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March 19, 2009 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-19

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4B - Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

THE VAULT I THE REPLACEMENTS 'TIM' (1985)
An irreplaceable hit

4

The Michigan Theater is the venue for almost every Fi
FILM FESTIVAL
From Page 1B
film, but in terms of the last 50, 60 years of
art."
Even though the majority of Conner's work
was produced between the 1960s and '70s,
Harrison assured viewers that "his retrospec-
tive is going to be ... as cutting-edge today as
these films were when he made them."
Conner often employed stock film footage
as part of his work, and the idea of remix cul-
ture is another majortheme being played out
at the festival. Mark Hosler of the band Neg-
ativland, which gained notoriety in the early
'90swhenIslandRecordssued itforsampling
large portions of U2 songs in its work, willbe
on hand to show a multimedia presentation
called "Adventures in Illegal Art," which is
about the band itself. Hosler will also co-host
a panel discussion on the Fair Use law titled
"Remixing the Rules: Copyright & Fair Use."
In a demonstration of the interconnected-
ness of the film community, experimental
filmmaker Craig Baldwin, who made a doc-
umentary about Negativland called "Sonic
Outlaws" in 1995, will also be at the panel
discussion. During the festival, Baldwin will
screen and promote his latest film "Mock Up
on Mu," a conspiracy thriller that also uses
liberal amounts of pre-existing film strips.
Further contributing to the treatise on
copyright laws will be "RiP: A Remix Man-
ifesto," which is billed as the first "open
source" full-length documentary. "RiP"
follows the struggles of remix artists who
continually face uphill battles when trying
to create original work out of pre-existing
material, and it features well-known mash-
up DJ Girl Talk (Greg Gillis). The filmmakers
posted a rough cut of the movie on their web-
site and asked visitors to create their own
edits for it. These edits were then integrated
into the film itself, engaging the audience on
an entirely unique level that demonstrates

ilm Festival screening.
the idea of filmmaking as a constantly evolv-
ing process.
"RiP" is one of the few feature-length
films that will be screening in competition.
The majority of the other competing features
are short films that will be grouped together
into themed showcases, including a "Terra
Firma" program highlighting films with
Exploring the past,
present and future of
independent film.
feminist ideals and an "Out Night" program
that centers on LGBT issues.
Last year's hugely popular animation
category is back, this year dubbed "The
Animated Forest." Clearly it's a dangerous
forest; the description of the program comes
with a warning to "beware of what hides in
the woods."
"With animation you see a lot of films that
deal with very graphic - whether it's graphi-
cally funny or graphically violent - subject
matter in really creative techniques," Harri-
son said. He cautioned that many of the films
in the animation category will be very intense
and that the program is not for everybody.
Almost all screenings will be held at the
Michigan Theater, except for a midnight
movie ("The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle,"
featuringtheSexPistols) showingattheState
Theater. There will be a handful of lectures
at the Work Gallery and a music video show-
case at the newly renovated UMMA Stern
Auditorium. The festival's organizers also
intend to expand the scope of the festival far
beyond past years: Visitors can seek out an
"alternative walkingtour" of Ann Arbor and
an international film tour featuring selec-
tions from the festival, which is scheduled

to hit the road in June. Harrison pointed out
how these efforts fit into the theme of geog-
raphy and travel.
"We're going to do more to make it so
there's not things just happening at the
Michigan Theater," Harrison said, adding
that he's hoping local businesses will get into
the action as well. "You're going to see more
things happening throughout town."
The festival is sure to be a strange and
memorable journey through the land of
experimental film, as envisioned on the
"Super Mario World"-esque promotional
poster designed and illustrated by Eastern
Michigan University graphic design pro-
fessor Ryan Molloy. From March 24-29,
the Ann Arbor Film Festival promises to
stimulate minds and take audiences on a
journey through frontiers of cinema both
old and new.

By MIKE KUNTZ
Daily Arts Writer
A certain type of nostalgia usually
arises whenever The Replacements
are discussed. Someone will prob-
ably release a sigh of empathy and
disappointment - feelings for a band
that flirted with mainstream success
throughout the '80s but never quite
made it. To everyone rooting for the
band throughout the decade, The
Replacement probably seemed more
content to ruin its chances at success
than it was to gun for the mainstream.
Beginning in the Minneapolis hard-
core punk scene, The Replacements
quickly forged a name for themselves
with their rough delivery and alcohol-
fueled energy. With raw, youthful exu-
berance, frontman Paul Westerberg's
brilliant songwriting and the rising
popularity of similar-sounding college
radio favorites like R.E.M., it seemed
that the sky was the limit for the
famously inebriated band.
By the time 1985's Tim came out
on Sire records, the band had a slew
of rough-cut albums to their name -
most notably the classic Let it Be from
the year before. But Tim was the band's
most cohesive and best-written effort
to date, showcasing Westerberg and
the crew in their top form. The Kiss
covers and instrumental punk experi-
ments that had decorated their earlier
releases were abandoned for a collec-
tion of well-crafted songs and an ener-
getic chemistry that immediately cast
the band in a newly accessible light.
Westerberg was always at his best
when he interpreted the turbulent
and conflicting feelings associated
with teenage life, and Tim in particu-
lar showcases his knack for molding
it all into poignant and insightful lyr-
ics. The boyhood narrative of "Kiss
Me on the Bus" recalls the schoolyard
jitters of young love, supported by a
jangly chorus complete with sleigh
bells. The anthem-like and aptly
titled "Bastards of Young" speaks to
the post-Baby Boomers with lyrics
like "Unwillingness to claim us / We
got no war to name us." It emerges as
a bitter interpretation of young adult
life similar in style and sentiment of
Richard Hell & The Voidoids' "Blank
Generation."
Westerberg was as sarcastic as he
was charming, particularly with his
send-up to flight attendants in the

hilarious "Waitress in the Sky." In this
song, Westerberg's adolescentbrand of
humor fit perfectly with lead guitarist
Bob Stinson's loose-cannon playing.
Apart from Westerberg's clear evo-
lution in songwriting, Tim also showed
a leap in production, employing a
heavy dose of reverb to create a drea-
ry, late-night haze reminiscent of The
Smiths' Meat is Murder or The Queen
is Dead. The extra echoey boost coat-
ing each instrument's presence makes
the album sound like a touched-up live
recording. Westerberg's vocals and
guitars bleed together fantastically in
more upbeat numbers like "Hold My
Life" and "Left of the Dial," while qui-
eter moments in songs like "Swingin'
Party" and the barroom ballad "Here
Comes a Regular" give the listener a
breather.
More than anything, Tim is a por-
trait of the band when it was neither
too polished to be meaningful nor too
beer-soaked to be intelligible. Released
between the classic, albeit spottier Let
it Be and the somewhat porcelain and
misguided Pleased to Meet Me, the
seminal Tim was the most focused
The Replacements'
most balanced,
accessible album.
effort the band would ever produce.
Straddling both punk and 1950s rock-
abilly, the record's unique amalgama-
tion of rock influences set the stage
for the alternative music movement
of the 1990s, with Westerberg's influ-
ence in particular being felt through
acts ranging from Nirvana to Uncle
Tupelo.
Plagued by their antics both on and
off the stage, The Replacements are
easy to overlook - especially the hum-
ble genius surrounding of Westerberg.
With their in-the-moment intensity,
brutal honesty and unique charm, The
Replacements have created one of the
most genuine examples of rock music,
providing a musical standard for
bands ever since. With Tim, the band
cemented an admirable legacy, their
drunken snickers loomingcontentedly
left of the dial.

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