Happy Thanksgiving

MSMS faculty do their best not to weigh students down with heavy assignments over Thanksgiving break. Just so I know you’re still using your critical faculties, let me know something about the art you see while you’re away from campus. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a book, a movie, or a well put together Thanksgiving Day table, tell me about it: give me images, offer context, give insight into its importance.

Travel safely!

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6 Responses to Happy Thanksgiving

  1. Carter Scaggs says:

    Over the break I watched three movies:

    1) The first movie I saw was “Down By Law” (1986), a film by Jim Jarmusch. The only thing I knew about this movie was that Tom Waits, a musician I recently gotten into, starred in a leading role. Waits’ music is known to reflect the day-to-day tragedies, allure, and overall wildness that takes place in the impoverished parts of society. These themes are strongly reinforced in the movie by both the dirty, black-and-white settings and the miserable states we find our characters coming in and out of (“It is a sad and beautiful world”, one character introduces himself with). The movie itself revolves around an unemployed DJ (Waits), a relatively lenient pimp (John Lurie), and a barely bilingual Italian immigrant (Roberto Benigni) escaping prison together. The movie focuses more on the personalities and dynamic of the three men than it does on the actual escape. This certainly distinguished the film from prison-break movies and made it more enjoyable, although I personally felt the immigrant hogged most of the characterization. I also could not help from feeling bored at times at the lack of forwarding plot. Nonetheless, I loved the movie’s atmosphere, writing, sense of humor, and performances, so I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys artsy fartsy films or Waits’ music.

    2) The second movie I watched with my family: “The Killer” (2023) by David Fincher. I only other movie I had seen by Fincher was “The Social Network” (2010), which I really liked, so I expected this one to be at least decent. “The Killer” consists of Michael Fassbender going to an exotic location, listening to The Smiths, having edgy inner dialogue, and eventually killing somebody. I loved it. There is some kind of theme about what we should seek to accomplish in our short lives, but honestly, I found the humor, mystery, and action too distracting for me to dive too much into thought. I think this is the only real problem with the movie, but other than that, it is a delightful action thriller that I would recommend to anyone that doesn’t hate the Smiths.

    3) The final movie I watched was “The Big Lebowski” (1998) by the Coen Brothers. I have seen two of the duo’s drama masterpieces (“Fargo” and “No Country for Old Men”), as well as one of their amusing comedies (“Oh Brother, Where Art Thou”). Much like “Oh, Brother”, I was not rolling on the floor laughing, but I was greatly entertained with “The Big Lebowski”. I would define the Coen Brother’s comedies as movies that get funnier with each viewing, contrasted to one-punchers like “The Naked Gun”. Much like “Down By Law”, “The Big Lebowski” is more about its characters than its plot. The plot itself has so many twists and turns it feels like it should be in a neo-noir movie, but the presence of the iconic “Dude” turns it into a truly unique adventure. The Dude (Jeff Bridges) is the main character of the story and whose freelancing, chill attitude turns the film into a cult classic comedy. The Dude’s hippie-like lifestyle is frequently disturbed by thugs, millionaires, and his frenzied, Vietnam-veteran bowling buddy (John Goodman). I will admit that I enjoyed the movie less than most film freaks do, yet more than some casual viewers would. I would recommend “The Big Lebowski” to anyone that enjoys clever comedy, bowling, or hates the Eagles.

    Additionally, I have somewhat of an embarrassing hobby to admit to. I like to go on rogerebert.com and read reviews after I watch a movie, just to hear what they have to say about it. Sometimes the critics have something to add that I didn’t even know or think about. I try not to let their opinions influence me from liking or disliking something I watched, but I will say that their commentary has made me aware of problems with mainstream cinema. Nonetheless, I know that it is perfectly fine for me and for other people to enjoy something that complete strangers criticized online (their ratings for Barbie and Oppenheimer need to be switched). Anyway, I liked Ebert’s commentary on the “Down By Law” and “The Big Lebowski” and agreed with his ratings. I also liked Brian Tallerico’s review of “The Killer”, although his writing is generally much more cynical and less personal than Ebert’s.

    TL;DR: I watched three movies and read reviews. I enjoyed all the movies and agreed with the reviews.

  2. Darshi says:

    Over the break, I watched the new Hunger Games. The movie was really good, but after the games, it talked more about the personal lives of the characters. The movie would have been better if they told more about the games themselves. The first Hunger Games movie is the best in my opinion.
    I also watched two Bollywood movies. I would rather watch Bollywood than Hollywood movies. They are just better!
    I also did a lot of Black Friday shopping.
    All of these things help take away stress, and who does not like shopping?

  3. Kelvin Pool says:

    Over the break I read, The Spirit Bares Its Teeth, it was a wonderful work of historical fiction in which a transgender man in the Victorian era is able to look into and open the veil in order to communicate with and release spirits. It was a wonderful read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also finished, What We Do In The Shadows, it was a wonderful vampire-themed mock reality show. I have loved binge-watching all five seasons.

  4. priscilla garcia says:

    Over Thanksgiving break, I watched the new Priscilla movie! We decided to watch this movie partially because it’s not every day that a movie comes out with the same name as me, and partially because my family is invested in the life of Elvis and his family, but that’s beside the point. Though this isn’t the first movie to be made about this specific situation (the movie adaptation of Elvis and Me is another one), I still quite enjoyed it. I think the directors did an excellent job of casting the roles, however, I left the theatre somewhat unsatisfied. I didn’t particularly enjoy how they decided to end the movie; it felt unfinished. My mom agreed and said it felt like they ran out of their budget and just decided to end the movie there. In my opinion, that wasn’t the end of Priscilla’s story, and the rest should have been told.

  5. Zuxia Li says:

    Over the thanksgiving break, I was able to get together with my friends from back home and put together a friends giving. Last year we had done something similar, but it was put together by parents. This year; however, everyone was in charge of bringing something to the table. I would say it turned out just the way it was supposed to. We had chicken, green bean casserole, turkey sliders, cookies, mac and cheese, milo’s sweet tea, chocolate pie, etc. Though this was just a small get together, I viewed it as something pretty significant. Last year we were all only just 15 year olds with permits and no car. We were all still dependent on our parents. This year was different. Everyone was able to drive and meet up without having to wait for a ride. We were all able to go to the store and buy whatever we needed to bring, and most importantly, we were able to do this without the parents’ help. I would say this wasn’t just a friends giving, this was kind of symbolic, symbolizing growth, maturity, independence, and most importantly the passage of time. It was a wave of realization that hit me. The realization that time continues no matter what, and you don’t realize it until you look back.

  6. Ramse Jefferson says:

    Over the break, I watched Scott Pilgrim Takes Off. Since coming to this amazing school, I haven’t had a chance to watch anything. Luckily for me, a show featuring everything I loved came out. It had time travel, deep connections, and beautiful fight scenes. I remember, in the final fight scene(sorry, no spoilers), I was at the edge of my seat. The story and animation sucked me in. That is to say, I should work less and watch TV more.

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