Students headed to campus libraries aren't just relying on paper and pencil to jot down notes; many are signing out one of 17 Macintosh iBook computers. Made available last fall, the portable laptops have been loaned more than 6,000 times for sessions that can last up to four hours. Two of the iBooks are located in the Conservatory Library, three in the Science Center Library, and 14 in Mudd. Wireless connections to the campus network have made laptops more appealing than ever; students can access the Internet from spots such as Wilder Bowl, Tappan Square, and several campus buildings.
For students who prefer desktop computers, or those who need access to printers, more than 250 computers are available in 14 labs throughout campus. The Center for Information Technology upgraded machines in six Mac labs to G4 iMacs with flat panel monitors, while three other labs received Gateway e4000s.
"We were working with issues of voyeurism, sex, and violence in American cinema," says Ry Russo-Young '03 of New York, which would explain why she and senior Clara Latham ended up intoxicated on a beautiful Oberlin day under the gaze of traffic. Or why they descended into an all-out slugfest, ripping to shreds their matching pink and white dresses while onlookers gasped in disbelief. The bloody nightmare left Russo-Young's seemingly lifeless body sprawled on a patch of green tree lawn.
Don't worry folks. It's just a movie–one that won entry last November to the Torino Film Festival, the second largest such festival in Italy.
Russo-Young and Latham wrote, produced, and directed Babes in Toyland last year as a project for Russo-Young's video production class. They submitted the film to several festivals and received word in October of its acceptance at Torino. With only a month to prepare, the pair formed a production company, Cry Productions, and set out to create publicity materials and acquire funding to transfer their 11-minute video to 35mm film.
"I was thrilled when Ry and Clara got in to Torino because that festival is so competitive," says Rian Brown-Orso, assistant professor of art and co-professor of the class. "I always encourage my talented students to submit their work. This sort of film would have been a C project for anyone else, but they captured a vital energy that made it transforming. The film accesses the energy of an unhinged, chaotic world. It says, ‘things don't appear as they seem.' It's cynical, and it should be taken very metaphorically."
While some festivals feed directly into the film industry, Torino is used more to showcase film as an art form and to serve as meeting place for filmmakers. The city of Torino, considered the Italian birthplace of film, has a proud connection with today's film moguls, including producers Mel Stuart and Clint Eastwood.
"The festival gave us a chance to see current films from all over the world," says Russo-Young, who's now working on a new film. Latham, a music composition and visual arts major, is contributing original music to the score.
"It was a wonderful opportunity," Latham adds enthusiastically. "When I graduate, I hope to move to New York and produce films, act, and, of course, write and perform my own music.
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