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November 04, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-04

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j The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 -" 5

* The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, November 4, 2014- 5

Author of 'The Color
Purple' comes to AA

ByGRACEPROSNIEWSKI Hurst
DailyArts Writer major

BOLD
Gyllenhol. Gyllenhal. Gylenhal. Gyllenhadsahadshjsadjasdjksaf.
Nightcra wler'is
a dark, flat. affair

Gyll
pei

"Nig
instanc
that is
Many
films
themse
"dark
but fem
live u
descrip
What
"Night
that its
relies
violenc
society
Lou
"Prison
a free
who s
Angele
Entirel
journal
follows
crimina
murder
and h(
candid
the loc
manage
person
block
Russo,
is por
exploita
stories
their a

enhaal's twisted journalistic enterprises simply
because theyboostratings.
rformance only From the first frame when we
far see Lou's face, we know there is
goes so a something wrong with him. He
is distant and unstable. Every
ByJACOBRICH word out of his mouth is a lie,
Daily Arts Writer a, coercion or inspirational text
he likely lifted from a self-help
;htcrawler" is a rare manual or an internet guide. We
ce of a mainstream film see him repeatedly fail to bargain
truly dark. with others for money or favors.
popular He is a psychopath character,
tout but not a smart, scheming one
lves as Night- like "American Psycho" 's Patrick
thrillers," Bateman. Lou is more like Mark
w actually crawler Wahlberg's wannabe extortionist
p to the Raveand character in "Pain & Gain," an
.tor. Quality16 amoral, petty man with twisted
separates Bold ambitions. Gyllenhaal sells Lou's
crawler" is socially awkward behavior from
s darkness beginning to end in perhaps his
not on staging intense most energetic and convincing
e, but on portraying performance to date.
's fascinationwith it. It's unclear, though, why
Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal, Lou is willing to go to such
sers") is a "nightcrawler:" morally reprehensible lengths
elance crime journalist to cover these stories. We are
ells his product to Los shown scenes of his engagement
s television news stations. with petty criminal activity
y outside moral and legal prior to becoming focused on
listic boundaries, Lou "nightcrawling" but we never
the LAPD into various learn anything about his back-
al situations, including story. He is given no reason to
rs, car crashes, stabbings "nightcrawl" other than being
ome invasions, to market a greedy psycho. Gyllenhaal's
footage of the crimes to performance is nuanced enough
al news stations. The upper to intrigue throughout, but
ement of these outlets, a greater explanation of his
ified in ,been-around-the- motivations may have made Lou
news director Nina (Rene the best new character of the
"Thor: The Dark World"), year. Unfortunately, Lou is merely
rtrayed as shamelessly interesting, not classic.
ative, valuing violent The supporting cast, however,
that frighten and upset lacks intrigue entirely. Nina is less
udience above legitimate an interesting character and more

a plot device, and Lou's rival (Bill
Paxton, "Edge of Tomorrow")
is a one-note caricature. Lou
eventually hires an assistant, a
witless homeless kid named Rick
(RizAhmed,"IllManors"), whose
characterization takes up a large
amount of screentime but never
really goes anywhere. The climax
of his arc is the least believable
part of the movie.
Somewhat mitigating the film's
lack of character development
is its excellent sense of tension.
Each time Lou and Rick arrive
at a new crime scene, it seems
as though there are endless
possibilities - will they be
caught? If they are, will it be by
the cops, or the criminals? What
horrific act will they capture
next? "Nightcrawler" has a keen
understanding of these "what's
around the next corner?" thriller
sensibilities. Unfortunately, this
terrific tension is sometimes
hampered by the film's poor use
of non-diegetic sound - its music
is often strangely out of tune with
what is happening onscreen. For
example, it cascades bizarrely,
upbeat and bouncy during an
extremelydarkmomentearlyonin
which Lou illegally moves a body
at a crime scene for the first time.
It felt strange and unintentional,
certainlynotpurposefullyironic.'
"Nightcrawler" is not nearly
as effective a character drama
as it clearly wants to be, but
Gyllenhaal's talent nearly
transcends the superficiality
of his character, and first-time
director Dan Gilroy's well-shot
action sequences are brimming
with drama and twisted energy.

The University has a long,
rich tradition of bringing
speakers of literary and
cultural
significance Alice
to address
students and Walker:
the community Zora
at large. Neale
Tomorrow,
the University Hurston
will host Lecture
novelist, poet
and activist Wednesday,
Alice Walker, 530 p.m.
who was the
first African- Hill Auditorium
American Free
woman to win (registration
the Pulitzer requested)
Prize in
Fiction for her pivotal work
"The Color Purple," a novel
that continues to inspire and
influence writers and readers
alike.
Alice Walker will serve as
the guest lecturer for this
year's Zora Neale Hurston
Lecture, an annual event
presented by the Department
of Afroamerican and African
Studies and the Center for the
Education of Women.
Michael Awkward, a DAAS
professor and founder of the
Zora Neale Hurston Lecture,
spoke about the creation of the
event, now in its 20th year.
"I started the series in
1994 when I was director of
Afroamerican and African
Studies feeling that the unit,
and the University, needed
a major annual event to
showcase the breath and
depth of the field," Awkward
said. "Hurston, an American
novelist, essayist, a playwright
and anthropologist whose
interests spanned the African
diaspora,-medt s the perfect
symbol of the expansiveness of
the field of Black or Africana
Studies."
While many of us have read
Hurston's classic "Their Eyes
Were Watching God" at some
point in our academic careers,
for many years, Hurston
and her work sat in relative
obscurity. In fact, it was
largely through Alice Walker's
research and writings that
Hurston's writings were
rediscovered.
"Fortunately, unlike

lifetin
fact, i
Purpl
30 ye
"Also,
time
Black
more
in Hu
been
the e
sort o
Hurst
"Th
coura
And
being
feels
has m
as an'
I can
conce
repres
peoph
wome
It i
lives
wome
"wom
theor
Aw
SP(
on
on B
exper
gende
"wom
"The
tells t
of Afr
rural
Walke
"to si:
for Bl
impos
we r
of Bk
inextr
Wa
intrin
comm
and p
imbue
poign
open
includ
last y

on, Walker achieved disinvited Walker from
recognition during her speaking at an event -
me - relatively early, in allegedly because of pressure
f we note that 'The Color from donors who disagreed
e' was published over with Walker's views on the
ars ago," Awkward said. Arab-Israeli conflict.
Walker appeared at a "Walker emerged as a
when respect for talented writer in part because of her
and women writers was connection to politics albeit of
widespread than it was a racial and national variety,
rston's day, so she hasn't which she was able quite
ignored or, at least since seamlessly to connect to the
arly 1980s, suffered the gender politics that marked the
f poverty that debilitated feminist movement," Awkward
on. said. "Her connections to
hey share a those movements certainly
geousness, certainly. had an influence on her legacy
Walker's insistence on up until the 1980s."
a voice for those she "Since then, her focus
are unduly mistreated has included international
ade her as controversial atrocities, and she's ruffled
y Black American writer the feathers of people who
1 think of, and a deep believe she has no right to
rn for understanding and speak about controversies
senting the lives of Black connected to non-US countries
e generally and black or that she doesn't understand
n in particular." the issues," said Awkward.
s this emphasis on the "We won't stop reading 'The
and realities of Black Color Purple' or her seminal
n that mark Walker's essays because of Walker's
anist" perspective, a pronouncements on the Israel-
y of social change based Palestinian conflict, I suspect,
though those pronouncements,
as well as hers on the bestiality
., , of the patriarchal institution
card-winning of clitoridectomy, will become
Swi unavoidableaspects of her
writer will literary biography."
eak at the 'U'V in By taking on clitoridectomy
in her novel "Possessing the
Secret of Joy," Walker rejected
W ednesday. the romanticizing of Africa
by many Black writers in the
1960s, and again challenged
readers to look at the complex
lack women's unique interplay of ethnicity and
ience of both racial and gender in the lives of Black
r oppression. Walker's women.
anism" is evident in "In one of my books I write
Color Purple," which that she 'marches tirelessly
he story of the struggles for justice.' And I suspect that
ican American women in she'd willingly sacrifice what,
Georgia in the 1930s. even if her work ended after
Womanist' is a term 'The Color Purple,' would have
er uses," Awkward said, -been a complicated literary
gnify that gender equity legacy to continue to advocate
ack American women is for the causes that speak to her
sible to imagine until soul," Awkward said.
ecognize that the lives Despite the political
ack women and men as controversy, Awkward is
icably bound together." confident that Walker and her
lker's writings are work will continue to impact
sically linked to her our understanding of and
itment to social justice relationtoAmericanliterature.
olitical activism, which "No one will be able to
s them with great discuss American writing
ancy but also leaves her during the last four decades
to partisan criticism, of the 20th century without
ing the controversy considering Walker's
ear when the University contributions."

'Before I Go to,
Sleep' dozes off

CHECK OUT THE LATEST
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS ON
OUR ONLINE BLOG

ByKARSTEN SMOLINSKI
DailyArts Writer
Imagine waking up every
day with no memory of the
past twenty years of your life.
Every night,
your mind
erases the
previous day Before
and every I Go to
morning
you're forced Sleep
to trust the
stranger Re and
sleeping next Quality16
to you. Such Clarius
is the premise
behind
"Before I Go to Sleep," only
the latest thriller to feature an
amnesiac.
There's a good reason why so
manythrillers,fromHitchcock's
"Spellbound" to Christopher
Nolan's "Memento," rely on of
memory loss as the plot driver.
Our memories make up our
personality; they give us a sense
of continuity and purpose.
Without our memories, we lose
control of our destinies and
ourselves. We can't know truth
from falsehood or whom to
trust.
In "Before I Go to Sleep,"
an amnesiac named Christine
(Nicole Kidman, "Eyes Wide

Shut") struggles to recollect
her past with the aid of a
neurologist, Dr. Nasch (Mark
Strong, "Green Lantern").
Dr. Nasch reveals that she
sustained a terrible brain
injury during a vicious attack
years ago, and together they
work to remember the details
of the attack. Unfortunately,
her husband Ben (Colin Firth,
"The King's Speech") strongly
opposes her digging up old
memories. Every day, each
secret Christine uncovers must
be relived by the couple as a
fresh trauma.
Solid performances by
the leads keep the film
engaging and the outcome
uncertain. Though bordering
on melodrama with the
remembrance of old tragedies
and clandestine affairs,
the plot stays emotionally
taut until the climax. The
revelation of one drama after
another pulls the viewer
along at a rapid pace, and the
actors almost make the cliches
bearable. Like the web of
lies ensnaring Christine, the
holes in the story only become
visible when examined too
closely.
Fittingly, "Before I Go to
Sleep" often feels disorienting.
Scenes jump around, making

time difficult to track. Like
a slideshow on fast-forward,
Christine's mind flits
through tantalizingly vague
images: a passionate lover, an
identifying scar, a champagne
bottle descending towards her
head. Phantom voices haunt
her, echoing just out of reach.
The more she unravels of her
past, the more the threads of
memory twist in her grasp.
Disappointingly, the
revelations come with the side
effect of making the plot feel
contrived. Rather than stick to
any hard rules, the story bends
Christine's condition to fit its
needs. It builds relationships
that Christine should be
incapable of. All in all, the
film's treatment of memory
loss doesn't feel as real as in
"Memento."
Though the twists keep the
viewer uncertain, the climax
fails to provide much of a
shock. The deception possesses
great depth, but the small
red herrings along the way
never fully divert attention
from the prime suspect. In a
similar manner, "Before I Go
to Sleep" proves an adequate
diversion, but once the credits
roll, it probably won't stick in
anyone's memory, amnesiac or
not.

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OUR TWEETS
DON'T DO
WELL, WE
REPLY TO
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THERE..."
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