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2B - Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

28 - Thursday, March 20, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

SAC Prof. fulfills
his dreams at 'U'

'Last Impact' tells
partial.story of Cobain


the 1
ing d
and I
I was
be a
a pla
at th
sin. D
to be.
to be
this i
to te
ple w

urnstein helped where he earned a Master's
degree in English in a year.
establish the "I thought, 'Maybe, I'll
get a Ph.D. in English litera-
SCreenwriting ture, teach Shakespeare, and
then I'll write," he said. "But
department nobody then was getting an
English Ph.D. and getting a job.
By CARLY KEYES The unkindest cut of all was
DailyArts Writer when my Chaucer professor
announced on the last day that
a Burnstein, Hollywood he was leaving being an Eng-
nwriter and founder of lish professor and he was going
University's Screenwrit- to law school. It was bizarre."
epartment, was almost a That's when Burnstein
er instead. realized he just had to "do it."
took creative writing and Shortly thereafter, he wrote
vriting (at the University), an episode of a half-hour
did pretty well, but I was drama that got syndicated to
to law school from the time all the various PBS stations.
ten years old," he said. It inspired confidence, and
University alumnus, in the meantime, he was still
stein developed an affin- looking to fulfill his other
for Shakespeare after dream of teaching Shake-
'ing English under Rus- speare.
Fraser, former English "I went to a senior citizen
rtment Head and a lead- place in Birmingham (Michi-
expert on the revered gan) and said, 'I'd like to teach
'right. Shakespeare,' and they said,
raser) said, 'If Shake- 'Can you teach aerobics?"'
*e were alive today, he'd Burnstein recalled. "I couldn't
screenwriter,' " Burn- give it away."
recalled. "I knew what Then, a friend who was
ywright was, but I just an admissions counselor
t think, 'Wow, somebody at Wayne State informed
y writes those movies.' " Burnstein that Selfridge Air
:er graduation, Burnstein National Guard Base was look-
married and headed to ing for an English teacher.
son to attend law school "And I said, 'Soldiers?' " he
e University of Wiscon- said. "God has spoken. That's
uring the drive there, he exactly who I was looking
zed he really didn't want for."
a lawyer. Little did Burnstein know
his is the wrong time that his experience at Self-
thinking this," he said. ridge would eventually fulfill
driving to law school, both of his dreams.
'm thinking, 'What do I Burnstein wrote the script
want to do?' So, I got for "Renaissance Man," and
dea in my head, 'I want after several re-writes under
ach Shakespeare to peo- the mentorship of Academy-
ho wouldn't have it if it award winning screenwriter
n't for me."' Kurt Luedtke, it was optioned
rnstein also dreamed of and sold to Touchstone Pic-
ng his own drama, so he tures at Disney. Penny Mar-
ked off the term and then shall, just after "A League of
ned to the University Their Own," had come out,

signed on to direct, with
Danny DeVito in the lead role.
"So, they made it," Burn-
stein said. "And once they
made it, I've worked fairly
steadily since."
Just after Burnstein had
finished penning the third
sequel in the beloved Mighty
Ducks franchise for Disney,
the University called.
"They heard that I was
still living locally and asked,
'Why aren't you teaching for
us?' " Burnstein said. "First
night I got here, the line was
out the door and around the
block because there was such
a demand for screenwriting."
Burnstein was instrumen-
tal in expanding the Screen
Arts & Cultures Department,
known then as Film and
Video, which now features
a Screenwriting sub-major,
several introductory and re-
write courses for both feature
film and television, the Don-
ald Hall Collection of scripts,
and the James Gindin Visiting
Artists Series where each term
industry professionals come to
the University to speak.
Today, Burnstein balances
his responsibilities as a profes-
sor and a working professional
with his writing partner, Gar-
rett K. Schiff, with whom he's
collaborated since the success
of their recent film, "Love
and Honor," which was filmed
largely in Ann Arbor.
"I write every day here, and
now because you can just send
the file, (Schiff) works on it,
kicks it back. But when I have
to go out (to Los Angeles) for
meetings, I just try to sched-
ule it when I have a three-day
chunk or on a break."
Currently, Burnstein has
a few projects in the works
including a script he is writ-
ing on spec, an animated
feature, and another story
inspired by Shakespeare.

Cross book
examines cultural
significance of
Nirvana lead singer
Daily Film Editor
Charles R. Cross's "Here We
Are Now: The Lasting Impact
of Kurt Cobain" comes to book-
shelves 25
years after
debut Here We Are
"Bleach," Now: The
less than lasting Impact
a month
before of Kurt Cobain
the band's Chades R.Cross
induc- H
tion into Harper Callins
the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame and
20 years, almost to the date,
since Kurt Cobain's suicide.
It certainly seems that his
death is better remembered
than his life, and his music
will always be marked by the
circumstances of its abrupt
end. Kurt Cobain's life was a
troubled and interesting one,
but perhaps most importantly
it was an impactful life, one
that has left its mark on fash-
ion, cultural trends, substance
abuse and, obviously, music.
To think that everything about
rock and roll culture changed
with four little power chords ...
Cross, a best-selling author
who has written about other
Seattle-based rockers, includ-
ing Hendrix and the band
Heart, previously wrote a
biography of Cobain. With
"Here We Are Now," who's
title comes from lyrics of
"Smells Like Teen Spirit,"
he opts not to examine the
life of this tortured man, but
rather explore the impact of
his life and death on society.
It is not a biography, and one
would have difficulty to call
it a history; it's more a social
commentary on the origins
of some of the American cul-
tural phenomena that began
in the mid-90s. The author
makes clear in his preface

that this book is comprised
of his own thoughts and that
he draws his own conclusions
in trying to quantify Coba n's
life beyond
album sales;
he does so
with moder-
ate success.
The book
begins with
1994, the day
of Cobain's
death, or
rather the
of his body.
worked as
a journalist
at Seattle-based The Rocket
magazine, one of the first
media outlets to really cover
the Grunge era of the early
'90s, Cross interacted with
Cobain on several occasions,
and his duties as a journal-
ist often conflicted with his
sentiments as a fan - no more
so than on that day in April.
Cross documents his experi-
ence in reporting the news
of the loss of a rock icon,
which ultimately culminated
in Cross's sudden appearance
on Larry King's radio show,
where he was asked, "Why
did Kurt Cobain matter?" It is
the brief anecdotes like these
that have the most to offer the
reader since they rely not on
speculation but on personal
experience and sentiments.
But the book is mostly com-
prised of conjectures and
commentary, often without
the backing of documentation
or sources. Indeed, several of
Cross's examples, such as the
rise of heroin-chic fashion in
the late '90s, seem more like
retrospective tabloid con-
tent than true observations.
Cobain's drug use is well docu-
mented, but the face of heroin
he was not, and the assigning
him to a controversial style
that is rooted in culture rather
than a single man disservices
the two and comes off as super-
fanaticism by the author.
On the whole, however, the
book is solid in its cultural

assertions, most notably in
Cobain's impact on Grunge
culture, a term he detested, and
the response to heroin abuse
treatment in
the years fol-
lowing his
death. Cross
has some
points to offer
the reader
as he exam-
IFKRTODB otines Cobain's
feminist and
pro-gay rights
activism and
his tearing
down of clas-
sical gen-
der roles in
rock music.
Towards the
end of the book, Cross looks at
trends in young adult suicide
rates and their small but sur-
prising decrease in the weeks,
months and years following
Cobain's death.
"Here We Are Now" serves
best the reader who has yet.to
be indoctrinated into the histo-
ry of Nirvana or Grunge music
as a whole; it is best read as
an introduction to Cobain and
his music by presenting some
of its greatest lasting legacies,
and, hopefully, will encourage
the reader to pick up a record
or download an MP3. To the
diehards, though, there is less
appeal - we know why Kurt
Cobain was important; we can
hear his influence on nearly
every song on the radio and see
his influence in countless areas
of society like the rise in thrift
store culture. The book doesn't
delve into the psyche of the
man behind the music or the
movements, which might be
more interesting to some.
But Cross's main point,
which he is careful to stress, is
that Cobain never conformed
to society's standards even as
society tried to morph those
standards around him. He was
a free spirit trapped by his own
demons, but who very much
lived by his lyrics, "come as you
are, as you were." His music
is his legacy, but his lasting
impact stems from the subtext
of his life: be yourself, live
fully, love everyone.


This is a great trailer. Almost
nothing about Phillip Noyce's
seems aston-
ishing or sur- The Gier
prising, but it
looks intrigu- Haldet Media
ing enough for
your curiosity
to be considerably aroused.
Everything is dealt with in
perfect measure and nothing
feels like it's overdone. From
the music to the visuals to the
quick glimpses of characters,
viewers get just the peek they
need in order to hit that replay
button. It's so refreshingto
come across a trailer that actu-
ally ends when it should, with-
out giving away too much of
the plot or focusing on the key
dramatic moments. With this
one, you knowwhat the movie

is going to be about, not what's
going to happen.
There's almost an air of
nonchalance when Academy
Award winners Jeff Bridges
("Crazy Heart") and Meryl
Streep ("Iron Lady") appear on
the screen as pivotal charac-
ters, which is perfect because
it doesn't steal focus from the
rest of the trailer. The events
are depicted in a near perfect

progression - from calmness,
to suspicion and finally conflict.
As the music becomes eerier,
Brenton Thwaites (TV's "Home
and Away"), who plays Jonah,
is abducted by a spaceship and
very abruptly, the title of the
film appears on screen - bring-
ing the trailer full circle and to
a close which leaves you want-

E-mail jplyn@umich.edu to request an
application to the Daily Arts section.


There was a stretch of epi-
sodes last fall where there was
no stopping
"The Good
Wife." This
week's episode .
differed from T Good
that stretch, l Mef
diverging CBS
slightly from
the main story
to give us
insight into
Alicia's past through a series of
fascinating flashbacks.
The focus of the episode
is Alicia's attempt to write
a speech for an American
Bar Association conference.
Through flashbacks, the writers
showed the troubles she dealt
with, including being told that
she couldn't be hired because
she was the wife of a disgraced
politician; they showed how
much more confident in her
abilities she's become over the
past five seasons.
Though the episode did

interrupt the major story arc,
it didn't completely ignore the
ongoing arc of this half-season
involving the Office of Public
Integrity investigating Peter
Florrick's voter fraud. This
week, they went after Will as
a co-conspirator in the action.
This also served as the return of
Carrie Preston ("True Blood"),
the show's best recurring guest
star, as the quirky lawyer Els-
beth Tascioni who Will enlists
to represent him. Preston per-
fectly captures the eccentrici-

ties of the character, creating
some brilliantly funny moments
in each of the episodes she's in.
This episode was no exception.
With 22 episodes to fill,
broadcast network series like
"The Good Wife" sometimes
need filler episodes in order to
not stretch their main arc too
thin. The episode's captivating
flashbacks provided some great
insights into Alicia's past, and
the return ojf Preston added
some much needed fun.

In the last year, Zedd has
gone from little-known elec-
tro house
producer to
a bonafide
pop star. Best itd Y
known for Zedd
his smash Interscope
singles "Clar-
ity" and "Stay
the Night,"
the German
EDM artist churns out radio-
friendly fare at an alarming
clip. His latest track, "Find
You," is the lead single off of
the "Divergent" soundtrack,
a young-adult blockbuster
released this week. Like
Zedd's previous singles, "Find
You" is dancefloor-ready, but
its lack of originality makes
it ultimately an unmemorable
"Find You" features vocals
from two mostly anonymous
singers, Matthew Koma and
Miriam Bryant. What the

track lacks in star power, it
attempts to make up for in a
catchy hook and an elaborate
video. The music video opens
with a typical club scene, but
quickly changes direction by
including a Hitchcock-esque
bird chase and a cinemati-
cally gorgeous motorcycle
excursion. The nonsensical
plot moves to a snowy forest,
which is never described, but
a cohesive script is clearly not

the director's goal.
The video features good-
looking young people and
colorful backdrops that nicely
accompany the soaring vocals
of the chorus. "Find You" may
not have achieved the main-
stream popularity that Zedd's
previous singles have, but it
succeeds as an accessible song
that fits in on pop radio while
maintaining EDM credibility.



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