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I’ll be the first to admit it — I am not a gamer. I don’t know much about any specific kind of game, about the world of gaming or of gamers in general. In my rather narrowly-construed mind, video games have been limited to the chaotic fantasy reality of multiplayer games such as “World of Warcraft,” or the brutally one-note first person shooting games à la “Call of Duty.”
Two years ago, I was in the minority when I declared “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” to be less than the sum of its parts. Eddie Redmayne was genuinely fantastic as the unassuming, socially awkward protagonist Newt Scamander, and he continues to shine in the sequel, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” Moreover, when the first film embraces the whimsical tone inherent to Scamander’s story, it works. Just as often, though, it gets buried in what I described in an old The Dartmouth review as “dour subplots,” most of them revolving around the terrorist reign of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp. As the title of the sequel might suggest, the film goes full dark, ditching any possible whimsy as fast as possible. It also ditches compelling character motivation, flowing plot structure and just about everything else that once made the “Harry Potter” stories and their subsequent adaptations and spin-offs so beloved.
This coming interim period, the play “Coriolanus” will be performed in the Hopkins Center for the Arts by the acclaimed Stratford Theatre Company, based in Stratford, Ontario. Students from the film, theatrer and English departments will collaborate with the Hopkins Center in order to bring this event to campus and integrate the arts more deeply with student life at the College. Throughout the month of November, a myriad of events related with “Coriolanus” will take place, which will often be directed and conducted by the renowned actors from the company. With this opportunity, students and members of the greater Hanover community will be able to enjoy activities and performances that will stand out from the other events that the Hopkins Center has sponsored in the past due to high cast engagement.
In Yosemite Valley, a massive rock formation looms over the sweeping vistas of picturesque splendor. Known as El Capitan, it towers 3000 feet high and commands the attention of all who pass by. For years, one member of that rapt audience has looked at El Capitan with a particularly audacious intent: to climb the sheer granite wall with no ropes, gear or safety equipment.
The Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra is tired. The ensemble has rehearsed intensely in preparation for their concert, which was held this past Saturday, and the next item on their agenda, a tour of Italy, is this upcoming interim period. At the concert, the DSO, under the direction of the Florentine-born conductor Filippo Ciabatti, played Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide Overture,” Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and William Grant Still’s “Romance for Trombone and Orchestra” in Spaulding Auditorium.
Aaron Lit ’19, a math modified with economics student from Hong Kong, has a mission to smooth out any wrinkles in your preconceived notions of fashion while also saving marine life. He intends to do this through his social project MiaMira.
Aaron Lit’s fashion designs are not only inspired by his interest in marine life but also seek to promote conservation.
In May of 2016, Carene Mekertichyan ’16 made her dream into a reality when her senior project, a production of the late Ntozake Shange’s Obie Award-winning play and choreopoem “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf” was performed for the greater Dartmouth community. Shange, who passed away on Oct. 27 at the age of 70 after suffering health problems, made a significant impact on Mekertichyan since her first encounter with the playwright’s work in middle school. Mekertichyan remembered the women in Shange’s work as she got older and grew into her capacity to understand the depth of Shange’s creation.
When I saw “The Old Man and the Gun” last weekend at The Nugget, I was easily one of the youngest people in the audience. The advanced age of the packed crowd was a surprise at first, but upon consideration, it makes sense why this movie appealed so much more to an older demographic; it’s supposedly Robert Redford’s last performance before his acting retirement. The older members of the crowd had most likely grown up with Redford as one of the most celebrated actors of their time — of all time, maybe — and now, in this small theater in Hanover, they were witnessing the last movie he’d ever act in.
West African musician and music department resident Mamadou Diabaté tells the students in his Music 17.06 course “The Language-Music Connection” the origin story of the balafon, which is a wooden West African instrument similar to a xylophone. Diabaté said that the balafon was not created, but rather gifted. Legend has it that a man walked up to a bush and began conferring with spirits, who then gave the man the balafon and taught him how to play. Each time Diabaté plays the balafon, he commences with a few notes in homage to the ancestors and spirits who allow for his knowledge of the instrument. Music is integrally tied to the myth-history and cultural heritage of the Sambla people, a small West African grouping in Burkina Faso that is in possession of an endangered language and of which Diabaté is a member.
The Ethics Institute of Dartmouth hosted author Ted Chiang for a talk entitled “Technology and the Narrative of the Self” on Tuesday as part of the Dorsett Fellowship Lecture Series, which seeks to bring “practitioners and scholars of ethics” to campus, according to government professor Sonu Bedi, director of the Ethics Institute.
It’s the day after Halloween, which obviously means we’re ready to plunge headfirst into the holiday season. This year, “Elf” is celebrating its 15-year anniversary, a holiday in and of itself. Whether revisiting the childhood favorite or seeing the movie for the first time, “Elf” is a classic that is always sure to get me in the Christmas spirit and excited for upcoming festivities. While not ground-breaking cinema, this movie provides the merriment typically expected of the holidays in the best way possible.
An hour before the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir’s performance “Dartmouth Sings!” commenced in Spaulding Auditorium this past Saturday, the eclectic group of students and community members that comprise the choir were passing around brightly colored scarves and laughing. According to seventh-year choir member and commmunity member Mary Ann Stanford, the ensemble is the most “loving family you will ever find.” Directed by Walter Cunningham, the Gospel Choir is a large, non-audition group that is open to both local residents and Dartmouth students.
Director Damien Chazelle is quickly making a name for himself as the rightful heir to the throne of dramatic cinema. After his mesmerizing 2014 film “Whiplash” set the cinema world abuzz and his 2016 homage to Hollywood artistry and romance “La La Land” made him the youngest-ever recipient of the Academy Award for Best Director, Chazelle has catapulted to the forefront of directorial talent. His next test resides in “First Man,” an intense and engrossing film about astronaut Neil Armstrong and his accomplishment as the first human to walk on the moon. With “First Man,” Chazelle has made another triumphant film that evidences both his innate talent behind the camera as well as his uncanny ability to bring the best out of his on-screen actors.
When one thinks of the quintessential film serial killers, several names come to mind: Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kreuger, Leatherface, etc. However, one name that definitively has secured a place among the great horror movie characters is Michael Myers, “The Shape,” who returned to the big screen in September in this year’s reboot of the 1978 horror movie classic “Halloween.”
In anticipation of the College’s 250th anniversary, a group of Dartmouth faculty and students has teamed up to create “Hindsight is 20/19,” a 26-episode podcast series celebrating Dartmouth’s history.