REVIEW: The Time Traveler’s Wife

I went into the theatre not really knowing what to expect. A lot of my friends saw the movie before me and I got a lot of mixed reviews.  I really like romance stories, and I really like Rachel McAdams, so I just had to go see for myself.

I have never read the book, but I thought the concept was pretty self explanatory: man and woman fall in love. Man travels randomly through time which puts strain on the relationship. Though the idea seems simple, it was a little confusing at first, watching the present Henry DeTamble (Bana) interact with the future or past Henry DeTamble or seeing the future or past Henry interact with other characters who were set in the present. For example, the day of Henry and Clare (McAdams) are to wed, Richard travels through time, leaving Clare on their wedding day. Fortunately, the future Henry was traveling backward in time while the present Henry was traveling (somewhere) in time.  So the real Henry actually misses his wedding, but Clare is able to still have the wedding.

Not only was the beginning confusing at times, but it was also a little slow. The second half really picks up when the climax of the story keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. Well, maybe not the entire audience, but it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. The future Henry appears while the DeTambles are having dinner with friends. Future Henry is curled up under a blanket, shivering and bleeding on the ground. He then disappears.

This movie definitely touched the audience. When the movie ended, many of the movie-goers were in tears, including my cousin, who came with me.

I definitely want to check out the book and see how it compares.

PREVIEW: The Time Traveler’s Wife

“The Time Traveler’s Wife,” based on the popular novel by Audrey Niffenegger, is a romantic drama directed by Robert Schwentke. The book was published in 2003, the movie came out on August 14, but is still playing at Ypsilanti’s Showcase Cinemas.

The film stars Rachel Mc Adams (The Notebook ) and Eric Bana (The Hulk). It tells the story of Henry DeTamble (Bana) and Clare DeTamble, a married couple struggling to endure the hardships that their relationship faces due to Henry’s genetic disorder that causes him to randomly travel through time.

On the internet movie database (IMDb), the movie received 7.3/10 stars.

REVIEW: Itzhak Perlman, violin & Rohan De Silva, piano 9/13

Itzhak Perlman, violin & Rohan De Silva, piano


Sonata for Violin and Piano in D Major, Op. 9, No. 3                  Jean-Marie Leclair

Sonata for Violin and Piano No.7 in c minor, Op. 30, No. 2   Ludwig van Beethoven

Suite Italienne                                                                              Igor Stravinsky

& various short pieces Perlman announced individually from the stage

The Itzhak Perlman concert last Sunday (September 13, 2009) completely sold out. I know this because I bought the last ticket. In fact, even as I was pulling out my wallet to pay, two more people stopped by and asked to buy tickets. What’s so special about Itzhak Perlman? I’d say his technical prowess. He makes everything look easy. It’s as if the technical aspect of playing the violin, the physical neccesity of placing the fingers on the fingerboard in the right place at the right time (and coordinating the fingers with the bow, and drawing the bow against the string with the right pressure and speed, and…) don’t exist at all. It’s as if Perlman can shortcut past all the technical concerns, and the audience can enjoy the music undiluted. This is not the case, of course–Perlman’s ability comes from extensive training and practicing–but it is what makes a live performance by Itzhak Perlman so amazing. At times I couldn’t believe I was watching a human being, and not listening to a digitally altered recording.

I’m not going to lie: I came to the concert to hear Itzhak Perlman, not Rohan De Silva. But I don’t want to downplay the pianist’s part in this performance. Rohan De Silva’s playing was also excellent: expressive, sensitive, dynamic. At first I focused my attention solely on Perlman, fascinated by his technical facility (and the automated wheelchair he had zoomed about the stage upon). But I soon realized that much of the music’s complexity came from the interplay between piano and violin—the contrast of musical textures, the back and forth exchange of the melody. I like the phrase in the program’s notes on Rohan De Silva: “collaborative piano.” The performance this past Sunday was a collaboration between two highly skilled musicians.

On a lighter note, I’ve always wondered what people think about during concerts. I know that I personally cannot stay focused purely on the music. At times, my attention wandered to the enormous floral arrangement on the stage. I wondered who had put it there, and why. To entertain bored audience members? To fill up space on the empty stage? It was a rather wild looking arrangement, with very long, crooked, white branches extending outwards like skinny skeletal fingers.

I wondered whether I was not properly appreciating the music because I was noticing the decorations.  Then I wondered how many people were properly appreciating the music, and how many were simply sitting there to be able to say they had heard Perlman. Soon I found myself musing on what it means to “appreciate” music. For your mind to be analyzing the harmonies and rhythms? For your emotions to follow the contours of the melodic line?

What do you think it means to “appreciate” music? What do you think about during a concert?

Apply to the [art]seen Reviewer Group

As you know, anyone can post about arts events on this forum, but if you want to get paid for it, you can apply to be a part of the Reviewer Group.

Being a part of the art[seen] Reviewer Group gives you a way to go to great events for free, and be paid for your participation in our online arts community. Applicants should be undergraduate students with a strong interest in both writing as well as attending and reviewing arts events!

Here’s how it works: You propose attendance at any campus or Ann Arbor arts related event that you think would be of interest to other students. Proposals should come a week in advance if possible. Tickets should not be more than $25 each (as a student ticket price), and free events are great too! We secure two tickets for you and a friend. You attend the event!

Within 48 hours of attending, you log on to art[seen] and write about the event — a critique, your experience, associated musings, pictures of yourself and the cast/band/artist backstage, scanned materials from the event, etc.

We will pay you $5.00 for a preview and $10.00 for the review (assuming the hour you will spend posting afterward. Previews are generally shorter than reviews, and reviews should be well thought out and substantive). Subsequent posting in response to others is encouraged, but not compensated (this is your public, you can interact as you see fit!).

Rinse and repeat — up to 2 ticketed events per month during the semester ($60 limit per month), and up to 2 free events per week as well!

If you are interested in being a part of the Reviewers, you can apply here. Applications are due by September 27, 2009.