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Issue 2, 2015


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  • The Week In Feminism

  • Government shuts out students

  • The Council Is Not on Board

  • How many students does it take to jam an elevator?

  • NZUSA hungry for students’ money

  • It wasn’t a sheet time

  • Wellington surprises no one with its shit weather

  • Features

  • milk

    Surviving Becky

    After a stint with her grandma, Alice decided she needed to live with people her own age. Too bad one of them was a complete psycho. From classic passive-aggressive messages, to outright sabotage and threats of bodily harm, Salient brings you the story of the ultimate worst flatmate.


  • hipster

    Can the Hipster Survive in Wellington?

    No “hipster” ever admits that they are one. To do so would conflict with the innate desire to be non-conformist, and disagrees with the informed belief that people shouldn’t be put in metaphorical boxes. Or so those who scorn the subculture say. Let the paisley sock, bucket hat and moustache combo speak for itself. Wellington […]


  • food

    When the Food Runs Out

    Thanks to global warming and overpopulation, humans stand on the brink of a massive food crisis. To address the crisis, we might need to get creative. Salient’s science team brings you the causes of the food crisis, some practical steps we can take to avert it, and the long-term sci-fi solutions.


  • milk

    Surviving Becky

    After a stint with her grandma, Alice decided she needed to live with people her own age. Too bad one of them was a complete psycho. From classic passive-aggressive messages, to outright sabotage and threats of bodily harm, Salient brings you the story of the ultimate worst flatmate.


  • hipster

    Can the Hipster Survive in Wellington?

    No “hipster” ever admits that they are one. To do so would conflict with the innate desire to be non-conformist, and disagrees with the informed belief that people shouldn’t be put in metaphorical boxes. Or so those who scorn the subculture say. Let the paisley sock, bucket hat and moustache combo speak for itself. Wellington […]


  • food

    When the Food Runs Out

    Thanks to global warming and overpopulation, humans stand on the brink of a massive food crisis. To address the crisis, we might need to get creative. Salient’s science team brings you the causes of the food crisis, some practical steps we can take to avert it, and the long-term sci-fi solutions.


  • Arts and Science

  • In Review: The City Gallery

    Hailed as the cornerstone of Wellington’s art scene, the City Gallery this week debuted another critically acclaimed exhibit. We sent our team of art experts down to check it out.

    Immediately upon entry, an artist approached us and requested that we surrender our backpacks and coats—we were shocked! Although we were prepared for controversial avant-garde pieces, to be confronted so early on threw us off! Upon debaggaging our items, I felt my own personal baggage lightening, which I found worrying and alarming. We left the piece with bewildered looks towards the artist, whose face remained expressionless. What an actor!

    The second piece we came across, Untitled, appeared to be an interactive installation. We were unsure as to the nature of the interaction itself, until we observed another party of viewers. It seems that you are meant to become part of the installation by placing your rear on the top of the object, and let it support your weight, or “sit” as we were told by the helpful gallery guide. We proceeded to “sit”, but we still didn’t get it.

    After this disappointing piece, we made our way to the next in the exhibit, yet another Untitled piece. We believe the piece was a kinetic sculpture of some sort, about the size of a large cat. There were underlying tones of industry—perhaps a critique of neo-capitalism, but the overpowering theme was that of the fickle nature of humankind, expressed through a series of blinking lights and occasional, very quiet, “whoosh” noises.

    Mentally tired from the creative demands the pieces, we decided to conclude our trip to the City Gallery. We were surprised to find that our journey was not as over as we had thought! Before leaving, the first artist that had approached us, approached us once again and asked us if we would like our bags and coats back. Wow! We could not believe it! A complete reversal of the original performance piece! How delightfully unexpected! We looked at each other in awe, and congratulated the artist many times over as she proceeded to hand to us first our coats, and then our bags. She remained completely modest—slightly confused even, at the praise we were giving her, as if she was unaware of her great artistic merit.

    So if modesty and masterpieces are what you are looking for—the City Art Gallery is the place for you.


  • In Case of Books

    The boxes are piled high, after being carried up too many flights of stairs; their weight is a stark reminder of the growing mass of your book collection. Your attachment and inability to throw books out seems infantile. Your insistence on bringing your entire Harry Potter collection with you was balked at by your parents, but mostly because they knew they would be the ones helping you move these godforsaken heavy boxes.

    Books get under our skin. They bring us in to a world, and capture our imagination. Our attachment to that experience is acted out through an attachment to the physical form. Book collections grow and shrink and grow again, becoming more than simply houses for stories and words. For most people there are certain books that they carry through most of their life, whether it’s the book your parents gave you at 21 or at five. Perhaps in each new city, you buy new editions of the same book. Or maybe you have over 10 editions of Alice in Wonderland. Everybody has different patterns with their book collecting habits. The power of books comes from the coalescence of the magic of the words within, and the very life of the physical book itself.

    This becomes particularly pertinent as we live in an age where the tangibility of things is losing importance: music, calendars, photo albums, and books, all beginning to exist as mere lists stored within a device. It’s stripped away the physicality of things. While this shift threatens the book trade, we still find in many houses and bedrooms the presence of a bookshelf. Bookshelves operate in the middle section of a Venn diagram between housing a collection, and acting as a display unit. It is because of this powerful crossover position that bookshelves are a stronghold in homes.

    The curation of a collection is built up through many different aspects. The origin is important: was it a gift, or did you inherit it, was it a treat to yourself, what impulse compelled you to buy it? Was it from Unity Books while you wandered the town with a love interest, or was it from Pegasus books after hours of hunting through their collection. Perhaps it was from Vic Books as an end of study present to yourself.

    The significance of the author and title are important as well: are they a classic or an obscure writer, is this a book just for your collection or will you read this one, how did you discover this author, a friend’s recommendation? Is it your sibling’s favourite author? And then there are all the other books that have accumulated over the years, all those books you’ve borrowed and never returned, or those books you stole from your parents, all full of their marginalia. The constructed nature of curating a book collection can begin to occupy a realm saved for hobbies leading some to proclaim “I’m really trying to cultivate a library”.

    Your particular style of bookshelf is also as individual. With Pinterest and Tumblr full of different romanticised bookshelf trends, there’s a certain element of pressure to have a solid bookshelf look—whether it’s the pallet bed with books strewn around the room in unruly stacks, inhabiting a truly boho-chic library, or a white-walled, evenly stacked, and beautifully accessorised bookshelf that embodies Vogue’s idea of home interior design (the ultimate goal is to create an off set balance using accessories, alternating book orientation and size, duh). Bookshelf styles tell you if their collector is an anal-retentive book fiend, who tries to keep all authors together, and same-sized books all  perfectly stacked, or a laissez-faire book collector who isn’t interested in organising their book collection.

    Bookshelves will make you fall a little more in love with someone, as you recognise the same titles lining their shelves. You may read poetry from said bookshelf, the morning after a one-night stand. Or a bookshelf may be the unfortunate object upon which the drunk dude you were just pashing vomits. A bookshelf contains your life of reading, and plays an important role in your life; something about chapters in your life would be such an appropriate and painful metaphor here. So keep this in mind when you unpack those boxes of books, in the words of Carlos Maria Dominguez, an Argentinian writer;  “To build up a library is to create a life. It’s never just a random collection of books.”


    Top 5 Survival Books

    • The Road – Cormac McCarthy

    • Wild – Cheryl Strayed

    • Robinson Crusoe – Willam DeFoe

    • Life of Pi – Yann Martel

    • Hatchet – Gary Paulson


  • Selma


    Selma comes to the awards season a year after Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave won the Academy award for Best Picture. Both are violent and beautiful films concerned with significant parts of American history: slavery in the mid 1800s and the fight for Black Americans to be able to vote unencumbered that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Both are films by black directors; Ava Duverney is American while McQueen, like many of the actors in the casts of these films, is British.

    It seems shocking that films like these are only really being made now. Neither slavery nor black civil rights have been appropriately covered by mainstream Hollywood cinema up to this point in the way that important historical events that do not make white audiences feel bad have. It seems wrong that we got Quentin Tarantino’s blaxploitation comedy Django Unchained before we got a film like 12 Years a Slave.

    Selma is a political drama concerned with a particular struggle of the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jnr; it is not a biopic of King. That film will surely come; Steven Spielberg owns the rights to the speeches King made. This narrowed scope allows for the complexities of the situation to be coherently realised. It is a political drama about the different and interrelated ways politics affects us. From a personal and family level to the dynamics of activist groups and on a broader level, it is about the abuses suffered by black Americans and the high-level political work and posturing in relation to this.

    Unlike 12 Years a Slave, Selma has not been recognised for being as great a work as it is, with only two Oscar nominations. It is one of the best films of the year and should have received more. David Oyelowo portrays King with a gravity that befits his public image while giving us the delicate moments that make this twentieth-century giant a man. Duvernay does a masterful job of directing that is really emotionally moving without ever being trite. Her decisions in relation to sound and violence are particularly affecting. Selma serves up a full spectrum of feeling while telling an important story that has a great deal of contemporary relevance.


  • American Sniper


    There is a lot of debate raging recently about the role of military movies in our modern world. Are they propaganda? Or are they a tribute to the men and women who have risked their lives for their country? The film to spark this debate was Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, the true story of the most successful sniper in American history, Chris Kyle. Eastwood’s film follows Kyle throughout his military career, including the hunt for infamous Iraqi sniper Mustafa.

    Despite the debate, the film is surprisingly balanced in its approach to depicting war both as a brave and selfless act and also in showing the darker side of war including the violence, horror and psychological effects on soldiers. Of course, as an American film, this perspective is decidedly swayed towards depicting the American cause, but the balance between depictions of Iraqi people, their plight and motivations is also varied, if not always well fleshed out.

    The film presents Kyle, and so the audience, with some very complex issues of war. These issues are presented without a clear right or wrong answer and leave you with niggling worries about the morality of war and thoughts of how you would handle the horrible situations these soldiers are put in. But these thoughts are your own to explore, because the film never does anything more than present them without any exploration.

    The much larger issues with the film come from its scripting and occasionally from its direction. These two factors frequently coalesce to create a tenuously plodding narrative, moving from event to event without giving the audience time to really connect with the characters or the pathos. Consequently, the film is often without tension or emotional payoff.

    The standout element of the film is Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of Chris Kyle and Sienna Miller’s depiction of his wife, Taya Kyle. Both actors gave excellent performances, often transcending the flaws of the script by giving real and engagingly visceral depictions. Miller in particular deserves recognition for creating a complex and fascinating character from a two-dimensional script.

    American Sniper has sparked an important debate, which is really its greatest accomplishment. At best it is a mildly successful war film which presents many ideas, but never really fleshes them out, due to a script more interested in covering ground than achieving anything of substance.


  • Oscarbation

    The ballots are closed and the results are in: the winner of the Oscars, for the 87th consecutive year, was the advertising industry. Despite a slight downturn from last year’s numbers, The Oscars’ televised live ceremony drew in a crowd of 37 million legal American viewers and no doubt plenty more illegal ones, myself amongst them, soaking up the glitz and the glamour in my Aro Valley hovel. Despite the fact the Oscars have little remaining credibility, the annual farce continues to draw in mesmerised viewers, even if they do pretend to be hate-watchers. Did it deserve its viewership?

    I started watching during the pre-ceremony red carpet event, a ritual whose in-your-face decorousness and sophistication is surely designed to juxtapose the undignified ceremony which comes after it. The dresses were a little staid this year but some were on point: Emma Stone looked ravishing, ScarJo tasteful. Marion Cotillard, in an unprecedented display of temerity, managed to wear an upturned tent and still look flawless.

    The red carpet interviews, conducted as celebrities mill around looking at loose ends in the background, were filled with predictable questions and choreographed answers, with one exception. An interviewer asked Dakota Johnson’s mum if she’d seen Fifty Shades of Grey. “I think it would be strange,” she responded, and Johnson’s whine of “Moooo-ooomm you’re embarrassing me” reverted her briefly—and poignantly—back into adolescence.

    The event itself was hosted by an increasingly beleaguered Neil Patrick Harris, whose quip about the Oscars celebrating “the best and the whitest” was the first among many off-notes of the evening. Lots of people will have been a bit miffed that certain brilliant selections—Calgary, Under the Skin, Fifty Shades of Gray, A Talking Cat!?!—didn’t get the academy’s royal imprimatur. But to overlook Selma was different—here was a movie that was critically adored as well as being perfect Oscar fodder, and the bizarre omission cast a pall on the evening that lame jokes only made worse.

    Harris also occupied a weird middle-ground in his delivery, half laughing off the idea of racism in the Academy as a conspiracy theory and half acknowledging its institutional biases, and with this ambiguity the joke didn’t really gel for anyone. Harris made his position clear in an off-the-cuff joke, one of his best of the evening, which he made after David Oyelowo got a rousing applause—“oh, so now you want him”—but his speechwriters were less inclined to take a firm stance. The result was devastating awkwardness.

    Awkwardness describes the tone of most of the evening. One of Harris’ unfathomable running gags was entrusting the safety of a briefcase to Olivia Harris, who looked not unlike the acquiescing hostage of an armed robbery every time the camera panned to her. #freeoctavia indeed.

    The opening ditty, featuring forced cameos by Anna Kendrick and Jack Black(?), was bizarre enough to warrant a bemused look from Meryl Streep. The “In memoriam” roll omitted Joan Rivers and took forever to get to Robin Williams. The “get off the stage you bore” music started playing just as one winner thanked his “late wife”; the cringe was compounded when he finished “and my children! …who aren’t dead, ha ha” at a machine-gun pace.

    The speeches were a decidedly mixed bag. The creator of “Best Foreign Film”, Ida, delivered a convivial speech that implored his friends in Poland to “get drunk”, though this made his direction on the soporifically austere Ida seem even more forced. Patricia Arquette deserved her win for Best Supporting Actress, playing her role as a stifled but loving mother pitch-perfectly, and her initially fumbling speech gave way to a “J’ACCUSE” moment wherein she demanded equal gender pay. “It is our time,” she insisted, and her call to arms was met by Meryl Streep, who responded by standing and gesticulating wildly. All wonderful sentiments, spoilt somewhat by a post-ceremony interview where she demanded the “queer community and black community” help white women in their time of need. Considering the wage gap is larger between ethnicities than cisgenders and that Queer people—especially Trans people of colour—are at least eight times more likely to risk poverty and homelessness, I imagine they’ll probably pass. But thanks for asking, Patricia!

    They weren’t all bad. Common and John Legend, winners of Best Original Song—introduced as “John Stevens and Lonnie Lin”—gave a powerful oratory on racial inequality in the U.S of A and the importance of harmony. Legend earned the title of bravest Oscar speech since X’s anti-Israel comments when he noted that “there are more incarcerated black people today than there were slaves in 1850”, though his comments were better received. In the midst of the palpable beauty and audacity, it was hard not to feel moved—even if I was terrified that their speech would be interrupted by the musical number, who seemed to take pleasure in picking the most gauche possible moment to begin their dismissal.

    What else? Oh! Despite the previous claim about lack of diversity in the Oscars, there was a Red Mayne present and he even won (deservingly) the Oscar for Best Actor! “This belongs to all the people in the world suffering ALS,” he cheeped like a canary on one too many benzos. “I will answer his beck and call. I will wait on him hand and foot.” Lovely. Julianne Moore won an “it’s about bloody time” Best Actress and gave a heartfelt and warm speech. Lady Gaga and Julie Andrews hugged and it was pretty fucking cool.

    Ultimately, though, it was difficult to feel anything when the evening rolled to a close. Harris, his presenting duties almost over, looked exhausted and embarrassed, rather wishing he personified the “Bear” gay stereotype instead of the “eloquent” one so he could hibernate for three months after all this was over.

    Sean “domestic abuser” Penn presented the Best Picture, and upon seeing it was Birdman, jibed “who gave this son-of-a-bitch [Alejandro González Iñárritu, a Mexican] a green card” in a tone that would have pleased Winston Peters, but I was too shattered to take in the meaning. Iñárritu was a gracious winner and I made a mental note to bump Birdman up the “to watch” list and the caper came to an inglorious close. What a lark, what a plunge.

    So what draws us to the Oscars, in spite of their predictability, tokenistic gestures, sometime lack of artistic merit? I have no idea. There are theories about postmodern spectacle, the fascinating and intrinsic disconnect between actors and their roles, the sign and the signified come to life in Dolby Surround.

    That sounds a bit sterile to me: even though none of the actors, this year or next, will use their Oscar as a sex-toy on stage and redefine the meaning of “Oscar-bait” forever or repurpose it as a bong; even though none of the people at the Oscars will give their $250,000 goodie bag to organizations supporting the dismantling of the prison-industrial complex, or Queer rights, or at-risk youth, the lofty rhetoric’s permanence extinguished along with lights when the curtains close; even though the film we thought was the best of the year will never win—we are seduced by the gorgeousness, the genuine emotions than shine through, the smiling loved ones, the humility of the losers.

    It is these human things, more than the extravagance of the experience, that ♪ shine bright like a diamond. ♪


  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3DS


    The black sheep of the Legend of Zelda family, and the evil twin of Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask is creepy, dark and addictive.

    Majora’s Mask 3DS does justice to the original, proving that the fifteen-year-old classic still holds water. The game’s personality and countless side quests make it hard to put down. While the majority of Link’s quest boasts superb game design, a few areas and one specific dungeon can at times show the product’s age.

    So what’s new? Those who played the game back in 2000 should for the most part find what’s familiar. Many of the changes made are simple but serve to modernise the experience. For instance, the layout in Clock Town, the game’s bustling central hub, has been revamped—it is now easier to navigate and prettier than ever before.

    Some changes are far more than just aesthetic. The touch screen interface, much like Ocarina of Time 3DS, makes accessing and using your extensive inventory a breeze. Furthermore, all the bosses have a new exploitable weakness, and the latter two dungeon bosses have completely new final phases of attack. The remake even sports one brand new side quest.

    The last and most important change is undoubtedly the graphics upgrade. The 3DS revitalises the Majora’s setting Termina, to a breathtaking degree. The four different regions of the game—the swamp, mountains, ocean and canyon—are brought to life with colour and more detailed textures. When looking at character models of Link or any other member of Majora’s quirky cast, you find yourself brought into their world, rather than taken out by the pixelated animations unavoidable in the late 90s.

    The one issue I did take with the game’s presentation came when a friend pointed out the game’s look was a lot brighter and more optimistic than it had previously been. This is upsetting because Majora’s Mask was, and continues to be, an atmospheric and unnerving experience—the brightness so prevalent in the 2015 version slightly detracts from the game’s spookier tone.

    As with most Zelda games, the plot in Majora’s Mask is understated and secondary to the personalities it gives you an excuse to meet. The antagonist, the mischievous Skull Kid, is immediately likable and easy to sympathise with. The creepy mask salesman who tasks you with retrieving Majora’s Mask is just as interesting and twisted.

    Each region of Termina has a population of characters—a rock band of Zoras, a Blacksmith and his giant assistant, a gang of kids roaming the streets of Clock Town—and many feature deep side quests to complete. The player is tasked with completing these quests before the end of a three-day/night cycle; different events happen at different times of day, and a new alarm feature makes managing this easier than ever. It really seems like life in this world continues whether you’re in it or not.

    The reward for making the world better is often the acquisition of a new mask. Over twenty different masks give Link abilities, from running faster to transforming into different species. These abilities will translate to being better equipped to deal with dungeons, of which there are four. The dungeons of Majora’s Mask are a great mix of puzzles and battles. It’s very rewarding to overcome a problem that has previously stumped you, with the water temple a good example of this. Unfortunately, the game’s last dungeon is prone to simple-to-solve problems that are repetitive and time-consuming. Similarly, dungeon bosses for the most part are well-designed fights with cool combat options to toy with, but the last (as a result of the remake’s new additions) often felt over-difficult and cheap.

    Majora’s Mask may be one of the most underrated Zelda games, but it consistently shows itself to be one of the best, and arguably the most ambitious. Though the game may have benefitted from a few more dungeons, this is made up for with countless other activities which give it great value. The 3DS’s new coat of paint has made the already deep and absorbing world of Majora’s Mask better realised. This is a must play.


  • If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late


    If you haven’t heard Drake’s new surprise commercial mixtape yet, you’re probably not a fan of Drake/hip hop/pop/R&B. But you might want to give it a go anyway, because although it’s not Drake’s best, it’s still pretty good, and it’s a great representation of why Drake is the future—so you might as well acquaint yourself with what’s likely to be the best album of 2015 before he releases the highly anticipated Views From The 6.

    Drake is Canadian, and it’s definitely not summer over there. I made the mistake of listening for the first time in a semi-pleasant mood in a room drenched with sunlight. I do not recommend this. Perhaps instead listen at night time, maybe on a Wednesday, when you’re amidst a mid-week crisis. It’s times like those that Drake thrives. Save him for a rainy day or a cool night if you want a true and genuine Drake Experience.

    As expected, the production is pretty nice. Drake has always been one for showcasing great production talent, and this mixtape is no different. Boi-1da (check: “6pm in New York”), 40 (check: “Jungle”) and PARTYNEXTDOOR (check: “Wednesday Night Interlude”) are the standouts, and they do a polished job with the slow, clean, smart beats that compliment Drake’s equally smooth voice and his always honest lyrics. Mazel tov! One interesting aspect of the mixtape is that Drake doesn’t mention his Jewish heritage like he usually does, perhaps a subtle critique of the Gaza situation. Drake instead focuses on “the 6,” his money, his women, and how he has to deal with all the fakes.

    The first half isn’t as good as the second half and without any deliberate radio bangers, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late is a slow burn. It lasts a long time, like a fat blunt. Drake tells us he has been trying to cut down on smoking, because underneath the Drake is “Aubrey, the biggest boss” who’s a real person, and just like you he’s got his vices. His acknowledgement of both his flaws and his many strengths is what makes Drake so endearing and I think we can all benefit from Drake’s self awareness. Listen, because you will see yourself in Drake, and hopefully you will see some of Drake in you.


  • The Pale Emperor


    Marilyn Manson’s ninth studio album feels a little bit different to the rest of his stuff. It’s less industrial grime and way more synth-heavy. It’s a bit grungy, but not entirely committed to that kind of sound. I’m almost tempted to use the word “mainstream” but I don’t want to sound like too much of a dick. For the most part, though, it feels a lot less intense.

    In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Manson said “I’m chaos, I’ve always been chaos, my point on Earth is chaos. I’m the third act of every movie you’ve ever seen. I’m the part where it rains and the part where the person you don’t want to die dies.” In other words, he’s still at it. I can’t help thinking that it’s all such an act—but for me, The Pale Emperor didn’t play into that act as much as I wanted it to. The album’s just not as confronting as his earlier stuff and I have to admit that I was a tiny bit disappointed by that.

    Realistically though, Manson’s had a long career and at 46, he’s still got more shock value than most artists. He’s always been a lyrical genius and I don’t think you can fault his musical ability. The Pale Emperor may be a bit tame by his usual standards, but it’s still Manson’s best album in years.

    The Pale Emperor certainly has a different feel to it too. All of the tracks are good, but for me there was no one track that particularly stood out. “Third Day of a Seven Day Binge” and “Deep Six” are both great songs and are easily some of Manson’s catchiest tracks in a while. “The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles” is another radio-friendly track that has a solid tune and lyrics that only Manson could come up with. Other highlights include “Warship My Wreck” and “Devil Beneath My Feet”. It’s no Mechanical Animals or Antichrist Superstar, but The Pale Emperor is still easily worth a listen.


  • 28 Days: A Period Piece

    Discharge is a troupe of female comedians who have been bringing us socially aware, and hilarious, theatre since 2012. They’ve had some massive successes over the last couple of years with shows such as What Is This, Women’s Hour? and Benedict Cumberbatch Must Die. There latest show 28 Days: A Period Piece continues their grand tradition of hilarious and poignant comedy.

    Written by Discharge member Abby Howells, the show follows a bunch of actors preparing a show about periods that they are to tour around high schools. However, the show they have prepared is written by the men on the Board of Directors and so completely misses the point and perspective that these ladies should have about “The P”, as it is affectionately named. Each of the Discharge women presents a new song which demonstrates their perspective on this most taboo of topics.

    The issues the show deals with are many and often poignant, but as enlightening as the show is, the message is secondary to the pure entertainment that the hilarious hijinks bring. What makes the show so alive is the different style that each of the characters brings, from Rosie Howells’ rapping badassery to Kate Schrader’s crooning cabaret.

    The energy and joy that Discharge brings to their performances is infectious, and when combined with Howells’ stellar writing and the superb direction of Caitlin McNaughton, it creates truly unique and thoroughly enjoyable theatre. Discharge has one more dynamite show under its belt.


  • Thre3e

    I left Thre3e with a huge smile on my face… because it was finally over. It is rare to find theatre this bad in Wellington, but Mirrored Faces Productions made many key mistakes, creating an experience which has left me with PTTD (Post-Traumatic Theatre Disorder).

    Though the problems of this show were many, the main perpetrator has to be the script, written by director and co-star Jett Ranchhod. The story reads like a teenage boy’s masturbatory fantasy, following a bunch of flatmates as they compete in a video game tournament for a $10,000 prize. There were really no redeeming qualities in the narrative. The dialogue was stilted and nonsensical, the characters’ motivations were absent or completely irrational and the relationships were either completely unbelievable or again made absolutely no sense. Worst of all, the script was abysmally misogynistic, treating the one female character like a sexual object that could be passed around the flat to anyone’s liking.

    These problems were exacerbated by the performances in the piece. The two male leads, Jett Ranchhod and Keeghan McGarry, gave performances that would have looked bad in a high school production, let alone at Bats. Of course they had very little to work with, but there deliveries were still often cringeworthy. The female lead, Lindsay Astarita, did a slightly better job at bringing the “script” to life, but even she seemed like she didn’t want to be there, and I couldn’t help but empathise with that.

    The show’s one redeeming quality was the fight sequences, which were well choreographed and had clearly been keenly rehearsed. But unfortunately even this one sliver of light in the darkness was ruined by the inept design and execution of the show’s technical elements. Every fight scene was crippled by poorly timed lighting cues, and a baffling absence of non-diegetic sound to bulk out the energy of the fighting.


  • About the Author ()

    Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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