Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 24, 2020

Arts & Entertainment



COURTESY OF NICK MORAN
On August 14, the Bloomberg School of Public Health advised college students via Instagram to avoid large parties.

Bloomberg School of Public Health becomes Instagram famous

The Bloomberg School of Public Health has been attracting major national attention since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit the United States. According to Bloomberg’s Audience Development team, the Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center got hundreds of millions of views daily at its peak and is still cited daily as the main source of COVID-19 data for media outlets, schools and other institutions. Experts from the school have been featured in media coverage and consulted by people across the globe in these truly unsettling times. 


SnapMeUp / CC BY-SA
The lush landscapes in A Suitable Boy offer an authentic depiction of India in the 1950s.

BBC adapts a modern Indian classic, with mixed results

Over the summer, like most people trying to deal with the anxiety-inducing, consistently weird times we’ve been going through, I succumbed to rewatching my favorite comfort shows ad nauseam. However, one new show managed to pull me out of binge-watching and return to the good old days of watching something new on a one-episode-per-week basis as it came out — the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) adaptation of A Suitable Boy. 


THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY / PUBLIC DOMAIN
Love, Victor offers a representation of the experiences of people of color in the LGBTQ community.  

Love, Victor speaks to a rocky reality

Providing a renovation of the queer teen love story Love, Simon from 2018, the newly released TV series Love, Victor takes place in the same setting of Creekwood High School, with new characters and a different story. Victor Salazar, the protagonist of the new show, is a Puerto Rican with a “beautiful cinnamon complexion” from Texas who, despite financial shortcomings, has moved with his family to the more affluent school district of Creekwood High. 


Jay Chou’s "Mojito" suggests that sometimes, it’s okay to be happy

International pop star Jay Chou dropped his newest single, “Mojito,” on June 12. Released alongside a vibrant music video in which he wanders through Cuban streets with his band, it was a much-anticipated release for ardent fans of Chou, whose last album Jay Chou’s Bedtime Stories came out in 2016. He has only released four singles since, including “Mojito.” 


PUBLIC DOMAIN

Tie considers the potential effects of COVID-19 on future movie-going.

Hit hard by pandemic, the cinema industry may change forever

While the obvious public health, social and economic consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are well known, this period may also change, perhaps permanently, the way we see movies. During Lunar New Year 2019, the Chinese box office totaled $360 million in the first weekend alone. But this year, as over 70,000 theaters closed and major movies were postponed, that same box office grossed only $2 million over the holiday weekend, even though it was previously expected to generate $1 billion globally.


Sachyn/CC BY-SA 3.0
Fiona Apple released her fifth album on April 17.

Exploring Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters

Intense percussion, frank and breathy lyrics, dog barks. Wispy lyrics spoken into silence with no soundtrack to support them. Hoarse growls full of energy and instruments that fall into hysteria, then pick up a new beat and begin once again. This is how Fiona Apple clangs into view on her fifth album Fetch the Bolt Cutters, a powerhouse of intricate rhythm, rising anger and joy. 


Center for Visual Arts adjusts to virtual classes

When Hopkins announced that classes were moving online for the rest of the semester, professors in all departments were forced to think of ways to keep students engaged while still being able to effectively teach material. Perhaps this transition was most difficult for instructors in the Hopkins Center for Visual Arts (CVA). Students, some used to working with a variety of mediums from oil painting to charcoal, suddenly had to leave many of their art supplies behind. 


Jeremy Zucker releases debut album, love is not dying

Amid the storm of delayed releases to movies and albums, I found myself quite lucky that my most anticipated release of the spring was still on time. On April 17, 24-year-old artist, Jeremy Zucker, released his debut album, love is not dying. 


KELLYWRITERSHOUSE/CC BY-SA 2.0
This week's New Yorker featured a new story from Ben Lerner.

Ben Lerner 's short story “The Media” subverts stylistic norms

In the April 20, 2020 edition of The New Yorker, Ben Lerner’s short story “The Media,” appeared under “fiction.” A writer from Topeka, Kan., Lerner is a distinguished poet, writer and editor (though this list is not exhaustive). Lerner has also been a Fulbright Scholar, National Book Award finalist, Guggenheim Fellow and MacArthur Fellow (again, this list is not exhaustive). 


COURTESY OF JOAN MOBILIO
Shua at a concert featuring Eurovision 2018 winner Netta.

Eurovision Home Concerts: a pleasing Eurovision Song Contest substitute

I’m not an obsessive for many TV shows, with one exception: the Eurovision Song Contest. Criminally underrated in the U.S., Eurovision is an annual arcade of countries and songs. Set up like a combination of the Olympics and American Idol, Eurovision is my annual fairytale. Each year, various European (and guest) nations toy with songs and artists until they come up with a perfect performance. 


GAGE SKIDMORE/CC BY-SA 2.0
Jeffrey Katzenberg founded Quibi as a way to pair high production value with fast entertainment. 

Quibi's launch fails to live up to hype

Last week saw the launch of Quibi, a new streaming service. Quibi seeks to differentiate itself through mobile-only, short-form content; the episodes of each series on the app are all under 10 minutes, which is seemingly ideal for our generation’s ever diminishing attention span. 


SIEBBI/CC BY-SA 3.0
Maria Schrader directed the new Netflix show Unorthodox.

Unorthodox paints poignant picture of family and selfhood

I have a weird obsession with German television and movies. In my humble opinion, the actors, production and motivations behind them are incredibly refreshing in comparison to the U.S. market, where shows are renewed season after season until their wonderfully original premise gets stale and formulaic, just to make a little more money. 




PUBLIC DOMAIN
Joe Exotic is the central figure in the new Netflix documentary series Tiger King.

Tiger King is an alternate reality to our own incomprehensible reality

I entered my senior year of college with several misgivings. I had just spent my junior spring semester abroad at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and everyone had warned me of what tends to be a difficult transition back to life at Hopkins after months of reckless fun in a foreign continent. 


COURTESY OF BRIAN TANKERSLEY
Brandon Woody (right) and Allen "Aldo B" Branch (left) were the first performers in the Creative Alliance's Sidewalk Serenades series. 

Baltimore artists and organizations creatively adapt to ongoing pandemic

If there’s one thing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hasn’t completely destructed, it’s the spirit of the arts. We’ve seen it all: viral TikTok snippets, Instagram livestreams, apartment windowsill jam sessions, art-making and concerts brought to you on what has become the most loved and hated platform of our time — Zoom.


Together at home: Celebrities flock to social media to entertain

In this temporary era of social distancing and quarantine, most of us find ourselves with more time on our hands. Of course, we can fill this time interacting with our families in-person or over the phone, group facetiming (or group zooming) our friends, but there’s definitely a limit to how much time we want to spend interacting with others. 



EWatson92/CC BY-S.A 2.0 
Childish Gambino released 3.15.20, his fourth album since the 2016 hit, "Awaken, My Love!" 

Childish Gambino’s new album lacks cohesion

Childish Gambino live-streamed music from his latest and last album on donaldgloverpresents.com for a few hours on March 15.  While I unfortunately missed those hours, I was aware that an album was coming soon. Finally, after four years since the release of the phenomenal “Awaken, My Love!”, Gambino finally put out 3.15.20 (on March 22 — or 3.22.20). 


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