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The hardest part of watching a movie with significant hype is avoiding disappointment. Hype comes from both from outside sources and personal expectations, and it can cause you to not even be able to enjoy something because your mind is primed to focus on the things both loved and hated by others. I swear I tried to avoid these predispositions before watching “Isle of Dogs.” But legacy weighs heavily on the buzz around Wes Anderson’s...

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A permanent feature of modern life is technological envy. Due to the rate of technical progress and astute marketing, a new phone or computer only feels new for a few months until a newer, faster model comes out. In this way, we have a consistent, periodic reminder to update our notions of what constitutes the bleeding edge of technology. This is very different from how awareness of personal and cultural change proceeds. These kinds of...

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I believe my eclectic movie tastes were informed by what I watched during the cold winter months in Wilmette, Illinois (a North Shore suburb of Chicago) from the time I was eight until I went to Northwestern University as a journalism major at 18. I’d have bouts of bronchitis ― in December, January, February and March ― where I’d miss up to a week of school. I’d be at home coughing and wheezing, with a...

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When this year’s Academy Award nominations were announced last Tuesday, it was hard not to feel excited. Greta Gerwig became the fifth woman to be nominated for best director, Jordan Peele became the fifth black person to be nominated for best director and Sufjan Stevens became the first Sufjan Stevens to be nominated for an Oscar. No matter how long, dreary and self-congratulatory the actual ceremony is liable to be, it’s difficult not to hope that maybe,...

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It’s that time of year again. Actors and actresses wearing their finest statement pieces, and throngs of film buffs huddling around their screens to see if their picks get picked. You know what I’m talking about: awards season. And of all of the awards, the Oscars surely reign as king. Lately though, the academy’s authority has come into question. Does an academy award add anything to a film, or should they even be considered legitimate?...