Flavour of the Month
By Veronica Aloess
COMEDY: Ed Byrne: Roaring Forties
When? 13th December
Where? Hammersmith Apollo
MUSICAL: American Psycho
When? 3rd December – 25th January
Where? Almeida Theatre
The most unlikely story to be adapted into an all singing, all dancing spectacle comes to London with a cast featuring Matt Smith, and a score by the writers of Spring Awakening.
PLAY: Protest Song
When? 16th December – 11th January
Where? The Shed, National Theatre
Protest Song is a one man show starring A-lister Rhys Ifans, following how one man becomes a hero during the Occupy movement on the steps of St Paul’s.
MOVIE: Walking With Dinosaurs: 3D
When? December 20th
It’s pretty obvious that The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be the big box office hit over Christmas, so I’m going to show some support for Walking With Dinosaurs 3D. The best bit about being a kid at Christmas was all the dinosaur toys I used to get. It’s nice to feel a bit nostalgic.
MUSIC: Leona Lewis: Christmas, With Love
When? 3rd December
Whoever wins the X Factor will probably make Christmas No. 1 so in the spirit of that, previous winner Leona Lewis’ album of Christmas songs will make a great gift for somebody you don’t like this Christmas. Your mad aunt Marge will love it. But she probably likes Susan Boyle.
By Jerome Mambi
I don’t think I have ever had so much expectations going in to watching a film, this film has been called everything from the best film of the year to the best 3D and best space movie ever made. This film currently sits at a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it broke all sorts of records for box office records in America, to say that I was little bit excited to watch this film is an understatement.
Gravity is a movie directed by Alfonso Cuarón who’s made movies such as Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá También, and it tells the harrowing account of specialist Ryan Stone played by Sandra Bullock, a scientist-turned-fledgling astronaut working on a space station that is suddenly obliterated by an onslaught of space debris. In the midst of the calamity Ryan is thrown “off structure” and into vastness of space, with only veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski played by George Clooney (who is on his last mission) still able to hear her cries for help. What follows next is essentially a survival film, as Ryan must not only best physical obstacles, but also the mental/spiritual obstacles standing between her and the will to survive.
Let me start of by getting all the negatives out of the way before I proceed to laud over all the positives, the story to this film is nothing new or special you have a rookie on her first job paired up with a veteran who’s retiring and this just happens to be his last job/mission, we’ve seen this staple in movies such as Seven or any other buddy cop movie ever made. The script was co-written by Cuarón and his son Jonás; it is admittedly a very lean and efficient piece of thrilling dramatic storytelling, with the writers also managing to inject some larger themes and deeper emotions into the proceedings. However when you pull back and examines it, Gravity is also a somewhat standard point-A-to-B survival thriller, which relies on the many familiar cliché sub-genre tropes. The screenplay is just not as complex as the visuals that you are seeing on screen.
Speaking of visual; that brings me onto the positives, this film is absolutely breath-taking to watch especially on 3D, I just can’t stress this enough that it is imperative to view this film in 3D on the biggest screen possible just to get to full scope of this movie. I saw this film in IMAX 3D and 2D and watching it on normal 2D it just didn’t feel like the same movie, it was still pretty good movie but no near as suspenseful or intense as it is in 3D, this is film is like a white knuckle ride at times. Take for example the opening shot, which is a tracking shot that goes on for about 10 to 15 minutes without a single cut. It is unlike anything that I’ve ever seen on screen before, as a former film school student whenever I watch a film I have an idea as to how everything has been done (most of the time) but as I sat there in the cinema watching the opening to this film I was absolutely lost to how they filmed it. It’s likely that film school essays will be written on this film for years to come. Cuarón is already being hailed as one of the few true auteurs in modern cinema, and this is definitely his masterpiece. From the breath-taking cinematography and photography, to the impossible but astounding camera movements, to the visual concepts and set pieces that make genius use of outer space physics, this is directorial talent and imagination on a whole other scale. In the middle of the movie is where the film slightly slows down and gives you a minute to catch your breath and these moments are still as good but not great but when the movie picks up again is when the chase is back on, where that feeling of being at loss of breath comes back and your just sitting at the edge of your seat in awe.
This is one those movie events that comes around once in a great while to remind us why theatrical viewing still holds potential for a unique and unequalled cinematic experience.
Gravity is a must watch even if you hate 3D you’ll hate yourself more for not seeing it in 3D, it was truly one of the greatest experience I’ve had watching a film in the cinema. As a story on its own this film is probably only a 3/5 movie but what the director has to bring to the screen visually does nothing but make it a perfect movie, truly one of the greatest films ever made about space, definitely one of the best films this year and a front runner for a Best Film nomination at the Academy Awards next year.
An Interview with…Sonali
By Veronica Aloess
Sonali Argade is a New York based singer-songwriter with an up and coming contemporary voice that’s influenced by similar acoustic singer-songwriters like Ed Sheeran. As a multi-instrumentalist, studying at NYU and with her own EP, Speechless, Sonali is doubtlessly a performer on the rise.
Interfusion Magazine: How did you first get into music?
Sonali: I’ve always been into music for as long as I can remember. When I was three-years-old, I told my parents I wanted to be a singer. Of course no one believed me, but I knew what I wanted! As I began singing, my love of music only grew. That’s what inspired me to keep picking up new instruments and learning how to play and write.
IF: It’s a big leap from learning to play to composing for yourself commercially, did you find this difficult?
SO: Song writing was something that came pretty naturally to me. I had been playing for a couple years, and it wasn’t until I was fifteen or sixteen years old that I tried to write for the first time. I was always afraid to try it, but I remember one night a song just came out of me, start to finish, in about thirty minutes. That was the first thing I had ever written. Since that moment I’ve loved song writing, and I’ve been working very hard to improve my craft.
IF: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?
SO: My sound is pop/rock with a singer-songwriter feel to it. I started off listening to heavy metal and classic rock, so I like to preserve that edge in what I write sonically. I’ve also really been into a lot of 60s singer-songwriter music lately, so I like to incorporate that as well, especially in my lyrics and melodies. I bought my first acoustic guitar almost a year ago now (I learned electric guitar first), and that completely changed the music I write.
IF: Who are your musical influences?
SO: Right now my biggest influence would definitely have to be Ed Sheeran, especially from a song writing perspective. He has the perfect balance of poetry and simplicity in his writing. And his voice and guitar playing is absolutely beautiful, he’s a true artist. I also really enjoy rock and metal, and Led Zeppelin is one of my all-time favourite artists. Many people have told me that they hear a lot of Colbie Caillat and Mumford & Sons in my music, and I love them as well!
IF: How has studying at NYU helped you develop as a musician?
SO: I couldn’t think of a better place to be for music than NYU. I get to do what I love every single day, and I am surrounded by such incredible talent in both the faculty and the students. Everyone is so humble and willing to collaborate, and that’s the best kind of learning.
IF: Do you think it’s more essential nowadays to get seen gigging or have a social media presence in order to raise your profile as an emerging artist?
SO: That’s a great question, and I really think the answer is both. In order to be successful, you can’t have one without the other. You can’t hope to grow your fan base without gigging, but after attracting fans with a great performance you need to give them a place to find you and keep up with your latest news. Both are incredibly important!
IF: If you could collaborate with any artist dead or alive, who would it be?
SO: Easy question- Ed Sheeran for sure! I admire him so much as an artist. Not only is he an incredible songwriter, he’s a spectacular performer as well. Collaborating with him would be the most intimidating thing ever, but it would be a dream come true!
SO: Never give up, and never stop working. You definitely have to know what you’re signing up for with this career-it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of rejection. But if you love what you do and have a passion for it, it’s all more than worth it at the end of the day.
IF: What’s next for Sonali?
SO: I’m really looking forward to gigging around the city! I’m also in the process of recording and writing a lot of new songs, so I can’t wait to share them with everyone!