In my quest to review all of the Best Picture nominees at a rate of one film per week starting with the beginning of the semester and leading to the Academy Awards, I neglected one fact: The date of the Oscars. Unfortunately, as I recently realized, I am now out of time to write and publish the remaining few reviews in such a time span. As such, this article will cover three of the remaining nominees, excluding one which is the presumptive winner and another which is an optimistic hedge (you may guess which is which). Those articles should be coming next week, and if neither film ends up as the actual best picture winner, I apologize.
Triangle of Sadness
There was a period of time (somewhere between the 1950s and 1970s or so) when European anti-capitalist satires were some of the best in film. I refer mostly to the brilliant exploits of Luis Buñuel, but also to a more general satirical inventiveness, even including such terrifying classics as Salò.
Ten years later, people everywhere are still quoting the sharp dialogue and witty one-liners of Mike Judge’s first feature length film, Office Space, but the only thing people in Ithaca may remember about their trip to the theater on Saturday to watch Judge’s newest flick, Extract, was how loud and excessive the two people in the middle row laughed throughout the entire film. Sure the movie had its funny moments, but none deserving more than a chuckle. Certainly not the hysterical laughter the middle row was providing them. No, Extract won’t go down in history as one of the worst movies ever, it will just become one of those “forgotten” movies that get subconsciously passed over in Blockbuster.
People with disabilities are portrayed quite callously in the movies: Cliff Robertson’s portrayal of Charlie Gordon in Charly, Dustin Hoffman’s Raymond Babbitt in Rain Man, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Arnie Grape in What’s Eating Gibert Grape?, Tom Hanks’ Forrest Gump and Sean Penn’s less successful title character in I Am Sam. As Robert Downey Jr. also brashly points out in Tropic Thunder, playing a handicapped individual in a serious drama is a sure way to get an Oscar nomination. Not to say the above stated roles were in any way throwaway performances — quite the contrary. Still, it’s best to approach films with such a scenery-chewing centerpiece with caution.
Contemplating the concept of existence leaves room for many questions. What does it mean to exist? Is there a difference between living and being alive? What is happiness? We can define what it means to be alive, at least in the scientific sense: we breathe to pump oxygen to our hearts; we consume nutrients to keep our bodies functioning. But, in order to define the existential state of living, we must go beyond this corporal aspect, something that may require personal will and enlightenment. You, the Living a Swedish film playing at Cornell Cinema this weekend, is a somewhat surrealist attempt to illustrate “the living,” people who are alive but who tread a fine line between dream and reality, between being alive and being something else altogether.
“I’m not bi, I’m tri … I’ll try anything.” With this bold pronouncement, guest artist Ke$ha announces her flirtatious nature on a track from Pitbull’s fourth studio effort, Rebelution. The album is in the same vein as the rapper’s previous efforts — while Pitbull stays true to his Latin hip-hop roots, he also experiments with different modes of dance, which results in an album that is always surprising and entertaining.
Hailing from North Carolina, the Bowerbirds further develop their folk-inspired sound on their sophomore album, Upper Air. Phil Moore and Beth Tacular’s stirring lyrical duets and complicated harmonies are enhanced by the band’s effortless acoustics and the help of Matt Damron on percussion. A blend of accordion, guitar and bass drum, the trio produces authentic and original songs that embody the spirit of the beautiful landscape in which they live.
This is an album worth $20 million.
When a promotional CD of Imogen Heap’s Ellipse went up for bids on eBay, Heap herself agreed to pay a record-breaking €10,000,000 for the disc in an attempt to close the auction.
Hey music lovers! Swine flu got you down? Never fear! We’ve got just the thing for you: Indie dance-rock maestros Ra Ra Riot, in concert at Castaways tonight at 9 p.m.! (Side effects may include head-bobbing, foot-tapping, uncontrollable laughing and crazy dancing. In some cases, these side effects may be severe. Please contact a medical professional for a foot-tap lasting more than four hours.) (Swine flu not included.)
When Cornell senior dance lecturer Jim Self heard the news of Merce Cunningham’s death, he was unmoored. “As a teacher, choreographer and person, Merce has been very imprinted on me. I knew he wasn’t there.”
After Merce Cunningham, the revolutionary American choreographer and foremost figure of artistic modernism, died in late June at age 90, his death prompted the dance community at Cornell to contemplate his legacy and influence on memnbers of the department. Some have spoken about the deep loss they have felt — often, despite their only brief encounters with the man.
Whether you’re a freshman, senior or Cornell employee, at some time or other it should become blatantly apparent that Ithaca has an incredible music scene. In my three years on the Hill I’ve tried my best to experience all parts of said scene.
Last year, one music event captivated my heart more than any other that I’ve come across. This event was Porchfest and, luckily, it’s an annual festival that will be taking place again this upcoming weekend, on Sunday.