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Review: “Ready Player One” is a lesson in regressive nostalgia

(04/10/18 6:30am)

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.



Yo-Yo Ma, Silkroad Ensemble excite sold-out crowd at Hop

(04/06/18 5:45am)

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. 


Review: Complex characters carry “Three Billboards”

(04/05/18 6:00am)

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.


Poetry duo Mother Tongue slams violence and oppression

(04/05/18 5:45am)

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.


Duncan Jones’s “Mute” is convoluted, needlessly repugnant

(04/03/18 5:45am)

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!”


Raunchy “Blockers” is a fresh take on teenage virginity narratives

(04/03/18 5:40am)

“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.


Dada Masilo's "Giselle" is not a "pretty ballet"

(04/03/18 5:50am)

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.


Chinese ceramics exhibition at Hood embraces cultural hybridity

(03/30/18 5:45am)

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.



A year after its release, "S-Town" remains haunting, captivating

(03/27/18 5:45am)

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. 


Review: Jack White misfires on "Boarding House Reach"

(03/27/18 5:15am)

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. 


Review: Gritty “Tomb Raider” reboot clears a low bar

(03/27/18 5:30am)

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.



Fifth annual performance of 'Voices' tonight

(03/06/18 5:05am)

“Voices,” an annual original production performed, written and directed by self-identified Dartmouth women, will conclude this year’s lineup of V-February events tonight at 7 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium. Students who participate in “Voices” can choose to submit a story anonymously or not, perform an original piece or perform one of the submitted stories in a showcase designed to empower women and non-binary students to celebrate the diversity of their experiences at Dartmouth and beyond.


Dartmouth Idol Finals take place tonight at the Hop

(03/02/18 6:15am)

Talented students performing diverse song selections will be featured in the Dartmouth Idol Finals tonight at 8 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Directed by Walt Cunningham and hosted by Aaron Cheese ’18 and Harrison Perkins ’18, Dartmouth Idol is a vocal competition that has become a tradition at the College, celebrating its 11th year. On Friday, the six Dartmouth Idol Finalists to perform are Kate Budney ’21, Matthew Haughey ’21, Soomin Kim ’20, Eni Oyeleye ’20, Connor Regan ’18 and Caroline Smith ’21. They were selected after the Dartmouth Idol Semifinals on Feb. 2.



‘Proof’ tackles loss, mental illness and gender inequality

(03/01/18 7:05am)

This weekend, the theater department will present this winter term’s student production “Proof.” Originally written by David Auburn, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work, the play is directed by Louisa Auerbach ’20 and stars Claire Feuille ’18, Macguinness Galinson ’21, Tess McGuinness ’18 and theater professor James Rice. Covering themes of loss, mental illness and gender inequality, the play follows McGuinness as Catherine, the daughter of lauded mathematician Robert, played by Rice, after she loses her father and attempts to live up to his legacy as a mathematical genius and inherits his struggle with mental illness. After a mathematical proof that Catherine claims to have wrote is discovered in one of her father’s notebooks, her love interest Hal and her sister Claire refuse to believe her as Catherine struggles to prove her authorship.