Written by Betsy Ladyzhets
September 19, 20152:36 pm 4 Comments
Barnard alum Greta Gerwig looking hot
You may have heard that a new movie featuring Barnard alum Greta Gerwig, BC ’06, was recently released in theaters. We sent Daily Editor Betsy Ladyzhets to check out Mistress America and see if it’s worth you spending your money on a ticket.
In the past couple of months, there have been two movies after which I walked out of the movie theater and immediately wanted to walk back in and see the movie again. The first was, unsurprisingly, feminist action classic of our time, Mad Max: Fury Road. But the second? Mistress America.
Mistress America is a film about a college first-year who gets tugged willingly into the life of her charming, older soon-to-be-stepsister. Its claim to fame in the Columbia community is that, not only does the main character go to Barnard, the co-writer and one of the stars of the film is Greta Gerwig, BC ’06.
But don’t be misled by the summary–this is not a movie about Barnard. Sure, there’s a shot of convocation, a Sulz dorm room appears several times, and this writer practically cheered when she saw Barnard’s famous flatbread pizza make a cameo, but the majority of the film takes place elsewhere in New York. Brooke (Greta Gerwig) leads our hero, Tracy (Lola Kirke) around Manhattan, pulling her out of her college listlessness and into bars, hair salons, and spin classes. Brooke is an enthusiastic, charismatic person who can do pretty much anything she sets her mind to, but never for too long. She talks at about a mile a minute, expounding ideas for cabarets and clothing lines in the same breath. Her confidence and the excitement with which she lives her life draw Tracy in – and give Tracy inspiration for a new short story with which to potentially impress Mobius, Columbia’s (fictional) foremost pretentious literary society.
More on the movie after the jump!
Tags: barnard, Barnard first years, film, greta gerwig, Mistress America, movie review, movies, nyc, reviews, young love
Written by Bwog Staff
February 17, 20154:45 pm 0 Comments
We wrote about them last semester in regards to the video they produced depicting a CUSH cypher battle against Brown, but Club Trillion is back this spring with a new project. Under the direction of Columbia film student Sam Piland, New York rapper Vaughn PM shows us how a fun night partying with friends can turn into an introspective evening thinking about lost love and the choices we make.
Piland isn’t the only element of the Columbia community that can be spotted in the vid… just seconds in, it’s clear that multiple scenes were shot in the WBAR studio (right in the basement of Barnard’s Reid Hall). Numerous other Columbia students also played important roles in the creation and the production of the project. Watch the video below to see what the hype is all about.
Tags: bwog wonders how many rap themed mag announcements we can get away with before someone cares, cinematography game strong, film, gangsta rap made me do it brandy melville tshirt time, polaroid pix everywhere ya look, put on ya hip hop vest, vampirism is sexy, we spy the wbar studio, word.
April 24, 20132:00 pm 1 Comments
The best part of old films is the countdown
As your yearnings for summer are quashed by a brick wall of constant work for the next few weeks, step aside from it all for a few hours by taking advantage of the cultural opportunities of Columbia and the city. Ambrosial Arts Editor Kyra Bloom has put together the following assuredly kick-ass events. Submit an event to email@example.com.
The film festival, WBAR, and Wallach below!
Tags: film, free food, free food in where art thou, jester, that senior thesis time of year, the crazy shit in the wallach art gallery, those ballet lessons you took when you were 5, those piano lessons you took when you were 6, use those lessons and make your parents proud!, where art thou?
February 10, 20124:58 pm 0 Comments
Women Astronauts: Leaders and Puppy-Lovers
Screenings at the second annual Athena Film Festival begin tonight at 6 pm in Miller Theatre. Student priced tickets are available for $7. Alexandra Svokos sat down with festival founders Kathryn Kolbert and Melissa Silverstein.
Kathryn Kolbert and Melissa Silverstein (a 30 Rock fan!) come from different professional worlds but have the same goal: to raise the status and image of women. Kolbert is the director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard while Silverstein is the renowned blogger behind Women and Hollywood. The two met at an event at Gloria Steinem’s house organized by Silverstein in honor of filmmaker Jane Campion. After a conversation about the difficulties of getting “stories of courageous women to the big screen,” the two decided to create the Athena Film Festival.
Before the Athena Festival, there was no large-scale festival for women’s film in New York City. Kolbert and Silverstein took a different approach to the idea of a women’s festival than others do – rather than focusing on women directors or producers, they chose to focus on films that show women as leaders. “We think it’s very important that our culture reflect women in leadership roles and that young women in particular be able to see the actions and activities and courage and commitment of women,” Kolbert explained. The award winners are all women.
Last year, the festival’s first, exceeded all expectations, bringing about 2500 people to Barnard, most of whom were not Barnard-affiliated. This year they hope to at least match that number. Student groups have also become more active in the festival.
Check out the rest of the interview after the jump.
Tags: a better way to spend your weekend, alexandra svokos, athena film festival, big things on campus, film, film festivals, miller theatre, the folks at miller spell their theater with "re" cause they can
February 02, 201212:30 pm 5 Comments
Not THAT type of agent...
On Tuesday night in the Barnard Hall James Room, Barnard Career Development hosted a panel with figures from the entertainment industry hosted by UTA Co-head of the Television Talent Department Nancy Mendelson Gates. Dodge Cafe King and Queen Bijan Samareh and Alexandra Svokos were there.
When it comes to centering your career plan around making it in Hollywood, William Goldman’s famous epigram that “nobody know anything” can be a bit daunting. While the nature of climbing the ranks in entertainment is far more arbitrary than say following the course it takes to become a doctor or an engineer, certain principles do exist that can push one in the right direction. These principles are exactly what Tuesday night’s Careers in Entertainment panel wished to discuss.
Organized in Barnard Hall by Barnard Career Development, the panel consisted of NYC-based talent agents, a PR manager, and an entertainment lawyer. Nancy Mendelson Gates (Barnard ’89), kicked off the discussion relaying how career with the United Talent Agency as Co-head of the Television Talent Department wasn’t always fated. After graduating college, she received at MBA from UT Austin and worked with non-profits in NYC. Deciding that such work didn’t suit her, she moved to LA in 1996 and climbed the ranks at UTA as one of their fasted promoted agents. Her life journey was echoed in her sentiments to the audience, as she repeatedly discussed how it is okay for college students to be uncertain as to what they want to do in the future.
Hailing from a different side of the industry, Ira Schreck (Columbia Law ’80) took Gates’ sentiments a step further. Before working for Columbia Pictures as an entertainment lawyer and going on to start a boutique entertainment Law firm in LA, he worked all over the place. From a job at a casino in Reno to working as a cabbie in New York, he reminisced on his adventures as some of the best years of his life. A period of such personal discovery gave him the life experience to one day represent playwright Tony Kushner (Columbia ’78, Class Day Speaker ’04), the oft-spotted Sarah Jessica Parker, and other big names in entertainment. His desire to defend artists arose from his dissatisfaction representing big businesses, which he found too impersonal. (more…)
Tags: athena film festival, film, jobs for humanities majors, lecturehop, people doing big things
November 19, 20116:56 pm 0 Comments
Thursday evening, the World Leaders Forum hosted its second-ever artist for a lecture. Issac Julien, famous in the art-world for his unique films and installations, gave a talk about his work and the mediums through which he expresses himself. Art School Dropout Briana Last eagerly sat through Julien’s musings and provides you with this latest LectureHop.
For a few Columbians, the excitement of Thursday night stemmed from their eagerness to make the trek to Miller Theatre to hear Isaac Julien discuss his most recent installations and the messages he hopes to get across through various media.
Installation artist, filmmaker, and Mellon Visiting Artist & Thinker at the School of the Arts, Julien is only the second artist to have been invited to a World Leader’s Forum (the first was invited to speak at last year’s Forum). He described this as significant, as “artists are also interested in looking at these questions of how the world comes to this point.”
Julien is known for his breaking down of artistic and cultural barriers. He uses film, dance, photography, music, theatre, painting, and sculpture to tell his stories. At the same time, he utilizes unexplored images, language, and myths—fiction and nonfiction—to describe events.
Miller Theatre was far from full when Julien began speaking, and audience members began to file out as the artist waxed poetic about his own work in an often overly verbose and intellectual manner. Despite what sometimes came across as trying and heady attempts to make sense of his artwork, the pieces he displayed were ultimately moving anyway for their aesthetic beauty and the messages they conveyed.
The audience had the opportunity to watch excerpts from his installations “Western Union: Small Boats” and his most recent “TEN THOUSAND WAVES”. Both pieces focused on who “gets lost in globalization” and the untranslatability of languages on a deeper narrative level.
It was clear that Julien thinks carefully about his work, perhaps a bit too carefully for the audience members who took early leave. But his exploration of using entirely different “ethnographic frames” to understand the world and the role of aesthetics, “to move beyond the expediency of news,” as he called it, is innovative and fresh, and was a welcome addition to the typical Thursday night.
Julien via Wikimedia Commons
Tags: film, installation art, installationz, issac julien, lecturehop, world leaders forum
March 29, 20091:41 pm 5 Comments
It’s the final stretch. Post-break, you might have time for a few distractions.
Society, Toleration, and the Jews: Ira Katznelson, professor of political science and history, will discuss toleration “as an alternative to persecution.” Sounds good to us. 6:15 PM @ Low Rotunda.
Brinkley, Foner, and Stiglitz: Capitalism is in crisis. How will it affect our politics? Probably the same way every other economic crisis has: protectionism. 7:30 PM @ 309 Havemeyer.
Indian Chief Justice P.N. Bhagwati: Interpreting the country’s relatively new constitution in favor of broad human rights. 5:00 PM @ 101 Jerome Greene Hall.
New York City at 400: Representations of the island through time; part of a year-long celebration of a really old city. 7:00 PM @ Deutsches Haus 420 W. 116th St
Free screening of Defiance: Hosted by Ferris Reel. 7:30 @ Roone Cinema.
Unexpectedly Dancing in Boise: A CC senior’s thesis has gone off-broadway. TRF, 8:00 PM @ The Producer’s Club Theatres, 44th St. between 8th and 9th Ave.
Chowdah: Brand new, sexy material. 9:00 PM @ Wien Lounge.
Tags: chowdah, film, india, jews, New York City history, stiglitz, Things to Do
October 19, 20088:00 pm 0 Comments
Procrastinate close to home.
Jeffrey Sachs, George Soros, Nouriel Roubini: About saving the world economy. Moderated by John Roberts of CNN, formerly of CBS. We’ll LectureHop if you can’t make it. 3:30 PM @ Miller Theater.
Men’s Soccer vs. Lafayette: As Bwog noted on Friday, they’ve had a mixed season. But the uncertainty makes for a more exciting game, right? 7:00 PM @ waytoofaruptown.
Divided We Fall: A film about the change in American mindset towards Sikhs and Muslims in the post-9/11 world. 7:00 PM @ Lerner Cinema.
World Leaders – Global Sustainability: Various people discussing environmental stewardship and the role of New York City residents. Hosted by PrezBo, moderated by Steven Cohen, Chief Operating Officer of The Earth Institute. 7:00 PM @ Miller Theater.
Tags: film, Jeffrey Sachs, soccer, Things to Do, world leaders
July 19, 200810:09 am 24 Comments
This past Monday, francophiles and French citizens celebrated Bastille Day. And since gossiping about President Sarkozy and his wife is no way to celebrate the holiday — and Film Forum is no longer featuring its wonderful series on Godard — here are a few suggestions for some French films worth renting.
The Rules of the Game (1939):
Directed by Jean Renoir, the son of the Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste and a man regarded as one of the greatest directors of all time, the film is an incendiary satire of the self-absorption within France’s bourgeoisie on the eve of World War II. The film only slowly reaches the point at which the viewer sees that the nation’s elite are feuding with each other over sex while their country faces imminent war. The movie was so powerful that a man set fire to a newspaper at its premiere in an attempt to burn down the theater, while the French government (and later the occupying Nazi regime) banned the film. The Rules of the Game survived and remains both a cinematic achievement ad well as a relevant social critique.
Tags: bastille day, film, france, movies, weekend rentals
April 30, 20081:14 pm 5 Comments
Tipster Frances Jeffrey-Coker slyly informed Bwog about a film she directed that took home a Best Picture prize last night:
“The nationwide Campus Moviefest competition took place on campus 2 weeks ago, where groups of Columbia students had a week to make a 5-minute movie. The top 16 from Columbia were shown at the AMC theatre [last night] on 84th street, and awards and ipods were given to the best comedy, best drama, and best picture. The link to the video that won best picture, called The Face of Poverty, is here.
The credits at the end mention all the people involved, and I’m not sure what the names were of the best comedy and best drama but I’m sure that someone who sees the posting on bwog if you put it will know.
It will possibly go up against videos in a nationwide competition/viewing being held in the Hudson theatre downtown in Times Square, where the top 20 movies from around the US will be showcased.”
No need to be coy, Frances! We’re proud of you.
Bwog did manage to track down the winner of the Best Comedy prize: Bwog’s own Tony Gong. His ringing endorsement of his film: “Winners of Best Comedy were my friends Evan Omi and Nathan McAlone and I for our surprisingly unfunny movie “‘Boyfriend Material.'” Anyone know who won best drama?
Tags: film, poverty
January 22, 20087:27 pm 19 Comments
Hey, remember the Oscars? They happened last year? They might get cancelled? Sometimes women win them by pretending to be ugly, even if they aren’t ugly, and sometimes if they are? Well, the nominations came out today (surprise! No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood led the tally) and Bwog awards show correspondent Daniel D’Addario puts on his best Mary Hart to tell you that there will indeed be blood – and Oscars! First up: the acting categories.
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd
Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
Will Win: While I’m glad that Oscar voters looked past the general hackiness of Paul Haggis’s film to see Jones’s great and dignified performance, this is Daniel Day-Lewis’s to lose. His delivery of the line “I drink your milkshake!” alone would have earned him a SAG Award.
Should Win: I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!
Robbed: This category seems pretty solid – although I haven’t seen, and will not likely see, Sweeney Todd, and think that George Clooney has gone from being an affable, good-looking guy to an awards-season threat that must be contained (fuddy-dud Michael Clayton for seven nominations – really?!). If I had to toss another nominee on the pile, I’d take out Clooney and nominate Emile Hirsch for his nature-obsessed, Thoreau-spouting man-child whose glaring immaturity provides Into the Wild with a welcome dose of moral ambiguity (seemingly against the director’s will, making Hirsch’s performance a masterful act of subversion). Or perhaps Javier Bardem, who was nominated for supporting but played the lead role as a superhuman killer in No Country for Old Men. Especially on the men’s side, 2007 was nothing if not a year of obsessions.
Tags: awards, film, obsessions, oscars
December 25, 200712:56 pm 70 Comments
Merry Christmas and happy holidays from all of us at Bwog! Were your presents not intellectually-stimulating enough? No worries! As our gift to you, we give you Bwog film connoisseur Christian Kamongi’s cinematic picks of 2007, just a little something something to casually reference in 2008.
10. The Wayward Cloud
Tsai-Ming Liang’s visceral sing-along porno was not just a moralistic polemic against a sex-ravaged culture, but also a lustrously beautiful collage of post-modern romance.
Harris Savides’ camerawork and David Fincher’s showmanship combine to illustrate an era and provide a narrative that perfectly mirrors the film’s incapacitation of traditional filmic indexicality in favor of digital analog. Unarguably the most important and influential film of the year.
8. The Boss of It All
On the outside Lars von Trier produces an office comedy filled with peculiar and off-putting Scandinavian humor. However, a closer analysis reveals a stunning testament to subjectivity even in the unfriendly realms of genre, predatory capitalism, and automatic digital editing. (more…)
Tags: arts, film
December 14, 20077:39 am 36 Comments
The December issue will be here soon, hopefully before you all scatter for the holidays. For now, a little teaser while you wait.
Margot at the Wedding
Directed by Noah Baumbach
It’s hard to miss the academic snobbery of Noah Baumbach’s characters in Margot at the Wedding. In his follow-up to The Squid and the Whale, a group of forty-something writers, whose clique centers around the talented and loathsome Margot (Nicole Kidman), drop their intellectual credentials shamelessly. To wit: Margot’s husband and lover studied together at Stanford, and her husband teaches at NYU. Her flaky sister spent time at Bennington. And the neighborhood temptress is headed to Harvard, prompting Margot to muse that plenty of “stupid people” get accepted there. And where did Margot study? She issues an answer in two clipped syllables:
At the screening on the Upper West Side, this line earned gratified chuckles. For the subset of moviegoers who know Columbia, the revelation that Margot went to Barnard grants a new insight into her character. For a moment, we understand Margot’s blithe meanness because we—the sophisticated Manhattan intellectuals that we are—see her traits in ourselves, or at least in some of the English majors who walk among us. She is simultaneously overeducated and ill-equipped for human interaction – it makes perfect sense that she is a creature of an insular school on a small island. (more…)
Tags: film, print issue
December 02, 20071:56 pm 4 Comments
Looking for an intellectually rigorous way to procrastinate during reading week? Scrabulous isn’t doing it for you? Bwog film expert Christian Kamongi shares his picks for the Pasolini, Ophuls, and Sembene retrospectives.
Heretical Epiphanies: The Cinematic Pilgrimages of Pier Paolo Pasolini
Marxist, poet, homosexual, pious Catholic, and renowned intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini is one of the landmark figures of postwar European cinema. Whether it’s his adaptations of classical texts (Canterbury Tales, Decameron, Arabian Nights), an extraordinarily orthodox depiction of Jesus, or neo-realist influenced explorations of the Roman underworld his films share spontaneity and intellectual virtuosity. Lincoln Center will be presenting a retrospective which will include Salo, one of the most controversial works in cinematic history as well as one of the most difficult to retain (don’t bother trying for the Criterion version of it, it’s literally out of print).
Must See: The Gospel According to St. Matthew
November 28th-December 4th, Walter Reade Theater, 65th St. and Lincoln Center (Above Alice Tully Hall)
November 08, 20072:39 pm 7 Comments
Sure it’s been out for a while, but Anton Corbijn’s Ian Curtis biopic Control is still screening. Bwog correspondent Jamies Johns reviews the film and philosophizes on the nature of the rockumentary.
Most of us know the story by now: Ian Curtis, lead singer of post-punk outfit Joy Division, hung himself at the age of 23, leaving behind a wife, a young daughter and a handful of impeccable recordings. Curtis’ mystique and tragic death have almost begun to overshadow the music of his band and Control, a film about Curtis made by famed video director Anton Corbijn, will probably only serve to further the cult of Ian Curtis.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, because Corbijn’s portrait of Curtis is the only one I have seen that looks fairly at Curtis’ life with a true appreciation for him and the music he produced without reverting to idol worship. The film is one of the best rock bios I have seen; it is not only beautiful, thanks to Corbijn’s use of black and white photography, but it also feels, for lack of a better word, real. Although Curtis would later become an icon, for most of his life he was an average guy. The characters in Control are not distant figures that lived in the 1970s and with whom we can feel no connection. Instead, the deft performances by Sam Riley as Curtis and Samantha Morton as Deborah Curtis, his wife, make Control emotionally devastating. We feel the tender moments between Curtis and his wife and his mistress, Annik Honore, and we also equally feel the suffocation Curtis felt towards the end of his life.
Tags: arts, film, rockumentary
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