What did you do in the 24 hours starting from Friday at 6:30 p.m.? A group of students were creating something incredible from scratch. Festival 24, which started in 2008 with only theatre productions, recently added film and dance performances to showcase the work of other students in the Performing and Media Arts department. Festival 24 challenges students to produce a story from a one-word theme in 24 hours. Playwrights stayed up all night to write a 10-minute play.
I’ve never made a New Years resolution. My aversion to them stems from my awareness that I’ve never stuck to a goal like “read more!” before, and that I’m not starting now. Following a call from my doctor about my triglyceride levels this January, I finally agreed to eat vegetables and engage in the dreaded activity called cardio. But other than that, I’ve attacked 2018 the same way that I’ve approached each prior year. That is, with ambitious dreams that I break down into exactly zero actionable steps and then abandon.
In January of 2017 Donald Glover, better known as Childish Gambino, gave a shout out to three of music’s hottest on-the-rise M.C.s: Quavo, Offset and Takeoff. Together they formed the group Migos. A few days after Glover’s mention of the trio, Migos dropped the album Culture, which quickly reached critical acclaim. From there, Migos saw a successful summer, playing on a massive tour with Future and making several festival appearances. In the midst of their busy summer, Offset dropped a major bomb: the announcement of Culture II.
The elevator pitch for The Shape of Water is “a fairytale for adults,” and the movie doubles down on this concept from the very beginning. The opening shot, a graceful long take, sweeps through an underwater home as if the viewer is swimming in it. The image is surreal, especially combined with Alexandre Desplat’s enchanting score and Richard Jenkins’ narration about the “princess without a voice.” Within the first minute, we’ve been transported into director Guillermo Del Toro’s fantasy. Del Toro’s vivid imagination brings to life the story of a mute woman, Elisa (Sally Hawkins), in the 1960s who works as a janitor in a secret government laboratory in Baltimore. The science facility has captured an aquatic, humanoid amphibian, referred to as The Asset.
Drawing the Line, open until June 10 at the Johnson, displays over a century of drawing history from European artists. In particular, the exhibit celebrates both the drawing as a sovereign entity as well as an often-ignored component of the artistic process in its entirety. In this way, Drawing the Line forces the audience to closely reevaluate pre-existing notions of where and how beauty is to be found. A drawing technique with a history of over six centuries, gouache differs from watercolor in that it produces a distinctly more opaque finish. In an untitled composition from 1915, Pablo Picasso intermingles both gouache and watercolors.
When I first saw an ad for Coco, I felt hopeful. There aren’t very many movies about Mexican people, especially not children and family movies. However, once I watched the trailer, I was massively disappointed. It seems that time and time again, movies that revolve around Mexicans are about either Día de los Muertos or drugs. I get it.
It’s been three months since The New York Times released its bombshell story about Harvey Weinstein. Since then, more and more sexual offenders have been brought to light, and the entertainment industry has been rocked to its core. I can’t even begin to name all the actors, producers and so on who have had allegations come to light against them. It’s become a huge movement, but has sparked some backlash too. So I figured I would put my own voice out there, focusing on one case that hit close to me and my field: John Lasseter.
Ephorize, CupcakKe’s newest album, does not deliver a message or follow a theme based on the tracklist alone. It requires listening, but does not make a chore out of it, as the album is filled with fun and clever bars. CupcakKe, a female rapper from Chicago, has been in the spotlight since her 2016 mixtape, Cum Cake. After that, her 2017 album, Queen Elizabitch kept her momentum with its consistency and uniqueness. CupcakKe is nothing like Cardi B, Nicki Minaj or any other highly popular female rappers.
2017 is over. Another year gone. I’d put more of the typical “new years” style fluff here, but I’ll just jump right into the story. Here’s some of my personal highlights from 2017:
The Lego Batman Movie
Warner Brothers delivered the first major animated release of the year, and they delivered a great film. It’s energetic, thrilling, pull-out-all-the-stops fun that we all really needed at that point, for one reason or another.
I believe that we (“we” being those who watched the show, so yes, there will be spoilers) can all agree that “USS Callister” is the best installment on this season of Black Mirror. It had terrifying technology, surprising humor, an introspective meaning and plot twists that make M. Night Shyamalan gasp. But, it’s really the technology that I am concerned with. Since we are on the same page, here is the question: What will we do if the Black Mirror world arrives? Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror paints a universe that takes place in the future.