Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 29, 2022

Arts & Entertainment

Producer Showcase: Jarreau Vandal and Edacs

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been constantly listening to music from two completely unique and distinct producers. Both are fantastic and should be far more popular than they are, though they make completely different music. 

Naval Historical Center/CC BY-SA 1.0
Taegukgi depicts the cruel conditions of the Korean War.

South Korean film delivers nuanced portrait of war

Liberty in North Korea JHU (LiNK), a student group under the umbrella organization of the same name, held its rescheduled screening of the 2004 South Korean film, Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War, on Wednesday, May 1. Although I could not attend in person, I was able to watch the film on my own time. 

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Lizzo’s new album Cuz I Love You is an uplifting album full of memorable beats and lyrics.

Cuz I Love You is about overcoming vulnerabilities with confidence

When Lizzo brazenly opened “Tempo” with the words, “I’ve been waiting for this one,” teasing her collaboration with Missy Elliott, I knew I wasn’t ready. It’s been a month since “Tempo” dropped, with Lizzo’s full album, Cuz I Love You, released on Friday, April 19, but I still don’t think I’m quite ready to tackle analyzing the absolute bops featured.

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French film director Claire Denis’ High Life is a visceral sci-fi film featuring Robert Pattinson.

Claire Denis’ film, High Life, is an engrossingly gross sci-fi film

Claire Denis’ film High Life, which was released on Friday, April 12, is definitely unique. And it is also certainly a showcase of the most bodily fluids I’ve seen in a science fiction film, so much to the point where I pledged to walk out at five different points. But the film has an impressive and elusive gravity to it that kept me in my seat, despite being grossed out right up to my limits. 

Poet Rickey Laurentiis gives emotional reading

“Poets are the oracles — they just know things, and though we may not always be able to decode what they said, the oracle, they absolutely know things,” said Associate Director of the Archaelogical Museum Sanchita Balachandran when she introduced poet Rickey Laurentiis to the stage on Tuesday, April 16 in Mudd 26. Laurentiis, tall with long braids down their back, took the microphone and started with a poem. 

Divya Datta starred in Netflix's The Music Teacher in the role of Geeta.

Netflix's The Music Teacher fails to take advantage of its strengths

If, like me, you go into Netflix’s The Music Teacher without any prior knowledge of the film, its narrative and tone will likely surprise you. Although the preview images and narrative summary paint the film as a romantic comedy, the narrative is actually much more dramatic and contemplative in its exploration of isolation and regret. Unfortunately, although the film’s thematic structure is interesting, the overall execution is lacking, and its flaws make it difficult to find the strengths.

Donald Glover’s latest project Guava Island pushes his own boundaries.

Donald Glover and Rihanna release new film Guava Island

Unexpectedly, at 12:01 a.m. PST (3:01 a.m. for us poor souls on the East Coast) on Saturday, April 13, Childish Gambino released Guava Island immediately after it’s premiere at Coachella the night prior. The 55-minute movie (arguably, musical) was released on Amazon Prime and made available to everyone for free for the first 18 hours, though it is now only available to Prime subscribers.

David Lee/CC BY-SA 2.0
Mkitski performed to a packed crowd at Rams Head Live! in Baltimore on Friday, April 19.

Mitski performs for an energetic crowd at Ram’s Head Live!

Mitski performed a sold-out show at Ram’s Head Live! on Friday, April 19 to a wildly receptive crowd. At the venue, listeners filled every inch of the floor and the balconies, soaking up every moment of the performance. The crowd was pulsing with energy; There was rarely a moment when people weren’t screaming or singing along to the music. Mitski herself, on the other hand, was strikingly reticent, performing alongside her band members and, among other items, a simple white desk and a chair. As the night went on, however, I found these to be among the least surprising elements of one of the most breathtaking, unique shows I’d ever seen.

Barnstormers end 100th year with staged reading

The Barnstormers performed a staged reading of George Bernard Shaw’s You Never Can Tell on Saturday, April 20. You Never Can Tell is the first play the Barnstormers ever performed; This brought a certain nostalgia to the show, as it is also the 100th anniversary of the formation of the theatre group in January 1919.

Coxy/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Cage the Elephant’s fifth studio album Social Cues is successful yet hits a lot of the same notes.

Cage the Elephant’s Social Cues proves monotonous

Cage The Elephant released their fifth studio album, Social Cues, on Friday, April 18. Cage The Elephant consistently impresses me with the range of music they put out. There are songs I absolutely love, songs I cannot stand listening to and songs that I simply forget. I’ve found that it’s difficult to take in an entire Cage The Elephant album at one time because their music is so high-energy and intense that it’s hard to figure out which tracks I actually enjoy. Social Cues is no exception in that many of the songs blend together on first listen. However, the album definitely has some standouts, and Cage The Elephant never fails to prove their musical prowess. 

oSTEM hosted their first annual drag show with seven student performers on April 21.

oSTEM hosts its first inaugural drag show

As April Awareness winds to a close, the University’s chapter of Out in Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (oSTEM) broke new ground with their inaugural annual drag show, “Drag Them,” on Sunday, April 21. The thrilling evening was hosted by the two event organizers, Miss Anne Thropy and Suey Sigh Delle — juniors Coleman Haley and Jane Brusilovsky respectively — in full drag and bio drag (when a female dresses in the style of male drag queens). 

Anderson .Paak reflects on love, relationships and his career in Ventura

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals joined Childish Gambino, Jaden Smith and BLACKPINK as one of the opening performers for Coachella on Friday, April 12. But before taking to the highly-coveted stage in Indio, Calif., he took us back to Ventura County in his 11 track LP, Ventura, which comes just six months after the 2018 release of Oxnard. If Oxnard’s hit song “Tints,” featuring Kendrick Lamar, was the song that helped me deal with my homesickness and longing for sunny Southern California last semester, Ventura’s “Make It Better,” featuring Smokey Robinson, is the next perfect song that will get me through this particularly gloomy spring season. 

Sebastian Durfee and Usman Enam starred in the high-energy Mauritius at the Merrick Barn.

Students shine in production of eccentric Mauritius

The John Astin Theatre presented their second weekend of Mauritius at the Merrick Barn. Directed by James Glossman, a lecturer in the Theatre Arts & Studies program, the show centered around two denominations of postage stamps issued in 1847 by British Mauritius, then a colony off the southeast coast of Africa.

Author Shapiro reads excerpts from new book

Renowned Shakespeare critic James Shapiro came to Hopkins on Thursday, April 11 to deliver an outstanding Turnbull lecture he called “Lincoln, Booth, Shakespeare.” He read for the first time an extract from his latest, yet to be released novel, Shakespeare in a Divided America.

Walterlan Papetti/CC By 4.0
Labrinth is one third of new supergroup LSD, who recently dropped their eponymous album.

LSD’s new album overshadowed by previously released singles

LSD’s inaugural and eponymous album finally dropped on Friday, April 12 after the group pushed it back from the original release date of Nov. 8. Because of this I was expecting awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping new beats and a bountiful well of new music to listen to until the summer’s inevitable slew of bouncy pop starts coming at us. While the new stuff we got off the album was great, five out of the album’s nine songs were previously released as singles, and the final track is a remix; I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed.

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