Archive for February, 2012

Midnight in Paris Review

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

It’s award season, which means we get to appreciate our favorite stars in music, film, and TV. This year many amazing films are nominated for awards, and in the spirit of the season, it only makes sense to review one of the most promising films of this award season.

Midnight in Paris, directed by Woody Allen and starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams, is nominated for many awards by different organizations: the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, and the Academy Awards.  These include several Best Actor awards, best Art Direction, Best Directing, Best Screen Play, and even Best Movie of the Year. It’s no surprise that the movie was nominated so many times; the talent and romanticism that characterize this film are astonishing.

The movie is profound in its exploration of grand themes: love, art, and the past vs. the present. In the film, the main character, Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), explores the connection – and disparity – between the present and the past. As Gil tries to find himself and discover his potential as an artist, he longs for a simpler time in which he thinks art and culture climaxed: 1920s Paris. In the film, the beautiful and nostalgic backdrop of Paris – today, in the 1920s, and during La Belle Epoque – lends a much-needed thread of continuity to the film.

The growth of Gil Pender during the three different eras teaches valuable life lessons, both about the individual psyche, and about humans’ capabilities in general. The film is also a must-see for 20s literature, music, and art fans: it features many prominent artists of the 20s. Midnight in Paris is stunning and unbelievably insightful, and going into this year’s award season, this film should be at the top of any “To-Watch List.”

Olutola Ebunlomo ’13

The First Primaries

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Although there have only been three primary elections for the 2012 presidential Republican candidacy, the results have already had major impact.

The first primary, as is customary, was the Iowa caucus on January 7th. For those who don’t know, a caucus is a much longer process than a typical primary election. Before voting, supporters of campaigns are able to try to convince others to vote for their candidates. After supporters for each candidate have made their presentations, all voters are given pieces of paper, on which they write their choices.

After the votes from all 1,774 locations were counted, the results were very surprising. Initially, Mitt Romney appeared to have won with only 8 votes more than Rick Santorum. When a more exact count came in, though, it showed that Santorum had beaten Romney by several hundred ballots, with both men taking approximately a quarter of the votes. Behind them was Ron Paul, and trailing behind were Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Michelle Bachmann. This prompted Michelle Bachmann to drop out.

One week later, the second primary occurred in New Hampshire. This was a typical primary election, with voters filling out printed or electronic ballots to vote for their favorite candidate. This time Romney won a major victory, with Paul, Huntsman, Gingrich, Santorum, and Perry all far behind. After this, Huntsman and Perry dropped out, with Huntsman supporting Romney and Perry supporting Gingrich.

Several weeks after that was the South Carolina primary. Many consider this election to have been the most accurate in predicting the winning Republican presidential candidate. In this case, Gingrich surged ahead to win a crucial victory, way ahead of Romney, Santorum, and Paul.

The most recent primary took place in Florida on January 31st. Romney regained his lead, beating Gingrich by 10%. Santorum and Paul trailed behind again.

There are many primary elections still to come in the upcoming weeks and months, but what these results show is that it is still a very close race and it is still possible for almost any of the candidates in the race to still become the Republican presidential nominee.

Alex Besser ’13

Scholarship Article

Monday, February 13th, 2012

MKA highly values diversity in its student body. One program dedicated to promoting student diversity at MKA is the Community Scholars Program. In 1969, the Board of Trustees of Montclair Academy (the all-boys predecessor to MKA) established the Program to ensure that all deserving students, regardless of their economic circumstances, can become part of our community. The Board initially created the Program in the wake of the riots in Newark to give students an opportunity that may not otherwise have been available to them. Since the program’s inception, MKA has awarded seven full scholarships each year. Recipients must demonstrate outstanding leadership skills and academic ability, and be upstanding citizens in their community. Selected students have proven to be some of the most academically gifted in MKA’s history. Not only is MKA fortunate to be able to offer such a program, but the community is also fortunate to have such deserving recipients.

Madison Rivlin ’15