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March 07, 2012 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-03-07

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8A - Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

FILM REViEW Sep rat o n TE'K
Apoignant 'Separation'


Oscar-winning film
examines the pain
of the divorce
For the Daily
It has almost become an adage
that roughly 50 percent of mar-
riages result in divorce. These
break-ups are
for a number
of reasons: A Separation
immaturity, At the Michigan
lack of genuine Sony Pictures
and just gen-
eral oversight
of the elements that allow mar-
riages to last.
In his fifth film, "A Separa-
tion," Iranian filmmaker Asghar
Farhadi beautifully and compel-
lingly complicates this almost
conventional, gamble-worthy
misfortune. He presents two
coexisting families, each with
their own set of problems,
through the eyes of a not-so-
steady Steadicam - capturing
reality at its most raw.
The opening shot follows
the gaze of a judge in a court-
room as a husband, Nader (Pey-
man Moadi, "About Elly") and
wife, Simin (Leila Hatami, "The
Deserted Station"), ,plead their
divorce cases. The patient camera
remains focused on these two for
several minutes as they bicker,
never revealing the judge's face,
just his voice. Simin wishes to
flee to America and start anew in
the best interest of their studious
daughter. Nader refuses to leave
his Alzheimer's-stricken father,
who is in a vegetative state and
needs care. A brilliant title slide
arrives onscreen once the pair
diverges in opposite directions
from the courtroom. Off to agood

The magic of
Adventure Time'



"Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"

The second half of the story
introduces itself in the form of
the soon-to-be-divorced couple's
lower-caste, pregnant house sit-
ter, Razieh (newcomer Sareh
Bayat), and her adorable young
daughter. She cleans, sweeps,
takes out the garbage and takes
care of Nader's ill father, who sits
motionlessly and speechlessly in
his bed all day.
The fun and games halt one
day when Nader returns home to
find his near-dead father lying on
the ground beside the bed with
his hands tied to a panel. Livid, he
confronts Razieh the following
day, accusing her of trying to kill
his father and for stealing a week's
pay from his bedroom. Shit hits
the fan when Nader shoves her
out of his apartment, causing her
to fall. Subsequently, she accuses
him of killing her unborn baby, a
murder charge.
Very quickly, this film heads
toward a visceral treatment of

family, religion and the big, fat lie.
Farhadi smoothly shifts from the
disintegrating marriage of Nader
and Simin, while their innocent
and rational daughter suffers
from it all, and the couple who
miscarried trying to stay afloat
financially. As events unfold into
a whirlpool of high-flying emo-
tion and clenched fists, Farhadi
keeps local his most levelheaded
characters: the daughters, one
from each family. They serve as
voices of moral reason, something
that, apparently, grown adults
have trouble seeing through the
fogs of ego and self-interest. The
youngest figures have the hefti-
est wisdom and poise, while the
adults engage in "he said, she
said" child's play.
All these negative events may
make one think Farhadi is a pessi-
mistic filmmaker; rather, he expli-
cates his message through honest,
gritty and spellbinding perfor-
mances from all his actors. Much

doubt resides within the char-
acters themselves, but audience
members shouldn't doubt relating
to these characters because of the
cultural gap between America
and Iran, because these are real
families with real issues; Iran is
merely a backdrop.
It's evident that Farhadi fan-
cies and immerses himself
within the concept of fam-
ily, something so indefinable,
so multifaceted. Sticking with
his verisimilitude approach, he
ensures that each character is
equally imperfect, which makes
"rooting" for one side over the
other quite onerous.
Leaving the theater, one feels
that Farhadi had a supernatural
grip on his treatment of the woes
in family life. A tight, no-frills
script allows the cast to shine
throughout. Unless subtitle read-
ing makes you purple in the face,
sprint to the box office for this
Iranian goodness.

It ha
I've wat
toon in
staple i
diet) bu
as "Cot
or "Hey
line bet
(that n
my pat
that in:
I alw
the one
my life
priate r
of "Adv
to watt
at ston
of a do
a color

StarCast gives students a chance

y MATT EASTON gold, diamonds, medieval weap-
Daily Film Editor ons, rugs, mugs, animal pelts
and whatever else an adventurer
as been a long time since might come across in his travels.
tched cartoons -not a car- Each frame is engaging. Nothing
the "Family Guy" sense (a feels recycled.
n every young male's TV How the characters react to
it instead the sort of tele- the environments and to each
that Calvin and Hobbes other is special as well. Jake pos-
get up early to watch on sesses amazing stretching pow-
ay mornings. Shows such ers, so he can change his shape
urage the Cowardly Dog" at whim, allowing him to twist
y Arnold!" that blurred the and jump over forests and walls;
ween adult and child tele- Finn never simply walks, he flips
- bringing insane energy, and spins within the canvas -
d animation, clever jokes usually howling a battle cry and
nixed potty humor with wielding a sword.
ent observations) and Movement is the basis for cin-
ous morality to the TV in ema, and "Adventure Time" fully
rent's bedroom - shows appreciates this, transforming
some small way shaped my moving from point A to B into a
work of art.
vays thought cartoons like When the inhabitants of
s mentioned above disap- "Adventure Time" interact, this
with my childhood in the kinetic energy continues. The
s. But, as is often true in characters' faces scrunch and
I was very wrong. Enter widen with surprise and suspi-
ture Time." cion, and their hands are always
ted by Pendleton Ward moving. When the gang meets
there be a more appro- Party Pat (a bear voiced by Andy
name?) in 2010, whispers Samberg who loves to party), his
venture Time" popped up hand motions in their first con-
hsout myearlycollegelife.S hversation contain as much humor -
ignored strangers' advice as anything he says.
.h the show, predicting the The story itself contains a '
would be primarily aimed surprisingly grand amount of
ers and crazy kids who depth and history, but never so
laugh at the mere concept much as to weigh down the fun.
g and boy running around The Ice King wants to capture
ful world. a princess (or princesses) to
marry, and though his compul-
sions are treated with wit, there
Tleamnexists a layer of tragedy and
loneliness. Marceline the Vam-
arCeline for pire Queen has daddy issues
(stemming from him eating her
the Finn! fries), and Finn often strug-
gles with wanting to do right,
while not always being certain
what right is. Beyond this are
ourse, I'm easily swayed, hints at where this crazy world
ne 24-hour layover in may have stemmed from - an
.nd with my one of my event called "The Great Mush-
iends later, I was root- room War" (hint: think mush-
Finn the Human and his room clouds). The brilliance
d brother Jake the Dog of "Adventure Time" is how it
ebating whether to join provides this adultness without
Marceline or Team Prin- ever dropping completely the
ibblegum. I was hooked. guise of "kids show."
iediately, the animation I've only been watching for a
f "Adventure Time" drew week, but I'm already excited to
. It was simple - curvy, bite into season three and fill in
ines, a crisp color palette my viewing gaps from the first
oked Play-Doh or Crayola, two seasons. Why? Because in
sic character design. But "Adventure Time," it feels like
this spartan style, the anything could happen, like a
s are able to pack in an summer day in the suburbs -
t of texture similar to Wes friends everywhere, an empty
on at his best. These envi- world waiting to be explored,
nts breathe with life: Finn anticipating adventures ready to
ke's house is packed with be had.

Daily Arts Writer
Forty million people are
watching; the silence perme-
ates the ballroom; the envelope
is ripped open and the Oscar
goes to - wait, hold it there.
The Academy Awards are long
over. Nevertheless, the audition
and decision-making process
not only keeps the top echelon
of actors on the edge of their
seats, but is a constant part of all
actors' lives. Winning an Oscar
is the pinnacle of an actor's
career, but where does this long
and winding road begin?
The newly developed compa-
ny StarCast is an online service
which hopes to benefit actors
and Hollywood professionals.
The casting directors assess
the actor's performances that
are submitted, and then give
the actors specific feedback and
notes. They then choose the
best performances and promote

the bu
Film F
"We de
level th
top ca
for tale

actors by contacting Hol- talent, they would then promote
i agencies and managers, them to a large group of Holly-
ing a means for these pro- wood film and television produc-
als to find high-quality ers, talent managers, and agents.
Philip Maxwell, a student in
very difficult to get (into) the School of Music, Theatre &
siness," said Gary Beer, Dance, was told by his professor
ng CEO of the Sundance to try out for StarCast. After an
estival and StarCast CEO. evaluation process conducted by
cided to do something to leading casting directors in their
he playing field by having respective fields, he was cho-
sting directors evaluate sen as best performer. He had
g actor's performances submitted a monologue perfor-
mt." mance previously and was given
notes on transitioning from a
purely stage actor to one more
rdine acting attuned to performing on the
screen. In the second round of
Yency looks auditions, he immediately stood
out. He took their feedback,
'U' for fresh implemented it and, recently,
has caught the eyes of several
ung talent. casting directors.
Though there has been some
interest for Maxwell, nothing
has transpired yet for him or any
elaborated that if the of the other actors and actresses
rs felt the applicants had chosen by StarCast. Beer noted

that being represented by an agen-
cy is more essential than a minor
role on television or film. How-
ever, there have been no actors
signed by agencies thus far.
Nevertheless, Beer declared
that StarCast is an up-and-com-
ing company that is different
from other services available.
"We are the only service that
guarantees that an actor will be
seen, viewed and evaluated by
castingdirectors," Beer said. "All
the others, to my knowledge, are
basically listing services where
an aspiring actor can establish
an account of their headshot,
reel and their resume, and in
many cases, they get access to
general information about audi-
tions. Those are the basic ser-
Hollywood is one of the hard-
est fields to carve a place for
yourself, but with the help of
StarCast, that could possibly
change for Maxwell and other
aspiring actors.



Of c
and o
best fr
ing for
and de
Team l
cess Bu
style of
my eye
clean l
that ev
and ba
and Jal


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