Whether it be movies, music, television or theatre, there’s always plenty of things to get excited about, and the chance to talk about it one final time is something that we look forward to all year.
On a personal note, I’ve had the opportunity to be the A&E editor for two years now and it’s been a true privilege. Chimes has been one of the highlights of my college career. I deeply appreciate the articles I’ve been able to write and the conversations with others I’ve had about them. Thanks to everyone for making this a great two years.
Without further ado, here’s our list:
Brandon Schreur (A&E Editor)
“The Florida Project” — When most people think of Orlando, they think of Disney or Universal theme parks. Not very many people even stop to consider the near-homeless population that lives just a mile down the road. “The Florida Project” sheds light on this topic, in the most tragically beautiful of ways. Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) is just a little girl who’s stuck in a terrible situation. Her mother Halley (Bria Vinaite), while probably under-qualified, is trying her best. It’s complex, thought-provoking and bound to make you cry by the end.
“Rainbow” by Kesha — Five years ago, everyone thought of Kesha as just another generic pop artist. Then “Rainbow” hit. Having experienced physical, sexual and emotional abuse in her past, “Rainbow” is about finding a way to let all of that go and move on. It’s sad, yet empowering and Kesha proves she’s capable of far more than just a couple of catchy tunes.
“Black Panther” — Wakanda forever. Just when it seemed like Marvel was becoming a bit too formulaic, “Black Panther” comes along and completely changes the conversation. Ryan Coogler’s vision of Wakanda is a wonderfully diverse and colorful one, and the points he makes with certain characters — most notably the film’s antagonist, Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) — carry a lot of social relevance. Just give us that Shuri (Letitia Wright) stand-alone movie, please.
Janelle Conti (Staff Writer)
“Invasion of Privacy” by Cardi B — With the release of her debut album, “Invasion of Privacy,” Cardi B marked herself as an unforgettable superstar. Infused with raw vulnerability and an in-your-face attitude, “Invasion of Privacy” is more than just another rags-to-riches rap album. From openly honest tracks like “Be Careful,” to empowering jams like “Money Bag,” Cardi B shows off her talent as an artist in a way that is authentically and unapologetically herself.
“Love, Simon” — Arguably one of the best movies of the year, “Love, Simon” offers more than your average teen movie. Centering on Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), a gay teen who struggles coming out to his friends and family, “Love, Simon” is the first film of its kind to be produced by a major film studio. Filled with sharp wit, tender emotion and, of course, teen melodrama, this film is revolutionary in the way that it allows for the rarely represented LGBTQ population to be empathized with, related to and seen.
“Ingrid Goes West” — In the age of likes, retweets and favorites, “Ingrid Goes West” is a modern satire that offers a fresh take on the dark side of the social media age. It tells the story of Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza), an Instagram-obsessed woman who moves to LA to stalk her favorite social media influencer, Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). Despite being painfully awkward and chillingly real at some points, “Ingrid Goes West” is still a hilarious, satirical comedy that audiences — particularly millennials — will enjoy.
Blake Staat (Staff Writer)
“Paddington 2” — “Paddington 2” focuses on the story of a delightful young bear who unequivocally betters the lives of everyone around him. With Wes Anderson-like visuals and charming visual gags, Paddington can teach everyone the lesson taught by his Aunt Lucy: “If we’re kind and polite the world will be right.”
“Baby Driver” — One asset that makes cinema so intriguing is how it combines art elements to tell a story. When a director can aggregate music, images and writing in an effective manner the magic of a movie can ensue. Edgar Wright executes excellently on all three with “Baby Driver,” combining all elements in a way that plays out like an elaborate dance, always in beat with the music — leaving the viewer re-energized and wanting to create a soundtrack for their life experience.
“Lady Bird” — Rarely a movie comes around that finds a perfect balance between melancholy and dry humor, while maintaining a certain charm; yet “Lady Bird” achieved just that this fall. Director Greta Gerwig masterfully crafts a resonant feeling of tension and teenage-angst and finishes with a well-aimed gut punch near the end, carrying a hard-hitting message that perhaps love and attention are one and the same.