production and clog the pores you’ve just been cleaning.
WEAR SPF EVERYDAY Sun damage causes 90% of premature aging. A good SPF moisturiser is an investment in your face’s future.
Imagery by Silverberg Opticians
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STYLE words by COLIN DORRICOTT, Silverberg Opticians
NEW YEAR, NEW LOOK As you rush off to make and keep up with every resolution under the sun, don’t forget about your eyes. Colin Dorricott of Silverberg Opticians offers some eyecare advice for the year ahead AN EYE TEST IS SO MUCH MORE THAN WHAT LETTERS YOU CAN SEE ON THE WALL
It’s a full health check that is recommended at least every two years. When looking in your eyes the optician can see health issues elsewhere in the body and early warning signs. If you’re having a new year health kick after a heavy Christmas, don’t forget about your eyes.
THOSE OLD GLASSES THAT YOU’RE EMBARRASSED OF AREN’T DOING YOU ANY FAVOURS
Get something up to date that you are proud to wear. So often I see people out with a battered old pair of specs that they’ve had for years and shouldn’t be seen in public in. They begrudge spending money on a new pair because they ‘don’t like wearing glasses’. The reality is they don’t like wearing those glasses, they’re cheap, nasty and bent out of shape from where they’ve fallen asleep in them. When looking for a new pair of specs make sure they fit properly, when eyewear is too small it doesn’t fit over the ear properly and sits too high on your nose, I see it so often and I don’t know how opticians let people leave the store like that.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK AT IN STORE IN 2018?
This year is going to be a big year for the retro collection from Moscot, one of our favourite brands as well as a new collection from Cartier. Cartier are going through a change at the moment, including a new design team. The new collection is a lot more fashion forward, youthful and funky.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE WINTER SUN
Most people think of summer when thinking about sunglasses, realistically they are more important in winter when the sun is low. We have all driven mid-morning when the sun is low, you’re blinded all of the way. It’s dangerous for driving and bad for your eyes, a good quality pair of polarized sunglasses will sort this out. My favourite are Maui Jim, you cannot get better lenses on the market today. Colin Dorricott is a Practise Manager (and luxury eyewear enthusiast) at Liverpool’s Silverberg Opticians
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A Handsome Home:
THE ORGANISED HOME LIFESTYLE
words by ANGHARAD JONES, coggles.com
Perfect the space that will let you get to work on all things new you
is the season of soon-to-be-broken new year’s resolutions and promises to be healthier, more active, less boozy or less spendy. A life denying oneself of that thick cut of steak and extra glass of red isn’t really a life worth living though, so directing those ‘new year, new me’ to other parts of your everyday is the next best (and really, only) option. This year, make your home the focus of your resolutions, an organised haven to escape to, enjoy, heck – even write that novel you’ve been threatening to do (and putting off) over the past few Januarys. It starts with a home office - a room of its own, a corner or simply a desk in the hallway - whatever it is, make this your space to work on that masterpiece, plan that adventure or start that business you’ve been promising yourself you’ll do for years. The secret to a great home office in any handsome home is one that has style and function in equal measure. You’ll need to be organised of course, with no distractions (that future Man Booker Prize winner won’t write itself), while a few choice accessories (a copper Tom Dixon stapler here, a grey Menu table lamp there) or piece of artwork will make your desk all the more inviting. As for bringing a sense of organisation into your home office, Japanese brand Yamazaki is our first port of call for space-saving with style. Having been around for more than 100 years, this is a brand that knows a thing or two about intelligent design without the fuss, with each piece of homeware created with small spaces in mind. Piles of magazines containing articles you’ll ‘get around to reading later’? There’s a Yamazaki minimalist steel lightweight rack for that. Too many pens, pins, electronic devices or general bits and bobs? Look no further than the desk bar or pen rack, or better still, the solid wood rack designed to house your phone, tablet and everything in between. Boasting sleek, durable materials and contemporary designs with every piece, organisation never looked so good. EJ Yamazaki is available at Coggles.com
Yamazaki product imagery courtesy of Coggles.com
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words by DAVEY BRETT
Recipe of the Month:
Vegetarian Moqueca, recipe by Gastromotiva. Picture credit: Food Editore/Piermichele Borraccia
This month we delve into Massimo Bottura and friend’s stunning ‘Bread Is Gold’ for a delicious and warming Brazilian stew that makes the most of the spare vegetables in your cupboards
Serves: 6 INGREDIENTS 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon palm oil 1 onion, sliced 1 red bell pepper, cut into medium squares 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into medium squares 1 green bell pepper, cut into medium squares 2 tomatoes, sliced and seeds reserved 2 zucchini (courgettes), sliced 1 eggplant (aubergine), cut into medium cubes generous 2 cup (500 ml) coconut milk salt ¾ cup (50 g) chopped parsley 1 malagueta or habanero chili, minced juice of 1 lime METHOD In a medium frying pan, heat the palm oil over low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, zucchini (courgettes), eggplant (aubergine), and coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Cover and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the parsley, chili, and lime juice. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. To serve, ladle into soup bowls.
lthough Bread Is Gold is a cookbook (a mighty fine one at that) it’s also an antidote. An antidote to two problems, both closely linked. One is food wastage, the other malnourishment. As Bottura states in the introduction to the book, ‘Numbers are numbers. Almost one billion people are undernourished. One-third of the food we produce globally is wasted every year, including nearly four trillion apples.’ The problem is real, so what can we begin to do about it? Massimo Bottura has a few ideas. Be inventive with ingredients (especially sell-by-dated, stale, scraps, trimmings or those that don’t conform to the uniformity of supermarket beauty standards), come together and make something beautiful out of something humble. Bread Is Gold does exactly that. The recipes in the book come from Bottura’s work surrounding the 2015 Expo in Milan, where he was asked to do a pop up. Rather than another trendy eatery, Bottura’s dream was to get famous chefs from around the world to use the waste from the Expo to feed people in need. He set up in the Greco neighbourhood of Milan, turning an old abandoned theatre into a Refettorio (a place where monks and nuns
shared meals) and alongside chefs from across the globe cooked for those in need. The results were nothing less than stunning. Gazpacho soup made from a bulk of strawberries that turned up, banana peel chutney (if bread is gold in the book, bananas are silver and treated with unbridled ingenuity), fridge-busting Minestrone and Slovenian-inspired fish stews. Not to mention the delicious vegetarian Moqueca featured on this page, hailing from the Bahia region of Brazil courtesy of the Gastromotiva team. Other chefs among the pages include Mario Batali, Daniel Humm and Andoni Luiz Aduriz. Bottura tells the story of each of them cooking at the refettorio and how they were able to use the less than ideal ingredients provided. After the 2015 Expo, Bottura and his wife set up Food For Soul, a non-profit organisation to promote awareness of food wastage and hunger. The message is clear. Make the humble beautiful, make bread into gold. EJ
Make the humble beautiful, make bread into gold
Bread is Gold by Massimo Bottura (Phaidon) is out now, All royalties will be donated to FOOD FOR SOUL to create and sustain community kitchens around the world.
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POSTCARDS words by ELENA SIGNORELLI
For this series titled Postcards, we’re asking creative professionals around the globe to introduce us to the cities they are based. Focusing on city secrets and neighbourhoods under transformation, we reached out to those in the know to lend some generous guidance to an unsuspecting visitor
BARCELONA FABIOLA GUZMAN, BARCELONA, SPAIN
Fabiola Guzman is a Junior Art Director and Graphic Designer for PlayGround in Barcelona – an audio-visual production company that has been creating, planning, and producing since 2008. Fabiola continues to discover this everchanging city and she shares some of Barcelona’s best kept secrets with us I work in a media agency which focuses on sharing information to the Spanish speaking communities. Every time something important happens in Barcelona, we’re one of the first media brands who can show the reality of the moment. For example, when people went to the streets to express their opinion of Catalunya last year, we were the first to show on the RSS the reality of the moment.
Photo by Enes
What has kept you based in Barcelona? Barcelona is a place that’s in constant evolution, like every modern city, but with the benefits of beautiful weather: people are happier when the sun shines. What is Barcelona’s best kept secret...that you’re willing to share? I guess that this city can surprise you in every corner. For some reason, sometimes magic happens and you end the night in a strange, but also awesome bar, have lunch tasting amazing and unique food, or seeing the sunset in a secluded point of the city with breath-taking views. What’s a restaurant or bar that best captures the spirit of Barcelona? One of my favourites is Quimet & Quimet in Poblesec, but also every restaurant or bar with an outside space can capture the spirit of this city! I really enjoy margaritas in Carabela (Barceloneta), the “croquetas” of Catacroquet in Poblenou or a beer in every terrace of Gracia. How does your business contribute to the city?
What’s a neighbourhood that’s transforming for the better? Well, Barcelona is constantly evolving because a lot of people are attracted by the quality of living which we experience. The “cooler” neighbourhoods are getting full, so new parts of the city are growing on as el Clot or Sants. When is the best time to visit? For me, the start of summer - end of May, start of June. What does the future hold for Barcelona? We have to be careful of the exess population in the centre of the city and keep focused on growing with better values, finding better solutions to be a cool city for more decades.
“Barcelona is a place that’s in constant evolution, like every modern city, but with the benefits of beautiful weather: people are happier when the sun shines”
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BERLIN STEPHANIE LUND, BERLIN, GERMANY
WARSAW KATARZYNA ANNA DĄBROWSKA WARSAW, POLAND
Katarzyna is a writer, native speaker and translator spending most of her time travelling across beautiful Warsaw. She visits companies and corporations, startups and public institutions teaching English through conversation. Most of her clients are CEO’s, upper management and members of the board which she explains makes for interesting conversation. What has kept you based in this city? I was born here, yet I spent most of my life in Melbourne, Australia. It was always my dream to come here for a year and live like a local. It’s now been well over a year and I have no intention of leaving.
How does your business contribute to the city? Seeing as I teach English, presentation and communication skills to business leaders throughout this city I feel they are able to make themselves better understood within any personal or business dealings. Sometimes I see a billboard in the middle of the city with a slogan which I helped come up with - that’s pretty cool! What’s a neighbourhood that’s transforming for the better? Praga is definitely the definition of positive gentrification. Wola also. Buy property there now if you can When is the best time to visit? Depends what you like - Warsaw is super seasonal and each time of year
What attracted you to move Berlin? Berlin was never actually on my radar. I made a stop here on my way to Italy a few years ago to visit some friends I hadn’t seen in a while and after the third day just said aloud ‘yeah I’m gonna move here’. Aside from just feeling comfortable, I really like that people go about their days not really giving a shit, but still being somewhat nice and respectful at the same time.
What’s a neighbourhood that’s transforming for the better? Tough question. People always complain about a neighbourhood changing, they hate gentrification. A neighbourhood changing means rent prices go up - no one is ever happy about that.
Photo by Samuel Zeller Photo by AC Almelor
has a certain magic. For me it would be late spring/ early summer (June) but autumn is amazing too. And when the city is illuminated for Christmas (December 9th-ish) its an incredible winter wonderland. What does the future hold for the city? This city is rapidly evolving and transforming. It’s a great place for new ideas, new business and projects. I really don’t like to compare but it’s the next Berlin, but different.
“I swear nobody works here in the summer, it would cut into park chill times too much.”
What is Berlin’s best kept secret... that you’re willing to share? Nothing is really a secret here. And even if I knew one I wouldn’t tell you! What’s a restaurant or bar that best captures the spirit of Berlin? Anything with wood tables and candlelight, which is about 80% of bars. Ora is a really great place and captures the less ‘budget’ side of Berlin. It’s a beautiful old apothecary turned restaurant/cocktail bar. They’ve got a sweet bar that’s great for dates too.
What is the city’s best-kept secret...that you’re willing to share? The independent improvised theatre and stand-up comedy scene is really incredible. These art forms are relatively new here (around 10 years and 7 years respectively) and its still relatively small and underground. I’m a frequent guest at the Comedy Club in Warsaw as well as Resort Komedi. They also have shows in English! What’s a restaurant or bar that best captures the spirit of the city? Old school - Bar Mleczny Bambino or Serwus. New school - Warszawa Wschodnia, Warszawski Sen or Kate Zielony Niedzwiedz.
A recent newcomer to the German capital, Stephanie (originally of the UK and a one-time resident of Toronto) is co-founder and creative director of toitoitoi, a multidisciplinary creative studio developing diverse spaces that actively engage the user and its visitors.
I also haven’t really been here long enough to see any crazy transformations, but have definitely seen some price increases. Neukölln seems to have a new bar or cafe pop up every week (not literally but not far off ), so there’s loads to do here and it’s not flooded with tourists like Mitte or Friedrichshain. Does this even answer your question or have I just gone off on a tangent here? When is the best time to visit? Summer 150%. So much daylight, all the clubs are open, people are literally everywhere. This city transforms into what can feel like a 2 month long outdoor festival of hangouts. I swear nobody works here in the summer, it would cut into park chill times too much. What does the future hold for Berlin? It’s hard to say really. The city is getting more expensive every year and start ups are starting to look to Berlin for home base. But residents have a say in what happens in their neighbourhoods, which is one of the amazing things about the city. Google was denied initial planning permission for their new campus in Kreuzberg after a negative response from residents of the neighbourhood. People were concerned with how it would change the character of the neighbourhood and the historical building they were hoping to renovate. I haven’t lived anywhere that works this way before here, it’s a really admirable way for a city to function. The money is trying to come, but those who live here don’t want it. Those of us living here like to live simply, mind their own business and not over consume.
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16-23 MARCH 2018 Amazon Challenge – participate in indigenous Olympics during this eightday river adventure through the least accessed parts of the Amazon jungle
21-29 APRIL 2018 Philippines Challenge – an eight night sailing experience. The challenge is split into several legs, with a combination of sea-based and island-based challenges
20-29 APRIL 2018 Lanka Challenge – a ten day, 1000km tuk tuk challenge around either the south or north of Sri Lanka
Imagery courtesy of Large Minority
20-28 OCTOBER 2018 Cambodia Challenge - 900km eightnight rickshaw rally giving participants an insider’s view of Cambodia
words by MICHELLE BRETT
A Transformative Travel Experience Travel sophisticates have long known the value of spending on ‘experience over things’ but if 2017 was the year of responsible or sustainable tourism, 2018 will be taking it one step further as wanderlusters seek to add some truly transformational travel experiences to their portfolio
orget a cleansing yoga retreat or a week long stay in an eco-lodge. While these holiday experiences may provide the relaxation, there’s definitely something missing: interaction with the locals and giving something back. Transformational travel begs the somewhat zen question; “If a traveller visits a place but avoids the locals and culture, have they travelled there at all?” Julian Carnall, co-founder of adventure travel company Large Minority has been promoting transformational travel experiences in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Philippines and The Amazon since 2008 and has first hand experience that confirms, once you’ve involved yourself with travel experiences that leave a lasting impression on you, you’re hooked.
“Adventure travel has this image of a lone explorer battling the wilderness; just them, nerves of steel and their North Face gear. We’re one of a growing number of responsible adventure travel companies who are shifting gears in the space.” Carnall is keen to point out that while there is a competitive element to each of the trips, they definitely aren’t races. Rather, points are accrued by participants tested by daily challenges designed to get them out of their comfort zones, bonding with the other teams and most importantly interacting with the locals and impacting positively on local economies. “As all our trips are designed to directly benefit the communities in which they take place, Challengers can be assured of a lot of
interaction with communities and culture. Between that and the incredible wildlife they’ll encounter along the way, a Large Minority trip truly is a life changing experience.” Large Minority’s adventure challenges are suitable for all ages and fitness levels, with a portion of all proceeds going to charities on the ground. Prices start at £1160 per person for a team of three and include transport, accommodation (in some cases quite luxurious), breakfast and dinners, a crack team of support professionals and insurance. Early bird discounts are available up to 90 days prior to trip dates. EJ To discover more about Large Minority’s upcoming challenges, head to www.largeminority.travel
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words by DAVEY BRETT
Cinema As Meditation
This month sees the release of the Benedict Cumberbatch-narrated Walk With Me, an immersive documentary that takes viewers into the heart of world-renowned Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastic community in rural France. We caught up with co-director Max Pugh to discuss why it’s more than just a documentary
alk With Me is not like other documentaries. Partly because of the way in which it deals with its subject matter, but also because of its immersive qualities. Directed by Mark James Francis and Max Pugh, the Cumberbatch-narrated film follows worldrenowned Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and his monastic community in Plum Village, rural France. Documenting daily life as well as public mindfulness retreats and the monks touring America, the film has an immersive quality that’s difficult to compare. Rather than a film delving into the origins of mindfulness or a biographic foray into the life of Thich Nhat Hanh, Walk With Me is instead the Plum Village experience in cinematic form. On the eve of the film’s release, we chatted to codirector Max Pugh for insight into what it was like making such a unique piece of film. EJ essential journal: How did the idea for the film come about? max pugh: The idea came about because
my younger brother ordained as a Buddhist monk back in 2008. I went to his ordination ceremony and I found the whole thing extremely moving, it was such a radical life choice to abandon everything; your money, your house, your girlfriend, your relationships. I realised it couldn’t be a documentary because it was happening in front of me and I didn’t have a camera. Then, I realised it would probably complicate his first years as being a monk because the last thing he needs is to be the subject of a film at that really fragile and tender stage, so I just let it go. Lo and behold, three years later I was visiting him at the monastery in France, I was working in France not too far from him and he came to me with one of the monastic brothers and he said “would you like to make a documentary about us?” I said of course. If you’re asking me, that changes everything. So I accepted and got my best friend and long-term collaborator to produce and co-direct with me and from there we flew into it really quickly. It becomes very apparent early on that watching the film is an immersive
experience. Well, Thich Nhat Hanh himself said to us very early in the process that he had an aspiration, posed almost as a question. Can cinemas be turned into meditation halls? Creatively, we thought that was a really interesting proposition because in movies you can tell a story and be dramatic, play with emotions, but can you communicate the atmosphere? Can you communicate what it feels like to meditate? Can you immerse the audience in that feeling without them doing anything about it? We felt very inspired by that challenge, how to use sound and picture to represent the special nature of meditation. What was it like making a film in that environment? Was it drastically different to other environments in which you’ve made films? It could not have been more different. We would turn up, come over to France for a whole week, set out our agenda and you certainly want to get something in the can on day one and feel like you’re moving forwards. Then we’d arrive and immediately they would
greet us like old friends, suggest a cup of tea, then every cup of tea would take about three hours, the most beautiful, relaxing cup of tea you’ve had in your life. Then we’d walk through the forest, which would take three hours. Then that’d be the end of day one and we hadn’t even got the cameras out. Then the next day, the same would happen. Then gradually, they would separate us from our agenda, from our active mind, almost drive us into the present moment. We’d lost our anxiety and we’d lost our stress and then magically on day three, we’d film a moment that was unforgettable and unscriptable. By then we were ready to put the camera up and receive the present moment, something we might have missed on day one because of our anxiety. That was very helpful to us as filmmakers. Whether that rhythm can flow into other projects and other locations remains to be seen, but Mark and I on several occasions had to pinch ourselves, saying it might not ever get better than this. Will any of the monks ever be able to see the film? Have any seen it? That has been absolutely central to us. We screened the film privately to them in France and then some of them accompanied us to the world premiere in Austin, Texas at SXSW last year. Then I presented the film in Thailand and Hong Kong where we were joined by the Asian monastics over there. Even Thich Nhat Hanh himself joined us in Thailand. Despite now having suffered a major stroke he watched the whole film from his wheelchair at 92 years old and that was very moving. I was told he would probably only stay for ten minutes but he stayed for the entire film. Walk With Me is out now in selected cinemas; check out the extended version of this interview online at essentialjournal.co.uk
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30 | The Essential Journal
The Essential Guide:
A HEALTHIER M We’ve scoured the books and played human guinea pig to bring you a selection of mindfulness tips for the year ahead
ew year, new you. You’ve made all your resolutions; more exercise; less smoking; less hours in the pub; bought a Fitbit; gym membership on its way. Bit of chub left over from Christmas dinner(s), but not to worry, you’ve got some healthy cookbooks and if the worst comes to the worst, you can borrow a Joe Wicks DVD off one of your relatives. All set for a healthy new year. Well, not quite. What have you got planned for inside that thing that sits on your neck? What have you got planned for keeping your mind healthy? Didn’t think so. It shouldn’t be that way though, health is health, whether it’s exercising to get your blood pumping, or a bit of breathing to relieve stress. We know the basics of staying in shape physically, but when it comes to the mental side, there are equally simple things we can do. Mindfulness, the practice of changing the way you think and feel about experiences, is a good place to begin. We’ve put a brief guide together featuring tips and advice from experts and zen masters. EJ
BREATHING Although it comes as no surprise that breathing is important, the more you remember to concentrate on regulating it, the calmer you’re likely to be in a moment of stress or anxiety. In his recent book, How To Fight, world-renowned Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh talks about the importance of breathing before speaking when feeling angry or upset. ‘Don’t speak or act with the energy of anger in you. Just come back to your body and your breathing. Breathe in and out mindfully, releasing the tension in your body and mind.’ The analogy he
uses is that of the tree in the storm. ‘To see clearly, we must calm down. When we’re overcome by strong emotions we’re like a tree in a storm, with its top branches and leaves swaying in the wind. But the trunk of the tree is solid, stable, and deeply rooted in the earth. When we’re caught in a storm of emotions, we can practice to be like the trunk of the tree. We don’t stay up in the high branches. We go down to the trunk and become still, not carried away by our thinking and emotions.’
SLEEP Granted, it’s not categorically mindfulness, but you try telling a Zen master that sleep isn’t important. As humans have evolved, almost every part of our lives from the lightbulb to the alarm clock has stifled our ability to sleep and the effects are detrimental. According to Matthew P. Walker’s must-read book, Why We Sleep, research shows that insufficient sleep (six hours or less) is associated with a whole host of increased health risks including: cancer, Alzheimer’s, type-2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, heart attack. It’s also
associated with an increased risk of depression, suicide and a whole host of issues that may increase stress and other mental health issues. Helpful tips from the book include the obvious: avoid coffee, avoid alcohol and aim for an average of eight hours per night. Less obvious is: ban screens and light emitting gadgets from your bedroom, blackout curtains and at least a temperature drop of two degrees to fall asleep, so a shower before bed can be helpful. Avoid eating two hours before sleep and avoid sleeping pills at all costs.
TAKING A BREAK Another obvious one, but so easily overlooked. When it’s all getting a bit much, take a break. Whether that’s a break in a particularly stressful moment, an hour solely to yourself in the evening or a day or two at the weekend. Go for a walk, and as Dr Aaron Balick puts it in The Little Book of Calm, really feel it. ‘Notice how your feet touch the ground, how your body weight shifts to rhythm. Now slow it down and look around you. Stay with your walk, not whatever happened at point A or what might happen at point B.’
Do something you love. Nap. Do a spot of exercise. Read a book. Try and get out into the countryside, go to the beach or a body of water. With the pressure to be constantly productive comes an inability to switch off and an irrational feeling of guilt. Take a break, make time for switching off and allow time for an activity or simply doing something to calm down.
ROUTINES They’re hard to stick to, but no matter how spontaneous you may like to think you are, a routine can be helpful for keeping your mind grounded. One of the most fascinating books we came across in our research for this guide was A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind by Shoukei Matsumoto, a Zen Buddhist monk. In his native Japan, cleanliness is next to enlightenment and the book details the importance of a clean environment in attaining a healthy mind.
Habits and routine are central themes in Matsumoto’s meditative techniques and it might surprise you how thinking differently about say, cleaning your home, can have a calming effect.
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words by DAVEY BRETT
The Anxiety Formula
Reading tips for a healthier mind
Our human guinea pig says: One of the key bases of mindfulness. A useful tip for the inevitable aggression and stress that comes with the impolite and often aggressive scrum of the morning commute. Especially good for anger, next time somebody has directly angered you, your first reaction should be breathe. Easier said than done, but a good habit to get into.
Our human guinea pig says: Humanity’s march towards sleeplessness should not be taken lightly. The negative health effects are staggering. There’s also nothing more unappealing than going into work after a terrible night’s sleep. Found that a shower before bed and a sleep mask was helpful for nodding off, as was lowering the light in the evening. Sleep calculators are useful too, estimating the gaps between REM sleep and thus allowing you to wake up feeling a little fresher.
Our human guinea pig says: Turn your phone off and go to your nearest body of water, be it a lake, ocean or stream. Concentrate on your stride, your breathing and what’s around you. It’s immediately calming, especially if you live in a city. As a society, we’re being rewired to be productive 24/7, so it’s important to accept that you’ll need a break and to be stringent in allowing time for yourself to calm down.
Our human guinea pig says: May sound silly but two biggest takeaways were concerning the morning. Always do housework in the morning and always open the windows when you wake up. The latter is one of the most refreshing, albeit brisk, ways to start the day.
HOW TO FIGHT (EBURY) Thich Nhat Hanh, £5.00
THE LITTLE BOOK OF CALM (EBURY) by Dr Aaron Balick Overestimating how bad something is going to be x Underestimating how well you can cope with it =
Now let’s break that bit down How bad you think something is going to be is not the same as how bad it will actually turn out. It’s human nature to anticipate the worst just so you’ll be prepared for it. But instead of helping, this level of intense anticipation paralyses us. We also tend to underestimate how well we’ll be able to cope with a challenging situation when it does arise. In fact, most people cope surprisingly well with almost anything that happens to them. In short, you create your own anxiety by unconsciously doing the maths of the magic formula by saying ‘It’ll be terrible and I can’t cope!’ Remember, it’s hardly ever likely to be as bad as you anticipate, and you will find a way to cope with it however difficult it may be. So next time you experience anxiety, check the formula and redo the maths in your favour. ...an excerpt from The Little Book of Calm by Dr Aaron Balick
WHY WE SLEEP: THE NEW SCIENCE OF SLEEP & DREAMS (ALLEN LANE) Matthew Walker, £7.99
A MONKS GUIDE TO A CLEAN HOUSE AND MIND (PENGUIN) Shoukei Matsumoto, £4.99
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Architectural Thoughts On
words by ADAM M ARCHIPHONICS
Architecture isn’t just about bricks and mortar, but also the coordination of all the parts. From the micro to the macro, its considerations and final decisions will impact all in its ‘place’. Co-founders Dave B and Adam M started their architectural design practice ARCHIPHONIC, based in Liverpool, staying true to this manifesto and seeking to create spaces where memories are made. This month, Adam M shares his thoughts on transition
Barcelona Pavillion, photography by Pepo Segura
Barcelona Pavillion, photography by Rafa Vargas
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oday, I look at my desk calendar and find myself pondering why, on the 365th day of this year, it will represent ‘change’ in so many people’s lives. How does this relate to architecture? In short, it’s the very genesis of the practice. What is architecture except to create wonder, joy and perhaps it could even be broken down into the experience of passing from one state to another; morphosis. It becomes an opportunity to experience more, even if it is by creating less. Let us move to the obvious; “less is more”, a phrase adopted by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from the poem. There are many articles and essays that go into much more detail than we have time for here, however it is useful to consider it in terms of ‘experience’ and to look at ‘The Barcelona Pavilion’, designed as the German National Pavilion for the Barcelona International Exhibition. It has a simple layout, with a controlled palette of materials; concrete, glass, steel, marble. Albeit now a replication of the original structure, the existing one is said to have the same sensibilities of its predecessor in terms of material, and has the same layout to the mm. Here, experience is laid out to make the best of reflections and to present them by moving through space to space. First could be considered the experience of the approach and how it reflects the trees and vegetation that face it. Next, the reflection of the boundary wall in the pool of water, which reflects back to the marble, creating a pattern of light that dances in rhythm with the wind. A purposeful entrance by means of a large protruding wall which, due to the treatment of glass and marble again, creates an almost infinity of reflections but controlled by the matte materials of concrete to the roof and floors. At the end of your gaze is a glazed partition, with another smaller pool and a marble wall creating containment. This view is further accentuated by a copper coloured marble wall which divides this central space. The fact is that on approaching the glazed partition parallel to this pool, the copper coloured marble wall stops short of the partition to reveal a statue on a small plinth. This type of experience is replicated time and time again in the pavilion, but this experience is a perfect example of ‘wonder’. Another way to look at passing from one state to another is through memory. Carlo Scarpa was a master at this. Taking one example, Museo di Castelvecchio (Verona, Italy), he took the opportunity to expose many years’ worth of renovations. It was formerly a castle built in the 14th Century which fell to Napoleon, and the Austrians, becoming a barracks and ammunition store. It was restored into a Medieval castle and then into a museum. In World War II it was bombed and restored again to a memory of itself. It was at this time that Scarpa was hired to renovate the entire museum complex. His methods of intervention were many, but here we’ll look at the idea of where two materials meet; the old and the new. By exposing the years of works on the building he was able to create opportunity for people to see what they wouldn’t ordinarily. He did this by exposing the concrete and steel within the brick and stone walls. Also, by creating limestone channels that acted as an offset from the original walls, he allowed for a purity of one state of history to another. This was replicated with walls, ceilings, and beams throughout. The thick thresholds between one gallery and another help to further influence the visitor to experience these changes of state too. A particular favourite intervention of mine is that of Dovecote Studio by Haworth Tompkins. A dilapidated old building on the Dovecote Studios campus, they chose to celebrate the old brick building by using its ruin as a container and allowing for the new one to sit inside it. The new structure is clad in Corten weathering steel, with the brick work sitting against the red rust colour of the steel. It acts as an art studio with a large north window and provides rehearsal and performance space for musicians, or a temporary exhibition space. It is this fact that the new building creates its own new memories, creating its own new ‘wonders’, but still respecting its origin; the old building before it. To summarise, it is clear that there are no right or wrong answers to the passage of time. It may be you choose to demolish it, only to recreate it again. It could be that you wish to hold back from it and celebrate the past by not touching it. It could even be by holding it as the basis of the future and allowing for the two to harmonise with each other. I guess it really doesn’t matter how you choose to look at the future or the passage of time, but that you ensure that whatever you do creates wonder and excitement in your life and those that come into it. EJ
Barcelona Pavillion, photography by Rafa Vargas
Barcelona Pavillion, photography by Rafa Vargas
Cst31: Sergio Benaglia 2010, Museo di Castelvecchio. Archivio Carlo Scarpa, Verona
Václav Šedý 2008, Galleria delle sculture, Museo di Castelvecchio. Archivio Carlo Scarpa, Verona
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words by BENNA HARRY
BEYOND DREDD & WATCHMEN As the first major retrospective of his work nears its final months, we chatted to comic book artist John Higgins to discuss iconic strips, the colour of emotion and the golden age of comics
here is still a whole universe of untold stories I want to tell’ is how artist and colourist John Higgins signs off the introduction to his recent book, ‘Beyond Watchmen & Judge Dredd: The Art of John Higgins’. The book, which coincides with his first major retrospective, is as illuminating as his art and does a lot to explain how a young lad from Merseyside would go on to produce some of the most iconic comic art ever. Watchmen, Judge Dredd, Batman: The Killing Joke and Razorjack are Higgins’ most iconic works, but as the exhibition itself can vouch, his work is vast, vibrant and varied. Higgins counts writing titans including Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore as collaborators and in the past has worked for the likes of DC, 2000AD and Marvel. We caught up with him in his hometown of Liverpool to chat all things creativity and comics. EJ
essential journal: How does it feel to havea major retrospective of your work displayed at the VG & M in your home town of Liverpool? john higgins: Well the venue is mind blowing, it was the first Liverpool art school in the late 1800s and I don’t know what comes after mind blowing. I just feel incredibly honoured. Have you always liked telling stories? That’s the bottom line. I’ve always been shy and the fact that I can tell stories within the pages of comics and magazines has given me the perfect job. The exhibition gives us a glimpse into your imagination. What does the inside of John Higgins’s head look like? Sort of gooey and white and grey. I think my character Razorjack gives an insight into the strange and twisted world of my head. I tell stories that would scare me so if I can give other people nightmares then I’ve done my job. One of the most interesting sections for me was to see how artists such as Bridget Riley and Lucian Freud have directly influenced your own compositions and use of colour. What is it you like about Bridget Riley’s work? Firstly to be displayed next to those artists is an incredible compliment and what we
were trying to do is show people where inspiration comes from. Bridget Riley’s use of colour is used solely with a sense of pure almost mathematical display which can give you a sense of mood, emotion and depth. Whilst working on Watchmen you developed a style of colouring that suggested a mood and evoked emotion. Was this instinctive? I was incredibly fortunate to be asked to be involved with Watchmen, it’s such an iconic piece of work. The traditional method used at the time was hand sep colouring and it hadn’t changed up to the mid 80s. Initially it was incredibly frustrating because of the limitations of the colouring separation process, so I simplified everything down. And because I had a sense of how colour could be used emotionally that was already in my mind. Watchmen works on so many different levels and Alan Moore used multiple levels of character and characterisation. I realised in the first scene, which was one of the violent scenes, that I could change the emotional response if I used incredibly strong colours. As soon as I set that template with the violent scenes that put into place for me what I would do for the next twelve issues. It only dawned on me around issue three that I had done something which hadn’t been done before in comics. Did you enjoy sci-fi and comics as a child? I was a huge fan, I was reading 1984 and Brave New World in school. In the sixties you felt like you were in a special group if you read sci-fi as it was more of a cult thing. For me to be transported from the back streets of Liverpool into different worlds and universes was just escape. For you, what was the golden age of comics? Funnily enough, I think we’re just going into it. As a means of income from publishers, comics were sort of dying off in the 70s. Then in the mid 80s with Watchmen, Dark Knight and a few other titles the creative input into comics changed. It dipped again in the mid 90s and it’s on its way back up. Due to a certain extent to the superhero movies. No matter what you think of them they’re a brilliant two hour advert for a new
generation of readers. What makes you see red? Violence, I always colour it red. What makes you blue? The cold. Comics are often reflective of counterculture and it’s interesting to see how the mask from V for Vendetta has taken on a life of its own. What are your thoughts on this? V for Vendetta was based on a dystopian future close to what we thought we were leaning to after the Thatcher years. The mask was created as a symbol within the story as something that is going to break down society. The fact that people are using it now is phenomenal and the thing that I find fascinating is the people who are wearing it in South America or Europe probably have no idea it was based on Guy Fawkes, somebody who was fighting for freedom in Britain. Over the last couple of decades Hollywood has adapted many graphic novels and iconic characters, which do you think has been the most successful screen adaptation? I personally like V for Vendetta, with Watchmen I can’t really separate myself enough to be critical, though I think it worked well. And is there one example that you think should have stayed within the pages of a comic? Yes, Howard the Duck. He was produced by Marvel comics, came from a different universe and was used as a satire to comment about 80s American society. There was no censorship and Epic Comics who produced it could really push the envelope. I collected the black and white magazines which I thought would be worth a fortune when the movie came out. George Lucas adapted it, the movie came out and it was utter rubbish. You couldn’t even give those magazines away. Do you dream of monsters? Actually, yes I do and the weird thing is I don’t find them scary. The nightmare I have most is not being able to find a toilet and when I do it’s floating in urine and stuff. But monsters, I’m happy with that, they’re usually dry.
Beyond Dredd & Watchmen: The Art of John Higgins runs at the Victoria Gallery & Museum in Liverpool until 3 February 2018
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Five-time Oscar nominee, two-time Oscar winner, third highest grossing Hollywood star of all time, producer, director, author, writer, captain, castaway, cowboy, policeman, pilot, prison guard, typewriter collector, space enthusiast and really nice guy. Now able to add newsman to his list, is there anything Tom Hanks canâ€™t do?
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HANKS 2020 F
ollowing Oprah Winfrey's rousing Golden Globes speech, Tom Hanks and other celebrities are rallying around the idea that the long-time talk show host and occasional actor should run for President. While promoting his new film The Post on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Hanks was fully receptive to a Winfrey presidential bid. “I believe that Oprah wakes up in the morning and both personally and professionally wonders what she can do specifically to make the world a better place. We have proven during the last few years that if you want to be President of the United States, guess what, that can happen!” That has led some people to suggest that Tom Hanks would make an ideal running mate for Winfrey should she decide to run for President in 2020. Here are five reasons we think he should...
FORMER CIA AGENT & DIPLOMATIC NEGOTIATOR
In the 2016 Steven Spielberg film, Bridge of Spies, Hanks distinguished himself in the role of American lawyer James B. Donovan who outwitted Soviet and East German spies in negotiating the release of American U2 pilot Gary Powers during the height of the Cold War. Working on behalf of the CIA, Hanks's character demonstrated a high degree of patriotism, impressive skills in international diplomacy, as well as an ability to manipulate both the CIA and Eastern Bloc intelligence services in order to get results. What better qualifications could you ask for as the man next in line to the presidency?!
NERVES OF STEEL & QUICK IN A CRISIS
In the 2014 film Sully, Hanks display nerves of steel and the ability to remain calm during a crisis situation as Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the airline pilot who landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River off Manhattan after the plane lost all engine power, having struck a flock of Canada geese immediately after take-off. Hanks/Sully's heroic efforts saved 155 lives. Coupled with his experience playing astronaut Jim Lovell in Apollo 13, the ability to think quickly and make the correct decisions under extreme pressure is yet more reason to put him on the ticket as VP.
A BUSTER OF BOREDOM
The office of VP can often entail long stretches of lightweight diplomatic chores, numerous sessions posing with scout troops, casting the deciding vote in the Senate once every year, but otherwise lacking any clear official responsibility. As the affable Krakozhian immigrant Viktor Navorsky in The Terminal (2004), Hanks proved himself capable of spending months wandering around an airport terminal basically greeting and chatting with people, resigned to his fate (waiting for an exit visa) while having no clear purpose other than wanting to leave the building. This ability to withstand intense boredom while retaining a smile adds to Hanks's list of qualifications for the VP post.
THE CATHOLIC VOTE
A deeply religious man in private, Tom Hanks brings additional value to a Winfrey-Hanks 2020 Democratic party presidential ticket thanks to his having portrayed symbologist Robert Langdon in the Da Vinci Code (2006) and its two sequels. Though he openly questioned his religious faith during the course of the film, Hanks/Langdon showed extreme devotion in order to survive an assassination attempt while exposing and defeating the leader of the extreme alt-right religious wing of the Catholic Church - Opus Dei. Moreover, his religious odyssey served to establish the validity of key tenets of the Bible. How can you argue against the candidacy of the man who not only identified the direct descendant to Jesus Christ but also found the Holy Grail?!
Over the course of his life and career, Tom Hanks has become inscribed into the popular imagination as our Everyman, a postmodern avatar who commands our respect and admiration as a kind and decent man. He has endeared himself to us by displaying immense grace under pressure as the ordinary man thrown into extraordinary situations. Whether he's the earnest father and widower in Sleepless in Seattle or the idiot savant in Forrest Gump or the embattled army officer in Saving Private Ryan, Hanks has defined himself as a universal beacon of hope in the face of great obstacles. And as his character Chuck Noland in Cast Away once said, “I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing, because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”
ith the current toxic political climate in America, The Post couldn’t be more relevant. A sharp, pacey retelling of the Pentagon Papers and the dilemma faced by those at the Washington Post including editor Ben Bradlee and publisher, Kay Graham, it’s a simple reiteration of the Trump administration’s constant assault on the press – or as the president keenly likes to refer, ‘fake news.’ Tom Hanks agrees with the stark relevance. “It’s as simple as making a movie based in 1971, we may as well be making a movie about what’s happening right now. All this time goes on and nothing really changes.” As Bradlee, Hanks delivers another tour de force performance as a newsman pushed to the edge. As a movie star and two-time Oscar winner, he’s a tried and trusted brand. One of the biggest box office draws in history, his image and views are all part of a carefully constructed business, one he’s not necessarily willing to tarnish by outwardly bashing the Trump administration. But an ever-savvy media presence, the 61-year-old knows how to land a silent punch. Friendly and warm, Hanks discusses the freedom of the press, the cornerstone of democracy and why the truth is a powerful entity. He also chatted to us about working with Meryl Streep for the first time, the role of women in Hollywood and why he has finally turned his back on technology. EJ essential journal: So you met Ben Bradlee, what was he really like? tom hanks: I met Ben and [wife] Sally for drinks, for cocktails and dinner with Nora Ephron and he’s exactly as you see him up there. Succinct, precise. Scintillating. There was no such thing as a casual conversation with him. It was exactly like his work, like his memoirs. He was genuinely, sincerely interested in everything. And he was the quintessential, quote un quote newsman who loved the job and loved and lived for the business. And for the truth. His job was to find the truth, to put it out there and let people decide. Simple and clear. I remember meeting him, he said to me, ‘Tom, I always said, you gotta make sure what you put on the front page is the truth. Because if it isn’t, you’re going to be tasting it for a long time. And it doesn’t taste nice.’ That had a powerful resonation. His passion for the truth, to go deep and discover the truth hidden deep underground in these secret vaults, putting it out there and on the record. The truth is what makes us great, the access to the truth which is at the cornerstone of our democracy. The Nixon administration tried to alter the first amendment, the first point put down on paper by the founding fathers, and that’s monkeying around with our constitution… Donald Trump is doing the same, on a wider scale almost, he called the Washington Post, among others, fake news. What the current administration is doing is maybe subtler than what happened to The Washington Post back then, because if they were to attempt to shut down, if they were to
attempt to silence an organisation today, it would be total consternation. What the current administration is doing is far more insidious in its assault, it’s putting the idea out there, that these are not the truths, and diluting the waters. It’s muddying the waters by delegitimising the truth and this is why when telling the truth in this form, there cannot be a sliver of question, a sliver of doubt. It has to be concrete and entirely encased. Because if not, it gives those opportunity to cease upon that and run with it. So journalism has to get it right. Because if you get it right, you can’t argue with it, you can have a different opinion but you can’t argue with it. The difference now is lies and marketing and falsehoods exist side by side with the truth, promoting the adage, you can’t believe everything you read. And that is true beyond doubt. But there are also many things you must believe, you have to believe. There are a lot of lies out there, that’s nothing new, there’s always been fake news, but the truth stands tall. And standing in the way of that truth being published and disseminated to a wider audience, which is a violation of democracy, that’s the centre of this story. The timeliness of this movie is uncanny, the battle between government and press? It’s always going to be topical, isn’t it? With every administration, there is always a
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Images courtesy of 20th Century Fox
gauntlet laid down between congress and the media, that will never change. It’s a constant tug of war. Obama experienced it, so did Bush, so did Clinton, now the current…[laughs]. There’s this push and pull between church and state. And yes, right now the press is under siege. We’re in the middle of a period in history where reason is being pummelled in a colossal assault never witnessed before. But the truth in its purest form is a powerful entity. This movie is timely not only in politicians lying and concealing the truth in order to curry favour but also the position of women fighting for their position in the workforce. Issues that could not be more in the forefront of our public and individual consciousness. Did it allow you to reflect on the earlier stage of your career, when the fight for women’s rights in the workplace was beginning to intensify and how that reflects on today’s battle? And how can things finally change in Hollywood? I’m coming at it from a different - where there’s my own perspective on it because I have had many brilliant, direct, no bullshit bosses in Penny Marshall, Amy Pascal, Nora Ephron, Stacey Snider, I’ve had the good fortune of working for these women who have given me my break in my career, who have steered my trajectory. But simply put, there needs to be more
women in these positions of power based on their meritocracy, when that happens, it will shift and displace the current imbalance and disorder plaguing industries. Parity at the top will change that. There’s a lot to be said, a lot of hope and optimism pinned on the millennial generation. From my personal experience in my own home, they are the generation who have grown up with an intentioned adherence and awareness of equality and moving forward, I see how their attitude will shape the state of the world and society for the better. I believe their generation interprets events, the events of today very differently from older people. Speaking of women in power, Meryl Streep, how the hell is this the first time you are both working together? It’s because I can’t sing or dance. If I could we would have done Mamma Mia. I auditioned but was coldly turned away. Were you really? No. But you clarified that [laughs]. I read you said she was ‘high maintenance’. I stand by that! What a nightmare. I’m not going to say diva but, draw your own conclusion. What I learned from working with the greatest talent ever committed to celluloid, is she does it just like everyone
“We’re in the middle of a period in history where reason is being pummelled in a colossal assault never witnessed before. But the truth in its purest form is a powerful entity”
else. She carries trepidation, nervousness about how it’s all going to work. She actually chastised me for not forewarning her that Steven doesn’t do rehearsals. And inherently chasing an undiscovered timbre within the script, sitting down with her to do that, I learned Ms Streep does it like everybody else does and unlike anybody else can. What am I saying, she is the greatest actor, her work stands for itself. Nobody can touch her. The intimidation factor is real.
I half thought, I thought trumpets would announce her arrival every day, little let down if I’m honest. Has this film made you see the media in a different light, or how you absorb your news? It didn’t but then I recently altered how I receive my news by turning away from digital and relying solely on print. I need tangible, physical copy in my hands because only then can I hone my attention on something pinpoint. Why, when it’s the ‘way of the future’ and all that? Well I had every app, every news update bombarding my phone, my computer and they are constant. And because of the volume coming at me, I never read more than headlines, more than a quick scan. And therefore, missing the point, missing so much. So The New York Times, cover to cover, every morning. It used to be my morning ritual, technology interfered and now, I have thankfully gone back. It works for me. I would prefer to be more informed about particular news events, fully informed, rather than knowing about everything but having a shallow understanding.
The Post is in cinemas Friday 19 January
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words by TOM WILLIAMS
After a great 12 months of movies in 2017, it’s time to preview the most exciting films of the upcoming year
24 smashed it out of the park last year with the likes of The Disaster Artist, The Florida Project and Moonlight all being certified classics. They have a host of delights set for 2018 as the new, and bold, face of American independent cinema. On the flipside, there are several blockbusters hoping to perform better than some of the underwhelming attempts of 2017. As usual, there’s plenty to look forward to from around the globe with some truly tantalising projects set for release later in the year. Below is a countdown of our 15 most anticipated movies. 15. FIRST MAN Oscar darling Damien Chazelle pairs, yet again, with Ryan Gosling in a film that focuses on the 1969 Apollo mission to the moon. Gosling swaps the city of stars for actual stars, by playing leading man Neil Armstrong. Corey Stoll and Lukas Haas complete the moonbound entourage in what is Chazelle’s first feature not incorporating musical elements. 14. MARY MAGDALENE Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara team up as Jesus and Mary Magdalene in this biblical drama. The film focuses on the story of Magdalene and her desertion of her family in search for something more. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tahar Rahim also star in Lion director Garth Davis’ latest. 13. GOD PARTICLE This may not be the title when the film comes out, but what is clear is that it’s another addition to the Cloverfield universe. The original Cloverfield movie may have been divisive but it certainly sent a shockwave throughout the industry. 10 Cloverfield Lane was a lowkey project that delighted audiences with great performances from John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in a claustrophobic bunker. This instalment takes the action to space for another fresh perspective on the alien-invaded universe. 12. THE SHAPE OF WATER Guillermo Del Toro has proven his aptitude when creating stunning fantasy films and returns with yet another. The film centres on a relationship between a lonely janitor (Sally Hawkins) and amphibious creature that is in captivity during the 1960s. Michael Shannon is the major sceptic that stands in the way of the unlikely pairing.
9. SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY The second Star Wars Story focuses on the adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca before they were introduced in A New Hope. Playing Solo is not a digitally restored Harrison Ford, but instead it is Alden Ehrenreich who carries the burden of the iconic character. Alongside him is Donald Glover as a young Lando Calrissian in the film’s most exciting casting. 8. MUTE An intriguing set up sees a mute bartender challenge a city’s gangsters to solve the mystery of his partner’s disappearance. If that doesn’t entice you enough, Duncan Jones (Moon) is directing with Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux starring in the neon-lit caper. 7. INCREDIBLES 2 A sequel to one of the most highly regarded animations of the 21st century is sure to be a hit later this year. The main cast are all set to return, along with Ednaaa Mooode and brief villain The Underminer. 6. A WRINKLE IN TIME The phenomenal Ava DuVernay (Thelma) is the director of this Disney juggernaut whose aesthetic is reminiscent of The Matrix, Interstellar and even Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain. Chris Pine stars as an absent father who is stuck in a bizarre and evil land he will attempt to be rescued from. It boasts a cohort of talented actresses including Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. 5. ANNIHILATION After the success of Ex Machina, Alex Garland returns with a similarly enigmatic and cryptic project. The long-awaited trailer revealed very little about the film, which stars Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Portman is mysteriously credited as The Biologist, who agrees to embark on an escapade where the laws of nature are worryingly malleable. 4. LADY BIRD Saoirse Ronan shines in this personal and extremely well-executed coming of age story. Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut takes us back in time to the early 2000s where Christine, or “Lady Bird”, manoeuvres through adolescence in a charmingly clumsy manner. There’s also a great cameo from Timothée Chalamet to boot. 3. THE BEACH BUM Matthew McConaughey plays a stoner called Moondog. Need we say more?
11. BLACK PANTHER Yet another Marvel film, only this time Creed director Ryan Coogley is in charge. Chadwick Boseman stars as Black Panther in the character’s first feature after cameoing in Captain America: Civil War. The movie looks to have an edge different to the Marvel canon, with an incredibly exciting soundtrack being curated by Kendrick Lamar.
2. YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE A film with an incredible amount of buzz, with renowned director Lynne Ramsay and Joaquin Phoenix joining forces to create a piece of cinema which will no doubt be masterful. Phoenix plays a tormented enforcer who is brutally violent and determined to complete a rescue mission.
10. 120 BEATS PER MINUTE A gut-wrenching story of the AIDS crisis in early 1990s Paris. Director Robin Campillo tells a deeply personal story about the advocacy group ACT UP who set out to change the government, and the public’s, perception of the disease. With the help of some stunning camera work and cinematography, this is a phenomenal and unmissable film.
1. ISLE OF DOGS Wes Anderson is widely considered one of the best directorial minds of his generation and rightly so. His second stop-motion animation adventure boasts one of the best cast lists in recent history, including Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Yoko Ono. Inspired heavily by Kurosawa, the story follows a boy’s journey to find his lost dog. SIGN US UP.
ou’ll probably remember the seismic scale of the challenges Britain faced from that Dunkirk movie that came out a mere number of months ago. Yes, this is the second film in the space of a year that includes the famous story of political negligence and heroic spirit in equal measure. However, Darkest Hour uses the events of Dunkirk as a backdrop to the story of Winston Churchill’s appointment as Prime Minister and the five weeks leading up to the evacuation. You may be familiar with director Joe Wright from that other Dunkirk-ish movie Atonement and the 2005 Pride and Prejudice adaptation. Wright’s hankering for the melodramatic is on display in Darkest Hour, which comes as no surprise given Churchill’s own theatrical manor and eloquent, rousing speeches. The film opens with the all-too-familiar sight of hundreds of old white men with receding hairlines shouting at each other in the House of Commons. Within the anarchy sits the dejected and ill-looking Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) who is at the end of his tenure as Prime Minister. Churchill is presented after a couple of scenes to give him a suitable and highly-
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MUST SEE FILMS THIS MONTH
THE POST Despite the Scandi-style poster, this is very much an American story about the battle between journalists and the US government, specifically the cover-up of their involvement in the Vietnam War.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI The latest instalment to the record-breaking franchise combines a wonderful ode to the films of the past and a new, exciting style of direction. Rian Johnson has created a new breed of Star Wars which offers a bright future for the notorious galaxy.
LAST FLAG FLYING /10
Crying out for a Dunkrik mash-up
The outstanding main cast of Carrel, Cranston and Fishburne are superb in a story that sees three ex-marines embark on a journey to respectfully bury one of their sons who has died in battle.
A well thought-out insight
Will be shown in GCSE classes for years to come anticipated introduction which, unsurprisingly, involves him lighting his iconic cigar. This is a powerful image which interrupts the frame’s complete darkness and gives the audience the first glimpse of Gary Oldman’s depiction of the British hero. Despite the incredible and hi-tech prosthetics, Oldman can just about be seen beneath the fake chub and staggering make-up. More importantly though, his distinguished presence can still be felt from under the disguise. The illustrious actor is undoubtedly the highlight of the film, with a performance which captures the bulldog-esque public ideal of Churchill, and indeed the more reserved and depression-addled truth of the wartime Prime Minister. This isn’t the most historically accurate movie, even with the gargantuan calendar that appears incessantly throughout the movie. However, what is fabricated, is for the sole purpose of highlighting the true parts of Churchill’s character. The mawkish tube scene is by all accounts false, but it does reveal the Prime Minister’s dedication to the public. Similarly, Lily James’ character Elizabeth Layton is a real person, but was not involved in Churchill’s life until after the events of the film. But,
she does a lot to coax the dichotomy of hard exterior and inner sensitivity out of Winston. In fact, many characters are simply pawns in revealing more about Churchill. Ben Mendelsohn’s portrayal of King George VI is far colder than that of Colin Firth’s in The King’s Speech, but reveals the dissonance between the Prime Minister’s down to earth character and the pompous prestige of the British Royal Family. The cinematography captures the Britain of the 1940s fairly comprehensively, but excels in capturing the impending doom of both the nation and Churchill. There are a couple of great moments where Winston is in the centre of the frame in a claustrophobic environment, whether it’s the loo or an elevator, surrounded by darkness and completely alone. The film peaks at these points, where the dire situation feels inexorable and the tension is ramped up to the max. I feel a bit harsh calling this predictable, as it’s based on well-known historical events, but as rousing as the ending is – you can see it coming a mile off. Like the entirety of the film, it lacks a little bit of imagination, but you can’t take away how perfectly Gary Oldman captures the iconic character. EJ
3 BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI Frances McDormand is foul-mouthed and phenomenal in Martin McDonagh’s latest picture. She stars as a mother challenging the police after they fail to catch the person responsible for her daughter’s death.
HOSTILES Christian Bale plays a bigoted Army captain who must chaperone a Cheyenne chief through extremely volatile territories. The energy is palpable and offers an insight to the harshness of the US government in the 19th Century and beyond.
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5 Books for the Month Ahead words by DAVEY BRETT & THOMAS SUMNER
Our recommended reading for January including the nuclear bomb, the origins of your morning cup and Airbnb’s unlikely rise This month’s books are now available at all good bookshops
RADICALS BY JAMIE BARLETT (WILLIAM HEINEMANN)
WHY WE SLEEP BY MATTHEW WALKER (ALLEN LANE)
Jamie Bartlett has become a go-to guy when it comes to books on advancing technologies and their relationship to society. His 2014 book The Dark Net was a fascinating and informative delve into underground online communities such as Tor and the dark web marketplace. His latest, Radicals, is no less fascinating. In contrast to a political status quo that’s unable to see six months ahead, Bartlett’s latest delves into the individuals and groups looking to change society through technological rebellion and civil disobedience, people that have considered a future where populations have swelled and millions of jobs have been lost. As illuminating as always, Radicals is a book to soak in and question the narrow scope of thought that we’re all accustomed to. DB
Bad news everyone, pretty much everything about the last two centuries has been out to ruin your sleep: artificial light, working hours, the night shift, alarm clocks, alcohol, sleeping pills, coffee, screens, you name it, it’s probably messing with your sleep. More bad news is if you’re sleeping less than six hours a night, which coincidentally, more and more people are, you’re more likely to succumb to a whole myriad of diseases and bad things including dwindling creativity and poor work performance. Matthew Walker’s fantastic book on sleep isn’t necessarily a golden ticket to the land of nod, but it is a must-read for understanding sleep, its importance and the conditions needed to improve it. Time to give eight hours a night the same credence as five-a-day. DB
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The Essential Journal | 43
THE AIRBNB STORY BY LEIGH GALLAGHER (EBURY)
WHERE THE WILD COFFEE GROWS BY JEFF KOEHLER (BLOOMSBURY)
THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE BY DANIEL ELLSBURG (BLOOMSBURY)
The numbers for Airbnb don’t lie: private market valuation of 30 billion dollars, 140 million ‘guest arrivals’ worldwide, three million listings and in less than a decade the tech company has become the largest accommodation provider in the world. The Airbnb story is one of epic proportions and one that if the founders had not plowed through relentless rejection, would not have happened. Founded amid the 2007 International Design Festival in San Francisco, when all hotels were fully booked, co-founders Chesky and Gebbia had the idea to rent out air mattresses on the floor of their apartment. Notable people laughed, but look at them now. Leigh Gallagher, with the cooperation of the founders themselves, tells the story of the hotel-slaying giant. A must-read for wannabe entrepreneurs. DB
Award winning author of Darjeeling: The Colourful History and Precarious Fate of the World’s Greatest Tea has swapped leaves for beans, as he explores the origins of one of earth’s most valuable commodities, coffee. Most cities now boast a coffee shop for each day of the week (not including the chains), as popularity of the drink and its culture continues to rocket. However, disease and climate change are stunting production in Latin America, where 85% of Arabica grows. Writer, photographer, traveller and cook Jeff Koehler takes us back to where it all began. A once off-limits region of Ethiopia, the cloud forests of Kafa - the original home of Arabica - are increasingly under threat as breeders return to the source. In Where The Wild Coffee Grows Koehler delivers a fascinating and descriptive new history, with an important call to action. TS
It’s too late now, but if we’d have got Trump for secret santa, we’d have definitely got him this book (after all, you can’t gift wrap a good slap around the chops, can you?) As well as being a former consultant to the US Department of Defence and the White House, drafting up Secretary Robert McNamara’s plans for nuclear war, Daniel Ellsburg was the man behind the infamous Pentagon Papers leak, so knows more than most about the inner secrets of the American Government. His latest on American nuclear planning is a frankly terrifying but crucial read carrying shock and awe from the first paragraph of the prologue to the final pages. Packed with detail that is often difficult to believe but backed up by declassified documents, The Doomsday Machine is a crucial wake up call to anyone not taking the current political climate seriously. DB
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44 | The Essential Journal
words by IAIN HOSKINS
The Iain Hoskins Column A renewed enthusiasm for physical music formats has seen a reversal of fortunes for our last remaining high street music store, HMV. Revitalised by a revival of vinyl album sales, black is back and shifting numbers not seen since the early-nineties
nly a couple of years ago it looked like, Britain’s most successful music retailer had gone to the wall when it fell into insolvency joining our other cherished music chains Our Price, Virgin, Tower Records and Woolworths. In an age where physical formats of HMV’s four core products; music, film, books and games were all now mainly consumed online, it looked like it was only a matter of time before it went the same way. HMV closed stores, shut down operations in Ireland and Canada; it got sold and re-financed and basically held on. Meanwhile slowly but surely a groundswell had started. The few remaining independent and second hand record stores found a niche in being the last bastion for vinyl purchases. Some bands started special vinyl-only releases for singles and EPs and the turntable went back into production. Like most people over a certain age, a rite of passage for anybody growing up passionate about music was the record shop. Be it an independent or high street chain - it became your church. The delight of handling and playing a vinyl album now holds a huge amount of nostalgia. The new-plastic smell of a brand-new record and the equally lovely musty, damp smell of vintage vinyl from a secondhand shop is something that takes you back to a time and place, much like your mum’s cooking. Recent initiatives such as Record Store Day celebrate our love of the vinyl album with all its crackles and hisses. The passing of time also made us nostalgic
not just for the sound of a vinyl record but also the packaging. Album artwork has never been the same since the vinyl album went out of production with the download culture robbing our creative industries of the greatest art canvas. The 12” album sleeve has provided the perfect muse for art greats such as Andy Warhol and Peter Blake and made careers for Jamie Reid, Peter Saville and Mark Farrow. The rise of photography and graphic design found a kindred mass-market spirit in this new form, swapping gallery walls for bedroom walls. The shrinking of the album sleeve first to CD size and then to a thumbnail on a computer screen has left the iconic album cover simply reduced to a portrait of the band or artist. Sleeve notes, gatefold formats, coloured vinyl and free posters all shaped our love of the vinyl album in a way in which cassettes, CDs and downloads just didn’t. So after a rocky decade, HMV is the last man standing and although all other formats except vinyl albums and books are in decline, HMV has overtaken Amazon as the biggest provider of physical music purchases in the UK. In the biggest comeback since Elvis, vinyl now outsells its younger model the Compact Disc and has outlived the many formats designed to replace it, including Cassette, Mini-Disc and the DAT. Technology often forces a replacement; people stopped buying vinyl because record players stopped being produced. During the latter part of the 90s, vinyl was only really produced for DJs. The problem now is
that with the increasing demand for vinyl there are very few places that can manufacture it. Vinyl presses that are being used are 30+ years old with only a handful of pressing plants worldwide making something that was once considered mass-market, now something niche. The technology and production of vinyl is a dying art and with a growing market again this is something that needs to be addressed if vinyl does indeed have a longterm future. I find the same problem now with CDs, unless I’m in my car I’ve got nowhere to play them, I can’t even upload them to my computer as disc drives have been removed from Apple laptops. In a strange flip, the vinyl records for sale on my Christmas visit to HMV were over three times the price of the Compact Disc. This was the exact opposite from when CDs launched 30 years ago which were the best part of £20 and you could pick up vinyl albums for only a fiver. I think what the enduring appeal of vinyl records has shown, is that the rush for new technologies is not always better. At a certain point, there comes a time when you want things that you can hear, touch and smell – the physical and not the virtual. The vinyl record is a sensorial delight and for many living in a quasi-virtual world, the authenticity of a vinyl long player (bought in a shop) provides a throwback to simpler times in a less complicated world. EJ
The Essential Journal | 45
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46 | The Essential Journal
The Essential Journal | 47
words by DAVEY BRETT
Gents, we need to talk about:
‘NEW YEAR, NEW ME’
Photograph by Carl Raw
In the seventh instalment of our regular column – in which we use our pondering skills to delve deep into clichés, stereotypes, and seemingly unimportant male-orientated issues – we consider the all-encompassing rebirth of self that is ‘new year, new me’
’m coming at this with empathy you guys, for I was once like you are now. Freshly birthed from the womb at the end of one year, screaming “I’m going to get fit” into the start of another. As coined by my friends, I was the ‘renaissance boy’. I ebbed and flowed between getting fit and not actually being that bothered about getting fit. I woke up some mornings with the idea of getting a cheap video camera and shooting the next Tangerine (2015) (famed for being made entirely on an iPhone) and by the end of the week I had decided to write a book instead. I lived for new starts and died by the sword of motivation and realism. No time was more dangerous for a renaissance boy like myself than the first month of a new year. Times have changed though and my constant illfated search for dramatic rebirth has since subsided. I no longer wake up and for one day only convince myself I am going to do a photographic study of my favourite bus route and thus launch a fledgling photographic career. I’m a little more candid with my quest for improvement now. I keep my ideas to myself, refining them, making them manageable and realistic. Despite having cooled the jets of my exuberant quest for self-improvement,
I still like to dabble with new year’s resolutions. New year, new me has a bad rep. Despite some belittling January as being the starting grid of inevitable failure, with good intentions unable to power resolutions past the first corner. I think January is a good time to improve. Fresh from the inevitable greed and guilt of Christmas, a new year is a welcome fresh start. The concept of the new year’s resolution originates within most cultures as an attempt to butter up the gods and apologise for being crap the previous year. ‘Sorry for last year God, I was a bit of an idiot, but this year I’m going to do better,’ followed by ‘P.s – please can you make it sunny so my olives grow?’ Times have obviously changed since then however, with modern resolutions such as quitting smoking and get skinnier doing very little for God or olives. This year I’ve got two main new year’s resolutions in the pipeline. One is to get between seven and eight hours of sleep per night, the other is to wean myself off social media. Last year, after a pretty static year prior, my resolution was to leave the country at any possible opportunity. Easy enough and one that I was able to keep. This year however is going to be trickier. Depending on
what article you read, people’s ability to keep their new year’s resolutions is either easier or more difficult than you might think. A 2002 study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that with a small sample group, those who made resolutions were more likely to change their behaviour than those who were not. Other research disputes this. None of it is rocket science of course. Be realistic, set yourself a target, record your progress and most of all, plan. Plan how you’re going to keep to your resolution, plan for what you’re going to do if you fail and plan for how you’re actually going to do it. All easy of course, but worth mentioning nonetheless. What’s also worth remembering is buying something will not make you thinner, nor will it make your life better. Fitbits don’t come with six packs, nor does a gym membership. Nobody in the future, whether entrepreneur, athlete, record breaker or national hero will attribute their success to an app they bought in mid-January. Books are helpful, but again, you have to do the work. So there you have it, flourish, improve, grab the new year by the horns and make the current you a little better. EJ
48 | The Essential Journal
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“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” - Oprah Winfrey What we were going to do this issue was have every title...
Published on Jan 16, 2018
“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” - Oprah Winfrey What we were going to do this issue was have every title...