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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.
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.
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.
Dear Paul Thomas Anderson,
“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.
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.
A pioneer in the theater department, Will Maresco ’19 deviates from the typical Dartmouth theater major track, finding his passion in stage design. Participating in countless school productions, Maresco has cultivated an expansive repertoire of skills that span from sound design to lighting.
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.
Tonight, the Hopkins Center for the Arts will host the world premiere of “Qyrq Qyz” (“Forty Girls”), a multimedia reanimation of a Central Asian epic that recounts the epic of a young woman, Gulayim, who defends her homeland against foreign invaders alongside 40 other female warriors. The work is a creative collaboration between two artists from Uzbekistan, filmmaker Saodat Ismailova and composer Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, who combine oral poetry, live music and film to construct a multisensory revitalization of the epic narrative.
It’s hard not to ask what the best film of 2017 was, given that the 90th Academy Awards are less than a week away. But if you’re like me, it’s also surprisingly difficult to settle on a definitive answer. About a year ago, I reviewed “Moonlight” and called it the rare, transcendent cinematic experience that I’m lucky to have even once a year. “Moonlight,” to be clear, was precisely that film for 2016. Yet I had no such similar experience in 2017.
Although 2018 is just starting, there have already been many times this year that I’ve found myself wondering if I am living in a twisted dystopia. It seems that many have made the parallel between the harrowing state of affairs in George Orwell’s “1984” and the current state of politics. Since President Donald Trump’s advisor Kellyanne Conway used the politically charged words “alternative facts,” sales of the 20th-century novel spiked drastically. The term is eerily reminiscent of “newspeak,” a means by which the omnipotent Inner Party of Orwell’s novel prohibits unorthodox political thought. This fall, the Dartmouth theater department investigated the relevance of Orwell’s prophetic dystopia to today’s reality in the play “1984,” which opened on Feb. 16 and finished its run Sunday night.
If you’ve been out of the obscure and cultish garage punk loop, you have probably never heard of the indie rock band Superchunk. Formed in 1989 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Superchunk exploded onto the counterculture scene of the early ’90s, producing seven albums over the course of the decade. The group took a brief hiatus soon after the turn of the millennium, eventually producing only two albums between 2002 and 2014. After releasing its tenth album, “I Hate Music” in 2013, Superchunk returned last Friday with the politically charged and triumphantly subversive album “What a Time To Be Alive.” At a time when punk music seems to be increasingly dwarfed by the allure of hip-hop and electronic music, “What a Time to Be Alive” is a collection of catchy and energetic songs that simultaneously presents a commercially agreeable message and returns to the genre’s roots in counterculture. Moreover, it’s a visceral and sincere reaction to our country’s recent escapades.
Hannah Matheson ’18 is one of the few students who arrived at Dartmouth knowing already what she deeply cared about.
The Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble’s winter concert will be Saturday, Feb. 24at 8 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium at the Hopkins Center of the Arts. Director Taylor Ho Bynum invites eight jazz leaders to play alongside the student musicians: Ken Filiano (acoustic bass), Tomas Fujiwara (drums), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Jim Hobbs (alto and soprano saxophone), Ingrid Laubrock (tenor saxophone), Bill Lowe (trombone and tuba), Tomeka Reid (cello), and Stomu Takeishi (electric bass guitar). The concert will feature an array of contemporary music, including Bynum’s own compositions.
Independent radio and podcast producer, Laura Sim ’16 majored in English at Dartmouth and completed a thesis on race in radio and podcasts. In 2016, her podcast “This Dartmouth Life” helped Sim receive the John D. Bryant award for Creative Production. After graduating, she worked at Slate, Gimlet Media, Radiotopia and now, the Wall Street Journal. Sim helped produce “The United States of Debt” at Slate and worked as an associate producer on Radiotopia’s “Millennial” and Gimlet Media’s “Crimetown,” a critically-acclaimed podcast about politics and organized crime in Providence, Rhode Island.
This Wednesday, students will take one of the stages at the Hopkins Center for the Arts to perform “The Vagina Monologues,” an evolution of theatrical activism. “The Vagina Monologues,” written by Eve Ensler, debuted in 1996 and created a national dialogue surrounding gender in America. Through a series of episodic monologues and speeches told by women of all races, ages and sexualities, Ensler’s original work brought attention to the issue of gender-based violence and healthy modern sexuality.
At the Hopkins Center for the Arts Garage this past Saturday, digital musics graduate student Andrew Maillet and filmmaker Zbigniew Bzymek gave two work-in-progress performances of their multimedia adaptation of Polish artist and philosopher Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz’s play “Pragmatists.”
There is an old truism that posits that the best superhero films are those that first and foremost aim to be different. For instance, it is often argued that a film like “The Dark Knight” is a cut above other Batman movies because it is constructed as a gritty crime drama, not a superhero adventure flick. While statements like this occasionally rankle die-hard comic book fans, I think it really just speaks to the utterly arbitrary nature of the superhero genre label. Consider that both “The Punisher” and “The Incredibles” are both typically classified as superhero films even though they have next to nothing in common.
“1984,” Dartmouth’s stage adaptation of Milton Wayne’s radio adaptation of George Orwell’s synonomously-named classic, gives a twist to the original setup of the novel to make it more relevant to the world today. Director and theater professor Peter Hackett adapted the script himself, incorporating multimedia components and excerpts from Timothy Snyder’s “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century” that add a contemporary aspect to the production. “1984” opens tonight at Moore Theater in the Hopkins Center for the Arts.
Wander into the high-ceilinged quiet of Black Family Visual Arts Center this month and one will encounter SELF/PORTRAIT, an exhibition of photographs by students of Studio Art 29, “Photography I,” and other photography classes over the span of the past two years. Student Gallery Room 102 is washed grayscale, each of its walls displaying groups of three or four black and white film photographs. The common thread between the photos is portraiture — not every work has its artist as subject, but all concern a meditation on self. Curated by studio art professor Virginia Beahan and teaching assistant Josh Renaud ’17, the photographs come together as a cohesive response to the documentary “Faces Places,” a film screened at the Hopkins Center for the Arts on Jan. 12 and Jan. 19. “Faces Places” follows 89-year-old Agnès Varda, a creative force who spearheaded the French New Wave, and 33-year-old French photographer and muralist JR on their journey through the villages of France. JR and Varda interviewed and created portraits of locals; their resulting documentary is built on the humanity of these encounters and the friendship they build in their time with each other.