Self-Care: It’s Good for the Soul

By Sinead Hunt

For Barnard students, March can be an especially stressful time of year. The prospect of looming midterms strikes fear into the hearts of many students. First-years, in particular, can feel overwhelmed, as we are not yet acclimated to the demands of college. When it comes to midterms, many students employ a variety of different tactics and strategies to achieve success. While some students rely on their meticulous notes to carry them through this stressful period, others may desperately plead to a higher deity to spare their GPA. Whatever method you employ while studying for midterms, however, it is important to practice self-care.

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Olivia’s Inspirational Workout Playlist

Struggling to find a good workout playlist? Can’t get…inspired? Look no further!

  1. Kill V Maim by Grimes
  2. I Got U by Duke Dumont
  3. Freedun by MIA, feat. ZAYN
  4. Warm Blood by Carly Rae Jepsen
  5. Moth to the Flame by Chairlift
  6. Fall Back 2U by Chromeo
  7. On the Regular by Shamir
  8. Cigarettes & Chocolate by Chet Faker
  9. Sleeper by Zero 7
  10. Walk This Way by MØ
  11. Put the Gun Down by ZZ Ward
  12. Renaissance Girls by Oh Land
  13. Klapp Klapp by Little Dragon
  14. What’s It Gonna Be? by Shura
  15. Clearest Blue by CHVRCHES
  16. Van Vogue by Azealia Banks
  17. This Is Not About Us by Banks
  18. Boys by Sky Ferreira
  19. Come Down by Anderson .Paak
  20. Only Happy When It Rains by Garbage
  21. Best To You by Blood Orange
  22. Heaven by Alpines
  23. Mar (Lo Que Siento) by Bomba Estéreo
  24. Dramophone by Caravan Palace
  25. I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler by YACHT

Olivia Nathan is a junior at Barnard and Social Media Specialist for Barnard Bite

La La Land: A Sham?

By Grace Armstrong

la-la-land

La La Land is a 2016 musical-romantic-comedy-drama written and directed by Damien Chazelle, whose work includes 10 Cloverfield Lane and Whiplash. La La Land is the story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a jazz musician, attempting to pursue their dreams in modern day Los Angles. They meet, fall in love and try to balance their lives with their dreams. La La Land has won a vast array of awards, some include: “Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy”, “Best Original Score – Motion Picture” and “Best Screenplay – Motion Picture”. Beyond its numerous awards, La La Land has managed to capture the hearts of many. But did it capture mine?

I saw La La Land not expecting much, contrary to many who go in to see it. I managed to avoid the vast advertising and overall hype of the movie. As a result, I had no real expectations going into the movie. I knew it was a musical that Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were in, but that was about it.

To begin, the cinematography was overall very good, boarding on excellent. The color editing of the movie was absolutely beautiful, the movie felt alive. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. The movie is clearly trying to capture the essence of 1950s musicals, and I believe that it, for the most part, captures this very well. The choreography is spot on and whimsical. The clothing popped out of the screen and the lighting was almost perfect in every scene. There are many fantastic dance scenes that are beautiful-like the observatory scene. And everyone who’s seen the movie agrees-the ending scene was a powerful mixture of visuals and music.

The actors are, of course, very talented. However, they both suffer from two problems: poor writing and mediocre singing. Mia’s and Sebastian’s romance is contrived and lacking chemistry. They fall in love because they are both failures in their respective art/profession. She uses him to make herself feel better and he uses her to rant about jazz. I personally only liked the moments where they didn’t speak and just danced in silence. Although I personally thought Mia’s character was fine, I was irritated by Sebastian. This jazz purist is just a lazy hipster jerk. He established early on that he wants to have his own jazz club, but he refuses to do any work that would allow him to get that money.

Third, but most importantly, the movie tries to balance the whimsy of a 1950’s musical and the recent trend in more realistic films. Once again, the movie looks fantastic; however, the realism cripples the musical parts. The second half of the movie is basically completely devoid of any musical parts, until Mia randomly bursts out into song. Granted, this may be an artistic choice, but to me, I just forgot it was a musical. Of course, there are many musical-to-film adaptations that are based in realism and have many songs (Les Miserables, Grease, etc.). Les Miserables had its actors sing on set like La La Land, and Les Miserables is oft criticized for its poor quality. However, Les Miserables’s cast are people who are suffering and underfed; its gritty and dark, its music is there to emphasize the pain of characters, the poor singing from suffering people makes sense. For Grease, which is a 1980s nostalgia for 1970s nostalgia for the 1950s, the exaggeration and silliness is to be expected. La La Land’s commitment to reality hurts the movie’s chance in capturing the whimsy aspect of a musical.

To answer my previous question, La La Land did not capture my heart like it did with so many others. It had so much potential, but it failed to balance reality and whimsy, and therefore failed to be the masterpiece it sought to be. This movie was not written with the story in mind, but the story was written around the visuals. Chazelle clearly had an aesthetic and ending in mind for La La Land, and the story was just put in as an excuse for the visuals. Although visuals are a big part of a movie, they alone cannot carry an entire musical, and unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for me.

Grace Armstrong is a first-year at Barnard and contributor for Barnard Bite.

 

Leave the Library and Dance for Free in NYC

By Ruby Samuels

One of the gifts of New York City is the ability to escape your personal worried world. Just by leaving the library you can lose yourself, often just for the cost of subway fare, into another world for the afternoon.

As a Columbia University student, you might pass by people of a dozen different nationalities, professions and political opinions on every blustery morning that you make your way to class, coffee in hand, back braced against pack. Perhaps you live off campus in Spanish Harlem or even Queens, where there are immigrants who make you feel, with their languages and food and sidewalk expressions of life, as though you are in another part of the world. But do you really experience those people and the knowledge that they have to offer? No matter where you live or who you are, I still think that you should take advantage of the free trial multi-cultural dance classes that are offered by studios all over New York City. If not for the cultural experience, then for the mental and physical therapy that every student at Columbia University needs. Read More »