A&e 04.02.09

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A&e 04.02.09

  1. 1. 4 A&E Comic book movies: Taking Hollywood by storm G April 2, 2009 Mount Holyoke News Man, the first movie of Marvel Comics Avengers movies. graphic novel, a movie version of Watchmen is something BY NINA GUMKOWSKI ’12 Marvel Enterprises is trying something new. They plan to fans have been debating for a long time. Many feared the CONTRIBUTING WRITER make individual superhero movies of the major players in day the film industry would destroy the epic tale. Al- Over the past year it has become clear that nerds are, the superhero group, the Avengers, and connect all the though some parts had to be cut, the film succeeds at con- slowly but surely, taking over the world—the entertain- stories just as they do in the comics. So far Iron Man and densing as much of the original story into the 163 minute ment world, that is. There have been signs of this since the The Incredible Hulk have been released. Soon X-Men Ori- film as possible. early 2000s when technology finally seemed capable of I’m not really sure how I liked Watchmen, bu there portraying the superheroes without looking too campy. It was no point when I was bored, which is a hard task for a began with the successful franchises of Spiderman and X- two and half hour long film. I even wanted to see it again Men. Sadly both failed in their third installments and their just to figure it out what I missed. Director Zack Snyder popularity led to mistakes such as Catwoman and Dare- was dedicated to staying as true to the novel as possible, devil. Though the effects had improved the stories were matching the dialogue word for word, which tended to fall lacking and comic book movies reverted back to their flat on screen. Snyder also directed 300, which I was not a campy style. Then, last year, the tides turned once again. fan of, but in Watchmen his style and skill with special ef- In 2008, two superhero movies, Iron Man and The fects and fight scenes is put to good use. For me the tie- Dark Knight, came out and hopefully they will set the tone breaker is the soundtrack. The songs are so unexpected for superhero movies in the years to come. These comic and random, it just made me smile. book adaptations are different from their predecessors be- If you are not a comic book fan, you may feel a little cause of how the movie industry is handling them. It used lost, which is completely understandable. The story is set to be that comic book money makers were set in a cartoon in a 1985 dystopia in which Watergate never happened, we world, a distorted version of reality. These new movies are won the war in Vietnam, Nixon is in his fourth term as grounded in realism. Iron Man updated its story while in- president and masked superheroes have been around corporating the Middle East conflict, and although The since the 30s but were forced into retirement. Not includ- Dark Knight takes place in DC comics’ alternate universe, ing Dr. Manhattan (the blue guy) these superheroes do the characters and settings are more realistic and relat- not have special powers. They are just everyday people able. who, because of personal beliefs or desire for publicity, Another improvement in the superhero genre is cast- put on outfits and fight bad guys. These superheroes are ing. Iron Man took the risk of casting Robert Downey Jr.— not moral or like the ones you are used to—they make Bat- which totally paid off—and filled their cast with past man look like a security guard—but their lack of values Oscar nominees. Dark Knight, the second installment of gins: Wolverine, Nick Fury, Captain America, X-Men Ori- and reasons for their actions are what makes the story. the rebooted Batman franchise, actually outshines its pre- gins: Magneto and Thor will come out over the next few My suggestion is start reading the book, at least the quel—a rare occurrence in any genre—and is now hailed years. By creating a franchise that focuses on different first few chapters if you don’t want to spoil too much. It as the best Batman movie of all time. The movies success central characters, Marvel can produce a movie a year. If should clear up any questions you will have and get you in- is due in part to the strength and consistency of the cast— everything goes well and Marvel continues to stay true to vested in the story. But if you don’t feel like having a not counting the girl who never stays the same—and, of the story and makes smart casting choices, superheroes homework assignment in order to see a movie, the action course Heath Ledger’s chilling performance. Finally a su- will be dominating the box office until 2020. packed fight scene, love triangle and naked blue dude Are you ready perhero movie won an Academy Award for acting! The most recent release of nerd cinema is Watchmen should be enough to keep you entertained. Following The Dark Knight came another sequel, Iron which opened March 6. Based on the critically acclaimed to rumba? BY LAURA GROSS ’11 BY EMILY CHOW ’12 CONTRIBUTING WRITER While ballroom dancing has been associated with an older generation, tradition and stiffness, current media has Hey Annie - cast a different light on it, por- traying it as the current trend Like many other students, I struggle with things like time management, making decisions, finding my for today’s youths. With styl- purpose, etc. I'm inspired as hell, but I don't have the consistent stamina, focus, persistence and ishly flamboyant costumes courage to carry the momentum. I want to know: does it get easier? Are things like the ability to sit and vivacious dance down, open a book and read for two hours—or to do anything and not get distracted—or to articulate moves, ballroom dancing my thoughts and concerns, period—things that can be honed like any other skill? I know exactly what as depicted on television I want to do and why. I'm just not doing it yet. shows such as Dancing With Lost MoHo the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, has enhanced its reputation and popularity. This new interest has affected Dear Lost MoHo, learning to type (which can be broken down into the number of students who are currently finding a typing course, filling out the forms, taking lessons from the UMass Ballroom So first, it does get easier. Everything gets mailing the forms, taking the class) then learn Club. The club instructs 50 to 200 stu- easier with experience. It is the sitting through how to write a scene, then characterization. It is dents per weekly lesson. Photo Courtesy of Cecilie Pope the experience that really kicks your butt. There easy to self sabotage. Fear of success is just as The UMass Ballroom Club is an official Five College club, offering are great classes that will help you to fine tune rampant as fear of failure. Why aren’t you doing weekly dance lessons on Monday nights at the Fine Arts Center. Anyone your articulation skills. Here are a few questions what you want yet? Is it because you haven’t bro- is welcome to attend these lessons and join the club, but tryouts are re- to ask yourself, just to delete a few possible rea- ken down your goal, or is it because if you suc- quired to become a member of the Ballroom Team. In addition to attending sons why it may be hard to concentrate. ceed someone in your life will be unhappy special coaching sessions, team members compete at various competitions 1. Do you have a healthy caffeine/sugar con- because they wanted you to become a marine bi- around New England. sumption? Mine I know is horrible and I live on ologist instead of a fashion designer? Are you Captained by Cecilie Pope ’09, the ballroom team performs remarkably coffee and sugar at times. These two little devils stuck in a role that is hard to get out of? Or, is well, considering that they do not receive as much funding as the Harvard mess with blood sugar and do influence concen- what you really want to do not actually what you or MIT ballroom dance teams and are not recognized by UMass an official tration. want to do. Just know that once you get it and team. Many team members receive high placing positions at competitions. 2. Do you drink water? Back to biology and get into that groove, things will fall into place. There is an increased hype surrounding ballroom dancing, as the num- nutrition. Brain cells do need the proper nutri- Make sure you are not creating roadblocks, and ber of students attending the team tryouts has exceeded 120, making the ents to function. if you aren’t, when one appears, hop over it. One selection process extremely competitive. “Training helps because of the 3. Do you exercise? A good way to get to the final little tidbit: find someone who is doing what number of people who try out,” says Katherine Lewis ’11, the team’s point where you can sit and concentrate is to ex- you want to do, and is successful at it. Make sure fundraising coordinator. “We’re looking for people who stand out. That pend some healthy energy and ride on the en- that person is successful. Do not talk to people doesn’t necessarily mean we’re looking for excellent dancers. We look for dorphins created by doing it. After a brisk walk who have not undertaken what you are about to smiles and sunny personalities. Remembering moves is also good but re- or run you have some good blood pumping. An- do, because they do not necessarily know how to ally, having energy and enthusiasm is the key to standing out.” other option, in case the exercise idea affects you do it. Lyon Net is a great resource. I found a Of course, aside from the passion of the dance, many students partake the same way it affects me, is a meditation prac- Mmount Holyoke alumna who is a writer, a suc- in this club because of the social connectivity it offers. “As ballroom dancing tice which is a great way to practice focus and cessful one and we met for coffee. She gave me relies on the chemistry and connection between two people, a lot of people concentration. It does take practice. Start by sit- encouragement as well as helpful advice for use the team and club as a social scene,” Lewis explains. “Most girls join the ting for 30 seconds and work your way up. All when the roadblocks come. Or you can also ask club wanting to learn how to dance, but a lot of the guys who join just want you need to do is sit and breathe and pay atten- professors who are in the field you wish to enter. to pick up girls, although they eventually they seem to like it and end up tion to each breath, inhale, the pause, then ex- There is a wealth of information just waiting for dancing for the sake of dancing.” hale. Meditation is a tool for exercising your you. brain muscle. The ballroom club teaches a lesson every Monday night at UMass. Stu- Sometimes the hardest thing to do is the Please send me questions on any topic. If I dents are required to pay a fee of $4 per lesson or $25 for the entire semes- thing we want to do the most. Take what you don’t know the answer I’ll find some unsuspect- ter. The ballroom team will be performing at the Festival of Diversity this want to do and break it into smaller pieces. For ing person who does. Saturday, April 4. Their next competition is April 25 and 26 at MIT. example, if you want to write novels, start by My email: gross23l@mtholyoke.edu.
  2. 2. A&E 7 After 15 seasons, ER G April 2, 2009 Mount Holyoke News closes its doors The Fast Talker BY LARISA SUNDERLAND ’11 Basking in the Obama glow BY JOANNA ARCIERI ’10 there definitely has never been the ghost A&E EDITOR of a doctor’s very dead boyfriend over- staying his welcome. While I was home for spring break, my years before.” Obama accurately observes This Thursday, after 15 seasons and When Grey’s Anatomy is currently 331 episdes, County General will close it Brazilian grandmother was also paying a that white depiction of black culture (as television’s big thing, ER stayed away visit to my parents. Looking for something “childlike” or otherwise) is inherently doors and ER will permanently enter the from following its lead. Instead, it contin- world of syndication. truly refreshing to do with her free time, racist. And I believe there is a further case ued with the same, albeit sometimes im- she did what I did not: she picked up a book. to be made for the implicit racism in adapt- ER is the longest running American probable, plotlines and character arches primetime medical drama. Created by The book she chose was Barack ing a Greek myth to black Brazilian cul- that had made it successful for over a Obama’s autobiography, Dreams from My ture. For Obama, these observations are Michael Crichton in 1974, the serial decade. This is a testament to why ER is drama was intended to be a movie based Father. She was excited to read the book chillingly personal. The implications of one of the greatest television shows of all- for a couple of reasons. Like Obama, my Black Orpheus being what his mother “car- on Crichton’s experiences as a medical time and why Grey’s has become nothing resident. But it was not until Crichton grandmother was raised without her father ried with her to Hawaii,” the place of his more than a mockery. (in Brazil) because he was from, and lived conception, are as haunting as they are teamed with Steven Spielberg to produce There is a moment is an early Jurassic Park in 1993 that ER became a in, another country (France). Like Obama, complex. episode from this season, when Abby her heritage is disparate and her family, For Obama, Black Orpheus represents television drama. Lockhart (Maura Tierny) is led down a In 1994, NBC looked the same as it half of whom she does not know, is foreign the “exoticism” of blacks in American cul- hallway by longtime ER nurse Haleh. and far-flung. She feels connected to ture; what his mother desired to use to es- does today; it had poorly developed tele- They arrive at a wall that has every vision shows and was last-place in the Obama because of her perception of their cape her own culture; the racist roots of his locker nameplate of past ER doctors and shared experiences as exterior to the dom- own birth; a chilling reminder that blacks weekly rankings. In fact, before ER came nurses on it. This scene is a testament to on the scene, NBC executives had inant culture of the United States. But were, and are, sometimes perceived as “for- the longevity of the show. Former stars, there are, of course, many differences be- eigners” in America. What he forgets is planned on offering the 10 p.m. timeslot most notably George Clooney, have re- to Jay Leno, which is exactly what will tween my grandmother and our president. that he was watching a foreign film, and so, turned to show fans what has happened For one thing, my grandmother is not to his American sensibility, it’s logical that happen following ER’s finale. Executives to their characters since they left the took a risk and agreed to broadcast ER, black. When she first came here in the the portrayals appeared exotic. show. So the show is going out that same 1940s, this made it difficult for people to be- My grandmother did not care to hear which no one expected to be successful. way it came in; with a focus on excep- There were too many characters and too lieve that she is also Brazilian. She is, actu- about any of this. She was too busy being tional writing and strong characters. ER, ally, Brazilian, and herein lays another furious that Obama had just dismissed the much gore. It did not follow standard nar- in many ways, has come to natural and rative structure and used unorthodox difference between my grandmother and first Brazilian film that was popular in logical end. President Obama. Unlike Obama, she America; the reason, really, that Antonio filming techniques. In other words, it was ER’s conclusion is bittersweet. But as too realistic. But when ER premiered on could never be the president; she’s not a Carlos Jobim and Bossa Nova became in- long as it doesn’t end with a kid shaking natural-born United States citizen. ternationally admired; the movie that al- Sept. 19, 1994, it revitalized NBC and a snow globe and it all being a dream (a changed the television landcape forever. She was thrilled when Obama was lowed her American friends to hear her la St. Elsewhere), I’ll be content with the elected, so I was a little surprised when I language and to see her country; the movie I discovered ER the same way I sus- finale. pect many people my age did: TNT Day- hobbled out of bed one morning to find a that caused Americans to become, for a mo- I haven’t quite figured out what I’m very distraught 88-year-old lady thrusting ment, interested in Brazil. For my grand- time Drama. I started watching out it of going to do on Thursday nights at 10 p.m. boredom one summer and with four Dreams from My Father at me. “The glow,” mother, Black Orpheus was, and is, a for the rest of my life. Maybe some other she pronounced, slamming her book shut, symbol of her third world country breaking episodes airing per day, watching ER was great show will captivate my attention something for me to do. Soon enough, I “is gone. I respect Obama, I am very glad into a first world international conscience. the way ER did. But I’m not counting on that he is our president, but the glow is In 1959, Black Orpheus was undoubtedly was addicted; I stopped eating dinner that. Instead, I’ll look forward to an ER with my family so I could watch ER at 6 gone.” ground-breaking for these reasons. reunion sometime in My first thought was, I can’t deal with Obama in 1983, she said, didn’t under- o’clock. I even made my parents tape ER the future. when I went to summer camp for two her pontification (she’s got a real knack for stand the movie. I don’t think she’s entirely weeks, completely defeating the purpose it) at 11 a.m. on a vacation morning. My wrong, either. What he interpreted as a The two-hour second thought was, so what juicy stuff did “childlike depiction of blacks” probably has of summer camp. series finale of ER When I started watching, the glory you write to make that “glow be gone,” Mr. more to do with the relaxed spontaneity airs tonight at 9 p.m. President? that characterizes Brazilian culture (you years of ER, the days of Dr. Ross and on NBC. It is pre- Nurse Hathaway (played by George In Dreams from My Father, Obama can hear this in the music, too). He’s criti- ceded by an hour long writes about his experience of going to see cal of the white director’s depiction of—and Clooney and Julianna Margulies) had retrospective at 8 p.m. just ended. But that didn’t matter to me. a showing of Black Orpheus, the first for- willingness to use—black culture. My I was hooked and every Thursday eign film his mother had ever seen, with his grandmother’s critical of Obama’s Ameri- since that summer, I haven’t missed mother in 1983. Black Orpheus, a 1959 can depiction of—and willingness to use— an episode. While I watch other med- Brazilian film made by French director Brazilian culture. ical dramas, namely Grey’s Marcel Camus, is a modern adaption of the I think that in this particular instance, Anatomy, I do so more because I Greek myth set in a black community in both critics fail to see beyond their lenses enjoy mindless entertainment than Rio during Carnival. Obama’s mother (race, ethnicity, time-period) and rob them- because I’m being intrigued by com- loved Black Orpheus. My grandmother selves and their understanding in the pelling plotlines or dynamic charac- loves Black Orpheus. Our President did not process. But perhaps I only say this be- ters. love Black Orpheus—in fact, he walked out cause it’s something I can afford to do. ER has the ability to attract an on it. After all, I’m a white natural-born citizen. audience in a way that no other Obama writes of watching his mother’s I look and speak like the dominant culture show is able to. While it has de- reaction to the film, “I felt as if I were being here, and so, I don’t always have to be on pended on the occasional helicopter given a window into…the unreflective the defense. Consequently, it takes a lot to falling on a doctor scenario to draw heart of her youth. I suddenly realized that make me slam a book shut or walk out on a ratings, ER does not focus on ex- the depiction of childlike blacks I was now movie—and that, regrettably, sure does treme melodrama the way that seeing on the screen…was what my mother feel like a privilege. R e c e s s i o n c h i c : Finding the fashion in the financial crisis Grey’s does. There isn’t some indie had carried with her to Hawaii all those rock song guiding your emotions. And BY SARAH E SAVOIA ’12 Has your fashion let the recession stand between them and their wardrobe. CONTRIBUTING WRITER style been reflecting the They know that when times are tough, it is impractical economy lately? Have to wear bright floral prints. It’s like wearing hot pink to a you found yourself shopping on a budget at stores such as, funeral. Therefore, we must rely on black—the one true Target, Uniqlo and Payless? If so, congratulations on your everlasting color. In color psychology, black is the color of entry into Recession Chic. If not, it’s pertinent to inform authority, power, and submission- it even implies submis- you of the Recession Chic movement, so you may feel free sion to men. With today’s times, we are becoming subdued to dress accordingly in such tough economic times. by the economy. Despite its gloom, black will always be Recession Chic or “recessionista” is the new wave in stylish and forever, just like diamonds will always be a fashion, a style that does not require you to break the girl’s best friend. So as finances and home values plunge, bank. Fans should give thanks to celebrities like Jessica black will rise and the gloom of the times will radiate from Alba and Miley Cyrus for bringing ripped tights, torn the people. Enjoy the vibrant colors this spring, because jeans, pajamas and patches back in style. The wise reces- by fall, excpect nothing but darkness. sionista, or one who practices the movement, can be found If you are going to experience an economic crash, you at the mall in stores such as Target, Uniqlo, Payless or might as well do it in style. Proudly wear those patches Kohl’s in search of designer threads for cheap. These and ripped tights and don’t feel ashamed of penny-pinch- companies have signed deals with designers such as ing. It is about time for us to either start wearing black Thakoon and Lela Rose, to bring expensive looking fash- again or dressing comfy in our pajamas- why did we ever ion to the budget minded. Finance executives utilize the stop? So be smart and dress accordingly to the times by in- term recessionista, to describe a person who predicts a re- vesting in shift dresses and stilettos. Hopefully, the reces- cession or believes a recession can ultimately assist the sion chic stays and the recessionista never has to make economy. Recessionistas are smart shoppers who won’t way for depressionista.

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