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February 17, 2014 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-17

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8A - Monday, February 17, 2414

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

- Monday, February 17, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom



Shoshi 2014.

Something's amiss.

Sochi's influence
on social media

Cold and unfulfilling
'Winter's' adaptation

Olympics provide
platform for online
Daily Arts Writer
The permeation of the
Olympics into all facets of social
media should surprise no one.
Consideringthat my friends and I
have all live-tweeted, most likely
to the chagrin of our followers,
every award show this season,
this level of cultural obsession
makes perfect sense. So much so
that my mother keeps sending me
links (Mom, I love them. Please
continue doing so.)'to every cool/
funny/thoughtful article/Tumblr/
tweet/video she sees relating to
Sochi 2014.
Think about that: my
50-something-year-old mother,
who sometimes needs to call me
about working our cable box,
actively consuming and dispersing
social media surrounding the
Winter Olympics. What does.
that say about Generation Y? We
are the Kings and Queens of the
Interweb. We create, process and
respond to posts all day long. And
that mentality has resulted in huge
amounts of content surrounding
the Olympics.
There has been some contro-
versy about the use of Twitter -
by journalists and athletes alike
- with the hashtag #SochiProb-
lems. While some of the posts are
more lighthearted, obviously pok-
ing fun atthe host country's minor
setbacks, others are much more
scathing. The question is what
the Russian government is going
to make of these international
criticisms. They draw attention to

every imperfection and broadcast
it with avail.
While Twitter and similar
sites allow for wide dispersal of
information, other websites have
gone another route. The day after
the opening ceremony, an article
started popping up on my Face-
book timeline. Friends were shar-
ing it with captions of outrage. My
curiosity was piqued and I finally
read the article. The website pub-
lishing the article was one I was
unfamiliar with, The Daily Cur-
rant . The article, "Man Respon-
sible For Olympic Ring Mishap
Found Dead In Sochi," suggests
that one of the technicians dur-
ing the ceremony was killed with
encouragement from the gov-
ernment for a lighting blunder.
Thankfully, the article was a farce
- much like The Onion, The Daily
Currant is a satirical publication.
That being said, how many people
believed this article without fact
or source checking?
These pieces demonstrate the
potential backlash of increasing
globalization. But not everything
that has come out during the past
two weeks has been negative.
Some of the material created
surrounding the Olympics has
been hilarious, thought-provoking
or generally silly.
One of the best mash-ups of
popular culture and an Olympic
sport came from the redubbing of
an ice dancing routine. Twitter
users started pointing out the
obvious: pairs ice dancing could be
made even better with one simple
addition - Beyonc6. Luckily,
BuzzFeed followed through and
altered a winningperformance by
the University's own Meryl Davis
and Charlie White, taking out

of Beyonc6's most recentself-titled
album. The results are pure magic.
I am sure others would agree that
there should be a new category in
ice skating that only allows the use
of Queen Bey's music.
Another great combination of
pop culture and Olympians comes
in the form of a Tumblr. Shoshi
Games 2014 is dedicated to pho-
toshopping the face of Shoshanna
Shapiro (of HBO's popular show
"Girls") onto Olympians' bodies.
it may sound dumb, but for "Girls"
and Olympics enthusiasts alike,
the results are hilarious. Shoshi
Games 2014 fulfills all of the long-
ings I didn't know existed until I
saw the Tumblr.
In all honesty, one of my favor-
ite uses of social media is the use
of the mobile-app Tinder, and
the Olympic athletes have admit-
ted to it being used in the village.
Take that in. Olympians are find-
ing other Olympians through the
same "dating" app that college
kids use to find hook-ups on cam-
pus. In combination with the dis-
tribution of condoms in Olympic
Village, I can only imagine what
the direct messages are like. Sup
posedly the number of Tinder-
users has skyrocketed in Sochi
since the beginning of the games.
Can you really blame people
though? Tinder seems way more
exciting when you could become'
a match with the likes of Shaun
White or Matteo Guarise instead
of simply the kid that lived down
the hall from you freshman year.
The Olympics don't end until
the Feb. 23rd and surely more
gems will come to fruition thanks
to the Internet. Sochi 204
definitely sets a precedent for the
Olympic Games to come by way of

DailyArts Writer,
It took 31 years for Mark
Helprin's novel "Winter's Tale"
to reach the big screen. The novel
- originally
published in
1983 - is a
masterfully Winter's
commentary on Tale
life in New York Qualityl6and
City, spanning Rave20
nearly 100 years
and exploring Warer Btss.
the cultures of
two distinct
time periods. It succeeds as a bold
love story, an urban tragedy -
innovative for both its scope and
colloquial charm. The aesthetics
of Helprin's writing are consistent
and augment the story's rich
devices. The novel's function
as a poetic, romantic drama,
however, is completely ignored in,
director Akiva Goldsman's recent
cinettsatic rendition. The film
misrepresents or misinterprets
nearly every symbolic pillar
and instead, strives to depict a
fantasficlA'callOus love tale.
The character relationships-
consistently fail to invigorate the
defunct and exaggerated plot.
Peter Lake (Colin Farrell, "Saving
Mr. Banks") is a thief in 19th
century New York City under the
dictation of Irish gangster Pearly
Soames (Russell Crowe, "Man of
Steel"). After failing to please the

boss, Lake decides to flee from
New York. The last burglary he
commits is of a Central Park West
mansion, in which dying heiress
Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown
Findlay, "Downtown Abbey")
awaits her impending demise at
the hands of tuberculosis. The two
fall in love and Lake resolves to
help cure herillness.
Weak performances by
accomplished actors merely add to
the film's contemptible conjecture.
Russell Crowe is a droog-
controlling tyrant that oversees
most of the city's underworking.
He is evil, and everyone but Crowe
seems to know this. Granted, the
role is tricky, he reports to ajudge/
devil-type.character called Lucifer
(played by Will Smith, "After
Earth"), who teeters on the verge
of clinical insanity and, for some
unexplained reason, is unable
to leave New York City when
Peter Lake flees with Beverly. A
mix of unabashed plot holes and
character flaws prevent Crowe
from delivering a truly powerful
menace. What we get instead
is a flaky, frustrated mob boss
- forever stuck chucking his
droogsafter a low-leveloiminalt
andhis doomed love interest.
The rampant time shifting
is another major component of
the film's gradual collapse. The
film employs deus ex machina
often, so as to coax the audience
into believing that the story is
set in another reality, but it can't
explain Peter Lake's quantum

leaps from New York in the 1890s
to New York in 2014. The script
offers minimal justification for
this phenomenon. It becomes
a part of the story that is to be
accepted and committed to
heart. Many aspects of the film
commandeer this same method
of demand.
Ultimately, many fans of the
book will be disappointed with
Goldsman's adaptation. A great
part of the novel's attention
to poetic detail was simply
lost in the translation. What
should be a marvelous story,
one complemented by crime,
culture, patriotism, history
and love, ends up as a shallow
spin on unrebutted time travel.
Helprin's New York City is filled
with a diversity of characters and
experiences - a winter's tale that
rouses compassion. Goldsman's
New York Cityachieves no such
Winter's stolid frost is often
associated with beauty. A scene
consisting of a frozen lake,, a
frosted bridge and a cozy cottage
should present some degree of
visual splendor. A love story
en-veldped'-by hi . gs t14
-especiallyinvokewarm etiment
among viewers, but much of the
film's chill somehow blows off-
screen. Whether by direction,
storytelling or cohfused acting
- or a combination of all three -
the same unwelcoming cold from
"Winter's Tale" finds its way to
the hearts of viewers.

'Great Beauty' lives up to name

their music track and replacing it 4 online interaction across national
with "Drunk In Love," a track off boundaries.


Daily Arts Writer
Visually and aurally charged
with a diverse collage of mod-
ern Rome's splendor from the
ancient ruins
to the night- B+
clubs, "The
Great Beauty" The Great
relates the com-
mon story of BeutY
man's search Michigan
for meaning Theater
with an uncom-
mon approach. Janus Films
Though the
plot meanders
and drags at points, the sights and
sounds of writer/director Paolo
Sorrentino's ("This Must Be the
Place") vision of Rome never grow
Jep Gambardella, an aging writ-
er and connoisseur of Rome's high
society nightlife, loves to party. He
drinks and dances all night, finally
going to bed as the rest of the city
awakens. Leaning on the popu-
larity of his only novel, written in
his youth, Jeb has spent nearly 40
years this way. However, follow-
ing shortly after his 65th birthday,
news of the death of his first love
triggers potent memories of his
past and a lack of fulfillment with
his hedonistic lifestyle.
"The Great Beauty" tells the
story of an artist floundering in
apathy, unable to create anything
he finds meaningful. Surrounded
by pseudo-intellectuals, art snobs
and has-beens, Jeb feels adrift in a
seaofesotericdrivel and absurdity.
Toni Servillo ("Il Divo: La Spetta-
colare Vita di Giulio Andreotti")
plays the jaded writer, perfectly
portraying Jeb's inner turmoil
through his long, contemplative
gazes and those rare moments
when, unable to contain what's

"Anyway, here's 'Wonderwall.'"
below the surface,his face contorts
in agony. The narrative follows
him as he attempts to navigate
the multitudinous arts and rela-
tionships of Rome, searching for
meaning to inspire him.
The film's cinematography
embodies this search, mimicking
the artist's eye as it picks over the
world surrounding Jeb. Often-
times, it discovers one of the sub-
plots woven throughout the film,
such as a friend's suicidal child or
a washed-up, coked-out ex-televi-
sion star. These details round out
Sorrentino's portrait of absurdity.
The camera moves ceaselessly,
sometimes sweeping over pan-
oramas of Rome or a gorgeous,
turquoise sea, drifting over fine
architectural details or shaking
with the beat of another glitzy
party. The viewer gets the sense
that Sorrentino has framed every
scene with purpose and meticu-
lously planned every tracking
shot. Together, Jeb and the audi-
ence scrutinize these displays,
digging for purpose. The bril-
liant soundtrack compliments
this examination of art through
classical songs that infuse the
picture with their tone of wonder
and awe.
As Jeb surveys Renaissance
paintings and sculptures, incred-

ible landscapes and the bod-
ies of nude women, art and the
everyday begin to bleed into
one another. In one scene, Jeb
rehearses the words and actions
he will give to a mourning friend
as condolence. Even his social
interactions have become a per-
formance, showing how a life
awash in excessive art gradually
sinks into meaninglessness. The
messages soon contradict one
another and form an irreconcil-
able sense of absurdity.
Lacking in any completely
revolutionary ideas, "The Great
Beauty" inevitably draws com-
parisons to the films of'Fellini,
such as the decadent "La Dolce
Vita" or the contemplative "81."
However, these comparisons
come off favorably in the end,
evoking the masterful skill of
these Italian auteurs. With this
film, Paolo Sorrentino deftlyuses
cinematography and sound to
explore every possible facet of
art and meaning. By the time the
credits role, most viewers will
possess very few new answers
regarding the purpose of art and
life. However, Sorrentino's focus
on capturing the immense power
and beauty of this question will
restore any audience member's
sense of awe.

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