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Daymé Arocena walks onto the stage like a ray of light. Barefoot and dressed head-to-toe in white, Arocena finally appears on the left side of Spaulding Auditorium. Her band — comprised only of a bassist, pianist and drummer — has played up to a crescendo for the past five minutes. She steps out of the darkness with a beaming smile, and the audience claps ferociously. Her entrance seems a spectacle, a finale, yet the show is just getting started.
The Baudelaire Orphans are back for a second season in Netflix’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” and fortunately for us the show hasn’t lost its gothic charm, idiosyncratic humor or heartfelt sincerity. Once again, producer and director Barry Sonnenfeld and his team of writers adapt the books from the beloved book series by Lemony Snicket (nom de plume for Daniel Handler) into two-part episodes. In doing so, they allow each book the chance to shine, breathe and grow in what is essentially a 90-plus minute mini-movie. This season tackles books five through nine: “The Austere Academy,” “The Ersatz Elevator,” “The Vile Village,” “The Hostile Hospital” and “The Carnivorous Carnival.” As the titles suggest, the show remains as erudite and obsessed with literary allusions as before.
Lauren Groff, a master of evocative prose and unexpected narrative twists, has a new book coming out this summer. Groff’s “Florida,” a collection of short stories to be released June 5, is her first work since the much acclaimed 2015 novel “Fates and Furies.” The new volume explores the themes of motherhood, mental illness and the general plight of being human. While we don’t know much about “Florida” beyond the publisher’s note, a look back at Groff’s most recent work — which then-President Barack Obama named his favorite book of the year — can help set our expectations for the collection.
While improvisational comedy has different variants — Dartmouth’s Dog Day Players do long-form improv with lengthy scenes and a returning cast of characters, while Casual Thursday favors short-form improv — the basic principles are the same. A great improv scene requires listening to one’s partners, following one’s instincts and being up for anything.
What do a reunited One Direction, a historical fashion show and Leo Tolstoy kissing Vladimir Lenin have in common? They were all a part of Gob Squad’s performance of “War and Peace” this past weekend at the Moore Theater.
While the conversations surrounding intersectional representation in film and media narratives seem more relevant than ever, it’s not always easy for students to know how to contribute. But film major Danica Rodriguez ’18 has already taken steps to expose biased casting in the media industry.
For better or worse, “Ready Player One” is the natural culmination of the narrative trends Hollywood and moviegoers have favored over the last five years — namely, an intense revival of interest in media from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Don’t believe me? Well, enjoy that new “Star Wars” movie, the new “Jurassic Park” movie and the new “Predator” movie all coming out later this year. So it should come as no surprise that someone had the bright idea to adapt Ernest Cline’s popular novel “Ready Player One,” a smorgasbord of nostalgia, to the big screen. The fact that it has been brought to life by Steven Spielberg, the man behind so many of the stories that Cline appears to love, is just the cherry on the sundae.
In “Hitler versus Picasso and the Others,” the final scars of World War II are far from healed. Art, argues the documentary, which played at the Black Family Visual Arts Center over the weekend, is the final Achilles heel of Germany’s atonement and the unfinished business of World War II.
The Silkroad Ensemble was at its best during the encore of its performance last night at Spaulding Auditorium. Opening with a fiery solo from pipa player Wu Man, the piece turned into a rollicking caper which used every instrument in Silkroad’s arsenal, from the thumping tabla to the breathy shakuhachi. Founder and world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, standing while he played, bobbed up and down with a smile on his face. In other words, it wasn’t your ordinary concert.
The critically acclaimed “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” received a second wave of attention during Oscar season last month. In the wake of a generally positive initial reception, “Three Billboards” received backlash as the Oscars drew closer because of the way the film seems to redeem Jason Dixon (played by Sam Rockwell, who won an Oscar for his performance), a violent and racist police officer. But upon a critical reevaluation of the film’s complicated message, it’s clear that “Three Billboards” doesn’t redeem Dixon. No character, protagonist or not, can be seen as completely good in the first place. That’s precisely what director and writer Martin McDonagh articulates through his emotional, dramatic and painfully realistic film — human nature and personal relationships can’t be seen inblack and white. McDonagh’s captivating and thoughtful “Three Billboards” shows that the definition of what is right and wrong is a circumstantial, biased blur, and that no person can truly be redeemed.
In a performance entitled “Trigger Warning” on Tuesday night in Brace Commons, powerful poetry duo Mother Tongue made one thing clear from the beginning: They will not remain in the margins. These poets — Rachel McKibbens, 2009 Women of the World Poetry Slam champion, and Dominique Christina, twice a winner of the same contest — aren’t performers who beat around the bush. They come at the bush head-on, with equal parts confidence and vulnerability.
There is a scene in the middle of Duncan Jones’ newest film “Mute” that is so ugly, so needlessly perverse and repugnant, that I couldn’t help but wonder if it was some sort of endurance test for the audience. I wouldn’t have been shocked if the film’s end credits had been replaced by a video-game-like graphic reading, “Congratulations! You managed to watch this dumpster fire without puking! You win a prize!”
“Pitch Perfect” screenwriter Kay Cannon made a splash at the South by Southwest Film Festival when she became the first female director to premiere an R-rated comedy with her film “Blockers.” With the teen comedy — Cannon’s directorial debut — hitting theaters Friday, the Hopkins Center for the Arts hosted an advance screening of the film over the weekend, giving Dartmouth the opportunity to view the teen drama a week before it hits theaters. “Blockers” strikes a balance between social commentary, raunchiness and dry humor, managing to get laughs out of diverse audience while posing some important questions about gender, sex, youth and family.
Shortly after the curtains opened, South African instrumentals and the voices of Dada Masilo’s dancers overtook the first notes of Adolphe Adam’s original composition for “Giselle.” The dancers were splayed and widely stanced in silhouette against a gray-green William Kentridge illustration of South African marshland. This was not “Giselle” as we know it, but a new, lively and vibrating work.
At first glance, the pottery pieces displayed in the Hood Downtown’s spring exhibition, “Sin-ying Ho: Past Forward” seem to adhere to the traditional image of Chinese ceramics: round white porcelain vases decorated with ornate imperial blue designs. Upon closer inspection, surprisingly modern images of icons such as Barbie, Wonder Woman, Starbucks and John Lennon pop out at the viewer. By combining the old and the new, Ho captures the chaotic beauty of the contradictions within global society and brings the art form of ceramics into the modern era.
In creating a new visual identity for Dartmouth, designers faced a difficult challenge: balance tradition and history with modernity and adaptability, and convey all this clearly to the eye. The result was a new logo, wordmark and color palette — but perhaps unsurprisingly, not everyone is a fan.
S-Town, a podcast released in March 2017and hosted by “This American Life” producer Brian Reed begins as a true crime story. The direction of the podcast, which is produced by the company behind “Serial” and “This American Life”, soon shifts to become a complex character study and modern Southern gothic tale of an eccentric, brilliant and troubled man named John B. McLemore, who is a resident of Woodstock, Alabama.
Jack White has doubtless had an illustrious musical career, catapulting into fame as the front man of The White Stripes and subsequently founding The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather. White has spent the last few years brandishing his talents as a solo artist, producing the widely acclaimed records “Blunderbuss” in 2012 and “Lazaretto” in 2014, both of which debuted at the top of the Billboard 200. But White’s newest album “Boarding House Reach,” released last Friday, is a convoluted imbroglio that mashes unwanted sounds and time signatures together and provides few redeemable moments.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, 2018’s “Tomb Raider” is the best reviewed video game film adaptation … ever. Given that it has a modest 50 percent critical approval rating, I’d argue that says more about the infamously abysmal quality of such adaptations than it does about anything else. Video game films are notorious for their ability to trip and fall over the exceedingly low bar set by so many generic Hollywood blockbusters.