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October 20, 2010 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-10-20

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8A - Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8A - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Penny Stamps
takes a gamble
with Ritchie

For 'Jackass,' scatology
with a new dimension

For the Daily
Mayan cosmology might be the
inspiration for a cultural anthro-
pologist, chance
the inspiration Matthew
for a mathemati-
cian and utopia Ritchie
the inspiration Thursday,
for a philosopher. 5:10 p.m.
But all those
BtaltseMichigan Theater
can also reflect
the concerns of an artist: in par-
ticular, those of Matthew Ritchie,
who will provide the next install-
ment of the Penny W. Stamps Dis-
tinguished Speaker Series with
his lecture "Games of Chance and
Skill" at the Michigan Theater on
The London-born Ritchie cre-
ates complex works across mul-
tiple genres, including explosive
paintings that at times flirt radi-
cally with pictorial representation
and sprawling installation pieces
that create an organic yet highly
technical appearance. One such
example is Ritchie's The Dawn
Line (Sun Dog Variant), part of
his Andrea Rosen Gallery exhibit
"Line Shot;" the structure, a tan-
gled series of black snowflake-like
forms, is made out of, according to
the gallery website's description,
"aluminum structural units and
epoxy coating."
Therefore, to definitively label
Ritchie's trade (he is sometimes
referred to as a painter, while
other outlets frame him asa "visu-
al artist") might be difficult - a
reality the artist recognizes.
"I think we're kind of almost
beyond the time that people can
easily say 'I'm this or that,' "
Ritchie said in a telephone inter-
"I used to be called a painter
who made some other stuff. But
then I made more other stuff -
and then I made painting."
Despite the variety and
abstractness of his oeuvre, Ritchie
professes a chief thread unifying
his work.
"What I'm mostly interested in
is kind of systems of knowledge,"
Ritchie said. "There are real rules
and there are rules we make up
and then there is just chance. And
sort of negotiating those three
things is what my work really is all
Ritchie will explore this theme
and others during his lecture.
As Ritchie detailed in an e-mail,
attendees can expect a three-
From Page 7A
whom Alex owes money and the
occasional car chase. With so much
going on in the movie, it sometimes
feels contrived, but its constant
energy keeps it entertaining and
fun throughout.
"Heartbreaker" is anything
but realistic. The film takes place
among the ritzy hotels and opulent
beaches of Monaco, and the people

pronged presentation. First,
Ritchie will lecture and present a
film that highlights select works
and their relation to his artistic
themes and their collaborative
One such work is "Hypermu-
sic," which is, according to Seed
magazine, a genre-bending oper-
atic performance about physics.
Working with a composer and a
Harvard physicist, Richie provid-
ed set designs and video images
that swirled around the perform-
"It kind of opens up this dimen-
sion of chance," Ritchie said of
the collaboration process of his
art. "And you have to be more and
more skillful to get past the things
that go wrong. So you have to have
skill. And they're really - they're
all projects that sort of have a huge
openness to them because of the
number of people involved, and
they also have very, very specific
rules behind them.
"And every time you make art,
it's a gamble," Ritchie added.
Whatever randomness one
might conventionally associ-
ate with the term, the "gamble"
Physics and
converge for
installation art.
seems to pay off in the complex
yet ordered installations or per-
formances to which Ritchie con-
This notion of complexity is
expanded upon in another prong
of Ritchie's lecture, during which
he will discuss concepts such as,
but not limited to, utopia, divina-
tion and art from the past century.
Ritchie parallels this complex-
ity to the complicated contem-
porary climate and, providing a
glimpse at the "divination" on
which his lecture will comment,
likens this to his role as an artist.
"It used to be the job of the art-
ist was to divine in the sense of
divination," Ritchie said. "Like,
you know, to try to understand
the universe. And gradually that
job description got kind of way
shrunk down until it was like
'paint a picture.' And I'm always
kind of like, maybe we can just do
a little more than that."
are wealthy, posh and beautiful.
But the film tends toward class and
elegance, partly due to the beauti-
ful cinematography, which expert-
ly captures the beauty of the setting
and the people.
The film is never overly sen-
timental or melodramatic. Even
among the artificial setting, the
emotions are realistic and never
overdone. "Heartbreaker" is a
rare thing in contemporary popu-
lar cinema; a sensitive, expressive
and entertaining film, representing
what romantic comedies should be.

'Jackass 3D' will
make you vomit, hurt
and blow chunks
DailyArts Writer
Brace your stomachs and steel
yourselves against all manner of
bodily fluids -
the "Jackass"
crew is back
and pulling no Ja as3D
punches (except
those aimed At Quality16
directly at a pair and Rave
of three-dimen- Paramount
sional testicles).
"Jackass 3D"
is the purest in scatological and
slapstick entertainment, and if
you're looking to laugh out loud at
some of the most creative stunts,
pranks and outright jackassery
conceived in recent years, this is
well worth your time.
Through the years, the "Jack-
ass" franchise has been a whip-
ping post for cinephiles who
criticize its lack of continuity, plot
or any requisite aspect of a typi-
cal story. The somber bemoan its
lack of reverence and purpose,
contending that scatology and
slapstick aren't valid forms of
entertainment - not to mention
the certain backlash the crew
will have to contend with when
untrained copycats injure them-
selves and proceed to litigate.
They're all missing the point,
which is - succinctly put - there
is no point. The title and lack of
purpose are more than appro-
priate, as you'll surely feel the
reactive urge to exclaim, "What
a bunch of jackasses!" no fewer
than a dozen times during the
film's 93 minutes.
In spite of its obviously low-
brow content, there's no denying
the wit of the whole charade. It's a
fusion of violent slapstick bits like
"The Three Stooges," the dare-
devil antics of Evel Knievel and
vomit-inducing tomfoolery that
no one in the natural world has
ever had the pleasure of contem-
plating. In all fairness, it's geared
toward a very specific demo-
graphic, and those people will
rejoice at this welcome addition to
the repertoire of filth.
The biggest catch with the
new Jackass installment is its
"3D" tagline, which is com-
pletely irrelevant to most of the
movie (except the first and last
scenes). Though the film's color-
ization and detail may have been
enhanced by the use of 3D film
technology, the utter absence of
From Page 7A
had, in fact, written sketches for
a multitude of other string quar-
tets that he painstakingly picked
apart and eventually destroyed.
"It gives us the idea of how
meticulously constructed these
pieces are," Kam said.
Between the Mendelssohn and
Brahms pieces on the program
is Israeli composer Mark Kopyt-
man's 1969 String Quartet No. 3.
Kopytman immigrated to Israel
from Russia in the early '70s. In
his new home, he developed a
new style of composition based
on ancient Israeli music.

Kam remarked that audienc-
es shouldn't be intimidated by
Kopytman's modernist style.
"I think the audience will be
able to feel like they get it," he


the "pop-up book" images that definitely worth a closer look:
were ever-present in "Avatar" The Jackass crew's Phantom HD
may make the audience feel like cameras are capable of recording
they've blown five extra dollars at 1,000 fps. This means that slow
on absolutely nothing. And they motion shots (such as those seen
probably have. in the crowd-pleasing prank aptly
If it's any consolation, there's titled "Rocky") are rendered in
another groundbreaking technol- painfully gorgeous detail. Though
ogy showcased in the film that's this is hardly the first time the

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"The Ethical Implications of
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Shapiro Library, Screening Room, 2"d Floor
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University of Michigan

said. "Very often with contem-
porary music the audience is left
feeling a little bit at a loss. But
this piece is very communicable
and has a lot of beautiful textures
and a lot of expression."
Kam, an enthusiastic advocate
of chamber music, has played
an active role in promoting
ensembles in his native Israel.
As founder and artistic direc-
tor of the Israel Chamber Music
Society, Kam annually organizes
concerts featuring Israeli musi-
"In a string quartet, you can
have four people who express
themselves fully at all times yet
still play together. And that's
something that's very unique -
and unique in the world as well.
In what other area of life can four
people speak or express them-
selves simultaneously and have
separate ideas and personalities,
yet be one?"

From Page 6A
presents a dreamlike quality
when set against what is typically
a sparse background. The music
ranges from loud and powerful
to almost imperceptible, adding
to the dance form's unearthly
quality. For example, in "Hibiki,"
each scene is set against what
could be considered simple ele-
ments, like water and sand.
Although it may seem a bit
unrelatable, the work of Sankai
Juku has gained significant
appreciation from many audi-
ences. "Hibiki" first debuted in
Paris in 1995 and was the recipi-
ent of London's prestigious Law-
rence Olivier Award for Best New
Dance Production in 2002.
The company's name trans-
lates to "studio by the mountain

technology has been used, it's one
of its first appearances on the sil-
ver screen.
Does "Jackass 3D" benefit soci-
ety? Probably not. Is it fun for the
Whole family? Definitely not, Will
the 18- to 24-year-old male viewer
base laugh until they cry? Most
and the sea" and is meant to
convey the serene quality that is
characteristic of all Amagatsu's
For those less acquainted with
butoh, the University's Center for
Japanese studies has arranged an
educational event led by Santos
and professor of Asian languages
and cultures Mark Nornes called
"Butoh and its Cinematic Con-
temporaries" on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.
in the Helmut Stern Auditorium.
The professors will discuss the
connections between the films
"Dance of Darkness" and "Sacri-
fice," butoh and the cultural con-
ditions under which the films and
dance were created, so as to pre-
pare an audience to gain as much
appreciation from the Sankai
Juku performance as possible.
"It's just kind of an interesting
way to be able to talk about butoh
in general and Sankai Juku in
particular," Santos said.

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lake your moment count

Purchase a student ticket to any regular movie or event
presented by the Michigan Theater and a portion of the
proceeds will be donated to the U-M Comprehensive Cancer
Center Breast Cancer Research Program during the period of
October 17th through October 31st.

Michigan Theater
E.lbry NUnversity


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