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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Culture Corner

The Arts Desks’ weekly picks for music, movies and more


By CLARA FISCHER — arts@theaggie.org


Book: “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)

Yes, this book is part of the much-disputed classical canon, and most people probably only know it from being forced to read it during their junior-year English class in high school. However, I consistently claim this book as my favorite of all time because of its beautifully melancholy prose and complex themes. Was Gatsby truly in love with Daisy, or did she represent something greater than one human could ever live up to? At the end of the day, what motivates all of us? Fitzgerald has a way of exploring concepts that resonate across generations, especially among young adults — the search for identity and a sense of belonging is something that transcends any zeitgeist. 


Song: “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles (2017)

I wouldn’t consider myself a Harry Styles superfan, but after seeing him live, I might become one. His debut single remains, in my opinion, one of the best in his discography, and seeing it performed in real life was a quasi-out-of-body experience. The lyricism, musical production and vocal performance on this track are top-notch, and Styles backs it up with his live performance. Though he brings energy and vocals to every song performed, “Sign of the Times” was one of the most special parts of the show because of its emotional pull. 


Movie: “Heathers” dir. by Michael Lehmann (1989)

Think “Mean Girls” but with a murderous streak. I’m a sucker for any form of media exploring the complexities of the female adolescent experience — as well as anything that uses colors as a form of symbolism. “Heathers” delivers on both counts, with the story focusing mainly on the dynamics between Veronica, JD and the titular Heathers (Chandler, McNamara and Duke), as well as other students at Westerburg High. With a stellar cast, compelling themes and sardonic dialogue (who could forget Heather Chandler’s iconic chainsaw line), this classic teen movie is worth the watch. 


TV Show: “Dancing with the Stars” (2005)

When it comes to reality TV shows, I like mine as cheesy and nonsensical as they come, and “Dancing with the Stars” is pretty high up there. Whoever thought of the idea to enlist as many celebrities (a generous term with the likes of some of the contestants in recent seasons) as possible to learn how to ballroom dance is so silly that it actually becomes entertaining. It’s honestly heartwarming to see the effort most contestants put into bettering their scores every week, making it easy to stay invested until the end of the season. 


Written by: Clara Fischer — arts@theaggie.org