After being cramped into a small minibus for 2 hours, we arrived at Warwick University wanting to win more than ever. Despite starting off the season a bit rough…
Written for Team ARU by Jessica Richardson
Warwick University V Anglia Ruskin University
Score: 0-2! WE WON!
After being cramped into a small minibus for 2 hours, we arrived at Warwick University wanting to win more than ever. Despite starting off the season a bit rough, the team has finally found their determination to win again.
The game started off with ARU staying strong and focused and having most of the possession however, Warwick had a good defence and our girls struggled to find a way in to the D and score goals. That didn’t stop them from giving up and Katheryn Soame on her debut game back found an opening and ran the ball into the D, hit it to the post for Neve Chacksfield to deflect it in!
Going back in to the game after half time is normally where ARU loses their heads a little but, the girls wanting to win so they can get a McDonald’s from the driver meant that they worked even harder to keep the win a good one. This half was all about possession as we watched Warwick struggle to get the ball. ARU’s second goal came from a short won by Merel van Schooten and scored by Phoebe Aldrich with an incredible straight strike! 9 minutes later and the whistle is blown allowing us to celebrate their first win of the season!
Girl of the Game:
Caitlin Dean as she showed how much she has grown as a player in this match!
Next week we see our cup game against Nottingham – let’s try get another win!
Reservoir Dogs, released in 1992, is considered to be his directorial debut. But, Pulp Fiction (1994), one of the classics of cinema, gave him international recognition, winning an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1995…
Quentin Tarantino (born in 1963) – actor, producer, director, screenwriter.
Reservoir Dogs, released in 1992, is considered to be his directorial debut. But, Pulp Fiction (1994), one of the classics of cinema, gave him international recognition, winning an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1995. Then his filmmaking career really started. As a director, screenwriter or even actor (he often played supporting roles in his movies), he created many generously awarded, known worldwide movies such as: Kill Bill (2003) and Kill Bill 2 (2004), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Django Unchained (2012, another Academy Award for best screenplay in 2013) and, most recently, The Hateful Eight (2015).All mentioned productions are Quentin Tarantino’s main projects, both directed and written by him. Undoubtedly, they represent his own unique, signature style of storytelling.
Quentin Tarantino’s Style of Storytelling
Throughout almost three decades, Quentin Tarantino has had an opportunity to build a quite impressive portfolio of films. He used his screenwriting potential to develop his own, quite recognisable, signature style of storytelling. I am going to explore it by analysing three of the Quentin Tarantino’s key productions: Reservoir Dogs (1993), Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2013).
In Reservoir Dogs, the gangster boss gathers a team of gangsters who do not know each other. Their task is to rob a jewellery store. The suitcase full of valuable diamonds is the proof of the heist’s success but something has gone wrong in the process. The police has already known about the planned robbery. This means that there is a “rat” amongst the gathered gangsters…
Who is a snitch? This is the question which main characters are trying to answer throughout the plot of the movie. Many retrospections and the disturbance of the chronological order of scenes offer us the unfinished jigsaw puzzles which need to be put in the correct place. Reservoir Dogs is also full of “decorations” such as: catchy dialogues (e.g. the conversation about giving tips), violence or exaggerated bloodiness. Sometimes scenes are such a joke that we can hear Quentin Tarantino laughing straight in our faces (e.g. the torture scene where the torturer is dancing to the diegetic sounds of cheerful jazz music).
Inglourious Basterds is set in 1944. Here we can see many characters having their own stories to tell. The most important plot threads are linked to the team of Jewish American soldiers killing Nazis in occupied France, the other group of American soldiers planning to assassinate Adolf Hitler and the young Jewish French woman owning a cinema in Paris. All stories and characters lead to the one conclusion – to the assassination attempt of Adolf Hitler…
This time the film presents the historical setting which Quentin Tarantino has been trying to reflect. However, in this case the historical accuracy usually falls prey to his screenwriting creativity. Again there is a lot of catchy dialogues (e.g. the conversation between Hans Landa and French peasant or the pub shoot out scene) and violence. The chronological order of scenes seems to be preserved. Nazis are portrayed here as people prejudiced towards Jews and black people (which is basically quite accurate) and that fact leads to many racist, dark jokes appearing in Inglourious Basterds (e. g. the question game scene is probably the biggest source of racism in this movie). Basically the Third Reich and Nazis are presented here as a laughing stock. Such approach is highly attached to satire.
Django Unchained is set in USA, in the 19th century (before the American Civil War). It follows the story of a German bounty hunter and the black slave liberated by him. The Bounty hunter offers a fair exchange: Firstly, the black slave is going to help him catch his targets, and in return, the Bounty Hunter is going to liberate the black slave’s wife from slave labour.
Django Unchained is a film loosely based on Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns. This legacy is accompanied here by the fictional presentation of the harsh reality of black people being enslaved in pre-Civil War America. This film is much bloodier and violent than Inglourious Basterds and Reservoir Dogs. Again we can witness catchy dialogues but sometimes there is more depth into them (e.g. the conversation between the Bounty Hunter and black slave about the goddess from Germanic mythology.) The movie is also a satire on the owners of plantations (they are prejudiced towards black people and that prejudice is presented by racist, dark jokes).
It is easy to notice that each film has a different setting and making such shifts is probably one of the Tarantino’s qualities. However, sometimes there is a comeback (e.g. The Hateful Eight, released after Django Unchained, is a comeback to western setting). Tarantino’s plots themselves are often very simple but presented in a way which make them interesting to watch; his endings can be really surprising as it is not stated whether everything is going to end well or not (some main characters might die at the end). The disturbance of the chronological order is also considered to be the one of the most recognisable of Tarantino’s tricks (however, not always used.)
In such a way, the three chosen films perfectly present the overall picture of Quentin Tarantino’s storytelling style.
By Niamh Edmonds – Thursday 1st November and the closing night of the Cambridge Film Festival I attended a UK Premiere of the amazing film “Monsters and Men.” The 96 minute feature is due to come out in UK cinemas 11th January 2019 with an…
By Niamh Edmonds
Thursday 1st November and the closing night of the Cambridge Film Festival I attended a UK Premiere of the amazing film “Monsters and Men.” The 96 minute feature is due to come out in UK cinemas 11th January 2019 with an age rating of 15+.
The film is written and directed by ReinaldoMarcus Green, known for “Stop” (2015) and “Stone Cars” (2014). The film features stars such as John David Washington, the up and coming Kelvin Harrison Jr, Chanté Adams and Hamilton’s (broadway) Anthony Ramos.
The film is both engaging and exciting from the beginning to the end. The film is shot and located in Brooklyn, New York State. The films plot begins when a white armed police officer shoots an unarmed black civilian, named Darius Larson. The event of the shooting was filmed by bystander Manny (Anthony Ramos) who then proceeds to upload his recording of the shooting off his phone and onto the internet. The uploading of the video sparked protests and activism in the local area against racism and police brutality.
What I liked about this film was that it had a clear message regarding police brutality against black Americans/ black communities in the United States. The film was clearly produced to spread awareness to its audience regarding this issue of policing and racism in the United States. Additionally, what I really liked was that the film had a good balance coming from both the point of view of the victims, protesters and police officers.
I would highly recommend this film because it clearly highlights police brutality and racism against black communities in the United States. The film is a really big eye-opener as to what happens everyday in the U.S; it gives a clear and shocking visual insight into how it feels to be both the oppressed and the oppressor.
“This project exploring the dynamic material interplay between archives and contested landscapes was initiated by Kelcy Davenport and Nawrast Sabah Abd Alwahab as part of their ongoing art-geology research collaboration…
By Hannah Cox
“This project exploring the dynamic material interplay between archives and contested landscapes was initiated by Kelcy Davenport and Nawrast Sabah Abd Alwahab as part of their ongoing art-geology research collaboration. The project was introduced via a symposium event in Cambridge on 22nd March 2018. A related exhibition comprising of creative responses to the theme, by artists and non-artists inclusively, will take place in Cambridge and Basra from 22nd – 28th October 2018, as part of the Festival of Ideas.”
The first part of this exhibit took place in Cambridge whilst the second will be taking place in Basra, Iraq in 2019. The project looked interesting, an exhibit across three buildings beginning at Gallery 9 on Norfolk Street. Immediately upon entering, there were 26 copper figurines on the floor, Elizabeth’s Eade’s Net Realisable Value. After being told we could hold one, my son chose a pregnant figurine and she was placed carefully into his hands whilst I read about the piece. The 26 copper figurines have been ‘corrupted with sea water to produce startling green crystals’. Eerily reminiscent of Egyptian Shabti dolls found in the Pharaohs’ tombs, they are themselves symbols of slaves. The title relates to the calculation regarding the worth of water damaged goods, the figurines to a real life event:
“On the 3rd of November 2017, the bodies of 26 girls aged 14-18 were pulled from the sea off the South Coast of Italy. They were all of Nigerian origin. One wore a t-shirt with the words “I’m super happy”. It is believed that they were destined for the vociferous sex slave trade in Italy. The only two identified were named as Marian Shaka, who was married, and Osato Osaro. Both were pregnant.”
The power of this piece builds on you slowly. Drawing us unexpectedly into confronting the horrors of the sex slave trade still happening today. Tragedy, beauty and horror all rolled into 26 little figures, some slightly broken, and others slightly less human due to the crystal growth. We stand to move on, placing the pregnant figurine back on the floor where she longs.
The Gallery echoed with the sounds of Rosanna Greave’s film The Flaming Rage of the Sea (2018). Choreographed stilt performers represent the fens people whilst oral histories and the poem ‘The Powtes Complaint’ protest the draining of the fens and discuss the histories of the Cambridgeshire Fenland.
The harsh landscape contrasts with the images of the traditional folk festivals and the whole piece functions as a visual poem. A very stark piece highlighting the struggle and ‘precariousness of a landscape below sea level’.
Sarah Strachan spent the weeks prior to the exhibit preparing an incredible clay water filtering vessel in the fashion of the place where the clay was sourced: the Al-Hammar Marshes in Southern Iraq. The piece, Shared Water, Contested Water, provides an artefact linking the ‘paleoclimate archive and the future demand for water’. The quality of the vessel is proof of the time, care and skill of Strachan in preparing a complex material as a part of a series of clay objects.
Many of the pieces focus on war. My first impression of Artists Activists’ T.H. Elderton and Walter Yeo was of two beautiful sculptures. They are the ‘men with the Broken Faces’, a term which the artist disagrees with as ‘these men must not have their identities transformed and grouped into a terminology to be forgotten as individuals’. By the time we came to leave I knew not to consider them beautiful, only to leave understanding and knowing that individuals went through an unimaginable hell when they lost their faces.
The next part of the exhibit was on ARU’s main campus. Ian Moffat’s Lunette: A Deep History of Australian Climate shows us the ‘stark, craggy forms’ of the crescent shaped dunes attached to Salt Lakes are layered, ‘recording thousands of years of climate change driven by the natural wobbles in the Earth’s transit around the sun’. Not only do these images open our eyes to the beauty of lunettes, but they also show the deep history Australia has and stand as a testimony to man and other creature’s abilities to change and adapt to climate change.
The third building of the exhibit was the Zion Baptist Church Crypt. Walking into the crypt was a slightly unsettling experience. Most noticeable, perhaps because the crypt walls were reverberating with the sound, was William Crosby’s WHAILES. Speakers faced the centre of the unlit room, playing whale song, and whilst it is incredibly loud, it serves to educate us about noise pollution in the world’s oceans. This piece discusses the effects of human activity on the ocean – a contested landscape that not too long ago, existed without human interference.
Events were also arranged by Kelcy Davenport to further discuss and explore the theme of the contested landscape, such as the mid-week symposium. Here, contributors to the exhibit gave talks on their work. One piece which benefitted from the symposium was Sally Stenton’s and Nawrast Sabah Abd Alwahab’s If the Cloud Allows.They arranged for people in Cambridge and Basra to walk in a circle and look at the moon simultaneously. The pictures in the exhibit and the story were made more powerful after seeing the short film which shows the events as they happen at the same time on 26/10/18. I doubt one could truly view this piece, as it is an experience. The two acts explore a feeling of connectivity and the significance of the cyclical movement of the groups in line with the moon and the earth.
This exhibition was a huge undertaking and an even bigger success. Thank you to Kelcy Davenport and Nawrast Sabah Abd Alwahab for arranging this exhibit and curating these works and to all who contributed to the exhibit. I sincerely recommend visiting the website and social media pages, and if you can see any of the pieces, I entreat you to. This exhibit not only explored contested landscapes, but through them brought out the importance of human connections. Through these works we are linked to cultures, war zones and people who we are led to believe are ‘them’ or ‘other’. In exploring our connections, we experience the humanity of people we often dehumanise and challenge the ideas which can lead to contested landscapes.
Last week we were lucky enough to attend the Cambridge Film Festival and got the privilege of watching Burning – A Korean film with subtitles. The film follows Jong-soo (Yoo Ah-In) who is a working…
By Jess Weal & Amy Williams
Last week we were lucky enough to attend the Cambridge Film Festival and got the privilege of watching Burning – A Korean film with subtitles.
The film follows Jong-soo (Yoo Ah-In) who is a working class man from the countryside in Korea. When working an odd job, he runs into Hae-mi (Jeon Jon-Seo) who used to live in his neighbourhood, when the pair were children. She asks him to look after her cat whilst she takes a trip to Africa (which Jong-Soo thinks is imaginary). She returns a couple of weeks later with a new friend Ben (Steven Yeun), who she quickly becomes close with, causing Jong-Soo to become jealous.
Let us start by telling you this… this film is long, you will lose interest and then wish you hadn’t. Burning is – pardon the pun – a slow burner! The first hour and a half is, to put it frank, quite boring, but it turns out to be vital to the plot, once you understand what is happening.
Neither of us knew anything about this film, and to be honest, we were only interested because of Steven Yeun. We hadn’t even seen the trailer, so we really did have no idea what this film was about, just that two people had recommended it to us, one even telling us “best film of the year”. Burning managed to exceed expectations we didn’t have, we don’t know how that works but it does.
Turns out, the film was a Drama/Mystery, with clues and scenes that all make sense once you finish the film. Which is why your dozing off in the first half will come back to bite you!
Many shots lingered way longer than they needed to, and an almost silent sex scene had us giving each other awkward looks and cringing at the deep intimacy being showed through close ups of Jong-soo’s sex face. (Cringing now just thinking about it)
This film is 100% polysemic, and you come away with a million different theories and ideas about the film, especially when you think back to them earlier scenes (Told you not watching will bite you in the ass). Some theories online suggest that the film can be politically analysed through the tension of the social classes, between the rich and the poor. But, since we do not have knowledge of the class system in Korea, we didn’t interpret it that way
BE WARNED… FROM HERE ON OUT THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! STOP READING NOW.
The film gets interesting when Hae-migoes missing after spending a night with Ben and Jong-Soo at Jong-Soo’s house, which is when Ben confesses to Jong-Soo that he likes to burn down greenhouses and admits that he is planning to burn down a greenhouse “very close” to Jong-soo. Once Jong-Soo discovers Hae–miis missing, he goes on a mad hunt to find her and discovers how dodgy Ben really is. Jong-Soo decides that Ben has taken her and perhaps killed her (the evidence suggesting this is strong), he meets up with Ben and ends up brutally stabbing him, before setting fire to his car with the dead body in. And to be honest, we’re not happy about it because:
We will never find out what happened to Hae-mibecause the number one suspect is now dead
The almost innocent Jong-soo is now a murderer.
IT WAS TOO SOON TO SEE HIM DIE AGAIN ON MY SCREEN? REALLY YOU WANT ME TO WATCH HIM GET BRUTALLY MURDERED AGAIN! RIP GLENN, ALWAYS IN OUR HEART.
Amy came away believing that Ben was a serial killer, using greenhouses as a metaphor for women, and him burning down the greenhouses is really him killing women. This theory is reinforced through his sociopathic tendencies of not being able to cry as well as keeping ‘trophies’ of his ‘victims’, such as their jewellery, in a draw in his bathroom.
Jess however thought he was grooming the girls (we assume there are more than one), to be coming prostitutes or escorts. He kept their jewellery and we see him doing make up on one of the girls, which he could be doing before delivering them to the men.
There is so much you can take away from this film, so much to think about and discuss that it’ll be on your mind for days after. Unfortunately, this film doesn’t look like it is available anywhere in the UK or will be available anytime soon.
A dark comedy staring cancer, cake and criminals. Secret Ingredient, a festival stand-out and one to watch if you ever get the chance…
A dark comedy staring cancer, cake and criminals. Secret Ingredient, a festival stand-out and one to watch if you ever get the chance.
Secret Ingredient made its UK premiere at the Cambridge film festival on its third day and it’s a film worthy of that prestige.
The film tells the story of Vele, an underpaid train mechanic struggling to afford his father’s cancer medication due to price inflation. As a result, Vele considers turning to ‘alternative’ medicines but instead decides to use a marijuana cake.
This spirals into a series of events involving a duo of criminals trying to track Vele down for their missing drugs, the creation of a cultish atmosphere around the prophesied ‘healing’ properties of the cake and Vele reconnecting with his Father.
Secret Ingredient can very easily draw you in with its dark diatribe and slow-going person moments, leave you laughing at very serious points and invest you into the lives of its ensemble cast. You may even want to see more interactions between the antagonists even when they’re trying to track down our main character.
You can quickly forget it’s a foreign language movie as the text on screen is never too fast or drawn out and the backdrop of Macedonia only works to enhance a universal story.
Secret Ingredient is a treat to watch and a film I’d recommend for someone wanting to watch a serious drama or comedy.
Tears, heartbreak, love – three occurring themes throughout Beautiful Boy that make this film so empowering and tear-jerking that it is one of the best films I have seen this year. Produced by Brad Pitt under his production company…
Tears, heartbreak, love – three occurring themes throughout Beautiful Boy that make this film so empowering and tear-jerking that it is one of the best films I have seen this year.
Produced by Brad Pitt under his production company, Plan B Entertainment, Steve Carrell (David) and Timothée Chalamet (Nic) star as the main characters. The film is based on the novel Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction. Carrell and Chalamet both play excellent parts as we see a father (Carrell) struggle with his relationship with his son (Chalamet) as he deals with a crippling drug addiction, starting from when he turned eighteen years old.
The film lasts two hours, seeing Nic tackling his drug addiction through a non-linear narrative, exposing us to how his addiction to drugs started and the struggle David goes through to get his son back. David is a freelance journalist, writing for magazines such as
Rolling Stone as we see in the film. He pitches an article idea to his boss which is personal to him, sharing the story of Nic and how he lost his son mentally through his use of drugs.
We go back and forth in time, seeing elements of both Nic and David’s lives that piece together the impact of Nic’s life and how he turned to the use of drugs such as crystal meth, weed and LSD. The non-linear narrative works amazingly as viewers are able to view the struggles that drug addicts go through: recovery, relapse and rehab. Through flashbacks from the past, we can see the struggles Nic repeatedly goes through in his attempt to stay clean.
I love the use of music in the film too. Music adds such an emotional impact to certain scenes throughout that really make viewers feel what the characters are going through.
I cannot recommend this film enough, it really opens your eyes to what struggles, pain and emotions drug users and their relatives go through on a day-to-day basis. All I can say is get your tissues at the ready! (Be prepared for seeing the use of needles a lot too.)
In this drama multiple lives intertwine and spin around each other. We see the story of two college sweethearts, the story of a couple struggling to support their child in Spain, the story of their children and how all their lives are connected…
In this drama multiple lives intertwine and spin around each other. We see the story of two college sweethearts, the story of a couple struggling to support their child in Spain, the story of their children and how all their lives are connected by a single event. The multi generation levelled saga is beautifully told and supported by the music of Federico Jusid, and Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel my Love. This is Dan Fogelman’s second directorial and first big thing to come out after This Is Us. With a cast consisting of some of Hollywood’s finest e.g. Antonio Banderas and Olivia Wilde, this film has all the ingredients to be a crowd pleaser. The film finds a fine balance between happiness and sadness, and keeps surprising by taking away the characters you hold dear with a twist on their life story. The timeline is a little confusing at first but becomes clear when the film unfolds.
Halfway through the films 4 chapters and epilogue, it becomes clear that the narrative voice is the daughter to the children of the two couples we see struggling. This however does not interfere with the interest to learn more about the characters. Especially as the story of Will (Oscar Isaac) and Abby (Olivia Wilde) had more than half of the cinema in tears. The raw humour and joking ebbs away as Will Shoots himself and the story start to focus more on the Gonzalez family. As the story’s background changes to the idyllic olive farms in the countryside of Spain, it will once again start with a love story everyone romanticises, but this soon will start to crumble after a family holiday to New York. Javier and Isabel try to find a cure for their traumatised son, Rodrigo, and soon need to ask the help of rich landowner Vincent Saccione. Javier is a proud man and decides to leave his family so that Saccione can take care of his wife and son. They all meet one last time at the end of the film as Isabel falls ill.
The film had various bad reviews from acclaimed film critics but the public seem to have a different opinion on Twitter and outside the cinema. This film gives hope and happiness and then takes it away to build it up again but never disappoints.
After an immensely successful year, including taking Cambridge folk festival by absolute storm ( I was there, man), Cambridge’s current legends are kickstarting their UK tour on their Home turf at the Portland. This modern-day Fleetwood Mack…
After an immensely successful year, including taking Cambridge folk festival by absolute storm ( I was there, man), Cambridge’s current legends are kickstarting their UK tour on their Home turf at the Portland. This modern-day Fleetwood Mack are only going in one direction, if they are not signed within a year, there is no god.
November 9th– Max Bianco and The Bluehearts Ep Launch
He looks like Pete Dougherty, He sounds like Bob Dylan, Cambridge’s best folksong writer has recruited the local cool kids to release this long-awaited Ep, despite the fact that many already know every single word on it.
Couldn’t make it to our launch party? Or just want to be nosey and see pictures from the launch? I’ve put together a quick sum up of the Ruskin Journal along with how the launch went, accompanying it with pictures from our photographers…
Couldn’t make it to our launch party? Or just want to be nosey and see pictures from the launch? I’ve put together a quick sum up of the Ruskin Journal along with how the launch went, accompanying it with pictures from our photographers!
How did we get to where we are today? The Ruskin Journal was created by Elle Haywood and Hanushka Karnani in 2017. They founded the idea on the basis that they wanted to create the first online newspaper here at Anglia Ruskin University which obviously, has succeeded VERY well! With the success of the online newspaper, the 2017 committee aspired to create the first Annual Print Edition of the Ruskin Journal. With copious amounts of work put in, fresh new articles from all members and help from University staff, the Physical Paper (all 1500 copies!) was ready for launch throughout Graduation Week in October 2018.
The theme for the paper is student life. With articles ranging from graduating to work experience to leisurely articles regarding film and music – there is an article for everyone to relate too.
The launch party was a great way for the old and new committee to meet and celebrate the success of the Physical Paper; being able to finally share with students, parents and lecturers. With glasses of prosecco and copies of the paper scattered around, it was a fab way to have everyone involved all in one place.
Rolling forward to week 5 of the semester and we have enrolled almost 30 new members. It is great to see how the Ruskin Journal has expanded throughout the year and we cannot wait to see what happens next.
If you are interested in writing for the Ruskin Journal, feel free to drop me or any other committee members an email! (All details found on the website)
(Thanks to our writer Bronté & the SU for taking our photos!)
This semester is in full swing, with assignments lurking over us (is it really week five already?!) But we all know there is always time to start a new TV show…
This semester is in full swing, with assignments lurking over us (is it really week five already?!) But we all know there is always time to start a new TV show.
Brooklyn Nine Nine
The show is set in a Brooklyn precinct and follows the lives of a group of detectives, under the command of Captain Holt. With new storylines every episode, along with a long-standing narrative, it provides fans with running gags, meaning binging episodes makes it that much funnier.
Amy Says: I binged watched five series of this in a month and it is a good break from serious cop dramas that I am used to. The show tackles serious issues, while being funny and upbeat, and without fail, I will be in stitches of laughter at every episode.
Amy’s favourite Episode: Season 5 Episode 4 – HalloVeen
Jess Says: Whereas I watched it weekly as it aired. I 100% recommend this show as something light hearted which isn’t too heavy and can just provide some escapism when you’re feeling a little stressed about life.
Jess’ favourite episode:Season 2 Episode 23 – Johnny and Dora
PSA: The fifth series is currently not on Netflix.
On The Block
Set in a rough LA neighbourhood, a group of friends try to navigate high school while finding it hard to stay out of trouble. The troubles the group encounter go way beyond those of a typical high school drama.
Amy Says: I chose to watch this show because of the trailer. I thought it would be a comical, coming of age tv series, something easy to watch and not have to worry about. I. Was. Wrong. It is definitely a comedy but also an emotional drama that does at times pull on your heart strings. It has a great, diversecast(with the exception of a white girl who plays a Latina. Fingers crossed she gets recast next season after the riot from fans). I also enjoyed the show because I am a sucker for forbidden love, and that’s a big element to the plots in the show’s series, plus there’s only ten episodes so it is easy to finish.
Amy’s favourite episode: Season 1 Episode 10 – Chapter Ten
Jess Says: I only watched it because I was forced by Amy and thought it was going to be something I could view casually. I wish it was. I finished the series in a day and hysterically cried at the last episode. I love watching the friendship between the six main characters and the mini story lines each of them have! Ruby is my absolute favourite character and he really does make the show for me! I wish I had a group of friends like this when I was fourteen!
Jess’ favourite episode: Season 1 Episode Four – Chapter Four
PSA: Don’t fall into the trap that this is a fun show! It. Will. Ruin. Your. Life.
A remake of the 00s show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the show centres around five gay men, referred to as the ‘Fab Five’. They give unsuspecting men total makeovers from their clothing choice, all the way down to what they eat. Jonathan, Bobby, Antoni, Tan and Karamo style a new man every episode.
Amy Says: Although I totally recommend binge-watching this show, you don’t necessarily need to (but you will want to). What makes this show great is the personalities of each of the ‘Fab Five’, their energies gel so well with each other and you can really tell they are amazing friends! It has a heart-warming ability to transform people’s lives, as well as talk about the issues surrounding masculinity.
Jess Says: I am an emotional wreck when I watch this show and cry at every single episode. I wish the ‘Fab Five’ would come and fix my life to be honest because I need Jonathon to give me a haircut and I need Antoni to teach me how to make every dish under the sun with a single avocado! It’s so inspiring watching every episode and seeing the confidence they give the men, even when they have different values (one episode they made over a Trump Supporter *shivers*). Although the show is about the men they are helping, I love watching the ‘Fab Five’ interact with each other and we find out so much about their personal lives when they talk about their husbands and kids. They are so out there and comfortable being themselves which is just amazing to watch!
Jess’ favourite episode: Season 1 Episode 4 – “To Gay or Not Too Gay”
PSA: Have a pack of tissues at the ready because you will be an emotional wreck.
Amy’s Spotlight Pick:
The show revolves around June and Harry, two teenagers in love (somewhat forbidden by June’s father) who run away so they can be together. A lot of problems occur when June discovers her extraordinary “gift”. The show is set in England and Norway, so you know the scenery is beautiful!
I stumbled across this show when scrolling through Netflix and was kind of shocked to see it was a Netflix Original since I hadn’t seen any promo for it! But from the very first episode, I was so intrigued! It is not like anything I have ever seen before, but there are major Stranger Things vibes throughout. I love a fantasy teen drama (hello Teen Wolf) and to add to that, the entire series is super mysterious! I cannot recommend this series enough!
Favourite episode: The whole season!
PSA: The show is half subtitled, so you will be reading a lot.
Jess’ Spotlight Pick:
A Docu-series about Michael Peterson, who is on trial for the murder of his wife. The trial started in 2001 and only finished in 2016 resulting in the series being released in three parts, episodes 1- 8 were released in 2004, episodes 9-10 in 2013 and episodes 11-13 were released earlier this year as a series on Netflix.The trial digs into Peterson’s history and we uncover things from his past that do not work out in his favour. The weirdest thing is seeing how much Michael ages from the first episode to the last, and how his children now have children, it really shows us how long this trial lasted.
Some friends recommended this show to me, telling me, “It is exactly something you would love” and they were right! I was gripped. Although it is a bit slow at first, you have to power through to when all the good stuff happens, like the missing weapon and meeting his crazy sister-in-law (trust me when I tell you she is crazy!). Because the show was released in three parts, it’s interesting to see how much time has passed between the shooting of the episodes and how much older they all are. This is completely real and although he is on trial for murder, there are some funny bits throughout the series. Personally, I found myself rooting for him, but you can make your mind up about him for yourself! I watched the series within a couple of days and was messaging my friends after every episode to give them my opinions after each trial date!
Favourite episode: Season 1 Episode 8 – “The Verdict”
PSA: After you finish watching it, google ‘The Staircase Owl Theory’ and prepare for your life to be changed forever!
35 years ago, I became a student at Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology (CCAT). I studied for a degree in English Literature and European philosophy and literature. I remember how nervous I was when I started…
Timeless challenge, but I’m only 54 ½.
“Hiraeth” is described by Reddit as “a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for lost places of your past.”
35 years ago, I became a student at Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology (CCAT). I studied for a degree in English Literature and European philosophy and literature. I remember how nervous I was when I started, not knowing anyone. The person I found myself standing next to for the start of the year group photo I am still in touch with and she became my son’s godmother.
Yesterday I went back to register to be a student again, this time on a Master’s degree course. CCAT has become Anglia Ruskin University. The site in Cambridge has changed. Shabby buildings and a covered walkway have been replaced with smart new buildings. The Mumford Theatre still exists in the middle of the site, this is where I used to go to lectures, volunteer and where my graduation ceremony was held.
Yesterday I saw vending machines and recycling bins and several cafes. 35 years ago, there was a choice of 2 places to eat: a canteen, or a smoky café called The Batman. I walked around unfamiliar buildings, then suddenly spotted a familiar view, the back or side of a building I remember from when I was 19.
“Today’s fashions are for hair that isn’t so big and curly. Some clothes have come back into fashion today, blue and white horizontally striped tops, yellow waterproof jackets, and light blue jeans.”
I still have my old student cards from the 1980s, when I was slim but thought I was fat, when my hair was still bright ginger. I permed it in the 80’s, I had a spiral perm to give myself big hair. Today’s fashions are for hair that isn’t so big and curly. Some clothes have come back into fashion today, blue and white horizontally striped tops, yellow waterproof jackets, and light blue jeans.
Technology simplifies life if you can use it, but I was struck by how much has changed. I wasn’t given a paper copy of a timetable, or a library card, everything was done electronically. I didn’t notice an obvious presence of librarians. I remembered the librarians from my student days, one was always very helpful, others liked to shush people. The library has moved location and is spread over several floors. The ground floor of the library had signs up reading “Where are all the books?” where you can talk, whilst other floors contain books and are silent. It was an odd feeling. Being somewhere that used to be so familiar and being somewhere different at the same time.
“We all talked about the past and laughed as the wine flowed and the sun shone in a cloudless sky, and for a moment we were all teenagers again.”
I met up with my friends from my student days in several reunions. The last was on my 50th birthday. I hired part of a café overlooking a lake, and we all sat out on a balcony on a hot sunny day in May. One of my friends from my student days didn’t know if she’d be able to go to the party. She was very ill. Then a few days before, she said she was going to come. Her husband drove her hundreds of miles. She was still very beautiful, slim, kind, and laughed a lot. We all talked about the past and laughed as the wine flowed and the sun shone in a cloudless sky, and for a moment we were all teenagers again. That was the last time I saw her. Why do the best, kindest, most beautiful people die young? A few weeks later I was at her funeral, with other friends from my early student days, numb and shocked but I will never forget my kind, beautiful friend and her laughter. I won’t forget out student holidays cycling to Amsterdam one year and interrailing around Europe for a month the following year.
I had bitter-sweet memories yesterday, of the happy times from my student days and of the loss of a friend. I have confidence that I didn’t have at 19, but my body is ageing. I have a house, but when I was young, I enjoyed living in a house with friends. We learned how to cook, how to manage our money, but we didn’t have to borrow to be students. It was easy to live cheaply. I had a black and white TV to reduce my license fee and used coins in the phone box nearby if I wanted to ring someone. I wasn’t tied into an expensive mobile phone contract; people didn’t have mobile phones. You had to pre-arrange to meet someone at a pre-arranged place, like under the big lion in Lion Yard and waited for them if they were late. I hand wrote my essays in my first year and bought an electric type writer in my second year, with a red and black ribbon so I could type in two colours. To look up information I had to go to the library, I couldn’t quickly look things up on a mobile phone or laptop. There is a smart bookshop on campus. 35 years ago, there wasn’t. There used to be an excellent bookshop, Browns, on Mill Road nearby but that has gone. The shop used to stock my course books. Mill Road is smart and trendy, a very popular street in Cambridge now with a collection of individual shops, cafes and restaurants. In the 80’s it was a little shabby and you could buy a terraced house for under £20,000. Today’s prices would be worth at least 40 times more.
After I got my student card yesterday I went to look at charity shops nearby. This is something I first started doing when I was a student, looking for clothes or objects that I could buy cheaply. I suddenly realised that I have been doing this for 35 years and it goes back to student days. So does my love of gardening and enjoying browsing bookshops. I still stay in Youth Hostels sometimes when I go away, and this goes back to my student days and interrailing. I went to Tai Chi classes as a 19-year-old student. I have been to several different Tai Chi classes over the years since, and hope to be able to join the classes at ARU. I only discovered Tai Chi when I was a 10-year-old student because a friend wanted to go. The classes were in an old art studio. I giggled during the first class, finding it funny. Then I started to love it, and found it very relaxing. Life is still an exciting adventure, but I have become invisible. It’s a long time since I’ve been a slim young woman with long permed ginger hair and a flat tummy. I’m middle aged, overweight and my hair is going white on the outside, but still feel the same inside. I still like adventure. I sailed across the channel in my early 50s in an old wooden fishing boat, with a crew of competent sailors and I’ve sailed to the Shaint Isles in the Hebrides on another former fishing boat.
My heart goes out to two young women I spoke to yesterday, Freshers, in the same queue as me. I remember 35 years ago being nervous, not knowing anyone, not knowing how to cook or look after money. They seemed much more self-assured than I used to be. My advice to them would be to work hard but enjoy yourself. Join clubs and societies, make friends. An adventure is waiting for you, the start of your adult life. If you are as fortunate as I was you’ll make some good friends who will be your friends for a long time and you’re about to have three excellent years.
Today I went to Fresher’s Fair, a middle-aged woman. I have started to become invisible as I am ageing. I spotted my niece, a student, with her beautiful ginger hair. She reminded me a little of how I used to look. When I was young I was always noticed, although I didn’t want to be. My long ginger hair caught people’s attention. I was pleased when the sun bleached it in the summer and it faded a little. Then the white hairs came, and people who met me for the first time mistook the white hairs for blonde. I have put on weight, shrunk and my fatness makes me look shorter. People spoke to me, I talked to people from the philosophy society about their favourite philosophers, and I felt young again. They liked Hume, Camus, Satre and a Hungarian philosopher I didn’t know but who sounded interesting. I looked at all the new things I could join as a mature student, it seemed exciting, but I felt alone. I didn’t have my young, excited friends from 35 years ago. I wasn’t about to explore my life and see how it turned out. I felt a sadness for my youth, lost years, lost friendships and a lost beautiful friend with happy smile, a kindness and gentleness, and who always liked a good party. We danced at her 50th birthday party, 80’s style, in a row, lifting up our legs to Dexy’s Midnight Runner’s “Come on Eileen”, like a half-hearted can-can. A few days earlier I was remembering my student days and went to a café for a cup of tea. There was an exhibition of children’s book illustrations on the wall, and I sat at a table in front of two pictures. Two women asked if I minded if they looked closely at the paintings on the wall. One of them called out my name and I realised she seemed familiar but different. It was a former art student I used to share a house with, with the same soft voice, but short hair, no longer long and her face looked different. She was still slim and looked an athlete. As a housemate, she was forever jogging on the spot in her room or going on a 40-mile bike ride. I’d preferred a more relaxed approach to live. She had kept her fitness but I had lost mine and was slowly becoming a hippo. She was familiar but different. We kept in touch until our mid 20’s and have not been in contact for 30 years. Our conversation was of the young women we’d shared a large house with posters by Matisse and Picasso on the walls. I can still remember what they looked like as 19-year-old girls. They are becoming old like I am but in my mind, they belong to a past, distant and perfect. Perhaps it wasn’t how I imagined it to have been.
What an amazing performance by her, I have actually been left shook to my core and she deserves every award out there. A Star is Born is a remake of the 1976 version of the same…
Let me just start this review by saying this: Give. Gaga. An. Oscar.
What an amazing performance by her, I have actually been left shook to my core and she deserves every award out there.
A Star is Born is a remake of the 1976 version of the same name. The film is based on Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper), an alcoholic rock star, who falls in love with Ally (Lady Gaga), after stumbling upon her performing in a drag bar. He convinces her to perform with him on stage and her career takes off, as well as their whirlwind romance.
I had never seen the original version, so I really had no previous knowledge of what the film was about, but I have been looking forward to seeing it since it got announced and I had extremely high expectations for it. And it did not disappoint!
You get a behind the scenes look of what I can only guess the music industry is really like. Pushing artists to breaking points and making them change themselves as the label think they will sell more records. You see Ally changing from her authentic self, to this dancing pop star with bright orange hair – because the label said so. Spoiler alert: she finds her way back to herself.
To get a negative out of the way first, and there is only one negative. To me, the ending of the film was given away within the first 5 minutes. I noticed it, but my mum didn’t. So, to many, you may not even realise. But because to me, it was so obvious, I found myself not fully allowing myself to emerge myself in the film.
Other than this one thing I was amazed.
We are immediately positioned with Jack, and from the get-go, we want him to get better, to sober up and focus on himself. When he meets Ally, we think this is going to happen, but when she starts becoming successful herself he only gets worse.
Bradley Cooper has never really shocked me with his acting, to me he has always been a generic actor, nothing amazing. But this film has completely changed that for me and I have a new-found respect for him as an actor. Yet, Lady Gaga completely stole the film for me. It was her film and everyone else was just a secondary character. She really does outshine everyone else and stole every single scene she was in! Their on-screen connection is just amazing, and they are so believable as a couple, even if their relationship is kind of toxic. You are willing them to make it work, for them to both be happy and successful.
This film really does take you on a rollercoaster of emotions, I was crying and then laughing, my heart broke and healed itself within the space of 2 hours (and then broke again). The songs are amazing and only add to my tears. I cannot wait for the full soundtrack to get released (on October 5th) because I have been listening to Shallow on repeat since they released it as a single and I need more! Also, who knew Bradley Cooper could sing? Because this is completely new to me.
I recommend this film to everyone, and I will 100% be seeing it again. Not only for Gaga but for the whole film itself. I have no doubt in my mind that when award season comes around, this film is going to win every single one.
A Star is Born is out now! Watch the trailer below