Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
January 16, 2021

Arts & Entertainment



GEORGES BIARD / CC BY-SA 4.0
Gary Oldman stars in new movie Mank as the main character, Herman J. Mankiewicz. 

Mank is a playful tribute to Old Hollywood that challenges auteurism

Citizen Kane is hailed as the greatest film of all time. Mank, in one of the most unexpected and idiosyncratic ways possible, tells an equally remarkable story of the process behind the film. Helmed by director David Fincher and written by his late father Jack Fincher, Mank had been in the works for thirty years prior to its December release on Netflix. 



HAMUYI/CC BY-SA 4.0
The main characters of Netflix's Big Mouth explore new topics, such as anxiety, in the show’s fourth season.

I love Big Mouth, but it’s really okay if you don’t

Writing a content warning for Big Mouth feels almost impossible, but please be warned that this article will discuss a lot of things that are very disgusting and exceedingly sexual, the vast majority of which involve cartoon characters between the ages of 12 and 14.


SLOWKING4/CC BY-SA 2.0
Andrew Marantz’s 2019 novel Antisocial has never been more relevant to American politics that in 2020.

Antisocial is entertaining and enlightening in the age of misinformation

Life is tough right now for Americans, and social media and politics are no small part of that difficulty. The COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 presidential election would have been frustrating even without the avalanche of misinformation surrounding both of them. If you’re as exhausted by fake news and misleading social media posts as I am, read on.  


WARREN ELGORT/CC BY 3.0
Hamilton actor Leslie Odom Jr. releases a refreshing and long-awaited album.

The Christmas Album provides much-needed nostalgia and cheer

I was a sophomore in high school when Hamilton hit Broadway and suddenly made my love of American history and musical theater “cool.” I won’t bore you with the details of my fandom, but I follow the unbelievably talented original cast and their post-Hamilton careers with interest.



DOMINICK D/CC BY-SA 2.0
Emma Roberts stars in the disastrous movie Holidate.

Holidate is the bad rom-com to rule all bad rom-coms

Among the slew of Christmas movies Netflix has recently churned out comes a messy, simply bad holiday romance. It blends in well enough, masquerading as a fun, funny, festive flick. But Holidate is none of these things — though, boy, does it try really, really hard to be. Its formulaic premise is essentially all the plot that the movie has: Two strangers decide to be each other’s “holidates” and end up falling in love. 


NRSWANSON/CC BY-SA 3.0
Local art institutions, including the BMA, provide educational virtual exhibitions about the city’s history. 

Why it's important to get local through virtual art

With an official hybrid plan for the spring semester released, most of us can’t wait to return to campus. While there are many exciting opportunities to look forward to, why wait? What if you can’t return come spring 2021? There are many opportunities available now for you to enjoy in Baltimore, both in person and remotely. 



AVRO / CC BY-SA 3.0 
Brian Eno recently released a new and eccentric album for film and TV, carrying out his reputation for producing unique sounds. 

Brian Eno releases new compilation of music for film and TV

Last Friday, Brian Eno released Film Music 1976 – 2020, his first-ever compilation of music for film and television. This album spans five decades of his work in cinema, all the way from music he wrote for the 1976 movie Sebastiane, to his score for We Are as Gods, a documentary released earlier this year.


COURTESY OF BEOWULF SHEEHAN
Danielle Evans is the author of the newly published collection The Department of Historical Corrections.

Danielle Evans reads excerpt from new short story collection

The Writing Seminars department is nationally renowned for its stellar program and professors. Although some of those prominent in the department are on the older side, there is a constant flow of younger talent coming through the ranks. Nobody is a more emphatic example of this than Assistant Professor Danielle Evans, who just released her third book, The Office of Historical Corrections, and was recently profiled by the New York Times. 






COURTESY OF ARIELLA SHUA
SUCC thrives through Zoom as senior Kyra Rothwell proceeds through her set.

Third annual Hopkins SUCC Halloween show is a virtual success

On the night of Oct. 30, the Hopkins Stand-Up Comedy Club (fondly known as SUCC) held its third annual Halloween comedy show, entitled, “Stand-Up Comedy Halloween Show III (This Time It's Personal).” Needless to say, this show took place virtually for the first time ever via YouTube livestream with the performers and a few audience members present on a Zoom call. Some of the members of the club continued their tradition of dressing up for the show, with costumes including a baby Yoda, a blue wig and a colorful unicorn hood.



COURTESY OF TIM FIELDS/CC BY 2.0
Paul Hollywood, long-time host of The Great British Baking Show, offers his eye for perfection and the occasional handshake in the show’s new season.

The Great British Baking Show returns with enough comedy and cake to stave away pandemic stress

Of all the cooking shows in the world, the one I was the most excited to see was The Great British Baking Show, which released its newest season last month on Netflix (with new episodes out every week). It’s one of my favorites; there’s something about its blend of warmth, camaraderie and relative lack of competitiveness (and tons of sugar) that sets it apart from the fiery spirit and tense drama of other cooking shows. Considering that it’s become an international phenomenon, currently in its 11th season, there appear to be a lot of people who share my fascination.


SKSSOFT / CC BY 2.5
Sacha Baron Cohen stars as Borat in the new sequel to the 2006 film.

The world may be crazy, but so is Borat

If there are any positives to the rollercoaster called 2020, it’s the way we reconsider humanity. From the celebrations held for graduating seniors to restaurants offering free meals for health-care workers, Americans have generally stepped up to support each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


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