Brown Motion Pictures: Fall premiere

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Brown Motion Pictures (BMP) hosted its fall premiere last night at the Avon Cinema. The event debuted the four student-led films that BMP produced this semester to a packed house. BMP members, Brown students, and people from the Providence community were all stylishly dressed as they checked their name off the ticket list and made their way to their seats. The smell of popcorn filled the lobby, where attendees were getting their pictures taken by event photographers.

The first film screened was Parkour! directed and written by Jenn Maley ‘16.

This hilarious mockumentary about the making of a parkour film will have you as out of breath as doing actual parkour. Brian Semel ‘16 is brilliant as Michael (an ode to Michael Scott, perhaps?)

See it for: If you have been missing The Office or Parks and Recreation, then this is a film you won’t want to miss! Also, bagels (you’ll get the reference when you see it).

The second film was Man In Suit directed by Errol Danehy ‘18 and written by Aubrie Redwine ‘18.

A more action-based comedy, Man In Suit takes a look at art imitating life and vice versa when an unlikely hero (Ben Silver ‘17) finds his own internal power via comic book.

See it for: Really cool film noir style flashbacks and music. Also shots of The Underground as a speakeasy-esque bar that will totally shock you.

The film was followed by circles directed by Marcus Sudac ‘17 and written by Kent Smith ‘16.

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The 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows

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The Animation Show of Shows returned to the RISD Auditorium Sunday night for a night of independent award-winning animated shorts. Now in its 17th year, the show is curated by producer Ron Diamond each year and screened at colleges and studios each year to showcase the work of independent animators from around the world. For the first time this year, it will also be screened in theaters across the U.S., thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign.

The theatrical program features “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos” (16th) and “Ascension” (15th), films screened in past Shows of Shows. The non-theatrical program features three films instead, “Edmond,” “Yul and the Snake,” and “Sanjay’s Super Team” (though “Sanjay’s Super Team” wasn’t screened at RISD). The screening also included artist bios of the creators behind “Snowfall,” “Stripy,” and “Love in the Time of March Madness.”

Hosted by the RISD FAV (Film/Animation/Video) Department, members of the RISD, Brown, and the Providence community gathered in the RISD Auditorium for a screening of this year’s show. Keep reading for recaps of what we saw — and click the titles for trailers!

The Story of Percival Pilts
Created by Janette Goodley & John Lewis (Australia)

Created in a beautiful pastel miniature stop-motion world, this story follows Percival Pilts, the narrator’s brother, who starts walking as a kid on short tin-can and wooden stilts. Percival’s stilts grow and grow as he gets older until he’s too tall for their family’s house. He takes off to a new town, facing ridicule from the townspeople until they realize the stilt life is the way to go.

Tant de Forets
Created by Geoffrey Godet & Burcu Sankur (France)

This short showed a forest being torn down for paper manufacturing, industry, and urbanization. With sort of a PSA feel, it did not have much of a definitive ending besides just ‘sad,’ though the papercut illustration style and shifts between 2D and 3D perspectives were interesting.

Snowfall
Directed by Conor Whelan (Ireland)

The first part of this short is a pretty generic party scene accompanied by electronic music with a thumping bass, all animated illustration of course. But there are quirks — the people move by morphing in and out of formless shapes across the room. Clips moved quickly through interactions amongst various characters, like from two men talking to a man and woman suspended in air. The subsequent segment profiling the director revealed that he wanted to explore the emotions involved in the rejection of a queer individual by a straight individual in a social setting.

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Audition Roundup: Upcoming Dates and Deadlines You Won’t Want to Miss

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For many, the first few weeks on campus can be a whirlwind of names and faces coupled with a barrage of dates and deadlines. As a student of any grade it can be hard to keep track of audition times and locations, and it can be extremely disappointing to realize that a deadline has come and gone for an organization that recruits only once a semester/year. The chaotic nature of these first weeks often gets exacerbated by the disparate locations of audition information, resulting in deadline whiplash. For this reason, Blog presents a (hopefully comprehensive, but in no way exhaustive) roundup of fast-approaching audition/deadline dates.

NOTE: many organizations are not featured on this list. There are literally hundreds of awesome groups on Brown’s campus, many of which have yet to release audition deets or have more rolling acceptance policies. Additionally, for the sake of space and sanity, we were unable to include extensive info for each audition/application process–this is just a list of names, dates and locations. If you’re looking for more info (or any info at all) regarding a club not on this list, you should reach out to it directly, search online for a Facebook event, or actually read consult Morning Mail!

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The Ivy Film Festival is coming April 6 – 12, and you could win an all-access pass

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This year’s Ivy Film Festival will be held April 6 – 12. The festival is one of the largest student-run film festivals in the world, held annually for a week each spring. Last year, IFF brought us a variety of keynote speeches, panels, workshops, and screenings; there was a showing of The Grand Budapest Hotel, followed by a Skype Q&A with director Wes Anderson, a lecture by filmmaker Casey Neistat, an advanced screening of Neighbors, screenings of student selected films, and a panel on women in entertainment.

Now under a month out, IFF is in the midst of hosting a raffle for an all-access festival pass, good for all events for the winner and a friend. The raffle is open to everyone with a valid @brown.edu or @risd.edu email. To enter, share the IFF’s Facebook status as public by Wednesday, April 1.

IFF is also hosting an Instagram contest from Wednesday, March 18, through April 1. IFF is asking members of the Brown and RISD community to post an original photo that deals with a “movie moment from your life.” Valid submissions must be tagged with @ivyfilmfestival and #iff2015. The 1st place winner will win an all-access festival pass for them and a friend. Two 2nd place winners will receive Avon tickets for them and a friend. Three 3rd place winners will receive ~~IFF swag~~.

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The Netflix Files: “Virunga” is planet of the (bipedal) apes

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One of Virunga National Park’s ranger lookout stations.

Virunga National Park is home to some of the world’s last mountain gorillas. Located in the far east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga faces threats from poachers, armed rebel groups, refugees, and an unscrupulous British oil company, all of whom are competing for the park’s precious mineral resources. The documentary film Virunga (available on Netflix) follows the intrepid park rangers as they struggle to defend the park and its gorillas.

Virunga’s park rangers can only be described as militant conversationalists. They have to be in order to hold any power in a region infamous for its violent clashes between armed rebel groups from the Congo and neighboring Rwanda. The opening scene of the film finds a legion of rangers trekking through a field with AK-47s slung across their backs and rocket launchers swinging at their sides. Gunshots explode in the distance, and the rangers charge through the brush with guns at the ready, looking more like an advancing army than a group of friendly naturalists. The rangers find an improvised poachers’ camp and burn it. Continue Reading


Ass-less chaps and timeless wisdom at Cinebrasil

Cinebrasil

Cinebrasil is part of the Watson Institute’s Brazil Initiative

I went to Cinebrasil, Brown’s annual Brazilian film series, to enrich my understanding of foreign cultures and score participation points for my Intro to Portuguese class. The film they showed was Tatougem (translated to English, “tattoo”), a drama that follows a LGBTQ theater group called The Star Spangled Floor. The film is set in the 1970’s when Brazil was ruled under a military dictatorship.

Before the movie, a professor from the Portuguese and Brazilian Studies Department told the crowd that Brown has the largest collection of Brazilian films in the U.S. (woot woot). The professor then promised that the film would be a “steamy story of chaos and liberation.” As the lights dimmed, I made a baldfaced grab for the armrest before the guy sitting next to me could get to it. Boom. Ready to go.

I’m not going to summarize the plot for you, because Wikipedia can do that a lot better than I can. I’m just going to share with you some interesting aspects of the film.

Tatouagem

“Resorting to sensuality, they did get some laughs.” —A newspaper quoted in the film, referring to the Star Spangled Floor (above)

If you want to see the sun and the moon get in a fight, watch Tatouagem. Towards the end of the film, two performers in the Star Spangled Floor—one painted silver like the moon, the other golden like the sun—start going at each other during a performance. Sun disses the moon for not being radiant, but Moon counters that he does not need to be because he just reflects the light of the sun. Sun then insults Moon’s ugly craters. Moon counters with, “Yeah, well at least I don’t have all of your disgusting eruptions!” That just about settles it.

In my beginners’ Portuguese class I’ve learned to say things like, “Hello! After breakfast in the morning I generally ride my bicycle rapidly to Portuguese class, but it’s Wednesday so the chalk is not joyful, no.” Unfortunately, the characters in the film rarely discussed their post-breakfast transportation habits or the disposition of writing implements, so I had to rely mostly on the subtitles.

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