Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 18th 2015 Contents B1
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
For the first time, scientists have
directly controlled brain cells using sound
waves, in a tiny laboratory worm.
They used ultrasound to trigger activity
in specific neurons, causing the worms to
As well as requiring a particular gene to
be expressed in the brain cells, the
technique bathes the animals in tiny
bubbles to amplify the sound waves.
These complications temper the
technique's promise for controlling brain
activity in a non-invasive way.
Writing in the journal Nature
Communications, the researchers argue
that their new method for controlling brain
cells could improve on "optogenetics", a
technique that uses light rather than
The problem with light is that it cannot
penetrate through tissues---it is scattered
very quickly. Consequently, using
optogenetics to control brain circuits in a
mammal currently requires a fibre-optic
implant. By contrast, ultrasound travels
relatively unimpeded through the body;
this is the property that makes it useful
for medical sonograms.
"This could be a big advantage when
you want to stimulate a region deep in the
brain," said the study's first author Stuart
Ibsen, from the Salk Institute for Biological
Studies in California.
Sound waves used to activate brain cells in a worm
Film director Sean Hodgkin-
son has come to typify the
name of his production com-
pany. The man behind Quirky Films
is known for the Story About
Wendy series, the lighthearted
comedies that have done well both
locally and abroad. A Story About
Wendy and A Story About Wendy
2, both played successfully at the
T&T Film Festival (Wendy 2 copped
the People s Choice Award for Best
Narrative Feature at TTFF/14) and
at festivals like the Zanzibar Film
Festival in Tanzania.
In 2015, Hodgkinson has taken a
new direction and this year he pres-
ents Trafficked, a dark tale about
drug trafficking in T&T, that is both
compelling and visually beautiful.
"I never want to be pigeon-holed
into one genre of film," he said.
"When Garth St Clair approached
me with the article we based this
story on, I thought it was a perfect
opportunity to branch out from what
I was used to."
The gambit paid off and Trafficked
was well-received by the audience
who turned up at the film s world
premiere at the T&T Film Festival
on September 16 at MovieTowne,
The work of the cast is what binds
the storytelling together with the cin-
ematography. At the core, Kia Rollock,
Aaron Charles, Gyerlini Clarke and
Brett Bengochea brought a chemistry
that made the characters believable,
making it easy for viewers to
empathise deeply with each of them.
Clarke portrays the main character
Penny, with a beautiful vulnerability
that typical of youth, yet is able to
transform this character subtly as
the film progresses. "I was ready to
do this," she said, "this film gives a
powerful voice to a usually voiceless
Like most of the main cast it was
her debut in a major film, and she
nailed it with ease. Actor Aaron
Charles was quite convincing in his
role as George, bringing a lot of
charisma and swagger to the char-
acter of the quintessential Saga Boy.
The breakthrough performance of
the movie came from Kia Rollock.
It was her second time working with
Hodgkinson, the first time as an
extra in A Story About Wendy 2.
"Kia auditioned for a role in Wendy
2 and she was terrible at the audi-
tion," Hodgkinson said. "But she had
a spark that I wanted to explore, so
I wrote Nadia for Kia, and Kia
She is not the typical actress
either, but that s what makes her
sell her role as the conscience of the
group who binds them together as
a unit that you fall in love with. Rol-
lock makes Nadia a big girl with a
big heart and personality to match
and she grabs your attention in every
"During filming we all became
very close," Rollock said, "We became
friends in a very similar way to the
characters we portrayed, and that s
what made it all very real"
Being a bad guy isn t a new thing
for Brett Bengochea with his screen
star looks and intense personality.
His role as Alejandro, the villain in
this film was extremely fun to watch,
and frankly quite scary. He is able
to charm you so sweetly that you
almost want him to be the hero, but
what Alejandro really is alarms you
to the core. Bengochea said he was
a method actor and did in-depth
studies of notorious gangsters to
prepare himself for the role.
"He made me cry," Clarke said,
"there was a scene where he stopped
being Brett and was very much Ale-
jandro and the tears you see were
very real," she explained when asked
about her experience acting with
Both the producer/director and
the main cast cited their experience
working with the late Marcia Henville
as both inspiration and a driving
force to perfect the film. "In a way,
this movie was everything that Mar-
cia gave to T&T daily in her life,"
Kia Rollock said. "She was a cham-
pion for people who couldn t speak
for themselves, and so this film is
a huge part of her legacy".
Their dedication to the final prod-
uct is very telling in the high quality
of the production.
The cinematography and camera
work---credited to director of pho-
tography and cameraman Anthony
"Ninja" Fung---is the other main
character of the story, and goes a
long way to embellish the plot twists,
acting and direction.
• More T&T Film Festival
info on Page B2
Hodgkinson sets sights on dramatic genre
September 24, 8 pm, MovieTowne
September 25, 1 pm, MovieTowne
PoS (Q&A with director)
September 26, 5.30 pm,
The cast from Sean
Hodgkinson's Trafficked had
great onscreen chemistry.
Links Archive September 17th 2015 September 19th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page