Movie Review: I’m Not There

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Jan 302008
 
Authors: Jeff Schwartz

“I’m Not There” (currently playing at the Lyric Cinema Café) is one of the most surreal and experimental films I have ever seen.

Its central conceit is the idea of using six different actors (Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Ben Whishaw and Marcus Carl Franklin) to portray some aspect of Bob Dylan’s multi-faceted personality.

As a devoted Dylan fan, I have been hankering to see this film since it came out last November, but its limited release in the Denver metro area made that somewhat difficult.

But the tragic passing of Heath Ledger last week reminded me of “I’m Not There,” and made me want to see it even more.

And believe me, this is definitely a film worth seeing, especially if you like Dylan, or if you are interested in one of Ledger’s last screen performances.

“I’m Not There” unfolds non-chronologically and alternates between its six different storylines, so there isn’t really a “plot” to describe.

The genius of the film is that it not only manages to shed light on Dylan’s mercurial personality by utilizing six actors to portray him, but that the film’s unconventional and impressionistic structure also manages to approximate what it is like to listen to a Dylan song: sometimes it is confusing, sometimes it is funny, sometimes it’s painfully sad but it is always, always engaging.

Though all the actors acquit themselves well, the two most fascinating performances belong to Blanchett and Ledger.

Blanchett has already received heaps of praise (including a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination) for her portrayal of Dylan circa 1966, and the praise is well-earned.

Blanchett’s Dylan (called Jude in the film) rages against the press while on tour in England, cavorts around with Beat poet Allen Ginsberg (David Cross) and, generally, refuses to be defined, especially in political terms.

Blanchett’s performance modulates between madcap and petulant, and the Dylan she reveals is not very likeable.

But Blanchett also finds the humanity in Dylan, especially in a scene where she is told by her manager that there are 80 more shows left on tour, and the look on Blanchett’s face reveals the depth of Jude’s disillusionment.

Then there’s Ledger, who plays a rebel movie star in the ’60s and ’70s named Jack. Jack is pulled in opposite directions by his politically active artist wife (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and the allure of movie-stardom.

What Ledger does well is reveal a man without a center. His Dylan is the celebrity who became alienated from his art because of his fame.

Not everything in “I’m Not There” works (the sequences with Richard Gere are damn-near incomprehensible), but the film’s sheer ballsiness and ingenuity are enough to make it an unforgettable and worthwhile experience.

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CD Review: Vampire Weekend

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Jan 302008
 
Authors: Nick Scheidies

Previously unfamiliar to all but the hippest of the hip and the most hopeless of indie addicts, Vampire Weekend is looking to break into the mainstream with their self-titled debut

They certainly deserve the success. Their debut is rife with indelible ditties that benefit from bohemian influences and refreshingly spare instrumentation.

Pros: As their name implies, Vampire Weekend has a taste for the playfully idiosyncratic in both music and lyrics. Their singular brand of indie-pop consists of keyboard, violin, bouncing bass, guitar and tribal percussion.

Lyrically, they impress with smart and carefully crafted lines like the alliterative, “all your diction dripping with disdain, through the pain.”

Cons: Unfortunately, the brief, likable tunes of “Vampire Weekend” can feel slightly underdeveloped and overly heterogeneous.

The album is consistently enjoyable, but the high-pitched backup vocals in the chorus of “One (Blake’s Got a New Face)” are enough to keep your finger wavering over the “skip” button.

Definitive Track: The infectious “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” manages to epitomize Vampire Weekend’s quirky yet catchy aesthetic. Distinguished by a clean, jaunty guitar riff during the verse and Ezra Koenig’s startlingly wailed vocals in chorus, it’s the type of song that will rattle around in your head for days if you aren’t careful.

Conclusion: It may not be anything more than well conceived pop music, but with 11 tracks clocking in at only 34 minutes, “Vampire Weekend” is careful not to overstay its welcome.

They’re just obscure indie darlings for now, but with a novel yet radio-friendly sound, it might not be long before Vampire Weekend is a household name.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Tasty Tempations: Dinner for two

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Jan 302008
 
Authors: Nikki Cristello

Cooking is my favorite thing to do. Especially something that looks difficult and fancy looking, but really isn’t.

“Tasty Temptations” will be my weekly column aiming to bring food to the college crowd that will both look and taste good.

This week is a meal for two. Ideally, this would be a great romantic dinner. However, I am newly single so I fixed it for me and my best friend, Laurel. Drawing from my own likes and ingredients in the fridge, I created this fancy feast for two, or even a few. Enjoy!

Bare-breasted chicken

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 / teaspoons mozzarella cheese

2 teaspoons parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons parsley

/ white potato, finely diced

1 rib celery

2 mushrooms (1 for each chicken breast, or to taste)

2 teaspoons green onions

2 pieces of bacon, diced and browned

Toothpicks

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 F.

Dice all ingredients at roughly the same time, into smaller than bite-sized pieces. Brown bacon in the same pan you will cook chicken in

Tasty Tip: Bacon grease can help to glue your mixture together and help cook the chicken. Mix all ingredients (except chicken and toothpicks) together in a large bowl with hands, adding EVOO if it isn’t moist enough. Mixture should clump together loosely. Butterfly chicken breasts with a sharp paring knife, being careful not to cut through chicken. This should look like a small pocket when finished.

Stuff chicken breasts until plump. Try not to overstuff them. Pin with toothpicks Brush chicken lightly with EVOO and season to taste. Sear chicken in a pre-heated (over medium heat) skillet. Tasty Tip: Remove toothpicks very carefully when flipping sides. They will be hot, so be careful. Put chicken on a baking sheet and put into oven to bake for about 25 minutes, or until filling oozes slightly and chicken sizzles. Tasty tip: Chicken should be at about 160 F on the inside when it is done. Anything under and it isn’t fully cooked. Tasty Tip: Prepare the potatoes and chicken first and put in the oven together. The asparagus only takes about ten minutes, so plan accordingly.

For a recipe for Bacon-wrapped Asparagus and Buttery potato rounds, look for Nikki’s full column on www.collegian.com

Verve writer Nikki Cristello can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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Local gallery goes beneath the surface

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Jan 302008
 
Authors: David Boerner

The Gallery Underground may be the hippest art gallery in Fort Collins.

It’s painted gleaming white from floor to ceiling and lined with water pipes reminiscent of “the modern mechanized human existence.” All the people are chic.

And the art is entirely aspen tree-free.

But, far from being the work of pretentious curators, the Gallery Underground was opened last November as a reaction to a Fort Collins art culture that the creators feel marginalizes original artists.

Open until 12 a.m. Friday, as part of the First Friday Gallery Walk, the Gallery Underground offers what no other venue in town can.

The three owners, photographer Darren Mahuron, ceramic artist Erin Mortensen, and painter Jacquelynn Woodley are all artists, and have all witnessed the Fort Collins gallery scene’s tendency to show less-than-cutting-edge work.

“I saw a lot of my friends have to hang their artwork in coffee shops because it doesn’t fit in with what the galleries are showing,” Mahuron said. “Artists have to make their work more mainstream to get it into local galleries.”

Woodley agrees.

“There are artists in Fort Collins that feel like they have to show in a different city,” he said, “or move to a different city.”

Mahuron, who has co-owned and operated the successful Summit Studios with his wife since 2005, had been planning to open a gallery that kept Fort Collins local artists. Last year, he went to Portland, Ore., to to see how their galleries looked and ran.

Mortensen, a Colorado native, was living in Portland at the time. The two, acquainted by a mutual friend, met to discuss galleries.

Mortensen had been considering moving back to Colorado anyway, and they decided to open up a gallery in Fort Collins.

Mahuron was very deliberate about wanting to work with artists of different mediums, and both agreed that they needed enough people involved to not have to worry about compromising to pay the bills.

Mahuron contacted Woodley, who immediately caught Mahuron’s enthusiasm.

“I’d been living (and painting) in Fort Collins for three years and I hadn’t shown anywhere,” she said. “There wasn’t really a gallery.”

So the three pooled their resources, Mortensen moved to Fort Collins and they made the gallery themselves.

The Gallery Underground is about making Fort Collins an art destination by showing the best, most original, most diverse local art they can get. All of the artists are from Colorado. The owners are young. The space is creatively renovated. The artists are interesting. And they can show whatever they want.

“Our goal is not to censor,” Mahuron said.

And since the ownership is split three ways and all of the owners use the back of the gallery as studio space, they don’t have to worry about making money off the art. “We don’t have to sell to stay open,” Mortensen said.

But they’ve done quite well anyway. Over 500 people showed up for opening night the first Friday of November, and since then they’ve sold quite a few pieces.

“We had some relatively controversial stuff (at the gallery’s opening),” Mahuron said. “The first people that came down was a couple in their 50s or 60s. We were thinking, ‘this will be the barometer right here.’ And the first thing the guy said was ‘thank God there are no aspen trees.'”

This month’s First Friday features two new artists and some new work from the existing artists.

And they’re always looking for more.

“We want submissions from the CSU students,” Mahuron said. “We really try to take the intimidation factor out. We just want to look at stuff.”

The Gallery Underground is for local artists. And the local community has proven that it’s interested.

“Fort Collins is open to change,” Mahuron said. “Just by the sales you can tell. The town is definitely behind what we’re doing.”

Verve writer David Boerner can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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Livin’ large with Marge

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Jan 302008
 
Authors: Maggie Canty

Food tastes better with people.

No matter how well balanced and rounded, a meal simply cannot be complete without company.

And no, Monday Night Football does not count.

However, having a group over for dinner requires both time and money – two things most students don’t have.

But don’t take the Easy Mac plunge yet. A solution exists: The potluck.

This may sound like something from the nursing home activities list, but bear with me. Potlucks can be cool.

Inviting a group over for dinner once a week, and asking them to bring an ingredient or side is not only a good way to try new things, but to meet new people.

And conversation makes the best side dish.

This doesn’t have to be fancy to be good. Every Thursday a few of my good friends have an “Once” meal at their house. A tradition they learned from studying abroad in Chile, “Once” involves putting eggs, avocado, tomato and cheese over rolls to create an open -faced sandwich.

Sliced pears and apples, along with a simple salad, accompany the main dish.

Each guest is asked to bring one of the simple ingredients, so no one is forced to spend a lot of money.

And whoever hosts usually ends up with the leftovers. Fourth meal, anyone?

With the addition of wine and some decent music, their house has become the favorite weekly get-together for most of their friends.

Not even the Thursday beer specials beat it.

The best part about “Once,” in my opinion, is that it is not exclusive or mandatory. If I have time that week, I pick up a tomato or whatever they need and show up.

There’s always new people and food, and it seems to taste better every time.

Especially after the second glass of wine.

If I can’t make it, I don’t worry about it. If I want to bring a friend, I call with a heads-up and as long as we both contribute, it’s no problem.

It’s casual, it’s easy and it’s fun.

“Once” isn’t the only affordable group dinner. I have experimented before with a taco bar, breakfast foods and pizza – bring your own topping. The type of meal can vary, and as long as everyone contributes, it can be cheap and efficient.

If your struggling to decide who’d you invite, stop. Invite anyone who eats. Food can be the best way to get to know people or catch up with those you already do. Full mouths will make up for any awkward silences.

Which as time goes on, you’ll find there will be less and less.

And as long as it involves food, you’ll find you won’t have to ask most students more than once.

If you even have to ask them at all.

Verve and entertainment editor Maggie Canty can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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Women’s basketball loses 10th straight

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Jan 302008
 
Authors: Lance Moorman

SAN DIEGO – The CSU women’s basketball team traveled west Wednesday night to take on San Diego State (12-7, 3-4 MWC), looking to snap its current nine-game losing streak, including losses in each of its first five conference games.

What the Rams found, though, was another challenging road, as they fell once again, this time to the host Aztecs, 86-52.

San Diego State freshman center Paris Johnson led

the way out of the gates, scoring a quick nine points in

as many minutes and setting the pace for her squad

going into half time, 43-22.

The Rams, on the other hand, struggled to maintain possession, as they committed 18 first half turnovers, ending with 30

total, setting a tough pace of their own despite 47 percent shooting in the half.

“Thirty turnovers in one game just cannot coincide with a

winning effort, no matter how well you shoot,” Rams coach Jen Warden said.

CSU came out of the gates in the second half firing on all cylinders behind the senior leadership of Sara Hunter, opening on a 10-4 run, cutting the lead to 15.

With recent standout center Amaka Uzomah and power forward Juanise Cornell in foul trouble through the second half, the Rams were unable to control SDSU’s frontcourt, which accounted for

54 of its 86 points.

“We really missed Amaka and Juanise’s presence down

low,” Warden said. “Steady play through the ebbs and

flows of a game like this will help us out in the

future.”

The Rams travel to take on the Utah Utes Saturday,

still looking for their ever-elusive first conference

win. Tipoff is at 1 p.m.

KCSU color analyst Lance Moorman can be reached at Sports@collegian.com

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Ram Talk

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Jan 302008
 
Authors:

Its about quality, not quantity. But when you have a quantity of quality thats

ATO. Please rush responsibly.

To the girl who lives on the first floor of the south side of Ingersoll and

who has my heart: I don’t want it back.

Why must all of the Republican candidates insist on pretending to be Ronald

Reagan?

To everyone who thinks it’s cute to try and get a date over Ram Talk: you are

lame. Why don’t you try talking to someone in person? This is a medium meant

for trashing the PIKEs.

To the guy in the black Mercedes: why didn’t you stop for the squirrel?

To the creepy kid in 8 a.m. PH141, STOP STARING AT MY CHEST!

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

LTTE: Elder’s column on Bush ‘juvenile’

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Jan 302008
 
Authors: Ronald Pruitt

Phil Elder,

Your editorial claiming Bush “ruined” certain things is a display of juvenile vituperative garbage, especially the “ruined one of the strongest economies the world has ever seen” and “has caused the deaths of over 500,000 innocent men, women and children” statements.

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the economy, and it has been proven unequivocally that the death figures given in the Soros funded Lancet study were completely exaggerated by the failed methodology.

The Kyoto Protocol is nothing more than an attempt by other countries to handcuff the American economy, and your endorsement of it shows an ignorance of both science and economics.

Ronald Pruitt

Dallas, Texas

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Ron Paul: Fighting freedom since 1976

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Jan 302008
 
Authors: Seth Anthony

Friends of mine who know that I consider myself politically libertarian keep asking me what I think of Ron Paul.

Paul, the long-shot anti-war Republican presidential candidate, was the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president in 1988. He still gets a lot of support from those who, like libertarians, distrust the federal government’s continuing pursuit of power and control over our lives.

On the surface, there’s a lot to like about Ron Paul: He opposed the Iraq War from the beginning, opposes the use of torture, the “PATRIOT Act” and detentions at Guantanamo Bay. He also, like many libertarians, isn’t a fan of the income tax, government-run heath care, the war on drugs, No Child Left Behind or federal subsidies for big business.

Ron Paul has become, for better or for worse, what many people think of when they hear “libertarian.” But a libertarian is someone who believes in the merits of liberty – in the freedom of individuals to decide for themselves what course is best, without being dictated to or obstructed by government.

On a wide range of issues, Ron Paul fails the test of actually being libertarian. I’ll just run down the most egregious examples.

Ron Paul opposes the freedom of women to control their bodies.

Calling himself “an unshakable foe of abortion,” Ron Paul’s “Sanctity of Life Act” would define life to begin at conception – a definition that would also criminalize emergency contraception, in-vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research and many forms of birth control.

In Ron Paul’s America, abortions take place unsupervised in back alleys, and couples lack longstanding family planning or fertility tools.

Ron Paul opposes the freedom to worship without government dictating or endorsing religion. His “We The People Act” would forbid federal courts from ruling on a range of local actions, including government endorsements of religion or infringements on religious liberty.

In Ron Paul’s America, a local public school could refuse to hire a teacher because they were a Muslim or atheist, and there could be no legal recourse.

Ron Paul opposes the freedom of same-sex couples to seek the same legal status as everyone else. If his opposition merely took the form of saying that government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all, that would be one thing, but Ron Paul’s support of the “Defense of Marriage Act” shows that he’s OK with the federal government sanctioning heterosexual marriages only.

He’s also stood up in support of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, under which thousands of soldiers have been discharged from the military solely for being gay.

In Ron Paul’s America, your sexual orientation can become grounds for the federal government to discriminate against you, and, just as for the atheist schoolteacher, there is no legal recourse.

Ron Paul opposes the freedom of peaceful people to cross international borders. He supports building a fence along the United States’ southern border with Mexico – a billion-dollar boondoggle and a message to the world that’s precisely the opposite of the “honest friendship” with other nations he claims to espouse.

Ron Paul has also campaigned on a pledge to eliminate student visas from so-called “terrorist nations” – including Iran and Saudi Arabia, nations represented in the CSU student body.

In Ron Paul’s America, many of your fellow students would be shipped back to their home countries just because their governments aren’t popular in the U.S. this year.

Now, even though I find these positions of his repugnant, I will give Ron Paul a sliver of credit for making some progress. When Ron Paul first ran for president, in 1988, he supported the federal death penalty; now he opposes it.

In 30 years of political life, though, that’s as far as Ron Paul’s positions have advanced. On key social issues of our day, Ron Paul is still stuck in a very non-libertarian past.

Seth Anthony is a chemistry Ph.D. student. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Open letter to Dr. Larry Edward Penley:

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Jan 302008
 
Authors: Faculty members of the Department of Journalism at CSU

The Department of Journalism and Technical Communication faculty and staff named below strongly object to any prospective acquisition of The Rocky Mountain Collegian by the Fort Collins Coloradoan relative to or any transfer of financial management and/or editorial oversight of our student-run newspaper to a private enterprise.

Although this matter is complex, we’d like to specify some vital reasons for our objection.

The lack of transparency at a public institution in the process relative to the initial meeting between your office and Gannett. Because this is a public institution and the newspaper’s existence is at issue, representatives from the Collegian should be included in any relevant proceedings. The secrecy, timing and lack of student media representation has set a negative precedent.

The prospect of losing an independent student medium. Disenfranchising our students’ voice is unacceptable, given their voice has been an integral part of Colorado State University for over 100 years. Combining two competing media organizations threatens the marketplace of ideas, thus democratic participation, for readers of both newspapers involved.

The prospect of there being no independent news entity covering Colorado State University. If the Coloradoan acquires the Collegian, no Fort Collins area newspaper, or major news organization, would be independently responsible for covering the largest employer in town and one of two major public universities in the state. It’s important that the private commercial newspaper and this large public institution remain separate. Journalists involved would experience an ethical dilemma and an inevitable conflict of interest, compromising the watchdog role of both newspapers in covering university affairs and actions.

Students learn, thrive and prosper in a public environment. Even the best corporate environment suffers from newsroom and news hole cuts, chills that can lead to self-censorship, forbidden language and coverage relative to “sensitive” and “close to home issues,” lowering of journalistic standards and other threats that would greatly encumber student journalism. When given responsibility, students will take the challenge. They learn from mistakes.

Profit, not education, would be Gannett’s primary goal. Gannett will not reinvest every penny into the educational mission, as is the case with student media. By running all students through a Gannett corporation, they may become “branded” and thus be received less favorably in the marketplace by other news organizations. Students do not currently leave the university with a specific corporate model trained into them.

The commercialization of universities. Let’s not allow privatization of our student press to be part of the Collegian legacy. Let’s not risk being the first school in the United States to allow a corporate takeover of a public medium that is opposed to that takeover, forcing the independent voice of students to become a commercial commodity.

Our department’s excellent relationship with the Collegian and student media. We believe we have an excellent department, an excellent student media and an outstanding mutually beneficial relationship. Student media have won hundreds of awards for journalism and media production since 1990. We do not believe an acquisition by the Coloradoan will enhance the university, the Collegian or our relationship with either of the newspapers involved. In addition, an acquisition would harm the integrity of our journalism program and threaten the quality of students we are able to recruit.

Students, faculty and staff alike welcome contributions to the program by the Coloradoan and Gannett, but not a takeover. Internships, scholarships, guest speakers and part-time jobs for students at the Coloradoan, and dozens of other Colorado papers and media, are the answer to continuing the tradition of exceptional student journalism at CSU.

Donna Rouner, Chris Bartholomew, Joe Champ, Cindy Christen, Clarissa Crozier, Pam Jackson, Kris Kodrich, Marilee Long, Jack Lovelace, Garrett O’Keefe, Rosa Mikeal Martey and Pete Seel are faculty members of the Department of Journalism at CSU. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm