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WEEKEND // FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012

The Renaissance President Levin’s legacy in the arts BY JORDI GASSÓ, PAGE 3

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ARTSPACE

YOUTH IN AGE

CRYSTAL FILM

YOUR GUIDE TO FILM SCREENINGS

Tao Tao Holmes writes about aging gracefully — and her desire to be a skydiving grandma.

Yanan Wang takes us to Artspace’s 15th anniversary — and it’s crystal heavy!

Didn’t get into a film class this semester? We’ve got alternatives.

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FILMPREVIEW

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YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 · yaledailynews.com

LIEBMAN

WEEKEND VIEWS

DEN SVENSKA ÄVENTYRET // BY KATE LIEBMAN

HOLMES

It’s a polarizing topic, and I have stood on both sides of the aisle. Whenever the dreaded word is brought up, people always feel strongly: pro or con. There’s rarely — if ever — any middle ground to be found. I have seen my friends and nemeses scream, wail, cajole and whimper. Though it is an important election year, this is not a political issue. In fact, it might be the most apolitical issue of all. When forced to nest, to decorate your dorm or your newly acquired and much-loved off-campus apartment, will you go? Will you submit to the torture and the ecstasy of IKEA? Freshman year, I hated it. I cried somewhere between home office supplies and bathroom accessories. My parents, loving humans that they are, joined me and my new roommates for the experience. The six of us could not decide on a couch. The question, of “Blerg or Björken?” defeated us. So for most of the year, our common room remained depressingly unfurnished … if

// ANNELISA LEINBACH

only I had known the joys IKEA furniture could bring! Sophomore year, luckily, my new new roommates’ furniture rendered an IKEA run unnecessary. But junior year, sans parental units, my new new new roommate and I got ourselves to IKEA. The stresses of getting ourselves to IKEA and making purchases eliminated any possibility of enjoyment. But we did cover those horrendous Swing Space linoleum floors with straw mats. Behold! Gone were the linoleum floors, no longer did I feel like my room was a place where I was just waiting to be interred in the

Grove Street Cemetery. For the first time: IKEA had changed my life. But now to the wonders of senior year: off-campus housing, replete with wooden floors and not a single right angle. I moved in and my roommates 4.0 (boyz!) had already set up the sound system in the living room and had purchased kitchen supplies from a graduating friend. All I had to do was make my room a haven within greater New Haven, a zone of zen. So I set out arranging the furniture I bought off a friend (one piece from IKEA and one not). My

first stop was not IKEA — and this is something I recommend to all home decorators — but the English Market. Some rare, choice pieces can individuate your living spaces. I mean, people don’t come from cookie cutters; we are not all the same, and so when I see replicas of IKEA rooms I want to barf. But the rest of my crap is IKEA crap, and boy does it look fly! At first I dreaded that trip to IKEA. I figured, one trip, one hour, done. But that is how most of us approach the blue and yellow behemoth, and it is the wrong approach. This year, I discovered

that the key to a successful and fun (!) IKEA trip is to maintain the one-hour limit, but throw out the one-trip plan. The first trips, yes, you will stay on that blue arrowed-path. But once you get comfortable enough you can veer and even trot through the different areas. Stick it to the man! Disobey that path and find the shit you want in your life. Of course, I couldn’t have ever gotten here without the free coffee IKEA gives out before opening (10 a.m. / 7 days a week). So helpful, so close to Yale, and so many aesthetic options. What better happy place could a girl

find? P.S. A note of advice: People complain about putting the furniture together. And I understand that completely. But I like working with my hands, making stuff. Yes, the non-language diagrams can confuse. If this really is too hard for you, the IKEA speaker system reminds all shoppers: for a small fee, an employee will deliver and assemble all of your furniture. How kind of them. Contact KATE LIEBMAN at kate.liebman@yale.edu .

Getting comfortable being crumbly // BY TAO TAO HOLMES

I’m getting creaky. And, goddamn, it’s really throwing a wrench in my self-perceived invincibility. It feels like just yesterday I was climbing trees ’til the branches snapped beneath me, jumping to the ground from 15 feet up knowing that my knees would simply absorb the impact, like putty, or pillows or something equally cushy. I was running around without even the slightest thought of sunburn, or suntan or sun block, and my dad scooped me tureens of ice cream, the volumes of which make the new dining hall bowls look doll-sized in comparison. I fell, I got up. I ate, I metabolized. I made mental notes, and I remembered them. Whatever in the world I happened to do, the next day I would bounce out of bed without the slightest soreness, struggle or unprompted salivation. All this, well — all this has changed. What happened? Where went my prior immortality? Ancient asthma is kicking back in when I sprint on the soccer field, and the dormant scar across my leg recently inflamed from sun exposure, or something. My eyesight is growing steadily worse to the point that wearing my old glasses leaves me massaging my sockets in agony. Food gets stuck in my teeth and it just kind of stays there, until I throw a glance in the mirror and notice my gums have become a collage of foodstuffs. Thirty minutes in medium sun-

F R I D AY SEPTEMBER 14

light has me pinkling like some pseudo Peking lobster rather than slowly roasting like salted honey almonds, the way I once used to. I’m half Asian. As in, like, some natural variation of yellow. Come on! Sunburn isn’t supposed to be part of my genetic makeup. But lately? Oh, burn baby burn. I’m pretty sure I glimpsed a few sunspots on my upper arms, but I’m too scared to look again. I turned 20 almost a year ago, though I thought little of it. The banter around the double decade mark is painfully banal: “What happens when you turn 20 years old?” someone asked on Yahoo! Answers. Well, my friend, what do you think? I liked this response: “Your bones will turn to dust and kids will call you ‘Ma’am’ and ‘Sir.’” Spot on. But no really, I think my bones are headed in that direction. I don’t think I knew what sore was before the age of 18, no matter how many books I carried in my backpack, how many suicides were run at practice, or how many plastic saucers I broke upon impact after plummeting back to cold, hard, snowy earth off an overambitious jump. Another respondent chimed in on the Yahoo! forum: “There’s no way really to feel, just a year older. Things will be the same.” Things will not be the same! And you, you going on about how “You will no longer be a teenager which is a cool thing I guess” — there is nothing cool

YALE CAREER FAIR

Payne Whitney Gymnasium // 11 a.m. Where principles go to die!

about suffering a back spasm as you try to get out of bed, only to find that your lower left hamstring is throbbing but you didn’t even exercise yesterday so what could it even be from? Or trying to slip on a flip-flop when suddenly your fourth toe cramps, incapacitating you from any further movement and sending excruciating pain shooting up your foot. Or staring at a pair of twin babies in a stroller while you’re slobbering on an immoderate ice cream cone, conscious with every lick that this triple fudge moose tracks diddly doo marshmallow nut swirl beepbop coffee chip java chunk is going to take a little more than a game of freeze tag to wrestle off. Oh — and wrinkles. Don’t let me forget wrinkles. Pretty sure those are happening too. “14. Get a six pack (or get thin) while you are young.” This was one of the recommended “20 Things I Should Have Known at 20” I discovered on an online blog. The list’s creator, Julien Smith, pointed out the grim reality that “your hormones are in a better place to help you do this at a younger age.” He might also have mentioned it will be easier to get up from the crunches on the ground now, rather than later. “17. Get a reminder app for everything. Do not trust your own brain for your memory.” This is consoling. I leave my iPhone on toilet paper dispensers and can’t keep track of a water bottle or scarf for more than

three days. I write things in pen on my hand, forget to look at my hand, forget to shower, eventually shower, and then can’t decipher what was on my hand, besides remembering it was really important and time-sensitive. “9. You will become more conservative over time. Do your craziest stuff NOW.” It’s true. I consider leaving my room after 11 p.m. on a Saturday night a praiseworthy effort, mostly because I don’t want to put myself through anything that will have me spasming, rather than bouncing, out of bed the next morning. Tip 9 brought to mind a line I read in a book called “Brandwashed” by marketing guru Martin Lindstrom: “Our ‘window of openness’ for new experiences, like getting our tongue pierced, slams shut at age 23,” he says. I used to think this sort of suggestion was ridiculous. What do you mean I won’t still want to jump off cliffs and compete in Tough Mudders and get debilitatingly drunk? I

always saw myself as that grandma, the one who took you sky diving for your 17th birthday (yeah, that’s a type of grandma, and I’m gonna be her). I’m not so sure now. So I’m getting a little creaky, a little crumbly, a little kooky. So it goes, so it goes. Twenty-somethings, we’re not going to bounce back like Slinkies forever. I guess the bottom line is this: when adventure comes a-knocking, we gotta toss down our problem sets and papers and get out there while we’re still rearing to go. When Grandma invites us skydiving, we give an unequivocal yes, even if she schedules it during finals. And, if we’re ever so lucky, we’ll be inviting our grandchildren to do the same. Or just driving them up East Rock. That works too. Contact TAO TAO HOLMES at taotao.holmes@yale.edu .

OUR ‘WINDOW OF OPENNESS’ FOR NEW EXPERIENCES, LIKE GETTING OUR TONGUE PIERCED, SLAMS SHUT AT AGE 23,” HE SAYS. WEEKEND RECOMMENDS:

Looking (at the man) in the mirror

Michael Jackson’s most admirable song. Also, just look at yourself. Two weeks in, and you already seem cracked out.


YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 · yaledailynews.com

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WEEKEND COVER

REINVIGORATING THE ARTS // BY JORDI GASSÓ

L

ooking up at the Yale University Art Gallery, it’s hard to tell the campus skyline has changed. But when its renovations are formally unveiled this December, an additional floor will open at the top of the building. The new fourth-floor mezzanine will house the Jane and Richard C. Levin Teaching Gallery, a space for rotating exhibitions associated with specific Yale courses. The new study space will figuratively and literally crown the renovated art museum, capping off over a decade of refurbishments and escalating expectations. And it will stand as a monument to the Levins’ enduring arts legacy at Yale. It seems fitting that the teaching gallery will open this winter, just a few short months before University President Richard Levin steps down from his post at the end of this academic year. Indeed, Levin has come a long way. At his inauguration in 1993, a fresh-faced Levin inherited a Yale in tatters — a University that had neglected its public image and a community sharply isolated from its surrounding city. He intended to salvage the University, and his inaugural address laid out a sort of master plan. He set out to bolster town-gown relations, to invest in the sciences, to internationalize Yale.

“Like Cézanne and Pissarro you’ve come as strangers to a new place. Like them, you will become passionate about what you do here. You will work hard. I hope that, like Cézanne and Pissarro, you will aspire to change the world.” These were the words of President Levin during his freshman address to the class of 2009. The speech conveyed a sense of artistic insight and intellectual curiosity not unlike that of a young student. He directed the freshmen to consider four paintings reproduced in a handout, and proceeded to draw parallels between the lives of painters and the first year of college. “I was warmly astonished,” said Robert Thompson ’55 GRD ’65, a history of art professor and former master of Timothy Dwight College. “Never in my institutional memory of some 30-odd years had such a topic passed the lips of a president.” Levin’s speech was inspired by his recent trip to see an impressionist exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. And, as is often the case, his wife Jane was with him. Given how the couple first met, it is not surprising that the art exposition resonated with them. They were both undergraduates at Stanford University in the 1960s — an era, she says, that marked their mutual love for

I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO A RECEPTION AT THE PRESIDENT’S HOUSE ON HILLHOUSE AVENUE WITHOUT A STRING QUARTET OR MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT. He spent the first half of his tenure laying the foundation for those changes, patching up relationships with the city and kickstarting the University’s global outreach. Only in the second half did the administration begin to implement projects like the renovation of the Yale University Art Gallery — the dawn of a more noticeable focus on strengthening the University’s arts programs and facilities. Despite this new approach, he will leave some projects unfulfilled, failing to find and fund a new home for the School of Drama and to renovate Yale Music School’s Hendrie Hall. Although the fine arts were not first among Levin’s stated priorities when he took office, he leaves behind a Yale still very much on top of the arts. “I’d like the next president to show at the very least the extent of support that Rick Levin has shown for the arts,” School of Architecture Dean Robert A.M. Stern said. “The arts are our big signature.”

RICK AND JANE: A COSMOPOLITAN COUPLE

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FURNITURE TOUR YUAG // 11:00 a.m.

Chairs have history too.

rock music (they’ve attended the Allman Brothers Band’s annual concert at the Beacon Theatre for over a decade). After being in the same English section their freshman year without really knowing one another, they spent a semester abroad in Italy as sophomores. There, they immersed themselves in the world of medieval and Renaissance Italian art. “We basically got married two weeks after we graduated in 1968,” she said with a smile. It has been a union of a strong love for Yale, the outdoors — and the arts. Once married, the couple spent two years studying at Oxford University, where they would often go out together to concerts. “We went to Covent Garden many times to hear the opera in the cheapest student seats,” she said. “You could practically touch the ceiling.” Although her husband is an economist by profession, Jane said he enjoys Baroque music, Mozart and contemporary musicians. He was especially thrilled when Yale awarded an honorary degree to Paul McCartney in 2008 and Aretha Franklin in

2010. They both frequent concerts at the music school, and art gallery director Jock Reynolds said Levin has attended almost every one of the gallery’s meetings with its board of trustees and benefactors. Jane said they even try to make it to each year’s Yale Symphony Orchestra Halloween Show, although for the past few years they have been unable to go. “It’s been past our bedtime,” she said. As School of Music Dean Robert Blocker described it, Rick and Jane are the ideal presidential couple: visionary, approachable, cultured. “They can talk with you about a Mozart opera or a piece of popular music,” Blocker said. “I have never been to a reception at the President’s House on Hillhouse Avenue without a string quartet or musical accompaniment.” Indeed, the ceremonial President’s House acts almost like a branch of the art gallery itself. Throughout the years, the Levins have borrowed paintings and furniture not on display at the art gallery or Yale Center for British Art Center for use within the house. This decision, President Levin said, has created yet another opportunity to show off Yale’s art collection to a wider audience. From Renoir to Liechtenstein, their art selection is the largest outside of the galleries. A brochure, not unlike in a museum, helps the public identify the works around the house. Pamela Franks, the art gallery’s deputy director for collections and education, said that Jane has been instrumental in making Yale’s collection more visible to students. As the head of Directed Studies, the yearlong freshman program devoted to the Western canon, Jane Levin brings students to both galleries every semester to complement their coursework. (After students read the “Odyssey,” she takes them to look at Greek vases; the next semester, Wordsworth calls for the paintings of John Constable.) The rich art holdings at Yale were one of the many ruminations in the back of Levin’s mind when he first stepped into Woodbridge Hall, en route to attend a campus in crisis.

REVIVING THE ARTS AREA COMPLEX

Not much could be said about Yale’s arts facilities at the start of Levin’s presidency. In fact, when Blocker became the dean of the School of Music in 1995, he told Levin that the music school had some of the most rundown facilities of any music program nationally. At that time, all of Yale’s professional arts schools and museums had outmoded buildings and were not fully collaborating with one another. Even the art gallery, with its gargantuan collection, faced space constraints and structural problems. Yale College Dean Mary Miller, a history of art professor at the time, recalls Sprague Hall as the shabbiest of all buildings. The music library in the basement had sheet music and manuscripts stored in damp conditions. “It was wood floors and hard wooden seats, like an old classroom in WLH,” she said. “It was not an ideal environment for being at a musical event.” And then, a remedy. In November 2000, the University announced the Arts Area Plan, a $250 million donor-funded proSEE PRESIDENT PAGE B8

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS: The Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein

Because we all know where the seminal furniture collection of the 20th century is at.


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YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 · yaledailynews.com

WEEKEND ARTS

An Iraq Veteran Sees Beauty Between Bullets Book Review: The Yellow Birds // BY JACKSON MCHENRY

Before shipping out to Iraq, John Bartle, the 21-year-old U.S. private who narrates Kevin Powers’ new novel, “The Yellow Birds,” promises a worried mother he will bring Murphy, his eighteen-year-old comrade in arms, home alive. He fails. Powers, who is both a veteran of the war and an MFA student at the University of Texas, sets up a deceptively simple plot. On its face, “The Yellow Birds” follows Bartle and Murphy through a month long siege of Al Tafar, a city in northern Iraq, in order to explain the circumstances of Murphy’s death. But Bartle’s narration, which loops from episodes in Iraq back to basic training and forward into his postwar depression, is less an explanation for his actions than a heartrending plea for absolution, an aching compendium of moments that he refuses to forget. Bartle’s stream of consciousness narration is carried by Powers, who has an ability to render even the most mundane moments into prose poetry. The most powerful images are drawn with graceful attention: the perforated body of an Iraqi translator, the blue in field of hyacinth,

a field of debris eddying in the Tigris; while others are side notes, mere moments of distraction: the sounds children playing between gunshots, women’s eyes behind burkas, the way a nurse’s body twists in on itself as she is hit by a gunshot. With only three major characters, Bartle, Murphy, and their lieutenant, Powers leaves room for the conflict itself to become a character. As Bartle announces in the opening lines “The war tried to kill us in the Spring.” in its hellish playground at Al Tafar, the war twists safety into danger, shelter into vulnerability, and within years, young boys into enemy insurgents. People have said that war is beautiful ever since Achilles first picked up a sword, and given its profusion of pretty words, it’s easy to write off The Yellow Birds as another in a long line of clichés — “Men at War: Iraq Version”: same themes of honor, camaraderie, and noble sacrifice, updated with new locations, new weapons, and new enemies. Power’s work, however, is at once more visceral and more intellectual than the average war book — those who expect a retread

of Hemingway or Homer will just as disappointed as readers looking for a Tom Clancy gorefest. Much of this is due to the nature of Bartle’s war, which, as he notes, is not the same as his grandfather’s war. Cities are retaken as soon as they are lost. Civilians are allies one day and enemies another. And, worst of all, there is no sure route to victory. Murphy and Bartle spend most of their time hoping to last long enough not be on the list of the first 1,000 dead, as if cutting ahead of a statistic is the only viable road to heroism. In Iraq, there are no individuals that stand above the rest, only those slightly above the bell curve. Much of this is owed to America’s refusal to pay attention to the war. Iraq movies flop at the box office (you didn’t see The Hurt Locker, you saw Avatar, be honest). Coverage on the ground is always politically charged. For me at least, it’s impossible to name a single individual who has been widely celebrated as a hero. What is there, then, for the soldiers who return? Not absolution. Bartle can’t explain himself to his mother (who he ran away from to join the army), his friends and

superior officers, or even at confession. He was surrounded by battle for days, months and even years, but Al Tafar is only a indistinct patch of desert to people back home. Bartle can’t escape from his supersaturated weeks in the Nineveh Province. On one hand, Bartle’s inability to recover is posttraumatic stress, but it also his sacrifice for Murphy. No one at home will remember // CREATIVE COMMONS the eighteen-year-old and the The Yellow Bird, by Kevin Powers hell he fought in, but Bartle will. Memory becomes Bartle’s attempt at humanity, a way to at least preserve his friend’s history, tle’s case, is hard to divine. But, by good or bad. “The Yellow Birds” asking such an essential question, doesn’t beg sympathy for the sol- Powers guarantees that his work diers or for policy changes. It only will be remembered as a great war asks whether Bartle’s memorial novel, even if the war he wrote is enough, whether, in any situ- about was anything but. ation, memory, poetry, or even art itself can make up for all that Contact JACKSON MCHENRY at was not done. The answer, in Barjackson.mchenry@yale.edu .

Watch for the twist Book Review: Gone Girl

Welcome to Split Screen

// BY SCOTT STERN

// BY SOPHIA NGUYEN AND GRAYSON CLARY

“Gone Girl” was awesome, but I can’t tell you why. Gillian Flynn’s new novel was darkly comic, deliciously entertaining, ridiculously addictive and downright messedup, but I can’t tell you why. Seriously. To give away the shocking plot twists and titillating psychological thrills would just be criminal. It looked like Nick and Amy Dunne had it all. They were the “happiest couple on the block,” both attractive and charming. When they first met, both were successful writers in New York City. Amy, a wealthy socialite, and Nick, a dashing poor kid on the make, fell for each other in a way that seemed too good to be true. Their life together was perfect until, in a distinctly modern way, disaster set in. 2008 arrived, and with it, the Great Recession. Newly unemployed, Nick and Amy move back to Nick’s hometown, North Carthage, Missouri. North Carthage is a quintessential Mississippi River town, rife with broken dreams and unemployed hobos. Nick borrows the last of Amy’s trust fund to start a bar with his twin sister, Margo (whom everyone just calls Go). Nick is also forced to care for his beloved, dying mother and his hated, dementia-addled father. Amy, meanwhile, stays home, adjusting to a Midwestern life of potluck dinners, Wal-Mart and sheer boredom. One day, Nick arrives home, to find — Oh, God no! — Amy is gone. The front door of his house is “wide-gaping-ominous” open, and the living room is torn apart. Panicked, shocked, terrified, Nick calls the police. It’s only a matter of time before he seems to become the prime suspect.

The evidence mounts convincingly against Nick. Where was he the morning of? Why does the crime scene seem so staged? Doesn’t Nick benefit financially if Amy is out of the picture? Why is there a giant pool of Amy’s blood that someone sloppily attempted to mop up — like an incompetent husband might do? And, of course, isn’t it always the husband? It doesn’t look good for Nick, and his utter inability to appear sad about his wife’s disappearance does not play well on television. Nick-thepariah is on a slow march to jail, and Amy is nowhere to be found. Here’s the thing: There is this absolutely, unbelievably, earthshatteringly twisted plot twist. Actually, there are several. But one of them is a real whopper. Real M. Night Shyamalan material. Obviously, I can’t tell you what it is; I guess you’ll have to trust me. It’s simply — how should I put this — to die for. “Gone Girl” is told in two voices— Nick’s and Amy’s. Nick narrates the present day; entries from Amy’s diary depict the couple’s past. The two perspectives intertwine, complementing (and often contradicting) each other, but a chilling tale begins to emerge. Nick and Amy were not the happy couple they appeared to be. The two narratives depict a marriage falling apart — misunderstandings, passive aggression, outright aggression all strain the once happy life Nick and Amy shared. Nick feels guilty about dragging Amy to North Carthage, guilty about failing to provide for her, guilty about not being as perfect as she is, terrified about becoming his emotionally abusive father. Amy, on the other hand, tells a heart-wrenching story

about failing to live up to impossible personal (and parental) expectations, dying of boredom in a lonely house, increasingly isolated from her distant and moody husband. Both spouses are trying, but the marriage is just not working. And then Amy is taken. Yet all is not as it seems. There is something darker and more insidious about the whole situation. Colorful, comical and creepy characters from Nick’s and Amy’s past emerge to call into question everything we believe about the young couple. Why does the evidence so overwhelmingly point to Nick? What does Nick have to hide? And, above all, where is Amy — the gone girl? Is she even still alive? Since I’ve mentioned there is going to be this crazy twist, you might be tempted to spend the whole book looking for it. That’s O.K. — that’s what I did (I had been forewarned). Let me give you a piece of advice: “Gone Girl” contains several twists. If you are going to spend the whole book waiting for the big one, you might wrongly think you’ve reached it. You probably haven’t. Unless you are positive, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you’ve reached the gamechanging twist, you won’t fully realize how deliciously messedup the whole book is. Critics may whine that “Gone Girl” is not the most realistic thriller. It doesn’t have to be; it is engaging enough to cancel out its lack of reality. Darkly comic, sickly engrossing, charmingly well-written, “Gone Girl” is murderously good. Un-put-downable. Contact SCOTT STERN at scott.stern@yale.edu .

F R I D AY

KONJO DRUM & DANCE CIRCLE

SEPTEMBER 14

“Whether you’re a dance pro, or simply a dance enthusiast, you’ll love the heart-pounding beats of our drummers and hip-shaking antics of our dancers.”

Old Campus // 5:45 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Sophia Nguyen and Grayson Clary are introducing a new online exclusive column called “Split Screen.” They’ll be updating once or twice a week from now on, so go to www.yaledailynews.com / WEEKEND to see more.

There’s great television and terrible television, transcendence and schlock. But it all matters. The fun comes from trying to figure out how all of that stuff ticks; that’s what we aim to do here each week. Luckily enough, TV is one of the last places where quality isn’t marked off by inaccessibility. We’ll say it right out: we think that good television and popular television are largely synonymous. In other media and other criticism (we’re looking at you, A.O. Scott), it’s hard not to be driven to despair trying to find that identity. But in this medium, even the highbrow stuff has a mass audience in mind. And here’s the other beautiful thing: as a result, TV criticism is populist by nature. Everywhere, from the pages of The New Yorker to trending tags on Twitter, from critical essays to recap blogs, the hive speaks back. And one way or another, the producers respond. These days, television furnishes standard water-cooler chitchat just as effectively as it spawns rabid fandoms. Chances are good that you’ve seen the shows that we’ve seen; odds aren’t bad that you have thoughts on them yourself. We’re here to start a conversation, beginning with the dialogue between the two of us and, we hope, spiraling on out to you. This is not a space where we’ll catch you up on the last episode you missed — there’s a logic and an art to recapping, but we’re not practicing it. We’re more interested in the bigger questions of how serial storytelling works: how episodes establish arcs, how seasons build worlds and how networks ride the zeitgeist. Here are some of the things that catch our eye or weird us out in the upcoming season:

Sometimes, we’ll want to look at a showrunner. Take Ryan Murphy, who has three (three!) programs coming out: returning seasons of “Glee” and “American Horror Story,” and the premiere of “The New Normal.” Can we dream up a coherent theory of these shows? (And if we do, will it scar us for life?) Or we’ll be thinking about the networks and how they operate. Does “Political Animals” mark a newly serious era in USA network programming, or were they just messing with us? Will HBO stop insisting on the greatness of “Boardwalk Empire”? What inspired the CW to flesh out their roster with a remake of ’80s cult hit “Beauty and the Beast”? And are we really supposed to believe that guy is the Beast? And of course, there’s genre. How high should we set our expectations for J.J. Abrams’ new sci-fi/fantasy/swordand-flip-flops property, “Revolution” (working title: “Into a World with No Electricity Strides Billy Burke”), and what kind of televisual clade can we squeeze it into? Why are we living through a “Sherlock Holmes” revival cycle? Period dramas: do people like those, or do they just think they do? We split on that one, as we will on all sorts of things. Then there are the tinier mysteries, the miscellaneous ones that are all the harder to put to bed. What will happen to Ted Mosby and the gang as their show stretches into their 30s with no yellowumbrella-wielding mother in sight? Should we be worried or thrilled about all of these serial-killer-centric midseason replacements (and the fact that the FBI brought on Kevin Bacon to hunt them down)? When will network execs stop thinking that men trying to raise kids is, like, the funniest thing ever? These are the questions that keep us up at night. We hope you stick around and answer them with us. Contact SOPHIA NGUYEN at sophia. nguyen@yale.edu and GRAYSON CLARY at grayson.clary@yale.edu .

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS: Tempering your Faustian nature, quelling unbridled ambition!

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WEEKEND ARTS

Avant-Garde, Crystalized // BY YANAN WANG

In honor of its 15th anniversary this October, Artspace will play host to a variety of events centered on the theme of crystal — the gift traditionally exchanged between spouses on this wedding milestone. But the origin of the celebration’s motif is likely the only conventional element of the upcoming spectacle, as the gallery prepares to transform its space into a veritable Crystal Palace. From Oct. 5-22, visitors to Artspace will be able enter projection rooms and view, on an endless loop, the videos that have been chosen for the Crystal Palace experimental film festival. Curated by Liena Vayzman GRD ’02, the festival will feature films by 20 different artists from across the world. While the works are unique in their subject matter and the issues they explore, all have a common thread that can loosely be traced to crystal. With either representations of crystal or filmic structures that

are reminiscent of the multifaceted solid, the films aim to shock visitors with their innovative approaches to video projection and motion. “Crystals are natural objects with multiple facets,” said Vayzman. “The festival will showcase a diverse blend of avant-garde filmmaking that encompasses both the up-and-coming as well as the established.” During the days of the festival, the gallery will remain open to viewers free of charge. The concept of placing a film festival within the context of an art exhibition speaks to the nature of the work that is being presented: none of the films have ever been put up for commercial release. Rather, she hopes that the event will give New Haven residents a meaningful introduction to the world of experimental film, as many of the works have been screened at such notable venues as the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Chicago Underground Film Fes-

tival and the Black Maria Film Festival in Jersey City. Many of the artists involved have used strange and inventive techniques to produce their work, from Shambhavi Kaul’s intermingling of photographic film and video to Kathleen Quillian’s stylistic use of graphic animation. The most radical method, though, is indisputably that of Berlin-based artist Thorsten Fleisch, who soaked filmstrips in solution so that actual crystals would grow on them. He then inserted the filmstrips directly into his camera, so that viewers feel as if they are exceptionally close to the crystals, and near the end, as if the crystals are rushing towards them in a rhythmic dance of water and light. Even more daring is the technique Fleisch employed for his 2007 film “Energie!”, for which he used a cathode ray tube to shoot 30 volts of electricity onto sheets of photographic paper. Although the work is in essence a s to p motion video

made with a series of still photos, the electric waves on the page create the dizzying illusion of an unidentified form convulsing to a rapid rhythm. It is, as Vayzman described, “an eye-blistering visual assault.” Each of the artists conveys his or her own interpretation of crystal. Abigail Child, the renowned media artist and writer, placed mirrors in an Oregon forest for her film “Peripeteia II.” Produced with 16 mm celluloid, the video portrays a dance between the real and the illusionary, the true and the reflected. The crystal element of the film is found in the movement of light, which Child described as “crystalline, sharp, exquisite.” While some of the films, such as “Energ i e ! ”, h ave no discernible plot, others chronicle t ra n s fo r m a tive, even spiritual, journeys. For instance, Kaul’s “Scene 32” is a trip back to her origins, to the salt deserts of Central Kutch, India, where she was born. In an alternate universe, Kathleen Quillian’s “Fin de Siècle” explores the

Victorian e r a ’ s obsession w i t h superstition and death. The narrative of the film follows the path of a crystal being passed between a crippled world explorer and a mystical young girl. “Many of the spiritualist mediums working at the time were young women, who people believed had a special relationship to the spirit world,” said Quillian. “The combination of the crystal and the young girl unleashes a magical energy that unlocks a previously unknown passageway into some kind of ethereal, mystical underworld where spirits reign.” The notion of a mysterious underworld will be emulated in Artspace’s planned nighttime projections, which will allow passersby along Orange Street to view screenings of silent films from the corner window. The festival will be the East Coast premiere of creations by several artists based in the California Bay Area, and it is one of the first experimental video festivals to come to New Haven. For amateur audience members and avant-garde aficionados alike, the Crystal Palace Film Festival promises to be an eyeopening spectacle. Contact YANAN WANG at yanan.wang@yale.edu .

// CREATIVE COMMONS

Ars Mobilus // BY JAKE ORBISON

This Saturday, Sept. 15, marks the deadline for submission to a local art competition held by Artspace New Haven. Artspace is seeking a “designer/architect or artist to propose an installation and design for a mobile studio, housed within an empty New Haven Register delivery truck.” The nonprofit gallery and organization will be occupying the New Haven Register’s printing and distribution plant this October, as part of its annual visual arts festival. According to Helen Kauder, an executive director of the organization, Artspace hopes “to give the artists a chance to draw inspiration” from the business of print. The winner of this contest will be awarded a travel stipend, the cost of materials, and a $1,000 artist fee, along with the chance to present their work as part of the festival’s Alternative Space weekend, which runs Oct. 20-21. Drawing from similar installation projects involving U-Haul trucks, shipping containers, and even exFEMA trailers, Artspace jumped at the opportunity to allow art to be seen in the novel light of such a small, concentrated space as the New Haven Register truck. “We’ve also been on the lookout for a way to make our exhibitions more transportable and modular,” wrote Kauder in an email. “This

F R I D AY SEPTEMBER 14

would allow us to bring our work on the road and reach many more people.” The process of submitting for this exhibition includes an online application through www.entrythingy. com. Those interested in entering should submit a drawing or sketch of their plans for the truck, a short explanation of their deign, a list of materials, a resume, three slides of past work and three references. Other than these requirements and the physical constraints of the truck, there are virtually no limitations to what the artist can or cannot do to turn the gutted, barren truck into a magnificent spectacle. The dimensions of the interior of the decommissioned truck are: 12 feet 6 inches in length by 6 feet 6 inches in width by 6 feet 9 inches in height. “We’re looking at this as research and development for something that might actually encompass a small fleet of vehicles,” Kauder added. Until then, all we can do is hope. Contact JAKE ORBISON at james.orbison@yale.edu .

THE MINGUS BIG BAND Sprague Hall // 8:00 p.m.

There are 14 of them, they’ve won a Grammy, we hear they’re earthy and good.

// ARTSPACE NEW HAVEN

WE’VE ALSO BEEN ON THE LOOKOUT FOR A WAY TO MAKE OUR EXHIBITIONS MORE TRANSPORTABLE AND MODULAR.

This dilapidated truck will soon hold a mobile art installation.

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS: Staying away from the new, very weird and repressively oversexualized animated music videos. We think they say something bad about our culture.


PAGE B6

YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 · yaledailynews.com

PAGE B7

WEEKEND PARTIES

Party fresh emeritus man , style

// BY

SARA

O L O S D E R

E R O M D N A E K S E E M , S P CU

HAM I

LTO N

After enduring the Freshman Walk of Shame (that mass exodus of the entire freshman class futilely hunting for booze and a nonsweaty place to consume it) for too many nights on end, my roommate and I finally stumbled upon an honest-to-god Yale party the last evening of Camp Yale. Visions of red Solo cups and kegs of Natty danced in our heads as we barged in, unnoticed. We made a beeline for the punch bowl near the door and each downed a cupful before we began scoping out our surroundings. Something seemed off. Why was everyone so old? Was that … could it be? Dean Miller, Dean Gentry and Dean Meeske going shot-forshot in the corner? Master Pitti

running the pong table? Richard Levin was remixing Kanye beats on his MacBook Pro and the entire Yale faculty was getting loose on the dance floor. I could barely fathom the magnitude of the events unfolding before my very eyes. A Yale faculty rager?! As the punch began to take effect, my roommate and I slowly overcame our incredulity, then the night began to dissolve into a haze … I woke up the next day with a murderous headache, but the fist bump I got from John Gaddis on Cross Campus later that afternoon more than made up for the wasted hours of day.

s e i t r a p t s n i a g a d n a r o F IS RA LEW // BY CO

Philosophers are frequently not (traditionally seen as) party people. There is probably something to this, as there are plenty of cases of history’s professional thinkers struggling with the balance between self-denial and good times. The philosopher Henry Sidgwick once wrote, “I am bearing the burden of humanity in the lap of luxury, and in consequence not bearing it well. After all, Pascal was practically right: if one is to embrace infinite doubt, if it is to come into our bowels like water, and like oil into our bones, it ought to be upon sackcloth and ashes and in a bare cell, and not amid ’47 port and the silvery talk of W.G. Clark.”

Contact SARA HAMILTON at sara.hamilton@yale.edu .

WhatAMess // BY KATE BYRON

I have a file buried somewhere in my MacBook Pictures folder titled “WhatAMess.” In it, I am wearing less than half of a purple velour shirt and ripped jorts. I’m holding a red cup and am being held by a diver in an orange jumpsuit. The black rings around my eyes are more notable size-wise than the inseam of my aforementioned jorts. The occasion: a white-trash-themed party held by the swim team for its recruits. I looked appalling. I’m glad I saved the photo, because I have exactly two memories from the evening. 1) My one conversation with the captain of the men’s team occurred when I went to get punch. I was terrified of him. I’m 99 percent sure I spilled my drink on him. That set the stage for a relationship wherein the only other time we interacted

was at The Game. He yelled at me from the top of a UHaul, and I responded by sticking my tongue through my index and middle fingers. Mmmm. 2) “How did y’all let me get so drunk?” Fortunately, I have eased up on my usage of the line (slightly), but it was a staple my freshman year. Said classic definitely originated that night. I would say, in spite of WhatAMess I was that evening, the party was still a success. There was no YPD, no vomit, no Mary Miller and most importantly, my recruit came to Yale. L’chaim. Contact KATE BYRON at kate.byron@yale.edu .

SEPTEMBER 15

C

A ride up

// BY AL

AN SAG E

SABBATH OF HISTORY

Dixwell

Infiltrating GPSCY

hase Niesner, Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Mary Miller walk into a darty in Greenwich…. This isn’t just any darty. It’s in Greenwich. This isn’t all we know of parties. We attend tea parties, cat parties, game parties with such time-honored festive classics as Bridge and Uno. We know. And, what’s of greater interest to you all: the Yale College faculty now wants to know all about your parties — on and off campus — too. Here we indulge them, and tell the tales of parties at and around Yale.

Some clandestine cereal talk

him from the 38,000-plus views YouTube video accompanying the track. Meanwhile, I get the sinking feeling that we’re drawing so much attention because I look out of place, but we never do resolve the debate. A few minutes later, we return to his car and discuss New Haven’s racial tensions while cruising down Dixwell Avenue towards Yale.

// BY JAKE ORBISON

Three weeks into school, my favorite Yale party story has to be the one that Mary Miller told me last Friday at breakfast. As I was settling into my bowl of cereal and orange juice, Dean Miller pulled up a seat next to me, apologetically professing that she had no friends with class at such an early hour. As we enjoyed our breakfast she told me that, after hearing the news that Richard C. Levin, her cloaked enemy, would be stepping down, she decided

Contact ALAN SAGE at alan.sage@yale.edu .

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS:

Knights of Columbus Museum // 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Learn about William Congdon and his meditations on Holy Week.

Contact CORA LEWIS at corinna.lewis@yale.edu .

// KATE MCMILLAN

I walk with local rapper Travis “T-Miz” Pittman into Taste of the City, a Hamden soul food restaurant that transforms into a “popping” nightclub after dark. Everyone’s getting patted down at the entrance, except me, perhaps due to the Yale scarf I’m sporting that evening. We walk into the back, and a good number of stares fix on us. T-Miz has just released a song called “Off the Hook” about life in New Haven, and he supposes that the patrons of Taste of the City recognize

S AT U R D AY

David Hume, however, who was big on doubt, disproved induction and liked roast beef, found he could best cure himself of “philosophical melancholy and delirium” with dining, games of backgammon and generally being “merry with friends.” Kant, who allegedly died a virgin, once said, “In the Stoic’s principle concerning suicide there lay much sublimity of soul: that we may depart from life as we leave a smoky room.” When next lighting up, take care to open a window. Don’t think too hard about it.

Because when we’re throwing down on the fourth floor of 202 York, they’re throwing down to “We Found Love” at 204. It’s never too late.

S AT U R D AY SEPTEMBER 15

OLIVER TWIST

Yale Center for British Art // 2:30 p.m. Can we have some more films about Victorian England, please?

to throw a party in her common room. Under the cover of darkness, she and her friends — only ones that really knew Dick — convened in a sweaty huddle, swaying with breezes of alcohol and music. Just when the party was really getting going, Dean Gentry, outfitted with a lampshade chapeau, led the group into Woolsey to riff on the organ. However, much to the group’s chagrin, Dean Meeske had beaten them there to practice his “Bright

College Years.” “I pulled rank and got off with a scolding, but Marichal doesn’t get to hold the scepter at Commencement anymore,” she concluded. “I’m sure I’m only saying this because I was looking over a collection of presidential portraits, but the best advice I can give you comes from the great Teddy Roosevelt, ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick.’” Contact JAKE ORBISON at james.orbison@yale.edu .

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS: Darty in Greenwich

The ugliest sentence in the English language.


PAGE B6

YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 · yaledailynews.com

PAGE B7

WEEKEND PARTIES

Party fresh emeritus man , style

// BY

SARA

O L O S D E R

E R O M D N A E K S E E M , S P CU

HAM I

LTO N

After enduring the Freshman Walk of Shame (that mass exodus of the entire freshman class futilely hunting for booze and a nonsweaty place to consume it) for too many nights on end, my roommate and I finally stumbled upon an honest-to-god Yale party the last evening of Camp Yale. Visions of red Solo cups and kegs of Natty danced in our heads as we barged in, unnoticed. We made a beeline for the punch bowl near the door and each downed a cupful before we began scoping out our surroundings. Something seemed off. Why was everyone so old? Was that … could it be? Dean Miller, Dean Gentry and Dean Meeske going shot-forshot in the corner? Master Pitti

running the pong table? Richard Levin was remixing Kanye beats on his MacBook Pro and the entire Yale faculty was getting loose on the dance floor. I could barely fathom the magnitude of the events unfolding before my very eyes. A Yale faculty rager?! As the punch began to take effect, my roommate and I slowly overcame our incredulity, then the night began to dissolve into a haze … I woke up the next day with a murderous headache, but the fist bump I got from John Gaddis on Cross Campus later that afternoon more than made up for the wasted hours of day.

s e i t r a p t s n i a g a d n a r o F IS RA LEW // BY CO

Philosophers are frequently not (traditionally seen as) party people. There is probably something to this, as there are plenty of cases of history’s professional thinkers struggling with the balance between self-denial and good times. The philosopher Henry Sidgwick once wrote, “I am bearing the burden of humanity in the lap of luxury, and in consequence not bearing it well. After all, Pascal was practically right: if one is to embrace infinite doubt, if it is to come into our bowels like water, and like oil into our bones, it ought to be upon sackcloth and ashes and in a bare cell, and not amid ’47 port and the silvery talk of W.G. Clark.”

Contact SARA HAMILTON at sara.hamilton@yale.edu .

WhatAMess // BY KATE BYRON

I have a file buried somewhere in my MacBook Pictures folder titled “WhatAMess.” In it, I am wearing less than half of a purple velour shirt and ripped jorts. I’m holding a red cup and am being held by a diver in an orange jumpsuit. The black rings around my eyes are more notable size-wise than the inseam of my aforementioned jorts. The occasion: a white-trash-themed party held by the swim team for its recruits. I looked appalling. I’m glad I saved the photo, because I have exactly two memories from the evening. 1) My one conversation with the captain of the men’s team occurred when I went to get punch. I was terrified of him. I’m 99 percent sure I spilled my drink on him. That set the stage for a relationship wherein the only other time we interacted

was at The Game. He yelled at me from the top of a UHaul, and I responded by sticking my tongue through my index and middle fingers. Mmmm. 2) “How did y’all let me get so drunk?” Fortunately, I have eased up on my usage of the line (slightly), but it was a staple my freshman year. Said classic definitely originated that night. I would say, in spite of WhatAMess I was that evening, the party was still a success. There was no YPD, no vomit, no Mary Miller and most importantly, my recruit came to Yale. L’chaim. Contact KATE BYRON at kate.byron@yale.edu .

SEPTEMBER 15

C

A ride up

// BY AL

AN SAG E

SABBATH OF HISTORY

Dixwell

Infiltrating GPSCY

hase Niesner, Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Mary Miller walk into a darty in Greenwich…. This isn’t just any darty. It’s in Greenwich. This isn’t all we know of parties. We attend tea parties, cat parties, game parties with such time-honored festive classics as Bridge and Uno. We know. And, what’s of greater interest to you all: the Yale College faculty now wants to know all about your parties — on and off campus — too. Here we indulge them, and tell the tales of parties at and around Yale.

Some clandestine cereal talk

him from the 38,000-plus views YouTube video accompanying the track. Meanwhile, I get the sinking feeling that we’re drawing so much attention because I look out of place, but we never do resolve the debate. A few minutes later, we return to his car and discuss New Haven’s racial tensions while cruising down Dixwell Avenue towards Yale.

// BY JAKE ORBISON

Three weeks into school, my favorite Yale party story has to be the one that Mary Miller told me last Friday at breakfast. As I was settling into my bowl of cereal and orange juice, Dean Miller pulled up a seat next to me, apologetically professing that she had no friends with class at such an early hour. As we enjoyed our breakfast she told me that, after hearing the news that Richard C. Levin, her cloaked enemy, would be stepping down, she decided

Contact ALAN SAGE at alan.sage@yale.edu .

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS:

Knights of Columbus Museum // 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Learn about William Congdon and his meditations on Holy Week.

Contact CORA LEWIS at corinna.lewis@yale.edu .

// KATE MCMILLAN

I walk with local rapper Travis “T-Miz” Pittman into Taste of the City, a Hamden soul food restaurant that transforms into a “popping” nightclub after dark. Everyone’s getting patted down at the entrance, except me, perhaps due to the Yale scarf I’m sporting that evening. We walk into the back, and a good number of stares fix on us. T-Miz has just released a song called “Off the Hook” about life in New Haven, and he supposes that the patrons of Taste of the City recognize

S AT U R D AY

David Hume, however, who was big on doubt, disproved induction and liked roast beef, found he could best cure himself of “philosophical melancholy and delirium” with dining, games of backgammon and generally being “merry with friends.” Kant, who allegedly died a virgin, once said, “In the Stoic’s principle concerning suicide there lay much sublimity of soul: that we may depart from life as we leave a smoky room.” When next lighting up, take care to open a window. Don’t think too hard about it.

Because when we’re throwing down on the fourth floor of 202 York, they’re throwing down to “We Found Love” at 204. It’s never too late.

S AT U R D AY SEPTEMBER 15

OLIVER TWIST

Yale Center for British Art // 2:30 p.m. Can we have some more films about Victorian England, please?

to throw a party in her common room. Under the cover of darkness, she and her friends — only ones that really knew Dick — convened in a sweaty huddle, swaying with breezes of alcohol and music. Just when the party was really getting going, Dean Gentry, outfitted with a lampshade chapeau, led the group into Woolsey to riff on the organ. However, much to the group’s chagrin, Dean Meeske had beaten them there to practice his “Bright

College Years.” “I pulled rank and got off with a scolding, but Marichal doesn’t get to hold the scepter at Commencement anymore,” she concluded. “I’m sure I’m only saying this because I was looking over a collection of presidential portraits, but the best advice I can give you comes from the great Teddy Roosevelt, ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick.’” Contact JAKE ORBISON at james.orbison@yale.edu .

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS: Darty in Greenwich

The ugliest sentence in the English language.


PAGE B8

YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 · yaledailynews.com

WEEKEND COVER

ARTS: A 20-YEAR JOURNEY PRESIDENT FROM PAGE B3 posal to revamp the art facilities around Chapel Street. Overall, the administration renovated 500,000 square feet and added 275,000 more to the schools of architecture, art and drama, the two art galleries and various supporting departments like the Digital Media Center for the Arts. The plan aimed to encourage more coordination among the arts at Yale and the surrounding New Haven community. More importantly, it re-energized the educational mission of Yale’s art resources. “What has been distinctive about Levin’s presidency is his understanding of how all of the arts complement one another,” said Amy Meyers GRD ’85, director of the Yale Center for British Art. “Over my decade as director, Rick has encouraged the Center’s expanded vision of using our collections in research and teaching.” The arts area proposal sought to optimize Yale’s spaces by shuffling departments and schools within the Chapel Street area — the art and drama schools now share facilities in Green Hall; the History of Art Department moved out of Street Hall to make space for the art gallery’s expansion. The preliminary work for the Arts Area Plan began in 1995, Reynolds said, shortly before Levin recruited him to Yale three years later. The art gallery, along with the British Art Center, embraced the proposal’s pragmatic approach to arts education. “The notion of the gallery renovation was not only to expand the space but to integrate it with students’ academic pursuits,” Reynolds explained. Before the arts plan, he added, the gallery’s collections were not as accessible to students. Once it officially opens this December, the gallery will extend a block and a half across Chapel Street, allowing for continuous sequences of exhibition space. In addition to the teaching gallery, object-study classrooms and a study center will consolidate the gallery’s education efforts. At the music school, Levin and Blocker have overhauled the school’s curricula and facilities, with the remaining exception of SS Hall. The school’s fundraising efforts climaxed in 2005, when Stephen Adams ’59 and Denise Adams gifted the school with $100 million to grant free tuition to all of its musicians. It was Yale’s largest donation to date. “President Levin was the key in this situation,” said Inge Reichenbach, former vice president for development under Levin and the leader behind the Yale Tomorrow capital campaign. “He had a long standing relationship [with the Adamses], and he persuaded them to make this amazing gift.” The art galleries have benefited from the similar generosity. The Yale Center for British Art saw major renovations in 1996 and 1998, and Meyers said the Yale-in-London study abroad program has experienced healthy growth under Levin’s global vision. Since 1998, Reynolds explained, the Yale University Art Gallery has added around 20,000 pieces of art through acquisitions and patrons, and increased its endowment more than fivefold. Through the arts plan, Levin did not only hope to enrich Yale’s resources but also make New Haven more attractive as a destination and a business oasis. Many administrative recruits,

including Blocker and Meyers, say they came to Yale captivated by Levin’s vision of uplifting campus and New Haven through the arts. “I think we’ve done a good job in that area. The number of people at the galleries and schools has increased dramatically,” Levin said. “In a lot of ways, they’ve been huge assets, not only contributing to Yale but also to the whole New Haven area.”

THE ARTS, ‘SHORTCHANGED’?

Levin’s drive to improve the arts at Yale was not without its setbacks. In December 2008, news broke that Yale’s endowment lost a quarter of its value, and Levin delivered the dramatic news that major construction projects would have to be put on hold. As a result the art gallery expansion was stalled for a year. It eventually continued thanks to donations, including an $11 million gift at the end of last year — the cost of the entire project totaled $135 million. All told, Levin acknowledged that the Arts Area Plan proved more expensive than originally intended. In spite of these obstacles Levin’s architectural footprint will remain long after he steps down. While his initial aspirations centered on revamping neglected facilities, his projects and his ambition have scaled up over time. But even Levin acknowledges that this commitment can only go so far when faced with budgetary setbacks. When the financial crisis hit, the drama school had yet to be renovated. As some administrators have indicated, both the School of Drama and the Yale Repertory Theatre still show room for improvement. Dramatists and thespians are still waiting for a larger campus of their own in part because the University has yet to find a lead donor for the drama school. For administrators, this kind of fundraising is crucial if Yale hopes to maintain excellence in the arts. Stern said he hoped the University’s next president would make the arts more of a priority. “We need still to develop much more funding support for the arts in general,” Stern said. “Financial aid, faculty, endowed chairs, travel and research money for faculty. Professional schools in the arts have been shortchanged for ever.” He added that the architecture school could be in better financial shape as well. What’s more, faculty in the professional arts school are usually paid at the lowest end of the University scale, he said, even lower than professors in Yale College. He continued: “No president has ever said that they are not interested in the problem, but it would be great to have someone say, ‘The first thing I want to do is bolster the professional schools in the [arts].’”

LOOKING WEST, AND FORWARD

The next president will face the responsibility of upholding more than a decade of arts growth. But there’s only so much the next administration can hope to do before running out of time, money — and in Yale’s case, space. Enter West Campus. In 2007, the University acquired around 600,000 square feet of property in West Haven and Orange, Conn., from Bayer Pharmaceuticals, in what Levin called at the time “a once-in-a-century opportunity.”

S AT U R D AY SEPTEMBER 15

The new campus was initially positioned to expand the sciences at Yale. But Levin said West Campus has also been an unexpected bonus for the arts, particularly with its vast warehouse areas in which to store art collections.

NO PRESIDENT HAS EVER SAID THAT THEY ARE NOT INTERESTED IN THE PROBLEM, BUT IT WOULD BE GREAT TO HAVE SOMEONE SAY, ‘THE FIRST THING I WANT TO DO IS BOLSTER THE PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS IN THE [ARTS].’ The complex is also a space where coat-garbed scientists and art connoisseurs can work side by side. This alliance will help deepen Yale’s conservation program and efforts to digitize its art holdings. “I describe West Campus as Yale’s ‘Louisiana purchase,’” Reynolds quipped. “It’s the next big wave of cross-disciplinary potential.” Under Levin’s successor, the University administration will have to decide how to utilize West Campus, which Reynolds said could provide room for future growth in the arts.

A DEPARTING STEWARD

In May, Levin will host his last dinner for the honorary degree recipients at the British Art Center. Attendees will mingle amidst the greatest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. The roof of the renovated art gallery will be in view outside the large windows. In the light of the early evening, as everyone enjoys their meals, Levin will probably remind guests of the importance of art to life. The Levins and Meyers might gush one more time about their favorite painting at the Center, George Stubb’s “Zebra.” A month later his tenure will be officially over. To assess the trail Levin has blazed behind him, it’s easier to just ask around. He is quick to deflect any praise to his fellow administrators at the schools and galleries. For Richard and Jane, Blocker explained, Levin’s tenure hasn’t been “a task to gain personal recognition.” Yet for many, like history of art professor Robert Thompson, Levin’s legacy will be difficult to match. After Thompson stepped down in 2010 from 32 years of service as a residential college master, Levin visited Thompson to spend some time with him as he packed up his art collection in the Timothy Dwight master’s house. Thompson said no other Yale president had ever shown such an interest in his artistic passions. “Rick Levin as guardian of the arts at Yale?” Thompson asked. “It’s gloriously redundant. I will miss the hell out of him.” Contact JORDI GASSÓ at jordi.gasso@yale.edu .

INTRODUCTION TO LIGHTING DESIGN

Stiles-Morse Crescent Theatre // 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Turn up the lights in here, baby. Extra bright, we want y’all to see this!

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS: Starting your senior essay Jay kay!


YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 · yaledailynews.com

PAGE B9

WEEKEND CINEMA

A collection of screenings for the rest of us // BY PATRICE BOWMAN

I was planning to go filmcrazy on my course schedule next spring semester; after considering all that this current semester had to offer, I wondered why I was waiting. As soon as I flipped through the Blue Book (correction: OCI), I nearly forgot that I was an English major (and what “distributional requirements?”). Even if you aren’t taking a single film course, there are some classes that have a few screenings open to all students, regardless of official enrollment. There’s nothing like coming together under the big screen to stave off the isolation of midterms. Film has always turned to literature for source material. In Dudley Andrew’s and David Bromwich’s course “Film and Fiction,” they explore how the written word translates to moving images. With door-stopping novels being condensed into two

hours, it’s not always a smooth transformation. You haven’t read any of the original books? Whatever! They can’t dock your grade if you’re not in the class. One adaptation, “The Conformist” (1970), is based on an Italian novel of the same title. A boring synopsis will tell you about a man trying to become a Fascist assassin in 1930s Italy — you know, to fit in — but the film is also about cinematography and editing triumphing over the book’s linear tale. At the price of seeing leaves’ deadening summer colors dance in the wind, the characters’ psychologies may seem more undeveloped on screen than in the text. On the opposite side of the spectrum is “La Belle Noiseuse” (“The Beautiful Troublemaker,” 1991), adapted from the short story “The Unknown Masterpiece.” It goes against convention by being a 240-minute film

adapted from a 20-page story. “Cinema may have overwhelmed literature,” Andrew mused. “We’ll have to find out.” Do you want to learn about the cinematic side of the presidential elections, but the debates only make you sleepy? Charles Musser’s “Media and U.S. Presidential Elections, 1892–2012” will bring the relevancy of yesterday to today’s political setting by focusing on how the presidential elections have structured audiovisual media, from lantern shows to YouTube. The line of screenings compares the media’s coverage of the 2012 campaign with those of the past. Why are these older, lesser-known films so important? Musser explains, “What I’m trying to do is provide a public perspective so that people can understand what’s happening today. Each movie I show is essential.” With belligerent ads

buzzing around, it might comfort you to know these candidates are doing nothing new. Dance is immediately alive, transitory, while film is preserved without variation. How these two forms complement and frustrate each other is the subject of Emily Coates’ “Dance on Film.” The screenings include the familiar Fred Astaire-Ginger Roberts duo, but I would never have thought that “Triumph of the Will” (1935) — a propaganda piece from Nazi Germany — would be considered a dance number! Don’t your toes just start a-tapping when you see goose-stepping soldiers and billowing swastikas in the widest of wide shots? All joking aside, the film is a dangerously impressive dance to the Horst-Wessel-Lied. A more recent effort is the short film “Nora” (2008), about the Zimbabwean dancer-choreographer Nora Chipaumire. Accord-

ing to Coates, the film “is one of the most vivid, poetically crafted dance films I have ever seen.” I’ve just seen a teaser of it: two men pop-and-lock, jerk and attack each other in a deserted village as they relate the story of a messy divorce. Why say it when you can dance it? If there’s one other thing that fascinates me besides film, it’s the post-WWI period. I’m admittedly American-centric, but “Modernist Berlin, Petersburg, and Moscow,” taught by Katerina Clark and Roman Utkin, shows how these three European cities shaped the twentieth century through art, literature and, of course, film. “The Battleship Potemkin” may not have invented editing, but it elevated the process to a notable art form in its own right. Remember those modern action sequences in which a car driving off a cliff

is shown at a billion different angles? “Battleship Potemkin” may not be “XXX,” but it has the twitching germ of the fast, exciting editing that current films abuse without thought. “Great,” you say, “but I just want to plop down on my comfy bed and watch these films on my computer.” I know that we Yalies are busy with courses and jobs and volunteering, and being amazing, but our computers have too many distractions. On the importance of screenings, Utkin explained, “The reasons for students to attend screenings are both pedagogical and aesthetic. It is important that everyone … watches the same exact version on the big screen to fully appreciate all features of a film.” Contact PATRICE BOWMAN at patrice.bowman@yale.edu .

SCHEDULE OF COURSES’ OPEN SCREENINGS “FILM AND FICTION.”

“MODERNIST BERLIN, PETERSBURG, AND MOSCOW.”

SCREENINGS AT 6:30PM AT 212 YORK STREET

SCREENINGS AT 7:00PM IN WLH 113

OCT 9: “THE FALLEN IDOL” (Carol Reed, 1948, 95 min)

DEC 4: “LA BELLE NOISEUSE” (Jacques Rivette, 1991, 238 min.)

“MEDIA AND U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, 1892-2012.”

SEPT 4: “THE INNOCENTS” (Jack Clayton, 1961, 100 min.)

SEPT 19: “THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN” (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925, 69 min.)

SCREENINGS AT 6:30PM AT 212 YORK STREET

OCT 16: “THE BIG SLEEP” (Howard Hawks, 1946, 114 min), plus opening of “The Killers” (Robert Siodmak, 1944) SEPT 11: “CHILDREN OF PARADISE” (Marcel Carné, 1945, 190 min.)

SEPT 18: “DEATH IN VENICE” (Luchino Visconti, 1971, 130 min.)

SEPT 17: “THE DEWEY STORY” (1948); “THE TRUMAN STORY” (1948); “A PEOPLE’S CONVENTION” (1948); “THE INVESTIGATORS” (1948), “THE STEVENSON STORY” (1952); “THE EISENHOWER STORY” (1952); PLUS TV COMMERCIALS

OCT 30: “BREATHLESS” (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960, 89 min.); “Shoot the Piano Player” (Francois Truffaut, 1960, 80 min.)

SEPT 26: “AELITA, THE QUEEN OF MARS” Hopefully, John Carter doesn’t make an appearance. (Yakov Protazanov, 1924, 145 min.)

“DANCE ON FILM”

6:00PM - 8:00PM AT WHC

OCT 17: “METROPOLIS” (Fritz Lang, 1927, 145 min.)

SEPT 25: “VERTIGO” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958, 128 min.)

NOV 6: “THE CONFORMIST” (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970, 107 min)

NOV 28: “NORA” Followed by a Q & A with director Alla Kovgan.

OCT 31: “MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA” (Dziga Vertov, 1929, 68 min.)

SEPT 27: “THE GREEN RAY” (Eric Rohmer, 1986, 98 min.)

NOV 13: “EYES WIDE SHUT” (Stanley Kubrick, 1999, 159 min)

DEC 5: “THE BLUE ANGEL” (Josef von Sternburg, 1930, 99 min.)

OCT 2: “THE MARQUISE OF O” (Rohner, 1976, 102 min.)

S AT U R D AY SEPTEMBER 15

NOV 27: “A PASSAGE TO INDIA” (David Lean, 1984, 164 min.)

HARDWARE SEDA HARDWARE SILK

32 Edgewood Ave. Gallery // 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. Sculptures made out of turnbuckles, wire and chains. Oh my.

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS: Spend a semester abroad Sophomore slump...it’s a thing.


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YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 · yaledailynews.com

WEEKEND COLUMNS

LIMO RIDES AND BILLIONAIRES I’m reluctant to say I don’t understand “Cosmopolis” because that would be too easy. After all it’s a David Cronenberg work, based on a Don DeLillo novel: the willfully unconventional filmmaker has more than a few odd pictures in his canon, so his tag team with the already distant DeLillo should spell out a strange kind of success. But I like to think I’ve seen my fair share of quirky films, many of which border on the ostentatious art vomit that is usually relegated to the avant-garde. So my dislike (or perhaps distaste) for Cronenberg’s latest film must be rooted in something other than ignorance. Robert Pattinson stars as the young billionaire Eric Packer, a cold, soulless businessman disturbingly at home in his outfitted stretch limo, which serves as his office while ferrying him about clogged Manhattan streets to his preferred barber. Along the journey he has sex with multiple women not named Mrs. Packer, loses billions on currency speculation, and gets a prostate exam. Through it all he slowly self-destructs, as his limo wanders aimlessly through a cityscape that becomes increasingly dark, increasingly subdued, increasingly people-less. From the outset, “Cosmopolis” is a delightful dissection of the 1%, and so Eric Packer’s undemonstrative air feels appropriate.

MICHAEL LOMAX CINEMA TO THE MAX But Cronenberg has never been known for his subtlety, stretching back to his body horror days in the ’70s and ’80s. In making Packer utterly and irredeemably inhuman, Cronenberg has done it again, so to speak. Everything is over the top, starting with Pattinson’s portrayal of a character thoroughly blasé and unimpressive, almost like how Neo from “The Matrix” would have been if anyone other than that oddball Keanu Reeves had played him. Then we encounter Packer’s colleagues and enemies, all of whom are as intellectually bombastic as our apathetic billionaire. If anything, it’s hilarious how poorly conceived everything turns out to be. What I mean is that with such a hot-button social issue at play (however peripherally) there has to be more drama and tension than the sparse offerings we’re given. Even the truly dramatic parts (near the end as Packer confronts his would-be assassin) are bogged down by enough highbrow discourse to fill a junior-level Socratic seminar. And if there’s anything we’ve learned about such talk-heavy films it’s that they simply do not work (most of the time). But the Canadian-born film-

maker would have us see things differently. His perceived creation is not a work of cinema but a surgery table, peeling away at each layer of the infinitely rich to expose a marginal class as empty as their valueless pieces of paper, of which Packer has billions. Still, I’m not convinced it quite works. I’m all for intellectualism in my movies, but only if the heart of the drama remains intact. So maybe, as I’m beginning

New York buzzes with fashion bees Last Thursday night, the fashion masses flooded the streets of New York and 500 other cities around the world. This was Fashion’s Night Out, and the city unrolled the fanfare. In SoHo, Broadway looked like High Street during the first night of camp Yale. Completely flooded with doe-eyed fashion amateurs (freshmen), condescending veterans of the event (upperclassmen), models, photographers and designers. To say this event was heavily attended would be an understatement. Fashion’s Night Out is a veritable feast of all things fashion for those even remotely interested in the industry. Stores in major metropolitan areas around the world stay open late and have events to incite shoppers into actually shopping. This year, New York boasted appearances by fashion greats like Anna Wintour and Alexander Wang. But it also boasted fashion not-so-greats, like Kim Kardashian, who was promoting her new perfume (but mainly herself). Shops around New York, and, I presume the rest of the world, offered refreshments and special items like personalized Converse sneakers at Bloomingdales (sneakers for $75?) and anime comic books at Philip Lim. But for me, the highlight of the evening was the Azealia Banks concert at MAC. The new face of T by Alexander Wang and a budding fashion icon, Banks performed songs off of her highly anticipated album “Broke With Expensive Taste” on a stage in the middle of the makeup store. Interest in fashion is omnipresent at Yale. While Yale’s presence at FNO wasn’t particularly large (there were no busses shuttling students down I-95 and there didn’t seem to be a mass

S U N D AY SEPTEMBER 16

CAROLYN LIPKA LIPKA SAYS exodus at the train station), there were a couple students who were drawn to the buzz. Yalie and fashion blogger Jen Mulrow ‘14 went to FNO this year to document the circus. “I wanted to take pictures of [FNO] because it’s an event with all different kinds of people,” said Mulrow. “It was really crowded and there were lots of lines, but there’s such an excitement to it.” Most attendees of Fashion’s Night Out were 20-somethings looking for free drinks and famous people, and although it only lasts until 11 p.m., the streets were completely filled with people until long after closing. It seemed as if the open container law was briefly abandoned (and also traffic laws), as beautiful young New Yorkers drank plastic flutes of champagne on the sidewalk and danced down the middle of Spring Street chanting the lyrics to Banks’ hit “212.” Luckily for Yalies, FNO happens once every year, and next year maybe more will make the trip to indulge in a night of fashion-y debauchery. Contact CAROLYN LIPKA at carolyn.lipka@yale.edu .

MOST ATTENDEES OF FASHION’S NIGHT OUT WERE 20-SOMETHINGS LOOKING FOR FREE DRINKS AND FAMOUS PEOPLE.

MORNING SERVICE

Trinity Baptist Church // 10 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. Jesus is a friend of ours.

to see it, “Cosmopolis” is actually a stunning critique of itself: a rough shell of a movie, more concept than creation, crafted from the outside as a normal film on the wealthiest and most depraved but littered within by too many useless tools (read here: unnecessary stylistic elements, camera angles and, let me repeat, awfully pretentious dialogue). But all of the neat tricks and fancy wrappings don’t hide the fact that at its core,

Cronenberg’s latest is terribly hollow, much like the very limousine at the center of it all. The sad thing is the film won’t even enjoy whatever box-office success could be drawn from casting Robert Pattinson, the secret “Twilight” self-hater. Once again, his film-dominating protagonist dooms his performance: he’s not loathsome, nor despicable, nor evil. He’s nothing at all. And that’s the real problem.

// CREATIVE COMMONS

Robert Pattinson stars as the young billionaire Eric Packer, a cold, soulless businessman disturbingly at home in his outfitted stretch limo.

Contact MICHAEL LOMAX at michael.lomax@yale.edu .

TV Id Labor Day, I found myself pissed off and sick. I started to run last summer so I could attempt the New Haven Road Race (5k), but I woke on the morning of the trot stuffed with mucus and all kinds of gross. I should have gone back to bed, but instead I started on what can only be called a “Queer as Folk” BENDER. I watched over half of the 20-episode first season in one sitting. See, I would feel shame about doing this (not actually, but work with me here), but I know that most of you do the same exact thing. Maybe it’s not “Queer as Folk,” maybe it’s “Battlestar Galactica,” or maybe it’s “Law and Order: SVU.” Whatever it is, bingeing on television has become an accepted part of our collegiate culture. Although TV bingeing is not exclusive to college students — John Jurgensen elucidated in this in his July Wall Street Journal article titled “Binge Viewing: TV’s Lost Weekends” — I would say the trend to sit down for an entire day and inhale a TV show is almost required to participate in the pop culture dialogue while in college. I think college students, especially Yalies, use television as a platform to discuss cultural trends, philosophy and public opinion outside of the classroom (instead of, say, Foucault, so we don’t sound like enormous douches). Want to talk about the tripartite nature of the soul without referring to Plato? Discuss Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse.” Or how about the dangers of theocracy? Season five of “True Blood.” Or simply what is it that makes a compelling narrative? What exactly is it about your favorite characters that elicits such empathy (ahem, Brian Kinney)? So just like you need to spend a requisite hour on HuffPo and Reuters a day, there is this

MILA HURSEY (TELE)VISION pressure to become an expert on your favorite TV show, and everyone here knows the best way to become an expert is to cram. In a lot of ways, TV is our cultural currency, and our readily accessible connection to each other and the world outside. And no, I don’t think this is some sick or twisted fate poisoning our generation.

rations to write the next great American TV show (and there are more of us out there than you’d suspect), it’s almost like a competition. Who can effortlessly watch the most television, understand the most obscure comedic references, and speak intelligently about why “The Wire” is so fantastic? It’s not just about ego, it’s feeling like I know a lot about character development, and the careful calculus of balancing the episodic with the seasonal narrative. I know when a writer gives too much away too

I WOULD SAY THE TREND TO SIT DOWN FOR AN ENTIRE DAY AND INHALE A TV SHOW IS ALMOST REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE POP CULTURE DIALOGUE WHILE IN COLLEGE. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to be a non“Game of Thrones” watcher last spring: so alienated, so frustrated, so out of the loop! I know at least three people who sat down after graduation and watched both seasons in less than a week. How beautiful. How cathartic. All of those conversations they had to sit out, all of those missed references to twincest …. The same thing happened to me last fall when it seemed like every Stilesian spoke exclusively using “Archer” quotes. I hadn’t a clue what they were talking about. I finally watched it and suddenly understood the depth of my own ignorance and immediately changed my ringtone to “Mulatto Butts.” For those of us who have aspi-

soon, when there are discontinuities with the story, and how the writers could have avoided them. For me, it’s easier to see how a series is constructed by watching episode after episode uninterrupted. Essentially, a show is easier to deconstruct as a package, rather than attempting to analyze it episode by episode. As a person who would like to produce television one day, I must first determine what I find great in a show, so that I can mimic it, and improve upon it. At least this is what I tell myself when I’m closing in on hour five of a binge. Lord, may I have the same stamina while working on my senior essay. Contact MILA HURSEY at mila.hursey@yale.edu .

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS: Crystalline afternoons with Arthur Russell

There’s no one else quite like this enigmatic musician to transport you into a place of lucidity.


YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 · yaledailynews.com

PAGE B11

WEEKEND THEATER

TRAWLING THE PROPS AND COSTUME DEPTHS // BY SIJIA SONG

// SIJIA SONG

The YSD’s costume collection at 149 York St.

ALONG WITH MORE USUAL ITEMS LIKE CHAIRS, CABINETS AND CHANDELIERS, THERE ARE THREE 1800S-STYLE CASH REGISTERS, AN ANTIQUE RADIO, A RESPECTABLE BLACK COFFIN AND A HANDTURNED WIND MACHINE USED TO IMITATE THE SOUND OF WIND BEFORE THE ERA OF DIGITIZED SOUND EFFECTS. S U N D AY SEPTEMBER 16

STUDENT GUIDE TOUR: “PAINTINGS OF PAINTINGS AND PAINTERS” Yale Center for British Art // 2 p.m.

Representations of art in art. How meta!

There’s a whole new world behind the wardrobe. There are no lions and witches and talking beasts, but rather the canvas fish, vampire coffins and wind machine of the Yale School of Drama’s costume and props collection. The YSD’s costume collection, located in an unassuming basement at 149 York St., is distinct from the props warehouse. Both collections are mainly at the disposal of YSD productions — while undergraduate productions and the general public can rent from the YSD, they must pay a rental fee of at least $85 and a deposit of at least $170. The only undergraduate productions exempt from the rental fee are those run by the Yale Dramat, which has a special arrangement with the YSD. To set foot in the costume collection is to be lost among rows and rows of shelves filled with a plethora of clothing, ranging from the shabby to the dramatically ornate. The labels on the shelves are enough to tell a story all by themselves: “Women’s clothing, 1920s-Present,” divided into checked, striped and solid-colored sections; “Ecclesiastical — Cardinals — Popes — Priests,” neatly categorized by proper clerical rank; and another shelf labeled simply “Richard

III,” perhaps signifying the play’s enduring popularity among Yale performers. Not all costumes in the warehouse are available for lending. A section of the warehouse, labeled “antiques,” is locked away at the back. These are vintage and historic clothes that are too fragile to be lent out, but which are used for reference when making new costumes. According to Linda Wingerter of the Yale Costumes Collection, Yale does not actively acquire these antique clothes. Most of them are donations, and because the warehouse does not keep an inventory, nobody really knows how many of them there are. “They have eight people employed full-time up at the University Theater making costumes for the Drama School,” says Wingerter. Drama students design costumes for their shows, and if there is nothing that matches the concept, or if there is a particular antique costume that they would like to replicate, the theater workshop creates the costumes from scratch. The props collection takes up much more space than the costume collection and is located much further from campus. It is situated about a mile away from campus, at 105 Hamilton St. near Wooster Square. The warehouse

lurks in the back parking lot of a Tile America store, and there is no sign to announce its presence, nor any obvious indication that it is Yale property. Once inside, however, the number and diversity of the collection is stunning. “There’s pretty much anything and everything in here,” says Bill Batschelet of the Yale Props Warehouse, adding that the collection numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Along with more usual items like chairs, cabinets and chandeliers, there are three 1800s-style cash registers, an antique radio, a respectable black coffin and a hand-turned wind machine used to imitate the sound of wind before the era of digitized sound effects. In some ways, exploring Yale’s costumes and props collection is like stumbling on a cave full of hidden treasure — beautiful, eccentric and unexpectedly dazzling. However, those who would like to embark on treasure hunts of their own should be warned: both collections are by appointment only, and visits must be set up a week in advance. Otherwise, the collection is open to the Yale community. Contact SIJIA SONG at sijia.song@yale.edu .

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS: Decorating with love and care

This is where you’ll be spending the next eight months (at least). Make it feel like home!


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YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 · yaledailynews.com

WEEKEND BACKSTAGE

GLENN KELMAN

// JOYCE XI

CEO, failed novelist, self-described ‘goofy’ guy // BY PAYAL MARATHE

G

lenn Kelman graduated college an English major. After two failed novels, he turned down a different career path, co-founding Plumtree Software in 1997. Now he’s the CEO of Redfin, an online real estate brokerage. He spoke at a Morse College Master’s Tea yesterday about the road he took after graduation, letting his quirky personality shine through. Kelman answered a few more questions for WEEKEND later in the evening at Mory’s about his real interests and goals for Redfin.

A. I tried to convince everyone that you can be brilliant without becoming an investment banker or a consultant. If you’re really lucky, you get the chance to be yourself in your work, to be goofy, weird or whatever you are. People who think they won’t fit into the corporate world go into another field. But I knew there was a place in the business world for goofy people and I was trying to find that space. Q. What really motivated the decision to switch career paths? A. It’s a decision I make every year. I’m not perfectly comfortable in the business world, because growing up, I just thought businessmen were people who didn’t have a soul. I still harbor artistic ambitions, but every day I instead grab my briefcase and walk down the hill and head into work. But I think if you can line that up with something that’s cool and meaningful, it’s great. Q. So what’s cool and meaningful about Redfin? A. What’s cool about it is that it’s going to make a big difference in the world. So many businesses are just trying to do rinky-dink little things (there’s an iPhone app that helps you find other iPhone app lovers to date). Redfin is trying to take on a big section of the economy, actually the thing that drove us into the ditch in the first place. We’re making real estate more trans-

parent and friendly to regular folk. Really the whole reason that real estate has been such a difficult market to improve is that all the people who know software make software, and all the people who know real estate do real estate and the two never really meet. The big cultural project of Redfin is bringing these two groups together — the prom kings and the captains of the chess team. We had a hard time making money at first because these two groups didn’t really talk to each other. Of course I’m not doing this for money — I’ve already got the money. Some businesses are about squeezing costs, cutting down trees, pumping oil. I need something to believe in. Q. But you started out in business with Plumtree Software. What was special about that project? A. I really loved Plumtree too, but looking back it’s objectively less interesting. We made business software. I spent my 20s trying to look 40, and now I spend my early 40s trying to look 20. Still, at the time I liked it because I got to hang out with smart people and build something that was technically interesting. It was a big idea and I liked that it was ambitious. Eventually IBM, Microsoft and these giant companies tried to compete with us, which was fun because it’s like being in a movie with Angelina Jolie. Q. Were you prepared for the real estate business by the time you got into it? A. I didn’t know anything about real estate when I got into Redfin. It was a

saving grace that every time I screwed up we figured it out relatively quickly. But had I known more I would have realized how hard it is, and then I wouldn’t have done it, so sometimes ignorance is bliss. Q. Do you still find ways to exercise your creative side? A. What are you talking about, young lady? The whole reason I’m in the business world is so I can be creative. I almost became a doctor at ages 21 and 34, and the reason I didn’t is because it wasn’t creative. At first I thought that if something was artistic no one would pay for it, but now I think beautiful things are the best sellers. Consider Shakespeare and the Bible. I like creating things that are useful; I like creating things that are poetic; I like marrying the two. It all depends on how you define creativity. Q. What were your attempted novels about? A. The first one was about a person just like my girlfriend. The second was about a guy who’s a lot like me. The only thing I really remember distinctly about them is how bad they were. What’s painful is that if you really like reading you know bad writing when you see it. Q. Any regrets? A. I think all your regrets when you’re young are about the time you wasted being a screw up. What you cherish when you’re slightly less young is

WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG ARE ABOUT THE TIME YOU WASTED BEING A SCREW UP. WHAT YOU CHERISH WHEN YOU’RE SLIGHTLY LESS YOUNG IS EXACTLY THAT TIME.

exactly that time. You spend a little time wandering around in the wilderness. I tried other things and I went through these emotional journeys. I once didn’t sleep for two days trying to decide whether or not to go to medical school. It’s a wilder ride that way, but it’s more fun. Contact PAYAL MARATHE at payal.marathe@yale.edu .

Q. What advice were you trying to get across during the Master’s Tea?

“IYOUR THINK ALL REGRETS


This WEEKEND  

Sept. 14, 2012

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