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November 2012

Movie Review: Anna Karenina

Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina had a lot to live up to. First is, and most importantly in my opinion, is the undertaking of translated Tolstoy’s beautiful work into a film. Second is the fact that this book has already been made into multiple adaptations. Third is that he has continued to show his growth as an expert and masterful director, so the pressure was on to continue this streak.

I have to applaud Wright for putting everything on the line by creating a conceptual version of the film. Using the stage as the basis for the act that is participating in the game of society we see our characters move gracefully through the story. Setting and props moved with purpose and the camera cuts an exquisite path through the action. The actors move with the grace of ballet dancers as they dress, do paperwork and move through the sets. Continue reading “Movie Review: Anna Karenina”


Fieldnotes: Conference edition

I leave tomorrow for the Bay area so that I can attend the AAA (American Anthropological Association) conference. I am so excited to be able to meet so many amazing people in my field in one quick week.

I volunteered to help out at the conference because apparently I like to give myself more work. I’ll be tabling (Chico State has prepared me for all sorts of tabling conditions, haha) and writing some stories for AnthroNews.

I have to say I am most excited/nervous about writing for AnthroNews.

I haven’t written for a news-source since January. I’ve been writing on-and-off for papers and zines since mid-2005, so I have many years of experience under my belt. I guess I’m nervous because I haven’t sat down and written in AP Style for a long time. Luckily while I’m up for the conference I will be reunited with my AP Stylebook, which brings me joy on multiple nerdy levels.

Overall I’m honored to be a part of a conference with such a prolific history.

As a grad student I’m excited to make connections that could benefit my work and maybe lead to employment.

I’m so excited and yet I have so much to do before I get there! Books to return to the library, film showing to attend, clothes to pack, homework to finish! It all seems so mundane when I think about the comfort of my own bed being less than 48 hours away!

Fieldnotes: Frustration edition

Friday the first draft of my film project is due and I feel like I have nothing to show for my efforts. This morning I made a bunch of new contacts, but filmed no interviews. I could have taken out the camera and put people in front of it, but there’s a certain intuition that comes with being a journalist and anthropologist that makes you aware of when it’s appropriate to start recording and when it’s not.

Today didn’t feel right. I was trying to make initial contacts and get people on board. Explaining why you want to talk to someone about their life in a non-creepy way is difficult.

So today I made contacts but was waiting on a call from a participant who said he’d set me up with contacts that would be ok with interviews. He said he knew a bunch of guys who had been working in the fields for years. He said he’d help, but he has’t returned my calls all week. I had intended to spend all day tomorrow interviewing his friends, but as of now I have nothing. As of now my trip was for nothing. As of now I’ll have nothing to show for my first draft besides two interviews with people who are not relevant to my study.

It’s days like this that plague my night, my mornings, my every second. What have I done wrong? Will this project ever be complete? How much of this time has been a waste? Should I change my topic to make it easier?

But I don’t want to change my topic because it’s important to me to know who picks our food and the issues that face Hispanics in America today.

I don’t know. I’m not sure. These phrases circle in my mind and I still have no conclusions.

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