Artistry Magazine - Summer 2018

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SUMMER 2018 Artistry magazine


Issue 2

Summer 2018

the killers the national paramore portugal. the man maggie rogers pussy riot perfume genuis noname (sandy) alex g big thief citizen charley bliss this is the kit natalie portman lovett or leave it

BOSTON Photos by: Sophie Cannon

jack white queens of the stone age tyler, the creator st. vincent brockhampton royal blood manchester orchestra daniel caesar belly the menzingers oh sees mount kimbie leikel147 lillie mae tauk weakened friends pod save america bridget everett tony hinchcliffe jo firestone martin urbano


eminem khalid bryson tiller fleet foxes the decemberists stormzy thundercat julien baker dirty projectors alvvays pond zola jesus taylor bennett westside gunn and conway field report stl gld jenny slate cameron esposito max silvestri


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Summer 2018

the team president Eric Doroski editor-in-chief Sophie Cannon head of design Danny Tran managing editor Gianna Barberia social media director Carolyn Noyes copy editors Danae Bucci Isabelle Hahn section editors Asia London Palomba Caroline Lowder


contents Boston Calling Collage


The team & table of contents


boston calling headliners


Lillie Mae Q&A


Songs of Summer




Love Story MFA


tony Awards


NEU Theatre Department Preview


Eighth Grade


On the Fringe: Indie Film in the 90s


Incredibles 2


JEF AĂŠrosol Q&A



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Summer 2018





ike Boston itself, Boston Calling Music Festival 2018 had something for everyone, including a variety of headlining acts. Seemingly separated by day (with a few exceptions) the main acts fell into a few categories like pop, rap, and classic rock, that helped concert-goers plan their festival experience without having to make too many painful sacrifices. Portugal. The Man kicked off the bigger names on Friday, at the peak of the swelteringly hot day. Possibly to save energy, the band started the set with an announcement flashed on screen, saying that they would not be participating in stage banter but instead showing “pre-approved press statements” from their management. Following a cover of “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd, they were off playing a healthy mix of new and old tracks from their past albums include hits like “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” and a “Modern Jesus” remix with “Black Sabbath” by the namesake band, Black Sabbath. Then came a point in the night for the tough decisions, that would echo on Sunday as well. Both pop-punk band Paramore and the rock band The National were set to play at opposing stages at the same time. For die-hard fans of either, the choice was easy and at both a great show was guaranteed, although, if you chose The National, you got the added bonus of seeing actress Natalie


Portman introduce the band and Maggie Rogers joining them onstage for the song “I Need My Girl.”

“Are you happy to be here?” Williams shouted from the stage. “Well we’re Paramore and we are happy to be here too. Like real, real happy!”

as The National, and that’s sad,” she said. “But tomorrow, we can wake up and say hey, we played with The National!” The band’s setlist was a mix of new songs off of their 2017 album “After Laughter” and their not-so-new songs like “That’s What You Get” and “Still Into You.” After a long career — their first album debuting in 2005 — it can be easy to ditch the first-wave fans who attached themselves to the emo-punk vibes of Paramore’s beginnings.

At the Blue Stage, fans were greeted with a happy and playful Hayley Williams, abandoning her neon hair and going for an almost eerie all-white look from her bleached hair to her white shirt and jeans.

Before playing “Hate to See Your Heart Break” the band recognized that and jokingly asked the audience’s permission for a change in the energy. “Is it okay if we play a slow song?” asked Williams. “I don’t know if you know this about us, but we grew up playing fast songs, and now we’re getting older we wanna slow down!” Ending the set with “Ain’t It Fun” and the encore with “RoseColored Boy” both old and new fans showed their appreciation for the band with the loudest cheers, met in the middle of the festival grounds by The National’s fans, who’s sets ended in unison.

With that, the band launched into “Fake Happy” to the real joy of the crowd. Williams also recognized the sacrifice of some to choose her band over The National, sharing some of the same feelings, but not without a silver lining. “So uh, we’re playing at the same time

After a quick walk from The National, or a full-on sprint from the Blue Stage after Paramore, concert-goers were stunned to hear “Mr. Brightside” coming from the Green Stage first. The Killers made a bold but wellreceived choice in their set. While usually

DD LL I I NN EE RR SS bands save their cult-classic jam for the end, they used it as a tool to give the audience what they wanted and amp up the thousands of people gathering in front of the stage. After that shock to the system, The Killers rocketed through other hits like “Somebody Told Me” and “Run for Cover,” saving “When You Were Young” for the encore. The set was not without Boston flair, as lead singer Brandon Flowers followed our sports teams throughout the night, at one point shouting, “according to my calculations, the red sox won…let’s celebrate.” To do that, he called out a young man in the audience, later found out to be Nick from Boston, to play the drums on stage with the band. Seemingly a bit too practiced to be a random choice, the audience ate it up anyway, starting chants of his name as he played.

White said little with his words but a whole lot with his vocal range and energetic stage presence.

After a full day on Saturday, the headlining spot of night two fell to the seasoned professionals. Jack White, formerly of the rock group The White Stripes, showed off his solo-skills in an all blue performance. Hiding his face behind the teal lights and pitchblack hair, Many of the songs featured long instrumentals, perfect for head-banging from the audience and the technical skills of his touring band to be showcased. In typical Jack White fashion, the show had no pre-approved setlist, and so White would casually run over to each bandmate and inform them of the next song he wanted to play. Alternating between songs of his own and The White Stripes discography, White made sure to make the older songs his own as well, adding personal flair to tracks like “Black Math” and even the beloved “Seven Nation Army” that closed out the show. “Spread positivity, not hate,” White said, before gathering his band in a collective bow and leaving the stage.

passion to songs like “White Winter Hymnal”, “Mykonos”, and the one-song encore “Oliver James” — the last track on their first album. Closing out the night and the last act of the entire three-day festival was rapper Eminem. Equipped with his cult-like following, the festival grounds were packed, so much so that the entire grounds all the way back to the festival gates were cluttered with people vying to see the performance. As expected, Eminem put on a show of the classics, including “3 a.m.” and “Till I Collapse” and ending with both “Not Afraid” and “Lose Yourself.” He also brought some humor to the show, addressing the rumors that him and Nicki Minaj were together. “Yo, Boston, how many people in here want me to date Nicki Minaj?” Eminem asked. “So wait, one more time, let me make sure so I can actually make this official: How many people in Boston want me to date Nicki Minaj? “Well, [explicative] me too. Nicki, if you get this message, just text me later, we’ll talk about it.”

On the final day of the festival, up against Khalid’s set time on the Red Stage, albeit not so much in terms of attendance, was the folk band Fleet Foxes. Back after a hiatus since 2013, the band came back fully energized and ready to play through their hits from 2011 and their new 2017 album “Crack-Up.” Expectedly, the crowd sang with the most


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Lillie Mae

orn to perform is an understatement in the case of country musician Lillie Mae. Starting off as a singer in her family band, Forrest Carter Family Band, at the age of just three, Mae graced the Boston Calling stage on Saturday with the professionalism and poise of a seasoned star. This Calling performance came after the release of her first full-length album, “Forever and Then Some” in which Jack White — the headlining act of Saturday’s lineup — produced. In the media tent, Artistry Magazine got just five-minutes of face-to-face time with Mae, orange lips and piercing blue eyes lighting up her face as we spoke.

Q: A:

Coming off of your set this afternoon, officially kicking off the day at the Green Stage, how do you feel?

Q: A:


It was wonderful, there were more people at the show than expected and that was great. Most of the sound and crew had been here a whole lot longer than we had. It was great, it’s been a beautiful day and the show went really well.

It’s funny, you opened the Green Stage and your pal Jack White will be headlining there to bookend the night. Can you talk about your connection with him?

(singing) “I know, we’re connected!” I’m signed to Third Man Records [Jack White’s label] but I also played with Jack for a few years before that. I’ve been working with him seven or eight years now, recording and working on many, many projects and he also produced my last album. Anyone who gets to see him, I’m excited for, because I just got to hear him in Atlanta and it’s a treat.

Q: A:

Sophie Cannon

So, you started off in a family band at just three and now you are off on your own at music festivals. What does your family think about that?

They hate it! I’m just kidding. My brother is here with me today playing guitar. The family band still exists, it’s out there and everyone is still playing. I’m really blessed because I have a wonderful family. They are extremely supportive no matter what. I’ve been full-time since I was three so I’m just waiting to retire. No, just kidding!

Q: A:

While some start out in music, others, especially college students are just now discovering their talents. What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?

The music community is so strong, so get to know people. If you came to Nashville the music community is so strong, it’s unbelievable. My family, we were all homeschooled, so I guess my advice is stay in college — stick it out!

Photo by: Sophie Cannon

Songs S u m m e r S u m m e S u m m er r of the

Carolyn Noyes


ne of the biggest questions that circulates through the media from May to September is “What will be the song that defined the summer?” Every year, you can count on a few tunes taking over the radio airwaves, duking it out to be the ultimate summer jam. Some of the contenders this year include “The Middle” by Zedd and Maren Morris, “Nice for What” by Drake, and “No Tears Left to Cry” by Ariana Grande. Although it’s too early to tell who the winner will be just yet, let’s take a look back at the most iconic summer anthems.

“California Gurls” by Katy Perry Back in 2010, Katy Perry spared no expense when she set out to release the song of the summer. “California Gurls” was practically made to be sung by the ocean and covers Perry’s affinity for wearing bikinis, sipping cocktails, and...doing other activities on the beach. Not to mention the song features Snoop Dogg’s long-awaited return to the radio in a fun guest verse - even if “on ya” and “California” don’t necessarily rhyme.

“Waterfalls” by TLC “Waterfalls” isn’t upbeat or fun like most of the songs on this list — it discusses the effects of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS. However, that’s one of the reasons that it was so popular: back in 1995, it was the first number-one song to talk about AIDS, and listeners instantly connected to its honesty. “Waterfalls” is proof that a song doesn’t have to compromise quality or depth to be a summer hit.

“Umbrella” by Rihanna feat. Jay-Z Rihanna has reinvented herself many times throughout her career, but “Umbrella” was the lead single during her first major image change in the summer of 2007. While Rihanna had a few hits before “Umbrella,” this was the song to truly cement her as a pop superstar, and her new bad girl image separated her from the countless other wannabe pop divas with whom she was competing. “Umbrella” became one of the biggest songs of the year, and had the world singing along in rain or shine.

“When Doves Cry” by Prince The late, great Prince’s 1984 album “Purple Rain” spawned some of his greatest hits, one being “When Doves Cry.” The song puts Prince’s high-energy guitar and vocals at its forefront, but is missing a key component - bass guitar. Prince wanted to use this absence to complement the song’s lyrics regarding relationship anxiety, and it didn’t stop his fans from jamming - the song was on every station that summer as he began his journey to becoming a music icon.

“Hot in Herre” by Nelly This track embraced the heat of summer, and it naturally became a sensation in June of 2002. “Hot in Herre” was one of the biggest songs of the early 2000’s. Nelly and co-writer Pharrell Williams used numerous samples from 60’s and 70’s songs, but mixed them in a way that created a bombastic club hit. When he only had the hook recorded, Nelly was already receiving industry praise: Busta Rhymes indeed, busted, into Nelly’s studio when he overheard the hook, saying the song was “infectious.”

“Let’s Dance” by David Bowie This summer, you’ll want to put on your red shoes and dance the blues just like everybody did in the summer of 1983, when this Bowie hit was released. The song’s lyrics are simple, and the music has a timeless groove supported by legendary guitarists Stevie Ray Vaughan and Nile Rodgers. As the ‘80s began, many thought that Bowie’s career was on the decline, but “Let’s Dance” introduced a new generation to his music and became a longstanding favorite for his fans.

Graphics created by: freepik

“Bad Girls” by Donna Summer This 1979 hit came towards the end of the disco era, but is an excellent example of the genre’s inescapable ability to make you want to dance. With a band including a guitar, piano, horns, and of course Summer’s incredible voice, “Bad Girls” is a great jam if you want to get a party going but have gotten tired of current dance tracks. “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass This song had a resurgence in popularity when it was featured in last year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” but it first hit the radio back in 1972. The song is a natural choice for summer - its lyrics conjure up the image of sitting seaside with a drink in hand, and the mellow instrumentals are guaranteed to put you in vacation mode. “I Get Around” by The Beach Boys A list of summer music simply isn’t complete without the Beach Boys. It may be hard to believe since The Beach Boys were one of the most iconic acts of the early ‘60s, but it took until 1964 for them to reach #1 with “I Get Around.” The song transports you to the shore with its narrative of cruising around a beach town in the 60’s — and of course, Brian Wilson’s falsetto. Back in ‘64, this song was played “All Summer Long.”


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Summer 2018

Photos by: Talja Ketchum


Phantasmagoria Phantasmagoria Phantasmagoria Talja Ketchum


ach step down the red-curtained corridor of the new “Phantasmagoria” exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is a step into the past. The exhibition features Richard Balzer’s large personal collection of all things phantasmagoria. More than just a fun word, phantasmagoria was one of the first forms of horror movies introduced during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which used magic lanterns, slides, projectors, lights, shadows, smells, smoke, and spooky images to immerse crowds into the experience. After a brief introduction of the history and the meaning of phantasmagoria, viewers are instructed by a message on the wall to, “follow the curtained path to your left to see for yourself what everyone was talking about 200 years ago,” leading them down a dimly lit, red curtained corridor illuminated by yellow lanterns. At the end of the hall, a small screen projects images of ghouls, goblins, and regular everyday interactions twisted into horror, coupled with eerie screeches and screams. After this immersive viewing of what audiences saw back in the 1800s, museum attendees follow the light into the real exhibition. The exhibit, which is composed of two rooms, is filled with paintings, books, short history lessons, and moving images; enough for anyone to become entranced by the concept of phantasmagoria. Unlike most art exhibits which caution touching, standing too close, or taking pictures, the MFA’s “Phantasmagoria” exhibition offers attendees a different experience. Similar to the enticing and engaging format of the art of phantasmagoria, the MFA’s exhibit is as interactive as it gets. Tiny descriptions on the wall invite attendees to press buttons which reveal multiple images. By shifting through various perspectives, visitors can peer beneath paintings to view not one, but three works of art. The exhibit is more than just an immersive experience into the existence of phantasmagoria

and the history surrounding it, it is also an ode to the collectors of the world and a tribute to the life and collection of Richard Balzer. The exhibition features a documentary film made by Richard Balzer’s son, which serves as a tribute to the life he lived in conjunction with the wonderful collection he amassed. The film allows the viewer to explore the unique curiosities of one man, and reflects upon how we all collect objects in different ways. For some it might be concert ticket stubs, postcards of places they have been, or even something as strange as phantasmagoria memorabilia.

Each step down the red-curtained corridor of the new "phantasmagoria" exhibition at the museum of fine arts is a step into the past. Not only does this exhibit engage the senses, but it allows viewers to leave with a greater sense of how film and society has evolved. The exhibition explores how heightened emotions and new artistic forms of expression blossomed as a response to the rationality of the Enlightenment. Through the collections of images, sculptures, and written texts, a viewer learns that phantasmagoria was more than just a thing to do or to see, it was also a reflection of past norms, culture, and beliefs. Richard Balzer’s collection is located in the Henry and Lois Foster Gallery and was currently on display until June 24th.


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love story at the MFA

thomas ward


ffering a potent combination of first-hand accounts of global refugee crisis and a scathing critique of American media consumption, “Love Story” by Candice Breitz, is a powerful new exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts. Six screens show the stories of Sarah Ezzat Mardini, a Syrian swimmer; Shabeena Francis Saveri, an Indian transgender activist; José Maria João, an Angolan former child soldier; Mamy Maloba Langra, a Congolese survivor; Luis Ernesto Nava Molero, a Venezuelan political dissident; and Farah Abdi Mohamed, a Somalian atheist. All six have their own unique struggles within a growing worldwide refugee crisis, and all six are captivating. Their stories range from the brutal violence of central African conflicts, told by both a victim and a reformed perpetrator, to the seeking of asylum due to political, religious, or sexual persecution, to the fleeing of the homeland due to war. It is powerful to sit in front of the screens and hear the actual stories of the real people involved in many of the headlines that come and go in the global discourse. The first room of the exhibit features actors Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin acting out the stories of the six people the exhibit focuses on. Two of Hollywood’s golden children, immediately recognizable and respected throughout the country, are the first thing that greets visitors to a sobering exhibit of the refugee crisis. It is an artistic statement dripping with irony, using some of Hollywood’s finest to critique the sweeping indifference to the refugee crisis. The second installation is a display of six


screens playing out the original footage of the refugees recounting their experiences. When the screens turn black, it’s over. The credits roll and Baldwin and Moore return to a life of luxury and fame. The six stories mentioned above are real, and their suffering does not end when the final lines are delivered. Brietz highlights how it is easier to shut one’s self off to these problems, despite knowing that these crises are occurring around us, and that perhaps there is something a bit more that can be done to help.

It is an artistic statement dripping with irony, using some of hollywood's finest to critique the sweeping indifference to the refugee crisis. Breitz weaves all of this into her exhibit, a critique of American media consumption and a self-aware look at the hypocrisy of art’s role in that consumption. Above all, however, “Love Story” contains the stories of six incredible people who have endured unimaginable struggles to reach where they are now. The exhibit is on display at the MFA until Jan. 21 of next year.

Photos courtesy of: Museum of Fine Arts


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Summer 2018

i a v y s e n d r to r a w e w i n a v o e t r Y rd 13


isabelle hahn


t’s safe to say that the 2018 Tony Awards felt a little more hushed than usual. There were no stand-out original productions or narratives that soared off the stage. All four of the nominations for Best Musical were adaptations, and none had the solid following that “Hamilton”, “Dear Evan Hansen”, and even “Waitress” brought last year and the year prior.

him of the entrancing Egyptian movies she used to watch with her mother starring the famous Egyptian actor, Omar Sharif. She transported everyone to the town of Bet Hatikva in a way only a seasoned pro is capable of. It was the true stand out performance against a dancing fourlegged Squidward and the spinning school cafeteria tables of “Mean Girls.”

“The Band’s Visit” was the big winner of the night, taking home 10 of its 11 nominations, including Best Musical. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” won Best Play, which wasn’t a shock considering it is the only Tony-contender that hasn’t closed. Tony Kushner’s revival of “Angels in America” and the electric “Once on this Island” took home Best Revival in their perspective categories.

Hosts Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban opened the night with a subtle yet humorous duet dedicated to the losers of the night, since neither of them have taken a Tony home for themselves. Sitting at two back-toback grand pianos, they sang about the 90 percent of participants who leave empty-handed. The humor was heartfelt, and focused on uplifting the unknown members of the casts who don’t receive the same spotlight as the night’s winners. It wasn’t the spectacle seasoned Tony watchers have grown to expect, but it fit with the tone of the rest of the show.

all these years best musical nominees are based on films, but only one of those films has paid for my boat.

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While “The Band’s Visit” seemed lackluster compared to the highspirited and better-known productions of “Spongebob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical” and “Mean Girls,” it stood out in a meaningful way. In a season where production value and commercialization made Broadway feel a little off-kilter, “The Band’s Visit” brought integrity and raw emotion. It follows members of an Egyptian police band who find themselves in a remote Israeli village after a mix-up at the Egypt-Israel border. Katrina Lenk, who won for Lead Actress in a Musical, stunned the audience with her nostalgic performance of “Omar Sharif.” In her performance, Lenk sits at a table with Tony Shalhoub and tells

Because of the loser-focused opening number, this wouldn’t be a proper review without also noting the biggest losers of the night. “Mean Girls” tied the record for most Tony Award losses by winning zero of the 12 it was nominated for. It was a little surprising, since Tina Fey is basically an industry darling, but she didn’t seem too thrown by it. “All of this year’s Best Musical nominees are based on films, but only one of those films has paid for my boat,” said Fey as she introduced a performance from the “Mean Girls” cast. Overall, there weren’t many surprises throughout the ceremony. One notable snub might have been “Spongebob the Musical” star’s Adam Slater, who was nominated for Lead Actor in a Musical and has received unanimous acclaim for his title-role performance. Many felt as though “Once on This Island” beating out “My Fair Lady” and “Carousel” for Best Musical Revival was also a huge upset. “Once on This Island” is a tale that is a little less known than the other two musicals, but it brought life to the

show that the other two lacked. The choreography, done by Camille A. Brown, breathed life and originality to the stage. Plus, there was a live goat. As per any awards ceremony in the Trump era, there were political notes sprinkled in with the talent. Robert De Niro served two unexpected F-bombs towards Trump while introducing Bruce Springsteen’s performance of “My Hometown.” CBS, of course, bleeped them from the broadcast.

Photo by: Catherine Titcomb Outside of De Niro’s outburst, the rest of the politics were personal. After Melody Herzfeld, a drama teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, accepted the Excellence in Theater Education prize, 15 of her drama students sang an emotional rendition of “Seasons of Love,” from the musical “Rent”. The audience was left misty-eyed, and gave the students a well-deserved standing ovation. Ari’el Satchel gave a memorable speech after winning Featured Actor for his role as Haled in “The Band’s Visit.” He reflected on his Middle Eastern heritage, and how thankful he is to be part of a cast that is telling a story on Broadway about Arab people. Even with the calm tone and lack of explosive performances, the show still brought the euphoria that any Tony Awards is capable of bringing. It comes from the talent, emotion, and support that exudes from theater people. And who doesn’t love theater people?


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Summer 2018

How I Learned to Dri Festival Blithe Spirit Shakespeare The Thre Everyman NU Ten Minu Complete Works of Sisters How I Learne NU Theatre Dept. to NU Ten Minut Festival Blithe Spirit The Complete Works of William Shakespeare The Three Sisters How I Learned to Drive Everyman NU Ten Minut Festival Blithe Spir Complete Works of this season William Shakespeare The Three Sisters How I Minute Play Festival Bl William Shakespeare T Drive Everyman NU Ten

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n today’s trying times, any distraction is welcomed with outstretched arms. And there is truly no better place to escape the world than the theatre. Thankfully, one doesn’t need to lay out a large chunk of their co-op cash or travel to the theatre district to see a great musical or play — Northeastern’s Department of Theatre puts on multiple shows each semester right here on campus at a student-friendly price.


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“We want all students on campus and especially our majors and minors to have the opportunity to engage with important, exciting theatre in the live moment.”

Three shows will be performed each semester this year, with “How I Learned to Drive,” “Everyman,” and “NU Ten Minute Play Festival” in the fall, and “Blithe Spirit,” “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” and “The Three Sisters” in the spring.

“We want all students on campus — and especially our majors and minors — to have the opportunity to engage with important, exciting theatre in the live moment, not only read it as literature,” wrote Scott Edmiston, Professor of the Practice and Chair, in an email to Artistry.

Edmiston is one of several department leaders that helps choose the shows each school year. Although he said that each of the shows this season have their own remarkable qualities — for instance, he pointed out that “How I Learned to Drive” has a timely feminist message and admired the beautiful storyline of “The Three Sisters” — Edmiston is especially excited for “Blithe Spirit,” as it was written by one of his favorite playwrights, Noël Coward. “[Coward’s] dialogue is witty and b****y and as sparkling as a glass of champagne,” Edmiston wrote. The “NU Ten Minute Play Festival” is special in that it is mainly student-run. It is

culmination of the theatre course “Directing for the Stage,” and students select, cast, conceive, and rehearse the plays themselves under the guidance of a faculty advisor. “It’s fascinating because you can see so many different kind plays and conceptual ideas in just two hours,” Edmiston wrote. “It’s an opportunity to really see what this generation of theatre artists feels passionately about.”

Oftentimes, the plays and musicals are chosen to go along with the theatre department’s course of study. Paula Vogel, who wrote “How I Learned to Drive,” Anton Chekhov, who wrote “The Three Sisters,” Coward, and “Everyman” are all taught to theatre students in their various courses. Additionally, Edmiston and the other department heads look at the trends of contemporary professional theatre and work these into their shows to help prepare students for the industry and post-graduation life. Preparation for this season’s shows began in June, although rehearsals will not begin until September 11. Although the shows are influenced by the theatre program’s curriculum, Edmiston said he encourages every student to try out — one does not need to be a theatre major or minor to be casted. Auditions will take place in early September.

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Summer 2018

EIGHTH GRADE: Opening Night at the Boston Independent Film Festival Nadia Naeem


ountless young people took cover from the rain inside the Somerville Theater on April 25 to watch an early screening of Massachusetts native Bo Burnham’s new movie, “Eighth Grade” at the opening night of the Boston Independent Film Festival. The film did a tremendous job encapsulating the essence of eighth grade and youth in present day, as writer and director Burnham searched for a way to depict his own childhood anxiety and how it was linked to the internet. He constructed the honest voice of young Kayla, played by Elsie Fisher, as a vehicle for his feelings. While Burnham has seen previous successes from his widely known comedy specials, he claimed, in the Q&A that followed the screening, to be getting sick of his own face and wanted to break off from stand-up in order to express his feelings in a new way. Although Burnham was never a thirteen year old girl, he tapped into a genuine depiction of what the world is like now and how especially troubling it can be for young people. In fact, Burnham said that he was violently aware of his position as a man telling a young girl’s story and, as such, collaborated with the star of the movie, Fisher. Burnham also said that while he was writing the film he “watched a lot of videos of kids talking online about themselves, the boys tended to talk about minecraft, [and] the girls tended to talk about their souls.” Inevitably, and hilariously, he found himself relating more to the girls. When talking about his choice of eighth grade specifically,


Burnham said that “the internet makes eighth graders of us all,” and that eighth graders are “feeling things so purely and intensely, and [he] wanted to make a pure and intense movie.”

The use of Kayla’s YouTube videos is a recurring element throughout the film where we see that she is giving advice that she clearly struggles with taking herself. The protagonist of the film, Kayla, is finishing her last week in eighth grade before going into high school. She struggles with friendships, self esteem, courage, among other trials and tribulations that go along with this volatile stage of life. The film opens on one of her YouTube videos in which we see her discussing the topic of being yourself. The ideas Kayla discusses in her video are then undercut when we see her applying

makeup in order to post a picture of herself in bed with the caption claiming “I woke up like this.” The use of Kayla’s YouTube videos is a recurring element throughout the film where we see that she is giving advice that she clearly struggles with taking herself. The voice of the optimistic and wise YouTubeKayla are put over scenes of her struggling to do what she is in fact telling others to do. Kayla is an inherently relatable character, whether you’re an eighth grade girl or not. The technical aspects of the film make it uniquely visceral and current. The music could be loud and overwhelming at times, giving off a feeling of anxiety but also serving to make Kayla’s story seem larger. Burnham chose to forego the typical orchestral score, in favor of a more electronic sound and so he chose Anna Meredith, a Scottish composer, to create the techno music for the film. Burnham wanted the film to look and sound digital and Meredith’s work helped immensely to get that point across.

Burnham remarked that once he found Fisher during the casting process, he knew had found someone vulnerable enough to play Kayla, but also strong enough to carry the whole movie. Overall, Bo Burnham and Elsie Fisher have created a uniquely heartwarming, while also heartbreaking film about the hardships of adolescence in the modern age. The full movie was released to the public on July 13.

One of the most impressive aspects of the film is seen in Fisher’s overall performance. (She is known for her roles in “Despicable Me” as the unicorn obsessed Agnes, and “McFarland, USA”, as the spunky daughter Jaime White). One thing that Burnham noted is that while many of the YouTube video scenes may seem ad-libbed in fact, every “um, like, and or whatever” is written into the script. The fact that Fisher was able to work with such a particular script, and give a performance that feels so real is truly exceptional.

Illustrations by: Danny Tran


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Summer 2018

e g n i r f e h t n o indiefilm filmin inthe the indie film in the indie film in the indie Caroline Lowder


or most of us attending college, we are the last generation of what has been deemed the “90s Baby.” The plethora of memes on our Instagram pages allow us to reminisce about ancient looking toys and poor quality movie scenes that give us one final lifeline to the generation we were born into 20 years ago. Many of us, though, did not get to experience to the fullest extent the true impact the 1990’s had on our world, and definitely need more than just a simple meme to understand. One possible solution to this problem is located just down the street from our home at Northeastern at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA).

most people don’t recognize how progressive the entire movie industry in the 1990s truly was for the cinema.

Each month this year, the MFA hosts an event titled, “On the Fringe: Indie Film in the 90s,” in which audiences are given the chance to examine the lesser known indie film scene of the 1990’s on the big screen. Thinking back on the 90s, many remember “Forrest Gump”, “Clueless,” and “Titanic” as defining the decade. While these films did change modern television with their technology and storylines, most people don’t recognize how progressive the entire movie industry in the 1990’s truly was for cinema. “The invention of the VCR meant that Americans were watching movies at home every night of the week, and Hollywood couldn’t keep up with the demand for new content,” states the MFA’s website. “To fill the void, independent filmmakers turned out a bounty


of groundbreaking new films made on a relatively small budget and free from the confines of the Hollywood system.”

These indie films changed television and cinema as we know it today, making the ‘90s a modern renaissance for on-screen media. Since many of the films the MFA is putting on through this series have not been seen on the big screen in almost a decade, audiences are provided a unique opportunity to be transported back in time. The MFA screens one to two movies each month, including films like “The Hudsucker Proxy,” “Hoop Dreams,” and “Welcome to the Dollhouse”. Over the next couple of months, viewers will have the chance to see “Slums of Beverly Hills” on September 7, “Buffalo 66” on October 5, “Being John Malkovich” on November 2, and “Batman Returns” on December 21.

Photos by: Molly Farrell


So, if you are a “90s Baby” looking to delve a little deeper into learning about your generation and the mini-renaissance we were all apart of, the MFA’s “On the Fringe” series is here to help.

incredibles incredibles 22 tackles real-world issues in a comic book setting Sarah Shaw & Sophie Cannon


or most college students, the wait for another “Incredibles” movie seemed infinite. With seemingly no hope for a sequel, the now post-adolescent super fans, like myself, laid awake at night dreaming of what could happen next: does the extraordinary Parr family take down the Underminer? Will they turn out stronger, ready to bring justice and a new wave of “supers” to the world they were forcibly shunned from?

the sequel packed more than just action and funny oneliners into a film. Well, a mere 14 years later, on June 14, fans got some answers. The opening scene of “The Incredibles II” picks up right as the first ended, with a montage of Dash competing in school sports, Violet finally asking out Tony Rydinger, and the Parr family fighting evil together as a family. This scene, one I had thought about for over a decade, served as the perfect beginning for the movie. The rest of the 2-hour movie has action scenes with the Underminer, Syndrome and new villain, The Screenslaver, some softer familiar moments, and Jack-Jack getting the character development (along with super powers) many had been waiting to see. And if you were missing Frozone and his wife, there is good news there, too. Nostalgia aside, although it is hard to separate the two, the sequel packed more than just action and funny one-liners into the

film. Almost too overt at times, the overtones of today’s real-world concerns slipped into the fictional world, namely gender roles, technology dependency, and a dash of politically charged commentary. While the tots in the audience may not pick up on the themes, the time-tested fans and parents sure will, especially in the Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible narrative, as the parents switch traditional gender roles — wife heading off to fight crime and big-muscled Mr. Incredible faced with the task of taking care of the children.

One of the major hot-button items the movie addresses is women’s roles and the breaking of traditional boundaries. In some ways, the 14-year wait may have been ultimately necessary for this version of the Incredibles’ continuation — would this woman-in-power storyboard have made it past the drawing board back in 2004? Even today, trying to conceptualize women as the primary breadwinners defies century old gender roles, and the film challenges that at its forefront. In another instance of women taking the

spotlight, the beloved Edna Mode shines bright. When Edna, the larger-than-life fashion designer, returned to the big screen, she immediately received a standing ovation from fellow movie-goers in the theater. When Mr. Incredible goes to Edna, exhausted and with a 5 o’clock shadow, all from just one day of watching baby Jack-Jack, she serves as the hilariously critical and spunky woman we grew up loving, offering some perspective for the husband, unaccustomed to what labors his wife has done for years. Edna said it best when she said, “Done properly, parenting is a heroic event.” No one who has tried parenting claimed it was easy, and for those who do, I have a few questions. We often take those who help us for advantage, whether it be our parents, our partners, or our friends. “The Incredibles II” shares an honest perspective on parenting and forces audiences to reflect on societal standards. Other moments that transport us back to the U.S. for a moment come with mentions of politics, including a line referring to Congress as less trustworthy than a monkey throwing darts and another referring to superheros as “illegals,” a nod to immigration issues. The new villain, The Screenslaver, is a jab at how society has become dependent on their screens, however not as strongly pressed as the other issues in the film (perhaps because the movie is quite literally projected on giant screens). As mentioned before, while the movie runs long and tried to tackle as many storylines and ideas as possible in it’s longer run-time, the film itself does deliver what many asked for. We get the quotable lines, the red suits, cute chubby-faced wide-eyed animation, and feel-good warmth when the screen fades to black.


Issue 2

Summer 2018


ometimes referred to as the “French Banksy,” self-taught French street artist Jean-François Perroy, better know as Jef Aérosol, has painted all over the world, in cities like Rome, Beijing, Brussels, Tokyo, and Boston, stencilling a unique blend of cultural icons and ordinary people mixed with music and pop culture across walls and buildings. His most notable work in Boston, painted in 2015, can be found splashed across the walls of Northeastern University, decorating the campus’ niches and crannies with some of his signature stencils and other works of art which pay homage to the city and the university’s history. Aérosol’s Northeastern works include the large scale mural of a smiling young man mid leap on the outside of Cargill Hall, a portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, and others hidden around campus. Artistry Magazine spoke with Aérosol via email to discuss what first lead him to stencil, what inspires his work, and what it was like to paint on Northeastern’s campus back in 2015.

Jef Aérosol Asia London Palomba


Artistry Magazine: What inspired you to spray your first stencil series?

Photos by: Jef Aérosol


Jef Aérosol: That was way back in 1982, when I was 25 years old. I had just moved from my native town to a new place, the city of Tours [in] central France for professional reasons. The fact of being away from “home,” with nobody to judge or misjudge me, the will to show I was there were the main reasons why I decided to cut and spray my first stencil. There was also that post-punk atmosphere in the air and the aesthetics and imagery I was into. The only stencils I had seen were on the shirts and leather jackets of Strummer, Jones, Simonon, and Headon [members of the band The Clash]. There was nothing on the walls at the time. A year or so earlier, I had attended a concert of The Clash in Paris An American guy called Futura 2000 was spray painting a huge canvas at the back of the stage. That was the very first time I saw a spray can being used for artistic purposes.

AM: What do you draw inspiration from for your art and why? JA: So many different things. Some themes and topics are obviously very present in my works: music, rock & pop culture, children, etc. I tend to mix famous and ordinary people. I sometimes create encounters of an unusual type between stars and anonymous street guys. AM: Which piece of yours is your favorite and here in the world can the piece be found? JA: I like them all; I refuse to make differences. But I have to confess that a lot of people do make differences and the piece that seems to be my best-known one certainly is my huge self-portrait in Paris, near the Pompidou Center.

The butterfly, apart from its essential beauty, is a very delicate and fragile animal. It doesn’t live long and, for me, it’s a symbol of delicacy, subtlety, poetry [and] dream[s]. AM: What was it like to work on Northeastern’s campus back in 2015? How did you like it? JA: I loved it. I was very warmly welcomed and everything was organized to make my stay easy, nice, and pleasant. I enjoyed meeting different people, I had lots of fun with my assistants, [and] I spent great times in Boston, visiting, going to gigs, painting. I found the atmosphere at Northeastern extremely cool and relaxing, a village-like sensation. I appreciated the fact that I was given total freedom to paint wherever I wished to on the campus and, above all, the possibility of spraying my life size stencils. As a matter of fact, painting human size

characters is something important to me, it makes my art more human, more true to life, more integrated in the context. I like big murals too but, when given the choice, I often tend to favour my lifesize images.

Northeastern student, wearing the university sweater, hanging from a bar, surrounded by butterflies and expressing how lively, dynamic, and pleasant life at Northeastern can be.

AM: What was your inspiration for the pieces you did around Northeastern’s campus?

AM: Many of your works, including the majority of the ones you stenciled across Northeastern, feature butterflies. What do these butterflies symbolize, and why do you choose to incorporate them into your art?

JA: Well, I brought some of my iconic stencils: the sittin’ kid, the sittin’ teenager, the lil’ guy throwing butterflies, the “stencil boy.” I wanted to paint musicians, so I selected a life size Jimi Hendrix, as if he happened to be there, sitting in the street, in front of the music hall , mixing with the local musicians and the Berklee music school students. I also painted a true Bostonian, Edgar Allan Poe, with a raven on his shoulder, but I represented him having a nice cup of tea with John Lee Hooker, who was much more used to bourbon, scotch, and beer. That anachronism was a kind of wink in reference to the famous Boston Tea Party. And there’s the larger mural on the former School of Law. It shows your archetypal

JA: The butterfly, apart from its essential beauty, is a very delicate and fragile animal. It doesn’t live long and, for me, it’s a symbol of delicacy, subtlety, poetry [and] dream[s]. The fact it has a very short life is also a way of saying: enjoy life…[it] is so short and fragile we shouldn’t spend so much time and energy on fighting against each other for stupid reasons. AM: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists? JA: Be yourself!


Issue 2

Summer 2018