Review: A Ghost Story – in association with the Glasgow Film Theatre

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A year since his first foray into the big-time with Pete’s Dragon, David Lowery returns to the indie scene with A Ghost Story. The film is, for the most part, constructed of long, often static shots of its central, unnamed couple (Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara). There’s an uncomfortably voyeuristic quality to these shots, as the camera hovers over the two as they make love, or crouches unseen as, in one painfully drawn-out shot, Mara munches on an entire pie on her kitchen floor in a quiet moment of shame and grief. While these long scenes will polarise audiences regarding their necessity, what they inarguably succeed in doing is to elicit an emotional response (even if that response is simply frustration).

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A Guide to UCAS Clearing

The only reason I got into the University of Glasgow is clearing. I was not meant to go to a Russell Group university with my predicted grades. When results day rolled round, I had got into my firm and insurance choice universities but wasn’t sure if I still wanted to attend them so I decided to check out what universities were in clearing. I phoned round a couple of well known prestigious universities but their grade boundaries were still too high. When I saw a UofG place on the clearing list for English Literature, I though I’d be turned down again but decided to give it a shot anyway.

Reader, they offered me a place. I had actually visited the university with friends the year before and loved it but hadn’t even seriously considered it as the required grades were far above my own.

Then began the tricky process of getting my firm and insurance choice universities to withdraw their offers. They have the right to keep you as a student as you have entered into a contract. Fortunately they were kind enough to let me go, and Glasgow verbally confirmed my place down the phone. It took over 24 stressful hours for UCAS to update and reflect this. I was refreshing the website on my phone every 5 minutes, desperate to have the official confirmation. I had the fear that UoG would withdraw their offer and I would be left with nothing. I was down the pub with my parents, tentatively celebrating my results when the confirmation came through.

Obviously it’s far better to have your dream university as your firm choice months in advance of results day. However if things don’t go to plan, clearing is a godsend. I can honestly say it changed my life and for the better. I could never have pictured myself at this university but I’m so glad that I decided to be a little bit cheeky and try for it anyway.

If you think you might go for clearing then check out the clearing list in advance and figure out which universities you might want to go to. Some universities even have open days for clearing candidates.

At approximately 8am on results day, UCAS will show if you’ve got into your firm and/or insurance unis. Once you find out your results, figure out what you want to do and if you’ve decided on clearing, get on the phones. Find a quiet place and phone every university that you fancy the sound of. This might mean considering a city or course you haven’t considered before but do make sure it’s somewhere and something you could actually see yourself liking for the next 3/4/5 years. You should be prepared with your results, clearing code and an idea of why you’d like to take up that place as they might ask you questions about your motivation and suitability.

If they make you an offer on the phone, check if this comes with a time limit and how they would like you to confirm/decline but phone or email etc. Obviously this is a big choice you want to fully consider it but you also don’t want to let it slip out of your hands. If you do accept then you’ll need to update your Track screen on UCAS.

If you got higher grades then expected you can also go through a similar process called adjustment. This is pretty much the exact same as clearing, only you can keep your firm choice while you look around.

You can also decide to put off university for a year or not attend at all. If you decide to delay for a year then you can work and build up cash for a year, travel for a gap year or just focus on yourself. At my school we weren’t really educated about non-uni options such as apprenticeships, or going straight into work. Some companies like M&S or Deloitte have schemes aimed at school leavers that will pay and train you, a tempting prospect in contrast to tuition fees!

Good luck and congratulations whatever you decide to do!

[Rose Jackson – @ginger_git]

Interview: Wolf Alice

Wolf Alice have had a cracking couple of years. From the certified gold debut album to the Mercury Prize nomination to the ever-expanding glitter-coated fan base, the London quartet have cemented their position in the British indie scene. With the release of their sophomore effort Visions of a Life on the horizon, we talked to guitarist Joff Oddie about success, recording in Los Angeles, and why he’s not a fan of social media.

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Top 5: Things To Do If You’re Staying Home This Summer

Feeling like you’re the only one not hopping around Europe or doing an exciting internship this summer? You’re not alone – but you still deserve to enjoy the time off! While we’re already well into the holidays, there’s still plenty of time left to make the most of.

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Film Review – Tom of Finland

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In association with the GFT

Touko Laaksonen was by day a senior art director at an ad agency in his native Finland. Beyond his day-to-day, however, his craft was wildly different. Going by the pseudonym Tom of Finland, Laaksonen produced an extraordinary amount of homoerotic art, drawing men in uniform with wildly exaggerated muscles, moustaches and genitals.

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Album Review: Tom McGuire – “Salvage”

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Tom McGuire mostly comes through with lo-fi and atmospheric, soulful, bluesy folk ballads with some oddballs thrown in. ‘Untitled’ is the ultimate in blues rock revivalism; Led Zeppelin’s influence is clear but with a marked symphonic tinge to it. His vocals are charming and full, but at once almost bleak.

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