Archive for July, 2008

Jul 16 2008

Oxegen 2008 – A Guide For Festival Virgins (Part 2)

Published by under Blog,Music,Music Review

Don’t Rely on Your Mobile Phone

Have pre-arranged meeting points because even though you may have full signal, you may still have difficulty getting through due to 80,000 other people attempting to do the same. I left the Winehouse to meet with my brother but we kept missing each other due to the inability to get a mobile connection. This also meant that text messages sent, were received up to an hour or more late. This did afford me the opportunity to hear Panic at the Disco, the pop punk group from Las Vegas. I knew a couple of their songs (Nine in the Afternoon is brilliant) but was delighted to hear more. They were a great energetic act which acted as a contrast to Miss Amy‘s lacklustre performance at the opposite end of the arena, down on the Mainstage.

Don’t Hang Around With a Bunch of 16 Year Olds

One: you will feel very very old. Two: People will stare at you oddly because you are hanging around with a bunch of 16 year olds.

I did finally catch up with my sibling and his mates and ingratiated myself into their favours with packs of Mini Smarties. My hopeful attempt to seem cool and hip in front of them was grounded at the first hurdle. I looked like this:

Once I clambered over that obstacle things went further down hill when I insulted one (and probably more than one) of them accidentally. But, they were a forgiving bunch and allowed me to tag along with them to watch REM. Further showing my age, I was able to sing along with most of the earlier REM tracks while struggling with tracks from the recent Accelerate album (their best in many years).

Get Up Front As Early As Possible

After REM on the Mainstage, we bounded through the admittedly light layer of mud to see Manic Street Preachers in the Green Room. We arrived with time to spare so we could get some decent positioning for the gig. We were pretty much right up front and if you want to be anywhere near the front at a gig as popular as this, you need to get their early.

Alternatively send a bunch of people ahead of you. The Teens and I held onto a good spot while Lottie, Andy and T, RP, Lady Anon and others made their way through the masses to join us. The great show put on by the Manics was only improved by our brood of bouncing buddies. The Manics did not disappoint and gave us hit after hit – we loved it and the band seemed to really enjoy their set too, which can only enhance the performance. Dancing, singing, waving and jumping we were all on a high when they finished the set, but were immediately thrust into depression. It was too short. There was no encore. We screamed for more, but it did not come. It’s a shame, but such are the ways of the festival. The Manics were probably my top band of the entire weekend both for the music they played and the feeling of longing for more they left us with. The gig encapsulated all that Oxegen was for me. It was fun; I was surrounded by great friends and strangers who I clicked with; the music was unrivaled; the show was electric; I was left wanting, needing, crying out for more. Awesome!

Plan Your Weekend


No Matter How You Plan It, You Will Inevitably Miss Some Gigs

It’s going to happen. It’s the nature of festivals. Some gigs will clash with others. Some gigs will be on early and you may still be sleeping. Some gigs you may not even hear about until after the event. This is why it is vitally important to plan out your gig-guide before you go. Thanks to the ever-efficient Cormac Moylan I had a readymade Excel sheet which I could adapt for my own nefarious plans (mwahaha). Okay, so nefarious they may not be, but plans they are. For the most part I got to see what I wanted and my guide actually managed to stay in one piece for the whole weekend despite being rained on, handled by many and moving from muddied pocket to muddied pocket repeatedly.

But true to form, the well laid plans of mice did not allow for a number of gigs. I would love to have caught the Aphex Twin (especially having heard some of the reviews in the past two days). Paddy Casey would have been fun and I wanted to hear Counting Crows (although Andy and T were hugely disappointed by their mish-mash of a concert). The Hoosiers, Vampire Weekend, Declan O’Rourke and Alabama 3 were on my secondary list, but alas went unheard by me. The choice between The Raconteurs and Róisin Murphy on Sunday was very tough. We ultimately went with Róisin to add a greater variety to the weekend and I’m glad we did, because she was remarkable. I stepped into MGMT in Pet Sounds before the gig had started and was all set to watch them. I rushed out to summon Lottie, but by the time I returned, mere minutes later, the entire tent was surrounded by hoards of people and there was no hope of getting in. By all accounts it was a fantastic session – well, once it restarted after the idiots climbed down from the rafters.


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Jul 15 2008

Oxegen 2008 – A Guide For Festival Virgins (Part One)

Published by under Blog,Music,Music Review

As the scouts say, be prepared. Thank you to everyone who replied to my pleas for help and advice for my first ever festival. There is so much we would have forgotten had it not been for your guidance. The weekend ended up being one of the greatest times I’ve ever had. 2008, a year of so many highs, some I thought could never be topped, seems to have peaked this weekend. For the three days there was a buzz and an atmosphere I’d never really witnessed before. And to make it even better, I was with some truly fantastic people, new friends and old, who gave me a festival I could never have hoped for – one of fun, laughter and epic nights. Thank you all so much.

In an effort to relay my experiences, I thought it fitting that I also give other festival newbs a guide to what they can expect and maybe they can be as prepared as I was to take on the big bad world of festival life.

Arrange to Arrive Late

Okay, this may not seem to be the best bit of advice to begin my festival guide, so allow me to clarify. If you have a girlfriend and she has a friend who is very practical, and furthermore if you yourself are as practical as a back pocket in a vest, it is advisable to arrive late and allow them to completely set up the two tents and have a beer ready for you on your arrival. Both Andy and I were working on Friday and finished work around 1.30 (Thank you very much, Mr. Bossman – I will endeavour to make up for it). Together we traversed the Wicklow Way to reach the campsite in Punchestown for around 3pm. The two wonderful women, Lottie and T, had the tents up (kudos go to T on this) and beers ready for us to enjoy. We were men of leisure for the weekend and, I’m sorry Ladies, there is only the slightest hint of guilt. Also, hot pants high five!!!

Be Open to New Music

Bags were searched, wristbands were granted, umbrella hats (these are now exempt from my annoyances as previously illustrated in this post) were obtained and we finally entered the concert arena. I’m not sure what I was expecting. It was immense. It was people as far as the eye Whatever about people, it seemed to be stages as far as the eye could see. The first stage as we walked through the (red campsite) entrance was the O2 stage, the second biggest outdoor stage. Deus were playing as we entered and, while I had never heard of them before, I am now eager to buy their album. I realised that this weekend was going to be more about just catching the bands I know and like – I had to open my mind (and ears) to something new, something different. I forged ahead anxious for more.

Buy Irish

I’m unsure without doing the research, but someone might be able to correct me if I’m wrong: this year seemed to have a lot more Irish bands than ever before. Moreover, these Irish bands were gracing the main stages in triumph more than ever before. On Friday evening we caught Mundy and Bell X1, two of the greatest acts of the weekend. Mundy‘s July may have set the stage on fire, but his Galway Girl set fire to the night. It was electric – the crowd (bursting out of the Green Room tent) was chanting – more than that – they were erupting with Day-I-Ay-I-Ay’s. It was one of the many, many highlights of the weekend.

Bell X1, too, are a band I have wanted to catch for quite a while and I was not disappointed. A great Irish pop act with an edge (not The Edge, an edge).

The rest of the weekend saw us catch a number of other Irish acts including the sensual Camille, Delorentos, the Loose and Róisin Murphy to name a few. This was a festival that really promoted the ‘Boys in Green’ and it was far from a publicity exercise – this country is on top form at the moment when it comes to musical talent.

Bring Beer

Okay, as festival advice goes, this may seem a little redundant, but it was the best segue I could come up with to talk about our first night back at the tent, when Lottie, T, Andy and I shared drinks and chatted away into the cold night. Apparently I fell asleep in the tent with Andrew draped across me. I have no recollection of this. I think I’m happy about that.

I was thrilled to have two people I love to bits along to help us lose our festival virginity. They helped us out so much and were fantastic friends all the way. How on earth they put up with my irritating prattle for hours on end is beyond me. I can only assume they (like Lottie) have learned to tune me out.

It was also wonderful to share our time with the great Mr Rick, the delicious RP, the ravishing Lady Anonymous (I’ll stick with this name until she advises another). Thank you all for a great time and I look forward to many more. Btw, Rick, did you ever locate the doughnut picture?

Bring Ear Plugs

This is a damned important piece of festival advice. Much of my festival advice is just a neat way to tie my weekend together with snappy titles, but this one is a must. I know you may come to these festivals for music, but JayZ‘s 99 Problems on your neighbour’s Ghettoblaster at 6am after getting to bed (I use the term ‘bed’ loosely) only a couple of hours earlier will make you despise music forever. Cue the ear plugs. They may not drown out everything and if you’re a very light sleeper they are unlikely to do much good at all, but if you’re like me, they’ll allow you to sleep on through the morning, as the racket fades away into the background.

Forget About the Luxuries of Home and Embrace Festival Culture

You have to – you truly need to drop all your niceties and pleasantries and misguided gentilities. When you awake on your first morning, Saturday for us, and your teeth are furry, your body is dripping with sweat, there is a smell emanating from somewhere (the Gods only know where), there is a foot in your face and something unusual crawling across your chest, a strange sticky substance that you vaguely recall touching last night seems to have stained your leg a shade of green, there are noises that resemble an orchestra of monkeys that have no instruments, only spare car parts, tuning up, noises which you are sure should never greet a person in the morning – when you awake to this, you realise that this is to be a weekend like no other you have known. Thus, we have the festival culture. Embrace it, love it, make it your friend. Otherwise you’ll annoy yourself with talk of lost toothpaste, the lamented loss of deodorant, the departure of civilisation and, of course, sanitation.

When it Comes to Toilets, Don’t Expect the Ritz

I was prepared! I was told by so so many people, I had heard so many stories over the years about the disgusting, unhygienic, foul, putrid, stench-pits that were festival toilets, that I was not it the slightest bit phased when I saw my first faeces stained toilet seat. Nor was I bothered by the vomit covered walls. But, in truth, I seem to have a very lucky weekend when it came to toiletry facilities. Maybe it was luck or maybe Crapeus, the God of Toilets, was shining down upon me, because I seemed to pick the cleanest, most well stocked of all the portaloos all weekend. I also made use of the very pleasant indoor toilets at the VIP section of the Bacardi Dance Tent. Fine, I didn’t shower for the entire weekend, but I was expecting that. All in all, my experience was a good one. I think Lottie and the others may have different views to me on this though, so again I say, be prepared for the worst and you won’t be disappointed.

Bring Food

Your festival weekend is unlikely to be one of gourmet foods unless you are headed to Henley Festival and even then I wouldn’t hold my breath. Oxegen did have an elaborate array of food stalls, varying from the dodgy Taste of India, to the tasty (but perhaps equally dodgy) Fat Pig. There were vegetarian options and smoothie bars, there were traditional Fish and Chips and suitably modern Bagel Bars. Certainly, there was a great selection, but the prices were high and the standards were varied. It was good that we (I say we but I mean our saviour T) had food, drink and gas stoves up at the cars. It made for a pleasant lunch before catching our first music act on Saturday.

One act I had marked as a definite and was really looking forward to was Camille O’Sullivan. The burlesque temptress has a voice to rival any of the Mainstage acts and puts on a show that thrills. Her too-short set in the Pet Sounds tent began with a small crowd but attracted enough people to fill the tent by the time she had finished her show. And what a show! Beginning in a skimpy dress, she gradually undressed until she was in her very fetching underwear singing ‘In These Shoes, I Don’t Think So’. I think she had only a mere 7 or 8 songs in her allotted time but she, along with the audience, were ready for a lot more. Two of my favourite Oxegen moments come from this gig – her performance of the Tom Waits song ‘Misery’s the River of the World‘ and her unforgettable rendition of the aforementioned ‘In These Shoes‘.

Be Prepared for Rain, Mud and Cold Weather

As we ran from Camille‘s gig in Pet Sounds across the full length of the arena, the rain caught us off guard and, while the previous evening’s heavy downpours saw us ready with umbrella hats and rain macks, the quick burst of rain on Saturday afternoon saw us soaked by the time we reached the Green Room for the Brian Jonestown Massacre.

This was another band I had only vaguely heard of but couldn’t have named any of their songs. And, although I enjoyed their set, I am still none the wiser. They seem to have a great sound, a solid sound that works for one or two songs, but then it quickly wears thin as each song seems like a slightly different variation on the last. I liked them, even if each song did sound alike, but I won’t be rushing out to buy an album.

We were really in the Green Room to catch the proceeding band, The Ting Tings. They were pop-tastic. A great performance mixed with an enthusiastic crowd made it one of the best gigs of the weekend. I think ‘That’s Not My Name‘ will go down as one of the anthems of Oxegen 2008.

The Mainstage May Not Always Be the Best Stage


Don’t Sacrifice Quality for Hype

Much of Saturday heard murmurs of Amy Winehouse‘s cancellation. Some said she had died, some said she had just fallen into a catatonic state. But they were all wrong (well, she may have been slightly catatonic).

Only a few minutes late, she arrived out onto the main stage to eruptions of cheers and applause. Still too thin but at least she was upright, she looked reasonable well (translated that means ‘not strung out’) and sober (-ish). As the music started, however, it’s clear she’s been through the mill. She’s good, but not great. The excellent songs lack something as she blithely croons through her catalogue. Her lethargy and apathy are made all the more apparent by the hyperactive energy of her male backing singers and dancers. Their life seems to highlight her lack of it. It’s a shame to see it because the girl clearly has so much talent. Of all the drugged up divas in recent years, she is the only one I really hope gets her act together. I will continue to listen to her on my iPod but I wont be typing ‘Amy Winehouse Oxegen’ into my YouTube search bar any time soon.


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Jul 15 2008

Heist On RTE One

Published by under Blog

RTEOne begin their Heist series tonight and the first episode focuses on the securicor van robbery by the Real IRA in Ashford in 1998. Lottie regails us with her memories of being stopped by the armed robbers that day. Check it out here and drop her a comment.

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Jul 14 2008

I’m Back

Published by under Music

I’ve returned to the land of the living after an incredible weekend at Oxegen. My festival virgin Cherry has been popped in the most wonderful of ways. I’m all tingly!

I’ll try to put my Oxegen post together over the next few hours, but the TV looks so inviting…

7 responses so far

Jul 11 2008

Cocaine Nosejobs

Published by under Blog

On Ray Foley‘s show on Wednesday, he briefly touched on the subject of drugs. No, Foley did not dare delve into serious for any more than the briefest of moments (he would never try to steal Matt Cooper’s limelight). He mentioned his disinterest in drugs and how he also has a tendency to wipe his nose a lot. When he was out at a club/event/gig (I’m not sure, I wasn’t paying the best attention – I did have a lot of work to get through) he caught himself touching his nose and started to feel paranoid, so in an effort to disguise it, he began hiding his itchy nose when he wiped it, which could have only made it look more suspicious.

Why do I bring this up? Well, I’ve found myself doing the exact same thing on a number of occasions. I have mentioned before my hatred for drugs and the drug culture developing in Ireland today. I have never taken drugs, nor do I have any intention of. It is perhaps for this reason that I get so paranoid in clubs (particularly if they are very smoky around the entrance – I don’t cope well with cigarette smoke) when I catch myself wiping my nose. It may sound like a silly thing, but it is something that bothers me. I don’t want complete strangers thinking I’m on cocaine (or anything else for that matter) and I certainly don’t want people I do know to think I have some sort of secret habit that only surfaces when I’m in a nightclub, late bar or music gig.

Today, I’m off to Oxegen and I’m not stupid – I understand that drugs will certainly play a part in the festival. I’d like to think they won’t feature too much among my group of friends, but I am always the last to know about these things. I try not to judge – goodness knows there’s many things in my life I could be and have been judged for, so I would think it hypocritical of me to bring my judgment down upon others. I would claim to be open minded and liberal to a point, but when it comes to drugs – all I see is scumbags. There’s scumbags in tracksuits, scumbags in three piece suits, scumbags in haute couture and scumbags in pyjamas. My negative feelings towards drugs cross the class divides.

So, if you see me at any time over the weekend, dancing away and wiping my nose, allow to to assure you – all I am doing is wiping my nose. Do not offer me cocaine and do not try to buy some from me. I will happily take your money and then run away. Try catch me, scumbag! 🙂

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Jul 10 2008

I Don’t Care What It’s For…

Published by under Blog

I don’t care what it‘s for, it‘s just amazing and mezmerising. Life does not get better than this. Thank you RapturePonies for the link.

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Jul 10 2008

Frackin’ Toaster

Published by under Blog

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Jul 09 2008


Published by under Blog

Well, if Ray Foley can nick stuff from me, I can nick stuff from him.

This had me laughing so hard I shed a little tear. Parents may be cruel, but they are comic geniuses for uploading this video:

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Jul 09 2008

We’re Off For A Delightful Weekend

Published by under Blog,Music

Woohoo! Well, we’ve got our tickets and we’ll be off to Oxegen. This is my first festival ever, so I’m very excited. Giddy, even!

So, I collected our tickets this evening (thank you again, Sir). That’s all we need, right? Our tickets, yeah? Nothing else?

I mean, obviously we’ll get a tent. And a big load of toilet roll. Obviously! But that’s it yeah?

Spare clothes? Sure, it’s a festival – we can wear the same ones all weekend. Wait! Rain! Okay, so I’ll bring a spare shirt and tie. I’ll pack two pairs of canvas runners, in case one pair get a little damp. Some spare socks maybe? Nah – they take up too much space.

I guess I’ll bring my iPod, just in case there’s no good music for a little while. It’ll be safe enough I’m sure. I’ll just make sure to keep it beside my tent, so I know where it is. Same for my laptop, of course.

But that’s it, right? I don’t need anything else. Should we bring a few bottles of Heineken? I guess they’ll have some good trendy bars and they’ll probably have table service at some of the venues? Do we need to get to each venue early to get a good seat? I’m sure someone will move if I ask them politely.

I just Googled festival and got some wonderful pictures from the Henley Festival which is also running this weekend. I assume it’s something similar.

I’m really looking forward to it and Lottie is going to look beautiful in her ballgown.

But if anyone does have any advice for festival newbies, please leave a comment or two below. Seriously, please help!

19 responses so far

Jul 09 2008

It’s All Me Me Meme…

Published by under Blog

Mr. B’dum B’dum over at Positive Boredom has thrown down the gauntlet in the form of the latest Meme. It originated with Keiron.

Appropriately it’s called Getting Your Goat.

The rules are simple enough:

  1. List two things that irritate you for a reason (and list the reason!), and two things that irritate you for no apparent reason whatsoever!!!!!!
  2. Give credit to the person who tagged you.
  3. Link your answers to the original blog, that’s here (!
  4. Tag four new people to participate.

1. Two Things That Irritate You For A Reason

People who don’t speak English who work in the service industry. I know for a fact I’m not alone in this irritation. Just this morning, in fact, I was in the coffee shop and ordered two croissants, a cappuccino and a low fat latte. I am fairly well spoken (unless I’d had a few drinks and my Wickla accent comes to the surface – but I assure you I have not been drinking this morning) and I was very clear about my order, but still she managed to hand me one croissant and…and nothing…that’s it! I tried again and she managed to get me a second croissant and one cappuccino. I tried a third time, but one of her colleagues (an English speaking Pole) got angry with her and told her to do something else while she made the low fat latte.

This is becoming a daily occurance now though. Regardless where I go in Dublin, I am faced with having to explain myself in very slow and very simple terms. It’s both frustrating and embarassing. And it’s not confined to Dublin. In Clare over the weekend I was unable to order a pineapple juice for my brother. The girl didn’t understand what I was asking for. She had to go ask her boss what PIE-ALPEN was. I assure you I pronounced it PINE-APPLE, although Pie-Alpen does sound intriguing.

My second, with reason, is Umbrellas. I had chosen this before I realised Grandad had already moaned about them, but I think it worth mentioning again. I am not six foot tall and yet so many morons and their brollies still manage to poke my eyes, my ears, my nose…last week someone poked me in the ass with their umbrella while trying to get it up. If I was a violent person, he’s never be able to get it up again.

I have actually sustained injuries because tiny little women scuttle around with gigantic golfing umbrellas (they call them GOLFING umbrellas for a reason) can’t see anything around them. I try, I really try to walk around these idiots but sure as I avoid one, there’s another parasoled fool ready in waiting to stab me.

And the most irritating of them, is those umbrella wielding reprobates who insist on upping their weapons during a light drizzle. God forbid they get their €270 Peter Mark hairstyles damp.

2. Two Things That Irritate Me For No Reason

Television adverts with fabric as real people. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but those stupid, creepy, stomach churning Comfort adverts really annoy me. I have to turn the TV off when they come on. They wreck my head. It’s probably connected with my hatred for those Mr Soft mint ads. God they may me feel ill. Feck, I can barely watch it now on YouTube:

Another thing that irritates me and I’m not entirely sure why is large, flowery, excessive women’s hats at weddings or racing event, etc. There’s so many things about fashion that could drive me mad, so many psychedelic shirts and hawiian trousers that could get my goat, but no, it’s those freaky-ass hats that make me want to hurt someone. No idea why!

So, what now? Ah yes, passing on the memery: let’s see if Jo wants to take it on; maybe Darragh (the other one) will take it on; I hope David will give it a go, assuming he’s recovered from his disappointment (sorry about that, Dude); and I wonder if the ever-positive Ken would share his quirks with us?

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Jul 09 2008

Overlooked Classics: Shattered Glass

Published by under Blog,Movie Review,Movies

Stephen GlassTen years ago, The New Republic magazine, reportedly the inflight magazine of Air Force One, published an issue which contained the now infamous Stephen Glass article, Hack Heaven. The article, a clever coup for such a young journalist (aged 26), told the story of a young hacker who, instead of being sued, is hired by Jukt Micronics after he successfully hacked their system. The kid becomes wealthy overnight and even has his own agent. The story is a sensation and Glass confirmed his status as a great journalist within the close-knit group at The New Republic.

It was then that he began to gain attention from his rivals at Forbes Digital, a technology webzine. Annoyed at being scooped by The New Republic, and in an effort to do a follow up story, Adam Penenberg of Forbes began fact checking Glass‘s article and immediately began to see holes. He could find no existence of Jukt Micronics, nor the wealthy hacker or his manager. Thinking he had discovered that the great New Republic had been duped, he got very excited about this new story and went about contacting Charles ‘Chuck’ Lane, editor of New Republic. From this point on things begin to unravel for Glass as he is unable to sufficiently answer any of the questions posed to him about the origins and veracity of his article. In a very short space of time Lane confronts Glass over this story and others he has written both during Lane‘s tenure and during the tenure of Michael Kelly, the previous editor. It becomes apparent that many of the facts in Glass‘s articles have been fabricated and in even more cases the entire stories were fiction. The acclaimed New Republic had been publishing fictitious articles and the scandal was about to break.

True Story

The true story of the events of Stephen Glass and The New Republic magazine are now legendary and is a cautionary tale for modern news publishers everywhere. Director and writer Billy Ray did an incredible job of bringing this incendiary story to the big screen. His first foray into directing will guarantee him a bright and strong future in the field.

Looking at the story, firstly: it is a tale that is well known and though the final moment, where the full extent of Glass‘s lies is revealed, is completely inevitable, Billy Ray managed to tell the story with nail-biting suspense, wringing every bit of juice from the story without dragging it out. From the hopeful open scenes, where Glass, in ‘flashback’, is lecturing to a class of student journalists, through to his first errors where he uses his amiable boylike charm to squirm out of difficulty, on to his final admissions of guilt, harangued from him by Lane, a man in a highly unenviable position, the story plays out with pace and style reminiscent of All The Presidents Men, a film which is seen by many as the quintessential movie about journalistic integrity.

Hayden ChristensenRay‘s direction is impeccable as he draws us into the story in such a way that we truly care for every character in it. His sparse use of music and the ease at which he allows scenes to unravel without forcing the point, particularly when showing us Penenberg and Forbe‘s side of the story, makes this movie artistically beautiful, without losing any of the entertainment value and pace needed to keep us on the edge of our seats.

But it is his casting that his genius shines: in the hands of George Lucas, Hayden Christensen is a wooden puppet, but as Stephen Glass he is sensational, balancing upon the high wire act of maintaining his golden boy image while the fraudulent weasel hides beneath. Remarkably, though surrounded by some very likeable characters who Glass lies to and manipulates, the true genius of this movie lies in the fact that we are rooting for Glass right the way to the end. It’s impossible not to like Christensen‘s heavily flawed anti-hero.

And his co-stars are equally impressive. Chloë Sevigny, as Caitlin Avery, is almost a big sister to Glass, protecting him from criticism, while criticising him herself for being so modest and not demanding more respect from those around him. She has been completely taken in by his charm and her eventual let down is beautifully emotional.

Steve Zahn as Penenberg and Rosario Dawson as his cut-throat colleague, Andy Fox, are the movie’s examples of ‘real’ journalists, who chase stories, demand credit and dispense with the niceties when a story is breaking. They not only further the plot, but also provide an excellent contrast to Glass‘s goody-two-shoes attitude. One suspects that if he had been working at Forbes Digital, they would have seen through him far sooner.

Peter SarsgaardBut huge credit must be given to Peter Sarsgaard for his role as Chuck Lane, who takes over from his predecessor (Michael Kelly, played by a very solid Hank Azaria) at a time when the magazine is resenting the hierarchy who are demanding big changes from its writers. Where Kelly was willing to lose his job to defend his staff, Lane is seen as a backstabber, walking over Kelly‘s still warm grave. Throughout the film, we are presented with his story, as much as Glass‘s, as we are shown his emotional turmoil, the pressure he is receiving from above as well as the disdain he receives from his staffers. As he is being tugged from all sides, he must then uncover the truth behind Glass‘s lies and save the magazine’s reputation. He has a number of wonderful scenes in the latter half of the movie, including one particularly moving moment in the closing minutes of the film. An Oscar worthy performance.


The negatives in this movie are not numerous. Glass‘s good boy image is perhaps a little fake and the narrative structure based around his lecture to journalism students is not required. It seems to take us away from the story rather than further it. Although, the irony of Stephen Glass lecturing students on journalistic integrity is clever – it is a joke that quickly wears thin.

Additionally, it might have been interesting to see some of his other faked articles explored onscreen, but this is not a real negative – it is more a testament to how well the stories Hack Heaven and Spring Breakdown play out.

Released in 2004 (2003 in the US), Shattered Glass went mostly overlooked by the public though received wide critical praise. If it’s only success was to show that Hayden Christensen was hiding some great acting talent, then this film should be heralded. But it did so much more – it is a dramatic piece about integrity without ever becoming preachy; it is emotional without falling into the love story trap or slipping down the slopes of sop; it tells a well known story with such tension and pace that I found myself on the edge of my seat, even though I knew how it would end. Director Billy Ray has created a classic movie that will be watched by film students and potential journalists for years to come.

Previous Posts:

Overlooked Classics: The Hudsucker Proxy

Overlooked Classics: Dolores Claiborne

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Jul 08 2008

Especially For Darragh

Published by under Blog

Mr Doyle,

If you have 30 minutes to spare from your hectic schedule, you’re gonna love this: 30 minutes of 90’s Cartoon openings. Dude, Tailspin! Bonkers!

Also, which of us is Pinky and which of us is Brain? Narf!

Note: There’s an 80’s version! Transformers – need I say more?

Hey, where’s Teddy Ruxpin? Here he is…

8 responses so far

Jul 07 2008


Published by under Blog,Politics

Andrew has written an excellent piece on the situation is Zimbabwe. I urge you to pop over and read it. It’s a shocking piece which focuses on the human element and the effect of Mugabe’s regime on the individuals in the country.

You would have to made of stone not to be deeply upset by this image. This is Blessing Mabhena, an 11 month old boy, whose legs were deliberately broken by Robert Mugabe’s thugs in order to punish his father for being an opposition councillor in Zimbabwe. You can read the full story here. I found myself just staring blankly at the computer screen for about ten minutes after reading this story, unsure of what to do next.

He also points to Bryan Mukandi’s new blog on, which is also worth checking out for his post on Zimbabwe.

7 responses so far

Jul 07 2008


Published by under Blog

I am just home from the Doctor and apparently I have a classic case of Gastroenteritis. It’s an awful sounding word for an awful affliction. I have pills and some odd sachets and I’m not allowed eat until tomorrow. I’m hungry, I’m in pain and I am feeling very sorry for myself.


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Jul 05 2008


Published by under Blog

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