Last updateFri, 08 May 2020 6pm


Scheherazade: Tell Me a Story Engages Viewers With a Powerful and Moving Tale

ScheherazadeThe Provost Film Series kicked off last Monday in Pollak Theatre, entering its fifth year at the University, with a screening of the Egyptian movie Scheherazade: Tell Me a Story.

Provost Dr. Thomas Pearson acted as host for the event, welcoming guests to the theatre, and introducing “a great film.” He said this year’s theme, “A Journey into Muslim Culture with a Special Focus on Women,” was inspired by the events that led to the Arab Spring.

“How was it in these ancient capitals of the world that we saw such political volatility?” said Pearson. “Everybody was talking about the role of the social media in bringing about various upheavals; we were thinking it’d be very interesting to use film to get some sense of the political, social, economic and cultural origins of those upheavals against the patriarchal regimes.”

There was an open discussion afterwards with guest panelist Dr. Maysa Hayward, Dean of E-Learning at Ocean County College, who was born and raised in Egypt.

She said the title Scheherazade is based off the popular Middle Eastern story “One Thousand and One Nights” where a Scheherazade is a woman trickster that tells stories to a king to avoid having her head cut off. In the movie, Scheherazade is a woman “exposer of real life, in your face situations.”

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Broadway Shines on Primetime with “Smash”

Broadway Shines“Smash” is the perfect show for any musical theater lover. The NBC drama premieres February 6 at 10:00 pm and revolves around the making of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. (The first episode is currently available to watch online at

The show follows Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee), a struggling actress vying for the part of Marilyn. She has yet to make her big break and makes money waitressing. Karen is an Iowa native whose parents continually urge her to give up her dreams and aim for a more realistic job.

While auditioning for the role, Karen is pitted against a more experienced actress, Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty), and the producers struggle over whether to go for the talent, Karen, or the name recognition, Ivy.

First, though, the show needs to be written. The show is being rushed due to the first song demo being released. The great buzz generated is forcing the show to go through and be quickly finished. The idea originally was just something that writers Julia (Debra Messing) and Tom (Christian Borle) were just toying with.

Meanwhile, Julia had plans to adopt a child with her husband, something that would require her to slow down her career. She had promised her husband that she would not take on another job, but she just couldn’t drop the idea, causing plenty of tension within her family.

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Daughtry Will Get the MAC Rocking in April

Daughtry WillAs part of their Break the Spell tour, the alternative/grunge rock band, Daughtry, will hold a concert in the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) on Friday, April 20 at 7:30 pm. Special guests include the American pop/rock band, Safetysuit, and rhythm/blues artist, Mike Sanchez.

The concert will be produced by Concerts East, Inc. and AEG Live.

Daughtry is an American rock band from North Carolina, created and fronted by “American Idol” Season Five finalist, Chris Daughtry.

 Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student and Community Services at the university, helped arrange Daughtry to perform at the MAC. “The University works with a concert promoter, Concerts East Inc. and AEG Live to get shows in the MAC,” Nagy said. “We were contacted some time ago by them to see if we were interested in Daughtry and obviously we were.”

According to, Daughtry declined an offer by Fuel to be the rock band’s lead singer, and “on July 10, 2006, it was announced that he had signed with 19 Entertainment and RCA Records” to form his self-titled band.

The original band consisted of Jeremy Brady (guitarist), Josh Steely (lead guitarist), Josh Paul (bassist), and Joey Barnes (drummer).

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Batman: Arkham City Offers More Insanity Than Arkham Asylum

BatmanBatman: Arkham City was easily one of the best presents I got for the holidays. There’s a very good reason that everyone is calling this game the best Batman game ever. Only the Batman game on the original Nintendo Entertainment System comes close to this one in terms of good game play and overall fun.

When Batman: Arkham Asylum came out two years ago I thought it was a good game, but it just lacked the replay value. It didn’t really pull me back into the game once I beat it. Arkham City not only has more to do to keep you coming back, it almost challenges you to come back and try to complete it.

I would love to talk about the story, but I really shouldn’t. The story in this game is very good and chockfull of classic characters, friend and foe alike. To even list anyone would be a potential spoiler.

All I can really say is if you want a good, dark, and compelling Batman story, Arkham City won’t disappoint you. Also, if you wanted to see your favorite villain make an appearance, chances are they probably will.

Arkham City uses the same graphics engine that Arkham Asylum used. It looks amazing to say the least. I would strongly recommend playing this game on an HD TV if you have one. You don’t have to, but I will say that it can definitely make a difference, especially if you’re trying to scope out an area in the game.

Both the voice acting and in-game music are amazing. It sounds very much like the 1990’s cartoon, “Batman: The Animated Series,” which should be a plus for any fan of the animated series.

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Art Faculty Exhibition Brings Professors’ Talents Out of the Classroom

Art Faculty 1The Rotary Ice House Gallery hosted an opening reception for the Art Faculty Exhibition on Friday night that was attended by fellow faculty, students, friends, and family members.

The Gallery was filled with paintings, sculptures, photography and interactive art created by professors of the Art and Design Department. Each professor’s art was elegantly displayed, set up neatly to show their collection in one area along with materials used and date created.

Michael Thomas, Assistant Dean of the McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, was in attendance and thought the exhibit helped him understand who the professors are and a new level of respect. “As a colleague it’s the opportunity where I get to really see what’s really going on creatively with professors and colleagues…seeing them other than teaching, advising or other array of duties,” said Thomas. “I get to know them better, like seeing Vincent DiMattio’s art and then understanding that intense, concentration and process that he has.”

DiMattio, professor of art and design, has some great art drawn on various napkin materials, showing guests that all one needs to create art is a pen, some kind of paper and an imagination.

Over a period of a week, DiMattio, who jokingly called his art “excessive” to fellow colleagues, created various pieces of art that have been collaborated into one wall of greatness.

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The Games Against the Social System

A Look at the Individual Versus the System in the Hunger Games Trilogy

Games Against Social SystemWarning: May Contain Spoilers.

In The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Katniss Everdeen and her family live in an impoverished dystopia; one of 12 districts under control of the Capitol, their totalitarian government system. The Capitol randomly selects two children from each district annually to enter the Hunger Games, which is a fight to the death. The last survivor wins, according to the rules, until Katniss and her fellow District 12 contestant Peeta Mellark defy them and both make it out alive.

Since the first novel, Katniss and her family, friends, enemies and other district residents have fought against the Capitol and in most cases, defeated them. However, like in any war, there were losses. Family and friends of the main character were killed; players in the Games have been mentally scarred. So who ultimately won? We approach the sociological question of individuals versus social systems.

As to which side is more influential, Dr. Killian Searles, sociology professor, said, “To me, this is sort of like this question:  which is more a fruit an apple or an orange? ‘Society’ as a social system has a life of its own. One cannot chop down half of the trees and declare that the forest doesn’t exist anymore.”

From one perspective, the Capitol has controlled the District and forced individuals to fight against each other to the death in the Hunger Games for years. Clearly, at this point, the government had control. And by pitting the individuals against one another, the society was unable to change the system themselves. Only when Katniss became a contestant did anyone try to rebel against the capitol.

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Stay Away From the Ladder

What Makes Friday the 13th Unlucky

Stay Away LadderThree times this year, many people will be especially careful to avoid stepping under ladders, spotting a black cat, or being associated with the number 13. Their steps will be a little more careful and their minds a little more on edge. So why is this? Because in 2012, there will be three Friday the 13ths.

The first unlucky day of this year started off with January 13, and will be followed by April 13 and finally July 13, all 13 weeks apart. But the reason why this random day is considered unlucky in the first place is a little more of a mystery.

Unfortunately, no one really knows exactly why the day is unlucky, and is more based on modern hype combined with the superstitions of many cultures.

According to Christian beliefs, there were 13 disciples present at the Last Supper, one of whom betrayed Jesus and set the stage for the Crucifixon, which also occurred on a Friday.

So, 13 is considered the “devil’s number,” and oddly enough, Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names, according to

Plus, it was on a Friday that Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit, leading them to be banished from Paradise. Friday stands in for many other unfortunate days in the Christian faith, such as the start of the Great Flood, and the destruction of the Temple of Solomon.

It is in other religions and cultures as well that Friday or the 13th is unlucky. There are 13 witches in a coven and according to the ancient Egyptians, 13 symbolized death because there are 12 stages of life.

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A New World in the Holy Land

Traveling to Israel on the Birthright Trip

New World Holy LandWhen I went to Israel, I went with a group of Jewish students that were on a Birthright trip, which consisted of 40 students and eight Israeli soldiers.  The trip was completely free for Jewish students, who were given the opportunity to experience Israel for the first time so that they could learn about the culture, the country, and the history.

To me, Israel is a beautiful country that is unlike any other.  It is only the size of New Jersey and yet there is so much culture, geography and beauty.  There are so many places to see, things to do, and so much to learn about this beautiful place. 

Upon our arrival to Israel, my group spent a few days in the North in Tiberius.  This part of the country is hilly, with forests and mountainous terrain.  We spent some time hiking in the mountains and really getting a feel for the geography.  Our visit was during January, so the weather was about 60 degrees.  

 “The weather was great for the time of year we went, which is usually sunny and brisk. It was the perfect weather for the activities we were going to do,” said Jess Laso, senior at the University of Rhode Island.

After a few days we travelled through Jerusalem where the land is dry, with mountains of dirt and desert for miles and miles.  Jerusalem is on a mountain and has places that are thousands of years old. 

There are so many places in Israel that are worth visiting, such as the Western Wall, also located in Jerusalem. It is enormous, and a person can just feel the power and history emanating from this magnificent wall. 

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Modern Warfare 3 Finishes the Trilogy on Target

Modern Warfare 3After Call of Duty: Black Ops was released in November 2010, I was excited for Infinity Ward and Activision to release another Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (MW) title. With the game being released the same month in 2011, I was worried that IW would rush to get it done and just sell the games with the idea that people would buy them because of the title. I hate it when I’m right about these kinds of predictions, but this time I was wrong. Despite small flaws, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is an enjoyable game that gives my Call of Duty fix a boost.

I can admit, I’m a Call of Duty fan boy (calm down Battlefield fans, I like those games too). I loved the WW2 era Call of Duty games, Modern Warfare 1 and 2, and even Black Ops. These games got me excited for the release of Modern Warfare 3. Modern Warfare 2 was fun, but it needed some improvements, so I was excited to see how Modern Warfare 3 was. After I got my game at Gamestop, I drove back to my apartment and put the disc in my Playstation 3, eagerly waiting for the game to load. After playing the game for a couple of hours, I was not disappointed with it at all.

Let me start off with the single-player campaign of the game. It picks right up from the ending of Modern Warfare 2. Like MW 1 and 2 (and other Call of Duty games), you switch back and forth between the missions to play as different characters. The United States at war with Russia and an elite team of soldiers led by Captain John Price is on the hunt for Vladimir Makarov. With Makarov playing a small role in MW 2, he is now the primary bad guy for MW 3. Somehow, he became responsible for tricking Russia into attacking the United States, which I still don’t understand how the Russian army managed to bring together a gigantic army to attack Washington D.C. in MW 2.

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Reunions and Annual Events Top 2012 Concert Season

With the dawning of a new year, questions and rumors arise of what to expect from the 2012 concert scene as music lovers buzz with excitement of what is to come. Based on the successes of last year’s music scene and the newest artists’ announcements, I present the top 10 most anticipated musical events of 2012.

10.) Van Halen

Formed in the 70’s, Van Halen was praised for their signature shrieks of Eddie Van Halen’s electric guitar and the unmistakable energy of front man David Lee Roth. After great success with number one hits like “Jump,” tension between the band members led to replacing their main vocalist.

Van Halen continued to play together without Roth, but did not achieve their original success. Just before all hope had been lost of the band reuniting, Van Halen played a surprise show at a café in New York City with Roth as their lead on January 6.

The band has announced the release of their new album, A Different Kind of Truth, for February 7 and their plans to go on tour. Local shows include two at Madison Square Garden February 28 and March 1, or at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia March 5. This epic opportunity is not inexpensive however (cheapest tickets at MSG run about $60).

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The Artist Silences Audiences With Nostaglia

Artist Silences AudiencesWhile movies have been innovated over the years by how people see them, from eye-popping 3D to awe inspiring IMAX, there is very little reason to regress to old filming techniques. Especially when one goes back to the way movies were originally shown to audiences with no color, completely silent besides a musical score, and a story simply told through action and written dialogue.

As creativity seems to be diminishing from Hollywood, Michel Hazanavicius’s film The Artist shows audiences that out with the old and in with the new is not always true, even if that’s what the movie is all about.

The Artist dives right into the successful life of silent movie star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) at the height of his career. His latest movie, “A Russian Affair,” is having its premiere and the audiences love it. George hogs the spotlight with his dog Jack while movie head Al Zimmer (John Goodman) basks in the applause backstage.

As they exit the theater, the streets are packed with reporters and the women that love George, like Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), a beautiful unknown dancer. She’s pushed front and center as George stares at her in bewilderment at her natural beauty. He then bursts into laughter as she charismatically smiles and poses for pictures, the start to her bright career.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151