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November 07, 2013 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-07

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2B - Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

LETTERS FROM TH . oO
George Carlin
and the art of
stand-up comedy

NETFLIX PIX
Daily Arts Writers dig through recent
Netflix releases to find the movies
worth revisiting or discovering.

Jeff Dunham,
Lately, I've found
myself ruminating on the
art and influence of stand-up
comedy - fascinated by the
way greats
like George
Carlin could
write a come-
dic piece that
not only com-
pelled people
to laugh but
forced itself JOHN
deep into the LYNCH
consciousness
of its audi-
ence, perhaps even altering one's
perspective of life.
The impact and intrigue of
ventriloquism, however, (it seems
I'm the first to inform you) likely
reached its peak in the middle
ages, when mystified humans
considered it a form of witchcraft.
A 14th-century bloodthirsty mob
of villagers would potentially
be your most receptive demo-
graphic, though, seeing as they'd
actually pay attention to your act
before chasing you with torches
and pitchforks and would laugh at
least as seldom as a modern audi-
ence. Indeed, if stand-up is an
art form, then you are a puppet-
clutching philistine, and calling
you a comedian is a disgrace to
the life and career of someone
like George Carlin.
The only prop Carlin's act fea-
tured was his constantly evolving
and bleakly hilarious mind. His
decade-spanning career reflected
the transition of American soci-
ety through its mosttransforma-

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as. Hating the fact that he will, of course, require having
puppet of television execu- your unbearably racist terrorist
Carlin sought sanctuary in puppet ask the audience, "Why
ffee shops of 1960s college is it that most of the people who
and established the roots are against abortion are people
revolutionary act. Acid and you wouldn't want to fuck in the
mmer of Love granted his first place?" and continuing to
y rebellious mind the free- follow Carlin's routine through
D turn a stand-up stage into the mouth of the puppet for eight
orm for rapid-fire, philo- minutes straight. Your blatant
al routines. mimicry will be lauded as a con-
member witnessing my siderable artistic improvement,
ts be more attentive to a and George will continue to roll
opy of "Jammin' in New over in his grave.
than to liturgy on Sundays Despite his disgust for most
nting in my mind the seed things on earth, Carlin loved
rpetually questioning sen- life and his craft. Recently, I've
y. Carlin opened my young found that even his interviews
of perception to entirely are thought-provoking and
oncepts: humanity's incon- life-affirming. Despite a storied
ntiality in the universe, the history of drug use and trouble,
n of American freedom Carlin described how drugs are
ice and the fact that an mind-opening and construc-
y comedian could follow an tive, and that an intellectual
profound rant on worldly mind would recognize when the
with a lighthearted fart benefits of a drug had run their
course and therefore save itself
from destruction. Thankfully, his
was such a mind, and his desire to
entriloquism entertain and affect people con-
stituted an inspirational life force
went out of that kept him goinguntil the age
of 71- continually innovating
fashion in the world of comedy all the way
up to his death. As Carlin proved,
the 1300s stand-up has the potential to
move audiences and minds, so it
should never be merely moving
the mouth of a puppet.
the sake of my enter- Best,
ent and as an exercise in An Untethered Mind

0
6
6

"Ip Man: The Final Fight" "Pacific Rim"
As the remnant of a proud tradition and mas- "Pacific Rim" is one of those movies that you
ter of Bruce Lee, Ip Man still looms large in the have to watch with a group of people. It's a pop-
imaginarium of Chinese cinema. Yet another corn film in the most classic sense of the word
movie based on his storied life releases this - fiery explosions, massive monsters and even
month on Netflix called, "Ip Man: The Final bigger robots are only some of the reasons it
Fight." becomes fun, 15 minutes into the movie, to turn
Where previous imaginings focus almost your head and watch the moviegoers sitting next
entirely on his stalwart position against West- to you with their mouths agape, letting out var-
ern influence, this Ip Man takes a comfortable, ied expletives as larger-than-life fight sequences
humanistic step forward - creative interpreta- unfold before them. The story is simple: Aliens
tions notwithstanding. This movie should be invade the earth, humans respond with making
watched by Ip Man fans, if only for Anthony massive fight machines called Jaegers. It's fun,
Wong's ("Infernal Affairs") collected and quiet it's simple and above all, it's watching shit blow
portrait. up.

AT

For
tainm(

the betterment of your craft,
I challenge you to open your
next special exactly as Carlin
opened "Back In Town". This

Lynch is opening his
mind. To see what's inside,
e-mail jplyn@umich.edu

CATCH WEEKLY RECAPS OF
YOUR FAVORITE SHOWS, LIKE
"AMERICAN HORROR STORY:
COVEN," "SCANDAL" AND "THE
MINDY PROJECT."
MICHIGANDAILY.COM/BLOGS/THE+FILTER
AND IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN WRITING RECAPS,
E-MAIL ARTS@MICHIGANDAILY.COM TO REQUEST AN
APPLICATION TO BECOME A DAILY ARTS BLOGG ER.

WARNER BROS
"The Conjuring"
Not alot of scary movies come out nowadays.
It's all just smears of synthetic gore and pasty
ink-blood, but "The Conjuring" provides a sore-
ly-needed exception. The classic scares, framed
by tense, slow buildup take front and center, and
around it, there's an interesting story to keep us
hooked. From the outside, we're just looking at
a haunted house story, but where the film excels
is bringing its inhabitants to life. None of the
actors are off their game, allowing for the oth-
erwise overly melodramatic bits of interaction
flow effectively.

PARAMOUNT
"Flight"
Denzel Washington can act. He has two Oscars,
seeing his face plastered on a poster immediately
draws a crowd and when he laughs, you laugh. So
do yourself a favor and watch "Flight," recently
acquired by Netflix and now available for streaming
online. You probably won't laugh much throughout
the course of the film's 139-minute runtime, but if
one thing becomes clear, it's that Denzel can act. He
plays an airline pilot struggling with alcoholism, and
this film becomes atestament tohisinabilitytoletgo.
There's a bit of overacting, but all-in-all a good film if
you're looking for something gripping and dramatic.

TRAILER REVIEW

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