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Superheroes are not necessarily heroes in “Legion,” Noah Hawley’s bold psychological drama set in an alternate X-Men universe prone to the surreal and strange. The show, which premiered in February 2017, stars Daniel Stevens as David Haller, the psychically-powered and unstable son of Professor X (Harry Lloyd). The third and final season concluded August 12th, and proves that Hawley is not only a gifted stylistic imitator, as seen with his work on the television adaption of “Fargo”, but a talented and risk taking storyteller fed up as anyone else with the stale state of superhero monopoly under Disney’s monolithic-feeling Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Cinematic universes and long, serialized epics are the norm in modern pop culture. In the past month, the blockbuster Marvel Cinematic Universe reached a milestone of 22 serially plotted movies with “Avengers: Endgame” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is currently airing its final season after an eight year run. The big screen and small screen alike seem to require more viewer investment and passion than ever before, banking on mega franchises that have become iconic in fandom and even the mainstream.
The University is often not recognized as a vibrant environment for the arts. However, for the past six years the Miller Arts Scholars Program has cultivated small, selected groups of artistically-gifted students — with the intent of increasing participants’ access to arts resources — and showcased their various projects at the end of the academic year.
Climate change has long been framed in national and local media as a political matter, with occasional surges of passionate interest that have never amounted to substantial legislative action. At the University, environmental science Prof. Deborah Lawrence and her students have been working to change that, using scientific evidence and activism through writing to spur green conversation and a sustainability mindset on Grounds.
HBO’s comedy-meets-drama series “Barry” was a delightfully innovative subversion of traditional television genres in its first season. In following the exploits of a hardened killer who develops a passion for a theatre class in Los Angeles, the show was able to explore a world of vibrant stereotypes and tropes and parody them in a refreshing new way. At its best, the first season of “Barry” was a commentary on violence, the human desire for connection and expression and people’s frequent failures at both.
The American college experience is iconically defined in popular culture by several universal markers — lively Greek life, hip campus coffee shops and of course, the cultural force of a student-run radio station. WTJU — and its companion, entirely student-run sister station WXTJ — have served as the University’s broadcasters for over 60 years since its founding in 1957.
The Fralin Museum of Art continued its Downtown Film Series Wednesday at the Violet Crown. The series — a collaboration with the theater that occurs throughout the year — intends to showcase “thought-provoking films that focus on artists and the arts.” For this showing, students treated to free tickets saw “Salvador Dalí: In Search of Immortality,” directed by David Pujol. The documentary ran only one hour and 45 minutes, but a series of questionable presentation decisions led to a bloated feature that failed to live up to the extraordinary footage and information about the famed surrealist painter on display.
An animated anthology series of loosely-adapted science fiction short stories produced by Tim Miller ("Deadpool") and David Fincher ("The Social Network," "Mindhunter" and "House of Cards") sounds at first glance like a recipe that could only emerge out of a fever dream. This initial glance proves true throughout the over three hours worth of diverse, beautifully animated and genre-spanning storytelling in the duo's "Love, Death & Robots,” which was released on Mar. 15.
“Greater than the sum of its parts” comes to mind when considering the unlikely but powerful use of contrasting sappiness and wacky at the heart of Netflix’s new sitcom “After Life.”
Personal family photographs can serve as a powerful counter-narrative to established visual media, like Confederate monuments, that share a limited and often misconstrued version of history. The dignity of the individuals in these pictures hints at the resilience and boldness of black Americans in Charlottesville in spite of the extremely unequal and reinforced conditions of the Jim Crow era.
“This needs to be a conversation, otherwise it isn’t going to work,” New Haven-based artist Titus Kaphar said as he began speaking to the lecture hall of the Special Collections Library during a University-sponsored event Tuesday. Questions and audience participation were more than welcome during Kaphar’s presentation, which made a large and relatively public space feel like an intimate setting.
In a turbulent and ever-changing news cycle, it is important not to lose track of systemic humanitarian issues like the global refugee crisis. Beyond government shutdowns, national political turmoil and other foreign developments, refugees from Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and many other nations still need accommodations and a platform on which to build their lives.
For many, the term architecture brings to mind images of sleek, abstract buildings and elaborate schematics that serve as part engineering demonstrations, part aesthetic showcases. But for young design professionals like Rozana Montiel, lecturing this year for the A-School’s annual Michael Owen Jones Lectureship, architecture is not just a technical craft. It is fundamentally about human narrative. She strongly believes that “a project comes from a story.” Arts and Entertainment sat down with Montiel to explore her studio’s work and design principles.
In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 90th birthday, the University’s School of Architecture is hosting “In the Mindset of Martin,” an exhibition in Campbell Hall showcasing the work of both graduate and undergraduate teams tasked with designing and building community spaces in the inclusive spirit of King. Before the exhibition opened, Arts and Entertainment sat down with Arthur Brown, fourth-year Architecture student and the president of the University’s National Organization of Minority Architecture Students chapter.
“One of their greatest appeals is making a complicated world simple,” said host John Oliver on the topic of authoritarian world leaders, the main story in tonight’s season five finale of the late-night news recap series. In a similar vein, one of “Last Week Tonight’s” greatest appeals is making a complicated world funny.
As a University of California, Los Angeles professor and the founder of Murmur — a sustainable architecture firm — Heather Roberge has been on the frontline of some of architecture’s most modern advancements. She is responsible for award-winning concepts like “Succulent House,” which reimagines how a modern building can impact environmentally-conscious behavior by displaying water collection instead of hiding it behind walls.
Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) just cannot catch a break. The fourth season of “Better Call Saul” concluded this week, and for the show’s entire run, McGill has languished in the shadow of his deceased, more successful brother, the legendary lawyer Charles “Chuck” McGill (Michael McKean). Jimmy is such a compelling character in part because of the chip on his shoulder.
Michael Moore’s latest documentary covers some of the most inflammatory conspiracy theories of 2016 politics — Gwen Stefani is the reason Donald Trump ran for president, Bernie Sanders was rigged out of the Democratic primary in 2016, The New York Times is deliberately stamping down the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, Obama handled the Flint Michigan crisis with as much cowardice as the infamous state governor, Rick Snyder. “Fahrenheit 11/9” is not only a takedown of the visible man in power but also the system that never took him seriously enough to realize how broken and vulnerable it was.
The Emmys in 2018 had to be different. After a tumultuous year for the entertainment industry, television’s most prestigious awards show had to confront the toxic and systemic issues brought to a boiling point in the past few months.
One wouldn’t be blamed for being out of the loop on HBO’s recent summer drama, “Sharp Objects.” While it is not exactly one of the network’s “Game of Thrones”-level mainstream sensations, it has garnered critical praise for its feminist themes and strong performances from lead actresses Amy Adams, Eliza Scanlen and Patricia Clarkson. Yet it also merits viewing in today’s sometimes backwards-seeming world — and specifically the community of embedded and complicated history at U.Va. — for its artful integration of past horrors with present experience.