My essentials: Joseph Zammit’s cultural picks

No 11 | Joseph Zammit, 32, Actor, singer and educator 

Joseph Zammit, right (Photo: Jacob Sammut)
Joseph Zammit, right (Photo: Jacob Sammut)

1. Book

Unfortunately, most of the time I’d end up reading and studying scripts more than I would have time for a good book, so my list of readings has decreased somewhat over the years as otherwise it would simply become an overload of words in my head, but the latest book series I’ve been caught up in is the polish dark fantasy series by Andrej Sapkowski called “Wiedzmin” (The Witcher). I am a huge fan of the games developed by CD Project Red based on the series and became fascinated by its lore and setting, so I’m currently in the middle of the eight-book series the game is based on.  The Netflix series is fact is an adaptation of said book series.

2. TV/Film 

Lately I’ve re-watched one of my top three movies which once in a while I tend to do, to see if my past tastes would still be agreeable with my present self. Up to now they’ve reassuringly always had. This is Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead”. It’s been one of my favourite scripts for years, but the movie, starring Gary Oldman and Tim Roth is just so good. Just the concept of two minor characters from a Shakespeare play who are completely blind and unaware of their predestined scripted lives was and still is one that tickles my fancy.

3. Internet 

When it comes to the internet I pretty much fall under the YouTube category. I tend to follow video essayists, on either cultural or social aspects, your ‘hbomberguy’ your ‘internethistorian’ and so on. Currently however I do enjoy following one ‘InternetCommentEttiquette’, whose concept is to use parody and satire on how one should leave comments on YouTube videos to tackle several subjects and topics ranging from the social to the silly. All however pose an interesting and sometimes disheartening view of humanity and society (mostly American) and current events with great humour. Highly recommend it.

4. Music

When it comes to music I vary tremendously, from Opera to Black Metal, but, also thanks to my older sister Maria Eleonora, Queen will always have the top spot for me. If I had to simply chose one song from Queen it would be “It’s Late”, a not so well-known piece from their album ‘News of the World’, a hard rock piece that just gave me a hitherto unknown level of excitement first time I heard it. If not Queen, I’d go for anything Stephen Sondheim hands down. When I heard Sweeney Todd for the first time for instance, it was a realisation where I never thought music could be used in such a way, a feeling that still resonates with me.

5. Place

Locally I would really just vote for my home-village of Safi. It’s aesthetically beautiful, quiet, and rich in history. A literal Roman Wall is in front of my house for instance. Given the choice of foreign places however I’d immediately go for Edinburgh. I’ve been three times and admittedly only during the Fringe Festival, but even without the excitement and theatricality of it, Edinburgh just said something to me. The gloominess in the colour of its stones and streets, the colours of the hills surrounding it. I don’t really know how to describe it, but I do know that I pretty much fell in love with her first time I went there.