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Recess | Culture

"The Favourite" follows scullery maid Abigail and Lady Sarah Marlborough as they compete for Queen Anne's affections.
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Personal rivalries become political in 'The Favourite'

Director and auteur Yorgos Lanthimos has captured the attention of critics for his audaciously peculiar imagery and unorthodox storytelling. His repertoire includes “Dogtooth,” “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” and “The Lobster,” films that have split the opinion of viewers. Some call his work clinical and unrelatable, while others praise it as fresh and iconoclastic. 


Chinese Novelist Yan Lianke, author of "The Day the Sun Died," pictured in 2010.
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Novelist Yan Lianke underlines Nobel Prize ambitions in 'The Day the Sun Died'

 Larry Moneta’s recent comments concerning China were heavily debated among Duke students, but they also revealed a much larger truth: Chinese culture is still a foreign world for most Americans, though more and more Americans now recognize China as a country worthy of their business interests. The language barrier is often perceived to be too large; therefore, its literature tends to receive only sparse attention.


"Krampus" tells the tale of the Engel family and their battle with an ancient spirit who punishes those who have lost the Christmas spirit.
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Making the case for 'Krampus' as a modern holiday classic

For the most part, my family’s taste in Christmas entertainment is laughably generic. We listen to the holiday radio station and soldier through a thousand wincingly pitchy covers of “Jingle Bell Rock” in the hopes of catching Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s rendition of “Carol of the Bells.” 


Stan Lee, creator of numerous popular Marvel comic book characters, died Nov. 12.
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Remembering Stan Lee, Marvel titan

When I was young, I was obsessed with my dad’s action figures. He had worked at a comic book store during graduate school, and the memorabilia he collected during his employment now covered nearly every flat surface in our spare room, where I would sit on the floor playing with the Spidermans and Silver Surfers.


Marielle Heller's "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" follows unemployed biographer Lee Israel as she attempts to regain her former success.
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‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ evokes sympathy for estranged author Lee Israel

In Marielle Heller’s film “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” 90s era Manhattan possesses a melancholy that seemed to seep out of its very being. In an ever-damp and ever-cloudy setting, we are introduced to the now-unemployed Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy), a foul-mouthed and cynical writer known for her biographies of Dorothy Kilgallen and Estee Lauder. The film is an adaptation of the real Lee Israel’s terminal publication by the same name, one that she published late in her career before succumbing to cancer.  


Mumford & Sons, pictured performing in 2012, released their fourth studio album "Delta" Nov. 16.
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Mumford & Sons show little change on the sprawling 'Delta'

I sat in the back row of the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, N.J., steady rain showering the fans on the lawn behind me. Marcus Mumford had been pouring his soul into the brooding climax of “White Blank Page” when dark clouds rolled overhead and thunder and lightning sent the band running offstage. For 45 minutes the storm repeatedly teased its retreat until, finally, the sky parted. As quickly as they had left, the band returned to the stage and, as the last sunlight of the day peeked through the grey, Mumford & Sons launched into their soaring anthem “Lover of the Light.”