Fordham University’s 2014 Spring Weekend began on Thursday, April 24, with students coming to McGinley to watch speaker Max Joseph, a documentary filmmaker. Joseph inadvertently found reality television show fame when he agreed to help a friend, Nev Shulman, film a pilot for an MTV show. When MTV picked up the pilot, he became the on-screen camera man of the reality show “Catfish.”
Joseph said that this was his first speaking engagement, so this would be a unique experience for Fordham students and general audiences.
Joseph offered insider commentary about “Catfish,” the evolution of his career and the themes of art and identity within filmmaking. Whether you are a fan of the MTV show, a communications major or express an interest in the entertainment industry, you would have enjoyed and gained insight from this event.
Shulman’s 2010 documentary depicted his journey to meet his online love and the consequent chaos. Meanwhile, the success of “Catfish” is its ability to articulate the varying heights and pitfalls of online dating. In addition to its increasing relevance and degree to which people relate, “‘Catfish’ is about getting to the bottom of the people on our show.”
According to Joseph, when it comes to judging the subjects of the show or getting involved in the progression of events, good filmmaking is showing rather than telling.
“When you’re with the subject of any documentary for any period of time, you can’t judge them.” In general, Joseph stresses the importance of “cultivating those awkward silences” when filming because a subject will fill in the silence themselves.
Although Joseph is sometimes stunned by the turn of events on “Catfish,” he acknowledges some people’s confidence and personal issues that influence their romantic lives.
“Everyone struggles to find their identity and want to be somebody—the ideal version of themselves.”
For Fordham students who are within a close proximity to the city, Joseph, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native and California transplant, emphasizes not letting New York define you and leaving the city for a period of time to figure out who you are. “New York doesn’t love you back,” so he encourages students to use the city to their advantage.
On Friday night, the DJ event was moved to the Lombardi Center Field House due to impending rain. DJ Enferno was the headlining act, with Patrick McCarren, GSB ’14, and Dayne Carter, FCRH ’15, as opening acts. Some students did not mind being inside because the field house is spacious, but other upperclassmen complained that they missed being outside. DJ Enferno mixed a variety of synthesized EDM hits but it was not always high energy. With that said, there was a large student presence and students were happy to be there dancing and celebrating Spring Weekend.
Spring Weekend would not be complete without a packed concert on Martyr’s Lawn, and 2014 was no exception. The concert had a full lineup, consisting of student band Second Child, DJ The Melken Project, Cartel and Cold War Kids. Despite the fact that the concert was paused due to rain, nothing could dampen the spirits of the students.
The opening band was Second Child, which won the Battle of the Bands competition. Their style of music was similar to Young the Giant, and was perfect for an outdoor, daytime concert. They played a five-song set and finished up with a mash-up cover of “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, which got everyone up and singing. They were followed by DJ The Melken Project. The Melken Project brought endless energy, and mixed classic tunes (such as Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and the crowd pleasing “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi) with modern pop songs, like “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz, “Get Low” by Lil’ Jon and “Locked Out Of Heaven” by Bruno Mars. Everyone was on their feet, and you could tell that both the students and the DJ were enjoying themselves.
Cartel came onstage, and every Fordham student who had ever listened to them during middle school went crazy. Although the band never reached mass popularity and still is not very well-known, everyone was able to enjoy the “pop punk” genre music, and the audience was really getting into it.
“Cartel reminds me why my love for pop punk never died,” said student Rachel Franzluebbers, GSB ‘16, as the band came onstage.
Erica Mendoza, FCRH ‘16, said, “I had never heard any of their songs before the concert, but the set was great and the band fed off the crowd’s energy.”
Cartel played their most popular and well-known songs, such as “Runaway,” “Say Anything (Else)” and “Honestly.” The band also played a few songs off their most recent album Collider, which came out in March 2013.
Cold War Kids were only able to play a few songs before the show was paused for the rain. Due to the half-hour break, the band had to play a shortened set, which included one of their newest singles, “Miracle Mile.” They also played a couple of classic songs off their first album Robbers & Cowards, including “We Used to Vacation,” “Hang me Up to Dry” and “Hospital Beds.” Although the concert was cut short, everyone was grateful to the band for finishing up their set after the rain subsided.
Overall, it was another successful Spring Weekend Concert. With delicious food, fantastic music and lovely weather (for most of the day), it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
On Sunday, April 27, students packed the Fordham Prep auditorium to full capacity to see comedian Judah Friedlander, World Champion, perform stand-up. The final Spring Weekend event kicked off with Steve Tyson, FCRH ’14, Ryan Creamer, FCRH ’14, and Jeff Sharkey, FCRH ’15, warming up the crowd for the World Champion to take the stage. Then Friedlander, well known for his role as Frank Rossitano on NBC’s “30 Rock,” walked out in his trademark slogan hat and glasses and began an uproarious routine that everyone loved.
As the World Champion, Friedlander confidently told of his conquests around the world (and even the universe) that included hitting a home run so hard from Citi Field that it landed in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium (the first inter-borough home run), to beating Chuck Norris so badly that he now refers to him as Charles Norris. He also said that as the next President of the United States, he would have Canada pay our taxes because Celine Dion, Justin Bieber and Nickleback have been too taxing on us, and that American cheese would be exported everywhere to create world peace. Each story and joke was more outrageous and unpredictable than the last, making the audience laugh harder and harder as the set progressed.
From talking to a student from a different country, to calling out those who laughed a little too long at jokes, Friedlander spent the majority of his set interacting with the audience. His clever and quick off-the-cuff responses proved that he is a comedian who is prepared for any crowd. His unique humor connected very well with the college crowd. Overall, Friedlander showed that he is much more than his character on “30 Rock.”
After his set, Friedlander stayed to meet with students, and he was nothing short of kind and gracious when chatting and taking selfies with them. It was clear that everyone loved Friedlander and enjoyed his comedy much more than that of last year’s Spring Weekend comedian. CAB did a fantastic job organizing the event that ended a great annual Fordham tradition on a high note.