Archive for the ‘Deconstruction’ Category

The weekly meeting of Deconstruction will be held Wednesday at 6:30pm in the Scrounge at Perkins Student Center. We’ll be discussing upcoming fundraisers, writing, and such, so feel free to drop by. Tonight at 10pm, Deconstruction will be featured on What in the Hall?!? on STN (ch. 49).

If you can make it, stop by the Trabant Patio between noon and 3 pm on Friday. We’re helping out our friends at Relay for Life while handing out magazines. Next Monday we have the kiosk reserved, so let us know if you’ll be available to man the booth in Trabant. Hope everyone’s having a great week and we look forward to seeing you soon.


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What in the Hall?!You can check us out on “What in the Hall?!” on the university’s STN (Student Television Network) at 10pm on Tuesday, April 15th. If you live on campus, tune into channel 49.

Additionally we’ll be distributing magazines and helping out Relay for Life’s Life Faculty Arrest on Friday, April 18th between 12-3pm on the Trabant Patio. It’s a worthy cause, so please come out and help spread the word about RfL and Deconstruction.

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The Counterfeiters (Die Fälscher)
by James Adams Smith
Rating: 3 of 5 stars

AFTER the writers strike this year, the Oscars had trouble keeping audiences watching. Not only was the lineup of nominated films—such as There Will Be Blood, No Country For Old Men, and Michael Clayton—unheard of by most, the films were too artsy to invite the public eye. The Best Foreign Language Film Award has had a history of favoring art house cinema. The trend continued when the Oscar went to Germany’s The Lives of Others last year.

This year’s winner, The Counterfeiters from Austria, takes on a weighty subject, The Holocaust, without really getting to the center of it. While most Holocaust films touch on the graphic and malicious nature of genocide, this film takes another approach. It tells the true story of a group of Jews who are chosen to work at a concentration camp as counterfeiters, illegally copying the British Pound and US Dollar to fuel the Nazi plan of bankrupting foreign economies.

The group, led by former conman Salomon Sorowitsch (Karl Marcovics), must work to stay alive under the supervision of Nazi war criminal Friedrich Herzog (Devid Striesow). They are given comfortable places to sleep, stuffed with food, and worked strenuously for the Nazi regime in a sealed-off bunker.

The Counterfeiters

All the while, they can hear other Jews being tortured and murdered just over the wall. Sorowitsch’s top priority is staying alive, but a younger idealist in the crew plans a strike in hopes of sparking a revolution. The tension builds as the group encounters trouble reproducing the US Dollar.

The film’s cinematography, dark and grainy, adds a stylistic glow to the scenes. The handheld camera shakes from scene to scene. At times, the style is overdone, distracting from the significance of events on screen. Since the living conditions for these Jews were not as bad at the real concentration camps, the film’s sets worked well.

Although this film digs persistently to find a new path through the Holocaust—diverging from its forerunners Schindler’s List, The Pianist, and Faithless—it doesn’t separate itself from the pack. The dreariness and gloom of these movies has been touched on already. Still, Filmmakers keep returning to the Holocaust to find new material. The problem is that eventually the realistic nature of the Holocaust comes only as memory of a film.

The Counterfeiters

An example is James Cameron’s Titanic, which emptied many bags of buttered popcorn, but also distorted a real tragedy. This is not to say that tragic history should not be touched. However, once a real-life occurrence—with the people who died or the families who were affected—becomes an entire genre, it begins to market a mere interpretation of human tragedy.

Beyond its social failures, The Counterfeiters works in a detached way – the audience is not invited to interact with the characters. The protagonist Solomon, with his own set of moral failings, is hard to trust. Therefore the narrative rolls disjointedly back and forth, and the audience is given the ending first. The result of this is a loss of emotional impact—rather, it seems to declare itself a film, or just: another Holocaust film.

Most critics and the Academy Awards declare The Counterfeiters to be a work of art and originality. Then why didn’t Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book, another Holocaust drama, win Best Foreign film last year? Although the Holocaust itself will forever haunt the memories of the world, filmmakers need to find new subject matter.

A more deserving film was the more uplifting tale of Jean-Dominque Bauby’s dealing with paralysis, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Nevertheless, since the Academy Awards received some of their lowest ratings this year, it probably makes little difference who won.

The Counterfeiters

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If you were involved in Deconstruction this year and want to be famous (i.e. on the back cover of the magazine in living color), meet up tomorrow (Sunday) at 4:30 p.m. in Trabant at kiosk A (closest to the Delaware Ave. entrance) wearing a white shirt and blue jeans. From there, we’ll be taking photographs of the crew all across campus for an hour or two. I won’t spill too many of the beans, but we have a fantastic idea for the front and back covers that involves someone in a sheep costume.

Also, if you’re interested in helping out with layout, we’ll be meeting at the Student Media Center in the basement of the library at 3:30 p.m. beginning on Monday and continuing for the rest of the week, or until everything is laid out. Don’t worry if you haven’t done it before; we can help you learn.

I hope everyone’s having a great weekend and we’ll see you tomorrow!

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If you haven’t submitted your first drafts to us at derridevil@gmail.com, please do so immediately. We’ll be holding our weekly meeting this Wednesday at 6:30 in the Scounge at Perkins Student Center on Academy St.

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07-08 Winter cover

The online version of the winter ’07-’08 issue of Deconstruction is now available! Check out the .pdf by clicking here.

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07-08 Winter cover

The 2007-2008 winter issue of Deconstruction has been distributed across campus this week. You can pick them up at places on Main Street, like the Brew Ha-Ha, as well as in some of the lecture halls and the library.

If you wrote for the magazine, we have copies on reserve for you! Stop by the next meeting (Wed. March 5th, 6:30pm in the Scrounge) to pick up your copy.

An online version of the magazine will be on the website within the next few days if you can’t get your hands on a physical copy. To give you a little taste of the magazine, here’s an article by Bob McGinnis.

One Shot Too Many: Shooting Down Tila ‘E.T.’ Tequila’s A Shot at Love
by Bob McGinnis

As if “I Love New York” didn’t cover trashy love based reality TV already, “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila” should fill in the holes. Tila, a “hot” bisexual girl, is looking for love, and in today’s world, where else is there other than MTV and your own show to find true love and real romance? After all, only the best relationships are created on television.

In a “Shot at Love” there is the added twist that both Males and Females are competing for Tila’s heart, while only one will win in the end. MTV really thought hard about this show; its main appeal lies in the fact that lesbians vying for Tila’s affection could make out with one another if they get bored. This should attract more viewers than the too similar “I Love New York”; Straight guys can’t resist trying to catch some girl-on-girl action, and of course, the lesbian viewers will find the show’s lesbians hotter than the star Tila Tequila (which isn’t hard, considering Tila is reminiscent of E.T.). Not to mention, the men on the show are so irresistible, that they might be able to turn a lesbian, giving the viewers the unexpected night-cam shot of them messing around at night. You have got to love how MTV acts like they didn’t plan this – there’s twenty people and only one bed in the whole house; clad with silk sheets nonetheless.

This show has to be a breakthrough for MTV; it’s got everything all the other shows don’t have. Of course this is a lie; it degrades women and this show isn’t helping the bisexual or lesbian community assimilate either. On the surface, this show could be helping the general public be more open towards sexuality, yet, the context of the show makes it just another piece of trash – MTV quality.

This show exploits bisexuality multiple times by unfortunately highlighting the stereotype that bisexuals are attracted to anything with genitals. What’s laughable is that Tila uses her bisexuality for dramatic purposes. Anytime she’s not getting enough, she confesses that being bi is difficult, and this is her “first time coming out” and everyone is just making it so hard. “First time coming out”? Obviously she had to tell the producers she was bi, if indeed she is at all. And if this was her first time coming out, she picked one hell of a time to do it. When MTV uses bisexuality as a platform for drama, it’s a slap in the face to anyone who actually had to fear coming out. This little midget slut has twenty-plus people chasing after her, and she is woebegone. I guess she’s not that big of a hoe after all.

It degrades women by idolizing the idea that looks are everything, and that a girl becomes desirable and worthy of love by being a total idiot with a tan and breast implants (okay, maybe they’re real). I mean, where did Tila Tequila come from and why do these people even want to hook up with her? MySpace and Playboy got her famous, but what is she really famous for other than being eye candy and a tool? Everything about these women on the show does nothing good for setting positive roles for girls.
And what about the men? While I first overlooked them, they also are a setting a bad example. All of the men on the show are macho and basically there for sex. Supposedly they are there to win Tila’s love and affection, but after all, MTV is really just talking about sex drive here. How else would the men and women really “fall for Tila” when all they’ve seen of her is her tits? I doubt those five minute one-on-one talks really let them find each other out as a person. The roles the males play also promote negativity; they resort to fighting when things don’t go their way, and they frequently disrespect the women around them.

Regardless, what can I expect from MTV? It appeals to the shallowness in everyone, idolizing sex and good looks. People know MTV is trash, and luckily no one takes it seriously—at least we hope. However, if there are still some viewers who believe these harmful stereotypes are true, advocate groups for women or the gay community may have a more difficult time dispelling these false and insulting generalizations. Yet, I suppose it’s a bit harsh to call Tila a midget slut. Sadly, this nation runs on money, so she’s only being a good American citizen by doing what she can to get that cash. I’m sure E.T. would do the same.

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