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R Y DER THE 339.2002 TheR Y der.com August 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 A

RYDER

THE

339.2002 TheRYder.com

August 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 A provocative social experiment-turned- documentary, American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi transformed himself into a wise Indian guru, hoping to prove the absurdity of blind faith. Instead, he found himself forging profound connections with people from all walks of life -- and wondering if and when to reveal his true self. Would his followers accept his final teaching? Could this illusion reveal a greater spiritual truth? Winner of South by Southwest’s Audience Award, Kumaré is an insightful look at faith and belief. (USA;; 2012; 84 min)

Winner of South by Southwest’s Audience Award, Kumaré is an insightful look at faith and belief.
Aug 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 17, 18 Nominated for a record 13 César Awards,

Aug 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 17, 18 Nominated for a record 13 César Awards, French actress turned writer/director Maïwenn’s third feature film is the story of a photographer brought in to shoot the members of the Child Protection Unit--she is an outsider amongst a close-knit family of cops who are themselves outsiders within the Paris police. Maïwenn spent months doing painstaking research with real CPU officers in preparation for the film, and it shows in her razor-sharp screenplay that features rapid-fire dialogue and plenty of crackling, dark humor. Behind the lens both on-screen and off, Maïwenn is also the actress who plays the photographer Melissa, asserting herself as a voyeur into the fascinating world of police detective work.

who plays the photographer Melissa, asserting herself as a voyeur into the fascinating world of police

The PiGeoneerss

Aug 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 24, 25 First-time filmmaker Alessandro Croseri delivers a stunningly beautiful ode to combat pigeons and their pigeoneers. Pigeoneers follows Col. Clifford Poutre at age 103 during the final year of his life and examines his innovations in the training of homing pigeons for combat missions during World War II. Drawing on a rich array of archival footage, the film tells the story of Poutre’s 31 years of service as Chief Pigeoneer of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, his enlightened approach to training defined by kindness and care his pigeons’ remark- able feats both in combat and in civilian life. The Pigeoneers in sponsored in part by the Monroe County Historical Society (2012; 111 min)

combat and in civilian life. The Pigeoneers in sponsored in part by the Monroe County Historical

Eponymous well-digger, Pascale, is a widower living with his six daughters in the Provence countryside at the start of World War I. His eldest, Patricia, has returned home from Paris to help raise her sisters, and Pascale dreams of marrying her off to his loyal assistant Felipe. (France; 2012; 107 min) At 62, the actor Daniel Auteuil is French film royalty, a Renaissance man equally at home in comedy, drama, thrillers — or, given his perennial air of faintly amused irony, some combination of all three. An off-kilter looker, Auteuil fairly oozes Gallic urbanity, so it’s easy to forget that he launched his prolific career playing a conniving rustic in 1986’s Jean de Florette and its sequel, Manon of the Spring, both adapted from novels by the writer-director Marcel Pagnol. Now, in his first outing as a director, Auteuil pays homage to Pagnol with a remake of his 1940 film The Well-Digger’s Daughter, the story of an upstanding but hidebound Provence peasant who’s dragged into the mod- ern age by an unexpected pregnancy in the family. The Well-Digger’s Daughter offers a fervent poem to the region’s abundant beauty. --The New York Times

the family. The Well-Digger’s Daughter offers a fervent poem to the region’s abundant beauty. --The New
TakeThisWaltz
TakeThisWaltz

Take this Waltz Aug 24-Sept 8 Michelle Williams gives an extraordinary performance as Margot, 28; when she meets Daniel, their chemistry is intense and immedi- ate. But Margot suppresses her sudden attraction; she is happily married to Lou, a cookbook writer. When she learns that Daniel lives across the street from them, the certainty about her domestic life shatters. She and Daniel steal moments throughout the steaming Toronto summer, their eroticism heightened by their restraint. Swelteringly hot, bright and colorful like a bowl of fruit, Take This Waltz leads us, laughing, through the familiar, but uncharted question of what long-term relationships do to love, sex, and our images of ourselves. Directed by Sarah Polley. Sarah Silverman, Seth Rogen co-star. (2012) Sarah Polley’s honest, sure-footed, emotionally gener- ous second feature. Ms. Williams, one of the bravest and smartest actresses working in movies today, portrays a young woman who is indecisive and confused, but never passive. –The New York Times

Aug 31-Sept 15 With epic propor- tions of Shakespearean tragedy, The Queen of Versailles is the true story follows two unique characters, whose

rags-to-riches success stories reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream. The film begins with the family triumphantly con- structing the biggest house in Ameri- ca, a 90,000 sq. ft. palace. (2012)

A succulently entertaining movie

that invites you to splash around in the dreams and follies of folks so rich they’re the 1 percent of the 1

percent. It’s like a champagne bath laced with arsenic.

-- Entertainment Weekly

so rich they’re the 1 percent of the 1 percent. It’s like a champagne bath laced
Sept 7-22 The Imposter is a chill- ing factual thriller that chronicles the story of

Sept 7-22 The Imposter is a chill- ing factual thriller that chronicles the story of a 13-year-old boy who disappears without a trace from San Antonio, Texas in 1994. Three and a half years later he is found alive in a village in southern Spain. His family is overjoyed to bring him home. But all is not quite as it seems. Perception is challenged at every twist and turn, and just as the truth begins to dawn on you, another truth merges leaving you even more on edge. (2012; 95 min) The Imposter is the equivalent of a page-turner. It tells a true story that is so oh wow! unbelievable, so deeply, compellingly stranger than fiction, that you don’t so much watch the film as get addicted to it. —Entertainment Weekly

 

RYder Films

 

at the IU FINE ARTS THEATER and WOODBURN HALL on Friday and Saturday at BEAR’S PLACE on Sunday

Fine Arts is on the IU Campus on 7th St, on the north side of Showalter Fountain Woodburn Hall is also on 7th St, next to the Lilly Library

Call339.2002

or visit TheRyder.com for updates

 

Fri & Sat, August 3 and 4 on campus

Kumare / FineArts 7:00 Oslo August 31 / Fine Arts 8:30 Polisse / Woodburn Hall 8:00

Sun, August 5 at Bear’s Place

Polisse / 7:00

Fri & Sat, August 10 and 11 at on campus

 

Kumare / FineArts 7:00 Polisse / Fine Arts 8:30

The Pigeoneers / Woodburn Hall 8:00

 

Sunday, August 12 at Bear’s Place

The Pigeoneers 7:00

Fri & Sat, August 17 and 18 at on campus

Well Digger’s Daughter / FineArts 6:45 Polisse / Fine Arts 8:45 The Pigeoneers / Woodburn 8:00

 

Sunday, August 19 at Bear’s Place

 

Well Digger’s Daughter

7:00

Fri & Sat, August 24 and 25 at on campus*

 

Well Digger’s Daughter / FineArts 6:45 The Pigeoneers / Fine Arts 8:45

 

Take This Waltz / Woodburn 8:00

 

Sunday, August 26 at Bear’s Place

Take This Waltz 7:00

Fri & Sat, August 31 and Sept 1 at on campus*

Queen of Versailles / FineArts 6:45 Well Digger’s Daughter / Fine Arts 8:45 Take This Waltz / Woodburn 8:00

 

Sunday, Sept 2 at Bear’s Place

Queen of Versailles 7:00

*Late-August, early Sept campus screen- ings are tentative pending room reservation confirmations. Visit TheRyder.com to confirm.

 

Call 339.2002 or visit TheRyder.com

FEATURES HAVE TV, VCR, AND GENERATOR— WILL TRAVEL By Megan Abajian The Ghanaian Mobile Cinema

FEATURES

FEATURES HAVE TV, VCR, AND GENERATOR— WILL TRAVEL By Megan Abajian The Ghanaian Mobile Cinema comes

HAVE TV, VCR, AND GENERATOR— WILL TRAVEL

By Megan Abajian

The Ghanaian Mobile Cinema comes to the Grunwald Gallery

The Ghanaian Mobile Cinema comes to the Grunwald Gallery SIDEWALK ART: CHALK IT UP TO CREATIVITY

SIDEWALK ART: CHALK IT UP TO CREATIVITY

by Libby Peterson

Lifelong Learning Week Celebrates the Arts

by Libby Peterson Lifelong Learning Week Celebrates the Arts MAGIC, DRAGONS, AND DICE By Dan Melnick

MAGIC, DRAGONS, AND DICE

By Dan Melnick

Gaming Fans Are Coming to Indy

AND DICE By Dan Melnick Gaming Fans Are Coming to Indy HIGH HOPES AND HIGH HEELS

HIGH HOPES AND HIGH HEELS

By Filiz Cicek

Impressions from the Cannes Film Festival

By Filiz Cicek Impressions from the Cannes Film Festival THE NEWEST PLEDGE By Elizabeth Klehfoth A

THE NEWEST PLEDGE

By Elizabeth Klehfoth

A group of college students sell their first feature film to Lionsgate

students sell their first feature film to Lionsgate HOLLYWOOD GOES TO THE POLLS By Craig J.

HOLLYWOOD GOES TO THE POLLS

By Craig J. Clark

With elections on the horizon, Hollywood capitalizes on the political mania

on the horizon, Hollywood capitalizes on the political mania WIND IT UP By Tom Prasch The

WIND IT UP

By Tom Prasch The Automaton in Hugo and the long and winding road from the Englightment to Modernity

DEPARTMENTS

06

STAGES

Rufus Wainwright, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Carrie Newcomer, and many more!

32

FILMS

BORN TO SURVIVE AT THE CANNES

 

By Filiz Cicek

Love dominates the programming at this year’s Film Festival

34

COLUMNS

THE HIPSTER

 

BOOKWORM’S

HANDBOOK

By Brandon Cook

Reading suggestions for bohemian bibliophiles

42

BLOOMINGTON

NIGHTLIFE

Thirty days of fun at night

CONTEST RULES: email your answer to FamousBuses@TheRyder.com. The subject line should read “Bus Contest.” Winners
CONTEST RULES: email your answer to FamousBuses@TheRyder.com. The subject line should read “Bus Contest.”
Winners will receive a pair of tickets to The Ryder Film Series where, if they are lucky, they will see a movie featuring one
or more buses in supporting roles. If they are especially lucky, winners may also get a Bloomington Transit coloring book
and other cool stuff. Be sure to include a mailing address with your entry. Employees of BT, The Ryder and their families
or facsimiles thereof may not enter. New Jersey residents add a 15% surcharge.
Why does Batman stop the bus in
The Dark Knight Rises?
Answer to Last Week’s Question:
The Exotic Marigold Hotel
Remember…Movies wouldn’t be Movies without Buses.

DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON

LABOR DAY WEEKEND

DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
OF
OF
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •
DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •

THE ARTS AND CRAFTS

DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON LABOR DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music •

Arts • Crafts • Music • Kids Zone

4th Street Grant to Indiana

Crafts • Music • Kids Zone 4th Street Grant to Indiana SEPTEMBER 1 & 2 Saturday

SEPTEMBER 1 & 2 Saturday 10 to 6 Sunday 10 to 5DAY WEEKEND OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS Arts • Crafts • Music • Kids Zone 4th

www.4thstreet.orgArts • Crafts • Music • Kids Zone 4th Street Grant to Indiana SEPTEMBER 1 &

• Music • Kids Zone 4th Street Grant to Indiana SEPTEMBER 1 & 2 Saturday 10
alpha Peter LoPilato contributing editors Filiz Cicek Jim Manion Rick Nagy Paul Sturm art direction

alpha

Peter LoPilato

contributing editors Filiz Cicek Jim Manion Rick Nagy Paul Sturm

art direction Stephanie Watters-Flores

graphic designers Tim Budnick Raphael Feinstein Danielle Kay Riendeau

contributing writers Andrew Behringer Mike Cagle Ryan Dawes Craig J. Clarke Katherine Coplen Molly Gleeson Jeff Hammer Jeffrey Huntsman Liz Leslie Dan Melnick Emily Mulholland Libby Peterson Tom Prasch Tom Roznowski Dave Torneo Emma Young Sally Rogers Buddy Sorrell

lunch room monitor Wanda Feathers

animal trainer

Dwayne Hardwick

publisher’s wardrobe Jean Paul Gaultier Old Navy

omega

Peter LoPilato

THE RYDER is published monthly by In the Dark Enterprises, Inc and is distributed free in Bloomington and on the campus of Indiana University. (812) 339.2001 339.2002 editor@TheRyder.com

University. (812) 339.2001 339.2002 editor@TheRyder.com STAGE S By Emily Mulholland and Ryan Dawes RUFUS WAINWRIGHT
STAGE S By Emily Mulholland and Ryan Dawes
STAGE S
By Emily Mulholland and Ryan Dawes

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT

AUG 7 / THE BUSKIRK-CHUMLEY THEATER / 8 PM / $44 Crossing off yet another genre from his musical bucket list, Rufus Wainwright adds “1970’s pop” to his kingdom of conquered music styles, as made evident by his most recent album Out of the Game. This latest sound, according to producer and friend Mark Ronson, is reminiscent of Elton John and Freddy Mercury, which is an intuitive series of names to drop given Wainwright’s past work in rock, theater, and opera. Tickets to his concert at the Bus-Chum can be purchased at the BCT Box Office on east Kirkwood or online at buskirkchumley.org.

STAGNANT POOLS

buskirkchumley.org. S T A G N A N T P O O L S AUG 8
buskirkchumley.org. S T A G N A N T P O O L S AUG 8

AUG 8 / THE BISHOP / 9:30 PM / $6 No doubt, against the wishes of pragmatic elders, the music industry claims not one but two young souls. The local brothers Enas, Bryan and Douglass, aged 21 and 22, have now forfeited their hopes of joining what’s left of the Kennedys on Cape Cod in exchange for a life of sleeping in vans that comes with releasing one’s own independent rock album. Wishing them God’s speed at their cd release show is the brilliant singer/guitarist/video camera operator Mike Adams (at his honest weight) and Kam Kama.

ZHEN-ZHONG DUAN AND LARRY SPEARS

AUG 11 / THE HISTORIC MINOR HOUSE / 5 PM / FREE Walls and shelves of the Brown County Village Art Walk are stages too and upon them perform dis- cretely the splendid works of painter Zhen-Zhong Duan and potter/sculptor Larry Spears. Born in Anhui, China, Mr. Duan’s delicate watercolors depict a stunning depth and detail that are distinctly Asian, yet clearly well-traveled in subject matter and location. Meanwhile, Larry Spears’ work of functional stoneware and porcelain varies greatly, but maintains intense focus on texture and rich color palette. Somewhere out there, a wealthy railroad tycoon is eating cold cereal out of a Larry Spears bowl, wondering how he got so lucky.

REV. PEYTON’S BIG DAMN BAND

AUG 13 / LANDLOCKED MUSIC / 7 PM / FREE The only thing those shrieking banshees that live inside Rev. Peyton’s resonator guitar ever talk about is how awesome it is to live inside Rev. Peyton’s resonator guitar. Hear them out on Landlocked’s new stage recently constructed at the back of the record store. The banshees will howl fresh exclamations from the band’s new album Between the Ditches, which was recorded at White Arc Studio in Bloomington and releases August 7 on Side One Dummy Records.

Bloomington and releases August 7 on Side One Dummy Records. BUILT 4 COMFORT AUG 16 /

BUILT 4 COMFORT

AUG 16 / PLAYER’S PUB / 6:30 PM / $4 It’s true. They want you to be their “Ti Ni Nee Ni Nu” and they’ll prove it with their danceable blues, slow and sultry R&B, and classic rock covers. Primarily rooted in the Washington, DC-area, Built 4 Comfort has been touring dive bars, VFW’s, and Saloons since 2008. Because the City of Bloomington discourages pole-vaulting over the Spankers Branch construction, Player’s Pub kindly offers parking on the west side of the venue.

GUARDIAN ALIEN

AUG 17 / THE BISHOP / 11:30 PM / $6 Intensely psychedelic and trance-like, Guardian Alien is best experienced in-person, with slightly bent knees and no fear of the dark. Coming as close as possible to capturing the Guardian Alien experience on an album, the band opted to record at Shea Stadium, the home of the New York Mets from 1964 to 2008. Warming the audience will be a composite of local bands Step Dads, The Broderick, The Calumet Reel, and Impure Jazz, who have joined forces to create the seemingly cynical, yet entirely trustworthy outfit known as You’re A Liar.

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Sidewalk Art:

Chalk It Up

to Creativity

Sidewalk Art: Chalk It Up to Creativity Lifelong Learning Week Celebrates the Arts by Libby Peterson

Lifelong Learning Week Celebrates the Arts by Libby Peterson

B loomington is an interesting place when

autumn comes, with tens of thousands

of young people swarming the streets,

diving in and out of restaurants, shops,

and bars. Compared to the low-key relaxed vibe during the summer months, this college town can be overrun with young whippersnap- pers. But a college town is meant for young students anyway, right?

us to demonstrate to others that learning doesn’t end when you graduate high school or college.”

Ivy Tech will showcase a sidewalk chalk event that will empha- size the creative process behind community art while also con- fronting a certain psychological dilemma that we humans seem to have created for ourselves: that art is exclusive.

We often think of artistic skill as something you’re born with— either you have it or you don’t. The people who are thought to be naturally artistic most often explore their talent, and those who think they don’t possess those skills steer clear of artistic creation. As a coordinator for Ivy Tech’s community art event, Hilary Cannon Anderson believes that artistic talent is univer- sal, inclusive and unprejudiced.

Not necessarily. Within Bloomington is a community that pro-

motes a curiosity for learning. And this doesn’t

have to be restricted to the 20-somethings. Supported by academic institutions and orga-

With everyone drawing at

nizations, Lifelong Learning Week is an annual

September festival based on the belief that learn- ing doesn’t stop when you graduate high school

or college—learning lasts a lifetime.

Lifelong Learning Week (September 9-15) en- compasses a different theme each year. This year,

the Bloomington Lifelong Learning Coalition is partnering up with the Arts Alliance of Greater Bloomington to put on “Learning through the Arts” which aims to look at the ways we see humanity in artistic practices.

“We want to bring to light all of the events that happen in Bloomington during Lifelong Learning Week. This just touches the surface,” says Kyla Cox, the Director of Communications and Outreach at IU Lifelong Learning. “We want people to get ex- cited about Bloomington while also understanding that learning happens in the community and adulthood.”

Each institution takes a different approach in its respective public events. We can expect the T.C. Steele State Historic Site to put on an event that will talk about the recently uncovered Steele painting, a lost gem that was found hidden behind an- other painting, and explore subjects such as historical preser- vation and discovery.

Lifelong Learning Week sheds light on IU Lifelong Learning, which offers 40 courses each semester designed for community members. These short courses are mostly held in the evenings and on weekends. There are no papers or tests. It’s all about learning for the sake of learning.

“We know these students don’t want to do homework and take tests,” Cox says. “We understand that they want to learn about topics they’ve had a passion about but never tried or topics they’ve just been curious about exploring. This is a chance for

once, the sidewalk creation at Farmer’s Market will morph in

surprising directions.

Farmer’s Market will morph in surprising directions. “ William Itter: “I surround myself with their artistic

William Itter: “I surround myself with their artistic achievement.”

The sidewalk chalk event will be held at the Farmers’ Market on Sept. 15 from 9:00 to 11:00. Shoppers can take a break from perusing produce and pick up a stick of chalk and sketch away. “We want to get people involved and engaged in something that isn’t intimidat- ing,” Anderson says. “We want to gather everyone into contributing to a community drawing using something as easy and accessible as sidewalk chalk.”

As an art teacher, Anderson anticipates that children will be especially comfortable, but adults, too, should remember what it was like to kneel down and swipe the powdery stick across the pavement.

There is nothing more intimidating than a blank canvas. Ivy Tech art teachers consequently, will arrive before 9:00 a.m. to draw the first lines. For the rest of the morning, anyone can come and add on to the potential masterpiece. And this, Anderson says, is where it will get interesting.

“It’s going to be one cohesive drawing, we don’t want a whole bunch of separate drawings,” Anderson says. “People will have the freedom to take what is on the pavement and twist it.”

With everyone drawing at once, the sidewalk creation will morph in surprising directions. Those who choose to observe rather than participate will be able to see how the creation unfolds and develops. “It’s the process of how one thing leads to another,” Anderson says. “I think it will be very interesting to see.”

The sidewalk chalk event modeled on the “Exquisite Corpse,” a collective activity that the Surrealists would take part in as a parlor game. One person would draw a body part, fold the paper and pass it to the next. Without seeing what the first person drew, they would add on and draw another part of the body. The draw-and-pass would repeat itself until the body was finished, and the form that was unfolded before them represented a sur- real body that could have only been created by a group of people, blind to outside influence.

While the pavement cannot be folded, a similar Exquisite Corpse-like effect will occur with the sidewalk chalk drawing just by the sheer size of the concrete canvas and because it will be created by many different people at once. We won’t know what the drawing will look like until the end, and what we see will surprise us. Anderson says the drawing will stay there until the rain washes it away.

Lifelong Learning Week will also showcase the collection of William Itter, who is at once a painter, collector, and Professor Emeritus at the IU Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts. Itter’s intentions behind painting align with that of the weekend’s—to discover humanity through the arts. Itter says he aims to paint with all of his human strengths in check.

“Paintings are always a result of many simultaneous human actions,” Itter explains. By intending to paint with all of his strengths, Itter says he can discover what his strengths are, rather than his weaknesses. “Each time I put down a mark of color, I am surprised. If I am careless, or wan- dering about, just trying things to see what happens with no compara- tive thought in mind, I paint from a posture of weakness, not strength.”

Itter also wants to paint with the purest human interest in mind, untainted by politics, propaganda, and worldly events. “I do not want my paintings to be either decorative, subjective, trivial, or useless,” It- ter says. “I think there is a middle ground where my creative activity resides—something in search of a poetic realm, where possibilities are suggested and considered.”

And in finding the purity of humanity, he also discovers human para-

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dox. With such titles as “Ceiling Advances” and “Seaside Shadows,” Itter uses a noun and a verb, or what he considers “something real and something ephemeral.”

Itter has dabbled in various artistic mediums, even developing an interest in sculpture and model planes—but oil painting has always stuck with him. He painted his first oil painting when he was eight: a landscape of a stream, a bridge and bare trees with mountains loom- ing in the background. “I knew, however, that this painting of the bridge and mountain could be better and I wanted to try it again,” Itter says. “That was the beginning of realizing that oil paint offered a wide range of textural, color, and mixing possibilities.”

I hope this exhibition may

introduce viewers to woven forms that are not

often seen, published, or

thought of as art.

–William Itter

Itter started collecting antiques and ethnographic objects in 1966; Itter’s home is decorated with Indonesian textiles, Asian furniture, and African baskets. “I surround myself with their artistic achievement. I reflect on their form and I research their qualities and traditions,” Itter says. “As I discover something of their meaning, the objects become a resource for my creative and teaching activity. My creative work as a fine arts painter- professor, in turn, informs me of their design significance.”

Itter collects these various objects in part because they are not what we traditionally think of as art—they are practical, whether it be for daily or ceremonial use. “I hope this exhibition may introduce view- ers to woven forms that are not often seen, published, or thought of as art. To see the amazing design structure of these handmade cloths and natural fiber objects with eyes for craft and artistic vision seems profound and rare. Especially today, given our increasing depen- dence on machine made goods and digital technologies, comparison of methods may evoke new artistic forms while recognizing and defining distant traditions.”

And in lifelong learning style, Itter collects objects that continue to teach us about the places, people and cultures that made them. “When I collect quilts, rugs, pots, baskets, they are all are meant to favor a gesture of permanence of things meant to endure and be ap- preciated as a continuing experience.”

The exhibit, entitled “Woven and Constructed: Traditional African Textiles and Baskets; Selections from the William Itter Collection,” will be held at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center from 5-7 pm on Sept. 13. It will be kicked off by a gallery talk given by Itter at 5:30 pm. This event is hosted in partnership with the Lotus Educa- tion and Arts Foundation.

A full list of the week’s events will be posted and updated at bloomington.in.gov/BLLC.

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GAMING FANS ARE COMING TO INDY By Dan Melnick

I ready my plus two longsword of might, activate my paladin’s charm, down a potion of strength, and roll to hit. A declaration like that is not necessarily something you expect to overhear while walking down Kirkwood, but references to swords and potions are as common in Gen Con as two people discussing the weather. Since 2003, thousands of gaming fans from across the country have packed their luggage and favorite dice bags, and converged on the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis for the annual games convention, Gen Con. “We’ve seen record growth over the last couple of years. Last year at Gen Con Indy 2011, we had 120,000 turnstyle attendants comprised of 37,000 individual attendees coming to multiple days,” said Scott Elliott, the vice president of Sales and Marketing for Gen Con. Last year’s numbers are a current convention record; every year seems to be more popular than the last. Historically, the convention has always been a meeting place for fans of gaming to come together and share their common interest. The name Gen Con is derived from the Geneva Convention, or as the insiders call it, Gen Con 0, created by Gary Gygax, founder of Dungeons & Dragons (or D & D), a man whose own name sounds reminiscent of an ancient terror one might come across in a beastiary. Gygax rented a home on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in 1968 for wargaming enthusiasts to attend and compete. It’s estimated that 100 people showed up. The convention has had its ups and downs over the years, and has been associated with varying locations but it found a new home in Indianapolis in 2003; and it’s committed through 2020. Forty years and forty thousand fans later, the convention is thriving. When asked about the increasing attendance, Elliott had this to say, “a lot of [the fans] started out in 1970s or the 1980s and those folks have grown up, they’ve become adults. They have jobs, and wives, and families, and as those people continue to carry along their love of gaming and their love of Gen Con, now they bring along their partners and their children and their extended groups of friends who might be all over the country. They meet together at Gen Con every year. So, it feels a lot like family reunion, it feels a lot like Thanksgiving. You get together with your friends and play games for those four days.” What makes Gen Con and the types of games the convention promotes so appealing is the interaction it provides with other

so appealing is the interaction it provides with other players. Most, if not all of the

players. Most, if not all of the games on display, are played with at least one other person. You’re not sitting in the dark playing video games and talking to a faceless person via the internet. Human interaction and participation is required, but that’s what makes these types of competitive games so engaging. “It’s not so much about playing a game, but it’s about everything that comes out of playing that game. Whether it’s the friendships that you’re forming, or the time that you get to spend with people, or even the educational benefits,” said Megan Culver, the Director of Exhibitor Development for Gen Con. For gaming fans, whether they’re participating in role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, card games like Magic the Gathering, or board games like Settlers of Catan, Gen Con has something for everyone. A few months before the convention, Gen Con posts an online catalog listing all of the various games they have organized for people to play. The catalog boasts almost 8,000 different events. These range from kid-friendly card games to horror themed board games. Each event is allocated a number and player count; anyone who’s interested in playing can sign up for a specific event when they register for a badge to the convention. If the game you’re interested fills up, with almost 8,000 to choose from, chances are pretty good that there will be other opportunities throughout the weekend. Other players are readily available; you don’t have to attend with a gaming partner to play. “We have a strong following on facebook and our forums,” Culver said. “And a lot of times, people will try and connect that way. They will virtually meet each other and then meet at the convention.”

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The convention isn’t just a mecca for gamers, but for game companies as well. “The exhibitors are basically banging on the door,” said Culver. “We have a waiting list right now for our exhibit hall. We’ve been sold out for the last couple of months. So anyone who applies now is being put on the waiting list. It’s very high demand to exhibit at gen con.” Even inside of such large exhibit halls, space is limited, so to help some of the smaller game companies and inventors, the convention offers additional table space in what they call Entrepreneur Avenue. Much like an artist displaying his wares, anyone who purchases a table in the Avenue has a chance to show off their homemade game product. The industry is always on the lookout for new ideas and with crowd funding websites such as Kickstarter and Rockethub allowing aspiring game designers greater marketing reach and a convenient funding program, making the change from game player to game developer is becoming more accessible. “It’s a very affordable way for new companies to have their first experience exhibiting at Gen Con,” said Elliott. It’s not just the little guys who get to shine at Gen Con. Wizards

The Mana Leak card from Magic: The Gathering (pictured above) is so powerful that we were reluctant to unleash it in a family publication.

With so many offered events and so much going on, Gen Con 2012 is already

With so many offered events and so much going on, Gen Con 2012 is already shaping up to be a massive undertaking. Elliot joked that the many committees behind the scenes work 350 days out of the year putting Gen Con together. Whether you’re a casual player or an avid fan of gaming, the convention has something for everyone, and the attendance numbers prove it. For four days in August, Indianapolis is going to be transformed into a gamer’s paradise, with events even taking place outside of the convention. “The people and businesses of Indianapolis have treated Gen Con so well. We’re absolutely proud and humbled at the same time to call Indianapolis home,” said Elliott. So dust off your armor, sharpen your pencils, practice your shuffling, and break out your dice bag, Gen Con is coming to Indy.

and break out your dice bag, Gen Con is coming to Indy. Gen Con will be
and break out your dice bag, Gen Con is coming to Indy. Gen Con will be

Gen Con will be at the Indiana Convention Center August 16 th – 19 th . Tickets for the convention and gaming events can be found on their website: https://registration.gencon.com/login

of the Coast, a co-founder of the convention and publisher of both Dungeons & Dragons and Magic the Gathering, have big plans for this year’s Gen Con as well. Having spent the last year conducting a series of qualifying tournaments around the world, Wizards of the Coast will be hosting their epic final, the World Magic Cup. Magic the Gathering is a deck building game built around collectible fantasy themed cards that’s been around since the early nineties. It’s become so popular that winners from around the globe will be competing for the $150,000 prize purse and the right to declare themselves the world Magic champion.

Not to leave Dungeons & Dragons out, Wizards of the

Coast also has some big things planned for Indianapolis. Many fans are hoping that these plans will coincide with the release of the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons. To players of this forty year franchise, this is a huge deal. Most fans have come to love a particular edition over the years and it’s common to debate the merits of your favorite edition while bemoaning the faults of the rest. However, this is the first time that Wizards of the Coast launched a massive fact finding mission and literally asked their legions of fans what type of game they would like to play. Everyone had an opinion and every opinion was valid. For fans of D & D, this could be the long awaited edition of almost mythical proportions, finally uniting warring factions. So, any new information regarding the latest expansion is much coveted indeed. When asked about a potential reveal, Elliot dodged the question, instead answering, what “I can say that I’m involved with a super, secret project with Peter Adkison one of Gen Con’s owners and founder of Wizard of the Coast. I will be shocked if they didn’t have new reveals about D & D.”

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TH ∑ N ∑ W ∑ ST PL ∑ DG ∑ A group of college
TH ∑ N ∑ W ∑ ST PL ∑ DG ∑
A group of college
students sell their first
feature film to Lionsgate
By Elizabeth Klehfoth
from left: Hodges (Kevin Meyers), Kegston (Michael Gavrielov),
Michael’s mother, and Pledge (Rob Steinhauser) posing at Indie Fest
USA on April 30th, 2011.

Imagine investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a product that has a very slim chance of even being offered to consumers. Imagine a host of people laboring on that product, knowing that in all likelihood it will never make its money back, let alone gross any kind of profit. For independent film- makers, this is their reality. This year, 4,042 independent feature films were submit- ted to Sundance, the largest annual market for indie films in the United States. Of those films, less than 1% were sold or received any kind of distribution deal at all, and only a handful will receive a theatrical release throughout the coming year. The remaining 99% represent an estimated investment of over 1.2 billion dollars and the work of over 120,000 cast and crew members on films that won’t even be accessible on Netflix or the discount DVD racks at Walmart. Even the indie films that receive a theatrical release, which are oftentimes the ones with multi-million dollar budgets and big name stars attached, don’t necessarily fare well. Last year’s highest grossing indie film sold at Sundance, Our Idiot

if they’re lucky, they’ll be able to share those movies with an audi-

ence. This year, one of the lucky indie films that will get a chance at reaching an audience is The Newest Pledge, a comedy about a hard- partying fraternity that finds a baby on their doorstep and decides to pledge it. Shot on the high-tech RED, the same camera studios used to shoot blockbusters like Fincher’s The Social Network and Peter Jack-

son’s The Lovely Bones, this film is visually top of the line. The story is

a perfect blend of the heartwarming 1987 flick Three Men and a Baby

and the raunchier Animal House—a relatable and entertaining romp that features performances by Jason Mewes (Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers franchise), and Andy

Milonakis (MTV’s The Andy Milonakis Show). It’s the kind of film that writer/director Jason Brescia grew up watching, the kind of film that made him want to make movies in the first place. However, The New- est Pledge isn’t just a funny story about a fraternity--it’s a story about friends encountering the unexpected, coming together and growing up in the wake of that experience. In many ways, the film’s strongest themes parallel the real life story that went on behind the making of it: how six friends, most still in college, banded

THE CRE CREW AND CAST CRASHED

IN SLEEPING BAGS ON SET.

Brother, which starred Hollywood heavy-weights Paul Rudd, Zoey Deschanel, Rashida Jones and Elizabeth Banks, didn’t even make its money back at the box office after factoring in what the Weinstein Company paid to market it. Obviously, indie films are not a wise or safe investment, and yet filmmak- ers continue to scrounge up investors and sacrifice their own hard work and time to make them. Unlike studio bigwigs who produce movies based on their projected box office gross, indie filmmakers are not focused solely on profiting from their films. Many of them simply want the opportunity to tell the stories they want to tell and make the movies they want to make, free from Hollywood’s bureaucratic red tape. And they hope that,

together to make their first feature film.

Brescia (writer/director, 22), Burton (producer, 22), Wineman (cinematographer, 20), Pintard (pro- ducer, 22), Kenney (production assistant, 19), and Murray (assistant director, 22) had collaborated on short films in the

past, but nothing could prepare them for making their first feature. They had to navigate The Newest Pledge’s grueling 42 day shooting schedule around the full course loads of half the cast and crew, and work within a $100,000 budget, which is miniscule when considering the scope of a feature, even an independent one. Hefty location fees

and equipment rentals consumed most of that budget, leaving very little to pay the cast and crew. Most, including the core six friends who had originally set out to make the movie, worked for free. The tight budget and inability to pay cast and crew resulted in

many people abandoning the project.

with a full crew of thirty, including multiple production designers,

While The Newest Pledge began

make-up artists, and wardrobe coordinators, those numbers quickly dwindled. “We had a full crew the first three weekends, and after that, we never had a full crew again,” writer/director Brescia said.

“When we shot the last shot of the movie, it was me, the cinematogra- pher, the producer, our two assistant directors and that was it. It was down to five of us.” With periods of time when there were only five people working behind the cameras to make a feature film, everyone had to step outside of their assigned titles and wear many different hats to get the job done. “Our first and second assistant directors were also our set decorators and background extras. Our producer was also sometimes our boom operator and wardrobe coordinator, and so on and so forth throughout,” Brescia said. Still, the core crew and cast stuck it out, crashing in sleeping bags on set after 14 hour shooting days and short turnarounds, going off of no pay and little sleep. After three months of shooting, The Newest Pledge wrapped at the end of May 2010, and then spent another year and a half in post-production and in the long task of finding the right representation to sell and distribute the film. During that time, The Newest Pledge screened at film festivals in Indianapolis and Houston

and at private screenings in Los Angeles and New York.

March of 2012, nearly two years after principal photography started on The Newest Pledge, it was bought by Lionsgate, the most commer- cially successful distributor of independent films in North America, which slotted it for a DVD release at Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, and Netflix on August 28 th . Even with a major company like Lionsgate distributing the film, The Newest Pledge is not guaran- teed to turn a large profit. The market for straight-to-DVD fea- tures has been in decline for sev- eral years, even for studio films. Indie features can generally be expected to make anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars--which could mean that much of the cast and crew of The Newest Pledge still won’t see a penny for their work. Still, after the grit and the sacrifice that everyone put into making The Newest Pledge, after their determi- nation in the face of ugly odds, Brescia and his crew are elated just to have the chance to share their work on a wide scale. And others are excited for them, recognizing what a rare opportunity and honor that is. “Most people never make it this far,” John Badham, the direc- tor of Saturday Night Fever wrote to Brescia. And Brescia is the first to agree, saying, “No one thought the movie would get to where it got. But it was made by a core group of people who really cared about the project and about each other—that was what was special about this film.” The cast and crew behind The Newest Pledge embody what lies at the heart of indie filmmakers—the willingness to take chances that most people wouldn’t even imagine taking, and the desire and deter- mination to tell a story in the face of great risk and potential failure.

Finally, in

in the face of great risk and potential failure. Finally, in Elizabeth Klehfoth is currently pursuing

Elizabeth Klehfoth is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) at Indiana University Bloomington. Her articles have appeared in MR Magazine and SELF China and her short stories have appeared in Foliate Oak. Last year she won the Ross Lockridge Jr. Award for her short story“Bombay Beach.” She has taught Creative Writing courses at Loyola Marymount University and Indiana University and recently worked at an editorial press in Los Angeles.

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ELECTION NIGHT SPECIAL:

ELECTION NIGHT SPECIAL: HOLLYWOOD GOES TO THE POLLS By Craig J. Clark With both major parties

HOLLYWOOD GOES TO THE POLLS

ELECTION NIGHT SPECIAL: HOLLYWOOD GOES TO THE POLLS By Craig J. Clark With both major parties
ELECTION NIGHT SPECIAL: HOLLYWOOD GOES TO THE POLLS By Craig J. Clark With both major parties
ELECTION NIGHT SPECIAL: HOLLYWOOD GOES TO THE POLLS By Craig J. Clark With both major parties
ELECTION NIGHT SPECIAL: HOLLYWOOD GOES TO THE POLLS By Craig J. Clark With both major parties

By Craig J. Clark

With both major parties primed to hold their national conventions in just a few weeks – and the prospect of a bitter and ugly fight to come once they’ve dispensed with the formal- ity of nominating the candidates we’ve known they were going to nominate for months now – our nation stands ready for the onslaught of negative ads, trumped-up rhetoric and divisive bickering that are the hallmarks of the modern political system. And Hollywood is poised to capitalize on election mania the way is always does: by holding a funhouse mirror up to the process. That’s how we get a late-summer release like The Cam- paign, due out August 10. Directed by Austin Powers helmer Jay Roach (who also has the HBO TV movies Recount and Game

Change under his belt), it stars Will Ferrell and Zack Galifiana- kis as two polar-opposite candidates (with Ferrell the cocksure incumbent and Galifianakis the scruffy challenger) vying for the same House seat in North Carolina. The trailer prom- ises high-spirited hijinks galore, but Hollywood hasn’t always mined the political process for broad comedy. Take, for example, Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane (1941), which is widely regarded as the greatest American film ever made. The election subplot – in which Charles Foster Kane uses the bully pulpit of his newspaper chain to take on in- cumbent governor Jim W. Gettys – is something of a mi- nor thread in the grand tapestry, but it illustrates the lengths to which

some politicians

will go to keep their jobs. (Of course, Kane should have realized that it was pure folly to carry on an affair – even an apparently chaste one – while running for office, but that’s why they call it hubris.) Corrupt politicians fighting dirty to hold on to their posi-

tions of power is also a major theme in Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), but to see how Capra handles the

story of a candidate on the path to the presidency, one has to look to State of the Union (1948), based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The story is centered on self- made industrialist Spencer Tracy, whose already strained marriage to Katharine Hepburn is tested when he’s talked into making a run for the nomination by newspaper magnate Angela Lansbury (with whom he’s had a not-so-secret affair) and self-styled kingmaker Adolphe

Menjou. But unlike Mr. Smith, which declined to get caught up in partisan politics (not only do we never find out what state he’s from, but Jefferson Smith’s party affiliation is also a non-issue), State of the Union goes out of its way to identify its major players as Republicans and seems to work overtime to get in as many digs at Truman and the Democrats as it can. And considering what Capra’s political leanings were, it’s doubtful they were all in good fun. Another look behind the curtain is provided by Elia Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd (1957), which gave the late Andy Griffith his big- screen debut. Written by Budd Schulberg – whose previous collaboration with Kazan was the Academy-anointed On the Waterfront – it brilliantly cast Griffith (then fresh off No Time for Sergeants) against type as a silver- tongued drifter who cap- tures the imagination of the general public when he’s put on the radio by Patricia Neal and soon learns that the power of persuasion is strong with him. When he rockets to stardom, Griffith lets success go to his head, but it’s only when he starts coaching a potential presidential candidate – with the goal of being the power behind the throne – that Neal fully realizes what kind of a monster she’s created.

Neal fully realizes what kind of a monster she’s created. The Ides of March charts the

The Ides of March charts the political education of idealist Ryan Gosling, high-ranking staffer for presidential candidate George Clooney.

More wheeling and

dealing can be found in two films from the early ’60s – John Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and Franklin J. Schaffner’s The Best Man (1964). Both feature contentious political conventions – The Manchurian Candidate even reaches its climax during the presidential nominee’s acceptance

speech, a plot point carried over to Jonathan Demme’s 2004 remake – but The Best Man gets more into the behind-the-scenes wrangling

for votes. Written by Gore Vidal and based on his own play, it stars Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson as the two frontrunners out of a field of five (imagine that, a political convention where the nominee isn’t a foregone conclusion!). Fonda is the secretary of state, a decent man with marital problems and a history of mental instability that Robertson, a senator who portrays himself as a man of the people, threatens to expose. As it turns out, Robertson has a skeleton or two rattling around in his own closet, but Fonda is loath to play dirty. With everybody and his campaign manager giving him advice, though, it’s difficult for him to stick to his guns. The challenges inherent in staying on the high road crop up again in Michael Ritchie’s The Candidate (1972), which takes a more laid-back approach to the material, at least at the start. Written by Jeremy Larner (who won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for his efforts), it tells the story of an idealistic lawyer, played by Robert Redford, who gets talked into running for the Senate in California against the entrenched Republican incumbent, and how the campaign methodically chips away at his ideals and the purity of vision that he had going into it. If this sounds at all familiar, it’s because Robert Altman and Gary Trudeau covered a lot of the same ground in Tan- ner ’88, which follows populist Michigan congressman Jack Tanner, played by Altman stalwart Michael Murphy, as he makes a bid for the presidency after a decade out of the political spotlight. Produced for HBO, the six-hour miniseries uses its extended run- ning time to go into more depth, covering the campaign from New Hampshire, where the fictional Tanner bumps into real-life rivals Pat Robertson, Bob Dole and Gary Hart, all the way to the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, where he tries to stage an upset. Along the way he travels around the country, argues policy and strat- egy with his staffers and has to deal with the fallout when his secret affair with a Dukakis staffer is exposed. For me, though, one of the highlights of the series is the announcement of Tanner’s dream cabi- net, which includes such figures as Ralph Nader, Gloria Steinem, Art Buchwald and Studs Turkel. Idealistic to the end, Tanner is tempted by the notion of running as an independent, but unfortunately HBO didn’t go for the idea of extending the series into November. That’s what I call a missed opportunity. Topicality is also the order of the day in Bob Roberts (1992), which was written and directed by Tim Robbins, who also helped penned the title character’s songs with his brother, composer David Robbins. Set during the build-up to the first Iraq War (then still called Opera- tion Desert Shield), the film purports to a documentary made by a British film crew that is closely following the 1990 Pennsylvania Sen- ate race, which pits charismatic conservative outsider (and, dare I say it, maverick) Robbins against bleeding-heart liberal incumbent Gore Vidal, who doesn’t believe in negative campaigning, to his detriment. Bob Roberts the character is quite a piece of work, a guitar-strumming folksinger who subverts the values of the ’60s, turning that decade’s idealism on its head. And while there are a few standard-bearers out there ques- tioning him and what he stands for, they are decidedly in the minority. As much a critique of the media as the state of political discourse in our country, what a film like Bob Roberts says about our electoral process is most disturbing indeed and not just because it shows how slickness and deceit can win out over integrity and values.

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The end of the ’90s saw an uptick in election-themed films, with Warren Beatty’s Bulworth and Mike Nichols’s Primary Colors both coming out in 1998, but the best satirical jabs were to be found in

Alexander Payne’s Election (1999), which details a particularly nasty student body presidential race in a suburban Omaha high school. Few who have seen it will forget the lengths to which civics teacher Mat- thew Broderick goes to try to prevent overachiever Reese Witherspoon from sailing to vic- tory, to the point of recruiting sidelined football hero Chris Klein to run against her. Suffice it to say, by the time the final votes are tallied, few sacred cows remain unscathed. Midway through George W. Bush’s presi- dency, independent writer/director John Sayles came out with Silver City (2004), which looks like a Bob Roberts-

Tim Robbins wraps himself in the flag as the title character in Bob Roberts.

on its surface, but actually has a lot more going on underneath, unlike Colorado guber- natorial candidate Dicky Pilager (Chris Cooper), who never encoun- tered a metaphor he couldn’t mangle beyond recognition. Actually, the real protagonist is former investigative reporter-turned-just plain investigator Danny Huston, who’s hired by Cooper’s bulldog of a campaign manager (Richard Dreyfuss) to intimidate some of his political enemies. It isn’t long, though, before Huston’s reporter’s instincts kick in and he starts digging deeper, finding out much more than he’s supposed to. To wrap things up, we return to the national stage with George Clooney’s The Ides of March (2010), based on Beau Willimon’s 2008 play Farragut North (which was, in turn, inspired by Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign). The film stars Ryan Gosling as a highly skilled media consultant working on the campaign of Democratic contender Clooney, who is running into choppy waters heading into the Ohio primary. To Gosling, this is more than a job since he’s a true believer in Clooney’s ability to set things right in the country, but his loyalty to senior campaign manager Philip Seymour Hoffman is called into question when the competition’s top man (Paul Giamatti) attempts to poach him. Further complicating matters is Gosling’s ill- advised hook-up with intern Evan Rachel Wood, which leads him to discover something that could scuttle Clooney’s chances for good. Echoing Tanner ’88, Clooney snares cameos by media personali- ties like Charlie Rose, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews, which helps lend the film a real sense of verisimilitude. As for the film’s dip into darker subject matter, that’s an arc that a lot of films about presi- dential campaigns – from The Best Man and The Manchurian Candidate on down to Bob Roberts and Primary Colors – seem to follow. Guess it kind of goes with the territory.

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event h F R I D AY, A U G U S T 3 R

event h

F

R I D AY,

A U G U S T

3 R D

Richard Dugger Band; Player’s Pub; 8pm; $5

Costaki Economopolous; The Comedy Attic; 8

&

10:30pm; $12

SONGS: The Musical; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

Vicci Laine & The West End Girls; Uncle E’s; 10pm & Midnight; $3

JJ Grey & Mofro; The Bluebird; 9pm; $26.25

Stay ‘N Skool Concert; Madame Walker Theatre; 8pm; $15 adv./ $20 day of show

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; Buskirk- Chumley Theater; 7:30pm; $15 gen. admission/ $12 kids

David Miller; Café Django; 9pm

S

AT U R D AY, A U G U S T 4 T H

The Dynamics; The Player’s Pub; 8pm; $6

Costaki Economopolous; The Comedy Attic; 8

&

10:30pm; $12

Spirit of ’68 presents: Jason Wilbur w/ e.a. strother; The Bishop; 8:30pm; $10 adv./ $12 d.o.s

It’s Only Temporary; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; Buskirk- Chumley Theater; 7:30pm; $15 gen. admission/ $12 kids

S

U N D AY,

A U G U S T

5 T H

Ryder Film Series!: Polisse; Bear’s Place; 7pm;

$5

Ska Show!: Eli Whitney & The Sound Machine; Rachael’s Café; 7pm

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; Buskirk- Chumley Theater; 3pm; $15 gen. admission/ $12 kids

M

O N D AY,

A U G U S T

6 T H

Songwriter Showcase; Player’s Pub; 8pm; donations

Zoo Animal w/ The Broderick; The Bishop; 9pm

Bloomington Short List Variety Show; Café Django; 7pm; no cover

T

U E S D AY, A U G U S T

7 T H

Blues Jam; Player’s Pub; 8pm; free

Spirit of ’68 Presents: Terrapin Flyer feat. Tom Constanten & members of Cornmeal; The Bishop; 7pm; $10 adv./ $12 d.o.s

Quiet Hollers, The High Plains Band; Rachael’s Café; 7:30pm

Rufus Wainwright; Buskirk-Chumley Theater; 8pm; $44

W

E D N E S D AY,

A U G U S T

8 T H

Spirit of ’68 Presents: Stagnant Pools Album Release Show w/ Mike Adams at His Honest Weight, Kam Kama; The Bishop; 7pm; $6

BoP!; Uncle E’s; 10pm & Midnight

Merrie Sloan & Her Hot Mitts, Dear Creek, Taylor Campi; Rachael’s Café; 7:30pm

Open Mic Night; Max’s Place; 7:30pm

T

H U R S D AY, A U G U S T

9 T H

Kade Puckett; Player’s Pub; 8pm; $4

Tim Wilson; The Comedy Attic; 8pm; $15

Cowboy Sweethearts; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

Jazz Fables; Bear’s Place; 5:30pm

The Jeff Isaac Trio; Café Django; 8pm; no cover

F

R I D AY,

A U G U S T

1 0 T H

King Bee & the Stingers; Player’s Pub; 8pm; $5

Tim Wilson; The Comedy Attic; 7pm & 9:15pm; $20 (7pm), $15 (9:15pm)

It’s Only Temporary; The Palace Theatre; 8pm;

$18

Vicci Laine & The West End Girls; Uncle E’s; 10pm & Midnight; $3

Indianapolis Urban Theatre & Dance Co. Presents: A Raisin in the Sun; Madame Walker Theatre; 3 & 8pm; $15 (3pm)/$8 (8pm)

The Lara Lynn Trio; Café Django; 8pm; no cover

S

AT U R D AY,

A U G U S T

1 1 T H

Soul Street; Player’s Pub; 8pm; $6

Tim Wilson; The Comedy Attic; 7pm & 9:15pm; $20 (7pm), $15 (9:15pm)

It’s Only Temporary; The Palace Theatre; 8pm;

$18

Music!: Dirty Kluger: Bear’s Place; 9pm

Rad Company, Tight Bro’s; Rachael’s Café; 7pm

Indianapolis Urban Theatre & Dance Co. Presents: A Raisin in the Sun; Madame Walker Theatre; 3 & 8pm; $40

Ron Kadish Quartet; Café Django; 8pm

Unitarian Universalist Church Garage & Craft Sale; UU Church; 8am-1pm

S

U N D AY,

A U G U S T

1 2 T H

Tim O’Malley; Player’s Pub; 6pm; $4

Ryder Film Series!: The Pigeoneers; Bear’s Place; 7pm; $5

Indianapolis Urban Theatre & Dance Co. Presents: A Raisin in the Sun; Madame Walker Theatre;4:30pm; $40

A Raisin in the Sun ; Madame Walker Theatre;4:30pm; $40 Unitarian Universalist Church Garage & Cra

Unitarian Universalist Church Garage & Cra Sale; 8/11, UU Church; 8am-1pm

M O N D AY,

A U G U S T

1 3 T H

Songwriter Showcase; Player’s Pub; 8pm; donations

Donora w/ Teammate; The Bishop; 9pm

Foreverlin; Rachael’s Café; 7pm

T

U E S D AY, A U G U S T

1 4 T H

Blues Jam; Player’s Pub; 8pm; free

We Must Dismantle All of This, Boddicker; Rachael’s Café; 7pm

W

E D N E S D AY,

A U G U S T

1 5 T H

Post Modern Jazz Quartet; Player’s Pub; 8pm;

$4

Spirit of ’68 Presents: Woody Pines w/ Busman’s Holiday; The Bishop; 7pm; $6 adv./ $8 d.o.s

BoP!; Uncle E’s; 10pm & Midnight

Queer Pop, The Facials; Rachael’s Café; 7pm

Open Mic Night; Max’s Place; 7:30pm

T

H U R S D AY,

A U G U S T

1 6 T H

Built For Comfort; Player’s Pub; 6:30pm; $4

Nick Griffin; The Comedy Attic; 8pm; $12 Gen. Admission/ $6 for Students & Facebook Friends of Brad

Kink Ador w/ The Vorticists; The Bishop;

9:30pm

It’s Only Temporary; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

Jazz Fables; Bear’s Place; 5:30pm

Uncle Kracker; The Bluebird; 9pm; $26.25

F

R I D AY,

A U G U S T

1 7 H

Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish; Player’s Pub; 8pm

Nick Griffin; The Comedy Attic; 8 & 10:30pm; $12

Spirit of ’68 Presents: Guardian Alien; The Bishop; 7pm; $6

Tumbleweed; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

Vicci Laine & The West End Girls; Uncle E’s; 10pm & Midnight; $3

Trapper Keeper; Rachael’s Café; 7pm

Corey Smith; The Bluebird; 9pm; $15.50

Saturday, August 18th

Kilborn Alley; Player’s Pub; 8pm; $8

Nick Griffin; The Comedy Attic; 8 & 10:30pm; $12

Prayer Breakfast; The Bishop; 8:30pm

Tumbleweed; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

Music!: Williams & Company; Bear’s Place; 9pm; $5

S

U N D AY,

A U G U S T

1 9 T H

Joe Donnelly and the Indulgences; Player’s Pub; 6pm; $4

Jamaican Queens; The Bishop; 9pm

Tumbleweed; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

Ryder Film Series!; Bear’s Place; 7pm; $5 (see inside front cover for details)

The Bodeans; The Bluebird; 8pm; $26.25

M

O N D AY,

A U G U S T

2 0 T H

Songwriter Showcase; Player’s Pub; 8pm; donations

John Hiatt & the Combo; Buskirk-Chumley Theater; 8pm; $45

Bloomington Short List Variety Show; Café Django; 7pm; no cover

T

U E S D AY, A U G U S T

2 1 S T

Blues Jam; Player’s Pub; 8pm; free

Spirit of ’68 Presents: Secret Cities w/ Legs; The Bishop; 9pm

Musix!: Victor & Penny; Bear’s Place; 9pm

W

E D N E S D AY,

A U G U S T

2 2 N D

Waxeater; The Bishop; 9:30pm

The Smooth Jazz Trio, The Brothers Hertel, Eric Wells, Mark Keller; Bear’s Place; $3

BoP!; Uncle E’s; 10pm & Midnight

My Dad; Rachael’s Café; 7pm

Big Brothers & Big Sisters 40 th Year Gala;

orizon

Buskirk-Chumley Theater; 7:30pm; $20 Gen. Admission/$10 Students w/ID

Open Mic Night; Max’s Place; 7:30pm

T

H U R S D AY,

A U G U S T

2 3 R D

Open Mic; Player’s Pub; 7:30pm; free

Classic Country Jukebox; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

Jazz Fables; Bear’s Place; 5:30pm

Rick Hornyak; Rachael’s Café; 7pm

Great Grown Up Spelling Bee; Buskirk- Chumley Theater; 11:30am

F

R I D AY,

A U G U S T

24 T H

Impasse; Player’s Pub; 8pm; $5

Garfunkel and Oates; The Comedy Attic; 8 & 10:30pm; $18 Gen. admission/ $12 student w/ ID

A Salute to the Killer!: Featuring Terry Lee & the Rockaboogie Band: The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

Vicci Laine & The West End Girls; Uncle E’s; 10pm & Midnight; $3

Clayton Anderson Band; The Bluebird; 9pm; $14.50

Sam Hoffman Trio; Café Django; 9pm; $5

S

AT U R D AY,

A U G U S T

2 5 T H

Pet Monkey; Player’s Pub; 8pm; $5

Garfunkel and Oates; The Comedy Attic; 8 & 10:30pm; $18 Gen. admission/ $12 student w/ ID

Kids Alive! Kid Kazooey & The Ballroom Roustabouts Family Concert; The Palace Theatre; 4pm; $10

Man in Black; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

Music!: Cooked Books, Energy Gown; Bear’s Place; 9pm

DJ Keiko; Rachael’s Café; 9pm

Post Modern Jazz Quartet; Café Django; 9pm; $5

Carrie Newcomer; Brown County Playhouse; 7:30pm; $20

S

U N D AY,

A U G U S T

2 6 T H

Andra Faye and the Rays; Player’s Pub; 6pm; $4

Ryder Film Series!; Bear’s Place; 7pm; $5 (see inside front cover for details)

Bear’s Place; 7pm; $5 (see inside front cover for details) Uncle Kracker; 8/16, e Bluebird; 9pm;

Uncle Kracker; 8/16, e Bluebird; 9pm; $26.25

for details) Uncle Kracker; 8/16, e Bluebird; 9pm; $26.25 Carrie Newcomer; 8/25, Brown County Playhouse; 7:30pm;

Carrie Newcomer; 8/25, Brown County Playhouse; 7:30pm; $20

M

O N D AY,

A U G U S T

2 7 T H

Songwriter Showcase; Player’s Pub; 8pm; donations

T

U E S D AY,

A U G U S T

2 8 T H

Blues Jam; Player’s Pub; 8pm; free

JFB Jazz Jam; Café Django; 7pm; no cover

W

E D N E S D AY,

A U G U S T

2 9 T H

Stardusters; Player’s Pub; 7:30pm; $7

Kentucky Nightmare w/ Panic Strikes a Chord; The Bishop; 9:30pm

Good Rockin’ Live; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

BoP!; Uncle E’s; 10pm & Midnight

Atlas on Strike; Rachael’s Café; 7pm

Open Mic Night; Max’s Place; 7:30pm

T

H U R S D AY, A U G U S T

3 0 T H

Below Zero Blues Band; Player’s Pub; 6:30pm; $4

Outdoor Velour EP Release Show; The Bishop; 9:30pm

Good Rockin’ Live; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

Jazz Fables; Bear’s Place; 5:30pm

Machine Gun Kelly; The Bluebird; 9pm;

$26.25

F

R I D AY,

A U G U S T

3 1 S T

Dicky James and the Blue Flames; Player’s Pub; 8pm; $6

Spirit of ’68 Presents: Eternal Summers w/ Bleeding Rainbow; The Bishop; 11:59pm

Piano Legends; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

Vicci Laine & The West End Girls; Uncle E’s; 10pm & Midnight; $3

Jason Fickle & Ginger Curry; Café Django; 8pm; $5

S

AT U R D AY, S E P T E M B E R

1 S T

Kid Kazooey’s Kids Show; The Palace Theatre; 4pm; $10

Piano Legends; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

To All My Dear Friends, Steven & the Savvy, Laura K Balke; Rachael’s Café; 8pm

S

U N D AY,

S E P T E M B E R

2 N D

Upland Presents: TV Mike & The Scarecrowes w/ The Dead Winter Carpenters; The Bishop;

9pm

Ryder Film Series!; Bear’s Place; 7pm; $5 (see inside front cover for details)

M

O N D AY,

S E P T E M B E R

3 R D

Bloomington Short List Variety Show; Café Django; 7pm; no cover

W

E D N E S D AY,

S E P T E M B E R

5 T H

BoP!; Uncle E’s; 10pm & Midnight

Open Mic Night; Max’s Place; 7:30pm

T

H U R S D AY,

S E P T E M B E R

6 T H

Natasha Leggero; The Comedy Attic; 8pm; $16 Gen. Admission/ $10 for Students & Facebook Friends of Brad

Spirit of ’68 Presents: OM w/ Daniel Higgs; 7pm; $12 adv./ $14 d.o.s

It’s Only Temporary; The Palace Theatre; 8pm;

$18

Jazz Fables; Bear’s Place; 5:30pm

F

R I D AY,

S E P T E M B E R

7 T H

Natasha Leggero; The Comedy Attic; 8pm; 8 & 10:30pm; $18

XRA Fest; The Bishop; 9pm

Tumbleweed; The Palace Theatre; 8pm; $18

Vicci Laine & The West End Girls; Uncle E’s; 10pm & Midnight; $3

IU MFA Poetry Reading; Rachael’s Café; 7pm

David Miller; Café Django; 9pm; $5

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eels eels
Impressions from the
Cannes Film Festival
By Filiz Cicek
T he train comes to a halt, the guards anxiously
running back and forth. It is 7.30 in the
morning. A man has thrown himself in front of the
train outside of Marseille. “It is probably mafia
related,” says the man sitting next to me. At noon I
ask if I can get off for a few minutes to get a cup of
tea. “No Madame,” the guard says sternly, “If you
step off of this train, we must stop everything and
come searching for you.” I feel as if I am in a James
Bond film. Until the Justice Department arrives
to determine the cause of death, the train will not
move and no one is allowed to get off. “Maybe it
was about unrequited love,” the young woman
from Strasbourg says, “after all, this is France.” We
arrive in Cannes 6 hours late. I run straight to the
Palais to catch the opening press conference of the
65th Cannes Film Festival.
Hollywood or in American discourse, where everything is
distilled in to two binaries--Republican versus Democrat,
good versus evil, black versus white, pro-choice versus
pro-life and so on. The American impulse seems to want to
simplify life. But life tends to be so much more complicated
and that is reflected on the screen at Cannes.
The festival begins amidst criticism. “Don’t allow young
women to think that they might one day have the gall to direct
films and to go up the steps of the Palais except on the arms of a
prince charming,” Fanny Cottençon, Virginie Despentes, Coline
Serreau wrote in Le Monde. Several days into the festival, a
group of French feminists in beards take to the steps in protest.
And it is brought up at the opening press conference: jurist
Andrea Arnold of Britain, and jury president Nanni Moretti of
Italy, agree that since they make up half the world’s population,
women should have a greater voice. But the general consensus
of the jury is that Cannes is committed to quality artwork
regardless of sex, gender, race, etc.
In many ways this year’s films show ordinary people
crossing boundaries of good and evil, blurring the lines
between black and white, dwelling instead in postmodern
tints and shades of grey. Something you don’t see in today’s
But that is the age-old conundrum, who decides what is good
and what is quality? Historically, mostly male juries and critics
who do not identify with “feminine” topics have been dismissive
of women’s work. How genuine is it to say that race is not a
factor when it is obvious that the festival tries to give voice to the
underrepresented by favoring films from those communities and
countries with directors who have been oppressed? If they are
socially sensitive to race and ethnicities, then why not gender?
26
RYDER
An image above the Grand Théâtre Lumière Hall at Cannes.

Being tall and beautiful can be painful, as I found out, if one

is

trying, or encouraged or down-right required to achieve

it

through high heals. The festival is as much about a grand

spectacle on high heals, as it about art and money. They seem to be essential components of the Cannes’ glamour. The red carpet

is the pulse of the Festival, where glamour, magic and money

all march together. Andrea puts it bluntly, “red carpet is big

business.” He is one of my flat mates who teaches at University

of Paris. He seems to know everyone at the Palais De Festival,

and every restaurant in Cannes. He is here to do networking like many others at the festival who are there to buy and sell films.

A

producer from New York gives the following three pieces

of

advice: “don’t go to the parties you are not invited to. “No”

means “no,” and wear good shoes, high heals if you are a female. The guards look at your shoes here--no heals, no red carpet.”

I decided to put her advice to the test. I attempt a red carpet premiere with my eco-warrior shoes; made of recycled tires and other recycled materials. A female guard in a male tuxedo looks me up and down, stares at my shoes and says, “very

looks me up and down, stares at my shoes and says, “very T he red carpet

T he red carpet is the pulse of the Festival, where glamour, magic and money all march together.

sorry Madame, no more room.” So when I get an invitation to sit by Im Sang-soo, during the premiere of his film, The Taste of Money, I compromise. I want to wear a Trashion dress to promote sustainable living. So I purchase half size bigger stilettoes that everyone seems to be wearing on the red carpet. Their heels are five inches tall, mine are four inches. Terrified of falling, as one French actress would later, it takes me a few minutes to find my balance. My small toes are already blistered, I take them off as soon as I make it to my seat in the theater. I conclude that it is the sedentary people who come up with such ideas.

Outside of Palais des Festivals.

The nomads I think got this one right. They hardly have any distinction between male and female attire. They have pastures to cross, goats to milk, weather to mind,

they don’t have time for hyper-sexualized fashion. What use do they have for stilettoes? After every one leaves the theater, I find one of the hosts and plead: “please Mosio, don’t make me walk four blocks down through the barricades in these high heels, only to walk back to this same theater, for the next screening. My feet are hurting.” “I am sorry madame but you must follow the rules.” When I begin walking barefoot on the red carpet; he quickly finds me a short cut. As I approach the confused guard at the end of the gate, who is staring at my bare feet, I smile: “I want your shoes, lets exchange.” He lets me pass.

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Filmgoers Inside Palais des Festivals Everything is carefully choreographed, to be consumed properly with precise

Filmgoers Inside Palais des Festivals

Everything is carefully choreographed, to be consumed properly with precise etiquette, style and certain standard of quality. Fans stand on ladders in a designated area for a better view; some have come all the way from Italy, Germany and Scandinavia, just to glimpse the glamour. The journalists, photographers, the guards, the limousines, and the stars, all have their designated sections and assigned roles. If you are a female, you need to be mindful of your smile, your lips and hips and legs and bosom--

your body is simultaneously celebrated and commodified. Your role is to project magic and glamour. And to be projected upon, to be an outlet for desire, inspiration and hope.

Marilyn Monroe seems to be everywhere at Cannes. She can be seen from a distance on the side of a six-story building, she is part of the collective French imagination, she is “movie star” personified. I ask Andréa about his take on it. Why Marilyn? Why don’t the French identify with a French actress instead? “They live on and get old,” he answers. “They don’t die young like she did.” Nothing like a pretty dead young blond woman. In fact there are two female images in public spaces that one frequently encounters: Marilyn Monroe and Mother Mary. I ask a Frenchman at a restaurant about it. “She is so beautiful, a

Goddess and died so young, you know.”

sadness in his voice, it sounds like Marilyn died for Cinema. As if she were a martyr. Saint Marilyn. She is Cinema herself, at least in Cannes.

Miriam, a French staff person from California at the American Pavilion further explains, “this year in particular the theme is Old Hollywood, because the hostess is Bérénice Bejo the actress from The Artist.” Indeed Old Hollywood dominates the hallways; there is not a single photo of a European actor or actress to be seen.

Americans also dominate the competition portion of the festival. Wes Anderson and his cast open the festival with Moonrise Kingdom. Followed by John Hillcoat’s, Lawless, Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly, David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, Jeff

Such

Nichols’ Mud, and Le Daniels’ Paper Boy. Daniels and his cast yield one of the more interesting and intense press conferences. Asked about possible parallels between Matthew McConaughey’s gay character in the film and his own sexuality and Daniels grows sincere and passionate: “I know every character in this film,” Daniels says, “John Cusack’s character was based on my brother who went to jail. Nicole Kidman is my sister. We all have roles to play, we present to you one persona here at Cannes, and at home we have different ones.”

This sentiment is echoed by Faith Akin who speaks briefly before his environmental documentary Polluting Paradise: “there are many worlds coming together here today. Each one of us is a different world you know; from different countries. Cannes too is a world in itself. We are here to see and hear one another.” “This is my most personal film yet” he adds, “I know directors say that after each film but this truly is.” He brought his father and the most of the Camburnu village activists from Black Sea coast of Turkey with him. In the end his sentiments come across through the film and audience gives them a standing ovation. Some of the villagers are tearing up.

Akin then hosts the biggest party in Cannes; there are Turks, Kurds, and Germans. British, Austrians, Greeks, Indians, Ewan McGregor and Joshua Jackson are joining in. Akin who selects his

I attempt a red carpet premiere

WITH MY eco-warrior shoes; made of recycled tires. A female guard in a male tuxedo looks me up and down, stares at my shoes and says,

very sorry Madame, no more room.”

soundtracks before writing his scripts, is DJ’ing. At 3:00 a.m. the French guards are still trying to get party-goers down from the tabletops where they are singing and dancing. Every aspect of the festival is so carefully planned and choreographed by the French that people seem to jump at a chance to chill out, relax and be themselves rather than perform Cannes 24/7.

The Americans play bingo and karaoke, interrupted with occasional film screenings and small parties. Only the Indian pavilion seems to be as joyful and lively. They offer free food, snacks, and drinks, PR materials, interview set-ups. At the international village, only the Americans charge to get into their

village, only the Americans charge to get into their Director Wes Anderson at the premiere of

Director Wes Anderson at the premiere of his latest film Moonrise Kingdom, with cast and crew, including Bruce Willis, Edward Norten, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray.

Bérénice Bejo, Jean Dujardin, attending Private Dinner Party Celebration for the jury and the winners.

Bérénice Bejo, Jean Dujardin, attending Private Dinner Party Celebration for the jury and the winners. And Filiz Cicek with director Anurag Kashyap at Indian Pavilion. Photo by Manoj Bajpai.

pavilion; charging for food and drinks. This results is Americans going to the other pavilions, in particular the Turkish pavillion for their baklava and raki.

Turkish Kurds from Germany, some armed with films and some with anti-Turkish government sentiments also occupy the Turkish pavilion. I have long conversations with them about history, life and art. A couple of them suggest that I read certain political books written by political terrorists or freedom fighters, depending on which side you are on. I say that long ago I decided to make art rather than politics.

I have a surprising ally in Rezan Altinbas, a Kurdish director from Turkey. I have always been weary of making art a slave to a social agenda; there is a fine line between art and propaganda. Dickens, Bernard Shaw, Douglas Sirk, R.W Fassbinder and Yilmaz Guney get away with it because they weave their socialism into a film

format, not the other way around. Rezan agrees. His film Sessiz-De Beng/Silent, is based on his childhood recollections of visiting his father in jail. His female character visits her husband in prison in Diyarbakir in 1984, a few years after the military Coup d’état. On the back wall it is written: “Speak Turkish, Speak it a lot.” The couple struggles to communicate. They remain in anguish and in silence. As their hands clasp, our hearts clasp with them. Her tear drops down from her face, to his hands, and into our hearts. It is the human heart that is in the forefront, not guns and violence. Or slogans. Whether you are, an Aboriginal in Australia, an Indian in America, an Uyghur in China or a Kurd in Turkey, what better way to say that speaking one’s mother tongue is a birthright.

He goes on the win the Palm d’Or in the short film category. In his acceptance speech Rezan dedicates

his award “to all the lonely and beautiful women of my country,” echoing Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s acceptance speech in 2008 when he received the Best Director award for Three Monkeys. Ceylan dedicated his award to his “lonely and beautiful country” which he “loves most passionately.” Most of Turkey interpreted those words as a comment on Orhan Pamuk’s political statement about the 1915 events involving the Ottoman Armenians. Most Turks believe that in 2006 Pamuk betrayed Turkey, his native country, in order to win the Nobel Prize for literature

Art, party and politics all seem to run very high at the Turkish Pavilion. It is one of the busiest hubs at Cannes; next to the Indians, who are trying to make a big impact this year at Cannes with Gangs of Wasseypur. It is a five hour epic about a family feud in a place “that is not visible on Google maps” according to its director Anurag Kashyap. “I am confident that my film has broken all cinematic conventions

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“People talk back in forth in Turkish?” “Turkic.” “Turkic? “But you got them-those words up

“People talk back in forth in Turkish?”

“Turkic.”

“Turkic? “But you got them-those words up there to help follow the story along?”

“It is subtitled, yes.”

“Hmm

Is there any nudity?”

“Partial”.

“Is there livestock in any of them?”

“Maybe a rabbit in La Regle Du Jeu…”

The Cowboy ends up liking Climates quite a bit. “There is whole a lot of truth in it in my opinion” he comments to the attendant, the

Joshua Jackson attends an after party Turkish-German Pavilion, as Fatih Akin Dj’s after the screening of his latest film Polluting Paradise.

in India,” he tells me, on the eve of the screening. “In Cannes I am a little nervous, but we will know soon enough how the world reacts!”

Ceylan may not be popular with Silent’s Kurdish actress from Turkey, but he seems to be the golden child here at Cannes. He won numerous awards over the years at Cannes. Back at the Turkish pavilion there is a party in his honor. As Turks and Kurds sing collectively in celebration, he stands back and looks in, quietly. He seems to be there and not there, like the character in his film, Distant.

Ceylan is the subject of the Coen Brothers short film titled World Cinema. When an American cowboy, played by Josh Brolin, goes to a movie theater and sees Ceylan’s Climates on the marquee he asks, “What is that one about?”

“It is about lovers, and estrangements and former lovers. Flawed people. Difficulty of love and so forth” replies the box office attendant.

AT 3:00 A.M.

the French guards are still trying to

down from the tabletops

get party-goers

where they are singing and dancing.

point being that Americans need more art-house Cinemas and that Ceylan now symbolizes the master director. And he is awarded the Directors’ Choice Award “for excellence, courage and taking artistic risks.”

Emir Kustarica and Eli Suleiman play themselves in Seven Days in Havana. Prior to the film’s screening, Kustarica joins the “people on the left side of the world” as he puts it; including Benicio Del Toro, Pablo Trapero, Julio Medem, Gasper Noe, Juan Carlos Tabio, Eli Suleiman and Laurent Cantent. Their works speak for them, and they actually speak about their work. Kustarica’s is self revealing and self deprecating as he is drunk in Havana where he is to receive an

work. Kustarica’s is self revealing and self deprecating as he is drunk in Havana where he

award, constantly arguing on the phone with his wife halfway around the world in Serbia.

Eli Suleiman does not speak; rather, Fidel Castro does most of the talking. At the Yemeni Embassy Suleiman is told that El Presidente will receive him after his speech. After a few hours of waiting, he decides to go to the zoo. When he returns towards the evening, Castro is still speaking on TV. As the day comes to an end, Castro looks up to the sky and says half jokingly: “there is still some day light left, let us continue comrades.” Elia Suleiman’s face remains motionless, yet potent. He is Peter Sellers, Charlie Chaplin and Jimmy Stewart combined. He emanates kindness and human warmth. It is official. I am in love with Elia Suleiman!

At a master class the next day we learn how Philip Kaufman, director of The Right Stuff, transitioned from from a math teacher to a filmmaker, in France, with a hand held camera. His cinematic roots are all too European. A clip from his Unbearable Lightness of Being, is presented as one of the most erotic scenes in cinema; Juliet Binoche’s character is forced to take erotic photos of a woman, whom she realizes right then is her husband’s lover. Kaufman responds with an anecdote; “Stanley Kubrick called me about that scene. I was quite excited, maybe he was going to share a great insight with me. Instead he asked where did I get that Pixar camera (Binoche is using in the scene)!”

On my last night at Cannes after the awards ceremony, Arthur, an aspiring film director from Paris, offers me an invitation to a private party where the jury and the winners will be in attendance. By then I am intellectually and artistically over stimulated and physically exhausted. My head wants to find a pillow. But then again, I might actually see organic exchanges in a more intimate setting for a change, so I say yes to being his date.

Joshua Jackson and jurist Dina Kruger are first to arrive followed by Ewan McGregor. I notice a middle-aged woman staring at

me. She looks familiar. As

I approach her to say hi,

I realize it is my camera

that has been the focus of her attention. “No photos please.” “Ok. No worries.” She is Leila Hatami one of

the stars of The Separation from Iran who was there to present the Grand Prize.

I did not recognize her

without her head attire and I gather that she didn’t want me to photograph her without it. The official fashion law of Iran, also applies in Cannes.

As the night comes to an end, my heart is dancing with Fatih Akin punked Against the Wall, and my head is falling into a Pillow Book with Ewan McGregor. Time to write my own. I put my camera to rest. Arthur’s voice is following me to the sandy beach; “you are my

perfect woman I want to make life with you!” He’s known me only for one short week. I dip my feet into the Mediterranean, breathe in its midnight air. The End.

the Mediterranean, breathe in its midnight air. The End. At the premiere of Taste of Money.

At the premiere of Taste of Money. Filiz Cicek wearing Trashion film dress created by Jeanne Leimkuhler of Center for Sustainable Living. Photo by, Laure Vandeninde.

All photographs by Filiz Cicek, unless otherwise noted. Editor’s note: Filiz Cicek reviews several of the Cannes films on page 32

unless otherwise noted. Editor’s note: Filiz Cicek reviews several of the Cannes films on page 32
THE THE CANNES
THE
THE
CANNES

THE

LOVE DOMINATES THE PROGRAMMING AT THIS YEAR’S FILM FESTIVAL

By Filiz Cicek

PROGRAMMING AT THIS YEAR’S FILM FESTIVAL By Filiz Cicek From left: director Michael Haneke with actors

From left: director Michael Haneke with actors Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant on the set of Amour.

The films at this year’s Cannes Festival show ordinary people crossing boundaries of good and evil, blurring the lines between black and white, dwelling instead in postmodern shades of grey. You won’t find this in today’s Hollywood or in American discourse, where everything is distilled in to two binaries--Republican versus Democrat, good versus evil, black versus white, pro-choice versus pro-life and so on. The American impulse seems to want to simplify life. But life tends to be so much more complicated and that is reflected on the screen at Cannes.

Love dominates the programming. Love found, love lost, temporary love, surviving love, surviving in love, pretend love, teenage love, everlasting love, love on high heels, until death do us part love.

Michael Haneke’s Amour grabs the Palme d’Or. It is a love story like no other; it is about love and aging. When a 70-something woman has a double stroke, her husband becomes her caretaker, changing her diapers, bathing her and feeding her, sometimes against her will. It is touching, haunting, intense and it is as good as love gets right until the bitter end, which is somewhat surprising.

“When two people are in love, there can be no happy ending,” says Hemingway, a character in Philip Kaufman’s latest film which is having its premiere at Cannes. In Hemingway and Gellhorn, Kaufman depicts the love between wartime photojournalist Martha Gellhorn and Hemingway, played by Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen, during the Spanish Civil War. More alive than ever and passionate about life and love in the face of death, they are also brutally honest in their writings about the world and about each other:

“I want to be myself and alone and free to breathe, live and look upon

the world and find it however it is

violently, as if getting it back would give me some of myself

not worry and do not feel badly. We are, basically, two tough people and we were born to survive,” declares the strong-willed Gellhorn.

Pablo Trapero’s White Elephant tells the story of two priests, a

I want my own name back, most

And do

female social worker and a cop working in the drug zone slums in Argentina. The more they try to help the more they become entangled with good and evil, in both expected and unexpected ways, with an ending that is surprising yet organic and credible. And there is love of course, not just divine but a human love, including that between the priest and the social worker.

Similarly the devil is in the man in Carlos Reygada’s semi- autobiographical film, Post Tenebras Lux, the most intriguing film of the festival, even if it is a bit confusing at times. The narrative begins with a toddler, played by Reygada’s own daughter. We first see her out-of-focus, in a pasture playing in the puddle of water. Her loving father beats his own dogs. Her loving mother explores copulations with strangers at a sex camp, accompanied by her husband. (They “try to transcend their everyday realities,” Reygada explains at a press conference.) A recovering alcoholic man is still haunted by the memory of his father raping his sister. His own children and wife have long left him.

In the end, with the aid of the devil, he finally pulls his head off to end his cycle of suffering. The rain carries his blood down to the toddler’s pasture, where cows graze. In the distance shots are heard, coming from the direction of a Zen garden. The scenes and characters are loosely connected; when the audience is engaged it is only with sublime surreal images that correspond to our own primordial impulses. “But is it successful?” a Dutch journalist sitting next to me asks. We both seem to have the seeds planted in our brains, which means a sign of a good film. Reygada eventually receives the award for Best Director.

The Spanish-speaking Cinema dominates at Cannes this year. There are a few films in French. Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone is a modern day love story between a handicapped whale trainer, played by Marion Cotillard, and an aspiring boxer, played by Matthias Schoenaerts. Together they heal each other’s broken bodies, and also their hearts and spirits. In Catherine Corsini’s Three Worlds, the

Nicole Kidman at the Hemingway & Gellhorn premiere at Cannes

In Catherine Corsini’s Three Worlds , the Nicole Kidman at the Hemingway & Gellhorn premiere at
From left: actors Inge Maux, Peter Kazungu, Margarethe Tiesl and director Ulrich Seidl pose during

From left: actors Inge Maux, Peter Kazungu, Margarethe Tiesl and director Ulrich Seidl pose during a photo call for Paradise: Love at the Cannes Film Festival.

lives of three strangers -- a car salesman, a medical student and an immigrant woman from Moldavia -- are entangled after a fatal car accident.

Post youth and old age was the dominating factor among the directors, the majority male. In Someone in Love, Abbas Kiarostami explores a relationship between a young college student and old retired professor in Japan. I went in with apprehension and left with compassion and with memories of Harold and Maude. Similarly, Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise: Love follows a white older women to South Africa where she finds and buys young male love. Unfulfilled and unloved in the capitalistic and individualistically driven western culture, older white women try to claim the “love” that they were promised in their storybooks. When an older Rubenesque woman cuddles with young slim black body, one can’t help but wonder about love as a human right.

Special Day is another film that starts with love, a classical kind, between a boy and a girl. Directed by the Festival’s president Gilles Jacobs, the film involves 34 directors from around the globe. The filmmakers submitted three-minute pieces that reflect why each one makes films. A select number of short pieces are interspersed

with documentary footage from press conferences, the red carpet events and dinner party gatherings with the filmmakers. Among others, Eli Suleiman’s piece is quite endearing. Playing himself, Suleiman reaches into a toilet bowl in a public restroom, to retrieve his cell phone in the presence of two suspecting security guards. Shot mostly in silence, viewers feel compelled, with smiles on their faces, to reach out and grab Suleiman into safety, or at least reach into the toilet and grab his phone.

Then there is Polanski. Thus far his contribution to Special Day as one of the chosen directors comes in the form of a protest. During the press conference launching the film, Polanski was put-off by a “shallow” question from a journalist. He went on a rant, calling the journalist an idiot for not recognizing the historical significance of this project that is bringing together so many “important” directors. He then walked out; the rest of the directors followed suit.

The film doesn’t show the shallow question in question, and if I were to take as a measure the questions of the annoying British tabloid journalists, who have been brutally criticizing the choices of colors and outfits of the female stars, I might agree with Polanski. But at the end of the day, there is not much insight into human experience in following the directors around Cannes with a camera. The three minute films however are witty and engaging. I wish the camera followed the directors in their everyday lives or during a working day instead. Fassbinder in Germany in Autumn turns the camera onto himself, showing that we all are capable of practicing fascism and compassion on any given day. That is a great insight to our collective humanity.

Unlike the characters in his own films, Polanski displays pompous arrogance both in Special Day and on stage, as he enters the cinema and takes his place at the center, among the all male directors. (Jane Campion, the token female director is missing.) Polanski’s wife is in the audience, twice as tall as her husband, looking like a Barbie doll. But it is not a sin to be tall and beautiful. To elevate a man to new heights with fashion and beauty is a topic for Freud’s couch. I myself have always preferred Jung!

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THE HIPSTER BOOKWORM’S HANDBOOK reading suggestions for bohemian bibliophiles
THE HIPSTER
BOOKWORM’S
HANDBOOK
reading
suggestions
for bohemian
bibliophiles

by Brandon Cook

They make themselves known even before they are even seen. Vintage thrift-shop sneakers and sweaters breathe a 1970’s redolence. Wavering clouds of American Spirits linger at coffee tables. Abrasive laughter, probably from some joke you haven’t heard, punches out from a conversation replete with eager self-certifying voices. For a community which prides itself in a lack of uniformity and an almost obsessive noncon- formity, the Hipsters have been overwhelmingly apt in establishing themselves as one of society’s most regarded cliques. And yet, the Hipster revolution, for all its emphasis on the quasi-European sense of trend and distinction, is a quintessential America in its own right. Hipsters absorb rival cliques like America absorbs rival cultures, encompassing the Goth in a tight-fitting pair of two-tone crotch pants, the intel- lectual in the vapor of Peterson pipe tobacco, and the nerd in a sporty pair of Ray-Bans. What’s left for the Hipster then? An Urban Dictionary search will yield the traits of “[a value in] independent thinking, counter-culture, progres- sive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter,” however in the wake of a hipster emphasis on Wikiquotes and unwarranted self-importance, the society has begun to lose its way. We here at The Ryder, because of our many readers who do in fact conform to the hipster culture, see it as our sacred duty to set the hipsters back on track this summer with a reading list that simmers with intellectual independence. While Chuck Klos- terman shows himself to be an appropriate hipster avatar with his well-tended red beard and impressive arsenal of pop culture knowledge he can only take the movement so far.

Tissue is particularly inviting. The songwriter/vocalist has a standard drug-and-booze addled story to tell, and yet he tells it with crisp sin- cerity and in a prose ripe with expression and cleverness. Moreover, Kiedis’s depravity as well as the unyielding passion he uses to com- bat his dipsomania and drug addiction makes an addict of the reader, who is already engaged by the sheer depth of Kiedis’s debasement. Equally passionate yet much less renowned is the biography

Equally passionate yet much less renowned is the biography Kinski Uncut from 1988, which depicts in

Kinski Uncut from 1988, which depicts in unsparing detail the life and work of legendary German film star Klaus Kinski. The actor is best

known for his role in Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (1972), an epic of suffer- ing and tribulation (both real and fictional) which has constantly seen the top of Roger Ebert’s Best Films List and whose director, Werner Herzog, he called “the most visionary and the most obsessed with great themes.” The reader would hardly know

it by Kinski’s book. One might even forget that Kinski was

an actor and not a glorified and slightly deranged porn star, so flagrant is Kinski’s satyriasis. The Times Literary Supple- ment gave A Clockwork Orange the epithet of “a shocking little thriller” and it’s easy to apply it directly, yet in spite of these details Kinski’s memoir is more than a book of pugilistic sex and sado- masochism. It moralizes without intending to, bringing the reader intimately close with a broken man who damned the world and lived only for his acting and his son. The Hipster community teaches off-

Klaus Kinski’s memoir is

more than a book of pugilistic

sex and sadomasochism.

A good place for the Hipster to start would be with a well-written, tell-all biography. The better ones generally offer enough introspective confession to make good psychological reads, which are key for the Hipster bent on understanding his society. Anthony Kiedis’s (The Red Hot Chili Peppers) 2004 Scar

hand judgment of others like a second language but Kinski’s confes- sions manage to provoke just the opposite in a tremendously charged 300 pages that takes the reader with a grip that could throttle.

For a much shorter and equally impassioned read, one could also consume Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar which provides crucial in- sight in the subtleties of psychosis, or a good translation of Ludwig Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter which shows the compos- er combating the throes of depression with the beauty of music. Having achieved something bordering notoriety with their outspoken independence, hipsters would do well to focusing their Ray-Bans and taking another look at the ‘popular culture,’ which they have shunned in the past. It goes without saying that they are often not the buyers of popular mainstream novels, such as Jeffery Deav- er’s anticipated James Bond follow-up Carte Blanche, from 2011. This is all well and good, yet Bond should not be discounted entirely. Nothing smacks of hipster like a return to the originals once they are no longer

Paying homage to the lesser-known novels of Tolkien will reward the patient reader.

popular, and the hipster would ben- efit to visit his nearest secondhand bookshop to pick up an

Ian Fleming reprint. Any will do. Fleming’s aged agent is arguably his best when sporting a fedora and a vintage Beretta 418, and the world Bond saves is a far cry from what Daniel Craig makes it out to be. Typewriters, trains, and clunky MI6 ‘enigma machines’ constitute a certain quaint- ness that one is not likely to find within Martin Campbell or Sam Mendes. It’s in this realm of genre fiction one should remain in order to broaden his literary horizons. Hipsters have a certain penchant for Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and when one sees Huxley’s ‘Savage,’ it’s easy to identify why. The misunderstood and degraded

intellectual finds solace in Shakespeare and appears, to the soma- eating world, both a relic and a stage act of the learned and dead past. Yet there are more ways to understand the future than with Huxley’s pessimism. Anthony Burgess counters cynicism with excellent black humor in The Wanting Seed. The novel

suggests that in a decaying world flushed with overpopulation, morality is the first human element to vacate while intellect manages to pervade. Unlike Cormac McCar- thy’s The Road, Burgess’s cannibals (who have resorted to flesh-eating literally overnight) are not bearded villains or sodomizing Deliverance yokels, but well-spoken gentlemen and ladies, most of which have resorted to simpering, chic homo- sexuality in order to aid a statewide moratorium on breeding. Writing from an even more absurd satiric vein, Julian Barnes admonishes everything from politi- cal correctness to reality itself in England, England, which was short- listed for the Booker Prize in 1998. The incorrigible Sir Jack Pitman and his scheme to replicate England as a tourist attraction (complete with the country’s most illustrious figureheads: Samuel Johnson,

country’s most illustrious figureheads: Samuel Johnson, Enrich and entertain your mind with courses that bring the
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Robin Hood, the Queen, etc.) triumph in a grandiose display of lampoonery. Huxley suggests the future in drug-induced ignorance controlled by generated Alphas, yet Barnes gives the future as a perfect manifestation of sameness controlled by a man who frequents high-

rise brothels in order to don a diaper, coo to nursing soubrettes, and soil himself in a succes- sion of tremendous farts. Tending towards the cataclysmic rather than the sardonic ending of the world, fantasy novels are also fine dysto- pian pieces to embrace. George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire and its hit HBO counterpart Game of Thrones have reached tremendous recognition, and the hipster can counter the popularity well be hav- ing a firm background in pre-Martin fantasy. Tolkien will do just fine. The lesser-read Tolkien I might add. This includes any of his dozen books of Middle Earth history, such as The Silmarillion, The Lays of Beleriand, and Unfinished Tales. Paying homage to these works will reward the patient reader an unbelievably detailed world overflowing with the milk and honey of potent realism and poetic brilliance. One is often tempted to question whether or not Tolkien created a world or just stumbled upon it. For the hipster craving an even deeper fantastical experi- ence, the Nordic Poetic Edda and the Irish Lebor na hUidre (Book of the Dun Cow) provide the equally compelling tales, exploits, and general ruckus of the pre-Christian pantheons and their demon enemies. Certainly, your modern reader loves a good epic, as Hol- lywood big bucks blockbusters will show. So, with such dense action being paraded across the screen, what could make for a

more perfect hipster read than a parade of epic across the page;

a parade that has never crossed into the light of public appreci-

ation, despite having achieved enormous literary fame? This is the spotlight reserved special for James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake,

a monumental explosion of a book where words adhere to the

loosest of novelistic confines in the setting of the subconscious mind. It’s absolute agony to make sense of, although this doesn’t matter. Words like “bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonner- ronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk” and a wonderfully thorough bastardization of language itself are entertaining enough not to require an understanding of the plot. Should the Joycean beach reading prove too heavy, Marcel Proust provides a wonderful fallback with his À la recherché du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past), a seven-volume story of love and art. Proust’s prose is balanced within a volatile war between the narra- tor’s voluntary and involuntary memory, which is liable to regress at any time, more often than not into fuzzy yet fond childhood memory. The effect is lovely however, as if someone had composed the story as an impressionistic painting where the picture itself is obscured deliberately by the murky brush strokes. While in the wake of the hipster explosion it might be difficult to imagine a time when such popularity was unwanted and even shunned, there was such a precursor: the disillusioned 1950’s Beat- niks. Herein dwell the canonical three: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs. Kerouac’s On the Road is flushed with a poetic vibrancy that conjures profound meaning from a hackneyed world. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch depicts a struggle for self in an environment-run-awry, teeming with sadists and sex-fiends. Gins- berg’s poem Howl laments the loss of innocence that, like the demotic workers of Fritz Lang’s 1928 Metropolis, is sacrificed to the industrial maw of the demon Moloch. Whether or not the reader agrees with what the claims these writers make against society, one must respect the artistry. Beatniks found meaning where before there was none, and created beauty that,

where before there was none, and created beauty that, Hipsters have a certain penchant for Aldous

Hipsters have a certain penchant for Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World

like Beethoven, they had never experienced but could only feel. The Hipster movement has harnessed many followers and yet it lacks direction because it has no true medium of expression; indie suburbia and Retro polyblend will unfortunately not change the course of the world. It is our hope that, with a slight push in the right direction, the hipsters may inspire another Beat Movement or at least another new- world outlook. And, while enjoying his medium iced half-caf one- pump vanilla soy upside down dirty chai (with Splenda), the hipster might have to endure the rolled eyes of the casual walkabout for a little while longer, we have every confidence that your day is coming.

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The Automaton in Hugo and the long and winding road from the Englightment to Modernity

The

Automaton

in
in

Hugo

and

the

long

and

winding

road

from

The Automaton in Hugo and the long and winding road from the Englightment to Modernity by
The Automaton in Hugo and the long and winding road from the Englightment to Modernity by
The Automaton in Hugo and the long and winding road from the Englightment to Modernity by
The Automaton in Hugo and the long and winding road from the Englightment to Modernity by

the Englightment to Modernity

the long and winding road from the Englightment to Modernity by TOM PRASCH Consider Hugo ’s
the long and winding road from the Englightment to Modernity by TOM PRASCH Consider Hugo ’s

by TOM

PRASCH

road from the Englightment to Modernity by TOM PRASCH Consider Hugo ’s automaton. It connects orphaned

Consider Hugo’s automaton. It connects orphaned Hugo with his dead father. It is the key to unraveling Papa Georges’s identity as pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès. On a visual level, the automaton echoes the train station clockworks that Hugo maintains (and the broken toys Papa Georges repairs in his station shop, and the pumping cylinders and spinning wheels of the locomotives). But the appearance of the automa- ton resonates in ways that point in two time directions at once. From the neck down, the automaton resembles the “Art of Writing” illustration in French philosopher Denis Diderot’s Encyclopédie (1751): a man at a desk, paper laid out, quill in hand. The resemblance should come as no surprise: the mid- eighteenth century was, after all, the highpoint of automaton creation, a period in which life-like clockwork constructions were displayed at court and before learned societies. The Ency- clopédie highlights the famed works of Jacques de Vaucanson, whose constructions included a flute-player with a twelve- song repertoire and a digesting duck (it didn’t really digest food, the encylopedists note, but it went through all the motions, with some thousand working parts). The piece that directly inspired the construc- tion in Hugo (and Brian Selznick’s source novel as well) is Swiss clockmaker Henri Maillardet’s “Draughtsman/Writer” automaton (c. 1805), kept at the Franklin Insti- tute and now working again, after significant repairs (the machine had been damaged in a 19 th -century fire at P. T. Barnum’s museum). The rage for automatons coincided with significant Enlight- enment thought exploring the me- chanical roots of animal and human motion. Automatons prompted, or at least illuminated, the philos- ophes’ investigations of human nature. Diderot, for example, insisted, in the Conversation between D’Alembert and Diderot (1764), that “Flesh can be made from marble, and marble from flesh,” proving the point with an argument about digesting marble that could well suit an animatronic duck. René Descartes, in his Tract on Man (1648), asserts: “I assume that the body is nothing

Man (1648), asserts: “I assume that the body is nothing else than a statue or machine
Man (1648), asserts: “I assume that the body is nothing else than a statue or machine
Man (1648), asserts: “I assume that the body is nothing else than a statue or machine

else than a statue or machine of clay,” which he compares to “clocks … and other similar machines.” Descartes was inspired, George Hersey notes in Falling in Love with Statues: Artificial Humans from Pygmalion to the Present (2009), by Tommaso and Francesco Francini’s moving statues of goddesses, and Sidney Perkowitz, in Digital People:

From Bionic Humans to Androids (2005) relates that Descartes was ru- mored to have built his own automaton, an android daughter he took with him on a trip to Sweden. Julien Offray de la Mettrie took such speculation to its material- ist/atheist extreme in L’Homme-machine (1747): “The human body is a machine which winds its own springs.” Such thought lives on in Hugo’s own vision: “I imagined the world was one big machine. Machines don’t come with extra parts, you know. I figured, if the world was a machine, I had to be here for a reason.” De Vaucanson, meanwhile, as Perkowitz notes, moved on from toy people to other machines: he developed punch-card looms for Louis XV’s silkworks, prototypes refined near the century’s end to the Jacquard loom

refined near the century’s end to the Jacquard loom which, once hooked to steam power, propelled

which, once hooked to steam power, propelled the industrialization of the textile industry. In Hugo, director Martin Scorcese constellates all of this in his construction and exploitation of the film’s central visual environment:

the train station, with its clockwork interior, its trains and tracks, all of it a broad summary of the trajectory of the triumph of machine, from early-modern clockworks and automatons forward to the rail- road engines and the station inspector’s prosthetic limb. Even its way of seeing crystallizes the triumph of industrial vision, reproducing the flâneurship poet Charles Baudelaire. Think of the long, almost word- less series of vignettes with which, after its panoramic swooping opening shot Hugo as- sembles its characters and sets its stage:

discreet sto- ries observed by a neutral spectator (hid- den Hugo). Consider the scene in line with Baudelaire’s description, in “The Painter and Modern Life” (1863): “For the perfect flâneur, for the pas- sionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world…. we might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness.” Other aspects of the film reinforce this visual groundwork: when Hugo takes his young friend Isabelle to a film, the movie they sneak into features Harold Lloyd dangling from

a skyscraper clockface (in Safety First [1923]); when the two of them

begin to explore film history, the Lumière Brothers film that is cited

to explain the innovation of cinema is the one of a train pulling into

a station, famously producing a panic in an audience not yet experi- enced in cinema’s illusionism. But then look at the automaton again, this time from the neck up.

That metallic head looks a different direction entirely, not backward

toward

clockworks

and steam engines but, with a nod in the direction of modern- ist art (a

slight echo of

Constantin

Brancusi’s

“Sleeping

Muses”

bronzes), for-

ward toward

robotics,

toward the heads in Steven Spiel- berg’s A.I. or I, Robot. The shift in perspective is not entirely a disconnect. If La Mettrie’s vision was too radical for his own time, it no longer is for ours. We can track the mechanistic vision from the automatons of the eighteenth century

vision from the automatons of the eighteenth century Descartes was rumored to have built his own
Descartes was rumored to have built his own automaton, an android daughter he took with
Descartes
was rumored to
have built his own
automaton, an android
daughter he took with
him on a trip to
Sweden.
an android daughter he took with him on a trip to Sweden. S ep tem b
an android daughter he took with him on a trip to Sweden. S ep tem b
an android daughter he took with him on a trip to Sweden. S ep tem b
S ep tem b er 13 , 20 12 6 :3 0 P M The
S ep tem b er 13 , 20 12
6 :3 0 P M
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forward through Charles Babbage’s very Victorian Difference Engine and on toward Alan Turing’s computer, with its still evident echo of De Vaucanson in its punch-card works. And

we can postulate forward from there to the increasingly human android creations of

our present

science-

fiction

fantasies

about our

imminent

future.

phenakistoscope and zoetrope. From there, we can move through Muybridge’s experiments with motion photography (horses running, naked men leaping). We can pause to take note of more toys, like flipbooks. In Hugo, the notebook Hugo inherited from his father with instructions on the automaton includes a flipbook.

with instructions on the automaton includes a flipbook. The Artist locates the silent-film era in a

The Artist locates the silent-film era in a quaintly distanced past, firmly removed from contemporary life. Hugo in contrast, breaks down the separations between past and present and projects its vision toward a future.

The link between flipbook and film also played a role in an earlier exploration of the inception of mo- dernity, E. L. Doctorow’s Ragtime (1975), where the immigrant Tateh makes the connection between flip- books and films, recreating himself as a Hollywood filmmaker (and new-titled baron, because a little bit of lying is part of the illusion). And finally we come to film itself, practically simultaneously invented in multiple sites around the turn of the century: by the Lumière Brothers in Paris on that side of the Atlantic and Thomas Edison (who had also played with au- tomatons while giving voices to dolls) on this side of the water and probably by some guy in Russia, too.

But, critically, this trajectory not only concerns mechanical triumph, but is also located on another axis entirely: one connected to the cre- ation of mass culture, spectacles of entertainment, and, crucially, sites of imagination. The history of the formation of mass culture is part of the story of the formation of those new urban spaces made possible by railroads and other technologies. But it also concerns ways to entertain newly constructed audiences consisting of people of multiple classes. Music hall and its assorted continental and American variations (cabaret, vaudeville, etc.) emerge as the rough-and-ready mix-and-match solu- tion to the mass-audience quandary, and it is no accident that the first films were shown in music halls or equivalent spaces: amusement arcades, world’s fairs. The Lumières showed theirs at the Salon Indien du Grand Café, a basement

In

Hugo’s

universe,

the Enlight- enment’s automatons and the industrial age’s railroads, and the railroad stations that served as their cathedrals, coexist with the artistic efforts to come to terms with modernity. The strikingly con- structivist poster behind the flower shop; the cameo by James Joyce, the eyepatched gent in the early café scene; and jazz art- ist Django Reinhart, the clear model for the train station’s ser- enading guitarist, all coalesce with visions of a robotic future. That Hugo’s trajectory looks forward as well as back differ- entiates it sharply from last year’s other paean to the silent era of films, Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist. Both films, in their very different ways, lovingly pay homage to silent films and their conventions. But The Artist locates the silent-film era in a quaintly distanced past firmly removed from con- temporaneity, as becomes most clear in the one film in which sound—and mo- dernity—intrude, with the jangle of a telephone and the sudden chaotic din of a contemporary sound- filled world. In contrast, Hugo insistently breaks down the separations between past and present and projects its vision toward a future. Another parallel tra- jectory in Hugo tracks the advent and development of films themselves. This trajectory is also, at one level, about the triumph of mechanism, the step- by-step development of mechanical devices that would allow a series of still images to seem to move, a sequence of vi- sual innovations that cul- minate in cinema. We can trace a course from the camera obscura of the early-modern era forward to illusionistic dioramas of the sort which Daguerre pioneered before turning to the invention of photography. We can continue to follow the trajectory through stereoscopes and spinning toys like the

trajectory through stereoscopes and spinning toys like the exhibi- tion space below a popular café. In
trajectory through stereoscopes and spinning toys like the exhibi- tion space below a popular café. In

exhibi-

tion space

below a

popular

café. In

Hugo,

Méliès

recalled

that first

screening

as “some-

thing

strange,

something

wonder-

ful,” but of course that is the effect such places sought to create all the time, whether with scantily scandalous poses plastiques or magic tricks or film. Georges Méliès began his career in film, as Hugo retells it, as a stage magician. Illusion is at the core of the cinematic experience; it is,

after all, a trick in its very nature, an illusion by which still images seem

after all, a trick in its very nature, an illusion by which still images seem to reproduce mo- tion. Trickery can be tracked farther back in our tra- jectories as well, since presumed automatons, from the eighteenth century forward, have often proven to be frauds, clev- erly hidden or disguised people playing the parts of machines. But, as Arthur Clarke declared in Pro- files of the Future (1973), in his oft-quoted Third Law: “Any suffi- ciently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” And for no early pioneer of cinema is the magic of film more key than for Méliès, famous for his trick photography (disappearing figures, stop-action and sped-up sequences), for mise en scene that wildly mixed the real and the fantastically drawn, for inventing the science-fiction film. All of this was a far cry from the Lumières’ trains arriving and workers at shift change, or even from the slapstick and melodrama of an emerg- ing Hollywood cinema. Welcoming a visitor to his glass-roofed film studio (a structure that itself both hearkens back to the glasshouses of early photography and yet seems the creation of some fantasy world; “an enchanted castle,” the visitor recalls), Méliès welcomes him: “If you’ve ever wondered where your dreams come from, you look around. This is where they’re made.” The trope, which moves us beyond the mecha- nistic and toward the psychoanalytic, which makes the screen a vista for the imagined and the unconscious, is a recurrent one in the film. Hugo, telling Isabelle what his father told him about the first film he ever saw Méliès’s Trip to the Moon, relates: “He said it was like seeing his dreams in the middle of the day.” And greeting his at-long-last- welcoming public in his closing speech, Méliès declares: “I address you all tonight as you truly are: wizards, mermaids, adventurers, travelers, magicians. Come and dream with me.” The invitation is Scorcese’s, too, of course. Hugo stands as testa- ment to Scorcese’s long engagement with film preservation, but it also attests to his own playful love of cinematic magic. From his careful reconstruction of Méliès’s milieu to his citation of assorted cinematic forebears to his own sweeping pans and swooping tracking shots, Hugo showcases Scorcese’s cinematic imagination as well as his knowledge of cinema history. And it is, of course, Scorcese’s first foray into the rediscovered old magic of 3D, that technical trickery of late-‘50s Bs rediscovered in our age of the multiplex. That trick is a truly fitting testimonial to the magic of Méliès.

is a truly fitting testimonial to the magic of Méliès. Now offering one-visit Cerec Crowns C
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In Search of Ecstatic Truth BURDEN OF DREAMS (1982) Directed by Les Blank Tuesday, Aug.
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BURDEN OF DREAMS (1982)
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