Vagrant Journalism

Published pieces from the past, the present and of the potential future.

Archive for March 3rd, 2009

12 March 2007: Modernized Mythology With ‘Stories’

Posted by Christina on March 3, 2009

Ethan Sawyer as Skinhead Boy at UCI's production of Polaroid Stories

Ethan Sawyer as Skinhead Boy in UCI's production of Polaroid Stories

I wish I could see this play over and over again. The alternative style of the play mixed with Greek Mythology just combined some of my favorite elements ever in Polaroid Stories. It was beautiful and if this play ever comes to town in any form, I’m going to see it.

New University Newspaper: Modernized Mythology With ‘Stories’

Modernized Mythology With ‘Stories’
by Christina Nersesian
Volume 40, Issue 21 | Mar 12 2007

UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts Department of Drama presented Naomi Iizuka’s 1997 play, ‘Polaroid Stories,’ a modern interpretation of Ovid’s ‘Metamorphosis’ and Jim Goldberg’s ‘Raised by Wolves.’ As is the running theme with most of Iizuka’s plays, her nonlinear storyline shows the audience small vignettes of each character’s trials through transformation in terms of Greek and Roman myth. As fleeting as a Polaroid image, each section is a blurred section of light frozen in time. Throughout the play, the audience witnesses the pivotal and most cathartic moments in each character’s life.

Goldberg’s documentation of the homeless youth of San Francisco and Los Angeles from the mid-’80s to the mid-’90s in ‘Raised by Wolves’ is evident in the dirt- and trash-laden streets of the play’s scenic design. Everyone’s unwanted junk lays strewn down the center of the theater, with the players on a sort of catwalk of eternity for a stage, showcasing the darkness of their psyches to the audience.

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12 March 2007: UCI Music Makes ‘Overtures’

Posted by Christina on March 3, 2009

superstock_1491r-1014063This was absolutely beautiful. The Music majors at UCI, particularly those focused in voice, sang beautiful overtures from several classics. It was a total joy to hear and even more fun to write about.

New University Newspaper: UCI Music Makes ‘Overtures’

UCI Music Makes ‘Overtures’
by Christina Nersesian
Volume 40, Issue 21 | Mar 12 2007

For those who remember actor Jeffrey Jones from ‘Amadeus,’ you’ll remember a powdered-wigged Emperor Joseph II, whose first reaction to a Mozart opera was that it had ‘too many notes.’ UC Irvine’s ‘Making Overtures’ musicians didn’t seem to mind as they mastered the works of genius composers, including Mozart, on Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24.

While opera was initially derived from Italian concepts of combining the arts of music and theater – ‘opera’ is Italian for ‘works’ – UCI’s department of music, of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, presented its own rendition of vignettes from some of operatic history’s most famous composers and operas.

In chronological order, they showcased numerous pivotal moments in opera’s history. From the astoundingly innovative Mozart to the ‘waltz king’ Johann Strauss, ‘Making Overtures’ continued with France’s George Bizet and rounded off with 20th-century composers Franz Lehar and Gabriel Puccini.

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20 February 2007: WEB EXCLUSIVE – Team Uuta 24-Hour Mad Film Dash Profile

Posted by Christina on March 3, 2009

mfd_web_bgThe 24-hour Mad Film Dash at UCI is quite an exceptional event. At midnight, groups of filmmakers who have previously registered for the contest, collect for their random assignment. They then have 24 hours to make their short film in hopes of appeasing the judges – usually professors and faculty members – come awards ceremony time.

New University Newspaper: WEB EXCLUSIVE – Team Uuta 24-Hour Mad Film Dash Profile

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Team Uuta 24-Hour Mad Film Dash Profile
by Christina Nersesian
Volume 40, Issue 18 | Feb 20 2007

If you’re a baseball fan, you might have heard about Slaughter’s Mad Dash that allowed Enos Slaughter of the St. Louis Cardinals to afford his team the title of winners of the 1946 World Series against the Boston Red Sox. It was Slaughter’s dash to home plate that made the score 4-3, winning the World Series for the St. Louis team.

For UC Irvine students, however, a ‘mad dash’ means just a short 24 hours to produce one of the most creative outbursts of their lives as the UCI Bookstore hosted its Third Annual 24-Hour Mad Film Dash, starting Friday, Feb. 9 at midnight. This year’s productions have been some of the cleverest yet.

The scene around the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts, Friday night, was packed with the anticipation of 89 teams finally receiving their prompts. Some were just feeling the caffeine fix kick in while others were fighting off the thought that at midnight, it would technically be Saturday and way past bedtime. You could pick out the night owls in the crowd, though: the kids whose clothes had seemed to withstand an entire day of wear and tear and remain ready for an active and sleepless night. They were calm and ready to take on the competition.

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12 February 2007: ‘Hannibal Rising’ – The Worst Villain Returns

Posted by Christina on March 3, 2009

hannibal_risingEvery time a prequel is made, it’s either hit or miss. This one was pretty exceptional and all technical aspects of film making aside, it was all kinds of entertaining and especially creepy.

New University Newspaper: ‘Hannibal Rising’ – The Worst Villain Returns

‘Hannibal Rising’: The Worst Villain Returns
by Christina Nersesian
Volume 40, Issue 17 | Feb 12 2007

When the American Film Institute released their ‘100 Years of 100 Heroes and Villains’ in 2003, it was no surprise to find everyone’s favorite single dad as the No. 1 greatest hero. Atticus Finch from ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ was realized on the silver screen in 1962 by the equally-loved Gregory Peck.

Conversely, the list of villains provided a pulse-quickening list of actors who have portrayed the most villainous characters in film history.

Crawling their way to top-cruel tier stand Darth Vader from 1980’s ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ at No. 3 and Norman Bates from the 1960 release of ‘Psycho’ at No. 2.

Standing as the No. 1 villain is the morbidly civil and polite Hannibal Lecter. This paragon of evil has been most infamously portrayed by Sir Anthony Hopkins in 1991’s ‘Silence of the Lambs.’ Hopkins won an Academy Award for his role, despite appearing in the film for barely over 16 minutes.

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5 February 2007: Of Montreal Begins Tour at the El Rey

Posted by Christina on March 3, 2009

2666633896_f4dafa8044Most of the time I just happened to be going to the shows and asked to cover them for the newspaper. This was one such case and having a crossover happen between the newspaper and KUCI was amazing. I had been playing Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destoryer? since forever on The Motley Music Show and to see them live and be able to write about it was all kinds of awesome.

New University Newspaper: Of Montreal Begins Tour at the El Rey

Of Montreal Begins Tour at the El Rey
by Christina Nersesian
Volume 40, Issue 16 | Feb 05 2007

In the mid-1990s, a group of musicians came together under a mantra of creative expression and a style that would become specific to these bands alone. Through their similarly-themed music, this group formed The Elephant Six Collective from which several beloved sons and daughters of indie rock were born.

Starting as seedlings of this newly evolved and highly explosive scene, bands like Neutral Milk Hotel, Apples in Stereo, Beulah, Elf Power, Of Montreal and others became underground rock stars as this revolutionary decade in music crept along.

These bands distinguished themselves by creating unconventional sounds and textures using otherwise normal instruments like guitar and bass. They also incorporate other eccentric instruments like the flugelhorn, singing saw, wandering genie, sitar and the magnus organ, to name a few. Their vocals are harmonically and melodically mature and precise.

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8 December 2006: Last Night A Reefer Saved My Life – The Plight of the Cannabinoids

Posted by Christina on March 3, 2009

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This paper I did for a class called Justice and Injustice where we were to write about some sort of injustice happening in the world. I wrote about the injustice received to small business owners, particular marijuana dispensaries because I liked to push the envelop as far as I could and to all kinds of edges. Here is yet another example.

Last Night A Reefer Saved My Life: The Plight of the Cannabinoids

“You know, the young people need to know the difference between drugs and medicine. Man makes drugs, in a laboratory. But medicine grows from the ground naturally. So there’s a big different between medicine and drugs. Watch out for the drugs.”

– Carlos Santana, Can’t Find My Way Home: America in the Great Stoned Age, 1945-2000

Adam Christopher Gingras enters his own house on a Friday night in the dead of summer with his arms high up in the air shouting, “I am unarmed and live here! I am coming in! Please, don’t shoot!” Four Orange County Sherriff Deputies have surrounded his house with their squad cars and are in his home with his three dogs.

“A car registered to this address was in a high speed pursuit this evening,” one curlicue says to him.

Gingras proceeds to explain how his fiancée had gotten into an accident with that car eight months ago. They were supposed to have their information taken off but the police traced the VIN number to the address they were at now. Now, Gringas, a medical marijuana patient and primary caregiver who knows more about the chemistry involved the each type of TCH chemical and what hormone they attach to than these self-proclaimed defenders of humanity’s rights and laws, is watching his plants get ripped from the roots and snipped at the bottom stalk by those same defenders.

“No, shut up, you can’t call your lawyer yet. Sit down,” snorts the curlicue.

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