THE WONDROUS LIFE
AUTHOR JUNOT DÍAZ TALKS TO TN2.
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12 REGULARS OPENERS SEX HOMEGROWN FACES CALENDAR THE END PIECE
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FEATURES ORCHESTRATED FUN JUNOT DIAZ SELFE PORTRAIT HOZIER UP AUSTEN BUILDING AN IMAGE STILL IN THE GAME
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REVIEWS LITERATURE ART // FOOD MUSIC FILM TV GAMES // STAGE
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Editor Henry Longden Creative Director Atalanta Copeman-Papas Deputy Editor Meadhbh McGrath Copy Editor Lola Boorman Editorial Staff Gabija Purlytė // Isobel Thompson // Aoife Leonard // Eoin McCague //Sarah Lennon Galavan // Cian Clynes // Leonore Garnier Chris Rooke // Patrick Cremen // Lily Ní Dhomhnaill // Lola Boorman // Tara Joshi // Liam Maher Katherine Murphy // Cailan O’Connell // Alex Ball Photo Editor Molly Rowan-Hamilton Photographers Suzie Bennett // Rob Nolan // Xanthe Caldecott Illustrator Alice Wilson Special Thanks PJ Moloney, Jennifer McCahill and the Trinity Publications Committee // Elaine McCahill & the Staff of Trinity News // Mark Grehan and all at Grehans Printers // Aaron Devine // Suzie Bennett // Rob Nolan // Xanthe Caldecott // Lisa Ricciotti // Marco Jeanson // Matthew Mulligan // Nick Ballon // Trinity TV
ISSUE TWO // 3
THE HORSE’S MOUTH
ART The Barge Horse “Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal / Pouring redemption for me”. This inscription beside the memorial sculpture for Patrick Kavanagh, seated on a bench by the Grand Canal, is well deserved. The grass-covered banks are a truly remarkable spot for strolls and bike rides. If you wander further towards the dock, you will spot an animal much less common on the locks than the usual population of ducks and swans. Maurice Harron’s Barge Horse of 1999 is a tribute to XANTHE CALDECOTT all the hard-working equines that used to pull barges on the canal. Situated at the back of an office block, the sculpture can be admired from across the water, where a beautifully rusty wrought-iron fence in the shade of maples only enhances the sensation of witnessing a scene from the past. The life-size horse stands there beside its young handler in a moment of rest, reminding city-dwellers just how big and powerful those heavyweight working horses are. Even more admirable is the combination of strength with patience and good nature captured in the tender gaze of the animal, calm but alert, drawing into its sensitive nostrils the scent of the wind which ripples the water. The sculpture would be even more arresting if the horse and leader were standing in the grass, but it is easy enough to ignore the low platform which they share and to allow yourself to believe for a moment that barge horses have not disappeared from Dublin’s canals, before heading off to stroke one of their cousins who await passengers along St Stephen’s Green. GABIJA PURLYTĖ
GAMES It’s a clever strategy, no doubt about it. Announcing an operating system built around gaming, as well as set-top boxes that will run said operating system, and a brand new controller unlike anything out there would be bullish at the best of times. A couple of months before two new high-spec consoles are due to hit the market? That’s just arrogant. But Valve, with their unparalleled track record and stellar line-up of games, can afford to be arrogant. Valve rarely make decisions that don’t seem to be incredibly well considered. Both of their main initiatives as a game developer, and developing a whole digital distribution system for PC games have been met with critical acclaim. Their continued development of Steam as the leading PC distribution platform is unparalleled and also without competition. The Steam OS builds on that further, allowing devices (including set-top boxes) to run on a foundation built entirely on and around Steam. They are also working with hardware producers to bring a wide array of boxes out, presumably with varying designs, specs and prices. The beauty of the platform has always been the wide variety of games, generally available at very competitive prices, and the integration of all those into one place. By bringing those into the living room, as Valve intends to do, and provided a reasonably priced box is released, there’s no reason why Valve can’t stand up to the likes of Microsoft and Sony amongst the more hardcore gamers. They won’t reach the masses in the same way as them, but Steam has never targeted them. Add to that Valve’s incredibly valuable franchises, such as Portal and Half-Life, as potential system-sellers, and they might have a winner on their hands. Of course, price will be the ultimate determinant, but for now it’s an interesting shift in what is otherwise a dull console race. There’s nothing like a new console producer to shake things up, and with Valve’s reputation bolstering it, this could be one lean, mean fighting machine. CHRIS ROOKE
FILM NOIR FILM Birthed out of a disillusioned Hollywood in a post WWII American landscape, Film Noir (French for Black Film) got its gritty roots from German expressionist cinematography. For the first time in American cinematic history, movies were made to feel dark, hopeless, and fueled by sexual attraction. Quintessential films such as Sunset Boulevard, Murder my Sweet, and The Killers brought moviegoers into a world where men were men and dames had moxy. For a decade, Noir was the bread and butter of Hollywood. Gritty, violent, and above all else mysterious. The genre never truly ended; it became the norm, seeping into later works like the tendrils of smoke coming from a moll’s skinny cigarette. L.A. Confidential, which pitted Guy Pearce as the quintessential good guy cop coming to grips with the seedy underbelly of Hollywood and Russell Crowe as the tough guy who would do anything to get to the truth. The Black Dahlia retells the story of Hollywood’s most shocking (and unsolved) murder of a rising Hollywood Starlet in the 1920’s. Even Rockstar’s revolutionary game, L.A. Noire, which has the cast of Mad Men as computer-generated characters, and relies on the player’s ability to detect lies, are all modern adaptations that show the genre’s lasting roots, known now as Neo-Noir. CAROL DAVEY 4 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
FRONT SQUARE FASHION
LITERARY MILESTONES LITERATURE 30th October 1938, Orson Welles records War of the Worlds. 75 years ago on the day before Halloween, Americans tuned into a popular CBS Radio fiction program only to hear a news announcer’s voice crackling through a wellknown dance song to report a series of explosions identified on the surface of planet Mars. Later the broadcaster cut in with “Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most terrifying thing I have ever witnessed . . . Someone’s crawling out of the hollow top. Someone or . . . something. I can see peering out of that black hole two luminous disks . . are they eyes? It might be a face. It might be . . .” The information in this news broadcast caused mass hysteria during prime time, with whole families running into the streets with wet towels wrapped around their heads to protect themselves from extraterrestrial noxious gases. What the honest folk of the east coast were really hearing was Orson Welles’s cleverly adapted version of H.G Wells’s War of the Worlds. Welles’s performance demonstrated the profound influence of radio in mass communication, an experiment which was proven correct as Hitler rose to power in Germany all too soon after. Not only this but Welles showed that science fiction is perhaps not as far-fetched as some may think, that it plays upon humanity’s most realistic of fears. LOLA BOORMAN
MOLLY ROWAN HAMILTON
A second year European Studies student, the effortlessly cool Eimear Sparks radiates school-girl chic. By accessorizing a simple, loose jumpsuit with a crisp white shirt, cropped jacket, and burgundy hair bow, she manages to create an air of both sophistication and playfulness. Kudos. AOIFE LEONARD
AWAY WITH THE FAIRIES extensive cocktail menu at Fade Street Social provides many alluring choices, with the whimsical sounding “Away with the Fairies” a definite jewel in the crown. The inspiration for this cocktail, as stated on the menu, was the Druid’s belief in the scent of the elder, and as a result the cocktail is a delicious mix of apple and elderflower, cherry and vodka, and is topped with a grapefruit foam. This drink is a sight to behold, a jade green topped with a thick, light crown of foam, served in a martini glass. The taste is delightful, with the apple and elderflower coming through intensely, but balanced by the after-taste of the vodka and the refreshing zing of the grapefruit. This cocktail is priced at €10.20 for a large KATE O’NEILL portion, but well worth every cent.
BRUNCH OF THE WEEK WHITEFRIAR GRILL FOOD Strolling down Aungier Street on a Sunday morning, it proves difficult to avoid the mellow sounds of the resident DJ, coupled with the rich aromas of the Whitefriar Grill’s brunch menu, as you walk past. The ochre glow of candle light on exposed red brick walls create a forgiving surrounding from which to begin the day. The varied menu puts to bed any suspicions of this being a case of style over substance. The confit pork belly Florentine and crab cake benedict are both obvious standouts on the menu at a reasonable
€9.95. The presence of pan seared calamari and gambas salad (€14) will capture every foodies imagination. Given the name of the restaurant, the Truckers Mixed Grill screams for attention. What follows is a gastronomic ode to meat consisting of minute steak, rare breed pork chop, rabbit liver, pork and leek sausage, tomato, beans and black pudding. While many will question whether it best to climb or eat this mountainous meal, some will shy away from the €16.95 price tag. The bar’s house Bloody Mary with chorizo infused vodka (€8) is a tantalizing accompaniment CIAN CLYNES to proceedings. ISSUE TWO // 5
SOUNDS OF THE CITY
MUSIC Washington, D.C. is an undeniably important location in terms of the evolution of hardcore punk. The first band to emerge from the East Coast scene were Bad Brains, who were notable for having all black members (at a time when the American punk scene was associated mainly with the white middle class), as well as introducing dub and reggae elements into their music. Their first single Pay to Cum proved to be immensely influential in developing the hardcore scene and allowed bands such as Minor Threat to emerge, a band whose shadow still stands over the scene, despite only releasing a few records before breaking up. With their song Straight Edge, Minor Threat kickstarted the straight-edge punk scene, a scene which rejected the hedonism traditionally associated with the genre and advocated abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and other recreational drugs. One of the most significant results from this lifestyle was that bands were able to throw all-ages gigs by stamping the underage crowd members’ hands with an “X” so that the bar staff knew not to serve them alcohol. This trend started when The Teen Idles were scheduled to play a gig in San Francisco. When they arrived the management found out that each of the band’s members were underage, and were therefore denied entrance. The “X” symbol was the compromise they came to, a trend which continues all over today since it was immortalised on the back cover of Minor Disturbance. Minor Disturbance was released on Dischord Records. Dischord released something by virtually all of the major D.C. bands at the time and continues strong to this day, still keeping their policy to only release music from the D.C. area. Such a dedication to the local scene makes sense when one thinks of the inclusiveness of scene which was neither race nor age segregated. Such a communal attitude is one that caused so many classic records to come out of the area during the past 30 years, and one hopes this trend will continue long into the LIAM MAHER future.
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UPPERS AND DOWNERS M.I.A X VERSUS VERSACE // On sale from October 16, M.I.A.’s designs for Versace’s Versus capsule collection are inspired by “counterfeit culture” in an attempt to “invert the circle” of the knockoff industry. M.I.A. quite fabulously explained, “Versace’s designs have always been copied, now it’s Versace that copies the copies, so those that copy must copy the copies.” MASTERS OF SEX // The season’s best new show follows sex researchers in the 1950s. Martin Sheen and Lizzy Caplan impress as the revolutionary team who supported notions of women doing it for themselves, and the sight of Beau Bridges getting poked in the eye watching a woman masturbate with a glass dildo is not to be missed. SAD RAP // Rap being sad is nothing new, but Sad Rap, the latest manifestation of the genre, is like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Pioneered by 16-year-old Swede Yung Lean, the Sad wave is as much about aesthetics as it is an approach to music. Whether or not you believe his sad vibe is for real, Yung Lean’s sobbing beats and atonal delivery on tracks such as Ginseng Strip 2002 is undeniably brilliant.
STATEMENT NECKLACES // When you walk into a room and find yourself one of five making the same statement with their neck adornment, it’s time to move on. Instead, have a go at an elaborate brooch (such as the insect brooches seen at Lanvin) or chandelier earrings (transparent plastic at Balmain, or baroque at Ralph Lauren).
CARA DELEVINGNE // Frequently hailed as the next Kate Moss, the 21-year-old is becoming dangerously over-exposed, and we’re quickly growing jaded and eager for a fresh face. However, now that she plans to extend her career into acting (soon to appear in a film about Amanda Knox), it looks like it’ll be some time before we can get away from those trademark brows. MEADHBH MCGRATH
“WOMEN POSSESS THE ONLY ORGAN THAT EXISTS SOLELY FOR PLEASURE: THE CLITORIS. HOWEVER, UP UNTIL 1998 IT WASN’T EVEN SCIENTIFICALLY RECOGNIZED.” It was exam season. I was horny. He came first. To his surprise, I am not one to come on command, so there was almost nothing he could do to make me climax. Almost. “Would you mind if we used my vibrator?” I asked, naively expecting him to be enthusiastic in returning the favour. Instead, I received a look of confused horror and an awkward exit, leaving me embarrassed and unsatisfied. Lying there, I began to question why men were often so intimidated by vibrators. To some men, maybe they are seen as a threat; something which competes with their own sexual abilities. To me, they hold the potential for a fairer sexual experience: one where I’m not left behind because my sexual partner came first. After doing some research, I realized I wasn’t the only one witnessing a disparity between male and female sexual experiences. One paper from 2005 states that 98% of men always reach orgasm during sex, while only 11% of women can say the same. It is clear that there is a huge disparity between male and female orgasms: women just come less. What is not so clear is why we come less, and why we’re not doing anything about it. When you realize how many more orgasms men have compared to women, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that we are all just inherently “hard to please”. Thankfully, this is not the case. First of all, women are perfectly capable of pleasing themselves, and on average take just as long to climax from masturbation as a man does from intercourse: 4 minutes.
Secondly, studies have shown that women who sleep with other women have more orgasms than heterosexual women, and are more sexually satisfied. One bisexual friend of mine explained to me that she comes more often with women, but rejects the argument that women know what to do to each other because they know what they want themselves. Instead, she finds that every girl is different and complex. However, she knows how good a female orgasm can be, so she is more empathetic and tries a bit harder. This can make it more rewarding for both parties. Could a lack of effort be the reason for the orgasm gap between men and women?
I don’t think it’s fair to generalize and say men simply don’t try hard enough. What is more likely is that men simply don’t know enough about female sexuality. Many men received teenage sexual education from porn, and are therefore tragically misinformed. I have often heard friends recount stories of men being confused when they didn’t come — screaming like a porn star after some very average sex. Not only do some heterosexual men seem to have completely warped expectations of women in the bedroom, but it also seems like the whole world, including women, is undereducated when it comes to female sexuality. Women possess the only organ that exists solely for pleasure: the clitoris. However, up until 1998 it wasn’t even scientifically recognized. Now we know that it’s true shape looks like some sort of alien spacecraft, which spans up to 9cm internally when unerect. I doubt the boy who I had a casual romp with knew the female anatomy this well, and if I’m honest, until now neither did I. Maybe if he at least understood that women were more complex, or different, to men, he may have embraced my vibrator as an ally rather than a competitor. In hindsight, I don’t think that vibrators should replace the effort, education, care and patience that goes into a mutually beneficial sexual experience. However it would be nice if men were open minded about them — after all, seeing somebody else being pushed over the edge is half the fun. ILLUSTRATION BY ALICE WILSON
ISSUE TWO // 7
ORCHESTRATED FUN. tn2 CHARTS THE RISE OF LIVE GAMING MUSIC EVENTS AND TALKS TO EIMEAR NOONE AND JERON MOORE FROM THE SYMPHONY OF THE GODDESSES ABOUT HOW SOUNDTRACKS RESONATE WITH GAMERS It’s the end of May in the Hammersmith Apollo in London as over 3,500 people take their seats in the auditorium. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir are already in place when the lights go down. Onstage, a smiling and excited woman walks out from the wings to huge cheers from the assembled audience members. Orchestras do not normally get “whoops.” Then again, this is no normal concert. “Our [audience] average is 3,500 people,” explained Eímear Noone, conductor of the Symphony of the Goddesses concert. “We had about 8,000 people at the Mann centre [in Philadelphia], and Wolf Trap in Washington, DC was around the same.” But the fans are only half of the success story. “It’s really significant that some of the orchestras we’ve worked with so far: the Royal Philharmonic, the Sydney Symphony, the National Symphony in the United States. We’re about to work with the Philadelphia Orchestra which is historically one of the most significant cul8 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
tural music groups in the United States — all these great orchestras want to be a part of it!” The Symphony of the Goddesses concert is one of an increasing number of live gaming music events around the globe. Celebrating the music of The Legend of Zelda franchise, the concerts began in 2011 as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations for the series. But this tour also possesses an unusual advantage: the blessing of its originator. “While I was developing the idea for Symphony of the Goddesses with Chad [Seiter, composer of the Symphony of the Goddesses], unbeknownst to us Koji Kondo [composer for The Legend of Zelda game series] and the guys at Nintendo in Japan were making their own plans for the 25th anniversary,” recalled Jeron Moore, Lead Creative of the concert. Those plans included concerts in three cities and a recording of an orchestrated soundtrack album, from which the current tour grew. The Symphony of the Goddesses is not the first concert of its kind. Video Games Live, cre-
ated by Tommy Tallarico, and Play! A Video Game Symphony both took America by storm when they began in the mid-2000s, with VGL continuing to tour America and planning to come to Europe in 2014. VGL have also just successfully completed raising $250,000 for their third album through a Kickstarter campaign. Other more narrowly-focused events have also taken place, such as Square– Enix’s Distant Worlds concerts to celebrate the Final Fantasy series. What is particularly notable is the immediate success of such tours and events. With few comparable tours encompassing film or television scores, it seems that gaming soundtracks spark more excitement. This could also be due to a different approach taken by the creators of gaming music shows: one that treats gaming music as belonging to the players and the audience as much as it belongs to the creators or the musicians. “I think today’s youth and our generation of entertainers have grown up playing video games,” Moore explained. “These games have become more and more engrossing as time has gone on, and we assign our own emotions and experiences to what’s happening when we play them.” Noone concurred: “One of the things that makes it special that I’ve discovered, is that
people play games at a particular time in their lives, and that time in their life becomes encapsulated in those games, and one of the greatest memory triggers is music.” She explained, “People have come to me and said ‘I cried during the Twilight Princess movement because I used to play Twilight Princess with my dad and then he passed away,’ or ‘I used to take
r e fuge from my parents getting a divorce in such a game.’ The themes bring back those memories.” It’s easy to see the care that goes into the creation of such a show, as a result of their awareness of
the importance of the music to many people. Moore explained that one of their primary objectives is to remain faithful to the original works, as well as structuring the show in such a way that it invokes the most emotional response possible from the audience. “The Zelda show is fuelled by nostalgia, and it’s really powerful. I think by presenting it the way that we do, by making it bigger and better, and presenting it in a thoughtful way that pulls at the heartstrings and gets the blood pumping, it really gets you re-involved in the story and looking at aspects of the story that you hadn’t considered before.” Noone thinks it’s this uniqu e nature of gaming that ensures the music has an impact: “It’s amazing because
it’s not like a movie or music where if you love it you’ll watch it again, and if you love the score you’ll buy the score, this is music that people live with every day while they’re playing the game,” she explained, “so it becomes so special to them, and the sonority of the orchestra becomes imprinted on their psyche, which is fantastic — it’s the first time in music history that I know of that a young audience is listening to an orchestra that much.” “It’s not a foreign, elitist thing for their grandmother’s generation, it’s part of a modern medium that belongs to them, and I think it’s really fun to be at the centre of something that’s pushing that forward,” she went on. It’s clear from speaking to Noone that she doesn’t see the orchestration of game scores as simply a means to create a more involved and immersive gaming atmosphere or experience, but as a gateway or entry point to introduce young people to the world of the orchestra and to a wide variety of music. “That is their music, and the orchestra is their band that is playing their music.” WORDS BY CHRIS ROOKE EÍMEAR NOONE’S FIRST EP, HIBERNIAN, IS AVAILABLE ON THE ITUNES STORE. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SYMPHONY OF THE GODDESSES CAN BE FOUND AT WWW.ZELDA-SYMPHONY.COM.
ISSUE TWO // 9
THE WONDROUS WORK OF JUNOT DÍAZ. 10 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
“LISTEN, I DON’T EXIST… IF YOU ONLY KNOW ME IN ENGLISH I ONLY EXIST PARTIALLY, IF YOU ONLY KNOW ME IN SPANISH I ONLY EXIST PARTIALLY...MY BOOKS ARE ONE PLACE I COME TOGETHER” “I am one of these unfortunate Calibans who is made up of all these different elements, so it’s hard to distinguish which one predominates because the answer is that none do.” This is Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Drown, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and, his most recent collection, This Is How You Lose Her. With Díaz’s debut in 1997 his voice burst into our consciousness and exploded. His tragi-comic portrayal of the lives of Dominican immigrants in the barrios of New Jersey all centred around the breathlessly intimate and endearing figure of Yuníor who narrates both short story collections and the novel (Oscar Wao). But how can you fit Díaz into a neat little blurb, for he embodies diversity; he is defined by the very contradictions and disjunctions which make him so difficult to categorize. Díaz radiates revolution. Even his form is complex and fragmented. His first collection, Drown, traces vignettes of Yuníor’s life, oscillating between childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. His most recent collection, released last September, is the continuation of this work; it is both part two and a completely distinct work in itself. These collections slip out of the definition of short story. They are too novelistic in their themes, in the familiarity the reader forms with Yuníor’s life. Díaz’s books enter an in-between space between the novel and the story: a third form, “a novel in pieces”. While Drown forms a kind of artistic manifesto — focusing predominantly on immigrant experience and issues of hybridity and belonging — Díaz’s novel focuses on history, its telling and how it forms identity. This is How You Lose Her reveals Yuníor, the author-figure, as the collection closes with the beginning of a novel called The Cheater’s Guide to Love, which sounds suspiciously similar to the work it exists within. This focus on storytelling, on the creation of new histories, the opening up of space for new voices is what Díaz is all about: “I found there to be something very productive about the very narrator-protagonist that I’m working with actually being, himself, a story-maker. And so, therefore, his own process of making stories, his own aware-
ness of the way stories work, would make the reader more aware of the usual subterranean processes of Stories… Yuníor being a storyteller allows me to engage the reader in a sort of high level hide and seek.” Critics have referred to his work so far as a kind of trilogy. Indeed, having read all three books the reader finds themselves uncontrollably within Yuníor’s psyche. We watch him love, cheat, get his haircut; we love his duality, his comedy, his ambiguity and insecurity. “If I was giving advice to a younger author, I’d probably tell them to not pick such a recalcitrant avatar through which to tell their story,” Díaz pondered. “Yuníor is very indirect, he is very reticent about what he has actually suffered. He, in my mind, is the opposite, an exact diametrical pole, of the sort of confessional spirit of the current age.” It is through Yuníor that Díaz negotiates this tension between belonging and displacement. His work seek to chip away at the erasure American culture performs on its immigrant populations, his focus on history is a way to break open a new space for these stories to emerge. Díaz’s language crashes through binaries. His razor-edge prose mixes poetic, lyrical phrases with irreverent adolescent drawl, punctuated with jolts of Spanish slang and break-neck cultural reference. He roots this unique style in Yuníor’s crackling interiority: “So I was like, OK, let me build a language where this kid, who in some ways is, like, exploding in all different directions, let me build a language so he can find a home for himself.” Many have noted the distinct autobiographical aspects of Díaz’s work but it is in his creation of this new linguistic hybrid where his and Yuníor’s experiences are most tightly bound. “Listen, I don’t exist… if you only know me in English I only exist partially, if you only know me in Spanish I only exist partially… So I think there’s no question that there was a part of me that was fashioning, through my books, a place where I could be simultaneously and finally revealed. It’s really one place I come together, everywhere else I feel like I’m a partial representation.” When I asked whether he came to this voice naturally Díaz responded with a satirical laugh. “Girl, let me tell you something, there were hundreds of earlier iterations that were abandoned. I mean I’ve spent years trying to find the right— what we would call the goldilocks tone. It took a long time, man. He came off too ghetto, he came off too Jersey, he came off too fucking bruto in Spanish, he
came off too fucking overbearing. It wasn’t supposed to be a voice to make friends with anybody it was supposed to be a voice that was meant to be human.” For the moment Díaz is looking forward to a break. With almost sixteen years between his debut and his most recent release, he is almost an anomaly in the current book market. Refusing to churn out a book a year, he makes it no secret that he struggles with his writing. When the subject of his most recent project came up he sighed, “You know what, I’ll be honest with you, this project is going so poorly… I don’t know what the next book will be.” In the New Yorker’s first ever science-fiction edition, Díaz submitted a short story, Monstro, which he tipped to become his next novel. A self-professed “genre nerd,” the author’s turn to the dystopic represents a fresh take on the tradition apocalyptic tale which centres itself on a brutal viral outbreak in Haiti which turns its victims into violent zombies. This geographical relocation of this familiar plot allows for a more immediate form of social and political commentary, a feature which is omnipresent in Díaz’s writing. More than anything, he is a social realist. His voice is one which echoes and pops against the psychology of the American Dream, interrogates notions of identity, explores and explodes conventions of masculinity, wades through the thick, undefined texture of love and bounces its language off the reader. During the interview Díaz mentioned that his writing is a kind of writing against silence, “I knew that if I did not bear witness to myself and to my reality I would forever be a member of the disappeared.” Having read Díaz’s prose, it is impossible to imagine his disappearance; his voice shatters something inside you and is forever at the back of your mind. WORDS BY LOLA BOORMAN
FA S H I O N
12 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
A PORTRAIT OF THE SELFE.
FA S H I O N
tn2 MEETS THE WORLD’S OLDEST SUPERMODEL, DAPHNE SELFE, WHO, AFTER 60 YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY, FINDS HERSELF BUSIER THAN EVER AT 85. The day before I met the oldest supermodel in the world, I was staying with my grandparents. It was a lovely few days, which typically involved copious amounts of roast lunches, a fierce rationing of after-dinner chocolates and a series of stern lectures focused on the questionable ethics of the local parish council and the absurdity of vegetarians, vegans, and any other non-carnivorous diets. I got the train home with a certain self-satisfied fondness, exaggeratedly rolling my eyes at their staunch conservatism whilst googling the menu of my local Pan-Asian restaurant. There is nothing like a visit to your grandparent’s house to make you feel a little anti-establishment. I arrived at Daphne Selfe’s house in the wake of this smugness. When she opened the door, however, I had to drop my unconvincingly self-satisfied act — it was impossible not to in the presence of a figure so disarmingly genuine and charismatic. As soon as I sat down with Selfe at her kitchen table, it became clear that she was going to defy all attempts at categorisation, not because she is abrasive, nor because she is tempestuous, but because she is a woman to whom things happen. Even at the age of 85, she is still instinctively drawn to action — recently she was photographed lying in a room filled with kittens, and before that she donned a conical bra and posed as Madonna. She does not leave much time for the crossword. “No one wants to know about my autobiography,” she told me, “because it’s much too nice. You have to be sensational.” Yet
Selfe is utterly extraordinary — she recently finished shooting TK Maxx’s latest campaign, but she spent the weekend at the village fete. She is a mother and a grandmother, but since she turned 70 has shot with Rankin, Nick Knight and Mario Testino. She crumbles every boundary with a shrug of her shoulders, ridiculing the notion of retirement and all of its patronising associations. Typically, Selfe’s career has not followed a conventional trajectory. She was not discovered by the world of high fashion until she was 70, when she was selected to walk in a show for Red or Dead. This lead to a feature in Vogue on older women, and she was subsequently signed by the prestigious agency Models 1. Selfe’s first love was horses, a passion to which she dedicated herself after leaving school. This was not an exercise in Jilly Cooper-esq equine glamour — she was not cavorting around on thoroughbreds whilst rubbing shoulders with the rich and the famous. Instead, she took a job at a riding school, exercising horses, cleaning their tack and even breaking them in. “I got kicked on the head,” she laughed, “and I broke my collarbone — I fell off every morning.” Looking at Selfe, this is easy to imagine — behind her piercing eyes and long, ethereal hair lies a hardiness, a determination to succeed. Eventually, the riding turned into farming, and when Selfe could no longer hack the physical labour, she took a job in a department store, unaware that this seem-
ingly menial decision would set her on the winding path to success nearly fifty years later. Her first modelling job was posing for the front cover of a local magazine. “There was an advertisement in the store,” Selfe told me, “‘Girls Wanted.’ And I was the one that got it.” Her career began as it would continue, a series of events that ran seamlessly into one another; there was a fashion show in the department store, and three weeks training at the Gabby Young agency in London, where girls were taught to walk with books on their heads and get out of cars without flashing their underwear. There were numerous hours spent posing
ISSUE TWO // 13
FA S H I O N for painters, or life modelling at the Slade, and even a stint as an extra at the ballet. Selfe does not look back on her colourful past flippantly, but with an animated vitality — when I asked her if she was ever nervous she looked at me quizzically and responded, “Well you just do it, don’t you?” Her attitude seems disconnected from contemporary conceptions of the fashion industry, where models are deified as global superstars. Selfe started out at the dawn of colour photography, at a time when it was the clothes, not the models, that were the commodities. “Models were not considered supermodels in those days, they were very often nice people.” When Selfe was in her twenties, she lived in the same building as her aunt and found an in-house job at a furrier, modelling their coats and doing their books. “It was fantastic,” she reminisced, “they made you a little black dress, and you got your nails done, and your hair done every week at Steiners.” Selfe frowns when asked if she thinks that a positive aspect of modelling today is that it is more egalitarian, and provides opportunities for an increasingly diverse, international cross-section of people — she thinks that modelling transcends these social differences. “To be a good model,” she informed me, “isn’t really about good looks. It’s about work ethic. A lot of people aren’t really that pretty, but they’ve got something, maybe a good personality — an indefinable something.” She thinks that her “something” is her ability to act, to play a part for the camera. “I had to kiss a Frenchman all morning,” she told me conspiratorially, “he was quite nice… he was odd I think… the annoying thing is that he was a bit stubbly.” Perhaps, for Selfe, the biggest change that she has had to come to terms with is the change in herself. Old age must be hard to accept, especially in an industry that relies so heavily on the use of the body. She must find it difficult to reconcile the physical deceleration of her body with the acceleration of her career. This is where Selfe’s frank honesty is most impressive, for she is confident enough to admit that change is frustrating, but that it is something that you have to learn to accept. She can no longer walk catwalks as easily, and high heels are not an option. She cannot even wear belts without discomfort, which she attributes to shrinking. But physical change has not brought decline, and at 85, Selfe’s beauty is still evolving. She is not withered but lined — “I haven’t had anything done,” she declared, “because your entire history is in your face.” She is not self-important enough to view herself as a role model, but certainly sets a pioneering example. We tend to equate youth with success and beauty, an assumption that Selfe’s flourishing career mocks — she is far from retiring, and making more money 14 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
than she ever has before. Since turning 70, Selfe has graduated from the regional catwalks of her youth, and has been flown to Los Angeles, Milan, Beijing and South Africa. A few years ago she flew to Sicily to shoot for Dolce and Gabbana. “They were all called Bianca,” she told me, “and I couldn’t understand a word anyone said, but it was fantastic.” It really does seem that Selfe is fearless, and that above all, she is fully committed to making the most out of life. Even when I tried to probe her on some of the more sensitive aspects of the fashion industry, such as its unhealthy attitude towards weight, she would only answer to some extent, preferring to focus on its positive aspects, such as its beauty and its art. “Yes, some of the younger girls do some stupid diets,” she nodded, but then admitted to the paradox that shapes the industry, “but designer clothes do look better on thinner people.” She does not condone this unrealistic depiction of the body, but sees it as part of the modern condition, a neurosis that she does not share. She is part of the wartime generation — for Selfe, fresh and sustainable eating is a way of life, not a trend. “I don’t
waste anything, even now,” she remarked, “and I won’t eat anything I haven’t made.” What Selfe makes clear is that it is too easy to cultivate a tendency to over-analyse, to have a cynical desire to find fault in every system. When I asked her if she plans to stop working in fashion any time soon, she simply looked at me and responded, “Why would I?” Daphne Selfe is four times older than me, but she has a greater thirst for life. I want to be like her, but I fear I wouldn’t keep up — she’s far too fun. We should be the one’s moving into retirement homes and Selfe should take the helm. I am going to cancel my restaurant reservations at my local Pan-Asian; I am even going to admit that I do not like Tofu. It is far too outlandish for me and my conventionality. There is nothing like a good pub lunch. If you need me, I will be at my grandparent’s house writing my daily letter of complaint to The Irish Times on the atrocity that is the wind-farm, and the utter absurdity of a woman older than me daring to show her body in Vogue magazine.
WORDS BY ISSY THOMPSON
M U S I C
GZ UP, HOZIER DOWN.
Andrew Hozier Byrne has been recording and performing music for years, but his latest EP has seen him arrive at the foreground of Irish music. His Take me to Church EP has been earning well deserved plaudits from musicians, journalists and music fans alike. His debut single, Take me to Church, is a raw, uncompromising look at the problems of homophobia, its political undertones echoing the recent LGBT violence in Russia. Hozier, an extremely modest individual, was taken aback by the soaring popularity of his debut single; “I didn’t see it taking off in the way that it did, but I’m thrilled that people are impressed by it. It’s the fact that the message is there for people to think about that makes me proud to be apart of such a project.” His music has been lauded by musical institutions such as Billboard, who penned his musical maturity as the “birth of a buzz,” a term Hozier doesn’t read much into: “I just want to concentrate on the next stuff. There’s definitely a bit of pressure added on and it is easy to lose the run of yourself I guess but I just want to keep the head down.
The reaction has been good in my eyes and that’s great.” Perhaps what is most interesting about Hozier’s music is the fact that he has never been particularly happy with it. Raised on an eclectic mix of rhythm, roots and blues, he had never been entirely satisfied with anything coming out of the studio in the past. This time around, he recorded the whole arrangement at home and sent it to the label asking them to “stop everything else we were working on. They liked it so we went from there.” At this point in time, Hozier is enjoying making music individually, a fact largely represented by his newest EP which he produced almost entirely by himself. When asked about the decision to record his music individually, Hozier divulged, “it’s just because I’ve had difficulty being fully happy with collaborations and things like that. Individually it’s a slow process but it’s a process that’s entirely your own and you hash it out yourself, that way you can stand over it and say I did it and I made that decision.” Many people will recognize Hozier and his soul-infused voice from his days with
the Trinity Orchestra, a time he described as a break from his own work, “almost like a little holiday where I didn’t have to critique my own music, I got to get up there and sing songs by incredible artists. If you’re going to do covers, do it with an orchestra!” Like countless others, Hozier is hugely impressed and optimistic about the recent Irish music scene. His politically tinged lyrics reflect the upsurge in new Irish talent, a movement he believes to be a backlash against the X-Factor culture combined with our unemployment-blighted economy and people having more time on their hands to be creative. What now for Hozier? He told tn2 that he plans to start working on a new EP within the coming months: “I’ll be writing as much as possible and recording and arranging the stuff, then I’ll be going into the studio in mid-November to lash out the next couple of tracks and hopefully have an EP in the new year. We’ve a few gigs in December too but apart from that I want to take some quiet time and think about the next EP, the bar has been set high which is good!” WORDS BY CONOR DALY
ISSUE TWO // 15
ONE NIGHT IN AUSTEN. It has been two hundred years since the publication of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s most famous novel. The novel’s anniversary has been celebrated with the launch of a series of modernised versions of Austen novels, festivals, documentaries, stamps and more, as well as the recent film release of Austenland, based on Shannon Hale’s novel about a Darcy-obsessed New Yorker who travels to England for an immersive Austen experience. The vast array of Pride and Prejudice adaptations that have appeared on screen over the last two hundred years have given us everything from wet shirts to time travel, Bollywood and more...
trasts to the relative sexlessness of Austen’s novel. The writers, evidently, acknowledged the probability that a modern television audience would not respond to the novel’s lack of passion. What this adaptation succeeded in doing was to culturally transform Austen from a writer of biting social commentary to the ultimate romance myth-maker. To a large extent, the writers faithfully adhered to Austen’s novel, and Andrew Davies’ meticulous direction ensured that it was as authentic as possible. Yet there is still a sense that the satirical dynamic in Austen’s story is somewhat erased; its subtle nuances subsumed into an overarching, sanguine romantic theme.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE // 1995
BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY // 2001
Widely considered the seminal adaptation of Austen’s novel, this classic Emmy award-winning mini-series gave us what the Guardian described as “one of the most unforgettable moments in television history”: Colin Firth coming out of that lake. What was originally intended by the screenwriters as an amusingly embarrassing moment for Mr Darcy, ended up creating an unexpected sexual energy between the leads, gaining the hitherto relatively unknown Firth a legion of devoted female admirers. “Darcy Fever” was born. The visual sexiness of this scene con-
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This film version of Helen Fielding’s best-selling novel chronicles a year in the life of the eponymous Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger). The film humorously mirrors Austen’s novel and self-consciously (and confessionally) interacts with both Fielding and Austen novels. Fielding not only uses Pride and Prejudice as inspiration, but also draws on the 1995 BBC mini-series — the director even casts Colin Firth as Darcy, and Andrew Davies collaborates on the screenplay. Superficially it may appear that the film has little connecting it to Austen’s classic, but rather
than merely imitating the plot, it projects the novel’s content into a modern setting. While the film and its corresponding novel have come up against hefty feminist criticism, it is this dialogue Fielding constructs with the Austen text which demonstrates the relevance and longevity of Pride and Prejudice and its central issues. It is one of the few adaptations which attempts to negotiate issues of female identity which is at the heart of Austen’s novel.
BRIDE AND PREJUDICE // 2004
Aishwarya Rai plays Austen’s protagonist, Lalita, who crosses swords with American visitor William Darcy (Martin Henderson) who is unreceptive to Indian traditions and culture. Although Austen’s story is merely an added gloss to the typical Bollywood storyline, it demonstrates that Austen is not culturally outdated and fundamentally Euro-centric. However, the multicultural aspect of this modern adaptation re-affirms the ‘double bind’ that women from non-Western countries face in both the media and literature. Not only is Lalita pressured into marrying, she also has to endure the “Othering” of her culture at the hands of Mr Darcy. Lalita and her family are not only saved from financial ruin by her marriage to Darcy but elevated
within society due to this marital connection to the West. Unlike Austen’s novel, where Elizabeth’s state of grace naturally enabled her assimilation into Mr. Darcy’s society, the inherent cultural biases present in this adaptation ensure that Lalita will struggle to be seen as an equal within her marriage.
LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES // 2012
Lizzie Bennet Diaries has succeeded in updating Pride and Prejudice for an internet-savvy audience, while maintaining the spirit of the original text. It won an Emmy award for Original Interactive Program, recognising its engagement with different forms of social media. Lizzie Bennet is a college student, and the tale is told through her video diaries. The storyline has been updated for the 21st century — for example, Mr Collins’ proposal is one of business, not marriage. This adaptation also succeeds in enriching the character of Lydia Bennet, showing the vulnerability beneath her bold attitude, and revealing how manipulative her relationship with Wickham is. The diary format results in many of the events of the novel being related to the audience second-hand, through the use of costume theatre. As the other characters begin to appear in the videos, we get a sense of Lizzie’s prejudice. The suspense leading up
to Darcy’s appearance is delightful, and the tension between the two is as strong here as it is in Austen’s text.
AUSTENLAND // 2013
Recently released in cinemas, this romantic comedy follows the exploits of Jane, an American woman who splurges her life savings on a trip to Austenland, a Jane Austen theme park in England, as a last-ditch attempt to cure herself of her all-consuming obsession with her favourite Regency author, and infatuation with Colin Firth’s Darcy (of whom she has a lifesized cardboard cut-out in her living room). While being ridiculous and slightly farcical, the film revels in its own daftness, and provides light entertainment for Austen-addicts. This film captures the symptomatic nature of the cultural phenomenon surrounding Austen, which results in women being hopeless romantics, awaiting the arrival of Darcy in the form of a brooding and seemingly complex individual behind a haughty countenance. Ironically, Elizabeth Bennet is one of Austen’s least romantically minded protagonists and has yet become the paragon of romantic love in both literature and film alike. Austenland demonstrates, perhaps unintentionally, just how far the intention of Pride and Prejudice has been misconstrued. The critique of obses-
sive, fervent fans becomes more potent when the audience realises how much genuine Austen elements have been erased; how we, the fans, have become so far removed from the original text. The enduring appeal of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is apparent in its constant revival in film and television adaptations, which not only ensure that this novel appeals to new audiences but also continues to whet the appetites of Austen devotees. However, adaptations, particularly those of the modern variety, can walk a fine line between the creative innovation of the literary material and its blatant exploitation for additional gravitas. The insularity of Austen’s world has been explored in a vast myriad of forms from its origins in the regency period, to modern day Britain and America and as far as India but their best features lie in their ability to interrogate the underlying tensions, conflicts and ills within society behind the facade of traditional, cultural and societal manners and customs. ILLUSTRATION BY ALICE WILSON WORDS BY LOLA BOORMAN // JENNY DUFFY // KATHLEEN GIRVAN // CIARA FORRISTAL
ISSUE TWO // 17
ART & DESIGN
BUILDING AN IMAGE. The opening of MuCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations) on 7 June was not only the highlight of Marseille’s programme as European City of Culture 2013, it was also one of the biggest events of the year in European architecture, drawing all eyes to the harbour city on the south coast of France. The author of this new landmark, Rudy Ricciotti, responsible also for the recently inaugurated Department of the Arts of Islam at the Louvre, is a recipient of a number of French national awards, renowned for his uncompromising and outspoken character as much as for his daring architectural venture. Dubbed the “bad boy of architecture,” he has no time for mainstream standards. The working process of a team under his direction, which, as he told tn2, has remained the same for the last 30 years, is one of the distinctive features of Ricciotti’s practice. It begins with the identification of a problem: “Identify the constraints, the nuisances and then the inter18 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
stices to reconstruct a narrative. Listen to the site and the programme to be able to make it speak.” Ricciotti is the champion of figurative language, fantasy and narrative – keywords in his work, unduly marginalized in contemporary global architectural trends, which he has termed “architectural Salafism.” The site of the MuCEM was not a gratuitous one, as the new building had to withstand the challenge thrown up by the vicinity of the Fort Saint-Jean built by Louis XIV, the industrial port, the view over the historical cityscape of Marseille and the intense blue of the Mediterranean Sea. Yet the end result of this project which stretched over eleven years arguably responds to all these aspects of its surroundings, as well as to its designated purpose. In the architect’s own eyes, the museum building is somewhat physically dematerialised; feminine in the laciness of the concrete “net” which envelops the inner structure, but imbued with a tension reminiscent of the
body of “an Ethiopian athlete.” The project whose visual allusion guided the conception most strongly was the Jean Cocteau Museum at Menton, a flat-topped white concrete trapezoid resting on a colonnade of tree-trunk-like posts; spaces between these turn into sharpedged slits which cut deep into the rooftop. Its undulating forms are at once an evocation of the stretched flowing lines of Cocteau’s cinematic style and homage to his film Beauty and the Beast, whose imagery – the long wavy hair, the tentacles and the chandeliers – were the direct inspiration for the building. Ricciotti has often called himself a mannerist. When asked to explain what he meant by this term, he gave a curt definition: “To practice a rupture with modernity and to manipulate this doxa, that’s what mannerism consists of.” In talking about his influences he was also short and clear-cut: “I like all the architects before 1939. From 1945, I detest almost all of them!” As if on a second thought, he added,
ART & DESIGN
“Yes, of course, all the heroes of the modern movement…” Keeping this attitude in mind, it is not surprising that the type of building Ricciotti still hopes to produce is a church. His project for the sanctuary at Notre-Dame du Laus which, unfortunately, did not win the contest, envisaged a simple but grand cavelike space opening onto the breathtaking alpine panorama in place of the chancel wall. Another crucial aspect of his practice which makes him so exceptional is the incessant strive for technical innovation – the project for MuCEM alone entailed thirteen experimental authorisations (ATEx, to use French jargon). Stemming from his passion for engineering and his constant dialogue with architects, the combination of Ricciotti’s bold ideas and cutting-edge scientific research has resulted in developments such as Ductal, an “ultra-performing fibrous concrete”. Concrete, traditionally a very humble utilitarian material, is the architect’s most beloved, and
in his designs it has been put to previously unimaginable uses. In fact, often at the start of a project neither he nor his team of engineers know how exactly the planned ideas will be realized. Ricciotti is always adamant in emphasizing the importance of the entire team without which the completion of a building would be impossible, likening his role to that of the conductor in an orchestra, firing up the ardour in the collective and pushing them to the extremity of their capabilities – “Knowing how to say please, and then thank you.” There is a strong socialist side both to his strive for techno-scientific development and to his work ethic: His central objective, when conceiving an architectural design, is not to provide the human being with its shell, as it was for Le Corbusier. Rather, it is to “give work to the labourers. Prevent the delocalisation of jobs. Renew the memory of work.” Here is a well functioning initiative to promote local economies, avoid brain-drain and
boost the global competitiveness of national industries: a redefinition of “sustainable development”. Ricciotti is critical of what he calls the “green terror” of the current “ecofriendly architecture” industry, which for him is just another form consumerism disguised as environmental consciousness. He summed up the social function of architecture equally clearly: to be at the service of the workers, from the labourer to the engineer. The most recent of Ricciotti’s big commissions was inaugurated on 30 August – the redesigned Parisian Stade Jean Bouin, which is the largest rugby stadium in France. At the moment, the architect is working on much smaller projects – cultural centres, social housing developments and so on. But we can be quite certain that this insurgent of the architectural world will continue to surprise and amaze us in the future. WORDS BY GABIJA PURLYTĖ PHOTO OF RUDY COURTESY OF MARCO JEANSON PHOTOS OF MuCEM COURTESY OF LISA RICCIOTTI
ISSUE TWO // 19
D R I N K
STILL IN THE GAME.
tn2 EXAMINES THE RENAISSANCE OF IRISH INDEPENDENT WHISKEY, OWING TO THE WORK OF THE TEELING WHISKEY COMPANY AND DINGLE WHISKEY COMPANY. Whiskey distilling has been a part of Irish culture and heritage for centuries. The production of this ancient drink can be traced back to Irish monasteries in the 12th century AD. At its peak in the late 18th century, Irish whiskey production consisted of over 100 whiskey making operations, supplying domestic and international markets with whiskey renowned for its velvety, smooth tones and sweet finish. With the economic constraints of 20th century Ireland came the death of the Irish independent distillery. One by one, micro-distilleries faded from the Irish landscape. The craft of distilling became nothing more than whisperings of legend and folklore. What remained was an industry devoid of tradition and lacking any attachment to Irish sentiment. The passion for artisan whiskey distilling, thought to have been relegated to Irish history, has been rekindled in the work of the Teeling Whiskey Company and Dingle Whiskey Company. A newfound optimism has captured the Irish whiskey industry as these two independent producers forge the way for further growth of the artisan whiskey market.
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In a sector dominated by large multi-national corporations, Jack Teeling, of Teeling Whiskey Company, stressed the importance of deviating from a path shrouded by the long shadow of industry giants Diageo and Jameson. “What we learnt is that you’re never going to be another Jameson. Jameson is an animal and if you compete against it you’re going to get killed. So you’ve got to be clever, so you say that there’s always people who want more flavour, or a different story behind it, that they can make a cocktail with.” This fear and respect of large, established producers is a sentiment shared by Fiona Roche of Dingle Whiskey Company. “We’re not in competition,” she explained, “We are a unique distillery given that we are the only Irish owned (distillery) at present. We produce in small batches and our whiskey is single malt, triple copper pot-stilled whiskey produced in Dingle. So we’re not in competition. We are producing something quite different and whiskey is the ‘in’ drink at the moment. There are more and more people of a younger age group drinking whiskey.” It is this new, younger whiskey drinker
which is fuelling the renaissance in craft whiskey production. While many point towards the desire of this new generation of whiskey consumer to move away from mass produced, commercial brands in search of hand crafted, original products, Jack Teeling feels that the rebirth of Irish independent whiskey lies on the palates of today’s youth. The unique traits that separate Irish whiskey from Scotch or American brands are now the characteristics sought by a younger demographic, Teeling explained. “It’s because of the temperate environment in Ireland you get that soft and mellow style of whiskey. That’s what Ireland, for hundreds of years, has been famous for. And now that’s what’s suitable for a modern palate, which seems to like sweet, easy to drink soft drinks. People have been brought up on Gatorade and Snapple. All of these are sweet, fruity flavours and when this gets transferred to adult age people want the same. Irish whiskey is smooth, sweet and very accessible and a very easy entry point for people who want to get into brown spirits. This is attracting a whole new group of consumers in markets like the US.” With growing demand for independent
D R I N K
“JAMESON IS AN ANIMAL AND IF YOU COMPETE AGAINST IT YOU’RE GOING TO GET KILLED. SO YOU’VE GOT TO BE CLEVER, SO YOU SAY THAT THERE’S ALWAYS PEOPLE WHO WANT MORE FLAVOUR, OR A DIFFERENT STORY BEHIND IT” whiskey in both domestic and foreign markets guaranteed for several years to come, one could fear that Ireland’s independent producers may lose sight of their rich and storied history in attempts to expand their operations and capitalise on investment opportunities. Teeling stresses the importance of the independence of Irish distilleries in giving producers autonomy over
any and all attempts to create a truly unique product. It is this autonomy that allows each individual producer to approach the distilling process in a manner which enables them to craft their whiskey, from its nascent beginnings to the subtle nuances and flavours of the completed cask. When asked to explain the difference between the process of distilling as an independent producer to that of a large multi-national company, Teeling’s passion for the craft of whiskey distilling shone through. “It’s the decision making. People give a shit to be honest with you. If you’re a cog in a big machine then you don’t really care. You’re there for the paycheck, your shares. People are telling you what to do, and you’re just doing it. You’re working under a very defined framework, so if you’re a reactive person who’s used to making decisions, then it’s very constrained.” With several independent distilleries set to begin production of artisan whiskey over the next three years, the nadir of Irish whiskey distilling can now be looked upon as just another part of this ancient craft’s rich heritage. For those producers who will carry the practice of independent whiskey
distilling into the future, there remains a desire to remain rooted to the traditions of the past and honour the myth and legend of the craft. “The brand is trying to reflect where we came from, the origins of where our family started distilling. That is in Dublin,” Teeling said when speaking of the direction Teeling Whiskey Company will take in to the future. “What we really want to do is build a new distillery in Dublin and bring distilling back into the city, as it was the heart of the Irish whiskey industry. The tradition of craft and distilling in Dublin has gone. We really want to be part of that and go back to The Liberties particularly, which was the industrial engine of the city and bring back the craft.” While the presence of both Teeling and Dingle whiskey companies has certainly raised hope for the emergence of more micro-distilleries across the country, a long road ahead is yet to be travelled. What awaits in the future of this industry remains to be seen as a new chapter in the story of Irish whiskey is only beginning. WORDS BY CIAN CLYNES
ISSUE TWO // 21
“Make sure you write that I’m a cat inside a man-boy’s body, Rob is an android, Aoife’s secretly a forty-yearold woman and that Jeffrey is actually a clone called Joffrey.” These are my parting words with Liam, singer and guitarist for Dublin purveyors of exquisite, dreamy, scuzzy noise pop, Princess. Drummer Jeffrey was no longer nearby to fight his corner, bass player Rob seemed fairly content with the assessment but Aoife (also on guitars and vocals) was indignant, “Why do I have to be old? Can’t you at least give me something cool?” The lively way they all spark off one another like this, the variety of personalities making little private jokes and exuberantly jamming together in the breaks of filming their video session, all seems to feed into the way they work together musically. Beginning with a drunken agreement between Liam and Rob and following a member change, or two, to include Aoife and Jeff, Princess was born.“Back when it was just me and Liam the songwriting process was a bit different,” explained Rob, “but now 22 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
HOM EGR OWN it’s a lot more collaborative; one of us will write a song and bring it in and we’ll try and work it out together.” Various references are made to an array of artists they themselves enjoy listening to, and it is interesting to note the influences you can hear in their sound. Aoife mentioned a love of bands like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, and there’s no doubt you can hear that woozy shoegaze rush wash over you when listening to Princess’s music. Liam and former drummer Will’s love of house music led to the eight and a half minute piece of “noise rock house,” Excuse The Voice, at the end of the Black Cat EP. Their earlier tracks might draw comparisons too with the guitar rock of the 60s and 70s, but Liam noted that — again, because of more people contributing — their sound is starting to change, and their newer material draws a lot more from
21st century American indie. As Jeff pointed out, their new songs are the first which he has officially worked on with the band (Liam said earlier, “When Jeffrey came in we were able to bring out old songs and they opened up and became a lot more interesting; he breathed new life into them.”). This, along with Liam’s “obsessive” new love of Krautrock and his realisation that he does actually like Radiohead, will have shaped the sound of their upcoming releases. Indeed, debut single, Never Look, out in January on Trout Records, is a beautifully crafted slice of immersive, distorted noise pop with a somewhat richer sound than the band’s previous songs. Between the single and a string of live dates in the coming months, it seems that Aoife’s somewhat modest desire for more people to listen to their music is more than on the cards. It’s got to be an exciting time to be in Princess and, from the way they all smile at each other after playing, one suspects that maybe Rob’s not an android after all. WORDS BY TARA JOSHI PHOTO BY MOLLY ROWAN-HAMILTON
F A C E S
J. D. TREVOR PEARE TCD LIBRARY KEEPER
BY MOLLY ROWANHAMILTON
T V // FIL M // FO O D // STAG E // G A M E S M U S I C // L I T E R AT U R E // ART & D E S I GN
FEATURING BRIDGET JONES BY ROBERT BROWN
M A D A B O U T T H E B OY
HELEN FIELDING LITERATURE “Bridget Jones is back,” bellows the mass-media in a rising wave not unlike the “Darkness Tsunami” into which Helen Fielding’s titular heroine finds herself plunged near the beginning of her newest diary. “Bridget Jones is back.” It says so, right there on the back of the book along with “Dating Rule Number 1: DO NOT TEXT WHEN DRUNK.” For singletons, former singletons, those for whom the 90’s already represent a bygone and kitschy era, the advent of Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy means knowing grins, and a cheerful collapse into a familiar and beloved guilty pleasure. For some, however, it marks the return of one of the most depressing, destructive, and self-loathing chick-lit franchises of the past twenty years. Bridget is now a widow (cue Twitter-storm of “How could she kill Mr. Darcy?!” exclamations) with two young children, one of whom has an affected lisp and a Wednesday Addams personality (she’s the cute one) and the other who seems to function mainly as a constant reminder of his own dead father. She’s also got a screenplay in the offing, a nanny, a cleaner, a house in a posh part of London, a 30 year-old “toyboy” named Roxster, her established coterie of Bollie-quaffing pals to chat to, and the entire occult science of social media to get her head around. I’d be concerned about spoilers here but, well, there can’t really be any given that the book has no character development, no conflict, no tension, no real story to speak of, and is, frankly, 386 pages of incoherent, waste. Her children seem little more than a distraction or a source of “snuggles”; a potentially engaging addition to Bridget’s narrative reduced to little more than commodities or catchphrase producing bobbleheads. Likewise, the killing-off of Darcy is one of the most transparent acts of authorial laziness to be committed
for some time. After all, if Bridget’s not a horny, frustrated singleton, how can Fielding keep us diverted with her disjointed orgy of eating, drinking, self-hating, body-monitoring, shagging, thinking about buying stuff, complaining about women who are thinner, or younger, or more successful, or all three at once, and being, generally, well, shit, until a man comes along and sorts the whole mess out? I’m not going to talk about the Bridget Jones books being the worst thing to happen to feminism since the Salem Witch trials. Surely, though, in a time as tumultuous as this the last thing anyone needs is the renaissance of this vapid avatar of late 90s excess and idiocy. Surely no woman should be told, yet again, that life can only be made whole and functional when it is validated by the presence of someone “so masterful . . . such a MAN!” I know. I’m being a stick-in-the-mud aren’t I? “Bridget is everywoman,” you’ll insist. “It’s post-feminist fun,” you’ll claim, devaluing any criticism of this terrifying brand of inanity. You may be right. Once upon a time Bridget’s thirty-something troubles may have spoken to a generation of women who felt out of place or were uncomfortable in a world that was getting louder and harder to be happy in. At 51 years of age, however, Bridget’s identikit ramblings sound more hollow and nauseating than endearing or sympathetic. Now more than ever, Fielding’s heroine presents a view of the modern woman as nothing more than a series of mewling appetites; an entity entirely focused on appearance and consumerism, disconnected from any real sense of self-worth. No wonder this is Fielding’s goodbye to a character that even she must see at this point can only do more harm than good.
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WORDS BY ROBERT BROWN COVER ILLUSTRATION BY ALICE WILSON
E I L E E N G R AY IMMA ART & DESIGN After being closed for refurbishment since 2011, IMMA opened its doors again on Friday 11 October. The centerpiece of the night was the launch of the Eileen Gray exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The French consider Eileen Gray as one of their own, and her exhibition in Paris this spring attracted over 75,000 visitors. But having moved to France aged 22, this seminal figure of the modern design movement never left behind her Irish provenance. The exhibition at IMMA is not huge. There are only a couple of examples of each type of work Gray engaged in during her career. But the range is astonishing. Conventionally analysed as an Art Deco decorator or modernist architect, Gray is presented here as the “total designer” that she was. A succession of thematic rooms allows us to perceive the links running through various media, and to appreciate her total vision of a living environment. This is most striking in the case of her villas, where scale models and architectural drawings are displayed beside furniture designed for them. A fascinating part is the section dedicated to carpet design and manufacture. Carpets, after all, are essentially large-scale, textured abstract paintings, and this is evident in the small preparatory projects displayed. It is especially exciting to see a rug from the TCD Art Collections in pride of place at the very beginning of the exhibition, and to compare it with two projects made for it — a collage and a gouache painting, both exquisite little works in their own right.
CHEESECAKE 55 SOUTH WILLIAM STREET D2
Gray’s talent as a visual artist is restated in the last room, where a selection of her paintings, collages and photographs are assembled. The range of exhibits ensures that everyone will find something of interest. Gray’s personal letters and study notebooks offer a fascinating insight into her private life; a documentary video on the technique of lacquerwork reveals the arduous labour that went into the making, and the iconic pieces of furniture design are simply arresting – even if you do not bother to read that such or such chair was selected for the palace of a Maharajah. Aspects of the show are not beyond criticism — particularly disappointing is the heavily pixellated slideshow of the catalogue compiled by Gray herself, and her screens simply beg to be displayed in a way that would showcase their function as space division devices, rather than against a white gallery wall. Having said that, this exhibition is a landmark event for Ireland, and certainly one not to be missed. WORDS BY GABIJA PURLYTĖ
The cheesecake in a jar idea is so simple but, like so many novel ideas, the clean presentation and execution makes it a winner. The jar also allows for experimentation with texture, as unlike more solid baked cheesecake, the contents in the jars are creamy, filling and combine extremely well to create a cheeky alternative to a fancy yogurt. The Peanut M&M jar is a solid choice, retaining its shape well and delivering a subdued hint of roasted peanut following the sweet tang of cheese; while the Munchies option with its caramel and hunks of chocolate flows more like a yogurt and makes a perfect accompaniment to a coffee on a cold day. The flavours are unique but might turn-off some non-adventurous cheesecake eaters. Pop-up shops can showcase the best products the city has to offer, this is also true for the emerging food pop-up. It’s great to see something different, a successor to frozen yogurt and milkshake shops. All the cheesecakes are homemade and depending on what day you walk into the store the variety of flavours available will be different too. The shop is open 7 days a week from midday till 6.30. Traditional slices go for €3.95 and the cheesecake ecosystem jars are €4.50, with the addition of a 50c discount on your next purchase if you bring back the jar. While delicious, the prices lend themselves better to being an occasional treat or, more likely, a thoughtful gift. Obviously with pop-up shops there’s a limited run and funds are tight, so hopefully if Cheesecake Dublin does progress to a fully fledged store they’ll offer their cakes at lower prices. Full cheesecakes are also available to order and take out. As with other pop-up shops Dublin has seen, the word on Cheesecake Dublin is sure to spread and whenever it does vacate its current South William Street abode, it might not be too long before it opens up again in a more permanent home. WORDS BY MATTHEW MULLIGAN
FOOD Bathed in unassuming pastel pink, the interior of Cheesecake Dublin is soft and inviting. The pop-up shop joins its South William Street neighbours in offering simple but well-done fare. Selling nothing but cheesecake, the recently opened store seems determined to convert everyone’s favourite sweets to cake. Flavours such as Bounty, Yellow Snack Bar, Oreo and Mint Bubbly are available either as generously thick slices or in glass jars, showing the strata of base, cream cheese and topping covered with a gingham lid. Digging down into these pretty glass jars is a joy, excavating the goodness inside like an archaeologist deranged by their sweet tooth.
ISSUE TWO // 27
DA R KS I D E P SYC H I C OTHER PEOPLE MUSIC Those familiar with innovative electronic music producer Nicolas Jaar’s solo career up to now — including the stunning Space Is Only Noise — will already be aware of the astoundingly forward-thinking nature of his work and, above all, his remarkable attention to detail. Darkside, which sees Jaar teaming up with guitarist Dave Harrington, first drew breath with the release of an inconsistent, albeit intriguing eponymous EP. This was followed by a somewhat more perplexing project entitled Daftside which saw the eccentric duo remix Random Access Memories in its entirety with very mixed results. Psychic is Darkside’s first album proper and their most accomplished work to date in terms of its scope and musical
build up to an intense, song-defining moment that transcends what has gone before. Jaar appears very comfortable playing around with this device and this confidence is manifest in the darkly grooving track Paper Trails. Reverb-drenched guitar sketches are set to Jaar’s breathy vocal on this track, which features a build up that seamlessly blends into a very unexpected final rendition of the track’s chorus. In fact, this constant sense of unpredictability is integral to the appeal of the album. On first listen the arrangements feel almost chaotic; synth sounds, vocal lines and bursts of static emerge and disappear in a seemingly random fashion, diverting attention from the rhythmic foundation of tracks such as The Only Shrine I’ve Seen and
THE FIELD // CUPID’S HEAD According to Alex Willner, the production of Cupid’s Head was inspired by the creation of a loop for the track No. No..., a track that best illustrates The Field’s compositional qualities. Sharp, hiccuping rhythms and choppy vocal samples rapidly rotate themselves into a vortex until they are all but destroyed. At this point Willner slows down the loops, smooths out their edges, completely modifying the tone of the track. Tracks like They Won’t See Me and Black Sea wander in and out of The Field’s darkest territories. Where upfront beats, relentless rhythms and ominous acid house basslines reign; while 20 Seconds of Affection is almost completely saturated with swirling white noise. Fans of The Field will recognise familiar tones, timbres and textures in an instant. It’s still as lusciously ambient as Willner’s previous works, it’s just paced more patiently. AODHAGÁN O’FLAHERTY
consistency. Opener Golden Arrow creates an intense, nocturnal mood from the outset with its downtempo beat, understated vocals and sporadic bursts of synth setting the tone for the rest of the album. Instrumentation is layered over the course of this 11-minute opus, with liquid, spidery guitar hooks adding texture and a deep, lilting bass line further cementing the track’s now indestructible groove. The album’s defining musical statement comes in the form of a gorgeous, high-pitched descending synth chord progression. This constitutes the track’s deftly executed ‘drop’; a euphoric moment that duly rewards the patience of the listener in sticking it out for 9 minutes. This mastery of tension and release is something that Jaar has been cultivating throughout his career. Many tracks on this album contain a clever, lengthy
the brilliantly titled Freak, Go Home. Repeated listening reveals that these songs assume a certain logic all of their own; every sudden return to a central melodic or rhythmic theme is perfectly timed to take place just before the track loses all sense of focus. What makes Psychic so special is Jaar and Harrington’s unique sense of balance. Tracks feel loose and spontaneous although close attention reveals how the myriad instrumental subtleties are meticulously arranged. Sparkling, Pink Floyd-esque guitar melodies act as a stunning counterpoint to dark electronic soundscapes, while instrumental hooks feature in equal abundance to surreal moments of ambient experimentation. These elements coalesce to form a breathtakingly immersive album that raises the bar for electronic music producers the world over. WORDS BY OISÍN LEONARD
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TLC // MEANT TO BE Upon first listen, this new offering from the surviving members of America’s top-selling girl group is almost gratingly polished. Written by Ne-Yo, that sugary sense of optimism that you can only find in 90s pop and R&B is very much replete in this track and, without the grit and attitude of Left-Eye’s rapping to break things up, there is a danger of things getting a bit too sanguine. Ultimately though, there’s no denying Meant To Be is a wonderfully catchy pop song. With pretty vocal harmonies singing delightfully positive lyrics, cheesy instrumentation in the form of strings and pianos, deliciously laidback beats: the track being released alongside their Greatest Hits seems incredibly fitting. It’s not an exceptional song in its own right, but that overall smooth sound and style serves as a perfect reminder of why TLC owned their era of R&B. TARA JOSHI
ENOUGH SAID NICOLE HOLOFCENER FILM A lot of people will be attracted to and intrigued by Nicole Holofcener’s recent romantic comedy, Enough Said, because it is one of the last films that actor James Gandolfini appeared in before his untimely passing in June. Fans will not be disappointed by the performance of the Sopranos star; Gandolfini delivers a subtle yet masterful performance that was typical of his stunning career. However, there is still an entire movie surrounding this one performance. So if the question is whether Enough Said as a whole is worth putting down your hard-earned cash to see, the answer isn’t as simple. Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays single mom and masseuse Eva, a clearly flawed individual who, from the film’s outset, makes fundamental errors in how she deals with other people. She’s about to reach a point where she has given up on finding love after her divorce ten years prior when Albert (Gandolfini), a fellow single parent, enters her life. The two embark on a relationship that goes well until life throws them a curveball; in a barely plausible coincidence, a massage client that Eva has begun to befriend is revealed to be Albert’s ex-wife. Eva then finds herself caught between her own impression of Albert and the derogatory comments his ex-wife makes about him. The premise is not only dubious, but very predictable, which renders the plot’s eventual denouement deeply underwhelming. On a larger scale, it could be said that this film is an insightful examination of the Southern Californian upper-middle class. The host of dysfunctional and deeply imperfect characters clearly demonstrate that maturity doesn’t necessarily come with age. A
manicured lawn and a Santa Monica three-bedroom house do not an adult make, and none of the adults in Enough Said could be described as “together”. No fault can be named of the film’s acting — then again, given the cast (which includes Toni Collette among the supporting cast), a certain quality is to be expected as standard. Enough Said employs an understated brand of humour that often teeters on the edge of being unfunny. Louis-Dreyfus’s Eva acts as if she has never shaken her adolescent awkwardness, and it’s endearing, if not a little bizarre to see in someone her age. Gandolfini and Dreyfus have a sweet chemistry between them; they’re two people injured by past experience, trying to shake the shock and pain of their old heartaches and open themselves up to each other. Enough Said is a lightweight, charming and well-made feature that may even brighten these dull Autumn days, albeit briefly. WORDS BY EVA SHORT
LE W E E K- E N D
FIFTH E S TAT E
FILM Le Week-end, a coming-of-old-age film, is a heart-warming story that shows it’s never too late to live life to the fullest. Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan play a married couple who, having reached a crossroads in their lives, decide to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in style by spending the weekend in Paris. While at first the romantic getaway seems destined to fail, the city soon ignites in the pair a newfound passion, both in their married and personal lives, which leaves them to question what the future has in store. Director Roger Michell has crafted the untold sequel to every romantic comedy. Broadbent and Duncan are completely convincing as the old, set in their ways couple. Their relationship is established and maintained throughout their casual exchanges and coordinated living habits. It is these interactions, and how they develop, that hold the interest of the audience to the last scene. Jeff Goldblum as Broadbent’s former and far more successful protégé, a character of irksome yet loveable energy, is also a highly entertaining feature of the film. The film’s easy accessibility can be attributed not only to the witty, fun dialogue but also to the picturesque setting of Paris in autumn. Scenes flit from the hotel room to restaurants and attractions and, while at times we feel like the reluctant child being dragged along by the couple, the film never loses its charm.
FILM When the subject of your film publicly denounces it as “a serious propaganda attack” and a “lie built upon a lie,” one can assume that a few artistic licenses have been taken. The truth is that we don’t know the truth about the shadowy world of Julian Assange and Wikileaks, and, despite what The Fifth Estate — a shallow platitude of a film — thinks, we never will. Based in part on former spokesperson Domscheit-Berg’s book Inside Wikileaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website, the movie focuses on the early successes of the website, the relationship between Assange and Berg and the inflated egos that come with power in the digital age. Sadly, despite its brief stylistic flourishes, the film breaks no new ground. The Social Network did all of this three years ago, and better. Benedict Cumberbatch stumbles for the first time in his career. His Assange (like the entire film) is skin deep; we see and understand the ego, but not the painful past or motivation behind it. Assange as a fictional character should be accessible in part to an audience, not just a perfectly pitched Australian accent with makeup. Director Bill Condon continues his descent into middle-of-theroad irrelevance post-Twilight. He unfortunately never seems to find a way to make the real world implications of Assange’s actions interesting, while also failing to notice that scene after scene of coding is excruciatingly boring without a thumping Trent Reznor score.
WORDS BY JAMES DOWLING
WORDS BY EOIN McCAGUE
ISSUE TWO // 29
MASTERS OF SEX
TV In the pilot for Masters of Sex, we see researcher William Masters (a fascinating yet chilling performance from Michael Sheen) and his assistant Virginia Johnson (a spectacular and immediately arresting Lizzy Caplan) struggling to get funding from his university for their study of human sexuality. The university provost (played by the amusingly prudish Beau Bridges) and the rest of Masters’ peers in 1956 are horrified by his “perverted” proposal. To Masters, it’s just science: “There are libraries on how babies are born,” he complains, “and not a single study on how babies are made!” However, Masters is more interested in recreational rather than reproductive sex. Masters was a very typical man of his time, in that he kept his wife at home, attended church every Sunday and held politically conservative views. In spite of that, Masters’ work with Johnson helped fuel the sexual revolution and the feminist movement. The disparity between his almost clinical, passionless relations with his wife in the first few episodes and his passionate attitude to his work is quite jarring. Sheen has discussed Masters as an unlikely feminist hero: “He was fairly typical, and yet the work that he did played a part in creating a whole new era of female sexuality and gender politics. It was quite surprising that his work was so progressive and led to so many changes that we’re still living through, in terms of how women are perceived in our society and in our culture, and yet he was even more than typical — he was quite extreme in how he personally dealt with women.”
Despite its terrible and shamelessly attention-grabbing title, the show treats sex more seriously than its fellow primetime cable shows. With sex as its subject, it could be expected that the show would provide graphic sex scenes and nudity merely for viewers’ titillation. However, the show is just the right amount of sexy — rather than fetishising sex and nudity, Masters of Sex considers sex as natural and pleasurable. Since the show focuses on researching and demystifying sex, the scenes are frequently awkward and funny rather than erotic. Unlike many shows that privilege the heterosexual male gaze and male sexual experience, such as Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones (of which we have come to expect graphic sex scenes as a crucial part of their formula), Masters of Sex explores female sexuality from a definitively sex-positive position, portraying women as dynamic sexual beings. The show treats sex and masturbation as things to be experimented with and discussed, rather than dismissed as vulgar and shameful. It seems fitting that Masters of Sex premieres so close to the finales of Dexter and Breaking Bad, two of the key purveyors of the violent anti-hero. Although TV is undoubtedly nowhere near finished with violence or anti-heroism, Masters of Sex suggests an exciting new route for cable dramas, offering an intriguing storyline and an original protagonist neither classically heroic nor anti-heroic, as well as an ambitious subject matter that remains relevant today, fifty years on.
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FRIDAYS // RTÉ TWO WORDS BY MEADHBH MCGRATH
THE CRAZY ONES Imagine AMC’s Mad Men. Strip away the tension-fraught dialogue and sharp humour. Take away the sophistication and intriguing foreignness of the 1950s setting. Take away Don Draper’s suave savoir-faire and the whiskey-cigarette smell that he wears like elegant cologne. What are you left with? A really boring show, but probably not as boring as CBS’s latest stab at an ad agency sitcom, The Crazy Ones. The show centres around Simon Roberts (Robin Williams), the eccentric head of an advertising firm trying to cling onto the vestiges of his company’s (and his own) former success. His daughter Sydney (Sarah Michelle Gellar), comparably more grounded and uptight, is taken on as partner, and the two make a familial effort to keep the firm afloat. I should be able to say “hilarity ensues” here, but I simply cannot. Every attempt at comedy in this show is hollow and unoriginal, with each successive gag being played out with a sense of desperation, begging you to laugh, to no avail. Robin Williams delivers the same material he’s renowned for: foppish improv and drawn out riffs. While he does it well, the routine is tired. We as an audience, having been exposed to this style since the start of Williams’s long career in the 1980s, are completely inured to the comedic charm. Gellar, known for packing a punch in her roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Cruel Intentions, fails to endear audiences in her portrayal as the neurotic Sydney, and in fact seems primarily pathetic. The show’s premise, in a way, mirrors the circumstance of the main stars – the nineties were kind to both Williams and Gellar, and the two seem to want to breathe life into their careers the way the Roberts family want to breathe life into their advertising pitches. This time around, the attempt has been in vain.
THURSDAYS // CBS WORDS BY EVA SHORT
A C E AT T O R N E Y: D UA L DESTINIES NINTENDO 3DS
GAMES Chances are when describing a game in which you play as a lawyer, most folk would raise their eyebrows and shuffle away from the prospect. The Ace Attorney games, however, have proven themselves to be so much more than that. Having gained a cult following thanks to its charm and addictive gameplay, how does the transition to 3DS hold up? The major update to the game is very obvious from the off: gone are the 2D sprites and locations of old, replaced by stunning 3D models and dynamic, deep environments. While not a technological achievement, the developers have done a stunning job in replicating the sprites and the artwork in the 3D models, which really do look wonderful: the cel-shaded style works perfectly in the game, and the use of said models allows for more fluid actions by the characters. Anime cutscenes, a new addition for the series, don’t feel out of place and are amply sprinkled throughout the game. The 3D locations also allow for some really swishy camera work, upping the ante in hectic courtroom scenes and allowing for new locations and evidence to be discovered when investigating the case. The music has been given a radical update to accompany the new looks, giving all the familiar character themes a revamp, as well as including some really epic tracks for the climax of each case. There are five such cases included in the game, all contributing to a well-constructed story arc. While some might find the ending
a tad unsatisfying, the individual cases are well written (despite a plethora of typos throughout), with some genuinely well laid plot twists. Followers of the series will be delighted to see some old characters making a return, although these arguably are some of the weaker points of the game, and do feel suspiciously like they’re just there to please the fans rather than to contribute in a meaningful way. The game has actually become more linear: it’s difficult to miss what you’re supposed to be looking for most of the time. While this does make the game easier, it removes all of the incredibly frustrating instances of not knowing what to do or where to go, and so playing through becomes a lot smoother. Ace Attorney isn’t for everyone: if you can’t stand stereotypical anime kitsch characters and dialogue, text-heavy games, or can’t suspend belief to accept the absurd supernatural plots then it’s probably not for you. If, however, you do enjoy those, look no further: with incredibly engaging characters, gorgeous visuals and artwork, a soundtrack that gets the blood pumping, and unique gameplay, Ace Attorney will keep you hooked and give you a whole new world to fall head over heels in love with.
CHECK PRINT EDITION
HANGING GA R D E N S THE ABBEY
STAGE Frank McGuinness’s heartbreaking new play is a beautiful, honest, and deeply entertaining story about the reluctant passing on of a generational torch. It is a literary triumph. Sam Grant (Niall Buggy) is a storyteller. Jane (Barbara Brennan) his wife, tells jokes that are “just meant to be funny”. Their children are all on leave from their normal occupations; Maurice (Marty Rea), once a philosophy lecturer; Rachel (Cathy Belton), a lawyer; and Charlie (Declan Conlon), pro bono caretaker of the elderly Grants. The former two, younger siblings, both prodigal, have been drawn back to their father as he is dragged under by the cold hand of dementia. He spins cruel and fantastical tales around his family members to delay their action and shroud his debilitation. Sam opens the play in Donegal’s own Hanging Gardens, tucked away in hidden grounds of the Grant’s house. “Fetch me the moon shining on Babylon. Let its gods shower blessings on me.” Such grand lines are wailed in the pouring rain by the geriatric in his pyjamas. This spectacle paints the often humorous proceedings of the play in a prophetic sadness. Though Sam chooses to make light of this episode to his family — and McGuinness grants him a wicked wit that he’ll use to fool us as well — the laughs emitted from the audience often betray a nervousness brought on from this early shock. Buggy’s performance never allows Sam to be pitied. Facial acting is his strongest talent here; creative inspiration lights up the features, familial disappointments twist them into a rage. His presence as an
WORDS BY CHRIS ROOKE RELEASED ON NINTENDO 3DS ESHOP ON 24 OCTOBER, €24.99.
alpha male emanates from his throne at centre stage and despite constant interruption and interference from his family members, it is rare the focus is taken off him. Rea gives the best performance out of the children, convulsing in shame when Sam torments him with a past better remembered by the sickly father than the silent son; “You, in women’s underwear. You, wanking to your heart’s content.” Clohessy’s original music that blankets the turbulent landscape in an occasional harp-rendered serenity is a highlight. These moments give the audience a clue to how things might have been when the Hanging Gardens were first planted and Jane and Sam were two oddball newlyweds. That is a real success in the play, a natural sense of this family’s history we gain along the way. You come away knowing the Grants, knowing which one of them you are, knowing this could or may already have happened to you. We can’t help Sam, his family can’t help Sam, one cannot help time’s erosion. McGuinness torments us, dangling the former genius of Sam in front of the audience all worded lyrically with a great emphasis on the literary and textual value of the play. THE HANGING GARDENS RUNS UNTIL 9 NOVEMBER. WORDS BY HEATHER KEANE
ISSUE TWO // 31
7 DAYS FRI 1 8TH
SAT 1 9TH
S U N 2 0TH
M O N 21 ST
PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT
RED LINE READER’S DAY TALLAGHT
EILEEN GRAY TALK @ IMMA
DINE IN DUBLIN CITYWIDE
Based on the 1994 cult film, the story of three drag queens on a cross-country road trip through the Outback arrives in Dublin with 500 spectacular costumes, 200 hats and head-dresses, 150 pairs of heels, 60 outrageous wigs and 20 kilograms of glitter in tow. Packed full of catchy dance numbers such as It’s Raining Men and Shake Your Groove Thing, the campy drama about family, sexuality and gender-based violence carries a strong message of tolerance and belonging. The most stunning aspect of the show is the visual playfulness and outlandish costumes, which include paintbrush showgirls, dancing cupcakes, a dress made entirely of flip-flops and extravagant topiary headpieces. Overall, the musical is a joyful spectacle of gayness and gaiety, and well worth a visit to enliven these dull autumn evenings. MM.
In this year’s Red Line Book Festival’s impressive program of events (including a Migrant Writers poetry slam and a John McGahern evening) the highlight is Reader’s Day. Held in the main auditorium of the Civic Theatre, Tallaght and presented by novelist, playwright, poet and Finglas-native Dermot Bolger. The event kicks off at 10.30. The morning will involve an interactive session of readings and conversation with poet Harry Clifton and writers Deirdre Purcell and Colm Tóibín. “Chapter Two,” starting at 14.30, will see Bolger in conversation with Irish Times columnist and theatre critic Fintan O’Toole and journalist Mary Kenny. An excellent way to spend a Saturday; and if Tóibín wins the Booker it could be an especially enjoyable morning. LND.
Join curator Jennifer Goff for the first in a series of five talks on Irish architect and designer Eileen Gray. This series is programmed to run concurrently with the exhibition, held at IMMA, Eileen Gray: Architect Designer Painter. Goff ’s first talk of the series provides an introduction to Eileen Gray and her relationship with Ireland; as a child, a young woman and later as an adult. GP.
This week long event, dedicated to the celebration of dining in the capital returns from October 21-27. The biannual event lets you sample some of the city’s best cuisine at slightly more democratic prices than usual. With set menus ranging from €15 to €30, this event will allow diners of all tastes to discover what some of Dublin’s best eateries have to offer. We can expect Q&A’s with leading chefs, cookery demonstrations, cocktail classes, food and wine tasting events and special value meals in some of Dublin’s best restaurants, cafés and bars. CC.
RUNS AT THE BORD GÁIS ENERGY THEATRE FROM 15-26 OCTOBER. TICKETS FROM €20.
NO BOOKING REQUIRED. PLACES ARE LIMITED AND ARE ALLOCATED ON A FIRST COME BASIS 30 MINUTES BEFORE THE EVENT STARTS. LECTURE.
DINE IN DUBLIN WEEK IS 21-27 OCTOBER. SEE WWW.DINEINDUBLIN.IE FOR MORE INFO.
IN DUBLIN WED TU E 2 2 N D
TH U R 2 4TH
After Apple’s announcement of the iPhone 5S and 5C, thoughts quickly sped to its big brother, the iPad. If internet rumours are to be believed, Apple will announce its Christmas line-up of tablets on 22 October. Faster machines are expected, with the iPad mini gaining a retina display. The larger iPad is also expected to get a makeover that will be closer to the mini’s design. Fingerprint sensors may also be added, being hidden into the Home button, as with the iPhone 5S. New MacBooks may also debut at the event, although all eyes are likely to be on the tablets for the bigger announcements. CR.
WORKERS CAFÉ TEMPLE BAR There was no hesitation to call the new pop-up cafe in the Temple Gar Gallery + Studios The Hare. It’s name alludes to the SS Hare cargo ship that fed the workers of Dublin’s 1913 Lockout. Temporarily installed as part of The Workers Café to commemorate the centenary of the arrival of the ship, this pop-up will be a must visit for any fan of Dublin’s vibrant gastronomy scene. The project will feature a series of workshops and talks throughout the month including etching and printing classes, discussions on Ireland’s contemporary labour landscape as well as live performances. The pop-up is a product of chef Katie Sanderson and artist Fiona Hallinan, who both saw the pro-
ject as an obvious opportunity to serve natural, healthy vegetarian food in a unique city centre atmosphere. With Sanderson already an established name on the Dublin pop-up scene, thanks to the success of her monthly Living Dinners restaurant, The Hare will surely be the epicentre of the Dublin food scene until the end of the month. The restaurant space is simply elegant. Sparsely furnished, lightened by some fresh green plants on solid wood tables and a miscellaneous avocado abacus towering over the open kitchen. The menu, while restricted, offers an example of the culinary delights that can be created using organic and foraged food from local producers. With many of Dublin restaurants lacking any real originality, The Hare brings something new to the city centre, if only until November 2nd. LG.
IFI Horrorthon returns for its 16th run from October 24-28, providing audiences with the opportunity to enjoy the best of new international genre productions, as well as a number of judiciously selected classics. This year the festival will revisit Tobe Hooper’s unfairly neglected Lifeforce, and Hammer’s The Mummy, starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Among the new titles, Danielle Harris faces Victor Crowley again in Hatchet III, director Vincenzo Natali (Cube) returns with Haunter, and social networking causes humanity’s downfall in Antisocial. The slow burning Thanatamorphose will satisfy hardened splatter fans, while Chastity Bites is one of the year’s smartest and funniest horrors. As always, IFI Horrorthon is a must-attend event for any genre fan. EM. PRICES FOR FESTIVAL PASSES CAN BE FOUND AT IFI.IE.
THE END PIECE
Ma rk ‘Chopper ’ Re ad , criminal, author, rapper.
“WHEN ASKED WHAT HE WAS EXPECTING FROM GOD, HE REFLECTED ON THE HAND HE WAS DEALT, ‘I THINK IF ANYTHING, I’M OWED AN APOLOGY. I DON’T THINK HE WAS VERY FAIR WITH ME.’” Mark “Chopper” Read, who died at the age of 58 on 8 October, was a self-professed murderer who caught the world’s attention with his mix of severe upbringing, unapologetic honesty and a skewed moral code. Without a murder conviction he spent all but 13 months in prison between the ages of 20 and 38. The 2000 film Chopper, starring Eric Bana, and a dozen autobiographical books inform us of his life, with commentators noting that much of this biography was accentuated, either by him or others. Read was a dark product of the Melbourne suburbs and underworld culture of the 60s. As a child he was beaten both by his peers at school and his parents at home. He was first institutionalised by the state at the age of 14; he claims that he underwent several rounds of electroshock therapy in reaction to his supposed mental health issues. Upon returning to the streets, Read took up a life of gang-crime, rising to the top rank in the Surrey Road gang by his mid-teens. From robbing drug-dealers he progressed to kidnapping and torturing Melbourne’s most feared gangsters — notably removing digits with bolt cutters to attain hard cash. His exploits reflected his rationale that if crime was to be committed, it should be inflicted on other criminals. Later this view would inform his position as the self-elected hitman of Melbourne’s 34 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
underground bosses. Convicted of crimes such as armed robbery, firearm offences, arson and kidnapping, his next experience of gang conflict was conducted inside the four walls of Pentridge Prison. Never one to let the situation get the better of him, he resisted hits by starting a gang war and forcing a section transfer by making a friend carve off sections of his ears with a razorblade. Even when incarcerated in high security prison, Chopper let little get in his way of free choice. His enemies finally caught up with him in the least likely of places. In the mid-70s Read was sentenced to 17 years for kidnapping a judge in an attempt to get the infamous Jimmy Loughlan released from prison. Unclear of motive, Jimmy subsequently stabbed Read multiple times in the torso. Defying death, Read lost several feet of intestine and incurred serious damage to his liver, a possible cause of the cancer that would finally get the better of him. Taking up the pen and paper, his correspondence with journalists John Silvester and Andrew Rule catapulted him into the public sphere. The memoirs which they released tracked his effective leadership of Pentridge Prison for almost 20 years. Revisiting the site a few years ago, he commented on the mix of emotions he felt standing on the other side
of the gates, “That could be it. That could be the emotion I’m feeling: homesickness. That could be it.” Later life saw a relative deceleration in his aggressive attitude and boastful claims. Following the success of his cinematic biography, Read donated all his earnings from the film to Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital. His literary attention switched from tracing his notorious crimes to becoming a children’s author; he also released two misguided rap albums. However, he never departed from his philosophy, he did not owe anything to anyone. When asked what he was expecting from God, he reflected on the hand he was dealt, “I think if anything, I’m owed an apology. I don’t think he was very fair with me.” With little remorse, and an estimated 19 hits to his name, Australia created a strange cultural figure — embraced for his frank attitude and open insanity — he showed the working of an alternative philosophy, rising to fame fiercely at the expense of so many others. For most he was just a sadistic killer, for others he is an iconic figure of Australia’s colonial and contemporary history, showing the alternative path one can be pushed to take with an institutionalised and felonious background. WORDS BY HENRY LONGDEN