Opinions, Opinions: Installment One

Read what Chloe, Virginia, Jessica, Jane, and Rachel think about various movies, books, and albums, both new and old!

Movies

Pecker (1998)

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Living up to the opening song, Pecker (Edward Furlong) is a happy go lucky guy, a street photographer snapped up by the art world and flung into a life of superstardom, very far away from his Baltimore-bred misfits. As is routine there’s a crazy ensemble of characters ranging from a thief to lesbian strippers. A flurry of 50s rockabilly and trailer trash costumes add the well-known John Waters charm we all worship, definitely living up to his statement ‘life is nothing if you’re not obsessed’, a testament to his continued passion for his hometown. Furlong is charming as Pecker, a true down to earth dude with an eye for the ordinary (and his Laundromat owning girlfriend Shelley) and Little Chrissy is the sugar obsessed sister we wish we all had. Pecker is Waters’ usual dose of perverted comedy with extra ‘Cheese!’ (yay for puns!)

-Chloe

Waitress (2007)

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I will watch absolutely anything Keri Russell is in. Seriously if you haven’t already you should marathon The Americans first season before the second starts in twenty days. But before that you should watch Waitress (and Felicity if you haven’t watched that either but only if you promise to choose Noel.) As you may have guessed from the title Keri Russell plays a waitress named Jenna in a small town, terribly unhappy in her marriage, and unexpectedly pregnant. She is also a genius at making pies; she creates and names the pies based on whatever is going in her life. Bad baby pie, I hate my husband pie, kick in the pants pie, and falling in love chocolate mouse pie are just a few Jenna makes in the film. Throughout the film we get to see Jenna work towards happiness by analyzing her marriage, her friendships, and what she ultimately wants from life through entries in her baby journal.

-Jessica

Music

Static – Cults (2013)

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Following their 2011 self-titled album, indie rock band Cults released their follow up Static, unveiling the personal breakup of members Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion. The album’s first upbeat track, “I Can Hardly Make You Mine” sounds like the beginning of a tale of unrequited love. Follin sings, “Well I know you’re not the one or the only, but we both know what it’s like to be lonely”. Pulling on this string of desperation, the track sets the tone for Static. The rest of the album employs slow tunes to evoke a dreamy, Sofia Coppola-esque vibe. “We’ve Got It” sounds like it was pulled straight from a 1960’s French film, while “Shine a Light” exudes a nostalgic, longing tone. “High Road” makes for a minimalistic track complete with a driving guitar riff. Follin and Oblivion leave the listener almost glad that their breakup occurred- post hearing the result of it.

-Virginia

Books

The End by Anders Nilsen

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The End is a graphic novel created by Anders Nilsen about confronting the death of his wife. In the novel, Nilsen shows imaginary scenes of him talking to his wife, as well as scenes of him talking to a Godlike figure about his wife’s death. Nilsen uses detail in his drawings sparingly, a much different approach than other comic book artists. My favourite Nilsen technique is when he layers his simple drawings on pictures of valleys, lakes, and outer space, this technique can also be seen in his book Monologues For Calculating The Density of Black Holes. He uses his drawings not to show us the physical attributes of his characters, all of them are the same basic size and shape, but to give us emotional information that couldn’t be given through speech bubbles, by changing the character’s posture or drawing their head in their hands, for example. I admire Nilsen’s style because his story is still incredibly effective and emotional even though he tells it mostly with speech bubbles and simple drawings.

– Rachel D.

I Think I Am In Friend Love With You by Yumi Sakugawa

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The Southern-California based artist Yumi Sakugawa’s viral web comic “I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You” is now a physical book, and it’s the sweetest thing in the world. Through her beautiful illustrations and apt telling of friend-crushes turning into something more, Sakugawa paints a familiar, heartwarming picture of how we approach friendship in this digital age. From favoriting tweets and reblogging posts to sharing book and music recommendations, her characters show how real this kind of love is and the best ways to express it. You know when you find an awesome person on the Internet or IRL and you just want them to think you’re great too? And you know how it’s the best feeling ever when you find out they feel the same way? Reading Sakugama’s book makes me feel like that is happening all over again, and it reminds of my favorite friend-loves.

SIDE NOTE: I’ve read it ~15 times, and I think I am in wannabe-friend-love with Yumi Sakugawa

-Jane M.

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