Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

The Independent

A Land Ethic For Our Time – The Green Fire Still Burns

Jacklyn Nowotnik, Arts & Life Editor

April 17, 2012

Filed under Movie Reviews

  The film Green Fire, is about Aldo Leopold’s life and the way he influenced ideas of ecology, forestry and the environment, was shown at NEIU almost 6 months ago, on Nov. 14, 2011. Although Leopold passed away in 1948, the film communicates a sincere understanding of who Aldo Leopold was and how his work affected his family, biographer, and countless regular people who read and were moved by his books. The land ethic is a philosophy that Leopold introduces in his book “A Sand Country Almanac” that serves as a guide for the ethical use and protection of land, outlining both the beauty of wild natural places and usage guidelines that are still culturally relevant and important today. Leopold’s experiences as a child in the wilderness of his hometown in Iowa that prompted him to become who we know him as today, as well as his accomplishments, however what seemed to really shape this idea of a land ethic and Leopold as a whole was his moment of “green fire,” occurring when he witnessed the “green fire” leave the eyes of a wolf as she died. According to the film, a “green fire” moment is when a profound experience alters and changes one’s perception and relationship with the environment and nature. In honor of Earth Day, the NEIU Independent revisits the events surrounding the showing of Green Fire, in the hopes that it helps everyone at NEIU experience their one “green fire” moment. Upon entering the auditorium on Nov. 14, 2011, audience members were given a green flamed shaped piece of paper and were asked to write down their own “green fire” moment, if they’d ever had one. By investing the audience members in the “green fire” exercise, they were more likely to be intrigued by the Green Fire documentary. The question beckoned people by engaging them in sharing a personal experience that fundamentally changed how they viewed nature, but for some, including me, it was not easily answered. What was my green fire moment? I wasn’t sure if I’d even had a green fire moment. Interactions with nature can be subtle, and at first I had a little trouble trying to remember my first green fire moment. But then it hit me – my awareness of nature had flared up when I started watching a show on Animal Planet called “Sea Shepherds.” One of the first and most striking things I saw in the beginning of the show was the harpooning of a whale in the Antarctic. The creature fought valiantly for its life, but eventually its lifeless body was pulled up onto a factory ship’s slip way and then dragged onto the deck where Japanese fishermen butchered the whale’s body for “research.” The experience of watching an intelligent gentle giant die made me more conscious of the consequences of humanity’s actions when it comes to nature, the environment, the land, the sea, wildlife and our natural resources. The consequences of years of careless abuse to our environment are fast becoming more visible with every passing day, but seeing that destructive act really opened my eyes to the “green fire,” as Leopold put it. Now in honor of Earth Day I’d like to ask the students of NEIU to send their “green fire” moments of 200 words or less to [email protected], along with their full names and major. The Independent Newspaper staff will pick several of the best ones to be published as part of next issue and those students selected will win a gift certificate to Beck’s Bookstore!  ...

Real Women Have Curves, and Brains to Boot

Lakeesha J. Harris, Senior Staff Writer

March 5, 2012

Filed under Movie Reviews

The opening scene of Real Women Have Curves depicts a diligent young Ana Garcia, played by actress America Ferrero, hard at work before school, washing her windows. We get views of Latino laborers loading trucks to leave for work and many of the Latinas doing the same while caring for young children. There is movement, there is vida (life,) and there is Ana working hard to navigate her existence as a brilliant young Latina seeking to break the shackles of an overbearing mother, Carmen. From the opening scene, the audience gets the notion that Ana's oppressors are intimate and all around her as Ana's entire family gathers in the cramped confines of Mrs. Garcia's room. Though the men act as subliminal oppressors throughout this movie, the women gossip, belittle, and guilt one another into stagnation. Throughout the movie, Mrs. Garcia tries her best to trap Ana into working at her sister's factory and stays immobile within the household and within her community. We even view Ana's sister, Estelle, still residing in the home after she has created her own business. Estelle dotes over her mother and lingers on her every word, while Ana tries to resist her confinement with the hopes of pursuing higher education. What I find most interesting about the movie is the caring manner in which the men are depicted. For instance Mr. Guzman, Ana's English teacher, played by actor George Lopez, is very supportive of Ana going off to college. Even when Ana doesn't recognize her chances of getting into a good university, it's Mr. Guzman who recognizes her brightness and aptitude, seeing the gem of a woman she can become. Even Ana's father and grandfather bear witness to her educational abilities and they both encourage her to find the gold in her life. I enjoyed watching this movie. There was something classic in the struggle among the women, yet liberating in the power and strength of the main character. One could look at the title and be fooled into believing that this movie is merely about one young woman growing to love her voluptuous figure, thus finding power in her physical form. However, I believe that the real story is the testament of triumph over adversity and accepting the responsibility to achieve greatness, no matter what curve balls life may throw your way. Real women have many oppressors, intimate and societal, during their journey through womanhood. The highway of life is full of curves and bumps in the road, but it is up to us as women to find our own path and direction in the world....

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

Lluvia Carrisoza, Visual Media Editor

February 26, 2012

Filed under Movie Reviews

  Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012 Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2012 00:02 When the word "mix tape" is used, the first thing that comes to mind are those mix music tapes people use to give each other back in the day. So I thought this documentary would be about music, based on the titled. In actuality the title refers to all the different clips, opinions and voices heard in this film. The visuals of this film were captured by Swedish reporters between 1967-1975. The aim of the Swedish reporters was to show America as it really was. Although the film can't be called an objective look at America as it actually was during those years, their footage gives us insight into a vastly different and invaluable aspect of the American experience from the point of view of the Black activists of the era. The film also comes with audio commentaries from people such as Erykah Badu, Angela Davis, John Forte, and Bobby Seale among many others. I learned a lot from this documentary, specifically more details about the Black Power movement and the importance of all the different rolls individuals such as Angela Davis and Stokely Carmicheal played. Talib Kweli said the footage Swedish reporters shot of Carmichael showed that "he just was a regular dude," showing a different side of him than the stoic pillar of leadership he was normally portrayed as. This documentary has become one of my favorites. The Black Power movement has always fascinated me, and I think there is much to learn from the achievements of that generation. It is also interesting because the footage was filmed by non-Americans and focused on different aspects of Americana as a result. The Swedish reporters showed a fresh vision of the United States and the Black Power Movement. The minorities of the world should look at the Black Power movement for inspiration and ideas, and this documentary can help them gain inspiration....

Review of Tron: Legacy

Ivan Favelevic, Editor In Chief

January 25, 2011

Filed under Movie Reviews

The movie industry has been going through a transformation this past decade. This reform has nothing to do with the new 3D wave or the sudden emphasis on vampires. The fact of the matter is that the movie industry, much like any other entertainment industry at the time, is dominated by geek culture. "The Dark Knight", "Spider-man", "Lord of the Rings" are based on comic books or reside on what was otherwise considered geek culture. With this revolution underway, it would only seem fair that the holy grail of geekdom be tapped before the current generation moves on and a new fad rises. For that reason we now have Disney attempting to create their next megafranchise with "Tron: Legacy" In case you missed the first one, "Tron" is the story of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a video game designer who creates his own virtual world and accidentally gets trapped in it. "Legacy" picks up twenty years later as his son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund), is convinced to go after his father in his virtual world. Once he arrives, he discovers that his dad is being held captive by a computer generated clone. He enlists the help of a computer program named Quorra (Olivia Wilde), and together they try to save Kevin and exit the grid. The story "of Legacy" sticks close to its roots, with the first half being an exploration of the grid while the second is an elongated chase scene. The dialogue is as cheesy as one can expect and the actors all do serviceable jobs (with the exception of a scene-stealing cameo by Michael Sheen). The movie is structured in such a way that you are always treated with some sort of eye candy to distract you from the awfully hammy script and needlessly complex jargon. Nonetheless, where the story lacks in substance, the film more than makes up for it with energetic visuals. The light cycles make a triumphant return in a sequence that more than makes up for the price of admission. Furthermore, the use of 3D is actually a worthwhile investment, with the grid coming to life as every little spark flies at you. The art style is impressive throughout and the soundtrack by Daft Punk compliments it perfectly. It is one of the most atmospheric and pulse pounding scores ever written for a film and if you are a fan of either their previous work or electronic music as a whole you will not be disappointed. The need to revitalize this franchise was present. The curremt market made it a perfect fit, and enough time had passed since the previous film for it to be missed and for the visual bar to be raised. The film delivers where you expect it. The action is fast paced and the look remains original throughout while still resembling the source material. The story may be cheesy and throwaway, but that is really not the reason one goes to see "Tron." So grab those 3D glasses and head to the nearest IMAX, because this is one visual treat that you will not regret seeing....

Review of True Grit

Review of True Grit

January 25, 2011

Remakes are no rare animal in the movie industry. With a vast majority of films released every year being...

Review: The Quiet

Dino Pollard, Sta

September 29, 2006

Filed under Arts & Life, Movie Reviews

Some films are perfect for mass audiences. They're feel-good, they make you laugh, and once the lights come back on, you can leave the theater without a negative thought in your head. But then there are other films that are far more disturbing and leave the audience with a feeling of unease. The Quiet definitely falls into...

Film festival to feature Ferrell and friends

Matthew Winer, Staff writer

September 26, 2006

Filed under Arts & Life, Movie Reviews

A new movie starring Will Ferrell will mark the beginning of over two weeks of films from the United States and around the world as the Chicago International Film Festival opens for the 42nd year. Opening night will be held at the historic Chicago Theater with a screening of the new film, Stranger Then Fiction, from Mark Forster,...