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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Culture Corner

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

 

By ANA BACH — arts@theaggie.org

 

Book: “Just Kids” by Patti Smith (2010)

 

In her lustful memoir of the epochal days set in the late 60s and 70s New York City, American artist Patti Smith recounts her extraordinary relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Smith writes what feels like her own personal diary, sharing her experiences with the public. She reminisces on her days at the Chelsea hotel, her Catholic upbringing, meeting Mapplethorpe at Brentano’s bookstore and even Mapplethorpe receiving his AIDS diagnosis while at the height of his career in 1986. After reading, all I wanted to do was experience this era. The authenticity and the rawness behind Smith’s writing leave readers feeling like they too have shared in the same experiences. “Just Kids” is one of my favorite memoirs, perfectly capturing the essence of the era and setting the bar extremely high for friendships. 

 

Song: “Chronic Sunshine” by Cosmo Pyke (2017)

 

With a fusion of melodic blues flare, a multi-instrumentalist sound and a hint of reggae, Cosmo Pyke’s “Chronic Sunshine” leaves you overstimulated with noise in the best way possible. The British-bred singer-songwriter makes his accent a part of his musical persona, putting an emphasis on his lyrics with his own curated sound. This unique style creates an orchestra of melody and rhythm that culminates in the most beautiful musical experience. As it’s a stellar mood booster, study tune or even background noise to simulate a main character complex, I wouldn’t be surprised if this song is on the leaderboard for my next Spotify Wrapped. 

 

Movie: “Booksmart” dir. by Olivia Wilde  (2019)

 

It’s safe to say that Olivia Wilde has created a true cinematic masterpiece. Two academic overachievers, Amy and Molly, thought that if they buried their noses in books all of high school, they would have tremendous success over their party-loving peers. The night before their graduation, they realize that they haven’t had the quintessential “high school experience,” so they attempt to fit it all into one night. What some have dubbed as the “female ‘Superbad’” will leave you peeing your pants during one moment and sobbing the next, The cinematography, soundtrack, casting and dialogue are simply unmatched. I watch this movie at least once a month and never have heard anything less than great reviews from people that I recommend it to. “Booksmart” is a must-see and a timeless representation of our generation. I want to live inside this movie. 

 

TV Show: “Fleabag” (2016) 

 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is one of my favorite television personas. Her witty disposition, lack of filter and effortless use of humor to cope with trauma are truly gifts. The one-woman show sitcom stars Waller-Bridge as the titular character, Fleabag, who navigates her sex and love life after experiencing a tragedy. Waller-Bridge frequently breaks the fourth wall, where most of her dialogue comes from interacting with the audience. Season two has to be my favorite, especially when the “Hot Priest” is introduced. The two couldn’t be more opposite, but as Fleabag and the priest grow closer, they come to recognize that they resonate with each other’s insecurities. The format of the dialogue is extremely transparent and the viewers act as an outlet for Fleabag to express her internal monologue. The show is extremely relatable to a wide audience and manages to carry so much weight in such a short amount of time, with each episode being just 20 minutes long. An easy rewatch and one that I always circle back to. 

 

Written by: Ana Bach — arts@theaggie.org