Culture corner – The Aggie


The Arts Desk’s weekly picks for movies, TV, music and more

By VIVI KIM — [email protected]

Album: “Tradition” by Monsune (2019)

This album, which is R&B singer-songwriter Monsune’s debut EP and latest release, is filled with an eclectic set of sounds ranging from mellow acoustics to psychedelic guitar arrangements. He uses a variety of samples and draws inspiration from artists across multiple genres, including hip-hop and alternative pop. “Mountain,” one of my favorites from the five-track album, is an interesting mix of soft, subdued vocals and vibrating, distorted guitar instrumentation, switching abruptly between the two throughout the song. In an interview with To monitor, Monsune describes the album as embodying the chaotic transition from adolescence to adulthood, where just about anything can be pieced together in a confusing yet novel combination of ideas. If you are looking for a set of versatile and soulful indie tracks, I recommend you listen to this album.

Movie: “Weathering With You” by Makoto Shinkai (2019)

In honor and in anticipation of Makoto Shinkai’s next film, I recommend watching one of his famous past works, “Weathering With You”, a visually stunning animated fantasy that truly bears the name of the distinguished Japanese director. The film tells the story of Hodaka Morishima, a runaway poor high school student, and Hina Amano, a young orphan with the miraculous ability to manipulate time. While Tokyo is flooded with relentless rain and desperate for clear skies, the two meet and turn Hina’s gift into a traveling weather service. Shinkai constructs an engaging story while incorporating themes from ancient Japanese myth, culture, and geography. Melancholy yet fiery and overall beautifully illustrated, this movie is also worth watching now or saving for a rainy day.

Book: “The Time Machine” by HG Wells (1895)

Considered a pioneering work of science fiction, HG Wells’ novel “The Time Machine” is a must read for science fiction enthusiasts and casual book lovers. The story is both an inspiring classic of time travel and a social commentary on emerging concepts from the late 1800s. An anonymous scientist sends himself to the year 802,701 AD, where he discovers two species living in what was once London in the 19th century. Eloi’s Upperworld society is depicted as a group of gentle, frail creatures, prey to the grossly inhuman Underworld society of Morlocks. Wells uses these two groups to illustrate his views on class division, social degeneration, a world refined by natural selection, and the impending dangers of human civilization. Despite the heavy themes, I’d say the novel is a fairly short read and definitely worth the read.

TV Show: “Hellbound” (2021)

Infinitely thought-provoking, cynical, and borderline philosophical, fantasy horror-drama “Hellbound” is perfect for those unafraid to explore darker genres. Through two gripping story arcs, it powerfully tackles themes of mortality, religion, justice, and corruption. To sum up the brutal exposition of this series in one question: what would you do if death literally came knocking at your door? Or, rather, rush down from the bottom of hell and forcefully break down your door? It’s a horrifying reality to imagine but entertaining nonetheless. What really amazed me about the show was how it took this seemingly outlandish plot and crafted a complex and compelling narrative, speaking to audiences about the power of mass manipulation. After the first episode, an ominous plot twist and a heartbreaking cliffhanger as the season finale make the series worth watching.

Written by: Vivi Kim — [email protected]


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