Page 8 - 5th Issue

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delve into darker parts of life and herself. As Nina
frantically strives for perfection, the duality of the role
overcomes her and she starts to become a victim of her
own thoughts. She is very alone throughout the movie
and experiences conflict with everyone around her. Lily
(Mila Kunis), Nina’s understudy, is the only person who
appears trustworthy at times but as the movie goes on
it becomes difficult to tell what is real and what is only
happening inside Nina’s warped mind.
“Black Swan” has been nominated for 5 Oscars and I
believe it deserves more. It’s intense, sexy, suspenseful
and even funny at times, and leaves the viewer
unnerved yet very entertained.
Before seeing “Black Swan,” I had read positive
reviews about the film but received mixed reactions
from people I knew. After seeing it, I can understand
the debate. Black Swan is complex, tragic and riveting
throughout, but leaves viewers (me, at least) feeling a
bit unsettled after it’s over.
Natalie Portman is unbelievably convincing as Nina,
an obsessive ballet dancer completely consumed by
her desire to earn and then keep the lead role in “Swan
Lake.” The role requires her to master the performance
of the white swan—an elegant, controlled dance that
she loves—as well as the routine of the black swan—a
darker and more sensual dance that forces Nina to
Black Swan: weird and wonderful
By Molly Dougherty
Ben Folds delivers great music and laughs
“Don’t bust your a**, Fulton,” were the words of
wisdom Ben Folds gave to the small crowd within
Champ Auditorium at Westminster College Jan. 31.
These words, applicable considering the blizzard
to come, were interspersed over various improvised
melodies and riffs amidst an amazing set by one of
alternative music’s greatest performers. (Note: I admit,
this review may be skewed. I’ve been listening to Folds
since high school and may still be reeling from spending
two hours within a 20-foot radius of the guy.)
Ben took the stage at around nine, and the set opened
with a rattling piano introduction, followed by a few
songs from his new album, “Lonely Avenue.” The band
appealed to fans of the “classic” Folds music by playing
plenty of the old stuff, including “Gone.”
“Thank you, kind people of Fulton,” he said after
a fairly rowdy applause for a crowd of maybe 400,
applause much deserved after a beautiful rendition of
“Annie Waits.” “Hiroshima” brought the audience in with
the repeated yells during the song’s bridge.
The set also included a stunning “Effington,” with
odified “Please bury me in Fulton” lyric, a cover of
Ke$ha’s “Sleazy,” an older Ben Folds favorite “Bastard,”
the newer “You Don’t Know Me” and “Zak and Sara,”
By Jason Rose
which was ended with Ben throwing his stool at the
piano keys.
He also played a few songs that, according to
research, rarely make their way onto the set list.
“Rockin’ the Suburbs” was a crowd favorite. The always
poignant “Brick,” hearkening from his Ben Folds Five
days, brought the audience to a stunned silence.
The band returned to the stage for an encore after
a few minutes into a “Bitches Ain’t Shit” chant. They
jammed that song for a wonderful 10 minutes. The
show, one that was already rampant with sporadic and
amazing piano solos, concluded with Ben using his
synthesizer as a gun and tazing the audience at random,
and then throwing his stool at the keys once more.
This was absolutely one of the best concerts I
have seen in my life. The show was full of jokes and
improvisations by Sir Folds and his band. The music
was, as anticipated, brilliant and very similar to album
versions – you know the songs are legit. I knew I wasn’t
going to be let down, and had heard quite a bit about his
live shows, but that’s something you must experience
yourself. Having that opportunity in Fulton again is very
unlikely, but he’s a pretty popular dude everywhere else.
Sham on, Ben. Sham on.