10 o’clock list: Top Five People I Wish Were Actually in “Liberal Arts”
A large portion of the College and community were present last night for the Gambier premiere of Josh Radnor’s latest film Liberal Arts. While the mutterings I’ve heard in response have been mixed, the purpose of this post isn’t to lambast Radnor or to praise him. It’s simply to give him some casting suggestions for when the movie is released on an extended director’s cut DVD. There’s still time to make these changes (really though, I have no clue at all).
- Professor Fred Baumann: His stellar performance in the Kenyon promo video had the crowd in fits of laughter. However, his potential acting career may be hindered by directors typecasting him as a brilliant professor who truly cares for his students and their education. Questers in his class, consider yourselves lucky.
- David Foster Wallace: While a large part of a liberal arts education centers around arguing with the thoughts of dead men entombed in books, there was something a little upsetting about the way Radnor portrayed Wallace. Admittedly, I’ve read no David Foster Wallace aside from his famed graduation address, but it struck me as a bit of a cheap shot to portray his suicide as simply the result of living too much inside a book instead of outside of it when in reality it was the sad culmination of a lifelong struggle with clinical depression. While that is a decent lesson to impart to an audience, I’m skeptical that Wallace and his work are the right symbols of this. Most of us can agree, we wish Wallace had never tragically taken his own life and that just maybe he could’ve popped in with a cameo defending himself and his work.
- Me: I was working in Gambier the summer the movie was filmed and actually did a little extra work. I guess I just didn’t make the cut for the campus life montage. I have a sneaking suspicion it has something to do with my rendition of “Free Bird” at the Grill one certain Friday night while the movie crew was there. Sorry — I sing from the heart and not from years of voice lessons.
- Steven Seagal: Steven Seagal stepping out of nowhere and putting a beat down on Josh Radnor’s laundry thief would have been an absolute game changer. If you’re drawing a blank on this impressive actor and martial arts master, here’s a video illustrating how such a scene likely would have played out. Oh and the movie the clip comes from appears from time to time in the $5 bin at Walmart.
- Kenyon College Maintenance: Contextually, the Radnor film was shot before the whole Sodexo-deal-that-almost-was, but it was striking to me that the people who contribute largely to the beautification of this campus were neither seen nor heard from. Thanks for all your work, anyway.