FAST FORWARD: Things to do 'til our next issue

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ZooLights

Lincoln Park Zoo comes to life with a wonderful light show to accompany the animals in their exhibits. Open almost every night until the beginning of January, the zoo turns into a new atmosphere for the holidays. The first 1,000 patrons each night receive trippy glasses to experience the lights in full effect.

Dec. 8–23, 26–31; Jan. 1–7, 2018

Lincoln Park Zoo

Free Admission

 

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The Buttcracker: A Nutcracker burlesque

Take your nutcracker ballet and shove it this year - Tom Boi Theatricals are putting on a special show for the outlandish Chicago crowd. The burlesque features sword balancers, fire spinning, drag, and magic. The show sounds like a perverted playground sure to make the most prudish crowd bust a nut.

Wednesday Dec. 13, Dec. 20, 8 p.m. 

Uptown Underground

$25 General Admission,$30 at door

 

 

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No pants subway ride

The city of Chicago is in for a treat on Jan. 7 of next year - citizens traveling the CTA system, without pants. Improv Everywhere puts on the event each January, urging people worldwide to participate in riding their local subway systems in gloves, hats, and scarves, but missing the vital piece of clothing. This is usually done on the Red Line of the CTA, as passengers who arrive are urged not to take notice of one another and act natural.

All day Jan. 7 - Chicago CTA

Free Admission

 

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Lana Del Rey 

With a long history of choking on SNL and being a “daddy-issues” artist, Lana Del Rey is making her rounds on the Lust for Life tour. Her stop at the United Center in Chicago on Jan. 11 will be filled with floral crowns, eyeliner wings, and puff-puff pass sessions. 

Jan. 11 8:00 p.m. United Center, Chicago

Tickets starting at $46 on Stubhub

The Leader’s top 10 must see films of 2017

By Andrew Cripe, Movie Critic

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The Florida Project

If you see one film from 2017, make it Sean Baker’s extraordinary “The Florida Project.” Featuring unforgettable performances from Brooklynn Prince and Bria Vinaite, this movie will make you experience every emotion that a film can possibly conjure up. Don’t miss it.

 

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Blade Runner 2049

Denis Villeneuve’s sequel to “Blade Runner” would make Stanley Kubrick and Andrei Tarkovsky proud. This is easily one of the most visually stunning films ever created. Poetic, slow-burning, and utterly captivating. 

 

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Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan’s most impressive film to date, “Dunkirk” is an experiment in sustained tension, harrowing filmmaking, and epic scope. This is one of the most impressive war films of this generation. 

 

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mother!

Darren Aronofsky’s disturbing, shocking, unforgiving film brought art-house psychological horror to a mainstream audience. Millions of viewers were confounded by it, but one thing is for certain; if you watch “mother!”, you will not walk away unfazed. 

 

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The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Yorgos Lanthimos takes the freezing-cold bluntness of his previous films (“The Lobster,” “Dogtooth,” “Alps”) and runs wild with it in this distressing yet oddly wonderful film. It’s a surreal cinematic experience, and it will draw your attention to its marvelous, confident filmmaking as often as it shakes you to your core.

 

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Get Out

The cinematic success story of 2017, Jordan Peele’s relevant, unpredictable horror film interrogates viewers as much as it entertains. This isn’t a film that settles for cheap shock-violence and mindless twists, but aims for what makes audiences most uncomfortable about their own nature. 

 

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Logan

Arguably the saddest superhero film ever made, James Mangold’s “Logan” is 100% daring. It is a bleak, violent futuristic western that takes everything we know about Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and subverts it into something equally devastating and poignant. 

 

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War for the Planet of the Apes

The strangest summer blockbuster in years, and that couldn’t be a bigger compliment. Artistic, quiet, and beautifully acted, Matt Reeve’s conclusion to the most recent “Apes” trilogy is a swan-song, packed with an overwhelming sense of finality and touches of tear-jerking compassion. 

 

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Logan Lucky

Maybe the year’s most entertaining and unexpectedly funny film, Steven Soderbergh’s return to feature filmmaking is a more than welcome return. He hasn’t lost a step, and the cast is uniformly exceptional.

 

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Detroit

One of the year’s most important films, Kathryn Bigelow’s examination of the 1967 Detroit riots is borderline traumatic. A hard-hitting, ruthless exploration of corruption and racism.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Come Swim (dir. Kristen Stewart); Song to Song (dir. Terrence Malick); American Made (dir. Doug Liman); It (dir. Andy Muschietti); John Wick: Chapter 2 (dir. Chad Stahelski); Wonder Woman (dir. Patty Jenkins); The Lost City of Z (dir. James Gray)

 

Worst Film of the Year: “The Snowman”

Tomas Alfredson’s “The Snowman” is an obscene, sickening waste of time, talent, and resources. This is not a finished film, and the fact it was released to audiences is an insult. It’s barely even a proof-of-concept. This is an incomprehensible, nauseating, relentlessly boring dumpster-fire of a film. It’s not even bad enough to warrant a curiosity-watch. Avoid at all costs.

 

 

Press Rewind : Pop culture from the week

By Alexa Ash, Press Play Reporter

 

Prince Harry gets an American fiancée

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“God save the Princess from America!” Wait, will she be a princess? After news of American actress, Meghan Markle’s engagement to the drool-worthy Prince Harry, both the kingdom and the colonies have voiced their excitement on the upcoming nuptials. Amidst all the talks of crumpets and wedding dresses, a valid point was made: she’s American, not British, so, like, can she receive an English royal title? Gaining citizenship to the mainland will take five years and from what it looks like, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aren’t too fond of waiting. At this point, it is all in the hands of Queen Elizabeth II. If she were to change the rules for her new American granddaughter, Meghan Markle will be the first non-brit to receive a royal title.The date is set for May 26, or what we American rebels refer to as Memorial Day weekend, and needless to say, it’s going to be brilliant. For all those out there who are absolutely gutted by the news of losing the chance of being a royal (me), I heard that Prince Sébastien of Luxembourg is single. 

Matt Lauer gets busted for sexual harassment

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Move over Harvey Weinstein there’s another new creep on the prowl and it’s none other than NBC’s “Today” show host, Matt Lauer. Three women have been identified in coming forward to officials at NBC but rumors have sprouted saying that there could be as many as eight. After being fired from NBC on Wednesday, Nov. 29, stories of Matt Lauer’s Mr. Grey-like behavior has flooded the internet grossing out everyone from east to west. There have been allegations for years, specifically during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, that are only surfacing now. If a bag of sex toys and a hidden button under his desk with the ability to lock his door wasn’t enough of a hint to his predator ways, he has even been noted to leer at his coworker Meredith Vieira. Someone get this man a leash, a collar, a muzzle - anything to stop his dog-like ways. Then again, he probably already has his own.

Eve the comfort dog lends a helping paw to EC’s stressed out student body

Photos by Roxanne Timan & Cheyenne Roper EC students rally around Eve, the temporary campus LCC K-9 comfort dog, for emotional support and stress relief.

Photos by Roxanne Timan & Cheyenne Roper

EC students rally around Eve, the temporary campus LCC K-9 comfort dog, for emotional support and stress relief.

By Cheyenne Roper, News Writer

Eve the Comfort Dog likes people, maybe all dogs like people, but for Eve, it’s kind of her job.

“People tend to open up and share their stories,” says Lombard Pastor Peter Imlah, Eve’s human. “We know she is accomplishing her mission by the smiles we see.”

Eve is a trained LCC K-9 comfort dog that trots over to campus twice a month to make new friends and lend an ear (and once in awhile, a cold nose) to old ones.

“She’s kind of like my dog away from my dog,” says student Chris Wallace, ‘19, explaining that Eve makes up for not seeing his dog from summer until winter.

Eve and Imlah come to campus every first and third Thursday in the Founder’s Lounge.  

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Besides being a four-legged non-traditional student, Eve sits and listens without looking at her phone. “Eve provides a soft, safe, confidential, and nonjudgmental presence to express emotions,” says Imlah. 

Eve’s affection is infectious, but it all comes down to science.“In humans, petting a dog can trigger the release of the bonding hormone Oxytocin. Feeling that fur can also lower a person’s heart rate and blood pressure,” Imlah explains about her impact on EC students. 

Not only does she visit our Elmhurst campus, she also interacts with people at churches, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, events, and even disaster response situations.

 After the deadly Las Vegas shooting in October, Eve traveled to visit with and comfort patients who had been affected at the Sunrise Hospital of Las Vegas. 

Her comfort can be seen across the U.S., and when Eve stops by our campus, there is often a crowd gathered around her to enjoy her sweet company. 

EC Sophomore Molly Medlock , mentions, “I look forward to her laying in my lap because every time I see her she lays down.”

The Leader looks back at the best albums of 2017

By Kenneth Edison, Editor-in-Chief

Follow him at @krazo1

1.) Flower Boy - Tyler, The Creator:

A few years ago, it would have been inconceivable that one of the most heartfelt and emotional hip hop albums of the year would be Tyler, The Creator of all people. The former Odd Future member took a huge deviation from his usual harsh, and often grotesque, style on his latest project with dreamy production that is just as sweet as the floral themes that dominate the album. 

Even more impressive is the fact that Tyler produced every single track on the project himself. Complementing Tyler’s production and greatly improved rap skills are a list of flawless features that include Kali Uchis, Frank Ocean, Lil Wayne and Estelle.  Tyler has truly outdone himself with this album, producing not just the best music of his career by a country mile, but also the most complete and compelling rap album of the year. 

Best Tracks: Garden Shed, I Ain’t Got Time!, See You Again

 

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2.) 4:44 - Jay Z:

13 studio albums into his career and the rap legend Jay Z may have just reached yet another new peak. “4:44” dives deep into the personal life of Jay Z in the most vulnerable and honest project he’s ever produced. Though he still finds time for the usual braggadocious flaunting of his wealth, songs like “Smile” and “4:44” show Jay throwing his ego to the side for once to offer sincere and meaningful peeks behind the curtain of Sean Carter’s life. In a time when Jay’s relevancy in the genre was being questioned after his disappointing 2013 album Magna Carta, “4:44” crushes any doubt with a compelling and genuine story where the line between Jay Z and Sean Carter is permanently blurred. This album undoubtedly marks as one of Jay’s best in a discography riddled with hip hop classics such as as: 

Best Tracks: Smile, Caught in Their Eyes, Bam

 

3.) DAMN.- Kendrick Lamar:

The best rapper alive is back with his most mainstream album yet. After his last album “To Pimp a Butterfly” offered a dense and profoundly experimental experience, many fans wondered where Kendrick could possibly go from there. The answer was to come back with his catchiest and most radio friendly set of tracks culminating every single track on the album making it onto the Billboard Top 100. And that’s not a bad thing in the least bit. The album was initially previewed with the song “HUMBLE” that was an out of character radio hit proving that even Kendrick, the conscious king, can do just about anything in the booth. The album itself mostly followed suit with crowd pleasing tracks like “LOYALTY” and “LUST” which still showcase Kendrick’s second-to-none natural rapping abilities alongside solid Top Dawg production over more contemporary rap beats. Despite the move in a more mainstream direction, Kendrick still manages to produce a hard hitting, poignant and deeply personal project as is expected from an emerging icon at the height of his powers. 

Best Tracks: DNA, ELEMENT, XXX

 

4.) Melodrama - Lorde:


It’s been four years since the New Zealand prodigy dropped her debut album “Pure Heroine,” and it seems she’s used that time to just get even better. 

The level of maturity that Lorde shows on this latest album make it sort of unbelievable that she’s still only 21 years old, and that’s something that was nowhere near as present on her debut album. “Melodrama” is Lorde’s masterstroke in songwriting, she manages to pen an entire 11 track project chalk full of heartfelt, emotional, and sometimes genuinely sorrowful lyrics. Lorde’s abilities as a singer, songwriter, and pop star are only continually to rapidly increase, which is a promising aspect for one of the best and most naturally talented artists in the industry.

Best Tracks: Supercut, Liability, Writer in the Dark

 

5.) 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time - Big Krit:

Prolific Mississippi rapper Justin Scott, aka Big Krit, finally made his masterpiece. “4eva Is a Mighty Long Time” is an epic 22 track double album where Krit highlights the duality both in his personality and in his music. The first disc of the album focuses on the grimy, southern style bangers while the second disc is a more experimental and softer dive into different genres. 

Throughout the album, Krit effectively blends the boastful, self-confident rap anthems with introspective tracks that often hit close to home making even the most hardened of listeners relate to Krit’s inner struggle. 

This blend of spirituality, entertainment, self-realization, and reconciliation makes Krit’s latest project one of the most resonant and effective albums in recent memory.

Best Tracks: Big K.R.I.T, Subenstein (My Sub IV), Bury Me in Gold

 

6.) Take Me Apart - Kelela:

Experimental R&B artist Kelela sure knows how to make a debut. Her debut studio album flaunts some of the best production of any album on this list, and with her stellar vocal performances to back it up, Kelela has truly crafted something special. 

Though there are dull moments from time to time on the album, the high points soar far higher than any anyone could have expected for her. 

Best Tracks: Front Line, Take Me Apart, Altadena

 

7.)Saturation2- BROCKHAMPTON:

There are very few groups that can produce quality projects at the rate of BROCKHAMPTON, the new Texas rap collective that seems to have popped up overnight. Their excellent debut studio “Saturation” dropped in June and before long they released the follow up, “Saturation 2”, in August. 

While both albums are worthy of being on this list, “Saturation 2” is the far superior of the two. It does sacrifice some of “Saturation’s” extreme experimentation, but the synergy between each member of the band is so much more solid in “Saturation 2.” Couple that with the punchy and confident lyrics and delivery and you’ve got one of the most satisfying rap projects you’re likely to get. 

Best Tracks: GUMMY, CHICK, SUNNY

 

8.) Ctrl- SZA:

 The second TDE performer on this list, SZA had a huge year in 2017. Her debut studio album “Ctrl” captured the hearts of avid R&B listeners with SZA’s brutally honest lyrics putting the microscope both on the men in her life as well as herself. 

Many of the best tracks on the album such as “Love Galore” and “The Weekend” received huge radio play, introducing SZA’s best hits to a wide audience and garnering her a decent following. 

As a debuting artist, she currently holds the most grammy nominations for the 2017 awards, a pretty exciting prospect for one of R&B’s brightest young stars. 

Best Tracks: Love Galore, The Weekend, Drew Barrymore

 

9.) All Amerikkkan Bada$$ - Joey Badass:

It can be hard for any rapper to release a conscious hip hop album in the same year as Kendrick Lamar, but Joey did it and he did it well. 

While his lyrics might lack in subtlety, you can’t really fault the guy for being sincere, and he is nothing if not sincere on this album. 

This is essentially a 12 track essay on every social issue going on in America with Joey pulling no punches when it comes talking Trump, race, or the socio-economic divide. 

Best Tracks: Temptation, Devastated, Legendary

 

10.) (Self Titled) - Cigarettes After Sex:

Yet another debut album rounds out this list, with the  slow, dreamy melodies of Texas pop band Cigarettes After Sex. While the chill and dreary tones of the album can get to be a little repetitive, the style certainly has an abundance of charm to offer throughout. The best of this band still yet to come, but this debut shows a fair amount of potential for the up and coming band especially with front man Greg Gonzalez giving one of the best vocal performances of the year. 

Best Tracks: K, Apocalypse, Each Time You Fall in Love

 

COLUMN: Deciphering parody and prejudice

Michael Shutack Theater Columnist

Michael Shutack

Theater Columnist

 

There came to old Fort Henderson

Young Princess Kickapoo!

“Woo-woo-woo!”

Who kept her wigwam warm at night

With every Sioux she knew.

Her tribal dance is worth a glance,

Her hips go pow-wow-wow!

When this papoose says:

“Let’s vamoose!”

The soldiers cry:

“And how!”

 

These highly offensive lyrics are brought to you by the musical “Curtains” - which was recently performed at Elmhurst College. Written long ago, in 2006, “Curtains” is a parody of musicals from the 1950s. However, the problem with this production is that it fails to deliver true parody.

Parody is the imitation of a particular style or genre with exaggeration for comedic effect. For example, “Space Balls” is a parody of “Star Wars.” ”Austin Powers” is a parody of James Bond. “The Lego Batman Movie” is a parody of all Batman movies. Make sense?

Although musicals from the 1950s were often racist and misogynistic, these particular lyrics and this particular scene in “Curtains” does not exaggerate the 1950s genre; it merely imitates. True parody occurs when the style or genre is inflated to the extreme. In other words, the parody must be larger than life and over the top. Several tap dancing Mormons are funny. One fetishized Native American woman is not funny. “Pow-wow-yikes!”

So how did Elmhurst College’s recent production of the musical handle this horribly racist scene? Not well. Rather than add dialogue to make it true parody or cut the scene to avoid the issue entirely, Elmhurst College Theatre performed the script as written - risque Native American costume and all.

In the theatre lobby, a pathetic excuse about the scene was displayed for the incoming audience to see. In short, the statement expressed that, although the scene “raises all the right questions,” it should not be considered offensive because the show is a parody.

When parody is not written or executed well, it should not be used as an excuse to ignore an offensive performance. Elmhurst College had an obligation to properly address this issue and failed.

While I recognize the importance of preserving theatre, the art must change with the times. This scene might have worked when it was originally performed during the Bush administration, but society has progressed since then and we have a better understanding of what is parody and what is prejudice.

Fast Forward: Things to do 'til our next issue

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Millenium Park Ice Rink

Ice skating is in full swing with the cooler weather in Chicago. All season long, Millenium park is hosting free ice skating. Great for friends and couples, skating around downtown in the winter makes for a fun outing.

Nov. 17 - Mar. 4 2018, schedule available online Free admission - skate rental $12-$14

 

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Jay-Z - The 4:44 tour

2017 brought us the return of Jay-Z with his album 4:44, the first album in four years from the grammy-winning rap legend. His tour for the album makes it’s Chicago stop this December.

Tuesday Dec. 5, 8:00 p.m. Tickets available on Ticketmaster 

 

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Macy’s Day Parade

A Thanksgiving day staple in homes across the United States, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade comes back for its 91st year. Floats, balloons, and dancers headline the event, adding some excitement to a morning full of cooking and uncomfortable family questions.

8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., available to stream online or NBC

 

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The Christkindlmarket

One of the biggest winter festivals in Chicago, the Christkindlmarket in downtown Chicago showcases all the wonderful things about the holiday season: gifts, decorations, food, and booze. A mix of traditional and German culture make this a cultural Christmas clash for the masses.

Sun Nov. 19 - Dec. 24 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. - free admission

Press Rewind: Pop culture from the week

Compiled by Alexa Ash

Press Play Reporter

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On this week’s issue of “How Can Hollyw(eir)d Get Any Worse?” we see an emergence of celebrity violence between Florida Rapper XXXTentacion and the rapping boyband trio, Migos, consisting of members Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff. 

After publicly accusing these One Direction wannabes of jumping him and, during the violent throes of rap god passion, pulling a gun against him, XXXTentacion took to the only true form of news any of us can rely on these days: he posted an Instagram video. His Instagram video contains the earth-shattering footage of two men, said to be members of Migos, walking up the stairs, and then, wait for it, nothing. 

The only evidence of the conflict we have is the yelling in the background of this video and the incomprehensible snapchat videos rapper XXXTentacion posted just after the fight. 

Could this be a stir in the pot of a larger, more serious revival of Death Row Records vs. Bad Boy Records, round two? Whatever the case may be, I think it’s about time Tupac and Biggie came out of hiding and regulated the situation, am I right?

Blake Shelton- Sexiest man alive?

Blake Shelton- Sexiest man alive?

This just in: People Magazine has named their Sexiest Man Alive and it’s… Blake Shelton? This country crooner & resident judge on NBC’s “The Voice,” seems just as shocked by this revelation as we are. After first releasing the cover of this most anticipated issue on his twitter account, as humble and thankful as he could be, he writes “Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.” Well, he appears to be having a good laugh about this as he uses the hashtag #donthatemebecauseimbeautiful on almost every tweet since his coronation. Trust me Blake, I think we're all laughing. Former Sexiest Man Alive winner, Hugh Jackman, took to twitter to give the new SMA a little advice: “Milk the sexy status for ALL it’s worth. The reign goes all too quickly.” Being that Blake Shelton, on both twitter and instagram, refers to everything he does now as “sex,y” it's safe to say that he will never let anyone live this down. So let's all raise a glass in honor of this momentous time in history and prepare ourselves for next years Sexiest Man Alive probable victor, Steve Buscemi. 

FAST FORWARD:Things to do ‘til our next issue

by Christina Matthias, Press Play Reporter

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Bleachers with Bishop Briggs and Amy Shark

Wanna get better? Alternative rock band Bleachers will be playing the Riviera Theatre and the Vic Theater Nov. 11 and 12, respectively. Part two of their Gone Now Era Tour began two months ago, and has since proved to be a lively celebration of the band’s past three years of hits; along with chart-successful songs such as “Don’t Take The Money” from their newest album that was released last June.

Saturday and Sunday Nov. 12-13, Vic Theater - tickets available on SongKick

 

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Adler After Dark Ages

Every third Thursday of the month, the Adler Planetarium produces an immersively themed nighttime spectacle for a 21+ crowd. November’s event will bring museum goers back to medieval times; featuring poem compositions, wine tasting, Renaissance weapon demonstrations, and numerous presentations of this time period’s study of astronomy. Spots are limited, so buy tickets in advance to have a night fit for the Middle Ages.

Thursday, Nov. 16,  6:00 p.m. Adler Planetarium Chicago, $20.00

 

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Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Embrace the upcoming holiday season by spending Nov. 18 downtown. There will be food vendors in Pioneer Court such as Garrett Popcorn and Connie’s Pizza from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., plus a multitude of pop-up tents offering various giveaways. Then at 5:30 p.m., witness Mickey Mouse and his friends lead the festival’s annual Christmas tree lighting parade down North Michigan Avenue; jam-packed with extravagant floats, jumbo balloons and mobile live entertainment from across the country.

Saturday, Nov. 18,  Magnificent Mile District, free admission 

 

NCAA releases names

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EC has been caught red handed in violating NCAA bylaws from 2012-2016, giving financial aid awards to students solely based on if they play sports for the college. After 45 days of the report, the NCAA will be releasing the names of 26 students who received these illegal scholarships. Finding out alumni and current students who reaped the benefits, and a possible bloodbath ensuing over the information, will be a pinnacle of campus conversation.

 

Apple releases its two newest models including the long awaited iPhone X

By Lauren Vana, Staff Writer

Internet photo The iPhone X was released on Sept. 22nd.

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The iPhone X was released on Sept. 22nd.

Apple recently released its newest iPhone, the iPhone 8, on Sept. 22, followed by the iPhone X, which was released Nov. 3, promising many new additions to the Apple products.  

The new iPhone 8, listed at $699 for the 4.7-inch display and $799 for the 5.5-inch, has several new changes from the previous model.

According to the Apple website, the phone is made up of “the most durable glass ever in a smartphone, front and back,” making it the first water and dust resistant model.

One of the biggest changes for users will be the wireless charging. Rather than plugging it into an outlet, users simply place the iPhone on a mat that charges the phone through the glass.

Apple also boasts of the improved display on the iPhone 8. “Dual-domain pixels give you a great view of the screen from almost any angle.”  

Internet photo The iPhone 8 was released on Nov. 3, marking the tenth anniversary of the iPhone.

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The iPhone 8 was released on Nov. 3, marking the tenth anniversary of the iPhone.

In addition, the True Tone technology “adjusts white balance to match the lighting around you” and gives the “best color accuracy in the industry.”

Potential buyers may also care to note the camera improvements, including the optical zoom, larger digital zoom, and improved portrait mode.

Apple has also improved the chip, allowing for better battery efficiency and faster processing.

The iPhone X, priced at $999, has few improvements that differ it from the iPhone 8.

One main difference is the phone is completely screen, and lacks the iconic home button found on all previous models.  Instead, users will swipe up to get back to the home screen.

Apple has also included facial recognition to unlock the phone and to utilize Apple Pay.  The technology can adapt to user’s physical changes over time.

The camera includes “studio quality lighting effects” as well as a selfie portrait mode.  

Animoji is a new feature in which a camera mimics users’ facial expressions using an animal emoji or the poop emoji.

Though the new iPhones feature many improvements, not everyone seems to be so excited about them.

Holly Bachman, EC senior, has owned iPhones since she got the iPhone 4 model in high school and recently got the iPhone 8 when her old phone shattered. 

“I don’t dislike anything it just doesn’t have many new features,” she said.

EC sophomore, Alex Kaufman, got the iPhone 7 back in April when he switched from a Samsung Galaxy S6.

“I honestly would not upgrade to the iPhone 8 or X because I think the price is astronomical and wireless charging is idiotic to me,” he said.

Bachman had the same point on the pricing, saying she didn’t see herself upgrading to the iPhone X anytime soon.

“I will not get iPhone X unless it decreases to the normal iPhone price,” she said.

Julia Schwarzinger, EC sophomore, recently purchased the iPhone X, though she won’t receive it until December.  She currently has an iPhone 6s, and the iPhone X will be her third iPhone.

“I wanted the iPhone X because I needed a new phone and it seemed cool. I like how good the camera quality is,” she said.

As far as the money, Schwarzinger added, “the price was a little scary.”

Press Rewind : Pop culture from the week

By Alexa Ash, Press Play Reporter

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Kathy Griffin declares war on the industry

Kathy Griffin is back for round (idk … I’ve lost count) in her fight against Hollywood and pretty much everyone within it. Only this time, there is not a Trump head in sight. 

In her updated YouTube video, Griffin is seen looking very calm, collected, and only slightly desperate as she moves on to her next victims: BravoTV producer and host Andy Cohen and famous celebrity gossip site, TMZ, and the man in charge, Harvey Levin. 

Griffin not only publicly accuses Andy Cohen of offering her cocaine before one of their many interviews on his show “Watch What Happens Live,”  but she also played a voicemail she had received from Harvey Levin which included his personal phone number. Will this be the end to the Kathy Griffin “feel bad for me” crusade? Grab some popcorn and stay tuned.

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Selena Gomez and Justine Bieber reignite past romance

As hollywood virtually implodes with sexual harassment scandals and as our country may be on the brink of nuclear war, we all must come together and really focus on things that matter: so, like, are Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez back together, or what? 

After the quiet breakup between Selena and her former Starboy, the Weeknd, it seems she is on the market and the only thing she’s after is the Instagram selfie king himself, Justin Bieber. The former lovebirds have been seen hanging out all around Hollywood -- and all those other nauseatingly rich areas -- as “just friends.” 

Yeah, OK -- we see you, Biebs and Sel. Have they finally rekindled that puppy-love romance? Or was the Biebs’ trend of diaper-pants and orange jumpsuits too much to be forgiven? For all of us romantics out there, let’s hope it isn’t too late now to say sorry.  

Weezer tries and fails to produce radio hits once more with“Pacific Daydream”

Internet photo Weezer performs in London. 

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Weezer performs in London. 

by Kenneth Edison, Editor-in-Chief

Follow him at @krazo1

Leave it to Weezer, one of the most woefully inconsistent bands in the business, to follow up one of their best albums with one of their worst. 

Weezer’s entire discography has been hit or miss since they debuted their preppy yet endearing sound in 1994 with the “Blue Album.” They followed that up with their best album to date, “Pinkerton,” but in the nearly 20 years following that they dropped albums that sacrificed the band’s initial charm for poorly performed, wannabe radio hits. 

However, Weezer bounced back in a big way in 2014 and again in 2016 with their albums “Everything Will Be Alright in the End” and “The White Album,” respectively. These records returned to the band’s original appeal, with frontman, Rivers Cuomo, writing witty and loveable tracks that were reminiscent of the band’s initial brushes with greatness.

Despite the recent rebound, the band’s latest project “Pacific Daydream” disappointingly throws all of that out the window once more. Weezer seems to have gotten back in the business of radio play over all else, as they have released a collection of 10 awkward tracks that are just begging to be adopted as a catchy summer anthem. 

The first single from this album to be released, “Feels like Summer,” really set the tone for the entire project with its dreadfully out of place EDM inspired synth beat that does not mesh with Weezer’s sound at all. Songs like this are dominant on the album, riddled with typical 2010s pop clichés like vocal “wo-o-ahs” in place to cover up the abundant lack of clever songwriting throughout.

Other tracks like “QB Blitz” showcase an unusual case of truly poor writing on the part of Cuomo with cringey lyrics about not having friends to do algebra homework with. Keep in mind, this is a 47 year old man writing these lyrics.

Songs like these showcase one of Weezer’s most consistent problems. Despite being in the industry for 20 plus years, they refuse to mature. As popular YouTube music critic Anthony Fantano put it, “20 years as a band and Weezer is still singing about that feel when no gf.” 

Tracks like “Mexican Fender” guiltiest of this problem as the band tries to put out relatable tales of teenage romance. With lyrics about going to a guitar shop and hanging out with a girl at her boyfriend’s house, one has to wonder how distant of a memory Rivers is calling on here, and how sincere can he possibly be about the subject matter he writes his songs about.

In the year 2017, the best the band can hope for is to come off as a bunch of dads reminiscing about the good old days. But when they release albums like “Pacific Daydream” they come across more like a bunch of old dudes creepily trying to hang out with their kids’ high school friends.

COLUMN: Pushing back the predators of the theater

by Michael Shutack, Columnist

by Michael Shutack, Columnist

With the accusations against famed actor Kevin Spacey riding on the tails of the numerous accusations against Harvey Weinstein, the public has new insight on an old dilemma: Sexual predators exist in the theatre arts. 

When a phrase such as “casting couch” is thrown into usage, vintage images of actresses like Marilyn Monroe being pinned up against metaphorical and/or physical walls by producers may come to mind. Unfortunately, inappropriate and unwanted sexual advances occur relentlessly in the performing arts to this day. Why? From what I’ve experienced as a thespian, there may be a few reasons:

Artists are damaged. This may sound cliché but it is true. Insecure, temperamental, damaged individuals turn to the theatre in order to escape their everyday lives. 

 

Everyone, theatre artists and theatregoers, should make a greater attempt to stop the Kevin Spaceys, the Harvey Weinsteins, and the Bill Cosbys in the industry from obtaining and maintaining a flourishing career. 

 

Theatre allows them to work in another world and in other person’s story. It is no surprise that some of these people become sexual predators. They confuse what is real with the false perception of their working environment. 

Professional relationships are oddly intimate in theatre. Art is the expression of emotions and, therefore, artists constantly expose themselves emotionally. 

After getting to know another person on such an intimate level, a sexual predator may want to see them exposed physically. Also, depending on the performance, actors may have to work while physically exposed. 

Horror stories exist in which actors have been sexually harassed and assaulted during nude/sex scenes. Navigating around those types of experiences may be difficult for sexual predators because such situations do not occur outside of this particular profession.

Theatre is a career of connections. Sometimes it’s not about what you can do, but who you know. Artists often find themselves at the will of others in order to make a good impression and help their own career. Sexual predators are attracted to this power and use it to take advantage of desperate artists. In this case, fame isn’t a drug, fame is a weapon.

 

Artists are damaged. This may sound cliché but it is true. Insecure, temperamental, damaged individuals turn to the theatre in order to escape their everyday lives. 

 

Regardless of the reason sexual predators exist in theatre, sexual assault and harassment are inexcusable. Everyone, theatre artists and theatregoers, should make a greater attempt to stop the Kevin Spaceys, the Harvey Weinsteins, and the Bill Cosbys in the industry from obtaining and maintaining a flourishing career. 

That starts by not supporting their work and properly addressing inappropriate behavior in early, educational theatre. I’ve been to plenty of high school and college theatre parties that have gotten out of hand. 

Despite the success predators have accumulated, young thespians need to learn that sexual assault and harassment is unprofessional and will not be tolerated.

Blade Runner 2049 astonishes with a blend of style and substance

Main character 'K', (Ryan Gosling) is taken through the mass production center where replicants are made in "Blade Runner 2049" now in theaters.

Main character 'K', (Ryan Gosling) is taken through the mass production center where replicants are made in "Blade Runner 2049" now in theaters.

By Andrew Cripe, Movie Critic

“Blade Runner 2049” is less a sequel to the 1980 Ridley Scott film and more of a tribute to Andrei Tarkovsky's meditative science fiction films, “Solaris” and “Stalker.” Which is to say, holy cow, this is a good film. It is a gorgeous desolation-poem, boasting countless memorable scenes and performances that are nothing short of gripping.

This isn't just a special film; it is the rarest kind of film, one that may not be seen as the year's best but will probably be talked about, re-watched, and dissected more than any other released in 2017.

The movie is set in the not-so-distant future, where humanity has created android slaves that look just like humans. The ones that don’t adhere to a life of servitude are labeled Replicants, and are considered dangers to society. Their hunters are called Blade Runners.

In “2049”, we follow a Blade Runner named 'K' played by Ryan Gosling in a role so quiet and intense viewers may be reminded of his performance in 2011's “Drive.” 'K' is a loner and consummate professional. His boss, Lieutenant Joshi (played by Robin Wright), orders him to assassinate a rogue Replicant. From here, 'K' begins to unravel a tragic mystery, one that involves everyone from a prostitute, Mariette (Mackenzie Davis), to the man who mass-produces the android slaves, Wallace (a chilling Jared Leto) and his secretary, Luv (Sylvia Hoeks).

Of course, if you've watched the trailers for this film, you know that Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard (the protagonist of the 1980 film), but Rick's real purpose in the story is something no critic should reveal.

The 1980 Ridley Scott adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” was praised for injecting moody noir elements into a genre that was typically known for space-fights and aliens. Now, decades later, director Denis Villeneuve kicks the darkness up to eleven.

This film is pitch-black, despairing, and incredibly depressing at points. But Dennis Villeneuve is a master of making troubling subject matter extremely compelling: “Incendies” (2010) dealt with torture, “Prisoners” (2013) with child-abduction, “Sicario” (2015) with revenge, and “Arrival” (2016) with humanity's possible downfall. “Blade Runner 2049” takes all of these themes and runs with them, and though it occasionally slips and falls, the audacity of its reach far exceeds its grasp.

The story is dense and unforgiving. Over the course of 164 minutes, it threatens to throw impatient viewers off the roller coaster, but those who stick with it will be rewarded. Devastation, love, loneliness, and the fabric of reality itself are all explored by screenwriters Michael Green (“Logan”) and Hampton Fancher (the first “Blade Runner”).

But what everybody is going to be lightning-struck by is the visual language of it; this is unlike anything else out there. Every frame of the “Blade Runner 2049” is painterly and awe-inspiring, leading a viewer to believe that cinematographer Roger Deakins (“Skyfall,” “The Shawshank Redemption”) sold his soul to get this film to look as good as it does. The visual effects team clearly crafted this fascinating world with a painstaking, borderline sadistic attention to detail. Everything about the look and feel of this film is expansive yet overwhelmingly claustrophobic in its loneliness, but it’s so well made that you'd be hard pressed to look away.

Between this and Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!,” 2017 has been an extraordinary year for daring cinema, and whether or not “Blade Runner 2049” is a total minute-to-minute success is besides the point, the fact we are even getting movies like this is a cause for celebration. These aren't films that will send you on your merry way. Instead they challenge, provoke, and twist your expectations until something--anything--snaps.

In terms of ambition, Villeneuve is chasing the tail of Stanley Kubrick while still paying homage and even improving upon Ridley Scott's legendary first film. As bleak as “Blade Runner 2049” is, the overall experience is not despairing. The sheer magnificence of its craft will inspire anyone with even a passing interest in how real films are made. See it, then see it again.

Top 5 songs to jazz up your Halloween playlist

internet photo

internet photo

By Christina Matthias, Press Play Reporter

1. It's Almost Halloween - Panic! At The Disco

This song, unfortunately, was only released as a YouTube music video, but it’s a funky tune to play at costume parties, especially where you’re around a crush. Brendon Urie’s soulful voice in the chorus and “trick-or-treat” being used as innuendo makes the night so lively, the dead will turn undead.

2. Heads Will Roll - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Who knew references to the Queen of Hearts from “Alice in Wonderland” could be so scary? The indie rock sound with lyrics telling listeners to “dance till they’re dead” generates a chilling yet amusing enhancement to anyone’s Halloween playlist.

3. Get Ghost - Mark Ronson, Passion Pit, A$AP Rocky

 The sample of the “Ghostbusters’” theme with an inventive new take has served as an animated Halloween anthem since the reboot movie soundtrack released in 2015. The mix of Passion Pit’s and A$AP’s opposing genres builds intriguing dynamics playing off of one another.

4. My House - Pvris

White Noise was Pvris’ debut album from 2014, and fans were immediately attached to themes of aspirations and the paranormal woven into the lyrics. This song in particular is an upbeat enough selection from the band’s tracklist for a spooky affair, yet still features a tale of being haunted, either by someone or something of the past.

5. Bloody Mary - Lady Gaga

An introduction of echos and sharp harp-playing creates the perfect creepy ambience in the midst of a techno beat, proving an excellent choice for dancing on the 31st. Gaga has the reputation of turning heads, and her music is effective in serving the need for unpredictability.