OCTOB ISSUE 3 17TH
“THINGS GO IN CYCLES, THINGS CHANGE. I THINK HIP-HOP IS ALWAYS GOING TO HAVE NEW LISTENERS AND NEW STYLES AND SOUNDS: IT’S THE WAY YOU ADAPT TO IT AS AN ARTIST THAT IS GOING TO KEEP YOU AROUND ...” - Dave Jolicouer, De La Soul // 15
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OPENERS HOMEGROWN THE ODD COUPLE THE CITYGUIDE FACES UNTIL NEXT TIME THE FINAL SAY
THE REGULARS 8 10 13 15 18
RAISING THE GAME FREE RANGE ATTIRE BREAKING BORDER SERVING UP SOUL LICENSE TO SHOOT
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LITERATURE TV ART MUSIC FOOD & DRINK TECHNOLOGY
Editor & Creative Director Aaron Devine Deputy Editor Henry Longden Copy Editor Eoin Tierney Online Editor Ciar Boyle-Gifford Editorial Staff Gabija Purlytė // Tom Lenihan // Deirdre Molumby // Declan Johnston // Paige Crosbie // Hugo Fitzpatrick // Paul Casey Alison Connolly // Jenny Duffy // Gheorghe Rusu // Alana Ryan // Katherine Murphy // Fionnuala Gygax Isabella Davey // Ciaran McGrath // Claudia Carroll Photo Editor Matthew Wilson Illustrator Alice Wilson Creative Consultants Dargan Crowley-Long // Éna Brennan Special Thanks Damien Carr, Matthew Taylor and the Trinity Publications Committee // Gabriel Beecham // Lorcan Cooper John Colthurst // Ronan Burtenshaw // Nora Eastwood // James Ellis Deakins // Heather Callow at Eon Productions and Zoe Morley at Sony Pictures // Staff at EPB Department of Trinity College Library for their ongoing support On page 12 of Issue 2 of tn2 Magazine, published 2nd October 2012, it was suggested that the Anabel’s case was an incident of murder, when in fact the crime involved was manslaughter. The editor would like to retract the sentence and offers an unreserved apology for the error. TN2MAGAZINE.IE // 3
A GOTHIC LABOUR OF LOVE DESIGN On the junction of Westmoreland and D’Olier streets, directly opposite O’Connell bridge, stands the former London and Lancashire Fire Insurance Co. building of 1894. This would have been one of the most prominent sites in Dublin at the time, though it is now completely and inevitably dominated by
the gigantic O’Connell Bridge House (ie Heineken tower). If not exceptionally spectacular in scale, this is a wonderful approximation of a turreted late medieval château, designed by J.J. O’Callaghan, a follower of Pugin and Ruskin and a faithful believer in Gothic not as a fashion, but as the one true
style. Incidentally, Gothic seems to be the perfect idiom for the site, allowing for an irregular plan that integrates seamlessly into the terraces of the two streets which join at such a steep angle. Clad entirely in Portland stone, a rather luxurious material imported from the eponymous island in the south of England, the building exemplifies a variety of beautifully rendered Gothic features: richly carved soffits in the pointed arches, cornices with naturalistic motives, and irregular windows flanked by slim column shafts connecting the upper levels. These, together with the bold chimney stacks and extremely steep dormer roof, add to the vertical emphasis, leading the eye upwards, where dark silhouettes of gargoyles stand out against the sky. Returning back down to the earth, notice that even the smallest details, such as the rainwater pipe fittings and the ventilation grilles, are handled with care, bearing an imprint of the love and attention that went into the design. Gabija Purlytė
“A LIFE OF USEFULNESS, LITERATURE AND RELIGION”
LITERATURE This fourvolume set is the first edition of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, published in 1818, a year after the author’s death. It is introduced with a biography written by her brother Henry in the first instance of Austen’s name being attached to her work – even on the title pages of these volumes she is referred to as “The Author”. The biography paints an affectionate (if biased) portrait of Austen, with Henry introducing her to her public and praising her personality, her wit, her modesty and her religious devotion. Henry speaks of his sister’s love of writing – she continued to write throughout her illness, with a pencil when a pen became too heavy.
HIT THE ROAD, JACK FILM With the recent release of Walter Salles’s On the Road, I got to thinking about examples of the “road movie” genre. This issue’s film poster comes from one of my personal favourites, Wim Wender’s Palme D’Or winner, Paris, Texas. It relates the story of middle-aged Travis (Harry Dean Stanton) who is discovered by his brother after spending four years wandering around the deserts of Texas alone. Travis returns to civilisation and begins to search for reconnections with his family. The poster here shows Travis with his son as they drive to the city to find the boy’s 4 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
mother, Travis’s wife. Her presence haunts their journey in this image, as it does throughout the film --- it is a colourful, maternal, idealised presence embodied to perfection by the beautiful Natassja Kinski. Paris, Texas is exemplary of the road movie in that it is more about the inner journey of the characters than about the physical journey they take. It sounds like such a cliché, but it truly does make you look at your own life --- to remember the love, pain and loss you have experienced, and to consider what ultimately makes you feel happy and free. Deirdre Molumby
It is fitting that Austen should be named in connection with these two novels. In Northanger Abbey, Austen makes her famous defence of the novel as “only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature ... the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the bestchosen language.” In Persuasion she comments that “Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story ... the pen has been in their hands.” Jane Austen’s writing has not only proved that novels can be great works of literature, but that women can be the greatest of novelists. Jenny Duffy
COOKING UP A STORM
FRONT SQUARE FASHION
GLUTEN- AND WHEAT-FREE COOKIES With more and more people being diagnosed with wheat and/ or dairy intolerance, it is useful to have a tasty recipe to whip out and avoid the awkward moment when not everyone can eat the cake. Really simple and relatively cheap, these cookies are close enough to the real thing to warrant a slight addiction. 80g buckwheat flour 100g white/brown rice flour 80g extra virgin olive oil 2 eggs 1 tspn baking powder 80g brown sugar 350g 70% dark chocolate
Line a baking tray with parchment/baking/brown paper. Pre- heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4.
Mix the flours and the baking powder.
In a separate bowl add the sugar, olive oil and eggs. Whisk for 5 minutes.
Slowly add the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon. until the mixture is smooth and the flours are fully incorporated.
Chop one chocolate bar into large, tasty chunks. Chop the sec ond finely. Stir both in (the more chocolate the better).
Using a tablespoon, dollop the cookies onto the tray. Cook for 20 minutes and enjoy with tea. Molly Garvey
JUKEBOX FLASHBACK 16 OCTOBER 1992
MUSIC It’s been 20 years since Sinead O’Connor performed on SNL and ripped up a picture of arguably the soundest pope, John Paul II. It kicked up quite a fuss and probably stunted her career considerably: she was banned from the show, protesters cheered as her CDs were steamrolled, and it culminated two weeks later with her being booed at Bob Dylan’s concert before she even took stage. She retaliated by screaming Bob Marley’s War over the catcalls. It was the first in a long string of incidents that led to the media labeling O’Connor a crazy. But she was right, and in nightmarish fashion (and Twilight Zone-esque irony), everybody was wrong and nobody listened. Gheorghe Rusu
STYLE Real men wear tweed, yet only fine men pull it off as candidly as JS student Thomas Godfrey in this ensemble. The underlayer of a wool cardigan is offset by the matching tie, and the chords are just plain practical in this early onset of what may be an extremely frosty winter. The battered satchel coupled with the horn-rimmed glasses? Intellectual and irresistible. Part Educating Rita, part Withnail and I, this outfit is executed wonderfully, with the boldly clashing scarf adding a punch of warmth to this muted palette. My favourite aspect about it all? The lock of hair flopped onto his forehead coupled with an ambiguous Mona Lisa smile. Isabella Davey
CARRIG IRISH LAGER DRINKS Craft beers can be daunting for some. The idea of spending a fiver on a pint of something when you aren’t completely sure that you will like the taste is problematic if you’re on a budget. However, I’d argue that more often than not you will be pleasantly surprised and gladly hand over another five euro note for round two. To make the leap to higher-quality beer less risky, first try Carrig Lager. Its light and subtle flavours make it a perfect stepping-stone beer if you are looking to be introduced to the world of more intensely flavoured and complex beers. Available on draught in many pubs such as Anseo, O’Neill’s, Doheny and Nesbitt, Bull and Castle, and Peter’s Pub, it also provides a welcome deviation from the ales that dominate the Irish craft beer market. Aaron Devine 17TH OCTOBER 2012 // 5
VIRTUALLY NATURAL GAMES Gorogoa is a game by Jason Roberts. Or, it will be when it is finished. Even though it is currently a demo of what is to come, Gorogoa is required playing and stands up easily to many complete free games. Roberts’ hand-drawn world is exquisitely beautiful to look at. More importantly, the way in which the player interacts with this world is challenging, and surreal in the extreme. There is a boy who looks. He looks out the window and sees something strange
touch for childhood here, in particular My Neighbour Totoro. Out of the dust of the everyday comes something mystical and kind. A benevolent agent steps in and alters a dull existence. There is wonder in observing and being part of nature. With Gorogoa, Jason Roberts seems to have found that much sought after combination of distinct visual style and game mechanics, which use that style as more than a pretty background. The possibility of a longer excur-
TAKE FIVE // NUMBER 3 1
4 and beautiful. He looks in his closet. The door frame of the closet becomes the door frame in a picture. He steps out of the door frame and he is inside the picture. Tiles fill up the screen, requiring the player to construct abstract jigsaws and solve puzzles. It recalls in part the mood of the Broken Sword adventure games, as well as their lush visuals. There is also something of Hayao Miyazaki’s
sion into the strange panelled worlds of Gorogoa brings hope for a modern classic. As a sample though, Roberts’ game entrances from the first thought bubble. Highly recommended for all lovers of puzzles and strange dreams. Gorogoa won the 2012 Indiecade award for visual design. The demo is available for free download for Windows at http://gorogoa.com Paul Casey
THE BOOK // LIFE AND DEATH ARE WEARING ME OUT BY MO YAN // Written in 42 days in 2006, discover why Mo Yan is the latest Nobel Laureat through this novel. Join the debate and enjoy a hallucinatory-realist style that comments on the history of Communist China.
THE CD // BEN KLOCK // FABRIC 66 // The nternationally-renowned Berghain DJ has put together an epic 24 tracks for the London club’s compilation album. Guest DJs include Burial, James Ruskin and Trevino on this collection of relentless techno. Ben Klock plays Twisted Pepper on 24th November THE APP // BAMM.TV // Bamm.tv have been filming upand-coming bands in HD for a while now, but this app release will make their virtual venue a whole lot easier to access. Check out news and videos of your favourite bands with this easy-to-use platform. Bamm.tv app is available on iPad from the iTunes store THE DOCUMENTARY // CRIBS AND BLOODS: MADE IN AMERICA // Skating pioneer and documentary maker Stacy Peralta looks into the series of events and living conditions that founded the two largest gangs in America. An interesting quasi-sociological investigation into one of everybody’s favourite topics: crime.
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THE TICKET // DERRICK MAY AT TWISTED PEPPER // 20TH OCTOBER€14 // The Legendary Detroit DJ brought House into the mainstream with The Belville Three. His influence on the 90s house scene is undeniable and he comes to Dublin this week to play a 4 hour set. Twisted Pepper, Saturday 20th October, €14 Compiled by Henry Longden
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ILLUSTRATION Alice Wilson
PLAY Hugo Fitzpatrick and Paul Casey draw back the curtain on the creators of some of our most beloved and memorable childhood video games
ho made the games we spent countless hours playing as children? Names like Disney, Spielberg and Rowling are as familiar to us as if they were relatives but the minds behind classics like Mario, Crash Bandicoot and Sonic are relatively unknown by their wide audience. The creative process that went into these games is similarly obscure. “Making of” bonus features on DVDs are almost inescapable these days. Movie magic is a thing of the past as every little aspect of a film’s production is analysed, documented and revealed. No such luck for video games; the craft is still shrouded in mystery to the majority of onlookers. The games we played as children are those we have the deepest connection to, and what better way to draw back the curtain on game design than to look at how some of our favourites were made.
Pokémon Red Version/ Blue Version, Game Boy, 1996 Dr Bug loved to collect bugs. He would set up traps with honey and bark, collect them from under trees and scour the river bank to find insects of all different shapes and sizes. It does not seem surprising that the man who would go on to create the monster-capturing-and-collecting game Pokémon was Dr Bug: Satoshi Tajiri. Tajiri grew up in rural Japan and the genesis for the Pokémon games can be easily traced to his childhood hobby. His path into game development was a bit less direct. As a teenager in 1978 Tajiri started a magazine called Game Freak, which gave tips and secrets about popular arcade games in Tokyo. It was handwritten, photocopied and then stapled together by Tajiri himself, with illustrations from friend and future Pokémon concept artist Ken Sugimori. By 1986 Tajiri had become jaded by the current games he played: “The more I learned about games, the more frustrated I became because the games weren’t very good. I could tell a good game from a bad game. My conclusion was: let’s make our own game.” Game Freak was reworked into a game studio and the pair published their first game Quinty in 1989. The Game Boy was what inspired Tajiri to make Pokémon. The platform seemed perfect and the ability for games to communicate via the link cable was the defining feature for Tajiri: “The cable really got me interested. I thought of actual living organisms moving back and forth across cables.” The game was pitched to Nintendo in 1990. It took Game Freak with a team of nine people six years to finish the game. In that time five of the programmers left and by the end even the game’s composer Junichi Masuda had to help with the coding. The game sold poorly initially; however it slowly gathered popularity, enough so for a US release a year later and a European release in 1998. It is a testament to the game’s design that, even today with the game in its tenth iteration and the release of a new Pokémon game this month, the formula remains relatively unchanged from the original.
Goldeneye 007, N64, 1997 Goldeneye was released for the Nintendo 64 in August 1997. It was the first console first person shooter to stand up to its mighty relations on the PC. While a certain elitism exists in the minds of some PC gamers today, it was rampant in 1997. The difference between what one could experience on a high-end PC and the available consoles was considerable. Quake, developed by id Software, had been released the previous summer and it looked doubtful that a home console could ever compete, especially where it concerned multiplayer. Until “March or April of 1997,” according to Goldeneye’s director Martin Hollis, “there wasn’t a multiplayer mode at all.” It
“THE MORE I LEARNED ABOUT GAMES, THE MORE FRUSTRATED I BECAME BECAUSE THE GAMES WEREN’T VERY GOOD” was with multiplayer though that Goldeneye would earn its reputation as a classic. This late inclusion was perhaps a sign that only one member of the team had worked on a game before. It was also evidence of the exquisite talent at Rare, who had made their name working on the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, giving the Super NES a late resuscitation of life. Goldeneye showed the capabilities of the Nintendo 64 which, apart from Mario 64, was desperately looking for a system seller. Through time trials, differing goals depending on difficulty, and unlockable cheats, it demanded repeated playthroughs. Like Mario 64, Rare’s masterpiece made the most of the third dimension, and was as different an experience from the previous generation as possible. Goldeneye would sell many consoles for Nintendo and cement Rare’s reputation in a new generation of consoles. What is more it left those who played it indelibly marked by the unfairness of choosing Oddjob.
Age of Empires II, PC, 1999 You would expect that a game based on real events in human history would have a historical consultant or some kind of authority on the subject to advise the development team. Ensemble Studios, the makers of Age of Empires II, did the research for the game’s medieval setting in the children’s section of the local community library. Ensemble Studios, like Game Freak, grew out of an existing institution. Ensemble Systems Consulting was founded by Tony Goodman in 1990. In 1995 the company was reworked into a game studio and began developing their first title: Age of Empires. Released in 1997, the game was a great success and Ensemble started on a sequel. Friend of Tony Goodman, Bruce Shelly, who had been lead designer on the first game and had worked previously on games like Civilization and Railroad Tycoon, was joined by Sandy Petersen for the sequel. Petersen too had an impressive résumé that included the table-top RPG Call of Cthulhu, Sid Meier’s Pirates! and the Doom series. The team wanted to make the sequel better and bigger. Ensemble designer Matthew Pritchard described the team’s vision: “This was going to be our opportunity to add all those dream features and make our magnum opus of computer games.” Despite the experience present at Ensemble, they found themselves falling behind and the target of Christmas 1998 for release soon became an unrealistic aim. “We had bitten off more than we could chew and the game’s design was losing focus,” says Pritchard. “Instead of sticking to the core of what makes [a strategy] game great, we had gone off in many contradictory directions.” An extra year of development was secured, but a lot of work still had to be done. “Crunch” hours were worked every few weeks, with Ensemble employees having to come in from 10am to midnight. The long hours paid off and the game was released in September 1999 to critical acclaim and worldwide success. Ensemble were bought by Microsoft in 2001, and in 2009, after a series of mediocre releases, the studio was disbanded. Their legacy however remains, with Age of Empires introducing a generation of children not only to real-time strategy games, but to medieval history as well. 17TH OCTOBER 2012// 9
GREEN WITH ENVY
THE ECO WARRIOR WHO EXEMPLIFIES THE FASHION FORM
She's changing the fashion world for good so tn2 caught up with Samata Angel to discover the secret to her success
Sustainable fashion is going through a tantalising transformation. It is abandoning its association with coarse fabric, neutral colours and hemp and is becoming the preferred choice for designers. But what exactly is sustainable fashion and why is it so important? tn2 spoke to eco fashion designer Samata Abudulai, better known now as Samata Angel, to find some answers. Five years after having obtained a Bachelor of Science at Queen Mary, University of London, Samata won the Hollywood Red Carpet Green Dress Competition. On top of this she has been featured in almost every fashion magazine from Vogue to Pride Magazine, received nominations for industry awards such as Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Future Fashion Star of 2008 and Specsavers Every Woman in Retail Inspiration of the Year 2009, is a freelance writer for Vogue UK and most recently Elle US, as well as guest lecturing on Fashion Enterprise at the London College of Fashion. How can someone transform from being a science graduate to being a global “one to watch” among young fashion designers? Quite simply, according to Samata, “Passion and hard work.” The Red Carpet Green Dress Competition challenges young designers to create a dress considering the following: material health and reusability, water stewardship, energy efficiency and social fairness. Run by Suzy Amis Cameron (wife of director James Cameron), it is being supported by a growing number of actors and actresses all over the world. It encourages using fabrics that are less wasteful as well as the re-use and customisation of clothes before throwing them away. This didn’t seem such a radical notion until Samata, as global campaign director, facilitated the initiative to dress actors at the Oscars. In February 2011, Samata flew to LA to put Missi Pyle, of the next year’s Oscars big winner, The Artist, in her “green” dress. Pyle said of her “green” role in fashion: “As artists, I believe it is our job to show the world that we not only care about creating incredible art, but that we are mindful of the fact that, in doing so, we can make something beautiful that is also sustainable.” That night sustainable fashion was certainly unleashed to the photographers and global personalities, with Livia Firth wearing a Dolce & Gabanna dress crafted from recycled bottles, Meryl Streep in an
Keeping it green: Samata pictured in LA
eco-certified fabric from Lanvin and Colin Firth, Michael Fassbender and Kenneth Branagh donning sustainable suits. When asked how important the origin of her fabrics are to her, Samata is adamant. “Very important – I think we have to be responsible and think about all areas – from the material health of what we use across to what that item might become when the wearer no longer uses it. Even how our fabric is coloured is important as it sits on your skin all day long, so it needs to be coloured in a way that does good for your skin and does not irritate it.” Is sustainable fashion not restricting? Apparently not. Fabrics have advanced immensely from selfcleaning to colour changing, the list is endless and while they are a technological revolution, they leave virtually no waste, require less labour and take a fraction of the time to make. Most interesting to Samata is three-dimensional printing, which is an emerging technology that uses ultraviolet beams to fuse layers of powdered, recyclable thermoplastic into shape, resulting in less waste. It is this integration of technology into the fashion industry that is helping to combat the current status of the fashion industry as one of the
WORDS Alice Wilson
most polluting industries in the world. The fashion industry itself is somewhat of a mystery to most people but Samata is striving to reveal its inner workings. Many adhere to the bitchy representation of the fashion world depicted in 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada. When asked are there any parallels between the film and reality, she smiles: “Unfortunately yes, there can be too many judgements made on the spot.” However Samata argues that “anyone can be a person of ‘importance’ regardless of what they look like – so respecting everyone you meet for me is just par for the course to be successful.” It is because of her munificent personality that Samata has gained such respect herself, even writing a book called Fashion your Life – A clothing Designer’s Guide giving advice on fields such as promoting and money management, which incidentally, sold out at Waterstones and on Amazon. What is the ultimate goal for such a high achiever then? “To be financially comfortable, enough to make decisions, to make my life better each day. That could be being able to surprise my mum with a flight somewhere or to invest in an entrepreneur I see and believe in. Anything. I just want to be able to make choices.” With the book sell-out and society’s superstars preaching her ecocreations, I don’t see any problem in the achievement of that.
Samata modelling her creations with Suzy Amis Cameron
17TH OCTOBER 2012// 11
HOM EGR OWN
Electronic wizard MMOTHS talks to tn2 about his second EP, the fresh format of his upcoming live shows, and reveals which of his songs he really hates to play
WORDS Alana Ryan
“I’D HATE TO FEEL I’M FORCING SOME IDEA ON PEOPLE THROUGH MUSIC”
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“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music”. After listening to MMOTHS’s music you may feel that Aldous Huxley had a point. Ethereal, calming and atmospheric, the low- fi electronica of the Kildareborn musician Jack Colleran is incredibly emotive. It’s hard to believe that at only nineteen he can make music of such quality and beauty. Wonderfully ambiguous, the soft tunes can evoke a variety of different responses varying from context to context, person to person. In his own words “there is no message - you can interpret it yourself ... I’d hate to feel [that] I’m forcing some idea on people through music.” It’s pretty clear that Jack’s passion lies in the creation of music that he can claim his own. Our interview begins with the lanky musician stating definitely that his background in piano mevrely gave him “the basics” and that he “didn’t understand playing other people’s music”. That need to be original and different has been the driving force for him during an intense two years which have seen him honing his skill as an independent composer and producer. His debut EP was launched last February to a sold out gig in The Twisted Pepper and since then he’s been busy touring North America and doing the festival circuit in Ireland – not to mention a pretty great set at the Trinity Ball last year. Few could forget the flooding of the Dance Tent when the opening beats of “Heart” radiated out. Is it a conscious decision to open all his sets with the crowd pleaser? In a weary tone Jack sighs, “It means I get it over and done with it, if that makes sense? Because I’m sick of that song.” It’s easy to understand why - the track has taken on a bit of a life of its own having received far more attention by the mainstream, and as such has become his star song. Aligned to this he’s also an accomplished remixer who’s tackled everyone from Bon Iver to Vacationer and profited from the experience - “I think I learn a lot from remixing; you’re working with other people’s work and you’re seeing how they do things.” Yet, despite such a hectic schedule there’s still a second EP on the way. Interestingly, all the flying appears to have a rather unusual and positive effect on him “I write better stuff when I’m actually moving around, especially in airports. I don’t know why.” This level of success and the change in environment has translated into a new kind of sound. Jack elaborates that the songs are “taking a different direction, it’s getting older ... it’s a lot more organic, if that makes sense.” Moreover, following on from the successful introduction of vocals on to “Heart” and “Summer” there will also be some singing on two of the new tracks. Candidly he admits he’s a bit of a control freak and that “it’s always kind of nerve wracking to give people the freedom to do whatever they want with it”. His anxiety was premature though, this new “dimension” is actually one that he’s pretty proud of. Indeed, even the live shows are going to be altered to reflect this development in sound. Never having been a fan of a club venues, Jack has come up with a cunning way to avoid such settings, namely the addition of a live band. This unusual turn of events will be premiered for his upcoming Button Factory gig and should be rather interesting to say the least. Exciting, ambitious and dedicated there’s little doubting that this producer is going to have another stellar year. MMOTHS plays The Button Factory on 26th October
BEYOND LANGUAGE, BEYOND BORDERS
There's a whole world of TV out there, so we guide you through the finest televisual feasts from abroad to follow up on Issue 2's analysis of the Irish TV industry
nitwear is in. Big. As the high street becomes a better-tailored if poorer-quality version of Carraig Don, Irish television suffers from an extreme case of cultural cringe that has somehow been exposed by the Aran sweater – or, as it is more popularly known now, the Sarah Lund sweater. Not only has the famous Nordic sleuth quietly taken over the airwaves, it appears she can even take over our wardrobes in a trend that dwarfs 2010’s “Sherlock chic”. International broadcasters have begun to erode the US’s monopoly of our viewing tastes, managing to retain their sense of national identity in television while achieving critical and financial success. The question on the minds of industry suits is whether such a winning streak is pure luck or the result of an imitable formula. The trend is most obvious in the case of Scandinavia. Following on the success of Danish public service broadcaster DR’s Emmy-winning drama The Eagle: A Crime Odyssey, the last number of years have seen a torrent of must-see drama from the channel, including Forbrydelsen (The Killing) and more recently Borgen. Made by DR, Denmark’s equivalent of RTE, the so-called “Nordic noir” offers a more complex perspective on crime, engaging with its wider political and social context instead of being contained in a fictional bubble. Arguably a major factor in the success of Borgen, which follows Denmark’s fictional first female PM, and indeed the Killing, are its well-written and performed female leads: a rare feat in US
drama. The Killing also has a refreshingly unconventional format: focusing on a single murder over 20 episodes, it tells the story not just from the perspective of the detective but the victim’s family and the politicians. Receiving generous government funding and licence fees, DR sets out in line with its role as a PSB to supply a social and even moral dimension to their productions alongside sheer entertainment value, and has an established policy of allowing writers full creative control. While seemingly unconcerned with export value, the financial benefits which both the originals and their remakes have brought to the Danish exchequer cannot be denied. It seems that the very disregard for export potential is what has made these series so attractive; tactical production is no substitute for creative integrity. Scandinavia is not the only place producing worthy television. The continent may not be the most likely place to find stimulating drama, but France, Germany and even Italy have their own offerings to bring to the Eurocrime table. The prestige of French film worldwide has resulted in a disdainful attitude to television among the French creative elite not unlike in Ireland. However, hope comes in the form of Engrenages (Spiral), another detective series making waves in the UK. Italy has done one better in Romanzo Criminale, which follows an infamous crime family in 70s Rome. In defiance of an industry near-monopolised by a certain former premier/media mogul, the award-winning series has been bought
WORDS Claudia Carroll Clementine Yost
“THE VERY DISREGARD FOR EXPORT POTENTIAL IS WHAT HAS MADE THESE SERIES SO ATTRACTIVE” 17TH OCTOBER 2012// 13
by HBO and is currently airing on Sky Arts. Dubbed the greatest Italian series ever made by the Italian press, Romanzo Criminale is everything Love/Hate could have been. From farther afield comes Hatufim (Prisoners of War) which has become overshadowed by its flashier US incarnation, Homeland. While Homeland is a fantastic drama, its Israeli parent is a tonally different but equally worthy beast. Centred on two Israeli POW’s returning home after seventeen years captivity in Lebanon, Hatufim has considerably more resonance with Israeli society than Homeland with America, as Israel does negotiate with terrorists for the release of its soldiers, resulting in former POWs making up a relatively sizeable portion of the population. Hatufim, unlike slick thriller Homeland, is a slow burner: the story takes its time on character psychology and relationships. But as we congratulate ourselves for being more open-minded, the reality is that the western drama format still dominates our screens. The most pervasive TV format in the east is Japanese animation, an intrinsic part of Japanese culture. The genre has been disadvantaged by mainstream perceptions of cartoons as childish, but the reality is that Japanese broadcasters are less concerned with controversy or watersheds, providing a platform for all levels of dramatic complexity. An anime film or series will easily strike truer to the nature of the human condition than a mainstream US show, despite the stylised nature of the artwork. In fact, this has proved an
advantage; despite the western TV industry’s unfailing confidence in the formulaic drama’s chances for commercial success, the very alien nature of anime which initially caused western distributors to hesitate has made the genre all the more attractive to a bored audience in Europe and the US. Anime remains purely Japanese, and this is a core part of its appeal. It is also worth billions to the Japanese economy, which has turned to cutting-edge pop culture as a means of stimulating capital. The only eastern culture whose influence rivals that of the US, anime is part of a larger strategy of Japanese cultural exportation. Its place may not be as integral to western pop culture as the games console, but the market for anime has exploded in the west since the early nineties. Naysayers should take a look at Deathnote, an acclaimed series particularly suited to Sherlock fans. Last April Guardian blogger Mark Lawson questioned the UK’s adoration of foreign drama, considering it a lack of national self-confidence. If such questions can be posed of Britain, they are certainly applicable to Ireland. That we are only exposed to the best of foreign industries must be acknowledged, but the fact remains that nobody beyond our shores (and not many within) wants to watch Raw. What do all these industries have in common that enable them to produce these simultaneously critically and financially successful TV shows? The answer seems relatively simply: television with creative and cultural integrity is more likely to profit, as it is of higher quality.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS The Bridge – Swedish-Danish detective series: Wallander meets Lund. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – the anime inspiration for the Wachowski brothers’ The Matrix Betipul – the Israeli drama on which HBO’s In Treatment was based. Borgia – a French-German alternative to the lacklustre Showtime series.
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Dave from genre-defining rap group De La Soul talks to tn2 about their infatuation with conceptual themes, his opinion of Odd Future, and their new show, First Serve, being performed at the Rhythm Weekender this Thursday, 18th October and at Cork Jazz Festival on Sunday 28th October
WORDS Henry Longden
or literature, the novel. For picture, the film. For theatre, the play. The storytelling arc is the most successful device in popular culture. Since the beginning we have lurched into the unknown, the rabbit hole, and found meaning in the fictional activities of characters we do not and can never hope to know. Popular music, however, has generally avoided such narrative, opting for a more autobiographical introspection or commentary. There are rare exceptions. For hip-hop, De La Soul. With every De La Soul release, one is faced with a conceptual intricacy. In their debut album, Three Feet High and Rising, 24 tracks frame a mock quiz-show. Their sophmore album, ironically named De La Soul is Dead, hit back at critics who labelled them ‘Hip-Hop Hippies’. Using jovial beats, humorous lyrics and esoteric sampling, they tackle sensitive issues such as violence, drug use and true love. With funk, soul and jazz influencing their eclectic style, they paved the way for a new breed of New York rappers alongside Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest and Monie Love, seriously challenging the momentous gansta-rap that eventually flourished in the 90s. With each successive album we see the band trying to recast themselves inside a new conceptual theme while keeping their original mould of light-hearted, principled rap. Their latest project, First Serve, features original members Plug 1 (Posdnous/Kelvin Mercer) and Plug 2 (Trugoy the Dove/Dave Jolicouer), and brings in Parisian DJs Chokolate and Khalid. The project follows the story of a couple of New York rappers coming up in the 90s. It may be presumptuous to see this piece as autobiographical or a satire on gangsta rap, so I asked Dave where the story lies between fact and fiction. “I think it definitely doesn’t depict anything of De La’s passage at all … the characters are different in style. De La is message-driven, peaceful vibe and having a good time, whereas these guys are battle rappers; one of the guys is really saucy, all about looking good, fashion and all that stuff.” So is it a jibe at contemporary hip-hop? “No, not at all. People think we’re poking fun out of Kanye or Rick Ross but these guys are just people. There are so many artists out there now who are doing what Kanye is doing or what Rick Ross is doing, so why would these guys be any different?” De La Soul have always been captivated with storytelling and the use of fiction. Dave alludes to this when he suggests, “First Serve is really just about telling a story, rather than a satire, reflection or commentary.” I suggest that it must be influenced by something, especially considering its similarities with their own experience as rappers growing up in New York. “Absolutely, you absolutely can’t [create pure fiction] – you can make the story fiction but obviously pull from something to build the character. For example, I don’t know anybody who works construction, likes construction clothing, wants to be a rapper, doesn’t care about the latest fashion but wants to dress like a fucking coalminer. I don’t know anybody like that, but I do know people who might have a drinking
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problem and I have to pull from those things to make this character come to life.” Originally from Long Island, New York, and one of the most prominent sensations to come out of the east coast hip-hop scene, De La Soul seem to regularly revert back to their roots, especially the city which encompassed a whole genre and style. What exactly is it about New York that has had such an influence on hip-hop? “New York has something, just like any other place that you can’t explain; it has a vibe, a feel to it, it has an attitude … that’s what’s really cool about New York: the way we say it, the way we do it, the way we convey it. Maybe it has a bit of panache, a bit of flair to it. You can hear it; you can hear a New York rapper as opposed to any other person from around the world. Just as much as you can hear a Cali’ rapper or a rapper from The Bay.” How deeply is De La Soul’s sound embedded in that tradition? “It’s definitely something that
“NEW YORK HAS A VIBE, A FEEL TO IT, IT HAS AN ATTITUDE THAT’S WHAT’S REALLY COOL ABOUT IT: THE WAY WE SAY IT, THE WAY WE DO IT, THE WAY WE CONVEY IT”
you can’t get rid of. Even the music that you sample from and pull from. I know there is music that isn’t played in LA, that people are not used to. [There are] artists who people are clueless of in LA that we’re aware of in New York. You might pull from those kinds of things. It’s in you, it’s in your person.” Although New York inspired a lighter sound in De La Soul’s collective, The Native Toungues Posse, the city subsequently split with the largely remorseless gansta rap of Notorious B.I.G, Nas and Jay-Z. Lyrically celebrating commercial and monetary success, it irrevocably affected the fate of hip-hop. Far from their harmonious lyrics of the 80s, I ask Dave about this trend: “The message has definitely changed; you [still] have some artists who talk about unity, peace, love and expression to this day but for the most part, what might be on top right now would be a different sound and a different subject matter from what
De La, Tribe [Called Quest] and Brand Nubian might have been bringing to the table.” Is this a negative path for hiphop? “Things go in cycles, things change and the individual has the right to say: ‘I’m going to put that in my torch’ or ‘I’m not.’ I think hip-hop is always going to have new listeners and new styles and sounds. It’s the way you adapt to it as an artist that is going to keep you around. As a fan you purchase what you like and leave it on the shelf if you don’t.” For many the controversy with east and west coast hip-hop has subsided; the new discord is with a new breed of youthful rappers. Of course this has been the effect of groups such as Odd Future: their unforgiving lyrics, crude subject matters and amoral topics have appealed to a new indie-rap scene. Although their music may assimilate the traditional rebellious tone of Wu Tang, Cypress Hill and Public Enemy, the crowd that propelled them into the mainstream were white middle-class hipsters and shrieking pubescent girls. How exactly has this turn affected the psyche and tradition of the industry? “I think it’s great, hip-hop is still doing what it expressed from day one, its given people the opportunity to express themselves, given people the chance to talk about what they think is cool and hopefully pull people into their world … I think groups like Odd Future who are taking it to another level, lyrically and musically, are trying something brand new. It inspires us all to try something new and learn from what they’re doing.” But is it enjoyable? “Hip-hop is one of those things where not everything is going to be something you love but you can at least learn from it, get something out of it.” Alongside this clear positivity, De La Soul’s career has been defined by creativity, demonstrated by their concept albums and adaptive response to critics. Their ability to diversify and rebrand while being heavily rooted in their free-spirited vibe is what makes De La Soul extraordinary. Their sound is distinctive sound, but ever developing. The First Serve Project is just another step in this progression. I ask Dave what is to come from a band that has done and achieved so much already. “We’ve been working on two new projects for De La: an album and a short EP of four or five songs for the New Year. We’re diligently working to get that done.” That simple? “We have so much that we’d love to do. Even enter the art scene with things that we design and create. Whether it would be our merchandise, our personal art works or the music that never came out.” So the creativity is still there … “A book as well”, Dave interjects, “we’ve been working on several book concepts in the last seven or eight months or so – that would be something nice to bring to the table.” Fans will be happy to hear the continued enthusiasm and ethic from a true legend of hip-hop. He concludes, “There’s a lot more to come, it’s about the music but at the same time we love creating, designing and making things come to fruition. Hopefully those things will see the light of day.” As Dave signs off it seems far from the end. The moment is unthinkable, when we can sincerely claim “De La Soul is Dead”. 17TH OCTOBER 2012// 17
WORDS Tom Lenihan Aaron Devine
LO IN OK TO TH E
L I G H T
Legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins talks to tn2 about his illustrious career, working with the Coen Brothers, and his latest project: Skyfall
he man who shot The Shawshank Redemption, No Country for Old Men and almost every other Coen Brothers film over the past twenty years has now added a Bond film to his repertoire. Perhaps it’s surprising for an esteemed cinematographer like Roger Deakins to venture into the louder, more action-filled universe that the character 007 inhabits. Even after working with Academy Award-winning directors such as Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes and Ron Howard, he is still reinventing himself and feels he has much more to offer. Pixar and then Dreamworks recruited him as a visual consultant lending his expertise to WALL-E and other animated films like Rango and How to Train Your Dragon. When asked how he felt about being awarded the American Society of Cinematographer’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 he said he had mixed emotions. He felt that it was too early, that he was just getting underway. Deakins’s passion for his trade comes across very 18 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
strongly in the interview but, like everyone involved, he remains tight-lipped about the upcoming Skyfall. Although not an action film veteran, he has worked with the new Bond movie director, Sam Mendes, on his previous films Jarhead and Revolutionary Road. Clearly they must have a mutual trust. “I don’t tend to do action films,” he explains. “It’s not really my genre at all. I much prefer to do quieter, more human dramas. I’m not really drawn to films that have a lot of special effects. I like films that are about characters, not some sort of visceral experience about action. What really attracted me to this project was Sam Mendes and the cast and where they wanted to go with the script.” Reflecting on the experience he notes, “It was a challenge, and quite an exciting one, obviously. With it being 50 years since the first James Bond film, it’s quite an event. But apart from those attractions, I haven’t worked in England for a long, long time so I came back here and worked with a crew that I haven’t
FILM worked with since The Secret Garden a number of years ago. I probably wouldn’t have done it if I couldn’t have tied up with those guys because I knew I could rely on them – that was part of the attraction.” It must also have been a totally different filming environment from his usual work on Coen Brothers’ sets, which are famously subdued and quiet. “I like a quiet set. All my crew are quiet. I won’t hire people if they aren’t quiet. I don’t shout and scream and order
“EVEN WITH ALL THE TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES, YOU’RE STILL TELLING A STORY WITH PICTURES --THAT HASN’T CHANGED” people about. I like a set where everybody’s working together to create this one thing. If everybody’s working as they should, as professionals, then I just let people get on and do their job and take pride in what they’re doing. It’s funny, some actors will come on set and think ‘Oh, it’s Joel and Ethan Coen, they’re very funny,’ and they will think it will be particularly riotous and it’s not, it’s very matter-of-fact and quiet and business-like.” When asked if he would be interested in working with any other directors he says, “I’ve been really lucky to tie up with Joel and Ethan and Sam [Mendes]. A lot of directors like a relationship with a cinematographer, like Marty [Scorsese] usually works with Bob RichCalling the shots: Deakins with his crew on the Skyfall set ardson – that’s just a relationship that works and it would be nice to have the chance to work with him but he gets the primary choice. I’ve been lucky enough to do that one film with Marty - Kundun - so that was a great opportunity.” That film represented one of his nine Oscar nominations, but he has yet to win one. He has been very unlucky yet remains humble: “I am more than happy to be recognised that many times. I’ve got mixed feelings about it, but when it comes down to it I’m just happy to be working on what I love doing and have the chance to shoot the films that I like to go and see in the cinema. I’m not just doing a job, I’m doing something I really love doing and I couldn’t really ask for much more than that. The rest just comes and goes. It doesn’t really matter – it’s the film that matters most. I’ve been to the Oscars and to me, it’s something separate from the actual work and the actual joy of making movies.” Will he do another James Bond? “I don’t know. As I said before it’s a very different film than I’m normally doing, but every project is different so I’d have to judge it as an individual movie. They’re very challenging projects, so having done one [he laughs] I think that might be enough. I’ve been on the film for nearly a year. I’m going to take some time and just get back on the ground before the next project. I think I’ve still got a lot to offer. But how did I get here? It feels like I’ve just started.” Is it daunting that technology is now seemingly shaping the way films are made? Does he yearn for the days of 35mm film? “People get scared of digital technology, and I think I was one of the first to embrace it. It’s reached the point now that digital shooting gives you certain things you couldn’t do on film. Even with all these advances, you’re still telling a story with pictures --- that hasn’t changed.” He may be moving with the technology, but now in his sixties, can he see himself hanging up his camera soon? He firmly responds: “[With] the way filmmaking is changing, the way technology is changing, it’s such an exciting time so there’s no way I’m stopping shooting films now, or in the foreseeable future.” Deakins with director Sam Mendes on the set of Skyfall Skyfall is in cinemas nationwide from 26th October 17TH OCTOBER 2012// 19
THE ONE WITH THE OLDER MAN AS HIMSELF
“WHERE IS THE CRUELTY OF LOVE? THERE IT IS. MY PHONE VIBRATES WITH A TEXT FROM THE GIRL I ONCE LOVED BUT HAVEN’T SPOKEN TO IN TWO YEARS” TUESDAY I remember being really drunk and deciding that it was okay to move here. I sent a confirmation text to the letting agent while laughing hysterically. My decision was highly influenced by the walk from the Luas to the house. I step off the train … “I’m walkin’ down your street again … past your door … but you don’t live there anymore”: the power of Everything But the Girl’s whopper hit Missing over a nostalgic drunk is immense. I happily whistle the tune as I walk past today. WEDNESDAY We meet again, her father and I, and he hesitates to ask if I had heard from her recently. It is too soon. “We really must stop meeting like this,” he jokes. He’s very friendly. We’re originally from the same town, her father and I. We went to the same secondary school. His elderly mother lived a few minute’s walk from my family home. I always felt he detested me, a reminder of a childhood he didn’t seem to have enjoyed. “It’s a long way from skinny cappuccinos we were raised,” I laughed, and gave him a friendly slap on the back as we stood waiting for our orders.
MUSIC Last year I wrote an unpublished piece on Justin Bieber. At the time, the vitriol he was being subjected to, by most people with an internet connection, was in full swing. I thought it undeserved and excessive, and that while nobody would be “converted”, haters would soon lose interest or realise their efforts are a waste of time. Bieber was also being co-opted by credible entities (Kanye, Tyler the Creator, Slate Magazine), which I thought signalled a sea change towards the eventual downfall of any hater stronghold. Well, his star keeps rising. Diplo and Drake happily cash cheques for album contributions. His faltering detractor constituency becomes more petty (recent vomit fiasco notwithstanding). What did those trillions of keyboard taps achieve but some existential procrastination? To generalise, people stop giving a fuck and the remaining fuck-givers look like the try-hards they were all along. To generalise visually, below is a crudely drawn, totally unscientific, graph of this phenomenon as I’ve observed it:
1. Easy target gains popularity; 2. Hate is slow off the mark then rises 4a v exponentially; 3. Hate 4b exceeds popularity; 4. v v 3 a. Hate hits a plateau before b. subsiding and plummeting; 5. Popu1 v larity remains on the up, albeit at a reduced v v 2 TIME pace. We can apply these trajectories to Skrillex, another example of a chart-topping superstar, who still makes money in digital downloads, whose appearance is easy to mock, whose music is perceived as cheap, and whose stereotypical fans are not “cool”. He too was the subject of cheap cracks on the internet (though the Drop the Bass memes are infinitely more good-humoured than Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber) and subpar treatment from journalists. The hypocrisy: he’s not the only one making popstep. Some are even receiving accolades for it. Acclaimed producer Rustie (maybe because he’s British, maybe because he’s on Warp) works in essentially the same vein of maximalist, candified dubstep, the same sheen and neon lights. So why Skrillex? His appearance, his past as a screamo singer, his daring to Americanise a sacred London cow such as dubstep? Superficial insignificances, that say more about the nitpicking harbingers of cool, than about the person or the music. I guess the internet picked it up, ran with it, and now, as we’re seeing, tired itself out. Deadmau5, Boys Noize, Kanye (again?) want collaborations. Skrillex is being tolerated, if not accepted. Internet, plz. Let the people have their opiate. Find your own and stop harshing everyone else’s buzz. Music you don’t like clearly isn’t for you. Life is short and you are wasting your time. Tell someone you love them. Buy them a Justin Bieber CD. They’ll think you’re hilarious. Gheorghe Rusu 5
MONDAY I bump into my ex-girlfriend’s dad in a coffee shop we both like. This is a regular thing, maybe happening every two weeks on average. We’re always happy to make small talk, but we always dance around what links us. He usually asks: “Have you heard much from her recently?” The “recently” is always an amusing lie in these conversations. We meet regularly enough that the word means nothing. “No,” I say, “not recently.” And I say that every time because I never hear from her.
INTERNET HATE: AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY
THURSDAY My girlfriend of a few weeks comes over. We lie in bed, her snuggled under my arm with her cheek resting on my chest. Neither of us have lectures today. As her bare arse goes to put the kettle on, I’m happy, but happy to the point of dread. Where is the Cruelty of Love? There it is. My phone vibrates with a text from the girl I once loved but haven’t spoken to in two years. Before I even read it, the later lines of Missing play in my head. “The years have proved … to offer nothin’ since you moved … You’re long gone… but I can’t move on”. That song is very sad ... FRIDAY Third time in a week. “Heard anything from her recently?” Yes. She texted me to say she thought it was great that we, her father and I, met so often. He had told her about it on the phone. She said she was coming back to Dublin for his birthday at the end of October and that both he and she would love to see me at the surprise party at their house. “No,” I say, “not recently.” We were lonely, her father and I. At least I had been dumped long before she went away. She had simply left him.
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NETHER NETHER LAND
WORDS Henry Longden Get up from the deep creases of the coffee shop’s sofa, avoid the seedy sex district and explore one of Europe’s most charming cities. Small, liberal and beautiful, this city resists its own clichés. Wander through labyrinthine streets that meander slowly but purposefully along the canals, gorge on the multi-cultural cuisine and grace the small, cosy bar scene. Amsterdam has much more to offer than the red light and green leaf.
WHAT TO DO ... •
Wander between the plethora of Amsterdam’s galleries; you don’t have to wait for the reopening of the Rijksmuseum (13th April 2013) to appreciate the city’s art. Foam photography museum is a highlight.
The 3rd of November is Museum Night, when 50 of the city’s museums open their doors until 2am. Look at Rembrandt’s beautiful Night Watch followed by free entry into one of nine after-parties. Food and drink are provided around the museums. Tickets €17.50.
If you want to get a little bit more out of your plane tickets, travel to nearby student town Leiden. Just 30 minutes and €2 away it is a tremendously stereotypical Dutch city. Expect windmills, markets and canals.
WHERE TO DRINK ...
WHERE TO EAT ... De Peper Overtoom Pay what you like at this vegan, volunteerrun legal squat. Serving up homely stews or experimental fare, depending on the chef that night, it also boasts a cinema and gallery.
Manneken Pis Damrak Grab a bag of Amsterdam’s world-renowned fries if you end up wandering the streets incessantly looking for something to eat. Don’t forget to add mayonnaise.
Blauw Amstelveenseweg This place is one many - but one of Amsterdam’s best - fusion restaurants, serving up inventive Asian delicacies in Indonesian style. The cost is matched only by the high quality.
Whiskeycafe L&B Korte Leidsedwarsstraa Prefer Scotch, Irish, Bourbon or Japanese? Or perhaps Indian is your tipple. Find all of these and more on their 1,400-strong whisk(e)y menu.
Café Brecht Weteringschans Sit back in surroundings that can only be described as your German nanny’s living room. Prove your intellectual worth and discuss Marxist themes in Amsterdam’s homage to Germany’s finest 20th Century playwright.
3 GREAT FREE ACTIVITIES IN AMSTERDAM • • •
Stroll down Singel Canal and take in the magnificent colours and smells coming from the floating flower market, a hangover from the days when fresh flowers were delivered up the river on barges. Visit in December and discover a mass of Christmas trees. Watch your breath as you cosily snuggle in your coat and stroll through the magnificent Vondelpark; free concerts and theatre are held here during the summer, but for now you’ll have to make do with the squirrels and solitary lake. Take a cruise to Amsterdam-Noord from Central Station. The free boat ride is to encourage commuting but why not grab a bottle of wine and a baguette and enjoy the panoramic view of Amsterdam’s harbour.
Coming in Issue 4
SAGE ADVICE With 40% of journeys on two wheels, you’ll look ridiculous if you don’t ride a bike. Rent one from either Central Station, Leidseplein or Dam Square for around €8 a day.
F A C E S
PROFESSOR IGGY MCGOVERN SCHOOL OF PHYSICS
TO TCD STUDENTS: “BUY MY BOOKS”
L I T E R AT U R E // F ILM // ART // M US I C // FO O D // TECH
FEATURING A.M. HOMES’S MAY WE BE FORGIVEN BY ALISON CONNOLLY
MAY WE BE FORGIVEN A.M. HOMES GRANTA
LITERATURE Given the breadth of our ability to slag, the range of novels and authors that have been deemed “satire” makes sense. Finnegans Wake is satire. So is Don Quixote. Gulliver’s Travels certainly fits the bill. So do all of the Ross O’Carroll-Kelly books. There really is one for every member of the audience. So how does one make it into the big league? How do you convince Salman Rushdie, whose books merge satire and irony so well they result in death threats, to write a glowing endorsement on the inside cover? Well, it seems, just ask A. M. Homes. Homes has in no way confined herself to satire in the past. Her 1997 novel The End of Alice was a terrifying insight into paedophilia, and was so graphic the NSPCC appealed to bookstores not to stock it. Pushing the boundaries has never sparked fear in Homes; perhaps that’s why Rushdie and other authors of his calibre hold her in such high esteem. Fearfulness is an unnecessary impediment to the production of world class novels. This is especially true of novels which aim to dissect, sometimes painfully, the world we live in. May We Be Forgiven tells the story of Harry, a Nixon scholar with a successful wife and a brother he quietly despises, until his brother does something which means Harry can openly and aggressively hate him. But said act also throws his life into turmoil and reveals in Harry a strong inclination towards depression, merited though it may be. I was expecting the social commentary. I was expecting the no holds barred approach to the depiction of American culture. I was expecting horrifying scenes and characters I both lauded and loathed in one breath. My expectations would have been amply rewarded, if not for the satire. Don’t get me wrong, the nov-
el admits its satirical nature from the offset. It’s right there in the blurb. But for all the accolades, I didn’t get the great satirical work I was expecting; I got what can only be described as mild absurdity. Homes crafts beautifully multi-dimensional characters. She leads them gently into situations that seem fitting. And then she shoves some borderline slapstick element into the frame and I am left all but gawking at the page. Sometimes the humour was almost awkwardly predictable. What’s sad is that the rest of the book is literature gold. The plot itself is intriguing, the scenarios are both painful and impressively inventive. Instead of gasp-worthy twists, we are treated to a series of thoroughly unpleasant jolts that unsettle, and raise a multitude of questions. This is what I paid €16.35 for. But there seems to be a refusal on Homes’ part to let the reader wallow in the disasters that befall a complicated family. And May We Be Forgiven certainly lends itself well to wallowing. Yet we are forced into mockery. Realistically, this was probably all part of the author’s plan, and is actually a social commentary in and of itself. But I wasn’t nearly depressed enough as I thumbed through the 450-odd pages. It’s an unusual complaint, but a complaint nonetheless. If you liked (or were intrigued by) this, try Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (Chatto & Windus, 1932). While Homes uses sex to spark insanity, Huxley makes it a purely recreational activity. In Brave New World we are treated to a dystopian future where reproduction is relegated to laboratories and only ‘savages’ engage in coitus in order to create another human life. A more subtle gem of the genre and a deserved classic. Alison Connolly
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TALES OF SEDUCTION UNA GILDEA COPPER
ART It is highly unlikely that you would have stumbled upon the Copper House Gallery by accident. However, it is certainly worth taking just a short walk and a few turns from Burritos & Blues on Wexford street to see the current exhibition of Una Gildea’s collages. The title Tales of Seduction is no false promise – sexuality and seduction are the unmistakeable subjects of the odd and somewhat twisted narratives which the artists invites us into. The works bear a strong inheritance from the original Surrealism of the 1920s, with some of the vintage cut-outs very much resembling ones that Max Ernst, who exploited the collage technique to its full potential, could have used. A crucial distinction, of course, is that Una’s female point of view has to be taken into account, so that rather than representing “the woman” as the mystical source of desire and danger, images of fishnet tights and stilettos turn into a comment on the objectification and sexualisation of the female body in Western society. The exhibition is a treasure trove for all kinds of cultural connoisseurs among you, as each of the works is abound with references and allusions. Needless to say, Freudian themes are ubiquitous. The art historians will appreciate the irreverent, but incontestably amusing, takes on familiar compositions, such as the novel version of a classic Flemish genre painting entitled I’d bend over backwards (for you), complete with the obligatory dog in the foreground. Witty titles add yet another dimension and layer of meaning
TV The most riveting episode of cult anime series Death Note, adapted from the manga of the same name by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, features two characters walking down a city street having a seemingly casual conversation. The exchange takes place over four fictional minutes during which the main character must save his secret identity as a wanted mass killer - and his life - using only his wits. Death Note is steadily building a devout fanbase in the West. Spanning thirty-seven episodes in total, it features gifted student Light Yagami who discovers a mysterious notebook in his school yard which allows the user to kill by writing a name on its
II.I to the works: try and guess how an apparently innocent and even dull subject such as a Branch meeting is turned on its head. The found images used for the collages are an area of interest on their own, so have fun trying to figure out where the pictures come from, what they used to represent, and which body parts have morphed into the anatomies of the cut-out figures. The exhibition also includes two video works, one of which was completed specially for the show (and no bonus points for guessing what the paper figurines in Busy Bodies might be engaging in). All the works are available to purchase as prints, and a reproduction from the Zodiac series would make the ultimate hipster birthday present. On your way out, make sure to pick up one (or five) of Una’s highly collectible business cards. Gabija Purlytė
The exhibition runs in the Copper House Gallery until 20th October
pages. As Light takes it upon himself to rid the world of evil – and become a god in the process – a brilliant battle of wits ensues with equally gifted and eccentric detective L. The series offers a refreshingly twisted take on the usual detective story; the protagonist is a teenage villain with a god-complex whom you root for even as he gleefully murders and keeps one step ahead of the authorities. The nuanced character of Light and his dual relationship with the endlessly entertaining L is the highlight of the series, with the pair growing closer even as they inch nearer to their ultimate goals of destroying each other. The series is also brilliantly well-written, most visibly as Light and L do battle according to the specific rules of use of the death note. For a series with a fantasy concept, it is relentlessly empiricist - logic rules the game to an extent that would put Sherlock Holmes to shame. Magic will get you out of nothing in this world, even if you have a god of death hovering at your shoulder. There are minor blips. The female characters demonstrate everything that is wrong with women in anime and only ever serve to reveal the darker layers of Light’s psychology, which allow him to kill without moral impunity (this is no Dexter, Light has no problem disposing of innocents who get in his way). The series also takes a disappointing turn for the worst after certain events in episode 25, as not just plot and character but animation go downhill. However, overall Death Note is a triumph. Available dubbed or subtitled, this addictive series is an absolute must for fans of intelligent, psychological thrillers. Claudia Carroll
17TH OCTOBER 2012 // 25
NO LOVE DEEP WEB DEATH GRIPS SELF-RELEASED
MUSIC Death Grips, since they appeared with the exciting Exmilitary mixtape two years ago, have proven themselves stubborn visionaries, of vaguely hiphop vocals over punk inflected beats. That tape sampled enough popular music for an inkling of catchiness to filter through. Ironically, their major label follow-up earlier this year, packed with the same energy, was even less accessible. Something was becoming obvious: whatever catchiness appeared was pure accident. That’s not Death Grips’ game. And neither was a major label, apparently. Why else is there an erect penis as the album cover? Here we move even further away from light, and towards the unifying theme of urgency and confrontation, their mission statement seeming to be to remind everyone of impending doom. If not completely alienating, they are intentionally divisive. The relentless aggression says one thing: Dig it or get out. They want a response that doesn’t allow for any middle ground. These tracks are defying you to like them, not that there isn’t shine under the rough. Black Dice is a fever dream in the tradition of Sun Ra or Flying Lotus. Hooks are omnipresent, if obscured by the metallic production. No Love’s manipulated sample is excitedly nauseous, like a merry-go-round. Artificial Death in the West feels like the claustrophobic uncertain of limbo. There’s a knack for crafting unpleasant but strongly visceral environments. The soundtrack to a nightmare. On some level, this is a clash of high art and low brow:
samples come from the murky abyss of internet videos, found backstreet noise and so on, are deconstructed and manipulated into post-post-modern concepts - a fatalistic message to reflect the modern reality that there’s no such thing as comfort. As always, Stefan Burnett voice is more guttural noise (part East Side Boyz growl, mostly hardcore scream) than anything that could be called rapping. Masterful sentence structure, ultraclever puns, double entendres, complex metaphors, this is not. He’s much more abstract, being principally a painter and psychedelics enthusiast. How do you put a picture into words? He’s “in Jimmy Page’s castle”, “off the planet”, “going astral”. He only has two tools at his disposal - sound and language, but the latter is limited by the inarticulable experiences he sings about. So what we get are not stories so much as images. Like the band name itself, they evoke the negative end of the human emotional spectrum - fear, anger, hate, paranoia, horror. This is diehard delusional nihilism, as if they really believe in an apocalypse, literal or otherwise. In 1994, Gravediggaz created horrorcore by rapping about the macabre, but they invited with a sense of humour. Eminem and Insane Clown Posse are immediate nephews of clearly disparate talents. Death Grips seem like a logical but distant step in that progression, and they don’t even need narrative to achieve it. Strangely, it’s not the lyrics but the vibe that does the talking. Gheorghe Rusu
MONTO // BEST BOY EP Monto is one of those no-longer-rare reminders of what a great age for Irish music we live in, electronic or otherwise, and that it’s not about Dublin any more. Here we have the Wicklow man’s first proper release, four forward-looking tracks on Belfast’s Melted Music label. Homage is a chilled transposition of G-funk, first with 8-bit bleeps, then the sounds of a windup music box over warm crackles and coughs. FTW is electric jazz from outer space that devolves into a tribal pulse. Pot Luck builds slowly, rises in waves which, as its lyrics posit, “inhale and exhale”. It’s a long beautiful digital shimmering synthscape, the kind you’d hear playing in the ad for the first self-driving car. All is Well bops with the joy of a rainbow-lit arcade machine. While MMoths mines for melancholy and SertOne pays tribute to his American idols, Monto seems concerned above else with occasionally un-pop musicality, and nodding to the future. The EP’s title reads like a deserved humblebrag. In 20 minutes he presents a slew of ideas painted with an eclectic palette, exciting if a bit unfocused, and stimulating in a jittery way. GR monto.bandcamp.com // soundcloud.com/montomakesmusic RICKY EAT ACID + ARRANGE // SKETCHES EP Sam Ray, the Baltimore native who works under the moniker Ricky Eat Acid is nothing if not prolific. Since storming onto the ambient electonica scene back in March 2010 he’s been releasing DIY EPs and albums at a fervent pace. Yet the quality remains across the board. On this latest EP, Sketches, Sam collaborates with Malcolm Lacey to deliver a collection of songs which are soft, whimsical and spacious. A mix of breathy electronica with percussion and the odd piano interlude it’s beautifully crafted and seamlessly produced. Indeed, the attention to beat and melody saves the songs from descending into irritatingly stereotypical musician angst (Alumni sample lyric: “you are incredible and you don’t even know it”). Small qualms aside it’s the kind of music which will lull you to sleep and be a pleasure to wake up to. Alana Ryan rickyeatacid.bandcamp.com 26 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
TERRA MADRE 13a
FOOD When a friend and I entered the eclectically furnished dining room of Terra Madre Cafe, we were casually greeted by a sleepy looking Italian. He seated us at what appeared to be a side board and gave us the menu. Something was uttered about the special gnocchi being in a different sauce before he wandered off to continue talking in animated Italian to a girl who had just walked in. The menu is a treat. It’s concise with three starters and five main courses as well as the words “Dessert” and “Wine” written without expansion or explanation at the bottom. The food ranges from platters and bruschetta to pasta, and everything looked incredibly inviting. We ended up ordering the rabbit and truffle oil gnocchi and the wild boar fettuccine. A glass of
wine, a light Italian red, was promptly delivered to the table along with some delicious pieces of bread dipped in olive oil. We were then left to the serious dilemma as to whether the waiter was actually attractive or was it just a slow Monday. So far so good then. The atmosphere was cosy, if a bit subterranean, the staff were entertaining and charming, and the company and wine was good. Maybe my dream of a perfect little Italian had finally been realised. Our mains were simply presented pasta and sauce combinations which looked inviting and homely, if a bit on the small side. My fettuccine was light and fresh-tasting, the wild boar mild and unobtrusive. My companion’s gnocchi was the superior choice, being perfectly light and delicious; no real flavour explosions, but a comforting combination on both sides. However the dishes were lukewarm at best which is one of my pet peeves. I was so disheartened. I looked to my friend for solace as I began my second forkful. She’d already finished. Dessert was a choice between a seven-layer chocolate cake, and, rather charmingly, an Italian peach. We shared the cake, which was heavenly. Easily the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten, I took my eyes off it for one second and the savage who was my dinner partner had devoured the whole thing. Paige Crosbie
MADEFIRE TECHNOLOGY The Internet came upon traditional media – books, film, music – like a storm, and each one has had to react in its own way. The comic book industry has seen the writing on the wall as well, and the Madefire app (free, iOS) stands as one of the most interesting efforts so far to position comics for the online world. Madefire appears as a virtual storefront, with a range of thus-far free titles available. Once downloaded, they play out as comics enlivened by the addition of soundtracks and animation, borrowing the visual language of films, with pans, zooms and reveals. Interactivity is limited to shifting parallax layers and panning around panoramas, but the latter provide real “wow” moments. There’s no problem on the content front. The (mostly British) creative talent are led by Dave Gibbons of Watchmen fame, and highlights among the available titles include Ben Wolstenholme’s “Mono” and Mike Carey and David Kendall‘s “Houses of the Holy”. The stories mostly steer clear of superhero tropes, instead delving into weirder and darker corners. These are early days for Madefire, which has an associated web-tool for creating as well as consuming sequential art. An Android version is planned, but for the moment, your options are the slightly cramped iPhone experience or the more immersive iPad. Either way, with so much for free, you’d be stupid not to take advantage. Ciaran McGrath
17TH OCTOBER 2012 // 27
UNTIL NEXT TIME ...
... SOME EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES TO FILL THE CULTURAL VOID
Wednesday 17th FILM Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day Cineworld 20.45 // €8 student ticket
GIG Marina and the Diamonds Olympia Theatre 19.00 // €27.90 FOOD Irish Village Market Waterways Centre, Grand Canal Dock 11.30 - 14.00 // FREE
Saturday 20th LITERATURE ‘Cad A Dhéanfainn Gan An Tost Seo?’: A Trilingual Performance of Samuel Beckett’s Poetry in Irish, English and French Helen Rose Theatre // Merrion Sq 20.30 // €5-10
FOOD Temple Bar Food Market Meeting House Square 10.00-16.00 // FREE GIG Hypnotic Brass Ensemble Meeting House Square 20.00 // €22.50
Thursday 18th ART Dreaming on Earth // Russian Art Exhibition Oriel Gallery FREE
FOOD Dublin Food Co-op Market Newmarket, Dublin 8 12.00-20.00 // FREE
Friday 19th GIG Thread Pulls //Record Launch The Joinery 20.00 // €8 // BYOB
GIG Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators Meetin House Square 19.30 // €20
GIG De La Soul Presents First Serve Meeting House Square 20.00 // €25.40
Sunday 21st FILM Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho Light House Cinema 15.30 // €6
FILM Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 11.00 // €4.80 JAZZ Louis Stewart Trip JJ Smyth’s 16.00 // €10
Monday 22nd FOOD Dine in Dublin Week begins All city centre restaurants running discount menus €5-30
ART Planete Femmes Photography Exhibition Alliance Francaise FREE (unitl 27th October)
FOOD Dublin Co-op Newmarket, Dublin 8 09.30 - 16.30 // FREE
Tuesday 23rd ART Dialogo, works by Patrick Redmond and Jacopo Dimastrogiovanni The Molesworth Gallery FREE (until 26th October)
Wednesday 24th ART The Line Between, International group exhibition Monster Truck Gallery FREE (until 3rd November)
Thursday 25th FILM IFI Horrorthon IFI €9-10 per film // special packages available (until 29th October)
THEATRE Down by the River Bewleys Cafe Theatre 13.00 // €10
CLASSICAL Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra National Concert Hall 20.00 // €40
FOOD Lunchtime Market Christchurch 12.00-15.00 // FREE
CLASSICAL Paddy Cole and Friends National Concert Hall 20.00 // €30
FESTIVAL Beatyard Twisted Pepper // Bernard Shaw (until 28th October)
ADVERTISE YOUR EVENT HERE - CONTACT THE EDITOR Friday 26th GIG MMOTHS The Button Factory 20.00 // €10
Saturday 27th FILM 80s Double Bill Child’s Play & Nightmare on Elm St Light House Cinema 20.00 // €7.50 per film
FESTIVAL Bram Stoker Festival 3 days // Over 30 events FREE FILM 007 Skyfall // Opening Night Various cinemas
LITERATURE Gothic Tales from the Crypt Christchurch Cathedral Crypt 15-16.30 // FREE GIG Jacques Green The Button Factory 23.00 // €15
THEATRE Salome Mermaid Arts Centre 20.00 // €12
Sunday 28th ART Amke Tiem by David Begley Oliver Cornet Gallery FREE (until 4 November)
STYLE Dublin Flea Market The Co-op // Newmarket FREE GIG Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three Whelan’s 20.00 // €22
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THE FINAL SAY Neasa
A VISION IN HIGH-VIS It is amazing how quickly you can become everything that you had once hated. This time last year, I hated all cyclists and all things cycling-related. I hated them when I was a pedestrian and how they’d nearly kill you when they ran red lights, and I hated them when I was driving and how they’d swerve in front of you with no warning. I especially hated that breed of middle age men who were visible from space in their fluorescent jackets and who displayed far more than anyone would ever want to see in their Lycra shorts. Also, anyone cycling in Dublin clearly had a death wish, what with the whole “cycle lane being the bus lane” thing. But, it was becoming increasingly clear that I could not continue to eat as many burritos as I did and still fit into clothes from Zara. Something had to change, and I certainly wasn’t about to become one of those people who admire their own reflection in the windows facing onto Pearse Street in the gym. Also, as I already lived a stone’s throw away from college, the idea of leaving the house at 8.50 for a 9am lecture was all too tempting. So, this January I opened a dublinbikes account and sure wasn’t I only delighted with myself? I zipped (as fast as one can on something that is the weight of a small tank) around Georgian Dublin, turquoise mudguards gleaming in the sunshine and I was instantly hooked. At only €10 for the year, it was incredibly good value and I loved that I didn’t have to worry about it being stolen, I could just slot it into the stand outside the Science Gallery and forget about it. And normal people used the dublinbikes --- businessmen in pinstriped suits and everything! But the dublinbikes were just a gateway drug; I wanted more, I needed my own constant fix. As I moved further away from the city centre, it made sense to splash out on my very own retro red bike with a wicker basket and a ding-dong bell, which I love like it’s my own child. There are certainly many pros and cons to my new method of transport; I am indeed much fitter, I can now almost cycle all the way up Dame Street to Christchurch without having to stop at the top to have a rest or a heart attack. It doesn’t actually rain that much in Dublin either; official stats claim annual rainfall to be under 800mm, on a par with Amsterdam, which has a strong culture of cycling and I am only very infrequently forced to take the bus due to downpours. However, can it be dangerous?
Yes. My trip to St James’s A&E with a sprained wrist can attest for that, after a woman in a Porsche 4X4 in Ranelagh clipped and knocked me off my bike and didn’t stop, which was nice of her. Cycling down the quays, on what is essentially six-lane motorway running through the city centre, can certainly be “invigorating” but is usually relatively safe due to separate cycle lanes. Cycling among buses is generally fine, as they for the most part seem to be aware of their size and their fellow lane users. It is, as always, taxi drivers who are the true villains of the road, as they seem to think it is a fun game to purposely drive as closely as possible and cut you off at junctions. However, they usually don’t expect to be given the finger by girls wearing polka-dot coats and too much red lipstick, and there is truly nothing more satisfying. The biggest problem is the endemic bike thefts. Keeping a bike in Dublin is like padlocking your baby to a lamp post and hoping it will still be there a few hours later. To counteract this, I almost exclusively lock mine in campus when in town, as my flawed logic is that surely nothing bad could ever happen in Trinity College? Despite all this, recent figures have shown that cycling in Dublin has increased by 34% since 2006, mostly in part to the Cycle to Work tax-scheme and additions such as dublinbikes and the cycle paths along the Grand and Royal Canals. However, for Ireland’s capital to become a true cycling city, like Copenhagen or Amsterdam, Dublin City Council needs to invest hugely in its cycling infrastructure. The roads are essentially a maze of craters, drains and illogical one-way systems and there has been no real effort to crack down on theft. There is one secure underground bike parking area on Drury Street, but it isn’t well publicised and needs to be extended to other parts of town, such as around Henry Street. Somewhat hypocritically, I also think that there needs to be a big Garda crackdown on cyclists running red lights, as some of the risks I see my fellow velocipedists taking are just plain dangerous More positively, the Road Safety Authority will soon be launching a campaign where they will distribute 7500 sets of lights to cyclists to increase visibility in the winter months. I myself now, to what previously would have been my complete horror, wear my hi-vis vest with pride and wholeheartedly advise anyone who is sick of rocketing public transport fares to get on their bike. Follow Neasa on Twitter: www.twitter.com/neasaconneally
Indigo & Cloth Basement 27, South William Street, Dublin 2, Ireland