44.7 F

Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Culture Corner

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


By SARAH HAN — arts@theaggie.org


Book: “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi (2016)

“When Breath Becomes Air” is the memoir of neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, who is dying of lung cancer. The book begins with his journey to find the answer to the question “What makes human life meaningful?” As he goes through his life, he experiences moral dilemmas in medicine and ultimately faces a medical condition of his own. I felt that this book tied together  pure curiosity with the reality of life: Kalanithi wanted to know an answer to a question, but after searching for it, was challenged with his own health and found his own life at risk. Truly, I don’t know how to do this book justice — but all I can say is that it will leave you with a different perspective of the world. Whether you’re pursuing medicine or not, I highly recommend this book if you need to take a step back and appreciate life.


Song: “Chicken Tendies” by Clinton Kane (2022)

Clinton Kane debuted with his song “I Guess I’m in Love,” but “Chicken Tendies” is my personal favorite. The song is about his late mother, with whom he had a difficult relationship, and the lyrics certainly convey Kane’s anger, sorrow and hope. Although the title initially seems silly, the song has a deeper message. The entire song has a sorrowful tone but Kane also sings very passionately. I recommend this song as well as Kane’s other songs if you’re looking for new music to listen to.


Movie: “Parasite” dir. by Bong Joon-ho (2019)

“Parasite” is a South Korean film about social class and how it’s affected by human desires. The story is centered around the wealthy Park family and the poor Kim family who cross paths, resulting in bumpy relationships. Bong utilizes a lot of thematic elements to convey how money and society can transform humans into selfish and helpless beings. However, he also emphasizes the vulnerability of humans when they are at their lowest. I felt that this film opened my eyes to the challenges of social inequality and human nature, and more specifically, how social inequality brings out greed in people, ultimately triggering an inescapable cycle of wanting more and more. If you’re interested in these topics, I highly recommend checking out this film.


TV Show: “Modern Family” by Christopher Lloyd (2009-2020)

Ending this list with something a bit more lighthearted, “Modern Family” is a classic sitcom to enjoy with your loved ones or on your own. It portrays the life of the Pritchett family and how they handle the challenges of raising families of their own. This show, which ran on ABC for over 10 years, has too many episodes to pinpoint a favorite; however, it’s safe to say that any episode will leave you laughing. Whether you’re wanting to try out a new show or revisit a classic, I recommend adding “Modern Family” to your list.


Written by: Sarah Han — arts@theaggie.org