Answer This!, a film by University of Michigan alum Christopher Farah, takes you out to the bars of Ann Arbor, where diehard trivia teams—like the Ice Tigers —face off for a glory far greater than a round on the house.
The movie follows Paul Tarson, a U of M graduate student played by Christopher Gorham. Afraid to make any decisions about his post-academic life, Tarson redirects his intellectual energy toward a citywide pub trivia tournament, much to the disappointment of his professor father, played by real life U of M Professor Ralph Williams.
Funded in part by the now suspended Michigan Film Office incentives program, Answer This! was filmed almost entirely on the U of M campus and around Ann Arbor. It is the first movie to receive official sanction from the university.Farah said it was important for him to locate the film in his hometown. He and his brother Mike Farah, who produced the film, tried several bigger, broader scripts before settling on Answer This!.
“None of those stories really resonated with us,” said Farah. “We wanted to do something that would kind of take us back to something we could really connect with.”
Farah uses the locations in the film to create that same hometown feeling for moviegoers.
“What we did,” said Farah, “was try to take a lot of those places that go beyond the really famous Ann Arbor spots...no matter what town or what city it’s in, people can relate to those kind of places, whether it’s a great corner bar or a pond or rope swing that only they knew about back where they were growing up.”
For audiences from Ann Arbor, this has the effect of making the familiar seem epic.
“A sidewalk outside Ashley’s feels so big in the movie...When you walk by it, it just kind of feels like a sidewalk. But in a movie, it feels like A SIDEWALK,” said Farah. “It’s taking that Ann Arbor that we know, and is somehow blowing it up to cinematic proportions.”
Answer This! opens this weekend in Ann Arbor, Novi and Grand Rapids.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. At Michigan Radio we have been looking at how domestic violence affects our community, and what programs there are for survivors and abusers that keep people safe at home.
Often, discussions about domestic abuse focus on men who use violence. The National Institute of justice reports that 90 percent of "systematic, persistent, and injurious" violence against an intimate partner is committed by men. But what about female aggressors?
October is domestic violence awareness month. At Michigan Radio, we are taking a look at how domestic violence impacts our communities.
What support and intervention programs are in place to assist those impacted by domestic violence?
We have already spoken with the Director of Safe House Center in Ann Arbor, which provides assistance to those impacted by domestic violence or sexual assault.
Now we want to look at the other side of the equation. Jenn White, host of Michigan Radio’s All Things Considered, speaks with David Garvin, Senior Director at Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County.
Garvin manages the Alternatives to Domestic Aggression (ADA) program, a 52 week batterer intervention program that specializes in changing the behavior patterns of men who abuse their intimate partners. Typically, men who participate in the program have been court ordered to do so.
His first novel, The Lake, the River & the Other Lake, takes place in Weneshkeen, a fictional boat town on the western coast of Michigan. The novel is filled with scenes familiar to many Michiganders—the conflict between townies and summer people, between farmers and daytripping Fudgies.