The Oberlin Review

Video Installation Desert Blue Gives Audience Chills

Video Installation Desert Blue Gives Audience Chills

February 24, 2012

Antarctica is on average the coldest, driest and windiest continent on Earth, with temperatures reaching -89 °C (-129 °F). Polar deserts, relatively common during ice ages, still make up most of the land’s interior, despite its thick ice cover. But none of this stopped Associate Professor of English and Cinema Studies Program Director Geoff Pingree and Associate Professor of Cinema Studies / New Media Rian Brown-Orso from embarking on a three-week expedition to Earth's southernmost continent...

Pt. 1: What’s Your Position? Topdog/Underdog

Andrew Gombas, Staff Writer

November 11, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Did anyone out there expect this play to be anything less than amazing? Let’s be perfectly honest here. Two of the biggest heavyweights in the Theater department, plus a talented faculty director backed by a wonderfully written play — it's simple mathematics, folks. If you missed it, you should somehow be kicking yourself in the head. Topdog/Underdog follows two African-American brothers named Lincoln and Booth, who are struggling to find their place in the world years after they were abandoned by their parents. Wedged between the two is one brother’s addiction to (and the other’s fascination with) the hustling game three-card Monte. The play is terrifying, heartbreaking, hilarious and ultimately bone-chilling...

Pt. 2: What’s Your Position?: Topdog/Underdog

Erin Amlicke, Staff Writer

November 11, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

“Watch me close, watch me close now: Who-see-thuh-red-card-who-see-thuh-red-card? I-see-thuh-red-card.” Little Theater echoed with these lines as leather-clad Booth, played by College senior Hayden Gilbert, endlessly flipped card over card with the skilled hands of a dealer. The audience was entranced immediately. At two hours and forty-five minutes, last weekend's production ofTopdog/Underdog, directed by Associate Professor of Theater and African American Studies Chair Caroline Jackson Smith, lacked nothing in length, and those who had the patience to sit through it witnessed a nearly flawless piece of live theater. Combining the fun, hilarious and heart-wrenchingly serious, Topdog/Underdog follows the lives of two ...

Waiting for Godot Disappoints with Over-the-Top Antics

Sarp Yavuz, Staff Writer

November 11, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Waiting for Godot is my favorite play. What I witnessed in Wilder Main Space one Saturday night would have made Samuel Beckett roll in his grave. Twice. Taking advantage of the court overruling the Beckett estate’s decision to only have men play Estragon and Vladimir, College senior director Jake Myers featured two female leads and lovers, Estragon (played by College first-year Annie Rasiel) and Vladimir (College first-year Julia Melfi), in Beckett's absurdist drama. As the only artistic license that made sense in the play that Myers described as having queered up, Gogo and Didi’s occasional pecks on the lips made them endearing. So much so that when it first took place, I thought, “Of course they were lov...

Art Departments Collaborate with Gordon Square Arts District

Nancy Roane, Staff Writer

October 14, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Features, Literature & Poetry, Music, Theater & Film, Visual Art

Oberlin College’s departments of Theater, Art and Dance are collaborating with the Gordon Square Arts District located in Cleveland’s west side. Oberlin students will soon have the opportunity to get involved in art exhibitions, Winter Term projects and other artistic programs from the neighboring city of Cleveland. The Gordon Square Arts District is an initiative that has worked since 2006 to bring economic and artistic development to an area in Cleveland previously in decay. The three founding partners of GSAD are Cleveland Public Theatre, Near West Theatre and the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization. With the goal of sparking economic development and job creation, the GSAD works to bring arts...

Theater Preview Must-See: Play It Again, Sam

Andrew Gombas, Staff Writer

October 14, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

The insanity of Woody Allen is gracing the Little Theater stage this weekend in the production of his classic comedy Play It Again, Sam. The director, gifted College senior Sam Abrams, makes a distinct departure from the style of her last show in this self-conscious gut-buster featuring an all-star cast of longtime Oberlin theater vets, as well as a few newbies. The show follows cinephile Allan Felix (College senior Andy Sold), who is maniacally attempting to sort out his love life after his wife Nancy (College junior Karyn Todd) leaves him because of his many Woody Allen-esque flaws. What ensues is a whirlwind of sex, lies and aspirin, as Allan takes advice from his corporate best friend Dick (College junior Alex Kot...

Darwinii: The Comeuppance of Man

Joelle Lingat

October 7, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

The lights in Warner Main were dim with scarlet beams of color reflecting off the eager faces of the audience. The usually large, open space was condensed in the center as three rows of seats bordered each side of a narrow red carpet to set the intimate stage for Darwinii: The Comeuppance of Man, which ran last Friday to Sunday. At 8 p.m. sharp, the audience was suddenly enveloped in darkness. Heavy steps boomed through the room. These were not the steps of regular, everyday shoes: They were the defiant strides of boots — cowboy boots, to be exact. The blinding brightness of the sudden switch of the lights revealed Cristobal, our heroic lead played by Brett Keyser (as was every character in the production), the pers...

Kevin Smith’s New Horror Movie Is Thoroughly Mediocre: No One Is Shocked

Andrew Gombas, Staff Writer

September 30, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

“It’s gonna get, ah… grown-up in here.” So speaks psychotic preacher Reverend Abin Cooper (Michael Parks) before unleashing a whole lot of backwoods fundamentalist horror upon three unsuspecting teenagers in Kevin Smith’s new, decidedly unfunny film, Red State. Those of you who are already familiar with the film have probably heard of it due to the great deal of controversy it created with its shaky release. Kevin Smith, known for his filthy, hilarious comedies (Dogma, Clerks, Mallrats), shocked audiences when he announced that he was in the process of releasing a straight horror film. He then confused them further by announcing that he was going to auction the rights to the film off before releasing it...

Contagion Equal Parts Traumatic and Titillating

Andrew Gombas, Staff Writer

September 23, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Do not go see Contagion. Yes, it has an all-star cast that delivers, an illegal-download-worthy soundtrack, an excellent script, fluid editing and seemingly accurate science to back up the plot. However, it also has the capacity to turn you into the next Howard Hughes, hiding in a sterile hotel room covered in plastic and peeing into a jar for fear of contracting a deadly virus. In all seriousness, this movie is genuinely terrifying. It is perfectly clear that the creators of this film went to great lengths to make it (at least appear) scientifically and socially accurate, and it pays off. Contagionfollows five characters, each of whom is deeply impacted by an extremely transmittable, extremely fatal disease that is ...

Shark Night 3-D: An American Classic For All Ages

Andrew Gombas, Staff Writer

September 16, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

We've all been asking ourselves, whatever happened to the visionary director of Homeward Bound II: Lost In San Francisco and Snakes on a Plane? Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is my profound pleasure to inform you that David Ellis is back with his magnum opus, Shark Night 3-D (originally titled Untitled 3-D Shark Thriller). You will be pleased to know that no fewer than seven different species of shark find their way onto the big screen in this film to devour preppy college students in a variety of interesting ways. All of this, I might add, in the third dimension. The story follows pre-med student Nick, who is invited by his tutoring charge, football hero Malik, to spend an idyllic shark-free weekend part...

Flora the Explorer Fails to Strike Gold

EJ Dickson, Arts Editor

May 13, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Music, Theater & Film

In some respects, the plot of Flora the Red Menace, a musical by Fred Ebb and alum John Kander, OC ’51, bears striking similarities to that of another work by an Oberlin alum: film wünderkind/Judd Apatow favorite Lena Dunham’s, OC ’08, Tiny Furniture. Both feature female protagonists who have just graduated from Oberlin College, and both works depict the post-grad job search during uncertain economic times. Yet Floraand Tiny Furniture differ in one crucial respect: UnlikeTiny Furniture, Flora does not feature a scene in which the protagonist has unprotected butt sex in a construction site. Although I shudder to think of the up-tempo musical number that would have followed afterward, the inclusion of ...

Branagh’s Thor Has Soft Hammer

Rachel Luczkowski

May 13, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

For a movie featuring a studly spaceman with a magical hammer and rainbow bridges connecting universes, Kenneth Branagh’s Thor is rather unremarkable. Although the film contains all of the elements of a solid, action-packed superhero movie, they didn't come together in a consistently fun or interesting way. The film actually consists of two separate, radically distinct movies. In one respect, Thor is a beautiful, almost Shakespearean tale set in Asgard, the mystical realm from which our hero (Chris Hemsworth) hails. In this movie, Odin banishes Thor from Asgard due to his impatience to go to war with a neighboring realm, resulting in strained relations between father and son. Thor’s brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston),...

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