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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Culture Corner

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


By VIVI KIM — arts@theaggie.org


Song: “Selfless” by The Strokes (2020)

The second track on their most recent album “The New Abnormal,” “Selfless” by indie-rock band “The Strokes” is a somber, guitar-centric ballad about love and longing. Casablancas’ harmonic, laid-back voice accompanied by string instrumentals makes for an interesting blend of sounds. Similar to the feeling of falling asleep in a car with the windows down or humming a melody with noise-canceling headphones on, the song is injected with upbeat but slow-burning energy. While most of the lyrics are straightforward, others are more ambiguous. Overall, the song is impactful and subtle in both its instrumentation and lyricism. I definitely consider “Selfless” the most memorable track on the album and would recommend it for any mood or occasion.


Movie: “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” (2010)

Edgar Wright’s comic-book-inspired film “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” is a wildly fun combination of action, romance and comedy. Scott Pilgrim is a 22-year-old bass guitarist who has fallen in love with Ramona Flowers. At first glance, Ramona seems like your typical pink-haired manic pixie dream girl; however, the movie quickly reveals that she comes with fatal strings attached. In order to win Ramona over, Scott must defeat all seven of her evil exes, who happen to come in all shapes and sizes — from an action movie star with extreme skateboarding skills to a vegan guitarist with telekinesis. The geeky humor, dialogue and animated effects flashed in each fight sequence are just as bizarre and outlandish as the plot itself, making the movie an effortlessly fun one to watch.


TV Show: “Neon Genesis Evangelion” (1997)

Set in a post-apocalyptic fortress city known as Tokyo-3, “Neon Genesis Evangelion” is a classic ‘90s sci-fi anime that is most famously known for reinventing its genre and exploring dark, philosophical themes. The protagonist, Shinji Ikari, is a 14-year-old boy who must pilot a human-made battle robot known as the Eva-01 to defend the city from robot-like monsters known as Angels. This seemingly simple story ultimately turns into an exploration of depression, trauma and self-discovery. I would recommend this show to any sci-fi fans, even those who are unfamiliar with anime. Aside from its brilliant plot, the show itself has had a significant cultural impact on the mecha anime genre and remains one of my favorite series.


Book: “The Walker” by Matthew Beaumont (2020)

In this insightful literary criticism, Beaumont draws from different pieces of literature to explore his own observations and the hidden philosophy behind walking. From Edgar Allan Poe to Charles Dickens, each chapter follows the writings of a notable author while analyzing the importance of walking and what it can really tell us about habits, culture and life. This book is definitely unique in its ability to both educate the reader on a rich literary history and help them meditate on meaningful themes. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of classic literary works and enjoys reading about these works in more depth.


Written by: Vivi Kim — arts@theaggie.org