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Volume 83 (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

Getting a Better Perspective on Muslim Culture

University Screens Mooz-lum and Holds Q & A with Director

Better PerspectiveThe University Center for the Arts along with the Student Activities Board (SAB) Diversity committee hosted a film screening of Mooz-lum followed by a Q&A with director and filmmaker Qasim “Q” Basir on November 30.

Mooz-lum is a film based on true events of Basir’s life about his upbringing as a devout African-American Muslim growing up in Michigan and his first year in college prior to the 9/11 attacks. Evan Ross seen on the new “90210,” plays the main character Tariq “T” Mahdi.

Basir says he was inspired to make this movie as he thought Muslims “got a raw deal” as they were “wrongfully portrayed by the media in the past decade.”

“[There’s] been a lot of misrepresentations and demonization of a people taking place...Being born and raised Muslim and seeing what Islam was really about which was complete opposite of all the violence and extremism they show consistently in shows and media,” Basir told the audience. “To show a story that represented Muslim people as human beings. I’ve never seen a film that accurately represented me or people like me.”

Megan McGowan, advisor for SAB, said the movie showing came from the National Association of Campus Activities board sending the SAB an advertisement for Mooz-lum.

“We thought it would be a different way to get students involved in diversity programming on campus,” McGowan said. “We hoped it would be more appealing because it was a theatrical and not a documentary and it has well known actors in it, so we were hoping we could grab students’ attention that way.”

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All ‘Generations’ Will Race For New Sonic Game

New Sonic GameHappy 20th birthday Sonic! What better way to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s big 2-0 than by releasing one of the best Sonic games not only in the past 10 years, but potentially of all time with Sonic Generations.

The story for Sonic Generations is pretty creative. It is actually Sonic’s birthday and all of his friends are there (minus Shadow and Silver the Hedgehog). However, Sonic’s party is ruined when an evil being known as the Time Eater appears and kidnaps all of Sonic’s friends.

This is too powerful a foe for Sonic to take on alone, so he finds help in himself. The past version of Sonic teams up with the present day Sonic to rescue his, or rather their friends.

However, Sonic’s friends aren’t the only thing being taken by force. Many of the stages from Sonic’s previous adventures fall into a white space and Sonic has to gather the seven chaos emeralds in order to defeat the Time Eater.

Sega clearly wanted to make a game filled with nostalgic references for the veteran Sonic players and also made a game that feels like the old Sega Genesis version. You can tell as soon as the title screen pops up that this is going to be a blast from the past, which is reflected in the game play.

There are two types of stages in Sonic Generations, classic and modern. Modern stages are played very much like Sonic Colors which was released last year. They’re a 3D blast of intense speed unlike anything seen in Sonic games before. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is potentially the fastest Sonic has ever been. The game play for modern stages is ridiculously fast paced and really challenges the reflexes.

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Senior Art Show is a Picture Perfect Ending

Perfect EndingGraduating fine art, photography and graphic design students revealed their much-anticipated work at the Senior Art Show in the Ice House Gallery on Friday, December 2. 

The gallery doors opened to the public at 7:00 pm, where students, friends, family and passers-by admired the marvelous work of the graduating class.  Packed to what felt like capacity, hundreds of people walked in and out of the exhibition during the two-hour opening reception. There was an overwhelming sense of pride in the gallery from faculty and family as students displayed their works of art that have been the recent core of their college existence.

To onlookers, no brush stroke or a single shadow in any photo went unnoticed or unappreciated. The hours spent working long after class ended, the sleepless nights, and the crumbled drafts finally had a finished product for the artists. Their inspiring work brought contagious smiles and laughter, as well as a few tears shed from the astonishing artwork in the Ice House Gallery.

The grueling hours of hard work hung on the walls confidently with the help of faculty members such as Anne Massoni (Art and Design specialist professor), Vincent DiMattio (professor of Art and Design), and Mike Richison (Art and Design specialist professor) to name a few.

Senior photography students Francesca DeSena and Moira Gallagher displayed their work on the upper level of the gallery, attracting much attention from those in attendance.

DeSena, a graduating photography major from Marlboro, had been fine-tuning her series for quite some time. The series featured a brilliant recollection of her childhood, which took place on a horse farm where she grew up.

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Does Breaking Dawn-Part 1 Shine With Audiences?

FAN REVIEW: Taking a Huge Bite of the Twilight Craze

Twilight CrazeI remember the first time I heard about Twilight. As a senior in high school, I listened to my two friends as they gossiped over Bella’s unconditional love for Edward, a century-old vampire, and her undying attraction for Jacob, a werewolf.

“Who in the world would ever read something like this, much less lose sleep over the film?” I asked them. Alas, I spoke way too soon.

Call me Team Edward, a Twi-hard, a wannabe vampire, etc. As an addictive fan of the books, I’ve grown to love the films, or saga, just as much with every anticipated theatrical release.

I think many will agree with me that the first movie, Twilight, was a painful adaptation of the first novel, but with the new release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 1, I found myself reliving every word on every page of that incredible bestseller.

Varying from The Outlook’s Entertainment Editor, I gave the newest segment of the saga a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. With a significant improvement in acting, the use of music and a suspenseful, emotional and thrilling storyline, Breaking Dawn- Part 1 shines through as one of this year’s most successful films.

Within the first few minutes, I was already caught off guard. Not a fan of the always awkward, on or off-camera Kristen Stewart, I was undoubtedly surprised by her acting in this film. She actually talks and shows emotion – look at that! Finally four movies later, Stewart embodies the Bella I read about and loved in Stephanie Meyer’s books.

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No Need to Pardon

“Crimes of the Heart” Didn’t Rob Audiences of Drama

Crimes of the HeartI’m usually not one who goes to see plays, or other styles of theatrical performance. Despite this, I still enjoy a good play, and “Crimes of the Heart” delivered. I was also happy that this wasn’t a musical. Seriously, so many TV programs nowadays are about singing and dancing that it sort of produced a stereotype that all shows were happy-go-lucky musicals (at least for me). Thankfully “Crimes of the Heart” broke this self-induced mold for me and showed me a serious, yet darkly humorous dilemma.

It was easy to see that the crew wanted to put on a play that would entertain as many as possible. The stage set alone was enough to give this impression. The amount of detail set designer Ferdinando DelGuercio put into it is impressive to say the least. It legitimately looked like a house in the late 1970s, with an old refrigerator, matches instead of lighters, and one of those phones with the extremely long cord.

Not much was done lighting wise, save for cuing up the next scene. The only time a different technique was used was with the ending, which I’ll cover later.

The acting itself was phenomenal. Keep in mind that these are students just like you and me, and they had to put up with class before this. Some also had to act in another play right before this one as well. As such, you have to admire them for remembering their cues, lines, and even keeping their Southern accents. Since I’m a lifelong resident of New Jersey, I can’t say whether the accents were accurate or not, but the actors convinced me that these were characters from the South.

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New M83 Album Gets Fans to ‘Hurry Up’ and Listen Again and Again

M83 AlbumM83’s highly anticipated sixth studio album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, was released October 18 gracing fans with a double album featuring 22 tracks.

For those unfamiliar with M83, the French band can be described best as synth-heavy indie-pop with heavy influences from classical music composition.

Having toured with bands such as Kings of Leon and The Killers, it would be a stretch to describe them as similar artists in terms of sounds, where in fact M83’s is easily one of the most unique bands in today’s indie-music scene alongside similar artists like The Knife, Animal Collective, and Empire of the Sun.

With prior albums such as Dead Cities, Red Seas, Lost Ghosts, and Before the Dawn Heals Us, conveying a very dark and almost orchestra-like sound, the 2008 album Saturdays=Youth had more an 80’s style tone to it, with a general theme of the loss of innocence we experience in our teenage years.

Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is “mainly about dreams, how every one is different, how you dream differently when you’re a kid, a teenager, or an adult. I’m really proud of it. If you’re doing a very long album, all the songs need to be different and I think I’ve done that with this one,” M83 front man Anthony Gonzalez said in a recent interview for SPIN Magazine.

The first thing fans will appreciate with this new album is its general length. Where many artists are releasing shorter length albums, M83 makes fans feel that theirs is worth every penny, or worth every second of illegal download time.

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Hunter S. Thompson Fans Will Breeze Through The Rum Diary

Hunter S. ThompsonJohnny Depp stars as Paul Kemp, a rum-slinging journalist resembling the young and undeveloped Hunter S. Thompson in the new film, The Rum Diary. Depp was a close friend of Thompson and played his character in the 1998 film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with a disturbingly accurate portrayal.

Based on Thompson’s original novel, “The Rum Diary,” written in the early 1960’s, his story remained unpublished until 1998 when he had achieved phenomenal success as a writer and American icon.

Many who are familiar with his work may feel that the film from writer and director Bruce Robinson, based on Thompson’s novel, does not do the book complete justice. Regardless, it is a must see for any fan of Thompson’s work.

The film is set during the 1950’s in San Juan, Puerto Rico where Paul has just taken a job as a journalist at a depressed newspaper. The paper is staffed by eccentric and maniacal characters. While Depp has an ability and knack for playing odd roles, Paul is surprisingly the most normal character in the movie.

Despite his unquenchable thirst for rum shooters and experimentation with mysterious hallucinogens, Paul is out-shadowed at times by the bizarre people that surround around him in Puerto Rico. In a sea of self-destructing journalists with an abundance of free time and booze, the film is full of laughs and raw entertainment.

The trailers are somewhat misleading and portray The Rum Diary as a wild substance-abusing ride similar to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Paul says, “Puerto Rico. I came down here looking for a story, but I found the strangest paradise on Earth. It’s where your secrets come to dance and the voodoo works it’s magic. And if the drinking doesn’t get you into trouble, the women definitely will. All of this may sound like some crazed hallucination, but it’s all true - I think.”

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The ‘Infinite’ Possibilities of Multimedia and Dance

Infinite PossibilitiesThe Hawk TV studio hosted a unique light show when Infinite Light held a presentation on November 7 for students and faculty.  This show combined the multimedia capabilities of Brenton-C Bainbridge with the soulful choreography of Brooke Broussard.

The event was the first ARTS NOW: Performance, Art, & Technology Visiting Arts Series for the year.

Michael Richison, specialist professor of Arts and Design, welcomed all and thanked the audience for coming.  “It’s truly a pleasure to introduce Brenton C-Bainbridge, his collaboration, and Brooke Broussard,” he said.  He also thanked Staton Green, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences for this programming and students Dan Villanova, Kate Novorski, and Kate Purez for helping out.

Richison explained that Bainbridge and Broussard have worked together for two years with their biggest project being Infinite Light in spring 2011, which began with a Kickstarter fund that brought the show to New York City.

Brooke has done choreography in New York City and danced in X’ian, China while Bainbridge used his multimedia talents as video director for two Beastie Boys Tours and brought his visuals to over five continents. 

The first video presented was a new one, which Bainbridge and Broussard completed the previous day in Asbury Park.  Bright shapes and lines illuminated off the screen and popped out.  It was as if these colorful designs were moving back and forth like someone was adjusting the radio’s volume.  Unique images started to work in unison with background music to make images feel reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey with today’s technology.

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Audiences Learn the Real Deal on Miss Representation

Miss RepresentationAn engaged crowd gathered in Wilson Auditorium to gain insight on how the media affects female’s perceptions of themselves when the documentary, Miss Representation was screened and its writer/director/producer, Jennifer Siebel Newsom spoke November 5.

The movie and Q & A was split up with Miss Representation screening at 10:00 am and Newsom speaking at 1:00 pm.

The Miss Representation screening began with Heather Brown, a board member for Gender Studies at the University, thanking Katherine Parkin, associate professor, Robin Mamma, Dean of the School for Social Work, and acknowledging departments like the School of Social Work.  Before the movie started, she simply said, “The film speaks for itself.”

Miss Representation examined how the media has taken a hold on society and presented unnecessary arch types for women and even men. 

While Newsom uses figures to show media consumption and psychological effects, the film’s spark is with its interview subjects.  They offered strong insight on how people see, think, or view media afflicting females.  Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, and Diane Feinstein demonstrated females that are driven and strong when it comes to politics and how they are treated. 

Newsom also included entertainers like Geena Davis, Margaret Cho, and Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke to sound off on this problem.  Cho talked about getting on a TV show only to be told she wasn’t skinny enough, and developed an eating disorder.

Newsom added balance at times in Miss Representation with a male perspective as people like Newark Mayor Cory Booker and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom ignore media definitions on women and work to rectify this issue.

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Michael Waters Gets Poetic in Visiting Writer’s Series

Michael WatersMichael Waters was the last writer to speak at the University as part of this semester’s Visiting Writers Series last Tuesday. However, this poet isn’t a stranger to campus since Waters is not only an award winning poet but also an English professor here.

After being introduced by Two River Theater company founder Dr. Robert M. Rechnitzas as “one of the greatest living American poets,” Waters read various poems from his upcoming book, “Gospel Night” in Wilson Auditorium.

This will be his 15th collection of poetry published in addition to various other contributions that have been published in journals.

Waters has won numerous awards for his poetry including three Individual Artists Awards and four Pushcart Prizes, as well as fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Ocean Township resident read many selections from his latest assortment of poetry as well as some from previously published collections. Waters said, “Writing poems, I guess, is a way to get to know oneself as well as the world.” 

Exotic locales seem to inspire Waters, who received his MFA from the University of Iowa and his PhD from Ohio University. He first read “White Stork,” a poem set in Costa Rica.  “The Bells” was set in Malta, and “Beloved” was set in Romania.

“Beloved” was one of the most interesting poems he read. It is a love poem about his wife who grew up in Romania. The poem is set there in 1979 and tells of how she would journey into an abandoned library with her own light bulb (as all of the ones in the library had gone out) searching for American books like “Ethan Frome.”

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Joel McHale Humored MU ‘Community’ at the MAC

Joel McHaleJoel McHale, host of E!’s “The Soup” and star of NBC’s “Community,” served up some hot comedy when he performed his stand-up routine at the MAC on Saturday, November 5.

Trading in his “Soup” suits for a sweater and jeans, McHale stepped in the spotlight to joke around with the audience about the latest in reality TV, celebrities, his family life, and the University itself.

The event was sponsored by AEG Live and Concerts East.

Before the show, a small crowd congregated around the MAC for the doors to open.  Freshman Sean Ireland, who was waiting, said, “I’m not looking for anything particular.  I’m just looking to have a good time,” when asked about what he expected from the show.

Molly Mantell, a music industry major and “Soup” fan, was also waiting outside and said, “It’s been a stressful year so far.  I just need something to brighten the mood.”

Josh Rabinowitz opened up for McHale and riffed about college, prank phone calls, finding women, his height, having a hairy chest, and smoking.

When he spoke about college, he mentioned one time a mugger was going after women, and said, “I wasn’t afraid of being mugged.  I was terrified of being the only guy mugged.”

He continued to imagine if he was mugged, news reports would say, “Despite this, police still think he’s targeting women.”  He also talked about his “awkward” orientation when his leader had students sit in a circle and say what they would do if they went back in time. 

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The Outlook
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