The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday December 3rd

Arts & Culture

French Film Conveys Exquisite Loneliness

If Emily Dickinson had been transplanted to Paris to wait tables instead of write poetry, she would have been Amelie Poulin -- wide-eyed, observant and painfully shy. There's nothing quite so pleasing as watching the shy and slightly awkward stumble into happiness. After watching "Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulin," I've decided to spend the rest of my days honing, rather than hiding, my timidities in hopes that I'll drift about in a lovely, whimsical haze similar to the title character of this film.

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Poorly Made `Mandolin' Strikes Sour Note

Captain Corelli's Mandolin< In the latest trend of World War II movies, "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" is a little off-key. It's a mix of boring war-movie formula and an awkward love story and fails to be convincing as either. The film centers on the intertwined lives of villagers and soldiers on picturesque Cephallonia, one of the Ionian Islands off the coast of Greece. The island's peaceful farming community turns upside down during a three-year occupation by Italian troops.

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Call To Action

As UNC's arts scene continues to thrive, campus groups are looking for a few good students. Everyone dreams of something. Especially when you're young -- who knows how many times that a 6-year-old version of yourself could be seen playing "rock star" or "famous actress," "ballerina" or whatnot. It's almost a childhood rite of passage. But childhood games are now a thing of the past. It's easy to forget about those wild ideas as they keep being put off in favor of more pressing matters. But it needn't always be that way.

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P. Diddy-Ridden `Made' Samples `Swingers' Style

The success of 1996's "Swingers" hangs over everything in Jon Favreau's directorial debut "Made" and ultimately condemns it to unrealistic expectations and slight disappointment. Vince Vaughn and Favreau reunite in this tale of pathetic, wannabe gangsters. Much like "Swingers," "Made" is seen through the eyes of Favreau but is driven by Vaughn's obnoxious character. If there is such as thing as playing a role too well, Vaughn has done it in this film.

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Phillips Electrifies Folk-Rock Sound

Phillips Electrifies Folk-Rock Sound By Michael Abernethy Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor Grant-Lee Phillips' new album Mobilize is the folk rock equivalent to an iMac computer -- both are pieces of slick, sharp machinery in shiny, alluring packages. A gently persistent blend of electronic music and folk rock, Phillips' second solo album runs the gambit from rock to jazz with ease, thanks in part to the singer-songwriter's sparse, haunting vocals.

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Local Act Strunken White Gives Final Performance

From the audience's perspective at a sold-out show at Go! Rehearsal Studios Saturday night, local band Strunken White seemed like a pint-sized version of the typical indie rock band. Most bands populating Go! Rehearsal Studio's stage tend to fill the stage space completely, and Strunken White's young and physically small roster -- consisting of guitarists Nagendra Jayanty and Noah Howard, bassist John Booker and drummer Jonathan Stickley -- made the stage look spacious by comparison.

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Film Festival Offers Outlet for Gays

Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor A local gay and lesbian film festival proved there's more to gay cinema than a marathon showing of "Will & Grace." Held Aug. 9-12 at the historic Carolina Theatre in Durham, the sixth annual N.C. Gay and Lesbian Film Festival drew record ticket sales of almost 9,000, making it the largest festival of its kind in the South. Cheryl Welsh, co-chairwoman of the steering committee for the N.C. Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, said the festival's 70 films covered a broad range of subjects and film genres.

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Manning, Band to Perform at Go!

3/5 stars Three of Five Stars The debut album from Barbara Manning and the Go-Luckys!, You Should Know By Now, is a resounding "okay." It isn't obtrusively bad, annoying or hard to listen to. It just isn't complex or innovative or even catchy enough to actively capture the ear's attention.

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Third `Park' Proves Dull

Two of Five Stars Remember when "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" came out? Everyone thought the story was pretty good, but Jar-Jar Binks was an annoying nuisance in the film, only a source of cheap comic relief aimed at kids. The same holds true in "Jurassic Park III." Unlike "Jurassic Park," the second sequel relies on stupid, childlike comedy that cheapens the film with shallow laughs and a shallower plot.

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Alumnus Returns to Shoot Film

"The Pink House," an independent film shot in and inspired by Chapel Hill, is described as "Woody Allen does `Animal House.'" It defies all natural law. And it doesn't stop there. The film's writer-director, UNC alumnus Ian Williams, is a native Californian who lives in New York but still considers himself a Southerner after spending nearly a decade in Chapel Hill. In a similar manner, the film's crew is an odd yet fascinating clash of Los Angeles, New York and North Carolina cultures.

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`Sweethearts' Parodies Itself

Four of Five Stars When the movie industry wakes up after a night out on the town, stares at the mirror and thinks long and seriously about itself, the result can sometimes be, well, anything but serious. Thus, director Joe Roth brings us "America's Sweethearts," a movie about the people who make movies, and one of this summer's most endearing comedies.

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