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Review: ‘The Satanic Verses’ continues to provoke controversy and violence

(11/14/22 7:00am)

On Aug. 12, 2022, world renowned Indian-British-American author Salman Rushdie was stabbed repeatedly in an assassination attempt at a conference in New York. He was slated to present his thoughts on freedom of speech as an exiled author in America. He was initially exiled from Iran and targeted due to his depiction of the Prophet Muhammed in his book “The Satanic Verses,” which was released in 1988. Growing up in a liberal Muslim family, Rushdie now firmly considers himself to be an atheist — a conversion which is not taken lightly in the Islamic faith. 


Review: ‘Amsterdam’ shows the importance of community in the midst of uncertainty

(11/14/22 7:05am)

David O. Russell’s latest film, “Amsterdam,” is — at its core — a historical comedy and conspiracy thriller that dives into the power of friendship and loyalty. Set primarily in 1930s New York against a backdrop of social and racial inequality, the film touches on issues of post-traumatic stress disorder, white supremacy and the rise of American fascism. Though the overarching theme is a comforting message of the value or relationships in uncertain times, this is lost due to the film’s poor pacing and timeline which is difficult to follow. 


Review: ‘It Starts With Us’ takes readers through the pain of new beginnings

(11/07/22 8:00am)

“It Starts With Us” is Colleen Hoover’s sequel to her best-selling novel and BookTok sensation, “It Ends With Us.” The sequel begins directly after “It Ends With Us” and brings the reader through the intricacies of life after divorce and domestic abuse. “It Starts With Us” is a lighter read than its predecessor,  allowing the reader to experience Atlas and Lily’s relationship as they navigate divorce, found family and starting a new life after abuse. In many ways, Hoover presents a “second-chance” romance that alternates between Atlas’s and Lily’s points of views. “It Ends With Us” must be read first in order to fully understand the magnitude of some of the trivial events in “It Starts With Us.”


Review: ‘House of the Dragon’ captures the magic of Westeros with casting and design

(10/31/22 6:05am)

As an avid “Game of Thrones” fan, I have been counting down the minutes to its highly anticipated prequel, “House of the Dragon,” since its announcement in 2019. Like many “Game of Thrones” fans, I was wildly disappointed by its unfulfilling finale that left me irrationally angry; a rushed ending that throws away about eight seasons of character development is no way to reward fans for their dedication. Even so, I was excited to restart my obsession with the “Game of Thrones” world — now with new characters, romances and drama. 


Review: ‘Midnights’ is a testament to transformation

(10/24/22 6:05am)

Like many others, I have grown up with each new Taylor Swift album. Her new album “Midnights,” released on Oct. 21, is no exception. With “Midnights,” Swift transitions out of the acoustic sound which characterized her three most recent releases. The album felt different from my expectations, but upon the second listen I genuinely enjoyed it. It’s a unique sound and aesthetic for Taylor Swift, establishing a truly new era. The songs span a wide variety of topics so that nearly everyone can relate to something in the album. 


Review: Noah Kahan’s ‘Stick Season’ beautifully captures the complexities of homesickness

(10/17/22 6:00am)

Growing up in a desert city, I never thought that I would be so deeply connected to an album written about a small town in Vermont. Yet, Noah Kahan’s “Stick Season,” released on Oct. 14, perfectly embodies the transitional period between fall and winter in New England — something Dartmouth students are all too familiar with. For the Dartmouth community, this album is already a community treasure: Kahan graduated from Hanover High School and draws on his upbringings in Strafford, Vt. and Hanover in the album.  Whether a New England native or someone who has never visited, Kahan has created widespread nostalgia for the region through the album. 


Review: ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ may have something to worry about

(09/26/22 6:00am)

Since its inception, Olivia Wilde’s highly anticipated thriller “Don’t Worry Darling” has taken the internet by storm, unleashing an avalanche of rumors on social media — including, most notably, lead actress Florence Pugh’s alleged feud with Wilde and lack of involvement with promotion. Despite this drama, I entered an empty Nugget Theater with optimism. The film has an admittedly impressive cast — with notable names like Harry Styles, Gemma Chan, Chris Pine and more — and is directed by the celebrated Olivia Wilde, acclaimed for her debut movie, “Booksmart.” I wondered: When stripped of its social-media buzz, will “Don’t Worry Darling” still succeed?


Review: Netflix’s ‘Persuasion’ fails to live up to its name

(08/19/22 6:05am)

My bedside table is stacked tall with romance novels. This summer I’ve raided my local bookstore on many occasions to find a new story to fall into while sitting on the beach, the train or the porch of my childhood home. My enthusiasm for cheesy tales of love has even manifested in binging romances on streaming services — everything from “The Summer I Turned Pretty” to “Purple Hearts” to“Bridgerton” dominates my list of recently-viewed shows and films. 


Review: Elton John demonstrates breadth of talent and successful discography at Gillette Stadium concert

(08/12/22 6:00am)

I am a sucker for a concert. If anyone notable is playing within three hours of me, I can’t help but go. I’m attracted to the energy, the lights, the live music, the food  — and my wallet hates me for it. So, when my friend texted me last minute about seeing Elton John in Foxborough, Mass. on July 27, suddenly the interview I had the next day, my upcoming midterm and my discussion post due in two hours all fell to the wayside. Nosebleed tickets were purchased and an outfit was thrown together. Piling into my beloved Subaru with four other Dartmouth students, we began the three-hour drive to Gillette Stadium. Throughout the drive, we couldn’t hold in our excitement as we listened to John’s greatest hits and made a brief Chick-fil-A stop on the way.


Review: The Dead & Company’s concerts at Citi Field perfectly concludes their summer tour

(07/22/22 5:00am)

The Grateful Dead have been the soundtrack to all my best memories — the ride to and from school every day, my dad singing “Brown-Eyed Women” to me while making pancakes every Sunday morning, driving to Atlanta for my first Dead & Company concert in 2017. I have been a Deadhead since birth; both my parents are avid fans and have been playing their music since before I could walk. Now that I’m grown and my parents’ love for the band has evolved into my own, riding about six hours on the Dartmouth Coach to New York to see Dead & Company — the Grateful Dead legacy band featuring icons Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, along with John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti — was an easy sacrifice to make. 


Review: ‘Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy’ provides a view of Italy’s culinary diversity

(07/08/22 5:00am)

In the second season of the CNN original documentary series “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,” actor, writer and producer Stanley Tucci continues his travels across Italy to learn about the nation’s cuisine and culture. Over the course of four episodes, the four-time Emmy Award winner and Academy Award nominee brings his audience across different regions of Italy  — Venice, Piedmont and Umbria — with the final episode taking place in London. Tucci focuses not only on each region’s signature dishes, but the rich history and legacy of these dishes. 


Review: Rina Sawayama’s Boston performance inspires audience to dance and cry

(05/10/22 6:00am)

When the lights dimmed in the Boston Royale, the crowd immediately went silent. A figure walked out from stage right, dressed in a red suit and a red coat with exaggerated shoulder pads. As Rina Sawayama struck her starting pose and the opening chords of “Dynasty” began to play, the crowd erupted in cheers.


Review: Lizzy McAlpine’s second album elevates her previous narrative work

(04/26/22 6:05am)

“five seconds flat” features heart-wrenching lyrics and beautiful production as it chronologically captures heartbreak and finding a new beginning. Lizzy McAlpine’s musical style has been described as a cross between folk-pop and alternative indie, with her songwriting shining through the instrumentals. McAlpine’s new work was well anticipated, with five singles released in the six months leading up to the album. She gained popularity through social media and her first album, “Give Me A Minute.” Her second album, “five seconds flat,” came out on April 8 along with a 29-minute short film that was released the next day. 


With a few missteps, ‘It’s Almost Dry’ is Pusha T’s musical victory lap

(04/26/22 6:00am)

Among fans of hip-hop, Pusha T’s reputation precedes him. Since the early 2000s when he and his brother No Malice formed the legendary hip-hop duo Clipse, Pusha T has enjoyed consistent acclaim from fans and critics alike. The most recent subject of this acclaim was his album “Daytona” — released as part of a series of five albums produced by Kanye West which were released on consecutive weeks during the Spring of 2018. For many fans — myself included — the soulful instrumentals and uncompromising lyrics of “Daytona” seemed like hip-hop heaven, and it was hailed as one of the best albums of 2018 and the 2010s. Naturally, I was elated when Pusha T announced “It’s Almost Dry,” his first solo release since “Daytona.” 


Review: Syd’s 'Broken Hearts Club' lacks her usual unique identity

(04/14/22 6:05am)

Since the days of her association with the now-revered hip-hop supergroup Odd Future, Sydney Bennett, otherwise known as Syd, has distinguished herself as a leading voice in the alternative R&B genre. Her work with The Internet — a band that also includes respected singer and guitarist Steve Lacy — has produced two critically acclaimed albums: 2015’s “Ego Death” and 2018’s “Hive Mind.” In 2017, Syd extended this success to her solo work, releasing her debut album “Fin.” “Broken Hearts Club,” Syd’s most recent album, was announced in March following almost five years of virtual solo silence.


Review: “It Ends With Us” is heart-wrenching in the best way possible

(04/07/22 6:00am)

I felt nervous buying BookTok’s most popular book, “It Ends With Us,” by Colleen Hoover. I worried that how I felt about  this book would sway my future judgments on other books I find through TikTok. I was even more nervous writing a review for it, as, for me, “It Ends With Us” raised the bar for not only all other new adult fiction books, but fiction books across the board. I now understand why there is a cult following for this book and the characters in it. 


Review: Charli XCX’s ‘Crash’ Lacks Usual Experimental Character

(03/31/22 6:00am)

After her first experiment with hyperpop in 2016 with the EP “Vroom Vroom,” Charli XCX has been on the cutting edge of new sounds in popular music. Albums like “Charli” (my favorite album of 2019) and 2020’s “How I’m Feeling Now” have been instrumental in bringing the bubblegum bass sound — pioneered by her late collaborator SOPHIE and British music label PC Music — to the mainstream. However, as she releases the final album of her record deal with Atlantic, Charli XCX is trying something new: By her own admission, she’s selling out.


Review: ‘Turning Red’ Turns Coming-of-Age on Its Head, and It’s About Time

(03/29/22 6:00am)

Released to Disney+ on March 11, “Turning Red” took the world by storm. Directed by Domee Shi, the movie follows 13-year-old Meilin “Mei” Lee (Rosalie Chiang) after she wakes and discovers that when she experiences strong emotions, she transforms into a giant red panda, a respected guardian animal in her family’s history. This generational curse and blessing is passed down to every daughter when they come of age; however, it can be permanently trapped in a talisman with a ritual performed during a Red Moon. As Mei struggles to control her new and changing body, she is forced to confront her relationship with herself, her friends and most importantly, her mother.


Essential Dartmouth Playlists

(03/08/22 7:00am)

As we reflect on our last night of production as the 178th Directorate’s Arts editors, we would like to share something meaningful and expressive. We have truly enjoyed writing and editing pieces about the arts on campus and beyond, as this creative sphere allows for special connections between peoples. Art, theater, music, movies and books serve to foster a shared humanity, and we hope that our articles over the past year have reflected this valuable sentiment to the Dartmouth and Upper Valley communities. So, in our last piece as Arts editors, we use music to highlight shared Dartmouth traditions. We hope you enjoy these playlists.


Review: Season Two of ‘Euphoria’ Excels with Phenomenal Acting, Cinematography and Music

(03/03/22 7:00am)

“Euphoria” seduces its viewers with an absurd portrayal of high school. There is something intoxicating about watching these characters ruin their lives, a total inability to look away as their world burns around them while you snack on the couch. Episodes fluctuate between campy teen drama and somber character explorations, each desperately trying to raise the stakes by increasing shock with explicit content. 




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