Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
August 1, 2021

Arts & Entertainment



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. 


ONEREDSF1 / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Golden Age actress Joan Fontaine starred in the 1940 version of Rebecca.

Rebecca's glitter and style can't save the superficial and uneven remake

 At first glance, Netflix’s Rebecca looks promising. It has extravagant settings, enticing suspense and a sweeping romance. Surely, the colorful French Riviera and rugged English countryside seem like welcome escapes from quarantine life. The movie has a stylish, modern look, not to mention star power. Starring as the titular characters Mrs. de Winter and Maxim de Winter are Lily James and Armie Hammer, and brought in to direct is Ben Wheatley (High-Rise, Kill List).  



COURTESY OF ALEX HECKSHER GOMES 
Throat Culture held an online comedy show this semester instead of a live show.

All the world’s a stage: Hopkins theater during COVID-19

Performing arts groups are a staple of student life at Hopkins. It’s hard to imagine what life on campus would be like without weekend plans to attend The Rocky Horror Picture Show, laughter-filled nights in Arellano Theater with the Stand Up Comedy Club or plays produced by the Witness Theater and Barnstormers.  


COURTESY OF KATY WILNER
Largely set in the heart of Paris, the new Netflix show captures the beauty of its landmarks. 

Problematic but addictive, Emily in Paris has its gateau and eats it too

Emily in Paris is Netflix’s latest top 10 easy watch. At just 10 episodes, each under half an hour long, you would be far from alone if you watched the whole series in under a day. The show focuses on Emily Cooper (Lily Collins) who is sent by her marketing firm in Chicago to be the “American perspective” at the company’s office in Paris after her boss discovers that she’s pregnant and can’t go herself.  


COURTESY OF SOPHIA LIN
Guest Quinn XCII sings via livestream at the annual Hoptoberfest annual concert.

Hoptoberfest concert plagued by technical issues, but very fun while it lasted

Hoptoberfest — what all of us freshmen have heard was a relaxing, fun-filled way to welcome autumn, get free T-shirts and meet new people — looked a little different this year. Instead of the usual in-person experience, we had a week of virtual events to look forward to, culminating in the annual Hoptoberfest concert on Friday.


Gustav Dore/Public Domain

Gustav Dore's famous 19th century engraving of Satan was inspired by Dante’s Inferno.

COVID-19 gives a new perspective to Dante's Inferno

Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy is undeniably a timeless classic. Its grand adventure through the nine gates of hell sparks readers with life and interest. It seems like an out-of-place work for a description of our chaotic times, but I believe it is a lot more relatable to us than we might think in the most unlikely of ways. So what can readers take from this classic besides grand allusions to the past? 


Jeneva Stiles/CC0
A Baltimore street lined with iconic row houses.

Charm City Kings explores the city of Baltimore, adolescence and dirt biking

Last week, HBO released the movie Charm City Kings, directed by Angel Manuel Soto, on their streaming service HBO Max. Based on the 2013 documentary 12 O’Clock Boys, the film deals with the experiences of young teenager Mouse (played by Jahi Di’Allo Winston) growing up around the dirt bike riding scene in Baltimore. Playing along the lines of a classic coming-of-age story, it follows how he deals with the loneliness, romance and familial clashes but with the nuance that comes with being an impoverished Black kid negotiating adulthood in one of the most segregated cities in America.


The Boys season two succeeds despite its faults

Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys doesn’t translate well to written text. The show, based on the graphic novel, relies heavily on spectacle. There are consciously obscene amounts of gore and nudity as a direct satire of the romanticized way that many modern superhero movies and shows portray violence, and the show doesn’t hesitate to use sex and blood to grab your attention. 


Film festival celebrates the city and people of Baltimore

Last weekend, Creative Alliance held its fourth Made in Baltimore Short Film Festival, a showcase of 11 outstanding movies that were made by, for or about Baltimoreans and the city they live in. The event, held online and hosted by drag queen Betty O’Hellno, was a great way of reminding us that there is more to watch than just Netflix, even if we’re stuck at home. 


COURTESY OF EUNICE PARK
Park paid a visit to the Baltimore Museum of Art, which reopened with new safety guidelines on Sept. 16.

BMA reopens with new COVID-19 guidelines

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) has finally reopened. After long months of inactivity and being shut down due to COVID-19, a phased opening began on Sept. 16, which allowed for nearly every exhibit to be fully reopened by the end of that month. That’s right, the BMA is officially back. 


NATHAN / CC BY 2.0
American Legion Boys State is a summer leadership and citizenship program for high school juniors with a focus on American government.

A24 documentary Boys State accurately reflects my camp experience

Boys State, a week-long summer camp hosted in every American state by the American Legion, is a mock government with upwards of 1,000 17-year-old high school boys. At first glance Boys State looks like a mob of conservative white boys, which might make you think that the camp is nothing more than a failed attempt to organize adolescent chaos. But I can assure you — as a former participant myself — that it is something much more. 


GAGE SKIDMORE / CC BY-SA
Millie Bobby Brown stars in Enola Holmes, a Netflix film based on the book series of the same name.

Millie Bobby Brown outsmarts and outshines Sherlock Holmes in Netflix film

It’s 1884. Enola Holmes lives happily with her eccentric mother, far from society and its norms for women, but on the morning of her 16th birthday, she discovers that her mother is gone. The disappearance of her mother reunites Enola with her older brothers, Sherlock (yes, the detective) and Mycroft, who have both been long absent from her life. They barely recognize her.  


CC BY-SA 4.0
Chloé Zhao’s new film Nomadland has already won the TIFF People’s Choice Award and the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland paves its way to the Oscars

The teaser trailer for Nomadland opens with its protagonist, Fern (Frances McDormand), walking languidly through a trailer park. The camera follows her, and we see diverse assortments of people gathered together in front of varying vehicular living set-ups. These are the nomads of our modern world. Fern continues on her path as it fades to black, and though we’re left wondering where she’s going, her slow stride could not be mistaken for aimlessness. She is going somewhere that only she knows, and effectively, the mood of the film has been set.


CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Baltimore native jazz vocalist Billie Holiday was honored via a live online concert.

This year's tribute concert to Billie Holiday moves online

The Billie Holiday Project for Liberation Arts (BHPLA) and Hopkins at Home hosted “Baltimore's Billie Holiday: A Musical Tribute to Lady Day” on Saturday, Sept. 19. The online concert honored the Baltimore native legendary jazz vocalist Billie Holiday. Though BHPLA hosted its inaugural tribute concert in West Baltimore’s Lafayette Square last year, this year’s concert was adapted to an online format as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.



Mulan remake misrepresents original Chinese story

After rounds of delays due to the pandemic, the grand release of the live-action movie Mulan had gained a lot of hype and excitement. However, this only made it extra disappointing when I finally watched it. After its release in Chinese cinema on Sept. 11, the rating dropped sharply to 4.9/10 on Douban within two days.  



COURTESY OF NICK MORAN
On August 14, the Bloomberg School of Public Health advised college students via Instagram to avoid large parties.

Bloomberg School of Public Health becomes Instagram famous

The Bloomberg School of Public Health has been attracting major national attention since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit the United States. According to Bloomberg’s Audience Development team, the Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center got hundreds of millions of views daily at its peak and is still cited daily as the main source of COVID-19 data for media outlets, schools and other institutions. Experts from the school have been featured in media coverage and consulted by people across the globe in these truly unsettling times. 


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