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Monday, July 15, 2024

Culture Corner

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

 

By NATALIE SALTER — ncsalter@theaggie.org

 

TV Show: “Succession” (2018-2023)

 

If you’ve kept up with this year’s awards season, you’ve almost certainly heard of one of television’s newest prize-winning juggernauts. The show centers around the affluent Roy family: Logan Roy, the family’s patriarch and massively successful CEO of the media giant Waystar Royco, and his children, each vying for their place in this company upon their father’s imminent retirement. Beyond the drama’s intricate web of ambition-driven maneuvers and manipulations, however, lies an impactful and complex family dynamic that creates the series’ emotional core. “Succession” boasts masterful acting on the part of its award-winning cast, who play their characters with a nuance that is unmatched in modern television. Likewise, the show’s subtle-yet-brilliant writing choices elevate it to one of the most interesting and moving on-screen stories yet. Give it a watch, and you’ll be singing its praises as reverently as Hollywood’s most prestigious award shows have for all of its four-season run.

 

Book: “Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries” by Heather Fawcett (2023)

 

If you have any interest in faeries, folklore and their intersection with academia, look no further than this enchanting novel. Emily Wilde, a professor of dryadology at Cambridge, embarks on a field study in the isolated winter village of Ljosland. As she unveils the mysteries of the village’s local fae, she is followed by fellow professor Wendell Bambleby, who may be much closer to the faerie folk than he presents himself to be. Some faeries are friends, but others hide a dangerous bloodlust, and it falls onto the unlikely pair to discover that the wintry court has been snatching away innocent villagers to their deaths. Filled with immersive worldbuilding, lush writing, amusing banter and characters bursting with personality, you’re bound to fall in love with “Emily Wilde,” and once you enter the novel’s universe, you won’t want to put it down for a second.

 

Movie: “The Sound Of Music” (1965) dir. by Robert Wise

 

One of the most influential classics of the musical film genre, “The Sound Of Music” follows beloved actress Julie Andrews’ energetic Maria, a free-spirited young woman with a love of singing who is sent away from her path as a nun to serve as governess to the seven Von Trapp children. Their father is a retired military captain unable to connect with his family after his wife’s passing a few years earlier. Maria’s unconventional approach to rearing the children endears her to them, and her bright outlook on life provides an opportunity for reconciliation between the family. Filled with heartwarming characters, vibrant moments of song and dance and an endearing message of love and hope against all odds, “The Sound Of Music” is a warm hug of a film that you surely won’t want to miss.

 

Album: “Bewitched” by Laufey (2023)

 

Chinese-Icelandic singer-songwriter Laufey Lin has already captivated the world with her enchanting voice and romantic lyricism. She shines brighter than ever before on “Bewitched,” her newest studio album. The album’s orchestral instrumentals paired with Laufey’s stunning harmonies creates a cinematic and moving listening experience that takes the listener to another world, one filled with rabbit holes to fall into, Cupid’s arrows struck through hearts and letters to one’s younger self. Laufey balances romance, melancholia and nostalgia together against a beautiful musical backdrop in this emotionally pervasive and atmospheric work, one that is sure to mark a defining moment in her rising career.

 

Written by: Natalie Salter — arts@theaggie.org  

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