2A - Friday, October 8, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
In Other Ivory Towers Michigan Myths
Campus Clubs Photos ofthe
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JACOB SMILOVITZ KATIE JOZWIAK
Editor in Chief Business Manager
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LEFT: Only his second week
living in Ann Arbor, J.J.
Tyndall juggles while on
South Main Street to enter-
tain passersby on Tuesday
TOP RIGHT: Break danc-
ers bust a move near the
posting wall on the ground
floor of Haven Hall Monday
night. (SAM WOLSON/
Daily). BOTTOM RIGHT:
An Indiana fan helps his
sister identify where their
mother is in the stadium
as Michigan plays against
Indiana in Bloomington on
Saturday. Michigan won
the game late in the fourth
quarter with a touchdown
by Michigan quarterback
Denard Robinson. (JAKE
See more Photos of the
Week on our website,
Letters to the Editor
Office hours: Sun.-Thurs.11a.m.-2 a.m.
CAMPUS EVENTS & NOTES
WHERE: Angell Hall
WHEN: Thursday at about
WHAT: A bike belonging to
a student was stolen from the
bike racks lining the Diag side
of Angell Hall, University
Police reported, adding this
is one of many bikes that have
come up missing recently.
out of chair
WHERE: Shapiro Undergrad-
WHEN: Wednesday at about
WHAT: A male student fell
out of a chair on the third floor
of the UGLi and felt "kind of
out of it" after falling in and
out of consciousness, Univer-
sity Police reported.
WHERE: 2600 Hayward
WHEN: Wednesday at around
WHAT: A car was rear-ended
while parked in Lot NC53,
damaging the car's taillight
and giving the car's bumper
white scratches, University
WHERE: 2200 Bonisteel
WHEN: Wednesday at about
WHAT: Engineering equip-
ment was reported damaged
by a staff member, University
Police reported. The damage
was reportedly accidental.
WHAT: Akira Kurosawa's
film "Seven Samurai" will be
screened for free. The movie
is about a village that hires
samurai for protection.
WHO: Center for Japanese
WHEN: Tonight from 7
to 10 p.m.
WHERE: Askwith Audi-
torium, Lorch Hall
WHAT: The lecture, "Phys-
ics Meets Physiology," will
explore how ears work and
what causes hearing loss.
WHO: Department of
WHEN: Saturday from
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: 170 and 182
WHAT: The Michigan
Bhangra team will host
a free dance class.
WHO: Michigan Bhangra
WHEN: Sunday from 2 to
WHERE: Koessler Room,
WHAT: Tickets to a per-
formance of the Mariisnky
orchestra, a world-famous
ensemble, are being sold
for a discounted student
rate of $20 per person.
WHO: University Musical
WHEN: Sunday at 4 p.m.
WHERE: Hill Auditorium
. Please report any
errors in the Daily to
A group of military sci-
entists and entomologists
recently discovered that
a fungus and virus tag-team
is responsible for the "colony
collapse" of 20 to 40 percent of
honeybee colonies in the Unit-
ed States since 2006, The New
York Times reported.
Michigan leads Michi-
gan State head to head
in football with 67 wins,
30 losses and five ties. Satur-
day's game will be the 104th
football match up between
the Wolverines and Spartans.
A recently discovered
poem by Ted Hughes
reveals the torment he
felt over the suicide of his
estranged wife and famed
poet, Sylvia Plath, The Guard-
ian reported. "Last Letter"
begins, "What did happen that
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Ralph Williams on his film debut: 'It's hard
for me to play myself doing wrong things'
From Page 1A
degree and returned in 2002 for
his master's in near-eastern stud-
ies, put together the film with the
help of his brother Mike, a co-
producer who is the president of
production at the humor website
Funny or Die. The brothers were
granted permission to film on
campus and use the the Univer-
sity as its setting - a first for any
production - and received full
cooperation during the shoot that
took place in fall 2009.
Several persistent e-mails were
all it took for Farah to convince
Williams to take the role - his
first in a film. Farah was not only
a former student of Williams as
an undergraduate but also a grad-
uate student instructor for his
class, which led to a role-reversal
when it was Farah's turn to direct
his former teacher.
"It was, as I heard the phrase, a
'fast-learning experience,' " Wil-
liams told the Daily.
He added that because he was
playing a character based so
heavily on himself, with his man-
nerisms and personality, he occa-
sionally had disputes with Farah
over the direction his character,
Dr. Elliot Tarson, should take.
"I can, I think, play a person
doing wrong things, but it's hard
for me to play myself doing things
I would never do," he said, refer-
ring to the fact that the character
is portrayed trying to exert con-
trol over the life of his son (Chris
Gorham, TV's "Covert Affairs").
"My great fear, you see, is that
my son, who will be here this Friday
seeing the film, will say, 'Yup, that's
my dad,' " Williams added, laugh-
ing. "I would be deeply chagrined."
The production was granted
access to filming locations previ-
ously off-limits to movie crews,
like the inside of Michigan Stadi-
um during a game. With the help
of Lee Doyle, director of the Uni-
versity's Film Office, scenes were
filmed in the packed Big House
during the 2009 season opener
against Western Michigan.
"I don't know if there's ever a
screening when I see that, that
I don't get choked up in some
capacity," Mike Farah said.
The University was also sur-
prisingly receptive to scenes in
the film depicting certain other
student traditions, he said, like
sex in the stacks at the Graduate
"They actually went for it.
That was the one thing that I
was worried that they could pro-
test," Chris said. "We shot it in
the frickin' library ... I'm sure if
we had gotten funky or some-
thing like that, they would've said
"I have always been aware that
my students go to the library and
that some of the things they do
there involve study, but I had no
idea of the particular range of
things," Williams deadpanned,
laughing. "So the sex in the
stacks, apparently. ... That was
new to me."
In lieu of an official distribu-
tion deal for the film - though
the Farahs have already sold the
international rights - tonight's
pair of screenings is being billed
as the "Ann Arbor premiere." It's
the first time "Answer This!" will
be shown to a paying audience,
and test-screening-style ques-
tionnaires will be distributed so
viewers can play a hand in further
improving the film in preparation
for its submission to the Sundance
and SXSW festivals next spring.
"It seemed appropriate - for it
to be a Michigan movie - to have
Michigan audiences really have a
hand in shaping that," Chris said.
Asked whether he was worried
the film's appeal would be lim-
ited to audiences in Michigan, he
pointed to the head of the Motion
Picture Association of America,
an Ohio State graduate, who over-
saw "Answer This!" for ratings
consideration and loved the film.
"I'd like to think that there's
kind of a certain Midwestern
pride that hopefully the movie
plays on a little bit that people
from any town anywhere in
America would be able to appreci-
ate," Chris said.
Still, the film is a self-professed
"love letter to Ann Arbor," with a
crew comprised largely of Univer-
sity students, and its promotional
campaign is embracing the city.
A short film contest also entitled
"Love Letters to Ann Arbor"
encouraged people to submit
their own filmed tributes to the
city. The winning filmmaker, LSA
senior David Merian, will have
his short included as a bonus fea-
ture on the eventual DVD.
Made under the state of Mich-
igan's film tax incentive, the
movie is catching the wave of the
local movie boom. And thanks
to its well connected producers,
the story of a University gradu-
ate student unwilling to leave the
city stands a chance of finding
wide success, a rare feat in today's
crowded motion picture industry.
But first the filmmakers have to
find success at home.
"If people from Michigan don't
like this movie, we're kind of
screwed," Chris said.
Leaning forward in his chair,
the always-optimistic Williams
assured, "Yeah, we're gonna look
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