Interview Gabriel Jaffrès

Gabriel Jaffrès is a French student who has done an internship in Eindhoven, Netherlands. During 6 months, he worked for a consulting company named ICT Netherlands. A former IESE student, he talked with me about everything he noticed and was worth sharing during this period.

When he arrived in Eindhoven his only contacts were his coworkers but because he was working from home, he never had an opportunity to meet them. His advice if you want to make friends is to go out, into bars or just to walk in the streets, to talk to people and more important, to be happy while doing so. Gabriel explains that for him he mostly made friends at the skate park because he just talked easily there. Another thing you can do is to check if an Erasmus group is present in the city.
About the Dutch culture, Gabriel noticed that they are very close to German and northern countries except from the fact that Dutch people often talk about business. “I was in a party and after five minutes talking with a guy he asked: What is your salary? I have a big salary! I don’t like these countries because they have too many rules. I’m more interested in the USA because I want to fuck the system to get money!” Gabriel says that he heard a lot of Dutch talking about trading as well, way more than the French. He also noticed that they are really concerned about the ecology and that you could find vegetarian food very easily even in supermarkets.
Another big difference among our countries is that drinking alcohol in the streets is forbidden, which means the Dutch drink a lot less than us during the week but catch up every week ends.

Finally, Gabriel says that if you want to leave the country, just do it. Sometimes it can be hard but at the end you will realize that you have discovered so much about living and about people because you will not just meet local people but also people who are in the same situation as you are. No matter how hard it is for you, it will eventually be a very good and very rich experience.

What to watch in this holiday season: Christmas movies

It’s this time of the year again! Spooky season is coming to an end, and with this marks the beginning of the Christmas frenzy. Get ready for the return of Mariah Carey, snazzy jumpers, fairy lights and tinsel! While it is usually associated with holidays, relaxation and fun, it also is, for us engineering students, the approach of the dreaded midterm exams. But worry not! As I will be giving you a list of some classic movies that will hopefully give a nice and well deserved break in between two intense studying sessions. 

Here are four of my recommendations:

“The Polar Express” 

Did you know The Polar Express was the first film to be entirely shot using motion capture? The actors used special suits covered in sensors that multiple cameras at different angles could catch in order to then reproduce a 3D model of the actors, allowing for high fidelity in movements and expressions, except for the movement of the eyes which had to be animated separately. This and the way the movie is animated makes for a great example of the phenomenon of uncanny valley where something that looks really human like but has some slight but noticeable traits differing from us gives a feeling of eeriness and discomfort.

An adaptation of the book of the same name written by Chris Van Allsburg in 1985, the movie tells of a young boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus and embarks a magical steam train – the Polar Express – in Michigan on Christmas Eve after seeing it stop outside his window. This train is on its way to the North Pole at high speeds and on a very tight schedule. The young boy lives an eventful trip across snowy lands, mountains and glaciers, and befriends two other children travelling in the same train. The movie stars Tom Hanks in multiple roles such as the train driver, Santa, and as the narrator. 

“Gremlins” 

If you like pets, don’t get a mogwai. If you do, don’t expose it to sunlight, do not let it come in contact with water, and above all, do not feed it past midnight.

The story is based on the legend of tiny mischievous creatures – Gremlins – that would cause malfunctions in the planes of the British air force during WWII. 

It was released in 1984 with a sequel a few years later, and was adapted into a novel.

The story starts in a creepy antique store owned by an old Chinese man, helped by his grandson. There, the grandson secretly sells the mogwai, a very small, furry and cute looking animal, and warns of the 3 rules, all while not knowing the extent of the danger. The rules are accidentally broken, leading to complete havoc and a race against time to get the situation under control.

The movie can be interpreted, through the behaviour of the gremlins, as an extremely exaggerated satirical depiction of western society and as a statement against dependence to technology as some characters cannot work without their tech all while the wiser character is shown to have a complete disinterest for television. 

“The nightmare before Christmas” 

This is a movie for those who like to blur the line between Christmas and halloween, or who would like to know what happens when the king of “Halloween Town” Jack Skellignton stumbles upon “Christmas Town” ruled by Santa Claus – or as Jack mistakenly says: Sandy Claws – 

It is based on a poem of Tim Burton, dating from 1982, and was released 11 years later in the form of a stop motion animation.

After seeing “Christmas town”, Jack spends time trying to understand and rationally explain the holiday and decides to take over Christmas in order to improve it. But several key parts of his plan end up going horribly wrong, putting everything in jeopardy. 

The movie is widely seen as a stunning work of stop motion animation and timeless movie magic, gaining the title of “cult film” with its release on VHS in the mid 90’s. 

The fanbase speculate on the theory that “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is in fact the third of a series of films starting with “Frankenweenie” followed by “The Corpse Bride” all three written by Tim Burton. The theory goes as follows: The main character starts as young Victor and his dog Sparky in “Frankenweenie”, then when Sparky dies Victor accidentally marries a skeleton like creature in “the corpse bride” that takes him onto the land of the dead where he is reunited with his dog in skeleton form, now named Scraps. In “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Victor is dead, he is finds himself in the forest where he met the corpse bride, and finds colourful doors. He chooses the pumpkin door, his name becomes Jack Skellington, and is joined by his dog Sparky/Scraps whose bones have now turned to dust and is in a ghost form. To add to the similarities, Victor is, in all three movies, quite a brilliant scientist and drawn in a manner that makes him look very similar.

This theory is spotty and has never been confirmed, nevertheless, it is an interesting take that I personally like to believe as it makes for a story of Victor’s life from youth to afterlife divided into three movies.

« Edward Scissorhands” 

Released in 1990, also directed by Tim Burton, the movie stars Johnny Depp as Edward, an almost completed humanoid built by his Frankenstein like father in a gothic castle who died before giving him real hands, leaving Edward to live with scissors in place of fingers. A door to door saleswoman takes him home, he is then adopted by the neighbourhood for his talent with bush sculptures and hairdressing. We get to see the rise and fall of Edward’s reputation from where everyone wanted to meet him and requested his help to a series of incidents caused by his lack of judgement and misunderstandings making him look like a real monster. 

This movie touches on subjects such as isolation and the difficulties faced by someone who doesn’t “fit in”, but also the wish to be accepted and the risks one can be willing to take to achieve this. 

We are now led upon a far-fetched but with some interesting justifications theory that every single one of Tim Burton’s movie is in fact interconnected. Not just the ones listed here, but all of them. Just like living in a mysterious universe where multiple genre collides, animation and real life  merges and the craziest speculations are held up with unexpected discoveries. 

« Captain Fantastic » Review

“What we created here may be unique in all of human existence. We created a paradise.”

A family emerges from the woods. Ben lives here and he is raising his six children in a way that you have never thought about. He wants them to be smart, strong, capable and to have a critical point of view about society and living away from the influences of the modern world worked wonderfully in that way. During the day, the children spend their time hunting, running, climbing but also reading psycology books and playing music.

Unfortunately his wife, the mom of the children who was in a hospital far away for a few months died and her parents thinks that Ben is responsible. They forbid him to come to the funeral but the kids want to go and so begins the journey to the outside world.

On that road trip, their way of living comes into conflict with the “civilized society”. The children discover that they are very different from the average americans. They sometimes act in ways that make them look weird to others and it’s very unpleasant for them. They meet the family of Ben’s sister and a big conflict occurs among the parents regarding the dangers of the kids’ training and education. Ben’s family eventually wins it but it will not be the way all along the movie.

This movie does not make an apology for the education of Ben’s children. At the end, we can see all the good and the bad of this very extreme type of education and so we can have a clearer view about it. Even though it is a really good movie if you just want to watch it for fun, you can also draw conclusions about their way of living. To conclude the movie, the children sing a beautiful cover of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Gun’s N’ Roses that you should definitely listen to but be careful not to look at the video which can spoil the very end of the movie for you.

Movember à Polytech Grenoble

La cause masculine est à l’honneur en ce mois de novembre. Movember est un événement caritatif annuel mondial, destiné à sensibiliser aux cancers de la prostate et des testicules, ainsi qu’à la santé mentale masculine.

            A savoir que les hommes vivent en moyenne six ans de moins que les femmes, une sensibilisation s’impose pour mieux en comprendre les causes. Abordons de plus près ces causes en chiffres… Le cancer de la prostate touche environ 10,8 millions d’hommes dans le monde. Le cancer des testicules, quant à lui, est le deuxième cancer le plus répandu chez les jeunes. Enfin, les trois quarts des suicides dans le monde concernent les hommes, et correspondent à un suicide par minute. De nombreuses initiatives et projets sont financés pour mieux prendre en charge les maladies masculines, et œuvrer pour améliorer la vie des hommes.

            Plusieurs actions sont organisées par la Movember Foundation pour donner de la visibilité à ces causes, dont se laisser pousser la moustache et marcher ou courir 60 km dans le mois pour les 60 suicides d’hommes par heure dans le monde. Les femmes ont aussi bien sûr un rôle à jouer si elles le veulent. Elles peuvent notamment soutenir les hommes à se laisser pousser la moustache, à récolter des dons, et à les encourager à prendre soin de leur santé.

            Polytech Grenoble se mobilise pour soutenir le mouvement Movember et pour récolter des fonds cette année. En cette occasion, un concours de la plus belle moustache de l’école est organisé en ligne. Ainsi, les participants ont été invités à se raser complètement la barbe/moustache en début de mois. Nous suivrons l’avancée de leur moustache chaque semaine, avant de voter pour la plus belle à la fin du mois, le lundi 29 novembre. Une cagnotte est disponible en ligne, dont les fonds seront reversés à la Movember Foundation, qui finance près de 1250 projets de recherche innovants. Une vente de crêpes sera aussi organisée, dont les bénéfices financeront la cagnotte.

 

Ecriture : Julia Fezard.

Octobre Rose à Polytech Grenoble

Ce mois d’octobre est marqué par la lutte contre le cancer du sein. Alors que la part de dépistage chez les femmes est à la baisse, il est temps de briser les tabous et de libérer la parole autour de ce sujet.

Le cancer du sein, parlons-en ! En France, 1 femme sur 8 risque d’être touchée un jour par le cancer du sein. Ce sont 58 500 femmes concernées chaque année par cette forme de cancer. Contrairement à ce que l’on pourrait penser, le cancer du sein touche aussi les hommes. Pourtant, un dépistage réalisé à temps permet de sauver des vies.

Vous vous demandez sûrement quelles sont les procédures pour détecter une anomalie au niveau des seins. Une première manière est de s’auto-examiner, au moins une fois par mois. En effet, l’autopalpation regroupe un ensemble de gestes simples, consistant à vérifier qu’aucun écoulement, aucune aspérité anormale ou qu’aucune grosseur ne soient présentes au niveau des seins. Attention, cette autopalpation ne remplace en aucun cas les visites, au moins annuelles, chez un.e gynécologue ou un.e médecin. Il est fortement conseillé de réaliser ces visites tout au long de sa vie, et à partir de 25 ans.

Polytech Grenoble s’engage une nouvelle fois à donner de la visibilité et à soutenir Octobre Rose. Il s’agit d’un mois dédié à la sensibilisation au dépistage contre le cancer du sein et à la récolte de fonds dans le but de financer la recherche et les soins des personnes malades. En cette occasion, les étudiant.e.s de Polytech Grenoble sont invité.e.s à se vêtir d’habits roses le jeudi 21 octobre 2021. Une distribution de rubans roses et une vente de crêpes seront organisées, dont les bénéfices financeront la cagnotte dédiée à cet évènement. Les fonds récoltés seront reversés à l’association Ruban Rose, symbole mondial de la lutte contre le cancer du sein.

Une fresque sera aussi proposée aux étudiant.e.s de Polytech Grenoble et de l’Ense3, sur laquelle pourront être dessiné ce qu’ils et elles associent à cet évènement. Cette activité participative est une occasion de visualiser de manière plus concrète les causes et les objectifs de cette lutte.

En bref, nous ne vous le répèterons jamais assez : faites-vous dépister !

 

Ruban rose

 

Ecriture : Julia Fezard.