Writing Samples from my time at Imprint Publications
Zero payment for lots of enjoyment Free movies and music in Waterloo Park Emma Tarswell; Staff Reporter
On nice, warm summer nights, the last thing you want to do is coop yourself up inside to watch a movie or listen to a band. Although itʼs always fun, who wants to be inside when the weather outside is so gorgeous? Last summer, the City of Waterloo, Princess Cinemas and The Beat Goes On found a solution to this problem: take the music and the movies outside. Waterloo Park was the venue for the first Music and Movies in the Park last year. Four films were shown with four bands throughout the summer, under the stars and on a huge outdoor screen. This year they continue the tradition with four different films and musical performances.
Event co-ordinator and founder, John Rocchetta of The Beat Goes On says that the idea for the event came to him while he and his wife were travelling out east. “We were in the Halifax area and attended a movie and music event in a harbour. We enjoyed it a lot and thought to bring it back to Waterloo. It seemed like a great community-building venue.”
The decision to have the event again wasnʼt difficult at all for Rocchetta. He said that last yearʼs turnout was “phenomenal — double the turnout we expected” and that throughout the year “people kept asking if we were doing it again.” This immense popularity made it easy to go ahead with an encore.
In the past the films shown had been more music based, including The Blues Brothers and Buena Vista Social Club. This year, however, they are more family-oriented, with both Night at the Museum and Happy Feet being shown. According to Rocchetta, this is because last year many people brought their children with them. This year the films are geared for all ages and will hold the attention of the younger set for a longer period of time.
The musical performers are mostly well-known local bands. Each band shares its theme with the movie that will be shown after the performance. For example, a jazz band precedes Casablanca. Many of the bands this year performed last year and were chosen again due to the draw they enjoyed in the past as well as their local popularity. In addition to the movies and music, local merchants will be in attendance selling everything from homemade clothing to novelty items. Rocchetta believes that this will add to the homey feel of each night and create a festival atmosphere for the movie and music-goers.
Beginning on July 12 with Night at the Museum and the Latin band Zorba, the event continues weekly until August 16 with Casablanca and The Shadow Wolfe Jazz Trio. The two weeks in between will show
Neil Young: Live at Massey Hall 1971, with musical performances by the Water Street Band Blues, and Happy Feet with Traces performing.
The event will be held in the Bandshell at Waterloo Park and is free to all members of the community. Bands begin to play at 7:30 p.m. and films start at dusk.
Anderson stays on Track Emma Tarswell; Staff Reporter
Wes Anderson films always seem to have recurring themes: death, suicide, estranged families, sibling rivalry and general unhappiness with life, The Darjeeling Limited is no different. The Darjeeling Limited is the story of three brothers; Francis (Owen Wilson), Peter (Adrian Brody) and Jack (Jason Schwartzman). Francis gets the other two to reluctantly come on a type of spiritual journey through India to reconnect after a year of not speaking. He spends the majority of the time telling them what to do and planning their days, going so far as to give them laminated itineraries. Each has his own problem: Francis has recently crashed his motorcycle and is visibly scarred; Peter is expecting a child and still mourns the death of his father; and Jack has just ended a relationship with a woman he still loves. The three travel through India doing drugs, visiting temples, purchasing odd local items and fighting in the way that only siblings can. Through an encounter with three young boys, the brothers realize that they are in fact brothers and put their problems aside to find their mother (Angelica Huston) who has become a nun in the Himalayas. Every aspect of excellent filmmaking goes into this movie. Andersonʼs set dresser and costumer did an amazing job in setting the scene and creating the rather eccentric characters. The train, the luggage and the bathrobe Schwartzman sports throughout the film, all add to the attention to detail that makes an Anderson film. The majority of the actors have been in other Anderson films, and have always been superb. Schwartzman, Wilson and Huston all give performances on par with those from the other Anderson films they have stared in. For the first time, though, Adrian Brody is starring. I must say that I never really liked the films he has been in, but his character, Peter, seems to be a perfect fit; heʼs a tad odd and Brodyʼs physical look corresponds well with this. He really stands out and will hopefully make a good addition as a recurring cast member of Anderson’s films. My only real criticism of the film came at the very beginning, when the words "Please watch Hotel Chevalier," appeared on the screen. As I spent two days before seeing The Darjeeling Limited looking for Hotel Chevalier online, I was not impressed. Apparently, it is supposed to be on iTunes for free, but on closer inspection I discovered that it is only on iTunes in the U.S. I donʼt think it was a detriment to the film but I think watching Hotel Chevalier would have made a few things make a little more sense in The Darjeeling Limited. Hotel Chevalier follows Jason Schwartzmanʼs character on a 24-hour stop in Paris, where he meets up with his ex-girlfriend, Natalie Portman. In The Darjeeling Limited there is much discussion on Schwartzmanʼs relationship, from him wanting to call the ex, to a short story he writes that vents his frustration with her. I believe that I would have had a much better understanding of his character had I watched Hotel Chevalier. I will never know though, because itʼs still unavailable on iTunes in Canada. Anderson is one of my favourite directors; he has the ability to create a both dark and hilarious film that leaves an impression on the viewer. The Darjeeling Limited is just like all his other films in this regard, and I would recommend seeing it if you are a fan of his other work. The only thing I ask is that next time a prologue is created for a film, make it accessible to all, not just Americans. The Darjeeling Limited Directed by Wes Anderson. Produced by American Empirical Pictures. Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures.
There's No Terror In the Bang Emma Tarswell; Columnist
As Halloween approaches, theatres are bombarded with slasher flicks and monster movies, all in an attempt to terrify movie-goers and prepare them for All Hallows Eve. Lately though, the movies that have been coming out have either been torture based or bad remakes of past Halloween favourites. Although these films (sometimes) have the ability to scare, they usually donʼt offer any psychologically frightening effects and really arenʼt the best kind of terror. In the past though, one director has been able to create films that can scare an audience through good storytelling and interesting camera shots. That director was Alfred Hitchcock, whom Iʼm sure everyone is aware of. He began directing in the silent film era but was able to adapt his directorial style to “talkies” and eventually to colour films. His films usually focused on one character stuck in some type of bizarre situation - whether that situation was being asked to murder a strangerʼs father, visiting a creepy motel after stealing thousands, or witnessing a murder in a neighbouring apartment. The majority of his films use disorienting camera angles, close ups of panicked faces, and quick paced music, all creating a sense of discomfort and dread. He set all his films in very small rooms and sets. There is a safety created in this but also an uneasy feeling as the outside world becomes unknown, leaving characters vulnerable. Hitchcock, whose films garnered him the title of “Master of Suspense,” once stated that “there is no terror in the bang only the anticipation of it,” and clearly he lived and worked by these words. There are many great Hitchcock films, but those that create the most suspense are Psycho, Rear Window, Shadow of a Doubt, and The Birds. Psycho is probably the most famous of Hitchcockʼs films as it has the infamous shower scene. This scene appears relatively early in the film and, when the film was realized, terrified cinema goers. Now it can still create fear although itʼs not this scene that does so. Throughout the film, Hitchcock created a mood of suspense by never revealing the truth of the situation until the end, and by leaving everything open to any possibility. Norman Bates doesnʼt make anything any less unsettling either. In Rear Window, Jimmy Stewart as L.B. Jefferies is a photographer who is house-bound due to a broken leg. Jefferies spends his days spying on his neighbours from his apartment, and one night witnesses a murder. The rest of the film is spent trying to discover whether or not the murder actually took place, with many dangerous tasks taken by the two women in Jefferiesʼ life. Even though the murder is not seen on screen, Hitchcock is able to create a terrifying murderer whom viewers fear throughout the film. The scene where Grace Kelly, playing Jefferiesʼ girlfriend, is looking through the suspected murderʼs apartment holds viewers on the edge of their seats and is really quite nerve-racking. Shadow of a Doubt is claimed to be Hitchcockʼs favourite film. The film is set in a small community where a young girlʼs, Charlie (Teresa Wright), uncle comes to visit. This uncle is being followed by detectives and is a suspected serial killer. Throughout the film, Charlie struggles with the possibility that her uncle is a murderer. What is truly scary while watching this film, is watching the story from Charlieʼs viewpoint, we get frustrated when no one listens to her, and develop a bond with the character that makes the climatic scene all the more suspenseful. Really, Hitchcockʼs films are some of the few that can make viewers nervous while watching. What separates Hitchcockʼs films from the standard Halloween fare is their ability to cause viewers to jump at a noise after seeing them, or to wake up in the middle of the night slightly nervous that the birds are plotting to attack humanity. Over this Halloween, why not forget bloodbath or haunted house films and rent a classic Hitchcock that will actually make you think, and create a sense of fear from those thoughts.
Hollywood Loves Edith Head Emma Tarswell; Columnist
Women have long ventured to the cinema to see their favourite female celebrities, and to note what these actresses are wearing. Styles popularized by Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly are still popular among women today, but most of the styles idolized by many were in fact chosen by Edith Head, arguably the most influential film costume designer to date. In the late 1920s, Head began her career as a French and Art teacher looking to earn some extra money. She started as a costume assistant at Paramount, dressing minor characters but quickly moved up to head costume designer, her first film being She Done Him Wrong. From there she took on dressing the biggest names in Hollywood for some of the biggest films produced in the 20th century. During her seven-decade career, Head worked on over 400 films and dressed the most famous bodies of the time. The characters she designed for were often fairly wealthy, which gave her the creative liberty to design grandiose dresses such as Grace Kelly始s golden gown in the masquerade scene of To Catch a Thief. Her elaborate designs for this type of character were beautiful, characterized by very full skirts and gorgeous fabrics, but Head also styled characters who lived on more moderate incomes. In Double Indemnity, Head dressed Barbara Stanwyck, who played the role of a housewife looking to bump off her husband for the insurance money. Stanwyck is dressed throughout the movie in pencil skits and sweaters; she looks like the average woman that cinema viewers would have passed on the streets in the mid-40s. The male characters of the film are all dressed in classic suits that reflect the daily styles of the time and add to the realism in the film. Although Head worked on many period pieces, from The Ten Commandments to Samson and Delilah, she preferred to work on films that were set in the present. She believed, as stated above, that contemporary costumes allowed for a sense of reality to those watching the films and her styles often became popular in every day fashion. Her designs also had to reflect the restrictions placed on her by studio executives, not to mention the government. In the 1920s and the majority of the 1930s, Head was given free reign with the budget for costumes enabling her to use any type of fabric and as much as was needed. With the outbreak of the Second World War, restrictions were placed on everyone in the United States and Europe. Textiles were included within these restrictions and everyone had to make due with less fabric I think that we have all heard of the women who had run out of nylons, so they began drawing a line up the back of their legs to imitate the lines that nylons would have made. This textile ration also applied to the production houses, and the war itself affected budgets for the houses as well. Head was forced to adapt by using less fabric and adopting the straighter silhouettes that became prominent in male and female styles. Once the war ended and rationing stopped, Head went back, as most designers did, to using more fabric than ever with huge pleated skirts covered in tulle and silks. Throughout her career she often commented on how difficult it was to compete with the egos of the stars that she dressed and the directors, who had very specific visions for their films. She believed that men were easier to work with than women simply because men did not care about the clothing they were put in. Her major contribution to male attire can be seen in films such as The Sting where Robert Redford and Paul Newman were styled in well cut suits and hats that mimicked the style of the 1930s. Like most Hollywood faces, Head was not free from controversy. Throughout the production of Sabrina, Head was at odds with Hubert de Givenchy, who wanted co-costume credit for many of the outfits chosen for Audrey Hepburn from his collection. Hepburn had also chosen many of the styles that Givenchy had presented to wear in the film. Head始s own ego came out when she refused to work on the film if she had to share credits with others. She went on to win the Academy Award, which she accepted with a minor thanks to Givenchy.
From now on when you are watching a classic film, keep an eye out for who the costume designer is. In many cases it will be Edith Head. Head worked until her death in the 1980s and the Universal lot has named the costume department after her. Her legacy to films lives on in every girl who throws on a black cocktail dress and long black gloves and pretends to be Holly Golightly. Head始s impact on films and popular culture is still relevant today with characters such as Edna Mode, from The Incredibles, being based on her and the copious number of famous styles that she created.