Shades of the South: Film

People often write the South off as a cultureless wasteland, filled with backwoods, folksy nobodies, living life in a world gone by. Those of us who live here, however, know that this judgment isn’t entirely accurate; the South isn’t an irrelevant relic, but a place where the culture of the Old South mingles with modern society and contemporary issues. In fact, some of the greatest works of art in the last 30 years have been inspired by or set in the American South. The result in literature and film is often blood-soaked poetry, where characters must survive in a land filled with breathtaking vistas and the eccentric individuals that the Southern culture of honor breathes life into. Some of these works of art have contemporary settings, while others take place a hundred years ago or more; however, the setting is less important than the work having the feel of the South.

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Game Day Fashion: It’s Go Time

It’s that time of year again when College Station comes to life, game day dresses are dusted off, and tailgating tents cover Texas A&M’s campus once again. Football season is here and it seemed as if it could not come soon enough. I have had dreams of walking up that ramp in Kyle Field to make my way to the second or third deck as a slight breeze made its way through those beautiful red-bricked arches. To think that my dreams are a reality once again makes my heart so full of excitement, and with this special time comes an array of outfits specific to this particular sport and its dedicated, rowdy, and distinctive crowd. The stands will be filled with ladies wanting to show off their Aggie Pride as well as their inner fashion expertise as they display some of the most creative game day outfits.

The Definitive List of “J” Named Heroes

Con Air might just be a perfect movie. There is a scene where Cameron Poe, the story’s hero, played by Nicolas Cage, finds himself in a vulnerable standoff with U.S. Marshal, Vince Larkin, played by the nervously captivating John Cusack. Within this standoff, Poe utters the following line: “There’s only two men I trust. One of them’s me. The other’s not you.” Poe’s line shows a hero’s undying skepticism of all outside threats. Over the course of the movie, the two’s relationship turns from agent hunting convict to friend trying to understand friend. Poe, a free man at this point, refuses to simply walk away from an unfinished job, and instead chooses to fulfill his heroic duty. In the end sequence, Poe graciously gifts his daughter with a stuffed teddy bear, and as she shyly takes her father’s gift, she takes our hearts as well. This hero won, as most heroes do, so yeah, Con Air is definitely a perfect movie.

Like the lesson Con Air teaches, a hero can’t simply be a novice desk agent out in the field for the first time. A hero must come from a not so friendly background, filled with misfortune and fate’s unfortunate influence. A hero is an outcast in some form or fashion. A hero doesn’t just fight, he or she fights well, like ‘Apollo Creed walkout music worthy’ well. A hero can work for a government agency, but within that agency, the hero should be either disliked, excommunicated, and/or a habitual rule breaker. A hero must have a cool name, and more often than not, that name begins with the letter “J”.

Below is a list of film’s greatest “J” named heroes, beginning with the least deserving and finishing with the most worthy “J” named hero. The characteristics by which each hero will be ranked are as follows: background, abilities, and love life.

Comedy in College Station

Earlier this year, Revolution Café and Bar in downtown Bryan brought something precious back to Bryan/College Station, something we thought we had lost after the A&M system regents approved a change to the university seal and Johnny Manziel, patron saint of football and hard living, was cut from the Browns. What was that thing, you ask?

Laughter.

A (Very Early) Look at 2017 Oscar Hopefuls

Held captive by the reboot and the sequel, Hollywood’s movie conundrum only deepened after the summer season. Following the depressing reception received by summer blockbusters such as Suicide Squad, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Jason Bourne, anticipation shifted towards the upcoming fall films. Typically, the summer’s action-packed, star-studded movies tend to rely on box office totals as their standard of success while ignoring the critics’ scathing reviews. Due to scripted superhero antics and star actors electing to join a sequel’s ensemble cast, originality continues to decline within the film industry’s largest and most influential production companies.

Coming (Very) Soon: The Eckleburg Project, Vol. 4 Iss. 2

Forget Christmas! It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the release of the new issue of The Eckleburg Project!

The Spring 2016 issue of TEP has been in the works since January, with artists refining their best work and sending it in and the editorial team working tirelessly to craft a perfect issue.

So-Called Country

20 years ago, artists such as Clint Black, Ty Herndon, Jo Dee Messina, and George Strait hit the Billboard Top 25 for Hot Country Songs of the week, and I’d be willing to bet that many students at Texas A&M today, who were born close to this time period, have no idea who some of these artists are and the songs they produced. Today, so-called “country artists” on Billboard’s website include Florida Georgia Line, Kelsea Ballerini, and LoCash (which is not a name I would choose for my son, but everyone likes their coffee a little different, I suppose), and even some of the artists who have been around a while, such as Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, are increasingly finding it more popular to sing duets with traditionally pop or rock singers, like P!nk and Demi Lovato. Our country has seen this sort of blending before. Blues from African Americans in the south spread to the north and influenced rock sensations like Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the word “country” began to encompass everything from bluegrass to gospel to western swing. However, it raises a valid question that haunts the minds of those who watch the Grand Ole Opry and whose parents grew up watching Hee-Haw (such as myself): Have we gone too far? Is this blending too much? Or, is it time to move on? Is this how our grandparents felt when our parents started listening to Michael Jackson and Prince for the first time?