The independent news organization of Duke University



Where to start with twee pop this Valentine’s Day

When it comes time to assemble Valentine’s Day-themed playlists every year, I’m often struck at just how easy it is to ascribe “love song” status to nearly any piece of pop music: Love, heartbreak and all their variations probably account for a good 50 percent of pop — from “Be My Baby” all the way down to “thank u, next” — and for the rest, it isn’t too difficult to draw the line.

"You" originally premiered on Lifetime Sept. 9, but moved to Netflix Dec. 26.

Does 'You' normalize gender violence or criticize harmful romance tropes?

If you’ve seen one romantic comedy, you’ve seen them all. The genre’s tropes are well-known: There’s the misunderstood brooding male love interest, the quirky yet loveable female heroine we can’t help but root for, the dowdy best friend whose main plot point is to encourage the heroine until she gives in to the hero’s strange quirks and learns to love him anyway.

Barry Berger, former director of folk and traditional arts for the National Endowment of the Arts, and photographer discuss their work at the kickoff event for the documentary initiative.

Duke Arts and NC Arts Council's documentary initiative supports traditional artists

In the 1970s, a recent Duke graduate named George Holt — who is now director of performing arts and film programs at the NC Museum of Art — organized one of North Carolina’s first folk festivals on Duke’s campus. With the help of Holger Nygard, a former Duke professor of folklore and medieval literature who passed away in 2015, Holt expanded his scope and formed a folk festival that would eventually become the Festival for the Eno, which still takes place annually at the Eno River State Park.

Girlpool released their third studio album, "What Chaos Is Imaginary," Feb. 1.

'What Chaos Is Imaginary' highlights Girlpool's metamorphosis

Girlpool have already outgrown the minimalism that both elevated and plagued their first album. Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker stripped their debut “Before The World Was Big” down to its most barebones components in an attempt to expose their imperfections. The effort was sometimes clumsy, sometimes earnest and always teenage in its self-sabotaging expression of vulnerability.


A loss for words

I’ve had to do an egregious amount of writing in the last few weeks. Not that much writing for Recess, admittedly, but writing for classes, internships, scholarships and the like.

'Bedlam' director Ken Rosenberg and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Sundance 2019: Q&A with 'Bedlam' director Ken Rosenberg and BLM founder Patrisse Cullors

Millions of Americans struggle with mental health-related illnesses every year, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, but many individuals are not fully aware of the workings of the mental health system. The haunting documentary, “Bedlam,” which just premiered at Sundance, marks a unique opportunity to shed light on this crisis to the masses. 

Lucrecia's Martel's "Zama" was screened at the Rubenstein Arts Center Jan. 14.

'Zama' and the ethics of representing colonialism

Listed by more than a few reputable publications as one of the best movies of the year, Lucrecia Martel’s “Zama” has received praise by the bucketful. The film was screened Jan. 14 at the Rubenstein Arts Center and was introduced by Dr. Keiji Kunigami, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Romance Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. 

The Backstreet Boys released their ninth studio album "DNA" Jan. 25.

Backstreet's back: 'DNA' fails to live up to '90s nostalgia

For years, late '90s nostalgia seemed to litter modern media, from a resurgence of butterfly hair clips and cargo pants to a new obsession over '90s brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Birkenstocks. This love for '90s culture has extended its grasp into the music industry through the newest Ariana Grande music video, “thank u, next,” filled with cult classic film allusions and artists like Iggy Azalea wearing “Clueless” outfits.