INSIDEBEAT NOVEMBER 4, 2010 • VOL. 28, NO. 19
THE WEEKLY ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE OF THE DAILY TARGUM
Fall fashion fit for Old Queens
Page 2 • Inside Beat
Going Back to Your Roots BY KATHERINE CHANG FILM EDITOR
For the longest time in entertainment, celebrities have gone on endless publicity stunts in which they advertise themselves as “going back to their roots,” whether it’s a singer doing a throwback to ’90s music or other eras (such as Christina Aguilera’s Back to Basics album), an actress paying homage to that actor she used to watch and adore as a child or even a filmmaker paying tribute to cinema gurus like Woody Allen or Steven Spielberg. It’s true: these are the most well-known ways of going back to the roots — locating a small, albeit important, event or occasion in history and somehow relating to it and correlating it with your current state of life, such as what we did with this
November 4, 2010
Column • Art
The Power of the Urinal
What were they thinking? BY AMANDA LITCHKOWSKI ART EDITOR
The unbelievable: week’s cover, a fashion shoot at Old Queens Campus. But it’s also really important to remember that, in addition to those in the entertainment business, there are plenty of other ways of going back to the roots, especially for the common Joe or Jane. For instance, America prides itself in being the melting pot of the world, where every American’s true cultural and ethnic backgrounds lie in that of another nation. For example, Chinese Americans will consider their home country to be the United States, but their motherland to be China (and in some cases, even Taiwan or Singapore). Every year, the Chinese government forks out thousands and thousands of dollars for college students of Chinese descent to come take a tour of the motherland, all for the price of a
plane ticket! It’s a great way to learn more about their ancestors, especially in their mother tongue. But it’s not only just the Chinese government that does this. Israel is well-known for its Jewish Heritage tours, and South Korea always welcomes its descendants back with open arms. These countries are all so rich in their culture and traditional history that it isn’t that difficult for their descendants to go back to pay a visit to the place where their ancestors once lived. Everyone has roots that lie in some sort of category, whether it be ethnicity, race, religion or even occupation, it’s all just a matter of about what you are endlessly passionate and exactly how and as what you define yourself. Our generation is all about the throwbacks, so at this point, it’s up to you to decide who you want to be and what you want to do.
EDITORIAL BOARD S TACY D OUEK .......................................................... EDITOR NATALIA TAMZOKE...................................................ASSOCIATE ROSANNA VOLIS.......................................................ASSISTANT
ARIBA ALVI.......................................................................................TV EDITOR EMILY GABRIELE......................................................................MUSIC EDITOR NATALIA TAMZOKE...............................................................THEATER EDITOR ROSANNA VOLIS......................................................................FASHION EDITOR AMANDA LITCHKOWSKI.................................................................ART EDITOR NANCY SANTUCCI...........................................................................COPY EDITOR RAMON DOMPOR..........................................................................PHOTO EDITOR KATHERINE CHANG....................................................................FILM EDITOR NIDHI SARAIYA..........................................................................BOOKS EDITOR ASHLEY PARK............................................................................ONLINE EDITOR
THIS WEEK’S CONTRIBUTORS TO INSIDE BEAT : Alex Natanzon Freddie Morgan Ryan Surujnath Jason Pearl Ciara Copell Zoe Szathmary Cover Photo Courtesy of Rowa Lee
A urinal that changed the art world
The culprit: Marcel Duchamp The down-low:
In the early COURTESY OF THE TATE COLLECTION 20th century, artists stayed true to their genres. Painters painted, sculptors sculpted and photographers photographed. There was, however, one outcast who proceeded to change the art scene with a single urinal. In 1917 Marcel Duchamp, a French artist associated with the anti-art movement Dadaism, produced “Fountain,” a urinal purchased in New York City. Duchamp repositioned the urinal by 90 degrees and signed it “R. Mutt 1917.” He coined the term “readymades” to describe his newfound art genre because he saw the significance in using found items as abstract pieces. It was minimalism at its best.
The unnecessary fun facts: The original “Fountain” was lost, but replicas have been made since. Other artists have tried urinating in the replicated urinals, and most have failed. But in 2006, a 76-year-old French performance artist managed to attack the urinal with a hammer, claiming that Duchamp would have appreciated his effort. “Fountain” was named the most influential work of modern art in 2004 by 500 art experts. The urinal beat out pieces by Matisse and Picasso.
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November 4, 2010
Books • TV • Video Games
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Inside Beat • Page 3
All My Friends Are Dead Avery Monsen and Jory John | A+ BY NIDHI SARAIYA BOOKS EDITOR
BY FREDDIE MORGAN STAFF WRITER
Freaks and Geeks is a late ’90s show that slid under the radar until rather recently. It didn’t revolutionize television forever, nor did it alter the face of pop culture. It was just a series about high school, highlighting the trials of adolescence honestly and accurately, without the pomp and circumstance of daily life that many of its competing shows added. Freaks and Geeks was unlike any other show of its time. Set in a small town in Michigan in 1980, the show follows 16-yearold Lindsay Weir and her group of self-proclaimed “freaks” — grungy denim-clad stoners who cut class to discuss the new Van Halen single. There is also a storyline tracking Weir’s younger brother, Sam, and his friends, “geeks,” blindly feeling their way through the perilous halls of McKinley High School. It is a far cry from a sitcom. The show derives humor not from snappy one-liners or convoluted situations but from the mere comedy of day-today victories and defeats. It parallels real life as audience members find themselves sympathizing with characters and reacting to situations because they are so familiar. For example, it is more likely in high school to be rejected by a crush, rather than having to choose between two suitors a la Dawson’s Creek. Joey didn’t realize how lucky she was. Something the writers really got right was the development of each character. They were multi-faceted but in a realistic way. Each character has a label but easily deviates from it. Bad boy Daniel realizes he has potential, stoner Nick has a poetic streak and pure-hearted Millie, indefatigably innocent, ultimately
In case the title didn’t give it away, All My Friends Are Dead is not a book intended for children. It may look like a simple picture book with brightly illustrated pages, but on the inside you’ll find a morbidly comical collection of one-liners featuring many endearing lonely characters. As with any joke, it’s not good practice to reveal the punch line first. So the best way to truly enjoy this book is to just dive into it. All you need is a sense of humor and five minutes of spare time. It is a great stocking stuffer for the holidays, a perfect coffee-table book to amuse guests and a pick-me-up to read on a rainy day. If you’re truly perverse, get it as a joke gift for a friend’s birthday. Whatever the reason, be sure to pick it up and read it. begins to question her own beliefs after trying so hard to straighten out Lindsay. If Freaks and Geeks had a lesson to teach, it’s that everyone is human and ought not to be defined by a stereotype. If no other reason piques your interest, then you must watch this show for its cast. It’s awesome to see stars act in shows before they became famous. James Franco (Spider-Man) plays a bedroom-eyed bad boy, Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother) is a musician aiming for stardom, Seth Rogan (40-Year-Old Virgin) is a snarky, dry-witted smartass, and Linda Cardellini (ER) is a tormented girl trapped between social classes desperately seeking an identity of her own. Unfortunately, NBC awarded the show a Saturday time slot (it was the kiss of death) before the show had even begun. On top of that, its main competitor was Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The show could have easily taken a sentimental route much like The Wonder Years. It also could have been more romantic, more dramatic and more comedic, which would have increased its viewership. The attraction was not because it had an overdramatized plot with never-ending twists, nor was it a show that was uproariously funny in its ridiculousness. Its downfall was inevitable. Perhaps it’s best that Freaks and Geeks didn’t last. Like great artists and musicians who die young, the show never got a chance to overstay its welcome. Imagine if the show had prevailed — would it have been more popular in the early years of the new millennium, or would it have conformed to match the shows it competed with? In any case, we’ll never know, because the plug was pulled after one season.
New Books in November Big Names, Big Books BY NIDHI SARAIYA BOOKS EDITOR
Decoded by Jay-Z What is there to say about this book? The cover has a Rorschach inkblot on it, and the synopsis is vague and nondescript — unsurprising for a man who’s made a career of keeping his private life out of the media. Decoded is billed as both a memoir and detailed dissection of some of Jay-Z’s most famous lyrics, but according to the author, it isn’t really either of those things. “Decoded is a book about some of my favorite songs, songs that I unpack and explain and surround with narratives about what inspired them but behind the rhymes is the truest story of my life.”
Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King Stephen King may be most recognized for his bigger tomes like Carrie, The Shining, The Green Mile and The Dark Tower series, but some of his best work lies in his short story collections — “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” “The Mist,” “Children of the Corn” and “The Langoliers,” to name a few. His latest release, Full Dark, No Stars, sounds just as promising with stories about murder and making deals with the devil, and an overarching theme about the amorality that lurks within all people.
The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee Cancer is a disease with an expansive history, and new writer Siddhartha Mukherjee tries his best to cover its origins from the perspective of the disease itself. As the publisher describes, The Emperor of All Maladies “reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist.” From his work as a Columbia professor of medicine and a cancer physician at Columbia University Medical Center, Mukherjee has studied the disease thoroughly and his debut work details the millennia-old fascination and frustration that all researchers, doctors and patients feel when trying to crack the mystery of this enigmatic and resilient disease.
Fallout: New Vegas Obsidian Entertainment | B BY RYAN SURUJNATH STAFF WRITER
Fallout: New Vegas is an RPG with shooter elements that attempts to bring all the fun and intrigue of a nuclear holocaust to life. New Vegas is easily one of the most anticipated titles of the year; its predecessor, Fallout 3, was arguably the best game of 2008. New Vegas has high expectations but ultimately cannot quite deliver. Fallout: New Vegas looks, feels and plays exactly as its predecessor did, which proves to be both a merit and an issue. New Vegas is not as much a sequel as much as it is a spinoff of Fallout 3. The graphics, engine and gameplay in both games are identical and simply move the franchise to a new locale. Because New Vegas uses
the same engine and graphics as Fallout 3, the game feels aged. Character models are rigid, unrealistic and unable to visually match the emotion given by the excellent voice actors. They seem to lack the fluidity and detail that more recent games have. Though the similarities between New Vegas and Fallout 3 make the game seem dated and repetitive, this is not entirely a problem. Fallout 3 was a very fun game, and the same enjoyable experience is present in New Vegas. Players customize their character, allocating points to certain attributes and skills. After a few tutorial missions, the game becomes entirely freeform. Should players feel like embarking on the main story quests, they can do so while others may instead opt explore the vast, Mojave Wasteland. Combat is frequent and intense in New Vegas. Players have a variety of weapons to choose from. The real-time FPS
controls are awkward and clumsy. The VATS system is still an integral, and brutally fun, part of the game, allowing players to stop action and individually target an enemy’s body parts. The story itself is hardly as unique as it predecessor’s. New Vegas follows a courier who is shot twice at point-blank range, buried alive, and somehow manages to survive with the help of a local doctor. As it turns out, the courier was tasked with delivering an important item sought by all the major factions in the New Vegas area. The player must side with one such faction in a fight to see who will control New Vegas. Not quite unique, but it works. The environment is generally immersive, detailed and rich. The one unfor tunate disappointment in this aspect involves the area of New Vegas itself. The Vegas Strip is small and uninteresting. One of the
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biggest strengths of Fallout 3 was the degree to which the development team per fectly emulated the city of Washington, D.C. The player could easily identify the bombed-out remains of various landmarks, adding to the sense of scale and shock. The city of New Vegas lacks this same feeling. The major problems with Fallout: New Vegas are the various, frequent glitches that occur. Glitches are to be expected in a game as large as this, but the degree to which Fallout: New Vegas falls on
its face is absolutely astounding. Glitches vary from graphical nuances, to mission breaking and even to catastrophic game crashes. All that can be done is to save often and hope for updates. Fallout: New Vegas is a game that cannot live up to the standards set by its predecessor. It is, however, still an enjoyable experience that will take players on a 70+ hour adventure across a unique landscape. In the end, those who enjoyed Fallout 3 will probably enjoy New Vegas, though it is clear which is superior.
Divine Decade F
all is a season defined by its beauty and romance; crisp weather, warm coats, dark makeup and rich hues. Inside Beat, Gypsy Warrior Vintage and RU Fashionistas take you on a journey to the ‘40s to experience what life might have been like as a Rutgers student, when men wore suits to class and women never left home without their fur stole. Best friends, boyfriends and evenings out — all the staples of college life, just in a more glamorous setting. Think leatherbound textbooks, longer hemlines and pouty lips. We brought the past to life on the historic Old Queens grounds, just a small part of Rutgers’ rich history. By Rosanna Volis, Fashion/Assistant Editor Photos by Rowa Lee Styling by Gypsy Warrior Vintage Concept by RU Fashionistas/Michelle Shen Hair by Richie Pearce Makeup by Jeanne Zheng Models: Gia Zampella, Michael Witowski, Nicole J. Reda
Romance Before The Bell Rings
Ladies Who Lunch The Formal Affair
Page 6 • Inside Beat
November 4, 2010
Film • Theater COURTESY OF IDINAMENZEL.COM
November Broadway Diva
VINTAGE FILM The Lion in Winter (1968) COURTESY OF ALLMOVIEPHOTO.COM
Idina Menzel Birth name: Idina Kim Menzel BY ALEX NATANZON Born: May 30, 1971 in Queens, New York
Trademark: Coloratura soprano with a raw power belt
Films fall under different genres the same way food dishes fall into various categories in a cookbook. Certain types of dishes have a specific recipe, the same way films of a certain genre have specific ingredients that make them work. While the average cook can accumulate the necessary ingredients to prepare a filet mignon, his dish will still not compare in quality to a steak made by an Iron Chef. In Anthony Harvey’s historical costume drama The Lion in Winter, all the right components fall into place. But it is the brilliant acting of the cast that drives the film over the threshold of excellence. Set in 1183 during Christmas in Chinon, Medieval France, The Lion in Winter follows King Henry II’s (Peter O’Toole, Lawrence of Arabia) moral dilemmas of choosing an heir to the throne, and his quarrels with his ever-plotting wife Eleanor of
Signature Tune: “Defying Gravity” from Wicked Theater Credits: Rent (Tony Nominee for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, 1996), The Wild Party (2000), Summer of ’42 (2000), Hair (2001), Aida (2001), The Vagina Monologues (2002), Funny Girl (Concert Version, 2002), Wicked (Tony Winner for Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Musical, 2003), See What I Wanna See (2005), Wicked (London, 2006), Chess in Concert (2008), Nero (2008) Last Seen: On Glee as Shelby Corcoran, the coach of the rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline Fun Fact: Met husband Taye Diggs while performing alongside him in the original Broadway cast of Rent
“Things happen for a reason and in their own time.” – Idina Menzel
Aquitaine (Katharine Hepburn, The African Queen). King Henry arrives at Chinon to celebrate Christmas and simultaneously negotiate the terms of a treaty with King Philip II of France (Timothy Dalton, License to Kill). After releasing his bitter wife Eleanor, who he had locked up because of her numerous attempts to overthrow him, Henry plans to appoint his clumsy, bumbling son, Prince John, to the throne. However, his clever queen attempts to stir things up and have Prince Richard (Anthony Hopkins, The Silence of the Lambs) inherit the throne, and in the process acquire back The Aquitaine from Henry. Throughout the film, the plot progressively thickens, and the drama unfolds into a feverish climax. Some of the main features of The Lion in Winter that make the film a hit are its detailed costumes and even more intricate sets. The use of wide shots to capture key scenes reflects positively on Anthony Harvey’s craft as a director. While Harvey has not directed many films, he had worked as a
film editor on many classics such as Dr. Strangelove. The sets are grand, and the costumes fine, but it is the high quality of acting that is jaw-dropping and sky rockets this movie to greatness. O’Toole plays Henry II for a second time in a film (the first, Becket in 1964) completely showing a brand new side of the charismatic ruler. O’Toole’s performance resonates with such energy that he fills his character with many layers of personality. Hepburn’s portrayal of the scheming Eleanor is flawless. Her screen presence is unfaltering, and her chemistry with O’Toole adds character to the theatrical flow of the movie. In addition, a young Hopkins and Dalton make their debut in The Lion in Winter. Their portrayals of Richard I and Philip II respectively give viewers a taste of their future talent. The Lion in Winter shows that powerful acting goes a long way. The film is a must see for theater lovers, cinema buffs or anyone just looking for high-quality entertainment.
Best of Political Satire Films BY KATHERINE CHANG • FILM EDITOR
Since the results of the 2010 midterm elections Tuesday, campaigning for the 2012 presidential election is sure to begin very shortly. Keeping that in mind, try renting the following political satire movies to help you prepare yourself for the upcoming barrage of political propaganda and sophisticated mudslinging.
Thank You For Smoking (2006)
Swing Vote (2008)
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Darker than most high school comedies from this time period, especially as compared to the more lighthearted films like 10 Things I Hate About You and Never Been Kissed, Election stars Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick, a vindictive, manipulative overachiever who wants to run for the school’s student body president. Matthew Broderick plays Jim McAllister, a history and civics teacher who adamantly and actively opposes Tracy’s running for student body president. This film perfectly demonstrates the shadier, scheming natures that tend to come out in a political race.
In an alternate universe, the votes in the election for the of fice of the American president have been per fectly split between two ver y different candidates, and the final vote is to be cast by a man (Kevin Costner) completely disinterested in politics. This film is a great social commentar y on American voting behavior, as the man significantly represents a great amount of the general American public that does not bother to exercise their right to vote, especially in the major elections.
Though not based around an election, Thank You for Smoking follows the life of a powerful tobacco lobbyist, Nick Naylor played by Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) from the acme of his success to the nadir of his downfall. Eckhart is able to rise above his disgrace through cunning maneuvers, using his ability to persuade others to escalate once again to the top. If there is one thing to learn from this film, it’s that a strong sense of influence over others will facilitate the manipulation of situations and others in general to your own benefit.
When it comes to political satire, there are many aspects that the media pokes fun at, whether it be the complete lack of apathy on the part of the American public, the dark nature of politics or even the importance of persuasion. The three aforementioned movies each perfectly capture one of these aspects, and they keep the audience engaged and laughing. So it makes one wonder, does the comedic aspect come from the well-done production of the films themselves or does it lie in the fact that the issues are actually problems that American society faces? Regardless of the reason, all three of the aforementioned films are highly entertaining and will, without a doubt, prepare you for the impending onslaught of political campaigning.
November 4, 2010
Inside Beat • Page 7
RU A Cappella: No Instruments – Just Voices COURTESY OF IDINAMENZEL.COM
PHOTOS COURTESY OF JEFFREY LAZARO
BY EMILY GABRIELE MUSIC EDITOR
This past Friday, four talented a cappella groups filled Hickman Hall’s lecture hall on Douglass campus to put on a concert. Yet, the only instruments used during this performance were voices. The lineup consisted of Rutgers University’s four a cappella groups, Casual Harmony, Deep Treble, OrphanSporks and ShockWave. The crowd was fairly large and filled most of the lecture hall’s seats creating an energetic aura for each group’s four-song performance. Casual Harmony was the first batch of talent to perform. Consisting of 15 men,
BY ZOE SZATHMARY STAFF WRITER
Dreamy, decadent, divine — these are some words that can be used to describe Olympia, Br yan Ferr y’s new album of (largely) original material. The former Roxy Music front man returns to what he knows best: music for the most glamorous European nightclubs. “You Can Dance” samples a Roxy Music tune from the ’80s, and “True to Life” paints Ferry as a true lounge lizard. “Jump on the
they confidently took the stage dressed in ’20s gangster attire. Singing songs from various different eras, they began with “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles and finished their routine with the more contemporary “Butterfly” by Jason Mraz. Casual Harmony did a fabulous job of incorporating many different members from their group into each song to highlight their vocal strengths. Second in the lineup was Deep Treble. Dressed as zombies, sporting gashes and fake blood, the 20-member group stuck to covering mostly pop tunes, putting their own spin on songs by Lady Gaga and The Killers. This co-ed group provided the au-
table/Slide down the pole/You can wear your sable/You can bare your soul,” he purrs. What’s not to love? In “Shameless,” Ferry collaborates with Groove Armada. Featuring a funky bass line, cooing background singers and a menacing piano, “Shameless” is all about love gone awry. “Heartache by Numbers,” featuring the Scissor Sisters, is a footstomping breakup track. With an irresistible drum line and guitar, “Heartache” shows Ferry at his most vulnerable — when the beautiful women in his life walk out on him. “Song to the Siren,” a cover of Tim Buckley, features lengthy, ambient guitar solos, per-
dience with a lot of movement and entertainment that they incorporated into their overall presentation. Holding down the No. 3 spot at the event was another co-ed group that call themselves the OrphanSporks. This 16member musical body radiated with vocal talent. Singing songs from different genres, OrphanSporks highlighted the depth of their group’s musical ability. Dressed as Harry Potter characters, they exploited their musical magic. Last up to perform was the all-female group ShockWave, who pranced onto the stage dressed as animals. Like Deep Treble, this a cappella group sang songs mostly
formed by David Gilmour and Jonny Greenwood. Buckley’s lovely folk tune is completely transformed into art rock. “Tender is the Night,” the last song on the album, is also a solid song on the album’s lineup. It includes background news clips at the beginning, coupled with UFO effects created by a keyboard that permeates through the rest of the track. If this sounds like the work of long-lost Roxy Music member and super-producer Brian Eno, that’s because it is. Olympia is a near-perfect companion to Roxy’s 1981 album Avalon and shows that Ferr y, even at 65, still has talent.
BY CIARA COPELL STAFF WRITER
Speak Now | A
APP OF THE WEEK
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Taylor Swift’s new album Speak Now may be her best yet. The album boasts her usual tender lyrics as well as catchy beats and provides a more mature sound than her past albums. Swift’s fans will certainly not be disappointed, but it is unlikely that she will gain any new ones as she stays within her comfort zone. Her choruses make it impossible not to sing along. Swift is famous for the personal content that her lyrics possess, and this album delivers just that. She writes about her active love life in multiple
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from the pop genre. Covering songs by Lady Gaga and Destiny’s Child, ShockWave displayed their feminine power. Standing 15 women strong, they were vibrant onstage, adding to their already aesthetically pleasing performance. To conclude the night’s events, all of the group’s members took the stage to do one collaborative performance of the song “Monster Mash.” The song, festive to the season, emitted a feel-good vibe to the audience and coincided well with the night as a whole. Costing a mere $8 for students, the musical event was well worth attending, so be sure to catch it when it comes around next year.
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Bryan Ferry Olympia | A
songs, and, expectedly, these are some of the best on the album. “Dear John,” allegedly referring to her former romance with John Mayer, and “Back to December,” in which she apologizes to a former flame some speculate to be Taylor Lautner, are great songs and have the potential to be hits. “Better than Revenge,” which allegedly addresses ex Joe Jonas’s new girlfriend, Camilla Belle, includes particularly venomous lyrics like, “She’s not a saint and she’s not what you think/ she’s an actress, whoa/ But she’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress.” The song “Innocent” is a forgiving message to Kanye West about their 2009 VMA controversy, containing lyrics that sing “32, and still growin’ up now/
who you are is not what you did/ you’re still an innocent.” Swift continues to navigate the line between country and pop perfectly on Speak Now. She has the perfect mix of the two genres to be popular in both markets and keep her massive fan base. “Mean” prominently displays her country roots as she sings in a kind of twang voice but is one of the only songs on the album that might not make it to the pop charts. Speak Now is sure to continue Swift’s domination of the pop and country charts. She provides listeners with a glimpse into her life while maintaining the appealing tunes that everyone loves. Her more mature sound will definitely benefit her. Speak Now is the perfect transition from teen idol to adult superstar.