Too Much Love or Not Enough?

Special to The Chronicle

Selma Special to The Chronicle

I’m not going to lie to you guys. I woke up bright and early Thursday morning in order to see the Academy Award nominations the moment they came out. Was it a bit unnecessary? Sure. Do I regret it? Not one bit. From the moment I laid eyes on the fortunate few who will have a shot at Oscar Gold on Feb. 22, I knew we would have a competitive year at hand. Still, the Academy finds a way year after year to surprise me with unexpected contenders and, unfortunately, undeserved snubs. So, from one critic to another, here are some of the biggest shockers of 2015.

Where’s the love for Selma?

Selma, the biopic centered on the Martin Luther King Jr’s campaign to secure equal voting rights through multiple marches from Selma to Montgomery was highly popular this year with both critics and moviegoers. Though the film obtained a Best Picture nomination, David Oyelowo’s layered performance as the civil rights leader was considered a sure thing for his showing of the reverend's charisma, self-doubt, flaws and indomitable strength... Read more

Trust or Bust: 2015 TV Predictions

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

Ah, there’s nothing like the smell of new shows in the morning. Well, except napalm maybe. The new year has finally begun, so we are guaranteed an array of TV show premieres, from quirky comedies to tense thrillers. But be wary, my dear friends, for similar to the fall, plenty of these supposedly enthralling entities are likely to have short-lived seasons and get the unfortunate axe before they ever get into a groove. So, today, I hope to go out on a limb and predict the fate of the upcoming spectacles.

Marvel’s Agent Carter

Special to The Chronicle

To be honest, I struggled to get into Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD... Read more

Winter Concert Preview

Georgia Parke / The Chronicle

Week of 1/19-1/25: Dexter Romweber—1/21 at The Pinhook

· Rockabilly guru Romweber returns to the Triangle Area in what is sure to be an excellent time. Romweber blends country, rock and bluegrass, and his shows are notable for their high intensity and fun vibes. Romweber will be joined by musicians Melissa Swingle and Reese McHenry.

Week of 1/26-2/1: Parquet Courts—1/26 at Kings Barcade

· Parquet Courts is currently on tour promoting their two new albums released in 2014. The Brooklyn band has been acclaimed for their songwriting, and Kings Barcade should prove to be a wonderfully intimate venue for their brand of rock.

Five must-read Recess stories of 2014

Special to the Chronicle

Special to the Chronicle

Recess 2014 saw it all—Afro-Cuban legends, demon babies, Zadie Smith, D.C. punk and much more. Here are five stories chosen by Recess Editor Katie Fernelius that you should make sure you read before breaking in the new year of art and culture at Duke.

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What Recess Is Thankful For in 2014

Special to The Chronicle

Groot Special to The Chronicle

Every year, the arts offer up a wealth of awesome culture that is both fun and edifying. 2014 was no exception. Here are some things that happened in 2014 for which Recess is thankful.

  • Taylor Swift’s excellent, ear-wormy and hater-defying new album 1989
  • Reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch on hot summer days outside
  • True Detective for revitalizing the detective show
  • The McConnaisance in general. Seriously, how good was Matthew McConaughey’s 2014? With True Detective, Interstellar and his Oscar-winning turn in Dallas Buyers Club, he dominated the cultural conversation... Read more

Reflection on "Appropriate or Appropriation: Native American fashion show"

Izzi Clark / The Chronicle

As consumers, we tend to make our purchase decisions based on little more than what the hottest trend is, failing to see that as a result of this simple mindset, we often wear and display cultural symbols in an inappropriate way. When fashion designers commodify cultural or religious symbols, they cross the fine line between inspiration and cultural appropriation.

It’s everywhere, but it’s nowhere. What Urban Outfitters’ called a “vintage 90s linen dress” turned out to be directly reminiscent of Ethiopian ritual wear. What they launched as its line of “Navajo” items in 2011, including “Navajo” patterns on underwear and socks, turned out to be not Navajo patterns at all. That same year, Lisa Blue’s interpretation of the swimsuit, featuring a print of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, crossed the boundary into not only cultural misappropriation but also sacrilege... Read more

The Magic Bean: Searching for the Best Coffee at Duke Pt. 1

Jesús Hidalgo / The Chronicle

Landon Pigg once fell in love at a coffee shop. So did I. It was an early Tuesday morning when I stumbled into Smith Warehouse. Bay 6 was completely empty, and I had an hour to kill before class. As I made myself comfortable on the soft couches, two vending machines towered over me. I hadn’t eaten breakfast, but nothing inside the glass cages looked appetizing. I’d about eaten my weight in Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts in just my first semester back, and I craved something different, something substantial. I stood up and began to explore.

After walking past a number of offices, I finally struck gold--a cafe. The fresh chocolate and blueberry muffins stared at me from behind the counter, and it wasn’t until the barista called me over that I realized that I’d fallen into line. The cash register came to life as she typed in my order–one beautiful slice of mouthwatering marble cake. Just as I prepared to swipe my good ol’ food points card, she asked what I would like to drink... Read more

Recess sits down Jukebox the Ghost

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

I arrived at the Pinhook–where Jukebox the Ghost would later blow away the audience with an intense and energetic set–with my friend Andrew around 7:30pm. I had been told to call Jukebox the Ghost’s tour manager, Gabe McNatt, upon arriving. My first phone call to him rang several times before going to voicemail. I glanced up and down the line of people waiting outside the venue to see this band. It made me smile to think that a band like Jukebox the Ghost, so rooted in quirky, indie pop, could gain such a steadfast following.

Within a few minutes, Gabe returned my call and told us to come meet them at Eddie’s Cue, a local barbeque restaurant a few blocks away. Andrew and I trekked over to the restaurant and were led to their table by a hostess. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the band after watching their undeniably fun, but slightly odd, concert banter on YouTube, but we were greeted with warm handshakes from the three people that were there: Jesse Kristin, their drummer, Ben Thornewill, the lead singer and piano player, and Gabe... Read more

The man of one face: a Keanu Reeves retrospective

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

With the recent release of the Rotten Tomatoes' "Certified Fresh" action-thriller John Wick, many seem to be asking if Keanu Reeves is back. The polarizing yet money-making machine will be put to the test in this article to determine if, in fact, he is returning to former glory or if his critics are correct in emphasizing his lack of acting abilities. In order to do so, we must delve into the heart and mind of the time-traveling, red-pill-blue-pill, back-breaking, speedster that is Keanu Reeves.

Keanu Reeves did not always dream of movie stardom. Originally, he struggled a great deal with schooling as a result of his dyslexia, and thus the Canada native dreamed of becoming a prominent hockey player. Unfortunately, a career-ending injury sent him spiraling down another path, one even he had never expected: acting... Read more

The Sinner, The Sitcom and The Savior

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

Autumn has kicked into full swing, and my grades have steadily declined as a result of ridiculous hours spent in front of a television screen. My mind is fixated on TV, and, as such, I find it important to consider the innovative, unique spectacles soon to be released. Sure, one could argue that there’s way too much TV out there already that makes it impossible to add any more shows to one’s palate, but I ignore said naysayers. There is always room for more TV. Simply drop that unnecessary Phys-Ed class or abandon your community service requirements: you have more important obligations to attend to. So today I bring you three soon-to-be modern classics in an age of way too many modern classics.

Devious Contracts

Ulrich Ultano, a peasant scarred from watching his parents endure the hardships of poverty and vulnerability, has sworn to never again suffer. The show chronicles our anti-hero’s rise from destitution to the highest ranks in his kingdom... Read more