Arizona Daily Wildcat
Justyn Dillingham Arts Editor 520•621•3106 firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Some Girl(s)’ a tart treat INSIDE 1702 offers succulent slices ‘Pirate Radio’ flounders at sea
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wednesday, november ,
Denver rockers follow in Jay-Z’s footsteps at UA By Alex Gendreau Arizona Daily Wildcat ASUA is back with another concert tonight from the Grammy Award-winning band The Fray. After last April’s Jay-Z fiasco (see “Concert loses almost $1 million,” Arizona Daily Wildcat, May 6, 2009) the UA’s student government seems to have decided it would be wise to team up with UApresents and provide a more affordable and less extravagant concert. The Fray, a Denver-based band formed in 2002 by schoolmates Isaac Slade and Joe King, will perform at 8 p.m. Spawning from jam sessions, The Fray rocketed to Billboard Chart success with their wildly popular debut album How to Save a Life in 2005 . Songs like “Over My Head (Cable Car)” and “How to Save a Life” raced to the top of the charts and quickly became embedded into pop/rock minds across the nation.
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With the promotion of these catchy songs on television shows like “Scrubs” and “Grey’s Anatomy” throughout 2006, The
Fray catapulted into pop-culture icon status. Since then the band CONCERT, page B8
Gordon Bates/Arizona Daily Wildcat
THE AD JUNK PROFESSOR
Levi’s ad a barbaric yawp of art, capitalism A
COMMENTARY by Anna Swenson arts writer
black-and-white image of a flickering neon sign reading“America.”A scratchy, bootleggy recording of a man’s voice reading poetry. Strong, muscled young backs. Fields of grain. Smoke. Back flips. Bare feet. Fireworks. Blue jeans. Is it a nouveau film playing at The Loft? A collage of Dorothea Lange images at the Center for Creative Photography? A new mixed-media piece by Fine Arts graduate students? No, folks, it’s the new Levi Strauss jeans ad. The stylish ad spots have been showing up since summer 2009 in movie theaters, television and various
forms of print media. The campaign’s tag line is“Go Forth,”emphasizing the bluegrass roots feel of early American ingenuity and originality. The ads are visually striking and oddly mesmerizing: try tearing your eyes away from the flashing images of young, strong bodies running through fields, hugging, kissing or dancing around bonfires wearing jeans and little else to the words of Walt Whitman read, in one version, by the poet himself. The America the ads suggest is as we wish it was:“So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship,”reads a man’s voice as young people dress, undress, and
make Levi’s look like the uniform of the sexy modern counterculture. The black-and-white version features a recording that is thought to be Whitman himself reading his poem “America.”As barefoot, many-raced young people run and (not exactly) frolic with odd and striking tension, the scratchy audio reads: “Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich … perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love.”A beautiful mixed-race couple kisses JEANS, page B8
How you can find ‘Paradise’ on campus By Anna Swenson Arizona Daily Wildcat
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If you’ve been looking for a place to wear your sexy Satan costume other than the Heaven and Hell party on Greek Row, you’re in luck. The 12th Annual Milton Marathon will take place this Friday at the UA Main Library in Special Collections room C205 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The marathon is a 12-hour-long reading of English writer John Milton’s masterwork “Paradise Lost.” The event is free (and costumes are optional). Started by English professor John Ulreich in 1998, the event joins others across the country in the marathon effort to make it through the 10 books that comprise the 1667 epic. Milton, who was blind by the time he finished the timeless piece of blank verse, wrote the piece to, in his words, try to“justify the ways of God to men.”The
book-length poem essentially retells the first few chapters of Genesis — in around 500 pages. English majors, graduate students and exceptionally literate members of the greater Tucson community are expected to turn out by the hundreds for the annual event. Drop in for a few minutes of a few hours to hear participants take turns reading from the work. You’ll hear stories of love, betrayal, divinity, exaltation and damnation from the perspective of Adam, Eve, God and the most unnervingly convincing Satan this side of a near-death experience. Milton is famous for his ambitious, often incendiary topics in his political and prose works. His poetry, such as “Paradise Lost” and “Samson Agonistes,” is lauded by scholars and sometimes feared by students because of Milton’s cha acteristic nuanced writing style and eclectic, academic references. If you ease into Milton by listening to
his work read aloud while sampling light refreshments, however, he’s not so scary; the Milton Marathon is an ideal way to catch a taste or a stomachful of the brilliant writer’s most famous work. So if you hear the voice of God at 8 a.m. Friday morning while stumbling through the library, don’t worry, you’re not going crazy. It’s just the Milton Marathon. After 12 hours, we might all be paradise losing it.
THINK YOU CAN HANDLE IT? 12th Annual Milton Marathon, Friday Nov 20, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Main Library Special Collections room C205
• wednesday, november 18, 2009 • arizona daily wildcat
Around town of scarf-wearing, coffee-sipping intellectuals, or screaming spitting versions of verbalized angst. But this dual language reading from the work of Lila Zimborain, as translated by Rosa Alcalá and Mónica de la Torre, tries to reach out to more than just the usual coffeehouse crowd. Selections from the collection “Mauve Sea-Orchids” will be read in Spanish and English, and blend the language of the scientific with the poetic. Oh, and don’t forget to wear your scarf. 8 p.m. Poetry Center, 1508 E Helen St. Free.
FRIDAY, NOV. 20 B.B. King. It’s kind of remarkable that this legendary guitarist is still alive, let alone touring. It’s as if Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis were still alive and touring. Wait, they are. What a bizarre world we live in. Anyway, this may well be your only chance to see one of popular music’s most influential blues guitarists. 8 p.m. Centennial Hall. Available tickets range from $59 to $79.
FRIDAY, NOV. 20
Milton Marathon. Ever read “Paradise Lost,” John Milton’s epic tale of Satan’s cosmic battle against God? No? Well, here’s your chance to have it read to you, or even join in the fun; the goal is to read all 11,000 lines by the end of the night. We won’t give away the ending, but don’t bet on Satan to win. For some inexplicable reason, that guy always has lousy luck. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. UA Library Special Collections. Free and open to the public. “Breaking Away.” This 1979 coming-of-age movie ranked at No. 8 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 most inspiring movies of the last century. Personally, we’re still irked that “She’s All That” was a no-show. 7:30 p.m. Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. $6-$8.
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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 18
“Ockham’s Razor.” No, it’s not a philosophy lecture, it’s a locally made film with a Tucson-based cast. Features a Q&A session with the director following the screening. 7 p.m. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $7 general admission, $5 for students and Loft members. The Fray. We hear this band has sold a few records; maybe you’ve even heard of them. Anyway, they were kind enough to come all the way from Denver, Colo., so you might as well check them out, if only to be nice.
According to uapresents.org, tickets are all sold out — so if you bought one, you’d better not forget to go. The Fray is going to feel awfully silly if they see any empty seats in the audience. 8 p.m. Centennial Hall. Thao With The Get Down Stay Down. No, seriously, that’s what they’re called. This Kill Rock Stars band — no, seriously, that’s the name of the record label — has been likened to the sweet, sinister sounds of Cat Power and Beth Orton. With The Portland Cello Project and David Schultz. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. $10.
THURSDAY, NOV. 19
The 2009 Sundance Shorts. The very best animated and live-action short films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, featuring penguins, omelettes and self-storage units. It ought to be a refreshing change of pace from all those other Loft movies, which tend to be either critically acclaimed French movies with no point or Korean movies about vampires. 7:30 p.m. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $6. Bilingual poetry reading. The phrase “poetry reading” may inspire images of stuffy bookstore nooks full
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UA Press 50th Anniversary Book Sale. Note that it’s a sale of all books, not just “50th anniversary” books. Now that’d be a disappointing book sale. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. UA Press, 355 S. Euclid Ave. The Hounds. This band is said to be influenced by acts as diverse as Muddy Waters and Sublime. Which is a little like saying you’re influenced by rules as diverse as the injunction against murder and that little tag that warns you not to remove it from your pillow. Doors open at 9 p.m. Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. $5.
Tori Sparks. This singer’s been compared to Neil Young, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. For someone who isn’t a raspy-voiced old man, that’s quite an achievement. With The Kate Becker Project and The Sugar Thieves. 21+ 7 p.m. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. $5 in advance; $7 day of show. Hank Topless. We’ll spare you the usual predictable joke about how this singer-songwriter doesn’t perform topless. Oh, wait. 9:30 p.m. Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. No cover.
MONDAY, NOV. 23
Salsa for Veterans. Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are invited to participate in a free introductory salsa class every Monday in November. That’s salsa as in dance, not salsa as in something you add to your quesadilla. Though that sure sounds good right now, doesn’t it? 6 p.m. Arizona Ballet Theatre, 2512 E. Sixth St. Free. “Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup.” Yet another documentary that posits the highly believable proposition that George W. Bush was the craftiest, most clever world leader of all time. 7 p.m. Crossroads 6 Grand Cinemas, 4811 E. Grant Road. $3.
TUESDAY, NOV. 24
Running Hot. This obscurelynamed Rolling Stones tribute band — presumably named after a phrase in the 1981 Stones classic “Start Me Up” — will be playing with Audacia, Sinphonics and Gaza Strip. Wouldn’t it be funny if the restrooms happened to run out of hot water that night? Well, maybe not “ha-ha” funny. More “ironic.” 21+. 8 p.m. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. $5. Roll Acosta. Only an indie singersongwriter could get away with being named “Roll.” I mean, really. What’s he going to name the kids, “Knife” and “Fork”? 21+ 9:30 p.m. Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. No cover. — compiled by Justyn Dillingham
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arizona daily wildcat • wednesday, november 18, 2009 •
‘Some Girl(s)’ is sexy, cynical late night theater By Anna Swenson Arizona Daily Wildcat In The Now Theatre’s production of Neil LaBute’s“Some Girl(s),” the young company proves that eager acting and sparse staging can be the best way to reveal both the crass hypocrisy and the painful injustice that characterize both love and life today. If you’ve ever been — or been burned by — a charming opportunist, you will relate to this delicate, deliberate production. LaBute’s story follows young writer Guy, played by theater arts senior John Shartzer, as he visits the most meaningful of his old girlfriends before he finally marries. As the characters note in the one-act, Guy is not a great guy, but, hey, at least he knows it. As Guy slides and swerves his way around every situation the audience witnesses and the characters discuss, one can’t help but enjoy it when these ladies make the slimy guy squirm. Sam, played by senior Lauren Orlowski, was the first love. As much as Guy tries to cut Sam down for being the small-town girl who settled, Orlowski’s Sam is cleverer than that. She seems to know that she would rather be married to a Safeway store manager who loves and cares for her than a smug, lying, flighty man-boy like Guy. Sam’s struggle is touching
and relatable as she tells Guy why she thinks he asked her to meet.“You think you’re over it and it’s still all right there, you know?” she asks softly. With Orlowski’s finely wrought performance, we do know. Guy’s next former-lover encounter is with the brash and brassy Tyler, played by junior Danielle Hecht. The scene between Guy and Tyler is the most playful of the work, with Guy battling humorously with his attraction to the beautiful Tyler and a smoking scene sexy enough to set back 20 years of anti-tobacco ads.“You want some blow-back?” Hecht croons, and the line is so apropos: all LaBute allows his characters is a breathy wisp of the love or truth they seek. Hecht makes a lovely Tyler; it takes pluck to make a slutty, druggy jewelry artist endearing. She’s bold, sexual and determined — determined to never let Guy know how much he hurt her. Senior Holly Marie Carlson is fierce, bitter and admirably blunt as Lindsay, a married older woman. She was hurt, and she’s not afraid to let Guy know — and make him pay. Though Carlson physically looks not a day older than Shartzer, she imbues her performance with authority and oddly naïve worldweariness that make for a believable character in age and bearing. This is where LaBute’s writing of a female character falters, however; it is difficult
Sarah Palin, what’s on your iPod? What is Sarah Palin listening to as she scrutinizes the bestseller lists for the progress of her hot new memoir? Here’s the iPod playlist we’d give her… 1. The Smiths, “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” 2. Queen, “Gimme the Prize” 3. The Beatles, “Paperback Writer” 4. Theme from “The Greatest American Hero” 5. Doris Day, “Que Sera Sera” 6. Hank Williams Jr., “McCain-Palin Tradition” (special remix with the word “McCain” blipped) 7. Lulu, “I’m a Tiger” 8. John Ashcroft, “Let the Eagle Soar” 9. Johnny Cash, “When It’s Springtime in Alaska (It’s Forty Below)” 10. Billy Joel, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” (special remix with every name replaced with “Sarah Palin”) — compiled by Justyn Dillingham Illustration by Don Coker/Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
to believe that the smart, confident Lindsay would be so vindictive and sadistic. The play’s view of women is slightly more favorable than of men, but not by much: LaBute builds women up only by having them tear men and other women down. The last “girl” Guy visits is the fresh, funny Bobbi, played by expressive and effervescent senior Chelsea Bowdren. She plays Bobbi with big humor and a big heart, which only makes the starkness of Guy’s selfishness appear that much more unkindly. Guy’s last speech to her and her reaction might be the most poignant moment of the production, and Bowdren plays it with delicacy, in contrast to her earlier big emotions and bigger smile. LaBute cuts his protagonist no slack to speak of, but Shartzer wields the role with impressive grace. It is easy to imagine why the women he visits don’t remember him fondly, but there is enough charm in the performance to also see why they fell for Guy. While one sincerely hopes Guy is not an everyman, Shartzer plays even the more contemptible aspects of the character with just enough smooth magnetism to keep the audience from outright hating the guy. Here’s hoping Shartzer has not been doing any Method acting for this role — he plays the manipulative, self-serving, near-masochistic Guy so convincingly it’s unnerving.
Even as you’re clapping for the solid performance, you’re not sure whether you want to spit in his face or see if he’d like to go out for drinks. Every piece of the performance, from the clack of the girls’ heels on the stage floor to the effeminate pillows on the anonymous hotel set, feel endearingly eager, and the revelatory last scene is no exception. In its smooth, sure refusal to apologize for the truth it displays, the scene serves as synecdoche for the rest of the play and, LaBute seems to be saying, society at large. If there is a flaw in this determined production, it is not the fresh acting,
photo courtesy of the Now Theatre
deliberate production, or ambitious subject matter — it is that LaBute seems to hate his character even more than the women his character spurned.
IF YOU GO: Neil LaBute’s Some Girl(s), this Thursday - Saturday at 10:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. Tickets at the door; $10, cash only. The Rogue Theatre in the Historic Y, 300 E. University Blvd.
Wale focuses on ‘Attention Deficit’ By Ada Dieke Arizona Daily Wildcat Attention Deficit is a likely contender for the hip-Hop album of the year. Hip-hop newcomer and Interscope/Roc Nation (Jay-Z’s label) recording artist Olubowale Akintimehin aka Wale, (pronounced Wah-lei) has assembled a sensational collection of songs that are frank in their honesty, smart in their thought-provoking qualities and tight in their seamless production. Not to mention there are bonus tracks that are actually really good. Born to Nigerian parents, Wale hails from America’s capital, representing Washington, D.C., well and doing an excellent job of helping to revive a comatose hip-hop music industry. While his flow is distinct, it won’t be long before music connoisseurs label Wale as the rapper who doesn’t waste a word as he vividly paints his life experiences through his songs. On “Shades,” featuring Chrisette Michelle, he details his struggles being Nigerian-American. He solemnly tells of a girl hurt so badly by men in her past that she can’t accept his love on “Diary,” which features Marsha Ambrosius . Interestingly, many of Wale’s songs center on his dialogue on ambition and a quest for success, combined with a sobering realization of the price of fame.“Chillin,” with Lady Gaga, is the first release from his album, followed by expansive “Pretty Girls” featuring Gucci Mane and Weensey of Backyard Band.“Let It Loose” featuring Pharell is a surefire club-banger,“TV In My
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RATING: Radio” featuring K’Naan (a rapper of Somalian heritage) is sharp and witty, while “Triumph” opens up the album with drum beats fit for an African king. In fact, many of Wale’s songs incorporate the percussion laden “go-go” music popular in the Washington, D.C., area. And the sweetest track that represents the mixture of go-go music with African and hip-hop beats is the bonus track “My Sweetie.”
His focus seems to be on many different topics but he still makes a specific point in every song. Stellar wordplay frames his music. The video game-like musical production that introduces many of his songs is fitting for his album, as it demonstrates how well technology can cause an attention deficit disorder. And while there are many distracting hip-hop albums out there, this one is sure to keep you fully engaged.
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• wednesday, november 18, 2009 • arizona daily wildcat
Campus-area pizza joint 1702 offers a lot of crust for your buck By Ali Freedman Arizona Daily Wildcat Looking for beer and pizza? What college student isn’t? If a big ol’ slice of thin crust pie and a microbrew or imported beer tickles your fancy, stop by 1702. The little pizza shop on Speedway Boulevard — the name is the address — offers big eats for a small price. It is most definitely worth stopping by before or after a game or after a hard day of the classes. 1702 offers massive portions; no appetite is too big for a single slice. These puppies are so big you don’t get a knife but a mini pizza cutter to help devour them. Ranging from $5 to $8 for a slice, it definitely fits a college budget. Don’t worry: You can get whole pies, massive salads, cheesy-garlicky good bread or wings to help satisfy your appetite. The tiny space filled with beer paraphernalia is welcoming and busy. 1702 is a real neighborhood joint. If you need a great beer to pair with your pizza, don’t hesitate to ask. The staff is knowledgeable and can get down to the nitty-gritty. Don’t expect to find a Bud Light, Shock Top, Guinness or other name brand beer — 1702 doesn’t go there. Specialty beer is its territory. Can’t make up your mind? Ask for a sip of your top choices to sample. If you’re looking for a good spot to take a large group, 1702 offers a rather spacious back room and has plenty of tables that can be pulled together to accommodate larger parties. Beware, the bathrooms are not quite as nice as the restaurant; however, it’s a small con to throw into a long list of pros. Although the wait can be a bit long for a single slice when the place is busy, it is worth the wait. If you’re looking for speed at the busiest pizza hours, however, you may need to try elsewhere. 1702 is a killer pizza joint well suited for the college crowd. Its endless beer selection and massive portions of good pizza make it well worth braving the bright red walls, rowdy college crowd, bad bathrooms and lack of parking. Don’t believe me? See for yourself. 1702 is located at 1702 E. Speedway Blvd., just west of Campbell Avenue. Its current hours are listed as Monday-Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday-Friday: 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday: noon – midnight — and they claim to be willing to stay open as late as 2 a.m. if customers are still showing up. Can’t find it? Look for Bentley’s House of Coffee and Tea in the Nob Hill strip, and then walk three stores down.
Timothy Galaz/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Alison Klaiber serves up one of the many brews on tap at 1702, a pizza and beer spot in the Nob Hill shopping center.
1702, a pizza and beer joint in the Nob Hill shopping center off Speedway Boulevard and Campbell Avenue, has become quite popular with its large slices and extensive craft beer inventory. Timothy Galaz/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Timothy Galaz/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Beth Shire brings some fresh slices of pizza out of the 1702 kitchen as Dylan LaRochelle (left) watches a new job applicant work with some dough.
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arizona daily wildcat • wednesday, november 18, 2009 •
Radio ‘pirates’ set sail for mediocrity By Brandon Specktor Arizona Daily Wildcat If you love the music of the ’60s but weren’t alive for its heyday, and if you haven’t seen “Taking Woodstock,”“Almost Famous,” or “Across The Universe,” and if you’d rather watch misanthropic British dick jockeys try to get laid on the high seas instead of listening to vinyl in the privacy of your own incenseoozing bedroom, then Avast, ye rockers! “Pirate Radio” be the movie for you. If, however, you have a legitimate interest in the history of 1960s offshore broadcasting in the United Kingdom, save yer doubloons; you’ll find more historical fact in Davy Jones’ waterlogged diary. “Pirate Radio” is the newest from director Richard Curtis, the storyteller responsible for the doubly loved and loathed “Love Actually” and “Bridget Jones” flicks, and will likely elicit the same binary response from American audiences. Re-chopped from “The Boat That Rocked,” which was met with dismal box office results in the U.K. when it premiered this April, “Pirate Radio” is the fictionalized account of Radio Rock, the finest ocean liner/radio station ever to sail the North Sea. The year is 1966, the alleged “Golden Age of Rock and Roll” according to a cursory title card at the film’s intro, and the stodgy bureaucrats who run England have outlawed rock music. Total buzz kill, man! But all is not lost, because a rebellious American DJ called simply The Count (played by a grizzly Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his most understated roles in recent memory) and his ragtag crew
of jockeys have taken to the seas where they may disseminate the devil’s music 24-7. Far out! The conflict? Well, for most of the film there really isn’t one. Back on the mainland the paunchy Sir Alistair Dormandy (Kenneth Branagh) — the Dean Wormer to Radio Rock’s “Animal House” — and his misfortunatelynamed henchman Twatt (Jack Davenport) work to shut down the radio pirates, but their insidious plans are tirelessly repelled in an inconsequential roadrunner-andcoyote dynamic. The brunt of “Pirate Radio,” in fact, has nothing to do with radio: the narrative is driven by the collective crewmembers of Radio Rock trying to cope with the rigors of living on a boat full of men between periodic conjugal visits from gawking female fans. Hoffman’s Count, marketed heavily as the daring American who saved rock music from the limeys, is not even the protagonist, and is perhaps given an aggregate 30 minutes of screen time throughout the film’s myriad sexcapades. The true protagonist is a youngster named Carl (Tom Sturridge) who has been surreptitiously assigned to the Radio Rock crew by his mother in an attempt to reunite him with his estranged father. This father/son side plot is hastily overshadowed, though, by Carl’s attempts to lose his virginity, which encompasses the entire first act of the film. So, the plot may be a bit willynilly — that’s to be expected from such a champion of trite ensemble comedy — but what about the rock? The film’s soundtrack, which features such iconic rockers as The
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RATING: Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Who and Jimi Hendrix, is a rebellious rocker’s delight, despite being a glaring anachronism to the film’s ’66 context (many songs, especially David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” came years later). The cast, composed of such commanding personalities as Hoffman, Bill Nighy (“Love Actually,” Davy Jones from Bruckheimer’s “Pirates”), Nick Frost (“Hot Fuzz,”“Shaun of The Dead”) and Rhys Ifans (“Little Nicky”) should be another saving grace. The plot moves so briskly between rock music montages and ir-
relevant bonding vignettes, though, that it’s impossible to give any particular character any allegiance besides the horny, young Carl. In a BBC interview, director Curtis claimed that his film was not meant to be an accurate recounting of the history of pirate radio, but was rather meant for pure entertainment. In this respect “Pirate Radio” is somewhat successful. What it presents is not history, but a romantic mythologizing of what history could have been — a drawnout, often-irrelevant mythology delivered via endless montages
of romance and rebellion, but a watchable mythology nonetheless. Hop aboard “Pirate Radio” with the family or the significant other if you want to keelhaul two hours of your life, but don’t expect to uncover any buried treasure.
“Pirate Radio” Directed by Richard Curtis Universal Pictures 135 min. Rated R
‘An Education’ a pitch-perfect evocation of ’62 Britain By Justyn Dillingham Arizona Daily Wildcat Some films are worth seeing for their credit sequences alone, and “An Education,” with its bouncy, witty opening, is among them. It sets us up to believe we’re about to see a giddy romp, and we are — but it’s also exactly what it promises in its title: an “education.” It’s about how you learn more, sometimes, from giddy romps than you do from all those years of Latin. Carey Mulligan stars as Jenny, a smart and pretty 16-year-old who spends her days sitting quietly in class and her evenings lounging around in bed listening to her French pop records — until her father (Alfred Molina) bangs on the ceiling and tells her to get back to her studying. One afternoon, as she faces an unpleasant walk home from her cello lesson through the rain, an older man named David (Peter Sarsgaard) stops his car and offers her a ride. Jenny at first politely declines, as we would. Then she takes another look at the man and agrees. He’s not particularly handsome, but his manner is so open and engaging that she can’t imagine he’s anything but a perfect gentleman. Before Jenny knows it, David’s picking her up to take her to jazz clubs and coming over with an armful of packages on her birthday, and taking her to hang out with people who say things like, “I always think I’m going to my own funeral when I listen to classical music.” Her parents are so completely won over when they meet the charming David that they wind up letting him take her on
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RATING: weekend trips — first to Oxford, then to Paris . The film makes an interesting point about class. Jenny’s father, so determined to have nothing but the best for his daughter, doesn’t see anything wrong with marrying her off to this fabulous, seemingly wealthy man, with his celebrity impressions and stories about dinners at Oxford — despite the fact that he’s more than twice her age. In its quiet way, this film is rather suspenseful. It’s so obvious to the audience that something must be amiss with David, despite all appearances, that we wind up scrutinizing his every move, like someone scrunching up his eyes to better see a far-off object. And the film lets us know that Jenny is studying him just as intently; when she receives the first hint that something might be shady, she reacts as if a bomb has gone off.
To reveal any more would be criminal, but the film’s visual deftness deserves praise. “An Education” looks bright and appealing at first, but the director, Lone Scherfig , darkens the film’s color palette during the second half, as Jenny grows disillusioned. London’s bright colors become bleaker-looking; more and more scenes seem to take place at night. “An Education” is a nearly flawless movie, pitch-perfect in its evocation of a specific time and place. We never feel that we’re anywhere but 1962 England, and while we never step outside Jenny’s perspective, we come to know the world around her a little bit better, perhaps, than she can. Mulligan is delightful as Jenny, but the supporting cast, particularly Olivia Williams (who played Jason Schwartzman’s teacher in “Rushmore”) as Jenny’s favorite
teacher, is equally good. Molina, as Jenny’s father, hits every line with a kind of gruff explosiveness, like an old baseball player meeting the ball with his bat. Sarsgaard almost steals the movie as the allbut-unreadable David. It’s to his credit that he manages to suggest an inner life for David without resorting to clichés. Some critics have complained that the film is predictable. But after a diet of tepid, clichéridden coming-of-age dramas, “An Education” is like a drink of cool, fresh water. Again and again, we tense up as we expect to meet a cliché — only to relax as the film lightly dances around it. Near the end, a major character makes his exit from the movie in a manner at once anticlimactic and utterly appropriate. “This is what would really happen,” I thought to myself — and it’s what most movies would never let happen. The film is as warm and winning as Sarsgaard’s smile — and, ultimately, just as tricky. The only jarring moment comes during the closing credits, when we’re suddenly knocked out of time by the presence of an obviously contemporary ballad. It isn’t a terrible song, but it reminds us that we aren’t in 1962 anymore — that we have, like Jenny, left that world behind. It’s the only truly sad moment in this sublimely bittersweet film.
“An Education” Directed by Lane Scherfig BBC Films 95 min. Rated PG-13
The weekend’s top-grossing movies 1. 2012 2. Disney’s A Christmas Carol 3. Precious 4. The Men Who Stare at Goats 5. Michael Jackson’s This Is It 6. The Fourth Kind 7. Couples Retreat 8. Paranormal Activity 9. Law Abiding Citizen 10. The Box — courtesy of yahoo.com
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• wednesday, november 18, 2009 • arizona daily wildcat
From page to pixel: the best fi lm-to-movie adaptations By Anna Swenson Arizona Daily Wildcat
Though I love movies just as much as the average popcorn-mongering American consumer, I usually prefer the book version of an adapted tale. There are, however, a few exceptions where the visual spectacle, live action or killer special effects tell a story so well that film is just a better medium. To honor the Friday release of a little movie called “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” here is a list of the best bookto-movie adaptations to add to your Netflix queue while you await the 2010 release of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”
1. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962):
While it is no substitute for reading the original, this movie based on the American classic about racism and growing up in the Depression-era South is a classic on its own. Gregory Peck gives a wonderful performance as the inimitable Atticus Finch, making this my all-time favorite black-andwhite movie. The main character’s friend Dill has one of my favorite lines spoken by a five-year-old this side of a Peanuts comic strip:“I’m little, but I’m old.”
3. The Notebook (2004):
The Nicholas Sparks novel upon which this chick flick favorite is based is more nuanced and life-like than the movie it inspired. But really, no one watches “The Notebook” for nuance and realism. You watch “The Notebook” for kisses-in-the-rain scenes, love like you believed in when you were a little girl and to seem like a softy to attract chicks. I like unhappy endings and storytelling subtleties more than most, but I love a shirtless, wet, decidedly unsubtle Noah Calhoun, too. If you like “The Notebook,” get excited for the movie version of Sparks’ novel “Dear John” starring Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum, which comes out in 2010.
4. The Shawshank Redemption (1994):
Based on a Stephen King short story, this moving tale of Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins in prison changes a pretty major part of the plot. But unlike most butchering book-film changes, this one actually makes the story better. A
5. Into the Wild (2007):
The Jon Krakauer book about the life of runaway eccentric Chris McCandless is deep, moving, and a wonderful book. But the Sean Penn film based on Krakauer’s book is in every way more kind and reverent to the brave life of the disillusioned college grad who takes to the vagabond life to escape his family, expectations and society. To see where McCandless went and what he did instead of getting a nine-to-five, rather than just reading about it, helps the viewer understand McCandless’ decision with much more sympathy and clarity. It’s a great book, but it’s a transcendent movie.
potential to be really depressing. So far, it looks like Jackson is thankfully focusing on the more positive parts of the book: the very human characters, imaginative premise and lovably awkward protagonist Susie Salmon. My favorite line from the book sets the tone for this dreamy, teary story: “Our only kiss was like an accident, a beautiful gasoline rainbow.” Whether you like only books or only movies or both, I hope you enjoy this
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So this movie based on Alice Sebold’s 2002 novel doesn’t hit theatres until next month. But based on the solid casting, Peter Jackson as director and the crazy, awesome trailer I’ve been watching way too often, I’m pretty sure this adaptation will do justice to the bestseller on which it’s based. The book follows the imagined afterlife of a girl who gets raped and dies in the first 50-odd pages, so it has the
1.“Ford County” by John Grisham 2.“The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown 3.“Kindred in Death” by J. D. Robb 4.“The Gathering Storm” by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson 5.“The Lacuna” by Barbara Kingsolver
1.“Have a Little Faith” by Mitch Albom 2.“Superfreakonomics” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner 3.“What the Dog Saw” by Malcolm Gladwell 4.“Arguing with Idiots” written and edited by Glenn Beck, Kevin Balfe and others 5.“The Book of Basketball” by Bill Simmons
6. The Lovely Bones (2009):
2. Alice in Wonderland (1951):
As I never would have imagined while watching this animated acid trip as a kid, the book upon which it was based is even more off-the-wall than the Disney classic. While there is no matching the oddly-childish menace of author Lewis Carroll’s poem/prose edition, the movie’s smoking bugs, size-altering ‘shrooms and lingering Cheshire smile capture the fun/fever-dream essence of the beloved children’s book. The new Tim Burton version sounds intriguing, but it won’t replace the first movie in my heart.
touching tale of guilt, life and doing the right thing, this is the Stephen King you probably don’t know about, but should. And come on, it’s Morgan Freeman.
Bestselling Books for the Week of Nov. 18, 2009
Photo courtesy of filmshaft.com
list of the Bibliophile’s favorites from Kindle screen to big screen. See you in the line for the midnight showing of “New Moon” … it’s okay, I’ll pretend I don’t recognize you either.
1.“The Blind Side” by Michael Lewis 2.“Our Choice” by Al Gore 3.“Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin 4.“Freakonomics” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner 5.“The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls — courtesy of The New York Times
‘Asterios Polyp’ careful sketch of a man By Steven Kwan Arizona Daily Wildcat “Asterios Polyp” by cartoonist David Mazzucchelli is one of the best and most ambitious graphic novels of the year. Asterios Polyp is an architect whose designs, while awardwinning, have never actually been built. He is a professor who writes and speaks with the dry, arch tone of a person only accustomed to his own brilliance. Subsequently, he knows everything and has a theory about everything and everyone. He was married to a shy and insecure Japanese-German sculptor, Hana Sonnenschein , before she divorced him. During a stormy night, Asterios is on his bed watching what appears to be a porn video. His apartment is strewn with overdue bills, dirty laundry and unwashed dishes. Lightning strikes the building,
setting it on fire. He grabs three things — a mechanical watch, a lighter and a Swiss army knife — and leaves. He then takes an outbound bus to begin his journey of remembrance and rediscovery. Mazzucchelli has worked in the field of comic books for nearly 30 years, yet surprisingly “Asterios Polyp” is his first original graphic novel. He was known for his 1980s collaborations with writer Frank Miller on “Daredevil: Born Again” and “Batman: Year One.” Mazzucchelli then left his brief but successful tenure in mainstream superhero comics to create an influential three-issue anthology, “Rubber Blanket.” He then worked with Paul Karasik to adapt Paul Auster’s “City of Glass.” In many comics, dialogue and captions can be removed and the overall story can still be understood. There is even a subgenre of comics devoted to wordless stories. “Asterios
Polyp” is one of those rare comic books where the words and art are so entwined, as the characters are to each other, that it’s impossible to enjoy them separately. Mazzucchelli’s deft artwork showcases how the comic books can tell a story in ways unique to the medium. For a graphic novel, “Asterios Polyp” is a dense read. Not only does Mazzucchelli touch on architecture as befitting his main character, but he also covers ancient Greek philosophy, art, mythology, quantum mechanics, religion, feng shui and smoking, and alludes to Orpheus , Adam and Eve, St. Francis of Assisi and more. Despite all of these weighty topics and references, Mazzucchelli integrates them without unbalancing the story while also sneaking in some humor. Duality is a major theme in “Asterios Polyp,” with each narrative thread shown through
the use of duotones based on the primary colors of printing: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. In a flashback, Asterios is shown regaling everyone at a faculty party with bold repartee in restrained shades of cyan while Hana’s personal history of quiet insecurity is told against a loud backdrop of magenta. The sketchy magenta lines of Hana and the precise cyan lines of Asterios slowly meld together as they talk and fall in love during the party. “Asterios Polyp” rewards careful rereading. Details that were missed or didn’t make sense the first time are illuminated during successive reads: Asterios wearing a red sweater, the foreshadowing of Asterios and Hana’s fates, the visual refrain of certain sequences, the introduction of more colors. It makes Asterios’ personal realization, which centers on a foot blister, all the more remarkable.
Mazzucchelli’s tour de force dazzles with its impressive, heady style but it ultimately wins us over with its slow, steady heart.
Image courtesy of Pantheon Books
Arizona Daily Wildcat
By Dave Green
9 4 1 5 2 8 6 7 5 3 8 6 9 1 3 5 8 1 2 7 8 7 6 9 4 2 6 8 3 1 5
2009 Conceptis Puzzles, Dist. by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
arizona daily wildcat • wednesday, november 18, 2009 •
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• wednesday, november 18, 2009 • arizona daily wildcat
step in time
Jacob RaderArizona Daily Wildcat
Dance master’s students Gregg Hurley and Kristin Chew perform the act ‘Four Bits’ during last Friday’s Vaudeville Revue at the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre.
Levi’s ad a gem — but a deceptive one
continued from page B1
passionately to the last word as the minor-keyed music fades. A shirtless man runs through crackling fireworks before two people run along a dark beach bearing a banner reading “Go Forth.” Directed by SoCal native and NYU grad Cary Fukunaga and filmed mostly in areas of Katrinaravaged New Orleans, these spots are everything you could hope for in an ad: artistic, smart, brave and varied, they try to make you feel good, but also think — and, of course, buy the product. If all it takes for this determined, sweaty, sexy America to become a reality is to buy a pair of Levi’s, count me in. According to these ads, America is earth, youth, rebellion, literature and campfires — and a collective backside that looks great in a pair of blue jeans. This is genius marketing, capturing exactly the spirit of the times and the feeling of the people at this moment in history. We relate to the shirtless, the dirty, the dark, the barefoot, the rough-around-the-edges. Our future is poorly lit, our present tense and tight. “I am the new American pioneer,”the Levi’s Web site reads in handwritten script superimposed over a snapshot of Niagara Falls.“No longer content to wait for better times. … I will work for better times.‘Cause no one built this country in suits,”it reads. The styling, the language and the unsmiling-yet-gorgeous models all catch exactly the tenure and the tension of the times. But don’t be fooled, O Pioneers: as much as we all would love to be a Levi-clad nation of sweaty, equal bodies perennial with freedom, law and love, Levi Strauss and Co. is the Man these advertisements suggest we stick it to. “Start a rebellion!” they shout, while they whisper: “buy our product.”While the company was started in the U.S. well over a century ago, the company closed
its last American plant in 2003. No matter how their ad plays to the cash-strapped ethos of today, they still sell $300 jeans. While the ad is not shiny and glossy like ad campaigns we’ve loved to hate in the past, it is only because those ad agency geniuses have tapped into the nation’s desire for the humble, matte and scuffed. As advertising commenter Seth Stevenson wrote at Slate.com,“This 60-second film is, to me, a small artistic gem. Right up until that Levi’s logo at the end.” Levi’s is working with activists to better meet fair labor practices, has increased its use of organic cotton, encourages energy-friendly linedrying in its care labels and has partnered with Goodwill to encourage people to donate used jeans. As environmental journalist Jen Boynton wrote on triplepundit.com, “It’s a genius partnership, and I have to say it felt like an authentic and effective effort to develop and market the partnership.” But is the company doing this because it is an ethical business, or because people feel better about shelling out major cash for jeans they think make the world better? The ads promote beautiful imagery, creative production, and expose the TV-watching public to more literature and art than they might otherwise encounter in a week. But if Levi Strauss and Co. is really going to convince any young counter-culturists to buy its pants, it is going to have to take off the ad agency suits. Take a note from your unwitting spokesman Uncle Walt: stop trying to manipulate us and maybe become one of us. We western youths call your bluff, Levi’s. We’ll watch your ads for free on YouTube, and sure, we’ll buy your jeans — at Goodwill. Keep your $300 stone washes and 501 flares — we go forth in jeans with holes and scuffs of our own making.
Centennial show already sold out
continued from page B1
has continued its success with its latest album, simply titled The Fray, which was released in February. With a little help from iTunes downloads, The Fray gained much attention despite the band’s hiatus for the last four years. Its resurgence proved the band’s ability to crank out more than a few hits off a single album. Given The Fray’s growing success, one can hope its appearance draws a better crowd than last semester’s Jay-Z, Kelly Clarkson, The Veronicas and Third Eye Blind financial disaster. Hopefully the band will not make
absurd dressing room requests, either — which last year included several food items and a plethora of liquids ranging from Fiji Water to hot tea. Luckily, ASUA is giving students and faculty a discount on tickets and providing a venue that offers a respite from the November chill. The Fray is sure to heat up the evening with its crowd-appeasing songs and wholesome demeanor. The Fray plays tonight at 8 p.m. at Centennial Hall. Admission: UA students/faculty/staff $40, $30, $20; general admission $45, $35, $25.