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I’m living in a bottle episode

(10/19/20 3:18pm)

Everyone who has watched the 1998 film, “The Truman Show,” has seriously (or maybe not so seriously) considered what it would be like if their life was a TV show. At first, the idea seems ridiculous, but consider this: there is no way to prove that life is not a TV show. Unless an actor playing a friend or family member messes up their lines, a studio light inexplicably falls out of the sky or a poorly-hidden boom microphone is discovered behind a closet door, the show we star in is really no different than reality. 

The best virtual DukeCreate workshops to tune into this fall

(09/16/20 1:05am)

As the Duke community continues to practice social distancing this fall, DukeCreate will offer free workshops in a wide range of arts practices, including dance, visual art, music, film and creative technology. These online workshops are open to students, faculty and staff of all skill levels and backgrounds. Whether you “Zoom” in from the safety of your home, your apartment or even your childhood bedroom, DukeCreate encourages its participants to develop a wide range of creative skills in a welcoming group setting.

'Screening Race' examines how we educate youth about cultural issues

(09/16/20 12:52am)

Organized by the Cinematic Arts at Duke, Screen/Society is a beloved film programming body in the Triangle area. Their most recent presentation on Sep. 4, “Screening Race: Short Films of the 1960s & 1970s,” examined how educational, non-theatrical films portrayed race in classrooms, churches and community centers all across America.

'Anytown, USA: Quarantine' documents everyday people in the face of change

(08/24/20 4:00am)

This past March, the student filmmakers of Anytown, USA, a continuing education class at the Center for Documentary Studies, were scheduled to travel to the small eastern North Carolina town of Windsor. They were directed to explore the town, become acquainted with its residents and share an intimate story based on their observations. However, as the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic loomed over America and the quarantine mandate postponed their trip to Windsor, the filmmakers were constrained to their immediate environment – their family, friends and local communities – for inspiration. 

Netflix's 'Hollywood' is not as progressive as it wants to be

(06/07/20 5:37am)

As each day of the coronavirus pandemic passes by, I find myself gravitating toward classic Hollywood movies, imagining what life would be like on the silver screen rather than behind my computer screen. For the past few months, I’ve been conditioned to seek comfort in the escapist fantasies of the post-war media I consume instead of confronting the realities around me, especially since my plans for the near future are completely up in the air.

On the Pooh Pathology Test

(02/27/20 5:00am)

I loved the Winnie the Pooh franchise as a kid, and I readily consumed any toys, clothes and VHS tapes I could get my hands on. When my family and I visited Disney World for the first time, I dragged them over to the Winnie the Pooh-themed ride. I instantly became fascinated with the talking animatronics and heaps of fluorescent honey that decorated every corner of the attraction. 

Brooks Frederickson’s interactive audio installation asks us how we consume music

(01/16/20 5:05am)

If you peer into the glass windows connecting the Rubenstein Arts Center to the outside world, you might notice an arrangement of six armchairs, each connected to its own pair of headphones and microphones, facing outward into an otherwise open space. The stripped-back presentation of the Ruby’s newest installation might seem underwhelming at first, but there is more to this room than meets the eye. The real magnitude of this unique aesthetic experience becomes clear only when you step inside and start to listen.

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ is both a campy musical comedy and a cautionary tale

(09/29/19 4:02am)

There are few title sequences that top the opening to the 1986 film “Little Shop of Horrors.” The scrolling bold text across a starry night sky and the fanfare of rock organ and electric piano blatantly spoofs the opening crawl from the Star Wars films. The narrator reminds me of Bobby Pickett, the comedian who sang the novelty Halloween hit, “Monster Mash,” and he introduces the film with these enigmatic words: