Britton Perelman, Staff Writer One of the best things about college is not having to do any summer homework, and the movie theater is the perfect place to spend all that extra time. With plenty of movies in every genre hitting theaters this summer, there’s bound to be something at the box office for everyone. The summer movie season, typically chalk full of blockbuster superheroes and explosion-filled actions, kicked off last weekend with the release of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx. It’s a sequel to the 2012 hit and a remake of the 2004 version. If, like me, Spider-Man isn’t exactly your favorite superhero, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” will hit theaters May 23. And, though this summer offers at least eight superhero or action movies, including sequels from the “Transformers” and “Planet of the Apes” franchises, Disney will be offering its own brand of thrill when “Maleficent” hits theaters May 30. With Angelina Jolie in the lead role, Disney reinvents the classic tale of “Sleeping Beauty” and delves into the story behind one of its most intriguing villains. Or, if you loved the 2012 summer hit “Ted,” you won’t want to miss Seth MacFarlane’s newest comedic venture, “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” which also comes out May 30. MacFarlane stars alongside a packed cast that includes Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried and Neil Patrick Harris. It looks both ridiculous and absolutely hilarious. Other comedies coming to theaters this summer include the sequel “22 Jump Street” June 13 and “They Came Together,” a quirky rom-com starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler. If you need a break from hard-core studying for finals, check out “Neighbors” on May 9. It stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as new parents who are in for a surprise when they move in next to a frat house run by Zac Efron. Fans of a certain youth adult novel by John Green will want to check out “The Fault in Our Stars” June 6. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort are the cancer-ridden star crossed teenagers who fall in love after meeting at a support group. I’d be sure to pack the tissues for this one if I were you. Personally, I always look forward to seeing the indie films from summer festivals like Sundance, Tribeca and Toronto. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final two movies “God’s Pocket” and “A Most Wanted Man” will be released May 9 and July 25, respectively. Both are dramatic thrillers that have garnered praise for Hoffman’s last roles. Out May 9, Jesse Eisenberg stars in “The Double,” a comedy/drama/thriller about a man who comes face-to-face with his exact double. It’s intriguing and looks just as dark as it does funny. “Third Person,” another drama I’m looking forward to seeing, stars Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, James Franco and Olivia Wilde. Slated for a June 20 release, it weaves three love stories together in a way that looks much like “The Words” from two years ago. Finally, perhaps the most anticipated indie film of the season will hit theaters on July 11, after being in the works for 12 years. Director/writer Richard Linklater wrote a story about a young boy, and continually hired the same actors for the 12 years he spent filming. The result is a moving portrait about what it means to grow up, featuring the actual coming of age of the main actor Ellar Coltrane. Whether you’re seeing a box office smashing action or a heartfelt indie, I hope you spend some of your summer at the movies.
Ashley Tway, For The Miami Student The Miami community celebrated the marriage of two Miami graduate students, Yi Sang and Weiguo Xia, with the reenactment of their modern Chinese wedding at the Armstrong Student Center April 23. Sang is currently a graduate student in education psychology and Xia is a graduate student in computer engineering. The two Chinese students were officially married in their homeland over the 2014 spring break. Sang is Daur, a small ethnical group in the inner Mongolia area in China, while Xia is Han, the dominate ethnic group in China. The couple’s union reflects the modern Chinese culture. The Comparative Education Club, EPIC Graduate Program and the Confucius Institute hosted this wedding reenactment as an opportunity to share modern Chinese culture with the Miami community. “We hope today’s event will serve as a small window for you to pick into people’s life and culture in modern China,” Chen Zhao, Director of the Confucius Institute and Farmer School of Business professor, said. The wedding reenactment was complete with several Miami department heads standing in for the couple’s parents and an introduction speech given by President David Hodge. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs College of Education, Health and Society Judith Rogers, Dean of College Education, Health and Society Carine Feyten, Dean Marek Dollar of College of Engineering and Computing, Susan Mosley-Howard, chair of the Department of Education Psychology and Ron Scott, associate vice president for Institutional Diversity all played roles in the wedding reenactment. The wedding reenactment was rich with Chinese wedding traditions, which were performed at the original wedding and replayed on video for the reenactment. The ceremony started with a musical performance on a Daur horse-headed fiddle, also known as a Matouqin. Entertainment included traditional Daur dancing and long song, a vocal style typical of the Mongolian grasslands, which took place after the ceremony as the couple changed into traditional Daur costumes for the wedding reception. The guests at the wedding reenactment were able to participate in the typical wedding traditions as well. Audience members volunteered to reenact the tradition of “yingqin” or escorting the bride to the wedding site. Other traditions included a wedding game, where the newlyweds attempted to jointly eat apples on a rope and inevitably ended up kissing. As the couple exchanged rings and toasted to each other, the audience congratulated them, reciting a Chinese congratulations phrase in unison. As a final symbolic gesture, Scott presented the couple with red T-shirts saying “I am Miami” in Chinese. “It was an honor and a pleasure. It is fascinating to learn about other customs, and it is always a pleasure to share such joyful mom
Audrey Zimmerman, For The Miami Student Monday afternoons begin with an apron, art supplies and a 3:30 p.m. meeting at a local retirement community for students in the Opening Minds through Art program at Miami University. Opening Minds through Art, or OMA, is an intergenerational art program for people with dementia. It is offered as a service-learning course through the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami and gives students the opportunity to help elders create pieces of abstract artwork, while earning credits toward their degrees. However, many of these student-volunteers have realized that OMA goes much deeper than just being a fun way to fulfill course requirements. Miami University senior Jeremy Ferlic is paired with Marge Mackey at The Knolls of Oxford in Oxford, Ohio. “I can honestly say that OMA is the reason I now look forward to Mondays instead of dreading them,” Ferlic said. “Helping Marge isn’t hard work, but it makes a difference, in her life and in mine.” Once a week, Ferlic – along with 14 other student-volunteers – spends an hour and a half with his partner, helping her create her own artwork and getting to know her better over the course of the semester. “She’s very quick to pick up on my emotions and how I say things,” Ferlic said. “When I’m excited about the art project, she feels it too and it translates into her attitude.” Student-volunteers aren’t the only ones who notice the meaningful partnerships OMA creates. OMA’s Assistant Director and Senior Research Assistant Beth Rohrbaugh is actively involved with several of the volunteer sites in the local community and observes the friendships that form between students and elders. “Many students enroll in the class expecting to fulfill a credit obligation or with the intent of giving of their time and talent to another individual, but they come away with so much more than they ever expected,” Rohrbaugh said. “In addition to learning about people with dementia, students get the opportunity to experience a real relationship with the elderly, something so many of that generation don’t have.” OMA was founded in 2007 by Dr. Elizabeth Lokon and now serves 200 pairs of elders and volunteers annually at several locations in nearby communities. “Through their service to people with dementia, students’ beliefs and opinions regarding the elderly are most often transformed in a very personal way,” Rohrbaugh said. OMA’s mission is to build bridges across age and cognitive barriers through art and so far, they are doing just that. “I’ve gained an appreciation for just how much something as simple as time can mean to someone,” Ferlic said. As the week’s session came to a close Miami University senior, Bryn Wilkin, spoke and laughed with her partner – Knolls resident, Flora Burrows. “I enjoyed today very much,” Burrows said. “We had a lot of fun,” Wilkin said. “We usually do.”
Emily Crane, Graduating News Editor I wasn’t sure what to expect from Jose Antonio Vargas’ film “Documented” when I attended a screening here at Miami last Monday. I knew he would be using the film to generate discussion on the topic of immigration reform, probably drawing somewhat from his own personal experiences growing up as an undocumented American. From what I knew of him personally, I guessed much of his passion would probably seep onto the screen and I knew he wouldn’t dance around messy subjects. I anticipated something powerful and poignant, but “Documented” was more than that; it was intensely personal. There are a dozen different ways Vargas could have gone about raising the issues facing undocumented Americans, but he chose to do so by turning the camera on himself and telling his own story. Some might argue a journalist couldn’t possibly tell his own story while maintaining any semblance of objectivity. And they would be right. But Vargas doesn’t pretend to be objective. He’s real and raw and unfiltered. “Documented” follows Vargas’ story from the time his grandfather paid a smuggler to bring him to the U.S. from the Philippines at age 12 to the present, where he continues to live without any form of U.S. identification and no path to citizenship in the country he calls home. He tells of the years spent living in fear and hiding after he discovered at 16 that his green card and social security number were forgeries, all the while rising in fame and prominence as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. He brings the camera into his grandparents’ modest home in California to show us his grandmother in curlers cooking in the kitchen and to hear her speak of the devastation and fear she felt when she heard of his decision to “come out” as an “illegal.” And he documents the pregnant silence on the part of the Department of Homeland Security after he announced in a column in the New York Times that he had come to the U.S. illegally as a child. But where the film truly shocks is when Vargas allows his audience to look in on his personal relationship with his mother whom he has not seen since she bid him goodbye at the airport two decades ago. He crosses a line, bringing the audience into moments so intimate they’re uncomfortable. I couldn’t help but squirm as I watched the tears stream down his mother’s cheeks the first time she saw his face over Skype. I felt as though I were intruding. And I was shocked by Vargas’ candor as he told the camera of the ways in which his separation from his mother all these years has wrecked him emotionally. By the end of the film, Vargas has laid all bare, he has held nothing back from his story of what it is to be undocumented, and the viewer is left shaken by the rawness of it all. To see so deeply into a stranger’s heart and life is a jarring thing. It’s a powerful thing. It accomplishes what Vargas set out to do: force people to have uncomfortable conversations. It takes a political talking point and turns it into a personal narrative. There are a dozen different ways Vargas could have chosen to spread the message of “Documented,” each with its own merit. This choice was unconventional, unexpected and at times, downright unpleasant. But all who watch it, either in theaters over the next few months or when it premiers on CNN this summer, will not leave the same.
Libby Mueller, Senior Staff Writer Students ringed the Uptown Park Friday night, perched on the curb with legs sprawled and heads nodding to the music. A small throng of people watched and danced on the grass. Students and locals smiled as they passed on the streets, lingering to listen to the live music floating on the cool May air. The free concert in Uptown Park was Roxford Music Fest and featured local musicians Corey Bush, RED samantha, LΔst Lights and Crossinova. The inaugural event was hosted by the Miami University Audio Engineering and Music Production (AEMP) organization. Sophomore Spencer Wood started the organization last year, and already it has worked with local artists to record their music and participate in campus events such as Battle of the Bands. AEMP plans to host Roxford Music Fest annually, according to booking agent Julie Mullen, who deemed the concert a success. “We had four great musicians and they all performed really well,” Mullen said. “The people who were there seemed to be having a great time. We plan to make the Roxford Music Fest an annual event. We hope that it will grow and get more bands and more fans.” Singer and guitarist for RED samantha Joe Murray said the Friday concert was fun for him. RED samantha is a fairly new alternative rock band, so Roxford Music Fest was a good way to gain visibility on the MU campus. “We’ve been playing together in that arrangement for just about a year, but we’ve been friends since kindergarten,” Murray said. RED samantha likes to write music that speaks to issues many college students face. “A lot of it is stuff that’s happened in the past that seems to be fitting for people in our age group,” Murray said. “Relationships, changes in lifestyle going from high school to college, dealing with being on your own and interpersonal relationships that either get stronger or fade away.” RED samantha will be recording music this summer and playing near the University of Cincinnati (UC) May 10 and June 14 at The Mad Frog. For Murray personally, a love of music was born far before RED samantha. Murray said his inspiration for playing music came from his father, who was in a rock band growing up. Now Murray cannot imagine life without music, he said. “He learned how to play guitar when he was young and he taught me how to play,” Murray said. “I think it’s a big enough part of my life now to where I don’t think there will ever be a time it’ll be put on the shelf.” Singer-songwriter Corey Bush, who also began playing music at a very young age, was another performer at the concert Friday night. “Overall, I think it went really well,” Bush said. “I was glad to see a lot of people come out and support the artists.” Bush played a mix of original songs and covers by artists such as Matchbox Twenty and Daughtry. Bush said Daughtry is one of several artists he looks up to as a musician. “I really look up to the lead singer of Lifehouse Jason Wade. That’s probably the biggest influence,” Bush said. “And Daughtry. I love Chris Daughtry. They are big influences on my sound. I kind of learned from them.” Bush will graduate from MU at the end of May. Moving forward, he said he hopes to gain more experience performing his music. “My goals would probably be getting more experience playing in front of a live audience and getting as much exposure as possible,” Bush said. “I would love to get signed by a record label and form my own band.” These local artists are only some of the many talented musicians in Oxford and surrounding areas: singer-songwriters, bands, DJs and more. As AEMP wraps up its first successful concert, students who enjoyed the live music Uptown will eagerly anticipate future shows featuring these and other artists.
Staff Tuesday May 6 Get ready for finals week at “Finals Preparation,” a workshop with an all-encompassing look at studying and test taking. Register at http://tinyurl.com/finalspreparationrlc2 for the 5 p.m. event at 13 Campus Avenue Building. Wednesday May 7 The Miami University Symphony Orchestra will close the 2013-14 season with a concert at Hall Auditorium featuring the winners of this year’s concerto competition: Phoenix Deng, violin; Bobby Fisco, trombone and Lizabeth Malanga, voice. The 7:30 p.m. performance is free and open to the public. Thursday May 8 Explore the basic principles and practices of Taichi through Beijing Short Form at The Oxford Community Arts Center. The $10 class begins 10 a.m. Friday May 9 The Oxford Community Arts Center is hosting Second Friday, a celebration of the arts, starting at 6 p.m. This free event features live music from local musicians, new art exhibits and one-of-a-kind artwork for sale. Saturday May 10 The Oxford Farmer’s Market will be open Uptown from 8 a.m. to noon, offering fresh, local food and cooking demonstrations. Sunday May 11 A capstone film presentation, “Blood Is Thicker Together,” will show 7:30 p.m. in Irvin Hall Room 40. The free event is open to all faculty and students. Monday May 12 Kick off your week at “The Art of Yoga,” focusing on relaxation and deep release through the mind and body awareness. The $10 class begins 10:30 a.m. at the Oxford Community Arts Center’s North Parlor.
Abbey Gingras, For The Miami StudentSophomores Allie Whitaker and Alli Robben assist senior Elizabeth Nie with her wardrobe backstage. (Abbey Gingras | The Miami Student) A flurry of activity bustles behind the looming black curtains in Millet Hall as makeup artists and hairstyles put the finishing touches on models. Meanwhile, designers inspect their collections one last time as the workers double check and triple check their to-do lists on clipboards. This was the scene during Saturday’s fashion show, which was hosted by the Miami University Club of Fashion and Design and UP Magazine. After months of long hours and what seemed like endless planning, students involved in all aspects of the show finally got to see their development come to life. “It’s been really great to see how much the show has grown and developed, along with fashion week as a whole,” senior Sally Stearns, editor-in-chief of UP Magazine, said. “We have really been trying to market it and make it more upscale. People haven’t known in the past that fashion week was happening, and we were happy to see that change. This is what I love to do and I was so proud to watch it come together.” Students worked tirelessly all day Friday and Saturday to get Millet set up perfectly, from chairs to lighting to gift bags. The production takes hundreds of people to put on, but the finished product is nothing less than what would be expected at a professional fashion show. “UP and MUCFD have weekly meetings between our two executive boards all semester to prepare,” Stearns said. “We plan all the events of fashion week together between our two staffs. This year we were able to have an after party for both organizations, which was a great way to celebrate each other and all the hard work that was put in, not to mention fashion.” The show this year was the 8th production Miami has hosted, and the event has grown a lot since it’s founding. What started as a small event for club members has blossomed into an event for the whole university and community with seats for 600 people, including VIPs. This year’s fashion show was especially meaningful to the designers, who now have the opportunity to study fashion design at Miami thanks to the efforts of MUCFD and UP who worked with university officials to install a fashion program. “Seeing my designs on the runway was overwhelming,” senior Kasey Goedeker said. “To see months of hard work being presented to my friends and family in such a great way was really the cherry on top of an amazing year. The fashion minor will only enhance the show in future years.” MUCFD and UP are proud of where their fashion week has come from and where it is headed. Both organizations hope to see the program grow larger each year and continue to become an event that all of campus looks forward to participating in. When the lights were shut off in Millet on Saturday night, fashion week for this year was over; but the planning for next year was just beginning.“Beewash,” junior Bryan Washington, strikes a pose for the crowd during the fashion show put on by Miami University Club of Fashion and Design and UP Magazine. (Robert Donato | The Miami Student)
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