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Brandeis University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1949 | Waltham, MA

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Documentary Sings to Your Soul

(12/04/18 11:00am)

Earlier this month, the Introduction to Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation class  hosted a screening at the Wasserman Cinematheque in place of a lecture. The Nov. 6 class screened “Because of the War,” a documentary about four female singers who immigrated to the United States to escape the civil war occuring in their homeland, Liberia. The war caused a mass migration of refugees toward the neighboring countries of Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone. The four women, Tokay, Zaye, Marie and Fatu, all found themselves in Pittsburgh’s Liberian community. Anthropologist Toni Shapiro-Phim, who attended the screening, documented their individual stories as director of the feature.


Take a chance on Adagio

(12/04/18 11:00am)

Thursday, Nov. 15 was notable for being the first snowfall of the school year as well as the semester’s first show by Adagio, Brandeis’ premier dance company. The casino-themed show, “Take a Chance on Dance,” had a full house. Parents and fellow students came into the Levin Ballroom, anticipating what was in store. When the lights went off, people thought it was a technical error, but they soon realized it was part of the show and grew even more excited. Soon, the hosts of the evening went onstage and introduced themselves. Throughout the evening, they appeared before every dance to make Seinfeld-esque jokes and also introduced the following act. 













Small cast, gigantic emotional impact

(11/20/18 11:00am)

Pitch darkness is suddenly interrupted by fluorescent lights, illuminating five people lying on the floor. This is the opening of the Theatre Arts department’s “Circle Mirror Transformation,” a play outlining the relationships of five people as they take an adult drama class together at the Shirley, Vermont, Community Center. The set felt very natural in its asymmetry and the costumes were incredibly detailed — every shoe and t-shirt was reflective of the character wearing it. While captioning live theater is difficult, this production seemingly did it with ease. The dimly projected captions on either side of the stage never distract from the show for those who don’t need it, and are incredibly accurate and well-timed for those who do. The production quality overall is incredible, as expected from a department show.


‘Queen’ biopic exceeds expectations

(11/20/18 11:00am)

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a film that celebrates Queen’s lead singer, Freddie Mercury, and his personal evolution through the music and the cultural impact he made with Queen. It is easy to depict Mercury’s larger-than-life stage persona, but director Bryan Singer went for more of a personal-tribute approach. At the film’s heart is the relationship between Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) and his longtime best friend Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton), a relationship which encompasses Mercury’s love of music and his search for his own identity. It was Austin who gave Mercury the first opportunity to explore feminine clothing, supporting his genderbent stage persona. Austin and Mercury were engaged until Mercury accepted that although she was the “love of his life,” Freddie yearned for more. Freddie Mercury, much like Oscar Wilde, was a proto-pansexual. He never came out publicly as “queer” but lived a lifestyle unencumbered by heterosexual norms. 



Mackenzie disappoints fans in new film

(11/20/18 11:00am)

“Outlaw King” is a historical drama about the journey of the legendary king of Scotland, Robert the Bruce. Robert, facing the British, one of the strongest armies in Europe,  who had already defeated the Scots before, needs not only to find a way to victory but also to be a leader for a discouraged and restless nation. The film is directed by David Mackenzie, who was praised for his 2016 Western crime drama “Hell Or High Water,” my favorite film of that year. For that reason, I was looking forward to “Outlaw King,” Mackenzie and Pine’s second collaboration. 


Fall musical: ‘Godspell’

(11/20/18 11:00am)

To rubberneck is to get a better view of an accident out of morbid curiosity as you pass it by. Last week in the Shapiro Campus Center Theater, you might say I was rubbernecking. From Nov. 15th-18th, the Undergraduate Theater Collective produced “Godspell,” directed by Nate Rtishchev ’21. The 1971 musical was written by John Michael Tebelak, with music by Stephen Schwartz. It is structured as a series of parables based on the Gospel of Matthew, with lyrics borrowed from traditional hymns.