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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Culture Corner

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


By SARAH HAN — arts@theaggie.org


Song: “Blue” by Elina (2020)

In honor of rising stars, I thought I’d highlight Elina, a Swedish singer who has co-written songs for Maroon 5, Hilary Duff and Zara Larsson. Out of her songs, “Blue” is particularly my favorite because it’s calming and warming. The song is about moving on and learning from past experiences; the lyrics also reflect these messages, as it frequently mentions acceptance of life’s changes. My favorite part of the song is its subtlety: the melody and rhythm are pretty constant, which contributes to a relaxing tone. Elina’s voice is also a standout; it’s slightly husky but also piercing, which complements not only the meaning but also the tone of the song. The official lyric video’s aesthetics are also more subtle than the videos of most current pop songs, which is a nice change of pace. “Blue” is cohesive and enjoyable and I highly recommend listening to this when you need some quiet time or want to check out something new.


Book: “Atomic Habits” by James Clear (2018)

“Atomic Habits” is quite life-changing. The biggest takeaway of this book is that in order to grow, one only needs to make atomic improvements, and eventually, these will mount up to a giant change at some point in the future. James Clear supports this statement by providing anecdotes and scientific research, which I personally appreciate since most books about self-motivation lack those aspects. Furthermore, Clear deconstructs different ways to improve self-discipline, and ways to make habits easier and more attractive. The book is validating and welcoming; therefore, it’s suitable for anyone who’s looking for advice. 


Movie: “A Silent Voice” dir. by Naoko Yamada (2016)

“A Silent Voice” is one of those films that leaves you wiser and more educated. The story centers around the relationship between Shouko Nishimiya, who is deaf, and Shoya Ishida, who bullies Nishimiya, as they grow older. What I really appreciate about the film is that it gives equal importance to both characters. The film doesn’t plot the two against each other, but it’s more about how they both learn to accommodate each other’s differences while also repairing their negative past. The key takeaway of the film is that everyone can change. This is particularly shown through Ishida, who has a difficult time preventing his past life as a bully from shaping his current life. I highly recommend the watch if you’re interested in animated films.


TV Show: “The Big Bang Theory” by Mark Cendrowski (2007-2019)

Needless to say, “The Big Bang Theory” is a classic sitcom. Each episode describes daily interactions between the main character, Sheldon Cooper, and his friends. Despite Sheldon’s static personality in the first few seasons, I liked the way the directors showed his character development later on. At the beginning, he was stubborn, entitled and pedantic, but toward the end, he becomes a less extreme version of his past self through spending time with his friends. With this in mind, I like how the show hones in on the value of friendship and how it can drastically change someone’s personality and perspective. Whether looking for a new weekly show or wanting to revisit a classic, I suggest “The Big Bang Theory.”


Written by: Sarah Han — arts@theaggie.org