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September 24, 2012 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-24

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, September 24, 2012 - 5A

The poetry
behind those
three little words

Mastering introsuection

T here's never a worse
time to fall in love than
whenever you do. You
become painfully aware of all
your shortcomings, all the times
you don't
make your
bed, comb
your hair or
check your
teeth for
food. It's a
messy, weird
ride.
Things ANNA
only get SADOVSKAYA
weirder the
longer you
stay on: All of a sudden, it might
feel strange to have a Tuesday
night to yourself. A text that
reads "Hey dood" makes you
happy. Certain songs make you
sigh. You're vaguely crazy and
you know it - and the weirdest
part is, almost everyone wants
their slice of this insane cake,
and to eat it too.
No one really knows what's
going on, ever. Falling in love is
a lot like a rowdy game of "red
light, green light" that starts
and stops as unexpectedly and
sloppily as a four-year-old on a
sugar high.
"I just. She's just so ... I mean
...You know?"
Yeah man, the thing is, I do
know. But she does not. Put-
ting feelings into words comes
as naturally as engineering the
Mars rover landing, for some.
And for whatever reason, "I like
you 'cause you're like ... pretty,"
isn't romantic enough. And it
should be - you skipped going
to Meijer so you could spend
r 20 extra minutes with her. You
sacrificed bacon for her. You love
her.
Chivalry might be dead,
but you better hope that you
can Frankenstein a bit of it for
the sake of your relationship.
Where's the poetry? If Univer-
sity relationships were albums,
most would be bumpingto Lil'
Wayne's lyrics. Highly quixotic.
"I wish he'd just tell me how
he feels," say all girls every-
where. But what do they know?
They're equally lost when it
comes to working out how they
feel - just much more vocal
about the process. And where
there are girls loudly proclaim-
ing their indecisive decisions
every hour, there are lost boys
meandering through the battle-
field of love.
There's no foolproof plan to
follow. There's no "Say This To
Make Her Happy" book - but,
thankfully, there's poetry.

Poets are wounded souls, peo-
ple that experience feelings on
another level: Everything makes
just enough sense to be beautiful
and not enough to be painless.
So rather than drive themselves
'crazy with emotion, they've let it
out in the form of poetry, yours
to quote and take hints from.
Shakespeare wrote 154 son-
nets. William Butler Yeats
meditated on love and loss.
John Keats was one of the main
romantic poets of his time. All
are waiting for you in the near-
est library.
"I am not artsy" is no longer
an excuse. A long time ago,
someone somewhere decided
that feelings and art go hand-
in-hand, and that unless you're
a starving-artist hipster, it was
weird to express yourself in an
artful way. Painting the person
you love a picture? Cute when
you're eight, a bit strange at 18.
"Roses are red, violets are blue,
it's your birthday, I like you,"
doesn't quite make the cut for
meaningful irerse.
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
'Sup dude?
Let's hang out.
It's not about reinventing
yourself into the next e. e. Cum-
mings - it's about reading
something profoundly relat-
able. Mussed up musings aside,
relationships center on being in
touch with the emotional half
of things, and expressing that
is difficult when you're unsure
of how you feel. Read poetry to
connect with something insight-
ful, to witness sentiment playing
out properly, to finally see your
angst put to words.
If there ever comes a time
when it's appropriate to say,
"hut, soft! What light through
yonder window breaks," take
it. Use it. Nail that line and feel
proud to have used Shakespeare
to your advantage. But if there's
ever a time you start fearing for
your lexicon and stop under-
standing how to explain a par-
ticular thought, crack open "The
Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
and settle down for some light,
cathartic reading.
Sadovskaya is making love
potion number nine. To assist,
e-mail asado@umich.edu.

Seymour Hoffman,
Phoenix dominate
Anderson's latest
ByAKSHAY SETH
Daily Arts Writer
Paul Thomas Anderson is the
closest thing we have to an estab-
lished, proven and, above all,
dedicated art-
house director.
All the tell-tale
signs are there The Master
- we frequently
find him bitch- At Quality16
ing about how and Rave
it's a pain to The Weinstein
secure any form Company
of funding, he
casually curses
in the middle of interviews and
lastly, he's made arguably the best
pieces of American cinema in the
past decade. The most significant
of those is "There Will Be Blood,"
a spellbinding epic with which
Anderson was able to force his
audience into the depraved mind
of a maniac.
And as we sat there and
watched, Anderson slowly suf-
focated us with the tension and
unease he quietly used to weave
together his masterpiece. In
short, it was the type of filmmak-
ing that changes one's perception
of what a movie can do. Ander-
son's latest film, "The Master,"
never reaches the heights he was
able to achieve in "Blood." It is in
most senses a weaker film, but
nevertheless still an amazing
movie that has the capability to
engross and challenge a patient
audience.
The movie opens on a shot of
Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoe-
nix, "Gladiator") pretending to
have sex with a sand sculpture

"Oh, we know soylent green is peopleJoin us?

on a military base in post-WWII
Guam. After a few psychiatric
evaluations, it's made clear that
Quell is a very disturbed indi-
vidual battling with alcoholism
- not even the most significant of
his many self-destructive tenden-
cies. As Quell struggles to come to
terms with the normality of life
after living in a state of constant
war, he begins making his own
alcohol - by combining paint
thinner with hard liquor.
Ultimately, he catches the
interest of Lancaster Dodd (Phil-
lip Seymour Hoffman, "Mon-
eyball"), a charismatic and
magnetically compelling indi-
vidual who claims to know the
secret to curing Quell of his des-
perate dependence on destruc-
tive behavior. Dodd peddles his
"process" to a cult of followers
only identified as "The Cause."
As the film gradually hones in on

the volatile relationship between
Quell and Dodd, Anderson lets go
of the reins and allows the actors
to dictate the flow of the movie.
It's also at this point that "The
Master" becomes probably the
best movie released so far this
year. Mitch like "There Will Be
Blood" was Daniel Day-Lewis's
film, "The Master" belongs to
Phoenix and Seymour Hoffman.
The performances they deliver
are nothing short of extraordi-
nary and serve as perfect foils
to each other. On the one hand,
there's Phoenix's visceral, car-
nally violent embodiment of a
man tormented by his own inept-
itudes. At its core, the rawness
that Phoenix brings to his por-
trayal of Freddie Quell gives him
the emotional composure of a
parentless child or caged animal.
On the other end of the spec-
trum is Lancaster Dodd, a man so

in love with the idea of being in
absolute control that he attempts
to use Quell as proof that his
"process" is valid. When things
quickly get out of hand, Dodd's
fractured personality surfaces
and Seymour Hoffman subtly
molds it in a way that incites deep
feelings of self-doubt in anyone
watching.
That ability to force audience
members to look inward and
question the self is classic Paul
Thomas Anderson, who has made
a career out of doing character
studies of deeply troubled men.
Even if it isn't a masterpiece, it
has what we've come to expect
from Anderson - a deep and
thoroughly fleshed-out vision
that grips and rattles our core
until we see things a little dif-
ferently. And when all's said and
done, that's what meaningful cin-
ema is really about.

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OF COURSE YOU DO!
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