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Last year, Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant” premiered, but does anyone even remember the film? Neither do I, which is kind of astonishing given its recent release date. I mention this, not because this is a review of “Alien: Covenant,” but because the release of both “Alien: Covenant” and “All the Money in the World” in the same year illustrates the most fascinating and contradictory qualities associated with Scott’s skills and limitations as a filmmaker. “Alien: Covenant” was awful, easily one of the worst films in recent memory. In fact, it was so dreadful that I kyboshed my plans to review the film and instead implored my editors to let me do a retrospective on the revival of my favorite TV series, “Twin Peaks.” This was made all the worse because Scott had recently launched a successful career comeback with 2015’s crowd-pleasing “The Martian.” This all speaks to a long-standing truism about Scott — he is only as good as the script he’s working from. At this point in his career, no one would deny that he is a master of his craft; each of his films is, without fail, gorgeous and technically impeccable. Indeed, when he has a great script, like “Blade Runner,” he does a wonderful job at visually highlighting and complementing the complex themes and ideas that are often interwoven so beautifully into the story. The problem is that Scott seems utterly incapable of discerning between a great script and a terrible script. No director should be able to list “Thelma & Louise” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings” on the same résumé.
Stefan Lanfer ’97 discovered his passion for playwriting after winning the Frost and Dodd Student Play Festival as a Dartmouth student and seeing his work performed onstage. Though he went on to attend business school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and work in consulting and the nonprofit sector, he never stopped writing. This weekend, after five years of writing and perfecting his script, Lanfer’s play “An Education in Prudence” premieres at the Open Theatre Project in Boston. The play is based on one of the first desegregation battles in the United States regarding the education of African-American girls in Connecticut.
Students and local community members are invited to participate in a conversation about culture and adolescence at the Geordie Productions’ presentation of “Jabber” at Spaulding Auditorium in the Hopkins Center for the Arts on Sunday.
Some of Dartmouth’s most talented singers will participate in Dartmouth Idol’s semifinals tonight at Spaulding Auditorium in the Hopkins Center for the Arts. The competition provides singers from the student body the opportunity to showcase their vocal skills and compete for cash prizes and the chance to record and produce a demo. Although tonight’s event has judges who will provide commentary on the performances, the finalists will be determined by the spectators, who will be able to electronically vote for their preferred singer.
For a leader, it can often be difficult to strike a balance between pushing group members toward growth and making everyone feel motivated and supported. Connor Lehan ’18 has managed to do both as the president of Casual Thursday. An economics major and computer science minor, Lehan has been a member of the student improv group Casual Thursday since his freshman fall, when he fell in love with improv as an outlet for channeling the wacky side of personality.
As February approaches, Dartmouth students begin preparations for V-Day, the global movement to end violence against girls and women. Many talented and dedicated students come together during the month of February to support the cause and promote gender equity through V-February, Dartmouth’s version of the global movement. One of these students is Gricelda Ramos ’18, a geography modified with Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean studies major. As a student with passion in both theatrical performance and social issues, Ramos will be directing the V-Feb program. According to Ramos, despite the fact that she is not a theater major, her passion for theater is immeasurable.
Most Dartmouth students know from watching a cappella performances at showcases and Greek houses that we have many talented singers on campus. Especially for such a small school, it’s truly impressive how many great a cappella groups exist — in fact, there are nine. But there is a lot of talent and work that goes into the creative process of arranging that is not always recognized. Music director emeritus for the Brovertones Graham Rigby ’17, who has been arranging for the all-male for nearly five years, said arranging music is like creating an “inspired original composition” based on the framework of another person’s piece.
First created as a display of appreciation for student artwork, “A Temporary Museum of Ideas in the Making” has been transformed into a collection of 36 architectural models constructed by Dartmouth students. Curated by Gerald Auten, studio art professor and director of the studio art exhibition program, and studio art professor Zenovia Toloudi, the exhibit is currently displayed in the Strauss Gallery at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Students and community members now have the opportunity to view some of the best architectural models collected by Toloudi from her classes over the past three years. While it is common for studio art professors to keep art created by their students, “A Temporary Museum of Ideas in the Making” allows the public to appreciate and explore innovative work produced by Dartmouth students too.
A single boat bobs on the Mediterranean Sea. The malnourished and dehydrated men, women and children onboard, suffering from infectious diseases and scurvy, huddle together. Their bright orange ponchos pop out against the dark water. A couple of the women are heavily pregnant, and one of them has to be rushed to a hospital for an emergency delivery.
“Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep were a bit shoddy in ‘The Post,''' said no one ever.
Friday Night Rock hosted a concert this weekend featuring soul artist Madison McFerrin and rap artist Deem Spencer in a continuation of its efforts to bring live music to campus. Founded in 2004, FNR began when a group of Dartmouth students, frustrated with the absence of live music at the College, came together in a collective effort to fill the void. As of 2013, Friday Night Rock shows take place in Sarner Underground, a venue with a 300-person capacity and professional staging, audio and lighting capabilities.
Acclaimed ensemble Riyaaz Qawwali will grace the stage of Spaulding Auditorium tonight for a performance that will weave together ancient Islamic tradition and modern South Asian culture.
Hanover’s Howe Library will begin celebrating the 21st year of Ciné Salon, a program that celebrates seldom seen films, on Monday. Seven segments will be presented through April 16. With a variety of genres, Ciné Salon will feature psychedelic LSD films and avant-garde masterpieces.
In 2017, writer and historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar published the biography “Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit Of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge.” Attempting to accomplish an ambitious feat, Dunbar imagines the life of Judge, a young woman who was enslaved by America’s first family but managed to escape from bondage. The book reconstructs the course that Judge took on her journey to freedom from enslavement in 1796. By harnessing her skill for research, Dunbar reconstructs Judge’s world, telling a story that has never been explored in such detail or with such tact. Through this biography, Dunbar also honors the life and humanity of a woman who was denied niceties at birth.
The Malpaso Dance Company, a contemporary Cuban dance group specializing in a diverse range of styles, performed Thursday night at Moore Theater in the Hopkins Center for the Arts. The company performed pieces derived from European ballet to modern North American to traditional Afro-Cuban. Founded in 2012, the company has worked with prominent North American choreographers including Aszure Barton and Ron K. Brown, whose works were performed at the show on Thursday.
On Jan. 3, Freeform debuted the first two episodes of “grown-ish,” the highly-anticipated spin-off of ABC’s “black-ish.” “grown-ish” follows Zoey (Yara Shahidi), the eldest Johnson daughter, through her freshman year of college and journey into adulthood. The show is fresh, colorful and fun, featuring a diverse cast of characters and strong writing. “grown-ish” manages to build on the success of “black-ish” while asserting itself as distinct and worthy of anticipation. The show retains many of the core elements that allowed “black-ish” to rise as a critically-acclaimed sitcom on ABC. For example, “grown-ish” also stresses audience education, offering brief insights into character background and historical context, a practice which takes on new meaning as Zoey is tasked with learning who she is, where she comes from and how she wants to exist in the world.
Today, Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth will bring its unique sound to the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Founded in 2009, Roomful of Teeth is a group of eight singers who explore a variety of vocal techniques in their pieces, including Persian classical singing, Tuvan throat singing and yodeling.
Watching the opening scene from the new Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” I knew immediately that the titular character would get cheated on. A woman does not happily bounce through her daily, homemaking chores that seamlessly in the first few minutes of a feature without foreshadowing the demise of that perfect, happy routine by the end of said feature.
For some writers, dialogue is lyrical. For others, it is realistic, capturing the rambling cadence of everyday speech. And for still others, it is purely utilitarian: Characters must speak, so they do. But for Aaron Sorkin, dialogue is the beating heart and soul of the enterprise of writing.
The start of 2018 means the beginning of #NewYearNewMe routines and looking forward to new beginnings, but there’s also no better time than now to reminisce on the year that just ended. Even if 2017 wasn’t a particularly amazing year, it definitely saw the release of some amazing music and the rise of great new artists. Here are my top songs from 2017 for you to nod (or shake) your head to.