March 28, 2018 The Signal page 11
‘Love, Simon’ warms viewers’ hearts
Robinson (right) convincingly portrays a quirky student.
By James Mercadante Staff Writer
The shunned, tucked away film that Hollywood has declined to produce for so long — a film that introduces a LGBTQ+ character at the center of a love story and deviates from complying with the stereotypes of a “gay movie” — finally hit theaters on March 16. Based on Becky Albertalli’s
2015 novel, “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” “Love, Simon” is a coming-of-age story about Simon Spier, a student who struggles to come to terms with his closeted sexuality, and is willing to do whatever it takes to not be outed by another student who knows about his attraction to men. The film proves to be significant for several reasons, including the representation it provides.
The cast of the film is diverse, as half of Simon’s friends are people of color, which gives a more authentic presentation, as they promote variety and equal opportunity to be on the screen. The movie also focuses on giving more LGBTQ+ representation, as gay audiences rarely have a chance to witness a love story that represents them. The film successfully normalizes LGBTQ+ romance for those who do not identify with the community. “Love, Simon” diverts from being classified as a “gay movie,” as the film appeals to all audiences. Simon, portrayed by Nick Robinson, is a flawed, quirky and hilarious character that many people can relate to. The movie encourages audience members to connect with Simon by including issues in the plot that nearly anyone can relate to. Simon fears he will no longer be liked due to who he truly is, and feels alienated from his peers. Anyone, regardless of their sexuality or gender, can relate to the universal and constant search for genuine human connection. The film contains other authentic and applicable elements, like family. Jennifer Garner, who portrays
Simon’s mother, conveys a raw performance as a nurturing parent who feels the pain of her child, who is grappling with his sexual identity. She steals the whole movie in one scene in which she articulates to her son that he is beautiful and is worthy of love — something every child should hear from their parent. The audience was tremendously vocal in their reactions to the movie, as people loudly cheered for the romance and openly shed tears over Simon’s pain. Children, especially those of the LGBTQ+ community, are going to be taking their parents to see this film because of its potential to open up minds of people who are not familiar with the idea of homosexuality. The movie normalizes homosexual romance and provides a happy ending for those who have doubts — which gives hope to anyone who can relate to Simon’s story and fears to share their true identity with the public. “Love, Simon” is definitely worth going to see in theaters. The appealing and emotional film may not be Academy Award material, but it captures difficult adolescent moments, and it’s definitely something Hollywood needed.
‘Board Games Day’ makes past interactive
This week, Arts & Entertainment Editor Heidi Cho highlights some of the best new albums that The Signal staff is listening to.
Band: Good Field Album: “Surface Tension” Release Number: 3rd Hailing From: Nashville, Tennessee Genre: Warm Melodic Guitar Pop Label: Self-released The shoegaze pop band takes their sound to another level on their third full-length release. All the acoustic elements retain their integrity and get their own time in the spotlight. The album has a sound that is distinguishably more melodic than others in the band’s genre. The bassline while repetitive and grounding never brings down the upbeat piano and guitar riffs in “Endless Nights” and “Necessary Feeling.” The album was written when the band stayed in Texas. Inspired by the heat of the desert, this album can keep listeners warm and please a crowd. Must Hear: “Endless Nights,” “Necessary Feeling” and “Surface Tension”
Meagan McDowell / Photo Editor
Left: Weisbecker bases his games on computers. Right: Heisey enjoys working for the Sarnoff Collection.
By Alexander Edelson Staff Writer
The Sarnoff Collection is known for hosting innovative and original exhibitions. As part of a temporary exhibit the collection has been hosting called “Playing with Innovation: The Games of Joseph Weisbecker,” usable works and games were featured as part of “Board Games Day” on Saturday, March 24. During the interactive event, students could play with some of the board games Weisbecker originally invented. The event ran from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second floor of Roscoe West Hall. Joseph Weisbecker was a computer scientist and a game designer who began his work in the 1950s. Most of Weisbecker’s inventions were simple educational aids intended to teach people unfamiliar with computers about the principles of computer science in an entertaining way. Some of his inventions include a computer that plays tic-tac-toe and a plastic game structured around basic computer concepts. He also was involved in introducing the early personal computer as a recreational and educational tool, Flexible Recreational and Educational Device. Weisbecker liked to refer to it as F.R.E.D. Some of his greatest contributions to computer science have spawned from F.R.E.D. and brought about prototype microcomputers.
“He thought that computers should get small so people could play games on them,” said Florencia Pierri, the curator of the Sarnoff Collection. “So we have this temporary exhibit about his computer games, but they aren’t computer games as we would think of them.” Weisbecker made the board games out of traditional paper, plastic and pencils — an unusual approach to teach the general public about computers and programming logic. A strategy game called “Psychedelic No. 9” and “The Amazing New Enigmatic Stack Puzzle” were among the games at the exhibit. Both of the games consist entirely out of paper cutouts and are intended to teach logical thinking. “Psychedelic No. 9” is a two-player game in which each player has a card and takes turns picking one puzzle piece from the nine in a shared pot. The objective is to pick three pieces that will fit over the player’s card perfectly, or put back a piece in the pot before picking up another one. “They are sort of board games with computer games,” Pierri said. Although the games are true to the original design of Weisbecker, they are not Weisbecker’s original pieces. “We recently had an artist in residence, Imin Yeh, from Carnegie Mellon who recreated some of these games,” Pierri said. “She is an artist who works with paper so
she crafted a paper blue LED and also these games. She recreated them so they are playable because the original prototypes are museum pieces but she made them exactly the same so people could play with them today.” The turnout was higher than workers at the Sarnoff Collection expected for a sunny Saturday. “We’ve gotten a few people — we’re not very well trafficked but we got more people than usual,” Pierri said on the popularity of the event. Students appreciated the chance to learn more about Weisbecker’s hybrids between computer games and board games. “I’m very lucky to have this position. It relates to what I study and learn about,” said Leighton Heisey, a student worker for the Sarnoff Collection and a senior art history major. Heisey found the exhibit both interesting and educational. “I’ve haven’t had any good experience with computers or technology, but working here, I learned a lot about the field,” Heisey said. “A lot of computer science people actually come in for classes, and their professors often send them here to look at one of the exhibits, so I think that’s cool.” The games built in the ’60s can still teach and intrigue people decades later in an exhibit that showcases the best of Weisbecker and his continuingly relevant contributions to education and computer science.
Band Name: Sufis Album Name: “After Hours” Release Number: 3rd Hailing From: Australia, Globally Genre: Laid Back Psychedelic Pop Label: Burger Records The writing duo Calvin Laporte and Evan Smith makes the band’s third release, “After Hours,” a wonderfully psychedelic experience. An almost Jamaican and ska-like bounce replicated with synthetic-sounding instruments gives songs like “Till I Get Home” and “Mercy” an up tempo and sparkly sound. The repeated and simplistic lyrics sung in a breathy, deep voice can lull listeners into the same lackadaisical mood as the singer. It reflects the same dreamy quality of music from the ’60s with 11 songs that manage to stay upbeat despite the lyrical content. This band brings the psych scene to the listener with the catchy album. Must Hear: “Till I Get Home,” “After Hours” and “Mercy”
The 03/28/2018 issue of The Signal, The College of New Jersey's student newspaper