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October 12, 2006 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-10-12

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KEEP GOING THE WHOLE NIGHT
THROUGH HOW-TO, PAGE 3B.

NEW BURLESQUE PRODUCTION BRINGS BACK CLASS. PAGE 6B.
B
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2006
ON _ k4/a ,' ยข i,"'

The long
and short
o it
I read continuously that we are
the ADD generation - no
patience for even commercials
anymore (and, thanks to TiVO and
DVD, no
need for
it). But
though we
do storm
YouTube
for the a
quick fix
of three-
minute
Colbert
Report
segments, KRISTIN
we're MACDONALD
simultane-
ously committed to long-term TV
show addictions. Anyone who's
ever purchased a season of "The
Sopranos" or "Arrested Develop-
ment" can tell you how surprisingly
easy it is to fit 18 hours of television
into a handful of days.
The film world could stand to
expand its form along with these
latest viewing patterns, and our
love of the long plot has already
shown its influence. This summer's
"Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel
drew on the plotting style of an
hour-long TV drama, albeit unsuc-
cessfully - though it had the epi-
sodic feel of several back-to-back
"Lost" installments, it closed like a
cliff-hanger season finale instead of
a self-contained movie.
The appeal of TV's longer narra-
tives isn't hard to understand - the
longer the emotional investment,
the deeper the effect (i.e. Pam and
Jim's big moment in last season's
finale of "The Office," which made
my heart break like few 90-minute
movie romances ever have). The
super-epic film experience ought
to emerge accordingly, and could
do so for products of any screen
size. Theater owners need to lure
moviegoers from their increasingly
affordable big screens - how bet-
ter than by the example of a hand-
ful of LA cineplexes that offered
mega-screenings of the entire
"Rings" trilogy or a complete sea-
son showing of "24"? Now that's
entertainment at its most immer-
sive.
Such marathons are rarities, with
audience attention spans held in
serious doubt. Long movie epics
are generally denied the big-screen
treatment and released instead as
a film-quality mini-series, which
gets them out to the public without
realizing their full potential. Last
year's certifiably addictive "The
Best of Youth' a six-hour Italian
soap-operaesque drama spanning
40 years in the life of a single fam-
ily, was originally an Italian TV
mini-series. In installments, it's
affecting; in a single-sitting screen-
ing, it's downright hypnotizing
(ditto for the likes of the BBC's
famous "Pride and Prejudice" and
that incomparable Mr. Darcy).
But going shorter is perhaps a
more feasible direction for film,
with obvious production and

budgeting benefits as well as easy
appeal to our instinct for instant
gratification. Consider "Jackass's"
two assaults on the silver screen -
they may be hilarious, but they're
not actually movies, and never
would have made it to a producer's
office hefore the mid-'90s. Little
See MACDONALD, page 2B

W ith the questions on art These days, everything is getting whether time-relative art like film
posed by today's critics smaller. Cellphones are tinier (see and music can still have significant
and, increasingly, audi- the Cingular ad comparing its latest messages behind it. It's how we
ences, you'd hope that casual cof- to lipstick and a piece of sashimi), absorb the information presented, or
fee-shop discussion would return televisions slimmer in thickness if rather what we think we can grasp,
to the eternal "L'art pour lart" wider in breadth, what's popular in in shorter and shorter time frames
debate or something similar to pet dogs. And, more than ever, even of subject matter. Here's a look at
Walter Benjamin's theory of art's what we term as art is being pack- some of the most easily consumed of
significance in an age of mechani- aged in smaller and smaller pieces, today's art.
cal reproduction. so much so that the question now is - Kimberly Chou
SEE RELATED STORIES, PAGE 4B AND 5B.

~LISTA 14

Oct. 12 to 15

A weekly guide to
who's where, what's
happening and
why you should be
there. Arts editors
recommend this
week's best bets.

OUT & ABOUT
The seventh annual Art Walk
through Ann Arbor's galleries,
exhibition spaces and art gal-
leries will take place tomorrow
and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10
p.m. Participants can wander at
their leisure through Ann Arbor's
artistic hotspot. Maps for the art
walk can be picked up at any par-
ticipating venue, or downloaded
from the Art Walk website at
www.annarborartwalk.com.

ON TlE PAGE ON THE PLATE

Tonight, Claire Messud, whose
most recent novel, "The Emper-
or's Children," has become a New
York Times bestseller, will be at
the Residential College Audi-
torium at 5 p.m. Messud is on
campus as part of the Zell Visit-
ing Writers Series, and has been
awarded both a Guggenheim and
a Radcliffe fellowship. The read-
ing is free and all are encouraged
to attend.

"Cooking 101: The Basics" will
be held Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m.
The introductory cooking class,
which will meet in the U-Club
at the Michigan Union and con-
tinue with the lesson in the Union
kitchen, will focus on teaching
participants classic, simple Ital-
ian dishes such as ravioli and
fresh pasta. Participants must
register online in advance. The
course includes a $10 fee.

ON SCREEN
This Friday, which just hap-
pens to be Friday the 13th, M-
Flicks will screen the thriller
flick "Silence of the Lambs,"
starring Anthony Hopkins and
Jodie Foster in Oscar-winning
roles, at 9:30 p.m. at the Natu-
ral Science Auditorium. View-
ers should expect spooks, scares
and cannibalism to be had for all.
The screening is free and open to
the public.

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