The Oberlin Review

Black Mirror’s Abyss Stares Back

Black Mirror’s Abyss Stares Back

October 28, 2016

Science fiction has always been fascinated by the cost of progress. Legendary genre writer Isaac Asimov’s pioneering I, Robot explored the murky line between artificial intelligence and humanity, proving that some of our deepest fears can be extracted by plumbing the uncanny valley. Black Mirror, Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ Twilight Zone-esque television show examining that Asimovian divide, uses chillingly plausible technological advancements to paint visions of futures gone awry. Bett...

Bechdel Returns to Oberlin to Talk “Fun Home”

Bechdel Returns to Oberlin to Talk “Fun Home”

October 7, 2016

Editor's note: This article contains mentions of suicide as well as spoilers for the graphic novel and musical Fun Home. Of all the brilliant lines from Fun Home, the stage musical based on the autobiographical graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, OC ’81, one in particular might resonate with Oberlin students. “It’s not the world, anyways,” proclaims a character modeled after a college-aged Bechdel. “It’s Oberlin College.” Bechdel, one of Oberlin’s most famous alumni, is lauded as a cartoonist,...

Overwrought Narrative Fills “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” With Air

Christian Bolles, Arts Editor

October 7, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Editor’s note: This review contains mentions of violence against children and minor spoilers. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the latest reminder of Tim Burton’s spotty history with film. Responsible for an impressive array of beloved classics including Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas and the underappreciated Sweeney Todd, the director’s genius nonetheless can get away from itself. In works like Planet of the Apes and Alice in Wonderland, his singular vision was clouded by a lack of focus, tending toward visual chaos over in-depth exploration of individual aspects of the world and leaving characters by the wayside. His best works prove that somewhere out there must be a creative climat...

Eastwood’s Sully Sheds New Light on Historic Event

Eastwood’s Sully Sheds New Light on Historic Event

September 30, 2016

There are few industry veterans more seasoned than Clint Eastwood. The legendary actor and director has delivered many winning examples of both trades, taking part in over 50 films since his career took off in 1959 with his appearance on the television show Rawhide. Known in equal parts for grit and artistry, Eastwood’s legacy will endure as myth in the world of filmmaking. Though his last film, American Sniper, garnered mixed reactions from critics and general audiences, his most recent effort, Sul...

Archaeology, Storytelling Converge in “Discovering Dave”

Archaeology, Storytelling Converge in “Discovering Dave”

September 23, 2016

When enslaved master potter David Drake first rendered his signature in clay in early 19th-century South Carolina, he knew that the product bearing his mark would endure. However, he might not have guessed that nearly 200 years later, his pots would still be on the market. Out of the estimated 60,000 to 80,000 pieces he made during his lifetime, only a small fraction have been discovered. However, those few, known among the archaeological community as “Dave Jars,” have helped scholars piece toge...

Program Cuts Leave Film Students with Questions

Program Cuts Leave Film Students with Questions

September 16, 2016

The Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman Cinema Studies Center for Media Education and Production stands severely understaffed, support for senior capstones has been pulled and tensions between the Cinema Studies program and the College administration forecast a potentially bleak future for a program that attracts more student interest than it has the resources to maintain. Faced with growing concerns about the program’s ability to meet its students’ needs in the wake of losing the key position of F...

‘Star Trek’ Boldly Went Where Too Few Have Followed

September 16, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Sept. 8 marked the 50th anniversary of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek: The Original Series’ television release. Spanning seven TV series and 13 feature films, Star Trek has seen plenty of history and made some of its own, advancing social dialogue on race and gender, areas in which Hollywood has struggled to keep up both on and offscreen. Star Trek was produced by Desilu Productions, a company founded by Hollywood icons Lucille Ball and her then-husband Desi Arnaz of I Love Lucy. Ball was Desilu’s sole owner — and the first woman to independently run a major film studio — by the time Roddenberry came calling. Ball’s level of influence in Hollywood was unprecedented for women at the time and uncommon since. She ...

Stop-Motion Finds its Opus in Kubo and the Two Strings

Christian Bolles, Arts Editor

September 9, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

One of the most fervent debates in the sphere of moviemaking involves the value of film as art. For most, it’s understandably difficult to equate a two-hour long barrage of clichés and explosions like Transformers to, say, a Caravaggio. But then there are the movies that elicit emotion by sheer virtue of design, like Mad Max: Fury Road. Though pumped full of adrenaline and packed from beginning to end with screeching metal and unintelligible shouting, the ingenious design behind every frame makes the glorified chase scene into something special. Seeing a character sporting a flaming guitar on the back of a big rig is one thing; knowing that a real person actually held a physical guitar that spouted flame while ri...

Sausage Party Far from Wurst Animated Movie

Christian Bolles, Arts Editor

September 2, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

What makes a cartoon cartoonish? The medium has historically been geared toward children as a digestible, often short-form study in simplicity that gives developing minds a reason to stay engaged and learn valuable lessons. Vibrant colors, over-the-top narratives, and ham-fisted characters are all stereotypical characteristics of this kid-oriented fare. The inherent irony in the art form, of course, is that it’s all made by adults. Grown people who fully understand the concepts of sex, violence and drugs are responsible for the creation of worlds where none of those things exist as anything more than veiled references. Inevitably, however, they sneak in. Ghosts of mature themes are present in almost every cartoon imaginable,...

Children’s Shakespeare Project Brings ‘Hamlet’ to Wilder Main

Children’s Shakespeare Project Brings ‘Hamlet’ to Wilder Main

May 6, 2016

This year may mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, but the Oberlin Children’s Shakespeare Project has set out to make his plays young again. On Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in Wilder Main, the OCSP’s cast of elementary and middle school students will be performing Hamlet, directed by Annie Rasiel, OC ’15, who founded the project during her senior year at Oberlin. “I did children’s theater growing up,” Rasiel said. “I was a weird kid and theater was my refug...

Purvis, Shapiro Aim to Screen Diverse, Unusual Movies in Series

Purvis, Shapiro Aim to Screen Diverse, Unusual Movies in Series

April 29, 2016

Students at the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies’ Hallock Auditorium had the chance to meet Marielle Heller, director of The Diary of a Teenage Girl Tuesday. Released in 2015, Diary was beloved by critics and fans alike; a New York Times Critic’s Pick, the publication called it “gutsy” and “exhilarating.” A screening of the film itself preceded the video question and answer, both organized by the Oberlin Independent Film Series. Diary is an intimate portrait of a 1...

Cast Gives Haunting Performance of “Dido and Aeneas”

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

April 22, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Music, Theater & Film

With the sunset illuminating the stained glass windows of a packed Fairchild Chapel Saturday night, the stage for Dido and Aeneas seemed far removed from the rest of campus life. The opera’s overture, which showcased the baroque instruments used in the performance, immediately transported the audience back in time. The cast of the opera entered in procession and took its place on stage, beginning what was to be an hour of captivating storytelling and a celebration of music and the human voice. The opera, composed in the late 17th century by Henry Purcell with a libretto by Nahum Tate, is a retelling of the fourth book of Virgil’s Aeneid. The story is relatively simple: Aeneas, a Trojan prince, and Dido, the que...

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