Hunger, when body becomes a weapon.

The English director Steve McQueen evokes in Hunger the true story of Bobby Sands, political prisoner and symbol of Irish republicans who died on May 5, 1981 after a hunger strike of sixty-six days… Raw and extremely realistic, Hunger is a must-watch.

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1981, Nothern Ireland. Maze Prison is the place where the political prisoners of the IRA are interned. They begin a protest to show their anger : no washing and wearing blankets rather than uniforms. They want to regain their status as political prisoners, instead of simple criminals. We follow the daily life of two of those prisoners : Davey Gillen and Gerry Campbel who are living together in the same dirty cell (they paint the walls with their own excrement). Constantly harassed and beaten by the members of the British police, .but it’s Gerry who soon is going to pass to the ultimate level of revolt, the physical one, by beginning an hunger strike…

I’ve seen a lot of movies about people giving their whole life for a cause (In the Name of the Father, Patch Adams, Freedom Writers…) but this one, in addition of being about a fascinating and striking true story, is a work of art in itself.

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The narrative is fragmented and the composition is full of smoothness. There are two points of view given by both main characters : prison officers and prisoners. We notice for example that the film starts at the same time as the day of a prison officer. The one we find again later in the movie, more precisely after the riot, smoking a cigarette in the snow with his left hand which is hurts. The director paid attention to all the details, this one symbolizes the violence and proves that the officer, in hurting prisoners, hurts himself.

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The most part of the film is silent, apart the speech of Bobby to the Priest. However, all the images in Hunger are so powerful and so powerful that we are not bored, not even one seconde. Each sequence is a concentrate of voltage. We keep the eyes on the screen throughout the course of history.

Hunger all makes sense during the priest’s scene. The dialogue rapidly turns into a philosophical speech. A lot of questions arise. Where are the limits of the rebellion ? After the no-wash and the blanket protests, it seems that the hunger strike is the only and last resource Bobby finds. This is the last fight, the fight of despair.When the body becomes a weapon (a weapon already used earlier in the movie to hide messages and objects during the meetings with close people). Bobby  chooses to use his body because it’s the last thing he can use, it’s the last way to make things change, even if it’s not going to work (that’s why sacrifice is also discussed).

After this lengthy scene, the movie is nothing but a relevant and strong description of Bobby Sands dying slowly. A period of time when Sands can still decide to stop this hunger strike, to choose life.. But he prefers to sacrifice himself, to undergo all of that than being passive and letting things go on.

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I must admit some scenes were sometimes hard to watch without looking down at my shoes because of its violence and the impressive realistic performances from the actors but it was worth it.

The movie won the Caméra d’Or in Cannes, the Discovery Award in Toronto and the Carl Foreman Award in BAFTA. I am happy Steve Mc Queen received good prices because the movie is an awesome work of art dealing with an intense topic. We are touched by the message of Hunger, most of important historical facts are too often forgotten, it’s good to remind us all of this.

Afterwards, we are obviously completely dazzled by the beauty of the film.

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Claude VonStroke makes Dublin bounce

The one who doesn’t need anymore presentation in the world of house music decided to return to Irish sides last month, after a lengthy absence of two years.

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Native of suburban Detroit, Claude VonStroke is a producer and dj who leads two labels, Dirty Bird and Mothership. He became known in 2005 with a real bomb,”Deep Throat”, a masterpiece which was at this time a real air breath in this stifling music scene. Indeed, electronic music was becoming more and more boring and this was due to a new scene of failing djs who started buying turntables at 200 euros and proclaiming themselves involved into minimal / new wave whereas they were only introducing two poor beats in each of their whole sets.

The secret of VonStroke is that his music is all but boring. Fun is besides the word that comes up most often in his interviews, he often says that when he plays he just wants to see people enjoying themselves. And isn’t it why we like to go clubbing? To listen to music that make us move our butts and leaves us at the end of with a big smile during all the way back home ? Thinking “Damn, I really had a good time”.

It’s not the first time he plays at the Button Factory, but as everyone remembered his last sets which have made everyone bounce in rythm, the artist was eagerly awaited by all the kids of electronic music.

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11.00pm, I enter the Button Factory. The first part of the night is given to Lorcan Mak, a young Irish man studying Graphism and huge fan of electronic music.

11.25pm : The club is quiet but fills slowly as I sip my drink. I must admit I am amazingly astonished by the quality of Mak’s set. His personals compositions are a bit repetitive but quite interesting and his remixes the evidence of his sharp tastes in music.

11.51pm : For god’s sake, I have to pee… What I’m going to regret because the queue is always long in nightclubs…

00.20am : Aye! I’m back to the dancefloor and it looks like Claude VonStroke made his grand entrance while I was in the toilet. It’s incredible to see how the number of people has doubled in 30 minutes. I try as best I can to direct me to the front of the stage. Thanks to my small size, it works. That’s it, now I can fill my ears with good vibes. The atmosphere is great with the spot lights and lasers and I can clearly feel the outbreak of hysteria for the crowd during the progression between Beat that bird and Paranoid.

00.35am : We’re all crazy, I wonder what is going to be when he will start The Whistler (one of his most famous song).

01.25am : Claude looks so friendly ! It’s horrible to say but it’s true that usually it’s rare to see a Dj looking happy to play. Obviously, I don’t ask them to stop every five minutes to ask us how it goes, but a small interaction with the public, for example, it’s always a pleasure. CVS has this gift.

02.10am : I’m surprised by the content of the set. Quite all the songs comes from his new album. He’s jolting the crowd a rather different way this time. It’s weird, but not the pejorative side of the word. It’s just new. Different. Also, he plays many unpublished remixes. I think it’s his performance only versions.

02.27am : This one is sick, sounds more dubstep than the others but we still can recognize VonStroke’s style by the way he has to experiment the sounds of human voices in his mixes.

03.00am : What’s going on ? The lights already come on ?

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Once again,  Claude VonStroke showed the power of his talent and thrilled the audience,  I noticed that because we all shared the same feeling when the lights went on. You know, this strange feeling which is much the same as when we leave the cinema and we no longer know what we should do, who we should be in this world because we just came out from an other one. This is it.

Claude VonStroke has exhilarated Ireland and I am already and definitely looking forward for his next visit.


Miles Davis is in my baggage.

Hi to all, I’m leaving for the week-end. Destination ? Galway.

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Taking a breath of fresh air will do me good, and while talking about great air breath, I suggest you listen or re-listen Nuit sur les Champs-Elysees which is in my opinion the best song ever from Miles Davis. 

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He composed this song for the film Elevator to the gallows (Ascenseur pour l’échafaud), realized in 1958 by Louis Malle, who is a french director. What’s crazy is that the American jazz instrumentist has no written score before recording the song. Indeed, he just looked at the images of the movie which were scrolled in front of him and improvised the song while watching those scenes. He has played trumpet in a total improvisation, with as only inspiration the images he was watching. An incredible perfomance.

He crosses the range at full speed, a fury that gives a tragic atmosphere to the movie which would be, without Miles Davis’ compositions, a bit trite for my taste.

I don’t know what would be my life without Miles Davis’ music. I can’t wait to be in the bus to listen to him while I would be watching some beautiful Irish countryside passing over.


Let Lucy rock your dressing

“To create a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where customers can have fun, find wonderful and affordable clothes to love and lovely people to chat to.”
This is the description of Lucy’s lounge by the owners of the place. And what a perfect description !
Lucy’s lounge is second hand and vintage clothes shop located in the heart of Temple Bar. Earlier this month, I came across this little gem by chance. I was with a friend from France who came to visit me.
We are two great lovers of vintage and kitsch stuff so when we saw those building walls painted pink and purple this directly have caught our eyes. Getting closer, we found a stroller not very common…
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The most kitsch stroller ever seen and a panel indicating “vintage” at the door, it was enough to decide to enter the shop. The ground floor belongs to Se Si brand, separated by a floor from Lucy’s lounge but it’s in the same spirit as Lucy’s Lounge apart the fact that they seem more interested in jewelry.

Besides, I had a crush with a part of the store where we can find mixed rings that represent scrabble’s keys and even some representing keystrokes. No kidding, it must be my geek side who comes out… Even though the only game I know of is World of Warcraft and it is only because my classmate was always talking about that (and as I was bored in math I was listening to him).

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However, this is only when I went downstairs that I started building castles in the air, with the idea of moving to this place and live there for the rest of my life as the shop is awesome. You’re not even in the basement that the stairs already make you feel in the garage-sale atmosphere.

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Everyone can find his little paradise in this place. It goes from some wedding dress, roller skates and old comic strips to eccentric and rare dresses from the sixties, until the thick sweaters that your grandma has stopped to knit (to your greatest misfortune). Oh I was forgetting that for the most nostalgic of you know there is also a bowl full of yo-yos!

Moreover, in most of thrift stores of Dublin we have to deal with exorbitant prices (I’ve already seen some basic sweaters at 40 euros) but at Lucy’s Lounge everything is affordable and in very good conditions, it’s the good place to make great buisness. In addition, the owner of the shop is so lovely. We can see she truly loves vintage and wants to help you to find the piece which will suit you the best.

For those who are not fond of vintage, do not leave this page so fast! Indeed, there is also a part of the store dedicated to the new emerging designers.

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If you are still not convinced, I think you should go at least for the place in itself. All objects you can see are wonderful knick knacks which seem to have been all freshly hunted around the best flea market ever.

Sometimes I don’t know what is to sell and what is only adornment and this, it’s well worth a visit.

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All pictures are mine.

Lucy’s Lounge11 fownes street templebarDublinIE.


How I’ve visited Francis Bacon’s thoughts.

Okay, if there is something you have to know it’s that I am a huge fan of Francis Bacon. If I should describe his work I would say it’s a pretty swirl of twisted characters, abstract scenes involving his homosexuality and representations of his obvious passion for opened mouths. My favorite paintings are Bacon’s depiction of love. It’s violent, raw, and sweet and beautiful at the same time.

His art’s style was highly controversial but he’s now recognized as one of the most influent artist of the 20th century.

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Francis Bacon – Three Studies of the Male Back, 1970

Francis Bacon - Head I, 1949

Francis Bacon – Head I, 1949

Study for Portrait II (after the Life Mask of William Blake) 1955 by Francis Bacon 1909-1992

 Francis Bacon – Study for Portrait II (after the Life Mask of William Blake), 1955

You can imagine my happiness when I found out that his London studio was transplanted in Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. It took three years to transfer everything from London, where the original studio was located. They also created a few windows in the walls to permit the visitor to see the studio from different points of views.

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A meticulous work perfectly realized. Indeed, nothing has been forgotten from the walls, floorboards, celling, to all the paint cans and tubes which are scattered all over the floor, which is completely covered with newspapers, books and images.

“This is exactly the mess that he left behind,” Project manager Dr Margarita Cappock said of the re-constructed studio.

And what a mess ! There is in this studio the result of the 30 years he spent working there, until his death in 1992. The atmosphere of this place is an organized chaos and that’s why it’s impressive.

“This mess here around us is rather like my mind; it may be a good image of what goes on inside me, that’s what it’s like, my life is like that”, said Bacon.

Indeed, when I arrived in front I’ve stared into the room for at least five minutes without interruption and I felt like if I just had introduced myself in his little world full of creativity, like if this mess was nothing else than Bacon’s mind itself materialized on the floor and on the walls.. And that I was there, with the privilege to enter it. It’s a strange but enjoyable feeling.

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This room should be visited by all art lovers, not only the amateurs of Francis Bacon’s work. It is a rare gift to be able to enter a place so private. You know, to be in the deepest thoughts of the artist, where took place the birth of each of the artist’s masterpieces. A gift that must be received with arms wide open.