Moonlight is the Best Movie of 2016 and You Can Fight Me on That

 

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Photo courtesy of JoBlo.com

Story By: Madeline Baker

I would like to preface this piece by stressing how little authority I have in determining what movies are worth watching and what movies are absolute garbage. I’m a 20-year-old white woman with limited life experience who hasn’t quite learned the difference between credit and debit. Apparently, society has anointed Quentin Tarantino one of the best filmmakers of our generation, and frankly I am appalled by this decision. Where was I for this vote? I have seen maybe two or three of his movies, including Pulp Fiction, and I can easily say they were all TRASH. This is beside the point, however, because now that I have completely destroyed any credibility I have as a film critic I would like to propose that why Moonlight is the one of the best movies I have ever seen.

I love movies that focus on multiple characters. I like seeing the evolution of each character throughout their respective plots within the movies, and I like seeing how the lives of the characters parallel within the movie. With this being said, I was a little hesitant to see Moonlight, a film directed by Barry Jenkins that tells the story of a young black man growing up in Miami and discovering his personal and sexual identity. I didn’t know if I would be completely bored watching one character on the screen for nearly three hours. I had never heard of the director either, and this only added to my wariness.


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What Eleven Students Wore to Alderman During Finals

Story By: Pinky Hossain

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Ah, it’s that time of year again, folks. When students all across Grounds from a myriad of different majors and years congregate at the libraries to frantically finish their ten-page essay for Media Studies or problem set for Computer Science (… at least I think that’s what they do in CS classes) or review ten chapters of biology he/she was not in class to synthesize. I took to Alderman to observe some of our wonderful, studious students. In classic finals fashion, the line for Greenberry’s was out the door, and it took us three and a half years to find a table to work at.

We’re stressed and we’re tired and we’re sleep-deprived, but at least we look good. Here’s what eleven of us wore to Alderman during finals week.
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This is Gillian. She’s fashionable as fuck. When I told her that I was taking pictures of what people were wearing during finals she said, “Well, you chose a great day – I spent an hour on this outfit.” Time well spent, Gillian. Time well spent.


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Top 5 Shows to Binge-Watch Over Winter Break

Story By: Taylor Lamb

Happy finals season! The beautiful time of year when the people who haven’t visited a library all semester (me) are suddenly there every night this week (me) and are getting dirty looks from the people who were there all semester and now have to fight for space (not me). This is a time of stress, all-nighters, and if you’re not careful, burnout. However, the one thing about finals season that should put joy in the hearts of every girl and boy is that winter break is right around the corner. A whole month free of classes, tests, papers, deadlines, and stress. A whole month to hang out with family and friends, sleep without an alarm clock, maybe make some extra cash, and most importantly…. watch TV. If you’ve been feeling like you don’t have a show to watch over break, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here are 5 shows you should binge-watch to your heart’s content. (Side note: Am I the only one who noticed that no one calls it “marathon” anymore?)

1. Jane the Virgin

 

picture1I’ve been watching this show since it premiered my first year here and have been loving it ever since. Loosely modeled off of Spanish telenovelas, Jane the Virgin is a comedy about Jane Villanueva, a virgin who gets pregnant through a medical accident. Hijinks ensue. Despite that unrealistic, comedic, premise, the show manages to shed light on a lot of important issues such as U.S. immigration laws and societal expectations regarding female sexuality. What’s more, the relationships among the three generations of Villanueva woman are so beautifully portrayed. You’ll want to go hug your mom. In fact, I definitely would recommend watching this one with your mom. You can find seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix.

2. Scandal

2This is a show I’m sure you’ve heard about, though maybe you’ve needed a push to finally give it your attention. Consider this article your push. Scandal is a political thriller about Olivia Pope, a badass political fixer with her own crisis management firm that helps her DC clients resolve all their dirty secrets. Also… she happens to be having an affair with the president. Five seasons in, the show has definitely become about a lot more than that, but I won’t spoil it for you. I was originally drawn to this show when I heard that Kerry Washington (Olivia Pope) was the first black woman to lead a network TV show in almost 40 years (and the second one ever)! After one episode, I was hooked. Not only by the incredible acting of the entire cast, but the character Olivia Pope, who, in my opinion, is one of the most amazing characters on television. And I’m not just comparing her to women, either. Not convinced? The first season is only 7 episodes, so you can definitely give that a shot when you’re in your food coma the day after your holiday dinner. Find it on Netflix.


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How Art Can Save the World

Story By: Taylor Lamb

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Anti-Trump protest which took place in Las Vegas. Photo from Las Vegas Review Journal.

If you have read any of my articles before this point, you can probably guess my political views and, subsequently, how I reacted to the results of the recent election. I was hurt, confused, angry, scared… I felt betrayed. I felt as though my country had let me down. I skipped one of my classes because I couldn’t bring myself to face a lecture full of people who aren’t affected by the results in the way that I am, as a black woman. I couldn’t bring myself to face a lecture full of people who were possibly happy with the results. I wasn’t in a good place. Many people felt the same way. I had conversations with people wondering: What do we do? Do we cry? Do we fight? Protest? I had people tell me that they wanted to do something to impact the world, but they weren’t sure what. There are a variety of things one can do to improve the world, and I definitely can’t impose my views on anyone else. But if you’re looking for something that will change the world as well as something to find solace in, here’s my suggestion: create art. 

That probably wasn’t what you were expecting. Art is definitely devalued by society, and I might say this is even more true at UVA. Art majors are looked down upon. If you have a high GPA, but you’re not a STEM major or in the Comm School, people say it doesn’t mean anything. And here I am saying that art will change the world. Those might not add up in your mind, but this is not a new opinion I am introducing. I myself did not know this until college. Perhaps it is the world’s best kept secret, but art is the soul of the revolution. Look to your major movements, look to the leaders of the movements, and they will say the same. Throughout history, marginalized people have used art to express themselves, to inspire people, and to improve the world. I’m talking all types of art–literature, music, paintings, sketches, theatre, etc.


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Hair on the Brain

Story By: Lily Patterson

For this installment I took to the streets (metaphorically speaking) to interview a few friends about their hair and the intrinsic and imposed identities those little bundles of keratin confer. Settle in and hear their stories.

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Amanda Diamond, Fourth-Year

How does your hair play into your personal identity, both tangible and intangible?

I think my hair says a lot about me. I think it has defined me within my race, the larger community I am surrounded by, and is a tool I use to express myself.

Are you afraid to make drastic changes to your hair, or do you enjoy that sort of risk taking, or fall somewhere in between?

I’m open to hair changes; however, I still think I’m nervous about them. I have thought about getting dreadlocks in the past because it’s a hairstyle that is so bold, and also has a connection to my culture and identity. As an actor, however, I think I should be careful what I do with myself because I can be put into a proverbial ‘box’ quickly, speaking to the types of roles I’d be able to play. That’s just reflective of society and the way the general public uses hairstyles to draw conclusions and assume things about someone and their identity.


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Blackwoman

Story By: Taylor Lamb

Sometimes I feel as though I need to start referring to myself as a “blackwoman,” one word, so people will stop trying to separate those two parts of my identity. This is a sentiment that has been heavy on my mind these past few months since news of Nate Parker’s old rape case came into the forefront. It was upsetting to see another black male creative, who is making supposedly important media for black people, have a history of mistreating women. The news left me disappointed. However, the online reaction I saw after was what truly devastated me. My timeline was flooded with black men and women (but mostly men) saying the news was false, just another attempt to take the black man down; saying, “bitches lie about rape all the time.” Even worse were the ones who said things such as, “Maybe it’s true, but it doesn’t matter. It was 19 years ago. White men in the entertainment industry do this all the time and no one cares. This movie is more important than that. You need to support your fellow black man!”

Yes. I am black. But ain’t I a woman too?

According to a study conducted by the Black Women’s Blueprint, sixty percent of black girls are sexually assaulted at the hands of black men by the age of 18. That is 3 out of 5 black girls. That is clearly an issue occurring within the black community, deeply affecting black girls. Occurring at the hands of black men, and yet so many people ignore these facts. They say sexual assault is a “women’s issue,” and things such as police brutality are “black issues,” and no one seems to care about the black women standing at the intersection of both. This separation idea makes it easy for black men to brush off Nate Parker’s rape allegations, Bill Cosby’s rape allegations, R. Kelly’s rape allegations. They don’t see rape or sexual assault as something they need to fight against. And their sisters, cousins, mothers, friends– black girls they don’t know but express solidarity with on the Internet when it benefits them– are left to defend themselves, alone in the battle.


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