Weston Barker ’21 and the Midnight Comedy Troupe are deathly funny. The seven member outfit is Cornell’s newest and only dark humor sketch group that does its best to shock, awe and entertain. They hit the mark, brilliantly. Judged on just their comedic chops, this group stands alone. But what really sets them apart is their secondary goal: to inspire (or incite) meaningful dialogue and bring people together with conversation and laughter.
Last year I took an elective that touched on the study of sound design, or the ways in which sound is organized — or unintentionally disorganized — in various settings. A big philosophical topic of interest in this field is the use of headphones by individuals in personal transit. By using headphones, are we effectively silencing the natural soundscape of a place? This initially seems like a rather pedantic point, one best mulled over in a musicology elective. Yet, shouldn’t we be worried about so many people dismantling the collective identity of a place, just as we are worried about climate change or the tearing down of the Nines?
When my third grade teacher read A Wrinkle in Time to the class, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. In my local theater, the cinematic rendition of Madeleine L’Engle’s book failed to evoke the same emotional response: there was not a single tear shed, but rather the occasional yawn. The first act follows the typical coming of age narrative that we’ve all seen hundreds of times, even featuring the classic bully scene where the mean girls gang up to taunt the protagonist in the school hallway. The head mean girl, Rowan Blanchard from Girl Meets World, just so happens to live next door to the protagonist and spends the majority of her screen time scowling from her bedroom window. The story was written before the various tropes such as this one even existed, but when adapted to the screen, seems like a poorly executed rip-off of other movie franchises like Divergent and The Hunger Games.
“Falling in love” is a fascinating expression. In my native language, Chinese, the two most-used equivalents of the phrase compare love to things one could physically fall into, such as a river or a net, but English expression might just be superior because of its ambiguity. Do we fall into love, or are we falling when we’re in love? The Kitchen Theater’s Bright Half Life seems to say it’s both. Written by Tanya Barfield and directed by Sara Lampert Hoover, Bright Half Life is a two-women play that follows the story of Vicky (Shannon Tyo) and Erica (Jennifer Bareilles) through the decades.
During the past few weeks, as fashion houses and designers have shown collections in New York, Paris, Milan and London during Fashion Week, many have explored issues involving women’s rights, inclusivity and the LGBTQ+ movement. From Burberry highlighting the pride flag to Balenciaga having men and women walk together on the runway, and Chanel’s new line called Leave Me Alone, consumers were shown how designers interpret important issues. On March 10th, the CFC highlighted the collections of undergraduate students across majors allowing them to make messages and further their skills. At its core, Cornell Fashion Collective seems to act as a microcosm of the larger fashion world right now — using high quality craftsmanship to speak to social movements and to reflect on images in nature. The CFC show designates designers into four tiers, each corresponding to the students year.
Following Guillermo del Toro’s Best Director win at the Oscars last week, graphics creator La Botica Gráfica posted a GIF celebrating his victory on social media. Something about the Gif captivated me. A cartoon Guillermo Del Toro slowly pivots, hoisting his trophy in front of an unseen crowd. But I was charmed by the characters in the background. Behind del Toro, a sampling of the creatures and monsters that he’s spent his career creating cheer for him.
Just to be upfront, I’m upset by a bunch of Oscar results this year. But seriously, how could they give Best Documentary to Icarus when something as beautiful and humane as Faces Places was in the race? I learned about Agnès Varda in a film class and have since been a fangirl of hers. As the leading female director of the French New Wave, she has approached both fiction and documentary with her experimental yet always personal cinematic vision. This time, at 89, she set out on a journey with JR, a 33-year-old photographer and mural artist.
Camp Cope’s sophomore release — How to Socialise & Make Friends — is a session beer of an album: best enjoyed in one sitting. In 2016, the Melbourne-based trio blew up with a self-titled debut that introduced listeners to their jangly strain of indie-rock. The band then jam-packed the ensuing two years with performances, tours and new music. They released a split with Philly trio Cayetana, toured with emo luminaries Against Me! and Modern Baseball and reached a larger audience with performances on Audiotree Live and triple j. “I feel like I’ve lived 10 lifetimes in the time that I’ve been in this band,” drummer Sarah Thompson told Stereogum in a February interview.
The stakes are real and authentic in The Good Fight on CBS All Access. This rawness is visible in the show’s opening sequence, which intersplices explosions of luxury items like aged Scotch and Birkin bags with footage of top news stories, including Trump’s criticizing the media and the rally in Charlottesville. The show’s connection to current America is even deeper than just these references. Each episode is give the title “Day XXX,” which represents the number of days Trump has been in office as each episode airs. This show does not attempt to escape or shy away from reality as some other shows do, but rather embraces the uneasiness and division within the real world.