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November 28, 2011 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 28, 2011 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, November 28, 2011 - 7A

Mesmerizing 'Marilyn'

Super nostalgia
for Nintendo

'My Week with
Marilyn' adds depth
to the 1950s icon
Daily Arts Writer
Once in a generation, there
comes an actor who redefines
what it means to be famous - a
celebrity whose
name is synony-
mous with show *
business, whose yWeek
face graces the
walls of every Man
household and At the
whose erratic' Athg
enchanting Michigan
nature instantly The Weinstein
makes him or Company
her a muse and
an inspiration.
Marilyn Monroe, without a doubt,
was one such actor.
Whimsical, flirtatious and
elusive, Monroe was the dream
of men and the envy of their
wives. But that's not what "My
Week with Marilyn" is about.
Yes, it tells the story of a young
man named Colin Clark (Eddie
Redmayne, "The Other Boleyn
Girl") who is besotted with
Monroe's (Michelle Williams,
"Blue Valentine") effortless
charm. But more important-
ly, the film reveals the flawed
human behind a name not often
associated with flaws - a girl
with a troubled childhood who
just wants to walk in the park
like a normal person.
That girl is not what Law-
rence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh,
"Valkyrie") expects when he
decides to hire Monroe for his
upcoming film. Having replaced
his wife Vivian Leigh (Julia
Ormond, "The Curious Case
of Benjamin Button") with the

Monroe ponders going brunette.
younger, more vivacious Mon-
roe, Olivier wants his light
comedy to catapult him into
superstardom. He wants Mon-
roe to do what she always does
- be sexy. Monroe, on the con-
trary, is a superstar who wants
to be known as an actress. She
wants this film to be more than a
superficial comedy, and this dif-
ference iri opinion yields numer-
ous uneasy days on set that make
Monroe ever more fragile.
The only person whose com-
pany she finds comforting is
the enthusiastic Clark - a third
assistant director who is already
enchanted and infatuated by
her presence. It's clear from the
beginning that their relationship
doesn't have a happy ending, but
the times they spendtogether peel
away layer after layer of Monroe's
unyielding exterior and give us a
glimpse into the perils of being
When they're together in her


bedroom one night, she com-
ments on how lucky Clark is to
have a family that loves him.
For the first time, we're made to
grasp the unsettling nature of
her childhood and subsequently
her constant yearning to be loved
and cared for. The more time they
spend together, the more we real-
ize how tiring it must have been
for Marilyn Monroe to perpetu-
ally be expected to be a glamorous
movie star, when she really just
wanted to be normal.
Williams plays Monroe -
externally formidable yet inter-
nally vulnerable - with riveting
ease. When she sings and dances,
one is reminded why Monroe was
so bewitching. When she breaks,
we're reminded of Monroe's bat-
tle with fame and her desire to be
understood. It's too soon to say,
but she might just walk away with
an Academy Award.
The more unexpected yet
pleasantly surprising perfor-

mance, however, comes from Red-
mayne. His internal conflict about
being with a married woman and
youthful disregard for conven-
tions are unnerving. It's unfortu-
nate that the film didn't explore
his character as thoroughly as
Monroe. Then again, none of the
other characters were touched
upon with as much devotion and
affection. It goes to show that
Monroe demands as much admi-
ration today as she did 50 years
Despite these minor flaws, it's
hard to believe that this is director
Simon Curtis's (TV's "Cranford")
first feature. It's not easy to make
the most famous face in the world
so human, and Curtis's Monroe is
fascinating and fragile.
"My Week with Marilyn" is a
humorous, graceful depiction of
how fame and glamor blind us so
thoroughly that we rarely try to
look past the celebrity and com-
prehend the person beneath.

W henever I return
home for a holiday
break, the first thing
I do - after throwing a snow-
ball at my sister, of course - is
remove my
Super Nin-
tendo from
storage. The
Xbox and
look on for-
lornly, exud-
ing a mixture
of sadness and
disappoint- SHEKHAR
mentbecause PANDEY
I didn't select
their far-supe-
rior hardware specifications and
graphical capabilities. Who was
this 16-bit chump, this relic of
yesteryear flaunting a purple and
gray color palette, a manual car-
tridge ejector and an ergonomic
nightmare of a controller pad?
It's nothing personal - I've
just reached the point in my
gaming life when I've played
through everything I could
have possibly imagined with
the current generation of con-
soles. I've become the biggest
boss the underworld has seen
thus far in "Grand Theft Auto,"
halted the Nazi War Machine
more times than Indiana Jones
in "Call of Duty" and "Medal of
Honor" titles, torn through Sin
City more fiercely than a mob of
investment bankers celebrating
a bachelor party in "Rainbow
Six: Vegas" and performed
swan dives better than China's
Olympic team off of Renais-
sance Italy's tallest structures
in "Assassin's Creed."
But there's only so much par-
kour to pull off with Ezio, and so
many Covenant forces to shatter
with a Gravity Hammer before
all the virtual carnage melds
together in a banal blur and the
experiences board a Greyhound
to WhoGivesAShitville. Then
there's the suffocating com-
plexity of today's productions
- secondary objectives, special
achievements, collection esca-
pades and online play have made
the already-shallow experience
even more time wasting (also
known as first world guilt exac-
erbation). That's why every time
I turn around, I'm back in love
again with the Super Nintendo.
Admittedly, much of my rever-
ence for the system is driven by
nostalgia. My parents brought
a Super Nintendo to the Pandey
home one night in 1995, which
led to glorious nights crowded
around the television, passing
around the controller as we each
tried to tackle levels in "Donkey
Kong Country" - rampaging
through fools on Rambi the Rhi-
noceros, commissioningFunky
Kong for airctravel and crushing
Kremlin craniums (Mom could
school us in "Jungle Hijinks" all
day, everyday). Once final boss
King K. Rool was conquered, the

Super Nintendo gameplay con-
tinued with the "Donkey Kong"
sequels, "Aladdin," "Phantom
2040," "The Jungle Book" and so
many more.
But beyond nostalgia, no mod-
ern console has provided as much
of a maddening challenge as the
Super Nintendo. "Left for Dead
2"? No sweat. "Resident Evil 5"?
Done-zo. But my sister and I have
been hovering around 30-per-
cent completion on our replay of
"Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy
Kong's Quest" for almost a year
now. I couldn't even defeat the
first boss in my recently acquired
copy of "Super Star Wars" (a sand
monster), and my roommate, the
Super Nintendo-extraordinaire,
gave up after level three's Jawa
And with great difficulty
comes great satisfaction. In
"Donkey Kong," there's nothing
like the breathless euphoria of
reaching the star-barrel halfway
checkpoint or the nervous elation
of collectingthe "G" in "KONG,"
realizing you've almost made it
It's on like
Donkey Kong.
to the end of the damn level but
remembering the final obstacle is
always psychotically difficult.
This return to old school,
simple gaming also pervades my
school life. My roommates and I
have two Xbox 360s, a Wii and a
PlayStation 2 in our house (and
those are just the consoles we
brought to school), yet we crowd
around the living room and play
"Super Smash Bros." on the Nin-
tendo 64 to a worrisome amount
each day.
Attempts were made to tran-
sition to new iterations of the
"Super Smash Bros." franchise
onthe GameCube and WVbuttit
soon became obvious thereas
no matchingthe streamlined,
fluid mechanics of the origi-
nal. One of life's little-known
pleasures is the sheer ecstasy of
leaping off the level with Captain
Falcon and pressingthe "Down"
and "A" buttons at the precise
moment as your enemy isreturn-
ing to the stage, plummeting
them to an inescapable grave and
hearing their incredulous whim-
pers of how unfair the maneuver
So Santa Claus, this year you
can give copies of "Modern War-
fare 3" and "Batman: Arkham
City" to other kids on your Nice
List (yeah, I'm on there). Count
this as my letter to you - all I
want for Christmas is a copy of
"Zombies Ate My Neighbors." I
hear eBay is selling.
Pandey challenges you to a game
of "Super Smash Bros." To accept,
e-mail kspandey@umich.edu.


Daily Arts Writer
Memory travel is the greatest,
especially when reaching back
two decades - an intoxicating and
romanticized ride through the
. hilly hills of our past. The travel
is even better when sitting pretty
upon the cushion of technological
elitism. But for now, let's get our
insides glowing with warmth and
go back, back, back into time.
Do you remember jamming to
one-minute clips of pop songs on
your low-fidelity HitClips? Writ-
ing with Gelly Roll pens, acciden-
tally killing off your Tamagotchi
(or Nano or Giga Pet) at recess,
slapping your arms with brace-
lets, trading Pokdmon cards
("Gotta catch 'em all, gotta catch
'em all!") or thinking Nintendo 64
was it? Do you have a large box of
Beanie Babies sitting in the very
back of your parents' closet and
miss living vicariously through
the cast of "Recess" and "Rocket
Congratulations, you're an
American'90s kid.
I'm not sure about the rest of
you lucky enough to pop out of
the womb after 1988 and before
. 1993, but I held onto my HitClips.
In the fourth grade, the Tiger
From Page 6A
to the apple of my adolescent
eye, Aaron Carter, as he charms
Lizzie McGuire into a mistletoe
Though often gifted in true
moral-of-the-story fashion
(almost always anembraceoffam-
ily values or the peaceful union
of opposing forces), the "holiday
special" is a welcomed break
from the constricting storylines
of most programs. It allows char-
acters to veer from predictable
scripts and formats, sometimes
producing entirely new realities
and, in the case of "Community"
's second season stop-motion
episode, some realities even bet-
ter than the show's weekly plots.
The episode's fantastical setting
is "Planet Abed," the atmosphere
of which is "seven-percent cinna-

Electronics product of the mil-
lennium (promoted by classy
establishments like Radio Disney
and Lunchables) was hanging and
jangling from my JanSport with
pride. They sit collecting dust in
my second desk drawer at home,
with a bunch of photos and old
homework assignments, but they
are far from trashed and forgot-
To find them, I did have to call
my mommy dearest and ask her
to go on a desk hunt with me. And
the clips were waiting in place just
like I remembered. The names of
*NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys
resurfaced multiple times, as well
as Pink, Dream, M2M and a song
I'd be happy to never hear again:
Baha Men's "Who Let The Dogs

If you can't name everyone in this picture, you lose.

It is
ple out
brief s
To cel
hood e

groups exist, my favorite being
"When I was your age, we had Hit
Clips - not iPods ..." Yes, it's both
ho did let the pompous and judgmental.
Clearly, life has improved since
dogs out? then - that is, if you are in favor
of speedy communication and
advanced accessibility of informa-
tion. FaceTime and Spotify come
n't just me holding onto to mind. Who wants to listen to
objects of ancient (janky) one minute of a song in shitty
logy. There are a lot of peo- quality anymore? There's no place
t there still loving on that for it, expect in the hearts of '90s
ocial musical experience. kids.
ebrate our treasured child- All I'm trying to say is, I want
ra, upward of 70 Facebook to have my cake and eat it, too.

I'm happy to have the best of both
worlds: the capabilities of instan-
taneously Skyping my sister in
Paris and rolling in the memory
of HitClips and borderline-whole-
some cartoons.
But I suspect that's how
every generation feels - caught
between two worlds, a love-hate
relationship with its time. And I
think that's kind of wonderful.
We can watch movies while we fly
and still cherish our Beanie Babies
(not the miniature kind sold in
McDonald's kid packs). Yup, I love
my generation limbo.



mon." If that's not a Christmas to
covet - what is?
No channel is more dedicated
to spreading the Christmas cheer
than ABC Familywhose "25 Days
of Christmas" marathon allows
greedy viewers (like me) to
indulge in the made-for-TV mov-
ies that put the "guilty" in guilty
pleasure. These nightly forays
into fictional - and often admit-
tedly cheesy - worlds amplifythe
excitement -of the holidays and
provide even the most anti-win-
ter college students (again, like
myself) with the eager feeling
forgotten from childhood.
All I want for Christmas is two
things: an A in my Communica-
tions 101 course and the comfort
of knowing my nights will soon
be filled with Ross and Rachel in
red and green. While the former
is a wish not even the magic of
St. Nicholas can fulfill, 25 days
of televised cheer is the gift that
keeps on giving.

Campus Mind Works Groups
FREE drop-in education and support
groups for any U-M student with
Depression, Bipolar, or Anxiety
Seasonal Affective Disorder
and Depression
When: Tuesday, November 29
from 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Where: Psychological Clinic, 2nd Floor
530 Church St., East Hall
Visit www.campusmindworks.org
for more information.

f ;.

University of Michigan
Depression Centor

Presented by the U-M Depression
Center in collaboration with
the College of Engineering and
Psychological Clinic.

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