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March 21, 2011 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-03-21

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8A - Monday, March 21, 2011

FIlM NOTEBOOK
Clooney charms 'U'

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
ALBUM REVIEW
Noah wails about love

An 'Ides of March'
extra describes
the experience
By KELLY ETZ
For theDaily
George Clooney isn't your
average celebrity. He's no cast
member of "Jersey Shore" - he's
a major celebrity to everyone.
When you see Clooney in person,,
it's big. That's a name you can
brag about. And when given the
opportunity to be in his movie,
you don't hesitate. Clooney waits
for no man.
So I, of course, jumped at
the chance to be an extra in the
upcoming "The Ides of March,"
a political-thriller - very Cloo-
ney - rife with idealistic report-
ers and dirty politics. Clooney is
all over this film, from writing
the screenplay, to directing, to
starring as the corrupt Gover-
nor Mike Morris. The film also
stars Ryan Gosling ("Blue Valen-
tine"), Phillip Seymour Hoffman
("Pirate Radio"), Marisa Tomei
("The Wrestler") and Evan
Rachel Wood ("Across the Uni-
verse") and is set to be released
in October.
In what I'm sure is to be a
pivotal scene, Governor Morris
gives a speech at a presidential
primary in Ohio. Supposedly set
on a college campus, the scene
includes yours truly along with
300 or so other extras, most of
whom are University students.
Just the idea of having Clooney
on our campus was intoxicating.
The novelty of seeing ourselves
in a Clooney film won't wear off
soon.
As extras, our task was to look
thoroughly engrossed in what
Clooney was saying, then clap
and enthusiastically wave signs
with slogans like "Morris has
Morrals." Though pretending
to be from Ohio was a definite

George Clooney wrote, directs and stars in "The Ides of March.

stretch, I'd say we really carried
the scene. The panning shots
over the crowd are sure to cause
some early Oscar buzz.
In between shooting, Cloo-
ney good-naturedly entertained
the crowd. Upon request, he
declared "Batman and Robin"
the worst movie he's ever starred
in, advising all the future actors
out there to "never do anything
in spandex." He also gracefully
endured many shoutouts from
the female members of the audi-
ence, including "George, you
sexy beast!" and "Let me take
you out tonight!" Undeterred by
these displays of affection, Cloo-
ney explained a little bit about
the movie and what exactly we,
as extras, were supposed to do,
and then thanked us for our
time. At the end of the day he
raffled off iPods, iPads, a Blu-ray
player and a flat screen TV. As if
he hadn't already won over the
crowd.
It's hard to pinpoint exactly
what makes Clooney so appeal-
ing. I was fully prepared for him
to be the polar opposite of what

he seems. He is a major celebrity,
after all. Just because he looks
handsome and dashing doesn't
automatically make him genu-
ine. But even the most cynical
would be charmed by Clooney's
repartee. Aside from an aston-
ishing number of Canadian jokes
(in jest at a member of the crew),
Clooney gave a satisfying perfor-
mance off camera as well, which
turned out to be a pleasant sur-
prise. Because, let's face it, he
could get away with being an
absolute jerk, and we'd all still
love him.
But it was clear from the first
take that Clooney isn't one of
those pretentious actor types.
Witty, charismatic and engag-
ing, Clooney more than lived up
to the hype. He looked complete-
ly at ease off camera, standing in
front of the crowd, just talking
to us. It's safe to say that Clooney
found his calling. It's also safe to
say that I'm just a teensy bit star-
struck. But who can blame me?
I dare you to spend a day with
Clooney and not come out with
stars in your eyes.

ByJULIASMITH-EPPSTEINER
Daily Arts Writer
Noah and the Whale's Last
Night on Earth takes off from
the self-pity tendencies of the
folk genre and
exists as an "I **
will be happy"
record. Cleanly Noah and
produced for the Whale
the electro-pop
radio, fruity Last Night
melodies and on Earth
lyrics make the
group's third Mercury
album a perfect
match for accompanying an inspi-
rational slideshow for battling
cancer, AIDS or possibly a broken
heart, in the case of lead singer
Charlie Fink.
The curious band name comes
from the Sundance Film Festival
award-winningdrama"The Squid
and the Whale." The band adores
this Noah Baumbach-directed
film about how to grow up. This
knowledge coincides with the
group's first two folk-inspired
records but creates somewhat of
a disconnect with the sensation of
its latest LP.
There is some background
love-triangle information essen-
tial to understanding the pro-
gression of Noah and the Whale's
music. When Fink's ex-girlfriend
and bandmate Laura Marling
went on tour with her solo album
Alas I Cannot Swim, her backup
band was Mumford & Sons. Mar-
ling started dating Marcus Mum-
ford, leaving Fink in the dust on
his sophomore album, The First
Days of Spring, complete with 11
successful songs of elegy.
2009's Spring was a beautiful
manifestation of Fink's rock bot-
tom. Less than two years later, the
foursome diverges slightly from
the London nu-folk scene and
cleanses its palate with joy.
Opening track "Life is Life"
begins with an epic synthesizer
beatreminiscentofthesoundtrack

from t
"My-St
develol
with th
guitar,
ics: "(H
set the:
"Tot
creates
too mu
already
songs.
know t
shredd
a car-d
H
blockb
On the
from F
ors, th
not jus
Epit
is a tim
at 30
"L.I.F.I
his po
display
tions,1
"Lisa l

he '90s television program hits her lips / She's a rock 'n' roll
o-Called-Life." It then survivor with pendulum hips."
ps into a soft-rock rebirth But the characters that might
te release of drums, electric enjoy this song even more are
violin and the moving lyr- the teenagers painting each oth-
le) took apart his old things, er's nails a nauseating metallic
m all on fire." magenta and belting," You've got
night's the Kind of Night" heart and you're going your own
a pattern that adds a little way" for decades to come.
ach cheddar cheese to the In the midst of all the cheer,
y cheesy Velveeta mix of the Brits slow things down a
Although it's pleasant to bit for "Wild Thing," "Paradise
hat Fink'sheart is no longer Stars" and "The Line." The low-
ed and gray, this is more of key vocals and electric guitar
riving scene in a mediocre burn gently throughout "Wild
Thing," smoothing out the previ-
ously established, jive-y energy
music for the masses. The solo
Lapy as a... instrumental tracks "Paradise
whale. Stars" and "The Line" become
an appreciated reprieve from the
"let's-dance!" musical space that
has been established.
uster movie than real life. The ear-penetrating, catchy
opposite side of the tracks "Give it All Back" and "Waiting
'ink's past musical endeav- for My Chance to Come" rounds
is song proves the group is off this album in a way that could
t one-dimensional. qualify it to be used as a motiva-
omizing the studio album tional asset on the treadmill.
aeless pop tune that peaked Noah and the Whale covers
on the UK Singles Chart: more brightly colored ground
E.G.O.E.S.O.N." Raising with Last Night on Earth. With
pularity with a hit, Fink their chins up, these four men
's great character descrip- deserve hats-off for - at the very
particularly in the couplet least - having the fortitude to
ikes brandy and the way it make happy music.

0
LAST CHANCE
) L:.TO GET YOUR
&OUS SENIOR PORTRAIT
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p . March 21st -'25th
r The Student Publications Building
420 Maynard St.
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the 2011 Michignensian Yearbook
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and entering School Code:87156
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Automatically entered for a chance to win an
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Bringin this ad and receive $2 off the sitting fee.
OFEE
Michiganensian
94 " oR M" 81YEARBOOK

0'

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