Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 3, 2023

To watch and watch for: Week of Oct. 1

By TIMOTHY MCSHEA | October 1, 2023



This week's picks include Javelin, the tenth studio album by Sufjan Stevens, fantasy thriller novel Beholder by Ryan La Sala, The Exorcist: Believer and the International Poe Festival at the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum.

The atmosphere is getting restless as the cold air seeps in. Conversations about the “perfect fall movie” or “beverage” are emerging from the babble of physics midterm complaints and roars of students realizing Hopkins is a pretty difficult school. There’s no argument — nostalgia seems the only way out of the current mess we’ve found ourselves in.

Still, nostalgia necessitates making memories here and now! Making joy in the present for future nostalgia is an important task and one that starts with being a consumer of recent content. If you don’t know where to start, or if you’re bored from your constant drowning in midterms and pumpkin spice lattes, start with some of the movies, books, albums and live events listed below. What could be more autumn than watching the new The Exorcist film or reading a troubling fantasy thriller of destructive artistic abilities? 

In the first week of October, autumn has set in. Lift your spirits with this new content!

To watch…

Lupin: Part 3, created by George Kay and François Uzan — Oct. 5

Everyone’s favorite “gentleman thief” returns on Oct. 5 to steal a coveted black pearl from a local museum, but things turn south when his mother is taken hostage, leading to tense fights and thrilling action.

The Exorcist: Believer, directed by David Gordon Green — Oct. 6

Though this is the sixth movie in the Exorcist series, The Exorcist: Believer is the direct sequel to the original, featuring returning actress Ellen Burstyn as Chris MacNeil. This time, the story is about two friends who go missing and come back possessed, with some seemingly telepathic connection.

The Royal Hotel, directed by Kitty Green — Oct. 6

Inspired by the 2016 documentary Hotel Coolgardie by Pete Gleeson, this subversive thriller follows two good friends who take a job in a remote part of the Australian Outback as bartenders at The Royal Hotel. 

To read…

The Scarlet Alchemist, by Kylie Lee Baker — Oct. 3

In this young adult fantasy novel, Zilan, who has always dreamed of being a royal alchemist, makes her way out of her impoverished hometown in southern China by practicing an illegal form of alchemy for money — resurrecting the dead. As she makes her way to the capital to further her career as an alchemist, her past dealings put the Crown Prince in direct pursuit. 

Beholder, by Ryan La Sala — Oct. 3

In this harrowing horror novel about art, Athanasios Bakirtzis, an orphan art handler, has a secret power to look into reflections and uncover their recent pasts. This power is unruly, however, and leads him to an uncontrollable destructiveness that threatens everyone he loves.

A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, a History, a Memorial, by Viet Thanh Nguyen — Oct. 3

Famous Vietnamese-American author Viet Thanh Nguyen broadens what a memoir can be, tackling colonialism and how it has affected his limited childhood in southern Vietnam. As the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, he has taught on this subject for many years. Through this memoir, the author ties his life to the overall experience of refugeehood in Vietnam. 

To listen…

For All the Dogs, by Drake — Oct. 6

Initially set for release on Sept. 22, Drake’s eighth studio album is finally coming this Friday. The rapper released the single “Slime You Out” in collaboration with SZA on Sept. 15, which has generated a lot of excitement online, especially because it seems to deliver on the artist’s promise to bring back the “old Drake,” meaning more R&B beats and melody-focused rap.

Javelin, by Sufjan Stevens — Oct. 6

This Friday, Sufjan Stevens’ tenth studio album, Javelin, will also be released, although there is an exclusive listening party on Oct. 3. The two singles, “Will Anybody Ever Love Me,” and “Ekstasis,” show the range of this upcoming project. The former follows a much more mainstream Sufjan Stevens with soft-spoken guitar, and the latter is a traditional yet truly wild three-minute piano solo.

Live events...

Apprentice House Press, at Bird in Hand — Oct. 3 at 6 p.m.

The local Charles Village cafe Bird in Hand is partnering with The Ivy Bookshop to host some of the most prominent local writers from Baltimore’s own Apprentice House Press for readings and Q&As. 

Grieg Piano Concerto, at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall — Oct. 7 at 8 p.m.

Italian classical pianist Alessio Bax performs Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, president of the Vaughan Williams Society, hosted by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

The International Edgar Allan Poe Festival, at The Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum — Oct. 7–8

The annual Edgar Allan Poe Festival comes back to Baltimore, this time celebrating the 174th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death with two days of books, music and art at the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum in Lexington Terrace. 

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