German Expressionism Turns Film into Poetry

I’ll be honest. My knowledge of film isn’t broad. Sometimes I like movies solely because Chris Pratt is in them. I’m definitely not qualified to professionally review them, but I’m learning the ropes. So, with that in mind, I came across this film that I was not at all exciting to watch. It was called The Night of the Hunter (1955)

My film professor flicked off the lights and started the movie. I was already yawning. All I wanted was to go home and watch Parks and Rec and then fall asleep. Nonetheless, I stayed in my seat and braved through it.

AND DAMN. What a movie! German expressionism was the main topic for us this week. I understood the gist of it, but never saw it in execution. The Night of the Hunter was a flawless execution of this genre, and allowed me to see how impactful it was. German expressionism in film exaggerates, stretches, and bends all forms of reality to create a twisted, Kafkaesque world where the plot then takes off from there. Picture it like Tim Burton movies coming to life.

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This genre not only exaggerates the effects, but it strengthens the emotions felt while watching. For instance, childhood wonder, nostalgia, chase, and family were all jacked up on steroids with the film techniques in this movie. The scenes with the children felt like a Disney sequence, the scenes with the murderer felt inescapable and something out of a nightmare, and the scenes with the whole family felt warm, safe and loving. Everything was accentuated due to this style. I highly recommend this movie. It didn’t feel like I was watching two children escaping a murder, it was more peaking into their brains for a night and watching their very bad dream of escaping a murderer. It was filmed like a dream, where things are just, for lack of a better word, off. And that’s what made it such an unsettling work of art.

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Saturday Night Live Museum in Chicago Review: The Highlights

Saturday Night Live has always been quite near and dear to my heart; if there’s one thing I’m a nerd about, it’s this show. So, it was truly fitting that I spent my valentine’s day date at a place I’m newly in love with– the temporary SNL museum in Chicago, ‘SNL: The Experience.’ Located at 360 N State St, you’ll find that the tickets are reasonably priced for the inside look at a show with so much history and humor. Here were a few of my favorite parts.

The Full Schedule

Not only are there famous wigs, costumes, and scripts, but each room of the museum serves as a day of the week at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and shows how the day-to-day madness ensues. It displays where the episode is at in the production process on each day. For instance, Tuesdays include long nights that writers spend hours thinking of pitch ideas for the dreaded Wednesday meeting with Lorne and the host. The Tuesday room had videos of famous writers, like Seth Meyers, talking about this day in particular, as well as a glass case full of scripts from over the years, included some from as early as the 70’s. I was having a moment. 

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The Glamour 

With all the character transformations on snl, it makes for lots of wigs, head molds, and allllllll kinds of props to make the characters look believable. It was interesting to see all the designated elements for the hilarious characters that famous alum used to wear–especially the iconic cone head. 

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The Costumes

We were joined by all of the classics from snl history at this museum, Stefon’s wedding outfit (YES!), the church lady’s dress (isn’t that special?), and even the suit from Alec Baldwin’s uncanny Donald Trump impersonation. There were so many more that you should check out for yourself because this part of the museum was surreal. I felt like I was entering a forbidden Taiwanese Temple or something. Seriously, it was so cool.

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The final part

After visiting a replica of the control room (which also felt very real, there was a countdown board to the special snl episode for museum goers only.) The nutshell SNL episode was short and sweet to sum up the museum, and to send off those just finishing the tour. There were very few other people there when I went on a weekday, so it made this experience even cooler. After the mini show, they encouraged a fun photoshoot behind the recreated ‘weekend update’ desk. I was in heaven. (And I also found my new profile picture for EVERYTHING)

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This was by far, the best museum I have ever visited. I only mentioned a fraction of the memorabilia, props, costumes, quotes, videos, set pieces, and snl artifacts that caught my eye on every floor; there are so many more I didn’t mention. It’s funny because we were actually about to do the art institute for the 288343476th time. Luckily, my search recommended this gem, and suddenly there was a day I’ll never forget. In other words, DO THIS WHILE IT’S HERE!

 

 

 

 

Comedians that Dominated their Decade 1920’s-now

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1920’s : Buster Keaton: Known for his physical, slapstick antics, Buster Keaton was the ‘stone-face’ of comedy in the new platform of film. He’s famous for seemingly impossible gags, establishing a new territory of comedy in his era. You can’t take a film class without hearing his name. He’s known for his feature films like The General and Steamboat Bill Jr.

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1930’s: Charlie Chaplin: Relying heavily on pantomime and eccentric, quirky movements to convey humor, Chaplin paved the way for experimental techniques in comedy films. He’s known for his works like Modern Times, and The Great Dictator. (Side-note: he’s also infamous for his scandalous life outside of film.)

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1940’s: Bing Crosby: Known for his life in comedy motion pictures, as well as music, Crosby took the entertainment industry by storm in his era. He’s known for many comedic films like Going My Way and Road to Bali, especially when he was starring on the silver screen with classic comedian, Bob Hope.

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1950’s: Jerry Lewis: As the Paramount comedy star, and former duo member with Dean Martin, Lewis was a thriving entertainer of the 1950’s and beyond. Creating and starring in a plethora of comedy films, as well as being known for his quick improvisational humor on The Martin and Lewis Show on the radio, Lewis seemed unstoppable in his career endeavors. He went on to pursue a solo career, and later directed many films like The Bellboy and The Ladies Man.

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1960’s Joan Rivers: One of, or if not the most famous female comedian of all time, Joan Rivers was outspoken, fearless, and hilarious in her glory days of comedy. She pioneered comedy for females, as she was the first female late night television host and paved the way for stand up, igniting laughter with shocking comedy, insults, and witty observation.

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1970’s Rodney Dangerfield: Known as one of the greatest names in comedy, Dangerfield has mastered film, stand up, and simply being a hilarious person all around. If you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘I don’t get no respect!,’ you know who to thank. With stand up specials, No Respect and Back to School, and classic comedy films like Caddyshack and Easy Money, and hundreds of witty one-liners, it’s easy to see how Dangerfield rose to the top.

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1980’s: Robin Williams: Ah, the man himself, whom we all miss dearly. Williams’ comedic talents of improvisation, mastering impressions and voices, televised comedy and classic comedy films, is famously loved by many. Appealing to practically any audience, his legacy of comedy wins him a place as one of the greatest. Need there be a further explanation? 

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1990’s: Jerry Seinfeld: What is the deal with him? Inventing the best of sitcom comedy, Jerry Seinfeld is quite literally known as the ‘king of comedy’ by many. Exuding confidence, wit, and an expertise knowledge of humor, he’s the creator of one of the most famous, long-running comedy series. His stand-up specials and screenwriting skills have made him one of the biggest names in comedy. 

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2000’s: Dave Chappelle: Relaxed, philosophical, clever and brilliantly hilarious–Chappelle takes on broad topics in stand up from politics to sex and drugs, and many more. Creating the Chappelle Show, Half-Baked, and The Dave Chappelle Project as well as hilarious stand-up specials like For What It’s Worth, and Killin’ Them Softly. He’s known by many as one of the greatest names in the history of comedy.

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2010’s: John Mulaney: Taking the comedy scene by storm, Mulaney has created three successful stand-up specials (New in Town, The Comeback Kid, and Kid Gorgeous) undertook years writing for SNL, and co-created a new type of cartoon comedy on TV animation, Big Mouth. His aura of gentle, story-telling politeness is part of what ropes each audience in to roaring laughter. His talent in sketch comedy, self-deprecating nature, and surreal humor, are all what make him one of the current top names in comedy today.

 

 

 

An Angry Letter: Baby Boomer Edition

Dear Costco Customer Services and Management,

I’m writing today because I am extremely upset by the terrible service I received by one of your staff members earlier this afternoon.

The young, barely 17 year old cashier will rot in eternal hell for not providing me every damn thing I need. I was SIMPLY trying to make a purchase of 43 items, and return 56 items. When I tried to return the Aveeno lotion that I had used to its full proximity, the cashier, and I still cannot believe this, said ‘no.’ What, like a seventeen year old snowflake is going to tell me no? I don’t think so. So what’s mama’s next move? Calling the manager.

The manager came over, looked at the lotion and said that it “could not be returned whatsoever.” So, after screaming at the top of my lungs and waving my jiggly arms in their faces for a good ten minutes, I calmly settled and had the rest of my items sold.

As I tapped my poorly molded french manicured acrylics on the counter, I watched as coupon upon coupon scanned through the register. Then suddenly one coupon wouldn’t go through, as it was “not a Costco coupon, this is for TJ Maxx, ma’am.” Mmm, trying to play me as a fool? Not today, you’re not. I demanded for it to be put through at top volume, as the tiny, fragile cashier tried to search for a similar coupon online. Forget it.

Then came along my final attempt at bargaining. There was only one of my size of the fringed navy cardigan left and it had a small piece of fuzz on it. That’s right, you guessed it, say it with me ladies, “damage discount!” So as I pleaded my case, that it was clearly obscene for a microscopic sized fuzzball to be stuck onto the sweater I wanted so dearly, they said that there was “nothing they could do.” Truly sickening.

So, I ended off my purchase by telling the cashier that she has no future, no skills, and can’t do the easiest job on the planet. She started crying, which I did feel a little bad for, but that will just toughen her up. Teenagers these days, huh? Such pansies. Anyways. I’m writing to ask for a free lifetime membership to Costco after this incident, as I very much deserve one. If I don’t get one, this is not the last letter you will be receiving from me.

Warm Regards,

Your Least Favorite Baby Boomer

 

How to be: A Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Here is the official guide to becoming the quirky, dorky, flirtatiously one-dimensional idyllic girl found in many poorly-written romantic movies. Because you? You’re different. You’re not like most girls.

  • Dye your hair a vibrant color

Purchase a Twister spin board, and whatever color it lands on, that’s your new hair look. Don’t shy away from Office Max Sharpie yellow or just go full on marinara with that early 2000’s Kate Winslet glam. If you want to be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, you have to be QUIRKY DAMNIT. No instagram baddies here.

  •  Wear converse with a dress

It’s because you’re DIFFERENT. Heels? For suckers. For suckers that were nominated as prom queen, in fact. You’re GOOFY and ADORABLE and not buying into it.

  • Make no plans for your future

Remember, you’re one-dimensional. Law school? No, no, no.

  • Make up songs on the spot and sing them in public places

You’re in the grocery store with your back-story developed male partner and it’s jam-packed. But you’re not a boring, normal girl. You’re spontaneous. Sing about the milk cartons or the magazines. Feel free to embarrass the exhausted, straight, skinny white boy protagonist, but also simultaneously charm him with your playful, oddly attractive vibes. All of this will occur while the cashier just fucking has it because oh my god this couple needs to shut the fuck up I make 7.25 an hour just to check out discount items for these fucking wankers.

  • Have a whimsical yet mysterious name

If you’re sporting a basic name like Katie or Emily, delete it. Your name is now either Autumn, Clementine, or Lavender Winterheart. If it doesn’t abide by the bath & body works scent code (season, fruit, or flower) then you might as well be named Richard or Larry.

  • Play the ukulele

But make sure you only learn four chords, not full songs, to make sure you disappoint a crowd everytime you whip it out at a party.

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There you have it. If you want to be a poorly-written literary trope that caters only to the developed plot line of the male protagonist, attaining these characteristics will be crucial to being a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

 

Chicago’s Hottest Attractions

Here’s your official travel guide for the Spring/summer time in Chicago! New York City has Stefon to point out all the hottest clubs for the season. However, for all of you Chicagoan thrill-seekers, there are some unmissable activities to indulge in this upcoming season in Chicago, let’s dive in.

Paint n Sip

Location: Underneath Navy Pier

Chicago’s newest Paint and Sip is going to be more crowded than Forever 21’s dressing rooms on Black Friday. You want a quirky, fun activity for the summer? Look no further. At this noteworthy paint n sip, you will experience three full hours of the property brothers screaming at you to paint faster. You can impress your significant other with their three painting templates: Prom Night with Robocop, The Contents of 2012 Amanda Bynes’s Handbag, and The Bottom Half of Mona Lisa. It should be noted that the “sip” isn’t actually wine, but replaced with ‘Artist Juice’ also known as, a warm Pepsi Max mixed with Sobe Life Water. It will be an unforgettable experience.

Upcoming Summer Instagram Museum: Codswallop

Location: Inside the Bean

This spectacular, unique instagram playground is only here for a limited time. It welcomes visitors from 03/26/19 1:52 AM to 3/26/19 1:54 AM. It’s exclusivity is what makes it inviting to all true VIP photographers and instagram models in the Chicagoland area. Take pictures with its special features such as: the small army of Macaulay Culkin wax figures, a rainbow projection of Angelina Jolie’s forehead vein, and Vietnamese child gymnasts balancing on roombas.

Debris Art Museum

Location: See below for special instructions

We see beautiful works of art in places like The Louvre or The Prado. However, an entirely new concept has been introduced to the world of museums: garbage. Observe and think deeply whilst gazing into piles of empty Powerade bottles, torn up letters of desperation from cheating ex husbands, or business clothes from the 90’s that were too gross for Goodwill. See their online site for booking a guided tour, where the tourist will speak only in clicks and whispers. The best part and quite frankly, the uniqueness of this place is that each visitor can contribute as there are no trash cans. Just leave your pizza-stained napkins. It becomes art.

Special instructions: Stand near the left most copper lion in front of the Art Institute and begin shouting the lyrics to the Pretty Little Liars theme song. Soon, a teenage boy cosplaying as Ellen Degeneres will tap you on the shoulder twice. Follow this boy. He will take you.

 

‘The Squabble’ Coffee Shop

Location: Everywhere.

For all you indie, niche, quirky hipsters, we have the perfect coffee shop for you to pretend to study at. There’s live performances of slam poetry–they find the nearest protests and just grab a random protestor and pull them up onstage. The coffee is delicious, served iced, hot, as a frappe, or as a solid. (And in the long, treacherous hours researching this menu, we still have no idea what that last one means). In the basement of the coffee shop, there’s a caged boxing ring with volunteer boxers from the Sunshine Hills Senior Citizen Residence. So the next time you’re thinking of dropping by a Starbucks, think again.

Support your local businesses!

Disclaimer: literally none of these exist

An Honest High School Playbill

 

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Counterfeit West High School Presents:

GREASE

This production was made possible by Director, Sherry Johnson, who definitely needs a drink when this shit show is over, so buckle in. A big thanks to the CW theatre moms who totally didn’t volunteer for the sole purpose that their child gets a lead in next year’s musical. Stop by the bake sale during intermission!

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CHARACTER BIOGRAPHIES

Sarah Beaver: Sandy

As a senior at CWHS, Sarah is thrilled to be the lead, Sandy, in her final stage production. She’s friends with the director on facebook and is also a distant relative. Sarah cannot hit any high notes, yet she will still try, so we advise you to take a bathroom break during Hopelessly Devoted. Sarah will probably get married within the next three years, and doesn’t want to face the fact that it’s all downhill from here. She hopes you enjoy the show!

Chad Michaels: Danny Zuko

Chad is a sophomore at CWHS, and auditioned for extra credit. He’s upset for two reasons: 1) His girlfriend is pissed that he has to stage kiss Sarah. 2) His boys on the baseball team will roast him for eternity after this. He’s nervous and really really hopes he doesn’t accidentally get a boner onstage. His dad is not in the audience, but his mother is definitely recording this. Here’s a quote from Chad to leave the audience with before the show: “Kelly, I’m really sorry.” 

Kelly Dicksmasher: the character with pigtails

Kelly is a sophomore. Whatever, you get it, anyways, she wants to say: WHAT THE F*CK CHAD? YOU COULD’VE JUST ASKED MRS. JOHNSON NOT TO STAGE KISS SARAH BEAVER. THIS IS TOTAL BULLSH*T. YOU DON’T EVEN LOVE ME, DO YOU? FIRST XANDER NITZELPICE HELD HANDS WITH ANOTHER GIRL BEHIND MY BACK, NOW THIS? GOOD LUCK FINDING A DATE TO HOMECOMING, BACKSTABBER.

Todd Hirschorn: Kenickie

Todd is. (Deep Breath in) Getting through this. He’s still trying to cope with the fact that random whitey lacrosse boy with ZERO theatre experience walks in and snatches the lead? No, no sister. Todd holds his breath and pictures Shawn Mendes every time he has to stage kiss Cheyenne. He will be the star theatre boy of the local community college for the next three years, and then switch his major to communications.

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A quick message from Chad: he wants Todd to know that it’s actually Baseball, not Lacrosse.

 

UPCOMING CWHS DRAMA & ARTS EVENTS

Spring Choir Concert:  Don’t go. Sarah has a solo

Student-written Play Night: They’re all half plagiarized and poorly directed

Band Camp Registration Night: Someone WILL get pregnant

Senior Song Night: There’s a 100% chance of two girls singing a duet cover of “For Good” from Wicked.

 

WE HOPE YOU ENJOY THE SHOW

 

 

Inside Small-Town Tennessee’s Child Pageant Headquarters

Buckle in for the inside scoop to the beauty queen prepping process! What’s the magical secret to making these seven year old children look like Nicole Richie’s voodoo doll army? Let’s dive right in.

Let’s start with the foundation, the basics. The tan, sun-kissed glow is vital to winning trophies for these youngsters. So, every hour hired interns are paid to scrape the bronzy dust off of hot cheetos and doritos. The remains are added to the “little goddess dunk-buckets” and you guessed it! The children are dunked. Here we have little Anne Marie, taking in that beautiful glow right now. How are you feeling, Anne Marie?

Its stinging! I think I’m awwergic, wady, pwease hewp me–

How cute! Little Anne Marie! Next up, it’s hair time. This next room is designated specifically for extensions, curls and smiles! Here, we have the famous French stylist, Jean-Revatio. How do help these girls achieve perfect locks for the pageant on such a short budget, Jean-Revatio?

Budget cuts… zey have not been easy, see. But ze process, it is simple. We hand scissors to ze gals, along vith zeir beloved, how you say, american girl dolls, and we say, chop chop! No more pretty bangs on zee dolly, zey belong to you now.

Oh. There’s no better way to provide extensions?

Not if zey want to lose ze pageant and waste all of mommy’s money.

That checks out. Moving on, we’re going to take a gander at the runway. As stated before, money is tight here. So, with that stated, the runway is compiled of cardboard slats and boxes. There have been many complaints, and even more sprained ankles. Taking a look at this box in particular, it appears to be moving! I’m confused! Oh, would you look at that. There’s a man insi–

Who’s waking me up from ma nap? I paid rent on this here box, and you millenials had to go ahead and tow it.

Good luck with that, I’m leaving. And now, a producer is approaching me! Hi, sir! What? Why are you whispering? Oh… Okay. Understood.  

Well, folks, I have just been paid a time share in Honolulu sized amount of hush money to stop all continuation of the production of this documentary. Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to tune in next week on, “Sashes and Sales: Girl Scouts taking over Compton”

 

How to be the Worst Vegan in the Universe

~A step by step guide on how to screw up this lifestyle entirely ~

Live on sugary snacks

Now, to be a terrible vegan, you have to get most of your calories from nature valley bars, medium fries, taco bell cinnamon twists, and oreos. Vegetables exist, yes, but are they important? I just laughed. Vegetables who? What is that, if someone could comment below and let me know, I’d appreciate it. Am I even pronouncing that right? Velcro tables?

Don’t eat!

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Okay. So you’re out with the gals. Alyssa just ordered a jumbo cheese pizza for the table, and Tiffany already had the check split. You could’ve packed a quinoa salad beforehand, checked the menu for vegan items before agreeing to go out, or dropped that piece of shit friend group in the first place–but that’s crazy! Just. Don’t. Eat! Hunger is an emotion! Just don’t feel it, silly! They can chow down on the cheese pizza that you’re partially paying for, just play Words With Friends or something, I don’t know, why did you agree to go to a LOU MALNATI’S.

Make everyone feel bad

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Announce that you’re vegan everywhere you go. You’re making a bank deposit? The teller looks stressed and there’s a long line? This is the perfect time to give insight into your new vegan lifestyle. Tell her about how much weight you lost. Tell her about how it would help her a lot to make the change. Oh, your cousin just announced that he’s going vegetarian? EYE ROLL. Way to half-ass it, Robert. The true heroes aren’t mouth-harassing a triple decker stack of buttermilk pancakes and cheesy garlic bread. I can’t even look at you.

Cheat days!

Yes, ladies. Every Friday during a full moon, we ride into the woods on horses. There, we are greeted by both Ben and Jerry, dousing us in fountains of chocolate swirl rocky road. We crack eggs on each others heads while swimming in the fro-yo whirlpool. Suddenly, the ground rumbles. The soil begins to break up and a giant statue emerges from the beneath. It is Paula Deen. Butter blasts out from her eyelids, her nose, HER HAIR!? PEOPLE ARE DROWNING HELP PEOPLE ARE DY–

Stick with your trusty recipes!

Don’t switch things up with your meal planning. Change is scary! Eat dry spaghetti for seven days in a row. The soy milk is expired? Too bad, Sharon. Drink it. New recipes are for communists. Eat what’s in your pantry and fridge, and change nothing. If you run out of stuff, well, that’s why we have trees.

Well, there you have it! If you sufficiently follow these steps, congrats! You will be a terrible vegan, and everyone will want you to stop. If you do the exact opposite of these steps, you’re on a good path, I promise. 

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