Arts & Entertainment

Captain Marvel doesn’t meet high expectations

March 13, 2019

As the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to center on a female superhero/protagonist, Captain Marvel has been placed in the unfortunate predicament of having to justify its existence. Prior to its release, the film was subjected to a ...

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Brie Larson plays MCU’s first female protagonist in Captain Marvel.

Chitwetel Ejiofor directed and starred in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

Chiwetel Ejiofor makes a strong directorial debut

March 13, 2019

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, who also directed the film himself, is a story about resilience, family and the power of knowledge. But above anything, it is also a real life story that deserves to be shared with the world. This is exactly the reason Ejiofor, upon reading William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer’s novel, immediately decided to claim its film rights, as he explained in an interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. 

Badlands screens at the SNF Parkway

March 13, 2019

A quintessential part of the American dream is our unyielding belief that with enough determination, we can make something out of nothing. It was the dogma behind con men, investors, entrepreneurs and pilgrims. Even though that fantasy is no longer true for most people, the possibility that someday our lives will change for the better has never left us. 

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A much younger Martin Sheen stars in Malick’s Badlands.

Blythe Roberson entertains with essays

March 14, 2019

How To Date Men When You Hate Men. No, that’s not an advice column. That is the title of humorist Blythe Roberson’s first book, a collection of comedic essays about the dilemmas of dating men in a modern world. I went to Bird in Hand on Saturday, March 9 to ask Roberson this question in person at her reading of the book, where the urgency for the answer increased exponentially when I, ironically, found myself sitting next to an old, white man with boundary issues. 

Shriver Hall reopening ceremony features Hopkins arts groups

March 13, 2019

After Daniels’ address, the Beta Zeta Chapter of Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Incorporada (SIA), the sole Latina-based sorority at Hopkins, gave energizing performances of various songs and dances. The Lan Yun Blue Orchids, a traditional Chinese dance group, followed SIA and swayed across stage to more soothing music, adroitly wielding multicolored parasols with unyielding smiles. 

Courtesy of Rudy Malcom
Junior Karter Burnett performed poetry at Shriver Hall’s re-opening ceremony.

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Hozier’s new album Wasteland, Baby! exceeds all expectations

March 12, 2019

As we wait in anguish for the latest Pitchfork article to tell us how to feel, we’ll have to simply listen through Hozier’s newly-released and long-awaited album Wasteland, Baby! without the influence of music’s great minds. Instead you can get my humble opinions. As a disclaimer, I have been excited to hear this album since Hozier dropped the Nina Cried Power EP in September 2018, named after what would be the resounding first song on his album.

Why Wong Fu Production’s Yappie matters for Asian representation

March 7, 2019

“I haven’t seen this many Asians in one room other than a computer science class,” a friend next to me said as we awaited the kickoff of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. To be honest, I hadn’t ever even heard of it nor Wong Fu Productions until I went to the opening ceremony. 


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Blood Orange brought a combination of melancholy and dance on latest tour.

Blood Orange brings Negro Swan tour to Rams Head

March 6, 2019

I first heard Blood Orange in high school when 2016’s Freetown Sound had just come out and the single “Best To You” was circulating around as a critical darling. It was like nothing I’d heard before: a tightly composed R&B ballad over a background of lush dance electronics — a melody that stuck in your head. It was, for lack of a better term, the sexiest song I’d ever heard. I immediately fell in love with the song and then with its composer, Blood Orange’s front-man Dev Hynes. 

Solange’s When I Get Home celebrates Houston

March 6, 2019

The music video that will never fail to leave me visually stunned is that of Solange Knowles’ “Cranes in the Sky,” directed by Alan Ferguson and Knowles herself. I recall watching it as a senior in high school, replaying it over and over to take in the energy of the incredibly subtle but loud images. 

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Solange released her latest album When I Get Home as a tribute to Houston.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine explores #MeToo

March 6, 2019

It is often quite easy to relegate sitcoms to the realm of silly TV shows, purely there for our mindless enjoyment. Often, that is what they are on the surface. In part because of this very role, they are able to take advantage of their platform to counter our expectations and examine society with directness and insight. The usually lighthearted tone of most sitcoms lends any serious topics even further heft by virtue of contrast. We can be reminded that even in spaces that bring us the most enjoyment, the world is not perfect, and we should not assume that it always will be.

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Andy Samberg stars in NBC’s Brooklyn 99, which covers topical issues.

Tournées Film Festival continues with Jaguar

March 6, 2019

As part of the ongoing Tournées Film Festival, the Department of German and Roman Languages hosted a viewing of Jaguar on Sunday, March 4. The festival aims to expose students to the full breadth of the French cinematic experience, and Jaguar is a particularly interesting and diverse inclusion. The film depicts life in the states that comprised French West Africa during the end of colonial control and the onset of independence, and it provides a complex interpretation of the de-colonization. It is a lovely film that has left behind a legacy of inspiration and more than deserves its spot in the festival’s lineup. 

Poet Simon Armitage bridges comedy and tragedy

March 6, 2019

Having read some of poet Simon Armitage’s works, I was excited to see him read his poems in person on Tuesday, Feb. 26 as part of the Albert Dowling Visiting Lecturer reading series organized by the Writing Seminars Department. Little did I know that the readings would surpass my already high expectations by miles due to the astonishing range and impact of Armitage’s work. 

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Simon Armitage performed an array of poems at latest reading series.

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The singer Robyn is best known for the songs “Dancing On My Own” and “Call  Your Girlfriend.”

The joy in watching Robyn’s epic return to music

February 27, 2019

I first heard Robyn roughly six years ago as the opener for Coldplay on their Mylo Xyloto tour in my hometown of Charlotte, N.C. With her quirky costume, idiosyncratic choreography and dance-y tracks, she didn’t necessarily seem like a natural fit to go with Coldplay (who were just beginning to transition into their more pop-heavy phase). 

Peter Bruun exhibits 1000 love letters

February 27, 2019

Peter Bruun is a Denmark-born artist and current Baltimore resident. After losing his 24-year-old daughter Elisif Janis to a heroin overdose in February 2014, he turned his devastation into art with the overwhelming support of  those around him. His loss became the start of the development of a new exhibition, though he was working on his previous exhibition Autumn Leaves at the time of her passing. 

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Rami Malek took home the Best Leading Actor Oscar last Sunday night.

Best moments of first hostless Oscars in 30 years

February 27, 2019

I’d like to thank the Academy... and I’d also like to admit that I am not qualified to write an article about the 91st Academy Awards. First of all, I’m an uncouth piglet (never say “uncultured swine” again); RBG is the only film nominated for an Oscar this year that I’ve seen. (I am utterly disappointed that it didn’t win Best Documentary.) In a similar vein, when I told someone I was going to cover the Oscars for The News-Letter, he strongly implied that I wasn’t fit to comment on red carpet fashion because I don’t wear designer clothing.

As Told to G/D Thyself explores local music

February 27, 2019

Kamasi Washington’s film As Told to G/D Thyself screened at the Parkway Theatre on Friday, Feb. 21. The saxophonist, band leader and torch-bearer of contemporary jazz made the film following the release of his conceptual two-part album Heaven and Earth. Washington explained during the interview portion of the night how he decided on the visual accompaniment to the music.

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Kamasi Washington created the film to accompany his new jazz album.

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Ellen Page stars as Vanya in Netflix’s newest superhero-action series Umbrella Academy.

Netflix’s new super-series Umbrella Academy may be its best yet

February 27, 2019

Netflix is no stranger to the gritty superhero genre. If you’ve seen Jessica Jones or Daredevil (both of which were recently cancelled), then you know that the streaming service knows how to create compelling drama out of the spandex and superpowers that define the heroes of Marvel and DC. The first season of Umbrella Academy, which was released on Feb. 15, is Netflix’s best outing in the genre to date.

Throat Culture impresses with physical comedy

February 28, 2019

It’s strange to go to a comedy show and come out having discovered a new fear: the fear that the person sitting next to you is actually a part of the performance. I grappled with this fear for the first time when a surprisingly friendly Russian-accented fellow tapped me on the shoulder, asked if he could sit next to me, politely asked me how I was doing and asked me whether I had ever been to a Throat Culture show before. 

Courtesy of Benjamin Strauss

Courtesy of Charlotte Wood
Pinegrove, an indie rock band, performed at the Black Cat in D.C. on Thursday, February 21.

Indie rock band Pinegrove hits D.C. on tour of new album

February 27, 2019

When it comes to music, most people like to date around, listening to lots of different artists at once. My relationship with music is generally monogamous. I find an artist whose music I love, and I make a commitment. I’ll listen to an album for weeks at a time until I know all of the lyrics. But this doesn’t happen very often; so when I saw that Pinegrove, one of my most recent loves, was going to be playing at Black Cat in D.C., I knew I had to go. Even though I saw the tickets almost two months in advance, I still bought them immediately — I wasn’t going to miss this.