The Perfect Match: A ‘Battle of the Sexes’ Review

The Perfect Match: A ‘Battle of the Sexes’ Review

Battle of the Sexes, released last September, is a biographical, sports comedy-drama film set in the 1970’s. The plot is loosely based on the famous 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. The film stars Emma Stone as King and Steve Carell as Riggs, with Andrea Riseborough, Elisabeth Shue, Austin Stowell, Bill Pullman and Sarah Silverman in supporting roles.
    The project and its two leads were announced in 2015. Principal photography on the film began in Los Angeles in 2016, with a budget of more than $25 million. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival last September.

“Funny, Sad and True—The Wolves Review”

“Funny, Sad and True—The Wolves Review”

The theatre department debuted a production of “The Wolves”—a new play by Sarah DeLappe on Friday, Feb. 23.

A finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize Award in Drama, “The Wolves” is taking the theatre world by storm. Directed by Daniel Elihu Kramer, “The Wolves” tells the story about high school girls on a soccer team. This might make you groan, but DeLappe’s play disturbs stereotypical notions about teenage girls.

Review: ‘How to Date a Manic Pixie Dream Girl’

If you have put yourself through “500 Days of Summer” or watched anything involving Zooey Deschanel, then you know what a “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” is. The term, coined by film critic Nathan Rabin, is a trope. In the words of Lyssandra Norton MFA ’18, a “manic pixie dream girl is extremely quirky, plays the ukulele or a sport, and is weird as fuck.”

A Night of Ballads and Bruno Mars: The Grammys 2018

 Photo Courtesy of || This year’s Grammys were infused with politics, yet most of the awards went to men, writes Patience Kayira ’20.

Photo Courtesy of || This year’s Grammys were infused with politics, yet most of the awards went to men, writes Patience Kayira ’20.

Patience Kayira ’20

CBS broadcasted the 60th annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York on Jan. 28.

A great deal of the audience wore white roses to testify their support of the “Time’s Up” movement. The white rose, according to Vox, “symbolizes the strength and solidarity amongst the women who testified to #MeToo.” This symbol set the tone for a serious, contemplative award show.

With themes of hope, terror and activism appearing in every performance, the Grammys became a platform for musicians to advocate for social change

The evening began with a five part performance by Kendrick Lamar featuring Dave Chappelle.

This opening performance reminded grammy-goers and viewers about the intense climate on American racial politics and police brutality. A waving American flag rippled in the background as male backup dancers, dressed in green militant style attire, marched with stern expressions.

“The only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America is being an honest black man in America,” Dave Chappelle said after the sound of a gun-shot in the audio track went off.

The entire performance left me stunned and slightly worried. From the evocative lyrics of: “Burn integrity, burn your pedigree, burn your feelings,” and the interplay of militant-style choreography, Kendrick Lamar shared his careful vision about rap music. “It’s about putting paint on a canvas for the world to evolve,” Lamar said as he accepted his award for “Best Rap Album.”

As Bruno Mars said half-jokingly and fully inebriated at the end of the ceremony, “There were too many ballads in here.” Mars’s observation was well-supported by the series of slower songs that paid tribute to some of the devastating events that happened in 2017.

Following Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga lead a poignant performance which she dedicated for “love and compassion, even when you can’t understand.”

Dressed in a blush fluffy ball gown, Gaga evoked angelicness and hope as she sang, “Joanne” and “Million Reasons.”

Among other contemplative performances, Marren Morris, Brothers Osborne and Eric Church sang a tribute for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.  

KE$HA, alongside Camilla Cabello, Andra Day, Cyndi Lauper, Julia Michaels and Bebe Rexha performed “Praying.”  

Janelle Monae introduced the moving performance, saying firmly, “Women in the business … we come in peace, but we mean business.” Monae was also among the many stars who wore a Time’s Up pin and a white rose.

“Praying” symbolizes KE$HA’s return to the music industry after a five-year break caused by an ongoing legal battle between the artist and her former music producer, Dr. Luke. All of the women wore white to communicate the message of standing in solidarity with women. The group of women also helped KE$HA sing this poignant song as she was brought on the verge of tears.

Another memorable performance was Rihanna's “Wild Thoughts” with D.J. Khalid. “Wild Thoughts” featured an ensemble of dancers in 1920s and 1970s inspired costumes. The performance and choreography was reminiscent of a musical theatre dance number. I was reminded of the vaudeville sequence in “Singin’ in the Rain.”

In an article with The Atlantic, Phillippa Price, Rihanna's choreographer, said that inspiration for the choreography stemmed from inspirations “Soul Train + Cuban + New African dance styles + ’70s disco + Bob Fosse.”

Even though this performance was artistically elaborate, the online community can only seem to remember Rihanna's appearance.

Although Rhianna looked elegant in a sparkling fuschia dress, Twitter reacted by focusing on Rihanna's weight. According to Teen Vogue, fans tweeted asking whether Rihanna is pregnant. One person even went as far to write, “is Rihanna pregnant or is she just having an all you can eat buffet at every meal of the day.”

These comments seem ironic in light of the Grammys theme for standing in solidarity with women. Brittney McNamara from Teen Vogue quotes Molly Sanchez, saying, “Speculating whether Rihanna is pregnant adds to the exploitation of women by requiring women to explain their bodies and shape.”

Even though the Grammys had a series of wonderful performances, it was not a perfect awards show.

The host, James Corden, tried too hard to lighten the mood with recycled puns and flat jokes. Furthermore, Ed Sheeran won the category for “Best Pop Solo” with “Shape of You.” I find this to be even more ironic given this category was comprised of nearly all women.

Don’t get me wrong, “Shape of You” is a catchy tune, but the lyrics reinforce the objectification and exploitation of women’s bodies.

Alessia Cara was the only woman who received a televised award, while Bruno Mars took home six awards. These results only seem to diminish the Academy’s attempt to be more socially aware.

Although it is good that the Academy is aware that there is a problem, the solutions are not all that great.


An anonymous poet speaks out with a short volume of concrete poetry

“Banned,” a book of poems written by an anonymous poet comments and analyzes the political conditions in the U.S. and the state of the world in the most graceful way possible. Anonymous, the poet, plays around with typefaces and concrete poetry to integrate visual artwork. To read “Banned” is a visually engaging experience that will leave you nodding your head in agreement and snapping your fingers. 

Instability in Asghar Farhadi’s ‘Salesman’

Instability in Asghar Farhadi’s ‘Salesman’

Asghar Farhadi’s 2016 film “Salesman” tells a thought provoking story about a young married couple living in Tehran, which was shown last weekend by the Student Events Committee. Rana (Taraneh Alidootsi) and Emad (Shabaab Hosseini) are forced to evacuate their home once a construction mishap causes their apartment to become unlivable. 

Naked music, naked light and naked dancers: Let’s talk about Jérôme Bel

Naked music, naked light and  naked dancers: Let’s talk about Jérôme Bel

In the age of “dick picks,” it can be difficult to view naked choreography as an artform, rather than an exhibition of body parts for the voyeuristic eye. Yet for Jérôme Bel, a French choreographer known for his minimalistic pieces often described as “non-dance,” nudity is a driving force. 

Dorit Rabinyan discusses her book ‘All the Rivers’

Dorit Rabinyan discusses her book ‘All the Rivers’

Israeli writer and screenwriter Dorit Rabinyan gave a talk at Smith College last week on her controversial book “All the Rivers,” and why literature still matters. Students, faculty and members of the community filled the Graham Hall at Hillyer. Marjorie Roth ‘67, a donor to the Program of Jewish Studies, was also present at the talk.