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Byline Issue 1 Print

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Byline Issue 1 Print

  1. 1. 1WELCOME TO NIGHT VALEAN INTERVIEW WITH VOICE OF NIGHT VALE CECIL BALDWIN BYLINEISSUE I
  2. 2. 2 My name Is Xander Cosgrave, and I’m here to welcome you to Byline and the new academic year. For some of you, this is the beginning of a college career that will probably shape the rest of your life, and you’re full of bright eyed excitement, energy and cheap vodka, it won’t last. For everyone else, see you after freshers week yeah? More important than that, it’s the first year of Byline, the new UCC Express magazine. We’ve got an awesome year ahead of ourselves, with sections on Gaming, Humour, Arts & Lit, Fiction, Screen, and Music, so you can read it and pretend you’re cultured on awkward Tinder dates. (That is to say, all of them) But before we get into all that stuff that improves you and helps expand horizons, let’s talk about you. At this stage, it’s mid Freshers week, and we’re all sitting around nursing our hangovers that have been looming over our mornings since last Friday. If someone speaks too quickly you get dizzy and you’re unable to leave the house for fear of natural light. The only thing to eat is the kebab you forgot to eat and left on the couch. This is normal, it’s Freshers week, you’re either new to this all, or haven’t been doing much all summer. To survive all you’ve got to do is stumble into the shower (please) and drink a Berocca, you’ll be right as rain, and if you can’t handle that, maybe reflect on your choices from last night. Don’t do anything about them, just reflect on them a little bit, though maybe see who’s screenshotted your snapchat story. When you’ve done all that it’s time to finish reading Byline, do a Facebook creep and stagger to college. Byline Editor: Xander Cosgrave Film & TV Editor: Olivia Brown Music Editor: Holly Cooney Arts & Lit Editor: Colm Ferlong Designer: Robert O’Sullivan Gaming Editor: Aoife Gleeson Fiction Editor: Austin Dowling Humour Editor: Lauren Mulvihill On the Verge of something new... Xander Cosgrave What’s Inside... Headlines of Byline: FILM & TV MUSIC AND... Girl Band Dublin Cork Venue Guide HUMOUR GAMING Byline Puzzle of the Week
  3. 3. 3 FICTION At a minute past midnight As today moulded into tomorrow My smudging eyelashes swept my sockets Slowly to the beat of the rain army on my window Soaking up your words in my heart’s pockets I felt you burning under my skin. I swear I feel you blazing all those miles away I need to read you, let your words seep in. And paw your pages, even the ones unshared. I’ll read you carefully cupping your spine Like I would a new book in my hands And be enthralled as I read you line by line Read the contours of your face and the tale of your eyes And reach the next chapter as I see today’s sun rise. Avid Reader by Alison Driscoll You offered me a stick of gum from across the aisle It was the third time our eyes met And I politely did decline As I raised my UHT milked cup of steam as if to say: I’m doing just fine But two sips later I abandoned the murky tealess taste I waited for our eyes to meet again this chance I wouldn’t waste But you were stuck in ‘1984’ and I in ‘Animal Farm’ Orwell uniting us but keeping us apart And then we jolted into Heuston and you put away your gum You waved me from my row ahead of yours as if you were asking me to dance And I did waltz up the aisle in my Penny’s penny loafers And clacked down the platform towards the last stop shop I put the chewing gum on the counter, for you had stuck it on my mind And hoped by chance I’d see you, somewhere, along the line. Stranger by Alison Driscoll I care little for the dull forms of twilight or froths of wasted Friday eves beneath the moon Those were opportunities our boyhood tempers swallowed with the latent heat of many Junes. Here between our blinks breathe in the dark and beware a glass too far desired spies our kiss As come the sigh of morning luck will count us mirrored only by a shared and final glimpse. Parting by Austin Dowling EDITOR - AUSTIN DOWLING
  4. 4. 4 HUMOUR Trump It Up! The race for the USA’s presidential candidacy is heating up, and there has been but one question on the lips of the international media: what will Donald Trump wear next? The Republican candidate has dazzled both American voters and foreign spectators alike with his stunning fashion sense at each debate. As Trumps’ style icon status promises to go stratospheric in the coming months, here’s how you, too, can stay ahead of the curve by emulating this business mogul’s iconic look. 1. Those formal suits don’t come cheap! In order to achieve that imposing, ‘stay-out-of-my-space’ manner that makes the Top Trump so endearing, your best bet is to force the Mexican government to shell out for your wardrobe. It’s the least they can do after all those years you’ve spent humouring their lax immigration controls. 2. Button that shirt all the way up. High-flying political candidates may spend hours travelling and wallowing in warm, cramped conditions, but don’t be too concerned about the heat – global warming, after all, is a conspiracy invented by the Chinese. 3. If you’re aspiring towards that ‘overcooked Owen Wilson’ appearance,you’regoingtoneedan impressive collection of colourful ties. Make sure you choose the best possible fabrics so that people can clearly identify your most beautiful quality: your vast fortune. 4. One of the irritants of your slick look will be the torrent of women lining up to flirt with you, consciously or otherwise. As Trump himself says, that’s to be expected. You’re obviously going to have to turn many of these brazen ladies away at some point. Make sure you keep a few tissues to hand in case blood starts coming out of their… wherever. 5. Confidence is key! Remember, everyone except you is an idiot. That’s why free trade doesn’t work. Loudly remind the world of this fact at every opportunity, and the famous Trump charisma will leave your hate-filled pores glowing. 6. Most people get less attractive as they age. Heidi Klum may no longer be a 10 – but you are. The key to Trump’s resilience is consistency; stand in front of a mirror and repeat the mantra, “the year is 1970.” Denial is the main ingredient in your recipe for youthful, tangerine radiance. 7. Finally, no look is complete without Donald’s famous comb- over. Remember, the only thing keeping that quiff stiff is your state of constant vigilance; if anyone is going to dent your ‘do, it’s the slaves of the liberal media that hide around every corner. For a look that’s every democrat’s worst nightmare and every dated conservative’s dream come true, do yourself a favour and slay the opposition by Trumping it up this autumn. by Lauren Mulvihill ‘The Republican candidate has dazzled both American voters and foreign spectators alike with his stunning fashion sense at each debate. ‘ New Google Logo Causes Nationwide Panic by Lauren Mulvihill The internet giant Google this week unveiled a new logo, invoking widespread panic and confusion across Ireland. The familiar Times New Roman-style font that once greeted visitors on the site’s homepage has now been replaced with some sort of new- fangled modern typeface, and public reaction has been explosive. “This is why I have an issue with trust,” one user tells Verge. “I have tolerated all of this messing around with the shading and colour over the last few years, but to make the logo sans-serif? It’s enough to make me switch to Bing.” Since its official founding in 1998, Google – which is now owned by the newly formed Alphabet company – has slightly reinvented its familiar colourful logo a total of 6 times, with designers mostly staying in their own damn lane over the years. This latest effort marks a major departure from the norm, with unfamiliar rounded letters ushering in a new era for the internet giant. The big reveal has been followed by large-scale protests outside Google Headquarters in Dublin, with users from across the country turning out in force to broadcast their dissatisfaction. At the forefront of the protest is Martyna Lassin, a former employee of the corporation as of yesterday afternoon. “It’s madness, utter madness, to expect us to be complacent to this sort of treachery,” she says, brandishing a large ‘Google? Fool- gle’ sign. “I walked out of my job the second that thing went live. This is even worse than the Skittles debacle of 2010.” While many have meekly expressed their admiration for or disinterest in the new design, these people have been asked to shut their mouths by detractors, many of whom view the rebranding to be a direct personal attack on the civilian population as a whole. “Those techies up there think they can market their own business whatever way they want, without ever thinking of the children,” Lassin explains. “How on earth do we explain this mess to the children?” Despite this, many of the country’s top sociologists have issued assurances that the outcry will fizzle out in coming weeks. Known colloquially as ‘Slow News Day Syndrome’, Dr. Ahmed Karim of the Centre for Public Nonsense Research describes it as being ‘not all that rare’. “The logo was unveiled on a day when nothing particularly startling was being talked about in the news. Many people read up on the day’s news specifically to have something to complain about, and when nothing of interest happens, we get situations such as this. I would advise the public not to worry.” For those who still require help coming to terms with Google’s new homepage design, a 24-hour hotline can be reached at 1800 – WHAT – EVEN.
  5. 5. 5 HUMOUREDITOR - LAUREN MULVIHILL Teen criticises religion on Facebook, receives Nobel Prize by Lauren Mulvihill by Lauren Mulvihill A Cork teenager has become the latest Irish recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize after his ingenious Facebook comment went viral, prompting an immediate and conclusive end to all religious conflict throughout the world. “I was just speaking the truth, like,” Mr. Seán Power, 16, an antitheist and avid reader of Richard Dawkins’s Twitter account, explained. The Douglas native has had an ‘unprecedented’ impact on world peace since posting his initial comment last Tuesday, according to CNN. “I weep for the state of the humanity [sic]. If only the common man would cast aside the oppressive shackles of religion and religious oppression, we could put a definitive end to war and armed conflict throughout the world once and for all,” were the words of the teenager, described by his mother as “a great man for the debating”. Fanatical religious groups have since decided to take Mr. Power’s advice, swapping munitions for pens and military drafts for peace treaties. “Like, war is a very straightforward thing,” Seán explains on his YouTube channel, ‘rationalthinker546’, which has 39 subscribers to date. “War is only caused by one thing, religion, and there are no other nuances to it whatsoever, such as political ideology, resource control, or national identity. If people just stopped being religious, like, war would also stop. Heretofore.” The fourth-year student, who has since gone on to explain to Marxists that communism only works in theory – a shock that has leftextremeleft-winggovernments frantically scrambling to alter their established systems – has been celebrating his achievement alongside girlfriend Annabelle ‘Nellie’ Ward. The couple have been together for seven months, and Nellie claims she knew from the outset that Seán was destined for greatness. “He’s just so, like, different,” she explains, “and so are all his friends. They’re not like, sheeple, like, they don’t go to nightclubs or whatever. He’s so random!” The inspirational commenter’s devil-may-care persona allowed him to pass over an invitation to celebrate his prize as part of a special assembly at his school, which he claims is “no big loss, like, most of those people don’t even know what a Nobel Prize is.” Seán’s future career path is unclear. His mother entertains hopes of him earning a degree in engineering, while he himself seeks to avoid any sort of professional involvement with “the Man”. For the time being, he sits in his room, critiquing illogical cultural movements via the internet, his unique blend of passive-aggressiveness and confidence in his own opinion continuing to make him stand out on in every forum he visits. In a modern-day twist on the classic Cinderella story, a UCC- based research scientist has finally found her ‘glass-slipper’: a highly toxic element located deep beneath the crust of the Nazca tectonic plate. Just like the fairytale heroine, Clodagh Ní Loinsigh overcame a torrent of adversity to finally prove the existence of the elusive Secretivium. For seven years, Clodagh put her life and health at risk to study the metallic substance, which human beings cannot physically be exposed to for more than fifteen minutes per fourteen-hour cycle without inducing potentially fatal damage to internal organs. Clodagh’s inspirational journey into the unknown has not only led her to discover this impressive element, but herself, also. “Abseiling down the side of that trench in Southern Peru, I just realised that if I stayed true to myself, I could achieve anything I wanted,” Clodagh revealed in an emotional telephone interview with RTÉ’s Ryan Tubridy. “The only thing that kept me going on that long trip down through the earth’s crust was my faith in myself. That, and a harness and some wires.” Clodagh, a small-town girl from the western coast of Donegal, first joined UCC School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES) over a decade ago with only a PhD in Geology to her name. She says the first few months were tough. “I felt like a real fish out of water. Everyone really seemed to have found their place in the world, you know? But eventually, I met some great people and I really think I came out the other side as a stronger person. I mean, I’ve been in quarantine for a good six months now, and the time is just flying by. I’ve really found myself over the past seven years, and that’s the most important thing; mysteriously losing my left kidney about a year into the Secretivium tests isn’t even an issue for me anymore.” The future’s looking bright for Clodagh, who hopes to be released into the general population as soon as possible in order to promote her discovery. The potential uses of Secretivium are currently considered classified information, and this high-flying scientist says she feels more at ease than ever before under the watchful eyes of MI6. Clodagh’s autobiography, “Journey to the Centre of My Mind (and the Earth)”, was written during her four-month stint in solitary confinement and promises to be the literary debut of the year. Find it in all good bookstores from September 16th. UCC Scientist Discovers Self, Element
  6. 6. 6 GAMING When Assassin’s Creed: Unity (AC: U) came out last year it got a fairly bad rap. Reports of numerous bugs and glitches enforced gamers’ suspicions that Ubisoft was more concerned with cranking out an Assassin’s game every year (notably, two that year) and reaping the associated cash than they were with making functional, complete games. Despite the goodwill created by the great reviews of AC: Black Flag the year before, many dismissed the game as a rushed misfire in the series and passed it over. The fact that there was a slew of other games coming out at the same time also encouraged people to save their money for something more polished. The combination sales of AC: Unity and Rogue were about 10 million units, in contrast to AC: Black Flag selling 10 million on its own the year before. This hasn’t deterred Ubisoft from its yearly production schedule though: AC: Syndicate comes out later this year, set in Victorian era London. After a year’s hiatus from console games for Erasmus, I’ve been catching up on a lot of last year’s big console games, and, being a diehard AC fan (and someone who always wanted an AC game set in Revolutionary Paris) I picked it up, half prepared for disappointment. But I was happily surprised by how much fun there is to be found in it. First,thebad,togetitoutoftheway.The occasional bug does pop up (an NPC floating or inexplicably disappearing) but these are rare (most seem to have been patched out) and certainly nothing game breaking. The main story is also a bit meandering, mired by the intermittent interjection of AC’s overarching nonsensical sci-fi plot. But that’s it for my gripes. Now the good, of which there’s a lot to be found. The fully realised world of Revolutionary Paris is a blast to explore, as are missions set in famous monuments (infiltrating the Notre Dame and assassinating a bishop is a personal favourite). Assassination missions now provide much more choice, giving you many different options to locate and eliminate your target. Heist missions are similar, tasking you with infiltrating palaces and the like and steal treasure from inside, distilling AC down to its purest form. The side missions have much more personality than the main game and include such randomness solving monk murder mysteries, collecting heads for Madame Tussaud and hopping through time rifts to climb the Eiffel Tower in 1944. There’s also Da Vinci Code style missions which give you riddles that lead you to monuments in the city. So, while many of you may have missed Unity at the time, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to go back and give it a go. Revisiting Assassin’s Creed: Unity by Aoife Gleeson - Gaming Editor ‘...that Ubisoft was more concerned with cranking out an Assassin’s game every year...’ It’s the beginning of a new semester and, in the gaming world, this usually means one thing: brace yourself, the big games are coming. This year the release schedule is a little sparser than usual, and definitely a better time to be an Xbox One player. But there is an upside to the more modest offering of this year: you’ll have more time to savour the few great games that are coming out (and more money in your pocket for the many coming out next Spring). So, without further ado, here’s a preview of some of the big games coming out in September and October. Autumn Gaming Preview Aoife Gleeson lets you know what games to watch out for this autumn 1. 3. 4. 2. Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate Halo 5: Guardians Rainbow Six: Siege (Sept 1: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows) (Oct 23: PS4, Xbox One, Windows) (Oct 27: Xbox One exclusive) (Oct 13: PS4, Xbox One, Windows) With rave reviews and perfect scores across the board, this one is definitely worth your time. Described as “Red Dead Redemption meets Splinter Cell” it looks to be a masterclass in open world games, with total freedom to complete missions however you can imagine (the anecdotes coming from reviews are as varied as they are hilarious). Knowledge of the previous games seems to be a must but, if you’re new to the world of Big Boss and Solid Snake, there’s plenty of summaries on Youtube. SetinLondonduringtheIndustrial Revolution. Things of note about this one; it has two protagonists (twin brother and sister) that you can switch between and it has no multiplayer (an experiment that didn’t quite pan out in AC: Unity). Master Chief and his crew have gone AWOL, you’ll play as a new character, Spartan Locke, hunting him down. Gameplay switches between the two characters and is heavily focused on co-op and multiplayer, promising standard Halo fare. The next instalment in the tactical multiplayer shooter franchise. Teams, counter terrorism units made up of operatives with varying specialisations, are tasked with breaching and infiltrating terrorist strongholds and rescuing hostages. The game focuses on close combat and planning tactics for assaults. Perfect for your online multiplayer fix. That’s it for your Autumn months, but November promises to be busy, having the quick successive releases of Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Nov 6), Fallout 4 (Nov 10), Rise of the Tomb Raider (also Nov 10) and Star Wars Battlefront (Nov 17). Keep an eye on this section during the year for reviews and opinion pieces. Happy gaming!
  7. 7. 7 GAMINGEDITOR - AOIFE GLEESON Back to College: Free Mobile Games Aoife Gleeson tells you what games you should have downloaded to your phone for the new semester. It’s the beginning of a new semester, which means lectures that stretch out for an eternity, long stints in the library (thanks semesterisation), lots of events, going out and probably not much free time. But when you do have a free minute to kill during the day (or are suffering from a serious lack of attention in a lecture) worry not, there’s a slew of great mobile games out there that can help you through this. All of these games have the same things in common: they’re fun, they can be played in short bursts, they’re addictive and best of all, they’re all free. Crossy Road Hopeless: The Dark Cave Skyward Badlands Autumn Walk Plague Inc. Geometry Dash iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows iOS, Android iOS, Android Freaking everything vaguely current, seriously, even Blackberry. iOS, Android iOS, Android, Windows Phone iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows, OS X Why did the chicken cross the road? To avoid being crushed by an oncoming train, according to Crossy Road. Similar to Frogger, Crossy Road tasks you with navigating a hapless chicken through an endless gauntlet of oncoming traffic, rushing rivers and hurtling trains. The visuals are in a charmingly retro 8-bit style and the game is hugely addictive in a “I know I’ve died 100 times but I can definitely do better this time” kind of way. The quick nature of the game means it’s perfect for killing time. A tiny, cute, yellow blob huddles, shaking with terror, in the middle of a dark cave, clinging to a gun for strength. The monsters are coming. Your job is to frantically shoot the monsters in the face before they can gobble up your cute little blob and not shoot the other little blobs who come to provide you with backup. It’s fun, it’s frantic, it’s weirdly adorable, give it a go. In this abstract little game you control two dots which relay over each other, which you have to navigate through M.C. Escher style levels which disappear behind you and form in front of you as you go. The music is calming and when you get into a groove it’s a lot of fun. More difficult and complex levels are unlocked as you go and the challenge is very addictive. This one looks pretty great for a free game. You play as a black blob monster, flying your way through a mysterious forest. You need to avoid obstacles by using accumulated power- ups to grow bigger, smaller and multiply. The golden forest background combined with the shrouded foreground and minimalist sound effects creates an intriguing atmosphere that’s a little bit reminiscent of Limbo. It’s not half as difficult as that game, especially since the levels are much shorter, but this makes it a great game to play in bursts. This is a quirky little game in which you control a refined English gentleman wearing a top hat out for a stroll. With yourrambunctiousdogbyyour side, your job is to keep him on track by tugging him along when he falls back and digging your heels in when he runs forward. A simple concept, elevated by cute visuals and the charming statements your little gentleman comes out with. If you like this, check out its predecessor, “Winter Walk” where you control the same gentleman, but your job is to keep your top hat from flying off in a gusting snowstorm. Ever wanted to engineer a plague to destroy the entire human race? Probably not, since you’re likely not a supervillain, but Plague Inc. allows you to do exactly that. You name your bacteria, choose a country to start in and then mutate your plague as time goes on with traits like medicinal resistance and avian transmission. You can also add symptoms to increase the lethality of your disease (my favourite strategy is to evolve my bacteria to be highly contagious but innocuous, infect almost everyone in the world,andthenquicklymutate it to make it super lethal). Your task is to wipe out the entire human race before a cure can be developed. The whole premise, combined with the Contagion style soundtrack, will make you feel a bit weird the first time but you’ll soon get into it and become a fully- fledged supervillain. This one is the definition of “just one more try” gameplay. You play as a square hurtling through futuristic levels set to an upbeat, techno soundtrack and in order to avoid the many oncoming obstacles, you have to tap along to the music. It’s difficult and you will die many, many times, but finally finishing a level is super satisfying.
  8. 8. 8 INTERVIEW Cecil Baldwin Explaining the simple brilliance of Welcome to Night Vale to the uninitiated can be a difficult task at times. A podcast which presents itself as a small town radio news show, the titular town of Night Vale is located in an unknown state in the U.S. The small town news and gossip you’d usually find on such radio stations is present but not as you may expect. Instead the regular presenter of the show, Cecil Palmer, in a warm and cheery tone describes events such as the sudden arrival of a sentient, glowing cloud comes to town. Things are not as they seem in Night Vale. The at times surreal but always charming show began in 2012 and is up to 73 episodes on iTunes at time of writing. Night Vale is regularly in the top ten most downloaded podcasts worldwide. As the show is about to set out on another U.K and Irish tour and with the publication of the first book based on the show imminent I interviewed the voice of Night Vale, Cecil Baldwin, about his experiences on the podcast, its origins and its place in the popular culture. Image courtesy of @SubRadioHost EXPRESS: So how does something like Night Vale start? CECIL BALDWIN: All three of the creators, myself, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor work in New York City as theatre makers. We work as theatre artists in the sort of off-off-Broadway theatre scene, I’m an actor and Joseph and Jeffrey are primarily writers. We all worked with a theatre company called the New York Neofuturists and primarily myself and Jeffrey were writing and performing and Joseph was more of a novelist kind of writer. But he saw a play that I was in and thought “wow this guy has a really great voice and sounds kind of similar to this character that I’ve been developing but didn’t know what to do with” and asked me if I wanted to record the pilot episode and I said absolutely, sure it sounds great. I love HP Lovecraft and I love horror, I think one of the first adult books I ever read was Stephen King’s It, so I knew that the horror genre was something I was really interested in and I knew how funny Joseph and Jeffrey were so I got the script and I understood the kind of dark humour that was required. We just started recording episodes and putting them out there and begging people to listen and eventually the internet kind of discovered us via Tumblr and Twitter and those people told five more people and five more people told ten more people and it just kind of got bigger and bigger and bigger. EX: You mentioned Lovecraft there, what were the other influences on Night Vale? It seems to come from the radio drama tradition, which people around my age didn’t grow up with so this is kind of a weird revival of those for the digital age. Oh yeah definitely, I mean we’re not doing anything new *laughs*. The funny thing is you know we made radio drama cool again, but it’s funny I think we all thought of it less as radio drama at first and more as a long log or like almost stand-up comedy monologues. It certainly was different to a lot of the podcasts that existed which were either informational, you know, how to save money or this is what science is all about or this is what the politics of the day is, to you know sort of conversational shows which there are a million podcasts of. Stand-up comedians talking to other stand-up comedians, Marc Maron etc., tonnes of stuff like that. There was a nice little hole that existed that we occupied which was something that a scripted show, that is funny but not necessarily jokes you know, sort of laugh out loud jokes that was character driven, plot driven and had a continuing storyline. You know it’s really funny that people in their 20’s and 30’s who probably don’t listen to the radio on a regular basis really would listen to a radio drama, but that’s exactly what it is. It’s kind of fun being able to make radio kind of Orson Wells War of the Worlds, or like BBC radio drama cool again. It’s really funny. EX: So the podcast is kind of surrealist at times, maybe absurdist even, not necessarily in its themes but in its script or subject matter. Do you feel this is something in the zeitgeist where surrealism or absurdism is coming back into the popular culture? Even in shows like say Adventure Time which is popular again in the Tumblr and Twitter space which have their surrealist of absurdist aspects and appear to be coming into vogue. Yeah I guess so, I think you can get away with just about anything as long as you’re kind of sincere about it and as long as you put yourself into it. Like it’s funny, people listen to Night Vale and then they know they sort of want to emulate it and they write kind of weird things either on Twitter or through fan fiction but the difference between writing anything with UCC Express Editor Brian Conmy speaks with the Voice of Night Vale Cecil Baldwin
  9. 9. 9 “we don’t have the luxury of corporate money but we also don’t have the artistic implications that corporate money brings to the table as well.” weird and putting it out there, making it weird and random for the sake of weird and random, and I think what we’re doing with Night Vale is that from our point of view all the weirdness comes from a very personal place that is either supported by the script itself. So our characters are odd and have strange quirks that make them unique like a man in a tan jacket holding a deer skin suit case is one of our reoccurring characters. He’s inherently strange or creepy or surreal. Or it’s something that is strange or terrifying to us personally so for instance I know Jeffrey Cranor is terrified of spiders so often times you’ll find a lot of references to spiders because he’s kind of pushing himself and creeping himself out since it’s something that’s real to him and he puts that into his are. So the strangeness has to come from a place where you’re kind of challenging yourself or you’re pushing yourself and using yourself as a start rather than saying what can I come up with that just sounds bizarre and is weird for the sake of just being strange. EX: That makes sense especially given the show has been so great and gotten such praise for portrayal or LGBT characters and themes. Do you think there’s a reason this kind of fantasy/ Sci-Fi show or general non-traditional media does a better job at these characters than stuff like soap operas or supposedly realistic shows like Modern Family? We have the luxury and the curse of being an independent operation. It’s amazing that we can do whatever we want, go wherever we want. If Joseph and Jeffrey decided tomorrow that everyone in Night Vale was suddenly killed, that’s what would happen. We’re not beholden to a larger network to kind of keep up with the status quo and it’s great because we’re afforded creative control. There’s certainly a number of acting choices that I made on the show that had I had a director, a producer and someone who represents our sponsors standing over me going “uh I dunno, that voice sounds a little out of the mainstream I’m not sure people will relate to this character, let’s find a way to make it relatable to everyone and therefore probably really bland and boring” then the show probably wouldn’t be what it is. Of course the flip side is that we’re independent operation and even on this tour where we’re coming over to the UK and Ireland for the second time, it’s taken us months and months to put the tour together ourselves. We’re at the level now where we have a booking agent and we have people who professionally put together tours like this but at the end of the day it’s just the three of us and Meg Bashwiner who’s our MC and Jon Burnstein who’s at Disparition who does the music. It’s just us, we operate our own show. So we don’t have the luxury of corporate money but we also don’t have the artistic implications that corporate money brings to the table as well. EX: As the main character and voice of Night Vale, coming from a less stable and less publicised platform did that make it extra surreal when it took off and you saw yourself as a cosplay character and featured in fanfiction all of a sudden? Of yeah, it was crazy. You know I’ve had a good career in that I’ve been able to perform for differing sized audiences and I’ve performed for the President of the US and Supreme Court justices, doingShakespeareandveryprofessional kind of respectable theatre. But for the most part we’re used to doing a show in the East village or NY for 100 people if we were lucky. So it definitely did make this very strange little project that we’d started all the more surreal when all of a sudden I’m getting emails from friends of mine that I haven’t seen since I was like 15 years old saying my kid loves your show, do you remember me we, went to school together, can I possibly get a postcard or a mug or something. Yeah it was just very strange and really delightful at the same time. EX: So something that’s been talked about at the show a lot at the moment and you’re publicising is the book, is that an exciting new facet to the world of Night Vale? There’s 70+ episodes of Night Vale but this is the first time that we’re stepping out into the mainstream and you know it’s not a book that’s being published by me, Joseph and Jeffrey it’s being published by Harper Perennial which is an imprint of Harper Collins, one of the largest publishing houses. I believe it’s being released by Orbit in the UK. Kind of a big deal companies you know. And it’s great, Joseph and Jeffrey co-wrote the book, it is about Night Vale and it has a lot of the characters from Night Vale but it takes those characters in new directions that have not been covered on the podcast. So hopefully it will appeal to those fans of the show who have listened since episode 1 and also people who have never heard of the show who don’t even know what a podcast is and just want to pick up a book that has all the tenants of Night Vale, that’s funny and scary and sincere and heartfelt and you know kind of makes you question your place in the world and existence in general. So hopefully it’ll be a huge success and we’ll kind of expand the world of Night Vale even farther than it is now. EX: Is that something the three of you find difficult in building up the show, the balance of bringing in new listeners and now releasing a book that’ll have new stuff that not everyone may get and may bring new people on board again? You’ve built up this world that you may have been unsure how popular it would get or how it could end or anything like this, is that difficult in terms of balancing a mythos and a world? Oh sure I mean I think it’s natural for any project you work on, I’m constantly amazed whenever I start something how much people know about a certain project. I mean sure we have hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide but there’s always gonna be people that are new to the show, that are new to what we do and I think it’s about you know, making them feel just as welcome as the people who’ve been with us since the beginning. You just kind of have to keep creating art that is good and that is consistent and know that the new fans will eventually catch up and keep the older fans interested in what you’re doing. You want to keep creating good product to keep people interested. EX: So final question, are you really excited to be touring again, back to the UK and Ireland? You get all over the world with the show now. Oh yeah, I’m so excited. It’s gonna be great. We’re going to some new places I haven’t been before like Wales, so the show in Cardiff will be my first time there. We’re getting to play a couple of cities we didn’t get to do on last year’s tour like Leeds and hopefully the places we have been like Dublin and London will have a really warm reception coming back. And I hope that everyone enjoys the show that we’ve written for this year and that its new and exciting, we took a lot of lessons we learned from last year’s tour and we’ve kind of put them into the new script so I hope everybody enjoys it. “it’s really funny that people in their 20’s and 30’s who probably don’t listen to the radio on a regular basis really would listen to a radio drama, but that’s exactly what it is. It’s kind of fun being able to make radio kind of Orson Wells War of the Worlds, or like BBC radio drama cool again. It’s really funny.” Welcome To Night Vale are performing in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on September 19th. Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel is set to be realised on October 20th in the UK and Ireland.
  10. 10. 10 ARTS & LITERATURE Top YA Books you need to read now (Even if you’re not a young adult) Colm Furlong provides a list of some great YA books everyone should check out. Last year I penned an article on the merits of continuing to read Young Adult literature, even if you no longer technically qualify as part of the young adult category. Much Young Adult fiction contains some of the most diverse storytelling and characters in all of literature, as well as some of the most interesting experiments in form and writing. The plots of Young Adult novels often centre on periods of growth in the lives of their characters; times where they are discovering some of the harsh realities of the world. As such, their stories are fascinating and intriguing to follow. This book spent 230 weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers list, a true testament to the quality of this novel. The Book Thief is narrated by Death, an omniscient observer telling the story of the protagonist Liesel Meminger, as he knows it from a journal she left behind her. Death frequently intersperses the story with his own observations; an interesting narrative technique which really adds to the depth of the tale. Set in Nazi Germany, this novel tells the story of a young girl strugglingtoadjusttolifeintheNazi Regime with a new foster family, along with her quest to continue discovering the joys of words and books.ThereaderistakenonLiesel’s journey with her; she is a character who is easy to empathise with and her story is one which you quickly become invested in. The Book Thief provides readers with intricate characters, a fascinating plot and serves as an excellent introduction to the Historical Fiction genre. An emotionally gripping novel, The Book Thief comes highly recommended. I cannot endorse it enough. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is an astonishingly beautiful novel: the first in a series, whose follow up Hollow City is currently available with the third instalment out later this month. Its beauty largely stems from the narrative technique Riggs employs, a true experimentation in the forms of writing. The author offers us his tale through a combination of found photographs and traditional storytelling in order to weave a spellbinding tale. The novel combines elements of Sci-Fi and Young Adult literature to tell the tale of the protagonist, Jacob Portman. Jacob is a 16 year old boy, who, in the wake of a family tragedy sets off to discover the secrets of his grandfather’s childhood. In the process, he meets people who had a profound effect on his grandfather’s life and will also go on to have a profound effect on Jacob himself. Jacob uncovers photos from his grandfather’s past; these being the found photos which Riggs provides the reader with, thus creating a whole new level of immersion in the world of the story. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, along with its sequel come highly recommended to readers of all ages who are seeking their next page-turner. It really is no surprise the novel has been picked up for a film adaption to be directed by Tim Burton. I strongly encourage anyone who sees this book to pick up a copy; you won’t be let down. The Old Kingdom Trilogy comprising of Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen, is a brilliant introduction to the Fantasy genre for the Young Adult audience. Many of the classic elements of fantasy are presented in these novels; magic, fictional locations, a rich new world and a ferociously interesting story. Nix unique selling point here is putting a new spin on necromancy as the driving force behind these books. They feature a necromancer who operates under the title of Abhorsen, working to put the living dead back to rest. The Old Kingdom Trilogy introduces readers to many of the classic tropes of fantasy, while also allowing the imagination to run wild and picture this fascinating world the author has created. The beauty of these novels, however, is in the fact that they are excellent reads for veteran readers of the genre along with the young adults at who they are aimed. The Old Kingdom Trilogy is essential reading for lovers of fantasy but also an ideal read for young adults. This series also deserves a strong recommendation. 1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. 2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. 3. Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix.
  11. 11. 11 ARTS & LITEDITOR - COLM FERLONG Carried in Waves Short Story Competition Colm Furlong looks at the UCC 98.3FM inaugural short story competition. Who doesn’t love a good short story competition? I know I do. Luckily for all UCC Students and writers from around the globe our college radio station, UCC 98.3FM, is running their inaugural Carried in Waves Short Story Competition this year. This competition seeks entries from writers who have a short story they believe is perfectly suited to the medium of radio. 2015 marks the 20th year UCC Radio has been on air, and in honour of this anniversary, the team decided they wanted to do something big; something different. Thus this competition was born. The idea was resurrected from a short story competition in the station’s archives called Fallen Leaves. This original competition was introduced by Sinead Wylde, the first station manager of UCC 98.3FM. A few updates later and with a new, fresher look, Carried in Waves became a reality. When I questioned the coordinator of the competition, Kieran Hurley, as to why the short story was the chosen genre of writing for this competition, he cited production reasons as the main motivation behind the decision. When the competition closes, a shortlist of 40 stories is going to be selected, and these will be recorded for broadcast with each being read by a single actor chosen from a panel of six to represent all voices and ages. As such, high quality short stories lend themselves to this. The competition is open to original short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or less. These stories can be on any subject, in any style, by a writer of any age and of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. Entries have already come in from outside of Europe; places such as America and the Arab States; a clear indication of the diversity this competition is drawing. The themes explored in the stories may be of any nature but keep in mind that a shortlist of forty stories will be recorded for broadcast. All copyright and ownership of the story will remain the property of the writer. This competition is a fantastic opportunity for any budding writer in UCC or elsewhere. Entries can be sent as an attachment to carriedinwaves@ucc.ie, with the entrant’s name and contact information (Name, email, address and phone number) included in the body of the email. The entry fee for one story is set at ten euro, and this can be paid online on the UCC shop website. Two additional entries per contestant are permitted, at a price of five euro each. Further details on these can be found on the Carried in Waves website. Stories must be previously unpublished. The closing date for entries is the 30th of September 2015. The shortlist will be announced on the 29th of October, and the shortlist will be published on the 30th of October. Winners will be notified in early December, before they are announced to the public on the 11th of December. There are three prizes for this competition. First prize stands at €300, second prize at €200, and third prize at €100. Aside from the main competition, there is a second, special category. This category is the George Boole special category. What makes this different from the main competition? While the main competition is not themed, the George Boole special category is. The contest is looking for stories which explores themes such as history, science, technology, entrepreneurism and digital thinking. This category is open to young adults aged 25 years or younger who, like the main competition, are submitting original short stories in the English language of 3000 words or less. Entry to this category is essentially the same, but the entries must be marked George Boole Category in order to qualify. This category offers one prize of €200. Judging for both sections of the completion will be completed by a panel of five judges drawn from all relevant disciplines. This panel will be chaired by Dr. Jools Gilson from the UCC School of English. The judges’ decision is final, and Carried in Waves will not enter into correspondence regarding said decision. The Carried in Waves is offering young writers a fantastic opportunity to have their work potentially broadcast on the radio to a large audience, while also offering a monetary reward for the top three placed stories, as well as the top story in the special category. I would strongly encourage anyone who has a passion for writing to consider this competition, and to enter one of their finest short stories for consideration. Whether you emerge victorious or not, there is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment in submitting a story to a competition. You are sending something you have created out into the world. You have already accomplished a great feat in writing that story. So why not submit it to Carried in Waves? They would be more than happy to have you. For further details on entry, or any other enquiries, email carriedinwaves@ucc.ie, or check out their Facebook page, their twitter, or their website, www.ucc.ie/en/983fm/carriedinwaves.
  12. 12. 12 MUSIC “Sounds From A Safe Harbour” is Cork’s newest music and arts festival, taking place citywide from September 17th-20th. Holly Cooney gives us the lowdown. “Sounds From A Safe Harbour”, curated by Bryce Dessner of The National and Mary Hickson, CEO of the Cork Opera House is Cork’s premier new festival of music, art and conversation. It aims to invoke a maritime theme, using the background of the spectacular Cork harbour to encourage specially commissioned works and collaborations based on themes of waves and movement. In the making for two years, SFASH has been produced by Cork Opera House to celebrate its 160 years showcasing the arts. The festival aims to bring the cream of local, national and international talent to Cork as a way of proving the city’s merit on the world stage. The focal point of the festival is a new composition by Bryce Dessner (The National) and Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) called “Wave Movements” to be performed at the Opera House by the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and accompanied with film by celebrated Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. As well the Cork Opera House, many other venues across the city will be hosting spectacular and unique musical performances. Here in UCC, the Aula Maxima will play host on Friday September 18th to “Playing Your Heart Out”, a contemporary classical composition by Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) and Nadio Sriota (yMusic) based on the principles of music for heart and breath. During their performance the musicians strap a stethoscope to their chests and use their own heartbeat and breathe to dictate the sound and pace of the music. This unique and freeeventwillprecedeasymposium with panellists including Professor of Neuroscience, Dr. John Cryan and Professor of Physiology, Dr. Ken O’Halloran who will discuss the relationship between music and science. The musical line up is one that is set to appeal to all, from cash strapped students to arty yuppie types with musicians such as Lisa Hannigan, Crash Ensemble, The Gloaming, Eat My Noise, Mina Tindle, This is How We Fly, Colm K and Donal Dineen gracing stages across the city. One of the most interesting musical events is a music trail curated by Nialler9, with acts including Slow Skies, I Am The Cosmos, Conor Walsh and many more playing in venues such as the Rising Sons, the Bodega and Crane Lane. This 4 day festival cannot be simplified as purely a music festival, but aims to incorporate both home grown and international talents in all areas of the creative arts with events going on citywide, in Cork landmarks such as St. Finbarr’s Cathedral, Triskel, the Glucksman Gallery and the Everyman Theatre. With such excitement surrounding the launch of this exciting festival there are only a limited number of tickets still available. Despite this, a number of the events are free so be sure to check it out! For the full list of events visit SoundsFromASafeHarbour.com. Girl Band: Introducing Ireland’s Most Exciting Rock Band Here at Byline we’re big fans of new music, especially when it comes from our own fair isles. Ireland is currently in the middle of a musical explosion and Andrew Horgan is here to chronicle the success of one of the country’s most exciting alternative bands, Dublin four piece Girl Band. Recently signed to celebrated indie label Rough Trade (the Smiths, The Strokes, The Libertines and many more), Dublin four piece Girl Band are causing quite a stir with their unique blend of noise rock/ techno elements. Their debut EP, France 98, released in 2012 recalled a Bleach-era Nirvana effort which eclipsed those of the quartet’s previous incarnation ‘Harrows’, a self-admitted Strokes rip-off. Alan Duggan’s lead is unnervingly mechanical, while frontman Dara Kiely’s unrestrained vocal assaults the listener with lines like ‘You’re a dog’ repeated over and over. Despite this impressive debut Girl Band have only discovered their creative oasis in the last couple of years, with the 2013 single release Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage, a cover of British producer Blawan’s dance track, marking a significant sonic evolution and attracting newfound attention from critics and fans alike. Here, Girl Band’s techno influences surface, with a repetitive drum beat and vocal line. Tension builds until an eventual explosion of manic instrumentation emerges, fronted by the violent cry of Kiely. Girl Band become an unstoppable force with this cracking single and accompanying Bob Gallagher directed video. Next single, Lawman, with its pulsating ascent towards guttural madness, follows in the footsteps of Why they Hide. Off the back of its release in early 2014 the band toured the UK and Europe, cementing their status as ‘ones to watch’. Drowned in Sound called it “noise-pop genius”. Pitchfork wrote that ‘Lawman’ sounded like “intestinal blockage”, a feat it believed very much worthy of praise. At Girl Band’s show in Crane Lane last year, a small crowd were lucky enough to be left mesmerised when the foursome finished their gruelling set with this number. De Bom Bom, the last in this line of limited edition releases, continues where Lawman left off, with searing feedback, crazed bass convulsions, taut drum beats and a relentless vocal performance. Girl Band’s debut album, entitled Holding Hands with Jamie is due out on 25th September. The album was recorded in Dublin’s Bowlane Studios after the band returned from their first US Tour and has been preceded by lead single Paul, the group’s weirdest undertaking yet. Kiely’s vocal is particularly unsettling, veering in the second half of the song into a psychotic whine barely audible behind a screeching guitar. Kiely’s orientation with groove and its unforgiving ferocity have become trademarks of an original sound masterfully honed by Girl Band. Comparisons have been made with bands like The Fall and Liars but what this Dublin quartet are conceiving is very much their own monster. Girl Band play the Pavillion on the 3rd October with Paddy Hanna and local band the Altered Hours.
  13. 13. 13 MUSICEDITOR - HOLLY COONEY Byline Venue Guide So you’ve just started in UCC and can’t wait to get into the swing of things. You no longer have the dreaded leaving cert to worry about, or your mother dragging you out of bed every morning. You’re a student now, out in the big bad world where you can sleep all day and party all night. Cork is great place, but don’t limit yourself to student nights, the music scene here is one of the best in the country so be sure to discover the great musical talent on your doorstep. If you’re new to Cork it’s important to know where to go and who to see. There’s no point heading to the Savoy when you’re a grunge fan at heart, or hitting Fred Zeppelin’s when techno is more your thing. Never fear though because the Byline Venue Guide is here, aiming to help all you fresher’s or Cork newbies party in the places you really want to be. Crane Lane Theatre- Phoenix Street. Cyprus Avenue – Caroline Street. Triskel Christchurch- Tobin Street.Savoy –108 Patrick Street Fred Zeppelin’s – 8 Parliament Street. The Pavillion – 13 Carey’s Lane, Patrick Street. Part of the Cork Heritage pub trail, Crane Lane Theatre hosts one of the best beer gardens in the city as well as three bars; the Stage Door, the Crystal Room, where you’ll find a killer DJ and the Theatre with a band or jam session every night. The best part about Crane Lane is free entry every night, the worst that they’re over 20s. Try on weeknights though as they’re usually pretty sound. Picks for September are the Tuesday Jazz Improv nights and Mike Scal and band playing free in the Theatre on Thursday September 10th. Cyprus Avenue is known to most Corkonians as THE place to see Irish and International acts, everything from folk to electronica, indie bands and soloists. As September sees the return of all things student, Cyprus Avenue has catered to your needs with cool kids Young Wonder bringing their electronic pop act back to their hometown on September 12th. For those more into rap and hip-hop make a date with B Dolan on September 27th. As well as running their own gigs, Cyprus Avenue has a long running history with the UCC Music Society, playing host to numerous battle of the bands and also as the number one venue for Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa’s music class showcases. The Triskel is Cork’s number one arts centre, where gigs either happen downstairs in the cool basement venue or in the glorious surrounding of the old Christchurch. If you’re looking forsomethingdifferent,cultural or a place to take a philosophy major on a date, Triskel is your number one stop. September sees Amiina, an Icelandic indie pop/folk band bringing their disparate jumble of instruments to Cork as part of Sounds From A Safe Harbour in the Triskel Christchurch on September 19th. Firm friends and collaborators with Icelandic favourites Sigur Rós they’re not one to miss. Dance fans, please don’t fret as you haven’t been forgotten. The Savoy will provide all your clubbing needs this semester with some of the best international dance acts and DJs. Located in the old Savoy cinema, this is an iconic venue providing a unique clubbing experience. Basshunter hits the decks on September 17th for CIT Fresher’s week and on a normal night you’ll have the resident DJs there to knock your socks off! Grungers, metal heads and rock aficionados take note as Fred’s is most likely going to be your one stop shop for all live head banging sessions. It’s dirty, loud and raucous with a line up to reflect just that. Often hosting mini festivals you get a lot for your money in Fred’s. September’s finest include Queens of the Sauce Age on September 19th, a QOTSA tribute band with free entry. One of Cork’s liveliest bars, you’ll find a great atmosphere, just make sure not to wear your Taylor Swift t-shirt! The Pav is a place you’ll almost certainly end up in during your studies here in Cork. Dating back to 1921, whether it’s live music or thumping club nights the Pav has something for everybody and holds a dear place in the hearts of many an Arts student. Best of September includes Fresh-The 90s Night on September 11th and the Bastardo Electrico 13th Birthday Party on September 18th, a celebration of Ireland’s longest running techno night with sets from Sunil Sharpe and Jamie Behan. If these don’t appeal make sure you’re there on September 19th for Fish Go Deep. If you don’t already, you’ll soon know all about Greg and Shane. These two are Cork legends, playing a vital role in the Irish house music scene since 1988! A student ritual, be sure to see these boys in action. Mural on the site of famous Cork gig-space Sir Henry’s
  14. 14. 14 FILM & TELEVISION Though I have enjoyed several films this year (Mad Max being the main highlight), my favourite thus far has been Pixar’s new release, Inside Out. The film takes place, for the most part, inside the mind of an 11 year old girl named Riley. Inside her head are five emotions, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust, who govern and control her reactions to certain things and situations. The five sentiments live and work in “Headquarters” and control Riley’sresponsesandreactions.Outside of Headquarters are Riley’s “Islands of Personality”, which make up the little girl’s ever changing personality and identity. Such islands include “Goofball Island” and “Friendship Island”. But things are shaken up for Riley when she and her family are forced to move from Minnesota to San Francisco. Through a series of events which follow this move, Joy and Sadness suddenly find themselves cast out of headquarters, into the vast landscape of Riley’s mind, with the two emotions now having to find a way back to Headquarters. Genius, funny, profound and emotionally powerful. These are just some of the words I would use to describe this film, which I feel might be Pixar’s best ever. Though appearing initially to appeal more to children, having seen the movie twice, I genuinely believe it speaks far more to older audiences, who will appreciate the humour, the complex themes of the film, and the often heartbreakingly sad moments it contains. Though Pixar has dealt with such themes as growing up and letting go with past efforts, in my opinion none have had the same sheer emotional impact as they have in this film. The overall message of the film is also one which is both profound, moving and ultimately, comforting. I firmly believe this film should be in the hunt for a Best Picture nomination. It’s my favourite movie of not only this year, but of the last few years. Truly exceptional. ‘Genius, funny, profound and emotionally powerful.’ If ever a rom-com had an opening scene with so much importance, it’s this one. We see Gordon (Colin Quinn) in the 1970s/80s explaining to his daughters why he is breaking up with their mother, using one of his daughter’s dolls as an example to justify his infidelity. The comedic value of the scene is unquestionable, but it soon becomes apparent that Gordon’s principles have greatly influenced the personality and make-up of his now grown up daughter Amy (Amy Schumer). She is a successful journalist for a moronic men’s lifestyle magazine in New York but has become her Dad’s clone; a cynical, hard-drinker who repeatedly cheats on her boyfriend Steven (John Cena). Steven soon finds out about her loose relationship morals and promptly gives her the boot, but before this happens we see proof of John Cena’s surprising comic chops. His portrayal of your stereotypical muscled meathead is arguably the highlight of the film. On orders from her bitchy editor Dianna (Tilda Swinton), Amy is assigned to do a story on a kind, caring doctor to the sporting stars Aaron (Bill Hader) whose default mechanism is always to see the glass as half-full. Much to Amy’s surprise, they fall in love. But Amy’s faults, mainly caused by her low opinion of herself, eventually lead to Aaron terminating the relationship. In addition to this, a family tragedy leads to complications with her sister Kim (Brie Larson). Amy is spun into depression, but as a result she sees her faults and nobly amends them, thus leading to the somewhat clichéd ending. This film is good fun with absorbing characters and a great supporting cast. The father-daughter and sister-sister relationships add heart to prevent the film becoming too superficial. As with most Apatow films, I feel it takes too long to tell the story; but this doesn’t detract too much from a solid summer comedy containing plenty of laughs. by Aaron Casey Trainwreck by Ben Wall Inside Out
  15. 15. 15 FILM & TV Paper Towns is a film of many genres rolled into one. The genre-crossing is linked by the themes of shallowness and perception among a group of middle-class teenagers reaping the fruits of the American dream in suburban Orlando. The plot appears to be that of a standard romance but be warned, this is a film about friendship cloaked in the guise of a love story. Quentin (Nat Wolff) is a high-achiever, allergic to doing anything mildly risky. Residing across the road from him is Margo (Cara Delevingne), his onetime childhood companion and now current queen of high school. One night Margo invites Quentin on an elaborate revenge mission against her cheating boyfriend. Delevingne is excellent here at playing cute and disturbingly intense at the same time. Following this escapade Quentin expects a revival of this childhood friendship. Margo however has other ideas as she runs away, leaving behind her a series of cryptic clues. Quentin with friends Radar (Justice Smith) and Ben (Austin Abrams) eventually think they’ve located her and travel cross-country so Quentin can profess his love to Margo. The road-trip is the highlight of the film with some fantastic character interactions, as-well as the heart- warming resolution of two minor plots. The meeting we all want eventually occurs, but this leads to a complete shift in the story and point of the film. Suddenly the emphasis goes off the two and onto Quentin’s relationship with his friends. It leaves the viewer feel that the thoughts and feelings evoked from the revenge mission and road-trip are all but wasted. For the first hour plus change we are misled into thinking it’s solely a love story. There is, however, a skilful capturing of teenage optimism, which has to be praised. The cast and direction are also excellent, but the movie has a glaring flaw in the uneven balancing of its story, which lets an otherwise refreshing film down. by Aaron Casey Furious Seven is the seventh film in the Fast and Furious franchise, now with the courage to drop its speed and just get furious, and it is what you’d expect if you asked Michael Bay to direct a Mission Impossible and Die Hard crossover. All it’s missing is a new Linkin Park song to play at times of emotional turmoil in the movie. Picking up where the 6th film and Tokyo Drift leave off, Furious 7 sees most of the same crew we saw in the last three movies come together again. This time the sins of London (Fast and Furious 6) have caught up with the gang as Owen Shaw’s big brother, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) rolls into town and starts hunting them. With Shaw always steps ahead of the gang, a mysterious contact named Mr Nobody shows up with the answer to Dominic Toretto’s problem. All they have to do is rescue it. A lot of the hype around this movie has really been due to the untimely and unfortunate death of frontman Paul Walker, who plays the ex-cop Brian O’Connor. People questioned how they would finish filming after the star’s death. Thankfully, using a combination of his brothers (who look like him), CGI graphics and taking clips from his previous films, they managed to both finish the movie, and preserve his performance. If I were to sum up this movie I would say it is absolutely ridiculous. You can’t watch it and not see constant plot holes, physical impossibilities and ludicrously unbreakable characters. Its action for the sake of looking cool, where explosions are always possible, your favourite people are impossibly strong and the laws of physics are pretty much told to eff off. For that I loved it. I loved every farfetched moment of it. Let’s be honest you don’t sit down to watch a film from a franchise called Fast and Furious and expect an intellectual film to make you think, you watch it cause it’s fun and this film delivers that perfectly. It’s powerful, witty and (considering all that happened) the right amount of emotional. There is a real feel of family throughout the film and that makes the ending all that more beautiful. I would absolutely recommend this film, though watching the series before hand is important, and it makes for a good binge watch. The Rock fights Jason Statham, need I say more? Colin Healy discusses the merits of the latest installment in the Fast & the Furious series Pre-release of the latest instalment in the Mad Max franchise there was a lot to be anxious about. A long gestating script eventually made into a movie that gestated even further, apparently complete for over a year before it was eventually, released in a time period not typically associated with huge blockbusters. So on first viewing, after leaving the theatre perhaps my reaction to Fury Road was coloured by my low expectations. Upon further viewing though I’ve come to realise my first reaction was not one caused by low expectations, but rather by the unprecedented quality of writer/ director George Miller’s magnum opus. The fourth film in the franchise, Fury Road follows the titular Max after he’s captured by a group of war boys in the desolate near future wasteland. Haunted by the loss of his family and shaped into an animalistic soul singularly focused on survival, Max is superbly portrayed by an as ever magnetic Tom Hardy. He’s not truly the main character here though, the honour instead going to Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). With a slightly mysterious history, at times unknown motivations and a gruff demeanour Furiosa is at times hard to get a read on but emanates a humanity the world of Mad Max is now devoid of and as such fills the role of the central protagonist perfectly. The other main character in the film though is the world itself. Beautifully shot, with subtle special effects and an obvious care for practical effects every possible aspect of the wasteland oozes with a history we’re not privy to but which we can infer much from, further colouring our understanding of the story and the setting. George Miller is an expert in storytelling, particularly in the “show and don’t tell” style of filmmaking which is often particularly lacking in action flicks. A special shout out must be given to the editing here, done by Margaret Sixel, the wife of George Miller. In a recent interview Miller quipped that he told Sixel “You have to edit this movie, because it won’t look like every other action movie”. He’s right on that too, Fury Road is so full of original visuals, uncommonly brilliant storytelling and rip roaring action scenes it feels out of place in the current action film landscape, brilliantly unique and one of the best films of the year. Mad Max: Fury Road by Brian Conmy - Editor EDITOR - OLIVIA BROWN Paper Towns
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