Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 24, 2023

Arts & Entertainment

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In Hail Satan? The Satanic Temple protests against religious symbols on government grounds.

Hail Satan? Takes us Behind The Satanic Temple

Premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and released shortly after in April, Hail Satan? follows the rise and growth of The Satanic Temple (TST), a “nontheistic religious and political activist group,” according to Wikipedia. The documentary, directed by Penny Lane, draws attention to The Satanic Temple and their confrontations with local governments and media outlets as they advocate for religious pluralism and the separation between church and state. 

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The Great British Bake-Off judge Paul Hollywood brings personality to the competition.

The Great British Bake-Off returns for its tenth season on Netflix

The Great British Bake-Off is back for its tenth season, with new episodes available on Netflix every Friday, just three days after they originally air in the U.K. By now, the reality show has garnered a reputation for being undeniably soothing. It’s the show you fall asleep to after watching a horror movie, and it’s the show you turn on when the news is stressing you out. 

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The Great Hack follows the Facebook-Carmbridge Analaytica Scandal.

Netflix's The Great Hack isn't that great

It’s somewhat ironic that the stylish aesthetics of The Great Hack, Netflix’s recent documentary on the 2018 Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, are so indebted to the social media world it indicts. Throughout the film, its subjects walk through city streets bustling with digitally superimposed messages and posts hovering in the air. 

Thousands of Dayton residents were left unemployed after the General Motors plant closed.

American Factory delves into complex struggles

 With the 2020 presidential election around the corner and my summer mornings on the subway inundated with bolded headlines across passengers’ phones about the Democratic debates, tensions are at an all-time high.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark presents old stories with a contemporary twist

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, directed by André Øvredal and produced by Guillermo del Toro, is a film adaptation of the popular children’s book series of the same name. Although it has a running time of only 108 minutes, the film manages to develop unique renditions of the original stories and creatively incorporates them into the larger narrative plot of the film.

Midsommar delivers compelling, genre-defying narrative

Midsommar, a newly released folk-horror film from director Ari Aster, follows his highly acclaimed debut film Hereditary, which was released only a year ago. After relishing in the delightfully gruesome premise and fantastic acting of Hereditary, my expectations for Midsommar were high. 

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.

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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.