The Comeback of DC

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

Do you remember a time when Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy changed the face of superhero films through its gritty, realistic reboot? DC was at the top of its game, and many argued that it had the upper hand over Marvel. But then something miraculous happened: Marvel shot out exceptionally witty and adventurous films such as Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the promise of an unbeatable team-up called The Avengers. On the other hand, DC rebutted with misfires like Green Latern–-jeez, does that film reveal DC’s nonexistent sense of humor. Even Man of Steel was too serious for its own good.

Many would argue that DC can no longer compete with the movie-making machine that is Marvel Studios. But I propose an alternative theory.

While Marvel has undoubtedly captured the cinematic universe, DC has slowly edged its way back onto the map through a different route: the small screen. For a while, live action superhero TV shows had been put on the back-burner... Read more

Rise of the Planet of the Prequels

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Special to The Chronicle

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Special to The Chronicle

It all began in 2010 with the release of Iron Man 2. For me, it was the first reminder of a disease that existed throughout the vast cinematic universe: sequelitis. Sequelitis can be defined as a film sequel that not only is far worse in quality than its predecessor, but, often, destroys a franchise. Sure, there are the occasional successes like The Godfather Part II or Spiderman 2, but more often than not you get films like Grease 2, Staying Alive and, my personal (least) favorite, American Psycho II: All American Girl. Unfortunately, it is a malady that still continues to plague our contemporary society.

But now a whole new monster seems to be on the rise: The Prequel. Just look at the past few years with films like Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the three Hobbit films–okay doesn’t three films just seem excessive for a three hundred page long book?! And it’s not just films... Read more

Recess visits Girls Rock NC Rally

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

The morning of the Girls Rock NC concert as I ate breakfast in Au Bon Pain, I sleepily half-watched an infomercial for a “wheelbarrow for women.”

"It’s the easiest way for women to move heavy material!,” a man said.

“We don’t need men anymore!” His wife smiles, baring pearly white teeth. “Well, we still need them for some things…”

I feel the rising panic of someone uncertain of if they’re observing a satirical commentary.

Yet, when I think about the ridiculous indignity of fobbing off a poorly designed wheelbarrow on women, it becomes only one of those minor provocations dissected in Jezebel and Buzzfeed articles; an alarm buzzer that screams "misogyny!" for us without ever addressing the real issues.

I can write endless articles on microaggressions: on those Bic pens for women, “Science with a Sparkle” workshops for Girl Scouts, and the fact that every time I ride the C-1, I sit across from a Blue Rose Society sign that legitimately tells me “An intelligent man will open your mind. However, only a gentleman will open your heart... Read more

A visit to the Duke Gardens

Stephanie Wu / The Chronicle

If you ever find yourself in need of a place to escape the stresses of exam week, a place to lose track of time and experience relaxation in its purest form, then let Sarah P. Duke Gardens soothe your eyes with the beauty of Helianthus tuberosus and cushion your back with a thick bed of Paspalum notatum.

Stephanie Wu / The Chronicle

It is nearly impossible to spend “too much” time here—the concept of time is simply not applicable to a place where a miniature sundial is the sole physical reminder of a day flying by (that is, as long as you can resist the temptation of checking any electronic devices)... Read more

Reflections on the 2014 Duke Arts Festival

Darbi Griffith / The Chronicle

Just another typical day at the Duke Arts Festival:

“So, what’s your vision for next year’s festival?” I ask the Visual Arts Showcase curator Justin Sandulli after the exhibition's opening reception. Before Justin can answer, a question arises from one of the many circulating DUU Arts students.

“Wait, do we need to cover up the pianos for the night?”

The moment is wonderful for me, as it speaks to one of the Arts Festival’s signatures–the beautiful, whimsical hand-painted pianos at the West Campus bus stop, as well as the incredible amount of work put in by VisArts and DUU Arts students for this year's festival. They’re especially commendable since this year’s Duke Arts Festival, which runs from the 29th to the 4th, is completely student-run for the first time in its history... Read more

Namely, Muscles...but first, the spine

Special to The Chronicle / Olivia Zhu

Special to The Chronicle / Olivia Zhu

“Did you know that muscles only pull? You think they push but they can only pull.” As if seizing the space with her arms, extending them from side to side, Kate Trammel, dancer and choreographer, acted out the mechanisms of muscles in a short monologue excerpted from the upcoming performance of Namely, Muscles on Saturday.

She increased the intensity of her arm movements as she shouted out, “left, right, the agonist and the antagonist, acting like a couple but never touching.” Thus demonstrates the complexity and harmony of the human body. Sharon Babcock, who got her PhD in anatomy from Duke, and Trammel explore this phenomena in two workshops that explore anatomy through movement and dance. The first workshop focused mostly on the spine and the second workshop will focus on the heart, lungs and diaphragm. In each workshop, they discuss the roles of each of these parts of our body in life processes like breathing.

An enthusiastic amateur in dance and a stranger to human anatomy, I came to the workshop expecting a yoga session involving numerous backbends... Read more

Embracing the "woman" in my Flamenco experience

Izzi Clark / The Chronicle

The very essence of flamenco lies in raw, human, physical attraction. There is nothing sexier than witnessing the performance of flamenco, let alone dancing the flamenco. This past Tuesday, I participated in a free community workshop held by Flamenco Vivo, Carlota Santana’s dance company.

Unsure of what to expect, I came dressed in a long, turquoise skirt my dad had bought for me from Argentina. I suppose I thought I had leverage over other newcomers given my small claim to what I believed to be authentic flamenco wear (upon later research I found it to be a tango ensemble). Yet, most of the participants came with colorful, full-length skirts and for those that didn’t, Carlota Santana handed out bright red, polka-dot skirts.

Across the room sat three musicians: a cajon player, a guitarist, and a vocalist, practicing songs with one of the company’s dancers. The Flamenco is heavily dependent on the music, primarily the toque (guitar), the cante (singing), and the palmas (claps)... Read more

Exploring the Arts Annex

Emily Waples / The Chronicle

Every once in a while, we ask ourselves the question "Is Duke an artsy school?" Framed in a way that would fit on an admissions brochure, maybe the question would be: “Is Duke a leading research university that actively pursues a holistic, interdisciplinary framework for undergraduate arts engagement?”

I personally will only believe Duke is an artsy school if The Chronicle shifts its content to woodcut-block print zines printed with vegetable dyes from the campus farm. I think we should have a Conceptual Artist in Residence who asks the student body to perform tasks like “Sing the color purple” or “Hide where no one can find you... Read more

The Evolution of Superhero Films

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Iron Man, Spider Man, Batman, Guardians of the Galaxy and so many more. Every era of movies tends to have its own theme. The 1940s and 1950s were all about the shady inner workings of crime in film noir. The 1960s took on the cowboy against the outlaw style of the western. Now, we are undoubtedly living in the Age of the Superhero. With three to four superhero films coming out every year and no sign of slowing down, we cannot deny that these crusaders are high in demand. So, let’s go back in time and see how we got here.

I think looking back we can see how superhero films have evolved over the years. For one, they are much bigger (and more expensive). More than that they can create characters with whom audiences can laugh, cry and, most importantly, empathize... Read more

Music Review: Songs of Innocence

By which turn of cosmic fate did the two biggest bands in the world people love to hate release albums in the same year? Yes, U2 , with the Apple-aided drop of their new (and ridiculously titled) Songs of Innocence has joined Coldplay. In the past few years, it has almost become de rigeur to trash Coldplay and U2 because of their increasingly generic stadium-rock sound and the various trials and tribulations of their respective lead singers. However, whereas Chris Martin’s group fizzled with the limp Ghost Stories, Bono and the gang have something slightly better. While far from a perfect album, Songs of Innocence is the best U2 album since 1997’s Pop, and a solid, if mildly forgettable, addition to their canon.

When analyzing this album in the future, it will be impossible to think about Songs of Innocence without thinking of it as U2’s “free Apple album... Read more