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April 19, 2011 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-04-19

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10A - Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com I

'U' alum's 'Heart' on show
FOUND magazine's Davy Rothbart to
premiere documentary on love and loss w
By Joe Stapleton I Daily Sports Editor

'Shift' is leashed.

Davy Rothbart is a master of
the discarded. As the founder
and editor of FOUND Magazine,
Rothbart cross-
es the country My Heart
collecting notes,
lists, pictures, is an Idiot
journals and F
almostanything Fridayat
else that consti- 7:30 p.m.
tutes a piece of Michigan Theater
a life. He looks,
constantly, for From $10
these small
treasures that tell us something,
or nothing, about the person they
once belonged to, and can tell us
everything about ourselves.
Rothbart's new film, "My
Heart is an Idiot," which is pre-
miering at the Michigan Theater
this Friday, is an extension of that
seeking. David Meiklejohn, the
film's director, captures Rothbart
searching not just for love, but
for answers about love, through
his own experiences and those of
While the documentary ended
up being about Rothbart's love
life, it certainly didn't start off
that way. According to Rothbart,
Meiklejohn intended to make a
documentary about Rothbart's
cross-country tours promoting.
FOUND Magazine.
"And of course after the first
tour, he told me what he realized
after going through the footage
was what they really captured
was the ups and downs of my love
life," Rothbart said in a phone
interview on Wednesday.
It was meant to be. An Ann
Arbor native - he attended
Community High School and
won eight Hopwood awards for
writing while a student at the
University - Rothbart showed
Meiklejohn footage he had taken
of himself after breakups dating

back to high school and college -
in a way, his own FOUND notes
documenting the lows of his
love life. Rothbart said he hadn't
filmed his heartbroken reactions
to early breakups with any sort
of plan in mind, but that the cam-
era provided a needed presence,
a completely objective and non-
threatening listener. The archi-
val footage proved useful for the
This isn't to say the film is all
about the lows of love - there are
highs as well. And "My Heart is
an Idiot" isn't just about Roth-
bart's experiences, either. Dur-
ing the second tour Meiklejohn
took with the FOUND crew, they
interviewed a variety of notable
celebrities - including author
Charles Baxter, politician Newt
Gingrich, National Public Radio
host Ira Glass and actress Zooey
Deschanel - about love.
But the documentary cen-
ters on Rothbart, a man who
experiences events, people and
emotions with incredible and
refreshing intensity. "Idiot" or
not, Rothbart's heart loves hard
and hurts hard.
And some of his experiences
are painfully embarrassing. In
a last-ditch effort get his high
school girlfriend back, Rothbart
went to Arborland to buy her a
ring and asked her to marry him.
"I actually videotaped it while
I asked her," Rothbart said. "And
she was like, 'No? What are you
Rothbart laughed while
recounting the story, but part of
his worry about the film is that,
with all the footage of him going
through these moments of pro-
found sadness, the audience will
be unsure when it's OK to laugh.
Rothbart is banking that most
in his audience have loved and lost

Daily Arts Writer
"Shift 2: Unleashed" is
a byproduct of the popular
arcade-racing franchise "Need
for Speed."
When publish-
er EA noticed
that sales were Shift 2:
dwindling Unleashed
year to year for
the "Need for E Games
Speed" games,
it decided to Xbox360,
change the PS3and PC
focus to a more simulation-style
racing game with "Need for
Speed: Shift." Apparently the
shift in focus (forgive the pun)
did well enough to warrant a
sequel, so here we are.
The campaign consists of
numerous race events, ranging
from drift courses, city racing,
time trials on famous tracks
and racing with old-school cars.
Players start with a modest
car - after a certain number of
races, faster, more exotic auto-
mobiles are unlocked or can be
Though definitely not an
arcade game, "Shift 2" never
fully commits to realism, so the
gameplay is caught in a weird
middle ground. It still requires
players to slow down cautiously
on turns, but it's less realistic
about braking time or momen-
tum physics when steering
around corners.
Even with the driving assists
the game provides on the nor-
mal difficulty level, the races
can get pretty challenging. One
accidental move off the track
can ruin the player's chances
of placing well. As a result, the
pressure to stay on the right
track often takes away from
the fun of the racing. Though
it's thrilling to pass opponents
at high speeds, these moments
don't happen often enough.
The online play is functional,

but not especially engaging.
Races are set up in a lobby sys-
tem with race parameters that
other players create or that can
be set up and created by one-
self. Racing with other players
is often smooth, but connec-
tion issues do pop up from time
to time. Most races that people
play let any car race, so it's best
to go through the single player
and geta fast car before jumping
Despite its shortcomings,
and though it may not add to
the experience in any dramatic
way, "Shift 2" is a sleek, well-
produced game. The menus are
slick and stylish, the graphics
are polished and the attention
to detail in the sound design is
noticeable. When the player is
driving, "Shift 2" encourages
an in-car camera angle because
each car has a uniquely modeled
interior and dashboard. Driv-
ing from the driver seat's per-
spective further adds a sense of
Return to
control as you
enter the space
of 'Shift.' Tab.
On paper, this should be a
great game: There's a sufficient
amount of difficulty, a lot of
content and the driving handles
fine. But just like the unorigi-
nality of its subtitle, "Shift 2:
Unleashed" does nothing to
differentiate itself from other
driving games. It doesn't try
anything new and is content to
simply iterate on an established
formula. For those really into
cars or interested in a new rac-
ing game, "Shift 2: Unleashed"
will scratch that itch, but it cer-
tainly won't blow any socks off.

love, and maybe have even gone to
embarrassing lengths to keep or
find it. The humor in his own hurt
comes from the fact that we've all
been hurt. And with the feroc-
ity of Rothbart's reactions in the
film, he can sometimes provide
an illustration for those of us who
haven't allowed ourselves to feel
the hurt as deeply or fully as he
does. When Rothbart weeps after
a breakup, he's weeping for all of
us who haven't let ourselves do so.
"I think it's really relatable,"
Rothbart said. "All the mistakes,
snares, troubles and triumphs.
But I think it's something other
people relate to because they've
made the same mistakes."
To a certain extent, Roth-
bart has turned his own love life
into a film version of a FOUND
item. Rothbart said the items he
compiles in FOUND are often
illustrations of dilemmas and vic-
tories many people go through,
and that's an important reason

why the magazine is so popular.
Rothbart's film takes something
everyone has experienced - love
- and allows the audience to see
themselves in his romantic highs
and lows.
"Part of what I love about the
FOUND notes is that sometimes
you can be going through some-
thing in your own life that's real-
ly painful or difficult, and then
you read a note that a stranger
has written and see that some-
one else is going through almost
the exact same thing," Rothbart
said. "There's something really
magical about realizing you're
not alone and that it's something
other people are going through.
In a weird way, I almost think
the movie is kind of like that ...
My hope is that other people will
watch it and, you know, recog-
nize themselves in it.
"So many people, just seeing
the title of the movie, have said,
'Hey, my heart's an idiot, too."'


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