Ah, the political biopic: so much opportunity, so much risk.
On the one hand, stories about the powerful offer us a chance to glimpse into the more glorious and grotesque aspects of the human soul — the determination, the fortitude, the vanity (there’s a reason Shakespeare wrote about Hamlet and Henry IV). On the flip side, these films necessarily address matters of public interest — and public record. Tell the tale poorly, and everyone will know.
Any film whose title is in the form of an amorous solicitation must meet certain criteria. First, it should concern the awkward physical beginnings of love: the glances, the touches, the timid approaches. Second, it must address lovers’ preliminary insecurities, the kind that lead such questions to be voiced in the first place. And, finally, and perhaps most importantly, the film must showcase the best that the art form — that is, the kiss — has to offer.
It was with great excitement and hedonistic anticipation that I looked forward to this year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, held from June 11-14 on a farm in Manchester, TN. Tales I had heard from past attendees and the glossy coverage in Rolling Stone promised a long weekend of wonderful music, wonderful people and general paganistic pleasure. Headliners like Band of Horses and MGMT whet my appetite; smaller acts like Amadou & Mariam and The Dirty Projectors made me all the more excited. For a music fan — and one who especially enjoys shared irresponsibility — there’s nothing better.
An old roommate of mine just visited for the weekend, and for the larger part of the two days we were together our conversations centered solely around music. It’s not that we were lacking for other topics; we would discuss our lives, our friends and the magical transformation that Ithaca undergoes in the sun, but every time we would circle back to bands and LPs. Music, it seems, is one of the foundations of our friendship.
Barton Hall got rocked on Sunday night as first GZA and then Girl Talk graced the stage for the Cornell masses. The former, a Wu-Tang Clan legend, was affable and loose, freestyling about our fair alma mater and wading through the crowd — though he did botch his encore, yelling “Fuck it” and tossing his mic back onstage.
Would-be writers are a dime a dozen: every other English major, it seems, wants to be the next Faulkner. Those with talent may find themselves in an MFA program, and the lucky few will have a story published here and there in a small journal. But success like that enjoyed by Tea Bajraktarevic grad, who recently sold the rights to her first novel The Tiger’s Daughter to Dial Press (to be published next year), is rare indeed. Tea, who writes under the name Tea Obreht and whose first publication will be a story in The Atlantic Monthly’s summer fiction issue, sat down with The Sun to discuss death in the Balkans, the merits of MFAs and being stoked about success.
The Sun: When did you start writing?
If there’s any figure more romantic than the artist, it’s the rebel. Just take dorm room posters — as cool as your Jim Morrison picture might be, my Che Guevara will always be cooler. But combine the two, and you’ve got a beast.
It’s not easy being a rap superstar, and it’s even harder being an award-winning thespian. So maybe Ludacris had a lot on his mind when The Sun sat down with him on Saturday night. Slightly distracted and eager to move on, the Mouf of the South indulged us for seven minutes in his “dressing room” — an ROTC classroom replete with whiteboards and fluorescent lights — just before he jumped on stage. We talked about politics and the future of rap, the good old college days and some character named Girl Talk. Plus, we got to brush by Shawnna. She’s really hot.
The Sun: When did you get into town?
Ludacris: Literally about two hours ago.
Sun: What do you think of Ithaca?
L: I love Ithaca, the crowd is always crazy. It’s a good crowd, it’s good people.
As her fellow seniors scramble to secure jobs in an ever-dwindling economy, Fiber Science and Apparel Design major Constanza Ontaneda ’09 is forging her own path. A designer who grew up in places as divergent as Romania and Brazil, she’s already started her own international business, Bernales & Goretti, which imports fair-wage clothing made in Peru to be sold in the United States. The Sun sat down with Ontaneda in Risley Hall to discuss her passion for fashion, how she hopes to change Peru and her plans after school.
The Sun: How did you get started in design?