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A few weeks ago, my editors acquiesced to my request to drop the numerical ratings system in my reviews. I felt the ratings were becoming increasingly arbitrary. Not just arbitrary in the sense that one number is a rather weightless way of expressing an opinion, but also in the sense that the distinction between “good” and “bad” cinema was becoming more and more blurry to me. Thanks to some of my film studies courses, I began to appreciate how limiting these categories were. Of course, I wouldn’t write film criticism week after week if I didn’t feel that discussing the quality of films had some value. I’ve come to realize that the way I define “quality” is somewhat complicated.
Recently, Dartmouth announced a clear commitment to address food sustainability throughout campus dining by initiating the formation of a “food working group” comprised of a collective of students, faculty and staff. As one of the students serving in this group, I am as nervous as I am hopeful, and while not jaded, certainly uncertain. I wonder — what would a comprehensive sustainable food action plan look like, and how could we direct our efforts into getting it right?
An ode to former first lady Michelle Obama, “Courage is Contagious: And Other Reasons to be Thankful for Michelle Obama” takes on the task of memorializing and honoring the legacy of Obama as a cultural icon through a collection of written reflections. The book’s editor, Nick Haramis, compiled essays by actors, writers, fashion designers, activists, high schoolers and others in order to participate in the process of unpacking the Obama family’s legacy in America and the significance of Obama’s navigation of the first lady position.
There are many people who paint, but there are not many who use emoji as a source of inspiration — Kevin Soraci ’18 is both. A studio art and engineering double major, Soraci has been painting for about seven years. Although he can’t recall how he got started, he remembers instantly falling in love with the sense of calm that painting gives him. For Soraci, painting is a way to engage with our culture conceptually, he said.
On Mischief Night, a group of students performed a collection of Shakespearean death scenes in gender-inclusive fraternity Alpha Theta. In the “Spooky Show,” excerpts from “Hamlet,” “Henry IV” and “Henry VI Part 3” made up the body from which spewed blood and splattered gore to make an atypical theatrical experience.
On Saturday night, I trekked down to the labyrinthine nether-realm that is the Nugget Theater to see “Marshall.” Ten minutes before, I had left the Hopkins Center for the Arts’ screening of Taylor Sheridan’s problematic, complicated yet engaging “Wind River,” which played to a mostly packed theater. In contrast, I watched “Marshall” with a grand total of two other people. To everyone who could have filled those extra seats but didn’t: Y’all missed out.
The musical stylings of the Dartmouth Glee Club will once again grace Rollins Chapel this Sunday as they reimagine the works of Felix Mendelssohn and Johannes Brahms. The performance will feature three recent graduates — Alyssa Gonzalez ’17, Nathaniel Graves ’13 and James Ragan ’16 — as guest soloist, and will be the first performance with this year’s members of the glee club.
With the end of fall term approaching, the theater department’s fall musical is right around the corner. Anyone passing through the Hopkins Center for the Arts can see the activity bustling in and around the theater. “Cabaret,” this year’s musical, promises to be a timely response to the current political climate.
On Sunday, Oct. 29, Upper Valley television channel CATV’s sixth annual Halloween-o-thon took place on Dartmouth’s campus from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Loew Auditorium located in the Black Family Visual Arts Center, partnering with the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Halloween-o-thon showcased films made by students spanning in age from middle school to college from all across the Upper Valley who registered to commit three weeks of their time to writing, directing and casting their very own short horror films. On Sunday, their work was displayed on the big screen to celebrate the creative endeavors of local youth and embrace the Halloween spirit.
While other courses at the College build students up, English 53.04 breaks them down — and in that way it acts as a catalyst for real change. The course “Telling Stories for Social Change,” taught by English professor Ivy Schweitzer and women’s, gender and sexuality studies professor Pati Hernández, pushes students out of a traditional method of learning by memorizing theory into understanding through experience.
In last week’s review of “The Snowman,” I encouraged readers to skip that dreadfully dull film and instead watch “Battle of the Sexes.” As it happens, I saw the two films over a week ago, and the contrast could not have been greater. When I walked out of “The Snowman,” my head was reeling with confusion. When I walked out of “Battle of the Sexes,” I felt buoyed, eager to return home and research the real-life story that had inspired the film. This is one of the year’s best films and the more I think about it, the fonder I grow — which is significant considering I was already fond of it when I walked out of the Nugget Theater.
The Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by acclaimed flutist Luciano Tristaino, will perform its annual fall concert at the Spaulding Auditorium in the Hopkins Center for the Arts on Saturday. With this performance, the ensemble intends to celebrate its upcoming collaboration with the Conservatory of Siena.
Since she was a toddler, Rachel Beck ’19 loved to dance.
In one of my favorite memoirs, “Negroland,” acclaimed critic and professor Margo Jefferson offers an account of her life as a Southern upper middle-class Black woman in the 50s and 60s, reflecting on the confounding nature of racial categorization as a process which has saturated the lives of Black Americans. Jefferson asks a weighty question to the masses: “What manner of man and woman are we?” It is a query that has remained in my head since I finished reading her memoir. With this question, Jefferson addressed the ways in which the otherness imposed on Black Americans necessitated conflict by defining our existence as inherently divergent from the norm of humanity. In Toni Morrison’s newest novel, “The Origin of Others,” this question is asked and expanded to challenge the habit of “othering” altogether — taking history, psychology and literature to task in a way that uncovers the vast offerings of Morrison’s mind.
This week, Che “Rhymefest” Smith will be conducting a student workshop on campus. Smith is a Grammy-winning hip-hop artist from Chicago. He has collaborated with and written for several artists, most notably Kanye West on his song “Jesus Walks.” He is also a philanthropist, activist and politician dedicated to opening up conversations about race and youth in America.
Tonight the Hopkins Center for the Arts will show “Dawson City: Frozen Time,” a documentary about a Canadian town in the Yukon region that became a hotspot during the Klondike Gold Rush. Additionally, Dawson City rose to fame within the film industry in 1978 when old prints and reels were discovered. Directed by Bill Morrison, “Dawson City: Frozen Time” delves into the rich history of this forgotten town.
To deem Jaclyn Pageau ’18 an involved Dartmouth artist would be to understate the depth and breadth of her pursuits in theater and music. Pageau is a soprano in the Sing Dynasty a cappella group, a dedicated tour guide for prospective students and works as a head usher at events in the Hopkins Center for the Arts. As a student, she spent an exchange term at the National Theater Institute, worked in the Upper Valley and New York City’s professional theater scenes as part of the theater department’s “experiential term,” and traveled to London as one of 10 students in the theater department’s Foreign Study Program in order to take classes in general and Shakespearean acting techniques at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Dartmouth’s Christian a cappella group X.ado celebrated its 25th anniversary during Homecoming, welcoming alumni of the group in a performance at Rollins Chapel on Saturday night. Following the performance, the group and audience members enjoyed an evening of unstructured worship, an event demonstrative of X.ado’s group personality and mission. Founded in 1992, X.ado differentiates itself from other campus performance groups both in its philosophy and its approach to rehearsing and performing. While a love of music unites the group members, music isn’t the only thing that draws them together; the members’ faith and strong sense of purpose unites X.ado under a common identity.
I watched “Detroit” over a week ago, and I’m still not quite sure what to say. It is, without a doubt, the hardest film I’ve ever had to review. In retrospect, this is not a shock — director Kathryn Bigelow has shown a steadfast willingness to tackle controversial topics in her previous two films, “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” Similarly, “Detroit” is based on the Algiers Motel Incident, although the film acknowledges that Mark Boal’s tense screenplay takes certain factual liberties due to conflicting or incomplete testimonies about what actually occurred in the 1967 incident of police brutality against three black teenagers. Thus, the plot details described in this review will be based purely on the events as the film describes them; if you want to know more about the real-life incident, I highly recommend looking it up.
Comprised of 11 performers from Portland, Oregon, jazz group Pink Martini, which was founded in 1994, artfully merges music from around the world, infusing it with its own unparalleled style. This worldly appeal is partially a result of Pink Martini’s commitment to embody what bandleader and pianist Thomas Lauderdale described as the house band the United Nations would have had in 1962.