6A - Wednesday, February 9, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
6A - Wednesday, February 9, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
From Page 5A
entrusted to be the mother of
another young girl, also named
Jutta. Years pass and Jutta Sr.
eventually dies, leaving von Bin-
gen to the post of abbess, which
she accepts with chagrin. Mean-
while, Jutta Jr. (Lena Stoltz, "Ein
Teil von mir") spends her time
being jealous of the success of her
"sister" within the religious com-
munity, seemingly forgetting the
lesson that their "mother" taught
them: "Envy is ugly and misshap-
Envy may be ugly and mis-
shapen, but to von Bingen, nar-
cissism certainly is not. She is
obsessed, somewhat creepily, with
a young nun named Richardus
von Stade (Hannah Herzsprung,
"The Reader") who comes to the
monastery with the sole purpose
of dogging after von Bingen until
the day she dies - something she
does extremely well. Besides her
selfish attachment to von Stade,
von Bingen's self-serving behavior
continues after one of her visions
tells her to write down all she sees
and hears, which soon turns into
an all-consuming obsession which
takes up everyone's time. From
here, the movie continues in its
forward march of drudgery, teas-
ing the audience with the promise
of von Bingen's death and a conclu-
sion to the film, only to zoom in on
a flutter of an eyelid, resurrecting
her for another 45 minutes. At this
point, the only saving grace for the
film might be the performances,
but even those fall disappoint-
ingly flat. The only breaks from
the monotony are the interactions
between von Bingen and her monk
"friend" Volmar (Heino Ferch,
"Run Lola Run"), even if their
mouth-kissing is a little uncom-
fortable to watch.
However, the film does have
some surprising relevance to mod-
ern times. Von Bingen is often
called the "devil" because of her
visions and her reliance on pagan
modes ofhealingsuchas herbs and
crystals, demonstrating humani-
ty's unfailing fear of the unknown.
Moreover, the double standard
set against women that still exists
today is embodied in a scenario
between a few canoodlers in the
cloister: After a young nun breaks
her vow of chastity with a certain
young monk and subsequently
takes her own life when ordered
to leave the hermitage, the monk
in charge of the monastery damns
her to hell, whereas he holds no
grudge against the boy who got
her in trouble. Some things never
All in all, audience members
might leave the theater asking
themselves if they've actually just
seen a movie. Only saint aficiona-
dos will be able to connect with
the story in a religious sense at
all - save for drawing a metaphor
between the lengthy, interminable
plotline and Purgatory.
From Page 5A
with the Moth's message. This
past fall she received permission
to start her own chapter of the
club and hold competitions at the
University. She brought together
a few of her friends and with
the help of some advertising, the
groupbegan to take form.
LSA senior Alex Green, a
friend of Smith who's lived with
her for the past two years in a
co-op, felt particularly connect-
ed to The Moth's agenda.
"Everyone has a story," Green
said. "Maybe not everyone is
going to write a poem, tell a poem
or write a story, but everyone has
MothUP has already had two
successful events. The first, held
at the Work Gallery on South
State St., had the apropos theme
of "first time," while the second
was "out of the ordinary" and
gathered in the UMMA com-
These evenings featured sto-
ries whose topics ranged from
"The first time I thought my
dad was gay" to "The first time
I thought I was going to die" to
"Meeting up with people that I
met through the Internet."
"There is something special
about how the events happen,"
Green said. "They are very hon-
est. You get an extremely raw
window into someone's life. The
best stories - whether they are
funny, sad or just true - are the
ones that have a deep emotional
component. And people find
ways to confess such that you are
put into their shoes, and you can
really feel what they are feeling
no matter the emotion."
These events have signifi-
cantly begun integrating the
Ann Arbor populace - provid-
ing a place for both University
students and locals to share
"Part of our vision of bring-
ing (MothUP) to Ann Arbor was
to create community engage-
ment between U of M students
and the Ann Arbor community,"
Smith said. "I noticed that there
is a riff between U of M students
and the larger community, so
this is a way to bring everyone
As this newly assembled group
looks onward, it hopes to hold
story workshops as well so that
people can continue to expand
and develop their stories. In
addition, MothUP plans to hold a
grand slam competition in April,
which will consist of the win-
ners from the previous events4
throughout the year.
Smith hopes that tomor-
row's MothUP competition will
encourage people to continue lis-
tening to their neighbors.
"People don't go to the events
because there is someone famous
or important there; Instead, they
go to hear each other," she said.
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