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Are you Afraid of the ’90s?

by Samantha Mathewson | April 23, 2014

Michele Ann Suttile, a 2006 University of New Haven graduate, is now a working actress currently producing her first independent film, Are You Afraid of The ‘90s?

 

Photo of scene from Are You Afraid of The '90s?, featuring Heather Matarazzo as Jess holding a Gameboy. Photo by Director of Photography Jake Horgan

Photo of scene from Are You Afraid of The ’90s?, featuring Heather Matarazzo as Jess holding a Gameboy. Photo by Director of Photography Jake Horgan

Are You Afraid of The ‘90s? is a short indie comedy about one girl’s quarter-life crisis and how her obsession with the 90s becomes a living nightmare. The film stars Heather Matarazzo from The Princess Diaries and Welcome To The Dollhouse, Kristine Sutherland from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, Darren Lipari from Julia and Amber Dreams, Chelsea Marino from The Retreat and The Unknown, and Steve Stapinski from Sporting Dog and The Maiden Heist.

“We have shot half of the film and are fundraising so we can finish the second half, which will include more known ‘90s actors,” said Suttile. “It is a film for our generation; we want twenty-something’s to know they are not alone in dealing with what is being called a ‘quarter-life crisis,’ a painfully relevant phenomenon for the now adult children of the 1990s.”

In Are You Afraid of The ‘90s?, 26-year-old Jessica Russo (Matarazzo) finds herself living back at home with her parents after getting fired from her job, due to a careless and stupid mistake. Her mom had saved dozens of boxes filled with her childhood things, and as she struggles to pull herself out of her quarter-life crisis, she starts to notice her childhood toys appearing in the strangest of places, as if they have a life of their own. Strange turns to stranger until it becomes all too clear: the 90s are out to get her.

When Jessica’s mother Jane (Sutherland) begins rummaging through her childhood toys, Jessica gets sentimental about her childhood; however the toys actually end up haunting her rather than being an escape from her jobless reality. A short “teaser” of their film was shot in December and is now available to the general public on the Afraidofthe90s Youtube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORQiDNqxiHQ.

They were able to fund the first half of filming with their Indiegogo campaign last year; however, in order to raise money to continue filming the second half, Are You Afraid of The ‘90s? producer/writer/director Kate Moran organized the Kickstarter campaign.

Suttile explained Kickstarter is a great crowd-funding platform for creative projects. “We have seen many films and projects find success through this avenue. It is a great way to host a crowdfunding effort and get exposure to so many donors who would otherwise not know about our project.”

The campaign has since ended with success, exceeding their goal of $5,000 with $5,518 raised. “So far we have raised just over $10,000 with thanks to our generous supporters; however, we will still need at least $1,000 to $2,000 more for post-production costs,” said Suttile. Filming of the second half is planned and about to start.

Are You Afraid of The ‘90s? is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization, and contributions through Fractured Atlas are tax-deductible and can be made through the Fractured Atlas website (Donors can go to www.fracturedatlas.org and search for Are You Afraid of The 90s? to locate our page and donate). “Donations of any size would be greatly appreciated and will go a long way towards bringing our film to life,” said Suttile.

In addition, in order to raise money for filming Are You Afraid of The ‘90s?, the film’s production team held a 90s themed Halloween fundraising party. “[At the party] We were able to spread the word about our film, gain publicity as well as new supports and raised a few hundred dollars,” said Suttile. “We are in the process of planning some more exciting events in the coming months.”

“Once our film is completed, we will be submitting it to all the major and local film festivals, as well as reaching out to production companies,” said Suttile. “It will tour the festival circuit this fall and early next year and hopefully be available to the public later in 2015.”

“This film’s goal is to give our generation something to connect to, and to help us all feel not so alone. It’s for everyone who has ever loved their childhood and struggled to grow up,” said Suttile.

Aside from generous donations, Suttile explained there are many other ways they need help. You can get involved by helping to spread the word, and stay connected with them online through their website www.That90smovie.com, follow them on Twitter: @afraidofthe90s, and Like them on Facebook: Are You Afraid of The 90s?

The movie has been filmed, and will continue to be filmed, in Nesconset, Long Island. To explain the reasoning behind the theme of the film, Suttile explained that, “Our writer/director Kate Moran is a 90s child herself and noticed how rapidly the trend of reliving ‘90s nostalgia was growing in the media and the Internet.”

As far as promotions go for Are You Afraid of The ‘90s?, Suttile explained they have secured product placement deals with Ring Pops, Push Pops, Mondo, and Bagel Bites as well as obtained clearances with Hasbro (Furby, Nerf, Skip-It) and Bandai (Tamagotchi).

At UNH, Suttile majored in criminal justice, investigative services with a minor in sociology. “My passion has always been for acting, but my parents wanted me to get a well-rounded education as a ground work for learning,” said Suttile.

When asked how her UNH education helped her get to where she is today, Suttile said, “My college experience really taught me the value of hard work, and of the importance of prioritizing and organizing my time. So many times we are confronted with opportunities (and obstacles!) that require effort, focus, and time management skills, which I would be without if not for my UNH education.”

While at UNH, Suttile had to manage multiple projects and commitments simultaneously, so while producing Are You Afraid of The ‘90s?, and in different stages and variations of her life, she has been able to apply that same methodology of productivity. “The difficulties and challenges I learned as a student gave me the basis to be able to properly handle adulthood inevitably as it enfolds.”

 

Breathe Carolina impresses with Savages

by The Charger Bulletin | April 23, 2014

By: Carol Simpson

Contributing Writer

Breathe Carolina / Photo Obtained via Facebook

Breathe Carolina / Photo Obtained via Facebook

Breathe Carolina’s latest and greatest release Savages is an electrifying album and a hit from beginning to end. The eleven-track album features strong electronic beats with fresh melodies, while still carrying the punk edge that keeps Breathe Carolina relevant on the alternative scene.

The first track, “Bury Me,” hits hard and brings the high energy immediately. The dark melody contrasting with the bright rhythms makes it a great song. It’s a great starting point for the album. “Bang It Out” is a fast-paced pop hit featuring Karmin. This one is one of my favorites on the album; it’s also the strongest dance hit on the album. It could be the anthem for any party. If anyone ever wants a summary of Breathe Carolina’s overall sound, this would be the song to listen to. The chorus reminds me of their past hit “Blackout,” which is an old favorite.

The album isn’t only made up of intense dance songs; it also brings a few subtler tunes to the table. “Please Don’t Say” has a guitar intro that brings a Mumford & Sons vibe. The song eventually brings in the synths and electro, but the balance makes it an easy-going song. “Chasing Hearts” is another one of those mellower tunes on the album. “Chasing Hearts” features Tyler Carter, frontman for Issues, and brings an RnB vibe to the album. It’s certainly different from the other songs on the album. It seems a bit out of place, but Carter’s vocals make it tolerable.

The title track, “Savages,” is a clean, pop hit. It’s the party tune that shows that Breathe Carolina is trying to have a good time and bring the good times to their listeners.

“Sellouts” is a rough and tough electro metal hit featuring vocals from Danny Worsnop from Asking Alexandria. It’s definitely another one of my favorites on the album. Breathe Carolina combined dynamic elements to create a great song. The song’s heavy elements resemble Bring Me The Horizon’s Sempiternal sound, but it works, and Breathe Carolina has molded it into something new.

Savages does not only have heart pounding tracks, but also mellowed out tunes to help ease the dance vibe, while still carrying strong electronic elements.

Breathe Carolina hit all of the right spots with this album. It shows growth into a more polished electronic entity. They surely face a big summer ahead on the Vans Warped Tour with this album leading the way. Underrated alternative electro is the only way to describe Breathe Carolina before Savages.

Take a chance and listen to this record, it is sure to catch your attention and will probably make you want to dance.

 

These Paper Bullets review

by The Charger Bulletin | April 23, 2014

By: Jessica Leeb

Contributing Writer

These Paper Bullets, adapted by playwright Rolin Jones, is a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. These Paper Bullets was performed at the Yale Repertory Theater from March 14 to April 5.

Set in London in the 60s, this play features a four person band called the Quartos, based on the Beatles. These Paper Bullets is a comedy, yet almost a tragedy as well.

The play is about love; the struggling romance between Claude and Higgy, and the denied love between Ben and Bea. These Paper Bullets starts off with the Quartos returning from their tour only for Claude to see Higgy and realize how in love he is with her, and that he had never realized it before. He then goes through the process of planning to ask her to marry him, as well as getting permission from her father.

The wedding is planned and everything’s set, but Don Best, band member Pedro’s brother and former band member himself, had other plans. He wanted to ruin the Quartos as revenge, so he staged a scandal. He paid for a Photoshopped picture of Higgy cheating on Claude and gave it to Claude. Claude then decided that he was going to expose the truth on live television during their wedding. Claude succeeds and humiliates Higgy only to find out that it was fake. So, Claude apologizes and marries Higgy.

While this is going on, Ben and Bea are madly in love with one another, but both are too stubborn to admit it. It takes the scandal and the final resolution of it to force them to realize their feelings and for Ben to finally propose to Bea, who finally says yes. Although there were some points of the play that were controversial, overall the production was a success.

There were elements in the production that both added and took away from the success of the play. Taking specific lines from Much Ado About Nothing enhanced the effect of the points being portrayed. Shakespeare’s language isn’t always easy to understand, so it forces the audience to pay closer attention to what the actor is saying. This amplifies the purpose of what is being said. Also, the lack of music during almost every scene in which the Quartos aren’t playing, either live or recorded, places focus on the characters and their dialogue.

I believe that the play is effective in speaking to modern audiences since the 60s are a relatively well known time period. However, being over 50 years ago there is still room for the audience to displace themselves. The cast of the production, however, discovered a way to overcome the time gap. They involved the audience in the production themselves. Interviewing them, talking to them, referring to them, and dancing among them all helped pull them into the experience.

 

Livewell’s Latest

by Shannon Livewell | April 23, 2014

Chatting with Dylan of Cloud Nothings

Dylan Baldi (Photo obtained via interview link from Baldi's publicist)

Dylan Baldi (Photo obtained via interview link from Baldi’s publicist)

You never know what to expect when you go to interview an act. Some could be extremely reserved and some could be a little too talkative; however, it is very rare that an act is as interested in the interview as the interviewer is.

Cloud Nothings, a band consisting of Dylan Baldi, TJ Duke, and Jayson Gerycz, brought a new vibe of brilliance to The Space in Hamden, Conn. this past weekend. I was lucky enough to speak with Dylan Baldi, the singer, songwriter and mastermind of Cloud Nothings intriguing lyrical catalog.

“Living my life over the past two years and realizing a lot of things about myself that I wasn’t aware of previously really inspired Here & Nowhere Else,” Baldi said. Here & Nowhere Else was recorded in NJ and released on April 1, 2014. “It’s the first record I’ve made where I just did exactly what I felt comfortable with and didn’t try to be or do anything else,” Baldi said.

Normally, when I ask for a song that means the most to an artist they’re reluctant to answer, or they provide me with a ten minute long story as to how they wrote the hook on a bus to Georgia, but Baldi kept it short and sweet. “‘Now Hear In’, only because I’ve had the main guitar part kicking around in my head for a long time but could never figure out anything to do with it. Once that song finally came together, it seemed like the rest of the record was easy.”

The next is a question I have never asked an act before; I guess I always assumed that a band or musician on tour is doing what they’ve always wanted, but it occurred to me that sometimes people get thrown into situations because of circumstances, and once that situation becomes comfortable, it’s their new norm. I became curious as to whether or not this was Baldi’s dream job. “I’d be happy with anything where I get to travel,” he said. “Playing music is great, but my favorite part of being in this band is seeing new places and meeting new people.”

Another short and sweet answer from a man who seems to know himself as well as the music that pumps him up before every show was, “If I had to make a playlist of three songs I would listen to pre-show it would have to be Thin Lizzy; The Boys Are Back In Town, ZZ Top; Sharp Dressed Man, and Golden Earring; Radar Love.”

This isn’t Cloud Nothings first rodeo when it comes to releasing an album and touring around to promote it, so I wanted to know if the band felt they had developed over the years. “Our music has gotten better! On every record I’ve just gotten slightly more adventurous with my songwriting, and been willing to try new things.”

When asked about mainstream comparisons Baldi shuttered, “I don’t think we really have the kind of aspirations that it takes to become a mainstream artist, so I’m not sure I identify with many of them on a musical level.”

Cloud Nothings is their own kind of unique. They combine indie-rock with lyrics that mean just as much to the listener as the three men on stage. From Cleveland to Connecticut, Cloud Nothings is making an impression on every city they visit with their new album Here & Nowhere Else, and the charisma and likeability they possess performing.

 

Bryan Singer Lawsuit

by Scott Iwaniec | April 23, 2014

Usually, I would not address an issue like this unless I felt it was very important. I personally feel this issue is necessary to address in a few ways. First, because the University of New Haven is full of criminal justice students who can’t wait to get their hands on these things and second, because it highlights a reoccurring issue in Hollywood.

Bryan Singer / AP photo

Bryan Singer / AP photo

Bryan Singer, the director of X-Men, X-Men 2, Superman Returns, and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past is being sued by 31-year-old Michael Egan for sexual abuse back when he was 15 years old.

His lawyer also claims that three more Hollywood names will soon be exposed for similar allegations. This is really all we know about the issue so far. Being a criminal justice student myself, I must emphasize; innocence until proven guilty and fake allegations like this happen all the time to ruin people’s image.

Given that this is on the eve of Singers biggest film release of his career, so the timing just seems kind of suspicious. I know sexually assaulted children can take years to cope and come to terms, but it just seems a little too coincidental that this is happening now – especially 15 years later. Again, these are all the facts that we know right now, and I promise to keep everyone updated as this case progresses.

The other reason why I brought this up is because the issue of sexually assaulted children in Hollywood is a big issue these days. A reporter from CNN even described it as, “[the] Worst kept Secret around, because it’s been going on for years.”

I can’t speak too much on behalf of either side of the argument since I don’t have much knowledge about the situation at all, aside from the fact of how common this is. I just think it’s distasteful how these people, who we hand millions of dollars to, commit crimes such as this.

This issue does anger me, especially as an entertainment fan. We frown upon the Penn State football issue for example, but we overlook how many times this situation goes on in Hollywood.

Think about how many people know, and may be covering up, occurrences such as this, and how many of these people are receiving so much fame and celebration, when they don’t deserve it. If the case against Singer turns out to be true, he deserves to lose his spot in limelight and pay for his actions; however, I pray the allegations are not true.

 

Recap: The MTV Movie Awards

by Jordan Schonberger | April 23, 2014

Rather than sitting through a dreary two hours watching an award ceremony of which the winners names you’ve never heard of, it’s always a treat to watch the MTV Movie Awards because their idea of awards are gold-plated buckets of popcorn for Best #wtf Moment. This year’s ceremony, which aired Sunday, April 13, was no exception.

JOSH HUTCHERSON POSES WITH HIS BEST MALE PERFORMANCE Josh Hutcherson poses with his Best Male Performance Award and Movie of The Year Award for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire/ AP photo

Josh Hutcherson poses with his Best Male Performance Award and Movie of The Year Award for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire/ AP photo

Host Conan O’ Brien opened the show with a comedic sketch in which he attempted to break the record for most celebrity cameos in a single MTV show opener. He surpassed the number with fifty celebrities to a previous eight before emerging out of a giant bag of popcorn before the audience.

There was a consistency at the ceremony this year that was pleasant to watch. The music that played as the stars walked up were fun songs that fit the award categories perfectly. Special effects were added to the clips that made them look like old film reels, and after each nominee was announced, their pictures were spliced together onscreen to create the look of a real movie poster, complete with fictional credits at the bottom.

Jared Leto won Best Transformation for his role in Dallas Buyer’s Club, and Orlando Bloom won Best Fight for his performance in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, alongside Evangeline Lily.

It would be remiss not to mention Zac Efron, who was interrupted by singer Rita Ora after she ripped his shirt off in the middle of his speech for Best Shirtless Performance in That Awkward Moment. Not a single female in the house could be tamed.

The only musical guests that were announced to perform were Rihanna and Eminem, who made a stunning rendition of their gigantic hit “Monster.”

However, a pleasant surprise came from the musical guests that were not announced. Ellie Goulding and famous electro producer, Zedd, performed songs from their hit movie Divergent and a new act named Twenty One Pilots performed their hit single, “Car Radio.” They are a unique band that blends elements of hip hop with synth-pop capabilities, and stole looks from celebs when everyone in the standing section wore white ski masks while jumping around to their set.

Channing Tatum accepted the Trailblazer Award from his 22 Jump Street co-star Jonah Hill and Mark Wahlberg made an obscenely entertaining speech as the Generation Award winner. An amazing In Memorium tribute was given for Paul Walker, and before the night was over, the prestigious Movie of the Year went to The Hunger Games Catching Fire. Josh Hutcherson, who accepted the award, dedicated it to the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman, who played the “game maker” in film, before exiting the stage.

Although the MTV Movie Awards are not the most prestigious award ceremony on television, they are still fun to watch. While you may not agree with every winner, they’re an entertaining representation of fans’ choices.

 

Opinions on 3D

by Scott Iwaniec | April 23, 2014

A few months back The Charger Bulletin published an article about how to judge 3D and what it takes for 3D to benefit the audience. However, in the past two weeks the topic has really come back to haunt me and I really thought its worth addressing.

Two weeks ago I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier on its opening day. Out of six showings, only two were not in 3D, and they were at the most inconvenient times (I think they were at 6 and 8 p.m.).

All the rest were in 3D, which required me to spend more money, and in addition they were specifically IMAX 3D, which means my ticket was $15. Now, try to wrap your head around $15 a ticket.

As much as I enjoyed the movie, I hated the 3D. In reference to the article from last semester, 3D was an artistic advantage in only one shot that I can remember, while I the spent the rest of the time rubbing my eyes and wishing I could just push the screen backwards about 20 feet.

So with very little specificity for 3D, why were most of the showings in 3D? Simple: Because they know so many people like me are dying to see this film and are going to see it no matter what; they want to steal every dollar they can from us. Shame on me, I did see the movie in 3D, but it’s because I’m not just a super fan, it’s my job to go and see the movie so that all of you can read my review after.

The fact that I feel as though I am being taken advantage of aggravates me. It’s clever marketing on their part so really I can’t blame them. They’re doing their job, and are doing it well; I just really don’t want to see movies in 3D.

As I am known for saying: 3D is a phenomenal tool if you know how to use it artistically to better the movie experience. Avatar, How To Train Your Dragon, The Avengers, execute the use of 3D successfully; however, throw random movies into 3D, it becomes a complete waste of money and the fans are just tricked into thinking the movie will be a greater experience in 3D.

The most prominent example of this that I can think of is The Amazing Spider-Man. I saw that movie in 3D because the first teaser was a first person web shooing sequence. You would figure Spider-Man is made for 3D: it has color, panorama, motion, everything. There was no effort put into making anything 3D in that film, which is a shame because Spider-Man is the film that would master it. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer had some actual gut wrenching turbulence in IMAX 3D, but I fear that the rest of the movie will have none of those feelings.

My point is this: studios, if you’re going to force us to buy 3D movie tickets, at least give us a few good scenes to remember it by.

 

Staff Second Chances

by Scott Iwaniec | April 23, 2014

Photo of the Week

by The Charger Bulletin | April 23, 2014

“Woods”

By: Kelli Mosca, freshman

Taken November 2012

Location: Freehold, New Jersey

“It’s a path through the woods.” – Mosca

Photo of the week in frame

Cole Plante Keeps the beat for Neon Lights Tour

by Ashley Winward | April 16, 2014

His story is one which is noteworthy; at the age of 17, he’s done more than most people my age, from playing at the Rain Nightclub in Las Vegas to Lollapalooza and slots on tour with some of the current EDM greats. Cole Plante, albeit young, is not just “good for his age” though, he’s great; regardless of how old he is.

Cole Plante (Photo obtained via Facebook)

Cole Plante (Photo obtained via Facebook)

I got a chance to talk to him on the Neon Lights Tour with Demi Lovato, Fifth Harmony and Little Mix. The tour was a perfect fit for him as his remixes of Demi’s “Neon Lights” and Fifth Harmony’s “I Don’t Wanna Dance Alone” have been very popular amongst their fanbases. “(Demi) approached me and of course I had to say yes!” said Plante.

The tour has been going very successfully for the DJ. “Very busy but very fun,” Plante told me of the three day nonstop leg they were currently running. It has also been a very interesting tour for him because of the age range he’s been catering to. “The crowd has been a lot of younger girls…ages 12 to 17 which means you have to be careful,” Plante warns.

There is no defined set when he goes out to perform and, because of the crowds, there’s a lot of trial and error in his approach highly focused in Mainstream radio hits and dance music.

The life of a DJ is always changing, though, as the lifespan of a song can be a few weeks to a month. Plante tries to stay relevant by being current on blog sites as well as using beatport.com for new sounds and tracks to use. His many influences also keep him trying new and interesting things such as using both classical and alternative samples. It also doesn’t hurt to be able to play a traditional instrument and he breaks out his trombone during sets from time to time. “It’s advantageous to play an instrument. It expands your tastes and is unique to add to pieces. It also helps in production to understand the different sound and layering them,” Plante said.

Genre bending mashups were one of the topics on the rise, so we took time to discuss them. Rock mashups are a personal favorite of Plante’s for their high energy and ability to hook people. He even enjoys overlaying some accapela tracks in his music now and then. “A year ago I would have said I’d never mix in country,” Plante said. “But looking at ‘Wake Me Up’ by Avicii and Aloe Blacc, everything’s fair game now. The genre has come a very long way.”

When asked about how people view electronic music, Plante is looking to break the stigma. “Our genre is musical just like any other song or artist performing today. There are so many different layers just like layering instruments over a melody. For my personal music, I try to think like a listener when I write so I’m not hearing the same thing over and over in the scene. We need to show people that this stigma is just that.”

Looking towards the future, get ready for new music and remixes from this talented young DJ. Besides going back into production there are remixes coming your way of Demi Lovato’s “Let It Go” from Frozen and some work on Beatrice Miller’s (of X Factor fame) new single. It was a pleasure talking to Plante and I can’t wait to hear more from him in the near future!

 

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