The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, February 8, 2010 - 5A
epic to meet
By NICK YRIBAR one of these corporations when
Daily Arts Writer they first start and build a career
fighting for the company. "MAG"
Is bigger better? If I have one is an MMO (Massively Multi-
piece of delicious cheesecake, then player Online) game, so once the
isn't having two titles have finished rolling, play-
pieces twice as *** ers are immediately connected to
delicious? Twice the internet and pointed toward
as awesome? If MAG any of the several games in prog-
playing a video For PS3 ress across the "evolving field of
game online battle."
with, say, 20 Sony So how do you make sense of the
people is a good chaos that is 256 players at once?
time, then what about 40? What You try, as creator Zipper Interac-
about 80? What about 256? tive tried, to parse it down. To put
Zipper Interactive's new title, that many shooters against one
"MAG," or "Massive Action another in a simple death match
Game," is betting on more being would be pointless. What we have,
more. This first-person shooter then, are objectives. Each cor-
allows gainers to play alongside poration in a given battle is bro-
255 other players in some sce- ken down into platoons and then
The most interesting man in the world says:'When I'm tanning in the mountains, I prefer Dos Equis.
A singular success
Fashion's Tom Ford makes
his film debut with visuals
as stunning as his clothes
By JENNIFER XU
Daily Arts Writer
Musicians are notorious for failing com-
pletely in their attempts to cross over to act-
ing. Rapper Ice Cube has had
a prolific career starring in
jewels like "Barbershop 2:
Back in Business," "Are We A Single
There Yet?" and "Are We
Done Yet?" Jennifer Lopez Man
had "Gigli." Mariah Carey At the
had "Glitter." Madonna - Michigan
let's not even go there. But ii
when a fashion designer The Weinstein
makes the transition to film,
what happens? The result is
"A Single Man," a startlingly potent portrait of
a gay man on the brink of suicide after his part-
nerunexpectedly dies in a car crash.
It's no surprise that the directorial debut
of Tom Ford,- formerly the, GiMtivei director
for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent - should
be beautiful. Just look at his sleek line of tai-
lored menswear or his sexually charged com,
mercials for his fragrance YSL L'Homme and
you know this man can produce something
lyrically and visually brilliant. No, the greatest
surprise is that beyond all that surface beauty,
Ford can transform his hauntingly lineated
images and emotions into something that hits
on a primal level.
Oscar-nominated Colin Firth ("Bridget
Jones's Diary") plays George, the single man
depicted in the title. George is an English pro-
fessor in the 1960s whose partner died eight
months ago, trying to live his life out day by
day. Firth's performance is truly a marvel,
managing to break out of the "nice guy" type-
cast perpetuated by years of trite romantic
comedies. It's difficult to portray a character
in these types of "emotion" films, because the
storyline is so slight, and it's to Firth's credit
that he can attach real meaning to the deep
grief his character feels. Within his carefully
composed appearance there is no outlet for
escape, so the wrinkles on his forehead and the
despair in his eyes need to do the work for him.
Across his sunken, furrowed brow are etched a
whole history of emotions - sadness, remem-
Yet just when the film threatens to sink
into a cesspool of exquisite depression, sal-
vation arrives in the form of Julianne Moore
("Children of Men"). Moore plays Charley,
a boozy 40-something divorcee still in love
with her gay, heartbroken best friend. George,
pays Charley a visit on the eve of his planned
eslifide; adthe result is a swoony; exhilarat-
ing, heartbreaking dream of a scene. The two
spend a night of drunken reminiscence and
hysterical laughter together, then furiously
dance until they pass out on the floor, leaving
two tantalizing trails of smoke behind them.
The film evokes a level of sophistication dif-
ficult to find in any romance, gay or straight.
The delectable few flashbacks to George's boy-
friend Jim (played with delicious bitchiness by
Matthew Goode from "Brideshead Revisited")
are as perfectly tailored as the cut and style of
a crisp, white button-down.
Yet where the strengths truly lie are the
irreplicable images with which Ford leaves us.
The flutter of a young student's winged eye-
lash is juxtaposed against the fuzz of anoth-
er's white angora sweater. Strands of violin
strings weave in and out of the background
while a mass of rippled muscles emerges from
the water. This is the Tom Ford we've come to
expect. This is the Tom Ford who appreciates
the human physique and the power of a melody
to transport the audience to a higher emotion-
al level. Ford never forgets where his roots lie,
liberally drenching his film in the visual and
But for all his stylistic feats, Ford can get
a little too carried away with his artistry. He
has a tendency to experiment with color tones
- when George is sad, the entire composition
cools down into icy blues and zombie-walking.
It seems to scream, "I am sad!" Yet once any-
thing remotely positive perchances upon his
life, the frame immediately warms up into
sun-flecked silhouettes and candy hues. It's all
just a little bit too dramatic - beautiful, but too
dramatic. But this move can beforgiven;os it's.-
something that can be attributed more to inex-
perience than pretension.
What Ford does exquisitely well is craft a
fine portrait of a man tragically heartbroken.
"A Single Man" is a triumphant, understated
debut from a man who hopefully will go on
to create a masterpiece. While this particular
film isn't quite that masterpiece, it's pretty
narios. The idea is that two mas-
sive armies clash over a set of
objectives (fuel stations, vehicles,
communication towers) on a huge
field of battle. Guns are blazing,
enemies are everywhere and
wits and comrades are your only
assets (except for lots and lots of
That, at least, is the theory. In
practice there are some nagging,
unfortunate problems that end
up making "MAG" a thoroughly
mediocre and occasionally frus-
There's not much in the way of
story behind "MAG." Set in the
very near future, the world has
been divvied up among three pri-
vate military contractors: S.V.E.R.,
Valor and Raven. Players choose
256 players with
squads. Leaders (higher ranked
players) are then assigned to take
command of both and instruct
their underlings to bomb a specific
roadblock or demolish a certain
bunker, all in hopes of achieving
the larger goals for which the sce-
See MAG, Page 8A
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The University of Michigan College of
Literature, Science, and the Arts
presents a public Lecture and reception
UMMA asks students to react
By HEATHER POOLE
In celebration of the upcom-
ing one-year anniversary of the
reopening of the University of
Michigan Museum of Art, a new
student-geared program has been
created. "l Year, Many Voices"
focuses on students' responses to
the museum's collections.
The Student Programming and
Advisory Board of UMMA, in col-
laboration with Arts at Michigan,
is accepting submissions from stu-
dents until Sunday, Feb. 14. The
Board is asking students to create
a response to one piece of art in
the UMMA collection. There is no
restriction on format. The medium
of the submission can range from
photography to music to a written
"We really wanted to open up
the doors to any way that students
would respond," said Mary DeYoe,
education program coordinator
of UMMA. "So it could be musical
ed it to
sition, it could be sculpture, tiple backgrounds, including both
d be something written, it undergraduates and graduates
me a poem.... We really want- whose areas of study range from
be wide ranging." Mathematics to Art & Design to
diverse possibilities with Japanese Studies, the Board mir-
irogram result from the rors the intended diversity of the
s desire to push past con- program's submissions.
nal readings of art and open "It's a wide range of students
ndaries across several disci- (who) make up this board," DeYoe
said. "This year it's really cool
because it's the first year that they
have a building to work with and
(a chance) to actually create pro-
new museum grams and to help figure out ways
ills for a new to get students involved."
Since the reopening of UMMA,
o r m the Board has become increasingly
focused on the students' reception
of the collection.
"What we wanted to do this
ple look at things very dif- year is ... to really showcase how
y and that's what's really students have been engaged at the
out it and what we hope will museum," DeYoe said.
ly cool about all the submis- In addition to a monetary award,
DeYoe said. the top three submissions will
Board will also serve as receive publicity on either a guided
y for the competition. Con- tour of UMMA, the museum's web-
of 12 students from mul- site, YouTube, or in the museum's
publication, depending on the
medium of the selection. There will
also be a ceremony on April 1 to cel-
ebrate all of the submissions.
As for future plans, the Board is
keeping an open mind on the con-
tinuation of the program.
"Right now it's just this year's
project and I think we'll see where
it goes," DeYoe said.
However, DeYoe indicated
one enduring theme in future
programs will be the students'
interaction and involvement with
UMMA offers a stunning col-
lection of work, spanning from
Contemporary and Modern to
African to Early Western art.
Now, in correspondence with
the UMMA motto "the more we
look, the more we feel," students
are able to finally be a part of a
museum that has become a staple
of Ann Arbor.
For more information on how to
submit pieces, go to umma.umich.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Alumni Center, Founders Room