The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, April 21, 2014 - 6A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, April 21, 2014 - 6A
Wally Pfister talks
By CONRAD FOREMAN
One of the things "Gravity"
did was remind audiences of the
significance of the cinematog-
rapher. As the (wo)man behind
the camera, the cinematogra-
pher is integral in shaping the
style and feel of the film. It's
not surprising, therefore, that
many cinematographers go on
to become directors.
One such cinematographer
to make this transition is Wally
Pfister ("The Dark Knight").
His directorial debut, "Tran-
scendence," hit theaters April
18. Pfister spoke about his new
film and his step into the direc-
tor's chair in a conference call
with The Michigan Daily.
"For me, the greatest chal-
lenge was also one of the most
enlightening, wonderful, fun
things, which was in directing
actors and delving in the per-
formances for the first time,"
It's fair to say Pfister had
a plentiful crop of capable
performers on his team. The
cast includes Johnny Depp
("Edward Scissorhands"), Mor-
gan Freeman ("The Shawshank
Redemption"), Rebecca Hall
("The Prestige") and Paul Bet-
tany ("A Beautiful Mind").
"It's mind-blowing. Really,
I felt incredibly fortunate to
be lucky enough among outing
as a director to have the likes
of these incredible actors. And
honestly, this isn't just bullshit:
they were all a joy to work
Pfister said that his previ-
ous working relationships with
Freeman and Hall helped him
adjust to his firstgig as a direc-
tor. He worked with Freeman
on "The Dark Knight" trilogy,
and with Hall on "The Pres-
tige." Each of those movies was
directed by Christopher Nolan
("Inception"). In fact, Pfister's
done the cinematography for
every one of Nolan's films since
"Memento," in 2000.
"Chris and I worked together
for a long time and clearly for a
reason," Pfister said. "We both
had a great respect for each
other and had a good working
relationship, and I think we did
some fantastic work together."
Pfister talked about how
Nolan's example helped him
take on a greater leadership
"One of the great things
about Chris Nolan is his disci-
pline on the set, and to observe
somebody who really considers
every minute of your set time to
be precious," Pfister said.
"Transcendence" follows a
common science fiction theme
of artificial intelligence. How-
ever, as Pfister explains, "Tran-
scendence" manages to set itself
"We are talking about an
actual human consciousness
living in this machine rather
than something completely
artificial, so that makes it
slightly different, and I think
that also sets off the emo-
tional journey," Pfister said.
"Throughout most of the movie,
the idea is to question whether-
in fact this machine contains
the actual soul of this particu-
lar person - that person being
Johnny, of course."
Pfister knows that these
issues have complex implica-
tions, so he did his due dili-
gence in research. In addition
to research visits to MIT and
Stanford University, Pfister
collaborated with two profes-
sors'at University of California,
Berkeley to better understand
"They were so helpful," Pfis-
ter said. "They became the kind
of fulltime consultants on the
film and were involved in sort
of every stage of vetting the sci-
ence and the medical applica-
tions in the film."
Only time will tell if the
advanced technology of "Tran-
scendence" will permeate real
"It's anybody's guess what
would happen," Pfister said.
"I don't really have a desire to
upload my brains."
Finally: a shirt made of french fries.
'Scandal' comes to an
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RELEASE DATE- Monday, April 21, 2014
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ByJORDYNKAY viding closure and answers, as
For theDaily a good season finale should,
"Scandal" has brought us back
ere was hope. to a place we have already
ere was hope that the been: Papa Pope is the monster
n finale of "Scandal" ... again. Jake warned Olivia;
I pull she wouldn't listen, after all,
thing she finally had that daddy-
her, daughter relationship she was
sense Scncdal so desperate for. But Jake was
insane, right, Eli Pope is evil, and
i and Season Finale that isn't something that just
sing ABC goes away. Maybe it hid in the
n that shadows for a while, waiting
rs have for the right time to emerge,
subjected to this year but the evil inside of Eli Pope
roducer-writer Shonda is undeniable now. He was
es. That hope was quick- responsible for killing Jerry
t, probably within the Grant, a teenage boy, the son
's first 15 minutes. of the president, the son of the
eems that instead of pro- man that Olivia is in love with,
in the most shocking turn of
events. No matter what his
(undeniably) twisted reason
was, that is a kind of evil that
Olivia will never be able to for-
#734-418-4115 give him for. Good thing she
I: email@example.com doesn't have the slightest idea
that he's responsible for it.
It was nice to be able to
,RBOR PROPERTIES think for a while that Eli Pope
Winning Rentals in Kerrytown, was good and Maya Pope,
Campus, Old West Side, Olivia's mother, was evil. She
ark. Now Renting for 2014. was the terrorist, the murder-
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AL CAMPUS, FURNISHED to be brought down. And she
or students, shared kitch., ldry., truly was all of these things.
ternet, summer from $400, fall However, so is Olivia's father.
$575. Call 734-276-0886. So here we are back at square
1 Bdrm apts. for fall 2014. one. Eli Pope has been rein-
030, showings avail. M-F stated as command of B613,
30ym w 24 hra enhtice. .and he has returned to his life-
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dark holes (this time his crazy
A eAIL. FOR FALL 20141 wife) and ordering murders.
rnished 2 bdrm apt - beat, ma- Dues this sound familiar? It
arking included.A/C and laun-
. Contact 734-904-6735. should, the show has already
been here. For some shows a
DIO'S ONLY $1,195.00! circular plot works; Rhimes
*0ONLYa Few Left* uses it on "Grey's Anatomy"
536 S. Forest Ave. and viewers are still respond-
734-761-2680 ing after ten seasons. With
ER SUBLET - Hay-Aug. "Scandal" though, it was time
n State St. apt, fully furnished. to move forward, questions
nth. bmbogen umich.edu needed to be answered and
certain plot lines needed to be
All Olivia wants is to be
. . able to "stand in the sun." Yet,
Olivia is the woman who can
fix everything, and the thing
that needs fixing most is her
What do you do when
almost every person you know
A 1 JM IL is corrupt and a murderer?
Apparently for Olivia Pope
the answer is to quit OPA
and hop on a private jet and
run away. After all, Olivia's
close friend Cyrus was will-
ing to let a church explode
with hundreds of people
inside just to win an elec-
tion, which somehow wasn't
even the most shocking and
important part of this finale.
Her father is a murderer, and
her mother and her boyfriend
and her other boyfriend and
the people she works with,
the list goes on and on. Olivia
Pope, the woman who refuses
to quit and can supposedly
handle anything has run away
from all her problems. But
don't worry, she brought Jake
with her to "stand in the sun,"
because a person actually can
stand in the sun with some-
one who took over as com-
mand of B613 and personally
murdered James Novak and
two other people. No, there's
no dark shadow following him
around. On the bright side
though, at least Olivia finally
made a decision.
Jake or Fitz? Jake or Fitz?
All season long Olivia has
gone back and forth dragging
viewers along with her. She
sits on the phone with Jake,
then she has a little rendez-
vous with Fitz in the Oval
Office. Neither relationship is
really healthy, but at least she
has finally picked someone.
And being that Jake is neither
married nor the president
of the United States, he does
seem like the more appropri-
ate and logical choice.
Olivia was once so strong,
she stood tall in her white
hat, a gladiator in a suit and
gorgeous jackets, sure of her-
self and her mission. She was
there to fix things, but while
she was busy fixing everyone
else's problems, hers built
up and now Olivia can't even
handle her own life. She's the
one who needs fixing.
If the series is renewed
for another season, which in
all likeliness it will be, it'll
be interesting to see where
Rhimes takes this story.
Olivia can't run away forever,
she'll be back. Getting on a
plane and fleeing from all of
her issues and everyone she
knows will not help her stand
in the sun. In order for Olivia
to ever be able to find peace,
she will need to pull everyone
else out of the darkness and
expose them, and since every-
one she knows seems to be
covered in darkness, it's clear
she has a lot of work to do.
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(c)2014 Tribune Content Agency, L LC