On Friday, Aug. 19, Lobos flooded the Student Union Building at the University of New Mexico for Friday Night Live, a one-night activity event kicking off Welcome Back Days. Laser tag, casino games and free food were just a few of the highlights from the late-night caper. This event was only the first in a series of events called Welcome Back Days, aimed at welcoming students back to campus after summer break — other planned events include the Class Crawl, Movie on the Field, President’s Ice Cream Social and UNM Communities Day.
This review contains spoilers A24’s new satirical slasher “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” directed by dutch actress Halina Reijn, seemed awful by the first trailer — a typical thriller told through the gimmick of influencer culture. To my pleasant surprise, the actual movie offered up a strong visual identity, intelligent humor and a passable story to tide audiences wary of hearing the same generational jokes we’ve heard thousands of times before. Though still gimmicky, and in many ways unoriginal, “Bodies Bodies Bodies” is an entertaining and aesthetic ride.
Last Tuesday night, Brooklyn-based indie folk band Florist performed at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. The band's mellow and peaceful sound, created by mixing collected ambient noises and music, made for a lovely and unique concert. The show's runtime, while short, did not disappoint in the slightest. The performance was cohesive, showing off the band’s collective strength as one entity, allowing the instrumentals, vocals and other sounds to support and aid one another rather than compete for prominence. The openers Marc Merza and Diatom Deli likewise put on captivating performances — especially Taos artist Deli, whose visuals corresponding with her performance were entrancing and gorgeous.
On Tuesday, Aug. 16, the newly produced Navajo language dub of “A Fistful of Dollars” will be screened for free at the KiMo Theatre in downtown Albuquerque. This dub, produced through a partnership between the Navajo Nation Museum and MGM Pictures, is part of an ongoing effort by the museum to bring awareness to Navajo language preservation efforts through classic films.
Released in the U.S. on July 15, 2022, “Where the Crawdads Sing” neatly repackages Delia Owens’ bestselling coming-of-age mystery of the same name. The film entices audiences from the start with skillful performances and fine contemplative visuals that compliment the nuanced story. From the outset, the film will certainly keep you on the edge of your seat, even if you know the ending well, which harbors a delightful twist. There’s no imbalance between the coming-of-age and murder mystery aspects of the film — these two sides of the story intertwine and firmly pose the question of if and when murder may be justified.
“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” released nationwide July 15, 2022, has already racked up over $5 million nationally at the box office and garnered a score of 98% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. After having the pleasure of witnessing the famous shell-child in the titular role, this success is no surprise.
On Monday, Aug. 1, artist and associate professor Anna Westfall’s “Bright Field” installation opened at the Spectra Gallery housed in the University of New Mexico Honors College. Westfall is an associate professor at Eastern Mennonite University, as well as a Master of Fine Arts recipient from the University of New Mexico. Prior to this, she has exhibited her work in Virginia, Georgia, Washington D.C., Massachusetts and New Mexico. “Bright Field” is a series of ceramic sculptures arranged in a radiating formation from the center wire piece. Each form was either thrown on a pottery wheel with added handmade additions or was entirely handmade, according to Westfall.
As I enter my sophomore year at the University of New Mexico, I, like many others, am coming out of a summer filled with friends and family that I haven’t seen since January. Now that school is starting, I am getting ready to say goodbye to them for the next few months. However, if my first year taught me anything (it certainly didn’t teach me statistics), there are plenty of ways to keep in touch with those you aren’t going to see for a few months.
With the release of his first feature “Vengeance,” a comedy-thriller filmed in New Mexico and Texas, B.J. Novak got the rural southwest right. “Vengeance” is a passable yet promising first feature, showing a smart eye for dialogue, character and story that should only improve as the writer/director/actor continues his career. “Vengeance” follows shallow New Yorker Ben Manalowitz (Novak) as he attempts to turn the death of a former hookup into the next hit true crime podcast, following her family in their quest for vengeance in what seems like an open-and-shut case. In the process, he bonds with the family and Texas itself.
Gillian Robespierre’s 2014 romantic comedy “Obvious Child” seamlessly portrays the difficult realities of young adult life, complete with heartbreak, job instability and unplanned pregnancy. “Obvious Child,” with its frank discussion of abortion and reproductive rights, earns a solid place alongside other romantic comedies like Michael Showalter’s 2017 film “The Big Sick,” handling serious issues with heart, thought and care, while remaining funny and alive all the while.
Rachel Lee Goldenberg’s “Unpregnant,” released in September 2020 on HBO Max, follows a newly pregnant 17-year-old Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) and her ex-best friend Bailey (Barbie Ferreira), as they travel across the country from Missouri to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The duo’s aim is for Veronica to get an abortion without parental consent. The film entertains, but ultimately falls flat both in cohesion of storyline and in making a statement on abortion. This film could have benefited from being a miniseries — six episodes rather than a feature-length film. Perhaps an expanded version of the story could’ve better explored the emotional depths of Veronica's decision. The events in “Unpregnant,” however, unfold episodically instead of flowing into one another.
With their latest issue hot-off-the-presses —released this July — local magazine Iconica is set to continue on in their celebration of fashion, arts and culture. The magazine strives to blend modern art with the local culture of New Mexico while working to connect artists across the state with their next big opportunity. “My vision for Iconica is to be a hallmark of what it means to be New Mexican in a sense of, I think we’re really known for older traditions, and I would like it to be a balance of bringing that modern talent in with our history and it just being a focal point for all of the amazing talent we have here in a very high-end way,” Natassja Santistevan, creative director for Iconica, said.
On April 23, the University of New Mexico Student Publications Board selected senior Sierra Martinez as the new editor-in-chief of literary arts magazine Conceptions Southwest. Martinez brings editorial experience, refined taste and a bold vision for the future to the historic magazine. Beginning in 1978, Conceptions Southwest is UNM’s premiere annual fine arts and literature magazine that accepts submissions from all members of the UNM community, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni. Conceptions takes submissions in poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, visual art, photography and open media, an open-ended category that ranges from short films to sculptures — anything otherwise difficult to publish.
Zara Roy has been hard at work preparing Limina: UNM Nonfiction Review for the new semester since her selection as editor-in-chief for the magazine’s upcoming 35th edition. An incoming junior studying psychology and theatre, Roy brings over three years of editorial experience to the role, which she looks forward to taking on amongst her other responsibilities. Limina: UNM Nonfiction Review is an annual nonfiction publication that accepts submissions from undergraduate and graduate students alike, including academic essays, memoirs, photo essays, research papers and journalistic stories. Previously known as “Best Student Essays,” Limina changed names in 2020 to better reflect their content, which they view as transformative for students and readers.
Since the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, women and people with uteruses have faced uncertainty across the nation. Since the ruling, 44 states have banned abortion after a certain point in pregnancy, with 17 banning it entirely. For New Mexico, abortion is still legal at any stage of pregnancy. Resource centers from the University of New Mexico such as the Women’s Resource Center and the Division for Equity and Inclusion stated their support for people affected all over the country and UNM students in particular.
Since its inception, the Women’s Resource Center at the University of New Mexico has worked tirelessly to create a space that makes individuals feel less alone on the busy UNM campus and continues to adapt to the needs of all students. The WRC prides itself on accessibility and inclusion, in addition to continuously evolving to better serve UNM students. One of the most well-known and unique services provided by the center is confidential advocacy, according to Michelle Dugan, a campus advocate at the WRC.
With summer still in session and the weather ripe for cycling, the University of New Mexico has kicked off a series of bicycle maintenance workshops specifically targeted towards women, trans and nonbinary people, and allies. The goal is to create a comfortable space for femme people to learn the mechanics of their bike. The free program, which takes place at the UNM Outdoor Adventure Center, runs from 5-7 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday from July 13 to Aug. 14. The unique workshops cover a variety of different aspects of bicycle mechanics over the course of a month.
The opera “La Malinche: Traitor | Savior” by composer Nathan Felix, premiered July 21 at the Albuquerque Museum, exploring the journey, influence and legacy of historical figure La Malinche and her involvement in the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The opera, commissioned by the Albuquerque Museum, coincides with an exhibit currently showing, “Traitor, Survivor, Icon: The Legacy of La Malinche,” which showcases works of art surrounding the iconic figure. La Malinche, whose real name has been lost over time, was gifted to Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1519. Due to La Malinche being fluent in Nahuatl and Maya, two of the languages spoken in the Aztec Empire, she became Cortés’ translator. Eventually, La Malinche would go on to mother Cortés’ child, according to the Albuquerque Museum.
Minions have found themselves to be the sources of great civil unrest since their introduction to cinema in 2010 with the release of the first film in the “Despicable Me” franchise. These peanut-esque beings have been shamed and disgraced for little reason since their introduction to the public, but with the release of the latest despicable installation, have risen to great distinction: on July 1, “Minions: The Rise of Gru” released in the United States, already becoming one of the highest-grossing films of the year. Finally, we’re going bananas for minions, rather than rising against them.
On Monday, July 18, the University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research welcomed over 40 researchers and enthusiasts from around the world into Zimmermann Library’s west wing for the opening event of the 15th International D.H. Lawrence Conference, celebrating the life and work of the early 20th-century English writer. The conference is held every three years in different locales of relevance to the author and his writings. For Feroza Jussawalla, a professor emerita in the UNM English Department and specialist in Lawrence, the conference serves as a good reminder to UNM students and faculty of the value the author brought to our state, which Lawrence saw as a space for a potential utopia.