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April 2011


Table of Contents

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The Art of Documentary



The New It Crowd

The Evolution of Romantic Comedy

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The Borgias

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Cinemann Casts Jekyl and Paul Hyde

Cinemann: Volume VI, Issue 8 Editors in Chief

Andrew Demas Maggie Reinfeld Senior Editors

Matt Taub Alexandra Saali Faculty Advisor

Deborah Kassel

Associate Editors

Katie Cacouris, Tucker Caploe, Jessica Chi, Zoe Kestan, Staff Writers Alice Taranto, Sam Torres, Charles Sherr, Emma Specter, Hannah Jun

Contributing Writers

Rachel Buissereth, Anise Charles, David Feuerstein, Jacob Frackman, Abigail Greenbaum, Bennett Heller, Noah Margulis, Jay Palekar, Savannah Smith, Rachel Simerka-Smith, Henry Warder

Letter From the Editors Dear Reader, Welcome to the eighth issue of Cinemann! In a relatively stagnant time for new movies, we will focus more on trends in the movie world with this issue. We will explore documentary filmmaking, the rising of some impresive young stars, and the different kinds of sequels that get made, among other things. While we hope these trends prove interesting, we also hope for some more exciting fare than what we have now to hit theaters in time for the next issue. Yours Truly, Andrew Demas and Maggie Reinfeld

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The evolution and history of Sequels and Trilogies is a fascinating one. There have been many, all with different reasons for being made: artistic vision, visualization of a books series, and of course, making money. Sequels almost always fall into one of these 5 categories: 1) a genuinely good movie that is good independent of its predecessor (The Godfather: Part II), 2) a decent movie that is somewhat original, but is enjoyable due mostly to nostalgia for the first one (the sequels of Toy Story and Wayne’s World) 3) a simply bad movie that doesn’t contain the same joke as the first one (Meet the Fo-

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ckers and Little Fockers), or one in which none of the stars signed up for the sequel (Caddy Shack 2 lacking Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield), or a film with an entirely new theme (The Whole Ten Yards), 4) an intensely bad movie that is an obvious money grab (the sequels of Jaws and Major League), and 5) a truly insulting film that goes against everything for which the original stood (see Fletch Lives, Grease 2 and The Godfather: Part III). Hollywood just keeps doing the same thing. When one recalls the best comedies of the last 20 years, set titles include Austin Powers (all three of

them), Old School, Zoolander, and of course, The Hangover. To anyone that knows sequels, it should come as no surprise that people are either in talks to make, in agreement to make, or are already working on sequels for all of the above films. Same deal for some of the best action movies in recent years: The Bourne Legacy, The Dark Knight Rises and Avatars 2 and 3. Not all of these movies are actually going to end up getting made, but many of them will. It is a pretty safe bet that at least 60% of them will end up subpar, if not terrible. The most inexcusable to me are Austin Powers and The Bourne Leg-


to create an entirely different movie while retaining the same feel as in the first (as in The Godfather: Part II). And when Hollywood actually manages to beat the odds and make a good sequel, people still remain unsatisfied. They still want to squeeze a little more money out of a movie franchise. As a result, each sequel, or threequel, or fourquel, just gets worse. You have to quit while you’re ahead. I think most of the American public has realized this by now, but when will Hollywood? Maybe sometime after Hangover 6.


acy (which won’t even have Matt Damon) because both of them have already made three reasonably good and successful movies, which should be enough. I would like to think that these sequels will all be as good as the originals, as I thoroughly enjoyed most of the movies I have mentioned, but I know better than to expect that. Unfortunately, most of them will be disappointing and won’t approach the quality of their predecessors. The key to a good sequel is to not make the same movie in a different setting (à la Meet the Fockers), but



By Ryan Thier

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The Art of the Documentary By Nicholas McCombe



ovies are a momentary escape from the problems of the world, a retreat from the chaos and confusion of real life. The reason that we like fiction so much is that it is fake; the guns and explosions, though inspired by reality, are far from it. As much as we might not want to admit it, movies are incredibly unrealistic and it is this fiction that we wrap our minds around. It is for this reason that documentarians are such heroes. They won’t let our minds drift into fiction, they won’t let us escape into a world of gratuitous flames. Instead, they dedicate themselves to illuminating the human condition. Many of the documentary’s crew risk their lives and are even imprisoned for their efforts. Documentaries deserve special praise because they tell us what we do not want to hear, but what we need to hear. At the recent Academy Awards, the nominees for Best Documentary - Feature were Restrepo, Waste Land, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Gasland, and Inside Job; the latter of which won the Oscar. Of these nominees I have seen and enjoyed two of them. Restrepo, set in a remote outpost in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan, tells a very real story about the realities of war, with much action compiled into a 90-minute

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movie. Exit Through the Gift Shop chronicles the lives of the world’s most famous street artists and how street art has evolved over the past decade. Both of these films and in fact all of the films nominated for the award are shinning examples of a documentary genre that is increasing in importance. In the past, documentaries have attracted thrill seekers like National Geographic. This is not to say that National Geographic does not make some great documentaries. Restrepo, for example, was a National Geographic film. Audiences who are newly willing to watch a documentary have lead to the rise of the genre. The watershed moment for the industry in recent times was An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s film on the environment. It highlighted major social, cultural and political turmoil surrounding the issue. We might not have gone in with open arms to see the film, but it opened our eyes to the real issues. Restrepo was a great film, I even watched it twice, and I can count on one hand the number of movies I have liked enough to watch twice. In the documentary world it is the equivalent to Mission Impossible, featuring plenty of action. The base where the filmmakers stayed saw threats every single day; they risked their lives to follow these soldiers everywhere they went. I also loved Exit Through the Gift Shop,

whose intriguing title has absolutely nothing to do with what the movie is. For the past decade, a street artist who calls himself Mr. Brain Wash chronicled the lives of some of the world’s most famous street artists, including Bansky, whose work now sells for millions of dollars. The street art world is so secretive and such a niche culture that until now it has been closed to outsiders. In addition to shedding light on a very interesting walk of life, I found that Exit Through the Gift Shop proved both how important art is and how meaningless it is. The main character and the man behind the camera, after recording the lives of others, decides to try to make himself into a word renowned street artist. After only a few months he sets up a successful show of his not particularly creative or original art, selling over a million dollars worth of it in a week. This is contrasted with the efforts of artists like Bansky trying to open art to the common man traversing a street. I found both of the films to be great and from what I have heard of the other nominees they are equally worthy of viewing. Documentaries are the diamonds in the rough of the film world, often produced independently and lacking much clout, but they deserve your interest. From what I have seen they have earned it.


The New IT CROWD By Savannah Smith

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marked a new decade, but it also marked a new era of movies and a new group of movie stars. These actors’ and actresses’ 2010 performances make them ones to keep an eye out for over the next few years:

Jesse Eisenberg


What he’s been in: In 2010, Eisenberg starred in The Social Network, also commonly known as “the Facebook movie,” which tells the back story of the world’s largest social networking website. For his role as Mark Zuckerberg, the genius, slightly obnoxious, and in the movie’s case, witty creator of Facebook, Eisenberg was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor. Why he’s popular: Doing an amazing job playing the quick talking, random-factspurting Mark Zuckerberg is a big accomplishment that has earned him lots of talk. What’s coming up: In 2011, Eisenberg can be seen (or heard, in one case) in Rio and 30 Minutes or Less.

Mila Kunis

Rooney Mara



Jennifer Lawrence

What’s she’s been in: In 2010, Jennifer Lawrence starred as Ree in Winter’s Bone – giving a performance that had her nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actress category. Why she’s popular: Getting nominated for an Oscar is enough to give any new actress lots of buzz and attention. What’s coming up: In 2011, you will be able to find Lawrence in The Beaver, House at the End of the Street, and X-Men: First Class.


What she’s been in: In 2010, Mila Kunis played Lily in the psychological thriller Black Swan. Kunis also played a small role in the comedy Date Night and also has been the voice of Meg Griffin on Family Guy for the past twelve years. Why she’s popular: Well, for one she’s attractive. Also, she did an amazing job as the devious, cunning Lily in Black Swan. What’s coming up: In 2011, you can find Kunis starring in Friends With Benefits alongside Justin Timberlake. What she’s been in: Rooney Mara is the third young star on this list from The Social Network, in which she played Erica Albright, Zuckerberg’s ex-girlfriend. Some of her other past credits include: A Nightmare on Elm Street and Youth in Revolt. Why she’s popular: Her upcoming role as Lisbeth Salander in the adaptation of hit book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a very coveted one, and so the fact that she got it will likely make her a big name. What’s coming up: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

What she’s been in: In 2010, Emma starred in Easy A as the hilarious, sarcastic Olive Prendergast. Other past credits include Zombieland and The House Bunny. Why she’s popular: Spiderman, Easy A, and just being an overall good, hilarious actress can all be attributed to why she’s popular. What’s coming up: Emma Stone has a huge career ahead. In 2011, you can find her in Crazy, Stupid, Love and the film adaption of The Help and in 2012 she will be staring alongside Andrew Garfield in the untitled Spider-Man Reboot.

Hailee Steinfeld



What she’s been in: Hailee Stienfeld made her big screen debut this past winter playing Mattie Ross in True Grit - a performance that gave her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Oh yeah, and she’s only fourteen. Why she’s popular: Acting alongside famous names such as Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon in True Grit and not only holding her own, but shining and doing a phenomenal job is a large feat – and not just because she’s only fourteen. What’s coming up: Nothing yet, but when an actress this young has this much talent, we’re bound to see her again soon.

Andrew Garfield

Emma Stone


What he’s been in: 2010 was a big year for Andrew Garfield. Eight days into 2010, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, in which Garfield played Anton, was released to the big screen. Later in 2010, Garfield played Tommy in the film Never Let Me Go. His 2010 resumé doesn’t end there, however. Garfield also performed alongside Eisenberg in The Social Network as Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg’s best friend and one of the co-founders of Facebook. Garfield got nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Social Network. Why he’s popular: Andrew Garfield’s popular ity can be attributed to a combination of many things. His role in The Social Network and the others films last year, being cast as the new SpiderMan, and being an attractive Brit can’t hurt. What’s coming up: We’ll have to wait another year, but in 2012 Garfield’s going to be taking over Tobey Maguire’s old role in the currently untitled Spider-Man Reboot.

What’s she’s been in: In 2010, thirteen year-old Chloe Moretz played badass Hit-Girl in Kick Ass, Angie Steadman in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Abby in the horror film Let Me In. Why she’s popular: Her performance of Hit-Girl in Kick Ass was pretty amazing – what other actresses could play a 12-year-old girl who beats up about 25 men at once, takes a bullet, uses weapons, and curses like a sailor? What’s coming up: Chloe Moretz has a busy year ahead. In 2011, she can be found in films such as: Hugo Cabret, Hick, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, and Mirlitons.


Chloe Moretz


Alex Pettyfer

What he’s been in: Okay, so he wasn’t really in anything in 2010. However, he had two movies come out in early 2011. In February, he starred as John Smith in I Am Number Four, and in March he starred as Kyle in the film Beastly. Why he’s popular: British, handsome, and a talented actor, Alex Pettyfer has it all, including two films in two months – enough to spark chatter among moviegoing girls anywhere. What’s coming up: Nothing definite quite yet (although there are a number of rumored roles), but from the looks of it we’re going to be seeing a lot of Pettyfer soon.

The Evolut i of Rom ant Comedy



By Sophie Dizengoff

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n any one of our many snow days, people love to sit down, relax, and pop in a movie. A romantic comedy may make you laugh or cry, but a happy ending is guaranteed. Typically they consist of two people who seem to have nothing in common, but through hilarious obstacles, find love. In the movies, finding love has been a humorous endeavor from the earliest of time, with romantic comedies such as Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride. Shakespeare’s comedy opened with two unknown lovers throwing insults and disses at each other. As the story progresses, despite very emotional moments, we see the two lovers get set up by their friends in hilarious scenes. Later, the guards of the home miscommunicate the story bringing about much confusion, hence the name Much Ado About Nothing. The Princess Bride sees the two passionate lovers escaping from senseless

ion tic pirates, one of whom is an emotional giant. Comedy though, has changed throughout the years and now many romantic comedies take place in high schools, such as the popular new movie Easy A. As rumors spread, the importance of reputation becomes apparent to protagonist Olive. She embraces her newfound popularity and with a bold attitude allows herself to be misrepresented, throughout a series of funny moments. Like in all romantic comedies, love finds her and she rides off into the sunset with her newfound love. The beauty is that despite a typical story line, every movie has a twist; whether it is that the love is where least expected like in the movie 27 Dresses, or found in a long lasting friendship like in 13 Going on 30. In 27 Dresses, Katherine Heigl plays the sister who is always the second best, yet between

ridiculous fights and hilarious outfits she finds love where she never expected to. Jennifer Garner stars in 13 Going on 30, in which she learns that as life passes you by, you can never forget the important things. Throughout the evolution of film, romantic comedies have become known as “chick flicks,” but the two are completely different. Anything with romance is stereotyped as girly, hence the nickname, but the idea behind romantic comedies versus plain romance is to mix love with humor, allowing anyone to sit down and laugh out loud. The cheesiness of love is blinded by the humor that comes with it, because lets face it, love can be funny. Whenever you see the


words “romantic comedy” do not think “chick flick,” think comedic love. Next time you’re debating which movie to watch, remember that romantic comedies, no matter how old, will always bring a smile.

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Cinemann’s Casting of Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde Although the story of Jekyll and Hyde has already been adapted into a movie on five separate occasions ranging from a 1908 horror film to a 2006 straight-to-DVD about a medical student, no one version has stuck to the original story. The plot of Jekyll and Hyde is perfect for a movie, and another should be made, sticking closely to the book and with better direction and casting:

By Julia Pretsfelder


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Depp could also play Hyde as even though Hyde and Jekyll are supposed to look different, makeup or special effects could transform him. Depp plays mentally disturbed people very well, as he did in Sweeney Todd. Even without much makeup Depp transform through his acting skills.

JEKYL With experience in movies inspired by Gothic stories like Sleepy Hollow, Depp has shown that he can play crazy. His characters are usually offbeat, non-typical, and very memorable. It would be a nice change for him to play a seemingly normal and straight-laced character like Dr. Jekyll.


Guy Ritchie would direct this movie very well because he adapted another Gothic novel, Sherlock Holmes into a film. He also uses physicality, important in the distinction between Jekyll and Hyde, a lot in his movies, and sets a theme and mood for a movie with the setting, such as using London as a character. He could use this to highlight the differences between Jekyll and Hyde through their environments and appearance.




UTTERSON Utterson, like Laurie’s famous TV character Dr. House, is a shrewd judge of character who obsesses over the personal lives of his friends. However, Utterson is more outwardly honest and caring. He isn’t very similar to Laurie’s usually sardonic character, so this role could be an interesting change for him.

ENFIELD Laurie and Law would make a good pair because both usually play witty characters. Laurie’s House is inspired by Sherlock Holmes, while Law has recently played Holmes’s best friend, Watson. Enfield is similar to Utterson, but as a younger man, he is less reserved and is more openly curious about other people, as he is about Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll. Their wry acting styles could play.

LANYON Firth can play a somewhat rigid and old-fashioned, but goodhearted person very well, as he displayed in The King’s Speech. One of Lanyon’s main fixtures is his disapproval of Jekyll’s experimentation with medicine. In nearly every part he plays, however, Firth makes his characters very likeable.

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The Borgias


By Alexandra Saali

istorical fiction novels are my favorite beachread. Why? Because even though their plots and characters are typically no more sophisticated than those of the popular Gossip Girl series, I can justify my indulgence as “educational” since the word history is attached to the genre. Recently, shows like Spartacus and The Tudors have allowed me to sate my

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thirst for trash (guilt free) via the television. Not surprisingly, I was ecstatic to learn that Showtime planned to chronicle the exploits of the infamous Borgia Family, whose members are amongst my all time favorite historical figures. Director Neil Jordan’s new series opens with the dying words of Pope Innocent VIII in 1492, speaking of the papacy itself: “It was pure once. We have all sullied it with our greed and lechery. Which of you will wash it clean?” However, Pope Innocent’s successor, Rodrigo Borgia, must have been a Satanist because

once elected Pope he did the very opposite. The Borgias recounts Rodrigo’s rise in power and the resultant effect of his ascent on the entire Borgia family. Main characters Rodrigo, his three sons (Cesare, Juan, and Joffre) and his nefarious daughter Lucrezia, make for a dangerously seductive cast whose actions will not fail to continue shocking even jaded New Yorkers. While some critics have argued that the amorality of the characters will prevent audiences from developing an attachment to them and therefore hurt the series’ success, I disagree. Each


character is attractive enough and the show graphic enough to keep even the most disconnected viewer watching. The only time the series may drag is when too much emphasis and time is allotted to the politics of the Vatican. In addition to the original crime family themselves, the series is crowded with a bounty of cardinals, mistresses and assassins. Believe me when I tell you everyone is on a self-serving mission, and holiness (especially chastity) is nothing but a front. Cesare Borgia is perhaps the chief representative of the show’s sexual and

violent core. In fact, Cesare is the very man for whom the term “Machiavellian” was coined; Niccolo Machiavelli has cited The Prince as a representation of Cesare Borgia. Yet, my personal favorite member of the family is Lucrezia who is far from powerless. Instead she is perhaps the most dangerous weapon of the Borgia’s. If you thought Anne Boleyn was the ultimate vixen of the Renaissance, you have no idea who Lucrezia Borgia is. Beauty, whit, sexual curiosity and an absent conscience make her a pernicious companion. Lucrezia- married thrice- is often accused

by historians of poisoning her father’s enemies with arsenic she kept in a decadent ring. While teen classic Cruel Intentions is said to be modeled after Dangerous Liasons, I cannot help but wonder if Lucrezia’s arsenic ring inspired director Roger Kumble’s take on Katharyn Merteull, who kept cocaine in her cross. Are you interested yet? I know I’ll be watching every Sunday night.

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Cinemann April 2011  

Welcome to the eighth issue of Cinemann! In a relatively stagnant time for new movies, we will focus more on trends in the movie world with...