The Oberlin Review

Weinstein Scandal Representative of Deeper Dynamics

Christian Bolles, Editor-in-Chief

November 10, 2017

“They knew.” That’s a mantra oft-repeated by the public in response to the cascade of celebrities who have denounced their colleagues following a cataclysmic domino effect of assault allegations made over the past month. Accusations of harassment, rape, and all-around creepiness leveled at Hollywood director Harvey Weinstein were the first cracks in the industry’s golden façade — which has now shattered beneath the weight of hundreds of similar claims aimed at other titans of that breeding ground of fame and misfortune. In the hugely disturbing wake of this scandal, sharp words have been exchanged, tears have been shed, and giants have fallen — but the question at the tip of everyone’s tongues, right ...

Nanjiani’s Big Sick Defies Genre Conventions

Jordan Joseph, Contributing Writer

September 1, 2017

The Big Sick, which trailers present as a sickly-sweet romantic comedy with a Pakistani-American protagonist, is currently one of the highest grossing independent films of the year — and for good reason. While the trailer might draw viewers into the theater, beneath its tightly-packaged exterior, The Big Sick is so much more. The film, a mostly autobiographical narrative written by Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon, follows Kumail (played by Nanjiani) as he reconciles budding comedic fame with getting older. Kumail comes from a traditional Pakistani family that expects him to marry a Pakistani woman, so Kumail’s mother sets off to find a wife for her son in her own way. Much to Kumail’s chagrin, this inv...

‘Hail, Caesar!’ a Joyride through the ’50s

Christian Bolles, Columnist

February 19, 2016

Few feelings are more satisfying than those incited when viewing a piece of entertainment that pays tribute to its own medium. Films like Hugo, books like Inkheart and games like The Beginner’s Guide occupy a special place in the annals of their respective crafts because they represent a purpose that steps outside of pure spectacle, referencing the basis on which they’re built to say something unique about the nature of their existence. Hail, Caesar! is one of these pieces, placing the viewer in the shoes of a ’50s movie mogul bent on finishing the titular film no matter what. Yet the basis for Hail goes deeper, for at its absolute core, this is a Coen Brothers movie. It bears the same tone, flies the same narra...

By Ignoring Parallels with Present, Audiences Undercut Black Retellings of History

Editorial Board

February 13, 2015

Fresh from the success of a powerful Winter Term production that filled Hall Auditorium last weekend, members of the cast of Dessa Rose reunited Wednesday for one final performance, this time before a markedly different audience: minimum-security inmates at Grafton Correctional Institution. “I cannot tell you how much [more] this one shortened sing thru version of the show meant to me than any of our performances combined,” wrote College sophomore and lead actress Tiffany Ames in a Facebook post. “More than any show I’ve ever done.” That the musical would take on new meaning in the context of prison should be no surprise. For some of those who took seats in Hall last weekend, however, the story’s contemporary politi...

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