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Interview: Lauren McQueen, revelation of the movie The Violators & of the Dinard British Film Festival

At the latest Dinard British Film Festival, she was one of the 2 revelations, with her partner Brogan Ellis, who brought both viewers at the theaters and photographers on the red carpet head over heels.
It was the first time in France for Lauren McQueen in order to present The Violators directed by Helen Walsh.
A strong movie that stays with you. An impressive acting performance that did not leave anyone indifferent.
Before the release in France, let’s meet the young actress.

Lauren McQueen & Brogan Ellis
Lauren McQueen & Brogan Ellis

UsofParis : If you had to describe Dinard, in a few words, to one of The Violators cast member to make him/her want to come here, what would you say?
Lauren McQueen : I’d say, It’s a beautiful town, with really nice beaches, cause Liverpool does hardly have nice beaches. It has beaches, but not as nice as these. And the food is really nice!

What made you want to become an actress?
Well, I started of the Musical theatre on the stage and seeing a play when I was younger and I kind of looked up to them and I wanted to be like them. I always used to watch a lot of films when I was younger, Annie. That made me wanna looking a lot of TV and films set. When I was 11, I went to acting classes and just went on from there.

Who was your inspiration?
I absolutely love Angelina Jolie!

Why?
I love watching her, she’s so… you can’t take your eyes off her when she’s on the screen. She always plays strong female roles, which I really like.

Actress Lauren McQueen The Violators movie director Helen Walsh Dinard British Film Festival 2015 competition Grand Hotel Barrière France photocall photo by usofparisAt what point in your life did you decide to become one?
It was when I was 11. When I went to the acting classes when we started to do a lot of improvisation, a way to make me confident. I started to go into castings for TV and film. I think that was just the drive and enjoying and, you know the scripts.

It’s very young!
Yeah, I know. I’ve always enjoyed performing arts.

Lauren McQueen Brogan Ellis The Violators movie actress director Helen Walsh red carpet dinard british film festival oprining 2015 france competition photo by usofparisHow much did you learn about your profession while shooting The Violators movie?
Steven Lords who plays Mikey, was important important for me. Cause it was my first feature film, so he kind of really helped me when we were in the scenes like, he was very natural, yeah he really helped just with the conversation in the scripts to be very natural and intense as well and Helen kept us both apart, until day one of filming because on the schedule the first scenes were the lock scenes, they were the really hard, like intense scenes. It really came across, it was like true intensity.

Image de prévisualisation YouTube

What kind of advice did the team give you?
« Shelly» is like a motherly role. She has to look after her younger brother. I have a younger brother so I could use that, with Shelly; a vulnerable side as well. That’s quite similar to me.
But advice, just keep it natural because the film is natural.

How does the director, Helen Walsh work?
Because she was the writer and the director, it was very beneficial because sometimes if you’ve got directors who’s not the writer they can’t change anything in the script. But because Helen was, we kept putting all new ideas into the scenes and I felt really involved in the story.

Did you change anything?
It was a year ago now! We could suggest things and Helen was really open to…, yeah.

How did the movie change your personal and professional life?
I was still at school while I was doing it. I had to take seven weeks off school. I was doing A-levels. After, when I got back to school, I found everyone being dead immature, because I had worked with adults for seven weeks, so I was like: « This is not what I want to do, I want to go back on the set ».

Can you name one very emotional moment you lived on a set?
The moment in the car. The rape scene. That was my first time doing a scene like that. I was a bit nervous for the other, for that compared to the other scenes. That was the main one. The more emotional and especially the scene after, when she is in the bathroom, and she can’t believe what she’s done. She’s done it because she wants to get out of this life. She’s traumatized.

Next step of you?
I’ve got another feature film at the end of this month. It’s a harder film. The name is The Wasting. It’s a writer from Canada. She’s also director for the first time. So it’s kind of a link again first time directors!

Thanks to Emilie, Aude & Joël

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Restaurant MISS LUNCH chez PPP : light fair, uninhibited, cosmopolitan and inventive – Food made in Paris

Miss Lunch is so much fun! Why not go and say hello? This is one of the best food spots for any foreigner wanting to visit Paris with his stomach!
Lei parla anche italiano molto bene !

Miss Lunch has a great smile and a warm welcome, whether it rains or the restaurant is full of beautiful people Saturday at lunch, or a child arrives in a foul mood (this can happen!) the ambiance that reigns at this address nestled in a Première Provence boutique is unique. Our faithfulness is a sure sign of proof.

Her neighbors took no time to make this merrily alternative Parisian spot their food fetish address. Even an actress-film director in full swing of her next film made it a regular pretext to go for lunch with her assistant. The Fooding team also granted her their sticker. Not to forget a certain concentration of architects per square meter,  that have lunch in this decor that is half kitchen and half boutique (the glorious smell of Provençale olive oil looms in the air) and have made it their hide out.

If you go, you’ll also find other foreigners that are happy with the welcome “in English”, somewhat inexistent in other institutions.

Crazy, isn’t it ?

On the plate things are happening- it’s boiling, bubbling, and spitting.

Claude Cabri, alias Miss Lunch likes nothing better than to surprise her guests. As well as add the ingredient that will be the extra plus, revisit  a recipe many times tasted or dare to make associations that would make any expert in food twitch, just a little.

Her classics?  She knows them on the tips of her fingers and so well that she has no fear in launching herself up against crazy feats. Like a cheesecake without cheese or a burger without meat or fries, or the tiramisu without the mascarpone. Divine sacrileges!

Have you got vegetarian friend? Miss Lunch will find the trick so as not to embarrass amongst a table full of carnivores, hoorah!

And the bonus- she’ll introduce you to her own hand picked capers from the island of Pantelleria, a real voyage in taste.

The whole kit and caboodle is prepared with care  and devotion and to top things off without a stove, using fresh produce from the Marché d’Aligre, the chef, artist and creator’s landmark.

Such wondrousness could easily entail a hefty bill, especially when considering the additional terrace which looks onto the Square Trousseau. The menu for a starter and main course or main course and dessert is 15 euros. Add 5 euros 50 for an additional dessert, and about 4 euros for a glass of wine. If you are more inclined to drinking juice, cherry juice and homemade lemonade will do the trick for you and your bambinos.

Such an address is almost painful to share. But knowing the chef’s endurance, we know that there will always be something to eat after 2pm on a Saturday.

New!
Due to strong demand, her kitchen is open for dinner on Thursday and Friday evenings, and is just as cozy and inspirational. We also tested the Valentine’s menu with her “love” drawings and candles- unforgettable and mischievous.

To conclude, Miss Lunch’s generosity is unchanged. To give yet another example, her best recipes and tricks are in three books: Le Chinois and  Plats de Résistance (Éditions 1973) and Lunch in the Loft (Éditions Solar) retelling her adventure that brought her fame in her clandestine restaurant.  Three books that  one can get autographed on location by yours and only, and whose other talent is painter.

This could provoke severe hang ups to those passionate about cooking, especially when one knows that- and I’ll stop here- that she speaks Italian.

Not to forget the cooking classes!

MISS LUNCH Paris chez Première Pression Provence
3, rue Antoine Vollon
75012 PARIS

Lunch from Wednesday-Saturday
Dinner Thursday and Friday
Cooking classes on Tuesdays (two schedules possible)

Pics and a max of info on Miss Lunch’s FB page:
www.facebook.com/MissLunchParis

 

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Music : interview with CHVRCHES about scottish pop, concerts, touring, The Bones of That you believe

Met a few hours before going on stage at the Trianon for their concert event in Paris, members of the group CHVRCHES talk about their influences, the atmosphere tour and the evolution of their live music, their latest album – The Bones of That you believe – and the next one, ready to be recorded.

B & G: We’d like to know what you think about several Scottish bands, starting with Glasvegas ?
Iain Cook: I really loved their first album. When it came out, there were a lot of people that we are friends with who were a bit suspicious of them because of the way they were using the dialect and the accent and stuff like that… But it’s a nice kind of blending of styles: shoegaze, 50s-style rock, genuine Glasgow confessions or stories. That’s a really interesting band and their new album is also really good.

B & G: Primal Scream ?
Martin Doherty: This band is not entirely Scottish but they have a Scottish front man [ndlr: Bobby Gillespie]. I’m a big fan of Primal Scream. From a personal point of view, two records are considered to be very important: XTRMNTR [2000], at least because Kevin Shields was involved, and Evil Heat [2002].

B & G: Belle & Sebastian ?
IC: Belle & Sebastian have been around for… as long as I can remember. I remember being at school and one of my friends had got a copy of Tigermilk [Belle & Sebastian debut album, 1996] which at the time was not released properly, it was only ever released on a very small pressing of vinyls, so it was really difficult to come by. It was just the time when The Boy With The Arab Strap was blowing up. My friend came at school with this copy, on a tape he got from somebody. It was a really big deal! Their importance remains. It’s not the kind of music that I listen to, but I have a lot of respect for a band that has a career as long as they have.

B & G: Has any of these Scottish bands been an inspiration to you ?
IC: We grew up listening to all of the bands of Glasgow that we were into at the time. All of the bands of the Chemikal underground [an independent record label set up in 1994 by Glasgow Scotland rock band The Delgados] were really important to us, forming our musical landscape. We loved the Delgados, Arab Strap, particularly Mogwai for me. Those are the bands I still listen to and still think they’re really important.

B & G: Do you think there is a Scottish pop with a Scottish specificity ?
MD: There are different styles. Maybe Scottish bands have in common a certain level of self-depreciation and humor. That’s what, I would say, would be the “Scottish element” (laughs).

Synthpop

 

B & G: You said in an interview that synthpop suited better groups like Depeche Mode because you think you use more modern production techniques, especially in the rhythm techniques, and the focus on melody can make your band more unique. What’s the Chvrches’trademark ?
Lauren Mayberry: I think that synthpop implies a certain time period… We are not really part of that. But I don’t really know, does anyone want to help me? (laughs) We don’t want to be a pastiche band nor a chart pop band. We are just writing primarily on the synth instead of the guitar.

MD: Synthpop refers to a period in time and a synthpop band appears to be a retro band. We don’t really subscribe to that. There is a small element of what we do that is in the technology that was used at the time and that we use. But to describe our band now, it’s just “song focused electronic pop music”, somehow influenced by yesterday but it’s not really definite. When you tie something to genre, you immediately impose rules on yourself and I consider that to be a negative thing. I don’t think there should be any rules.

Touring

 

B & G: About the concerts, are you more anxious with the venues getting bigger and bigger as your success is growing ?
IC: I think that initial nervousness comes from the fact that it was a studio based project. There were no plans to take it live. Technically, it was a difficult exercise to translate our songs on stage, to translate it well in a live environment. We played our first show in July 2012, that’s nearly two years ago, we played a lot of shows, so I feel like that kind of nervousness about playing live is way gone. Now, every time we play, every tour we do, we thrive to be better.

B & G: You did a lot of concerts in 2013 and you are touring a lot around Europe still now in early 2014. Do you still manage to appreciate waking up at 4 or 5 in the morning to take the bus and go from one place to another… ?
MD: I don’t think I’ll ever appreciate waking up at 4, even if it was to get a million pounds! But, I mean, it’s hard to complain about this job. There is a lot of worst things that we could be doing with our lives. And I love all our songs. About the evolution, to us, it’s not about being more comfortable on stage, it’s more about feeling better.
IC: The only time I can get bored with playing a song is when we’re not having a great gig for technical reasons. But the most important is that people have a good time and enjoy and sing along, and when it means something to them.

B & G: How would you sum up, in a few words, 2013 ?
LM: I feel like we covered a lot of ground, it was a lot of ‘first times’ of things [first album, first shows…]. We learned a lot, but we are still learning a lot, I think. So, yeah, it was good!
MD: It was good, that’s the word!

B & G: And in January 2015, how would you like to sum up 2014 ?
MD: In one word? (laughs) I would like to achieve satisfaction and success, in the way that I want to.

The next album

 

B & G: You said in an interview that you were “looking forward to getting back to the studio”. Do you know where your second album is heading to ?
IC: We play in some festivals during the summer but we have some breaks that we will use to make a proper start. We’re looking forward to getting back to the studios. We have many ideas.
MD: We would not be very good musicians if we had no ideas! (laughs)
IC: Let’s say we want to finish the heavy schedule for September…

B & G: Which colour would you choose to describe your first album? And the next one ?
MD: I’d say the first album is dark orange; the second album will be red.
IC: The third is going to be purple.
LM: That sounds good. Red and blue, that makes purple!

by Baptiste et Gérald PETITJEAN
http://ljspoplife.magicrpm.com

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ASGEIR : #interview about his album In The Silence, Torrent, songwriting, Iceland and Paris

Maybe, you don’t know yet the incredible voice of ASGEIR. On stage, this singer from Iceland shines. Last concert in Paris sold out – Nouveau Casino –  and a endless world tour to share his music with everyone.
Asgeir Trausti surprised us, his songs touched us all in different ways. We wanted to learn more about his album In The Silence, his inspiration and thes songs, King and Cross and Torrent which haunt us from the moment we first listen to them.

United States of Paris: What surprises you most since Iceland and the world listen to your songs?
Asgeir: First, it was just how people reacted to the music and how fast everything happened in the beginning, because I never believed in what I was doing. It still surprises me that more and more people are liking the music everyday and also the fact that a lot of people outside of Iceland seem to prefer the Icelandic version of the album, witch means that although you don’t understand anything in the language people can still connect to the music.

What was your first desire or wish for this album, before recording it?
My desire was just being able to record some of my songs with good sound and in a proper studio, and then when it was decided to release something I was hoping to sell maybe 300 copies to the people around me.

Image de prévisualisation YouTube

We want to know everything about Torrent. The writing, the recording.
The emotion of singing it for the first time for yourself. And after, on stage.
I wrote the song about a year before we started recording the album and at the time I was working at a hotel in my hometown and had recently met a girl, and I wanted to try and impress her by writing a song for her, well mostly just that I could play a few instruments, so I went home and started playing the piano and this is what came to mind first. Then I recorded the piano, drums, guitars and then the vocals, in that order ! Once the demo was ready I gave it to her. Then a year later we started recording the album and this was one of the songs chosen for the album. And like with most of the songs I had the help from a lot of great musicians that really gave the music what it needed to be complete. Like with all of the songs the songwriting and lyric process was quite separate, and in this case my dad wrote the lyrics, which are about inner war that you fight in your own mind and is the toughest in cold and dark nights, when we did the English translation the American musician John Grant translated the song.The song is really wide vocally and has a lot of strong harmonies that make the song of what it is. Its one of the most difficult songs to sing live, and the harmony part is backed up by Julius Robertsson who sings backup vocals with me.

What can you tell us about the track King and Cross ?
This is a song that was originally called Leyndarmal, Secret in English, and it was a song that I never thought should be on the album because I didn’t think it fitted to the atmosphere of the record. In the end it made all sense and it was the second single released in Iceland. It really helped with the success of this project in Iceland. It was the first single released outside of Iceland and has been getting the most attention of all the songs on the album. When we recorded the song my dad wrote lyrics to two verses and the chorus, but when recording the vocal parts I felt the song needed another verse, and at the time no one knew about me in Iceland and I felt it didn’t really matter what we were doing, so in the process of recording the vocal parts Julius (the other lyricist for the album) was in the studio and we just sat down in the kitchen for ten minutes and wrote something down that could fit to the rest of the lyric to be able to finish the song, and in the end that was the lyric that was used. So the lyrics is written by both my dad and Julius. Again, this song was translate to English by John Grant.

During the recording of your album, did an accident happen? A good accident? Something strange which became essential?
One could be that Leyndarmal (King and cross) was chosen to be a song on the album, because it has played a big role for this project. Also there was a synthesizer, a Korg Delta in the studio that I had never played before and some songs were written on that synth, like the first song, Higher.

When was the greatest emotion you ever felt performing music?
It’s hard to say, and really no way to point any one thing out.  It’s always changing and the things you are hearing can be so different. I remember going to church as a young boy and listening to my mom controlling the choir and being blown away, also going to Sigur Ros concerts when I was younger and being really inspired. Also just different musicians that you hear along the way.

Which singers inspire you?
Jonsi (Sigur Ros), Al Green, Jeff Buckley, Justin Vernon, Thom Yorke, Peter Gabriel. More recently Viktor Taiwo, Thundercat, James Blake.

What is the best lesson you got from your father?
His biggest part in my life is probably that he has always believed in what I am doing and encouraged me to keep working on my music.

Is this one of your fans told you a story about his or her special relationship with one of your songs?
What comes first to mind is just a lot of Icelanders that live outside of Iceland and when they listenhear some of my songs, like Going home they really miss being home (in Iceland).

ICELAND

Iceland is a dream for many Frenchies. What amazing things can happen in Iceland?
Many amazing things can happen in Iceland, The things that move people the most is first of all just the nature and the energy it brings. Also the northern lights that you can see in the winter time when its really cold, weather conditions and that its bright day and night in mid-summer and dark both day and night in the winter time.

Our team will be in Iceland, for the first time, this year. What is your best advice for exploring your country?
Just to see Reykjavik and find out how relaxed it is there and easy to go around, maybe see some concerts? The most beautiful place in my opinion is my home area, in the north west side, drive around Hrutafjordur and midfordur. It’s also really nice in the east around Egilsstadir, Neskaupsstadur. If you have a car, just drive around the whole country, it’s all beautiful!

PARIS 

May Paris inspire you to write a song? Which song?
Well maybe in the future but I haven’t really had the time to explore the city as I would have wanted. I’ve been there around four times already but always just stayed for one or two days, and been really busy on those days. But after a few weeks we’re planning on going there again and hopefully get some more time to see the city.

What is the craziest thing you did in Paris?
I’m not sure about the craziest, but we went to see Jim Morrison’s grave at Pere Lachaise Cemetery.  That will always be a lasting memory.

ASGEIR, album In the Silence
Because

 

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