The Hunting Ground screens at Brown

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“My rape was bad, but the way I was treated in the process was worse.”

The Hunting Ground is a documentary that explores the world of sexual assault on college campuses, and the processes through which those cases are handled. BlogDH went to IFF’s screening with the intention of gathering student reactions at the end of the film. The night did not go as expected. What started as a montage of adorable college acceptance videos, quickly escalated to a platform for the interwoven narratives of college sexual assault victims across the nation. The overarching theme was to follow the first two women in this movement to file a Title IX case against their school, UNC Chapel Hill. The personal story arcs for so many of the victims made the story hit close to home, with one student who exited the theater saying “that could be me.”

As the documentary layered the various complexities that victims face on college campuses, at times going against inert administrations, athletic infrastructures, and the fraternity system, one would stop to catch a breath and think, “this must be the end of the movie,” only to be hit with another punch to gut. When the film let out, very few attendees wanted to speak with us. Some shook their heads, declined to comment, and one person said, “I have no words.” We gathered what afterthoughts we could, but we also would like to acknowledge that the film was very intense, and many people were unable to talk about it immediately afterwards. Another student said, “I don’t know if I have anything positive on the subject,” illustrating the moroseness that hung over the audience, despite occasional messages of hope.

In many of the featured cases, students filing sexual assault charges were downright ignored. When you did see change, it was often followed by a lack of institutional memory. Many have clamored for college administrations to inform their student body of potentially dangerous areas on campus in regards to sexual assault. Wesleyan did that just a few years ago, by sending out an email warning incoming freshman to stay away from a certain fraternity house, because they could not secure it as a safe environment. It was met with outrage from alumni, parents, and some students. The next year, they did not send out the email, and by Halloween a student was raped in the fraternity house. Despite the anticipated backlash, another student leaving Granoff still insisted that “Brown-specific sexual assault data should be reported to students, because the issue goes well beyond protecting image (of the University).” Continue Reading


A chair-spective on things

The ubiquitous chair. The companion of human laziness since chairs were referred to as “sitting things.” They were around even before the first human to ever sit, ever sat. Probably.

But if only they could speak. Oh, the stories they’d tell.

Luckily, while I was pulling an all-nighter for a midterm, a chair started talking to me.

If you thought Brown students were cool, wait till you hear what Brown chairs have to say.

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Me: “So, Mr. Chair, how is it like being a chair?”

Chair: *shivers* “All this booty..”

Me: “Do you have a name?”

Chair: “All this booty.”

Me: “…”

Chair: “Sorry about that. Booty got me day-dreamin’.

I guess it’s not all that bad. It pays the bills.

The name’s Fred, by the way.”

Me: “Okay, Fred. Can you stop talking about butts?

My audience may not approve.”

Fred: “Uhm. Rude. It’s literally on my mind every day.

So excuse me.”

Me: “I’m so–”

Fred: “And you know what’s worse?

I’m not even into butts! People just don’t seem to get it.”

Me: “Can I j–”

Fred: “Standing is a social construct.”

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Art School(ed): Finding Vivian Maier this week at the Cable Car Cinema

Perhaps you are well acquainted with Blog’s column, This Week at the Avon. Meet the Avon’s sulky, redheaded step-sister hip, closer-to-sea-level competitor, the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe. Cable Car, located on seabreezy South Main Street, has recently been deemed “Best Art House Cinema in New England” by Yankee Magazine. This week, Cable Car has extended their screening of the new, much-anticipated documentary Finding Vivian Maier through Thursday. This film seeks to unveil the mysterious nanny who also happened to be one of the most prolific street photographers of the 20th century. She created work on par with Diane Arbus, Lisette Model, and Robert Frank, but her fruits of her Rolleiflex were unknown to the world until 2007.

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A 26-year-old real estate agent and director of the film, John Maloof, discovered Maier’s work at a storage auction in Chicago while looking for images of the Windy City to include in a book he was co-authoring at the time. Maier had stashed her work away in boxes, and 100,000 negatives and undeveloped rolls of film had remained unseen until Maloof stumbled upon them. The art world and the general public feel immense gratitude towards Maloof because he made Maier’s work known, but, as the film progresses, the problematic nature of Maloof’s nearly tyrannical possession of the work bubbles to the surface. Maloof had no personal connection to Maier before he bid on a trunk of her negatives for $300, but now he is producing (and profiting from) posthumous prints of her work, and receiving international attention because of Maier’s eccentric story. At times, Finding Vivian Maier comes across as a thinly veiled promotional piece for John Maloof, and it makes the viewer wonder what this film could have been if it had been directed by a third party documentarian.

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You’re welcome, World. Love, the Oprah Network

Premiere Of Dimension Films' "Scary Movie 5" - Red Carpet

Honestly, I’m trying to figure out how to properly preface this trailer, but the words are failing me. I don’t know why I am ever surprised anymore by anything Oprah does, but somehow this did. I also don’t know why I had never considered an Oprah/Lindsay collaboration before, but somehow I hadn’t. Luckily for me, and the universe, fate has intervened and magic has been made.  See the trailer below and start counting down the days until the premiere of Lindsay (you know you’re excited…”cut the bullshit”):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PC3JS-1w-k

Update: Seems like the video has gone private. The sites we looked at had the same problem. Sorry about that! Hopefully the trailer will be back up soon.

Image via.


10 things I learned from ‘How To Make Money Selling Drugs’

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Last night in List, Ivy Film Festival screened the 2012 documentary, How To Make Money Selling Drugs. The movie was incredibly powerful and informative and I could go on for hours about all the things I learned at the screening and subsequent panel discussion. But in the interest of time, here are 10 things I learned from How To Make Money Selling Drugs:

10. How to make money selling drugs. The title of this film is not misleading and the documentary is, in fact, formatted as an informative film filled with interviews from industry professionals on how to get involved and make profit in the drug trade. The movie is set up as though the drug trade were a video game and takes its audience from Level 1: Pawn, all the way through the final level: Cartel Leader, offering bonus tips and points along the way.

9. 9 out of 10 bills in the U.S. are tainted with cocaine. And I don’t mean are metaphorically tainted with blood money from the drug trade. I mean they have physically been used to inject cocaine and still contain trace amounts of the drug. Continue Reading


A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: IFF screening of ‘How to Make Money Selling Drugs’

Do you like relevant documentaries? Do you like Entourage? Do you like learning about the drug trade? Do you like Woody Harrelson? If you answered yes to any of the above, be sure to check out Ivy Film Festival’s screening of How To Make Money Selling Drugs on Wednesday at 7:30 in List 120.

How to Make Money Selling Drugs is a powerful documentary that traces the drug trade in the United States from street-level dealers to high-profile politicians and DEA agents. If you thought Breaking Bad taught you everything you needed to know about modern drug politics, think again. The film was produced by Adrian Greniere of Entourage fame, and features interviews with Susan Sarandon, Woody Harrelson, 50 Cent, and Eminem. Obviously, if that many celebrities are involved, it must be important.

The screening will be followed by a panel featuring several Brown professors and alumni with extensive knowledge of the modern American drug culture and firsthand experience in the field. Check out the Facebook event for more information.