Page 1

V O L . I I , N O. X V


11 APRIL, 2008

Prospect II gives students chance to appreciate art

Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts kicks off with a bang BY STEPHEN SUKUMARAN Deputy Editor

The annual Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts kicked off last Wednesday evening with Prospect II. This was the second of two exhibitions held this semester showcasing the works of the 2007-2008 Post-Baccalaureate students in Studio Art. Now in its fifteenth year, the Post-baccalaureate program has gained much recognition, being noted in the New York Times. Leonard Bernstein initiated the festival believing in the power of art to promote change in the world. The works shown in the exhibit certainly displayed this belief. The artists featured in the opening showed great talent through the intensity and truly inspired themes of their pieces. Graduate student Sarah Lubin made use of various earth tones, resulting in the creation of simple yet charming pieces. Her depictions varied from the common, like the urban glimpse

PHOTO BY Napoleon Lherisson/The Hoot

INSPIRATIONAL FACES: One of the portraits on display in "The Faces of TYP," an exhibit that is part of the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts

given in “Street,” to the unusual as in “Elephas Maximus Indicus.” This large composition featured a daunting Indian elephant ready to walk right out of the canvas. Yo u n g s h e e n Jhe (GRAD) presented a black and white series aptly entitled “Black & White.” Jhe created the intricate works almost entirely with tiny oil strokes. The process had mixed results as certain pieces appeared to be of a higher quality than others. For example, one canvas that featured a cellist playing in front

of a statue memorial in a cemetery certainly had more of an impact that two pieces involving a woman drinking coffee. The similarly themed paintings of Ryan Pressman (GRAD) offered an inside look of personal moments in what can only be assumed as his life as the male figure depicted bore his likeness. The situations depicted in the realistic compositions drew various emotions from viewers including shock, voyeuristic interest and sadness. The best pieces appeared to be those of James Wheaton (GRAD). Wheaton pushed the artistic boundaries by incorporating random and somewhat conflicting images. “Saturnalia” depicted a woman, seemingly posing for a portrait, in a dark jungle. If that wasn’t visually combative enough, Wheaton added large fish heads to the foreground of the composition creating a hallucinogenic effect. Wheaton explained that he makes use of “associative metaphor” and tries not to be explicit in terms of

what his works convey. Another one of his pieces, entitled “The Greatest Gift,” featured the profile of a woman lying down with vegetation spewing from her mouth. The manner in which the subject was presented made it difficult to determine whether or not she was dead or merely sleeping. The image led to much debate over what was actually going on. But according to Wheaton, that was exactly the point. He likened the situation to hitting the pause button while watching a movie. A different viewer would not be able to tell neither what led up to the image left on the screen nor what was to come next. Although Wheaton’s works seemed confusing and jarring at first, the meaning and intent behind them, in addition to the pure talent, are the reasons why he stole the show. Prospect II was extremely well attended and received, setting off the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts to a great start.

City of Angels : I love you Jens Lekman No place for the ordinary Swedish indie pop icon performs in Boston BY JAMIE FLEISHMAN Staff

Director Aaron Arbiter '10 appropriately ended his note from the director in the City of Angels program saying, “This is no ordinary musical, so please sit back and enjoy the extraordinary.” Certainly City of Angels is not your ordinary musical as the plot interweaves two stories in one. Stine (Ross Brown '10), who plays the lead character in the “Hollywood” world, is a writer having trouble transposing his novel City of Angels into a movie screenplay. As Stine sits in the back corner of the stage typing the screenplay on his typewriter, the “movie” world comes to life led by Stone (Robert St. Laurence '11), the suave detective in Stine’s movie – and his alter-ego. Brown and St. Laurence both capture the essence of their characters. Brown shows the struggles Stine has with his story and his personal life, while St. Laurence pulls off the smooth talking, ladyfriendly, and witty mannered Stone. When the two worlds of Stine and Stone blur into one, and the two

characters sing their feature song, “You’re Nothing Without Me,” both St. Laurence and Brown bring their powerful voices together for form a dramatic duo. Much credit has to be given to the female leads, Jennifer Faber '09, Gavi Young '09, and Sierra Kagen '09, who all have to constantly switch in playing two different roles. Kagen especially stood out in her “movie” role as Alaura Kingsley, who seductively drags Stone into investigating the “disappearance” of her daughter, Mallory Kingsley (Arielle Kaplan ‘10). Kagen commented on the female leads playing dual roles, “we all had to juggle the differences between our film noir and real-life characters. They had to be reminiscent, but different enough so as not to confuse our audience. And how does one play the femme fatale without coming off as cheesy or stilted?” Another unique aspect of City of Angels was the location of the musicians. As opposed to the musicians sitting in the “pit,” not visSee ANGELS p.11


New Zealander duo, Flight of the Conchords See how awesome their music is p. 9


There comes a point in every music writer’s career when he is tempted to throw journalistic integrity out the window and exclaim to the world, “I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU, JENS LEKMAN!” Though this might seem a slight exaggeration, the audience last Friday night at the Paradise Rock Club was wildly enthusiastic enough to convince me that this was a universal experience. For those of you that haven’t yet been smitten, Jens Lekman is a Swedish indie pop icon who has made significant inroads into the American alternative music scene. Even after receiving rave reviews from the likes of Spin and Pitchfork, however, it seems that there remains a gap between his critical acclaim and commercial popularity (the New York Times acknowledged as much in a recent concert review). Nevertheless, no one in attendance at Friday night’s concert would deny that Lekman is one of the foremost figures in pop music today. While recent indie pop stars

like the Shins and I’m From Barcelona ape Brian Wilson’s aesthetic style, Lekman tackles the more ambitious task of sounding like Burt Bacharach without devolving into pure retro or kitsch. This was evidenced by masterful arrangements that featured violin and cello in addition to electronic samples. He opened the set with “I Am Leaving You Because I Don’t Love You,” a gem of a tune from his

The Roots help its music to grow Check out the band's new album p. 9

newest release, Night Falls Over Kortedala. The song is built on a keyboard sample that sounds like it could have come from Laura Nyro and piles on six electronic hip-hop beats to support a saccharine melody and wry lyrics. Another highlight, “The Opposite of Hallelujah,” soon followed, its whimsical violin riff and a sprightly drumbeat getting the crowd bouncing. See LEKMAN p. 10


The film 21 has caused an uproar on multiple online forums and Facebook groups as the Asian-American students on whom the film is based, are played by white actors.

April 11, 2008

Diverse City


Established 2006 "Celebrating the precious human tapestry" Sydney Reuben Editor Stephen Sukumaran Deputy Editor

FOUNDED By Esther Joo, Stephen Sukumaran and Rishun Fukazawa

Run, Fatboy, Run

David Schwimmer directs new comedy

friend Nick Frost, who frequently plays Pegg’s endearing sidekick as seen in Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the How do you win over a former Dead, is absent from this film and love again? Answers may range replaced by Shaun of the Dead’s from splurging on rose bouquets to Dylan Moran, who plays Gordon. serenading said love from beneath Rather than attempting to re-cretheir window. However, to the en- ate the best friend chumminess dearing, but initially pathetic pro- between Pegg and Frost, Moran tagonist of Run, Fatboy, Run, the strikes out on his own creating a way to a woman’s heart is by run- character who, while being a bit ning a marathon. too self-serving, manages to enIn Run, Fatboy, Run, British loser dear himself to the audience all the Dennis, played by Simon Pegg at- same. tempts to win back his former fiRun, Fatboy, Run stands as a test ancée, Libby, played by Thandie of Pegg’s true talent, given that Newton (Crash, Mission: Impos- not only does he forfeit a familsible II). iar co-star, but also wrote the film So why five years after leaving with another partner. Instead of Libby at the alpartnering with tar, does DenEdgar Wright, nis want her In spite of its blunt title, who Pegg coback? A little Run Fatboy Run is a more wrote Hot Fuzz competition, of nuanced film than it lets on. and Shaun of course. It is not simply a romantic the Dead with, In the time comedy or even necessarily he joins forces they’ve been with Michael Ian separated, Lib- about winning over the girl. Black, a popular by has managed face on VH1’s I to “trade up” Love the… series. big time, datWright, who diing seemingly rected Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the perfect hedge fund manager Whit, Dead, is replaced again, this time by played by Hank Azaria (Huff ). Friends alum David Schwimmer. Whit, who Dennis dubs “Peter Per- Run, Fatboy, Run marks Schwimfect,” has a duplex with a breath- mer’s feature film directorial debut. taking view of St. Paul’s Cathedral, In spite of its blunt title, Run slides perfectly into the father figure Fatboy Run is a more nuanced film role to Dennis and Libby’s son, Jake than it lets on. It is not simply a roand even runs marathons for char- mantic comedy or even necessarily ity in his spare time. To prove his about winning over the girl. Rather dedication ad that he has changed it is a film for the underdog about from the man who left Libby in the pushing past laziness to self-imdust on their wedding day, Dennis provement, suggesting that Dennis vows to complete a marathon that is simply a diamond in the rough Whit is running in. Cue the training that needs a little polishing. montage. One thing that is crystal clear afHowever Dennis does not have ter watching this film: Simon Pegg to go it alone. Along for encourage- is a force to be reckoned with. ment and out of their own self-in- While the rest of the cast does an terest, are Dennis’ Indian landlord admirable job of keeping up with who slaps him with a spatula for Pegg, there are no show-stealers in encouragement and his best friend this bunch. Pegg’s natural charisma Gordon, who places a bet that manages to charm the audience, Dennis will be able to complete the even as we watch his attempt to marathon. down a glass of raw eggs. Pegg has However this is not the typical proven that no matter the co-star, Simon Pegg comedy that his fans writing partner or director, his wit have come to expect. Pegg’s best is unbeatable. BY SRI KUEHNLENZ Editor

The opinions, columns, cartoons and advertisements printed in Diverse City do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial staff. We are open to considering sub-

missions from members of the Brandeis community relating to cultural events. Telephone: (781) 736-4755. E-mail:


From jungle to jungle New Zealand duo's music goes international BY SYDNEY REUBEN Editor

Do you know who New Zealand's most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funkcomedy folk duo is? I don't either. But I do know who the fourth most popular duo is- a fabulous band by the name of Flight of the Conchords (FOTC). From Wellington, New Zealand, Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clement started FOTC while they were roommates in college, using the band as a way to hone in on their guitar skills. The band's interesting name comes from a dream in which a V formation of Gibson flying Vs resembled a gaggle of Concorde airplanes, thus being a flight of the conchords. After a slow start, the band began hitting the international circuit by the early 2000s. By 2005, the group was the subject of a

FOTC: Comedy folk duo, Flight of the Conchords' show on HBO. From left: Bret McKenzie, Jermaine Clement, Rhys Darby

City to make it big in the United States. With an inept, awkward manager Murray (Rhys Darby), a self-proclaimed "player" friend Dave (Arj Barker), Their songs run the gamut of and a married, yet still genres from rap (by none other hoping, obsessed fan (Kristen Schaal) as their than the Hiphopopotamus (whose only contacts in the city, lyrics are bottomless) and the the life of Clement and Rhymeoceros), to funky songs like McKenzie is never boring. "Business Time," to a fantastic In each episode is at song about robots taking over the least one or two of the band's hilarious hits. world. They do a phenomenal job of weaving the music into the story line, so the six-part BBC Radio 2 series, with music only adds to the show and a feel similar to that of Tenacious never distracts from it. The DVD D or Spinal Tap. In the same year, of the first season was released in FOTC landed a spot on the HBO late November of last year and is comedy series One Night Stand. an excellent addition to any FOTC In 2007, FOTC stepped up their fan's collection. game and premiered their show The band is truly amazing. Their The Flight of the Conchords on songs run the gamut of genres HBO. The show's premise is that from rap (by none other than the FOTC has arrived in New York

Hiphopopotamus (whose lyrics are bottomless) and the Rhymeoceros), to funky songs like"Business Time," to a fantastic song about robots taking over the world (where, in the future, they say "affirmative" instead of "yes"). I'm not the only one who appreciates FOTC's brilliance. In 2007, Clement and McKenzie were named the 2007 Wellingtonians of the Year. Both Time magazine and Entertainment Weekly put the show in one of the top 10 of 2007. And in February, the band's The Distant Future received a Grammy for Best Comedy Album. Whether you decide to listen to their music or watch their HBO show, check these guys out. They're amazingly talented and absolutely hilarious. Albeit, Flight of the Conchords probably isn't for everyone, I still suggest you listen/watch them before making a final decision. They are seriously that good.

The Roots grow in new direction

Band releases new album with new stories to tell BY JUSTIN PIERRE-LOUIS Staff

The Roots, who need no introduction from me, are the influential, hip-hop oriented, jazz influenced band out of Philadelphia that is highly respected for their artistic integrity and its conscience in the face of today’s more commercial hip hop. The band, led by drummer Questlove and MC Black Thought have always taken pride in pushing the envelope while staying “rooted” (pun intended) to their origins as musicians. For the their upcoming album Rising Down, hitting stores April 29, The Roots have chosen to experiment. And while it may not exactly be a new type of music or sound, there is definitely a new

feel, a more fully expressed anger and, possibly even a new openness that Roots fans haven’t seen before. "75 bars" easily the most provocative Roots production ever,

showcases the visceral new direction that its music has taken. With a militant drumbeat looped over a dragging snare that seems to warn us of some impending doom, Black Thought fills that ominous

instrumental tone with some of the most anger-filled, intense lyrics of any conscience or even gangster rap artist. The video, shot by director Rik Cordero (best known for his work on Jay-Z ‘s “Blue Magic” video), features a scenery which brings with it enough intensity and c o n t r ove r s y to match the lyrics of the song. We see, through the eyes of different people present, the kidnapping , beating and eventual burning alive of a white male figure who (I’m presuming) represents “The Man." The subtitle to the song is "Black Reconstruction," a See ROOTS p. 11


Diverse City

April 11, 2008


Self identity and Snow Angels


David Gordon Green's new film delivers What's it Going to be America? BY MIKE RIGA Staff

Snow Angels is one hard movie to write about. I went into David Gordon Green’s latest independent film expecting much of the same visual ambiance as his previous movies, such as George Washington or All the Real Girls. What I got was a multi-faceted complex character drama that actually succeeded in being complex, something most movies of the type fail at achieving. An emotional tale of self-identity, creation, and destruction, Snow Angels is a little movie that achieves much. As with all of Green’s work, it has its flaws, but the movie sticks with you. Snow Angels deals with lives of a good many people surrounding a young man and his childhood babysitter. Arthur (Michael Angarano) watches from afar as the former babysitter, Annie (Kate Beckinsdale), deals with her crumbled marriage to the damaged Glenn as well as its effects on her young daughter. Arthur must face his parents’ estrangement, along with a burgeoning love interest (Olivia Thirlby). This of course is only the bare bones of the plot, as we also are treated to snippets of the lives of Annie and Glenn’s parents, as well as the waitress Barb, and her adulterous husband Nate. The real drama in Snow Angels comes from the central storyline revolving around an estranged couple, Annie and Glenn. Glenn (Sam Rockwell) is a former alcoholic and suicide attempt. Struggling to regain a connection to the family he left behind, Glenn tries his hardest to reassert himself into their lives, with increasingly dire consequenc-

es. In this role, Rockwell is superb. Rockwell is one of the best actors in cinema today, and is equally adept in comedy as he is in serious drama (he does a little of both in this movie). He creates a character who is at once sympathetic, caring, and ultimately very frightening. He reminds us that normal human beings are the ones who can be the most destructive. Kate Beckinsdale, as Glenn’s

en to Nicky Katt, as a hilariously inept and useless adulterer, as well as Connor Paolo, as a profane high schooler, both in supporting roles. Thirlby is also quite charming as Arthur’s rather aloof love interest. Green is a talented director. Taking a bit from the Terrence Malick school of improvisational filmmaking, many of the shots Green chooses are interesting, smart, and add much to the overall feel of the

So What's it Going to be America? Imagine a world bereft of love Bereft of light Bereft of longing Imagine a world without sight Without sound Without touch And imagine a world where you can't think for yourself Where you can't control your actions Where you can't live your own life It's hell So make a decision America Make a decision Earth Make a decision you friggin Galaxy What's it going to be? Are you going to be free? Are you going to live? Are you going to love? Are you going to experience life? Or are you going to wallow in your own filth? Scrabbling over a footnote in history A scrap of land A piece of the world

counterpart, is equally up to the task. Her character is a woman who has faced some difficulties in her life, from her life as a single parent, to a series of relationships with men who are nowhere near as genuine as they seem. Her portrayal of a normal woman, one who appropriately makes mistakes, forced into tragic situations, is excellent. Amongst all this, light is breathed into the story around Angarano’s character. A young high-schooler who watches all this from afar, Arthur grows up a great deal throughout the film, and his storyline provides the movie’s reason for hope. Additional praise should be giv-

film. There are several scenes in this film that are absolutely stunning. The scenes with Glenn and his daughter are heartbreaking and touching at the same time, while the scenes with Arthur and his love interest are realistically awkward but appealing. Occasionally Green lets scenes play on too long, and his adherence in part to improvisation allows his actors to occasionally overdo it. Nonetheless, Green is still a director to watch, and his latest movie is a testament to the emotional and thematic connection he can See SNOW ANGELS p. 11

Swedish indie star performs at the Paradise Throughout the night, LekLekman’s affable stage presence man alternated between elegantly was on full display for “A Postcard crafted chamber pop and folksy to Nina,” a soul-inflected number acoustic numbers. On “Shirin,” for that tells the hilarious story best example, Lekman opted for a solo summarized by the lines, “Nina, acoustic rendition that showcased his shimmerI can’t be your ing falsetto boyfriend/So By combining Stephen and songwrityou can stay chops. with your girl- Merritt’s deadpan delivery ing friend.” He talk- with Morrissey’s overblown Although his albums have ed through the proclamations, seen his evostory in between romantic the verses, add- Lekman creates a style all lution from an acoustic trouing droll details his own. badour to an about train fares omnivorous and German pop singer, vegetarian food. this concert The high point of the night for me, however, showcased his ability to meld the came with “Sipping on the Sweet two personas, offering a perforNectar,” an ebullient Europop mance that felt both intimate and number with a danceable beat and improbably expansive. The most remarkable aspect well-placed orchestral loops. of Lekman’s genius is his ability LEKMAN (from p. 8)


to write songs that fuse diverting everyday experiences with sincere emotionality. For example, “Shirin” describes the transcendent experience that the singer derived from getting his hair cut by a mysterious Iraqi woman. By combining Stephen Merritt’s deadpan delivery with Morrissey’s overblown romantic proclamations, Lekman creates a style all his own. After the performance I had the privilege of chatting with the enigmatic artist. In response to my inquiry about how he felt about playing in Boston (it was his second time in a span of only six months), he proved that the tender, boyish persona he exudes onstage is only one aspect of his personality. “I used to have a kind of flirtation with Boston,” he admits. “But people didn’t like when I played Jonathan Richman covers. So f—k you, Boston!”

Decide now before it's too late. Damage has been done but we're still here Still standing Still breathing Still living We will have a chance to make this work It's our last chance The last opportunity The last bow before the curtain call We must be the staunch defenders of the future. Do you think we can change? Do you think we can halt the inevitable destruction of mankind? Do you think we, as one united people, can coexist? So what's it going to be America? It's your time to choose. A D V E RT I S E M E N T

Showtimes for Embassy Cinema 16 Pine Street, Waltham, MA Telephone: (781) 891-0911


Sat. /Sun. Mon.-Thurs.

Smart People (R, 104 min.)

(2:00) (4:40) 7:20 9:30

(2:00) 4:40 7:20 9:30

(2:30) (5:10) 8:00

21 (PG-13, 133 min.) In Bruges (R, 111 min.)

(1:30) 4:10 7:00 9:40

(1:30) 4:10 7:00 9:40

(2:00) 4:40 7:30

(1:40) (4:20) 7:10 9:25

(1:40) 4:20 7:10 9:25

(2:10) (5:00) 7:40

Married Life (PG-13, 123 min.)

(2:10) (4:50) 7:25 9:35

(2:10) 4:50 7:25 9:35

(2:40) (5:20) 8:10

Run, Fatboy, Run (PG-13, 111 min.)

(1:50) 4:30 7:05 9:25

(1:50) 4:30 7:05 9:25

(2:20) 4:50 7:50

The Band's Visit (PG-13, 99 min.)

(2:20) (5:00) 7:35 9:40

(2:20) 5:00 7:35 9:40

(2:50) (5:30) 8:20

April 11, 2008

Diverse City



Marketing is far more successful than you might think BY ARIELLA HERMAN Staff

Trends in consumer behavior demonstrate that people generally assume that purchasing merchandise on sale proves that they are conscientious about spending money. Most people chose to shop during sale season, or when a good deal is offered; however, often times people simply see a "smart bargain" as an excuse to make a purchase which they may not have considered otherwise. Elizabeth Kolbert of The New Yorker addresses this idea of irrational behavior in her article "What Was I Thinking? The Latest Reasoning About our Irrational Ways." People generally base their decisions on what will maximize their benefits, such as saving money by purchasing merchandise on sale. However, often times outside influences cause people to miscalculate the benefits of a decision which then leads to irrational behavior. In his novel Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely explains that our ir-

rational behavior is systematic. This notion suggests that our thought process causes us to repeatedly

Perhaps a person only intended on purchasing one book, but because of a "buy two, get one" free

make the same mistakes. People are swayed by marketing tactics such as "buy two, get one free," because the idea of a free product is assumed to be beneficial.

offer, they chose to buy two books, thinking that the extra money spent on the second one is almost negated by being given the third one free.

The psychology behind this reasoning seems to suggest that our decisions are often thoughtless and impulsive. People reason that a free offer is beneficial even if it adds an additional cost to their purchase. Although subconsciously people are aware of the fact that they are spending additional money, the idea of a bargain registers as less money spent. Companies use marketing tactics to coerce consumers to purchase their merchandise. Many industries such as the clothing or food industry list prices such as $39.99, because the number registers as less then $40 spent, when in reality it is only a cent less! Consumers often seem incapable of distinguishing an advertising scheme from an actually practical price offer. Although the majority of consumers act irrationally when deciding to make a final purchase, there are certain individuals which chose to look past the persuasive "$9.99" marked in bold red letters. Interestingly, people are influenced by the large print letters in a

magazine or store front signifying a sale; however, people are typically impartial to the offers advertised by telemarketers. Advertisements made through phone calls are seen as a nuisance to the general public, and as a result people often chose to ignore the phone call completely. Many households today choose to have phones with caller ID in order to monitor the phone calls, and avoid answering telemarketers. Consumer behavior suggests that people refuse to succumb to advertisements which infringe upon their privacy. The moral here is to seriously consider purchases before making them. Research is being and has been done to figure out how best to persuade the consumer to buy products. These strategies are oftentimes so covert that consumers don't see them coming. Be a smart shopper and soon you'll see though these marketing strategies and make purchases without buyer's remorse.

one named “Tom” (a reference to Uncle Tom's Cabin), "Get Busy" makes its points in a very straightforward and effective way. So will Rising Down inspire people to rise up? Maybe. One thing we can be sure of is that it will shock us. It has already started to shock us with its lack of acknowledgment towards convention and total honesty without regards for what shouldn’t be done in a music video. On a lighter note, The Roots are not all doom and gloom. The song "Birthday Girl," which was set to be the first single off the album de-

spite all of the other leaked tracks, is a happy, pop synergy feel-good song about young love and confusion. Granted, there are undertones of issues pertaining to girl being too young (à la R. Kelly) but, considering the rest of the album and the fact that the girl in the song is 17, it’s not so bad. Also, most importantly, the song features Fall Out Boy vocalist Patrick Stump, which is also a marker of artistic openness and newfound forms of creativity in The Roots. Rising Down in stores April 29. Be ready to be uncomfortable.

Character drama Roots keep on growing

SNOW ANGELS (from p. 10)

make with his audience. Snow Angels is about self-identity. Glenn is a man who is slowly losing everything he thinks he is. Annie is a woman searching for a new self. Arthur is learning to embrace his own identity. Much of what takes place over the course of the movie emanates from these conflicts. Green reinforces this with some touching reminders throughout the movie. At one point, Rockwell destroys a picture frame above his bed. Behind it is a hand print with “me” written above it. These kinds of markers populate the film, and symbolize a man’s loss of his own self. We are also given a look into the lives of the protago-

nists’ parents, and each one again provides another layer into why these characters are the way they are. Glenn’s parents coddle him, and Annie’s mother treats her like nothing is good enough. You can trace where their problems come from. It is rare that a movie achieves that kind of layered depictions of characters. It’s something that books do really well. But surprisingly and to great insight, Snow Angels pulls it off. This movie is not perfect. But it is excellently put together and acted. It is a story that feels like it could happen, and while not everything works, the best moments are so well orchestrated and pack such a punch, that it’d be a shame if you missed this film.

Multi-layered play

ANGELS (from p. 8)

ible to the audience in front of the stage, the musicians have a prominent place right along with the performers on stage. Conducted by Matthew Stern '08, the pit handled a tough score very well but had trouble capturing the show’s jazzy feel while also balancing themselves with the singers. However, Stern was impressive in keeping the music in time with the singing since he had his back to performers. Stern said of prepping the music, “I had to find creative ways to teach the cast and band members how to understand [the difficulty of the music] in a way that would make it performable. In the end, everyone involved really met the challenges that were offered in the score.” Credits for the excellent choreography go to Kaplan who said, “It was a huge undertaking to put on a show as complicated as City of Angels. This was the first time I choreographed a full-length show and it was a great to see it all come

together in the end.” The cast also did well in capturing the humor of City of Angels. The funniest performance, and the most impressive supporting character, came from Harrison Bannett '11 playing Buddy Fidler in the Hollywood world and Irwin S. Irving in the movie. From the voice, to the mannerisms, Bannett perfectly plays the part of the Hollywood directory with an enormous ego. The songs also have a lot of witty humor in its lyrics, mostly of the sexual variety. For example Stone and Alaura Kingsley trade off sexual innuendos in “The Tennis Song”- “I'll bet you like to play rough/I like to work up a sweat/ And you just can't get enough/I'm good for more than one set /But I promise I'll show no regret If you beat me/My backhand is clearly my forte/Shall we say the ball is in your court.” Judging from the quality of the plot and the skill of the cast, this is one city, the audience does not mind spending a little time in.

ROOTS (from p. 9)

hint that the metaphorical message behind the obvious display of violence in the video is not only racism, but classism and oppression as a whole by force. There is symbolism strewn throughout the video which alludes to the Black Panther movement which both paints the picture for us of The Roots vs. Oppression as opposed to The Roots vs. some tied up white guy, while at the same time posing the question of where we draw the line between Criminal and Freedom Fighter. The next video that leaked onto the internet was for the song “Get Busy." It further clarifies that, to The Roots, oppression is not merely a black and white issue but one of class struggle and of poverty. It also keeps the same metronometype drums, perhaps even extenuating this aspect of the instrumental to mirror the robotic nature of how The Roots see the corporate world. This video, also directed by Cordero, addresses gentrification and conformity in a really bizarre way. The artists, including distinguished guest rappers Dice Raw (a former Roots member) and Peedi Crack (who you might remember from the song "Flipside"), literally become white button down and black tie-wearing automatons. It’s almost funny to discern the serious aspects of this parody from the outright humorous, especially when you see Questlove robotically beating drums. Even DJ Jazzy (yes, Jazz from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) is featured in this song, doing some scratches for the chorus. The overall experience is not as much of a mind trip as “75 Bars,” but with the key scene in which MC Black Thought has a choice between his own lunch and that of some-

Want to report on the newest music, movies and entertainment? Looking to explore issues related to diversity and culture? Interested in creative writing?

Come and write for Diverse City!! E-mail

Diverse City - The Brandeis Hoot - 4-11-08  
Diverse City - The Brandeis Hoot - 4-11-08  

Diverse City - The Brandeis Hoot - 4-11-08