In the recent fall 2022 semester, there has been a major increase in enrollment of students into the film and digital media program at the University of New Mexico. Intro classes have noticeably increased in number of students present. Classes that used to be 16-18 people in number have increased to 23-25 students per class. This means more students per instructor, bigger groups to work in and less cameras per student. This offers a wide range of problems, but it also offers a lot of hope. Hundreds of new students have appeared seemingly out of nowhere, surprising employees, instructors, and other students who have been in the program for a while.
At midnight on Oct. 21, Taylor Swift released her new 13-song album entitled “Midnights.” Shortly after, a “special very chaotic surprise,” as Swift called it, of seven more songs — titled the “3 am Tracks” — were then unsurprisingly released at 3 A.M. Together, the two come to form ‘Midnights: 3am Edition,” a collection of 20 new songs that are a truly spectacular set of stories representing those nights when thoughts leave you staring at the ceiling. Anyone looking for the “old Taylor” will find artifacts of her old albums throughout this new one, but “Midnights” truly represents how Swift has grown as an artist and a person.
The principal concern of the filmmaker is image. Story, character, even sound are all secondary to the creation of compelling images. Think of the shower scene in “Psycho,” Gene Kelly and the lamppost in “Singing in the Rain.” With their composition, these iconic images, both within and outside their original contexts, provide sensations beyond sight to the audience — touch, smell, taste, even intrigue; a sixth sense of danger and imbalance or joy and virility. Now, think of an iconic shot from the past few years in film, particularly blockbusters: those we’re leaving behind to later generations. Our cultural footprint. Think of a shot as divorced from the context of plot as well, just what’s in the frame. Finding anything interesting? Likely not.
The city of Albuquerque and its surrounding area provides ample opportunity for both professional and amateur photographers to photograph places that are both beautiful and unique. Isaac Martinez, a film student at The University of New Mexico and practicing photographer for the last four years, spoke to the Daily Lobo about his favorite spots to take photographs with some common and uncommon spots.
Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Sept. 8, 2022. She left behind a legacy drenched in blood from her long imperial reign. Hidden behind the veil of elegance, jewels and wealth, the English monarchy has long stood as a bloodthirsty, villainous force. One of the most gruesome examples of the violence committed by the monarchy was their response to the Kenyan Mau Mau independence movement in the 1950s. Occurring at the start of Elizabeth II’s reign, English troops sent hundreds of thousands of people in both Kenya and Malaya to be imprisoned in detention camps, enduring forced labor and starvation — acts carried out in the name of the Queen.
As a senior at the University of New Mexico, I have had four years to familiarize myself with our campus. Over that time I have fallen in love with so many aspects of our school's beautiful architecture and landscaping. However, like many other students, I know of a handful of areas on campus that don't necessarily bring me joy. In fact, they do quite the opposite. One spot in particular that has bugged me for years is the area between Zimmerman Library and the Education Classrooms building.
In July 2017, former Lance Corporal Brian Brown-Easley entered a Wells Fargo bank in an Atlanta suburb and informed employees he had a bomb in his backpack that he would detonate if the Department of Veterans Affairs office did not provide him with his monthly disability payment. “Breaking,” released wide in the U.S. on Aug. 26, depicts that fateful day with a sympathetic eye, providing audiences with a taut and hard to watch thriller. The film, which marks the feature-length debut of director-screenwriter Abi Damaris Corbin, documents the unfolding of the robbery, only occasionally breaking off into flashbacks to establish Brown-Easely’s family life, military service and the events leading up to present day.
On Sunday, Sept. 12, television’s best and brightest will gather at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles for the 74th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Back in Albuquerque, New Mexico, two Daily Lobo editors have compiled a list of what they think will win and should win in seven of the award categories.
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.
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.
When black midi first burst onto the music scene with their debut single “bmbmbm” in 2018, it was clear they were a band to watch. Their subsequent albums “Schlagenheim” and “Cavalcade,” released in 2019 and 2021 respectively, were met with universal critical acclaim, further cementing black midi’s place among some of the top bands working today. On July 15, 2022, black midi returned with “Hellfire,” an album that strangely feels like the best introduction to the band with its clear sense of identity and superb musicianship. While black midi typically gets grouped in with the other bands out of England making waves in the post-punk scene like Dry Cleaning and Black Country, New Road, they stand out from the crowd with a heavy progessive rock influence not present in other acts. It makes midi’s music incredibly unique, but also difficult to approach.
Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” with its overwrought style beyond substance, is the cinematic equivalent of eating all of your leftover Halloween candy in one night and waking up sick the next morning. An enjoyable ride with sweet flavorings to boot, it’s too eager in its undertakings and leaves you staggered and slightly sick. With a hubristic two-hour, 39-minute runtime that challenges even the most ardent supporters of the hyper-stylistic director, “Elvis” fails to shine beyond spectacle in its portrayal of the relationship between the iconic rock-and-roller and his infamously manipulative manager.
Summer break is a good opportunity to enjoy good reads outside of an academic environment. University of New Mexico junior Julia Langeway, a circulation assistant at Zimmerman Library student studying English and art history, sat down with the Daily Lobo to share five of her favorite books.
On June 28, Wry Press released “Natives Don’t Get Haircuts,” a chapbook by former University of New Mexico student Hataałiinez Wheeler containing 29 poems and one short story. Fans of Wheeler’s will recognize the disconcerting linework as analogous to what is often scrawled alongside his sketches and photographs, while those new to his work will be brought in by the tension and language — none will be disappointed with the outcome, printed and bound. Wheeler, the definition of an interdisciplinary artist, has already released three albums and an EP under his nickname Hataałii. A personal favorite is the song “Walking on Our Own,” co-written and produced by current UNM student Jakob Jaques. Wheeler is also a model and actor, recently working on the AMC television series “Dark Winds” as Joe Leaphorn Jr. In the past year, he’s even delved into painting and jewelry-making with vigor.
The film industry loves to make movies about the film industry and “Dawn Breaks Behind the Eyes” from Austrian/Sri Lankan director Kevin Kopacka, is one of the newest films to join this long tradition after its release in the U.S. on June 24. The Guild Cinema luckily only had a one-night screening of the film so hopefully no one else — save for the poor unfortunate souls in the movie house on Saturday, July 9 — will have to subject themselves to this bore of a watch. “Dawn” starts out following a couple, Dieter (Fredrick von Lüttichau) and Margot (Luisa Taraz), as they explore a possibly abandoned castle inherited by Margot from some dead family member; I say possibly because, at most points, the film can’t decide if the castle is truly abandoned or not. It would seem so, based on its decrepit and dilapidated state, but the couple spends the night there in a bed with some suspiciously nice white sheets — however, this is only a minor annoyance in a film as annoying as a crying child in a restaurant, although far less forgivable.
In a letter to a friend written at the peak of Virgo season, Anton Chekhov wrote: “Medicine is my lawful wife and literature is my mistress.” Wikipedia touts that he is “considered one of the greatest writers of all time,” Russian or otherwise. But he was never a student of the arts; he spent his days watching human beings fall apart and doing what he could to reverse the human condition, something that is temporary, painful, and disgusting to look at. I graduate this week and people are very curious about what I’m going to do with my dual degree in English and Russian. Most people assume graduate school is the immediate next step, but studying what, they ask?