by Luca Foggini (’16)
From the Sarah Fontaine Unit

One fine morning in the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, a small blue speck swirled with all the bearings of life. It had on it that elusive combination of hydrogen and oxygen, one that brought about the stirrings of protoplasmic sea-life, spineless, half-alive sludge that was scraped off the sea-floor by the ever so gentle roiling of waves. On  February 15th in what would later be called the Mediterranean, George, an early ancestor of the mud skipper, tentatively walked onto dry-land, wading into tide pools to keep himself moist. His brain was the size of a speck of sand and his thoughts rung out in broken syllables: Must…dry…dry…must.

His family, Mary, Millie, and George Jr. waited near the verge of the ocean, where water met shore, with heads poked out with expectance. They gurgled in unison. Hulking, transparent invertebrates float behind them as bottom feeders scoured the sand below.

George was the first mud skipper to ever leave the water, his unadapted fins slowly dragging him along. He would have shriveled up if it hadn’t have been for a gentle rainfall that provided a puddle for him to stay in for a while. The puddle was enough to provide comfort and he looked above through the mirrored surface of the puddle to see many other mud skippers shuffling out on feet unfit for land. George squeezed out a stifled thought: Happy…sleepy…dream.

George slept and he dreamt.

George awoke again. He coughed on brackish water, smelling the peat and muddy miasma of a bog. Then he realized with quite a start that he could no longer breath. He gulped down water, choked on it, and felt a burning sensation in his gills. They were no longer gills though, they were something else. And their need for oxygen initiated in a survival instinct in him that made him kick his way to the surface. Breathing in air for the first time was just as much of a trauma as realizing he couldn’t breath water. It felt cold and fresh, as water felt when he could breath, but different this time, without the substance that water had. Crawling onto land by grabbing on a tuft of cattails, he had another realization: his fins. They were no longer fins, but had rather splayed out, with fur and five long appendages. After crawling onto land, he realized that he had legs too that awkwardly carried him along. His balance was completely off and he waggled unsteadily for a while, slowly acclimating to his new form as his ears rung uncontrollably, picking up on the guffaws of jungle life. His thoughts were a cavalcade of questions, slightly more well-formed than before but still plodding. George ventured forth on his wobbling legs, feeling the scrubby grass and ferns that were scattered on the jungle floor. He noticed a puddle and looking down into it, could see the reflection of his face. He recoiled back from the puddle, horrified from his appearance. A rustle of branches called his attention to several creatures that looked like him, swinging across the branches, and he beckoned them with a harsh, grating cry. They turned to him attentively and swung down by his side. He spoke to them with a prior knowledge that was not his. Where…am…I? The creatures consulted each other with inquisitive gazes before responding to him, You…are…home. George search through his cluttered mind for another query, What…am…I? The creatures considered the question and answered, You…are…one…of…us. They looked him over and said, Follow…us. George followed them close behind, grasping the tree that they were climbing up uneasily, losing his grip for a few seconds and then quickly regaining it. He reached the top where he was greeted with apprehension from many eyes that pierced the shadow with their gleam. They spoke in many foreign tongues, feeling his fur as he walked past them. One of the creature offered him food, an orange, sticky substance. He ate it and showed satisfaction out of courtesy to the elder who smiled briskly in the dusking light. The creatures lost the interest they had before and ambled to their respective sleeping places, settling down into their soft beds. The elder offered him a spot to sleep and George accepted gratefully. He lay down on his bed. His mind was too feeble to wrap around the strangeness of his experience. It was merely an afterthought, one that he forgot the minute he closed his eyes.

George awoke again looking up at a pulsating, pink membrane. He heard a whooshing sound, one that filled his ears. He raised his hands, or tried to raise them because it was a great effort. They were limp and leaden and fell again at his side. His eyes were ineffectual. He could not open his eyelids and could only see because his eyelids were so thin they were transparent. He heard the beating of a great heart, one that reverberated against the walls of his great, pink room. The repetition was soothing and as he listened to it, he fell asleep.

Instinctively, he looked to see if he was different when he awoke. He could not see anymore, his eyelids tightly pressed together and impossible to open. George heard noises, the steady unchanging beat of a heart, and another noise. He realized he could open his eyes again and he observed his surroundings, basking in the warmth of the pink room. Suddenly, light blinded him from all direction. George screamed, as it was freezing cold outside of his pink, pulsating domicile. He was being wrapped in something soft and he felt the feeling of movement as he was moved to another place and held in somebody’s hands. He was moved again to a warmer place and dozed immediately.

Time passed, cartilage ossified, teeth grew, the first tentative toddler steps were taken, and soon enough George was walking. His intelligence expanded as he saw everything with new eyes and a fresh mind. He learned the alphabet, the multiplication tables, algebra, history, language arts, cursive, reading, new languages, calculus, and then he was released. Childhood was over and he stood after graduation, frock and mortarboard held in hand. This was the junction of life where you left the pettiness of college problems and moved on to real, adult ones. Your way was no longer paved. You had to make it on your own. Beyond George was the ocean, just beyond the vertiginous sea cliffs. He looked at it and it sparked something long gone in his head. He thought for a moment and didn’t care to remember whatever it might have been that he had forgotten.

(I Wanna Take You to a) Play (Bar)

‘Aight, here are the long-awaited behind-the-scenes photos.

The Girl Who Cried Tortoise

Now there’s a guy that looks good on his hands and knees.

Mommy Hazel with Hammer Baby

Maxine and Johnny (and Jonathan)

Constructive Criticism

My Favorite Raccoon

Raccoon ft. Giorgia

Raccoon ft. Giorgia

Stay tuned for behind-the-scenes videos, for an in-depth look at CW’s creative process and waffles.


“Moonrise Kingdom” Review

by Luca (’16)

Wes Anderson’s movies are charming and colorful, albeit very similar. They have funny captions, dysfunctional families, and mysterious narrators. But they all have a marvelous take-away feeling: the sensation of being warmed up inside. All his tales leave us with the need to enlighten everybody who hasn’t seen a Wes Anderson film, and Moonrise Kingdom is a good place to start, with a beautiful story about two young lovers running away on an island in Maine. This movie is very light-hearted and has a fantastic cast that include Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, and Edward Norton, all who play their part fantastically well. The two kids, Suzy and Sam, were pen pals until they formulated a plan to escape from their respective homes and ran away into the wilderness, never to be found by their crazy parents ever again. The smile that this movie puts on your face will linger until the very end. The only problem I can see with this film is that it is a little too long. It has several perfect places to wrap things up but then continues, overstaying its welcome just a tiny bit. Also, for a pretty mellow film, the pyrotechnics start in the final act as the boy scouts are struck by lightning, the scoutmaster’s tent explodes, the Church steeple is also blown to smithereens and the movie ends in a completely ridiculous fashion. The movie unshackles itself from reality entirely but sometimes, especially in the grand finale, it feels like a little too much. This movie is extremely fun, extremely colorful, and extremely sweet. All in all, it is a fantastic film.

“The Master” Film Review

by Luca (’16)

This movie is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, who masterfully made films such as “There Will be Blood” and “Magnolia”, the fastest four hours I have ever sat through. He is no doubt a fantastic talent, a producing-writing-directing type who has never made a bad movie, and has never succumbed to making popular entertainment. However, this one makes all his others look straight shooting and sensible, it’s bizarrely constructed plot blowing your mind from beginning to end. The movie starts with Joaquin Phoenix being bad in the Pacific during the tail end of WWII. We start to see his skewed habits as he drinks torpedo fuel, associates all Rorschach tests with sex, and goes off on rampages, drunk on paint thinner while he throws crystal and steals valuables. Joaquin Phoenix’s performance is incredible. His eyes and hunchback-like stance are intense. He channels insanity and is utterly magnetizing, belittling even a messianic Phillip Seymour Hoffman who plays an L. Ron Hubbard character called The Master. The Master creates a religion based on his commandments that he makes up as he goes. Processing is used to strip the human mind of its animal instincts. Sounds almost rational, right? Well Processing can also cure Leukemia, abolish the nuclear threat, and turn the world into a bunch of peace-loving, flower-showering hippies. However, at 137 minutes, this movie does over stay its welcome with too much mumbo jumbo about Processing. Joaquin Phoenix’s character also has a past that is almost too screwed up to be believable. His lousy life is shown in quick exhibition while the rest of the movie sags in the middle with its own weight and high concept. Scientology is not the subject of this film. It is mostly focused on Joaquin Phoenix, while The Master is only a character he runs into, not as important as he is built up to be. After the entire movie, you are thoroughly confused. The plot seems almost inconclusive, the ending just happens and although this movie is really good, it is not as traditional as I thought it would be which is a good thing. It does keep you thinking and talking about it for you a very long time. It also fills you with the unpleasant feeling that you are not smart enough to get what’s going on. I guess you could call it a little pretentious in the way it comes off but not every movie needs be easy to follow and quick to understand. This movie is good but not bad for the reasons I didn’t love it and still a movie you should see. If without merit, it is still beautiful in 70 mm that pops with color like a field of tulips.

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD: Bizarre and dreamy movie where fantasy melds with reality

by Luca (’16)

This movie is very, very strange. Packed with metaphors that might mean nothing, this movie explores death and imagination. It doesn’t even explore the topic, it wanders in the rain, blasting a shotgun into a hurricane like the drunk and dying dad of Hushpuppy, our main character, who lives in a sinking island off Louisiana. Despite contending with rising sea levels, mythical beats, and an impending hurricane, Hushpuppy might just have super powers. She can talk to her mom who isn’t there and seems to have thawed out frozen prehistoric creatures by accident. Hushpuppy has a swirly of disgusting, grimy southern folk around her, living in the Bathtub, a small community on the verge of being swallowed up by the waves. This movie is very interesting, as the Hurricane comes and smothers the land with water. Eventually, Hushpuppy and the survivors of the Hurricane take to the rivers that used to be streets and homes. This movie is a little too wierd at times and at other times seems half baked, with criminal acts going un-punished and Hushpuppys imagination fusing with the real world so much that both are indistinguishable. This is interesting but causes plotholes as big as the eye of the death-dealing hurricane on the horizon. And there are characters that say absolutely nothing at all, like the children Hushpuppy hangs out with, and parens so incompetent in noticing their childrens absence that they probably are another figment of Hushpuppy’s imagination. This wierd parents also have nothing much to say either. While the movie’s meaning is extremely confused, being that the plot itself is extremely confused, it still is a good movie. The performances are real and the shaky camera and methodical pacing do make you feel that your there, in a rather unpleasant, yet magical place.