TV:: GAME OF THRONES SEASON FINALE ANALYSIS (SPOILERS)

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As most people probably know, season 5 of  HBO’s mega-hit show Game Of Thrones came to a bloody end on Sunday night. Infamous for it’s brutal killing of main characters, fans waited and watched in a full hour of anguish as not one, not two, not even three, no no that just isn’t enough for Game Of Thrones, Four main and a hand full of secondary characters were picked off one by one in truly horrifying George R. R. Martin style.

Despite my undying love for the fantasy epic, I am somehow, left feeling slightly disengaged after this season. Taking a walk back in GOT history we look back to previous deaths in Westeros such as the shocking demise of Ned Stark. To me this really set the precedent for the show, they presented us with a noble family oriented lord played by a fairly well known actor, and really followed him as if he would be the main protagonist, most of the plot strands in season 1 (disregarding Daeny) seemed to directly effect Ned’s character arc. So when in episode 9 he is beheaded it really does present itself as a plot twist. Similarly the complete shock of the red wedding at the end of season three and Joffrey’s demise in Season 4. All of these, perhaps had a slight sense of foreboding but for the most part were a complete surprise to those viewers who haven’t read the books. This utter shocking nature however cannot be attributed to some of the poor characters that met their end in this series.

Let’s discuss the deaths of the two young princesses in season 5 Myrcella Lannister and Shireen Baratheon. Arguably Shireen’s death was obviously coming because of Melisandre’s prophesy however the devises used to make her loss more traumatic were just slightly obvious. The little wooden stag that Ser Davos had happened to have made her just before Stannis offs her, the loving father daughter talk. The nostalgic building and sudden desire to align audiences with the character are just a little obvious that the writers have ulterior motives. Same again with Beautiful Myrcella floating around the ships cabin like Cinderella telling Jaime she knows and accepts him to be her father in this loving way, the build up of likeable, heartfelt conversation just smacks of ‘make the audience love me because Weiss and Bennioff are about to kill me off’. It’s the same effect as the relieving moment in a horror movie, you think they’ve finally saved themselves then BAM! the murderer is back. It’s an obvious filmic device to lull the viewer into a false sense of security that in Game Of Thrones’ case made some deaths slighly predictable.

This nostalgia brings me onto the words i’d hoped i would never have to type, the death of Jon Snow. That little quip about Sam and Gilly bumping uglys and having one last laugh at the table together, to me it just all added up. Plus motivated close-ups of Olly’s disapproving little face over and over again were an easy sign, why else would they emphasise a secondary bitch facecharacter’s disapproval so much if it wasn’t in some way significant. To me this spoiled the tragedy of Jon’s death and instead of the utter, heart just fell out of my chest despair, I was left feeling if anything, indifferent and slightly smug after guessing what would happen to Jon around about episode 8.

Saying all of that no one can deny, this closing shot was the epitome of heart breaking.PJ2UyuwcUAjx

To me the most tragic death of the episode had to be Sansa, which really is saying something as she started sesaon one as the fantasy equivalent to a Justin Bieber fan ‘but daddy Joffrey’s my boyfriend and i love him and we’re going to have beautiful whiny children’. No but seriously with Theon’s redemption, the horrible irony of Brienne buggering off to kill Stannis and that motivated close up of the two hands clutched together. Sansa’s end was both beautiful and different, just gracefully disappearing from shot.

All in all The season finale felt a little rushed towards the end, there seemed to be a brief lull in the middle few episodes and then almost too much to fit in the final episode it didn’t let us dwell long enough on what was going on. However there is no way you can say it was boring. And now with the show almost surpassing the books we must all wait and see what tv’s most epic show has in store for us with season six…Hopefully Dragons!

MOVIE REVIEW:: The Imitation Game

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To begin, a confession, before the Oscars I had no interest in many of the films nominated (except the Grand Budapest because it’s awesome, but I’ll save that gushing for another time.) . However, this is my admittance, once something has gained the traction of attention from the academy, my own interest is drawn. Now it makes sense, seeing as the films, once nominated get a lot more media coverage during awards season, for people to gain interest, however in myself I feel a guilty validation in looking to a mysterious group of people (the academy) to tell me what is what. The same happened with Hollywood giant, Harvey Weinstein’s The Imitation game.

My love of Benedict Cumerbatch will forever be unwavering but The Imitation Game just didn’t appeal to me, maybe it was the fact that it was partially sold as a war story or the fact that in my eyes, the trailer did it no favours in making it seem like a thriller with it’s tense music and Bourne Identity looking font. However, on watching I was pleasantly surprised.

Mirroring his role in Sherlock, Cumberbatch plays Socially disconnected genius Alan Turing and once again creates a man who although appears to often detach and offend, at the same time is endearing, characterful and emotive to the audience. What isn’t made explicitly clear in the trailer, is Turing’s homosexuality, which I felt is what drove the film’s affection, humanising Turing with the side strand flashbacks of the childhood love of his best friend Christopher. And although the narrative mainly follows the goal of cracking the Nazi enigma  code, I found it to more be a story of enduring against adversity, as the films most poignant line states ‘sometimes it it the people who no one imagines anything of that do the things that no one can imagine’ I feel that really encapsulates what this story is about, not only the triumphant cracking of enigma, but also the personal triumph of persevering through a life of being doubted and trodden on.

This film is not only emotive with a harrowing ending but also has lighter and comedic moments. It is wonderfully endearing, inspiring and beautiful.

Finally if for nothing else, watch this film for the encounters Between Cumberbatch and Game Of Thrones’ Charles Dance, not only for the nerds is it Sherlock and Tywin Lannister bickering but it is probably the most majestic two British voices in the spotlight at the moment

CRUSH :: James Bay, Hold Back The River

Where do I begin on why I love this track so much?

The construction of the song is just beautiful, opening with a simple guitar picked motif, crescendoing into the uplifting choruses and then stripping right back down to the first glorious middle 8 ‘Lonely water’ section, where again Bay’s voice is exposed alongside minimal musical accompaniment. What is so powerful in this song is the use of swells of instrument parts, specifically the higher harmonies that pack such a choral punch.

Alongside the structuring of the song, Bay’s lyrics masterfully create an atmospheric, rousing, and spiritual tune. I wont begin to profess to knowing what the words are actually saying but in my own head it brings to mind almost biblical connotations. Of some higher power or emotion. Which i think really brings depth to the romance and power to this simply beautiful tune.

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TRACK OF THE WEEK :: ONCE UPON A DREAM

This week’s track review is in praise of Lana Del Rey’s soundtrack for the new dark Disney movie ‘Maleficent’, starring cheek boney beauty Angelina Jolie. Often a fairly dull and morose performer, Del Rey’s original work doesn’t appeal to me much, beyond the hype of ‘Video Games’ her sullen tones often seem too miserable and lifeless to rouse any excitement however on this occasion, her melancholy style works wonders. As Maleficent is the dark twist of Sleeping Beauty, ‘Once Upon A Dream’ is the moody adaptation of it’s fairytale, Disney classic predecessor. With a spacey vocal effect sounding like it’s being played through an abandoned warehouse, on an old, dusty turntable. The aspect of creepiness reflects perfectly the tone of the darkened film that it soundtracks. All in all Del Rey’s rearrangement of a classic works fantastically and for once her sombre tone is well fitted and interesting.

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TRACK OF THE WEEK::THE LUMINEERS – ‘BIG PARADE’

Buzzbeats has chosen The Lumineers for the track of the week for what can only be described as an adorable set at Reading Festival this weekend. You may be sick of hearing ‘Ho Hey’ just about everywhere however, I really think this band are onto something special for this reason ‘Big Parade’ is track of the week, this was their final song at the festival and closed their set true to their style of what I’m calling nostalgia-folk rock. By this I mean, all of the songs by this Denver outfit give one an almost sentimental longing for good times and sunshine. So, as the summer holidays draw to an end, I urge you to go out, enjoy any remaining sunshine that maybe left and, in the process of all this listen to Big Parade by The Lumineers!

 

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Track Of The Week:: Vampire Weekend- Diane Young

Track Of The Week:: Vampire Weekend- Diane Young

CLICK HERE to watch it

Sticking with the indie pop theme this week with Vampire Weekend’s ‘Diane Young’ with the modificatiom of pitch on vocalist Ezra Koenig’s vocal, the chorus sounds quite experimental. The use of a hawaii five- o style guitar run also makes for an interesting addition to the track, which to me is what really gives Vampire Weekend their edge from other indie pop bands.

Feature:: Music Snobbery and the age of the ‘guilty pleasure’

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Ed Sheeran, what a sell out huh? Not quite as into Lana Del Ray as you used to be since she got more popular?  Two Door Cinema Club not quite as ‘indie cool’ as they used to be? We all think these things; do you find yourself growing uninterested in an artist as soon as they begin to rise in popularity? Many of us do, it’s human instinct to protect what is ours and this applies to music too, it seems like once a musician’s fan base grows and radio airplay increases, we start to think that is no longer our ‘cool personal discovery’ and more a case of over exposure.

 

It’s all in the subculture, we are finding more and more of these groups springing up and it seems like that’s what matters to us, it’s not about how the artist sounds; more, what the fans look like and whether the artist has an army of cloned 12 year olds following their every breath on twitter.

 

Why is it that it’s cool to hear some sound waves and not cool to hear others? As in the end, it’s just a sensation, we don’t say ‘oh well it’s cool to see purple colours but not cool to look at yellows’. Bringing up names like Bieber and One Direction would make many recoil into a state of disgust and admittedly I would be the first to hiss at how awful and overproduced they are, but for the few that are into them, why do we live in a society that damns them for liking it?

 

This then spawns my interest into the so called ‘guilty pleasure’. We all have them, be it Nickelback, Mcfly or Taylor Swift. The most edgy of music hipsters will plug their Beats by Dre into one of their guilty pleasures even if they swear that all they listen to is underground art rock.

 

For instance, my friend recently told me off for listening to screamo and it didn’t seem out of place to me whatsoever, but really if one enjoys that genre nothing should stop them from tuning in to whatever the hell they feel like, without feeling their ipod playlist is inferior to that of their friends. In an increasingly sarcastic generation, it seems like it isn’t ‘cool’ to like anything any more, unless of course you like it ironically, you spend half of your time concealing the things you enjoy because you’re worried others will judge you for enjoying that thing. I think it’s time for a revolution of unapologetic enjoyment because in the end, you are what you love, even if what you love is ‘Toxic’ by Britney.

 

By Chloe Cooper