It took a year to conquer England, but it took a millennium to get to Brexit

William is my favourite. It’s all very educational (if slightly ridiculous). She has, by this point, forgotten that she is not a literal mad scientist and as she dispatches the first to Snow’s killing fields, she weeps and says: “I am sending home my own creation.” Yes, it’s absolutely batshit crazy, but no doubt it’s what William the Conqueror would have wanted for that green and pleasant land. And then there’s William the Conqueror, who, now that I think about it, may also have a spoiler in his name (spoiler alert: he conquers Britain). All of these stories unfold as its main characters listen to radio reports of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He is, like all the best Englishmen, French, and he is also, we’re told, a “bastard”, both in the sense that his parents were unmarried and also in the sense that he had a whole town mutilated for talking smack about his bowl haircut (I’m presuming that’s the reason he had whole town mutilated). There’s Harold Godwinson, a fourth-generation Saxon immigrant and brother-in-law to Edward the Confessor, who has a hipster moustache and totally heard the dying king suggest he, Harold, should be king while nobody else was in the room. It’s still a worthwhile love-letter to the NHS and the post-war social consensus. It includes historical recreations with ominous countdowns (“286 days to the Battle of Hastings”); regular split-screen effects depicting each of our key historical characters looking angry, worried or hunky (depending on their historical USPs); and halls filled with conniving courtiers soundtracked by exciting electronica (presumably produced by court DJ, Ulf Wickedbeats). This grunting love god (leading men these days all have sinus problems) floats around London’s Nazified incongruously jazz-soundtracked high society, feeling sorry for himself for being a collaborator, seducing a soporifically vague American journalist/spy (she’s no Yvette from ’Allo ’Allo), being coaxed into the resistance movement by three posh Englishmen (not a patch on the British airmen from ’Allo ’Allo) and being taunted by a cartoonish SS officer (who is, alas, no Herr Flick from ’Allo ’Allo). ADVERTISEMENT The subtext is that none of these men should rule Britain. Archer is no beleaguered everyman, unlike Rene in ’Allo ’Allo. Add car-chase music.” The plot? Against this backdrop plucky, posh WPC Jane Tennison (Stefanie Martini) faces crime and sexism and the fact she will one day evolve into Dame Helen Mirren (that will be some episode). …

Broadchurch review: A show that treats rape with unstinting realism and sensitivity

“Once you’ve completed your sexual offences training, Katie, you’ll understand we always start from the position of believing the victim.” This almost serves an admonishment towards the viewer too, perhaps even to the programme makers, as the gravity of a rape and its consequences are folded, with unstinting realism and sensitivity, into the format of a mystery story. Given that the first two seasons of Chris Chibnall’s Dorset-based crime drama revolved around a child’s murder, there has always been an onus on the series to resist the glib tug of genre formula. “Everyone will be led by you,” a subdued Trish is told, while Miller offers encouragement and tea. The rolling country lawns of a manor home offers up a bounty of evidence, from dried blood to a torn condom wrapper: “I think this is where it could have happened,” says Miller, purely to launch the camera into another foreboding aerial shot of England’s bucolic menace. And persons of interest abound, from the husband of Trish’s friend, whom the camera roundly incriminates (do we believe it?), to Trish’s employer, glimpsed – blamelessly and only for a moment – being very suspiciously played by Lenny Henry. (Clues here are leading, but a celebrity is like a smoking gun.) Broadchurch is otherwise a study in division: of a wounded community, a jagged trail of broken marriages and stressed single parents. ADVERTISEMENT Back at Trish’s home, Miller offers the victim sympathy, still more tea and – highly against procedure – her personal number (“Every time, Miller!” her partner later scolds her, aware of the series’ procedure), while David Tennant’s grisly, lugubrious DI Hardy snoops around for clues. So far it is seeking a certain split in the viewer too, nudged between sensitivity and suspicion, playing our good cop and bad cop against each other. The audience for such a genre is primed to suspect everyone, including the victim, but a sensitive depiction of sexual violence forbids the question. At one point during the opening episode of Broadchurch (TV3, Monday, 10pm), now beginning its third and final season, Olivia Colman’s detective sergeant Ellie Miller snaps at a new recruit when she wonders if the victim of a serious crime is telling the truth. Likewise, detective shows obey certain patterns. This is their routine: good cop, sad cop. For all its portent, its rugged coastal landscapes and late summer haze, the domestic detail of private …

‘Mia Gallagher stands alone in the scope of her patient ambition’

Among the current generation of Irish fiction writers Mia Gallagher stands alone in the scope of her patient ambition. And in the fourth section – the book’s patient, truthful heart – we get a portrait of the Maddens, a middle-class family in 1970s Dublin. And all the time, the young Georgie, ill at ease in herself and the world around her, registering but unsure of the tensions within and without her. But at the very moment when they should be easing into their happiness their family begins to shear apart under the stresses of illness, marital suspicion and class tensions. At that moment four narrative arcs are loosed into the world. Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland opens with a bomb going off at a London Underground station. This is a finely drawn section, rueful in its telling, and the picture of David, the father, whose work and career are stymied by both environmental and office politics, is a particularly fine study in male frustrations, anxieties and embarrassments. The impression is of a long and difficult conjuration. Every 10 years or so she arrives out of the distance, her silver hair streaming in the wind, bearing a novel so closely considered but so large that it draws its own gravitational field, weather systems and dialects with it, a thing of dangerous turbulence. ADVERTISEMENT Georgia Madden, a freelance film editor, begins recording a video letter to her estranged father; a voiceover brings us through a Museum of Curiosities where we are encouraged to browse through its collection of maps and mementos from Bohemia, the “lost homeland” of the title: a documentary maker records the testimony of Anna Bauer, a refugee from that same disappeared land. Mike McCormack: Mia Gallagher lays down teasers which hook the reader’s inquisitiveness and which are slowly revealed The Maddens should be a happy family; they have professions – medic and engineer – and they dote on their only child Georgie. Irish Times Book Club podcast Different scales, temporal and spatial, are brought into alignment. The four narratives, each in their separate idiom, weave and dance across each other. From close peering at the finer details of maps and documents to wide panning shots over the broad swathes of European history, Gallagher lays it all before the reader with assurance. Mike McCormack’s latest work is Solar Bones (Tramp Press), Irish Book of the Year 2016 and winner …

Clifden Arts Festival archive moves to UCD

All these materials will be preserved and, where possible, made accessible to a wider public, both nationally and internationally. Others contributors include Joseph Breen, Don Brown, Arnaud Cuvier, Shiraz Damani , Juliane Friedrich, Jamie Howard, Paddy Howard, Eamon McLoughlin jr., and Colin Russell. A small selection of images from the archive This important cultural heritage archive charts the history of the festival and documents the extraordinary range of writers, musicians and artists it has featured. ADVERTISEMENT This substantial digital archive will now be brought to Ireland and, along with the paper archive, deposited in the UCD Library. Founded in 1977 by a regional arts committee, led by Brendan Flynn, the Clifden Arts Festival is the longest-running community arts festival in Ireland and celebrates its 40th birthday this year. Clifden Arts Festival posters Academics and postgraduates in the College of Arts and Humanities at UCD will work closely with the archive and forge links with future festival events, in keeping with UCD’s commitment to the preservation of Ireland’s cultural heritage and the formation of partnerships with individuals and institutions in the field of the arts. From the beginning it attracted some of the finest names in the arts, including John Behan, Carlo Gébler, Seamus Heaney, John McGahern, Máire Mhac an tSaoi, Paula Meehan, Christy Moore and Bill Whelan. Back in Germany over the winter months Sanders edits the videos and adds them to the archive. Digital archives require a high level of expertise to assure their preservation and continuing availability for scholars and enthusiasts. The Clifden Arts Festival archive complements UCD’s innovative Irish Poetry Reading Archive, which captures the voices of Irish poets and is creating a unique record of the contemporary poetry landscape. The archive reveals the impact these performances had both on the local community and the region – film footage and photographs capture the moment and allow the experience of the festival to be enjoyed, and explored, long after the event itself. Minute books, correspondence, posters, extensive film footage, and thousands of original photographs are just some of the high-quality literary, musical and visual materials that make up the Clifden Arts Festival archive, which was haded over yesterday to University College Dublin. This achievement is due to the vision, passion and ambition of Flynn, his fellow committee members and the entire Clifden community. Plans to build a digital archive emerged in 2008 following discussions between Bernhard Sanders, John Durning …

Was smartphone distraction the cause of the Oscars error?

He handed the envelope for Best Actress to Warren Beatty, and in that instant condemned himself to instant memedom and a lifetime of introductions as ‘The Guy Who’. For the PwC managing partner and chairman of the accounting firm’s US board, it should have been a doddle. We appear to be evolving into a species whose impulse control centre now resides somewhere between our thumb and our index fingers. ADVERTISEMENT Tim Ryan, Brian Cullinan’s boss at PwC, spent the early part of this week offering the firm’s profuse apologies to the Motion Picture Academy, to the filmmakers behind the two movies and to Warren Beatty. Ryan said he had spoken to Cullinan about the episode “at length”. It took less time than that for a plausible explanation for the error to emerge. I actually lost my legs in the Bowling Green Massacre” pic.twitter.com/rtwAuRXnhL — David Schneider (@davidschneider) 28 February 2017 Cullinan and Conway are just the most visible recent examples of the extent to which the compulsion to pull out our smartphones at the most inappropriate moments has become completely normalised. Our phones are like slot machines in our pockets, exerting an irresistible, magnetic pull on our attention. But you have only to talk to a garda or read coroners’ reports of road traffic accidents to discover that, tragically, it’s all too commonplace. pic.twitter.com/oM7a9uu4MH — Terrell J. Two thirds agreed it was important to detox frequently; only 28 per cent had ever actually done so. As technology gets more sophisticated, delivering more and better feedback in the form of a seductive and unpredictable pattern of sounds, lights and noise – the little details that bring the experience to life, referred to by game designers refer to as “juice” – we become more deeply enslaved to it. Three times, in the course of writing about smartphone compulsion, I found myself compulsively reaching for my own smartphone. A recent study by Deloitte found that 18-24-year-olds check their phones, on average, every 20 minutes. “I have reached out to the Academy and shared with them that we take full responsibility that Brian had made the mistake and the firm takes responsibility for that,” he said in a statement known in corporate parlance as “throwing Brian under the bus”. The irony is that there’s no real pleasure in this enslavement to technology. It was the LA-based accountant’s responsibility to make sure that the right …

The Irish Times Book Club podcast with Mia Gallagher

Visitors are reminded that they are about to enter the Wunderkammer, a floating chamber where normal spacetime conventions no longer apply… Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland has been described by Claire Kilroy as a book about how we process trauma and by Rosemary Jenkinson as less of an airport novel, more of a “rocket launch pad novel”. In a podcast recorded at the Irish Writers Centre in February, The Irish Times talks to its author, Mia Gallagher, about how and why she wrote this strangely compelling and compellingly strange epic. The writer and actor discusses using 1970s Dublin as a setting, the creation of her trans woman character Georgia Madden and why she wanted to write about the experiences of German speakers in the Sudetenland in the aftermath of the Second World War. Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland by Mia Gallagher is published by New Island Books Mia Gallagher podcast

Pop Corner: Lana Del Rey’s in Love; One Direction aren’t back together, but still close

We’d like to thank our label Sony, Syco, Simon (Cowell), our amazing A&R, our management, and us girls, because if it wasn’t for our friendship, we wouldn’t still be going. He told NME: “When it happens, it’s gonna happen because he’s not an artist where he have to set it up. People love to write what they want to write but there’s no bitterness.” ADVERTISEMENT NOW CLICK HERE To watch Little Mix’s Brit Awards acceptance speech in full Soon. I see him and we’ve been in the studio together so when it happens, it’s just going to come out. TRACK OF THE WEEK Lana Del Rey – Love On first listen, this is almost a parody of a Lana Del Rey track – the first line mentions “vintage music”, and Del Rey’s slightly glazed delivery glosses over the ears. Hero of the week is Jade Little Mix, who thanked her ex-boyfriends for her BRIT award. But there are some clever tricks throughout, like the nod to the Beach Boys, and the lush orchestration, and as it builds you realise that the repetitive nature of the song is exactly what it’s like when you have a crush – nothing else matters, only them. “Thank you so much. Everyone’s just enjoying a schedule that’s not as relentless and exploring solo projects.” He went on to say that they’re all still close, “I think that’s what it’s all about. That’s my vibe at the moment – I love Matty.” Zero of the week are people who make up rumours, according to Louis “1D” Tomlinson. Because we’re not in a rush, we might as well bring out the best version of what we’ve done. “No one knows the answer right now. We honestly didn’t think we were gonna get it, we were just sat there chin-wagging. He told Rolling Stone that, as far as he’s concerned, One Direction are still on hiatus. And lastly cheers to our exes for helping us to do an amazing song, this one’s for you lads.” Leigh-Ann Little Mix then took the mic to shout-out the group’s five-year friendship <333 Skepta has followed up on last week’s news of a collab with the 1975.

From Prince to The Script to Avicii: Ciara Davey on tour managing at the top end of music

“I get to the gym whenever I can while on the road. ADVERTISEMENT “When you take on a tour, it’s all or nothing,” Davey says, but it doesn’t seem like she’s ready to stop any time soon. It lead to a full-time role with MCD, where she got to know the ins and outs of the live music business, which she says is a great place to learn. When I made it out there, I found myself with a lot more responsibility on my plate then I expected, so I ran with it and his management noticed. So I said yeah, it was my first US tour and I wanted the experience. The Swede was one of the most in demand DJs in the world, which meant 200-plus shows a year. I also love finding a good restaurant.” Davey grew to love the Avicii spectacle, everything from the lights to the pyrotechnics to the lasers and the show itself. Desmond rescinded and helped her get her first job on the road as a production co-ordinator. “It got so bad that the guys bought me a special banana holder,” Davey recalls. “When I came off the road after Avicii, I thought that was it for my touring career and that I would get a 9-5 job at home in Dublin with a better work/life balance. For nearly three years from 2012 to 2015, the Irishwoman operated as dance music superstar Avicii’s tour manager. I’m so proud to have been a part of that.” It’s not all fun Of course, touring isn’t without its downsides. Davey grew up “surrounded by roadies”, (her dad was an accountant who was often hired by them, and her mother worked for Aiken) so she was always interested in the touring lifestyle. We were in the middle of a load-out so it wasn’t an option, but I still have a little giggle to myself when I think about that.” EDM takes over In 2012, while working as assistant tour manager on X-Factor, a friend recommended her for a TM role for an upcoming DJ Tim Bergling aka Avicii. It turns out that I missed it and Ciaran, my fiancé, has been super supportive and encouraging with my return to the road.” Most recently, Davey has been tour managing The Cranberries and working as tour and production coordinator for David Guetta. Whatever Davey does, it seems it will …

From Prince to The Script to Avicii: keeping the show on the road is no picnic

Ushuaïa, Creamfields, Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra Music Festival, Tomorrowland, Encore Beach Club – Ciara Davey’s gigging history is an EDM fan’s fantasy. A typical day started started with a check-in to a hotel between 5am and 8am for some sleep, before emailing promoters on upcoming dates, working out schedules, leasing with crew on soundcheck and production, check-ins with the artist, arranging meetings with industry, booking dinners, doing security checks, safety points, and a walkthrough of the venue, dinner, show, aftershow, airport to fly out to the next city. “I loved the excitement of the crowds and how he could make thousands of people instanta-neously happy. As for staying sane and healthy on the road, there’s more than just potassium-heavy fruit. “I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist,” he wrote, bowing out. I’m so proud to have been a part of that.” It’s not all fun Of course, touring isn’t without its downsides. It turns out that I missed it and Ciaran, my fiancé, has been super supportive and encouraging with my return to the road.” Most recently, Davey has been tour managing The Cranberries and working as tour and production coordinator for David Guetta. Like many people in the How Music Works series, the job came about by accident, rather than design, and a whole lot of experience built up over the years. You’d be surprised what you can get away with if you do it with a smile.” ADVERTISEMENT “When you take on a tour, it’s all or nothing,” Davey says, but it doesn’t seem like she’s ready to stop any time soon. “I learned to take responsibility for my work, use my initiative, be proactive, assertive, manage people’s expectations and most importantly, that assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups.” While covering maternity leave as boss Denis Desmond’s booking assistant, he warned her against life on the road, but the call was too great. The lifestyle became too much for Bergling, who announced his retirement from live performance, at age 26, last March. We were in the middle of a load-out so it wasn’t an option, but I still have a little giggle to myself when I think about that.” EDM takes over In 2012, while working as assistant tour manager on X-Factor, a friend recommended her for a TM role for an upcoming DJ Tim Bergling aka Avicii. ADVERTISEMENT …

From the Burren to Belfast: Sean Lynch removes our heritage from its neat packaging

Occupying pride of place is an ancient monument, the Tau Cross of Kilnaboy. in Kilfenora, and a plaster facsimile made by the National Museum in 1908 is hidden away in storage.” Reproductions of various sketches of the cross made by various observers over the centuries indicate just how selective and fallible eye witnesses can be. He is an artist whose practice, unusually, is centred on researching the byways of cultural history. Rather than offering any simple answers, Lynch ups the ante by introducing the real thing, in the form of the Tau Cross, to the gallery. Agamben proposes that it is any of myriad constructions, including cultural and technological constructions, that have the capacity to influence, persuade, control or divert our judgment, behaviour and perceptions. It is also a perplexing one. ADVERTISEMENT Lynch raises questions about the nature of cultural heritage, and how it is packaged, represented and commodified. The smartphone is an obvious and extreme example. They had devised a way to acknowledge the fate of those who perished: “We’ve made a special allocation for the maximum occupancy of the building. In addition, Hill mentions: “A Styrofoam copy sits within Keith Payne’s display… He refers to a radio discussion on the eve of the opening of the building. The programme presenter wondered if monetising a tragedy was appropriate, given that many of the 1,517 victims “still lie at the bottom of the ocean”. Sean Lynch: Two new bodies of work Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College Dublin ★★★★★ Visit the DHG and you might think that this haven of contemporary art has taken a turn to the past with the departure of its erstwhile director, John Hutchinson. Does the intervention of an interpretive centre enhance the understanding of visitors to a site, in all its layers and complexity? none… There are two strands to this show: A Walk Through Time, which incorporates a series of photographs and the Tau Cross; and Nine Excerpts from What Is an Apparatus?, a sequence of succinct video fables, part of an ongoing project, with Gina Moxley as narrator. There’s no getting away from the aura of the object in all its beauty and strangeness: “Its horizontal cross-beam features two mysterious carved heads with expressionless faces gazing up to the heavens.” Things are never as simple as they might seem, Lynch implies, for the cross remains shrouded in mystery, with many questions about it still …

Away with the fairies: Irish folklore is alive and weird

Fortune has now single-handedly amassed hundreds of hours of video of people recounting the stories, songs, superstitions and beliefs of their communities. Who is continuing the tradition of the great Irish folklore gatherers of the postwar years: Séamus Ó Duilearga and Seamus Ennis, and Alan Lomax in the US? I’m from a farm-labouring background, a people who didn’t go to ‘Hell or Connacht’ but hung on and shaped their lives on the fringes. It’s a place still scarred by the legacy of 1798. It’s just that I come from a coastal village in Wexford called Ballygarrett that is part of larger Gaelic stronghold called the Macamores, which has remained remarkably isolated and stubbornly undeveloped, where old dialects and customs survive intact. ADVERTISEMENT In another film, John and Ned – Ballyscough Bridge: A Quare Place, Fortune’s near neighbour, John Murphy of Morriscastle, recounts (in a dialect straight out of the Middle Ages) an experience he had of being trapped in a field by fairies who forced his car to turn around and be pulled back towards the field. His name is Michael Fortune, an artist who for 20 years has been rooting out and recording the stories and customs of his region around Wexford, initially, and then expanding it to include the rest of Ireland. Hell’s Kitchen is the name of it.” To which Murphy replies, “Be da holy, Ned.” How to get away with murder, 19th-century style Getting in character: portrait of the writer as a performer Unreconciled: Poems 1991-2013 review: novel ideas It is the matter-of-fact way they describe the impact fairies have had on their lives that is most arresting. Beyond the realms of academia only one prominent individual has made it his life’s work to collect our current folk customs, superstitions and beliefs. The late Diarmuid Ó Muirithe’s long-running column in The Irish Times was an honourable exception. It was hastily recorded on the fly one afternoon when Fortune came upon Murphy with his neighbour, Ned Kavanagh. “I never intended to be a folklorist, nor even to make folklore the basis of my artistic practice. There appears to be nothing unusual about the night their grandfather spent hours chasing a fairy in the guise of a rabbit around a field, or how the same fairies took the local shopkeeper hostage and traumatised him to such an extent that he kept the shop door locked from then on, …

How to get away with murder, 19th-century style

This was partly due to cost. Until 1926, the only qualification needed for the office was possession of property. Examples of successful prosecutions based on early forensic science are rare, but they can be found Take the death of Mrs Montgomery in 1810, a gentlewoman in the town of Eyrecourt, Co Galway. Inspiration can be found in the language, the mysteries, the characters. The fragment from Culshaw’s head matched perfectly, and Toms was later tried and hanged. It was the first ever murder to be solved by forensic ballistics. The child was discovered with various knife wounds on his body, but the maid insisted that he had been stillborn, that she had inflicted the cuts in a fit of grief and guilt. Forensic techniques were available to investigators; they were just not routinely employed In 1803, a London mother pleaded at inquest that she had mistakenly given her three-month-old baby a whole phial of laudanum instead of a dose of buckthorn syrup. Source: Google Books A story that struck me particularly was that of a young nursemaid accused of killing her newborn in the home of her employer, Mr Nesham. The most famous is that of Edward Culshaw, a Lancashire man shot through the head by a burglar in 1794. Again the emphasis is the writer’s: “The City Coroner was made acquainted with the circumstances, but, with the usual discrimination by which the Coroners of this country are distinguished, he did not consider it a case that required the holding of an inquest.” ADVERTISEMENT It highlights the fact that in 19th-century Britain and Ireland cases of homicide were under-reported and misidentified. Andrew Hughes: I was struck by the strange reluctance of coroners to declare verdicts of “wilful murder”, even in the most suspicious circumstances. A medical examiner tested this claim by submerging the baby’s lungs in water. During the autopsy, the ball from the pistol was recovered from the skull, but also the remains of a scrap of paper – the wadding used in the muzzle. Toms was arrested, searched, and a ripped song sheet was discovered in his pocket. Carefully unfolded, it was found to be a strip torn from a song sheet. This was just what I wanted for my fictional Dublin coroner, Mr Lawless: a man skilled enough to perform his own autopsies and eager to apply the rationalist techniques of Male’s Epitome. Clipping from the Dublin …

Oscars 2017: Blunder overshadows biggest upset in recent history

Unusually entertaining All of this came out after an unusually entertaining ceremony that seemed to have progressed smoothly. “My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of six other nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US.” The Irish-Ethiopian actor Ruth Negga, stunning in a red Valentino dress, was among several nominees wearing a blue ribbon in honour of the American Civil Liberties Union. Later he tweeted the president, who had earlier confirmed he would not be watching the Oscars, from the stage. Stone won the best actress award and, at 32, Chazelle became the youngest man to win best director. Glancing quickly at the text, she declared La La Land the winner. Reply came there none. Farhadi declined to attend and Iranian astronaut Anousheh Ansari accepted the award in his place. In the event, it managed a merely impressive (rather than groundbreaking) six Oscars. There was further embarrassment for the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when it emerged that the wrong photograph was used in a tribute to the late costume designer Janet Patterson during the “In Memoriam” section. Casey Affleck took best actor for Manchester by the Sea. A scarcely credible blunder has overshadowed one of the biggest upsets in recent Oscar history. That Oscar had been marked down for Maren Ade’s German comedy Toni Erdmann until Mr Trump’s travel ban set in. Viola Davis won best supporting actress for her role in Fences. “I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend,” Ms Chapman commentated. “This broadcast is being watched live by millions of Americans, and around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us,” he said in his opening monologue. La La Land, an airy musical, which has achieved excellent box-office figures, was expected to challenge for a record number of wins after scoring 11 nominations. Made for just $1.5 million, it is the first best picture winner to have an African-American as director. The film was among the best reviewed releases of 2016, but few pundits felt it had a chance against the more populist La La Land. Political statements There were fewer political statements from the podium than expected, but US president Donald Trump remained a ghost at the feast. Mahershala Ali, who was named best supporting …

Getting in character: portrait of the writer as a performer

Yet the fundamental truth about her took years to become apparent to you! When I write I want to give that to the reader, present them with a world that goes on and on, that they can get lost in. I would have felt my jaw set, my bottom lip stick out, my shoulders hunch as they “take on” that humiliated, angry, misunderstood little body. That shaped my prose – my focus on scenes which are about action and sensation, rather than in long discursive passages. – up will pop more questions. Democracy seemed to be failing. I worked in the interactive/digital media sector in the 1990s, when it, and I, was just a baby. But I did grow up as a Cold War teen, I protested against Reagan, saw what Thatcher did to the unions. Until RTÉ 2 came along in the ’80s, there was no wall-to-wall children’s programming. I’m part-German and this book was always going to have a German angle, which meant looking at fascism and its consequences. Crucially, this was at the same time I’d returned to acting. Unlike me, you’re also a performer. You’ve told me you watch reality TV. Am I bored? ADVERTISEMENT When I begin rewriting, I feel myself accessing other skills I’ve learnt through performance. When I first typed up that phrase from longhand, I would have had the exact same feeling that I feel now. Once the programme-makers had to intervene in a fight and I found that exciting; the masks were off, the id was out. A lot of those shows were detectivey with a puzzle at the centre begging to be solved, and that’s made its way into my writing. Of course every time someone responds to the text with a fresh critique – bang! Even with these limitations, I watched as much TV drama as I could, mainly American imports like Little House on the Prairie, Hart to Hart, The Rockford Files, Charlie’s Angels, Remington Steel, Columbo. What do I not want to read? I’ve just looked over the first typed draft (from way back in 2005) and there’s a phrase in the pony episode: “Georgie, tugging stupidly at the reins”. So at this point you have no clear idea what Georgie’s dilemma is. I don’t have actors or a director to reassure me we’ll get there. So perhaps it was only ready to be read now. Then, …

Oscars 2017: how did I fare with my predictions?

Best director is first past the post. Early losses in costume design and sound mixing indicated that this was not going to happen. Dunaway, seeing “Emma Stone, La La Land”, read out the title of that film. Well, a little less than a decade ago, the Academy changed the voting rules. I say “almost the perfect storm”. Since then the two races have split more often than ever before. Whatever won, pundits would be reading the result as a comment on Donald Trump. This is the biggest shock in best picture since Crash won in 2005 (beating, ironically, Brokeback Mountain, a film whose gay theme proved too dangerous for more conservative voters). But action films occasionally sneak that award and Mel Gibson’s uneven martial melodrama didn’t feel like a best picture. We will probably have another year in which the Academy has to apologise for a lack of diversity. Moonlight, which cost around $1.5 million, is also the lowest budgeted film to triumph since Rocky in 1976. And let’s not forget Damien Chazelle’s unfairly backlashed La La Land. This suggests that it appeals across the board. Mind you, the short films – which rarely square up against one another before Oscar night – take very much their own unpredictable route. Endless awards blogging adds to the information overload. At least La La Land had six awards under its belt. One of the more amusing results on Sunday was the awarding of best hair and makeup to Suicide Squad. No Oscar watcher will be foolish enough to suggest that this heralds a new dawn for the Academy Awards. There’s a little more good news there. PriceWaterhouseCooper, long touted as the sober guardian of the results, issued an apology: “We sincerely apologise to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for best picture.” This was almost the perfect storm of a mix-up. Ruth Negga was one of several nominees to wear a blue ribbon in honour of the American Civil Liberties Union (particularly significant in her case, as the ACLU brought the case that inspired Loving, for which she received a best actress nomination). But the win does confirm that there is, at the glossiest awards in the calendar, a window for smaller independent films that deal with excluded citizens. Moonlight was obviously taking a lot of second …

Oscars 2017: What was PwC’s role in the best picture blunder?

Ruiz previously told the BBC: “Once polls close, we print everything and go through a very manual process. Who are Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz? I don’t mean to start stuff but whatever story that was, I had that card. PwC is the accountancy firm in charge of counting the 7,000 votes made by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who vote via post or electronically, to collate the full list of winners for the Oscars. “I wasn’t trying to be funny. The spotlight has been shone on those responsible for the counting and handing out of the winners at the Oscars following the spectacular blunder that saw the wrong film announced as the best picture victor. Photograph: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Why was the wrong envelope handed out? Ruiz said: “It’s up to Brian and I to fully count everything together once, twice and sometimes multiple times to make sure it’s correct.” What happens with the winners cards? After the error was cleared-up, he returned to the microphone to say: “I want to tell you what happened, I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, La La Land, and that is why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. Following the incident, Stone, most likely unaware that there are two duplicate sets of winners cards, said that she was holding onto her winners card as best picture was announced. Two identical sets are made for safety purposes, in case one of the sets is compromised or stolen on the way to the ceremony. Why are there duplicate sets of winners cards? Moonlight was the correct winner for best picture, but the incorrect envelope was handed to presenters Beatty and Dunaway. Two duplicate sets of winners cards in envelopes are produced and put into matching briefcases, which are carried to the red carpet and into the Dolby Theatre ahead of the ceremony. We want to make sure that no results reside in any one system or computer, and want to ensure a variety of different mechanisms (are used) to secure the process and the results.” ADVERTISEMENT Who is aware of the Oscar winners before they are announced? Did Cullinan and Ruiz have the wrong winner? In the days leading up to the awards, Cullinan and Ruiz — with the help of a few colleagues — collect the 7,000 votes and count them manually. …

Oscars: PwC apologises for blunder after La La Land incorrectly named as winner

In the final segment of the ceremony, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announced that, as everyone expected, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land had won best picture. The 89th Academy Awards ended on Monday morning with what was certainly the most shocking moment in Oscar history. The La La Land team then gave over the stage to the folk behind that low-budget drama. Beatty looked confused, showed the card to Dunaway and she declared La La Land the winner. The producers of that musical were halfway through their acceptance speech when Beatty sidled in to confirm there had been an error. Oscars 2017: Full list of winners from 89th Academy Awards Oscars ‘Frockwatch’: Ruth Negga leads the political sartorial statements The card within was a duplicate of that announcing Emma Stone, star of La La Land, as winner of the best actress Oscar. The film had converted six of its record-equalling 11 nominations into victories. It seems that Dunaway and Beatty had been handed the wrong envelope. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters The veteran presenters’ tentativeness in reading out the title had been conspicuous. Chazelle had, at 32, just become the youngest person ever to win best director and had delivered a charming speech. Warren Beatty looks on during confusion over presentation for bst picture. The winner was, in fact, Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight. In a statement PWC said: “We sincerely apologise to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for best picture.   “We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.”  The shock was compounded by the fact that, by this stage in the evening, La La Land’s triumph seemed inevitable. Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) who were responsible for the counting and collation of votes apologiesd for its blunder. All the Oscars red carpet fashion It looked as if Moonlight would have to settle for just two wins. Events began with Justin Timberlake performing Can’t Stop the Feeling – Oscar-nominated song from Trolls – with a joyous bounce through the auditorium. Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea and – a sign that a return from disgrace was imminent – Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge managed two awards. Oscar winners: Best picture: Moonlight Actor in a leading role: Casey Affleck — Manchester By The Sea Actress in a leading role: Emma Stone — La La Land …

Oscars 2017: Our verdict on the winning films and performances

If anything the film is, in its closing act, not quite enigmatic enough. The animals have a rippling weight that belies their formulation on a computer in downtown Los Angeles. You will not be bored.” Fences Won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Viola Davis “We have rarely had an Oscar favourite as unassailable as Viola Davis. In Denzel Washington’s version of Fences, the acclaimed play by August Wilson, Viola plays the long-suffering wife of a middle-aged garbage man who was once a promising baseball player. “The animation is so cute and the jokes so tight that this central insecurity is easily overlooked. This is not a comment on Hacksaw Ridge’s length (though it’s long enough) or its quality (though it’s not at all bad). As in Whiplash, the male lead does quite enough jazz-splaining to his nodding girlfriend. ADVERTISEMENT “The torment is palpable, the script is hard-hitting and Jennifer Lame’s editing is a marvel.” Hacksaw Ridge Won Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing “There is an awful lot of movie in Mel Gibson’s attempt to re-enter respectable Hollywood. A director whose lack of subtlety harmonises with a fecund gift for the mechanics of the art, Gibson delivers a work that plays ruthlessly on the audience’s raw sensibilities. A series of Proustian flashbacks slowly reveal the terrible events behind Lee’s pained existence, events that are so ludicrously tragic they would put most operas to shame. “Little can prepare the viewer for the jolt of Gibson’s battle scenes. “This exquisitely mounted depiction of unbridled misery pivots around Lee Chandler, an alcoholic janitor played by Affleck. This not the messy hyper-reality of Saving Private Ryan or Come and See. Aside from anything else, tigers really do eat rabbits. They are so good they almost convince us we’re watching a movie.” Zootopia/Zootropolis Won Best Animated Feature Film “When the predators turn nasty, the prey suggest that the more toothy animals are returning to their nature. It looks like the work of a benign warlock. Doesn’t it kick up all kinds of undesirable connotations? “Emma Stone has a sweet, fragile voice and a reasonably sure step. More impressive still, Zootropolis (which was bewilderingly re-titled after emerging as Zootopia in the US) has a plot you can really, ahem, sink teeth into.” The Salesman Won Best Foreign Language Film “The film is flawlessly acted. Viola works high emotion from every one of her many …

Alternative Oscars: and the award for Grumpiest Loser goes to . . .

Best Tweet of the night Obviously we’ll be enjoying memes based around the great Oscar error forever. It almost felt like an amusing joke on the film-going community. Ms Johnson is the mathematician, formerly with Nasa, played by Ms Henson in Hidden Figures. Kimmel cheekily suggested that she should be awarded an Emmy for the speech. Now 98, Johnson, a holder of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was wheeled on to tumultuous applause. Maybe Denzel did win. Scarlett Johansson Jedward #Oscars pic.twitter.com/oLGD9WNEcI — JEDWARD (@planetjedward) 27 February 2017 Most unexpected new hyphenate of the night That has to go to the newly accurate phrase “the Oscar-winning Suicide Squad”. The news that Jimmy Kimmel was to host the Oscars was greeted with a mixture of indifference and hostility throughout the kingdoms. But before things turned properly weird, the best tweet came from our old friends Jedward. ADVERTISEMENT Best early arrival Our own Ruth Negga did everything right. Don’t worry you’ll be watching this again and again until you die. Kimmel just about got away with a stunt in which unsuspecting passengers in a tourist bus were unexpectedly ushered into the auditorium. It never will again. His emotional response when he finally triumphed for Hacksaw Ridge was something to behold. The mighty twins spotted that Scarlett Johansson had a haircut much like their own and placed two photos of her side by side with the words “Scarlett Johansson Jedward” above them. Warren Beatty may well turn up to announce another reversal. If such an apparently well-suited figure as Neil Patrick Harris could bomb then how would this less ingratiating figure perform? Kevin O’Connell, a sound mixer, held, to this point, the record as Oscar’s greatest loser. The Searchers didn’t get a single Oscar nomination, but one of last year’s most reviled films won an Academy Award for best hair and makeup. He passes the card to Faye Dunaway who reads the only bit that looks like the title of a film. Affleck had long been the favourite but most pundits saw Washington edging ahead in the final weeks. Most moving moment That would have to be the arrival of Katherine Johnson on stage to help Taraji P. Best buck passing Warren Beatty gets confused when the envelope that is supposed to contain the best picture winner holds a card re-announcing Emma Stone as the victor in best actress. Robbed. She already has …

Oscars 2017: Full list of winners from 89th Academy Awards

Best picture: Moonlight Actor in a leading role: Casey Affleck — Manchester By The Sea Actress in a leading role: Emma Stone — La La Land Actor in a supporting role: Mahershala Ali — Moonlight Actress in a supporting role: Viola Davis — Fences Directing: Damien Chazelle — La La Land Adapted screenplay: Moonlight — Barry Jenkins Writing (Original screenplay): Manchester By The Sea — Kenneth Lonergan Animated feature film: Zootopia Cinematography: La La Land — Linus Sandgren Music (Original song): City Of Stars — La La Land Best makeup and hairstyling: Suicide Squad Best costume design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Best documentary: OJ-Made in America Best sound editing: Arrival Best sound mixing: Hacksaw Ridge Best foreign language film: The Salesman Best animated short: Piper Best animated feature: Zootopia Best production design: La La Land Best visual effects: The Jungle Book Best film editing: Hacksaw Ridge Best documentary short: The White Helmets Best live-action short: Sing Best cinematography: La La Land Agencies All the Oscars red carpet fashion