Waiting for Intermission, New on Netflix: “A Walk Among the Tombstones”

There’s always a sense of nostalgia for the mystery thrillers of the 1990s. A retired cop turned Private Investigator, a drug addicted army vet, and a medically conditioned homeless kid seemed almost too nostalgic.

Private Investigator Matthew Scudder (Liam Neeson) runs with the known drug dealers or traffickers (as the drug dealers like to call themselves) of 1999 New York City. Yet, unlike other PI’s, instead of sorting through their trash, Scudder helps uncover two men who are preying on their wives and slowly torturing them for ransom money. The clock ticks on as the audience watches Scudder uncover all the secrets of the drug trade to help catch the real monsters terrorizing New York City.

Since I was watching the film for the action and gut-wrenching drama I knew any movie with Liam Neeson was sure to provide me, I really enjoyed the subtle placement of the film in the great year of 1999. The atmosphere of the big Y2K bug scare, the excitement of the new Yahoo launch, and the late night study sessions with a Gateway computer all felt like a friendly trip down memory lane to a time when I actually used a landline to call someone.

For most people, it doesn’t sound great, especially when there are so many great things to appreciate that perfect replica of the 1980s movie, but it was nice to think, “Oh, I actually remember that time.”  Yet, all the mistakes that we would witness in an action movie of the 1990s didn’t creep into the movie.

For once, we have a movie set in the late 1990s, but with the technological advantages of 2015. That means clearer action shots, better lighting, and in-depth detail of close ups, not to mention high definition features and the chance of Blu-ray.

There were some scenes in the film where it was just a waiting game for me. I knew it was going to happen and all I could do was shout at my computer screen for the character not to make that mistake that gets them discovered and kills them.

Liam Neeson did not disappoint me with his investigations as Matthew Scudder, and he eventually showed everyone else how good he really was. When I ask myself what would possess me to watch this film at two in the morning, knowing full well I would have fear-induced nightmares (and terrifying jumps as my roommate walked into the room at the wrong time of the film), I remind myself that with any Liam Neeson movie I’ve seen, he gives the audience a sense that everything is going to be alright, even when things really aren’t.

So when I woke up the next day in a cold sweat, I really found comfort in the fact that even though there are real evils in the world worse than drug traffickers, there will always be a Liam Neeson character who gives the reassurance that everything is going to be alright.


Artist Duane Michals’s work on display at the Carnegie Museum

With the free access to the Carnegie Museum of Art that Chatham students’ ID cards provide, it is shocking that more people don’t take the time to enjoy this cultural experience.  Specifically when the exhibits are constantly changing, like the collection of photography by Pittsburgh native Duane Michals, which is on display until February 16.

Upon entering the Duane Michals exhibit, one might initially find him or herself somewhat confused by the photographer’s apparent criticism of the photographic medium.

The writing on the walls of the exhibit suggest that Michals is very much against the idea of the ‘powerful single image’ and feels that a single photograph can not convey a poignant narrative–a counterintuitive opinion for someone who makes a living taking photographs.

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

The further into the exhibit one gets, however, the more apparent it becomes that Michals is not being critical, he just sees art in a different way than most.

He was once quoted as saying, “I am an expressionist and by that I mean I’m not a photographer or a writer or a painter or a tap dancer, but rather someone who expresses himself according to his needs.”

He also expressed the idea that he does not trust his eyes to find images to photograph, but rather his artwork comes from within himself. As a result his goal is not to document objective reality, but is to create his own introspective reality, based on preconceived images in his head, and to tell a story.

In this way, Michals’s tendency towards creating photo-essays, and writing on his photographs lends itself to his goal of telling a story, or creating a social commentary.

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

In the first piece in the exhibit, entitled, “Things are Queer”, Michals photographed a scene, within a scene, within a scene, and so on until the final image expanded out into the same scene as the original image. Though it may not have been the most compelling of his pieces, the viewer is immediately hooked by the idea, and it is easy to find oneself going back and forth between the first and last images trying to wrap one’s head around the concept.

That piece perfectly illustrates one of Michal’s quotes, in which he says, “My photographs are about questions. They are not about answer.”  Each photo in the set gives a bit more information about the narrative, but in the end the viewer is left with nothing more than what he or she started with.

This piece also sets up an expectation for the rest of the show.

Viewing his work is like reading a novel, in that the viewers constantly find themselves wanting to skip ahead to find out how it will end. However it was different from a novel in that the ending gives no concrete answers, only more questions.

Another highlight of the exhibit was the section entitled, “In the Mind’s Eye.”

This examination of human nature is filled with compelling photographs that stick in the viewers’ heads long after they’ve left the exhibit.

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

In one such piece, entitled, “Christ in New York,” Michals manipulated photographs so that a halo appeared around a man’s head as he intervened in various upsetting events, like a poor immigrant woman eating dog food for dinner, and a gay man being beaten in an alley. In the last photograph the “Christ” character is seen laying on the ground, and Michals’s caption says, “Christ is killed by a mugger with a handgun. The second coming had occurred and no one noticed.”

As a quote on the wall of the exhibit read, “[Michals] disrupted the medium’s trajectory with a radical new way of picture-making.” The fact that he used multiple photos, and text, to turn an image in his head into a visual piece of social commentary makes his work groundbreaking and effective.

The overall theme of Michals’s body of work is one of subtle retaliation against an oppressive system, with the ‘system’ in question being everything from traditional artistic practices, to the social and political atmosphere of the times.

This is especially true when his work–mostly from the late 20th century–is put in the context of the times, when society was fighting for social change, and was rejecting traditional values.  Michals is an utterly original artist, and his photography is not only beautiful, but also made makes the viewer think.

Review of graduate reading series, Word Circus

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you,” Maya Angelou once wrote in her novel, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

This was undoubtedly the case for the writer’s attending the Chatham MFA Creative Writing Program’s reading series, Word Circus, at the Most Wanted Fine Art Gallery on Friday, January 23.

The gallery, set up with several rows of chairs facing a small stage adorned with a music stand and a single microphone, seemed immediately to be the perfect venue for the event.

With its mixed media pop-art, soft light, and quasi-industrial grunge inspired décor, it set the tone for the raw pieces of prose and poetry that were to be read throughout the evening.

Though it seemed like the kind of place one might find a group of stereotypical starving artists, it was unlikely that any of the artists in attendance were starving, given the large assortment of cheese, chips, crackers, desserts, wine, and of course–because what small scale artsy hipster gathering would be complete without it–a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

As the lights began to dim around 7:30, and the people who were casually chatting around the room began to take their seats, it became clear that, though the space was small and the weather outside less than pleasant, the event had managed to draw a nearly full house

After everyone was seated, Alex Friedman, the host for the evening, took the stage amidst a round of applause.

“You have to woo for everyone if you’re going to woo,” he joked before welcoming everyone, specifically thanking the two professors in attendance–Heather McNaugher and Marc Nieson–for coming.

Before bringing the four graduate student featured readers to the stage, Friedman explained that, in preparation for the event, he had asked all of the readers some questions about themselves.

The questions, full of witty and sarcastic humor, included things like which artist they would want to paint their portraits, and why they chose to pursue a career in, “making things up in an obsolete medium.”

The first featured reader, Michelle Sinclair, who would want to be painted by either Frida Kahlo or Andy Warhol and who writes because, “everyone has their flaws,” began the evening with her piece of prose entitled, “Knit for Naught.”

As she stood under the blue tin ceiling of the gallery, Sinclair wove–or knit, as the case may be–an engaging storyline, making the audience feel a full spectrum of emotions.

Her soft voice rose and fell as she took the audience through flashbacks about the main character, Shirley, an avid knitter who, towards the end of the piece, the audience discovers is still heartbroken over the loss of a child.

Sinclair was followed by Taylor Smith, who said that he would want his portrait done by Stanley Kubrick in the style of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and who, according to Friedman, “was voted Most Likely to be Merlin or Gandalf” in high school.

Smith began with a somber poem about heartbreak and change, his voice resonating through the room as he read.

The audience responded well, laughing enthusiastically when he got to the first line of his final poem, which read, “In the winter time, Buddha is hiding in the bushes, spying on the neighbors again.”

Leila Zonouzi, the third featured reader for the evening, indicated that she would want her portrait done by the comedian Louis C.K.

Upon taking the stage she explained that she would be reading a selection from of larger piece on which she is currently working.

The tone of her piece, which was about the events of a woman’s day, was somber, and her attention to imagery and detail seemed to give the piece a life of its own.

In response to the question of why she chose to be a writer, the final featured reader, Alison Taverna, gave a comical response about how her dream of being a professional unicyclist didn’t pan out.

As soon as she got on the stage she began joking with people in the audience, saying, after one of her poems, that she, “really wanted to drop the mic on that one.”

The close knit group of people in attendance made it feel more like a family gathering than a public reading, which had the potential to make outsiders feel alienated–except for the fact that the welcoming atmosphere made that outcome impossible.

Towards the end of her set, Taverna read a poem inspired by Justin Bieber’s new haircut, and in it she said, “It’s okay, sometimes, to be mistaken for who you are.”

This theme of being who you are was felt throughout the event in everything from the featured readers portion to the open mic portion–during which six people went on stage to share their work–and even during the breaks in between when everyone gathered together to chat and enjoy each other’s company.

Word Circus is a monthly event and information about the next one, occurring Friday, February 20, can be found on MyChatham.

Waiting for Intermission: Review of Blackhat

Set in the developing world of cyber terrorism, “Blackhat” starts out with a nuclear plant explosion in China. In America, not long after, the Mercantile Trade Exchange gets hacked. With the only leading evidence fried in the heart of the nuclear plant, Chinese and American agents collaborate to bring incarcerated cyber criminal Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) to the game.

What reason do they have to take the convict out of prison? To get inside the mind of the criminal they’re trying to take down. However, even with the watchful eyes of the FBI guards and his shiny ankle bracelet accessory, would you trust Hathaway to do the right thing if you give the unlawful genius your computer?

As the film progresses, there’s no clear reason as to why Hathaway is there, or what he had done to be thrown into the American slammer in the first place.

During a quiet conversation, Hathaway states that he did a little hacking, but no one explains what exactly he was hacking. As for why he was brought to the FBI’s attention in the first place, was it because he was friends, roommates, and brothers-in-computer-arms with Chen Dawai (Leehom Wang), a military officer of China’s cyber warfare unit?

Later on in the film, it seems as if the reason for Hathaway to stay with the project is for Dawai’s sister, Chen Lien (Tang Wei). Why would Hathaway risk his life to help America and China defend themselves from a faceless yet powerful villain?

Somewhat obviously, Hathaway makes a deal with his American captors: if he gets the cyber terrorist, he goes free. Yet there’s no explanation as to why Hathaway isn’t already allowed to walk the streets a free man. After some tension between the FBI agents, the young military officer, and his sister, the FBI reluctantly agree that Hathaway is an asset, and ultimately, they let him run the show. Traveling from America to China, Indonesia, and Malaysia, the plot seems to make more sense as more and more people keep dying.

Even with the unsteady camera shots and the (nauseating) movements of cuts, I enjoyed the film. The character introductions and backstories left me wanting to know more about the people I should care about in the film, but I felt that I could focus more on why the characters were together.

The love connection between Hathaway and Chen Lien was a little obvious to me, but it didn’t detract from the main point of the film. The plot kept me guessing–not about what was going to happen next, but why. Why were the antagonists killing people and destroying governments? And, unlike most action films I’ve seen, I didn’t know the real villain of the story until the very end. Straight to the action and slow to the point, I feel that the film “Blackhat,” directed by Michael Mann, is a good film to watch more than once.

Coming to a Theater Near You: “Pass the Light”

It’s not too often that a film is made whose focus is not on special effects or big name stars but on uplifting the hearts of those who watch the piece and one is coming to a theatre near you.

The feature length film, “Pass the Light” (2015) tells the story of a high school boy, Steve Bellafiore (Cameron Palatas) who stands up to a local politician who is running on a platform of hate and intolerance.

Rachael Kathryn Bell, who portrays the character Louise in the film, had a great experience working on a film that meant so much to her.

Bell was born and raised in Butler, Pennsylvania. From the age of 13, she knew that had to fulfill her love of acting because nothing made her feel more alive. Bell is best known for her role “Addison” in Disney’s the Suite Life on Deck.

She was able to balance school and acting even with auditions consuming two months of every spring and fall. After graduating high school, Bell packed up and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream at 18 years old.

Bell currently resides in Los Angeles, performing roles in upcoming television shows and movies, attending acting classes, and living her dream. She said she could not have reached as much success without the steadfast support of her parents.

When Bell first auditioned for “Pass the Light,” it was for a different role. The part was given to another actor who was a better fit. However, Bell did not leave the auditions unnoticed. The producer, writers, and directors loved what she brought to the audition, and as a result, they changed the part of Louis to Louise.

“I was thrilled for the opportunity to be part of this project and that more doors are opening for women in Hollywood,” Bell said.

Bell also says that the industry’s decision to change a male role for her changed her perspective and increased her faith in the world’s treatment of women.

Bell and Louise are alike in their core values where they both want everyone to be kind, understanding, and to treat each other better. It bothers Bell personally when people spread hate, but she is constantly working on limiting her own negativity in order to have a positive impact on others.

The film focuses on a group of nine students called the Force. Their purpose was to spread the message of hope, tolerance, and love. To accurately portray these students, the nine actors spent a lot of time interacting with one another. The mood on set was fun. They all took their crafts seriously but in their downtime they had a blast.

Bell’s favorite part of “Pass the Light” is one of the final scenes when Steve gives his campaign speech which states why he decided to run against a prominent politician and attempt to stop the spread of hate. Bell believes the content of his speech is important for all genders, races, ages, faiths, and sexual orientations to hear.

Bell thinks this is a film everyone should see. After the film, viewers will walk away a little more open-minded and determined to treat one another better.

“Regardless of someone’s set in stone opinions of faith, if they can be open-minded after seeing the film, isn’t that a beautiful thing?” Bell said.

Pass the Light will be released on Friday, February 6 in over 200 theatres nationwide. Local theatres screening the film include: Carmike 10 in Pittsburgh, Carmike 6 in Uniontown, Southpike Cinemas Digiplex in Sarver, Clarion 7 in Clarion, and Cinema 4 in Indiana, PA.

For updates on “Pass the Light” like and follow them on Facebook, follow @Passthelightmov on twitter and follow Rachael Kathryn Bell on Twitter @RachaelKBell. Visit the page on tumblr at passthelightmovie.tumblr.com

Chatham alumna Najaa Young releases successful film, “Blood First”

It is every filmmakers dream to create a film that is not only successful, but that also has a real impact on the people who view it. For Chatham University Alumna Najaa Young (Class of 1995), that dream has become a reality.

With screenings in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, her film, “Blood First,” which is now available online at Target, Best Buy, and Amazon, has made quite a name for her and her production company, NaRa Films.

Regarding her time at Chatham, Young spoke highly of the college, explaining that, “in an industry dominated by men, [it] helped to bolster my self-confidence and make me comfortable with being in leadership roles.”

While here, Young was an active member of the campus community. In addition to participating in campus events she was also the president of the Black Student Union, which she said, “helped me to learn how to work well with others, respect differences of opinion, and find common ground with others…skills that I employ everyday whether I am working on set or not.”

Despite wanting to major in film from the time she started college, Young said that Chatham did not have a film program, so she chose instead to major in Theatre Arts, to “develop [her] directing, acting, and writing skills while taking additional classes from the Communications department to get more technical experience with cameras.”

She also took classes from Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and from there, she went on to earn her Masters in Film from Florida State University.

Young’s first film after graduation, a documentary about, “African Americans reclaiming and practicing traditional African religions in the United States,” was one that she had wanted to make for a long time, so together with her friend Rasheed Jihad, she formed a production company and set to work making the film.

Now, a few years later, NaRa Films, in collaboration with O.Y.’s Spotlite Entertainment has recently released its first feature length film entitled, “Blood First.”

The idea for the film came from Young’s brother, who, “wanted to make a movie about brothers who grew up ‘in the streets’ with the same code of ethics and upbringing only to have one brother decide to go against that code.”

“I didn’t want to make another gangster film,” said Young, “and I thought it might be a good way to raise some important questions about what manhood in urban communities means and how boys are being raised to become men. Furthermore, I wanted to show the cyclical nature of crime, violence, and imprisonment so that we can all begin to have solution oriented discussions around these topics.”

According to Young after three drafts of the script, which took three months to write, the project “hit the ground running.”

In four weeks they had a cast, crew, locations, and equipment. The film itself only took 26 days to shoot, with another three months to edit it.

On her ability to balance writing, directing, and producing her films, Young said, “It’s definitely difficult at times, and if I had my druthers, I’d concentrate solely on writing and directing. But producing is great because you’re the boss, and I really like being the boss at times.”

Additionally, she said, “I rely on my partner as co-producer to oversee things on set, manage the crew, and basically, “put out fires.” So, I guess I’ve found balance by selecting a good business partner.”

“When I look back on the experience, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life and one of the hardest,” Young said of the process. “Every decision I made carried so much weight and impacted multiple people’s lives and careers including my own.”

When asked about her advice for burgeoning filmmakers currently studying at Chatham, Young highly recommended internships, and even just volunteering at production companies.

“The key is to get valuable experience under your belt so be enthusiastic, hard working, and reliable,” she said, “it will get you very far in this industry.”

Waiting for Intermission: Review of “Into the Woods” and “Wild”

“Into the Woods”

The only message that is expressed in the musical “Into the Woods” is that a wish can take you to an exciting new life, where all your dreams come true. Combing the imagination of Rob Marshall, the creative genius James Lapine (author of the book “Into the Woods”), and just a spoonful of Disney magic, “Into the Woods,” reignites our childhood memories of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales.

Tales such as Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Little Red Riding Hood are all intertwined with the original story of a childless baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt), who have to set out to collect a series of strange items for a magical potion in order to lift the curse that a witch (Meryl Streep, who received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in “Into the Woods”) has placed on their house. Does wishing with all your heart truly make it a happily ever after?

I was surprisingly enchanted by the creative vision of the film. Musicals that carry their own weight for the audience are not usually viewed as being very original on the big screen. However, Rob Marshall managed to keep the audience involved in the film without changing the music and lyrics created by Stephen Sondheim.

I always felt that the musical had a stronger sense of reality than most, answering all of my questions as to why the characters did things that even a child would question. Why would Cinderella stay in a house where she was bullied? What would possess a little girl to talk to a (clearly dangerous) wolf? And how daft do you have to be to trade your best friend for a couple of beans?

While the musical has always been one of my favorites, the film made me feel like I was watching the story again for the first time. A wish, leading to a story about young (confused) love, angry giants, charming princes, and a ferocious wolf can all just be the result of stepping into the woods.

Rating: 4/5


Another trip to the theater over the long break took me on another movie journey into nature: “Wild,” directed by Jean-Marc Vallee. Based on the book and real life events of Cheryl Strayed’s life, “Wild” tells the story of a young woman’s journey to find redemption.

After the death of her mother, Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon, who received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in “Wild”) finds herself at a crossroads, taking a very dark turn that leads to a heartbreaking divorce and a rocky relationship with her brother. After a very harsh look at herself, Cheryl decides to take the 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail.

At first, I didn’t want to see the film. I thought it might have been just about hiking and how you should be able to move on with your life after a loved one leaves you. With this in mind, I could not have predicted how emotionally involved I would become with Strayed.

With every mile she conquered, I got a closer look into what her mother meant to her. Her mother (Laura Dern, who received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in “Wild”) was the sole model for strength, courage, and survival for Cheryl. Every step that Cheryl took meant a deeper look into what the trail meant for her.

Cheryl wasn’t looking for forgiveness from her failed marriage, nor was she looking for a chance to fix things with her brother. Cheryl was trying to forgive herself.  There is a time where the film brings the audience’s attention to the anger Cheryl felt towards her mother, but the scene only explained why she was on the trail in the first place. The reason Cheryl wanted to finish her painful journey was because she needed to be able to convince herself that she could (literally) walk on her own two feet.

Rating: 5/5

Waiting for Intermission: Review of “Horns”

A dark fantasy of questioning what is fair and right in the world, “Horns” makes you squirm in your seat. When Ig Perrish’s (Daniel Radcliffe) girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple), is raped and murdered, Ig is the prime suspect.

In the small town of their childhood, Ig, who was already rejected by a good portion of the community, is suddenly shunned by those he once considered friends. When the law fails to defend his innocence, Ig wakes up with a killer hangover as well as a set of horns.

As he continues his day by trying to get rid of them, he discovers that everyone he comes in contact with wants to tell him their darkest secrets. Upon discovering his new paranormal abilities as well as everyone’s guilty conscious, Ig sets out to discover Merrin’s true killer.

Angels fall into the devil’s hands, friends turn to monsters, “Horns” brings your worst kept secret into the blinding light.

Growing up with Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, I have always been familiar with Radcliffe having a magical touch on the big screen. However, seeing his performance of the outcasted, moral questioning Ig Perrish made me erase Harry Potter from my mind.

Save for the fact that he kisses his beautiful English accent goodbye for his accurate grammar-insulting American accent, Radcliffe had me question my own morals throughout the film.

How do we fight for justice if we cannot tell who is pure and who is the devil? How do we search for the truth when everyone is guilty? Not a big believer in religion myself, I thought that I wouldn’t enjoy the film’s plot as much, but I couldn’t help but sit at the edge of my seat to see Ig get closer to the real story of how his girlfriend was killed.

Director Alexandre Aja managed to manipulate my emotions by keeping the significance of Ig and Merrin’s relationship in the dark. Usually we can guess the importance of the relationships of the characters in the very beginning of the film because the value of the relationship needs to be established so the characters and the audience can get to the plot of the story. Yet because the love in their relationship wasn’t expressed until the end of the film, I felt a much more powerful sense of sadness for his loss when the true killer was revealed.

Another twist that I loved about this film was that even when the killer was revealed, the climax of the film didn’t end. My adrenaline fueled mind had me guessing if there was true justice in the world until the film had sadly come to the end. I waited until the screen went black to see if there was more to the story. A truly dark and real look, “Horns” makes the audience uncomfortable with the truth.

Rating: 5/5

Chatham showcases “The Way We Get By” in honor of Veterans Day

Chatham University’s Sanger Lecture Hall hosted a viewing of the documentary, “The Way We Get By,” this past Veterans Day on Tuesday, November 11. The Chatham-hosted event brought together the campus community to have a moment to reflect on the meaning of Veterans Day and ponder the grander impact that the day has.

The film, which premiered on PBS on November 11, 2009 and was nominated for an Emmy, follows a brief period of time in the lives of its three central characters.

Bill Knight, Jerry Mundy and Joan Gaudet are the three people focused on and followed by the cameras as their stories unfold onscreen before the audience. These three people spend their time greeting arriving American troops at an airport in the town of Bangor, Maine. At the time the film was made, the three greeters had been on call 24-hours a day for the past five years.

“The Way We Get By,” by filmmaker Aron Gaudet, takes an up-close and intimate look at these three elderly greeters and what it is that personally drives them to make the extra effort to be present to welcome these troops home. Knight, Mundy, and Gaudet are all facing the challenges and losses associated with aging and have found a new purpose for their present lives in these actions: transforming their own lives through the service work they do for others.

The idea for “The Way We Get By” came about when Gaudet’s mother answered his phone calls less and less frequently. Aron soon found out that Joan Gaudet, a 76-year old widow, had joined a group of about 200 other people who traveled to the Bangor International Airport to greet soldiers returning to the United States.

No matter when the soldiers were arriving–day or night; rain, sunshine, or snow–the group of greeters would make sure to be there. Upon the soldiers arrival at the tiny airport, they would be greeted with handshakes and smiling faces from all of the volunteers.

During the first morning of shooting for the film, the filmmakers met Bill Knight. “He was so open and honest. He took us back to his house; no one had been in it since his wife died four or five years earlier. He immediately trusted us; it was pretty amazing,” Aron Gaudet said of meeting the World War II veteran.

The same honesty was also found in Gaudet’s mother, Joan, and 74-year-old Jerry Mundy. These three greeters became the center of the film, as it shows both their time spent with the volunteer work, as well as glimpses into their daily lives.

Joan Gaudet was concerned about the imminent departure of two of her grandchildren to Iraq, while still remaining cheerful about the situation. Knight is battling prostate cancer and debt, while Mundy is faced with rising problems and the recent loss of a close friend.

After five years of shooting for the film, the story Aron Gaudet set out to tell was completed. Intertwining the story of the daily lives of three aging greeters with the soldiers they are welcoming back home, “The Way We Get By” tells a story that draws its viewers in from the start.

Waiting for Intermission: Review of “In a World…”

To be a part of the film industry means that the biggest part of your job description will be anxious uncertainty. You are never certain if you will be hired, and even if you land a job, you might not get another one.

Carol Solomon (Lake Bell), an underachieving vocal coach, remains in a constant state of anxious uncertainty. Under the constant dismissal of her famous voice artist father, Sam Sotto (Fred Melamed), Carol struggles with her work because of his arrogant shadow.

He and his protégé, Gustav Warner (Ken Marino), an uprising and equally arrogant voice artist, try out to be the voiceover for the trailer of an upcoming film series, “The Amazon Games.” Carol throws herself in deep water as she competes with her father and Gustav to be the first voice artist to re-emerge the famous Don Lafontaine voice over, “In a World…”

Written, directed, and produced by its lead actress Lake Bell, “In a World…” won 2013 Sundance Film Festival “Best Screenplay” as well as 2013 Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards “Breakthrough Movie of the Year.” I account this to Lake Bell’s abilty to write a realistic perspective of the hardship of searching for a voiceover job as a woman.

It’s true that the film industry makes it hard for anyone who chooses to pursue a career in it. However, for a woman, to seek out a film industry occupation also means to be taken seriously in that profession. Whether it’s because of our supposedly ‘soft’ or (dare I say it) ‘feminine’ nature, it becomes a test of strength for women to compete for the same role as a man.

Curious about the voice artist side of the industry, I tried looking up trailers with woman voiceovers. Most of the deemed ‘popular’ woman voice-over trailers were for movies categorized with two words that every woman of film industry cringes at: Chick Flick. It was the Romantic Comedy films which were considered too ‘soft’ for a deep, masculine, male voice to advertise on the big screen.

In this portrayal, Lake Bell manages not only to focus on the societal issues for the independent woman, but also on an occupation that the public tends to overlook in general.

“That’s not sexist, it’s just the truth…” says Fred Melamed’s character Sam Sotto. What happens when someone you care about says that to you? A person’s ideals and goals should never depend on their gender, race, or ethnicity.

Not only does Lake Bell focus on the public’s attention of a woman’s struggle of professional identity, she also sheds light onto a normally disregarded occupation. Most of the time, all the attention is focused onto the actors and actresses who star in the films, but what about the people behind the scenes? The individuals who polish the footage until it’s ready for the big screen?

Being the Director, as well as the writer, Lake Bell manages to bring a new perspective to the audience by showing what it truly means to be a woman in an equally important occupation in the film industry.