Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and Finn (John Boyega) in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

GUEST ROOM | The Last Jedi Reimagined

I got to review The Last Jedi when it came out, along with some other Arts & Entertainment writers. To sum it up, we all pretty much said the same thing: it was a film of highs and lows. The overarching theme of balance the movie sought to explore shone through in its quality: good balanced against bad. But this isn’t a movie review. This is a “rewrite” of sorts, in which I will attempt to suggest a few small tweaks that had the potential to improve a movie.

jain (color)

JAIN | Freshman Advice

This is my last column for The Cornell Daily Sun and at first I wasn’t too sure what to write. As a graduating senior, I could do something really sappy and look back at my favorite Cornell memories. I could list out my biggest regrets about my four years here. I could also just treat this like any other column. Ultimately, I decided to do a bit of each of the three. Here’s some advice to the Cornell class of 2021.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor. Graphic by Sophia Deng / Sun Editor in Chief

WANG | Scenes from a Delightfully Gutsy Fashion Show

The lights are stripped back from the curtain, so the canvas is blank now — an empty, billowing mass of cloth that hangs behind the model runway. And then the music erupts: a shattering explosion of hyper percussion, thunder and a melody that seems to have been thrusted from the bubbling influence of Asian woodwinds. The pure fury of the drums sets the stage for the designer set. It’s loud, yet concise, pounding, yet razor sharp. I like it.


LEE | Ending on a Cliche

The past few weeks, I’ve talked to my friends about whether it’s possible to write a graduation column without cliches. The universal opinion is that it’s impossible. Cliches go hand in hand with beginnings and endings. It’s why every movie that ends with graduation feels corny (though I do admit, I half-wish my high school graduation was like High School Musical 3). College graduation represents one of the few opportunities for major change in a person’s life, the conclusion to a time where we’re expected to laugh, cry, learn and enjoy ourselves and finally become adults.


GOULDTHORPE | Crippling Failures and Lofty Peaks: This Week in Animation

I owe DreamWorks Animation an apology. Since February, I have been criticizing its upcoming movie Trolls. Between a strange visual style, a bland-looking synopsis and, worst of all, twerking trolls shouting “YOLO!”, I have not been looking forward to its release, and I still dread the day I have to review it. But I have been consistently framing it as a low point for mainstream American animation.  Recently I’ve seen the error of my ways.


ALUR | When Did Vinyl Become Cool Again?

Records, like books, offer a subtle sentimentality that many of us seek in the modern era. I grew up listening to my dad’s records, albums he had carefully collected over the course of his adolescent and adult life. He filled our house with Steely Dan on Saturday mornings and Bob Dylan on Sundays. As I got older, he would routinely take my brother and I into Boston to look at used records. We’d accompany him to old shops that smelled of musk and mildew, watching as he carefully sorted through boxes and shelves until he found a record that intrigued him.


ALUR | The Plight of the Mix CD/Tape

A little over a year ago, my close friend and I decided it would be a fun experiment to start a collaborative playlist on Spotify. We had been sharing music for many months, sending songs in inboxes and chats, but we struggled to keep track of the tracks as our conversation diverged. We wanted a semi-permanent space to retain our varied musical interests over time. It would be a scrapbook of sorts, an arena for us to indulge our nostalgia as well as discover new content in the days before “Discover Weekly” became popular. And so, “Friends,” the playlist, was born as an endearing effort to keep the mixtape culture alive during the age of digital music.

SUSSER | Ithaca State of Mind ft. Drake

Last Thursday could have been an international holiday. I’d have called it Toronto appreciation day, but that wouldn’t give justice to the man who helped craft a sound that revolutionized hip-hop. All day, millions of listeners eagerly waited for what would surely be an album with no shortage of Canadian influenced summer bangers. Drake had been working on and promoting his fourth studio album Views for years; the public anticipation matched the hype. But when 11 o’clock rolled around and I sat down for my first ever “listening party,” I couldn’t help but feel shorted.

JONES| Are You Real? Honesty and Authenticity in Music Pt. 2


Note: This column is the second of two on the subject of authenticity in popular music. Last week’s focused on rock and genres that influenced it, while this column focuses on rap. In Jay Z’s scalding diss track “Takeover” from 2001’s seminal The Blueprint, he attacks his rival Nas, claiming that Nas embellished and fictionalized his past: “You ain’t lived it, you witnessed it from your folks’ pad / You scribbled in your notepad, and created your life.” Then in his 2010 memoir Decoded, Jay Z writes, “The rapper’s character is essentially a conceit, a first-person literary creation. The core of that character has to match the core of the rapper himself. But then that core gets amplified by the rapper’s creativity and imagination.”

        In the second quote, Jay Z essentially acknowledges that he, and in fact all rappers, do precisely the thing that he accuses Nas of in the first.