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May 11, 2009 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-05-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Monday, May 11, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


All booked up

Daily Arts Writer
For those still taking classes in Ann
Arbor, the art scene continues to be a thriv-
ing resource. And it's only appropriate that
a town known for its
intellectually stimulat-
ing culture and for hous- 6th Annual
ing over 30 bookstores Ann Arbor
host a spring book festi-
val. The 6th Annual Ann Book Fair
Arbor Book Festival will May15-17
run this Friday through
Since 2004, the festival has aimed to pro-
mote reading, writing and literary apprecia-
tion through author presentations, exhibits
and panel discussions. Booths will be set
up in the Michigan League - as well as out-
side in Ingalls Mall - exhibiting 57 authors,
bookstores and publishers. Presentations
in the League will cover topics such as the
newspaper industry, youth and creativity,
how books change lives and the future of the
The Ann Arbor art
scene thrives
all summer long.
"The organizers who were originally
behind the idea were various people in the
community," said Kathy Robenalt, a Uni-
versity alum and executive director of the
"Some were University people, book-
store people, library people and a mix of
writers who all felt that the community
can support something like this," Robenalt
Over the past few years, the
festival has brought together over
850 authors and performers and
over 8,000 students. This year
promises to be a continuing suc-
cess. For the third year in a row,
a writing conference will be held M
for those interested in sharpening
their writing skills and interact-
ing with visiting authors. The list
of appearing authors includes Col-
son Whitehead ("Sag Harbor"),
Deanna Adams ("Confession of a
Not-So-Good Catholic Girl") and
Heather Buchanan ("Kiss & Tell").
Guest authors will also be at a
reception at the Ann Arbor Dis-
trict Library following the confer-
ence and at the Author Breakfast i
on Saturday in the League. W-4
The festival is committed to A I

promoting literariness not only through
the written word but also through theater,
dance and music. On Friday, an event called
"The Art of the Play: From Page to Stage"
will feature short performances by Ann
Arbor's Blackbird Theatre and The Per-
formance Network. These performances
will be part of the evening's examination
of play production, which will also include
a panel discussion featuring William Bol-
com, a Grammy Award winner and former
professor in the School of Music, Theatre
& Dance, and OyamO (Charles F. Gordon),
a renowned playwright and an associate
professor of English and Theatre.
On Saturday, Peter Yarrow of the folk
group Peter, Paul and Mary, who is com-
monly remembered for co-writing "Puff
the Magic Dragon," will perform folk
songs from his children's books.
Returning this year is the Ann Arbor
Civic Ballet, which will perform on Sun-
day with original choreography set to the
children's picture book "Llama Llama
Misses Mama," by Anna Dewdney. The
author will narrate her story as the danc-
ers perform.
The festival is accessible to all age groups
and supports the reading and writing scene
not only at the University, but also through-
out Ann Arbor - a town composed of
accomplished and developing writers alike.
"Ann Arbor is a culture
to come and hear what
others have to say about
different issues, and then
interact with those people
and have Q&A and share
their thoughts," Kobenalt
said. "It's a hotbed of liter-
ary activity."
For maps, direc-
tions and a complete
list of events visit www.

From Page 8
compelling subject matter.
The decision to add and drop
main characters from epi-
sode to episode makes the
show difficult to follow. The
interweaving of the charac-
ters' storylines is choppy and
often confusing; the struggle
of forming a coherent epi-
sode from the footage taken
from the lives of six students
who essentially don't inter-
act with each other means
that the same plot points are
constantly reemphasized.
Another issue is the show's
lack of continuity - the epi-
sodes jump back and forth
between months with no
logical progression through-
out the year.

While this is irritating,
"College Life" is spot-on in
its depiction of realistic rela-
tionships. For instance, the
show's agonizingportrayal of
the on-again, off-again rela-
tionship between Andrea,
an overzealous Christian,
and Josh, her desperate ex-
boyfriend, is just as annoying
and drawn-out as it probably
is in real life.
The show's lackluster pro-
duction values are certainly
another weakness. The nau-
sea-inducing use of shaky
handheld cameras, while
more personal than a typical
multi-camera reality show,
ultimately detracts from the
show's overall quality. The
washed-out, grainy student
footage is strongly reminis-
cent of a YouTube video. The
kids tend to shoot either tight
close-ups of their faces or the

faces of the people they are
talking to, giving the show
an almost claustrophobic
vibe and the viewer no sense
of where each scene takes
place. Multiple tertiary char-
acters refuse to be shown on
camera or to allow their con-
versations to be taped, creat-
ing a strange hybridization of
scripted television and actual
"College Life," while not
groundbreaking, is a light-
weight and -entertaining
piece of programming that
the majority of college stu-
dents can identify with. In
this case, MTV's decision
to focus on the channel's
primary demographic of
everyday students rather
than wealthy southern Cal-
ifornians or (yet another)
"Real World/Road Rules"
crossover is a shrewd one.

I It ain't a party till the guy with Sun Chips shows up.
ICei n tl P R E S E N T S

ion-Fri 9:00-5:00pm
Sat 8:30-3:00pm


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