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SHEI Magazine is a University of Michigan student-run fashion, art, and pop culture publication. Everything from the photography, writing, modeling, editing, and publicity of our bi-yearly print publications and monthly digital mini is created by students who attend the University of Michigan. Founded in 1999, SHEI Magazine continues to produce issues of professional quality, as well as provide real-world experience to students interested in journalism, publishing, and the fashion industries.

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Notes from the 51st Ann Arbor Film Festival: Opening Reception

Shea Corrigan

Ann Arbor Film Fest reception If the Ann Arbor Film Festival is a study in eclecticism (we would argue it is), then the Opening Night Reception is the case in point. Normally we would, and in the past we have, provide a mostly eloquent rundown of the night's events - the sponsors, the snacks, the shorts- but this year we're doing something a little bit different. We're calling it Notes From the Festival and it's exactly that. Everything that stood out in the sensory overload of offerings and we deemed worthy of a note. They have been since categorized in post-production.

Jon and Zack, Raven's Club champions / Photo: Zach Esposito

From the Open-Bar

- Raven's Club provided a customized menu. Not entirely sure they were accepting off-menu orders (guessing no), but no one seemed to be complaining.

- The Cold War was excellent.

- Raven's Club is also showcasing some signature liquors - including Rain, an organic vodka - in really interesting bottles.

- As is to be expected, there is always a line; some intelligent soul thought to put the silent auction of community and otherwise art and baskets exactly where this line passed

- In line, some people will choose to discuss spaghetti, at 7:25pm a man amuses his companion with the story of the best bar mitzvah he's ever been to

- The bartenders are Jon Tipton - general manager of Raven's Club - and Zack Zavisa, this is their second year pouring libations at the festival, and they are all-stars

Photo: Zach Esposito

Highlights of the Smorgasbord

- The dessert table, which we hit first, boasted some delicious macaroons, and an unreasonable selection of Cupcake Station mini offerings.

- Fig jam and goat cheese crackers

- Hummus spread from Jerusalem Garden

- Caprese something-or-other

- Really the whole spread was impressive, it was like the Taste of Ann Arbor consolidated into one long banquet table


Assorted Observations of the Reception

- The crowd is pretty evenly split between the 20-something students (?) and 40-something festival veterans

- The DJ (Jeremy Wheeler) is spinning real records; it's all very 70s/80s/Factory-feeling

- The theater was the place to mingle casually or sit and snack/sip; the lobby was the place to see, be seen, and find old fest friends; the balcony was the place to stand in line for drinks or bid on art

- In addition to a collection of avant-garde film, the AAFF could double as a convention for alternative hair styles, the variety of volume, length, shaved and not shaved, and beards was really outstanding

- A man is spotted with a magnificent cowboy hat, he will be spotted continuously over the festival, identified by said hat

- AJ Daulerio's doppelganger was in attendance

- Art Garfunkel circa Bridge Over Troubled Water may have time-traveled back to attend

Art from auction, Bowie and Davey Crockett / Photo: Zach Esposito

The Opening Night Screening, as Told by the Hecklers

Maybe it was the open bar, but the audience was feeling particularly chatty as the shorts began

- "It's my birthday!": apropos of nothing while David Dinnell, program director, was thanking sponsors and participants

excessive shushing: in response to "it's my birthday"

- "God bless you": an unnecessarily vocal gesundheit

- "Is this a movie about dogs? You shush! Oh no!!!" : reacting to the title card "Rating Dogs on a Scale of 1 to 10" (side note: best short ever)

barking : see above

Final Notes from the Screening

There was a bizarre French short about a turkey named Marcel, but it featured stellar commentary like "12 hours later...woo woo! I'm still alive"

- The audience was surprisingly entertained by the slapstick of a car being destroyed in a junk yard

- A lot of nature shots juxtaposed with deteriorating industrialism

- You look like an asshole when you take notes on your phone in a dark theater, even if you're in the last row