ROUND UP JUNE 7-9, 2017

This week, I wrote for BUST, the Humble Arts Foundation's Blog, and PopMatters. Enjoy!
"It is with disappointment, then, that I have to report that Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, Halsey’s second full-length, represents a step backward regarding quality. Halsey has, for the most part, abandoned the specificity that was key to her lyrical successes on Badlands. Where her Badlands lyrics had a consistent confessional quality, that same quality is intermittent at best on Hopeless Fountain Kingdom."
"Interwoven through the straightforward narrative of Carrie Pilby are flashbacks of Carrie’s time at Harvard, where she is swept away by a predatory English professor (Colin O’Donoghue), which gradually allows the audience some insight into what turned Carrie so jaded towards humanity, as well as her specific discomfort with sexuality. While the scenes of O’Donoghue’s character grooming Carrie are extremely difficult to watch — you want to tell her to run away now, Carrie! from this creepy older man who is fetishizing her youth and innocence — the climax of the film, which involves Carrie’s father punching the professor in the face, is rather satisfying. The changes made in adapting the original novel are mostly updating it to the present day, since the novel was published in 2003, practically making a straight adaptation a period piece. The filmmakers smartly decided to let Bel Powley use her natural English accent rather than having her try and flatten her voice out into an Emma Watson-esque approximation of American speech, and Powley’s excellent work makes Carrie not only someone I feel could be real, but someone I actually find too close for comfort."
"There is a wide variety of photography on display from artists Yulia Tikhomirova, Lena Rosa Händle, Hanna Putz, Ekaterina Anohkina, and Borjana Ventzislavova: black and white, color, digital, film, snapshot-style, candids, portraits, landscapes. Despite some truly eye-catching and satisfying motifs and rhythms created by clever juxtapositions, the displays, taken on the whole, are a bit uneven. Some of the artists’ contributions stand out more than others, creating an experience that is unfortunately not more than the sum of its parts."