Serving The University Of Texas At Austin Community Since 1900 @thedailytexan | thedailytexan.com
Monday, December 2, 2019
Volume 121, Issue 74
McCombs study finds many people are fooled by fake political stories.
UT students should ensure self-care is productive and does not lead to poor study habits.
Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out” reinvents classic ‘whodunit’ story archetype.
Longhorns show out for seniors in final home game of the season against Texas Tech.
UTPD investigates former UT administrator for fraud By Lauren Grobe @grobe_lauren
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Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando coaches up players during a huddle. Orlando, along with several other members of the coaching staff, were relieved of their positions or re-assigned following a dissapointing 7—5 season.
Tom Herman fired defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, wide receivers coach Drew Mehringer and reassigned several coaches after Texas’ 7—5 season came to an end. By Daniela Perez & Donnavan Smoot
“After taking time, looking back and evaluating the season in its totality, I am very disappointed in our performance in a number of areas in 2019,” Herman said in the press release. “7–5 will never be our standard at Texas, and I take full responsibility for any and all of our shortcomings and know we need to do a better job coaching across the board.” Orlando will be replaced by co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Craig Naviar, who will serve as the interim coordinator while Texas begins its national search for the next defensive coordinator. Andre Coleman and Jeremiah George, who were previously on the support staff, will fill in interim roles. Coleman will be the wide receivers coach, while George
exas Football fired defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and wide receivers coach Drew Mehringer, and re-assigned several other coaches, according to a press release from the program on Sunday. Texas has re-assigned offensive coordinator Tim Beck to quarterbacks coach for bowl preparation, while inside receivers coach Corby Meekins will serve in an “administrative capacity.” The announcement of the major coaching changes comes at the conclusion of Texas’ 7–5 regular season.
will coach the linebackers. Director of recruiting Bryan Carrington will move into one of the 10 fulltime assistant coaching roles as an interim to help Herman on the recruiting trail. Following Texas’ 49-24 win, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte told a small group of reporters that coaching changes are decisions that will be made by Herman. “This has been a tumultuous six or seven years,” Del Conte said after the game. “Three chancellors, two presidents, four ADs, three football coaches, two basketball and baseball coaches, and yet, this is the first time we’ve had three back-to-back winning seasons. So, at the end of the day, I see light at the end of the tunnel.” Two days later, the program announced major changes. These
Austin woman searches for bone marrow donor @brynneherzfeld
When the doctor walked through the door, Lizzie Tennyson knew exactly what he would say. Four days before she was going to start studying computer engineering at UT in October, her cancer was back. “UT has been my dream since I was 16,” Tennyson said. “I had been planning to go there for so long, and ... getting it taken away from me this time in particular, it’s just really hard.” Tennyson said she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at 13, and she said her cancer has relapsed four times since her diagnosis. After multiple treatments, including chemotherapy, t-cell therapy and trial drugs, Tennyson is searching for a bone marrow donor. However, she said her case is complicated because she is half African American and half Caucasian, which makes finding a suitable donor difficult. “(The doctors) explained to
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By Brynne Herzfeld
changes come on the heels of a lackluster defensive year for the Longhorns. In their 2019 season, Orlando’s defense allowed 28.9 points per game, ranking No. 8 out of the 10 teams in the Big 12. Texas has also struggled significantly in pass defense, ranking No. 9 in the conference after giving up 306.4 passing yards per game. Over the final four games, Texas’ defense allowed scores of 24, 23, 24, 24 — a massive improvement from the first eight games of the year after allowing 30 points to every Power Five opponent it faced until the Kansas State matchup in Week Nine. Coming into this season, Texas was replacing eight defensive
The University’s former assistant vice president of procurement, business and payment services is connected to a criminal investigation by the UT Police Department for conduct that occurred during his job, according to records obtained by the Austin American-Statesman. According to the American-Statesman, the audit conducted earlier this year by the University into Felix Alvarez is being used by the UTPD in the detection, investigation or prosecution of a crime. Alvarez, who could not be reached for comment, resigned from his University position last April and currently works as the executive director of Austin Independent School District’s contract and procurement services, according to The Texas Tribune. The Texas Tribune requested memorandums and reports about UT’s procurement practices and Alvarez’s former position, but UTPD objected to releasing the information because “it relates to and is being utilized in the investigation of an ongoing criminal investigation,” according to a letter sent by a UT System lawyer to the attorney general’s office. University spokesperson J.B. Bird said the University could not provide information beyond the records provided to the Tribune. As of publication, The Daily Texan’s request for records provided to the Tribune was still pending.
West Campus students petition for increase in light, police poles
me it has to do with the markers in your DNA and your ethnicity,” Tennyson said. “I have DNA markers from a full Caucasian person and a full African American person, so all of those markers have now mixed. There’s only so many people that have that same exact genetic makeup.” A patient’s family would ideally provide matches, and siblings have a 50% chance of providing a perfect match, said Dr. William Matsui, a medical oncologist at the Dell Medical School. He said if someone is unable to find an exact bone marrow match, they can try to find near-matches. “If we’re matching 10 different things, maybe nine out of 10 matches would probably be okay,” Matsui said. “Once you start matching less than eight, then it becomes difficult. There’s a higher chance the recipient is going to reject the donor bone marrow.” Tennyson said she has reached out to find a donor is through an
When walking to her West Campus apartment alone at midnight, economics junior Taylor Wissman said it is hard to know someone’s intentions. When she spotted a man sitting in the dark last month, she began to fear for her life. “This man was sitting on a bench,” Wissman said. “I thought he was going to grab me … It was very dark. I didn’t see the man until I was close.” In response to incidents like this, marketing sophomore Chloe Baker said she created a petition on Change.org, calling for Austin City Council and the University to increase the number of light and police poles in West Campus. In two weeks, the petition exceeded its initial goal of 1,500 and now aims to collect 2,500 signatures, according to the Change.org petition.
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By Brooke Ontiveros @Brookexpanic
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When William Hutson decided to apply for a dual masters program after already being admitted to the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, he said he was met with repetitive transcript fees and additional expenses. Hutson is a dual masters student within the LBJ School and the School of Journalism. He said many of the fees required for the graduate school application process are unnecessary and make the process very difficult for students. Hutson said despite being admitted to another University graduate school, he had to submit some of the same documents. “I had to submit another transcript as if they didn’t already have it,” Hutson said. “There’s no reason for UT to charge students a transcript fee, especially when (they are) already admitted to the University.”
In addition to the application fee ranging from $65 to $90, other costs include sending scores and transcripts, fees specific to the individual school, or books to prepare for standardized tests, such as the Graduate Records Examinations.
Shannon Neuse, director of the graduate and international admissions center, said the University is focused on helping students afford the application process and keep costs as low as possible. Neuse said there is no significant difference in
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applying to one graduate program at the University versus another. She said the exception is the masters of business administration and masters of public administration programs, which have higher application fees. “The College of Natural
Sciences as a whole is trying very hard to open doors for students that they feel are underrepresented,” Neuse said. “We partner with them to do a similar fee waiver program.” Neuse said the University also offers fee waivers through programs such as McNair, which seeks to increase the number of students earning doctoral degrees who come from underrepresented communities. “It’s nice to emphasize the scenarios where we do offer waivers for those fees,” said Nick Hundley, director of communications for the UT Graduate School. Neuse said the fee waiver program runs on a limited budget, but waives around 100 fees per year. Hutson said while applying to graduate programs, he was unaware of resources available to assist with fees. “If I’m not aware that a service exists, it means I’m not taking advantage of something that helps me out,” Hutson said. “Make it front and center that there are all of these initiatives to help out.”
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starters. The inexperience of the defense was the primary concern at the beginning of the year, but it shifted quickly to the injuries that plagued their side of the ball. Orlando was in the second of his four-year contract that was paying
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him $1.7 million annually. Texas’ offense was expected to lead the Longhorns to a College Football Playoff berth this season behind veterans like senior wide receiver Collin Johnson and junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger. Yet, they began sputtering following their loss to the Oklahoma Sooners. In the first six
marrow registry,” Hillhouse said. “We try to add volunteer donors to our registry, and hope that one day, every patient in need would have a matching committed donor on the registry.” Those interested in helping Tennyson find a match can text “Lizzie” to 61474, or go out to a bone marrow donation drive organized by Be the Match.
organization called Be the Match. This international organization works with patients with blood cancers and blood disorders to connect them with donors, said Samuel Hillhouse, community services manager for GenCure, the local partner of Be the Match. “Be the Match is the world’s largest
games, Texas averaged 37 points per game. Following the morale-crushing loss, they declined to 31 points per game, putting up only 10 points against Baylor and 21 against Iowa State. Before the Texas Tech game, Beck was asked about potential staff changes. “That’s entirely up to Tom,” Beck said. “I can look in the mirror. I work
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According to the Austin American-Statesman, AISD is aware of the University’s investigation, but Nicole Conley, AISD’s chief business and operations officer, told the American-Statesman she did not know the nature of the investigation. “We’re certainly awaiting the results of the investigation and will take the necessary action to make sure all of our employees meet the level of integrity expected at
really hard. I do a really good job. I’m proud of what I’ve done. I feel like I coach these guys hard. I recruit hard.” Both Orlando and Beck came to UT in 2017 with Herman. Orlando worked under Herman while he was head coach at the University of Houston and Beck was with Herman during Ohio State’s 2015 Championship run.
the district,” Conley told the American-Statesman. According to the American-Statesman, the district contacted the University on Sept. 18 for Alvarez’s personnel records, and an anonymous tip was emailed to the district the next day. The tipster said Alvarez left the University because he was about to be fired, according to the American-Statesman. The tipster also said Alvarez inappropriately used department funds and equipment and auctioned athletic tickets on his Facebook
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The Daily Texan, a student newspaper at The University of Texas at Austin, is published by Texas Student Media, 2500 Whitis Ave., Austin, TX 78712. The Daily Texan is published daily, Monday through Friday, during the regular academic year and is published once weekly during the summer semester. The Daily Texan does not publish during academic breaks, most Federal Holidays and exam periods. News contributions will be accepted by telephone 2.120). Entire contents copyright 2019 Texas Student Media.
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Offensive coordinator Tim Beck puts players through warmups before a game. Beck was one of the coaches that was reassigned, and will move into a new role as quarterback coach.
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Baker said she has never seen a police pole in West Campus. The UT Police Department directed questions about police poles in West Campus to the Austin Police Department, who then directed questions back to UTPD. “You have people that are vulnerable,” Baker said. “A lot of young adults that
walk by themselves late at night in a very urban setting creates a vulnerable area. The lighting is just not up to par as to what it should be to bring about optimal safety.” Baker said though there are some streets that are well lit, including the major roads like Rio Grande, there are still streets with no light due to broken fixtures. “It’s the smaller streets like Seton and Nueces
where the lights are dimmer, and some of the lights are even out,” Baker said. “There is one street by Ruckus that is probably one of the darkest streets I have ever walked on. It’s so dark, I’m kind of nervous the cars can even see pedestrians.” The Austin City Council passed a resolution in May 2017 which directed the Austin city manager to complete a lighting study of West Campus and
appointed Austin Energy to repair street lighting in West Campus. In an email, Austin Energy spokesperson Jennifer Herber said all fixtures previously identified in last year’s study have been repaired. “While UT is not in session over the holidays, Austin Energy crews will begin proactive maintenance initiative to identify and repair existing light outrages that have not been reported through 311,” Herber said.
“I’m truly grateful for everything Todd, Drew and Corby have done, not only for us here at Texas, but in building the program at Houston, as well,” Herman said. “These were very difficult decisions, and certainly not an indictment of them as coaches. I just believe we need a fresh set of eyes and infusion of new ideas and energy to help us grow across the board.”
account. None of the tipster’s allegations have been independently verified by the Texan. This is the second University official to come under financial scrutiny this semester. According to a memo sent to UT President Gregory Fenves in September, an internal audit and outside law firm investigation found that former UT Law facilities director Jason Shoumaker defrauded the law school of roughly $1.6 million.
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Whitis Court dorm boilers being replaced over winter break By Brooke Ontiveros @Brookexpanic
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UT study finds fake news headlines on social media fuel consumer distrust By Bethany Stork @bethgstork
False headlines and lies misconstruing factual news are contributing to an increasing distrust among media consumers through social media, according to a study co-authored by a McCombs School of Business assistant professor. The study, which was released last month, suggests consumers are more likely to believe fake headlines that align with their beliefs compared to truthful headlines. According to the study, 83 social media users were asked to read 50 political news headlines as they would appear on Facebook and decide whether they were true or false. The study found students identified 44% of headlines correctly. Lead author Tricia Moravec — who is also an assistant professor of information, risk and opera-
tions management — said social media is not an “appropriate platform” for news consumption. “Recognize that you are likely just as bad as everyone else at detecting fake news,” Moravec said in an email. “You and I are just as subject to influence from our confirmation bias as your family, friends and peers.” Radio-television-film sophomore Joey Karlik said being skeptical is the first line of defense against fake news, but most people are not as skeptical as they need to be. “Whenever you’re on social media, you’re never like ‘Oh, I want to be informed,’” Karlik said. “You want to be entertained. People create headlines that feed into that sensationalism, even if they’re not true.” Karlik said he prefers getting news directly from a trusted news source, such as local news outlets, due to the presence of fake news on social media.
“You believe what you want to believe,” Karlik said. “It’s like going to Target and picking and choosing the stuff you want to buy and leaving the rest. That’s how our biases are made and social media news outlets know this” Economics freshman Trevor Tankersley said political stories are often a victim of fake news because the political spectrum is polarized. “People are always looking for reasons that reaffirm the things they already believe so they can justify why they can believe them,” Tankersley said. “That works with politics as well as any other belief.” Moravec said participants in the study thought more about headlines that confirmed their beliefs. “We need to verify any potentially important news that we see on social media on (an) actual news site, and preferably verify it from more than one source with different political biases,” Moravec said in an email.
Students in Whitis Court Residence Hall have been experiencing severe fluctuations in temperatures since late September, mechanical engineering freshman Remy Feru said. He said entire weekends have been spent in 60-degree temperatures. “It’s pretty difficult to sleep,” Feru said. “I had to put on sweatpants, wool socks and four layers of clothing on. It can be difficult to study because your hands physically hurt from the cold.” Over winter break, Rick Early, director of residential facilities operations, said the University is planning to replace boilers and add digital controls to stabilize temperatures. Early said because
the heating relies directly on functioning boilers, when one breaks, heat will be shut off entirely to a part of a building. He said one broken boiler was replaced two weeks ago, and the University is scheduled to replace an additional two. Whitis Court resident Daniel Tavira said he has spent entire days and weekends in cold conditions on the male side of the dormitory while the female side has warm temperatures, regardless of the weather outside. “The temperature just isn’t comfortable to live in,” government freshman Tavira said. Early said Whitis Court uses a two pipeline system to heat and cool its buildings. He said when temperatures are within the range of 58-60 degrees, the cold water pipe will stop, and the hot water pipe will
begin running. “When the building’s cold and we need heat, our boilers kick on to create hot water that runs through the pipes, but it takes three to four hours to make a complete switch,” Early said. Rooms are currently set at temperatures on manual controls that need constant recalibrations, Early said. He said the heat can be set to 70 degrees and a couple of days later, the temperature will change to 65 degrees. “I can literally send a mechanic up there to adjust your room if you live there,” Early said. “I could adjust it, and it could be as much as three or four degrees off tomorrow.” Early said students will still see a fluctuation in temperatures when the pipes switch between heating and cooling, but digital controls will allow for remote temperature adjustments, ensuring stable and comfortable conditions for students.
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Students should be mindful when practicing self-care, be wary of unhealthy study practices By Julia Zaksek Forum editor
As finals season begins, there’s a lot of talk about self-care. Comfort dogs visit campus, clubs hand out face masks and coffee shops become crowded. Students can see self-care as some form of overly luxurious alone time — spending all evening in a bubble bath or applying numerous face masks. Self-care is often defined as a complete break from responsibility. While everyone needs a break, constructing selfcare as a stress-free alternative to work can lead to unhealthy ideas of what constitutes self-care and poor study habits.
Categorizing self-care as simple breaks from responsibility can be used to justify avoidance. It’s easy and convenient to claim that continually putting off work from a challenging class is a form of self-care. Avoiding an assignment or waiting until the last possible moment to submit a paper? Self-care. Going out drinking to forget about an upcoming project? Self-care. Self-care isn’t all relaxing evenings at home and nights out with friends. Self-care is often challenging. Sometimes it’s forcing yourself to start a paper early, so you won’t have to pull an all-nighter. It can be setting up a schedule that allots time for both work and spending time with friends, or just by yourself and sticking to it. Self-care can be saying no to going out so you can
go to sleep early. Self-care is supposed to be an activity that decreases stress and allows you to focus on yourself and your well-being. It shouldn’t be something that ultimately makes life harder. In this forum, psychology sophomore Alyssa Rosales discusses common misconceptions about self-care and how she applies self-care to her study habits. UT social work alum Magaly Maldonado Lopez describes the negative effects of using alcohol as a substitute for proper self-care and encourages current students to find self-care activities that don’t merely put off stress. As always, if you have any thoughts on this topic or any other, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Self-care comes in many forms: Not just spa days, face masks
Think of self-care as what you need, not just what you want
By Alyssa Rosales
This trick allows me to study for 40 minutes straight without any distractions and then follow it up with 10-minute breaks where I can get a small snack, stretch and As the end of the semester approaches, possibly take a catnap. This approach to studying has allowed me students all over the Forty Acres are beginto become more focused on my studies in a ning to stress about upcoming finals, essays more effective way, rather than going into a and their final grade in class. While stress continues to rise as the se- blank repetitive state of typing and writing mester comes to an end, mental health and all day long. Many people would not consider this self-care begin to decrease. Many people believe that college stu- small change to my study habits an example of self-care. dents have no time to take However, while I care of themselves, but it am still focusing on my is important to remember studies, taking small that without good mental breaks every 40 minutes health students can suffer allows me to collect all academically and socially. my thoughts and focus Self-care is just one of However, the on myself. It helps me the many stepping stones reality is that selfprotect my mental health that students can take in the long run. care can come in in order to better their Self-care can come in mental health. many forms and many different shapes. When people think about students can take Self-care can be someself-care, a lot of the time thing as small as buying care of themthey believe that you need yourself a coffee every to set a whole day away to selves on a Friday from your favorpamper yourself with face daily basis.” ite coffee shop, or almasks and salads in order lowing yourself to take to feel your best. the whole weekend to sit However, the reality is back and relax. that self-care can come in As students, we sometimes wormany different forms and students can take ry that we need to be going 24/7, when care of themselves on a daily basis. Self-care can be something as simple as in reality it is important to take time allowing yourself to take 20 minutes to read for yourself. As finals are approaching, remember that a book you really enjoy, go for a run to clear even if you are at the library all day long, your mind, or even meditate for five minutes take the time to close your laptop and sit to collect your thoughts and ideas. As a student myself, while I get very back to enjoy the day as much as possible. caught up in studying all day long, one of the And remember, there is only a week of tricks I use to make sure that I do not com- class left in the semester before we have a pletely burn out from studying is to break up whole month to relax. my study times into 40-minute intervals. Rosales is a psychology sophomore. Contributor
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By Magaly Maldonado Lopez Contributor
Whenever I was really overwhelmed with school, it was guaranteed I was going out to 6th Street or a party. Friday night, I would blast some loud music, put some lipstick on and head out to 6th. The alcohol made me feel on top of the world and so happy to be alive in that moment. I would dance away every Friday and Saturday night. It all made me feel free and in control of my life. It felt as if after all of that studying and nonstop homework I deserved to enjoy that free time. However, the next morning, all my problems from the night before were still there. Nothing had changed. I still had to study for my midterm, write my paper and do my discussion board. The only thing different was that I was more behind and more overwhelmed. That meant more cramming and less — or no — sleep on Sunday. We like to think it is funny to have to pull an all-nighter, but there is nothing healthy about causing yourself mental instability — it’s psychotic, if anything. After a few months of continuing this weekend cycle, I decided to stop causing myself mental distress. I took control of my actions. Thankfully, as a social work major, self-care was something we always talked about. I decided to start listening to everything I had learned. Social media and capitalism have led society to associate self-care with face masks and wine nights. However, it is so much more than that. It means taking care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. To me, self-care means doing what is best for you, even if it is not what you want to do. The easiest way to explain self-care is by thinking about it in the sense of needs vs. wants. For example, I wanted to go out and disassociate from my schoolwork reality, but what I needed was to face my reality. Not doing so only caused high anxiety and mental exhaustion.
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Self-care is also about loving yourself with your imperfections, both inner and outer. There are so many people who are not happy with how they look, but from here, you only have two choices: love yourself for who you are or better yourself for who you want to be. By not doing so, you are only hurting yourself and your self-esteem. So, choose to love yourself. Sometimes, all it takes is having a positive perspective. I encourage you to have positive inner and outer thoughts about yourself. Before leaving your apartment, look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am __________.” When my self-esteem was really at a low and I was feeling very insecure, I would look at myself in the mirror and say, “I am brave and bold. I am a bad a-- b---- and I will conquer.” This may sound silly, but after constant self-reassurance, I started to believe I was a bad a-b----. I became bolder and more confident in myself. It is the little things that create self-love. If you get a bad score on your midterm, reframe the way you think of the exam. Remind yourself that a number does not define you. Remember, it took Benjamin Franklin more than 3,000 tries to invent the light bulb. If you fail once, give it another 1,000 tries and you can succeed. Self-care is also knowing when to ask for help. If you can’t sleep, go see a professional. If you sleep too much, go see a professional. If you are grieving, go see a professional. If you are freaking out about postgrad life, go see a professional. The incredible thing about UT is they give you free individual counseling sessions — take advantage of them! Choose to include self-care into your daily routine. Choose to better yourself. You owe it to yourself to be mentally, physically and emotionally healthy. I am leaving you with this: Self-care is needs vs. wants, being proactive, ignoring instant gratification and self-love. Lopez is a social work alum.
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Fans at Darrel K Royal-Texas Stadium cheer on during the third quarter of Texas’ 49-24 win vs. Texas Tech on Nov. 29, 2019.
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under the radar. Bufalino’s presence in the film dangerously looms over other characters as Pesci somehow expresses an unmatched power and intimidation. The plot of “The Irishman” spans over several years, events, characters and locations. Running 3 1/2 hours, “The Irishman” surely covers a lot of narrative ground. While at times
confusing, Scorsese manages to weave together a nearly seamless retelling of Sheeran’s high-stakes life within the Bufalino mob. Characters come and go, while Sheeran continues to rise in power and respect amongst some of the members of the family. The journey takes Sheeran to some disturbing and questionable place all while audiences receive character narration as he recounts his story. The narration-based element helps to ground the story with audiences and connect them deeper
with the main protagonist despite his criminalistic tendencies. By the end of the film, audiences will feel as if they’ve lived a lifetime with Mr. Sheeran, aching at the sight of him losing his youth and grace. The violence in the film is very abrupt and unstyled. Murders are carried out with swift and disturbing precision, often featuring explicit gore with no protective edits. This makes the world of “The Irishman” feel viscerally dangerous, as it should be. The
cinematography itself features a lot of natural lighting, contrasting dark urban environments with dull interior spaces. The poorly lit spaces the characters live within contrast greatly with the ominous and gritty lighting of the restaurants and spaces where the mob resides. “The Irishman” is a time-twisting, extravagant piece of cinema. Scorsese pulls out all the stops with a film that is not only acted incredibly, but one that is shot, edited, directed and portrayed with excellence.
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know who these characters are, and you want them to know, so giving them specific things that would inform a lifetime. And that comes from watching a lot of documentaries and knowing (why) I feel like I can get so close to this person and taking those things and figuring out how they correlate to a fictional character. And then when you write these character biographies for the actors, it’s very helpful. You know, where they were when they were born, what happened, what were the milestones of their lives and then the little details. With Lakeith (Stanfield), I would send him memes that I thought that his character liked and … I thought his character thought were funny.
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being specific, you haven’t even started. BS: There are people playing (acting) parts (in film school) that are so clearly not who they are. Somebody putting on the worst costume. So you don’t have to do that because you could just make a movie about yourselves, you know? DT: As a director, how do you get the best performance out of actors? JS: A huge part of it is the initial transfer of enthusiasm. Letting these performers know that you
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D O N N AVA N S M O O T
Sports Editor | @TEXANSPORTS
MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2019
Texas claims share of Big 12 title with win over Cyclones By Clark Dalton @clarktdalton1T
TEXAS WINS IN SENIOR FINALE eddie gaspar
/ the daily texan file
Senior defensive lineman Malcolm Roach tries to fight through a double-team against Baylor on Nov. 23, 2019. Roach is one of the many seniors who played their last home game at DKR on Friday.
On Black Friday, Texas did more than enough to let its seniors finish their last game at DKR with a win. By Donnavan Smoot @Dsmoot3D
n a gray and gloomy Black Friday, Texas — even if just for a game — got its swagger back. Even in a 49-24 win, though, the scene at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium was far from what this team envisioned in August. The Longhorns didn’t have a conference championship to play for and didn’t have to worry about a 4-8 Texas Tech team. The only thing that mattered to Texas on Friday was sending its seniors out with a win. “We all know this is not where we hoped we would be to begin the season,” head coach Tom Herman said. “But to send the seniors out … was the mission from the time we met on Sunday.” Early on, it looked as if senior day would be spoiled — as the first quarter struggles that had plagued the Longhorns all season showed their faces. The Red Raiders put the ball in the end zone on their first two drives, taking a quick 14-0 lead. Then Texas exploded, going on a 49-10 run and winning 49-24. “There was no panicking,” senior defensive lineman Malcolm Roach said. “We knew how to
respond. I’m just proud of how the guys sent us out. The guys practiced hard all week and told us we weren’t going to lose this game. It was a great last memory on that field.” The Longhorns scored a touchdown on six of its next seven drives — not counting the kneel down to end the first half. For the most part, the ground game was similar to what it usually is. Texas ran for 262 yards, the fifth time it has gone over 200 yards rushing this season. As the Longhorns were getting whatever they wanted on the ground, the Red Raiders were being denied on the other side. Texas was able to limit the damage from the ground game and put together another solid performance, which looked highly unlikely about a month ago. “Not a lot was on the line, so we really had nothing to lose,” Roach said. “We were just going out there trying to build memories so they (underclassmen) could get momentum and we could have a great memory on our last time in there.” Texas’ victory saved them from an average season, in terms of record, and gave them a third winning season in a row. When it was all said and done, Texas did what it wanted to do. It sent the seniors off with a win and provided them with one final memory of DKR to end this part
of their careers. It was a culmination for the seniors on the team, many of whom had the coach that recruited them, Charlie Strong, fired a year into their time with the program. The seniors had a moment before the game to reflect on their careers. Each player ran from the south end zone, hugged coach Herman and then went to their families. They thanked the fans with waves and raised arms, getting the praise and recognition that comes along with the end of an era for a team. “It was definitely really emotional,” senior defensive back Brandon Jones said. “There’s just a lot to take in and thankfully, my mom held up because (if) she would have cried, I would’ve I lost it. But it is definitely awesome just seeing the guys were in the line with me, just knowing everything that we’ve been through. It’s been a really awesome experience.” After the game, senior linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch, not ready to say goodbye to it all, was one of the last players to leave the field. After the Longhorn Band stopped playing, he stepped back to soak up his last moments at the stadium. When he decided it was time to go, he took a couple steps back, looked around and blew two kisses to the stadium he’d called home for four years.
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For the past two years, the Texas volleyball team has finished in first place or tied for first place in the Big 12, but has lost in the NCAA Regional Final. This year, the team has accomplished the former, while hoping to avoid the latter. The team clinched a share of the Big 12 Title and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with a win over Iowa State on Saturday in Ames. While the Longhorns were most likely going to receive an at-large bid should they have failed to win the Big 12, the win allowed the Longhorns to lock up a national seed in the NCAA Tournament. Texas’ top four seed means it will have the luxury of playing in Austin until the Final Four, a huge advantage for a team looking to win its first title since 2012. The Longhorns earned their 21st victory of the season in four sets. Senior outside hitter Micaya White and sophomore middle blocker Brionne Butler powered the Texas offense, earning 29 kills between the two of them across the four sets. While the offense performed at a high level, the Cyclones weren’t going to give up without a fight. Iowa State pushed the Longhorns with nine ties during the first set. Every time Texas would take a lead the
Cyclones would have an answer. The turning point came when both teams were tied at 20. The Cyclones went on a quick run, employing an effective defensive strategy that forced two attack errors and a service error. Iowa State held on 25-23, as freshman outside hitter Michal Schuler slammed a kill over the Texas front line to end the set. All season, the Longhorns have thrived when forced to respond to adversity, and this match was no different. The beginning of the second set looked to be the start of another back and forth battle. After the set was tied at three points a piece, Texas grabbed 12 straight points during this stretch. White contributed with two kills in the 12-point stretch, and freshman middle blocker Asjia O’Neal chipped in with two kills of her own. Texas’ defense played a key role, as the Cyclones committed 14 errors. White was at the center of the attack errors, disrupting the Cyclones flow with two blocks. Texas was now up 15-3. Iowa State tried to come back from the 15-3 deficit, but proved unable to overcome the Longhorns’ early lead. Texas won the second set 25-9 in a show of dominance. In the third set, Butler continued to contribute for the Longhorns. She came up
clutch when Texas was trailing 8-9, hammering a kill to tie the set. She would also execute a block that gave the Longhorns an early 11-9 lead. Despite multiple attempts to rally, Iowa State would never lead again. Six kills from White combined with a strong defensive effort helped the Longhorns to a 25-19 third set victory. The Cyclones, with their backs against the wall, jumped out to an early lead in the fourth set. Catching Texas off guard would be the only chance the team had, but Butler and freshman opposite hitter Skylar Fields both notched kills to stop the bleeding for Texas. The final lead change tipped the match toward Texas. With the Longhorns trailing 14-17, White earned a kill. In the following play, Iowa State made an attack error and O’Neal capitalized with a kill of her own, tying the game at 17. Schuler responded with a kill for Iowa State to momentarily regain the lead, but a White kill tied the game once more. White then recorded a service ace, giving the Longhorns to lead for good, eventually winning the set 25-19. The win earned Texas its third consecutive Big 12 championship. The Longhorns’ quest for a national title begins at Gregory Gym on Thursday when No. 2 Texas hosts Albany.
/ the daily texan file
Senior outside hitter Micaya White prepares to return the ball against Kansas at Gregory Gym on Nov. 23, 2019.
CHANNING MILLER & LAUREN IBANEZ
Comics Editors | @THEDAILYTEXAN
MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2019
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J O R DY N Z I T M A N
Life&Arts Editor | @JORDYNZITMAN
MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2019
FILM REVIEW | ‘KNIVES OUT’
copyright jack plunkett, and reproduced with permission
The Thrombey family, played by actors such as Jamie Lee Curtis (“Halloween”), Katherine Langford (“13 Reasons Why”) and Toni Collette (“Hereditary”), look on at a shocking revelation in “Knives Out.”
‘Knives Out’ dices up mystery
Rian Johnson’s latest film takes new, relevant stab at murder mystery genre with mindbending script. By Noah Levine @ZProductionz
hrow away the “Clue” board — it’s time for a real mystery. “Knives Out” is a modern take on the classic whodunit’ genre from director Rian Johnson (“Star Wars:
detective archetype Benoit Blanc. His overly serious line delivery, combined with the dryness of his comedic dialogue, helps to convey Blanc as a classically styled investigator. Craig’s performance feels equally evocative of early-Hollywood noir detectives as it does to modern police dramas. Ana de Armas takes on a large role with her performance of housekeeper Marta. Her portrayal of an empathetic and determined character contrasts nicely with the grim reality of the film’s mystery. Marta is the daughter of an illegal immigrant at risk of deportation, which adds an extra dosage of power and satisfaction to her character’s arc. Standouts among the film’s unique grouping
Episode VIII - The Last Jedi”, “Looper”). The film takes strides to reinvent the tried and true investigation story archetype with intriguing set design, compelling performances and ties to the modern political climate. After the mysterious death of famous author Harlan Thrombey, the eclectic Thrombey family is consumed into a high stakes investigation that leaves no stone unturned. Johnson’s nostalgic murder mystery stands out from the rest with its star-studded cast. “Knives Out” includes an impressive lineup of actors including Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig, Katherine Langford, LaKeith Stanfield, Chris Evans and Toni Collette. Craig leads the film as
of suspects include a self-absorbed and fabricated Toni Collette, a cocky Chris Evans and a stern and critical Jamie Lee Curtis. Noah Segan, a trademark of Johnson’s films, wonderfully dishes out comedic relief in the role of Trooper Wagner. His geeky reactions and gestures in regards to the unfolding mystery are a delight. Johnson’s love letter to classic film mysteries takes place among a meticulously designed Victorian home. The set design includes uncanny wooden carvings, suffocating halls, dim lighting and even an extravagant sculpture made out of knives. The classic setting, paired with the advancements of the modern world, makes for a strange but
visually interesting space for the characters to inhabit. As stated in the film, it looks as if it’s straight out the “Clue” game. “Knives Out” proves its uniqueness with a politically relevant case involving the daughter of an illegal immigrant. It explores the divide between the privileged and unprivileged through a series of unexpected events that cater toward the underdog. This tie-in to the modern political climate adds an additional weight and emphasis on the story’s plot. Like every good mystery, “Knives Out” spins its web in several outlandish directions. The misdirection is endearing – until it becomes overly done. There’s a point in the film where a significant plot point is revealed
FILM REVIEW | ‘THE IRISHMAN’
R AT I N G SCORE
surprisingly early, resulting in a confusing and muddled change of course. Audience members will be left in a strange limbo where they are unsure of why they still need to be engrossed in the mystery. It’s a bold choice that ultimately works in the end, yet the buildup to this catharsis within the film’s second half can feel a bit awkward and outlandish. “Knives Out” is a wonderfully nostalgic and entertaining film from Rian Johnson. The chaotic cast and beautiful set design help to uphold the ambitious script.
Safdie Brothers talk ‘Uncut Gems,’ screenwriting By Noah Levine @ZProductionz
copyright netflix, and reproduced with permission
Robert De Niro is mafia man Frank Sheeran in Scorsese’s new epic “The Irishman.”
‘The Irishman’ brings true story of mafia man to life By Noah Levine @ZProductionz
The legendary trinity of Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino finally share the screen in the newest high-stakes, city-set nightmare from Martin Scorsese. Acclaimed director Scorsese’s latest film, “The Irishman,” follows a truck driver named Frank Sheeran (De Niro) in a mafia epic all throughout a lengthy story taking place over several years. Sheeran gets involved with the Bufalino crime family and former union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino) as he quickly rises within the mafia’s ranks. The film features Sheeran recalling the most notable moments of his dangerous career, ranging from deadly assassinations to an exploding cleaning
services building. De Niro brilliantly portrays lead protagonist Sheeran. He breathes life into every stage of development his character endures, demonstrating the technical grace that can be reached when de-aging CGI is matched with a solid performance. Sheeran is tasked with balancing the high-stakes life of being in the mafia, raising his daughters and being in a family. De Niro infuses a calm and collected persona both physically and vocally to the character. He is able to convey a wide range of emotions with a simple glare or movement of his eyes. Some of the most powerful moments with Sheeran include no dialogue at all, simply moving because of De Niro’s performance. Pacino plays wonderfully off of De Niro with his performance as Hoffa. Pacino
The Irishman Drama R AT I N G R GENRE
Josh and Benny Safdie have slowly paved a way for themselves in Hollywood with critically acclaimed films like “Heaven Knows What” and “Good Time.” The directing duo is back with their most ambitious project yet, entitled “Uncut Gems,” starring Adam Sandler as a jeweler in New York City who tries to balance his family life with the intense atmosphere of the industry. The Daily Texan spoke with the Safdie brothers about their filmmaking ventures. Daily Texan: This film features a very high-profile cast, including
Adam Sandler and Idina Menzel. How did you get these actors involved? Josh Safdie: I think once you build a body of work over 11 years, you start to develop a reputation. When we started to work with known entities and (viewers) started to see these known entities disappear into these roles, I think that became a really big attraction to other actors who are interested in disappearing. Our movies might not make lots of money at the box office leading to this one, but at least they have stood for something, and the work on display was exciting. DT: What’s it like to film scenes with such large crowds? Benny Safdie: You never
actually have enough people. There are scenes where you have to figure out how to place the camera, work the people, move them around. We wanted to fill it in. You have to figure out interesting ways to kind of trick it. And it’s also such a strange thing to think about, like, “Oh, what would that person just be doing naturally in the background?” When somebody looks unnatural, you notice. DT: Any advice for student filmmakers? JS: Keep making (stories) up until you find (something) specifically that speaks deeply to yourself, your voice in a weird way. If you think you’re G E M S PAGE 5
expresses a powerful dosage of charisma and confidence with his portrayal. Hoffa constantly crosses the line when it comes to taking jabs at people in power, and Pacino enforces this with sharply delivered lines and facial expressions. Pacino himself completely disappears within the role. Pesci, who came out of retirement for this role, plays the sly and powerful Russel Bufalino. Bufalino has the mafia tied around his finger, organizing plans and hits while simultaneously staying I R I S H M A N PAGE 5
copyright a24, and reproduced with permission
“Uncut Gems” is a project by Josh and Benny Safdie, whose previous projects include “Heaven Knows What” and “Good Time.”
The Monday, December 2, 2019 edition of The Daily Texan.