Mira Nair's films, like Indian festivals, tend to be indulgent and excessive. Writer Jhumpa Lahiri's stories about Indian-Americans are sparse and understated by contrast. For her adaptation of Lahiri's best-selling novel <i>The Namesake</i>, Nair finds a compromise between the two styles, but her otherwise effective directing is undercut by an overambitious yet bland screenplay.
I must have walked by Miracle of Science Bar & Grill on Massachusetts Avenue at least a hundred times, but didn't know it until last week. It took my fiancée, who doesn't even live here anymore, to tell me about this place and why we should eat there when she came to visit on her spring break. Apparently, the restaurant is famous enough that her friends in the Midwest suggested we try it out, and I'm glad they did. It's a fun little restaurant with good food, a nice atmosphere, and reasonable (if not for everyday) prices.
Trying to describe "Grindhouse," Quentin Tarantino's and Robert Rodriguez's double feature B-movie homage, is kind of like describing the Grand Canyon: sure, throw enough words out there and you can get the idea across, but why not just go out and see for yourself? Of course, the Grand Canyon won't have zombies, lots and lots of blood, and a hot girl with a gun for a leg; whether that's a good or bad thing pretty much determines if you should see "Grindhouse" or not.
Love — true love, head-over-heels, seeing stars love, til-death-do-us-part love — only lasts a year. Don't believe me? Researchers showed that some chemical or protein (excuse this MIT student's highly technical explanation) is found in the brain at high levels for the first year of romance. We read an article about this phenomenon during my writing course last semester, and the facts all seemed in place. After reading, my outraged classmates presented numerous arguments against this stoic and un-storybook-like viewpoint. After a group discussion, we concluded that perhaps the intensity and excitement of first love fades with time, but it is then replaced with the satisfying feeling of familiarity. I think I can live with that definition.
There is a lot to love about "Year of the Dog." It features well-written characters, good acting, decent cinematography, and lots of adorable canine companions — but is it a good movie? One thing is certain, it is a movie that is almost impossible to categorize. Is it a comedy or a drama? Is it worth seeing or not? I have no idea! Just for this ambiguity, "Year of the Dog" is an interesting film — it is unusual to sit through a movie and afterwards not have any idea whether you liked it or not. This also means that the film will not appeal to most moviegoers who venture to the cinema with one goal — entertainment.
One of the things I like most about MIT is finding out about the varying career paths that alums take. Mark Driscoll '92 is one who took the path less traveled. Mr. Driscoll started the Hollywood based Look Effects, a visual effects company that has worked on films including "Apocalypto," "Blood Diamond," "The Fountain," and the upcoming "Next" and "Gone Baby Gone." I talked with Mr. Driscoll a few weeks ago about what he actually does and how he went from MIT to making movies.
Last week, the Irish/Scottish alt rock band, Snow Patrol, came to Boston University's Agganis Arena to promote their most recent album, <i>Eyes Open</i>. Best know for 2004's "Run" (<i>Final Straw</i>) and "Chasing Cars," the first single from <i>Eyes Open</i>, this group's sound is best characterized as emotionally packed lyrics against a "soft-core" rock backdrop that gives them a unique sound in mainstream popular music.
You may not be familiar with his name, but you are almost certainly familiar with Mike White's work. He has written such indie flicks as "Chuck & Buck" and "The Good Girl." He also penned the big-budget "Orange County," "The School of Rock," and "Nacho Libre." White has also written for television's "Dawson's Creek" and "Freaks and Geeks."
Starting this week, third year MIT graduate student Daniel G. Pressl G will be presenting some of his impressive high-speed photography work at an exhibition in Austria entitled “2fast4U.” Pressl has set up booths in the Infinite Corridor and Stata Center that will allow MIT students to interact with people at the Austrian exhibit. I was able to sit down with Pressl, and he told me about his project and how people in the MIT community can get involved.
In the liner notes to the Arcade Fire's debut album, <i>Funeral</i>, there's a remark on how the band was mindful of "the irony of their first full length recording bearing a name with such closure." It's an aspect of the title not hard to notice on your own, but I saw it as only being half the story behind the title and the album.
Fresh off their new album release, <i>Wincing the Night Away</i>, The Shins are in the midst of a whirlwind tour, and last Thursday they graced Boston with their presence. I was lucky enough to witness this, and what follows is a (mostly) accurate representation of what went down. Interviewing fans leaving the venue, I gathered the following: the show was "fucking awesome," "really great," and "smokin'."
During my time at MIT, I have learned that the best thing to do on a Friday night is to grab some friends and go to a MITSO concert, which is possible about twice a term. When I got to Kresge last Friday, I was delighted to see a large audience that apparently felt the same way despite the surprisingly inclement weather. Under the baton of conductor Paul M. Biss, MITSO again delivered an uplifting performance, featuring the all-time favorites Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite" and Stravinsky's "Firebird." The program also included Beethoven's "Symphony No. 1" and Mozart's early masterpiece, the cantata "Exsultate, Jubilate", with soprano Elisabeth Hon G, winner of the MITSO concerto competition.
A new romantic comedy opening at Kendall Cinema gets its enigmatic title, "Starter for 10," from the British game show, "University Challenge." Apparently, British people would catch this reference and it would mean something for them. However, the reference is lost on us Americans, but that isn't too important because "University Challenge" isn't really the focus of the movie, and the storyline never really pans out. Then again, I am not really sure what the focus of "Starter for 10" is<i>.</i> The main point is that there is a college freshman, Brian (James McAvoy) and he has two love interests, Alice (Alice Eve) and Rebecca (Rebecca Epstein).
ArsLatina and Sony Classical have recently presented an homage to Ennio Morricone's masterpieces, interpreted by a surprisingly heterogeneous group of musical masters, from Yo-Yo Ma to Metallica. The anthology could hardly have a more auspicious timing: it comes on the heels of the Italian composer receiving an honorary Oscar at the 79th Annual Academy Awards. Furthermore, the album opens with "I Knew I Loved You," the same song that Celine Dion sang on the same Oscar Night that the composer received his award. In it, Dion still displays the warmth and shine of her prime, which when combined with flawless orchestration, make this the best song of the album.
Have you ever had the experience of seeing a photo of something and knowing immediately that it was for you? Maybe you noticed a picture of a restaurant and declared it would become your new favorite, though you'd never tasted the dish depicted. Or how about seeing the cover of a book and knowing you want to read it, even though you've never even heard of the author (forgetting what they say about not judging a book by its cover)? Dear Reader, I want you to know you're far from alone. Humans rely on vision more than any sense (unless, of course, you're a human without sight, in which case this review will be relevant in just a moment, so bear with me) and so it's perfectly plausible that sight serves as a "gateway sense" for other perceptive experiences.
This past Sunday afternoon, a cappella fans crowded into the beautifully restored Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, and tuned in to WERS 88.9 to listen to four Boston area a cappella groups compete at the All A Cappella Live competition. The four groups were selected as some of the best in the area and included the MIT Logarhythms along with the Brandeis Voicemale, Harvard Low Keys, and the Tufts Beelzebubs ("Bubs"). While this competition had judges, they only provided comments; it was the live audience of 1200 that would actually decide the afternoon's winner.
Perhaps it says something about me, but <i>Dirty Rotten Scoundrels</i> has been one of my favorite movies since the age of seven. Starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, this movie about two con-men trying to one up each other in the French Riviera was just about the funniest thing I’d ever seen. Thus when I heard a musical based on it was coming out, I was both thrilled and worried. Since I love the original and I love musicals, it had the potential to be magnificent. Of course, if they messed it up and tarnished the good name of <i>Scoundrels</i>, it would be a bitter disappointment on the order of <i>The Matrix Reloaded</i>. Finally, after years of fear, I bit the bullet and saw the show. My hopes were realized: it was really good.
It was my first time at Bad Taste and I had no idea what to expect. I had heard tales of offensive skits, outrageous songs, and lines snaking through the MIT buildings, but, quite frankly, I believed none of them.