December 10, 2014
by Jack Serio

Best Holiday Shopping in NYC

Best Holiday Shopping in NYC

Artists & Fleas Market

Wow, this semester went by quickly. This is my last post until January so, I thought I’d leave you all with some great tips on where to get all your holiday shopping done! NYC is such a unqiue and fantastic place to go shopping. Your friends and family are going to be so lucky, you will without a doubt have the best gifts this holiday season! Here we go!

The Big Ol’ Department Stores

You’ve gotta make atleast one stop at Macy’s this holiday season. Who knows, you might get all your shopping done in one place! Around town, the other department stores that cannot be missed, thanks to both impressive windows and equally impressive shopping selections, include Lord and Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York. Bring along willpower or a fully-loaded wallet as the wares at these swanky department stores generally come with a hefty price tag, which may not be a problem if Santa himself is footing the bill.


Holiday Markets

I can’t reccomend these things enough! (If you’ve read some of my previous posts you’ll know what I mean.) Bryant Park is aglow with twinkling lights as artisans, bakers and candy makers fill up glowing glass stalls to pedal their goods at the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park. This Euro-style open-air marketplace hosts over 125 vendors selling toys and puppets for wee ones, jewelry, handmade goods and plenty of sweet and savory treats including kettle corn, dumplings and chocolate treats including the chocolate pizza from cocoa-legend Max Brenner. The Grand Central Holiday Fair is the city’s only indoor holiday festival filling up the 12,000 square foot Vanderbilt Hall with toys, jewelry and crafty goods. Or, stroll through the Union Square Holiday Market with a warm cider and peruse the goods from over 100 merchants. Looking for something specific? The Market Concierge can point you in the right direction for cool housewares, unusual kids’ gifts, tasty food and more. You’ll be able to find lots of unique gifts at these markets, stuff you won’t find anywhere else in the country! And it won’t break the bank! Remember to haggle!


Kids Stores

If you’re in the market for toys for some future NYU students make sure to check out these standards.


Personal Favorites

Not quite sure what caterogies to put these guys under expect they are where I’ll be doing the bulk of my shopping and they’re totally worth checking out! Artist & Fleas is one of my favorite places. Ever. They have a location in Chelsea Market and in Brooklyn (worth the train ride). You can pick up some of the coolest, hippest, cheapest and incredibly unqiue gifts here! Go! I’ll also be picking up some books at The Strand! People under estimate the power of a good book. Write something meaningful on the inside cover and you don’t even have to buy a card! Books are the way to go if you’re on a budget, and The Strand is the best! But if you are buying Christmas cards, The Strand has some of the best!


Happy Holidays Everyone!

See you in a couple of months!



December 8, 2014
by Jack Serio

December’s Must See List: Theatre

It’s that time again! I’m back this month with some more must see shows and how you can see them for cheap! Remember, waive that student ID around with pride!



The Elephant Man on Broadway

The Elephant Man
This opened just last night to some of the best reviews of the season. Bradley Cooper stars in what is sure to be a huge contender at this year’s Tony Awards.  The Elephant Man, based on the real life of Joseph Merrick, a 19th century British man who became a star of the traveling freak show circuit. When a renowned doctor, takes Merrick under his care at the London Hospital, he is astonished by Merrick’s brilliant intelligence and unshakable faith. Soon all of Victorian high society becomes fascinated by Merrick, especially a beautiful actress who is played by Academy Award nominee Patricia Clarkson. But with Merrick’s new life comes new complexity… and a “normal” existence begins to seem all but impossible. Don’t miss this show! It runs till Feb 15th! You can grab standing room tickets for anywhere between $30-$40 (not bad for Bradley Cooper on Broadway!). More info here.

Side Show
If you hurry you can probably still make it to Side Show. This musical opened to rave reviews, but doesn’t have the star power some of the other shows in town do, and is unfortunateley assumed to not last long on The Great White Way. But that shouldn’t stop you from seeing it! If you’re watching American Horr Story this season, this is the show for you! Based on the true story of conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton who became stars during the Depression, Side Show is a moving portrait of two women joined at the hip whose extraordinary bondage brings them fame but denies them love.  You can grab $35 student rush tickets at the box office the day of the performance.  More info here.



Send In The Million Men at HERE

Send for The Million Men  - HERE
Send for The Million Men is an impressive multi-media theatre that micro-analyzes the trials of Sacco and Vanzetti in ways you never thought of.  With a compelling command of animatronics, robotics, puppetry, and handmade projectors, Joseph Silovsky examines the controversial executions of notorious anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti. Their bleak fates intertwine with Silovsky’s own micro-tragic biography in a humorous and captivating history-rethink. This is a must see. The production runs through Dec. 13th, so act quickly! General admission is only $20! More info here.

Pocatello – Playwrights Horizons
I had the pleasure of working on this wonderful play, and I really can’t recommend it enough. Samuel Hunter is one of our most important young voices and anything he writes you should absolutely go see. He also is the recent recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant, just sayin’. Playwright’s Horizons offers an incredible Student Membership program. Joining the program will set you back $10 and then from there on out it’s only $10 a ticket! You can book in advance and even get cheap guest tickets. Grab your tickets now for Pocatello! Eddie manages an Italian chain restaurant in Pocatello—a small, unexceptional American city that is slowly being paved over with strip malls and franchises. But he can’t serve enough Soup, Salad & Breadstick Specials to make his hometown feel like home. Against the harsh backdrop of Samuel D. Hunter’s Idaho, this heartbreaking comedy is a cry for connection in an increasingly lonely American landscape. T.R. Knight of Grey’s Anatomy fame stars and gives an unforgetaable performance! To join the Student Membership program visit the Playwrights Horizons website. The production runs through Jan. 4th. More info here.

The Invisible Hand - New York Theatre Workshop
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, who’s Disgraced is currently running on Broadway, makes his New York Theatre Workshop debut with The Invisible Hand. The Invisible Hand follows Nick Bright, an American stock broker, into a terrifying world of kidnapping and torture in a remote region of Pakistan. As Nick negotiates to save his own life he begins to see his captors in a new light. This new play is a chilling and complex look at how far we will go to save ourselves and the devastating ramifications of our individual actions. Grab your student tickets in advance at the NYTW box office for $25. The production runs through Jan. 4th. More info here.

Tamburlaine Parts I & II Polonsky Shakespeare Center
You haven’t experienced New York theatre until you’ve visited The Polonsky Shakespeare Center, where Theatre for A New Audience’s Tamburlaine Parts I & II are currently playing. A Scythian shepherd of ferocious will rises to power to become king of half the world. An epic spectacle first performed in 1587 to wildly popular acclaim, the last major New York production of Tamburlaine was in 1956 on Broadway. Now, audiences have a rare chance to see this disturbingly modern masterpiece. Directed by Michael Boyd, four-time Olivier Award winner and former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and starring OBIE and Drama Desk winner John Douglas Thompson, Tamburlaine the Great is a fast-paced 3-hour event plus one 30-minute intermission with food service and pre-ordering available. Don’t miss out! Students age 30 and under can grab tickets for $20! Click here to learn about their New Deal Program. The show runs Nov. 7th through Dec. 13th. More info here.


Tamburlaine Parts I & II at The Polonsky Shakespeare Center

December 3, 2014
by Jack Serio

Office Chats: Bryan Austermann – Dance Minor

Office Chats is a recurring blog series where we talk to fellow Tisch students and teachers about their minor, extracurricular activity or anything interesting they are currently working on. The goal is to learn something more about the people around us and the programs Tisch and Tisch Special Programs has to offer. This week we spoke with Bryan Austermann who’s minoring in Dance.

Southwick, Massachusetts

Year at NYU



Can you tell me a little about the Dance Minor? What are you learning/doing on a day to day basis?
The dance minor is mostly the art in practice, but each class includes history of the dance and culture. The strictly academic course History of Dance covered just that, the history of the development of dance in cultures around the world. The rest of the the classes are application classes including Choreography, Chinese, Indian, Modern, African, and Ballet. They [Tisch Special Programs] have recently expanded the curriculum to include Hip Hop and Flamenco. Each class of those includes a warm up in the specific style of dance of the class and then learning the unique moves of that style and each class also includes elements of the beginnings and history of that dance style.

Is there a specific style concentration?
The style is very clear and different for each class; those being the ones I listed above.

What’s the workload like? How are you managing?
The workload for each class I have taken so far has been fairly light because they are only two credit courses. History of Dance is the only 4-credit course and therefore includes more reading and tests. The rest all have some element of a quiz or short paper and some readings, but they are not major and all certainly reasonable. The most work came from Choreography which is held twice a week for 3 hours each day and we had to bring in self choreographed phrases and pieces often.

Why did you choose this minor?
I chose to do this minor because I wanted to get as much experience dancing as possible while still in school. I auditioned for Musical Theater at NYU and was placed into Paywrights Horizons Theater School (PHTS)for my Primary Studio Training. So I spent the first two years without “Musical Theater” dance training. There were movement classes at PHTS which were wonderful but not as much training as I would have gotten at the New Studio on Broadway (NSB). I did transfer into NSB and will complete my training there. But all things considered, I still felt and feel dance to be my weakest part of the “triple threat” threats. But with my training at both PHTS and NSB along with my Dance Minor classes I feel I have improved in my dancing in a major way throughout my time here.

What are you hoping to do when your done with school? Do you see this minor helping you in anyway?
My ultimate goal is to perform on Broadway and so with what I said above I think this minor definitely has been helpful in my training and preparation towards being prepared to face that daunting task of auditions for the Great White Way.

Who would you recommend minor in Dance? What type of student?
I personally feel this minor to be best for people similar to me, those wanting to strengthen their dancing. But in every class I’ve been in for this minor there have been a very diverse population of students in terms of majors and schools within NYU and the classes have all been structured so those who’ve been dancing for years and those who have never really danced before all can succeed.

Favorite place to eat in NYC?
I know this is so college student, but I love me some Two Bros. I mean COME ON one dollar for a delicious slice of pizza? Please, it doesn’t get better that that!

What play/movie/exhibition are you most looking forward to in the coming months?
I will always and forevermore be looking forward to my next return visit to Wicked (24 times and counting), but beyond the best thing to ever grace the planet Earth, I am really looking forward to seeing the revival of Side Show on Broadway! That and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Finding Neverland and any other Broadway show I haven’t seen!

To learn more about the Dance minor click here or stop by the Tisch Special Program Offices!

December 1, 2014
by Jack Serio

Office Chats: Chris Jaehnig – Prague Quadrennial Festival

Office Chats is a recurring blog series where we talk to fellow Tisch students and teachers about their minor, extracurricular activity or anything interesting they are currently working on. The goal is to learn something more about the people around us and the programs Tisch and Tisch Special Programs has to offer. This week we spoke with Chris Jaehnig, The Director of The Production and Design Studio, about the Prague Quadrennial Festival.

Can you tell me a little bit about the festival? What do students who are unfamiliar with it need to know?
The Prague Quadrennial (PQ) has been around for almost 50 years and is this amazing gathering of theater designers, performance space makers and theater creators from around the world. Dozens of countries send displays of professional work as well as separate student displays. The organization of the festival is planned to be in multiple, small-to-mid sized locations this summer which, I think, will lead to very interesting engagement between theater design and the city of Prague!

Here’s a link to the PQ website:

What can students who are enrolled expect to do while at the Festival and in Prague?
We plan to explore both the exhibition and the city of Prague for three weeks at the end of June 2015. Our first week will be engaged with studying the ideas and tradition of “scenography” along with visiting FAMU/AMU and Latterna Magika. Once the PQ begins, our days will be split between discussions/seminars, continuing our exploration the city of Prague with its deep architectural and social history and, of course, participating in the PQ exhibitions and workshops. In the evening, we will optionally attend performances from around the world. We will take a day trip to the preserved Baroque Theatre at Ceský Krumlov Castle, only a few hours south of Prague. Each day we will discuss and reflect on the sites, exhibitions and performances.

Who should take this class?
The class is intended for undergraduates. While the class is originally pitched to the theater design students in the Drama Department, I would love to have the multiple viewpoints of actors, dancers, film-makers, playwrights, directors – even just theater lovers – who have a great interest in theater design.

How is what’s going on in Prague relevant to the work being done at 721 Broadway?
I think that we try to find opportunities to do current design work in the Drama Department – of course that is highly dependent on the shows we are doing and the approach our directors take when conceptualizing the production. This fall’s production of Troilus and Cressida was an excellent example of creating a contemporary design approach to the Greek story written by Shakespeare in the early 1600’s.

Favorite place to eat in NYC?
For a fast dinner – we love Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque on 2nd Avenue or Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken on 1st Street at 2nd Avenue.

What play/movie/exhibition are you most looking forward to in the coming months?
I’m looking forward to getting to the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center to see “Broadway Revealed: Photographs by Stephen Joseph Behind the Theater Curtain” which is an exhibition of photos of Broadway studios and workshops.

Contemporary Design: Prague Quadrennial Festival is open to all NYU and visiting undergraduate students. To learn more about the Prague Quadrennial Festival and to get involved, click here!

November 26, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro

From Summer Student to a Semester Away

Erin Delaney is a visiting student from Kenyon College. She started taking classes at Tisch during the summer of 2013. This semester she is studying away from her home school and spending her fall semester at Tisch focusing on cinema studies. She’s been up to some pretty exciting things while in New York City. Here’s more about Erin:

You took classes at Tisch the past two summers and now you’re here for the fall semester. What keeps bringing you back to Tisch?
I’ve taken cinema studies classes at Tisch the past two summers, and they have been some of my favorite classes I’ve taken thus far in college. I love the blend of writing and film that the major offers – I didn’t even know it was a major until I started taking classes at Tisch. After my first summer, I designed my own course at Kenyon using some of the knowledge I gained at Tisch, a sort of introduction to film history including some basic elements of film criticism and theory, and was able to get the syllabus approved at Kenyon. That allowed me to get my basic cinema history knowledge into place, and now that I’ve given myself a good foundation, I wanted to come back to Tisch to take more advanced classes that I would not be able to teach myself.

How do the courses you are currently enrolled in differ than your area of study back home?
The film department at my home college is only a few years old, and is primarily production based. I’m an English and film double major and am primarily interested in blending the two, which cinema studies allows me to do. Oddly enough, I prefer writing about a film to either viewing a film or actually writing a film. I think there are great overlaps with film theory and literary theory, and I believe in the potential of analyzing a film as a text. I think of cinema studies as a logical extension of my English major that combines something I’m good at (writing) with something I love (film).

You’re also earning credit with an internship this semester. Please tell us about where you are and what you’re doing.
I’m interning for a small film production company, Saetre Film. I was trying to figure out what I would intern in this summer, and Tisch has a great career development website you can register with when you are enrolled here. I decided to take advantage of that and figure out if film production is something I would potentially want to go into, or get an internship in this summer. Turns out, I’m happiest when I’m writing about film rather than developing it. Now that I know that, I think I’ll have a better chance of finding an internship I enjoy this summer.

Last month you participated in the CMJ Music Marathon. What was that like? How were you involved?
At my home college I’m the General Manager of our radio station. CMJ (College Media Journal) holds a music conference and festival every year where General Managers can get a free badge to talk to other college radio staff and industry personnel, which our radio station (WKCO 91.9, Gambier, Ohio) never gets to attend because the conference is so far away. Luckily for me, the conferences are held at Kimmel and the showcases for bands labels want to show off are scattered around the Lower East Side and Brooklyn. I got some valuable insights talking to other radio staff and label representatives, and got to discover some great new acts that I’ll be spinning when I get back to Kenyon second semester.

What advice do you have for students thinking of studying away from their home school?
Make sure your credit transfers, and budget everything very carefully. Try to learn the geography of the city as soon as possible, and definitely take advantage of the half-priced movie tickets at Ticket Central.

What’s next for Erin after a fall semester at Tisch?
I’m looking forward to getting back to our radio station and taking charge there. I’ve already registered for my classes next semester, but am developing a syllabus that I am going to try to get approved for fall 2015 which delves into Queer Cinema with a heavy supplement of criticism and theory. Hopefully I’ll be getting an internship I care about this summer using the experience I’ve had with my internship this semester.

November 24, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro

Special Guest Lecturer: Rick Schmidlin

Rick Schmidlin

Rick Schmidlin

Film producer and preservationist Rick Schmidlin visited the Tisch Open Arts class Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch recently. He visited Tisch earlier this year in April and he came back to give students in the class insight into working with Walter Murch and his overall experience in the film industry.

Here’s what one student had to say about the lecture with Rick:

This week we had the pleasure of having Rick Schmidlin as our guest lecturer. Rick is a passionate film producer and preservationist savant who is known for his work with “The Doors” as well as his restoration of Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil. Last night, Rick immersed us in his story of working with Walter Murch on re-editing the latter classic. Rick described everything from the moment he got the green light from Universal to having dinner with the Murch family and getting to know Walter. Using notes left behind by Welles himself, Walter and Rick carefully reconstructed the film for a more concise story. In doing so Rick was reminded of the discipline of editing and how one shot could change the entire story.

In addition to talking about Walter, Rick discussed his life experiences within the industry: painting images of studio heads, musicians and the world in which he works. His commitment to film preservation reminds us of its importance as we move forward into a digital era. Speakers like Rick are among one of the reasons I enjoy this class. By following his experiences with Walter we get a very human impression of the famous editor which could never come from a book. We also get a chance to see other artists working in the film industry and get a realistic portrayal of its trials, idiosyncrasies, and successes which leave us craving for more.
–Ryan Grippi
The course Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch is taught by Brane Zivkovic.

November 24, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro

Building Résumés with the BBC

Every fall and spring semester we are eager to hear what programs or shows our students in Television Production with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will be assigned to. In these “attachments”, students apply their training from the first half of the semester to a professional BBC production unit in the second half of the semester. These assignments vary each semester, depending on what the BBC has in production at that time.

Left to right back row: Ishan Seth, Graham Raubvogel, Collin Hutsell, Avery Ksander-Turner Left to right front row: Sarah Sommers,  Liv Senghor, Claire Mordowanec, Mirsada Abdool-Ramen

Left to right back row:
Ishan Seth, Graham Raubvogel, Collin Hutsell, Avery Ksander-Turner
Left to right front row:
Sarah Sommers, Liv Senghor, Claire Mordowanec, Mirsada Abdool-Ramen

Here’s what our eight students currently in London are up to:

The Graham Norton Show
Student: Sarah Sommers

Sarah is a fully-integrated member of the BBC’s world famous, award-winning comedy chat show The Graham Norton Show. As well as supporting the office team with research and helping in any other way that may be required, Sarah is also part of the studio team at the Thursday recordings at the London Television Studios on the South Bank. Sarah will look after studio guests and assist Producers, Assistant Producers, TV crew and studio staff during the recordings.

Friday Download
Student: Collin Hutsell

Working on the team of the BBC’s award-winning, and very fast moving children’s TV show, Colin is in a key role to support this small but very busy production. This program has a very collaborative team with everyone getting involved in all aspects of production. The show will be in studio (London Television Studios on the South Bank) prior to delivering the final program in December so towards the end of the attachment Colin will be working with the VT Editors offering edit support.

BBC College of Production Website
Student: Mirsada Abdool Raman

Mirsada is assisting the website’s Producer/Director making films for the BBC Academy, College of Production website. Mirsada has an opportunity to get involved in every aspect of production including self shooting, writing articles and editing films, as well as overseeing a film from the early research stage to planning and scheduling film shoots. Mirsada may be asked to film behind the scenes of a number of well known BBC productions.

BBC News (Forward Planning Desk)
Student: Avery Ksander-Turner

Joining the award winning and globally recognized BBC Newsgathering Division in New Broadcasting House, this student is assisting in forward planning and general duties across all bulletins. The attachment exposes the student to state of the art broadcasting techniques, giving him experience in finding stories, assisting on shoots, providing in depth research to tight deadlines for the BBC’s celebrated specialist reporters for a 24-hour news gathering service across radio, television and online.

Radio 1 Interactive (Visualization for radio)
Student: Olivia Senghor

Olivia is assisting the Radio 1 interactive team to create online content to support radio producers. This attachment is with the BBC’s premier youth music station and requires creativity and ability to work to tight deadlines making short films of a high standard for a discerning audience. Olivia is working in studios and on location and may also be asked to edit short films on Final Cut.

Pointless Celebrities
Student: Claire Mordowanec

Claire joins the production team of one of the BBC’s best loved quiz shows, Pointless. She is working with the team of Pointless Celebrities, the celebrity version of the show. Claire helps out in all aspects of the studio preparation and production and will work on the studio recordings at Elstree Film Studios for two weeks. During this period Clair will look after guests and offer support to the production team and crew. She is working at the production office supporting the post studio production team and is helping out during the editing process.

BBC London News
Student: Graham Raubvogel

Graham is assisting the news gathering team on BBC London News. He is setting up stories and working on the planning desk of a busy newsroom. Graham has gone on location with reporters covering local stories in and around the south east of England. Part of Graham’s experience may also include operating a camera, editing short films and setting up location shoots.

BBC Political Unit (Daily Politics and Sunday Politics)
Student: Ishan Seth

Ishan is working in the world famous BBC Political Unit assisting in the day to day productions of the two high profile shows that are recorded at the Millbank studios. He is experiencing working on the studio programs as well as occasionally working on location supporting the political reporters. During this attachment Ishan may be fixing interviews and films, and writing briefs for authored pieces.

Applications for the Television Production with the BBC fall 2015 program are being accepted until February 13, 2015. Please visit the Tisch Special Programs website for the application and admissions details.

November 24, 2014
by Jack Serio

Office Chats: Olivia Wendel – Performance Studies Minor

Office Chats is a recurring blog series where we talk to fellow Tisch students and teachers about their minor, extracurricular activity or anything interesting they are currently working on. The goal is to learn something more about the people around us and the programs Tisch and Tisch Special Programs has to offer. This week we spoke with Olivia Wendel who’s minoring in Performance Studies.

Lexington, Massachusetts

Year at NYU
I’m a Junior!

I’m concentrating in Drama and Performing Arts in Gallatin.

Performance Studies

Can you tell me a little about Performance Studies? How does this differ from a Drama major/minor?
Performance Studies analyzes the principals of performance in the context of stage performances as well as studio art, film, extending as far as performance of everyday life. For example we’d look at the performance of getting dressed in the morning and how that in itself is a performance. We’re not simply analyzing characters or actors in a play, but rather how human beings in the every day perform in our society. I would say it differs from a Drama major because there’s no studio time. While we read about and analyze great theatrical practitioners and performers, we are not rehearsing their theories like a Drama major would.

What’s the workload like?
The workload is a lot of reading but it’s manageable, especially if you find the information interesting. In the Intro to Performance Studies class you get to read a wide range of material ranging from performance of dance to the performance of race.

Why did you choose this minor?
I chose this minor because as an actor and someone who studies Drama I like to gain as wide an understanding of the art form as I can. I also think it’s important to hear what other people have to say about the art form you’re pursuing, even if you disagree, because it expands and informs your perspective.

What are you hoping to do when your done with school? Do you see this minor helping you in anyway?
I’m not sure yet! I’ve always wanted to be involved artistically in my profession. I’m also a singer and I love musical theatre so maybe pursuing that! I definitely see this minor helping me. It’s already taught me so much, especially in a critical way. I think I can look at a piece of theatre or art and analyze it more critically now and with wider understanding.

Who would you recommend minor in Performance Studies? What type of student?
I’d recommend Performance Studies to anyone who loves theatre and art. It’s really invaluable stuff that you read and learn. I’d recommend it to any student, but especially Gallatin students because we have a book list we all assemble for our final colloquium and you’ll do a lot of valuable reading in these classes if you’re concentration is Drama like mine!

To learn more about the Performance Studies minor click here or stop by the Tisch Special Program Offices!

November 19, 2014
by Jack Serio

November’s Must See List: Film

Well, we’re here. It’s reached below freezing temps in the Big Apple and no one is happy about it. It’s too early! Come on! Well, anyway, the best cold medicine (see what I did there?!) is undeniably the movies. This weekend is the perfect time to snuggle up in the warm comfy chairs of the movies and get away from it all for a few hours. This list might also come in handy over your Thanksgiving break when you’re looking for something to do! Remember, you can buy half-off movie passes through NYU Ticket Central! Never pay full price!


I haven’t heard this many people talking about a movie in a long time. And from the sounds of it, Interstellar is living up to its hype! Interstellar represents more of the thrilling, thought-provoking, and visually stunning filmmaking moviegoers have come to expect from writer-director Christopher Nolan (The Batman Trilogy). The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. You can’t get much better than that! Here’s how it’s billed: With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human history; traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars. interstellar-poster


All drama students should see this movie. Both a haunting portrayal of theatre and film, this movie really does have something for every Tisch student. Both Edward Norton and Michael Keaton give incredible come-back performances that the Oscar community is already buzzing about. The film is also shot to look like it is all one take, which is compelling enough, throw in some career-defining performances and a great script, and you’ve got a fantastic night out. Here’s how it’s billed: BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.birdman-click


Here’s an odd paring: The guy from the State Farm commercials and the kid from The Spectacular Now. Well however odd it may be, J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller are tearing up the screen in Whiplash. One of the most exciting movies to come out this fall, Whiplash is an intense, inspiring, and well-acted sophomore effort from director Damien Chazelle. If you can’t get tickets to Interstellar and/or BIRDMAN because everyone in town is trying to, go see Whiplash, you won’t be disappointed. Here’s how it’s billed: Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability-and his sanity.WHIPLASH+onesheet

The Skeleton Twins

This is by far the most surprised I have been at the movies this fall. Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig give outstanding performances in The Skeleton Twins. Ty Burrell is equally as excellent, though a more minor character. These three comedic actors do not shy away from their funny side. There are certainly some laughs in this movie, but their performances are by far so much more heartbreaking. I sincerely had no idea these three could be so genuinely serious and dramatic. This is the type of indie movie you’ll want to brag to your friends about, the type of movie probably only you will have seen. But it’s so worth it. Here’s how it’s billed: When estranged twins Maggie and Milo  feel they’re at the end of their ropes, an unexpected reunion forces them to confront why their lives went so wrong. As the twins reconnect, they realize the key to fixing their lives may just lie in repairing their relationship.MV5BNzk5MjM3NDEwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIxNjYzMjE@._V1_SX640_SY720_

The Imitation Game

Opening on November 28th, The Imitation Game features an outstanding starring performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, illuminating its fact-based story. With a seemingly promising performance from Kiera Knightly, this is a not to be missed film. Catch it before all your friends do so you can lecture them about how you knew about it first. Here’s how it’s billed: In THE IMITATION GAME, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal.MV5BNDkwNTEyMzkzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTAwNzk3MjE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_


Movies that didn’t make the cut, but you should totally go see:

  • Foxcatcher
  • Gone Girl
  • Dear White People
  • Love is Strange
  • Art and Craft
  • The Theory of Everything
  • 20,000 Days on Earth

November 17, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro

A Skype Chat with Charles Koppelman

Students in Brane Zivkovic’s Tisch Open Arts course Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch got to talk to Charles Koppelman last week. Charles, author of “Behind the Seen: How Walter Murch Edited Cold Mountain Using Apple’s Final Cut Pro and What This Means for Cinema”, offered students a rare glimpse into Walter’s creative process. Here’s what one student had to say about the chat:

Charles Koppelman

Charles Koppelman

Journalist and filmmaker Charles Koppelman discussed with the class (via Skype) about the cherished and intimate time he spent with Walter while he was editing Cold Mountain. While he depicted this experience as one of the best times of his life, the class was eager to ask questions about Walter’s day-to-day habits. Walter, working on a high-budget film, was under a lot of pressure and Koppelman became Walter’s ultimate companion. Walter would get into his editing zone, and Koppelman said it was like watching an orchestra composer. While composers move their bodies to the rhythm of a musical piece, Walter would do his dance to the rhythm of editing. The faster the scene, the more animated he became. This routine would typically go on until 2 or 3 in the morning. After a long day’s work, Charles and Walter would walk home together and meet up again at 8 am sharp. Koppelman soon realized he was going to have to learn to keep up! In the times they spent together out of the studio, Walter would talk about things like particle science or an anecdote from the time he was creating the sound design for Apocalypse Now. Charles was humbled to be there for Walter to keep him sane, but also bewildered by his stamina, vast knowledge and general zest for life.
–Dyani Douze

This was Charles’ second discussion with students about Walter Murch. Charles joined the spring 2014 class via Skype again in March.