Vo l u m e I I I , N u m b e r X
Celebrating The Precious Human Tapestry
November 7, 2008
A quantum more Bourne than Bond A review of the newest James Bond blockbuster BY SYDNEY REUBEN Editor
There are not many films that are released in the UK before they are released in the US. Unfortunately for us, there are two big film series that are. These are the Harry Potter and Bond films. By the time Quantum of Solace is released in the States on November 14, the movie will be old news here in the UK, where it was released on October 31. Originally, this fact dismayed me as (forgive me, England) I view the Bond films as becoming more and more American as time moves on. I decided when I heard that my American brethren would have to wait to see the new Bond film that I would wait along with them, but hey- it’s Daniel Craig–how long could I possibly be expected to wait? Quantum of Solace is different from the other 21-odd Bond films in that it is the only
one not to be based on one of Ian Fleming’s Bond books. Many of the people I went to see Bond with were big fans of the books and movies and expressed great fear that this movie in particular would stray from what makes a classic Bond film great. Most were nervous about the plot, though some wondered how the action would fare. Based on what I saw in the film and my limited knowledge of Bond films, it’s safe to say that Quantum of Solace is very different from anything we’ve seen before. The plot was indeed lacking. It was basic and nothing shocking was revealed. Also, the film’s ending was so open-ended; it left a clear path for the next Bond film. Marc Forster also decided to go with numerous directing styles which I think made the film feel like three separate movies, not one coherent one. Plot and directing style aside, the acting in the film was fantastic. Everyone stepped up and there was no over-acting, a fact
for which I was quite thankful. Craig was, of course, excellent as Bond and showed Bond’s darker and damaged side beautifully. Olga Kurylenko, the new Bond girl, a native Ukrainian who received a lot of grief from her native land for her role was also excellent. To be fair, not a whole lot was required of her, but what she did in the film she did very well. Overall, the film felt much more Bourne than Bond, but it was certainly entertaining. I expect that the lack of plot in Quantum will be made up for in the next movie as I think a lot of loose ends will be tied up. Hopefully, anyway. Obviously, the movie was awesome and everyone should see it. It’s Bond: it’s big, full of action, hot women, and Daniel Craig. Maybe it isn’t the best Bond film to date, but I was satisfied and am definitely excited for the next installment. So, when November 14 finally rolls around, go on America, get your Bond on.
A once in a lifetime show:
David Byrne rocks Boston with new and classic works BY MAXWELL PRICE Editor
There comes a time in every journalist’s career when he or she must survey past work and pause for self-reflection. I’ve been going through some of my old articles and discovered a troubling trend toward positive reviews. How am I to be taken seriously if I develop a reputation for scrawling puff pieces of every band that crosses my eardrums? It was in this spirit that I set out to write a mean-spirited tirade as my latest Hoot piece. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten that I was
IN THIS ISSUE:
seeing David Byrne on Friday at the Wang theater perform a set of music based on collaborations he’d done with Brian Eno. Goodbye tirade, hello puff piece. Those of you who don’t recognize David Byrne by name may know him better as the front man of the band Talking Heads, the avant-pop outfit that spawned such mega-hits as “Once in a Lifetime.” Brian Eno—known equally for his original music and his production of classic albums such as U2’s The Joshua Tree—recently asked Byrne to collaborate with him on a new project. Eno created the music and Byrne concentrated solely on the lyrics and lead vocals. The result was Everything that Happens Will Happen Today, a melodic, stately album that surpasses anything Byrne has produced in years. But when you go to see an artist of Byrne’s stature, you can’t help but hope for a few classic nuggets from a bygone era. It was clear from the beginning of the show that audience was revved up to see something more than a musician; they were prepared to see a star. And Byrne was prepared to give us more than music; he was there to show us art. The band included a bassist, keyboard and synth player, two percussionists, a guitarist, and three back up singers, all of whom were clad in white costumes for Halloween (Byrne sported a dashing white top hat atop his silvery brow). But the
Diary of an Election Day well spent Voices, page 9
audience’s eyes remain transfixed on the three dancers that brought the show into another dimension. When I heard that Byrne would feature dancers in his show, I immediately envisioned the kind of scantily clad seductresses you might find at a Rolling Stones concert. But I shouldn’t have been surprised— knowing Byrne’s experimental tendencies—that he would bring along a small contemporary dance ensemble. The dancers did not simply react to their bodies with the music, they weaved their expressive motions into the fabric of the concert’s sensory experience. Nearly every person stood through the whole show in abject defiance of the rows of chairs that narrowly prevented us from rushing the stage. Byrne opened with “Strange Overtones,” the single from the new album built on a laid-back quasi-disco guitar groove. It sounded like it could have been plucked from an outtake of Steely Dan’s Aja, and its lyrics, based on the old songwriting-as-a-metaphor-for-life motif, echoed the hopeful tone that resounds throughout the album. Before he paraded any tunes from his most beloved ensemble, Byrne explored a few numbers from a 1981 album with Eno, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. The album featured percussive soundscapes densely layered over samples from non-traditional sources. “Help Me Somebody” benefited greatly from the live recreation of the original vocals by Byrne and his backup singers,
Theatre class presents Molière’s French Comedy Chorus, page 10
who transformed the condemnations of a fiery preacher into erratic melody lines. But the highlights were undeniably Talking Heads songs. “I Zimbra,” a punchy tribal chant over a funk beat retained all its original fervor and included some wildly inventive dance posturing. The new wave textural explorations of “Houses in Motion” offered Byrne the chance to reanimate one of his band’s most criminally overlooked songs. Unfortunately, a couple tunes classics sounded a little like going through the motions. His version of “Heaven” brought to mind the title of Camper Van Beethoven’s live album—Greatest Hits Played Faster. On “Once in a Lifetime,” which seemed to rely too heavily on pre-recorded samples, Byrne’s vocals took center stage. Perhaps after thousands of times singing that song, he’s found a way to bring urgency and raw vitality into it every night. But any criticism of the man or the virtual circus that surrounded him amounts to splitting hairs. The gospel-influenced songs of the new album stood as straightforward counterpoints to the idiosyncratic Talking Heads tunes. And the restlessly creative man himself stood as a counterpoint to other musical artists his age, who rest comfortably on their laurels. After three encores, Byrne had barely satiated his adoring fans, yours truly included. So until The Hoot can afford to pay me to see concerts of musicians I don’t like, I remain a reluctant optimist.
DID YOU KNOW? Paul McCartney was named Ultimate Legend at the MTV Europe Music Awards Thursday.
November 7, 2008
How I spent Election Day: A diary of canvassing in New Hampshire for Barack Obama BY MATT FOWLER Staff
On Tuesday November 4, the world witnessed history. But, I am not going to go into detail about what happened from a historic perspective. The only people who do not realize the significance of what took place are either in denial or have decided they don’t want to come out from under the six to eight large boulders under which they are living. Political views aside (I’ll try) this election was historic not only because of the winner, but, because of how he won. Barack Obama had a ground game like no one in history. I know this not only because it has been reiterated to me over and again, but because on Election Day I was part of it. I saw firsthand why the political analysts have said that Obama’s victory was due in large part to the volunteers, organized groups, and the not so lazy youth of America that campaigned for him. What follows is a running diary of my experience on the day (Election Day) that I became a volunteer for Barack Obama: 6:30 am My alarm buzzes, and I struggle to get onto my feet. I can’t wake up to sound, so I have my cell phone on vibrate. Today does not feel any different from the other two years I have spent thinking about the upcoming election. Is this a bad omen? 6:45 am After stepping out of the shower, I sit down on my suite’s couch and turn on CNN. I’d rather be watching MSNBC, but when I turn to that channel the screen goes black. That’s not very interesting at all. I turn back to CNN. 6:50 am I have to choose something to wear. On any other day this decision would take five to ten seconds tops. However, the choice of what to put on is made infinitely more difficult, because I can’t remember the last time I did my laundry. I decide on a simple white T-shirt and a pair of blue jeans. I think this outfit will show the New Hampshire voters that I am approachable as well as serious about getting out the vote.
7:08 am I step into the car that will be taking me to New Hampshire. Because I have chosen to sit in the front passenger seat I am told that I will be holding the directions. I probably should not be the one navigating. We’re going to some town called Raymond. That sounds like a strong solid name. I am more nervous than excited. 7:30 am We are off. We find a Jason Mraz CD in the car and that becomes our soundtrack for the day by default. 9:10 am I receive a text message from my oldest brother telling me he is online to vote. The lines are moderately long. He tells me he wishes they were longer in length so that he’d have an excuse to go home and just watch the election on television all day. I tell him that he should just take a personal day off. He doesn’t listen to me. 9:25 am My brother texts me that he has voted. 10:06 am We have finally made it to our destination. Despite traveling around the small town aimlessly for ten minutes (this is not because of my navigating my skills), I never once thought we wouldn’t make it. The Raymond, New Hampshire headquarters for Barack Obama is located in what seems to be an old furniture store. There are mattresses in the back of the room (which I can only assume are for sleeping) and tons of signs on the ground. 10:08 am A man explains to a group of people what our job is today. We must knock on doors (of the people that are listed on the packets he has handed us), ask if they have voted, and then check off one of four responses they give us. After we are done we bring back the packets and some person with a computer does something else that is complicated (that I didn’t quite hear) and then they know whose door still needs to be knocked on. He also says something about a system called Houdini. Harry Houdini is a magician. I like magic, so I smile.
10:20 am My canvassing (why it is called this I’m unsure) partner, and I walk up to the front door. I make her knock because I have already decided she is probably the more likable of us two. No one is home. 10:24 am After knocking on two other empty houses we meet our first Raymond resident. He is a painter, and he is whitewashing the deck. It looks as if he has been there for hours. He tells us that the inhabitant of the home is not inside because her daughter took her to vote for Barack Obama. We thank him. He makes small talk even as we say goodbye and mentions the fact that he too was excited to go out and vote today. 10:30 am I speak instead of my partner for the first time. I fumble some of my words, but I am confident when I mention our candidate’s name. She says she has voted, smiles, and quickly closes the door. Maybe I should have worn a different shirt. 10:56 am There is a lot of land in between houses in Raymond. It is a perfectly sunny day, and it would not surprise me if the temperature was around seventy degrees. My legs buckle and from exhaustion, and I curse global warming. 11:12 am Walking up a hill my partner and I are jeered by two twelve year old boys on bicycles. They scream “McCain, McCain” as they zoom down the hill, and I contemplate measures I would take to protect myself from these fear-mongering tweens (I decide I’d probably make fun of them for being the generation that believes Miley Cyrus and Zach Efron are interesting). 11:14 am I knock on a door. No one answers. The bicycle gang of two return. They reiterate their McCain chant, and I decide I dislike twelve-year-olds on bicycles profusely. 12:19 pm My partner knocks on the door of a house that has a car with at least six different Obama/Biden bumper sticks on it. The
woman who comes to the door wears an Obama T-shirt and tells us she has already voted. She wonders out loud if she has done enough. She then points to her four year old son and tells him to tell us who he voted for. The little boy says Spiderman. 12:40 pm We begin ascent up what seems to be a small mountain. 12:50 pm Finally finished climbing, we knock on the door. Two older men walk out. One of them wears a green sweater with a colored flecks and the other has two earrings. They tell us they are very excited about this election and very proud that the youth have decided to take the fate of their future into their own hands. We make small talk about the election. I smile, and I sweat profusely. 1:16 pm Lunch is pizza at a local restaurant. There we meet more Obama supporters. One of them has been coming up to New Hampshire every week since the beginning of September to knock on doors. The vegetables from my pizza fall on my pants. 1:49 pm After getting the assurance that a man has voted, I turn and walk quickly away from Jenna (a large dog) that barks at me in an unkind manner. 2:26 pm My father texts me to say he and my mother voted at 6:30 am. He says the polls were more crowded than usual and that he remembers taking me into the booth to vote when I was very young. 3: 00 pm A little girl waves and smiles at me. My faith in the future of this nation is restored. 3:43 pm We finish our last houses and return to headquarters. We give in our packets and allow the leaders to do their magic. 4: 00 pm We leave Raymond for Brandeis.
11:59 pm History is made.
Brandeis Votes! From the opening of the polls to President elect Barack Obama’s speech in Grant Park, the Brandeis campus was abuzz with Election Day anticipation. Left: Jeremy Patton ‘11 waits for the Brandeis shuttle Tuesday to take him to the polls. Right: Nathan Robinson ‘11 anxiously follows the counting of the electoral votes with Democracy for America in Chum’s coffeehouse. PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
November 7, 2008
Of Montreal takes on birthdays and Halloween Indie pop band performs at Boston’s Orpheum Theatre BY REBECCA SCHILLER Special to Diverse City
Halloween came to Boston early this year, as Of Montreal took the stage at the Orpheum Theatre Thursday night. Body paint, rabbit costumes, dancing soldiers with guns, and more glitter than Tinkerbell could imagine entertained an audience that was equally decked out in outrageous attire. It was certainly a party at the Orpheum complete with a birthday cake for guitarist Bryan Poole’s special day. The night kicked off with an ornate entrance as singer Kevin Barnes was carried in like royalty by a pack of golden buddhas. He later made an entrance inside a coffin filled with shaving cream. Singing and dancing along to each song—particularly to “An Eluardian Instance,” off of the band’s ninth and latest album, Skeletal Lamping—the audience definitely worked up a sweat. They also went wild for the album’s “Gallery Piece,” in which Barnes sings about wanting to “paint your nails,” “make you scream,” and “turn you on.”
There are things we don’t say and things we don’t mean, but what happens when something’s right in between? I still feel each one Each palm of his hand like a lingering kiss Amongst Barnes’ many wardrobe changes, audience members were treated to a pope, a centaur, and a hanged man…until he stripped down to his glittery underwear. This doesn’t come as a shock to most fans, though, as Barnes is known to occasionally bare all at his shows. The band performed an excellent set list, pulling from several of their albums. Returning to the stage after a raging round
of applause and requests for an encore, the band played three more songs, closing with a cover of Nirvana’s classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Perfect for anyone looking for a psychedelic show filled with elaborate costumes, dance-inducing chords, and a shiny Speedo-clad front man, Of Montreal does not disappoint and is definitely worth the $20-25 ticket.
Theater class offers unique interpretation of Molière Theater producers have been known to make some questionable artistic choices in attempts to breathe new life into classic plays. Whether the productions change the gender of the characters, switch the setting, or reinvent the wardrobe, great old plays seem to live dozens of lives. It’s that spirit that infused the Theater 100a class’s production of Molière’s The Misanthrope. One rarely thinks of the words “tragedy” and “Molière” in the same sentence, but apparently Mohit Gourisaria, the show’s director (or at least her theater teacher) thinks they deserve to sit side by side. If you went into the production expecting a traditional interpretation of a well-known comedy, you probably left disappointed. But if you were willing to explore a different side of the play, you might have found the production thought provoking. The story chronicles the exploits of
Ambiguous Love... BY MAIA GALLAGHER-SIUDZINSKI Staff
A funny thing happened on the way to the French court: BY MAXWELL PRICE Editor
Alceste, a French nobleman and extraordi- milieu. nary cynic who finds himself facing both a Hank Lin starred as the unsociable Alceste damaging lawsuit and a cheating mistress, but seems to harbor not-so-secret ambiCelimene. Throughout the course of the play tions to play Hamlet. His presence onstage Molière paints an unflinching portrait of the was something like a tornado with a little Enlightenment era French aristocracy. less self-control. Scrambling from one end The actors did not of the stage to another, he attempt to put on displayed a raw physicality English accents, as is If you went into the that made his performance the trend in many for- production expecting a memorable whether you eign language plays. I traditional interpretation enjoyed his interpretation found this preferable not. of a well-known comedy, orRebecca to the mangled style of Joy played the probably left coquettish Celimene with speech you often hear you in such productions. cold, calculating thoughtfuldisappointed. Moreover, there was ness. Nevertheless, she comlittle in the way of set pletely missed out on the or costumes to evoke flirtatiousness that is supthe setting. The set consisted of a few posed to define her character. Among the mismatched pieces of furniture while the female leads, the strongest actress was the costumes appeared to be arbitrary articles one playing a man. Ariella Katz played the of clothing picked from the actors’ personal eternally patient Philinte with her heart on closets. Thus, the actors had to rely on the her shirtsleeve yet without sentimentality. natural tools of their craft to create the Not all the actors were so serious, howev-
Wherever they land I can’t stop or slow down or rest or take cover for when the morning comes this night won’t be over What will I do… when my lips start to slip When the tears start to break and my nose starts to drip? What will I do… when my mind starts to slip When my heart starts to break and my soul starts to rip? Now, There are things we don’t say and things we don’t mean, but this is what happens when you’re stuck in between.
er. Anthony Scibelli brought levity and selfmockery to the role of Oronte. And Brian Melcher perhaps captured best the tone that Molière was trying to establish with his foppish portrayal of the arrogant Acaste. In spite of excellent performances by several actors, I couldn’t help but hold onto the conviction that the author of The Misanthrope wanted us to laugh at our follies rather than morosely ponder them. Reinvention can make for an interesting and challenging play, but once you miss the humor, you miss the point.
Not a big fan of David Bryne? Want to see movies for free? Think Molière is a little lame? Come write about it for The Hoot! E-mail email@example.com
November 7, 2008
The Hoot 11
NEWS Union committee works to improve accesibility ACCESSIBILITY (from p. 1)
and can only live in one building in Massell Quad, Gubbala explained. Getting to class also poses obstacles, specifically in the Rabb academic quad. Though there are ramps surrounding Rabb, they are steep and students have difficulty getting into academic buildings without ramps. The committee hopes to address both where students with physical disabilities may live on campus and what can be done to improve the accessibility of various areas across campus. “While we’re not supposed to discriminate against disabled people, the fact is we’re hoarding them into one place where they have to live and be segregated from the rest of society. And we should have facilities where they have equal living rights [to live] wherever and with whoever they choose,” Gubbala said. Rather than seeking a onetime major renovation, the committee hopes to address certain target areas each year over the next few years. This year, the Rabb academic quad is their main concern. Over the past few years the Brandeis administration has attempted to improve on campus conditions for students with disability, as Director of Disabilities Services and Support Bet Rodgers-Kay told The Hoot last year. Such improvements include construction on a sophomore residence hall to make it more easily accessible. The project included installation of a ramp and automatic doors. Transportation assistance for students
with disablities has also improved in recent years. Those with mobility concerns may contact Rodgers-Kay who works closely with Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan and the Escort Safety Services to provide an on-call van for transportation assistance. The Social Justice Committee’s plans are in the preliminary stage and members have not met with any administrators yet. “We’ve recognized that there’s a problem and started talking about things that we can potentially do to fix it,” Committee Chair and Senator for the Class of 2011 Lev Hirschorn explained. In the meantime Gubala is working towards obtaining blueprints of the structure of buildings from the university to determine where the biggest problems lie and address them. She has contacted Vice President for Campus Operations Mark Collins but as of print time Collins hadn’t returned the committee’s requests for blueprints. Should the university not be willing to grant the committee access to details of building structures, Gubbala said, they can obtain them from the City of Waltham. The committee hopes to work with the Student Union’s Disability Committee and Gubbala plans to speak with Brandeis students with disabilities because once “we see where they struggle the most, it’ll be easier for us to narrow down the problem,” she said. Once they have viewed the building plans, Gubbala said, they will be able to “slowly reconstruct our school to make it more modern because that shouldn’t be a problem that exists in a modern educational institution.”
Coffehouse looks to renovate she added. cused with it not looking in disrepair.” Parekh, though, has a simple overall She added that she did not wish for the goal: let Chum’s endure, in a Chum’s-ian repairs to overly change the aesthetics of fashion. Chum’s as it is now. This means retaining For the windows, things like the grilled Eddy was adamant that PB&J while being “they’re repaired the allowed to expand and right way,” maintaining diversify the menu and the Castle’s periodicity. clientele, but this can In addition to probonly be done with proplems with the windows, er funding, she said. Parekh is concerned Parekh, though, does with the kitchen’s funcnot want to not pass the tionality, as she noted buck to the students: that microwaves are “Chum’s is the only often just donations place where you can get from people who had a cup of coffee for a dolworked there, and that lar,” she stated. until recently the cofParekh added, “fund-- Nirja Parekh ‘09 ing should come from feehouse did not have a proper griddle, but the university, not the a donated George students’ wallets.” Foreman grill instead. Both Eddy and Parekh While Parekh believes Chum’s is in seek a solution to the Chum’s problem, need of repairs, she does not want it to with Parekh and the staff even coming change too much. “[Renovating Chum’s] in to repaint the shop with their own isn’t a pressure to change…it’s a pressure money. to commit to the idea of Chum’s.” However, this will not be a permanent Eddy agreed. Chum’s was one of her solution, but Parekh has confidence that first stops at Brandeis when she began the coffeehouse can maintain its status working for the university eight years and perhaps even improve more. She ago. stated it simply, “It’s sad I won’t get She aided in renovating the hangout to be part of the changes…Chum’s has then, and would love to see it cleaned up the potential to be meaningful [to the and improved again. “Neat things hap- students]…there’s a potential there that pen there…it’s a pretty special place,” we’re excited about.”
CHUM’S (from p. 1)
[Renovating Chum’s] isn’t a pressure to change... it’s a pressure to commit to the idea of Chum’s.
Back Pages Books: Bookstore Event Schedule
Tuesday, November 11 @ 7:30 PM
Justin Locke, Principles of Applied Stupidity
Monday, November 17 @ 7:30 PM
Steven Pinker and Yael Goldstein Love discuss linguistics and narrative fiction. Tickets are $5 and can be redeemed with purchase of a book. For tickets, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (781) 788-9988.
Thursday, November 13 @ 7:30 PM In-Store Open Mic Tuesday, November 18 @ 7:00 PM
Howard Zinn, The People’s History of the United States of America, Tickets $12, e-mail tickets@ backpagesbooks.com or call (781) 788-9988
A D V E RTI SE M E N T
Showtimes for Embassy Cinema 16 Pine Street, Waltham, MA Telephone: (781) 891-0911 Fri.
Sat. Mon. and thru Sun. Thur.
(1:00) (3:50) 6:40 9:30
(1:00) 3:50 6:40 9:30
(2:10) 5:00 7:40
(1:50) (5:00) 8:30
(1:50) 5:00 8:30
(2:00) (5:00) 7:50
(1:20) (4:10) 7:00 9:40
(1:20) 4:10 7:00 9:40
(2:30) (5:10) 8:10
Zach and Miri make a Porno (R)
(1:40) (4:30) 7:20 9:50
(1:40) (2:50) 4:30 (5:20) 7:20 8:30 9:50
Rachel Getting Married (R)
(1:30) (4:20) 7:10 9:45
(1:30) 4:20 7:10 9:45
(2:40) (5:20) 8:20
Synecdoche, New York (R)
(1:10) (4:00) 6:50 9:35
(1:10) 4:00 6:50 9:35
(2:20) (5:10) 8:00