Fortitude finale – ramps up the crazy and goes out on an explosive high

If Dormer’s Anderssen became the show’s natural focus at the expense of all else, it’s partly because he straddles the divide between a police procedural and a horror show most effortlessly: even in the grip of demonic possession, the good sheriff/bad sheriff question is hard to settle. The question was rhetorical – there was no crime in Fortitude, the northernmost settlement in the world and “the safest place on earth”. Modelling his performance on the ferocity and even weighting of a polar bear, Dormer alone knows how to walk on it. Dormer’s terrific performance has become more growling and sinister (and darkly comic) as Sky’s second series has progressed, frequently gnashing at the genre boundaries of the show to see how much it can contain. Gruff, grizzly and clearly territorial himself, maybe Richard Dormer’s sheriff harboured a beastly prejudice. In truth, though, eventually he had little competition as the rest of the cast was gored, butchered, beheaded, incinerated, fatally infected, crushed, drowned, defenestrated or – less frequently – shot. “Is Dan Anderssen a good sheriff or a bad sheriff?” wondered one character when Fortitude (Sky Atlantic, Thursday, 9pm) first began. He was simply the last person prowling. In the finale, an abrupt manhunt for Anderssen, now believed to have healing powers that science can exploit, serves only as a perfunctory excuse to off any remaining baddies and blow the rest of the pyrotechnics budget. Is it any wonder that only Dormer, resplendent in bulky furs and finally given to eating his prey, seems truly at home? That ramping up of crazy means the show is best watched in a quibble-free binge, and yet writer Simon Donald’s narrative has been allowed to drift. Fortitude’s blend of the forensic, scientific and supernatural deliberately seeks out a terrain of thinnest ice. While fatal attacks were not unheard of, the polar bears that committed them generally avoided arrest. A long-anticipated showdown between Anderssen and Robert Sheehan’s boyish shaman, Vladek, pitched as a battle between good and evil, was roundly decided in evil’s favour.

Van Morrison gets the band back together – after 54 years

Juniper The Co Kildare band produced a series of singles and EPs in the 1990s, but they’re of far more note for what happened after their demise in 1998. The band signed a deal with London Record but rock’n’roll fame did not follow. They were big in the Philippines, mind. Future E Street Band members Steve Van Zandt, Danny Federici and Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez also served in the Mill alongside Springsteen. Uncle Tupelo Here you’ll find the pre-Wilco Jeff Tweedy initially alongside Jay Farrar and Mike Heidorn who then went on to form Son Volt. Seona Dancing You know Ricky Gervais as the comedian from The Office and Extras, but he had a previous life as a pop performer and a member of this 1980s new wave band alongside Bill Macrae. On the tiny stage in the Yacht Club, Morrison stood alongside George Jones, Billy McAllen and Roy Kane to play as The Monarchs for the first time since they toured Germany in 1963. While Morrison went on to have huge international success first with Them and then as a solo star, The Monarchs are obviously more than just a footnote in his back-pages, judging by this surprise gig. The gig was to remember the late Billy Deane and to raise funds for the Marie Curie hospice in east Belfast. Girls Tyme Before she was Queen Bey and even before Destiny’s Child came along, Beyoncé Knowles was a member of a Houston-based girl band called Girls Tyme. The line-up included such acts as Inis Mor, the Alan McKelvey Blues Band, The Leah McConnell Band, Lee Hedley’s Ram Jam, George Jones and Friends and the Pikestone Preachers. Few of those who turned up to last weekend’s charity gig at the Holywood Yacht Club outside Belfast expected to witness a piece of rock’n’roll history. That split produced a solo star in the shape of Damien Rice and one of the most consistently fascinating Irish bands around in Bell X1. Any band that featured Morrissey before he went on to form The Smiths, Billy Duffy before The Cult came calling and The Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly is well worth seeing again. It does make you wonder if more stars of today should go back and play with their pre-fame acts, providing there’s enough of them still around to make it onto the stage. Admission was a tenner and that included “quality hot …

In search of the American experience

For three days, we’ll become surrogate-residents of the split-level. All three of us saw it.” Fear was written on their faces. Early into his deployment in Afghanistan, he witnessed a father bring a burned five-year-old girl to the edge of a US military base. We are doing our time, until our parole is granted and we are sent home. She would use the left-over soap. We gave her things, things we were going to throw away, worn out running shoes, half empty bottles of shampoo, socks with holes. *** The ethnic cleansing that went on in Kosovo, the former republic of Yugoslavia, during the 1990s was largely based on religion. That was his bio. My father crawls through the window, and I prepare the camera, waiting for him to open the front door. I grabbed the sandbag on his head and shook it once and said. The two men shook uncontrollably. The sergeant of the guard jumped on top of him and punched him repeatedly in the head and body. “Let‘s just leave the damned thing here: ‘Spacious split-level with complimentary television’.” “We‘ve gotten it this far,” my father says through a half-laugh. Four bag chairs sat next to the picnic table, arranged in a row facing a TV tuned to the Armed Forces Network. *** I’d wanted this event to make the local newspaper like Lily’s estate sale had – “Historic Home Demolished” – but it was to be strictly a family affair. She’d kept the plastic on the lampshades, too – as if she’d somehow sensed this was coming. The camouflage-print bandana he has tied around his bald head is saturated with sweat. I met Steve in a bleak Rust Belt mid-American town. The Rise and Fall of the US Mortgage and Credit Markets: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Market Meltdown. All is documented in the aperture of a camera lens, per the bank’s demand, in shots a daughter takes to pictorially document the loss. He said it was an Asian thing. But into how many homes must I watch my father break and enter? I told them my side of the story. This place the rest of the world forgot. We are hinged at our hips, our arms forming a roof above our heads, our hands palm to palm-an apex. Now bricks and mortar fill the void that once held colorful stain glass windows. Their stories were …

Cannibalism meets feminism in this new horror movie

And now it has slunk its way into a multiplex near you. “And I probably imagined them as worse than they actually were. I don’t know why genre cinema is not taken very seriously in France. So we’ve lost that.”   Ducornau and producer Jean de Forêts were pleasantly surprised when the French funding quickly came together for Raw. I think something got lost in time, because before even the New Wave, we had directors like Henri-Georges Clouzot. Whatever.     “Everybody wants to talk about the bodies and the cannibalism,” says the director. Because genre horror films are often associated with violence and anger, they are useful for the younger generation – to which I belong – as a way to express larger fears effectively.” Garance M arillier and Rabah Nait Oufella in Raw Get Out has received near-universal acclaim among critics and crowds, who have jollied the film – made for $4.5 million – toward $154,410,610 at the box office thus far. “But work so far has featured a lot of bodies and the mutation of bodies. During these cruel initiations, Justine is forced to eat rabbit kidney, an act that leaves her with an insatiable craving for meat. Made from real fingers. “I’m not a sociologist, so I can probably only give you stupid reasons,” says the Parisian film-maker, laughing. A sub-genre that once looked to have peaked around 1977 – the year when Eraserhead and Suspiria triggered brand new nightmares – has been steadily gaining traction since the turn of the millennium. I think also, if you have family or friends who are doctors, they have a very practical point of view about illness and mortality. But we really expected to struggle way, way more to get funding than we did, because of the identity of my movie. The horse is being put to sleep for a real procedure. “But a lot of that recognition has happened in the light of history. Raw has gone one better, having made headlines when it picked up the Fipresci Prize. There was something so tragic and sad about seeing such a big beast in such a small room.” Raw opens on April 7th They are separating for the first time in their lives. “It requires a lot of perseverence. awarded by international critics, at Cannes last year. Even when you think about directors like [Jean-Pierre] Melville, they worked in film …

Raw: An insatiable craving for finger food including real fingers

They are separating for the first time in their lives. “You’re watching a real intervention. Never mind the compound carnalities of Justine’s campus life, the gothic-looking veterinarian equipment and the spectacle of a horse being put to sleep ahead of a surgical procedure was, for this viewer, far more disconcerting than the menu items. “Making movies is never easy,” she says. “But, for me, the core of the film is the relationship between the sisters. I’m from the city, so when I see a horse I imagine it running in the fields with the wind in its hair. Ducornau, the daughter of two doctors, is not one for flinching. Whatever. “I didn’t realise my parents had influenced my work until very very late,” she says. “I’m not a sociologist, so I can probably only give you stupid reasons,” says the Parisian film-maker, laughing.     “Everybody wants to talk about the bodies and the cannibalism,” says the director. Clipping at the heels of Get Out, Jordan Peele’s cunning race-relations horror-satire, comes Raw, Julia Ducournau’s witty, gruesome, cannibal veterinarian horror-comedy. There’s a strange contradiction at work here: Cahiers du Cinéma named John Carpenter’s horror-sci-fi Ghosts of Mars as the fourth best film of 2000 at a time when the same film received very little love from anglophone critics, yet French state funding favours arthouse over genre. awarded by international critics, at Cannes last year. “But I think it has something to do with the general state of the world right now and the dark days that we are going through. “It requires a lot of perseverence. There was something so tragic and sad about seeing such a big beast in such a small room.” – Raw opens on April 7th When I was creating the dynamic between them, I imagined a cell that was dividing”. It’s not only a horror movie; it’s a crossover movie – something very hard to sell, especially in a culture that doesn’t make horror movies and where women directors are still a minority.”  Last September, during the film’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere, audience members fainted, paramedics were called, and at least one person was carried away of a stretcher. A sub-genre that once looked to have peaked around 1977 – the year when Eraserhead and Suspiria triggered brand new nightmares – has been steadily gaining traction since the turn of the millennium. That’s a remarkable feat …

DJ Mano le Tough: ‘Longest set I’d do? Eight or 10 hours’

Other DJs started playing my tracks and it took off.” Ascent His ascent wasn’t as meteoric as it may seem in hindsight. “I just feel compelled to, it’s not because I want to. It always seems like you’ve come from nowhere when, actually, you’ve been working your arse off for years. “There were times I just thought, God what am I doing? “Not crazy long, though,” he assures me. It’s the sort of setting that would be perfect for a torrid affair between two amorous statisticians. At such length, does it get hard to avoid repeating tracks? I was working in an Irish pub, actually a couple of different pubs, and running small parties with friends.” Was his faith in the move ever tested? “I did more than 120 gigs last year, which can be tough, but every year you get slightly better with that kind of schedule. But now, the only time I really listen to albums the whole way through is on my phone when I’m travelling.” Ideas kicking around Despite all this, he does have a few ideas kicking around for number three. It could be one of your favourite tracks of the moment and you realise afterward that in 10 hours you never thought to play it.” When he left Ireland in 2007, Niall Mannion was a budding DJ and producer with a few tracks garnering interest on MySpace. “Yeah, I try to imagine that stuff, that’s the difficulty of being an artist whose main focus is club music. Now, hopefully I’ve matured a lot. “Every Tuesday, basically,” he says laughing. I grew up listening to albums, they were the cultural currency, the touchstones. “It was fairly meagre when I first got to Berlin. It’s a place that has a pristine, toy-set kind of beauty, filled with artfully symmetrical homes looking out on to still, stately Lake Zurich. My initial hunch that he’d moved to get some peace from the maelstrom of Berlin is heartily debunked. In 2016, I made sure I had more breaks from intense periods and planned that time better. He’s also proven a familiar sight on dance music institution Boiler Room, where the combination of his height, game-face, and the skewed perspective caused by an upward-facing camera, lend him a mild resemblance to Michael Collins standing on a stepladder. In 2016, he played to an audience of around 300,000 people and he …

Raw movie review: An insatiable craving for finger food including real fingers

Including finger food. Never mind the compound carnalities of Justine’s campus life, the gothic-looking veterinarian equipment and the spectacle of a horse being put to sleep ahead of a surgical procedure was, for this viewer, far more disconcerting than the menu items. “But I think it has something to do with the general state of the world right now and the dark days that we are going through. You may be struggling with your own little problems but some day your body will say ‘f**k off’, and then you die.” Hazing torments Raw concerns a straight-edge, virginal vegetarian named Justine (Garance Marillier), who, following in the footsteps of her parents and her wilder older sister, begins her studies in veterinarian medicine with a burst of hazing torments and hedonistic parties. That’s a remarkable feat when one considers how rare it is to happen upon a French horror film.     “Everybody wants to talk about the bodies and the cannibalism,” says the director. During these cruel initiations, Justine is forced to eat rabbit kidney, an act that leaves her with an insatiable craving for meat. But we really expected to struggle way, way more to get funding than we did, because of the identity of my movie. “But work so far has featured a lot of bodies and the mutation of bodies. I’m from the city, so when I see a horse I imagine it running in the fields with the wind in its hair. Whatever. Made from real fingers. It’s not only a horror movie; it’s a crossover movie – something very hard to sell, especially in a culture that doesn’t make horror movies and where women directors are still a minority.”  Last September, during the film’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere, audience members fainted, paramedics were called, and at least one person was carried away of a stretcher. There’s a strange contradiction at work here: Cahiers du Cinéma named John Carpenter’s horror-sci-fi Ghosts of Mars as the fourth best film of 2000 at a time when the same film received very little love from anglophone critics, yet French state funding favours arthouse over genre. A sub-genre that once looked to have peaked around 1977 – the year when Eraserhead and Suspiria triggered brand new nightmares – has been steadily gaining traction since the turn of the millennium. “Making movies is never easy,” she says. And I probably imagined them …

Donal Ryan on John McGahern: ‘Amongst Women’ almost finished me. How could a book be this good?

Certainty is terminal. Go over the day that was gone, what was done or left undone, or dream of the dead days with her in June. I read Amongst Women in 1995 or 1996. “I would want no shadow to fall on her joy and deep trust in God. I think if they’d met again afterwards that McGahern would have understood. As we retraced our steps, I would pick for her the wild orchid and the windflower.” Donal Ryan’s works are The Spinning Heart, The Thing about December, A Slanting of the Sun: Stories and All We Shall Know. The obfuscatory language of politics is used daily to encourage us to swallow all sorts of unpalatable things; the closed, joyless, terminal language of rationality is used to denigrate faith in God; the language of macroeconomics is used to parse humanity into mathematical units of various values; the strident, trenchant language of dogma is used to build prisons of faith. I was mostly alone there, and I had a broken heart for a little while, and a view of swaying trees. Language can be twisted and tortured into any shape, to any end. “We would leave the lanes and I would take her by the beaten path the otter takes under the thick hedges between the lakes. There are a million words that humans use and, therefore, as good as an infinity of ways of saying any one thing. I read Amongst Women in 1995 or 1996. If the heavens split open and gave me a chance, a moment to speak to this greatest of writers, all I’d be able to say is, “Thanks, John, for the truth of your words, for the gifts you left behind.” The final words I have to give to him, as in Memoir he imagines walking again with the woman who gave him life: “If we could walk together through those summer lanes, with their banks of wild flowers that ‘cast a spell’, we probably would not be able to speak, though I would want to tell her all the local news. The hope that writers have and will follow in McGahern’s wake and push and push towards the truth of things. It almost finished me as an aspiring writer. I’ve heard writers claim they feel sickened by everything they’ve written, that they are ashamed of their sentences’ imperfections, apparent to them only in retrospect. …

Two pianists play ‘Rite’ in a rare harmonious relationship

He describes him as “a very noble soul, and never has a bad word about anyone, which is a sterling quality. It’s very difficult. The very first recording with Michael Tilson Thomas and Ralph Grierson, in the early 1970s, was done, I think, with Stravinsky’s approval.” Since then, the arrangement has taken on a life of its own, and is seen by some people as a version that, in the absence of the full gamut of orchestral colour and sonority, somehow concentrates the musical essence of the piece. The percussive attack of the piano makes it a particularly challenging medium, one in which tiny lapses of ensemble create disproportionately obvious effects. It’s not something he anticipates with pleasure. He had a residency at the Berlin Philharmonic a few years after, so we did it there. It’s like getting me into a pool. Debussy’s En blanc et noir “is among his last works, and the spirit of the war – he died in 1918 – is very much present, in more ways than one. I feel that way about many of the great masterpieces.” The touring programme features Mozart and Debussy as well as more Stravinsky. Hamelin is effusive about Andsnes as a partner. I mean, who does that?” Dense and challenging The Mozart completion that Hamelin and Andsnes play is by Paul Badura-Skoda. “And I know darn well what they expect me to answer, thirds, octaves, sixths. It’s the ability to be able to hear yourself during performance the same way the public is hearing you. The Mozart Larghetto and Allegro in E flat is an unfinished piece that Hamelin came across in the very first concert he ever went to by himself, to hear the Kontarsky brothers, in 1970. No. It sounds like it’s always existed. And that’s a very tall order.” If he has a failing in this regard, he says, “it’s that I haven’t listened enough to my recordings or performances”. We did it in each of these places. It is an arrangement Stravinsky made, primarily I think, for ballet rehearsals, and also because almost everything was transcribed for four hands at that time.” The Rite came into a world that didn’t yet know radio and when gramophones were mostly used for recordings of songs and short piano pieces. I met them. We met in a hotel in London. And it throws doubt at me. I often …

DJ Mano le Tough: `The longest set I’d routinely do? Eight or 10 hours’

At such length, does it get hard to avoid repeating tracks? “We left because my girlfriend moved back to Switzerland. I was working in an Irish pub, actually a couple of different pubs, and running small parties with friends.” Was his faith in the move ever tested? “I just feel compelled to, it’s not because I want to. But now, the only time I really listen to albums the whole way through is on my phone when I’m travelling.” Ideas kicking around Despite all this, he does have a few ideas kicking around for number three. “It can all become a distraction from the things that got you to where you are in the first place, which is making music that you believe in and delivering at every show. “Not crazy long, though,” he assures me. “Yeah, I try to imagine that stuff, that’s the difficulty of being an artist whose main focus is club music. But 2012 is when things really started to speed up, when I started doing over 100 gigs a year, and released my first album.” That album, Changing Days, was followed by 2015’s Trails. I grew up listening to albums, they were the cultural currency, the touchstones. In the last year or so, I’ve really learned to enjoy the process and not worry about what’s around the corner so much.” Mano Le Tough plays All Night Long at District 8 on Saturday, April 1st The past decade has seen him release two albums, found a record label called Maeve with fellow Irish house producer The Drifter, and put out a bevvy of tracks and remixes for the likes of Róisín Murphy and Caribou. Rakish and twinkly eyed about most things, Mano is modestly evasive on the subject of all this success, although he freely admits things were pretty different 10 years ago. “You end up thinking the opposite. “It was fairly meagre when I first got to Berlin. I like doing a ‘big record’, but that’s just not how people absorb music any more, myself included; now it’s clicking through tracks. I rushed the whole thing. “I did more than 120 gigs last year, which can be tough, but every year you get slightly better with that kind of schedule. In 2016, he played to an audience of around 300,000 people and he is a consistent presence on Resident Advisor’s prestigious Top 100 DJ poll. …

Don’t Let Go and En Vogue: the most powerful combo in music

The opening bars alone turn most people into panthers prowling the dance floor while warbling the chorus with the desperation of 1,000 exes phoning at 3.55am for a second chance. While the trio are releasing a new album Electric Cafe in the coming months, this gig will be awash with nostalgia hits. The most recent line up consists of Cindy Herron-Braggs and Terry Ellis, two of the four original members, and Rhona Bennett. Remember the days) due to poor ticket sales, but now that the 1990s revival is in full swing, this feels like the right time for their return. Your youth is having a revival. Don’t Let Go has brought them unprecedented levels of success since its release in 1996. The last time En Vogue played Ireland, the gig had to be moved from Tripod to Crawdaddy (Ah! It is a song with many lives, re-entering the Irish and UK charts in 2011 following Little Mix’s performance on The X Factor, and it has a dangerous effect on people. While NWA are responsible for curating a wave of socially aware Californian hip-hop in the early 1990s, En Vogue, mostly from Oakland, took this woke frame of mind, mixed it with rich harmonies and flooded the charts with assertive songs such as My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It), Free Your Mind and their 1993 Salt N’ Pepa collaboration Whatta Man. Dawn Robinson and Maxine Jones have left and rejoined the group numerous times, either to focus on solo work, start families or to get the hell away from the other two, since 2003. So do the opposite of what they say and let go. What you did back then is now all the rage so with that, throw your iPhone away, rummage through your old Callcard collection (is it a Tina Turner or Michael Collins kinda night?) and go see En Vogue in Dublin’s Vicar Street to celebrate this kickback. Dive into your past and tell yer ma that you’ll be getting the last Nitelink home. As one of the biggest-selling girl groups ever, En Vogue defined the sound of 1990s R&B, paving the way for the likes of TLC, Destiny’s Child and SWV and influencing music today, with Little Mix and Ariana Grande in turn taking a leaf out of their book with songs encompassing empowerment and sexuality.

Fear, bodies, cannibalism and one sad horse; welcome to the new art horror

During these cruel initiations, Justine is forced to eat rabbit kidney, an act that leaves her with an insatiable craving for meat. Move over, creepy pasta and found footage; there’s a dapper new kind of art-horror about town. Raw has gone one better, having made headlines when it picked up the Fipresci Prize. A sub-genre that once looked to have peaked around 1977 – the year when Eraserhead and Suspiria triggered brand new nightmares – has been steadily gaining traction since the turn of the millennium. There’s a strange contradiction at work here: Cahiers du Cinéma named John Carpenter’s horror-sci-fi Ghosts of Mars as the fourth best film of 2000 at a time when the same film received very little love from anglophone critics, yet French state funding favours arthouse over genre. And now it has slunk its way into a multiplex near you. That’s a remarkable feat when one considers how rare it is to happen upon a French horror film. I think something got lost in time, because before even the New Wave, we had directors like Henri-Georges Clouzot. “But work so far has featured a lot of bodies and the mutation of bodies. Including finger food. So we’ve lost that.”   French funding Ducornau and producer Jean de Forêts were pleasantly surprised when the French funding quickly came together for Raw. And I probably imagined them as worse than they actually were. “It requires a lot of perseverence. It’s not only a horror movie; it’s a crossover movie – something very hard to sell, especially in a culture that doesn’t make horror movies and where women directors are still a minority.”  Last September, during the film’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere, audience members fainted, paramedics were called, and at least one person was carried away of a stretcher. You may be struggling with your own little problems but some day your body will say ‘f**k off’, and then you die.” Hazing torments Raw concerns a straight-edge, virginal vegetarian named Justine (Garance Marillier), who, following in the footsteps of her parents and her wilder older sister, begins her studies in veterinarian medicine with a burst of hazing torments and hedonistic parties. “But, for me, the core of the film is the relationship between the sisters. Clipping at the heels of Get Out, Jordan Peele’s cunning race-relations horror-satire, comes Raw, Julia Ducournau’s witty, gruesome, cannibal veterinarian horror-comedy. I think also, …