Movie thoughts: The Double

I’ve been looking forward this movie since before it was released but never got around to watching it until now. Director Richard Ayoade is one of my favourite people ever and his first film Submarine – a quirky, coming of age indie comedy – is one of my all time favourites. This is only his second film and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I knew it would be unusual. And I like unusual.

The Double is set in a claustrophobic, broken universe in an indeterminable place and indeterminable time – an almost retro futuristic world of grimy tower blocks and clunky computers and coloured a grim, post apocalyptic grey-green colour. Jesse Eisenberg plays an awkward, emotionally constricted, lonely office worker collecting some sort of data in an ill-fitting grey suit, leading a monotonous life. He works hard at his job but is so forgettable that even the security guard he sees every morning doesn’t remember him, and he is overlooked by the woman of his dreams. Simon James is a non-person and everything seems to be going against him and pushing him out of his world.

When a new employee arrives at Simons work, everything starts to get even worse. James Simon is a confident, brash, charming man, essentially everything Simon is not, who also happens to be Simons’ exact doppelgänger – yet nobody else seems to notice. Eisenberg plays both characters so well, with his natural awkwardness amplified as Simon and with subtle shifts in body language to play his more confident doppelgänger, James. Towards the end of the movie when the pace picks up, I really liked having to sometimes figure out which character I was watching. I’m not sure if that was intentional or not but it adds to the idea that James is just an ideal of the man Simon wants to be but is not. It makes you question whether or not it is Simon that is the sane one and the rest of the world that are crazy, or Simon the crazy one and the rest of the world sane.

I love movies like this that draw you in to a characters’ existential crisis so much that you believe every action of theirs is justified and that the rest of the characters are plotting against them. Then all of sudden there’s a point in the movie where you realise that maybe they are insane, and you’ve just been looking at their world through their insane eyes.

This movie doesn’t spoon feed you. It’s vague – very vague – and although it did feel a little bit flat sometimes, I liked that about it. The dialogue is deadpan, it’s probably impossible to figure out what the hell it actually means and it’s pretty bleak, but I love a well scripted take on the bleakness of existence so I really enjoyed it. It’s a really clever take on identity and I think I definitely need to watch it again to get more from it.


Catfish And The Bottlemen

I’m the kind of person that discovers a band and listens to them exclusively for weeks on end and watches every version of every song and every interview with them I can possibly find. My latest culprits are (refer to the apt title) Catfish And The Bottlemen, an indie rock band that I saw perform on the first BBC Music Awards and instantly fell in love with. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a band encapsulate so much of exactly what I like lyrically, musically and in their personalities, voices, style and humour.

The band have been together for seven years, but I guess have only really emerged in the last year or so. While I wish I’d discovered them sooner I’m still so glad I’ve started listening to them at the beginning of their career, because I know for sure they’re gonna be big and I’m super excited to follow them along the way. So excited in fact, I got tickets to see them in Dublin on April 8th (6 days after my birthday how perfect huh) and I cannot wait. I’ve also completely and utterly slightly fallen in love with Van, frontman, lead singer, guitarist and all round awesome person. His lyrics are as beautiful as his eyes and I’m not just fangirling (hate that word) here, I think we’re meant to be together. Seriously.

Their debut album is called The Balcony and my favourite songs are probably Kathleen, Cocoon, Pacifier and Homesick although all eleven are perfection. If you like Arctic Monkeys or The Kooks you’ll love these guys.

“Just upbeat, positive music that makes people like, wanna drive. 

You know like when the sun’s out and you’re drivin’ and you want to take your top off – that kind of thing.

Stuff that makes people think like “I’m enjoying this. I wanna go out, have a drink, have a party…strip off…do kinds of things to each other. ”

Short stories… Scruffy love songs…” 

– Van McCann on the bands’ debut album ‘The Balcony

I think ‘scruffy love songs’ perfectly describes what Van writes. His words come together with such rawness that it’s impossible not to feel something. I’ve been poring over every lyric and I’m pretty sure there arent any I havent listened to so much that they’ve been ingrained in my memory.

Anyone who knows me would know there’s no chance I could not fall in love with four talented, down to earth, black leather jacket wearing twenty-something year olds who play fucking perfect rock ‘n roll.


A blog post? What?

The other day my best friend said to me; ‘In college, I think you should start a fashion blog – but not like the usual ones.’ I didn’t say anything but I started thinking about it and the idea really appealed to me. Not exactly a fashion blog – I couldn’t compete with what’s out there – but just somewhere to put out things I’ve discovered, or have been liking or disliking, maybe some fashion, I have no idea! I don’t like talking but I quite like writing, and there’s some comfort in being able to sort of ‘hide’ behind some pictures and text as opposed to baring all in a YouTube video or something.

I have no idea what I’m doing and may fail miserably but I want to try, I havent done anything productive or creative in a long time and i feel like I’m sort of wasting away, so hopefully this is the start of something positive and awesome(?).

Anyway. My name is Ciara, I’m 18, from Ireland and I’ll leave you to figure out the rest in time.