Review Category : Arts

Film Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Perhaps Mockingjay Part 1’s greatest flaw lies right in the name itself. The film is part tragedy, part romance and part incomplete. The film adapts the first half of the final installment in Suzanne Collins’ young adult series, The Hunger Games, which depicts the fictional country of Panem, a dystopian world where resources are scarce and children are forced to kill each other in annual televised death matches. The film follows a similar trend adopted by other franchises, including Harry Potter and Twilight, in splitting the last book into two consecutive films. However, like Mockingjay, these books are already entire tales within themselves. Mockingjay Part 1 comes across overall as uneventful and lacking in excitement, and serves as a prime example on how final books are not meant to be two tales in one, but one complete story. Mockingjay Part 1 begins shortly after Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), former Hunger Games winner and face of a burgeoning rebellion against the Capitol, escapes from her second time in the games. After... ...

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AggieAngelous

ThePoetry-ThePoets&ThePoetesses ThePoetry “Evenly-winged Eyeliner is a State of Mind and I am in it” By Iris Bloomfield I am summer déjà vu. Honeysuckle dewdrop. I love like a wizened child. ;I; weaver of weather, deceiver of never, hold my arms out to you who would dance with cyclones and kiss lightning unto the earth. It is okay if you are afraid. I too, have fear. I am drunk with it. Fear softens me. I drink its potency and dance— because to dance with fear is to have courage. So let us drink in our worst days, or greet them like solemn bastard handshakes And celebrate their passing like floats on parade. Remember the orange slice smile! Remember the love that loves you despite you! Because you are my breath, and I breathe despite death. I want you to remember who you are beyond your to-do lists, work hours and relationship problems. I want you to sit me down, shove a mug of tea in my face and tell me why you’re beautiful and why no-one can take that... ...

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UC Davis offered the chance to discover “Roots of Inspiration”

  On Saturday, TEDxUCDavis will be hosting its first salon of the year from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tickets will be $5 for Davis students and $7 for non-students. TEDxUCDavis is an independently organized version of the globally-renowned TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conferences. TED Conferences, popularized by the release of “TED Talks” online (many of which are available via Netflix and Youtube), are based around the simple premise of sharing ideas. Speakers are allotted a maximum of 18 minutes to share their ideas and perspectives on a nearly unlimited range of topics. Sam Hodges, a fourth-year film studies major, attested to the effectiveness of the viral speeches. “[The speakers and format] make TED Talks very engaging,” Hodges said. “Our generation can have a very short attention span and [some of the topics covered in TED Conferences] can get dry very quickly, but the speakers [at TED events] are both knowledgeable and charismatic.” TEDxUCDavis features a similar format, but with a focus on themes that are more specifically suited for the... ...

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UC Davis Symphony Orchestra presents “Love, Death, and Pranks”

The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra (UCDSO) will be presenting its fall concert, “Love, Death, and Pranks” at the Mondavi Center’s Jackson Hall on Saturday at 7 p.m. The concert will be conducted by Christian Baldini, music director of UCDSO, and will feature a variety of works from Europe’s romantic era. The concert is set to showcase four composers from the Austro-Germanic tradition. The program will begin with an overture to Mozart’s Idomeneo, followed by Gustav Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, Richard Wagner’s Vorspiel und Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde and end with Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche. Alexander Stepans, a fourth-year music and political science double major, has been playing the horn for the orchestra since his first year at UC Davis. Stepans will be performing a big horn solo in Till Eulenspiegels, a tone poem, which describes the story of Till Eulenspiegel, a figure in German folklore. Although he has performed the solo several times for auditions, this will be Stepans’ first time performing it in concert. “Till Eulenspiegels has... ...

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Artsweek

MUSIC   Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Nov. 18, 8 p.m., prices vary Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts Grammy-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield will lead the 18-piece New Orlean Jazz Orchestra through New Orleans musical classics and works by Basie and Ellington. There will be a 7 p.m. pre-performance talk in Jackson Hall.   Instagon with Suzuki Junzo, Chopstick, and more Nov. 23, 7 p.m., $5 The Morgue, 1919 Wahl Way This house show will feature performances by bands Suzuki Junzo (touring from Japan), Chopstick, Instagon, Mulva Myiasis with the Dutchess and Friends.   ART   Village Homes Arts & Crafts Fair Nov. 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free Village Homes Community Cente, 2661 Portage Bay East This craft fair features woodblock prints, functional pottery, nature artwork, jewelry, paintings, knitted goods, handmade books, beeswax candles and much more. Live music and free hot chocolate / cider will be provided.   Davis Art Salon: Synesthesia Nov. 22, 7 to 9 p.m., free Richard L. Nelson Gallery The... ...

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News in brief: Writing circles for Vagina: OurStories build creativity and community

Preparation for Vagina: OurStories 2015 has begun. Hosted by the Women’s Resources and Research Center (WRRC), Vagina: OurStories is an annual performance that lets the UC Davis community voice its diverse gendered experiences. The production pays homage to Eve Ensler’s play, The Vagina Monologues. To get ready for showtime, the WRRC holds writing circles every Thursday for six weeks. At these circles, writers provide feedback on each other’s pieces, developing their work as much as possible before submitting it for the show. According to Holly Ryborz, Vagina: OurStories producer and a third-year communication student, the circles allow writers to work openly and comfortably together. “The folks who are in the circles tend to be those who understand the need for a safe space and how to be respectful of others as they go through the writing process,” Ryborz said. Along with developing pieces, creating a safe environment is a top priority for the writing circles. For example, writers share their names and preferred gender pronouns before every meeting. Additionally, counselors... ...

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AggieAngelous

ThePoetry-ThePoets&ThePoetesses   The Poetry “How Does it Feel?” By Manjot Bhathal Are you sane now? Disengaged from the world. How does it feel to be so far from the ones you loved? Do you feel happy, or are you feeling numb again Because you said you had enough but feelings still remain. Is the fight over, or are you still fighting to forget? All the things that made you crazy, and all the things that you regret. You would say this is all i want, and this is all i need to end it all now and go peacefully. Tell me now how is that working out? Because you’re not here but left your soul behind. Its trapped in an hour glass with the time ticking by, wishing you had waited, because now there’s more pain inside.   The Poets&ThePoetesses   “How Does it Feel?” by Manjot Bhathal   Second-year student currently in Biochemistry. I don’t know if what I write is good or not, but it comes from the... ...

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Arts Feature: A crash course in UC Davis’s sculptures

On the UC Davis campus, public art is more than just a part of the scenery. Art unifies the campus, inspires myth among the student body and is the result of some very rich history. The majority of the campus’ sculptures are a result of an art-in-public-places campaign by the Nelson Gallery Price Amerson and the UC Davis Fine Arts Collection. “In Davis, students and community are connected to our arts, which is unique for a college campus,” said Rachel Teagle, director of the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. The pieces are the result of the many talented artists who have passed through our university over the years, and their diverse styles match Davis’s quirky atmosphere. “In selecting pieces, we consider what is appropriate to our audience. We pick pieces that reflect our history.” said Teagle. In addition to staying true to the campus’ history, the art is also selected to spark conversation and sometimes, debate. “If nobody is talking about it, it’s probably a [poor]... ...

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Aggie Style Watch

This week ASW roamed the Quad in search of dapper dudes. I looked specifically for male students who appeared to have put some thought and effort into expressing themselves by showcasing their personal style identity through daily dress. As a female design student and long-time fashion maven, I always assumed that men had it much easier than women when it came to putting on clothes in the morning. There are definitely students who put little effort into getting an outfit together to go to class, but I’ve found that being on a college campus changes the context of dress. We, as college students, are surrounded by tens of thousands of our peers, and many of us feel the need to dress to impress. The three male students I interviewed all spoke of some level of dressing so as “not to face too much judgment from others,” as well as of choosing clothes that reaffirm identity and show a sense of self. It is also worth noting that all the students... ...

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ThinkDavis Builds Connections Through Craft

For many months now, the UC Davis Department of Design has collaborated on a project called ThinkDavis. ThinkDavis embodies the creative collaboration of design undergraduates and professors to build an installation for this year’s Sculpture, Objects, Functional Art and Design showcase in Chicago (SOFA Chicago). Hosted every fall, SOFA Chicago is the premier art fair for 3D art and design. With this year’s exhibition running from Nov. 6 to 9, those who are part of ThinkDavis recently embarked to the Windy City to bring their work to life. The final project comprised a constellation of luminescent chairs united by a translucent canopy. Underneath the chairs lay a map of fields of study that allow the UC Davis community to collectively thrive, such as the arts, design, engineering and social sciences. ThinkDavis encompassed two themes central to the UC Davis design department: collaboration and connections. Brett Snyder, UC Davis assistant professor of design, said that the group’s experience at SOFA Chicago personified such ideas. “Participating in SOFA Chicago was a chance... ...

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Department of Theatre and Dance presents ‘The Gambling Lady’

Beginning Thursday, The UC Davis Theatre and Dance Department will be presenting its fall production of The Gambling Lady (The Basset Table). The play is being directed by the Granada Artist-In-Residence Fidelis Morgan. The Gambling Lady follows the life of Lady Reveller, a young woman who runs a gambling table and whose addiction to gambling drives her family mad. The play was written by English playwright Susannah Centlivre in 1705. The show is termed as a restoration comedy due to its prominence during England’s Restoration period. The comedy is one of the many plays Morgan rediscovered in her book, The Female Wit, which sought to bring neglected women playwrights back into the public’s attention. Lisa Quoresimo, a graduate student in the Theatre and Dance Department who will be playing Lady Lucy, praised the play for including a female scientist and passing the Bechdel test, which tests if women have good vocal representation in a play and which Quoresimo noted was a progressive move for the time period. “For a play... ...

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The Theory of Everything makes a “Big Bang” into theaters

We are still unsure if the universe has an end, but human life does, so why not live it to the fullest? — at least that’s what physicist Stephen Hawking believes. Hawking is one of the most well-known scientists of our time and is particularly famous for his theories regarding black holes and their existence in space. It seems surreal that one man could ultimately imagine and put into accessible language the origins of the cosmos; Hawking not only did this, but accomplished these feats while battling the physical and emotional effects of motor neuron disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for the last 51 years. This past Friday The Theory of Everything — a biopic about Hawking’s personal life — premiered in theaters to a limited release. The  film, directed by James Marsh and written by Andrew McCarten, follows Hawking’s 30-year marriage to Jane Hawking and the hardships his diagnosis of ALS had on their relationship. Though the movie addresses Hawking’s scientific accomplishments, his critical work is more of... ...

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Zombie genre comes to life onscreen and on campus

AggieTV’s first original movie series – BLiND – is making waves. Written and directed by former AggieTV member CJ Hwang, the series premiered its third episode last Friday on the AggieTV Youtube page. The production is a five-part film that focuses on a group of four students attempting to survive a zombie apocalypse on the UC Davis campus. Some students who have seen the series, like second-year environmental science and management major Maverick Bellard, are thoroughly impressed with the film’s moodiness and slick, cinematic style. “[The film] was intriguing and suspenseful,” Bellard said. “[I was amazed] that it was produced by students; it was far from amateur.” Instead of making a zombie film that focuses mainly on violence and gore, BLiND takes a more character-driven approach to the genre, illustrating the emotional and psychological state of each survivor. The drama and tension of the series comes not only from the danger of the undead threat, but also from the interpersonal conflicts between the characters. BLiND’s production manager, Stacy Han, a... ...

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Local school to tackle most musically-complicated show to date

On Nov. 7, Davis Senior High School (DSHS) will debut its fall musical, Into the Woods. According to Gwyneth Bruch, director of drama, this will be the school’s most musically complicated show yet. Into the Woods is based on the book of the same title by James Lapine. It was adapted into a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and premiered on Broadway in 1987. The musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a single tale following the journey of a childless baker and his wife, and their quest to begin a family. Devon Hayakawa, a senior who will be playing The Witch, praises the show for further developing beloved fairy tale characters. “Every character is really unique and [is] based off a fairy tale character, with the exception of [the] baker and baker’s wife, so it’s really cool developing that character and making them have full depth instead of caricatures,” Hayakawa said. The show’s musical complexity made for the school’s most rigorous audition... ...

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Bridging the gap between dance and theater

The Pamela Trokanski Dance Theater (PTDT) mixes dancers of every age, skill and experience level with a unique theatrical narrative to explore a theme. This year’s season opener, “Learning to See”, marks the company’s 30th active year. Trokanski founded the local studio and the three companies (PTDT, Apprentice Company and Third Stage Company) that come together for performances. A storyteller herself, Trokanski finds that narration through dance has a unique impact on the viewers as well as the performers. “[This season’s opener] is all about learning to see the world around us, what we think we see and how we fool our eyes,” Trokanski said. “It’s an honest experience with what seeing is and what that understanding means in the mind and the world… The concert will have a different impact on audience members based off of where they are in life.” Trokanski’s narratives follow a non-linear scheme, mixing her own stories with stories written by the dancers about their personal life experiences. She gives her dancers prompts that pertain... ...

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