This past Sunday at Century 20 El Con Theater, multiple documentaries were shown as part of a cinematic smorgasbord.
“Randy Parson: American Luthier” highlights the Seattle guitar-maker who handcrafts all of his instruments for the likes of Jimmy Page, Jack White, and others. Parson’s philosophy is explored, as he takes great pride in creating works of art as opposed to the cold, sterile, factory-manufactured guitars. The tactile nature of Parson’s work comes to life with detailed, up-close camerawork.
The first of two music videos during the segment was “Taste of Disarray” by the Hawaiian alternative rock band Ignite the Red. The video was directed by recent BFA Film Production ’13 alum Jason Sikorsky and follows a young woman in a post-apocalyptic world as she tries to reconnect with her lost lover. Shot in his native Hawaii, Sikorsky effectively transforms the paradise of the islands into a barren wasteland. The video is currently on YouTube.
“Throwing Punches” focuses on Leanne Hindle, a Vancouver, British Columbia martial artist who specialized in wushu who made the transition to all-star Hollywood stuntwoman. As a film enthusiast, the documentary offered a fresh perspective on the industry from that of a stuntwoman. It also touched on the politics and fleeting nature of stunt work in Hollywood. Director Rosalie Miller crafts a narrative that shows Hindle making the switch from career-oriented professional to loving mother.
The biggest surprise of the festival was director Kyle Schneider’s “Rebel Rebel Rebel.” If docs are dependent on interesting subjects to bolster their, then Schneider hit the jackpot with DJ Josh LeCash. LeCash is incompetent, self-absorbed, and, overall, just resides in his own little world. Apart from awaiting what new stunt he’ll do or what ridiculous comment he’ll make next, the documentary provides of-the-moment commentary on DJ culture. Everything about the documentary is professionally done, and I highly recommend it. The film bursts with energy and style. With some searching on YouTube, the entire documentary can be found broken up into different parts.
“La Banda Loca y Sus Chupakuete: Vivo En Portrerillos” was the most “slice-of-life” documentary, bringing a small, local band hailing from Mendoza, Argentina. It was this film that really shows how small, yet vastly large, the world is. That the viewer is allowed to see a local performance outside of a small bar on Christmas Day in Argentina, such a random and isolated event, is truly remarkable. Director Evan Bluestein introduces a political angle with the band members protesting through song about the building of a mine near their home.
The second music video of the segment was “Ghosts” by seven-piece, LA-based Red Circle Underground. Director Arielle Kilker establishes a haunting, dark atmosphere set in the deep woods. With imagery that seems to hearken back to colonial America of the late 1600s, the music video, along with its inhabitants, seem to be held captive by the past.
The segment was concluded with current UA BFA Film Production student Dae Hyun Song’s “Into the Black,” a documentary about astrophotography. Song offers three different perspectives on the field, ranging from the amateur (a student simply going out into the desert and shooting) to the professional (an astronaut who takes photos of the sky from outer space). However, what they all share in common is that they do it simply for the love, not the money. They are all driven by the curiosity to capture the night sky, a sight that not many people will ever be able to see in its proper, unending spectacle.
Even though it is still hot outside, fall is quickly approaching. Accompanying Fall are all our favorite seasonal treats. We may not have leaves that change colors, and most of us will continue to wear shorts, but there is no shortage of festive fall flavors in Tucson that are sure to put you in the autumn mood.
1. U Swirl Pumpkin flavored frozen yogurt: For a creamy delicious treat, stop by Uswirl and try their seasonal Pumpkin flavor. If you’re feeling extra festive top it off with some candy corn!
2. Frozen Pumpkin Pie at Einsteins: Conveniently located in the Student Union, this frozen treat is said to taste like pumpkin pie in a glass, blended to perfection.
3.“Autumn in a cup” at Canyon Café: A coffee drink of toffee, caramel, and hazelnut, perfect for a chilly autumn morning (or an 80 degree morning).
4. Cinnamon Roll shake at Fab-U-Life Nutrition: Located on Speedway, right next to Dirtbags, stop by Fab-U-Life for their featured flavor, Cinnamon Roll! Since all their drinks are less than 300 calories, it’s a healthy alternative, and you will still get your fall flavor fix.
5. Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks: The list could not be complete without everyone’s favorite fall beverage, the Pumpkin Spice Latte. To all Starbucks addicts, this is the quintessential fall beverage. All you need is a scarf and some Ugg boots and you are set for the rest of the season.
I remember the first time I laid eyes on the Chocolate Iguana, situated on the corner of Fourth Avenue and 6th Street. The purple and green color scheme of the building had immediately attracted my eye, because purple and green usually don’t belong on a subject together unless that subject is Barney.
I knew I needed to invite myself in to the Chocolate Iguana and experience whatever laid inside the purple and green walls- and last week, I did.
The interior is small, but it was quaint, and it was cute. The register was snuggled in between colorful bags of candy and colorful plastic trinkets, and although the space was crowded, it was cozy.
I ordered a Turkey Pesto sandwich, and I’m going to defend this opinion for the rest of my life – that Turkey Pesto sandwich was the best sandwich I ever ate.
Now, I need to make a few things clear. I’m not a food critic, and I’m not Chef Gordon Ramsay, and a small bowl of Mac & Cheese can make me the happiest girl in the world, but this sandwich was an absolute delight.
They had me at “toasted French Baguette.” Slathered with pesto and roasted red peppers, the baguette was cooked to perfection in garlic olive oil and topped with melted mozzarella and thin-sliced turkey.
Today I am sad because I realized I don’t have nearly enough time or money to make the trek down to the Chocolate Iguana and buy the Turkey Pesto sandwich for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maybe once a week will do.
Until we meet again, Turkey Pesto.
Beards: The commencement of No Shave November is upon us, and so are guys with beards. Beards make guys’ faces look festive and cozy. Beards are basically mittens for your face.
Pants: Along this same vein, girls will take the drop in temperature as a perfect reason to wear pants. They’re secretly disguising the fact that they were too lazy to shave their legs in the morning.
Cardigans: Take a look around campus. A few drops in the temperature and students are finding any excuse to shake the cobwebs off of their favorite cardigan.
Infinity scarf: A scarf is a guaranteed way to spice up any outfit. A floral printed scarf coupled with a black knit sweater and dark combat boots is a simple way to dress in fall style.
Leggings: Equal parts cute and comfortable, leggings are all things that are good and right in the world.
Big Arizona sweatshirts: You’re either trying to convince yourself that it’s cold enough to wear a sweatshirt or it’s actually cold enough to wear a sweatshirt.
The electric bill is low: At last, the windows can finally be opened and the amount of air conditioning needed can finally be cranked down a notch or two. Your wallet is probably happy, too.
Combat Boots: Arguably, you can wear combat boots during all seasons of the year. For fall though, they’re especially appropriate. They go great with almost any outfit and they almost convince people that you just trekked five miles to school in the snow, uphill. Both ways.
Midterms: They’re brewing. You might get the occasional sense that you’re collegiate career is slowly starting to be sucked into a screaming vortex of terror — and that’s because it is. You just don’t notice it yet. Brace yourselves.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes: This probably doesn’t need much elaboration, but in case you’re wondering why the Starbucks line is longer than usual, this is why.
Ever since returning from New York, which is arguably the food capitol of the world, I’ve been on the hunt for food that can measure up.
Because Tucson is such a cultural melting pot, it’s never been difficult to find good food here, and I’m generally pleased with wherever I go. I never had any complaints until I left this city and saw the blends of food offered in New York. Take it from me, everything you’ve ever heard about the pizza, bagels, dessert, it’s all true. New York promises much to expect and little to disappoint.
My quest with the inevitable return to Tucson was to find restaurants that measured up. Naturally, I started my all-time favorite type of food and New York’s most notable: Italian. While I do love Tucson, it had some pretty big shoes to fill.
After much wandering and taste testing, I’ve at last discovered a delicious Italian joint here in Tucson, Vero Amore, translated, and rather appropriately I would say, “True Love.”
The restaurant, located on 2990 N. Swan Road, ships all of their ingredients straight from Italy. Their claim to fame is undoubtedly the wood-fired pizza. My personal favorite is the Pizza Margherita which includes a blend of tomato sauce, basil, homemade mozzarella and parmesan. Cooked to perfection, the pizza has the perfect ratio of cheese to sauce and it’s never overcooked (nothing’s worse than a burnt pizza).
So fear not New Yorkers and Italian lovers, there is a pizza here that will save us all.
Just a bit of advice, come hungry and don’t share. Even if you can’t finish the whole thing, trust me, you’ll want the leftovers.
I’ve discovered that sushi places in Tucson are a hit or miss, and usually a miss.
I’ve been to Sushi Ten, which lured me in with online reviews promising happy hour prices that last almost the entire day. Turns out that you really do get what you pay for: room-temperature food and blandness delivered in each bite.
On the opposite end of the price and quality spectrum is Sushi Garden. While it has awesome sushi. the extensive lines and petrifying prices tend to steer me away from this mainstream restaurant.
S, when that sushi craving kicks in, I am left to choose between low prices accompanied by indistinguishable sea creatures, or delicious sushi that leaves my wallet empty… Right? Nope.
When I arrived at the UA, I met upperclassmen friends who shared their love of sushi with me. As I was new to the Tucson sushi scene, they took me to their sushi spot, a cozy place on Campbell and Blacklidge called Yuki’s Sushi.
Walking into the restaurant, I was expecting it to be full. However, Yuki’s remains relatively off the radar, especially on weekdays. This means attentive waiters, a calm environment and a quiet dining experience.
I was envious of my friends who were 21 as they enjoyed $1 Draft Beer and $6 sake bombs with their meals during Happy Hour, which is held Monday through Saturday from 3:00 until 6:00 p.m.
Even if sushi isn’t exactly your cup of hot green tea, Yuki’s has other great inexpensive dishes including fried rice, vegetable tempura, stir fried noodles and teriyaki entrees. Oh yeah, and the hot green tea is also worth a try.
From the beginning of my Tucson sushi adventures, Yuki’s has remained my number one choice. If you’ve got that craving for sushi and want to lounge in a relaxing environment with tasty, inexpensive sushi, then Yuki’s is the place to go.
As small and nonthreatening as they look, the sound of “fish” and “McBite” in the same name causes shudders from all McDonald’s lovers. After all, have you ever trusted fish from a fast food restaurant?
McDonald’s fans have grown accustomed to the ground-up chicken disguised in nuggets of a fried exterior, but fish cut up and processed into convenient and bite size portions? Now that’s something we may never get used to – like a fish out of water, you might say.
That is why I took it upon myself to find out if these pesky little nuggets were any good at all. I eat fish on a daily basis and have also eaten some of the strangest things from around the world.
From escargot, to alpaca steaks, from guinea pig to “Rocky Mountain oysters” (look it up), I’ve eaten a lot of odd things. So I wasn’t that apprehensive to try it.
On first bite, no amount of seasoned batter with pepper flakes can disguise the obvious square shape of a mini fish stick. “Popped from the seas” is not as accurate as “cookie cuttered by a machine”
There wasn’t anything unfriendly about the smell or taste, but you’ll get exactly what you’d expect. For a fish craving though, the Fish McBites snack isn’t too off kilter to try, once or twice.
If you’re not a big fish eater though, I would stay away from these as a first experience and try something friendlier that isn’t found at a fast-food chain. You never know when the fish may start swimming upstream from you belly and leave an unpleasant mess in your wastebasket or toilet.
The first U of A Breakfast Club of the semester, which allowed 25 students to meet with President Ann Weaver Hart, kicked off Thursday morning.
At the breakfast, held in the Ventana room, Hart stopped at each table in order to speak with all of the students in attendance, according to Katy Murray, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. Both Hart and Murray would speak briefly on the tradition they hoped to set on campus with this event, Murray explained.
“I think it’s great not only for Dr. Hart to learn from, but also for students,” Murray said.
The idea for the breakfast club came in July and has been in the works since the beginning of the fall semester, according to Murray.
There were about 40 applicants for the first breakfast, despite the short time frame of a week to get the application live, due to the availability in Hart’s schedule.
“For a week turnaround, I think we got the word out to a lot of people, which was awesome,” Murray said.
Ideally, two student breakfasts’ will take place every semester, Murray said. Applications for the second breakfast, on April 23, will be sent out soon in order to give students more time to fill them out, Murray added.
“I think the biggest benefit, honestly, is that not only does it give our administration an up close and personal feel of what students are thinking, what their ideas are and what their passions are,” Murray said. “But it also helps to inform students what big things are coming up for the university and what big issues are coming up that we have a chance to make an impact on.”
This year, even if the Grammys sent out a memo for “appropriate attire”, most of the glamorous stars ignored this memo.
It was said that there was to be no shear fabric, no cleavage and no shown “giggly skin”, which Miranda Lambert made fun of a great deal on the red carpet during her interview with Ryan Seacrest. Though these rules were put into place, most of the best dressed celebrities embraced their rebellious spirit and showed a little skin anyway.
Some of the best dressed celebrities were Katy Perry, in her skin tight, sea-foam-green dress that hugged every curve. It was flattering in the best ways by accentuating her chest with a bejeweled neckline.
There was also Kelly Rowland in a beautiful black mermaid gown with shear cut outs that were clearly not apart of the new Grammys “Dress Code”. Regardless, the dress was absolutely breath taking.
Speaking of breathtaking, every female in the US along with some men were taken away by how glorious Justin Timberlake’s attire and performance was this year. He is back in action, dressed in a perfect black Tom Ford suit with a very stylish oversized bow tie that was very reminiscent of the 1910’s.
There were also a few stars that didn’t do the best job dressing themselves this year. Adele, you are loved so much and you have a beautiful voice, but someone should write an entire album about how awful that floral print dress was. It looked like your grandma’s couch.
As far as overdone wardrobe goes, Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine decided to embrace her inner dinosaur with her studded and sequined emerald green Givenchy dress. We love the color with your hair, and the contrast of red and green is always wonderful, but you really didn’t need every accessory in the same color.
Carly Rae Jepson could have used a few of Welch’s accessories, though. It seemed that Roberto Cavali was a very trendy designer this year for the Grammy’s, but this young Canadian forgot to add a bit of pizzazz. Jepson wore a beautiful dress, but seemed to be washed out by it and looked very bland.
No worries stars, you can always redeem yourself next year, and bad publicity is still good publicity, right?
The limited time offer of chicken and waffles will return to Cactus Grill Barbecue from Feb. 20 to March 6.
Free samples of the dish will be available on Feb. 18 and Feb. 19 for students to try the unique dish consisting of a Belgian waffle, chicken strips, syrup, and hot sauce.
When the promotion ran last semester for two weeks in October, sales increased for the Cactus Grill Barbecue by almost 200 percent, said Todd Millay, marketing manager for the student unions. More than 2,000 waffles were sold during the two-week promotion last semester generating more than $12,000.
“It was hugely successful and it somehow resonated with the students quite well,” Millay said. “Maybe because it is a little bit different; a little bit quirky. We know a lot of students from California probably have access to chicken and waffles; there are chains out there like that. It was too successful not to bring it back.”
The dish is not sold during breakfast, but starts at lunchtime and continues until closing time. The dish drew in longer lines last semester, according to Millay.
“It brought a lot of new customers. It definitely boosted our customer count,” said Kristi Edmond, the supervisor for Cactus Grill. “When it went away people were really sad, so by word of mouth we’ve been telling everybody, ‘hey, chicken and waffles are coming back,’ and they’re really excited. And it’s exciting for us because it was our first LTO (limited time offer) we’ve ever experienced.”
Students have the option to have two chicken strips on top of the waffle for $5.59 or have three chicken strips for $6.99. Toppings include syrup, hot sauce, and powdered sugar and students can put as much or as little as they want on the dish.
“Just like Pangea, we are trying to create something different on campus,” Millay said. “A reason for students to enjoy the union and expose students to something they haven’t tried before; that’s what college is all about.”
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