Archivi categoria: Reviews

We all have a second job, and that job is to be a film critic. Or music critic. Or art critic. Ot TV critic. And don’t forget to bitch around: that too is a hard job.

Concerts @ koko club: Dub Sync

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I started to put caption on my series of live interviews @koko club… check out the rest on Acting Out!

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Signorina in Sheffield #9 – Of love at first sight, elections and other tv quizzes

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The first TV debate in the history of UK elections, held on Thursday the 15th of April, 2010, has changed the political history of the country. Forever.

Or at least that’s what presenter Alastair Stewart said during the introduction to the debate; after an initial jingle that sounded like it was written to announce the arrival of the four Horsemen.

The day after, actually, nothing seemed to have changed. The world is still here, the three candidates are in the same position as they were the day before (Clegg advancing, Cameron standing still and Brown slowly sinking) and the voters don’t have the smallest piece of further information.

It is true that on the same night a volcano erupted covering the whole of middle Europe in a dark cloud that paralyzed the transports – but that can hardly be related to the debate.

The whole night the camera merciless panned back and forth across the studio in a desperate attempt to create tension over the debate; but the truth is that they said nothing that hadn’t already been said in any declaration or press release over the past year.

Nonetheless, the show hasn’t been the most boring TV programme ever produced.

It was clearly inspired by an Italian TV show, “Love at first sight”, that used to be extremely successful in the mid-90s.

In this show a young and pretty girl has to choose a man between the three candidates who were running to become the love of her life – or at least choose the one she will take on the prize cruise.

The three male participants stand still in front of the audience, dressed in the same exact suite; the only way to differentiate them is a tie: one is blue, one is red and third one is yellow. Ring a bell?

The girl cannot see the three men, because they are hiding behind a wall.

With the help of the presenter she asks several questions to the men and then chooses in base of the answers. Ring another bell?

Yes, ITV production went a little bit further, setting up the studio with blue-red-yellow neon columns and dressing up the three candidates with the most flamboyant single-colour ties ever seen.

“Love at first sight” had a more sober look. The main difference is of course that the audience here is able to see the three men before choosing them; in fact, the winner was the youngest and most handsome, Nick Clegg. It’s always like that.

I know that everything that I just wrote sounds very critical, but the truth is that I am actually a big fan of TV debates.

Even when they are as boring as this one, they remain a good virtual square in which to debate.

I wish the three aspiring Prime Ministers got rid of the matching ties and started to dress like real human beings, becoming interesting for what they say and not for how they dress the part.

After all, people will be forced to go on a cruise with one of them for the next five years. But I understand this is too much to ask.

Modern democracy is based on flamboyant characters.

In lack of one, we can at least get a flamboyant mise-en-scene.

By Marta Musso

Click on the picture to read the article on http://www.forgetoday.com

Signorina in Sheffield #7 – Of laws you should know about

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When you first arrive to a new country, it’s important to adapt to new laws.

Usually when it’s inside the European Union it’s no big deal, although when I first came to Britain at the age of 16 our teachers kept imploring us for weeks not to play any drinking games whilst on the island, because they had a legal drinking age over there.

Funny laws exist all over the world. In Italy for example, if you are the Prime Minister you cannot be prosecuted for any crime, even if it has been proved that you bribed lawyers, judges, politicians, inspectors, policemen, carabinieri, journalists, secret services agents and priests.

In France, it is forbidden to call a pig Napoleon (nothing is said about calling him Sarkozy though). In Indonesia masturbation is punished with decapitation.

As an international student, I feel the duty of helping other international students, but also young English people, to find out about a few laws that are quite hidden from everyday life and shared moral values, but not less important:

1) It is illegal to die in the House of Parliament. This is for the journalism students, as their forthcoming trip to London is approaching… touch wood everyone. Also, for whoever is considering a career as MP, watch out for your heart condition. A stroke while debating a law might put you in jail for attempted death.

2) It is illegal to gamble in a library, according to the Library Offences Act of 1898. Yes guys, that applies in the IC as well.

3) Trespassing is illegal, except by huers and baulkers, according to an act dated 1603. “Huers and baulkers” were guys who would stand on the cliffs and shout to fishing boats, directing them. What exactly gave them the right of trespassing is unknown, but if you decide to stalk your ex girlfriend make sure you do it near a fishmonger’s.

4) It is illegal to hang washing across the street. Beating or shaking carpets or mats is also illegal. Doorman can be shaken, but not after 8am.

5) It is illegal to sing profane or obscene songs. This is a very very useful one: next time your housemate plays Girls Aloud, you are allowed to call the police under the Town Police Clauses Act of 1847

6) It is illegal to drive a cow while drunk. And that’s a pity because it could have been a cheap alternative to taxis.

7) It is legal to shoot a Scotsman inside the walls of York with a crossbow upon seeing one, except for on Sundays. However, any Scotsman caught drunk or with a weapon can still be shot on a Sunday, except with a bow and arrow. This is also a very useful one, for that guy from Glasgow you just can’t stand. Similarly, in Chester it is legal to shoot a Welsh person with a crossbow, as long as it is within the city walls and is done after midnight. And in Chester, Welsh people aren’t allowed to enter the city grounds before sunrise and from staying after sunset.

8) It is legal for a pregnant woman to pee wherever she wants. Also, the law specifies, in a policeman’s helmet, if she ask. Now, if you are a pregnant, no-global, who hates the police and is planning to go to the next protest in London, this is just ace.

9) Eating mince pies on Christmas day is illegal. This needs no comment.

10) Suicide is a capital crime. But nothing is said about attempted suicide. I would assume it is NOT a capital crime: it would be too easy

11) It is illegal to shave, mow your lawn or work on a Sunday. Ooops. I should go.

For in-depth examinations of the subject matter, http://www.yousaytoo.com/nesher/strange-and-funny-laws-in-uk/28672

By Marta Musso

Click on the picture to read the article on http://www.forgetoday.com

Signorina in Sheffield #6 – Of studying at University level

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So here I am again, the Italian gal in the land of Shakespeare.

I apologize for my prolonged absence, but I have been…well, studying for the exams.

And I went back to Italy for vacation. Twice. But mostly, I have been studying… Promise.

About that, I could not help but being very surprised by the cover article in the February 18 issue of Forge, “Lecturer ridicules students’ mistakes”.

While correcting the exams scripts, a Management School lecturer from Sheffield University wrote to his colleagues an email in which he pointed out two incredible mistakes made by students in their exams.

For accuracy’s sake, here is the transcript as it appears in the article:

Dear All,
Having spent the last couple of days dismally working my way through the first bunch of truly uninspiring undergraduate exam scripts, I thought I’d just share with you some little known facts about Milton Friedman that two of our final year undergrads have provided which you may (or may not!) wish to include in your future lectures:
1) Milton Friedman was the founder of capitalism
2) Milton Friedman was a socialist
I am feeling truly depressed!!
Only another 200 to go!!
Jon

The article goes on blaming the lecturer’s for his students’ ignorance and accusing him of having ridiculed the students.

Now, firstly I want to make clear that when I chose to come and study in England it’s because I admire the Anglo-Saxon’s studying system.

In Italy we are better theorists but we cannot apply a single notion, even if our life was at the stake (which sometimes is).

It is all so based on tradition that my IT compulsory exam was comprised putting frames on a word document (I got and A+, how smart am I?) and in my class there were still people who would hand-write their assignment.

If a book doesn’t come with three inches of dust it’s considered academically worthless and a young professor is usually around 55 years old. In short, I like the organization here.

This said, I think I should write three things about this desperate lecturer’s letter that were not mentioned in the article.

1) This was an exam from a University Management Business School. Please Note: University.

2) The students who wrote that Milton Friedman was, respectively, “the founder of capitalism” and a “socialist” are in their final year. This means that at the end of the year they might graduate in economics.

3) Milton Friedman was one of the most important economists of the 20th century. And capitalism is an economic and social system that evolved over the centuries. As all historical processes, it is self-evident that it cannot be founded by a single person. Writing that Milton Friedman was the “founder of capitalism” does not show a lack of teacher training: it shows a complete absence of thinking from whoever wrote that.

This person should be named and ridiculed in front of every fellow student of his class, because this is what will happen as soon as he lands any economics-related job.

University students are adults that get trained to a high professional level, not clients of a beauty farms.

We are not here to relax and enjoy our time; we are here to be trained in the best possible way.

The success or failure of our preparation relies entirely on our commitment, not on the fact we are treated nicely. We cannot blame the professor for our ignorance, we can only blame ourselves.

And the lecturer, by the means of harmless irony, was actually pointing out a grave lack of preparation to his colleagues, showing concern and interest in his job.

The only disrespectful behaviour was of the students who dared to go and take an exam with such little preparation.

By Marta Musso

Click on the picture to read the article on http://www.forgetoday.com

Signorina in Sheffield #5 – Of the exquisite pleasure of alcohol

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So last week I was in New York and something amazing happened that made me feel really nostalgic of Italy.

I was in an Irish pub in Manhattan (you can’t escape Irish pubs – trying is useless) around midnight and I was drinking my beer.

Suddenly I felt like having chips, I mean, French fries and I asked the barman if I could order them.

And he cooked them for me!!

Whenever I go to a pub crawl in Sheffield starting at 7, I still take for granted that we will eat there, because this is what I’ve done for 25 years of my life.

As a result, I have skipped at least one third of the dinners since I arrived in town.

Something else felt really out of order in my Manhattan pub.

I could easily talk to the other people on the table, without having to scream or gesticulate like we were all Italians at the table; the music was only a background, something to accompany the flow of words and not to prevent it from coming out.

It wasn’t all about drinking and getting drunk: it was also about enjoying the company and the food.

In sum, nothing like a West Street night out.

I almost felt home.

Don’t get me wrong, in Italy we like to get drunk as fuck too.

We also have a big issue with driving while we are not even able to remember the alphabet; which, with all due respect, is much more severe than urinating on the war memorial for people die instead of just being rightfully humiliated for life.

By the way, I could bet my life on the fact Philip Laing will never see a drop of alcohol again; in terms of preventing pancreatic cancer that’s the best thing that could happen to him.

But getting wasted is not the main point of going out.

We like alcohol, of course, we have the best wines in the world, but we also like to taste what we are ingesting – even if it’s cheap.

We don’t just gulp it down wanting to forget ourselves. We go to pubs to talk to our friends and in order not to drink too much most of the time we also order something to eat to go along with the cocktails.

But yes, cocktails and wine are just too good (while beer sucks, unfortunately) and we always end up hugging in the street and singing some very sad love song at 3 am in the morning: but it’s not the main aim of the whole let’s-go-out-on-a-Saturday-night thing.

Drinking is one of the purest pleasures of mankind and I recommend practising it as much as possible; but what’s the point of a pub crawl if everywhere the beers and the cocktails are all tasteless and the same?

What’s the point of alienating ourselves in a gigantic pint and loud music instead of interacting with other human beings?

I don’t want to sound prude, but think about it: life is too short to drink bad alcohol.

By Marta Musso

Click on the picture to read the article on http://www.forgetoday.com