Posts Tagged ‘Sutherland’

Remember V for Vendetta

April 5, 2011 Comments off

By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer

A copy of V for Vendetta can be found in YHC's Duckworth library.

V for Vendetta is a film released in 2006 based on the original graphic novel written by Alan Moore. The storyline of the film follows the suave, sophisticated vigilante known only as V, played by Hugo Weaving. The movie surrounds V as he carries out his plan of destroying the fascist government of a dystopian Britain in order to bring about a free society. Along the way, he adopts a protégé, Evey, played by Natalie Portman, whom he helps morph into a powerful and confident figure.

This film is fantastic to watch. It is directed by James McTeigue, known for directing the Matrix trilogy. The film adaptation is written by the Wachkowski brothers, who are responsible for writing the trilogy as well. The group teamed up again, and the result is a riveting ride that keeps you interested the whole way through.

V for Vendetta never ceased to excite me throughout. As the film progressed, I was eager to see how V would topple the government he despised, how or even if Evey would transform, and if the leader of the government would be dealt rightful punishment.

My favorite part of the whole film is the character V himself.  While you never actually see Weaving’s face, he is completely alive behind the famous grinning mask he dons.  His chivalrous mannerisms, taste for the arts and highly impressive vocabulary make him appear as more than a vigilante longing to eradicate the institution of government. Another great talent in the film is Natalie Portman.  She recently won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Black Swan, and it is evident her greatness has not only been recent.  She truly shines through as a conflicted young woman caught in the moment of the chaotic state of the country.  Her confused and doubtful emotions both fill her face and are shown in her behavior. Portman went as far as to shave her head in the film, while maintaining a tearful performance as her locks are removed.

Anyone who is looking for a magnificent film to watch should look no further. Those who are especially interested in those about revolutions and uprisings, this is a no brainer.  Also, those who are fans of the graphic novel should certainly watch. V for Vendetta has great performances, an intriguing story and, most importantly, is not a bore to watch.  The film is a success in all aspects. I give it an A.

YHC performs with Robert Sheldon

March 2, 2011 Comments off

By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer

YHC's Wind Ensemble warms up before their performance last Tuesday. Photo by Nadia Dean

This past Tuesday, the Young Harris College Wind Ensemble performed with renowned composer Robert Sheldon at the Glenn Auditorium.  Sheldon, internationally known for his work, came to guest compose, playing many of his own pieces, and provided insight to YHC’s students.

Sheldon is the recipient of a plethora of awards.  Some of the awards include the Volkwein Award, International Outstanding Bandmaster Award and the American Society of Composers.  Sheldon has also been given the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publisher’s Standards Award 24 times.

Along with his many awards and recognition, Sheldon has taught almost three decades in Florida and Illinois public schools as well as the University of Florida, Florida State University, Illinois Central College and Bradley University.

“This was our first time having [Robert Sheldon] come to campus,” said Mary Land, senior instructor of music and director of bands. “We wanted him, because he is an expert in the field. He came and spent the day with our students and showed them how he created his music.  It was very insightful.”

With these credentials, many students and locals came to see him.  All in attendance seemed to enjoy themselves and were impressed by the show.

“It was fantastic,” said a resident from Hayesville. “It was a good performance.  I am amazed by all the talent in this small town.  Robert Sheldon’s music was great.”

Sheldon brought much life to the show causing everyone to laugh.  The YHC Wind Ensemble offered him gifts to express gratitude for his time which he humbly accepted.  One of the gifts was a giant origami crane brought out as Sheldon explained how that was his inspiration for one of his songs.

The performance featured many of Sheldon’s own pieces that the YHC Wind Ensemble played.  Some of his works showcased were Visions of Flight, In the Center Ring and One Thousand Cranes.

The students seemed to like Sheldon, his work, and also the fact that he worked with them.

“[Sheldon] is amazing.  It was really great having him work with us.  He’s really inspiring,” said Jeff Stewart, a freshman music education major from the city of Young Harris.

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“Unforgiven” gets good review

March 2, 2011 Comments off

By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer

Unforgiven is a western made in 1992, that took the prize of Best Picture at the Academy Awards.  It is not difficult to see why either.  As westerns slowly began to lose some of their popularity going into the ‘90s, this film made a large impact.  I think it is the most important western on the last 20 years.

The film follows Will Munney, played by Clint Eastwood, as an aged outlaw and killer with a violent past as he takes one last job after over a decade of inactivity.  Accompanying Eastwood is his old partner Ned played by Morgan Freeman. Opposite the elder outlaws is Little Bill, played by Gene Hackman, the intimidating sheriff of the town of Big Whiskey-which is where they are headed.

The mood of this film is what really set it apart from other westerns to me.  Unforgiven really focuses on the dark and much grittier side of the old west.  Rather than being a traditional tale with guns blazing throughout, this film focuses more on the laments and past regrets of the protagonists.  This aspect, to me, is the most compelling part of the whole movie.  As Unforgiven progresses, you can see Eastwood’s inner demons raging inside him as he fights to push them aside them and carry on.

What also makes the film even richer is the acting.  All characters are intriguing to watch.  Hackman is a truly believable madman, whose ego has driven him to ferocious violence.  Freeman is also wonderful as Will Muney’s accomplice as they go about their mission.

However, I really liked Eastwood in this one.  As I said, it is easy to see the pain within him, but it is also hard to feel sympathy for him because his atrocious acts of the past.  He has cleaned up over the years, but still carries the weight of his burdensome guilt on his back.

This version of Eastwood is far different from the usual tough-guy role like that of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

This movie is not only an amazing and rich western, but a marvelous piece of cinema.  If you are a fan of westerns or Clint Eastwood, this is an obvious choice.  On the other hand, if you do not regularly prefer this genre of film, this could be an exception.  It is absolutely worth watching.  I give this film an A.

The Life Aquatic doesn’t sink interest

February 26, 2011 Comments off

By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer

"The Life Aquatic is definitely a film worth watching. The story is good and the characters are fantastic.”

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a comedy released in 2004 about the oceanographer Steve Zissou, played by Bill Murray. The movie follows Zissou, who creates a documentary as he chases down the mythical “jaguar shark” that killed his best friend.  Accompanying him is his son, that he apparently never knew of, Ned Plimpton, portrayed by Owen Wilson.

The film is co-written and directed by Wes Anderson.  He is most known for his films Bottle Rocket and The Royal Tenenbaums, of which the latter won an Oscar.  Anderson is a true master of clever and witty films.  This one in particular is no exception.  The whole story is completely goofy with numerous memorable and outrageous scenarios.

However, the best part is the characters. They are all so diverse and possess odd characteristics that make them immensely fun to watch.  My favorite in the movie was Klaus, played by Willem Dafoe, who is the oddly obsessive German right-hand man of Zissou’s that is jealous of his newly discovered son.  The different characters and their ridiculously absurd personalities make the film.  Murray is also great as the self-centered captain of the ship with nonexistent parenting that is determined on eliminating his target at any cost.

Also, Anderson also does a great job directing the film.  All of the shots used help to develop a sense of how the particular situation would feel, and show emotions of the characters. There are scenes of conversations and disputes within Zissou’s ship where the crew storms throughout the interior of the ship. These are nicely done by Anderson.

The Life Aquatic is definitely a film worth watching. The story is good and the characters are fantastic. Anyone who would like to enjoy a comedy film that isn’t a shameful waste of money like those made now, this is a great find.  I give it an A.

A Lot Like Love is a lot like hell

February 13, 2011 Comments off

By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer

With Valentine’s Day approaching, there is bound to be love in the air at Young Harris College.  So, what better way to celebrate the holiday than to watch a fun romance with your significant other?  You could watch one of the many romance films here on campus.  But be warned, if you watch this one in particular, A Lot Like Love, you may be putting your relationship in jeopardy and will probably walk away a lot more sad than happy.

A Lot Like Love released in 2005, is a romantic comedy surrounding the relationship of Oliver, played by Ashton Kutcher and Emily, played by Amanda Peet.  It takes place over several years as they progress from exclusively sexual friends, to genuine friendship and then ultimately to a relationship.

By saying this, I’m not giving anything away, since this movie follows the same predictable story frame as most other movies of the genre: boy meets girl, boy loses girl and boy gets girl back.

Along with following the generic formula, this film reminded me entirely too much of When Harry Met Sally– except terribly done.  What that film possesses in humor, character development and attraction, this movie lacked completely.  It was not funny at all, and I never longed to see the two of them to get together.

For example, there’s the hilarious and famous deli scene in When Harry Met Sally where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm, but in A Lot Like Love, there is a scene where Peet pretends to choke in a restaurant.  The latter doesn’t even begin to be funny and doesn’t compare to the other.

Complementing that negative is the acting.  Peet has a few scenes where she cries and looks saddened, but Kutcher on the other hand, let’s just say you get more emotion out of his deaf brother in the movie that communicates through sign language.  Kutcher and Peet lack the chemistry required to create a lasting impression.

In the end, if you want to have a romantic night for Valentine’s Day, do not watch this film.  Especially, if you want to remain in your relationship, avoid this movie. If you want to watch a romantic comedy, I recommend When Harry Met Sally. I give it a F.

Cinematheque “Exits Through the Gift Shop”

February 8, 2011 Comments off

By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer

This past Wednesday marked the first feature of Cinematheque for the spring semester.  Cinematheque showcased a documentary called Exit Through The Gift Shop, which is about street art and its many different artists.

The movie drew in the largest crowd of any feature shown by the program, with more than fifteen students as well as faculty in attendance.

Mike Elrod, library instructor and electronics services assistant, opened up the presentation by revealing that the library has received a new collection of graphic novels, bringing it a few samples of the additions and talking about the documentary.

Also, Dr. Ted Whisenhunt, chair of the art department and assistant professor of art, spoke about the film and some of the artists within it.  Whisenhunt also gave his thoughts on some existing doubt regarding street art being accepted as a true art form.

“I absolutely think that street art is widely accepted in the art world,” said Whisenhunt. “My thoughts are that it is like urban folk art.  It’s untrained people doing weird thing, and it’s always been around.  I definitely think it’s legit.  It’s something we look at in art appreciation.”

The film was widely enjoyed by those who attended and watched.  Everyone laughed at several comical scenes and were impressed by the art inside the movie.  After the feature was over, some of the students eagerly spoke out on what they thought of the movie and the art.

“I think it was great,” said Ben Partain, a freshman art major from Elberton. “I think that the underlying theme is that anyone can be successful at art, but it takes real determination and talent to be a great artist.”

“It was a good kick start for the semester,” Elrod stated. “ It was fun and raises intellectual questions.  I’m also glad about the new collection of graphic novels.”

For the rest of the semester, Elrod stated that Cinematheque definitely “has some good stuff planned.”

We Own the Night is worth watching

January 26, 2011 Comments off

By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer

A copy of We Own the Night can be found in the Duckworth Library.

We Own the Night is a crime drama that came out in 2007.  The film revolves around a successful nightclub owner, Bobby Green played by Joaquin Phoenix, and his family.  Bobby Green’s family has traditionally been police officers including his veteran officer father played by Robert Duvall and his brother, played by Mark Wahlberg.

Bobby turns a blind eye to drug trafficking in his club and as the film progresses and the police begin to move in, Bobby is faced with an impossibly difficult decision.  He must either look out for his club and continue to aid the drug lords, or he must turn in informantion and help his family bring them down.

The plot of the film sounds like a rather generic one, but it is very interesting. The movie is entertaining and thrilling throughout, keeping the viewer attentive to see what choices will be made.  There are several tense, pulse-pounding scenes that definitely deliver.  Writer and director James Gray does an excellent job creating shots and scenes that convey the drama of a situation.

Also, it is not only the plot that helps power the movie, but the acting.  Joaquin Phoenix in particular does a magnificent playing the compelling role of a truly torn character.  As the movie progresses, you can get a true sense of how he feels.  Eva Mendes, who plays Phoenix’s girlfriend, also does a good job portraying a woman terrified of what may happen.  Wahlberg does what he can, but his role is not nearly up to par with the one he had in The Departed.

However, with the great roles and intense scenes, the movie may not necessarily stand out amongst similar movies.  We Own The Night is not a movie that is widely known.  Also, it is a rather generic type story.  Gray does incorporate his own style and flair, but in the end, it is a predictable drama where you already know the general outline.  All in all, We Own the Night is definitely worth watching, but do not expect to be blown away.  I give it a B.

Max Payne is painful

December 2, 2010 Comments off

By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer

"If you're seeking something to satisfy some kind of boredom...I suppose you can watch this; just know that you've been warned"

Max Payne is most commonly knows as a popular video game series. Though recently,it was made into a movie, which is probably recognized by most people. Most people who like both video games and movies alike know that movies based on video games are usually absolutely awful. It is safe to say that Max Payne is a perfect example of this. This movie is atrocious in almost every aspect.

The film stars Mark Wahlberg as Max Payne, a cop who’s wife and child were killed and as a resutl Payne sets out to find their killers and avenge their deaths. It also stars Mila Kunas as Mona Sax, a vigilante who helps Payne along his way of finding the culprits. The first question one may ask is how it compares to the video game. The only similarities between the two are character and location names, the basic plot of his wife and child being killed and him seeking revenge and that it’s snowing outside. Those are about the only correlations between the movie and the game. The plot made up for the movie is so ridiculous and detached from the original work that it almost hurts.

In the film, there’s a drug that the characters take. As a result they begin to hallucinate and see demons flying around and see the sky on fire. Just about every thing in the movie is changed from the game, and definitely for the worse. It lacks any sort of motive that compels the story forward and has plently of prediactable parts to it.

There is also virtually no real music present to help set the mood for the movie. There were low tones within the movie, but no true music. The only time fitting music is really audible and enjoyed is in the final scene, and as you watch that, you might not even realize how you witnessed a lackluster action flick with no great scores to add to the atmosphere of any scene.

The only minor good thing about the film is the direction. There were some cool shots and angles, particularly the slow motion ones. Max Payne, the video game, was the first real game to utilize the ability to slow time down as you fight. It’s nice to see the movie stay true to it’s roots for a few scenes, but it certainly doesn’t save this appalling movie.

Overall, if you want to experience anything Max Payne related, you should just play the game.  This movie is terrible and lacks any type of appeal.  If you are seeking a good action movie, frankly, that’s impossible. If you’re seeking something to satisfy some kind of boredom when there seems nothing else to do, I suppose you could watch this; just know you’ve been warned. I give this movie an F.

YHC choir hosts “An Evening at the U.S.O.”

November 15, 2010 Comments off

By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer

Jordan Fleming, a junior musical theater major from Marietta, is a member of YHC's 83-voice choir that sang at First United Methodist Church of Union County for "An Evening at the U.S.O." Photo by Jacob Stone

This past Friday and Saturday night, Young Harris College’s choir performed “An Evening at the U.S.O.” at First United Methodist Church of Union County in Blairsville, where admission was priced at $10 a person. The tribute to the 1940s big band era was not only a performance by the 83-voice choir, but also a fundraiser for their European Choir Tour, a trip that the choir plans to take after spring graduation.

For those who don’t know what the U.S.O. is, it stands for United Service Organizations, which is a nonprofit organization.  It provides services performances to entertain those in and who have been in the service.  It originated during World War II and is still going strong today.

YHC’s “An Evening at the U.S. O.” appeared to be a fun and entertaining event for all, and it certainly seemed to be a good fundraiser for the choir. Jeffrey Bauman, the director of the choir, was pleased with the event.

“I think it was very successful fundraiser.  It was good for the community as well.  It was also fitting and convenient, [since] it was around Veteran’s Day.  I’m very pleased,” Bauman said.

The event consisted of many performances of classic songs that went with the theme of the show including, “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “It Don’t Mean A Thing” and “As Time Goes By”.

Along with popular songs from the time, the choir also sang a salute to each of the United States Armed Forces.  However, the choir wasn’t the only one to perform.

The Brasstown Big Band, which accompanied the choir throughout the night, also performed their own set.  While songs were being performed, there were slides on the large TV screens with the song titles and vintage propaganda art to help take the audience back in time.

“I think it was an excellent show,” said Leonard Poole, a retired marine in attendance from the city of Young Harris. “It went well, and was well presented.  I have an invested interest too, since I have a daughter performing.  [I was a marine], so this is something I hold dear to my heart,” Poole said.

The performance drew in hundreds of patrons.  The spectators consisted of veterans of the service, members of the local community and YHC students.

Even with diversity amongst the crowd, all in attendance seemed to have a good time.  There were applause and plenty of laughter throughout the night. Those watching were in awe of the musical performances from the performers, and audience members laughed at the comical announcements by Dr. Bauman and Dr. Benny Ferguson, one of the band directors of the evening. Even with the comical relief, the focus of the night remained on the YHC choir.

“I think it was a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed it,” said Rebekah McDevitt, a freshman music major from Meansville. “It definitely raised a good bit of money for the choir,” McDevitt said.

Cinematheque enters the land of zombies

November 5, 2010 Comments off

By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer

This past week Cinematheque showcased two films in the spirit of Halloween. They showed Zombieland on Tues. Oct. 26 and Session 9 on Wed. Oct. 27.

Before the showing Zombieland, Mike Elrod, a library assistant and Cinematheque coordinator, led a discussion with students about the significance of zombies in media and what they can represent.

The students in attendance were more eager to participate in the discussion than ever before. Students also seemed to enjoy the film, with several audience members exploding with laughter from the film.

Even though the crowd was small still, Elrod remained positive.

“I think the [small crowd] adds to the atmosphere,” said Elrod. “I’d say [even though the crowd was small, the event] went well.”

This seems to hold true, considering the small group that regularly attends is consistently very interested in the event and enjoys talking about different aspects of film.

On Wed Oct. 27, Session 9 was presented. The majority of students was unfamiliar with the film, making students anxious to press play.

After the scary movie, all the students were sufficiently freaked out. They discussed a variety of theories about the suspenseful ending to the film.

As Cinematheque continues to show movies throughout the remainder of the semester, the students attending the movie showings feel like they have learned to appreciate the value of films.

“I think it takes pop culture films and shows that they have educational value,” says Josh Dyer, a senior business and public policy major from Blairsville.

“It really lets you look into the human psyche,” said Dyer.

Students seemed to enjoy this week’s double feature and encouraged the Elrod to do it more next semester. The next Cinematheque meeting will be the last of the Fall semester. There, they plan to screen a documentary on Ireland.

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