Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 9, 2022

Arts & Entertainment

“How To Care For Strangers” displays a unique bond between friends as they explore fantasy worlds. 

Hopkins student and alum's "How To Care For Strangers" wins best in category at FLiFF

Set to officially premiere in 2021, Hopkins senior Rebecca Penner and ‘20 alum Carver Bain won Best College Long Narrative at the 2020 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLiFF) with their film “How To Care For Strangers.” With Penner’s skills as a Film & Media Studies major and Bain’s insight as both a Film & Media Studies and Theatre Arts & Studies minor, the pair was able to combine forces to co-write this energetic film.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey spoke virtually at Hopkins.

Natasha Trethewey explores the power of poetic metaphor

The Hopkins Writing Seminars Department hosted a Turnbull Poetry Lecture by Natasha Trethewey, the 19th poet laureate of the U.S. and winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, on Feb. 4. So far, she has written five books of poetry, including Domestic Work, her astounding debut which was selected for the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. The lecture was open to the public and accessible through Zoom. 

In a year of new virtual adventures, the Sundance Film Festival did not disappoint. 

Virtual Sundance Film Festival sets a new precedent

With awards season postponed and few major film releases, it’s been an unusually dull time for us film geeks. Thankfully, film festivals are still a go, albeit online and with limited in-person capacities. One of them is the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, which kicked off on Jan. 28 and took place over seven days. Leaving behind its Park City venue of four decades, Sundance turned to a mostly virtual modality to deliver its screenings, talks and events. 

This year’s annual ceremony was live-streamed in order to reduce in-person gatherings. 

Lighting of the Quads, though a little different this year, is still successful

Hopkins hosted its annual Lighting of the Quads (LOTQ) celebration on YouTube Live this past Saturday. LOTQ usually takes place each December shortly before finals; however, this year’s celebration marked many firsts — the first time the event went virtual, the first time it took place during the spring semester and the first time there was no live audience in the ordinary sense. 

Priyanka Chopra Jonas stars in the film adaptation of The White Tiger.

The White Tiger tackles class struggle in the era of globalization

The White Tiger movie debuted this January after long-delayed plans for movie production, and is one of the largest international releases of an Indian movie in recent years. It’s not hard to guess why: Despite its source material being over a decade old, it presents a story of class warfare, global inequality and crises of democracy that have become even more relevant today. 

The ending scene of Dostoevsky’s novel is telling of unrelenting social dilemma today.

Raskolnikov’s final dream in Crime and Punishment is a prophecy of 2021

In the epilogue of a new translation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov’s hysterical condition worsens upon beginning his prison sentence, causing him to have a feverish dream about the spread of nihilism in the form of a virus. The events chronicled in this dream are extremely telling of dual pandemics — the global COVID-19 outbreak and the dissemination of disinformation through social media — that plagued 2020 and now plague 2021.

Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany star in Disney+’s WandaVision.

WandaVision hits the perfect tone

Marvel’s long-awaited television series debut — the first of many that will be released and watchable exclusively on the streaming platform Disney+ — has finally arrived. The first three episodes (there will eventually be nine) of WandaVision are now available to stream if you have a subscription.  

Gary Oldman stars in new movie Mank as the main character, Herman J. Mankiewicz. 

Mank is a playful tribute to Old Hollywood that challenges auteurism

Citizen Kane is hailed as the greatest film of all time. Mank, in one of the most unexpected and idiosyncratic ways possible, tells an equally remarkable story of the process behind the film. Helmed by director David Fincher and written by his late father Jack Fincher, Mank had been in the works for thirty years prior to its December release on Netflix. 

The main characters of Netflix's Big Mouth explore new topics, such as anxiety, in the show’s fourth season.

I love Big Mouth, but it’s really okay if you don’t

Writing a content warning for Big Mouth feels almost impossible, but please be warned that this article will discuss a lot of things that are very disgusting and exceedingly sexual, the vast majority of which involve cartoon characters between the ages of 12 and 14.

Andrew Marantz’s 2019 novel Antisocial has never been more relevant to American politics that in 2020.

Antisocial is entertaining and enlightening in the age of misinformation

Life is tough right now for Americans, and social media and politics are no small part of that difficulty. The COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 presidential election would have been frustrating even without the avalanche of misinformation surrounding both of them. If you’re as exhausted by fake news and misleading social media posts as I am, read on.  

Hamilton actor Leslie Odom Jr. releases a refreshing and long-awaited album.

The Christmas Album provides much-needed nostalgia and cheer

I was a sophomore in high school when Hamilton hit Broadway and suddenly made my love of American history and musical theater “cool.” I won’t bore you with the details of my fandom, but I follow the unbelievably talented original cast and their post-Hamilton careers with interest.

Emma Roberts stars in the disastrous movie Holidate.

Holidate is the bad rom-com to rule all bad rom-coms

Among the slew of Christmas movies Netflix has recently churned out comes a messy, simply bad holiday romance. It blends in well enough, masquerading as a fun, funny, festive flick. But Holidate is none of these things — though, boy, does it try really, really hard to be. Its formulaic premise is essentially all the plot that the movie has: Two strangers decide to be each other’s “holidates” and end up falling in love. 

Local art institutions, including the BMA, provide educational virtual exhibitions about the city’s history. 

Why it's important to get local through virtual art

With an official hybrid plan for the spring semester released, most of us can’t wait to return to campus. While there are many exciting opportunities to look forward to, why wait? What if you can’t return come spring 2021? There are many opportunities available now for you to enjoy in Baltimore, both in person and remotely. 

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