Seen it, heard it, read it: Lauren Sadler

Students on De Montfort University’s Arts and Entertainment Journalism module pick the films, plays, music, TV shows and books that shaped them

My favourite film

I would say Spirited Away. It’s such a beautifully drawn movie, with such cute details it’s impossible not to love it. The plot is good, and it has a happy ending so it’s never going to be a bad watch. The scene where Chihiro holds her breath crossing the bridge stresses me out. I always try to see if I would be able to hold my breath the entire way. So far, I don’t think I’d make it.

The first time I went to the theatre

I was in primary school and we were a little group of ukulele players. We must have been around 6 or 7 I think. They told us if we brought our own ukuleles we could perform with them on stage. So I did, but they wouldn’t let me as they hadn’t tuned it. I couldn’t understand and I was scared I was going to lose mine (which I was attached to emotionally). As we’re all sat on stage waiting for the curtain to come up to perform for our parents, I’m just sobbing. I think they realised I wasn’t going to calm down, so they quickly tuned it in the wing, and ran over and gave it to me before the curtain came up.

The TV show I’m hooked on

Without a doubt, Squid Game. I’m a sucker for any anti-capitalist media. Plus, the lead character, Gi-Hun, is attractive, so is Ali and Sae-Byeok. It’s so gripping that I couldn’t stop watching the minute I put it on. As evil as Sang-Woo is, he’s hot too. Apart from the attractive few characters I like, (and got attached too, damn you Sang-Woo), the visuals are amazing. You can easily tell how much effort went into this show. Especially with any behind the scenes content, they show you what they did for it.

My favourite TV show

Apart from Squid Game, I would say, Pretty Little Liars, I watched it when I was about 15 and I wanted my mundane life to be like theirs (minus the murder and kidnapping). Mostly because the main characters are all pretty, plus their bedrooms are all cool and mine was a tiny box room.

My favourite piece of music

Puberty 2 by Mitski. I could go on about her for hours. This album, to me, is the best one she has made so far. Every single song is so good. Be The Cowboy, her next album, was obviously good too, but no song hits like Once More to See You.

The lyric I love

The lyrics I love would be from Mitski’s First Love/Late Spring, the line is “Mune ga hachikire-sōde”. It is in Japanese so I didn’t know what she was saying, but when I found out, it hurt. As far as I’m aware, (though I did find out from the internet) it’s supposed to mean that her heart feels like it’s exploding. With my first love, I felt exactly like that. She put into words just how emotional I felt.

The first gig I saw

The first gig I saw was the 1975. I was 17, and as soon as they came out I started crying. It’s embarrassing to think about but I was just so excited and overwhelmed. Plus they played my favourite song of theirs, undo and somebody else, so it was pretty good.

The instrument I wish I’d learnt

I guess the violin. I learnt a little bit when I was younger but then I gave up after a year and never bothered with it again. I struggled to read sheet music, I still do to be fair. 

The book I’m reading

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I watched the movie and liked it but the book portrays Bateman far worse than the movie does. So far it’s good, and easy to get into.

The book I wish I’d read 

Great Expectations. I think I got a couple of chapters in, then just forgot about it. I remember enjoying it but I just didn’t have enough time and its existence completely slipped my mind.

Overrated

Drake. I get people who have different music tastes, but he is a very questionable individual. 

Underrated

Rico Nasty. Her style and her songs bring something new to music. She’s an amazing artist and doesn’t get enough praise that she deserves. Also the same goes for Rina Sawayama. They’re both incredible

My guilty pleasure

The Smiths. I hate to admit it, but some of their songs are enjoyable. I really like Back to the Old House and There is a Light That Never Goes Out.