Live at Lerner Presents Pitch Perfect

It’ll basically be like this

Tonight the initiative that brings you tons of free food, live music and other fun events around campus, Live at Lerner, opens its Fall season with a screening of Pitch Perfect tonight at 8 pm on Ancel Plaza. For those of you who aren’t hip with the a capella kids, Pitch Perfect stars one of Columbia’s own, Ben Platt (formerly CC ’16, now GS) and follows a fictional all-female college a capella group as they face off against their a rival all-male group, because boys vs. girls never gets old. Unfortunately, there won’t be any free food (boooo!) but Live at Lerner will be back to their usual shenanigans in the Lerner piano lounge next week with free lunch and live music.

For more info on tonight’s screening, take a look at the Facebook event page.

The time of someone else’s life via Shutterstock

Bluenote: 1020 Vision

Be on the lookout for the November and December issues of The Blue & White, on campus this week everywhere you look in Butler. As we always have done, Bwog will honor our heritage/amorous affair with our mother magazine by posting features from the upcoming issue. Below, Tom Humphreys asks a very important question: who chooses the movies at 1020?

Illustration by Louise McCune

A man walks into a bar in which a bad movie plays on several TV screens. Thirty minutes later, he freezes. “Wait…why are they playing Donnie Darko? Wait, wait, wait, that’s not Donnie Darko…why are they playing…the sequel to Donnie Darko?” This man is at 1020, where taste is relative and, perhaps, ultimately irrelevant.

The second favorite Morningside dive bar of the staff of The Blue & White (Tap-a-Keg takes the cake), 1020 has a tradition of favoring, shall we say, unorthodox cinema. Except for special occasions, the bar shuns traditional options such as Top Gun or baseball. Whether screening the atypically cerebral (Mulholland Drive), the disturbingly grim (Monster), the grotesquely violent (District 9), or the shockingly insignificant (Cuba Gooding Jr.’s direct-to-DVD works), patrons have come to expect, and even revere, the not-quite-irony of the screenings and their environs.

The reason turns out not to be as sinister as might be feared. Friday night bartender Thalia Dergham, CC ’12, explains, “Nobody ‘picks’ the movies at 1020. We simply pick a channel at the beginning of the night and usually leave it on unless something particularly disturbing comes on, even though usually when that happens we leave it on anyways.” She recalls Silence of the Lambs and The Lovely Bones as two—ahem—favorites. “The bartenders usually don’t know what is play- ing, because their backs are turned to the screens, so it’s a bit useless to ask them,” Dergham explains with a laugh. It appears that the randomness of 1020’s lineup is, indeed, random.

Just because the selection is governed by serendipity doesn’t mean that there is no accountability. 1020 lore has it that one Wednesday this semester, an uncensored porn movie ran for almost ten minutes. Eventually a middle-aged woman inquired at the bar. “I just wanted to see how long it would last,” the bartender replied.

Editors note: Last night Bwog was intrigued and disturbed by the insane samurai movie playing at 1020. If you have any information about this film, please email tips@bwog.com

But I Thought That Was This Week

What Jason Bateman looked like before you were born. He still looks like this.

Filming for The Longest Week, a film starring Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde, Billy Crudup, and our very own Jenny Slate (!) and to be released in 2012, is taking place on 116th and Claremont today until 5pm. The plot summary on IMDB, which pretty convincingly suggests that this production won’t win any awards, reads: “Affluent and aimless, Conrad Valmont lives a life of leisure in his parent’s prestigious Manhattan Hotel. In the span of one week, he finds himself evicted, disinherited, and… in love.” Yeah, Conrad, that sounds rough and all, but anyone in the vicinity of 116th and Claremont knows that finals week is the real longest week. Nice try.

Vintage stock photography via Wikimedia

The Butterfly Effect

You know what they say about rains in California and strawberries in New York City…

Bwoglines: Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife, Hide Your Cat Edition

This is probably what Nim Chimpsky looked like at Bacchanal.

Because Antoine Dodson is getting his own show! Bwog predicts several new techno remixes to follow. (NY Daily News)

And, kids these days are getting high on bath salts! No, seriously! (Gawker)

And also, there are primates on College Walk! Well, not exactly. But there were. Sort of. One 2011 Sundance documentary explores the experience of a chimpanzee named Nim Chimpsky (ha!) whom Columbia-researchers attempted to teach to communicate in the 1970s. (LATimes)

And last but not least, cat hoarders in Brooklyn! Two Williamsburg fifty-somethings who were busted last summer for detaining and torturing almost 100 cats just became the first couple indicted in NY for animal-hoarding charges. (NYPost)

Just kidding—there’s one more reason! It’s the season of exploding manholes! There have been at least nineteen manhole fires since New Years Day, says ConEd. Cue double entendre here. (NYTimes)

Image via Wikimedia

Occasional Bwoglines Part 1: Sciencey Edition

Have you ever noticed how time seems to run so much more slowly when you’re not drinking 9 cups of coffee a day and putting half of that energy into being passively aggressive? Bwoglines leisurely returns with a first installment: a feast of not-strictly-topical links, and context—something we all wish we had more time for. You could learn something!


Thursday’s episode of the Colbert Report (remember when?!) featured Neil deGrasse Tyson, big deal astrophysicist and GSAS alum. When he’s not demystifying the movement of the tides, Tyson directs the Hayden Planetarium (totally worth visiting, by the way) and hosts PBS’s scienceNOW.  So remember how Pluto used to be a planet? Well, Tyson led the charge against Pluto’s planet status by refusing to include it in the Hayden’s solar system exhibits. For the record, Pluto’s a “dwarf planet” now. It’s tough being tiny.

Tyson the galactic gospel also has a top-notch Twitter feed, featuring sub-140 character gems like “stunning thin crescent Moon this night, suspended in the western sky” and “solve one mystery and the universe presents another: which came first, the chicken salad sandwich or the egg salad sandwich?”


Philadelphia and a Free Dinner

Coolest theatre in New York? Bwog thinks so.

CU Dance Marathon and Student Global AIDS Campaign are sponsoring a screening of the movie Philadelphia and a free dinner tonight from 7pm to 10pm in the Satow Room in Lerner. Cuisine details remain a mystery, but the movie is a “1993 American drama inspired by the true story of Geoffrey Bowers, an attorney who sued the law firm of Baker & McKenzie in one of the first AIDS discrimination cases.”

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

“Are You Ready to Die in Hamilton Hall?”: A Time to Stir

Sam Schube had the chance to revel in the mayhem of 1968 at a screening of a new J-School documentary.

Mere hours after real-life protest flared up along Broadway, filmmaker (and J-School student) Paul Cronin brought students back to an era of a different sort of Columbia protest. He was on campus to screen sections from A Time to Stir, his still-in-progress documentary on the protests, riots, occupations, and general mayhem of 1968. The screening was a bit scattershot (when completed, the film is expected to clock in at around 10 hours), but the fragments shown managed to capture so singular a moment in Columbia history that Bwog couldn’t help but grow simultaneously nostalgic (the best kind of nostalgia: for something we never knew!) and more than a little frustrated.

The two-ish hours screened focused on the first real explosion of protests on April 23, 1968. Students were growing ever more distraught with three particularly odious administrative actions: the University’s construction of a private gymnasium in public Morningside Park (something smells funny…), the school’s participation in the Pentagon’s Institute for Defense Analyses (doing research then applied to Vietnam War policy), and a new ban, issued by the President’s office, on indoor protest. Working hand in hand for the first time, two leftist student groups, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Students’ Afro-American Society (SAS), had planned a march on Low Library. Finding access to Low barred, the massive crowd made a mad dash to the proposed gymnasium site, engaged and fought with police, and returned to campus to occupy Hamilton Hall (and hold Dean Harry S. Coleman hostage in his office).

While the standard retelling focuses on the later occupation of Low Library (and this picture), the film focuses instead on the power struggle between the SDS and SAS that emerged as the Hamilton occupation grew listless, the air filling with pot smoke and folk music. We’ll spare the blow-by-blow (in part available here), but here’s the quick rundown: the SAS students, having determined that an all-black protest was necessary for both political and logistical reasons, asked the SDS to clear their students out. The SDS complied, if grudgingly, and moved over to Low and a handful of other buildings, where they became famous for putting their feet on desks. (more…)

Free Food, Stuff and a Movie

The IEEE and the Ferris Reel Film Society are co-hosting a screening of District 9 in Lerner cinema at 10 PM, preceded by free pizza, subs and free IEEE t-shirts, bags, electronics and more EE things at 9:15 PM in the piano lounge. The movie’s free if you’re an EE student. If not, you’ll have to buy your tickets online for $3.

Can’t Get CUNUFF?

The Sixth Annual Columbia University Undergraduate Film Festival kicks off today with a panel discussion including a free catered lunch held in Lerner 477 at 12:45 p.m.  Events continue throughout the day leading up to the showing of eight short films in Roone Arledge Cinema at 6 p.m. Tickets are availble at the TIC for $3.

Yippee-Kai-Yay, Motherf%$*@#

BruceWillisFan#1@aol.com [Sam Schube] alerts us that six sanitation trucks are lined up on Broadway and 113th–EXACTLY of like that scene in Die Hard with a Vengeance when $140 billion of gold is carted away in dump trucks. A word to the wise: keep an eye on your bricks, friends.

Free Roti Roll and Sweets

rotiClub Dimensions, in consort with Club Bangla and the Kraft Family Fund will be showing an animated film at 8:00 PM tonight in the Lerner Cinema. It tells the Indian epic of Ramayana using joke-cracking shadow puppets (snarky shadow puppets?).

Plus there will be FREE ROTI ROLL served BEFORE the event. Assume that means there will be nothing but shadows of Roti by 8:01 PM.

In other free food news, Relay for Life is hosting a study break from 10pm to 1am tonight and tomorrow night in the Lerner East Ramp Lounge with free hot cocoa and pastries. Roti Roll, dessert… what more could you want?

A Double Dose of Photo Weirdness

The next time you forget your ID and get turned away from Butler, remember: when Argentine President Cristina Kirchner came to visit, campus security apparently refused to let her NYPD escort enter Low. The officer, probably grateful to escape, instead took the opportunity to snap a picture of the steps.

More common, but also more mysterious, was the sudden appearance of a film trailer at the corner of 110th and Broadway. Internet and parking meter searches did not turn up any clue as to the production being filmed, nor as to if Chipotle or Vitamin Shoppe (the two closest businesses) have managed to parlay their sterilized-chain-store atmospheres into acceptable filming locations. Both would certainly be cleaner than last week’s trailer stop.

- Photos by AB and ARK

Liberating DVDs from Butler

For several years, cinephiles hoping to use Butler’s growing DVD collection (now over 10,000 titles) were forced to watch the DVDs inside the library, without being able to borrow them. But last year’s otherwise-unfortunate demise of Kim’s Video and Music has finally yielded one big benefit: parts of its collection have made it into the Butler collection, and students can rent the titles for free!

According to staff at Butler Reserves, students can now take out two titles for up to three days, with a $7.00 per day fine for late returns. As for CLIO listings, circulating DVDs’ locations show up as “Butler Media (Circulating)” (see above), while non-circulating locations still show up as “Butler Media Reserves.”

Though the number of circulating titles is currently still somewhat small, the Kim’s collection had over 40,000 titles, so in the future Butler could be the first stop for DVDs…er, up to 2008, that is.

Three Movies to Help You Get Down with the Sickness

 Image courtesy of BestDirect.tv

A few days ago, Columbia was kindly informed about an outbreak of meningitis at our beloved weekend trip destination, UPenn.

Well, the week has ambled onwards, and still the dirge of meningitis hums over us. Meanwhile, a graduate student at the UPenn petri dish has reportedly contracted measles and our campus continues to slick itself in snot with one collective fit of the sniffles.

Right now, Bwog believes the best thing for all of us is for you to huddle down with a Snuggie and a bowl of chicken noodle soup, flick on the nearest video screen, and get down with the sickness. (more…)