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August 09, 2010 - Image 9

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2010-08-09

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Monday, August 9, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

19

Actors talk 'Pilgrim'

Guggenheim is
the art in Glass'

* Routh and Winstead
go graphic in 'Scott
Pilgrim vs. the World'
By ANKUR SOHONI
Daily Arts Writer
Comic books, now a prolific source
for film adaptations, have inspired
some of the most successful movies
of the past decade. Expanding on the
phenomenon, graphic novel adapta-
tions like "Sin City, "Watchmen" and
"300" differentiate themselves by
maintaining their source medium's
distinct visual styles in their transla-
tions to film.
"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," in
theaters Aug. 13, intends to further
this trend. Adapted from the "Scott
Pilgrim"graphic novel series byBryan
Lee O'Malley, the story finds Toronto
youth Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera,
"Superbad") pining for the girl of
his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary
Elizabeth Winstead, "Live Free or
Die Hard"). In wooing her, Scott dis-
covers one huge obstacle - or rather
seven of them. Ramona's "seven evil
exes" - her boyfriends from child-
hood on - stand in Scott's way, and he
must defeat each of them on the way to
claiming his girl.
One of Ramona's evil exes is Todd
Ingram, a super-powered vegan bass
player played by Brandon Routh
("Superman Returns"). In a round-
table interview, Routh and Winstead
spoke about the film and the trip from
novel to the screen.
"I met with (director) Edgar
(Wright) like three years ago and he
gave me the first three books," Win-
stead said. "I read the books and com-
pletely loved them and completely

loved the characters and was really
excited to see what he was going to do
with it."
"I'm just amazed at the range in the
comic book world," Routh added.
After turns as the title characters in
comic book films like 2006's "Super-
man Returns" and the upcoming
"Dylan Dog: Dead of Night," the actor
is no stranger to such adaptations.
"I read more (comic books) than
I did before, being a part of - now -
three different comic book films," he
said. "I had never read anything like
'Scott Pilgrim' before. I don't think
a lot of people know that comics like
this exist. It's kind of a breath of fresh
air in that respect ... It doesn't feel
like your normal, typical comic book
movie."
Infusing pop culture references
and video-game imitation into its nar-
rative backbone, the film is heavily
entrenched in O'Malley's source novel.
"As far as the spirit of the books and
the spirit of the characters, I think
we all focused a lot on making that
really true to the books," Winstead
said. "That was really important to
me - just to try and be really faithful
to what I envisioned Ramona to be in
the books."
"I loved the little asides and the
power-ups," Routh said, recalling the
video-game narrative style of the book.
"There was just another layer of awe-
someness and nostalgia ... It made it
very unique."
In addition to the full set of influ-
ences from which the film chooses to
draw, music plays a vital role in the
story. The title character is the bassist
for his band "Sex Bob-Omb," and the
band battles with others along Scott's
journey.
The production worked hard to

make the band performances believ-
able, and many of the actors learned to
play new instruments specifically for
their roles.
"That was a big part of the comic,"
said Routh, who learned to play bass
for his role. "(Wright) made a big
effort to make sure that it was really
in the movie and a really driving force
that moves the movie forward and
propels the characters too."
Beyond the allusions and pop cul-
ture showcase of the film, "Scott Pil-
grim" is an oddball romantic comedy.
In his directing career, Wright has
shown a clever handle of the comedi-
cally off-kilter in his films "Shaun of
the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz," and con-
tinues with "Scott Pilgrim."
And, with actors like Michael Cera,
Kieran Culkin ("Paper Man"), Anna
Kendrick ("Up In the Air") and Ali-
son Pill ("Milk") filling out the cast,
Wright has an impressive young
ensemble to work with.
Routh commented on how such a
cast affected the atmosphere on set.
"It was very lighthearted ... Every-
body really believed in the movie,
and that came straight down from
(Wright), who we could all see was
very passionate and excited and ready
to go," he said.
"It was great having so many funny,
charming, smart people around all
the time," Winstead said. "There was
never a dull moment. But at the same
time, it was also really hard work and
really challenging and really long
hours ... So it wasn't all fun and games."
"Scott Pilgrim" promises in its tag-
line to be "an epic of epic epicness,"
and its background certainly seems
to fit the bill - mixing film, comics,
video games and music into a single
distinctive work.

By JOE CADAGIN
Daily Arts Writer
The name Peggy Guggenheim
instantly evokes modern art. A
member of a wealthy Jewish-Ameri-
can family, Gug-
genheim is best Woman Before
known for her a Glass
world-class col-
lection of works Every Thursday
by Picasso, Dali, through Sunday
Mir6, Chagall until Sept. 5;
and others. times vary
Starting this At Performance
month, Perfor- Network Theatre
mance Network Ticketsfrom$25
Theatre will
present "Woman Before a Glass,"
a one-woman play starring Naz
Edwards that explores the inner
workings of Guggenheim's life.
Guggenheim, notorious for her
outrageous behavior and foul mouth,
was the quintessential socialite of
the early 20th century. At her Pala-
zzo in Venice she mingled with the
likes of Igor Stravinsky, Truman
Capote, Paul Newman and play-
wright Samuel Beckett. In fact, it
was Beckett who first suggested that
Guggenheim begin amassing her
legendary art collection.
Not only was Guggenheim inter-
ested in the work of modern artists,
but she also had a passion for the
artists themselves. In addition to
her two failed marriages to artists
Laurence Vail and Max Ernst, Gug-
genheim claimed to have engaged in
affairs with numerous other paint-
ers and sculptors.
Yet "Glass" reveals the woman

behind the affairs and the signature
bat wing-shaped sunglasses.
"She was a very public character
in the way she put herself about,"
said Malcolm Tulip, a School of
Music, Theatre & Dance clinical
assistant professor and director of
"Glass." "ButI think in more ways,
she was deeply private and that she
protected herself by being so outra-
geous."
The play takes place at the Pala-
zzo Venier dei Leoni, Guggenheim's
home in Venice, which now serves
as a museum for her collection. As
the 60-something Guggenheim,
Naz Edwards addresses the audi-
ence in an extended monologue.
Peggy collected
art and artists.
Through Guggenheim's speech-
es, we learn about her relationships
with her ex-husbands as well as her
children, particularly her daugh-
ter Pegeen, who was also an art-
ist. Guggenheim also relays events
from her past, including her escape
- with her collection - from Nazi-
controlled Paris.
A driving force in the play is Gug-
genheim's struggle to decide the
fate of her treasure trove.
"One of her obsessions is what's
going to happen to her collection
after she dies," Tulip said. "In fact,
See GLASS, Page 10

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