Restaurant of the Week: Café de Croissants

You have probably driven past the little hut located in the Raley’s Shopping Center thousands of times, never looking twice as to what it might be. It’s in an unusual spot for a drive-thru cafe, yet you can find the tan and blue hut in the middle of the parking lot. This hidden gem is the place for quick, cheap, and a delicious bite to eat. With surrounding locations in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Sebastopol; it’s perfect at anytime of the day.

Cafe des Croissants gives the option to either dine in or drive through, it’s the best of both worlds. Nick Mainaga, an Economics major at Sonoma State University states, “this place is bomb! I like to drive through so I can enjoy the food at home. I found Cafe des Croissant my sophomore year and I still go on the regular.” 

Their actual restaurant is just to the right of Raleys which can be hard to miss, but if you have the time, dining in is the best option. It’s a casual set up where you can either seat yourself or order up front and take it home.

 As you walk in, you’re immediately welcomed with radiant energy. The genuine employees make your experience more enjoyable due to their exceptional service. As for the seating, it’s quite small with only a handful booths and a selection of tables it, but still able to not feel cramped and on a sunny day there’s outdoor arrangements available. If you’re in a rush, or feeling lazy the drive through is a convenient way to enjoy some of their delicious food.  

Besides the convenience of their restaurant, they provide a diverse menu. Ranging from different croissant flavors to even croissant sandwiches, they also serve egg sandwiches, a buy 5 get 1 free bagel selection, salads, burgers, burritos and the list goes on. 

Jena Plasmyer, a fourth year at Sonoma State University said, “I can always count on Cafe des Croissants to make a appetizing and inexpensive meal. I love their Jalapeno Sausage sandwich, it’s the perfect amount of spiciness.”
      Not to mention, their fresh squeezed orange juice, homemade smoothies, coffee, tea, and soda. Their coffee and smoothies are favored by many, it’s a must have.

As if you thought it couldn’t get better? Their pricing is excellent especially for a college diet. Inside it’s a guarantee you won’t be paying more than $14 for a meal. As for their drive through, each item is less than eight dollars.  

Although everything on the menu is very satisfying, the egg sandwiches are a must have. The Great Santa Rosa ($4.49) comes with your choice of either sliced bread, a bagel, or a croissant. The flaky warm croissant typically pairs nicely with the ham, egg, american cheese topped with their thick cut smoked bacon.
      You would have never guessed this savory meal was only five dollars. If you have a sweet tooth their specialty crepes ($9) are to die for. The SouthBay Style crepe is filled with nutella and freshly cut bananas, with drizzled nutella and shavings of coconut to top it off. It’s something that continuously melts in your mouth up until your last bite.
     Their breakfast wraps are definitely something to not look past. They may look like simple breakfast burritos but they are truly delightful and only costing $6.25 or less. 

 Next time you’re in the Raley’s shopping center, give Cafe des Croissants a try. You’ll always have exceptional service and an appetizing meal. Whether you drive through or decide to dine in, it will be an experience you won’t regret. 

Fourth times a charm for 'A Star is Born'

Terms like “fantastic,” “truly remarkable,” and “must-see” have often been thrown around in the world of cinema, though not quite as often as their antonyms, and even far fewer of these high-praise terms are associated with sequels, reboots and remakes. Every so often, though, one of them comes along and steals the show. 

“A Star is Born” has been made, in one form or another, four times since its 1937 original debuted (five if we count George Cukor’s “What Price Hollywood” from 1932). From Janet Gaynor to Judy Garland to Barbra Streisand, many prominent actresses have taken their shot at this story before Stefani Germanotta, also known as Lady Gaga. Nevertheless, she makes her case as arguably the best lead since Gaynor graced the screen over 80 years ago. 

The film’s central role, though, belongs to the embattled, alcoholic country-rock singer Jackson Maine, played by Bradley Cooper, whose career has been in a tailspin for a while. Maine comes across and eventually romances Ally, a woman with all the talent but none of the luck, when he first sees her perform at a drag bar where she used to work. If this sounds like the makings of a Cinderella story, it is. 

To the story’s credit, the first hour of the film is spent on developing a believable romance between the two, where most romances might have opted for some lengthier time jumps to speed up the meet-cute. Screenwriters Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper, who also serves as director, understand the importance of actor/actress chemistry and spends the first act accordingly. 

As the title may suggest, Ally becomes an overnight sensation while Maine subsequently stumbles. Where previous renditions have overly-exalted the male’s career and emphasized his downfall in the shadows of the female’s ascent, Cooper’s rendition is careful to avoid that, owing as much of his downfall, if not more, to alcoholism as it does to her pop career trajectory. 

Before giving too much away, the second and third acts come across a bit rushed, particularly when viewed after the first act’s slow build. The second act spends much of the time in an almost montage-like episodic view of their life on the road and at home, all the while providing a very parochial view of their time together. Rarely do we see the perception of their romance or careers from the outside, opting instead to focus on its two leads. 

This is all trivial in the grand scheme of things, and likely will not play into the film’s potential awards season run considering the hype, and despite one producer’s sexual harassment suits, especially since the second half of the film only feels like it falters when compared to the first half’s brilliance. 

While Cooper deserves as much praise as he is receiving, the rest of the crew deserves credit as well. The camera work from frequent Darren Aronofsky collaborator Matthew Libatique, whose “Venom” debuted alongside “A Star is Born” last weekend, is superb and provides the film with a grounded, atmospheric passion from start to finish. Production Designer Karen Murphy incredibly stages massive, believable concert venues that place the viewer in the middle of the show, giving them an intimate experience with the actors despite all the chaos of the crowd. Top to bottom, this film looks and sounds every bit the $37 million production it was. 

Despite the lack of necessity for a remake of such an old fable, Cooper and co. have crafted a very entertaining, earnest picture from an age-old framework that proves, once again, that reboots and remakes rule the multiplexes, often commercially, but more importantly, critically. 

Instagrams parent company takes over

The app Business Insider calls, “Facebook’s cooler younger sibling” is about to step it up a notch.  Instagram now has more than 1 billion monthly active users. With its massive popularity among society, it shocked the public when the founders of the app, Kevin Systrome and Mike Krieger, stepped down a little over a week ago after wanting to break away from CEO Mark Zuckerburg.  

Instagram’s parent company Facebook officially appointed Adam Mosseri in their place last Monday.  Adam Mosseri’s beginnings stem from his education at NYU’s Gallatin School of Interdisciplinary Study, studying media and information design where he created his own design consultancy, a crucial component Instagram has that Facebook lack’s in comparison to. Mosseri joined Facebook in 2008 as a design director, then later transitioned to product management and oversaw Facebook’s News Feed.  He played a crucial role in transforming the platform into, what was then, the world’s most popular social media platform and the driver of billions of dollars of advertising profit. Earlier this year, Mosseri accepted the role of Vice President of product for Instagram. What is in store for the ever growing platform is now under his wing.

Mosseri is now in charge of balancing the needs of Instagram including headcount, engineering resources and growth, in addition to the priorities of Facebook including cross-promotion to Instagram’s younger audience and revenue to contribute to the corporation’s earnings reports.  Users might now expect to see a shift in notifications and shortcuts linking back to Facebook, or more ads in the Stories and feed. Instagram hasn’t highlighted the ability to syndicate your Stories to Facebook, which could yield a massive hit for the sister platform. According to Tech Crunch, Instagram Stories average 400 million daily users whereas Facebook Stories and Messenger Stories’ have about 150 million users combined.

Mosseri will also be responsible for keeping Instagram from being used as a pawn for election interference in the run-up to the 2018 U.S. mid-terms.   Mosseri’s experience dealing with the unintended consequences of the News Feed, such as fake news in the wake of the 2016 election, will help him with this in addition to predicting how Instagram’s growth will affect culture, politics and user well-being. 

The vast diversity amongst users is one of the tool’s biggest advantages, according to Time Magazine and one of the most important things for the company to support in the transition of leadership.  Mosseri exhibits extensive personability and sharp, serious and empathetic traits to those he encounters.  He both embodies the spread of Facebook and its umbrella of apps making a positive impact in the world, while also aware of the work and complex choices necessary to prevent misuse.   

 On the rise of this diversity spectrum, users can expect to see growth in, is the recent trend of vertical video, which has now become popular enough that YouTube and Vimeo have adopted it as well.  Augmented reality and virtual reality filters are becoming more and more popular and have become a key tool in making Instagram stand out amongst other platforms including Snapchat, where it began. For example, pop-singer and founder of Fenty beauty, Rihanna and Kylie Jenner, CEO of Kylie Cosmetics, created filters which people can unlock only by following those celebrities accounts on Instagram, no other app has developed that feature. Mosseri will oversee the continuation of technology advancement and development. 

Facebook chief of Product Officer Chris Cox, Mosseri’s boss, writes, “Kevin and Mike, we will never fill your shoes. But we will work hard to uphold the craft, simplicity, elegance, and the incredible community of Instagram: both the team and the product you’ve built.”

'Woyzeck' parallels mental health today

“Woyzeck” is not just another tragic love story, a classic “Romeo and Juliet” play. However the show was much less about the love story between Franz and Marie and directly highlighted the issue of mental illness.

The unfinished manuscript of “Woyzeck” was originally written by Georg Buchner. It has been finished by a number of authors, editors, and translators since his death in 1837 and is now a remarkable and widely performed play shown around the world. 

 Born in 1817 in Germany and the son of a doctor, it is no wonder Buchner wrote a playwright based off of a case he was familiar with in Germany in 1821. Johann Christian Woyzeck was publicly executed in 1824 after a public health officer proves he is not clinically insane and in fact fit to withstand the consequence for his heinous/grotesque crime. His life consisted of bouncing from odd job to odd job just to survive after being orphaned at the age of 13 and provide. After reconnecting with is ex-lover in 1818 things took a turn for the worse.

“Woyzeck” follows a soldier named Franz Woyzeck who has a degrading mental state and a diet consisting of just peas for a science experiment that he is involved in for extra cash to support his lover and child. It is set in Germany in the 1800’s yet the complex issues of mental health and domestic abuse highlighted in the plot are problems that are still all too familiar today.             The performance was captivating, humorous at times, and keeps you on your toes.

Right off the bat, actor Chris Goodman fantastically illustrates Franz’s issues with mental illness as he cries to his captain that he can hear voices coming from the ground and the wind while the captain dismisses him and even mocks him.       
    The audience gets a quick and clear character setup as the next sceneshows a townsperson calling Marie, Woyzeck’s lover, a slut for having a baby out of wedlock.
     These first couple scenes wonderfully set up the plot and provide the audience with a clear understanding of the characters, who they are and what to expect from them.

Although the plot is set in the beginning of the 19th century, the language of the play and tone of voice had a very modern feel.
     In addition, the tone was very slack rather than proper English that you would expect from a show set in the 1800’s. On the other hand, the costumes added to the time period and gave the audience a better sense of the setting.

This show is directed by Paul Draper who is Director of the Acting Program at Sonoma State University as well as a professor at Sonoma State University, teaching the Directing Workshop in addition to other courses. He focus on Shakespeare, Büchner, Brecht and Comedy.
     Draper has directed count
less other theatre shows including “Twelfth Night, ” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,”  “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Monkey King and Other Children’s Tales from Around the World” and many more.

“Woyzeck” will be showing in Ives 119 October 4 through 13. Tickets are free for Sonoma State University for staff and students with their student ID cards, as well as high school student groups. Tickets for the public range from $5-17.

SSU alum shares his secrets to success

Life is full of ups and downs, but the most important thing to remember when pursuing your passions is to be persistent and work hard toward your goals. Sonoma State University alum, Sean Tadlock knows reality and doesn’t take the opportunities he’s been given for granted. Tadlock is a rising figure in the film industry, from humble beginnings and shows us that with the right attitude and dedication we can all achieve our dreams. Tadlock is working his way up the industry ranks currently as a production assistant. He has worked on major films such as “Hotel Transylvania 3,” the newly released movie “Smallfoot,” and the highly anticipated “Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse” which will be released on December 14.

Tadlock’s interest in the film industry started at a young age. “When I was eight years old my dad bought me my first video camera and that was the beginning. I always thought I wanted to be an actor, but when I started recording myself I knew that I did not have what it takes and would much rather be behind the camera, directing or writing,” said Tadlock. After that experience he began creating short films. For many summers he made little movies with his sister and niece for his family’s enjoyment and continued to make movies once in a while as he grew up. It wasn’t until Tadlock entered Sonoma State as a Communications and Media Studies Major that he realized he could turn his passion for film into something more than just hobby. That’s when he began to seriously pursue film as a career path. 

Even in Tadlock’s first couple of years at Sonoma State he didn’t begin taking classes relevant to the film industry until his sophomore year. “An environmental studies professor my sophomore year really encouraged our class to follow what we love to  do and that doing anything else would not be a life well lived. I realized in that moment that the only thing I was ever passionate about was making movies and telling stories,” said Tadlock. After experiencing that epiphany Tadlock spent his next two years at Sonoma State participating in SSU-TV and taking any and all film courses he could, trying to learn as much as he possibly could before graduating. In those packed two years Tadlock found a small group of likeminded students, collectively called Studio 1063, and began to make short films with them. Their hard work and collaboration during their senior year earned them an invitation to the highly acclaimed Cannes Film Festival to screen two movies they had made. “After that amazing trip, it pretty much sealed the deal of making this industry something to seriously pursue as my career,” said Tadlock.  

After graduation Tadlock moved back to his hometown of Sacramento and began to work in construction for his father.
     “Let me tell you,  it was far from what I thought post grad would be like,” said Tadlock. But after three long months he finally received a call from his fellow Sonoma State alumni, Anna, telling him she had just received a job in Los Angeles and was ready to move. 

Despite not having any leads, Tadlock jumped at the opportunity and moved to Los Angeles. He then spent the following two months constantly applying for jobs without any luck, so he was forced to work at a nearby movie theatre for about six months. It wasn’t until about a year after he graduated that he was able to land his current job at Sony Picture Imageworks after a brief stint in CBS’s marketing department. 

Since working for Sony Picture Imageworks, Tadlock just finished working on Smallfoot, which was released on Sept. 28.
     Tadlock commented on his experience. “I was a production assistant, essentially an office assistant. I set up screening rooms, got lunches, coffees, and did anything to support the crew. It was nothing glamorous but I learned so much about the animation process and why it takes so long to build one of these movies,” said Tadlock.
    “It felt like I was going to school again because every day I would learn something new. I got to sit in on reviews with the visual effects supervisor, producer, and directors every day and really see what goes on ‘behind the camera’. It was truly an amazing experience and I’m so grateful to be in this position, especially knowing it can take awhile to get your foot in the door,” said Tadlock.

Tadlock’s current project is “Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse.” He’s helping the marketing team create posters and all the visual advertising for the movie that comes out this December.
     “It’s been fun learning about this side of the industry but I still am very focused on being on the more creative, story side of the business,” said Tadlock. 

Finally, Tadlock offered this advice about helping those looking to get into the film industry. “I’m still very new to this industry, but I will say if you want to get into film or any industry for that matter, start using your resources at SSU to talk to people in the field you want to be in. I wish I would have better utilized SSU to get a more accurate grasp on what the industry was like. Professors may know alumni you could reach out to and the internship coordinators are there to help you find opportunities! Gain as much experience as you can because you don’t want to get your first gig in the business and not know what the heck you’re doing. College is a huge privilege that we have so make sure you take advantage of all the opportunities it can give you,” said Tadlock. 

Netflix's new drama-thriller does not disappoint

Maniac, the new Netflix original series has finally premiered starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, and it did not disappoint.

This show takes place in New York city, time period unknown.There is fashion resembling that of the 1980’s, yet there are also “bots” casually strolling down the street as if it were a future series maintaining a mystery that keeps the audience intrigued to try and figure out what kind of society this is.

The audience is first presented with lead actress Emma Stone as Annie; a closed off, bitter, lonely, young woman.  Appearing homeless in the opening scene, Stone’s character immediately exhibits law breaking habits to get by in the rough world that surrounds her.  As the episode goes on it is clear there is more to her story, lower class status and brutal actions. She gives off a vibe that she makes things harder on herself than they have to be because she doesn’t trust anyone in the environment around her.

We are soon introduced to Owen, played by male lead Jonah Hill. He seems to struggle with schizophrenia, which keeps him in his own little world. He lies about taking medication, but it is evident in this episode he is not. Like Annie, he is lower class, with more to his story.  He loses his job for what appears to be no reason, a surface excuse for an obviously deeper message of not really fitting into the office anyways, so no one would care if he was gone.

The plot on Owen’s side of poverty deepens as we are introduced to his family at a dinner party in their home.  His family is extremely wealthy; their house, attire and attitude reflect typical New York upper-class stereotypes.  The stark difference between him and his family keeps the audience engaged as they wonder what happened to cause such an estrangement.

Owen’s schizophrenia engages the audience over the course of the pilot because we can’t really tell if he is “crazy” or not. He clearly sees people that are not there, but this phenomenon that can’t be explained occurs, like seeing Annie’s face everywhere throughout the episode before they even meet.  

A common theme of the episode is that he believes something is going on in this world and that he is “the chosen one” to save the world from some kind of destruction no one understands but him.  Annie and Owen meet towards the end of the episode because they have both agreed to be testers for a medical trial. Owen is drawn to believe that Annie is the partner he has been waiting for, and it is she who is going to give him the directions on how to complete his mission.  

Director Cary Joji Fukunaga does a good job of creating the sense that these testers are the evil that Annie and Owen need to combat.  These doctors are beyond strange, yield signs of corruption, and make multiple allusions to subjects tested gone wrong in the past.

The recognizable lead characters pull the audience in on the surface that sets the show up for the audience to uncover deeper meaning of themes about humanity and society.  Fukunaga plays with the idea of the rich doing shady things to keep the status quo, and the poor choosing poverty over conforming. The theme of necessity for human connection and how society tampers with that also surfaces as the two characters are completely alienated for completely different reasons that we can’t entirely understand just from this episode.   The audience is driven towards resolution when engaging in the story. The pilot is extremely clever in it’s set up of incorporating all of these elements to keep viewers wanting to engage from beginning to end.

Christopher Hooten from Independent calls it “The most enticing TV plot in quite some time.”  

Overall this series yields fascinating, twisted, and impressive.


Michael Kors aims to buy Versace for $2.1 billion

On Tuesday, Michael Kors announced that it will be buying Versace for $2.1 Billion. Versace was one of the last independent Italian brands, meaning they stood alone as a luxury fashion brand. Michael Kors will rename themselves as “Capri Holdings” as part of the deal. The brand will still remain under the name “Michael Kors”.

An article by CNBC states that Kors intends to grow Versace by $2 Billion and increase the amount of retail stores Versace has around the world, from 200 to 300. Kors also plans to increase the revenue from Versace accessories and shoes from 35 percent of sales to 60 percent.

After the 1997 murder of Gianni Versace, the brand’s founder, his sister Donnatella took over. Donatella will remain on the label to oversee changes, and will also be a shareholder in Capri Holdings. She is optimistic about the change. "We are all very excited to join a group led by [Michael Kors’ CEO] John Idol, whom I have always admired as a visionary as well as a strong and passionate leader. We believe that being part of this group is essential to Versace's long-term success," Donnatella told CNBC.

Michael Kors’ reason for buying the Italian brand seems to be their growing interest in the European market. CNBC explains that Kors wants to decrease their business in the U.S from 66 to 57 percent, and increase it in Europe from 23 to 24 percent.

Fans of Versace have already been speaking out against this deal. Some believe that Kors’ purchase of Versace will diminish the luxury of the brand, pointing out that Versace handbags cost $2,000, while Michael Kors bags cost around $100, according to Business Insider. Some even believe that Kors will “kill” the brand. Others make the point that Versace is an Italian brand, and needs to stay true to its roots in Europe. They fear that will change when the American brand takes over. A fan tweeted “Kors buying Versace removes so much of its appeal. Michael Kors is luxury but Versace is elegance and high-class. Clothes and accessories that speak for you. What does it become once it's owned by another entity.”

Business Insider reveals more of the negative backlash, with some believing that Donatella is disrespecting her late brother Gianni with the deal, stating that “Gianni didn’t die for his brand to be bought by Michael Kors.”

The Michael Kors brand stands up for themselves against such backlash. CNN makes an interesting point, that Versace is not as easily accessible. The high-end luxury brand has few stores around the world, and Kors hopes to improve that, while raising their revenue to $2 billion long-term. Kors executive chief, John Idol, told Business Insider he believes they “have a huge opportunity in accessories.”  He said, “The company has an amazing women’s business. The customer is already buying our ready-to-wear. She’s already there.” Mr. Idol even characterized the Versace brand as “terribly underdeveloped.”

This isn’t the first time Kors has bought a luxury European brand. Last July, Kors bought Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion and Michael Kors now has a one-up in the European fashion industry, while still widely dominating in the United States. This exchange grew Jimmy Choo’s sales to $1 billion.


'Yandhi' never releases, upsetting fans

“Yandhi,” Kanye West’s newest album, was scheduled to be released this past weekend. After a possible leak by his production company giving his fans a tease of what is to come, the album never dropped. Fans are losing their minds after being let down again by the rapper, now referred to as “Ye.”

Ye promised his third album of the year “Yandhi” would be released following his appearance on Saturday Night Live, SNL, Sept. 29. However, after searching for it on every music app available and eventually resorting to Youtube, the album is nowhere to be found.

During the show, West was cut from the cameras after giving a rant about freedom and doing what you want from your heart and not from your mind. His tirade occurred in the middle of the chorus of one of his songs saying, “...and nothing hurts anymore I feel kind of free.” West goes on to say that 90 percent of news, rappers, musicians, writers, etc. are liberal so it very easy for the public to see and believe one side of politics. He later tweeted, “there is no such thing as one side. There’s infinite sides.” He also implies that he was bullied backstage for wearing a MAGA (“Make America Great Again”) hat symbolizing to the public his support for President Trump.

After cancelling his tour of “The Life of Pablo” due to mental instability, his very public support of Donald Trump’s ideals to ‘Make America Great Again’, appearing in a red MAGA hat and promising an album drop that never released, fans are not happy with West.

Many fans voiced their reactions on Twitter. “Kanye I took the day off just to here yhandi wtf WHERE IS YHANDI IM LIVID”  tweets one user, “I only stayed up this late to listen to YANDHI and all im saying is if i wake up and there’s no album me and @kanyewest officially have beef,” another tweeted. The disappointment even inspired a meme out of the situation, quoting a line from the Hillary Duff movie “A Cinderella Story.” It said, “waiting for you is like waiting for rain in this drought. Useless and disappointing.”

After the solo album “Ye” that came out June 1, West released a duo with Kid Cudi only seven days later on June 8. It was somewhat shocking to fans that only four months later he was planning to release his third album of the year.

This year West has evoked emotions with his Trump-like tweeting--posting a tweet every couple of hours and often back-to-back. He defends his MAGA hat by claiming its significance in bringing jobs to America. The artist additionally defends himself on Twitter about the 13th Amendment, tweeting, “We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th amendment…the 13th Amendment is slavery in disguise meaning it never ended. We are the solution that heals,” he continues, “not abolish but. let’s amend the 13th amendment. We apply everyone’s opinions to our platform.”

It is interesting to note that since his breakthrough in 2003 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list with his song “Through the Wire” from his album “College Dropout,” he has released 84 songs that have reached the list, and four of those songs have hit number one. However, Ye’s most recent song that has hit the list was from 2015, and he has not had a chart topper since 2012.

Rapper Lil Wayne released an album Sept. 28, and West Tweeted that his album “Yandhi” would “come in number 2 to my brother Lil Wayne.” Lil Wayne has had 137 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 putting him second behind Drake to have the most Hot 100 songs as a solo artist, trumping even Elvis Presley.

Lil Wayne and Kanye West have been named by Rolling Stone as “two generational talents” that hit the end of an era when rap was at its peak.


Director brings 'High school' to SSU

In Frederick Wiseman’s “High School” (1968), we are given a 75-minute glimpse into what life was like for students and faculty at Northeast High School in Philadelphia in the spring of 1968. The factory-esque campus, the brazenly curt interactions between teachers and students, the Coke-bottle reading glasses -- all vividly seen but never narrated.  

Late last week, Wiseman, 88, was kind enough to attend a live Q&A after a screening of the film at Sonoma State’s Warren Auditorium. Unsurprisingly, it was difficult to find an open spot in the 200-person seating arrangement.

Wiseman has been a prominent figure in the film business for some 50-plus years with 44 documentaries and counting, something he admits was never his original intention. “I was bored with what I was doing, which was teaching law, and I reached the age of 30 and I figured I’d better do something I liked before I was an unhappy old man,” he told the audience, “And I’m an old man now.”

It would be an understatement to say that the world of documentary filmmaking, and filmmaking as a whole, would have been vastly different if Wiseman had never made that pivotal career shift in his 30’s. From his first documentary “Titicut Follies” (1967), about a hospital for the criminally insane, to his latest work, “Monrovia, Indiana” (2018), which debuted over the weekend at the New York Film Festival, Wiseman has focused primarily on the exploration of American institutions.

When asked to expand on a joke he made in which he said it “only seemed logical” to follow up a documentary on a hospital for the criminally insane with a documentary about high school, Wiseman was reluctant to do so. “Well, no. I mean, it’s a bad joke. It kills the joke to expand on it,” he said. But the parallels are there, and hard to ignore.

The structuring of Wiseman’s films are often what sets him apart from other popular “direct cinema” or “cinema verite” filmmakers of the 1960s, and “High School” is no exception.

Adopting a “day in the life” format, the viewer is led through an arrival at the school, opening “thought of the day” dialogues from teachers, gym classes, meetings with the vice principal, cafeteria and lunch breaks, etcetera. Do not refer to this as a “fly-on-the-wall” perspective, though. “It’s an insulting term,” he said jokingly, “Most flies I know aren’t conscious at all, and I like to think I’m at least 2 percent conscious.”

Indeed he is. While Wiseman set out to make a film about high school as an institution, he admits that certain aspects of the film’s agenda only arose through keen observation in post-production. “One of the principal themes of the movie, which only emerged in the course of the editing, was how values are passed on from one generation to another.”

This idea is driven home by the insistence of the faculty to emphasize a conformist attitude among students, even going so far as to tell one student that there is “a time and place for being individualistic.” The student must then apologize.

It has been 50 years since “High School” debuted, and when asked about the audience’s perception of the film still being an accurate depiction of high school today, Wiseman did not disagree. “It’s depressing,” he said, eliciting a bit of laughter from the packed auditorium.

Shortly after his Q&A, Wiseman was scheduled to get on a flight to New York for the debut of his latest project, which Variety critic Guy Lodgeconsiders “among his most invaluable recent works.” We can safely assume Wiseman’s prominence as a documentarian, however happenstantial a career it may have been, will continue.

Lobos manager tours Italy with fellow student

Steven “Dandy” Brown is an Ohio native now based in Santa Rosa, CA. Most people on campus will know him merely as the manager that runs the beloved Lobo’s Pizza and Pub on campus, but he’s much more than just a manager. From performer, to producer, to teacher and now manager, Brown has held many titles, experienced life to the fullest, and inspires all he meets.

His musical journey has taken him to all corners of the world but it all began when his mother, a church organist, sat him down as a young boy and taught him hymns and gospels on their Wurlitzer organ. From then on his passion and love for music only grew. His family moved when he was about 13 and shortly after the move he befriended 2 neighbors who had a band that consisted of them on guitar and drums. They had a bass guitar lying around, Brown picked it up and was then introduced to a world of music that was unbeknown to him but would subsequently become one of his lifelong passions.  
“My first formal band was with Greg Dulli, the guy who went on to form a band called the Afghan Whigs. Greg and I played in a band called the Black Republicans for a couple of years.  After that, I bounced around in quite a few metal bands until forming a hard rock band called Dock Ellis. The band was signed to Capitol Records and provided me with the stake to open the recording studio that I operated for about a decade in Cincinnati” said Brown. After a few years of performing Brown started branching out in the music industry and used his prior experiences to open up SureTone Recording Studio in Clifton, Ohio in 1993. It was a very successful decision because throughout the 1990’s Brown engineered and produced albums for an innumerable amount of local and regional artists. While working at his recording studio, he met and got the opportunity to work with lots of a talented musicians.

After working on a heavy blues album, he met John Garcia and from there the band Hermano was formed soon after in 1998. They quickly picked up speed and finished recording their first album in 2002. They recorded four albums from 2002 to 2007. Following their 2002 album release, the band toured Europe and North America. They toured Europe once more in 2007 after their third album release. The band, while still active, performs less frequently in the present day, have been working on a new album but no release date has been announced.

Brown also founded an American desert rock band named “Orquesta del Desierto” in 2002. They released two albums from 2002 to 2003. The band dissolved in 2006 as the members split to pursue different artistic projects.

When asked what his favorite show has been Brown humbly replied, “Every show that I play is special to me. I’m just so lucky and thankful to be where I am. I have opened for and played alongside so many incredible artists from Black Sabbath to The Pixies.”

Brown has been working on some new material recently and new songs and music videos are set to release sometime this year with Taxi Driver Records which is based in Italy. This past summer Brown toured Western Italy for about two weeks with his partner Dawn Rich, a fellow Sonoma State student. Brown elaborated on his tour. “Back in March, in order to support my new album, my label, Taxi Driver Records, asked if I would come over to do a handful of shows to promote the release. The album title is “Scattered Days.” Since Dawn and I had been working on new music for the last year, we decided to put together a set that draws upon songs from my catalogue, along with new material that she and I have written over the last year. The tour was a huge success. We played in venues that have a capacity of anywhere from 100-200 people, and we played to packed houses every night” said Brown. They both agreed the it was an incredible experience and they had a wonderful time performing

Within the past year Brown relocated from Southern California up to Northern California where he now resides in Santa Rosa. He is currently running Lobo’s Pub on campus and is working on his Masters in Education. Brown shares his excitement about how his life is going at the moment. “I love being here at Sonoma State. I love the program here. I love my coworkers and colleagues, and I love the people and the atmosphere here” said Brown.


Restaurant of the Week: The Drawing Board

A restaurant filled with creativity, excellent customer service as well as lick your plate clean type of food. The Drawing Board, located at 190 Kentucky St., Petaluma will give you a memorable experience. This local gem is a 20 minute drive down the road from Rohnert Park and is well worth it. Once entering this trendy spot, one will be impressed with the decor that decorates the walls of this small town restaurant.

The hours of operation are unusual and hours and days closed vary every week. That can be a turnoff for many customers due to them not wanting to have to see if The Drawing Board will be open. Many restaurants don’t follow this unusual schedule, this can lead customers to want to choose another eatery over this one. It can be a turnoff to some but it is well worth the visit.

The restaurant has two menus, one for daytime and one for dinner. Both menus offering great descriptions of how they are a different type of eatery. They create “feel good” food that will fill your stomach with homegrown cuisine that is simply made and created with love, they go through great efforts to give their customers the best.

Lauren Costello, a sophomore at Sonoma State University stated, “I would eat here again in a heartbeat, the restaurant itself was gorgeous and you can tell the food is made with good products.” Many like Costello agree, the restaurant brings in many customers and many of them leave with only positive reviews. The Drawing Board has been given a four out of five star rating on Yelp.

Not only is the food exquisite, but the large drink menu that they offer is filled with creative options. The eatery appreciates medicinal history of spiritual cocktails. Striving to make their drinks different from others, many of their drinks incorporate teas, herbs, tinctures and many other fresh ingredients. The efforts behind each beverage is to give the customer a libation experience. Majority of the plates filled with color and aromas that make your mouth water. Jessica Campigli, graduate of Sonoma State University stated, “The alcoholic beverages they serve are so fresh and have so many flavors. I can’t wait to try the other drinks that they make.”

The environment that The Drawing Board exuberates is an upbeat and positive setting. The waiter asking positively how everyone’s day had gone and if this was our first time at the restaurant. The dinner menu giving ample amount of drink and dinner options as well as shareable plates, and snacks if one isn’t hungry enough for a full meal. When ordering you will be overwhelmed with many options and will find it hard to choose between just one meal.

The Drawing Board not only serves drinks and plates that will make you be a loyal customer but also the ambience will make the restaurant even better. It is an open setting and not too cramped, there is enough room where you don’t feel like your sitting in on the table next to yours. Brick walls and white walls make the restaurant feel open and inviting and to make it even better there is plants hanging from the ceiling to catch one's attention. Bar seating is available to customers, as well as a great view of the bar. Filled with dozens of liquors and giving off a vintage vibe.

This 100 percent locally owned restaurant is worth taking the trip to Petaluma to go dine. The Drawing Board gratefully accepts any gratitude as well as criticism towards the restaurant due to them being a relatively new business.

This apothecary style restaurant is an experience and won’t be a disappointment. Next time you are looking for a new place to give your business give this locally owned restaurant a visit!


Facing backlash from her own movement

F

ormer allies Asia Argento and Rose McGowan, who’d previously come forth to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and misconduct in 2017, are now engaged in a public feud that’s damaging their credibility as leading figures of the #MetToo movement. 

In a groundbreaking story by the New York Times, Italian actress and director, Argento, had been accused of sexually assaulting her former co-star, Jimmy Bennett, back in 2013 when she was 37 and he was still a minor. This shocking news clearly showcased Argento in a negative light while simultaneously depicting her as a hypocrite. 

Argento denied all accusations of ever engaging in sexual behavior with Bennett. However, since then Argento had reportedly given Bennett $380,000 to put the discussion to rest and settle the sexual assault case, painting out the entire situation to be rather suspicious on Argentos part, something McGowan and her significant other, Rain Dove, were not about to overlook. 

As Argento scrambled to clear her name, she confided in McGowan and Dove to help her prove her innocence, however, the couple quickly learned that Argento was far from that. Dove later released a statement via Twitter that alerted the public of the truth behind Argentos involvement with Bennett, her reasoning being that “all victims deserve justice. Justice can rarely exist without honesty.”

By this time, Dove, had handed over text messages supporting Argentos sexual involvement with 17 year-old Bennett to TMZ and police authorities. The texts contradicted Argentos previous statements of never having sexual relations with Bennett.

Once the text messages were out for the public to see, McGowan released a statement of her own pleading for Argento to come forward and speak her truth in order to “be the person you wish Harvey could have been.” That’s when Argento took it upon herself to confront McGowan via Twitter on Sept. 17 demanding her to retract her statement of “lies” within 24 hours or face legal consequences. 

McGowan did no such thing. The public is currently waiting to see what steps will be taken to settle the discrepancy. 

Although McGowan is portrayed as the hero in this entire scandal, the record shows that she doesn’t necessarily have a spotless record either. 

Back in 2015, McGowan was accused of transphobic hate speech against Caitlyn Jenner on Facebook as well as on RuPaul’s podcast “What’s the Tee” where she stated about trans women: “They assume, because they felt like a woman on the inside, that’s not developing as a woman, that’s not growing as a woman, that’s not living in this world as a woman.”

Her harsh words clearly wedge a gap between her authenticity as a true feminist and equal opportunist. 

McGowan has also been criticized for commodifying her victimhood, despite being against the Hollywood idea of turning women into products. Since her rise to fame over her involvement with the #MeToo movement, she has spent her time producing a skincare line, personal hashtag, an art show, speaking tour and a memoir rather then spreading awareness about other’s stories and experiences with sexual assault.