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Every 20 years, like clockwork, American culture repeats itself. This does not mean that the same exact trends are recycled in an endless loop. Rather, after about 20 years, outdated culture becomes “retro,” and nostalgia for past decades shapes new styles and artwork. The 1970s had “Happy Days,” and the 1990s had “That ’70s Show.” In a more abstract sense, the infatuation with the glamorous lifestyles of the fabulously wealthy in the 1980s inspired reality television and “Gossip Girl” in the 2000s. As we enter the 2020s, the music stylings of the early aughts are making a comeback. Artists like Charli XCX and Slayyyter evoke Britney Spears-style pop, while Poppy and Grimes both recently released music that is heavily reminiscent of nu metal.
As a wave of states introduced abortion restrictions last year, abortion rights have increasingly come under fire. Now, in the age of COVID-19 — with abortions deemed non-essential in some states — the right to choose is especially pertinent. With this in mind, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” a movie that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and can now be purchased on Amazon Prime, is even more timely than it would’ve been just two months ago.
Virtual tours of national parks, Instagram Live concerts from celebrities and Broadway shows streaming online are all examples of the new forms of entertainment people have been consuming since the country went on lockdown. Among these options, the virtual museum tour offers an experience that is both self-directed and artistic. 24/7, 365 days a year, you can see selections from some of the world’s best museums from your home, either through a program of the museum’s own or through an offshoot of the all-seeing Google.
After eight long years, 1990s teenage pop sensation turned reclusive savant Fiona Apple has released her fifth album, “Fetch the Bolt Cutters.” As longtime fans know, Apple’s album release schedule is erratic; she has only released five albums since her 1996 debut “Tidal,” which she released when she was 18 years old. Apple’s prodigious talents as a writer are apparent even on her first album, but her teenage immaturity and naivete are also obvious. While the 90-word title of her second album, often shortened to “When the Pawn …,” initially annoyed fans and critics when it debuted in 1999, the complex, jazzy instrumentals and tremendous lyrical improvement won over most listeners. A protracted dispute with her label created a six-year gap before the release of Apple’s third album, “Extraordinary Machine,” in 2005, which introduced full orchestration behind her music.
The Netflix docuseries “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” offers six episodes to binge-watch during self-isolation. If you have already seen the drama of Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion” and Wolfgang Petersen’s “Outbreak” or are searching for a documentary perspective, “Pandemic” may be the show for you. Following the lives of doctors in the U.S., Asia and Africa as they combat flu viruses, the show reveals the challenges of preventing a deadly outbreak of influenza. Although “Pandemic” is flawed in its false advertising and dwells too long on its depiction of doctors’ personal lives, it still presents an overall interesting and accurate account of influenza epidemics and pandemics.
The Hopkins Center for the Arts has canceled or postponed all live events through May 31 in response to the global spread of COVID-19. Rather than shuttering its doors completely, however, the Hop has introduced “Hop@Home” — a new project aimed at creating “a virtual stage that brings our adventurous artistry and creative community to your living room,” according to a statement from Hop director Mary Lou Aleskie.
Although the online nature of this term poses a significant obstacle in the Hood Museum’s core functionality — enabling people to interact with art — the museum staff see a silver lining in the chance to appreciate art in a new way. One of the biggest challenges this term was ensuring that people can still observe the art and witness “the power of the shared experience,” according to Hood Museum director John Stomberg.
Have you ever been invited into a space that feels so uniquely intimate and fragile that you observe it as carefully as possible, hoping to not miss a moment? That’s what watching Netflix’s “Unorthodox” feels like.
It’s been so long since the explosive conclusion of “Breaking Bad” in 2013 that “Better Call Saul” — the 2015 prequel spinoff created by “Breaking Bad” masterminds Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould — feels like its own show. And I’ll admit, I was wary of its ability to stand out from its predecessor, most of all because Saul Goodman, the smooth-talking, comb-over-sporting strip mall lawyer played with electricity and heart by Bob Odenkirk, was largely a one-note side piece in the original show. A skeevy lawyer who helps criminals hide their money and avoid jail time — end of story. It didn’t seem substantive enough for its own show, and it seemed like “Better Call Saul” would be doomed to the spin-off junk pile in the wasteland of failed TV shows. But I had faith in Gilligan and Gould, so I approached “Better Call Saul” with tepid hope. Now, five years and almost five complete seasons later — the fifth season is currently underway — part of me loves “Saul” even more than “Breaking Bad.”
Whether you’re in a mandated quarantine or simply practicing social distancing, we can all agree that there isn’t much to do in the confines of your home. Sure, you’re attending classes from the comfort of your bed and appreciating how light your workload is now that everything is credit/no credit, but you’re getting restless and bored and in desperate need of a distraction. Welcome to a comprehensive list of shows worth your laughs, tears and time, for whatever mood you’re in.
With the College’s switch to online instruction this term, many questions have arisen over how studio art and music courses, which rely heavily on in-person instruction and hands-on learning, will proceed. Despite the challenges, however, faculty and staff in both departments have found ways to keep their courses running remotely.
On March 27, English pop artist Dua Lipa released her sophomore album “Future Nostalgia” one week early, in the midst of the global pandemic. With millions around the world quarantined in their homes and looking for a way to pass the hours, the timing couldn’t be better. The album’s upbeat sound is exactly what the world needs in this time of uncertainty and confusion.
“Tiger King'' is one of the wildest true-crime stories Netflix has given us so far — so much so that its larger-than-life characters eclipse the documentary series’ initial mission of shining light on animal rights issues. The show follows the eccentric Joe Exotic (whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage), a self-described “gay, gun-carrying-redneck with a mullet” who created one of the biggest wildlife preservation centers for exotic cats, along with his menagerie of exotic animal owner colleagues who prove even wilder than their pets. The directors of “Tiger King,” Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, untangle the complicated and at times surreal world of Exotic to deliver a must-see story of a zookeeper who lands himself in jail for a murder-for-hire plot targeting his long-time rival, big cat activist Carole Baskin, who is shrouded in her own felonious controversies. Despite its mild attempt to address ethical questions about animal rights, “Tiger King” is, at heart, a true crime documentary that spotlights outsized personalities.
The 13th Dartmouth Idol Finals take place tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium. Featuring six finalists who were selected out of 29 semi-finalists, the show will include solo performances by each finalist as well as group performances.
Last Saturday, “Citrus” debuted at Northern Stage in White River Junction. Celeste Jennings ’18 wrote “Citrus” as her senior year fellowship project while at Dartmouth. JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell, who directed the initial reading of “Citrus” at the College last May, is directing the production’s Northern Stage iteration as well. “Citrus” is not a play in the traditional sense; rather, it is a choreopoem, which combines dance, music, poetry, rap and acting. It tells the stories of black women throughout history and in the present day, with a focus on personal experiences.
Hundreds of students, staff and community members gathered in Spaulding Auditorium on Wednesday to see the seventh-annual show of Voices, a student-led performance that centers narratives and people at the intersections of gender, power, violence and resilience. Twenty-eight monologues were performed by over 25 cast members, touching a wide range of issues from sexual assault and self-harm to women-of-color and sexual-minority experiences.
At the behest of a friend, I recently watched the sequel to “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” on Netflix. Titled “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You,” I found that even though I didn’t think the movie was particularly good, I still managed to find a kernel of satisfaction in watching it.
“The Sweet Science of Bruising” had its American premiere in Moore Theater last Friday. Written by Joy Wilkinson, the play is set in 1869 London. It tells the story of four women from a variety of backgrounds who find their way into the boxing ring to literally fight for their right to freedom and gender equality.
For Claire Boucher, the last few years have marked a massive change in popularity. Between the critical and commercial success of her 2015 album “Art Angels” and her high-profile relationship with billionaire Elon Musk, Boucher, better known as Grimes, has become a genuine celebrity. Her prodigious rise to stardom probably comes as a surprise to anyone familiar with her work since the beginning — which was full of obscured vocals and avant-garde goth-punk — especially since it took four albums for her to become a household name.
Last Saturday, Dartmouth’s chapter of Musical Empowerment held its second annual benefit dinner at Skinny Pancake. The event was organized by the executive board of Musical Empowerment as a part of its 10-day long Strike a Chord fundraising campaign. Strike a Chord is the national organization’s fundraising program, and it ran from Feb. 14-24. The proceeds from the benefit dinner will go towards funds for the Dartmouth chapter.