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Walking into Yorgos Lanthimos’s film “The Favourite,” a film that is a part of this year’s Telluride at Dartmouth film series, I knew very little other than that the film was a historical drama featuring actress Emma Stone. I expected a typical historical drama, overplaying archaic customs to pander to the audience’s desire to get a glimpse of what we, in the 21st century, romanticize Europe to have been like hundreds of years ago: exaggerated British accents, dainty china sets and constant tea parties, dabbing at tears with handkerchiefs and the like.
The Hood Downtown, the Hood Museum of Art’s temporary exhibition space, closed on Sept.13 after a send-off reception that included talks by John Stomberg, the director of the museum, and a showcase of what is to come with the new museum building.
Hilarious, thoughtful and unwavering, pop culture critic Michael Arceneaux’s memoir “I Can’t Date Jesus” tackles the awkward and sometimes painful realities of growing up over the course of 17 essays.
Starting this Friday, the Hopkins Center for the Arts will screen seven films featured at the annual Telluride Film Festival, beginning with “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and ending on Sept. 20 with “Free Solo.”
In the upcoming 2018-19 season from the Hopkins Center for the Arts, performances will examine a common theme of global diaspora and the idea of “home,” said Rebecca Bailey, publicity coordinator and writer for the Hop. Many of the guest artists will demonstrate unique and commonly underepresented experiences and identities through shows that range from multimedia dance performances to stand-up comedy.
A working-class woman meets an outrageously rich man, and they fall in love in much to the derision and outrage of the man’s family (mostly his mother).
In last week’s review for “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” I described “Star Wars” as the behemoth that towered over the “cinematic psyche” of my childhood. I wasn’t exaggerating. Even now, few films elicit a Pavlovian nostalgic reaction as effectively as a “Star Wars” film does.
Fedora. Bull whip. Leather jacket. Snarky smile. “Trust me.”
Last week, Travis Scott treated fans to the release of his long-awaited new album, “ASTROWORLD.” This marks Scott’s third studio album, a project that has become the subject of hype since its initial announcement two years ago. The success of Scott’s previous two albums, “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight” and “Rodeo,” only served to heighten the anticipation. The project’s title serves as an homage to Six Flag’s now-defunct AstroWorld theme park, a staple of Scott’s homecity of Houston, Texas. The album is arguably just as much fun, as Scott creates an unorthodox universe in which trippy beats go head-to-head with spacey tracks that send listeners through the cosmos. The feature list is stacked, filled with big names, little names and guys you’ve probably never even heard of. Rest assured though, they’re all fire. The production is just as diverse, with collaborations from veterans of the industry veterans including Mike Dean and Metro Boomin’, as well as breakouts like Turbo and Tay Keith.
The pitch meeting for “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” (artistic liberties taken):
As I prepared to write this review, it occurred to me that “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is the fourth Marvel Cinematic Universe film I’ve reviewed since the beginning of the year. To phrase it another way, the MCU is 10 years old and already has produced twice that number of films and a myriad of shows on Netflix, ABC, Hulu and Freeform. Add on top of that the travesty that is the DC Extended Universe, as well as films like “Incredibles 2” that don’t fall into either franchise, and it’s fair to say that the superhero genre has reached a saturation point. However, there seems to be a misconception among the uber-fanboys of the genre that any mention of this saturation point is to cast a pejorative light on all recent superhero fare. To be clear, the problem is the overall quantity, not the quality of the individual films. In fact, most of these films, on their own terms, are decent, and the same goes for the MCU’s most recent release, “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”
Every summer, the theater department at the College hosts the Frost & Dodd Playwriting Festival, which features the three student winners of the Frost & Dodd Playwriting Contest. Two of the three plays are produced as staged readings, while the winning play becomes a full-scale production. This year’s Dodd winner is Jennifer West ’20, whose one-act musical “First Year” tells the story of a student’s first year at the fictional Ivylane College.
“Ocean’s 8” stars Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, sister of George Clooney’s roguish con man Danny Ocean from Steven Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s” trilogy. Criminality, as it turns out, runs in this family. Once released from prison, Debbie reconnects with her old partner, Cate Blanchett’s wonderfully cynical Lou Miller, and together they scheme to steal a necklace worth $150 million from the Met Gala. To this end, they assemble a cohort of six accomplices played by the likes of Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter.
Let me start off by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed “Tag.” It is an endearing comedy, smartly written and more than capable of making viewers laugh out loud. If for nothing else, viewers should be excited about the star-studded cast, which included: Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Isla Fisher, Jake Johnson, Rashida Jones, Annabelle Wallis, Hannibal Buress and Leslie Bibb. The ensemble actually works very well together, with a chemistry reminiscent of Clooney’s “Ocean’s” Trilogy.
“Jurassic World” is a lousy film barely kept afloat by a marginally entertaining screenplay. Its sequel, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” is a wonderfully creative film occasionally hampered by a subpar screenplay. The fact that the screenplay for the second film is superior to that of its predecessor says quite a lot about the monumental difference in quality between the two.
This Friday and Saturday, visitors of the Black Family Visual Arts Center will be greeted by a maze of masking tape and musical equipment as they enter the atrium. What is usually a popular study space among students is undergoing a transformation into an audio-visual gallery in preparation for the DAX+ Digital Arts eXpo, a showcase featuring work by Dartmouth students, faculty and critically-acclaimed guest artists.
As any fan who grew up with the 2004 Pixar animated classic will be happy to tell you, “The Incredibles” was always primed for a sequel. For 14 long years, children of the early 2000s wondered why “Cars,” “Finding Nemo” and “Monsters, Inc.” were all granted sequels and prequels, but a follow-up film for our favorite superhero family seemed to permanently languish in development hell. Regardless about how you feel about each of those films and their subsequent franchises, they are all self-contained stories. Sequels may not have detracted from the originals, but they also never truly enhanced them. The ending of “The Incredibles,” on the other hand, begged for closure. But director Brad Bird deliberated, instead choosing to direct “Ratatouille,” “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” and “Tomorrowland.”
Each year, Dartmouth’s theater department allows select theater majors to undertake an honors thesis. A selective process, only students who have completed at least five theater courses and who have an average major GPA of at least 3.4 or higher, along with an overall GPA of at least 3.0, are eligible to apply for the project. Those who are accepted are given the opportunity to sharpen their skills and enrich their knowledge in an area of interest through a written thesis or a full-length play. In the Class of 2018, there were four students — Claire Feuille ’18, Lela Gannon ’18, Virginia Ogden ’18 and Matthew Treiber ’18 — who presented their honors theses this spring. Senior Fellow Celeste Jennings ’18 also wrote and produced a play as part of her fellowship. Throughout the month of May, all five of the students premiered their projects in the Hopkins Center for the Arts, where they shared their works to audiences for the first time.
Before the summer begins and the College waves goodbye to the Class of 2018, the graduating studio art majors have one last chance to show their work to the community.
I’ve said it before (see my reviews of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) and I’ll say it again here: I love Star Wars. But my personal relationship with Star Wars is far less interesting to me than its broader cultural impact. And the popularity of Star Wars is practically incalculable. It may just be a collection of silly stories set in an insane fictional universe, but clearly those stories resonate.