The fourth annual Massachusetts Dance Festival, held over the past weekend at UMass, is one of the rare events in the region that make you forget the remoteness of Amherst from fine arts hubs such as Boston and New York. Indeed, the eleven dance companies that put on a fast-paced, eclectic two-night gala concert last Friday and Saturday reminded us that Massachusetts, despite having a reputation for producing but not keeping top-notch dancers, still has a vibrant dance scene that more people ought to learn about and appreciate.

I am not a fan of voice-over movie trailers. To me, a narrator’s voice trying to glamorize an upcoming film alienates me from the actual story and belittles my intelligence, for it bears the assumption that I can’t evaluate the film’s potential without someone explaining to me how great the movie is going to be. And the industry knows this too: voice-over trailers are by now a memory, too often the subject of homage or parody. Without question, however, the booming voices over two-and-half-minute montages have for decades defined the wonder of the silver screen.

My first chat with Roshard Bryant ’14E took place at an international student welcome picnic organized by the Center for Community Engagement. Going into the championship duel of a spirited round of the “Wah” game, we talked lightly about his CEOT leadership and how the game perpetually dominated orientations, while other gamers deliberated on the vegetable we would imitate.

A towering figure, Bryant nevertheless carried a natural ease and amicable charm, an indelible mix I would constantly admire later on.

Imagine the following scenario: your country has endured a dictator’s rule for 15 years. The economy has grown, but so has the number of casualties of its political unrest and the government’s stranglehold on freedom. Now your people have the chance to vote him out, but they are too afraid to become the new victims. What do you do?

According to “No,” the answer is: you give them happiness.

This Thursday, a film screening of “The Interrupters,” a documentary on workers who prevent gun violence in Chicago, will take place in Pruyne Lecture Hall at 8 p.m. Co-sponsored by Careers in Education Professions, Black Students Union, the EDU, the Department of Film and Media Studies and the Amherst College Entrepreneurs Society, the event will feature Co-Producer Zak Piper and Ricardo “Cole” Williams, one of the three violence “interrupters” (along with Eddie Bocanegra and Ameena Matthews) whose life and work in their crime-ridden communities form the focus of the documentary.

Tanya Tagaq, the Inuit throat singer who held a concert at the Buckley Recital Hall last Friday, cracked a light joke shortly before her performance began. Amplified by the microphone that she tore from the stand, her hearty laugh rumbled and echoed in the air. She kicked aside her high heels within seconds of her entrance and seemed completely at ease.

At first, “Side Effects” looks like another jab at the pharmaceutical industry. Coping with her husband’s release from jail, Emily (Rooney Mara) finds herself sliding deep into depression. Following a public meltdown and a suicide attempt, she begins to receive treatment from Dr. Banks (Jude Law), who prescribes some medications, but to no avail. Dr. Banks contacts Emily’s former psychiatrist Dr. Siebert (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who suggests that she try a new antidepressant: Ablixa. The drug seems to work for Emily: she is happier and regains her sex drive, though she begins to sleepwalk.