Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sleek, Sexy and Scary


Italian fashion is not about approachability. A Gucci girl is not someone who you see on the street and immediately want to know. She’s someone you see on the street and gawk at because you never realized anyone could actually look good in satin pants.

In Milan, more than anywhere else, you are reminded that fashion is expensive, and that it takes a special kind of person (the ones with trust funds + legs that never end) to make a leather bathing suit look good. London is quirky, Paris is sensational, New York is commercial, and Milan is downright intimidating.


There are exceptions -Marni’s Spring 2010 collection was sweet, if not a bit frumpy, and I adored the draped knits at Missoni, dripping with strings of pearls and fabulous slashes of silk. But Prada and Gucci’s shows were, as usual, suitable only for a Bond girl before she jet sets off to Monte Carlo.


Though all designers are worried about their profits, in Milan at least, they’re still counting on the power of the very wealthy and the very beautiful.


Read my New York Fashion Week review.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hot Off the Press: A Look at Some of This Tuesday’s New Albums

Some of us get so entangled in the chaotic web of the orange bubble that we start mixing metaphors and we can’t even stop for a second to hear the new music being produced in the real world. So how about I do a little of the work for you?

Tuesdays are typically big days for new music, so here are a few noteworthy albums being released today, along with a quick synopsis of what some music reviewers have to say about them (apologies to hardcore Mariah Carey and Barbara Streisand fans; I know those divas also released albums today, but, well….sorry):

1. Zero 7 – Yeah Ghost

Some describers: mellow but catchy, experimental, swoon-worthy vocals, varied tempos, makes-you-wanna-move, echo-heavy

Most popular song from the album on iTunes as of right now: “Swing”

What Antiquiet.com has to say: (4/5 stars)

While a few songs remind us of the atmospheric, chill-out music we have heard from Zero 7 in the past (such as their song “In the Waiting Line” from the much-hailed Garden State soundtrack), the band mixes things up on this new album. Songs like “Mr. McGee” do more than just make you want to nod your head—they make you wanna legit shake it. Guest vocalists like Eska Mtungwazi, Martha Tilston, and Rowdy Superstar spice things us as well. Some could criticize the album for its incoherence, but it still maintains an identity throughout and for that, Antiquiet salutes it.


2. The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You

Some describers: North Carolinian, folky vocals with plenty of harmonization, heavily acoustic, laid-back, heartfelt

Most popular song from the album on iTunes as of right now: “I and Love and You”
Paste Magazine says: (96/100 or “Phenomenal”)
The Avett Brothers, after having hovered in the shadows for a while, are at last entering the spotlight with this major label debut. According to Paste, this record is “not just a stab at the mainstream—it’s a harpoon through its sternum.” …In a good way. Epic, lyrically powerful ballads dominate the album, and the name Avett is sure to become familiar to
many more music lovers once they hear I and Love and You.


3. Paramore – Brand New Eyes


Some describers
: emo, pop-punky, tough-girl vocals, good-to-exercise-to

Most popular song from the album on iTunes as of right now: “Careful”

Rolling Stone says: 3/5 stars – Paramore seems to have lost some of its appealing angsty naivete that was evident on 2007’s Riot! and has instead put more energy into making a statement with its lyrics and its almost too-sweet songs…for better or for worse. Lead vocalist Hayley Williams still sounds angry though; don’t worry!


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Don't tell Annual Giving and the Aspire campaign, but...

The New York Times' Ethicist doesn't want you to give to Princeton. (Or at least we can infer that from their article about donating to Harvard, unless Randy Cohen has a particular animosity toward an inferior institution located in Cambridge, Mass.) He argues that to donate to the large endowment of Harvard, which at $26 billion is twice that of Princeton, "is to offer more pie to a portly fellow while the gaunt and hungry press their faces to the window (at some sort of metaphoric college cafeteria, anyway)."

Instead he suggests that until a point where higher education is funded by the federal government, as in some European nations, you should donate to more needy institutions, such as a community college. If your Tiger pride demands that your money end up somewhere on campus, you should face a tax whereby half of your donation is redirected from Princeton to a needier institution. For example, Peter Lewis '55, who has donated $233 million to Princeton to date, would have instead given $116.5 million to Princeton, and the remainder might have ended up funding Mercer County Community College instead.

Will this argument end Princeton's historically high alumni giving rates?

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Bad Places to Live on Campus: Forbes Addition

I’d like to share with you today a few insights into what is commonly referred to as one of the worst places to live at Princeton: the Forbes Addition. Now, as a dweller in said Addition, my personal experience hasn’t been terrible. Sure, there was a stinkbug invasion a few days back, causing my room to smell like stale feces, and the whole floor is perpetually too hot, but these are only minor details. In fact, my RCA commented that the entire Addition would still be standing after nuclear war. I can only see that as a positive.

Apparently my point of view is in the minority. A few weeks ago, I discovered the Room Draw Guide, where students from previous years describe the highs and lows of their rooms. I’ll now present a few highlights from my perusal of the Forbes Addition section. Funnily enough, three separate rooms claim the title for worst room on campus. (I apologize in advance to anyone who may be living in these rooms this year.)

A438

“Title-holding room for the single worst location on campus. Enumeration of its qualities (entirely con) is pointless as the only occupants will be hapless freshmen. To them I say: I feel truly sorry for you.”

A337

“there was that one time when a cockroach crawled out of the shower drain […] the rooms are right next to the bathroom and the cinderblock walls are deceptively thin, so you can hear when people use the bathroom. The bathroom has the smallest shower in the world, but at least now we have opaque doors. the first day though, the shower overflowed. one of the stalls is so small that only small asian girls fit in. if you decide to get a blacklight, you will surely notice interesting stains on the carpet, but it was not a problem because we got rugs! you should too if you know what I mean ;)!”

A418

“This room is awful. It has a linoleum tile floor and a lovely view of the kitchen garbage dumpsters. Every morning at approximately 8, 10, and 12 you get to be awakened by the garbage trucks coming and taking out the trash. It's AWESOME. Sloped ceiling, hot as hell in summer (yeah, heat rises), no elevator, small (rooms also get smaller as you go up). I hate this room. I am SO GLAD to be out of it. Whoever gets it next year- sucks to be you.

Possibly the worst room in the entire school. No joke.”

And, finally, this gem:

A424

“Ah, my friend. How I grieve for you in the way that only someone who has experienced this room can. As concentration camp survivors are the only ones who can truly know what it was like, so you and I, my brother, are among the few who can know the hell that is room A424."

Where do I start? How do I arrive at the ninth ring of the inferno?

Let me begin with some divine comedy: This room defies the laws of physics to both suck and blow at the same time.

Anyway, here's basically the breakdown.

Forbes: 10 suck points
Addition: 10 suck points
4th Floor: 5 suck points
Right outside the lobby: 543,323 suck points.

Every night is an obnoxiously loud night at the oh-so-conveniently located fourth-floor lobby. It's basically a contest to see who can be the most inconsiderate in the shortest amount of time. Good luck sleeping before 2 a.m. The equivalent variation for having to take this room is measured in billions of dollars.

In short, do whatever you need to do to get out of this room. Sell your soul; it will be a bargain.

On a side note, if you ever wonder what it would feel to have homicidal tendencies (for an entire floor of people), this is the place to find out.

Clearly, the Forbes Addition experience just isn’t for everyone.

--- Andrew Sartorius

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Whitman Voting

Meg Whitman '77 launched her campaign for California governor last week, and like most candidates for an elected position, her potential constituency is examining her voting record, or in this case, lack thereof. According to The Sacramento Bee, Whitman had never registered to vote prior to 2002 and didn't vote in the controversial recall election in 2003 that eventually brought current Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to office. Whitman's campaign released a statement saying, "Voting is a precious right that all Americans should exercise. I have repeatedly said that my voting record is inexcusable."

Will this hurt Whitman's chance at putting a Tiger in charge of the Golden State?

Incidentally, this isn't the first case of a Princetonian entering politics after years of not voting. Former Senate majority leader Bill Frist '74 had never voted prior to 1988.

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Photo of the Day: There's a pot of gold in Scully!

Habin Chung :: Photography Editor

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Woes of Wilson

After joining Wilson College last year, I quickly found that a great way to start conversations with awkward, fellow freshmen Wilson-ites is to complain. Whether it be about our food, ugly dorms, or inferior sweatshirts, we’re really good at making it sound as if our lives are just SO unfair.

This year I was pleasantly surprised to find with the opening of the new Wilcox dining hall I could scratch one thing off that list of grievances. But wait…not so fast. We expert whiners have found something new to complain about: the crowds at Wilcox. The other day it took me 15 minutes waiting in lines at the servery just to get lunch, and seats at meals have been scarce. Let’s be realistic here: I know that unless you’re an athlete and didn’t want to make the trip to your respective dining hall after sports practice or you live in Wilson, you certainly did not eat at Wilcox last year. In fact, I know you loved to tell me repeatedly how terrible Wilcox food was (I know, I know so did I). So what are you doing here now?

Another thing my friends and I loved to complain about last year was College Night at Whitman, Tuesday nights when only Whitman residents were allowed to eat in the dining hall. I recall my suitemate once saying to me, “It’s not fair they got placed in the nicer college and get special treatment continuously. It’s so pretentious!” Now, however, my suitemates and I desperately want to see a Wilson College Night instituted as quickly as possible. Apparently, we wilson-ites also love to contradict ourselves.

We had to eat in a big, white circus tent last year, so now we deserve to enjoy our dining hall in peace. Get out now!

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A diverse set of events coming up in the week


Several exciting events lined up for you this week to go and check out! Without further ado, here they are.

Hypnotize Your Roommate

Time:
Monday, Sept 28, 7~9 pm
Wednesday, Sept 30 7~9 pm
Place: 039 East Pyne

This past weekend, I got my roommate to do all my tedious ECO/ORF/MAT homework while I partied like a wild unrestrained horse. How did I do that? By hypnotizing my roommate, of course. Learn to do this yourself too by attending this event!

Professor Ed Steinfeld - "Playing Our Game: China's Rise and the West"

Time:
Thursday, Oct 1, 4:30~5:30 pm
Place:
McCosh Hall, Room 2 (Entrance B)

We all know that China is developing at a fierce rate and that there will most likely be problems as China and the US struggle for power. If you want to know more about this East vs. West issue, this is the event to attend!

2009 Post-Summer Internship Presentation

Time:
Tuesday, Sept 29, 7~9 pm (Education and Youth Services)
Wednesday, Sept 30, 7~9 pm (Policy Research, Law, and Legal Services)
Thursday, Oct 1, 7~9 pm (Community Outreach and Social Services)
Place:
Rocky-Mathey Classroom

Don't make the mistake I made last year, waiting for an internship to prance along my way in March! Find out what cool internships our peers did over the summer, so you can make summer 2010 one of the most memorable summers you have ever had.

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Photo of the Day


Zach Ruchman :: Photography Editor

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Friday, September 25, 2009

What I Did This Summer

You’re on campus for all of 5 minutes, and already you’ve been asked the requisite question 4 times. "How was your summer?” Great. Good. Fan-tastic. You worked with orphans in Brazil? How fulfilling for you. You taught English in China? You and everybody else. You discovered a new protein? Who does that?

You see, I didn’t do anything of note over the summer. After months of internship applications and some truly horrifying interview experiences, I ended up with zilch. And so home I went for the summer where I read, watched movies, tried (and failed) to get a job, and then vegetated. Despite this, while at home, I was filled with that wonderful sense of validation that only comes from unconditional love. My parents told me, “You’re so funny” (true), “Your cooking is spectacular!” (false), “You’re the smartest kid at that school!” (absolute rubbish), but all with earnest smiles on their faces. That’s what parents are for, to build you up, to make you feel good about yourself.

And then there’s Princeton. Where most of us feel inadequate 24/7 because of people like my roommate Jill, who appears to be majoring in sleep deprivation, or my friend who discovered the protein. When I start to feel average, I remember the nearly 4 months I spent at home basking in adulation and self-worth. And then I realize that I did actually have a pretty great summer.

--Yaa Kumah '12

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UFO Film for the weekend of Sept. 24: Up


“Up” probably peaks within the first 15 minutes, but those minutes are unforgettable — the wordless sketching of the arc of a loving marriage, done in a way that is guaranteed to make you cry. The rest of the film is up (pun intended) to the gold standard of quality we’ve come to expect from Pixar. It’s a surprisingly dark and moving look at issues of mortality, loss and the meaning of a good life, but if that sounds too depressing, you should also know it contains the funniest talking animal jokes that I’ve ever seen.

--- Raj Ranade

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Financial aid applications rise nationwide

In today's paper, "As endowment drops, U. gives record financial aid" discusses how the poor economy has led the University to increase the financial aid budget to $104.2 million and the average grant to a freshman student by 5 percent to $35,309. An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education demonstrates that this increase is indicative of a larger trend. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has released a survey showing that there was a 10 percent or greater increase in the number of financial aid applications at 61 percent of financial aid offices.

Additionally, despite falling endowments, more than half of the financial aid administrators surveyed report that their institution increased aid for the 2009-2010 school year. This number jumps to 72 percent of those surveyed when limited to four-year colleges.

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Settlement in the DeVercelly Case

Rider University has settled a lawsuit with the family of Gary DeVercelly, a Rider freshman who died in March of 2007 from alcohol poisoning after binge drinking at a fraternity event.

The event led to charges being brought against Rider Dean of Students Anthony Campbell; the school's director of Greek life, Ada Badgley; and three students. While the charges against the university administrators were dropped, two of the three students settled through a pre-trial intervention program and the third, Michael Torney, president of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity where DeVercelly was found passed out after after drinking nearly two-thirds of a bottle of vodka, was sentenced to three years probation.

In the settlement, Rider agreed to ban alcohol in dorms as well as sorority, and fraternity parties; increase punishments for hazing and drinking; and inform parents of violations. Neither the university nor the DeVercelly family released information about financial terms.

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In case you missed it...

Princeton was ranked third in a scientific study of America’s 25 douchiest colleges by GQ magazine. That’s right: Old Nassau is apparently home to the “Eating-Club Douche” and such pick-up lines as, “Hi. My father invaded Cuba.” And I thought that Princeton parents only named residential colleges after their sons.

Still, I have to question some of GQ’s “douche criteria”: I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be someone’s boss in10 years. But according to GQ, being successful only serves to rack up double-digit “douche points.”

One can only wonder what GQ’s editors were thinking when they failed to include certain New Haven and Philadelphia schools (or the rest of the Ivy League, excluding Harvard and Brown) in the top 25. In fact, the IvyGate blog has the perfect explanation: “The real explanation involves the fact that all of you Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth and Penn students hate to hear. Nobody really cares about the lesser Ivies. They don't have the golddigger sex appeal of the richest Ivy, the hippie sex appeal of the most liberal Ivy or the masturbation appeal of Princeton.”

I quite like that last part. So while we may be America’s third douchiest school, at least we’re not Duke (“Affectations: always ending the party by taking your shirt off and wrestling a guy named Schmitty”) or Brown (“Home of: The 'Peace Sign on My Mom's 7 Series' Douche”).

--- Andrew Sartorius

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No Kindle For You

If you were hoping to get a Kindle for free from the University, it appears that your best bet was to be a graduate student and or studying in the Woodrow Wilson School. The University has released the names of the three classes participating in the pilot program. The winners, the Woodrow Wilson School/American Studies undergraduate course "Civil Society and Public Policy" taught by Stanley Katz, the Woodrow Wilson School graduate course "U.S. Policy and Diplomacy in the Middle East" taught by Daniel Kurtzer and the Classics graduate course "Religion and Magic in Ancient Rome" taught by Harriet Flower.

The Kindle program is sponsored by the University Library and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and funded by the High Meadows Foundation. It aims to help reduce paper usage on campus.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Photo of the Day: Tiger's Stare

Zach Ruchman :: Photography Editor

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Number of flu-like cases rise to 80

Creative Commons license.
There are currently 80 self-reported ILI (influenza-like illnesses) cases at Princeton University among undergraduate and graduate students. Last Thursday, the Prince reported that there were 34 cases.

In the period of one day (September 21-22), UHS identified 16 new cases of flu-like illness, bringing the total number of cases of flu-like illness from August 30 to September 22 to 80.

"The cases have been generally mild and most of these people have recovered and are no longer ill," University spokeswoman Emily Aronson said.

Aronson added that the figures were consistent with those of other college campuses when students return to campus and that the increase was anticipated.

"We're aware that other schools have reported a continued increase in the number of cases of flu-like illness after students returned to campus, so while we continue to prepare for further cases of flu-like illness, our hope is that the University's ongoing planning and communications efforts will help reduce the spread of illness," she said.

As of September 14th, the American College Health Association (ACHA) reported that a total of 6,432 new ILI cases were discovered and 83 percent of the 253 colleges and universities reported new ILI cases, compared to 72 percent the prior week. Princeton is a participating university in the ACHA ILI surveillance network.

--Tasnim Shamma '11

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Photo of the Day: Quiet Break

by Zachary Ruchman '10, Executive Editor for Photography

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Open House


Ever wanted to write/photograph/edit/layout/design/code/blog/film/record/run a business? Luckily the Prince and the Prox have a space for you. Come to The Daily Princetonian open house tonight or tomorrow at 8 pm. We can be found at 48 University Place (near the U-Store). There will be editors from every section and candy. We'd love to have you join our team!

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The Final Verdict on Italy's Giffoni Film Festival


Both summer film festivals of Cannes and Karlovy Vary were largely defined by their fantastic scope - presenting a vast swathe of world cinema. Southern Italy's Giffoni Film Festival which ran from July 12-25 stands as the curatorial antithesis to such sprawling international events with its narrow focus on a single theme derived from the experience of youth. Given that the juries were comprised of over 1500 children from 3 to 18 years of age, I expected the films at the 39th annual Giffoni to be rather tame and simple - nothing could be further from the truth. Emblematic of the fearlessness of the world's largest children's film festival, was the driving theme of the year, taboo. Few festivals geared towards adults would focus on unspeakable cultural boundaries. That Giffoni faced the issue of taboo head-on illustrated its deep respect for the intelligence of its young audience.

Luca Apolito chose the films and led the discussions for the Generator +16 series. Aimed at jury members 16 and older, Apolito's selections were among the festival's most hard-hitting. He spoke at length about the philosophy of the festival, as well as the challenges of programming for a teen audience. Apolito stressed that "the main aspect of our festival is not the screenings but the ensuing debates." The festival programmer found that this focus on film as a catalyst for dialogue was ultimately what differentiated Giffoni from all others. Since it brought together young jurors from around the world, Apolito identified his branch of the festival "as the place where we want to amplify the teenagers' voices." Working with films that focused upon the issue of taboo, Apolito hoped that the movies encouraged his jurors to discover their own deep-rooted taboos and think critically of their negative and positive impact. The sometimes shocking works Apolito presented testified to the surprising aesthetic and thematic complexity of Giffoni films.

Two films Apolito that held in high regard from his series were Johnny Mad Dog and the festival sensation My Suicide. He confessed "I wasn't able to sleep for two nights" after choosing the films as they both could be interpreted as cinematic instigations to anarchy and violence. Due to the dialogue oriented nature of the festival, however, Apolito felt confident he could lead the audience to go beyond their superficially violent qualities. Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire's Johnny Mad Dog stood out as Giffoni's most shocking and memorable film. Focusing on a band of Liberian child soldiers, the film presents a reality defined without taboos that borders on pandemonium. Violence becomes the only means these indoctrinated children can gain a modicum of control in their powerless existence. The superbly acted film boldly goes beyond the pop cultural caricature that these fighters are mere brainwash monsters by highlighting moments where their childlike mentality becomes apparent. This deep exploration upon the "child" aspect of the child soldier phenomenon transforms the expertly directed Johnny Mad Dog into an illuminating and sad lament on a modern-day tragedy.

Although David Lee Miller's My Suicide swept the awards in Apolito's Generator +16 bracket, the film remains an imperfect examination of the suicidal mind in the digital age. Archie Williams (Gabriel Sunday) is a video camera enthusiast stifled by the sterile confines of modern-day American suburbia. His hope to commit suicide on camera turns him into a celebrity at his high school and he catches the eye of his here-to unattainable love, the beautiful Sierra Silver. Archie's sudden happiness will force him to reconsider his beliefs even as his dangerous philosophy draws some unexpected acolytes. Film
maker Miller employs a hodgepodge visual style that lends a whimsical creativity to Archie's desperate tale and effectively captures the media overloaded vision of today's teenager. The hero's meeting with a cinema loving psychiatrist becomes a series of animated homage to films ranging from Clint Eastwoord westerns to The Matrix. In response to the doctor's inquiries, Archie suddenly becomes a doppelgänger of Agent Smith and confesses, "I have to get free!" Miller's free wielding direction creates a film of profound relevance crystallizing the perception of the vignette-fed You-tube generation that appropriates the most eclectic pop cultural artifacts into their every day expression. The production's success of Giffoni is no surprise as My Suicide is a film completely attuned to its time.

The very dynamism of the film's construction allows My Suicide to showcase the startling range of its young star Gabriel Sunday. His natural charisma shines during the fits of inspired mania that take place when Archie performs for his cameras. Sunday never disappoints in scenes where his mode of performance shifts constantly, making his character's act of fundamental narcissism into a universally compelling one. His rich and nuanced efforts, however, are undercut by the film's overuse of caricature, particularly Mariel Hemingway as a shallow WASP mom. The whole subplot involving the gorgeous popular girl, Sierra Silv
er, and her malaise created by her distant relationships with her family, smacks of cliché. Ultimately, My Suicide both succeeds in bringing the mindset of today's youth to the screen and fails to convincingly articulate the conditions that drive the desperate to the brink.

A film that offers more insight into mortality's inherent connection with youth was the best film of the +13 series, Phillipe Falardeau's It's Not Me, I Swear!. Its unforgettable first shot presents a long take of the adolescent hero Léon Doré (Antoine L'Ecuyer) attempting to hang himself from a tree. This moment of violence juxtaposed against the perfect 60s suburban home in the background signals the film's subversive intentions to uncover the darkness underneath the joyous myth of childhood. The young boy Léon Doré seems driven towards death, a compulsion that leads to the dissension of his family after his freewheeling mother leaves Quebec for Greece. As Léon, Antoine L'Ecuyer delivers a performance that highlights the subdued hatred of a child always defined as abnormal by his community. Every gesture hints at his desire to break away, even a happy wave hello is a covertly hidden middle finger. Filmmaker Phillipe Falardeau injects the film with unreal imagery that powerfully illustrates the alienated reality of the protagonist. When Leon bashes a hole through the neighbor's wall, he suddenly sees the vast blue sky and the white façades of Greece. The visual frames the dichotomy between the dream of escape and the nightmare of the Québec suburbia that so completely governs Léon's life. With its wry humor and stark imagery, It's Not Me, I Swear! remains a strange and totally distinct meditation on the anti-joie de vivre unique to the experience of childhood.

Falardeau's work failed to strike a chord with its respective
jury who instead awarded the much more blasé Australian production Broken Hill. The award winner focuses on Tommy who lives on an outback ranch but dreams of leaving the rugged life behind to become a composer. Elevating the derivative premise somewhat are the film's numerous attempts to uncover the music within the natural world. When the hero works on the farm, the monotonous sounds of his labor create a rhythm that leads Tommy to envision an imaginary symphony. Although the film contains directorial surprises, the stiff leads are unable to convincingly express a passion for the liberating effect of music, a dramatic failure that consigns Broken Hill to the realm of mediocrity. Other films in the +13 series such as the Dutch production How to Survive... Myself? managed to transcend their well-worn premises using inventive dramatic conceits. The aforementioned teenaged dramedy frames the confusions of a teenager as a schizophrenic battle of selves. That such intriguing productions were ignored in favor of the tired Broken Hill suggested a jury impressed with easy themes and directorial bravado.

By awarding the Iranian film A Time to Love, the jurors for the 10-year-old bracket challenged any conceptions that only the most accessible films could win praise at Giffoni. The film provides a harrowing look at the taboo of disability in Iranian culture. As the disabled child of an increasingly embi
ttered middle-class family, Babek develops a sense of disgust at his own condition due to his deep desire for his family's happiness. Divergent emotions of selfless love and self-hatred are always at play in child actor Mohsen Tanabandeh's portrayal of Babak and lend the character a complexity far beyond that of simple victimhood. Director Ebrahim Farouzesh brings out similarly rich performances in the rest of the ensemble, adult and child alike. Farouzesh's austere visual style allows the rich performances to shine without distraction. This finessed and refined eye capably maneuvers between the contrasting perspectives of the family, so that one's success becomes another's humiliation. So many films attempt to capture familial strife in a bombastic fashion, A Time to Love explores the far more quiet pain brought on by social dogma. Farouzesh's film evokes the helplessness experienced when confronted by such oppressive norms even as it provides a hope for broader cultural enlightenment.

While the selections for the 3 and 6 year old juries we
re lighter in tone, the screenings revealed how the festival organizers hoped to cultivate an appreciation for foreign films in their young Italian jurors. To accomplish this, non-Italian features were overdubbed live by an actor who gave a dramatic reading of the dialogue. This unique approach provided a solution to the dilemma of the subtitled film, and ensured that the enthusiastic audience could have their first immersion into a wider world of cinema.

Even the more broadly appealing slate was not without its gems, particularly the animated short Chicken Wings. The very strength of its execution speaks beautifully to the elegant simplicity of hand-drawn animation. A woman and werewolf are starving on the open range and find a chicken that might satiate their appetite. Things go awry after the werewolf and the chicken suddenly develop a close bond. The question remains: will the hungry gal get her grub? The short black-and-white hand-drawn style permits completely fluid and expressive movements which lend the scenes of physical comedy the same infectious energy of the best Looney Tunes cartoons. As the werewolf and women fight for the bird, it remains utterly passive. The chicken's calm demeanor perfectly counterbalances the increased frenzy of the friends turned antagonist. Director Pauline Kortmann complements the frenetic action with many visual non sequiturs, including a shot of the chicken and werewolf playing a game of chess that saliently establishes their blossoming relationship. Chicken Wings was without peer in a slate that featured far complex and meticulous animation due to its sublime confidence and pitch perfect pace.


Acclaimed French auteur Francois Truffaut famously claimed “Of all festivals Giffoni’s the most necessary.” More than any other film festival that I have attended, Giffoni sought to be a formative experience for its attendees always showcasing the cinematic medium's range. Those in attendance saw Rupert Grint in the new Harry Potter movie which made its Italian premiere at Giffoni. Later, jurors in the +16 bracket could also see Grint in the Northern Irish film Cherrybomb where he plays, with incredible nuance, a model teen that struggles against the expectations of his family and the weight of oncoming adulthood. As Apolito was always quick to point out, Giffoni's most important feature was not the films presented, but its emphasis on the dialogue that the medium can spark. Where Cannes and Karlovy Vary were events where cinephiles congregated, the Giffoni Film Festival was a forum where true cinephiles were created - active viewers who can appreciate the medium's complexities and grapple with how film continually challenges their worldviews.

-Fareed Ben-Youssef '09

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Activities! Join!

Do you dance? Do you sing? Are you Catholic? Episcopalian? Ski or snowboard? Play ultimate? We're the best team on campus. Business Today? Entrepreneurial club? Write for the Prince!



Freshman year (which honestly, I don't even remember at this point), and sophomore year, these questions would have been overwhelming and I would have tried to come up with a suitable response to each questioner. No, you don't want to see me dance. I sing, but barely. I'm Catholic, but I don't want to go to your Bible study. I ski, don't play ultimate, I don't know anything about business, and for the love of all that is good, I don't want to write for a student newspaper! (Oops).

Inevitably, the activities fair has two approaches: you join five million email lists and never respond to any of them - comme moi - or, you pick and choose carefully because you think you know exactly what you want to do in college, only signing up if you either participated in high school and think you're good enough to do in college or you're turning over a new leaf. (I still really want to try Capoeira but can't seem to find the moxie to show up).

I think the first approach, despite the crushing number of emails I received my first two years, is probably the best and I would recommend it to any underclassman. Sign up for everything. Over the years, your skills and interests will change. I came to Princeton thinking I wanted to sing and dance in Triangle or an a cappella group. Luckily, I signed up for things like Whig-Clio, the E-Club, Ski Team, Club Swimming, The Prince, The Nassau Weekly (ah, a brief stint in though it was), Club Squash, and Outdoor Action - profoundly affecting what I actually ended up participating in on campus. The emails that these clubs and organizations sent out over the course of a semester told me more than their members could have communicated over a 3 x 2 table in an overcrowded gym. I chose what I wanted to do because the opportunities simply kept filling my inbox. I had a much broader spectrum from which to choose.

Whereas the activities fair was overwhelming as a frosh, I now simply feel whelmed. ("I think you can in Europe.") I am running my own table - Ski and Snowboard team - and I'm stressing only because I don't have a decent poster and the rest of our officer corps hasn't shown up yet. As I wander around from table to table, partially to see friends, and partially searching for free food, I see my little sister's name immaculately printed on several lists. (I may have also written her name on a few lists - hey, what if she hadn't found this one? She would totally love this group!) A few people asked me to join their groups, but it was easy to casually decline with a quick "I'm a senior." Ah, the false confidence age inspires.

I may think I look like a senior, but I guess in the crowd I blend in. I decline any remaining offers from a cappella groups (you rejected me freshman year, remember?) and joke about how I am going to show up to Expressions auditions and dance, for amusement purposes only. I snag a flyer or two from Student Design Agency and Business Today, and I already know everyone at the Outdoor Action table, the PACT table, and even one of the Bible study tables, not to mention a few of the kids manning the LGBT table (from whom I steal a few cookies).

It's fun to walk through and see what I did here and what I missed. I have received emails from at least half of these people in my time here, and luckily, I don't feel like I've missed out on too much.

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Your Least Favorite Facebook Friend

Grad schools read your facebook as does Public Safety. However, what is more frightening than the idea of...your parents on your facebook feed.


Facebook, Twitter Revolutionizing How Parents Stalk Their College-Aged Kids

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Team Task Force: Eating Clubs

Princeton likes task forces, (as you may have noticed). The most recent subject to be examined in task force format ... eating clubs.

The University announced earlier today in a press release the creation of a 17-member task force --- which will include six undergraduates as well as faculty, staff and alumni --- "to examine whether there are steps that can and should be taken to strengthen those relationships for the mutual benefit of the clubs and the University."

The press release references the current financial situation of the clubs and the University, the expansion of the student body and the recent areas of club-University cooperation as making this an ideal time to work together to improve the club experience for members and "the application process," expand the relationship between non-members and clubs and inter-club cooperation, and better the way the clubs are explained to Princeton applicants.

Task force members are due to be announced in the next few weeks, with task force meetings starting at the beginning of October.

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UFO Film for the Weekend of Sept. 17: 'Star Trek'


J.J. Abrams' terrific “Star Trek” reboot takes up residence at the Garden Theatre this weekend, giving a ferociously energetic jump start to a franchise that was positively drowning in dandruff. With a witty script, charismatic ensemble cast and truly exceptional special effects --- even by today’s standards --- this is a sci-fi movie that pretty much has it all. I mean, even Winona Ryder pops in for a few short minutes. Worth seeing on the big screen too; intergalactic space battles just don’t look as cool on a damn laptop.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Night at the Museum

This Thursday, from 5 to 10 p.m., the Princeton University Art Museum will be hosting the first of a series of late-night Thursday events in the galleries. Rest assured, there will be free food, so everyone --- art buff or not --- should head out. But even if you don’t know the difference between oil paint and watercolor, you can still enjoy the museum’s broad-ranging collection. Trite though it may sound, there’s something for everyone. Here’s just a sample of what you can find inside --- the tip of the easel, so to speak.


AMERICAN ART
Charles Wilson Peale, George Washington at the Battle of Princeton, 1784

Peale’s portrait of Washington might well be considered the crowning jewel of the Art Museum’s collection. For one thing, it’s a masterpiece of American 18th-century painting: Peale prod
uced many definitive portraits of the Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock and Alexander Hamilton, but his portraits of Washington are particularly valuable, since the original Mr. President was notoriously easel-shy. Of course, this particular portrait is of special interest to Princetonians, because the scene depicted is the Battle of Princeton, which took place just a few miles down the road from campus.

PRE-COLUMBIAN ART
Whistle in form of a seated dwarf with a large headdress, 600-800

One aspect of the Art Museum’s collection that is relatively unique to Princeton is its extensive collection of Pre-Columbian art. Visitors can see a whole range of ancient American artistic production, from Chile (Diaquita culture) to Alaska (Eskimo and Aleut) and Greenland (Inuit), with especially valuable works from Mesoamerica (Olmec and Maya). This dwarf whistle is from the Late Classic Maya period, during which dwarfs were a repeated subject for figurines and whistles, perhaps because aberrations such as dwarfism, epilepsy and crossed eyes were considered special or godly.

ANCIENT ART
Roman bust of a goddess or personification, c. 160-190

The lower level of the Art Museum boasts impressive collections of Classical art from the ancient Mediterranean. The figure in this white marble Roman bust from Asia Minor is not identified with any certainty, but scholars believe that she could be either Aphrodite or Artemis, since both goddesses were frequently pictured with their hair tied in knots on top of their heads. The colossal scale of the bust, as well as the slight downward gaze in the carving of the eyes, suggest that this lady was once part of a high-positioned frieze on some sort of public building --- a bath, perhaps, or a theater.

EUROPEAN ART

Peter Cornelisz Kunst, Lamentation, c. 1504-1561

You’re probably familiar with the masterworks of the Italian Renaissance, but the often lesser-known paintings done in Northern Europe during the same time period have a special aesthetic all their own. This Dutch painting depicts the lamentation over Christ’s dead body as it is prepared for burial. The painting’s composition elements --- a dark background, centrally positioned figures --- call the viewer’s attention the emotional responses of the characters involved. This call for compassion makes Lamentation a representative work of Northern Renaissance art, which is characterized by a more deeply personal and spiritual humanity than the often grandiose works of the Italian Renaissance.

CONTEMPORARY ART
Frank Stella ’58, Plum Island (Luncheon on the Grass), 1958

Happily for all you modern art buffs, the Art Museum has a brand-new wealth of contemporary masterpieces by the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. (The museum officially established contemporary art as a specific collecting category in 2007.) The back room of the upper level of the museum now holds many important abstract and Pop Art works, but this painting is, like the Washington portrait, of particular interest to Princetonians. Stella is a Princeton alum, and this painting was produced the year the same year that he walked out through FitzRandolph Gate toward art stardom. The colorful palette and geometric composition are characteristic of Stella’s personal style, which reacted against the dramatic, heavily dripped and washed canvases of Abstract Expressionists like Jackson Pollock. The painting’s parenthetical title is a reference to a famous 1862 painting by early French modernist Edouard Manet.

Image courtesy of the Princeton University Art Museum

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Monday, September 14, 2009

The pen is mightier?

Can you read your own handwriting? A piece in the online magazine Slate examines the history of penmanship, its apparent decline and the way the author, Emily Yoffe, and her daughter sought to improve their own chicken scratch. Yoffe quotes Michael Medeiros '10, a former associate editor for Opinion at the 'Prince,' who wrote in a 2006 Washington Post letter to the editor, "I have not had to read or write cursive in seven years. There is no reason valuable elementary school class time should be spent giving instruction on an obsolete subject."

At Princeton, most work to be submitted for a grade is typically produced on a computer, and many students take in class notes on laptops. Some professors, however, have started asking students to refrain from using laptops in class. This may lead students back to a notebook, a pen and questions of penmanship.

Are you like Michael, a student who never sees, let alone writes, in cursive? Has poor penmanship ever tripped you up in a class?

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Grocery Store Turnover

One grocery closes as another opens.

The closest grocery store to campus --- Olive May, on Nassau Street --- has just gone out of business. The Princeton Packet reported on Friday that store has closed and the store contents will be auctioned off September 23 as part of bankruptcy proceedings.
Zahid Abro, the former general manager of the Olive May in Princeton attributed the closure to high costs and the poor economy.

Two days after the auction, a new grocery store will be joining the Princeton community. Trader Joe's will be opening a new store on Route 1 on Sept. 25 with a lei cutting ceremony, the Packet reported. For those who have shopped at other Trader Joe's stores, be warned: The Princeton store will not sell alcohol.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/coreyann/ / CC BY-ND 2.0

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Final Verdict on Karlovy Vary - The anti-Cannes

A typical Karlovy Vary sight

After the glamorous Mediterranean setting of May's Cannes, coming to the Czech Republic's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival can be a bit of a shock. Whereas Cannes always seemed abuzz with activity, the Czech event, held in one of Central Europe's premier spa towns, had a decidedly slower rhythm. The annual event served not as a showcase of the industry's movers and shakers but as a forum devoted to the public appreciation of a startling array of world cinema. This year's Karlovy Vary held between July 3 and 11 featured an eclectic mix of films from often unheralded national cinemas handily living up to its reputation as the anti-Cannes - a festival with a winningly idiosyncratic and regional touch.

Through its "East of the West" competition, Karlovy Vary brought attention to current Central and Eastern European film revealing how these countries have left their cultural imprint on several mainstream genres. The most bold genre re-imagining was the Croat thriller No One's Son, about a disillusioned disabled war veteran who discovers a frightening truth about his straight-laced parents. Much of the picture’s energy, which explores a broken region where "Three wars stood tall," derives from its ever present rock soundtrack. The music gives the narrative of radical alienation caused by recent, if obscure conflicts, an unexpected universality. Unfortunately, the loud strum of the guitar sometimes undercuts the emotional beats by lending them a ponderous quality. Although a flawed film, No One's Son remains an intriguing example of how Eastern European filmmakers appropriate the quintessentially American genre of noir.

The stars of Crayfish

Bulgarian director Ivan Tscherkelov’s Crayfish is a slow burn take on the Mafia film far more interested in painting portraits of eccentric characters than fulfilling the demands of genre convention. Doka and Bonza are unemployed best friends who spend their days searching for crawfish and listening to music. Both take side jobs from competing organized crime bosses which will lead the friends to an unexpected collision. Tscherkelov intentionally forgoes suspense to relish upon the strange ticks off his ensemble that live in an off-kilter universe. At one point, a bored house wife putters around her home before eventually pouring water on a hot stove just to watch it bubble. The resulting images are striking examples of the strange beauty that comes into being through boredom and stagnation. Focusing on moments such as these creates a film comprised of disjointed vignettes that satisfy by themselves, but make for a disappointingly sterile whole. All East-of the West selections that played with the confines of their genres were representative of the surprising movie going experiences unique to Karlovy Vary.



Some of the greatest films of the festival were far removed from Eastern European cinema, but no less challenging. The sidebar "Another View - Tokyo Filmex Presents" showcased the best of a Japanese festival which appear to have the same programming sensibilities as Karlovy Vary. Tokyo Filmex's 2008 Audience Award Winner Love Exposure appeared destined for failure by virtue of its incredibly long, nearly 4-hour running time. How could a movie about a self-professed "high school voyeuristic photo maniac" hold one's attention? With ease, it seems as the genre bending picture effortlessly constructs a rollicking narrative that proves emotionally engrossing even as it casts a devastating view on contemporary Japanese identity. To call filmmaker Sion Sono's picture a revelation is an understatement (click here for a full review of the film).

A far different film featured in the Tokyo Filmex side bar was the comparatively austere but no less emotionally involving drama Passion. It follows a group of thirtysomething friends after one couple announces their intention to marry. This seemingly happy declaration slowly leads to the discovery that their relations are based upon mutual animosity rather than any sort of affection. The early shot of a hand bracing itself against a taxi window before a near collision, heralds a film where characters are hurled into a world of frightening emotional unknowns while remaining frozen in a limbo of disquiet. So beautifully do the full-bodied performances and understated direction create an atmosphere of overwhelming tension that the rustle of clothing has the same impact as an explosion. Although the film invests itself most intensely upon the sometimes sadistic dynamics of the central characters, it briefly widens its societal lens during a scene in a junior high school. The teacher asks her class to remember a peer who recently committed suicide. What should be a comforting moment devolves into a horrifying one when the majority of the kids admit to heartlessly antagonizing the dead child. This scene underscores how hatred seeps into facets of life far separate from that of the bourgeois couples. The sublimely crafted Passion, so unlike the strangely exuberant Love Exposure, creates a broad view of societal malaise with the most careful and simplest of strokes.

Outside of the Tokyo Filmex selections, the dramas at Karlovy Vary less successfully fused their deeply personal tales with wide ranging social commentary. The American film Sin Nombre features a surprisingly unsentimental view of the Mexican underworld and the plight of South American immigrants. Teenaged Sayre seeks to immigrate illegally to New Jersey with her father from Guatemala. Moving through Mexico, she meets with Caspar, a gangster desperately trying to break away from the criminal life. The problem with the often beautifully directed film is the vision of Mexico that it propagates. The characters struggle in an utterly lawless landscape, mired in corruption and violence. Sin Nombre captures an uber-American vision of its Southern neighbor that is so simplistic as to only reinforce a cultural myopia towards a more complex Mexican experience.



Teza, an Ethiopian film recently recognized as the African continent's best, faces a similar dilemma in how it depicts the life of activists. By following the experience of the Ethiopian doctor Teza returning home from Germany in the early 1990s, the work sheds light on the hardships of the Ethiopian diaspora throughout the country's recent history. The protagonist traffics within the mileau of political rebels who struggle against the constraints of authority. Their life seems to consist solely of impassioned speeches about ideals, a one-dimensional characterization that renders their struggles dramatically inert. This disappointing narrative flaw detracts from the film's often masterful editing which visually articulates how Teza's past and present remain intertwined. When Teza sees an Ethiopian child shot by soldiers, the film becomes a visual metaphor for the death of his happy childhood. As the boy falls towards the ground, the film cuts to a shot of a young Teza falling in his place boldly illustrating the terrible present's ability to change, even destroy the past. This compelling and complex meditation on history's non-linearity gets muddled by the film's depiction of political life in the most basic and theatrical terms.

La Pivellina poster at Karlovy Vary

One of the best dramas at the festival was the decidedly a-political Italian production La Pivellina. An aging circus performer named Patty finds a little girl alone in the park with a note from her mother testifying that she will someday return. Although the film is simply a series of scenes where an elderly couple grapples with the presence of one so young and dependent, it captivates thanks to the always tangible sense that these happy moments are fleeting ones. The superbly acted film rose above the many more superficially intense films at Karlovy Vary by how it subtly unveils the joy a child can bring to even the most unlikely parents.



Complementing the many dramas presented were comedies where the best had ambitions far beyond simple laughs. Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat's bitter El Artista exemplified this trend using searing satire to construct a deadly serious indictment on the pretensions and ignorance of the art world. Jorge is a nurse that sells the abstract art of his virtually mute autistic patient as his own. His con grows recently stifling its very success, in the very futility of its exposure. He begins to radiate a quiet desperation after the admittance "I am not an artist" receives only happy guffaws from party goers. The nurse has fallen into a world where everything is a fraud from the resume where 'no education' equals 'self-taught' to the meaningless platitudes of doting critics. The filmmakers never present the patient's venerated artwork relying instead point of view shots from the vantage point of the painting providing an intimate view of the so-called art experts and connoisseurs that underscores their buffoonery. Bizarrely, the refusal to show the vaunted works transforms the artist's creative process into a monumentally precious act which becomes somehow tainted by being accepted into an aloof art establishment. Relentlessly exposing a humanities field where lies lead to great success, the cutting and bizarre El Artista revealed the merits of Karlovy Vary's equally strange programming tastes.

Showcased American filmmaker Alan Rudloph

This taste for the absurd manifested itself even in the retrospectives that honored luminaries of cinema. While big stars like a Antonio Banderas and John Malkovich were celebrated, it was the series focused on the relatively obscure American auteur Alan Rudolph that was particularly memorable. The series is that a body of work and clean with energy and waits while showcasing an artist increasingly concerned with how fluid fashion crystallizes a historical moment. His rough edged early film, 1972's Remember My Name, initially appears to be a run-of-the-mill tale of a woman wronged. Starring a deranged Geraldine Chaplin as a recently released murderer, the film hangs on the tension between naturalistic performances and a theatrical mise en scène. Chaplin's character meanders through a town that recalls her imprisonment including decorated signs that warn "Shoot a gun. Go to prison" and handcuffed mannequins in department stores.

The famed drag queen Divine as mob boss

Rudolph's over the top aesthetic fits far more seamlessly in his 1984 sex comedy Choose Me about a smooth talker who simultaneously woos a radio sex therapist, a bartender, and a girl married to a French criminal. The film becomes a hilarious set of unbelievable coincidences when the self-proclaimed "pathological liar" deals with his romantic entanglements. Amplifying the ridiculous nature of the narrative is a world that comments explicitly on the crazed scenario - a fight over a girl named Eve takes place in a room decorated by the movie poster All About Eve. This utterly charming feature seem positively reserved when compared to 1985's Trouble in Mind which highlights the downfall of a family man via a shift in appearance from flannel shirts to a bizarre 80s hodgepodge of Billy Idol and glam rocker. That the film stars famed drag queen Divine as a villainous mob boss further lends a touch of insanity to the proceedings. With gleeful vehemence, the suit wearing icon spews misogynistic declarations like "Women are despicable!" Taken apart, the Rudolph films are imperfect oddities, but presented together they became a wholly satisfying showcase of a unique creative vision.

A brief scene in the Korean coming-of-age film Somewhere I Have Never Traveled reflected the driving philosophy of this year's Karlovy Vary. Follow instructions from a manual on global etiquette, two siblings enact greetings from around the world. Karlovy Vary presented a similarly broad range of cultural perspectives from cinemas far outside the mainstream. From a glorious epic about a love struck voyeur to a film where Divine plays a mobster, many films screened simply could not be seen elsewhere. Living up to its moniker as the anti-Cannes, Karlovy Vary was not bound to the cult of the auteur and used this freedom to highlight art not codified by the critical establishment. The result was a festival where attendees took part in an adventure, experiencing cinema at its boldest and unexpected.

Next up: The Final Verdict on the Giffoni Film Festival

A delicious Italian dish

Now that Karlovy Vary has been discussed in detail, I will make a final verdict on the other July film festival - Gifffoni. Featuring an exclusive interview with festival programmer Luca Apolito, the next article will provide an insider's view on the world's biggest youth film festival. Stay tuned!

Complete Karlovy Vary Coverage

1st impressions:
http://blogs.dailyprincetonian.com/2009/07/final-cannes-thoughts-and-look-at-anti.html

Highs and Lows:
http://blogs.dailyprincetonian.com/2009/07/karlovy-vary-film-festival-highlights.html

Comedy Pt. 1:
http://blogs.dailyprincetonian.com/2009/08/karlovy-vary-film-festival-highlights.html

Comedy Pt. 2:
http://blogs.dailyprincetonian.com/2009/08/karlovy-vary-film-festival-highlights_19.html

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kim '01 wins NYT endorsement in City Council race

Former USG President P.J. Kim '01 has secured the endorsement of the New York Times in his campaign for the New York City Council.

The endorsement can be found in Saurday's edition of the Times:

District 1, Lower Manhattan: This vibrant area from the Lower East Side to
Wall Street and TriBeCa deserves a vibrant councilmember. Newcomer Jin "P.J." Kim is a South Korean immigrant with degrees from Princeton and Harvard Business School. He has worked in business and more recently used his skills to manage and coordinate antipoverty programs. Other candidates include the incumbent Alan Gerson, an honorable public servant who has moved too uncertainly on vital issues; Margaret Chin, a community activist; and Pete Gleason, an anticrime candidate with few other credentials. We endorse Mr. Kim.

Kim kicked off his campaign in early May and will face several candidates in the Sept. 15 Democratic primary. The winner will go on to represent District 1, which includes Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo, the South Street Seaport and Battery Park, plus City Hall and NYU.

Kim's year as USG president was a busy one at the University: The trustees voted for an 11 percent expansion of the undergrad student body, and Dean Malkiel announced a required writing seminar for freshmen. Kim also sat on the search committee that chose Shirley Tilghman as the U.'s 19th president.

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Nearly 150 accept U. retirement package

Roughly one-third of the 460 employees eligible for the University's Voluntary Incentivized Retirement Program have decided to pack it up and call it a career, The Times of Trenton reported Saturday morning.

Most of the 145 employees will retire by Oct. 16, though some will stick around until June 30.

Administrators said earlier this summer they hoped to save $22 million in personnel costs, mainly through the retirement program and a vacancy management program. The latter program has already saved roughly $11 million in costs.

Vice President for Human Resources Lianne Sullivan-Crowley told the Times it was too early to tell just how much the retirement program would save the University. First, officials must look at the vacancies created by the new retirees and decide which ones to fill or eliminate. Administrators said earlier this year they would likely fill no more than 60 percent of them.

The retirement program was announced by administrators in a June 11 e-mail to U. staff. Retirement incentive programs, or what have been called "buyouts," have been offered at several peer institutions. At Harvard, 531 staff members participated in such a program, while 423 staff members at Cornell and roughly 80 at Dartmouth took offers as well.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Bridge Year students jet off to foreign lands


After five days on campus, the 20 students in the University's inaugural Bridge Year program jetted off to Ghana, India, Peru and Serbia for a year abroad before they join the Class of 2014 next fall.

Over the next nine months, the five groups of four students will "volunteer with local service organizations, learn a new language and immerse themselves in the local society through homestay with a local family, cultural enrichment activities and in-country travel."

The program was first introduced back in February 2008. In September 2008, President Tilghman said the program may eventually include up to 100 incoming freshmen every year. She also said the pilot program will cost between $20,000 and $25,000 per student.

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Recession forces McCarter to make cuts

The economic downturn has forced McCarter Theatre to cut its budget by five percent and eliminate three positions, the Princeton Packet reported on Thursday afternoon.

The theatre began the new fiscal year on July 1 with a $11.3 million budget, roughly $590,000 less than last year. The budget includes funding for five fewer positions, Managing Director Timothy Shields told the paper. Three of those positions had become vacant and were never filled, while two employees were let go.

McCarter also instituted salary freezes for all remaining employees and cut its marketing and travel budgets.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Princeton economist named prime minister of South Korea

It's been 93 years since a Princetonian was elected president of the United States, but South Korea's new prime minister boasts a doctorate in economics from Old Nassau.

Chung Un-Chan GS '78, a former president of Seoul National University, was chosen by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak as part of a cabinet shakeup announced on Thursday.

Lee's selection of the 61-year-old Chung, who taught at Columbia University for two years, is part of a strategy to bring individuals with diverse political beliefs into his administration.

Chung was courted by the Uri party and other liberal South Korean political groups to run for the presidency in December 2007. Chung also outlined South Korea's transformation from one of the world's poorest countries to an economic powerhouse during a September 2008 lecture in Aaron Burr Hall.

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