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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Culture Corner

The Arts Desk’s weekly picks for television, movies, books and music

Movie: “Soul” dir. by Pete Docter (2020)

Soul follows a jazz artist trying to make it big and live out his musical dreams. But in the meantime, he works as a middle school music teacher. When the musician finally gets the chance of a lifetime, he unexpectedly dies and arrives in another realm where mentors help unborn souls find their spark. 

I don’t know if it’s the gloomy weather or the fact that I’m graduating soon, but the idea of a “life purpose” is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. As I’m working through an existential crisis, I often find myself looking for a meaning in everything I’m doing. But “Soul” left me feeling comfortable with life, despite the fact that I was sitting in a pool of my tears at the end. 

Show: “Parks and Recreation” (2009-2015) 

Parks department worker Leslie Knope loves her small town in Indiana. In order to help Ann Perkins, a local nurse, Knope makes it her mission to turn an abandoned construction site into a park. But as the show progresses, Knope and Perkins run into obstacles that make their situation more difficult. 

Parks and Recreation is one of my favorite shows. I love Leslie—she’s strong and intelligent, but a laughably dorky woman with big dreams. It’s rare to see a woman leading a team that consistently shows emotions and yet is ready to take charge of every situation. I have yet to watch an episode that has not left me laughing out loud. 

Album: “Folklore” by Taylor Swift (2020)

Taylor Swift’s surprise album is undoubtedly one of my favorite albums. It is beautifully crafted, vulnerable and catchy. “Folklore” includes pop hits like “the last great american dynasty” that tells the story of her Rhode Island home and country comebacks like “betty” that describes a boy who pleads for his ex-girlfriend’s forgiveness. I had the entire album on repeat when it came out; there is not one skippable song.  

Book: “Humans” by Brandon Stanton (2020)

While this isn’t exactly literature, Stanton’s book full of conversations with random people on the street brings just as much emotion as a regular book. Stanton documents his travels around the world through photos and interviews with people who reveal their life stories. While some people share their happy memories, others share their struggles that bring you to tears. Stanton’s book is a reminder that everyone is going through something. 

Written By: Itzelth Gamboa — arts@theaggie.org


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