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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Culture Corner 

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


By SIERRA JIMENEZ — arts@theaggie.org


Movie: “Blow” dir. by Ted Demme (2001) 

Starring young Johnny Depp and Penélope Cruz, this classic film is based on the true story of American cocaine smuggler George Jung (played by Depp). It takes place in the 1970s amid the international drug trade, portraying some of the most notorious drug lords such as Pablo Escobar, Carlos Lehder Rivas and the Medellín Cartel. This film does an amazing job of romanticizing the series of events but also showing the dire consequences of taking part in the dangerous game. Not only is this a fabulous film with an outright amazing cast, but the soundtrack is also not to be slept on. Incorporating a compilation of classic ‘70s rock and musica tropicale, it’s a fun listen overall. 


TV: “Selling Sunset” (2019)

This is one of those reality TV shows you put on once and become hooked, waiting at the edge of your seat for the next season to come out, only to binge-watch it in one sitting. Following real estate agents in the Oppenheim Group, an elite brokerage in the Hollywood Hills and the Sunset Strip selling multimillion dollar houses in the Los Angeles area, this show is filled to the brim with luxury and cutthroat drama. This show captivates with the grandiose housing, the lavish lifestyle of the wealthy Los Angeles crowd and of course, the constant drama surrounding the Oppenheim Group. This show is quite literally a real version of the classic series “90210” with all the extravagances and intense drama you thought could only be fictional. 


Album: “At the BBC” by Amy Winehouse (2012)

This is a live album of all the classic Amy Winehouse songs we know and love. Of course, we all sing along to the melodies of hits like “Valerie” while driving in the car or singing in the shower, but what makes this album so special is that she plays with her own songs and finds a way to make them different — dare I say better? Amy Winehouse left her mark in the music world with her artistic brilliance and unparalleled tone, and this album is a tribute to the mastery of her craft. Including the audience cheering in the background and Amy so faultlessly singing, it feels like you were there, watching her sit on a stool with the musicians behind her as a soft glow of the light hits her and the music hits you. 


Book: “My First Summer in the Sierra” by John Muir (1911)

If you have an affinity for the grand Yosemite National Park or even just the outdoors itself, this is a good read for you. With original stories and sketches from his journal exploring the Sierra Nevada Mountains, “My First Summer in the Sierra” is historical gold for nature junkies. The love that Muir, as one of the most prominent names in nature and naturalist writers in America, has for the beauty of nature is effortlessly seen in his writings of the great outdoors. I read this book last summer while it was cool enough to sit outside without sweating through my clothes and would lay in my hammock reading this until the sun went down. Some may be dissuaded by the historical nonfiction nature of the book, but believe me, it is a beautifully written book and holds so much depth about the history of Yosemite. 


Written by: Sierra Jimenez — arts@theaggie.org



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