IFF presents: A (Skype) conversation with Jason Schwartzman

“I don’t like this whole Skype-speaker thing,” a friend told me, when I asked if they wanted to accompany me to see the IFF Q&A with Jason Schwartzman. “Like, it’d be better if they just got someone less famous, but in person, you know?”

I’m not personally a huge fan of Skype, so it surprises me that I actually strongly disagree. The quirky nature of these Skype presentations has worked almost perfectly for the speakers IFF has brought us via video chat. Last year’s Wes Anderson Skype Q&A, which was broadcast to two auditoriums because ticketing for the first sold out so quickly, was among the more memorable events I’ve been to on campus. Friday night’s chat with Schwartzman, who wore Beats by Dr Dre headphones and a scruffy black beard, followed suit.

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Projected onto the screen in Granoff Auditorium.

Listening to Schwartzman felt very familiar because his manner of speaking is so distinctive, and so similar to that of the characters he has portrayed (think: HBO’s Bored to Death). He integrates self-effacing humor, or just bizarrely specific details, into articulate and intellectual sentences. When asked for his favorite works, or those he draws the greatest inspiration from, he replied “Hmm, that’s a great question, like one I’d maybe liked to have in an email an hour ago…” and then proceeded to rattle off Paul Shrader’s Mishima, Francois Truffaut’s work (in particular Stolen Kisses), and Al Pacino as favorites. “I’m trying to think of books, but I’m so embarrassed to even talk about books because you guys have read so many more books,” said Schwartzman, with stacks and stacks of books piled around his office in the background.

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Sextion: Six tips for great Skype sex

skypesex

Despite some of our unhealthy relationships with Siri, akin to Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson in Her, technology can be an amazing tool for maintaining real-life relationships, especially sexual ones. Whether you have a vibrator that is synced to your iTunes or a pillow that allows you to hear your partner’s heartbeat wherever they are, technology can be a beautiful thing. And for those in long distance relationships, it’s a necessity.

Because we’re not living in the dark ages, where hand-written letters and the occasional phone call were the only things connecting you and your partner, we have amazing inventions to keep people closer together, even if they are a world away. Skype has grown to be every long distance relationship’s third wheel. Skype, to me, is the most sexually revolutionary product since the Pill, and Skype sex is now a luxury for couples everywhere. So whether your partner goes to a different school, is abroad this semester, or is your 35-year-old neighbor back home, read below for some tips on how to make the most of your Skype sex experience.

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It’s time to leave: How to kick your family out of your dorm

r-ARRESTED-DEVELOPMENT-large570If you’ve seen this year’s attempt at a fourth season of Arrested Development, you know that in the first episode we see Michael Cera’s character’s father move into his dorm room. Skeptics, take note: This is definitely what the first few hours (or days) of moving in feel like. When you get to your dorm room, the average over-protective parent/guardian will want to set it up for you as if they were decorating your nursery. They’ll actually be more of a roommate at that point than your real roommate. As long as you don’t let them come into the shower with you like the father and son above, the overdose of affection makes for a great feeling.

Relish the over-nurturing, because your family is about to go back home, and this should be the last time your mom makes your bed this year. That’s right: nobody who isn’t wearing a hairnet is going to make you lunch anymore (although the Brown dining staff are a bunch of sweeties). Have your family take you out to a meal on Thayer Street, and then take the traditional Hajj to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy some unnecessary dorm room swag. Then, as your loved ones are putting those finishing touches on your tchotchkes, arguing about the placement of your One Direction stereotypical Pink Floyd poster, you will realize it is time for them to get the f*** out.

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Don’t forget to love your mom

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This weekend I forgot my mom’s birthday. It’s often the curse of the younger child to discover a harsh reality like this and text your sibling “Fuck, was it mommy’s birthday yesterday?!?” only to get a response like, “You didn’t call her/send her flowers/write a sonnet about her lovely ways?” (To clarify, my sister didn’t actually write a sonnet but she is an English major and a really good daughter.)

It’s so easy to go to college and totally forget that your parents exist, or to get easily irritated when you do see them. It’s frustrating when they don’t remember your friends’ names or when they speak really loudly into the phone. It’s frustrating if they don’t know anything about your life and it’s also frustrating when they mention an irrelevant detail. It’s MOST frustrating when you realize they usually are being really nice to you, and that you are just taking out your school-related angst on them. Yes, I am totally thinking of Hannah calling her parents at the end of the most recent episode of HBO’s Girls – I think a block quote is totally justified in this case:

Sometimes I feel like we have nothing in common, we don’t know each other at all, we weren’t even really put on the same earth by the same god. But at the same time I feel like there’s a hammock under the earth that’s protecting me. It really means a lot and that’s because of you and I’m grateful. I love you mom, I really, really love you.

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Call more friends with Facebook-Skype pairing

Courtesy of Shuttervoice

BBC News reports that Internet behemoths Facebook and Skype are about to strike a massive deal that will integrate the two, making it easier to make Skype calls via your Facebook friends list.

The partnership will mean Skype users can update their statuses and interact with News Feed via the Skype platform. You’ll also be able to use Facebook as a contact directory for your Skype account, make free Skype-to-Skype phone calls with Facebook friends who use Skype, and “call and text Facebook friends directly on their mobile phones and landlines.”

Hmm…isn’t that last one already the function of a regular phone? Regardless, this partnership will be one to keep an eye on in the days to come, even if it ultimately is just a glorified address book adaptation. Rumor has it that Facebook’s using the deal to pave the way for plans of a Facebook phone, which hopefully won’t end up following the same trajectory as the unfortunately short-lived Microsoft Kin…