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November 29, 2010 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-11-29

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 29, 2010 - 5A

What is'Love'smoking?

Daily Arts Writer
It's official - without the crutch
of huge period set pieces or por-
tentous, boom-
ing war music,,
the Oscar-grub-
bing, bravado- Love and
crushing Edward
Zwick ("Deft- Other Dn
ance") has abso- At Quality 16
lutely no idea and Rave
how to make a 20th Century Fox
Case in point:
his latest attempt at romantic
comedy, the sloppy, sticky "Love
and Other Drugs." Based on the
bestselling memoir of Viagra drug
W rep Jamie Reidy, "Love" is a bipo-
lar disaster waiting to happen - a
sex comedy about a womanizing
Pfizer salesman (Jake Gyllen-
haal, "Brokeback Mountain") that
transmogrifies into a PSA about
Parkinson's disease. The muta-
tion begins when Anne Hathaway
("Rachel Getting Married") comes
into the picture, playing Maggie, a
freeloving Manic Pixie Dream Girl
with a crippling disease that grad-
ually eats away at the crux of the
storyline, tremor by tremor.
Films generally have a natural
rhythm, a beat that carries them
through strands of dialogue and
scene changes with relative ease.
This rhythm is exceptionally
important in films with relatively
little substance, i.e. romantic com-
edies, which need to balance out
the rom from the corm so that one
doesn't swallow up the other in
magnitude. But this isn't a problem
for "Love and Other Drugs" - as

it stutt
the film
front a
If "L
edy abo
but th
es to e
of actu
This d
But i
why is
as he si
from fu
as it do

ers through the motions, it None of this is helped by the
es increasingly- clear that fact that Zwick doesn't seem to
a has no substance on either have the slightest clue how to
nyway. showcase simple human emo-
ove" is a slapstick sex com- tions. For him, love and mutual
out Viagra, then why isn't it attraction equals filming lots and
There are not one, not two, lots (and lots) of sex scenes. Jamie
ree awkward, unattractive and Maggie don't talk to each
'ks (Oliver Platt of "2012," other. They don't flirt with each
Azaria of "The Simpsons other. Hell, they don't even look
" and Josh Gad of "21") at each other for the most part,
g at Gyllenhaal like puppies, unless they're ripping off each
ng off lame penis jokes like other's clothes to have more sex.
ong balls. When Zwick has Three-quarters into the movie,
ted his various referenc- Jamie starts hyperventilating
rections and genitalia, he uncontrollably and admits to the
to showing camera shots dumbstruck Maggie that he loves
al erections and genitalia. her. "I've never said that to anyone
oesn't really lighten the before," he gasps. This is the first
time they've ever spoken to each
f "Love" is a Lifetime movie other with their clothes on for
Parkinson's disease, then more than 30 seconds, so count us
it so emotionally vacant? among the surprised as well.
apparently never compre- But thankfully, Gyllenhaal and
what Parkinson's actually is, Hathaway possess just enough
tares straight past Maggie's natural chemistry to make their
ly shaking hands while she characters believable. Even if the
ts to pick up her pills. The majority of the time their "perfor-
consists of a really obvious mances" consist of tangling their
naked bodies together and making
really loud sex sounds, they spar-
kle. With his delightfully rakish
ither love nor hair and lopsided smile crinkling
up to his half-moon eyebrows,
igs can save it. Gyllenhaal charms with a Cloo-
ney-esque role in a decidedly not
Clooney-esque movie. Hathaway,
p into their tear-stained fresh off a Best Actress nomination
while a husky-voiced Nina from "Rachel Getting Married,"
in training wails in the emotes a ragged sensuality that
ound. Melodrama is fine in hints at more depth than Zwick
instances, but "Love" turns tries to give us. Together, they've
inny to sad in a shift so over- got the instincts to make magic
hatit doesn't resemble soap in an otherwise flaccid movie.
es really disgusting, mushy And after they brush the stench
of "Love" off their shoulders,
they need to make another movie
together, stat. Or at least hook up
in real life.
."Love and Other Drugs" is proof
that Zwick needs to stick to mak-
ing films about Nazis or blood
diamonds or basically whatever
the hell doesn't have a female mar-
keting extravaganza prestamped
in the title. It takes good acting to
push through suffocatingly affect-
ed dialogue and a director who has
no idea how normal human beings
interact with each other, and Gyl-
lenhaal and Hathaway certainly do
their best. But the fact of the mat-
ter remains: "Love" can't be saved
COURTtSY OF 20TH CENTUkY FO n-rot by them, not by love and not
by drugs.

Argus TV Studio has four permanent sets and was built with an uneven floor.
The University

Argus studio gives
aspiring directors
a training ground
Daily Arts Writer
Follow William Street west-
ward for a little more than a mile
off campus. Go past Beer Depot
and the noisy bus stop. Keep
straight even when the bustle of
Main Street dissolves into quiet
residential houses with lawns
buried in fallen leaves. Stay on
William until it ends in front of a
low, unassuming brick building.
As the blue sign out front pro-
claims, this is the home of "Argus
TV Studio II."
The Argus building itself has
been here for many years. Before
World War II, it was a factory
for the Argus Camera Company,
known in photography history for
mass-producing the 35 mm cam-
era. After the war, the building
was converted into a TV studio for
a production company.
"The film industry has been in

Michigan for a while. I think the
building's history demonstrates
that," said Terri Sarris, a senior
lecturer who teaches the classes
in the studio. "At the time, (the
production company) was fairly
successful in terms of television
in Michigan. They did some stuff
for PBS."
But luckily for Sarris and her
students, the company wasn't suc-
cessful enough and had a bit of
difficulty with an uneven floor.
"The first time they poured
the cement in for the floor, it was
uneven," said Rob Hoffman, the
chief media engineer at the studio.
"It was really expensive to redo so
they lost a lot of money. Actually,
the floor is still kind of uneven
By the late 1980s, according
to Sarris, the University bought
it - uneven floors and all - and
started to use it as an educational
Today, only those who take the
Screen Arts and Cultures studio
classes - which include SAC 290
(Introduction to Film, Video and
Television Production) and Sar-
ris's sitcom class in the winter -

TV set
seem to be aware of the studio's
"The whole point of the classes
is to teach students how to work in
the studio, and how to handle the
equipment. It requires expertise,"
Sarris said.
Despite the building's distance
from campus, the studio is buzz-
ing. There are four permanent
sets standing in various corners
of the room - an office; a kitchen
with a granite countertop, stove
and sink; a living room of what
appears to be a very comfort-
able apartment; and a talk show
set with a dusty potted plant and
leather chairs. The sets are their
own little worlds, complete with
characters played by students in
acting classes and captured by
the three cameras rumbling by on
Looking into the room, it's
easy to forget the piles of tangled
wires on the floor or the boom
mic swinging overhead. Students
hustle in and out of the control
room, which looks like something
straight out of the Millennium
Falcon with its flashing lights,
See ARGUS, Page 6A

The other drug is Ciali!

A slice
DailyArts Writer
"Vaults of Heaven: Visio
Byzantium" is the Kelsey
um of Archaeol-
ogy's equivalent Vaultsd
of a crash course
in Byzantine his-
tory and culture. ViSions
The exhibit fea- Byzanti
tures 24 large
photographs by Phase I
world-renowned through
Turkish photog- January 2
rapher Ahmet
Ertug and four Phase it
cases of the February'
museum's Byz- to May 9
antine artifacts. Kelsey Mus
Ertug first got of Archaeol
in touch with Free
the Kelsey four
years ago when he correspo
with a Byzantine specialist
museum. At the time, the
um didn't have anywhere t
his extremely large photogr
some of which are six-by-five
"He had done these enori
ultra-large photographs of
eral Christian churches in Tu
and they were things that
in what's now Istanbul, wha
once known as Constantino
said curator Lauren Talaylay
compiled the exhibition, "and
were also a series of photogral
the interior of churches tha
been hewn out of these enor
volcanic spires that were laid
hundreds of thousands of year
when Christians had retreat
the area."
With Ertug's consent, the K
held onto the photographs in
age until the museum open
new wing last November.

of heaven at Kelsey
"It's actually quite different almost completely unknown.
because it is almost exclusively "They know the Greeks, the
a photographic show," Talaylay Romans, the Near East and the
ns of said. Egyptians, but Byzantine means
Muse- The change seems to be a wel- nothing to them," she said.
come one, because the size and With the helpoftwo studentvol-
)f quality of Ertug's pictures are unteers, Talaylay rooted through
considered quite a technical feat the roughly 100,000 items in stor-
Few photographers are able to age at the Kelsey to create four dis-
Of enlarge their work while main- play cases of artifacts, including
uM taining its clear quality. Byzantine coins, textiles and litur-
"(He) has colossal printing gical items, as well as some Islamic
presses and he's very particular pieces. Her favorite piece in the
about the color and the size and exhibit is a red textile depicting
3 the print," Talaylay said. "They're Byzantine women.
really crisp for something that's "Some of them were dictated
that big." just by getting together myself
4 To bring visitors a broad- (and) the students and looking at
er sense of Byzantine culture, each object, saying, 'Does it make
eum Talaylay chose to supplement the sense intellectually to be in a
ogy photographs with some of the case? Is it pretty? Is it something
Kelsey's Byzantine artifacts and that would be interesting to the
informational panels outlining public?' " Talaylay said.
anded the history of the empire. The The artifacts are character-
at the setup, with huge, vibrant pho- ized by opulent, saturated color, a
muse- tographs dominating the wall heavy emphasis on symbolism and
o put space and ancient artifacts sit- intricate design in even the most
aphs, humble objects. One of the Islamic
feet. water strainers, an ancient, artis-
mous, ,. tic stone version of a Brita pitch-
sev- iraCking er, for example, has a filter that
urkey depicts a peacock, flaunting its
were Byzantium. feathers against a delicate filigree
I was background.
ople," Talaylay hopes that visitors
, who ting in the center of the room in to the exhibit will enjoy the art's
there sparkling glass cases, takes the beauty as well as gain a new
phs in viewer "inside" an ancient Byzan- understanding of the Byzantine
t had tine church. Detailed depictions Empire and its importance to
mous of Christ, saints and other Bibli- world history.
down cal figures are displayed in their "This was a really important
-s ago entirety, some accompanied by chapter of over 1,100 years of cul-
ed to photographs that zoom in on the tural history," Talaylay said. "It's
picture's more significant aspects. not like you're going to bring it up
elsey Talaylay commented that, at a party, but it would be nice (to
stor- while most people have at least a understand the culture in) a larg-
ed its basic knowledge of some ancient er context of the importance of all
civilizations, the Byzantines are these ancient cultures."
E-mail join.arts@umich.edu for
information on applying.

December 6th-1th
in the Sophia B. Jones room
of the Michigan Union
The sittingfee is just $15!
This price includes your portrait featured in
the 2011 Michignensian Yearbook
Sign up online by visiting www.OurYear.com
and entering School Code: 87156
Phone 734.418.4115 ext. 247
E-mail ensian.um-umich.edu
,P A Bring in this ad and receive $2 off the sitting fee.


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