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September 03, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-03

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 7A

FIlM COLUMN
Danny Torrance
taught me how &
to love

By AKSHAY SETH The only thing my nine-year-
Daily Film Columnist old, thoroughly homesick self
had to do was follow the tracking
anny Torrance showed shot. There was peace in that
me how to love. Or, love simplicity, no American accent to
movies at least. Yes, throw me off - a calmness that
we're talking about that weird gave me my first experience of
psychic kid from "The Shining" being totally disarmed by film.
who only wears overalls - you For those too lazy to schleck
know, the little brunette whose their way to Wikipedia, the
best buds are his imaginary tracking shot is, in basic terms, a
finger friends. Through pass- shot taken by mounted or hand-
ing eyes, it's a quaint memory; held camera that tracks move-
touching fondly on the love little ment over an extended period of
Danny had for his little tricycle, time. The idea is simple, but as is
but as I sit here thinking of my true of most worthwhile things
younger self, my infinitely wiser in showbiz (and by extension,
present self sees a column idea. real life), the simplest mecha-
Because the real reason I fell in nisms can yield the most natural
love with Danny and his tricycle solutions.
has to do with a particular track- In this case, the problem is the
ing shot, the way it drew me in jump-cut - the annoying little
even as a youth and showed me thing that cuts from one frame to
the simplicity in following. the next with little to no transi-
The first time I saw it, I was tion, creating ajumping effect
" no older than Danny, fresh off that can become tiresome with
the boat - or air-boat - from overuse. It's not fun. Like this.
India, friendless, on the very far Really short and dull. Random
end of the heavy side and the and weird. Half sentences. So
go-to target of my elder cousins' for the film to breathe, we need a
idiotic sense of humor. Leading touch of stability to diversify pur
up to my first Halloween, this viewing experience, to convince
idiotic sense of humor dictated our eyes to look closely and with
that I be dragged to an evening more commitment.
screening of "The Shining." My But it loses that crucial focus-
mother was told I'd be watch- ing/refocusing effect if uncer-
ing "a movie kind of like 'Home emoniously tacked on between
Alone' that takes place in a any random transition in the
hotel." script. There has to be weight
They wanted to see me pee my behind it, a purpose to serve
elastic jeans, but the joke was on other than just varying up shot
them. I didn't understand diddly length. Take for example, the
shit of what anyone was saying. scene of utter beauty from "Chil-
The American accent, with its dren of Men," an esteemed mem-
rolling rs and tapered t's, was an ber of the hallowed and fabled
enigma, a weird mutation of the pantheon deemed "Akshay's Five
English language that only white Fave Flicks" (AFFF-'), where the
people seemed to truly compre-, protagonists are first attacked.
hend (I'm convinced this is the Like the scene from "The
reason I look utterly dumbfound- Shining," we've completed a
ed in every family picture taken journey by the time our three
over the course of my first year protagonists begin their hellish
in the U.S.). - tailspin into the blood-splattered
So it goes without saying I madness that is future United
was totally confuzzled by what Kingdom. Make no mistake -
was happening on screen. That leading up to this point, they're
is until that iconic blue tricycle no strangers to violence, watch-
appeared. Danny looked like a ing it unfold around them with
certifiable badass gliding forth the resigned, almost apathetic
through the deserted halls of acceptance that this is what
the Overlook Hotel. The over- their surroundings have become.
alls were there. The wind was This shot splinters the distanced
in his hair. The little red shoes concept of "surroundings."
were pedaling away like they As he watches his wife's life
just didn't care (a poem). He was ebb through his fingers, Clive
about to see the mutilated, axed Owen is no longer a civilian, and
remains of those creepy identical thanks to our established com-
twins with their equally creepy mitment to this gripping scene,
identical dresses, but in retro- neither are we.
spect, even that was aveiled yet That's not to say the conse-
important life lesson: looking fly quences have to be bloody to be
has its consequences. And let's impactful. Queue entrance of
not forget the cinematography "Good Fellas," featuring one of
the most famous long takes in
all of cinema. It's a deceivingly
Tracking simple shot, framed to bubbly
perfection by The Crystals clas-
shots tear sic "Then He Kissed Me."
With this scene, Scorsese
down language drags us into the confined yet
expansive mob world without
barriers. ever so much as glancing at a
garrote. Lorraine Bracco, play-
ing an outsider much like our-
selves, is our guide, remaining
involved with this priceless piece close to the center of the screen
of movie magic history for nearly every second of the
The try-and-top-this-swag- two-minute run, but what we
cycle just pushes forward, the really see are the benefits of easy
eerie drawl of its wheels sliding money, the oohs and ahs of our
over hardwood, then carpet, guide as she falls for the roman-
then again hardwood: a thudding ticized notions of gangster life.
noise oddly reminiscent of our it's hard not to follow.
hearts' quickening pace. Kubrick In this unifying context,
teases ever closer to Danny, only merging audience with film,
to wheel further away at the next the tracking shot excels pre-

moment, holding us still and cisely because it offers impactful
hostage with his camera at cal- consequences in a shorter time
culated points around the corner frame. It's our vignette within a
to let our suspicions build, then story. It's nine-year-old me get-
topple into frenzied anticipa- ting hooked on movies. It's the
tion. Yeah. It's great - one of simplicity in following.

"Precipiatisn won'S black my shine.
Juicy J -s
on1 latest

Unapologetic
rapper shines on
major label debut
By JACKSON HOWARD
Daily Arts Writer
Juicy J makes it perfectly clear
what he is all about from the
start of Stay Trippy. "Stop It," the
opening track,
is a warning of B
sorts for poten-
tial listeners: If Stay Trippy
you don't like Juicy
money, drugs,
strippers or Columbia
murder, you
should turn this
album off. Quickly.
Though now in his late 30s
with two solo albums to his
name, Stay Trippy serves as
Juicy J's proper reintroduction
to a new generation. Founder
producer and longtime mem-
ber of the legendary southern
group Three 6 Mafia, Juicy has
managed to reinvent himself
in recent years as the mentally
unstable, drug using, strip-
club endorsing, simultaneously
hilarious and frightening hype
man to Wiz Khalifa.
On Stay Trippy, Juicy
attempts to strike the perfect
balance between his tradi-
tional southern roots with his
recently developed Khalifa-
sponsored identity. This is not
to say, however, that Juicy J or
any of the music he makes is by
any means complex. Instead,
Juicy has nearly perfected
his unique blend of "ratchet"
music, and though the lyrical
content can drop towards the
abysmal, there's no one you'd
rather bring to a house party.
The unexpected smash-hit
lead single, "Bandz A Make
Her Dance," featuring Lil
Wayne and 2 Chainz, is likely
the reason the label green lit
the album. The song, a menac-
ing ode to strippers complete
with a chanting chorus and
hand claps, is the new Juicy J
at his best, and finds him utter-
ing the mostcbluntly vulgar and
hysterical lines in years: "You
say no to ratchet pussy / Juicy
J can't."
There is a clear distinction,
then, between the somewhat
tailored-for-radio songs and
the classic Juicy J tracks. On
Stay Trippy, the former is found
on the "Bandz"-imitating
"Show Out" and "Bounce It," as
well as the two collaborations
with Wiz Khalifa, which sound
like passed-on leftovers from
Khalifa's last album.
The latter can be found
throughout Juicy's extensive
mixtape catalogue, which fea-
tured titles like Blue Dream ft
Lean. Tracks such as "So Much
Money," "Money A Do It," "All
I Blow Is Loud" and "IfI Ain't"
could've easily been plucked
off any of his past mixtapes,
as they share threatening,
drum-heavy beats filled with
violence, drugs and money. At
least one or two of these songs
should have been cut - the
album is 16 tracks long, and at
points the monotonous lyrics
and rhyme patterns make it
feel endless.
Nonetheless, there is a
noticeable difference between

Juicy's mixtap
py. The beats I
ematic - think
legendary scor
- and the gue
The latter is i
the album wo
with Khalifa,,
somewhat of
feature. On Sta
the spotlight is
expertly estab
the lead artist
lin,' " "No He
"Gun Plus a Ma
the late Pimp(
Yelawolf, resp
tracks wait un
to unleash the
not only allow:
of the attention
three guests th
seconds of pure
Juicy probal
off the some
Weeknd sampl

'Trippy.
es and Stay Trip- lin' " and instead kept the excel-
here are more cin- lent and venomous "One Of Those
John Carpenter's Nights," an actual collaboration
e to "Halloween" with The Weeknd that is inex-
ests better placed. plicably relegated to a Best Buy
ntegral to making bonus track.
ork. Since signing The most interesting collabo-
Juicy has become ration comes on "The Woods,"
a perennial guest produced by Timbaland and fea-
y Trippy, however, turing Juicy's fellow Memphis
s on Juicy, and he resident, Justin Timberlake.
blishes himself as Though it's not his strongest pro-
on "Smokin' Rol- duction, Timbaland's late-90s
art No Love" and hyperactive beatboxing and eerie
ask," which feature piano licks carry Juicy's flows
C, Project Pat and nicely. Timberlake drops a sex-
ectively. All three laced chorus, singing, "Release
til the last minute the animal / Hear my mating
guest artist, which call," and while there's no way
s Juicy to get most this track would ever appear on
n, but also gives all either Timberlake or Timbaland's
e chance to spit 40 solo projects, it's good enough
e aggression. for Juicy's simple rhymes about
ibly could have left spoiling his "trippy chick." Placed
what forced The awkwardly between two intense
e on "Smokin' Rol- partying and money-counting

to self
songs, "The Woods" is nonethe-
less a refreshing break from the
rest of the album.
The main flaw of Stay Trippy
is, for Juicy diehards, its great-
est attribute. Juicy J's songs, for
the most part, have no concep-
tual direction, no sense for lyrical
diversification or even an attempt
at breaking form. And that's OK.
Juicy is a guilty pleasure of sorts,
a certified entertainer who seems
to be somewhat aware of his
own absurdity but nonetheless
embraces it with everything he
has.
Stay Trippy is a step forward
for Juicy - it proves he's capable
of floating by himself on a major-
label album. Though lyrical pur-
ists might shudder to lines such
as "Bad bitch want me / Give
me head like lice," Juicy is doing
what only Juicy knows how to do.
And that's to stay astrippy as pos-
sible.'

.\\ i
my- OV - - -
Michigan Union Pierpont Commons
Monday-Friday 9am-5pm

those perfectly composed scenes
boasting an inimitable marriage
between editing, photography
and direction.

Seth is following the tracking
shots of life. To find out what that
means, e-mail akse@umich.edu.

JOIN THE
#TWERKNATION
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