Just as far above Cayuga’s waters and with an arguably more glorious view, Ithaca College students have often felt a world away from their East Hill counterparts despite being separated by only two miles. But with the recent success of Ivy, an MTV-style faux reality series produced by IC’s student-run television station ICTV, that gap could very well be narrowing.
For an art form that often lives in the shadow of its live-action big brother, animation finally received its share of the spotlight on Saturday at Cornell Cinema’s special event, Homegrown Animation. Headlined by Tara Cooper ’08’s ten-minute short Until the Lake Froze Solid, the program included nineteen animated shorts made by Cornell students over the past six years, as well as a Q&A session with Tara about her MFA thesis film. Although there was no red carpet or hordes of paparazzi waiting outside Homegrown Animation was both a showcase of the cream of the crop of Cornell animation projects and some well-deserved face time for the incredibly talented artists whose work rarely earns the attention that it’s due.
Not too far from the Hogwarts-style dining hall, a different kind of magic was stirring in the halls of Risley. This past weekend, the Risley Theater hosted three performances of “An Evening of Wonder,” a mind reading and magic show presented by Risley’s own stage wizard and psychological illusionist extraordinaire, Jon Tai ’11. And as its name suggests, the show was nothing short of wonderful.
Film producer Scott Ferguson ’82 has worked on some big-name movies, like Brokeback Mountain and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This Saturday at 7:15 pm, he will be at Cornell Cinema to introduce a sneak preview of Gigantic, a new comedy which he executive-produced. In anticipation of his campus visit, I was able to chat with him on the phone about producing a low-budget film, filet mignon and discovering his love of filmmaking on our very own Arts Quad.
The Sun: First of all, thank you so much for your time. It’s a real pleasure to be talking to you. I was given a screener of your film Gigantic, and it was really intriguing to me.
Scott Ferguson: Oh, good!
Sun: How did you get involved in this project?
I toyed around with the idea of calling this article “Top Ten Reasons Why The Wrestler is Awesome and Slumdog Millionaire Sucks,” but after a threatened lawsuit from David Letterman and several friends telling me that I’m a heartless scrooge who doesn’t believe in miracles, I thought better of it. But that doesn’t change the fact that The Wrestler, a film by acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain), is a truly great film and easily the most snubbed movie of this year’s Oscar nominees. 2008 was a great year for movies, bringing us such memorable films as The Dark Knight, Milk, WALL-E, Forrest Gump II: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and the soon-to-be timeless cinematic classic, Twilight.
As someone who fancies himself a movie guy, I’d like to think I’m a pretty good judge of whether a movie is essentially good or bad. That’s not to say there can never be any gray area (see all M. Night Shyamalan movies since The Sixth Sense), but usually I can walk out of the theater with a pretty good idea of where — if the world were black and white — a particular movie might fall. And then I saw Wild Style.