Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 2, 2021

Arts & Entertainment




ROSIE JANG/CARTOONS EDITOR
Poet Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s new book Dreaming of You is a meditation on celebrity in modern times.

Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s Dreaming of You reimagines the ghost story

Published by Astra Publishing House in late October, Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s new book Dreaming of You elevates the novel, demanding it be fun and grounded in pop culture. Named after the pop star Selena Quintanilla’s last album, the book follows the author (“Melissa”) as she resurrects the celebrity who died in 1995 into the present day. 


COURTESY OF MIN-SEO KIM
Performers dance in pairs onstage at the 13th Annual Slam Showcase + Benefit Show: SLAMMIN’ INTO SPACE.

SLAM showcase stuns with hypnotic hip-hop performances

The SLAM Hip Hop Dance Group hosted the 13th Annual SLAM Showcase + Benefit: SLAMMIN’ INTO SPACE on Nov. 13. Ticket proceeds from the event went to the Young Audiences Arts for Learning, an arts education nonprofit. Around 300 people registered to attend the event on CampusGroups.


COURTESY OF RISHABH KUMAR
King Claudius, played by Feuerstein-Mendik, kneels while Hamlet, played by Al-Kowsi, stands behind him.

The Barnstormers present Hamlet for the modern age as Fall Mainstage

Over the last weekend of October and the first weekend of November, the Barnstormers presented a rendition of Hamlet for the Fall Mainstage. It was the first live, in-person mainstage by the Barnstormers in two years and was an excellent return to the stage, making most of the Shakespearean classic while subtly bringing it to the modern age.


COURTESY OF JULIA ALUMBRO
The Deja Vu Band performs onstage with a spooky setup on Halloween Eve.

Local Deja Vu Band impresses its Baltimore community

Let me introduce you to a Baltimore-based funk band called Deja Vu. The band consists of five teens: Elek Yuhas (singer, guitarist); Isaac Chang (keys, trumpet, synthesizer); Roy’el Byrd (bass); Graham Hogan (drums); and Leo Hickman (mandolin, double bass). 



GLYN LOWE/CC BY 2.0
Daniel Craig goes out with a bang in his last turn as MI6 agent James Bond.

A genre-defying last hurrah, No Time to Die marks the end of a remarkable era

There’s a certain mystique that follows a Bond film, one that holds a timelessness and universality of frankly uncommon proportions. Any attempts to characterize it often point to the flair, the gadgetry or, most likely, the untouchable coolness exuded by its titular character. Whatever it is, though, there’s no doubt — the newly released No Time to Die has it, and then some.


HENRY LAURISCH/CC BY SA-3.0
Blake’s new album Friends That Break Your Heart is a genre-bending meditation on the highs and lows of friendship. 

James Blake’s new album expresses a heartbreak worse than romance

After a busy year of songwriting and technical setbacks due to the pandemic, James Blake finally released his fifth studio album, Friends That Break Your Heart, on Oct. 8. The album is a testament to his growth as an artist, moving from his post-dubstep/electronic era into modern genres of pop and R&B. With 12 songs and a run-time of 44 minutes, Blake takes us on a transformative journey exploring themes of grief, regret and heartbreak. 


COURTESY OF SOPHIA LIN
Zella Day, pictured at stage centre, performed at the Hoptoberfest concert at the Beach. 

Hoptoberfest comes to an end with Zella Day concert

The University’s annual week-long festival, Hoptoberfest, ended on Friday, Oct. 8 with a concert featuring indie-pop star Zella Day. Sponsored by the Hopkins Parents Fund and run by a student group of the same name, Hoptoberfest celebrates the coming of Halloween and the fall. This year marked a return of the festival to an in-person format.



COURTESY OF JULIA ALUMBRO
Zinda dancers perform onstage at the O(ctober) Show: Dance Showcase.

O(ctober) Show: Dance Showcase celebrates in-person dance

In-person dance shows are back at Hopkins! On Friday, Oct. 1 Homewood Arts Programs hosted a dance showcase in Shriver Hall. Over 10 student dance groups were welcomed back to the stage by an audience filled with friends, family and faculty; more than 400 people registered for the event on Hopkins Groups. This show marked the first cumulative dance display of the school year, reaching maximum-capacity seating in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.


GAGE SKIDMORE/CC BY-SA 2.0
Oscar Isaac stars as a poker player in crisis in Paul Schrader’s acclaimed film The Card Counter.

The Card Counter is an unshakable exploration into the murky depths of forgiveness

“A good movie starts when you walk out of the theater.” Those are the words of legendary writer-director Paul Schrader, the man behind the screenplays of American greats such as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. His latest directorial effort, completed in collaboration with Martin Scorsese, embraces that very idea — and amplifies it to a magnitude you cannot ignore. 




rocor/CC BY-NC 2.0
Actress and singer Camila Cabello plays the titular role of Cinderella in Amazon’s new live-action remake of the classic story.

Cinderella: A feminist remake falls flat

If you’re anything like me, all of your social media (particularly TikTok) have been flooded for days with reactions to Amazon’s new Cinderella, starring Camila Cabello. You’ve likely already been exposed to some aspect of the film. 



COURTESY OF MARVIS GUTIERREZ
Ketsev hit all the right notes at the 33rd Annual OMA Culture Show.

2021 OMA Culture Show connects students from afar

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) hosted its 33rd Annual Culture Show on Friday, April 23 with the theme of “Connected from Afar.” Each year, the Culture Show gives student groups on campus the opportunity to share their cultural heritage through music and dance. 



GAGE SKIDMORE/CC BY-SA 2.0
Actors Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan play the roles of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, respectively. 

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finishes strong, but not without flaws

A month ago, I wrote a review of the first episode of Disney+’s new premier Marvel Cinematic Universe intellectual property, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. In it, I expressed disappointment with the way that the series opened. I believed that the show might improve as it went along, but I argued that, in the first episode, the show just wasn’t all that good.


News-Letter Special Editions