Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 20, 2020

Arts & Entertainment

Richard Goldschmidt/ CC BY-3.0
Actress Sandra Bullock shines in the lead role of new Netflix movie Birdbox

Bird Box does not live up to the expectations of its meme form

Bird Box, a post-apocalyptic Netflix original starring Sandra Bullock, suffered an unfortunate fate that seems to befall more and more projects everyday: It became popular as a meme before it was respected as a film. Based off a relatively successful novel of the same name by Josh Malerman, the film set out with high hopes that were met with mediocre critic reviews. However, because of its massive internet popularity, the film did very well amongst Netflix users, and its 15 minutes of fame undoubtedly brought Bird Box the success it needed. 

Courtesy of Rudy Malcom
Roxane Gay discussed her opinions on race and privilege at Loyola on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

Author Roxane Gay speaks at Loyola for MLK, Jr., Convocation

Anyone who knows me knows that Roxane Gay is my favorite writer. She sits atop the list of people I would invite to a fantasy dinner party, followed by Serena Williams and Jaden Smith. I sometimes wonder about the nature of her oft-subtweeted nemesis. And I’ve now heard her live more than any of my favorite musical acts — which is to say, twice.

Thank You, Dad probes Jonestown cult

While there have always been individuals who idolize prominent criminals of the past and present, the fascination with cult leaders and other violent people from the 20th century has become more and more mainstream. This increase in popularity has been greatly aided by the focus that pop culture has placed on the crimes of the past. Netflix specials are made about strings of murders that are over a decade old; television shows have entire seasons focused on the rise of a cult in today’s social climate; and internet shows explore unsolved mysteries from the past century. 

Gage Skidmore/CC by-SA 2.0
Shameik Moore at SDCC 2018 discussing his role as Miles in the successful “Into the Spider-Verse.”

Into the Spider-Verse breaks Marvel’s usual mold

After years of putting out cookie-cutter superhero movies, Marvel finally brings its audience something new with their latest animated hit, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Despite making yet another Spider-Man movie, the writers of Into the Spider-Verse somehow deliver a superhero movie unlike any other. 

Batiste Safont/CC-BY-SA.20
The 1975’s new album release A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships propels them forward.

The 1975’s new album: emotionally honest and musically mature

The most fitting word that represents The 1975’s new album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, is one that the band explicitly uses in a song title: sincerity. Put simply, the record is sincerity in the form of a vast assortment of sounds that fit together peculiarly well. A Brief Inquiry distinctly shows The 1975’s maturation: It is the band’s first major release after frontman Matty Healy’s stint in rehab for heroin addiction.

Travis Wise/cc by 2.0
Peabody Ballroom Experience’s event showed Kiki, which first premiered at Sundance Film Festival.

Documentary Kiki highlights the ballroom scene in Baltimore

When Pose began airing earlier this year, it brought the ballroom culture — an underground pageant system for members of the LGBTQ community — into the mainstream consciousness like never before. For many, including myself, the show serves as an introduction to the history of the ballroom scene and the LGBTQ community that brought it to life.

Winner of Cannes Film Festival reaches Netflix

Happy as Lazzaro, translated from the Italian title, Lazzaro Felice, won Best Screenplay at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. On Friday, Nov. 30, seven months after its European debut, the film, directed by Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, finally came to Netflix. The film was not only listed as a critic’s pick in the New York Times but was also the topic of conversation for Vox’s weekly Cinemastream column. 

The Come Up Show/CC BY 2.0
JID’s sophomore album Dicaprio 2 leaves him with room for improvement.

Hip-Hop artist J.I.D.’s new album Dicaprio 2 sounds effortless

When talking about the fastest rising stars in the hip-hop scene, most people go straight to trap artists in Atlanta, such as Playboi Carti and Lil Yachty, or the SoundCloud phenomenons of South Florida, like Lil Pump and Kodak Black. These figures have dominated hip hop recently, with mantras of prescription drug use, face tattoos and general teenage angst. New York Times music critic Jon Caramanica called it hip hop’s punk movement — a sort of rebellion against traditional rap culture.

Courtesy of Kanak Gupta
“A Wonder in My Soul” touches upon the reality of gentrification and its effect on communities.

A Wonder in My Soul focuses on life in Baltimore

Marcus Gardley’s A Wonder in My Soul, which is showing at Baltimore Center Stage from Nov. 29 to Dec. 23, is the story of the strength of two black women and their unbreakable friendship. The friendship has survived six decades of hardships and is now faced with the trial of surviving Baltimore’s gentrification.

Courtesy of Rudy Malcom
Comedian Zack Bornstein gave students tips on getting a career in comedy.

Former SNL writer discusses his comedy career

Former Saturday Night Live (SNL) writer Zack Bornstein gave a talk about comedy writing for television in Hodson Hall on Friday, Nov. 30. The prolific writer, actor, director and stand-up comedian shared his industry experience, knowledge and advice as part of the University’s Film and Media Studies program’s ongoing 2018-19 Visiting Artists Series. 

Latest film in Fantastic Beasts franchise disappoints audiences

Continuing the spinoff series that nobody asked for, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise that keeps teasing the showdown between Grindelwald and Dumbledore. It keeps confusing me. Why is this series even called Fantastic Beasts? At least the Harry Potter movies were actually about the boy who lived; unless Dumbledore and Grindelwald are going to have an aerial dogfight on top of dragons and Hippogriffs, I don’t see why the Fantastic Beasts part should have any relevance.

New York Public Library exhibition honors Atkins

This winter the New York Public Library celebrates Anna Atkins, an English botanist and artist from the 1800s. The exhibit Anna Atkins Refracted: Contemporary Works explores Atkins’ influence through the works of 19 contemporary artists. 

Lucas Hedges stars as Jared Eamons in Joel Edgerton’s new film about conversion therapy, Boy Erased

While a powerful film, Boy Erased erases its star

I wasn’t expecting the uplifting sensation of a feel-good rom com when I went to see Boy Erased on Tuesday, Nov. 20. That shouldn’t come as a surprise; the film — based on producer and LGBTQ activist Garrard Conley’s same-titled 2016 memoir — is about Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges), who begins gay conversion therapy after his Baptist father tells him: “We cannot see a way that you can live under this roof if you’re going to fundamentally go against the grain of our beliefs.” But I wasn’t anticipating the unshakable tremor of a disturbing horror movie either.

courtesy of Jon Schroeder/JHU 
Consensus performed show ‘ConCERNed’ on the Hopkins campus, combining rap and STEM fields

British rapper Consensus explores a passion for physics through rap

As a student majoring in the two very different fields of Cognitive Science and Writing Seminars, I am fascinated by the ways that one area of study can be used to deepen our understanding of another, completely unrelated, subject. This is one of the reasons that I like the musical Hamilton so much; by pairing a historical narrative with a musical medium, Lin-Manuel Miranda has helped me retain more about the American Revolution than any history class has.

the comedy show/ CC BY 2.0
Anderson .Paak’s third studio album, Oxnard, is already a hit among his dedicated fanbase

Anderson .Paak releases much awaited new album, Oxnard

If you’ve never heard of Anderson .Paak, or at least don’t know how to pronounce his name (read: Anderson Pack), you should invest a solid amount of time in getting to know his music. On Nov. 16, .Paak released his fifth studio album, named Oxnard after his hometown in California. He first gained major recognition when he was spotted by Dr. Dre. He was featured on Dre’s album Compton (2015) and subsequently worked with the legendary MC for the rest of his own albums. 

Incase/cc By-2.0
Tyler The Creator released accompanying album for new movie, The Grinch

Tyler the Creator puts new twist on Grinch music

It is officially the holiday season, and amidst the oncoming stress of finals that hits students immediately after the week long November hiatus, many will undoubtedly turn to their favorite jingle bell tunes and holiday movies to celebrate the season and the end of another year. For most millennials, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, released in 2000, is a familiar holiday favorite; Jim Carrey, covered in green fluff, lets out a distasteful, green burp and runs off with his iconic, cynical smile. 

Courtesy of Emma Sun
The National Geographic Gallery in San Diego shows their popular photos.

Nat Geo Gallery offers a window into humanity

This Thanksgiving, I went westward to visit friends and family in La Jolla, San Diego and visited some art galleries. At La Jolla Cove, I was amazed by the artistic atmosphere. While there, I spotted the National Geographic Gallery; Nat Geo has long been my number-one favorite Instagram account, so I was more than excited. I always spent time checking out the breathtaking pictures taken by National Geographic photographers. Curious to find out what the art pieces inside were, I hurried through the glass doors.

Mitski performed at the 9:30 Club in D.C. on Friday, November 16.

Mitski performs emotional new music on her tour

Singer-songwriter Mitski played at the 9:30 Club on the D.C. leg of her Be The Cowboy tour on Nov. 16. In the newly freezing cold weather, my friends and I joined the line that snaked for blocks around the club and missed out on the electro-folk opener The Overcoats, but the sold-out show still mounted traffic outside the venue well into the night as the young crowd packed inside. It had been sold out for months, and I managed my tickets from a re-seller for about double the original price.

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