Category Archives: Features

The Features section caters to everything you need to know about culture on campus and the Louisville community. Here we explore the arts, student events and the latest trends that make U of L unique.


LGBT Film Festival: a colorful, moving showcase

By Lara Kinne–

The Floyd Theater was in rainbows last weekend as Louisville’s LGBT Film Festival returned to campus in its second consecutive year. Presented by the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, thirty-seven film entries were showcased over the course of four days. Film series were divided into two-hour sessions, many of which included Q&As with the directors and stars of those featured.

Spanning from comedies to dramas, shorts, documentaries and a music video, the festival lineup provided an inspiring set of local and international talents. Highlights of the festival included an appearance by country singer Chely Wright and “Wish Me Away,” a biopic about her experience coming out to the public and her family.

Sunday morning isn’t the ideal time to catch a flick, but it’s a rewarding experience. Almost everybody missed the 10AM series.

“This Shining Night” opened the day with a digestible short. Two father are concerned about their oldest daughter who is drawn to a ghostly woman she sees at night. One dad witnesses her behavior after hours, but decides to let her be. He saw that she was safe and joyful. Perhaps recalling his own struggle with feeling strange at a young age, he reacts with nonchalant understanding and love.

“The Wedding Dance,” an excerpt from a TV series project, was funded for about three minutes of play with enough time to introduce a newly bound family and an endearing first dance.

In the series feature, “Unfit: Ward vs. Ward,” a lesbian mother fights custody of her daughter against her ex-husband. The court ruled she go to the father despite his prior conviction for the murder of his first wife. Overwhelming public support could not sway the voice of the judge who said the child should live in a non-lesbian world. It’s is a significant reminder of why LBGT organizations (and events such as the LGBT Film Festival) exist—so everybody can live in a lesbian world.

As any new and upcoming annual event goes, attendance numbers will increase as support from the community continues to grow. The future of Louisville’s LGBT Film Festival is a promising one.
Photo courtesy LGBT Film Fest


2012 Kentucky State Fair: What to expect

By Courtnee Gray–

Louisville has been the official home of the Kentucky State Fair since 1907, and it is no wonder since the city is equally diverse as the many counties that come together to cultivate the highly anticipated fair. Whether you come for the coasters, contests or concerts there is something special for each individual who enters the gates.

With over 53 food vendors and tents you will not go hungry. The smorgasbord begins with the classic corndog and lemon shakeups and ends with trying all the strange fair delicacies, such as the deep fried Girl Scout cookies and the Krispy Kreme doughnut burgers.

Once you’ve had your fill of the foods, you can mosey over to one of the many attractions and shows including the Handsome Little Devils circus show, the largest pumpkin contest, the famous balloon sculptures or animal exhibits, educational booths and collectables.

The University will also be contributing its services in some of the exhibits. The University Hospital will be teaming up with the James Graham Brown Cancer Center to provide services at the Health Horizons section. This section will include free Mammogram screenings for women over 40, oral cancer screenings provided by the staff and students at the UofL School of Dentistry, along with many other beneficial, free health service programs.

After you hit all the exhibits and ride all the coasters at Thrillway, from discounted tickets with your Kroger Plus cards, it’s time to go see the free concerts that start at 8p.m. (gates open at 6:30 p.m.). The bands include Cinderella, Hot Chelle Rae, The Oak Ridge Boys, Justin Moore, Young The Giant and many other fantastic, free shows.

We can’t leave out the Main Stage stars including Hank Williams Jr., Journey, Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry. You can purchase tickets of these shows at the fair or the KFC YUM! Center, tickets for each show range from $35-$60.

Kentucky, and more specifically Louisville, has a way of bringing together divergent thinkers to create 10 days of Kentucky culture and fair fun. This brings to life the roots that we sometimes forget about and state pride that sometimes is lost in the chaos of our day to day lives. The Kentucky State Fair is a time for us as a state to celebrate our talents, bask in our uniqueness and not to mention get some delicious funnel cake. For more information about the Kentucky State Fair visit the website:

Also, keep a look out for a Young The Giant review and a Kentucky State Fair Recap in the next issue.
Photo: Eric Voet/The Louisville Cardinal


Campus events rock the Red Barn

by Shelby Stafford–

This week, UofL SAB sponsored a free concert featuring “A Lion Named Roar.” As a host to past concerts, including Ben Kweller and Jessica Lea Mayfield, the Red Barn continues to be a spot that students flock to.

At U of L, head towards the Red Barn. From concerts to free food, the Red Barn is the place to be on campus. Especially during Welcome Week, you’ll be able to find some kind of free food there. Located in one of the most well trafficked areas of campus, next to the Student Activities Center (SAC) the Red Barn cannot be missed. Many organizations utilize the space for events such as Greek Life, LGBT communities and the student government, Student Activities Board, SAB, seems to take the lead. Along with this Welcome Week concert, they support many on-campus events such as the CARDnival, the Crawfish Boil, A&S Lunch with the Dean and various philanthropy f fundraisers.
Photos: Shelby Stafford/The Louisville Cardinal


Rocket Power! Louisville students compete amongst the country’s best to spread the love of rocketry


by Anna Meany–

Louisville students have shown the country what we’re capable. Most notably, the University of Louisville’s athletic teams brought national attention to our campus. Continuing to impress, students from U of L competed for the first time and placed fifth in NASA’s University Student Launch Initiative competition that took place earlier this summer. This group of 14 engineering students, including 3 girls, designed, constructed and launched rockets alongside 41 other teams in a national competition in Huntsville, Alabama.

I took a second to talk with Nick Greco, team captain, who’s finishing up his senior year of studying mechanical engineering at U of L.

Louisville stepped away with three awards – Best Website, designed by Conor Heine, Best New Team and Fifth Place in the overall rocket-launching competition.

While Greco’s explaining the requisites for this yearly competition, I can’t help but notice this is a year-long project. Maintaining their website, which you can find at, all year to collect and display data is an integral part of winning at the National level. According to Greco, “every nut and bolt that goes on a rocket and why it’s safe” must be logged and put on the website. Teams are also judged on data recorded, creativity of design, safety, achievement of task and the successfulness of the launch.

University of Louisville USLI team captain Nick Greco meets the president of the National Association of Rocketry.

Greco was sure to describe what he calls the most important part of USLI: educational outreach. He told me that NASA focuses on “making sure we prolong the love of rocketry and extend the things we’re learning to younger students.” NASA requires that these teams spend time with at least 100 middle school students in the area, including one Boy Scout troop – showing that they not only benefit the university, but the greater community of Louisville.

When I asked about the building of the rocket, which happens to be his specialty, Greco told me to “think much larger scale than October Sky” – their rockets tower to an impressive 11 ½ feet tall. Laughing at myself, I dared to ask Greco about the actual construction of a rocket – worried that my English major wouldn’t have prepped me for an engineer’s explanation.
They’re made of mostly common materials like fiberglass and plywood because “NASA loves when you keep it simple and efficient.” Greco notes that “the specialty of each project comes from products we buy at Lowes and transform into something useful.”

Along with bringing the title to their USLI team, Greco got the opportunity to meet, now former, President of the National Association for Rocketry this year.

The University of Louisville’s rocket is launched at the USLI tournament in Huntsville, Alabama.

Funny to think that all of this recognition stems from a competition that Greco “just found on the internet” after an aeronautical society at U of L flopped from a lack of interest. “(The J.B.) Speed School didn’t really have an aerospace outreach, but we definitely have the capability and people who love to do it.” And so gave way to the year-old team’s fifth placement in their first rocket competition. It’s “one of the few societies that brings together every field of engineering…we have computer, electrical, mechanical, industrial and chemical engineers on the team” and an incredible benefit to the University of Louisville.

When I inquired if they had given any thought to next year’s rocket, Greco boasted “this year, we’re gonna win it all. I refuse to take anything but first place.” Those who are interested should contact Nick Greco at
Photos courtesy River Çity Rocketry


LGBT Film Festival to bring cinema and stars to campus

The Floyd Theater in the Student Activites Center at the University of Louisville will host the 2nd Annual LGBT Film Festival Aug. 16 through 19. Over the course of three days, the festival will show 18 selections from this years submissions.

According to the festival’s website, the jury has “screened over 100 films this year and have put together the best possible festival.”

As part of the festival, celebrated country musician Chely Wright will be hosting a VIP Meet & Greet, book signing, and Q & A session after the theatrical debut of her highly anticipated autobiographical film “Wish Me Away”. The film is an intimate documentary of Wright’s experiences when coming out about her sexuality as a country music artist.

The festival will also include a 1920′s-themed Kick-Off Party on Aug. 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Red Barn on Belknap Campus, sponsored by the U of L Offices for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Services. Parking will be available for free at the University Club parking lot.

All-inclusive festival passes are $30, or $15 for those with a valid student ID. Individual session tickets are available for $5 a piece, or $3 for students. Tickets and passes can be purchased online at The same website also incluldes a full schedule of events for the festival.



Photo: Flikr/NightRStar

Speed Art Museum

Military free-for-all: Speed Museum joins Blue Star


By Rae Hodge–

The Speed Art Museum is opening its doors much wider for active duty military members and their families, who can expect free admission to the museum until Sept. 2 of this year.

The Speed Art Museum joined with 1,600 art exhibits, science centers, and museums across the nation to provide these services as a part of the Blue Star Museums initiative.

Kristen Popp, Communications Manager for the Speed, said “We were approached by the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families, who created this collaboration. So when they asked us to be a part of it we thought, of course, this is an excellent opportunity to give back to our military families.”

The open-door policy began May 26, but Popp says that the museum has already begun seeing families take advantage of it. “We have a great exhibition right now that features a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence,” said Popp, “and the two go hand-in-hand.”

The William J. Stone Copy of the Declaration of Independence is one of only 31 surviving copperplate engravings, commissioned by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams in 1820 after the original document began deteriorating.

The final day of the museum’s operation before a 3 year closure for renovations will be Sept. 23, which Popp says will be marked with closing festivities to be announced closer to the date.

The following is a schedule of the museum’s current hours of operations:

Wednesday 10a to 5p
Thursday 10a to 5p
Friday 10a to 9p
Saturday 10a to 5p
Sunday 12p to 5p
Monday closed
Tuesday closed

Photos: Aaron Long/The Louisville Cardinal


Kentucky State Fair announces free concert lineup

By Baylee Pulliam–

The Kentucky State Fair Board announced their free concert lineup Tuesday. All free concerts are included with paid fair admission.

Free concerts are at the old Cardinal Stadium at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Gates open around 6:30 p.m. and concerts start at 8 p.m.

  • Thursday, August 16 -- Cinderella with Sebastian Bach
  • Friday, August 17Keith Sweat with Robbie Bartlett
  • Saturday, August 18Hot Chelle Rae with Twenty One Pilots
  • Sunday, August 19Oak Ridge Boys with Jimmy Fortune
  • Monday, August 20Newsboys with special guest Sanctus Real
  • Tuesday, August 21Ronnie Milsap with special guest BJ Thomas
  • Wednesday, August 22Jake Owen with Florida Georgia Line
  • Thursday, August 23 — Happy Together Tour with Turtles, Grass Roots, Gary Puckett, Buckinghams and Micky Dolenz
  • Friday, August 24Young the Giant
  •  Saturday, August 25 — Justin Moore with Colt Ford



Five movies no to watch on Netflix

By Lee Cole–

If you’re loading your Netflix que for the first weekend of summer, here are five movies you won’t want on it:

“Birdemic: Shock and Terror”
With a title like “Birdemic,” it’s hard to imagine that this movie could be anything but horrendous. Even without considering the fact that it’s a blatant a rip-off of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, “The Birds,” “Birdemic” is a flat-out awful movie. The birds themselves look like clip art pasted poorly onto the frames and are about as menacing as the garden variety birds you’d find in an average neighborhood. Combined with the fact that it looks like it was filmed by teenagers who happened upon a camera, “Birdemic” isn’t even bad in a somewhat comedic way. It’s so bad, it’s cringe-worthy.

This movie, starring John Cusack, was actually a pretty big blockbuster at the time and the special effects budget was clearly the main concern in its production, as literally every other aspect (the writing, the acting) is horrible. “2012” gives new meaning to the term “disaster porn,” and one imagines that the target audience was the same as the target audience for those History Channel specials that all seem to be about some combination of ancient aliens, Nostradamus and end-time prophecies. The death count is literally billions of people, but somehow John Cusack manages to survive along with his family. Their journey is surprisingly lighthearted for the amount of death and destruction taking place all around them and this adds a comedic element to one of Netflix’s worst movies.

“Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2”

The original “Baby Geniuses” was pretty terrible, and it’s unclear exactly who decided that a sequel was necessary. We can only assume that there were too many unresolved issues in the original that had to be addressed in the sequel. But unlike with “The Godfather” and “Star Wars,” the sequel does not top the original. The plot involves a media mogul trying to decipher baby talk, the language with which the baby geniuses communicate. Obviously, the babies have to stop this from occurring and protect their closely guarded secret.

“Troll 2”
“Troll 2” is widely regarded as the worst film ever made. In recent years, it has developed a cult following, and the film has been shown in midnight screenings full of fans who quote their favorite scenes. The reasons for it being considered so bad are numerous. First of all, there are no actual trolls in the movie; instead, the plot features vegetarian goblins who attempt to turn unwitting victims into plants so they can be eaten. “Troll 2” is one of those rare gems that is so terrible, it actually has comedic effect.

“One Tough Cop”

Stephen Baldwin is in the interesting position of being the mediocre Baldwin brother – he’s not as good as Alec, but he’s much better than Billy. Still, his 1998 crime/action flick “One Tough Cop,” has to be one of the cheesiest cop films ever made. Baldwin’s character, named Bo Dietl (I know, who has a name like that?), is a loose-cannon cop trying to track down a nun’s killer in New York City. The part is so over-acted by Baldwin, and the film takes itself so seriously, that it transcends it cheesy-ness and becomes comedic gold. One particularly memorable scene involves Baldwin hitting a man in the face with a metal trashcan lid more times than any normal human could survive, and then having a polite discussion with him afterwards, as if nothing happened. If you’re scouring Netflix for an awesomely bad movie, look no further than “One Tough Cop.”
Photo courtesy Moviehead Pictures


Books worth reading before the semester starts

By Josephine Lee–

If there’s one thing summer is good for, it’s catching up on all the fun things you were too busy to do during the school year. You can watch everything that has been stored in your TiVo for the past few months, you can finally read the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy, since school got in the way before you could finish the series, and you can become a more than a few shades darker lying by the pool for hours on end. The Louisville Cardinal has compiled a list of books that are perfect for summer and great for anybody in college.

“The Happiness Project”

by Gretchen Rubin
Though this book is a self-labeled “self-help” book, this book is actually not as preachy and self-absorbed as you would expect. The book chronicles a year in the life of the author after she has an epiphany on a city bus. She tests out whether lessons from pop culture and wisdom passed down from one generation to the next can help her be a happier person and reflects on those results in a witty voice. What she finds is surprising and may even inspire you to start your own happiness project.

The Freshman 50″
by Carly A. Heitlinger
Although this book is geared toward freshmen, this is a great read for even those fifth-year seniors. This book, described as “part memoir, part survival guide,” chronicles one student’s journey through her first year in college. Heitlinger compiles a list of everything she wishes she’d known before entering college. For those no longer in college: perhaps this book will remind you of your own freshmen year.

“The Sun Also Rises”
by Ernest Hemingway
Remember in high school when you hated assigned reading? A lot of people didn’t enjoy reading Hemingway in high school mainly because it was assigned work, but I’m willing to bet that Hemingway becomes a lot more enjoyable when you’re reading for fun. Critics say “The Sun Also Rises” is what established Hemingway as one of the preeminent writers of the time. This novel tells the story of American and British exiles who travel from Paris to Pamplona to experience the running of the bulls. On the surface, this is a love story, but Hemingway twists in themes of betrayal, renewal and resiliency and describes the angst of the “lost generation.”

“The Overachievers”
by Alexandra Robbins
There is a new cult that is sweeping the nation and that is overachieving middle and high schoolers. Robbins explores how schools are no longer just places of learning, but places of strategizing in order to make it into the fiercely competitive world of college admissions. Students aren’t being characterized by their character or interests, but rather by their scores and statistics. This book follows seven students from her alma mater and discovers how a high-stake competitive society has caused educational growth to spiral out of control.

“The Art of Racing in the Rain”

by Garth Stein
Everybody knows that one of man’s best friends walks on four legs and that compassion can come from dogs, too. This book, told from the point of view of a dog, recounts his owner’s life story. Enzo, a lab-terrier mix, is the faithful supporter to his owner Denny, who risks his life savings and his life to be a big shot professional racer. The story, though over-the-top, features a very likable narrator and uses a canine to teach the reader about what it means to be human.

All books, except for “The Freshmen 50,” can be found in local bookstores. “The Freshmen 50” is only available on the Kindle or Nook.