The Semester Sets Tonight with the Cool

While the Lowe Art Museum’s recent student gallery display was a welcome exhibition that represented the University’s simmering art scene, the overall space, time and selectivity of the event did not permit several UM artists to show their newest creations.

Art student Marc Johnson, a sophomore, decided that such works deserved a proper exhibition, and quickly organized the first ever Egalitarian Art Show at UM’s Rainbow Building, tonight from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

With a wide range of visual art mediums on display, one that will surely sensitize the night’s turnout is a new student film directed by Reeve Schumacher, a UM junior and fine arts major, entitled The Sun Never Sets For the Cool.

A surreal, seven-minute black and white film that will be looped continuously throughout the event, For the Cool takes aim at what Schumacher believes is a societal thirst for violence in the media. He said his new film aspires to not only quench this thirst, but to also tap into a sort of cathartic viewer realization.

“Even though it’s a movie that will probably make old ladies gasp,” Schumacher said, “it’s not necessarily shock value, as much as it is just drives at a feeling that I’d like people to think about.

“I want it leave a bitter taste in your mouth.”

The film centers on a character, played by Todd Keebler, a junior, who hopes to end a large monetary debt by removing and trading in his cherished gold teeth. When the collectors on the opposite end, lead by a merciless drug pusher, played by sophomore Noah Penn, violently scoff at this alternative, the debtor seeks help from a four-man bicycle gang to settle the score.

The utilization of local alley ways, mountain bikes and artillery straight out of the Nintendo game River City Ransom, including baseball bats and chains, gives the plot a dark, humorous tone as it marinates in an exploitation of violence.

Schumacher and fellow junior Joshua Reinhard, the film’s cinematographer, cite Martin Scorsese’s 1976 film Taxi Driver and the abstract eroticism of music by the band Blonde Redhead as indirect influences. However, they made sure to supplement enough personal touches to keep the originality on full throttle during each of the film’s three acts.

Each act is set to a song from Blonde Redhead’s well-received 2000 album Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons. For the Damaged Mother, Mother, and Untitled were chosen by the filmmakers because the first two songs tremble on the fringe of tension, while the last one finally seizures into a full rock-out mode that fits perfectly with what’s on screen.

This makes each image resonate with more power, especially considering that the dialogue in For the Cool’s is silent and delivered through subtitles that purposely fail to match expletives being mouthed by the characters. Schumacher said that whether the audience takes this as a stance on censorship or as nothing more than an amusing eccentricity is fine, as long as it provokes some thought. He added that this was his primary goal for making the film and was enthusiastic that it would debut at tonight’s DIY art show, because he would like to see more of them in the future.

“There’s was no selection, so if you entered something, it got in. There’s going to be a slide show, two bands, my film, a lot of other art and Titanic is helping out, so there will be drinks,” he said. “And the whole idea of the show is to build the art community and the community at school in general, so students should just take an hour and check it out before they go party.”

Before the consumption of reading day beers kicks off this weekend, why not enjoy some of the rigorous artistic expression that was manifested during this semester by checking out an entertaining student film? The event is free and for those that can’t wait to celebrate, Titanic will be there to fulfill your needs– if you’re at least 21. The Rainbow Building is located on 1540 LeVante Ave., just behind Titanic.