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November 12, 2012 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-11-12

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The Michigan Daily - Hchigandaily.com

Monday, November 12, 2012 - 5A

The Michigan Daily - Fnichigandaily.comMonday, November12, 2012 - 5A

FILM REVIEW
Bardem steals spotlight

FINE ARTS COLUMN
The pop stars
of the past

Beautifully shot
'Skyfall' sets new
standard for Bond
By AKSHAY SETH
Daily Arts Writer
There's no point in starting
off this review with some trade-
mark bitching. It has been a good
year for action
movies. We've
had Liam Nee-
son punching soil
rabid wolves
(yes Liam, we At Quality 16
still love you and Rave
despite that Columb.a
shit you pulled la
in "Taken 2"),
Katniss landing headshots with
her arrows, Master Wayne ris-
ing up from the shadows and, of
course, Tony Stark becoming best "Let me see your soul"
friends with Bruce Banner. Mil-
lions of dollars' worth of set piec- made up for by the white-knuckle
es torched, thousands of blanks action sequences and a genuinely
shot at stunt doubles and count- engrossing plotline.
less said stunt doubles thrown off Unlike any of the previous
buildings. A good year, indeed. Bond films, "Skyfall" takes dis-
But hold on, guys. The action tinct steps to bring the infallible
movie gods are pulling some- James Bond of the past 50 years
thing else out of their pockets. hurtling toward the ground.
Holy shit, it's a Walther PPK/S Bond is getting older, and after
9mm Short - you know what things slip desperately out of
that means. Bond is back. hand in the brilliant opening
And by Bond, no one means the scene, Oscar-winning direc-
suave, cigarette-puffing intelli- tor Sam Mendes ("American
gence officer from half a century Beauty") takes it a step further,
ago. This is Daniel Craig's Bond making the daring move to give
- chiseled, brutish and ready at a our favorite MI-6 officer a full-
moment's notice to unleash pain. blown figurative rebirth.
In "Skyfall," Craig proves why he What we end up with is a bat-
will be considered one of - if not tered, defeated Bond who can
the - best Bonds ever to serve in no longer do a million pull-ups
Her Majesty's Secret Service. and frequently fails marksman-
"Skyfall" is by no means per- ship tests. It's a bit unsettling at
feet. At many of the later points first, but becomes even more so
in its nearly 150-minute runtime, when the resident bad guy of the
the film drags, loses tempo and whole affair makes his flamboy-
exudes an overwhelming lack of ant appearance, announcing his
direction. But the slight missteps plans to hunt down and kill M
in narrative flow are more than (Judi Dench, "Quantum of Sol-

COLUMBIA

ace") as payback for pissing him
off in the past.
To call Javier Bardem's ("No
Country for Old Men") Raul Silva
just your typical run-of-the-mill
bad guy is a bit like comparing
Heath Ledger's Joker to one of
the countless drunken imita-
tors you find running around at
Halloween. Under Bardem's deft
command, Silva is perhaps the
most diabolical bleached-hair,
mommy-hating Latino. man ever
to take the screen, and the purr-
ing, understated nature of his
performance just makes him all
the more terrifying for it.
Unsurprisingly, he takes abso-
lute control of every scene he's in
after making his showy entrance
over an hour into the movie, stir-
ring to life a sense of ever-pres-
ent mortal fear found looming in
every crevice of the film.
The cold, contrasting imag-
ery captured by master cinema-
tographer Roger Deakins ("No
Country for Old Men") makes

"Skyfall" more than just the
most visually captivating movie
of the series. The watered-down
blues of the Scottish countryside
coupled with the cold grayness
of London and the neon-framed
coolness of nighttime Shanghai
are used like gauges by Deakins
throughout the film. Whenever
there's a functional change in
palette, Deakins shows it to us
by washing it over Bond's griz-
zled exterior. The technique is
meant to provide us with the
tiniest inklings of what may be
happening inside, but ultimately
the motivations of our hero are
left up to us for interpretation.
So is this the best Bond of all
time? At various instances, the
answer is a resounding "Yes." But
even at the points when it doesn't
ring true, the one thing worth
realizing is that without a doubt,
this is a new era in 007's distin-
guished career - one marked by
the glory of the past and the grit-
tiness of the present.

There's something par-
ticularly beautiful in
an off-pitch voice ser-
enading you with Ke$ha's "Die
Young." Momentarily forgetting
the home-
work sitting
neglected
in a shoved-
under-
the-bed
backpack,
the rough
crooning of ANNA
"Wild childs, SADOVI
lookin' good
/ Livin' hard
just like we should," creates a
barrier between you and the
ugly world with its cradle-like
arms of understanding.
But, probably not. There's
nothing truly romantic in
Ke$ha's latest hit. Rather, the
hard-thumpingtechno has one
purpose: to remind the listener
of their fleeting attractiveness.
The only cure? Dancing with
a total babe and forgetting the
inevitable unhappiness that fol-
lows aging.
There's nothing wrong with
cheesy, Auto-Tuned goodness (I
love Ke$ha, no shame). In fact,
mainstream culture is entirely
reliant on the now-usual pop
style. Going out, clubbing, hav-
ing a good time and forgetting
that guy who cheated on you -
thank god we have a go-to Top
20 song for all those occasions.
But popular music hasn't always
been backed by synthesized
beats and layered voices.
That's right; I'm taking it
back - way back - and div-
ing into the oft-overlooked,
mostly ignored world of clas-
sical music. Once upon a time,
people got down to Debussy;
bounced to Beethoven; waltzed
to Vivaldi.
What is now known as clas-
sical used to be the life of the
party; the quartet in the corner
was the band to book and no
one even dreamed that one day
a half-naked girl with mussed
up hair and smudged eyeliner
would take over the radio. They
didn't even know there was
goingto be a radio.
The best part about classical
music, for me, is the imagination
behind it. There's a time and a
place for it, and when the two
line up in perfect harmony, clas-
sical music is like an orgy for
the soul.
Like when riding a bike bor-
rowed from a friend's grandma
down the bustling, bright
streets of Tokyo at night, watch-
ing the billboards flash with
symbols and photos of unfamil-

iar celebrities. Chopin's Piano
Concerto No. 2 in F minor came
on through shuffle, and for once,
my iPod nailed it: Piano strokes
reverberated the chaos of the
city, pulsing beats of a different
kind through my ears.
I imagined my life through
the music, the cadence of the
notes mimicking the rhythm of
my pedaling. No words to pause
the feeling - just a perfect com-
panion concerto to celebrate the
night with.
It was romantic. It was clas-
sical. It was edgy and cool
because everything lined up,
and ifa movie was made of my
life, I would include that scene,
that music and I would also be
played by Elizabeth Olsen, obvi-
ously.
More than likely, classical -
music gets a bad rep due to the
setting in which it's listened to.
A silent, chair-filled auditorium
that seats more than 200 people
doesn't invite any room for
feedback or conversation. Rock
concerts, pop concerts, elec-
tronic music festivals, country
hoedowns ... they all allow for
movement, foridiscussion, for
excitement. Younger genera-
tions' appreciation for music
relies on a dialogue between a
musician and a listener. Not only
are most classical composers
dead, but there's no chance of.
interaction between the artist
and audience.
Taylor Swift
is the new
Beethoven.
Ke$ha is a pop star; Taylor
Swift is a pop star; Rihanna,
Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga are
pop stars. Liking pop doesn't
mean a love for hard rock can't
develop. Liking electronic music
doesn't negate the catchiness
of hip hop. Listeningto main-
stream doesn't mean classical is
moot - only that there's more
left to discover in the musical
realm.
Listen to classical music on
your own: during study hours,
during a walk home from class,
during an awesome night out
that ends at 6 a.m. (no shame,
ever). It's then, at the times
where it's you and the music,
that the appreciation can set in.
Sadovskaya is shuffling
to Chopin. To join, e-mail
asado@umich.edu.

TV N OTE BOOK
Kathy Griffin teaches us that
expletives are just words
By BRIANNE JOHNSON "jizz" ... in front of an audience.
Daily Arts Writer She said it to the public. To the

Public bathroom stalls serve
an educational purpose. If not a
fullyinteractive guide to pop cul-
ture fandoms (Who's Sherlock,
what's a T.A.R.D.I.S. and where
is this Ministry of Magic?), a
graveyard of etched linoleum
ex-loves or a convenient surface
to sharpen your many knives,
the public bathroom stall is the
world's dictionary. Not to be
mistaken for its Oxford English
brethren, the toilet stall has
emerged as my go-to source for
every slang term, allusion to and
variation of the word "semen."
Don't flip the page in haste
- I promise to keep this clean
(mind you, the staff is paid daily
to wipe-mop-wax the area until
it's spick, span and pee-free).
Before you flee from your solo
Starbucks table to scrub your
hands clean of my perversity,
just think about the word. Con-
front it. Acknowledge it. Accept
it (and don't forget that, if you
leave, Charlie with the tall chai
latte is eager to steal your seat).
It's only a word. Just ask come-
dian Kathy Griffin.
Though such a word needs
no context, let me indulge you:
On Nov. 9, Griffin performed
her stand-up routine for her
loyal Detroit fan base (and seven
straight men dragged to the
show by drunken girlfriends)
at the Fox Theatre. Jokes aside,
the infamously banned-from-
live-TV star "shocked" me in the
simplest way: She said the word

elderly woman at my right. To
my mom. To me.
It's not like I'd never heard the
word before and not as if I don't
frequently roll my eyes at the
fact that it's carved in the stalls
of many a University bathroom.
But I couldn't help but gasp.
Where was my media guardian
angel to mute the offense? To
blur Griffin's lips as if convinced
that.I wouldn't be-able to deduct
the punch line from every third
penis joke? To obscure such
devious language with the com-
fort of a resounding BLEEEEP?
Bathrm'1 stfa11 C

We found Lance Bass.

ar
di
Tele
than g
view c
constr
and pr
life.
But
the sc
bara 1
so, she
Who k
inappr
I've
crusad
of art,

Lill vv I t aL4..1.) sible and influential as televi-
*e the urban sion. So how have I let a media
personality's slip of the j-word
ctionaries of shock me? Reader, remind me of
my own advice: It's just a word.
life. I remember rejoicing at
"Degrassi: The Next Genera-
tion" 's first use of the word
"bitch," like watching my own
vision is great - better wide-eyed creation stumble
reat. It contributes to my toward me out of sheer excite-
of the world and society, ment that it's walking for the
acting my delicate schema first time. It was hip. It was cool.
edicting the scripts of daily It was the first amendment ..
right?
Kathy Griffin didn't follow Yet the night of Griffin's gaffe,
ript ("Does she ever?" Bar- my media angel - in the form of
Valters asks) and, in doing a cherubic Neil Patrick Harris -
broke my TV-laden reverie. spoke to me (don't question it).
new people still used words "Wait," he said. "This isn't TV,
opriate for MTV! Brianne. You're watching real-
never been one to actively ity, and that shit isn't censored."
le against the censorship Maybe television has affect-
especially an art as acces- ed more than my skewed crime

estimates and aversion to Blake
Lively. Maybe television, in cen-
soring itself, has censored me -
my language, my habits and my
expectations.
I don't notice a word has
retired from my vocabulary
until a brazen comedian sings it
into the audience for all to hear.
I don't realize my pace quickens
down a poorly lit East Univer-
sity Avenue until I arrive home,
heart pounding and Damon Sal-
vatore not hitched to my neck. I
don't question the hazy fade to
a Plato's Closet commercial fol-
lowing my romantic endeavors.
I forget that, despite what "The
Real World" may tell me, televi-
sion is not reality.
"That's better," NPH says,
wings aflutter. You heard 'em,
reader. TV is fair game, and so is
the public bathroom stall.

* #HASHTAG
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FREE drop-in education and support groups
for any U-M student with Depression,
Bipolar, or Anxiety
Gratitude Interventions
from Positive Psychol gy
Strategies for Manag
Depression & Anxiet
When: Tuesday, November 13
5:30-7:00 p.m.
Where: Chrysler Center,
Room 133,
North Campus
Visit www.campusmindworks.org
for more info.
Presented by the U-M Depression
. Center in collaboration with
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