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Funding Art is Important: A Defense of Cornell Cinema

Cornell is not a university specifically reserved for the STEM disciplines. We were founded under a proud cosmopolitan banner of “Any Person, Any Study,” and we differ from MIT or CalTech in that we claim to offer the highest possible level of instruction in any field a person might choose. As a former PMA/English major I can say I was never belittled on campus, but I noticed an unquestionable lack of interest in funding arts departments and activities, compared to the hard sciences. This comes with the territory — the arts students tend to be far fewer in number than the STEM ones — but there is a very real danger that eventually, History, Philosophy, Comp Lit and Comm majors will have a far less rigorous education than the name of Cornell promises. The Schwartz Center has seen this with its extensive budget cuts passed seven years ago, and with its folding of three majors into one.

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In This Corner of the World is a Simple, Perfect Exhibit of Life

On my five-hour bus ride home, I watched Sunao Katabuchi’s latest animated film, In This Corner of the World (Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni), which had been recommended by my Japanese language professor. Captivated by the candor of Katabuchi’s resonant storytelling, everything around me melted away, and the world was reduced to my phone’s six-by-three-inch screen. The wistful soundtrack and clean animation throughout instantly swept me away to simpler times. Set during World War II, this award-winning film is an expressive story about Suzu, a woman who leaves her family in Hiroshima to join her husband in Kure, a naval port city. A daydreamer and storyteller, Suzu has a bashful disposition and inclination to capture the changing world through illustration.