The Brandeis Shakespeare Society, also known as Hold Thy Peace, put on an adaptation of playwright Ellen McLaughlin’s “Iphigenia and Other Daughters” this past weekend in the Shapiro Campus Center.
The screening of the 1924 film “Sherlock Jr.” was hosted by the History of Ideas program. The organizer, academic administrator Julie Seeger (PHIL), invited students and faculty to “A Night at the Movies,” one in a series of three movie nights throughout the semester. This first one was, in part, also a celebration of Prof. John Plotz’s (ENG) new book, “Semi-Detached: The Aesthetics of Virtual Experience since Dickens.”
I think Stephen Colbert said it best on The Late Show on Jan. 23, the night after the 90th annual Oscar nominations were announced: “There are no controversies over lack of diversity. …With no big Oscar snubs, who are we mad at?” While I don’t believe diversity is an indicator of quality, there are very few exceptions to this year’s nominees that I take issue with. It happens to be that the Oscars got most everything right this year. This growing inclusion is more a commentary on the industry than on the quality of the films released in 2017.
“Hostiles” is a film about prejudice and honor. The film opens in the late 1890s with the razing and mass murder of a suburban household. All but the mother, Rosalee (Rosamund Pike), are killed by passing Comanche warriors who wish to steal Americans’ horses for themselves. The film then cuts to Captain Blocker (Christian Bale), a high-ranking soldier who knows the land the best and hates Native Americans the most.
January is that time of the year when we reflect on the good that has happened in the past 12 months and anticipate the good that is on the horizon. Sure, this is a healthy attitude to approach in terms of life choices, but I’m here in the Arts section to talk about movies. So, as I always do, I’ve completed my top 10 list of 2017.
The best way I can label my overall enjoyment is “amused.” I was amused by the odd mise-en-scenes, I was pleased with the jokes, I was charmed by the wacky props; but I didn’t find anything laugh-out-loud funny. It was an above-average experience that still could not live up to the high expectations Boris’ Kitchen and set with its previous shows.
Gabe Walker ’19, the director, clearly saw that there was potential in the story with different perspectives to explore. This may be why he chose to feature music in his adaptation. When I say adaptation, I do mean an adaptation in the loosest sense. The plot points and characters were present, but a myriad of scenes were cut to produce this abridged version.
“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” is not unlike heart surgery. It’s slow. It’s careful. It’s layered. Yorgos Lanthimos’ new film takes a deep look into the peaceful home life of a heart surgeon (Colin Farrell) and his ophthalmologist wife (Nicole Kidman) together with their older daughter and younger son.
Critics are nobody’s favorite people in the arts community. Artists work hard for months or even years at a time only to be criticized in a few hundred words written by a third-party audience member with their own subjective preferences and interpretations. This, however, is what makes the critic’s circle so diverse.
There should be no question that “Three Billboards” will be a major awards contender. The movie has already received praise in the form of the Venice International Film Festival’s “Best Screenplay” award and multiple audience-choice picks at multiple festivals like the Toronto International Film Festival.