Teresa Palmer: Locked into her latest movie role

Shortland’s third feature, a psycho-sexual ordeal from the same sub-genre as Room and Funny Games, follows backpacker and photographer Clare (Palmer) around the titular German city. “People have all sorts of opinions and judgments about breastfeeding and all aspects of motherhood,” says Palmer, who generated some ridiculously disapproving headlines for breastfeeding Bodhi when he was two-and-a-half. She was later attached to another George Miller project, Mad Max: Fury Road. “My mum is super-religious,” she says. She does volunteer work with the elderly. After a late-night hook-up, Clare wakes up in Andi’s apartment and finds the door locked. There were scenes that confused me even while we were shooting them. She has subsequently shared the screen with Daniel Radcliffe (December Boys), Adam Sandler (Bedtime Stories), Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Grudge 2), Nicolas Cage (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), Édgar Ramírez (Point Break) and Chadwick Boseman (Message from the King). Soon enough, she bumps into Andi (Sense8’s Max Riemelt), a charming local with perfect English. “Every day I went into this pokey little apartment and got traumatised. The removal of the sim card from her phone, the soundproof walls and the unbreakable windows suggest otherwise. “I really want to work with George again,” says Palmer. Her method performance in Cate Shortland’s Berlin Syndrome, however, is the real deal. Competing Batmans Days before shooting was due to begin, the plug was pulled on the $250 million project, a casualty of tax issues, the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike, and a fear of competing Batmans. I thought so even before I spent all my time either breastfeeding or pregnant.” She laughs: “I’m never going to get the chance to enjoy red wine again.” Berlin Syndrome is in cinemas from June 9th He’s an actors’ director: he knows your vulnerability as an actor and he knows how to get the best out of each of us.” Teresa Mary Palmer was born in South Australia to Kevin Palmer, an investor, and Paula Sanders, a medic and missionary. That one crazy scene, when it’s Christmas and there’s music and presents and she’s dressed up and cooking. In 2006, 18-year-old Kampusch escaped from kidnapper Wolfgang Priklopil, a communications technician, having being held captive by him in a tiny basement for 3,096 days. As we meet, Bodhi is snoring on his mum’s lap. She mourned what happened to him. It’s a role that Earth mother Palmer – the co-founder of …

The pub crawl that kept de Valera out of government in 1927

It will be an experience unlike that of any his global compatriots in prime ministerial office, as independents are a rarity in most national parliaments. De Valera wanted to dismantle much of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, and if given a free rein by Johnson who knows what reaction this would have provoked from the British government. And so it was that independent TDs decided the fate of the government. It was a critical time for Irish democracy. Initially Jinks took all the credit for saving the Cosgrave government. There is no John Jinks, but there are a number of independents, including the Independent Alliance, akin to Cooper and Wolfe, on whom the Taoiseach’s political fate rests. Kevin O’Higgins, the Minister for Home Affairs, had been assassinated a month previously, and Fianna Fáil had just entered the Dáil for the first time, some of its TDs with guns in their pockets. Determined to oust the conservative Cumann na nGaedheal from office, Fianna Fáil engineered a plan with Labour to seize power by legal means via a motion of no confidence in Cosgrave. The three parties between them had a bare majority of one to get the motion passed, and had it done so, Ireland could have had a very different political history. Ninety years after the Jinks episode, Cosgrave’s successor as leader of the country and of Fine Gael is facing a similar situation. Two days after the vote, on August 18th, he resigned from the National League party, claiming that, as a constitutional nationalist, he had always been opposed to an alliance with de Valera’s Fianna Fáil. With the external support of Fianna Fáil, Johnson hoped to form a minority coalition with the National League, a party of primarily ex-Home Rulers. This was a sometimes forgotten moment of political farce, centred on John Jinks, a National League TD from Sligo, who went missing during a crucial vote of no confidence in the Cosgrave government in August 1927. It remains to be seen whether the new Taoiseach can inspire from the independents the kind of commitment shown by Bryan Cooper, Jasper Wolfe and The Irish Times in the 1920s to keep WT Cosgrave in power. Since then, most taoisigh have likewise had to look to independents to stay in power at some stage in their political careers. On the afternoon of the vote, Cooper and Bertie Smyllie, the Editor of …

Eimear McBride: ‘Art with no sex in it leaves me cold’

At this point it’s probably worth mentioning that, generally, this particular form of prudishness is far more visible in male than female critical work, for reasons that my word count won’t permit me to do justice to here. After all, sex runs right through our lives. Saul Bellow was of the opinion that: “All a writer has to do to get a woman is say he’s a writer. Of my own area, literature, it’s always said that good sex scenes are notoriously difficult to write. For sex to be pornographic, it must be created with the intention of inducing sexual arousal in its target audience. Others have regarded both acts of creation as fundamental to one another. The confusion stems from the fact that bodies never stop behaving like bodies and therefore tend to react to sexual material sexually, no matter what the intention. That’s a wonderful inspiration to give someone.” Even those blatantly on the make have recognised the intrinsic sexual draw of art. In a 2001 interview, Beryl Bainbridge admitted a concern for her ability to continue writing having decided to give up sex: “At first I was worried – because all my life I’d believed that the creative impulse was sexual, and if you lost that, then blimey, could you write any more?” The American fashion and portrait photographer Terry Richardson, famous for the sexually explicit nature of his work, says of his choice to appear naked in his own photographs: “The thought of people masturbating to me, or to pictures I take, is great. It’s as if there’s a knot of complex sexuality right at the centre of each of us. Guardian Service The Lesser Bohemians, by Eimear McBride, is published by Faber Porn’s simplification of sex necessarily eliminates honest exploration of the true natures, physical responses, emotions and thoughts of the people/characters performing it, whether on screen or on the page. Fortunately, they remain the basic tools of art. Pornography is created by using various stimuli to manipulate sexual reactions from bodies. Initially he suggests it is “in the sense that the sex act is shown on screen, complete with money shot”. Traditionally, objectors to this sort of thing airily claim that it is “boring”. In the past, societies laboured under the delusion that self-discipline could keep this knot of sexuality forever tied and that a socially enforced orderliness – whatever its frustrations – was …

Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction: shortlist reviews

We can see Neve is a product of her dysfunctional upbringing. Longer sequences such as the central character, the mixed-race Allmon Shaughnessy, helplessly descending into poverty and crime, are utterly convincing. Horses whicker, crickets thrum, windows whine and summer comes “like an Egyptian plague”. Her writing has won many accolades including the Orange Award for New Writers and in 2013 she was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in their once-a-decade list. It’s beautiful, precise writing about family ties, mothers and daughters, secrets, shame and duty. Thien depicts China before Mao Zedong through to Communist one-party rule and the Great Leap Forward, and after, distressing scenes of Tiananmen Square. And further, as it opens out, her book is about society’s ongoing battle with itself, to hang on to the opportunities for greater good that the shock of war opened up. Then her father dies by eating himself to death. With lively dialogue and super-sharp observation, my journeys on planes, buses, trains and Tubes reading Stay with Me were filled with the scent and sounds of jangling Yoruba communities and the backstreets of Nigeria – as well as with the acrid spoil of stubborn, blind, male pride. It would make great television but television would ruin it. Stay With Me does this to the power of X; on the pages of this captivating debut novel we recognise women and men who fret over the stomach-churning, quotidian tragedies of daily life while grand tragedies play out around them. Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo, reviewed by Bettany Hughes Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo Reviewed by Bettany Hughes The joy of the best books is that they cosy up the epic with the mundane. Or would you have been swept away by Zedong’s vision of a braver, fairer world? The 22nd winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction will be presented with a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze statue known as “the Bessie”, created by artist Grizel Niven on Wednesday, June 7th, in the Royal Festival Hall in London. There are funny moments in the interaction between Neve and her mother, but in the background there’s a constant dull ache as we see the emotional baggage Neve is carrying. The Power appeals to me on all these levels and more. Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, reviewed by Grace Dent Do Not …

Bob Dylan’s Nobel lecture: I was ‘pals with the wild Irish rover’

He concedes that the ideas the young Robert Zimmerman took from literature worked their way into his work as Bob Dylan: “I wanted to write songs unlike anything anybody ever heard, and these themes were fundamental.” But the gut impact of a composition means more than the literary or mythical references that may have inspired it: “If a song moves you, that’s all that’s important.” For Dylan, it seems, songs provide a means for people to affirm their sense of self in a world that otherwise appears random and capricious. But it is a dramatic opening. And, defiant to the last, he accepts his award unapologetically as a songwriter, not as a poet manqué. Like his best songs, his lecture is rich in rewarding detail and evocative imagery, but the important thing is how it moves you. They’re meant to be sung, not read.” He ends with a plea for people to encounter his lyrics as they were intended: “in concert or on record or however people are listening to songs these days.” Fittingly for a lecture that celebrates the vernacular, it is more effective as an audio piece than as a written essay. Remembering Bob Marley’s ‘Exodus’ 40 years on Boombox 2 review: When hip-hop moved out of the Bronx But he finishes his round-up of seminal works on a more hopeful note, with a telling vignette of Odysseus as he finishes his long journey: “When he’s home at last, he sits with his wife, and he tells her the stories.” Dylan then finally gets around to the question that has preoccupied his fans (not to mention a legion of rock critics) for decades: “So what does it all mean?” As has always been his way, he keeps his cards close to his chest. “You’re pals with the wild Irish rover and the wild colonial boy,” he says, adding that this exotic language was “the only vocabulary that I knew, and I used it”. “Our songs are alive in the land of the living. These books seem to have imparted a fatalistic view of the world on Dylan, where man is cruel, nature is indifferent to human suffering and one is ultimately on one’s own. Literature grounded him, but songs allowed him to fly. But, Dylan notes, “I had something else as well.” Thanks to the classic literature he read at school, he had “an understanding of human nature, …

Remembering Bob Marley’s ‘Exodus’ 40 years on

Some pictures are worth a thousand words. The assassination attempt saw Marley move to London and it was there that he recorded Exodus. Remember that his style of reggae wasn’t really what dominated Jamaica at the time and, in fact, it doesn’t sound a whole lot like any reggae which came before it. Perhaps it was that sense of taking stock and realising that he was lucky to be alive that accounts for the mellow vibes on the album. What’s striking about Marley when you assess his overall legacy is how much of an album artist he was. One of the photos which accompanied various recent pieces about Uruguay legalising the sale of marijuana featured three dudes lighting up at a protest in Montevideo. Two days before the show, Marley, his wife Rita and his manager Don Taylor were gunned down at the singer’s house on Hope Road. It’s songs such as One Love and Three Little Birds which set the tone as much as the title track. Certainly, it’s one of those aspects which Island boss Chris Blackwell always credited with helping him become an international superstar. The previous December, Marley was set to play the Smile Jamaica concert at Kingston Racecourse, which had been organised by the office of the country’s prime minister Michael Manley. Exodus also shows that Marley could really do pop. Smoking dope, listening to Marley and looking to overthrow the system seem to go hand in hand. Exodus has a nasty back story but one which is pivotal in the Marley narrative. Even at a remove of 40 years, it’s a record which still shines brightly and makes the case for Marley to be viewed as much more than just the dreadlocked Rasta of popular renown. He’d a cracking band by his side. For many, this is completely on brand. It’s 40 years this week since the release of Exodus, the album which remains at the top of the list when it comes to assessing his skills as a pop performer. Exodus is much more rooted in blues and soul and catches a trace of the rock which Marley was beginning to pepper throughout his material. There are many theories about who was behind the hit – from gunmen attached to the rival Jamaican Labour Party to various criminal interests – but two days later, Marley played the show in front of 80,000 people …

Low jinks: how Ireland first became a state of independents

One can only wonder if future generations will be coining such phrases about Minister Shane Ross et al. And so it was that independent TDs decided the fate of the government. On the afternoon of the vote, Cooper and Bertie Smyllie, the Editor of The Irish Times, brought Jinks on a tour of Dublin pubs to convince him of the merits of their case. There is no John Jinks, but there are a number of independents, including the Independent Alliance, akin to Cooper and Wolfe, on whom the Taoiseach’s political fate rests. This was the first instance of their exerting such leverage in the new Irish state, albeit in an unconventional fashion. When the role of Wolfe in the Jinks affair was revealed, one contemporary quipped that ‘Twas Jasper, and not Jinks, saved the Irish nation’. De Valera wanted to dismantle much of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, and if given a free rein by Johnson who knows what reaction this would have provoked from the British government. As now, Fine Gael (in the form of its parent party, Cumann na nGaedheal) was larger than Fianna Fáil, but both sides were a long way off a Dáil majority. A frantic search failed to reveal Jinks’ whereabouts and the motion was tied. There would have been a Labour President of the Executive Council (the then equivalent of Taoiseach), propped up by a revolutionary party, and this only four years after the ending of the civil war. Ninety years after the Jinks episode, Cosgrave’s successor as leader of the country and of Fine Gael is facing a similar situation. But, similar to the current period, there was a considerable number of independents in the Dáil, who held the balance of power. Labour party leader Tom Johnson: came within one vote in 1927 of becoming President of the Executive Council (the then equivalent of Taoiseach) This was called by Tom Johnson, the leader of the Labour party, within days of de Valera leading his troops into the Dáil. Dr Liam Weeks is a lecturer in the Department of Government, University College Cork and author of Independents in Irish party democracy (Manchester University Press, 2017) The three parties between them had a bare majority of one to get the motion passed, and had it done so, Ireland could have had a very different political history. William T Cosgrave led a minority Cumann na nGaedheal …

Anne Madden’s odyssey from the labyrinth to the heavens

Then, in the 1970s, she was inspired by the megalithic stone tombs to create a series of monumental paintings, sombre and elegiac in mood. This is a simplified account of the development of Madden’s work, but the long-term artistic logic of the complementary relationship between her two archetypal spaces, the closed-in underworld and the limitless expanse of creative possibility, is fully evident in her most recent and chromatically exultant paintings. The thread of possibility leads from the dark, enclosing finality of the labyrinth to the imaginative spaces of the heavens, where there is room for life and creativity. In the paintings, bright clouds of colour snake and swirl and coil like criss-crossing vapour trails from innumerable planes, or radiate from hot, glowing centres. Both avid readers and conversationalists, their life together was central to their creative processes, discussions and debating sparking ideas and opening lines of enquiry. For one thing, it offered a way of approaching the character of the Burren landscape in a way apart from representational tradition. Her allusions to Ariadne, the labyrinth and the Minotaur enable her not to tell a story but to set ideas in play. Anne Madden: Colours of the Wind – Ariadne’s Thread is at the Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, Parnell Sq, Dublin. All of these concepts fed into the next body of work that followed the sudden death of Madden’s brother. Her plan worked perfectly. Where and how does Ariadne come into this? She did so to spectacular effect in one series of works using poured pigment – a balancing act of chance, control, luck and instinct. She and Louis le Brocquy married in 1958 and they lived, and for the most part worked together – independently but together – until his death in 2012. Until September 10th. Anne Madden: ‘Ariadne’ (2016), from Colours of the Wind: Ariadne’s Thread at the Hugh Lane, Parnell Square, Dublin, until September 10th She also alludes to Ariadne’s thread as a golden thread, perhaps in reference to Dickens’s evocation of the Three Fates of Greek and Roman mythology, spinning the thread of mortal destinies in A Tale of Two Cities. Celestial domain Afterwards, they set sail together, but, when they stopped off at the island of Naxos, he abandoned her while she slept. These works, in a general sense, evoke loss, mourning and memory. hughlane.ie Born in London to an Irish father and an Anglo-Chilean mother, …

No’s Knife: much ado about nothing? Absolutely not

Péron’s husband – and Beckett’s very close friend – Alfred was not so lucky: he was caught and died at Mauthausen concentration camp. But it has taken a long time to find the actor to haunt them and the audience to be haunted. Is it remote from human experience? In Beckett, there is no other kind of life. This is perhaps why the texts, though they have been read from the stage many times, have not been performed before. Because we humans are strange creatures. To us, the dead are not gone. They are a kind of something that goes very deep into nothing – and emerges very profoundly from it. Come on! This is a very strange thought – and a very familiar experience. “I’ve given myself up for dead all over the place, of hunger, of old age, murdered, drowned.. She has a unique ability to draw us into the mesmeric rhythms and alluring forms of Beckett’s texts even while keeping us at the distance their enigmatic poetry demands. The body is buried deep in the bog and “standing, stirring about”. But inside our heads, it is a very porous border. She and he had shared a near-death experience: both were members of a French Resistance cell betrayed to the Nazis and had barely escaped capture by the Gestapo. Dwan’s extraordinary performances of Not I, Footfalls and Rockaby straddled all the contradictions, being at once ferocious and mysterious, intensely intimate and utterly strange. Come on! .” Is there life after death? In Beckett, there is no other kind of life As in these texts, even when we are utterly alone, we are in a crowd of the dead and the imaginary. Historical resonances And, beyond these epic historical resonances, the texts surely speak of a psychological state that anyone can enter, the sense of being cut adrift from life. Surely, it says, you know even better than I do that what does not exist – what has ceased to be – is no less alive for us than what we see and hear and touch every day. It is a lot to ask. The philosopher Martin Heidegger claimed that the most basic question of all is: why is there something and not nothing? The stage is the ultimate no-man’s land between what is and what is not. As if that mattered.” What does not exist is nothing. He …