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One of my fondest memories of my senior year of high school is when my English class read, performed and studied William Shakespeare’s epic tragedy “King Lear.” At that time, the play captivated me with its stark and honest portrayal of human fallibility and tragic loss and it quickly became one of my favorite works of literature. Naturally, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to watch legendary British actor Ian McKellen star as the titular Lear in a performance broadcast live from London to the Black Family Visual Arts Center this past Sunday evening.
Is it possible to capture the essence of a city in a film? Director Tamer El Said’s film “In the Last Days of the City” attempts to do just that.
Jazz and comedy are two very different art forms, yet they share many similarities. Both are free form and improvisational. Both are honest and authentic.
This Thursday night at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, audiences can see a different and intimate performance of one of the most formal art forms possible: opera.
When I was eight years old, I begged my mom for weeks to let me see “Iron Man.” I remember the excitement I felt when she finally relented and said yes. I saw it opening weekend, and it was everything I dreamed of and more. That moment began a 10-year love affair with superhero movies that, while tested at times, is still going strong. “Venom” is one such movie that tests that love.
There’s crazy, there’s satire, there’s dystopian and then there’s “Sorry to Bother You.” Musician Boots Riley’s 2018 directorial debut takes place in an alternate universe’s Oakland — but don’t let the term “alternate universe” fool you. The film is a funhouse mirror for our world that only reflects everything going on in our reality.
Across from the Hinman boxes in the Hopkins Center for the Arts stand a pair of twin phone booths, which have remained out of service and neglected for years. According to student curator Jamie Park ‘20, this fall, the booths will be repurposed into a student art exhibit titled The Booth, shining a spotlight on student artwork in a space that more often highlights the work of visiting artists.
“I have a hangover that is a real museum piece,” Lee Israel writes, imitating writer Dorothy Parker in a particularly famous forgery of Parker’s letters. Israel, a biographer who became a literary forger in the 1990s as her writing career came to a standstill, is the subject of the Telluride selected film, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Melissa McCarthy gives incredible nuance to her role as Israel, offering both sympathy and humor to her portrayal.
Is it indie pop? Techno? R&B? Hip-hop? Blood Orange’s new album “Negro Swan” revives Devonte Hynes’s genre-transcending sound with an earnest meditation on the state of those existing on the fringes of society.
Nan Darham is a graduate student in Dartmouth’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program whose artwork was most recently exhibited in the Nearburg Gallery of the Black Family Visual Arts Center. Darham’s paintings are a colorful celebration of her life in Bozeman, Montana. Using oil pastel on paper and acrylic on canvas, Darham skillfully illustrated the peculiarities of the places we call home, and how those places are made so much more significant through those who inhabit them with us. In her work, Darham emphasizes the innate connection between human beings and natural rhythms, a connection that is easily remembered in the untouched majesty of Montana, with its backdrop of snowy peaks, glacial valleys and alpine forests. Her subjects range from a buffalo silhouetted by the Montana highlands to a portrait of her daughter baking in the kitchen, as the family dog stands guard behind her. The informal warmth and vibrancy of her paintings temper the clean lines of the voluminous entryway to the gallery.
Spike Lee’s latest film, “BlacKkKlansman” is very much a movie created for and about the current American political and racial environment. Though set in the 1970s, Lee’s film is an unsubtle indictment of a Trumpian America that finds itself battling a harsh racial divide despite expectations that our progress and modernity should have left such racism behind long ago.
Directed by and starring Bradley Cooper, and featuring pop supernova Lady Gaga, 2018’s “A Star is Born,” a remake of William Wellman’s 1937 film of the same name, breathes new life into the music drama genre.
The lights go down on an audience sitting in silent anticipation, and white sparks rain down the black screen. A second passes, then a white circle, like a searchlight, travels the edge of the picture and expands to fill the screen. In coordinated motion, audience members tie blindfolds around their eyes and wait for the show to truly begin.
“Late at night my mind would come alive with voices and stories and friends as dear to me as any in the real world. I gave myself up to it, longing for transformation,” quips Winona Ryder as the enviable Jo March in the 1994 film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s coming-of-age classic “Little Women.” Just as Alcott’s Jo sought to find her place in the world, so too does Lara of “Girl” strive to establish herself as a woman and artist. With “Girl,” Flemish director Lukas Dhont offers a more contemporary coming-of-age story whose plot turns on the very idea of self-driven metamorphosis. “Girl,” a deceivingly simple title which contains multitudes, is the story of 15 year-old Lara, a transgender girl from Belgium who, like Jo March, longs for transformation. Lara does not only yearn to change her body, but wants more than anything to become a ballerina. The movie frames a period of major transition for Lara: she’s just moved to a new city, is living in a new apartment, is preparing for transition surgery and has begun training at the prestigious Royal Ballet School of Antwerp.
Ulrike Ottinger, the avant-garde German filmmaker, will be this fall’s Montgomery Fellow. As a Montgomery Fellow, Ottinger will come to classes, host events, interact with students and screen excerpts from her latest film “Chamisso’s Shadow” on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
In March of 1998, Dartmouth witnessed a historic summit on black theater, intended to address specific strategies to build and maintain black theater companies and institutions. Playwright August Wilson, whose work “Fences” won both a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, led efforts to organize “On Golden Pond” during his time as a Montgomery Fellow at the College. In 2018, 20 years after the original summit, Dartmouth will once again host a summit on black theater this week from Sept. 26 to 29. The 2018 International Black Theatre Summit, titled “Breaking New Ground Where We Stand” in reference to Wilson’s famous speech “The Ground On Which I Stand,” will not only examine theater as a medium for black performance, but film and television as well.
A masterful and satirical take on the crime drama complex that has swept the nation, Netflix’s “American Vandal” is mysterious, delectable and utterly ridiculous. Using a documentary format, “American Vandal” mocks the sophistication of the crime drama gaze by putting all its investigative energies toward deciphering the absurdities of high school life and the low-level offenses of the fictional Hanover High School’s student body.