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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Chris’ Culture Corner

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


By CHRIS PONCE  — arts@theaggie.org


Book: “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed (2012)


Truth be told, I have been wanting an excuse to talk about this book since I finished it. In fact, this might be a major reason for me taking over Culture Corner this week (that and my impeccable taste, of course.) But if my recommendation isn’t reason enough for you to pick up a copy of “Wild,” Strayed’s clear and easy-to-follow writing should be. Her style is welcoming for new readers and bookworms alike. “Wild” isn’t your typical hiking memoir either; instead, Strayed vulnerably tells the story of overcoming and accepting grief, tragedy and addiction. As Strayed recounts the story of her 1,000+ mile trek on the Pacific Crest Trail, she beautifully reflects on her life, accomplishments and, perhaps most interestingly, her mistakes. Her writing is so engaging that as you begin turning the pages of the book, you feel as if you are walking by her side on the trail — every step of the way. 


TV Show: “The Last of Us” (2023) 


Maybe it’s because of the Pedro Pascal thirst-trap TikTok edits on your “For You” page or because it’s currently one of HBO’s most-streamed shows, but either way, you are likely familiar with “The Last of Us.” The popularity of the show is well deserved, so if you haven’t had the chance to watch it yet, I hope this serves as a final push for you to do so. While “The Last of Us” is another zombie apocalypse show on the surface, the heart of the story is about what makes survival worthwhile in the first place. Performances by Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal bring the beloved characters from the video game that the show is based on to life. With only a couple of episodes remaining, now is the perfect time to binge the series (and play the original game while you’re at it). 


Movie: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” dir. by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (2022)


Wow, just wow. Where do I even start with this one? There aren’t many movies like “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which manages to tackle the concept of the multiverse through both philosophical and comedic lenses. But beyond being a philosophical trip through the multiverse, this movie is about family and the things we assign meaning to. You’d expect a movie like this to be full of dread and leave you feeling empty, but the beauty of the story is its portrayal of joy. The takeaway of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is not that everything is meaningless; instead, the takeaway is that we get to decide what has meaning for us. The cinematography and editing are unmatched, and even more impressive considering how small the crew was and how quickly they filmed the movie. With the Oscars approaching, you’ll be hearing more about this movie if you hadn’t already, and luckily, the Davis Varsity Theatre is still showing it, so it’s not too late to see it on the big screen. You won’t regret seeing “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” and I’m willing to bet that once you do watch it, you won’t be able to shut up about it either.


Song: “Kids” by Current Joys (2020)


“Kids” is a song that will remind you of the youthful cluelessness we have all experienced (and might still be experiencing). It’s a touching perspective about the mistakes we make as kids. Instead of looking at adolescence through a critical lens, this song embraces the messy imaginative spirit of being a kid. It’s perfect to throw on during a car ride with friends, walking around campus with your headphones on or even just to unwind and relax to. If you like this song, I recommend listening to everything else Current Joys has to offer.


Written by: Chris Ponce arts@theaggie.org