'Arrival' - Review

(Daniel Sheridan)

"'Arrival' - Reviewed by Daniel Sheridan"Is our lack of communication creating this divide between us on a personal and political level". That is the question posited by Denis Villeneuve's thoughtful sci-fi film Arrival. This has been in the list of many (including myself) as one of the best films of the 2010's. With most sci-fi films becoming loud and boisterous these days, the quiet approach of Arrival was a breath of fresh air. Not interested in the spectacle of explosions and harsh sound effects, Arrival was more interested in presenting its central thesis and making you reflect on that rather than the otherworldly elements of the film.One thing that draws you in from the outset in Arrival is the music, from Max Richter's On the Nature of Daylight which serves as the theme of the film, to Jóhann Jóhannsson's original score. Both works add this melancholy element to the film which adds to the narrative, particularly Jóhannsson's score which sounds otherworldly much like his other albums. We cannot talk about Arrival without talking about Villeneuve's spectacular direction and Eric Heisserer's script which work perfectly in tandem with one another. The project started off as a passion of Heisserer's, wanting to adapt Ted Chiang's short story 'The Story of Your Life', which gave way to Villeneuve's involvement in the film. Many changes added by Villeneuve elevated the narrative of the film, specifically the opening of the film which allowed the narrative to look alot like the language of the Heptipods in the film. It is collaborations like this that take a film from being good to fantastic. When it comes to the cinematography of the film Bradford Young did a great job of grounding the film in a sense reality while also evoking the otherworldly presence. The way the alien craft hangs in the background of almost every shot shows this great sense of world building through the visual medium. We also must look at Amy Adams' immaculate performance. Giving a career best, Adams takes over every scene she is in, encapsulating this notion of a person feeling out of their depth. Her descent into this new world she has been thrust is one of the best performances of the past ten years. Please, if you have the chance, go see Arrival. If not for the fantastic cinematic experience then for the clever ways in which it connects to our real world."

'The Imitation Game' - Review

(David Corish)

"'The Imitation Game' - Reviewed by David Corish ‘The Imitation Game’ recounts the devastatingly sad story of Alan Turing, the “father of Computer Science” A genius, maltreated by the British government, who saved countless lives and significantly shortened World War II. Here, Turing is portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch who turns in a thoroughly fascinating performance. He fully inhabits the role of this Sherlockian character, bringing not only an aura of extreme confidence and intelligence but an expertly averted gaze that hints at a profound vulnerability to this seemingly arrogant and unfeeling man. Keira Knightley brings some levity and her character, Joan, contrasts Turing’s distant persona with delightful warmth. The cast is rounded out by a similarly superb Charles Dance as Commander Denniston with his trademark authoritative voice as booming as ever; one needs only wait and listen for a pin to drop whenever he appears on-screen. The film centres around Turing’s breaking of Enigma. The codebreaking is vastly simplified for a Hollywood audience; however, the stakes are kept suitably high. Scenes of ‘Christopher’ working to crack the German’s messages are interspersed by footage of the war raging on. The clicks of the rotors resemble a clock’s ticking, something of a countdown to annihilation. Every second that goes by, another life is lost. A deft hand is applied in both the editing and cinematography, although a little more creativity would have been appreciated. Alexandre Desplat’s masterful main theme employs an almost mechanical use of repeating piano arpeggios. These fantastically convey the fast movement of Turing’s mind and are suitably computerised but do not sound electronic. As the main theme continues, the arpeggios begin to layer representing numerous strands of thought running at once. It feels calculated yet musters in the listener an enjoyment of said calculation. The bass line is melancholic, a solemn hymn-like sound filled with gravitas. We are reminded of the tragic circumstances in which this calculation is taking place. War is coming. Several motifs are also heard throughout the film, Christopher’s theme is especially a highlight and the short childhood motif is joyously nostalgic. It is worth noting that the film takes major liberties with its source material. This is not simply taking some minor artistic license; in many parts, it is almost entirely fiction. Computing historian Thomas Haigh once remarked that the film is a “useful summary of everything that popular imagination gets wrong about Bletchley Park.” A shame as Turing’s story is already compelling. Broad strokes do remain intact and audiences may consider themselves somewhat educated on his contributions to the war but a documentary, this is most certainly not. Also, was the framing device of a detective investigating Turing really necessary? No, it is muddled and confusing, serving only to distract from the main event. Historical inaccuracies aside, “The Imitation Game” is most definitely worth a watch, especially if you are unaware of Turing’s contributions to the war effort. Cumberbatch’s performance of a tortured, brilliant man is riveting and serves as an excellent tribute to an astonishing man."

'Good Will Hunting' - Review

(Daniel Sheridan)

"Good Will Hunting - Reviewed by Daniel Sheridan Earning both Matt Damon and Ben Affleck an Oscar, Good Will Hunting has gone down as a modern classic. Damon and Affleck’s social realism tale of a boy genius born into a rough neighbourhood and a rough upbringing feels incredibly raw and real. I think this is due to the wonderful cinematography by Jean-Yves Escoffier. When I think of the cinematography in Good Will Hunting, I think of this quote from Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) when she was on The A24 Podcast. When talking about film noise and grain with Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) she says “I like knowing a machine captured it” This is something I always go back to when looking at cinematography. The rough grain of Good Will Hunting and the film shutters allow us to look at the film almost like an envelope filled with pictures from a disposable camera. It’s this that gives Affleck and Damon’s view of Boston a sense of reality, that it is stuck in a place in time, that these people have lives outside of the frames we view them in. An aspect you have to talk about when talking about Good Will Hunting are the performances. Minnie Driver and Ben Affleck’s performances give us a great sense of character, they accentuate their awkward quirks and it makes you feel like these are people you know. You see Skylar and Chuckie in friends and people you went to secondary school with because they have that air of familiarity in the way Driver and Affleck portray each character. However, the standouts of the film have to be Matt Damon and Robin Williams. The chemistry between the two of them is impactful and a simple joy to watch. From laughing at anecdotes to crying over shared emotions they create this bond that was rarely seen other films of the time. As we spend the most time with Will, Damon allows us to feel his pain along with him, not from what he says but from what he doesn’t. He allows us to know how Will is feeling just from simple glances and body language. If there is one outlier in this cast I would have to go with Stellen Skarsgard. His character was incredibly weaselly and manipulative but I never felt that in Skarsgard’s performance. Now, this could be because we spend less time with him but I felt that he was quite stilted in this role. When it comes down to it, I think that Good Will Hunting will still be seen as a shining example of the social realism movement for years to come. It’s sensitive portrayal of the characters allow us to empathise completely. Gus Van Sant’s direction gives us this empathy. The handheld motif of the film brings us closer to Will’s world like we are one of his friends driving around South Boston, or an onlooker looking into his most private moments. This creates this uncomfortable barrier between us and the characters. This documentary style of shooting drama is not a new concept, popularised in the British Social Realism movement of the 60’s. Much like Ken Loach in 'Up the Junction', Van Sant uses this to allow us to reflect on the real-life counterparts of Will and his surroundings. If you have not seen Good Will Hunting yet do yourself a favour and go see this incredible piece of modern cinema history!"

Maynooth's Best Dance Crew

(Robyn Keogh)

"Hey guys! Hope you’re all rested and ready for another week of dancing! ?Please see the timetable attached for our day classes for this week! ? just a gentle reminder that all Maynooth’s Best Dance Crew rehearsals on the timetable are only for those taking part in the event but there are still lots of classes to attend for the week! ? remember to mark December the 5th in your diaries as this is when MBDC will take place and would love to have all of you buy tickets for this event! ? all proceeds from all tickets sold will go straight to Ataxia Ireland so we would love to see you come down and support the charity while having a fun filled night out! ? We are organising an ice skating day out followed by drinks and food for all members in the next coming weeks so please keep an eye on our social media pages as well as MU LIFE for further details ? we have not set a date for this event yet but please do respond appropriately to any polls or posts regarding the day out posted by us on social media if you are interested as we would love to get an idea of numbers before we book a date! ???????? As usual, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns you may have about any events or classes taking place this week! ? we hope you’s all have a fab week and can’t wait to see you’s at our classes! ?Robyn Secretary  <style type="text/css"> p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #454545} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #454545; min-height: 14.0px} span.s1 {font: 12.0px Helvetica} span.s2 {font: 12.0px '.Apple Color Emoji UI'} </style> Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

Newsletter 25/11/19

(John Yeomans)

"NewsletterHey everyone, hope you're all keeping well! Here's what we're up to!STEM Table QuizThis week we are having a STEM Table Quiz in collaboration with Maths, Electronic Engineering, Psychology and Women in STEM. First prize will be a €50 one4all voucher. There will also be a raffle with great prizes. All the proceeds from this event will be going towards Ataxia Ireland.This will be on in The Venue in the SU from 7 till 9 this Thursday, the 28th.As such, We will not be meeting in CB8 this Thursday.ProgramoramaWe will be having our first programming competition of the year soon, it has been postponed until December. It will be 2 hours long and you have to try and solve as many problems in the problem set in teams of up to 3 people. This year we are changing the structure of the competition; like usual we are going to have a separate first year category but now we are going to have two more categories, division 1 and division 2. They will both share the same problem set but division 2 will have reduced prizes to division 1. These categories will be self determined on sign-up but we retain the right to modify your team's category if we feel it is necessary.The entry fee will be €3 per person with the proceeds going to Ataxia Ireland, the SU charity of the year. EGMIn the next few weeks we will be having an EGM in which we will be electing a few open positions. The open positions are First Year Rep, Secretary, and Welfare And Equality Officer.We will also be voting on a number of amendments to our constitution. You can find the current draft of the updated constitution here with all changes highlighted. If you have any queries or changes you wish to see made please do not hesitate to email us at ServerFor those who don't know we have a minecraft server located at The server has the Factions, Treecapitator and Essentialsx plugins."

Mind Yourself Campaign and MBDC

(Robyn Keogh)

"Hiya guys! Hope you have all had a very relaxing weekend lovelies!  I would just like to apologise for the fact that the email was only sent this morning, this is due to unforeseen technical difficulties and I’m sorry that you had to wait until this morning to see all the classes and news that we have planned for you!  I apologise for any inconveniences caused and I hope that you will still be able to attend our classes this week as a result!  so sorry again guys!  This week, the SU are running the “Mind Yourself” campaign which is raising awareness around the importance of mental health  to show our support, the society is holding a number of confidence workshops during the week for both guys and gals to give you a little boost!  Leah Fleming will be holding a heels body confidence workshop on Monday the 18th from 1-2 for any gals wanting to try something new as well as a similar workshop on Tuesday from 1-2 that will be filmed so you will have a little video to take away with you!  we can’t wait for all of you feisty gals to bop on down to the SSH so you’s can let loose and have some fun!  we then have Darragh holding a boys only breaking class on Thursday from 1-2 for any of the boys willing to learn this fun and exciting style of hip hop! college life presents a lot of stresses for everyone as you try to make new friends and study to get good grades while some people move away from family and try to juggle part time jobs too! everyone here in the dance society completely supports the importance of looking after yourself and others mentally as well as need to have fun and release any built up stress through dance! what a perfect way for anyone to recognise this vital campaign by participating in these amazing fun events this week, we cannot wait to see you’s all there! ?? Our much awaited event, Maynooth’s Best Dance Crew, will take place in the Glenroyal Hotel on the evening of the 5th of December! ?this event features many clubs and societies in the university creating a dance crew that will preform and compete against each other with the help of our dancers that will choreograph specific routines for whichever club/society that volunteer!  the proceeds from all tickets bought for the event will go to Ataxia Ireland, the chosen SU charity for this year!  if you are interested in putting yourself forward to be one of these choreographers and work with a club/society then please contact us before Tuesday the 19th of November as preparation will begin soon! anyone can volunteer to be a choreographer and we would love to see new faces putting themselves forward for roles such as this so please do not hesitate if you think this may be for you! if not choreographing then we would love for all society members to please come to the fun filled event and raise some funds for Ataxia Ireland!  as per usual, there will be a fab night out afterwards to the Roost and would love for everyone to come and get involved! ? Also, we would love to remind all members that we are always accepting sign ups to the society!  there is no cut off point for sign ups so please do encourage any friends interested to join us on MU Life and to attend all events and classes!  please do not forget to let us know if any friends have not been accepted on MU Life yet as we can accept your €2 registration fee at any day classes! As always guys and gals, please do not be afraid to contact us with any questions and I look forward to seeing you at all of our fun filled events this week! ? Here’s to another fab week!  Robyn Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

Report on Student Mental Health launched

(Ruairí Weiner)

"On the 3rd of September we took part in a panel discussion at the launch of a groundbreaking report on Student Mental Health by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) in Trinity College Dublin. I was asked to give a student response to be included in the report which was as follows"This research lays out clearly much of what we knew anecdotally. Namely that students are an at-risk group and are relying consistently upon the on-campus counselling service. Unfortunately, it is also clear that there is an inconsistency in the quality of assistance available. What we can see is that on-campus counselling services have the potential to make a huge difference nationally to the success of a group which suffers from staggeringly high rates of anxiety. The qualitative reports ring true to me as to what has been working and what is needed. Waiting lists are having a negative impact but on the positive we can see how effective a diverse team can be which includes an occupational therapist and an option for CBT. Crucially, students have highlighted the need for psychiatrists on staff so more serious concerns can be handled within the service we are most likely to use. I’m personally feeling very positive about this report and how it reflects our experiences."You can read more about the report and future steps in supporting Student Mental Health here: hope you will campaign with us for adequate services and to reduce stigma!"

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