Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Friday, July 01, 2022 — Houston, TX

Arts and Entertainment


A&E 4/13/21 11:26pm

Review: Taylor Swift reclaims her artistry with re-recorded album “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)”

Fans got their first taste of Taylor Swift’s re-recorded album, “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” when a snippet of “Love Story” was used in Ryan Reynolds’ Tinder commercial last December. The full album was released on April 9 and includes remastered versions of every song from the platinum edition of Swift’s 2008 album, “Fearless,” along with six unreleased songs “from the vault” that were cut from the original project. The re-release is largely unchanged from the original in terms of her familiar vocals on fan-favorite singles like “You Belong With Me.” Still, the album epitomizes the singer-songwriter’s artistic growth over the past decade and serves as the first step to Swift regaining ownership of her music, making “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” a worthwhile listen for returning fans and new listeners alike.  



A&E 4/13/21 11:15pm

KTRU Outdoor Show brings music, art to campus scene and virtual screens

As the close of the semester approaches, KTRU wants to help end the academic year on a high note. KTRU’s annual Outdoor Show will round out the end of the semester — albeit in a different format than what we have seen in years past. On April 24 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Rice community will have the chance to gather in the central quad — distanced and masked — for what Katelyn Landry, this year’s organizer for ODS, called a “mini music and art festival.” This year’s show will consist of screenings and livestreams of artists’ pre-recorded sets, an art installation, Houston food trucks on sight and an opportunity for the Rice community to connect with each other through music and art whether in-person or virtually. 


A&E 4/6/21 9:25pm

5th annual Houston Latino Film Festival displays Latinx diversity, tackles timely issues

The 5th annual Houston Latino Film Festival, which ran from March 19-28, featured films from all over Latin America and the United States, highlighting and promoting Latinx culture to the Houston community. The festival, which was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, showcased its selection of both feature and short films over virtual streaming platforms and in-person drive-in theater venues.  


A&E 4/6/21 9:11pm

Texas on his mind: Remembering the literary legacy of Larry McMurtry

Prolific novelist, screenwriter and Rice University alumnus Larry McMurtry died at his home in Archer City, Texas on March 25, 2021. McMurtry’s novels are known for their striking realism and ability to present the complexities of life in Texas. As an author, McMurtry gained international acclaim and a particularly devoted Texan following. Many of the novels he penned could be considered Texan and Western classics, all written on a typewriter — a method he held onto despite the rising popularity of computers during the digital age. In memory of McMurtry — who proclaimed himself a “minor regional novelist” despite his widespread and enduring acclaim — here are a few of his most influential works that capture his lasting impact on the literary world.



A&E 3/30/21 10:15pm

Rice Design reflects on its inaugural year and lays out its legacy

Launching a new club during a virtual semester requires creativity, dedication and attention to detail. Luckily for Rice Design, their founders, board and members embody these very traits. Rice Design has a mission to connect, educate and celebrate digital designers on campus. In its inaugural year, the club has managed to recruit new members, host design contests, facilitate panels and launch its own merch.  


A&E 3/30/21 10:14pm

Chemtrails and Controversy: Lana Del Rey’s newest album fails to impress

One would imagine that it would be hard to release a record that could top the monumental critical success of Lana Del Rey’s last album “Norman Fucking Rockwell!” They would be right. Her latest project, while a valiant effort to return to Del Rey’s roots and explore storytelling à la Taylor Swift’s “folklore” or “evermore,” fails to live up to its predecessor and doesn’t quite have that same social context to hit the cultural impact that Swift’s work had. And that isn’t even considering the mess of controversies Del Rey has entangled herself in since “NFR!” While Del Rey’s seventh studio album “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” satisfies fans of the singer’s more stripped down sound, the project doesn’t hold a candle to its Grammy - nominated predecessor and unfortunately can’t escape the shadow of Del Rey’s recent controversies. 




A&E 3/23/21 10:56pm

Predicting the 2021 Academy Awards

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released their nominations for the 2021 Oscars and for the first time in a long time, I am pleasantly surprised. While there’s always room to improve, this year’s list is actually both one of the most diverse ever — with several nominations making history — and one of the most quality, at least in my opinion. After seeing how my Golden Globes predictions shored up against the results,  I have an updated list of who I think will and should win, as well as who I think was snubbed and who maybe should have been, some of the biggest categories at the Oscars.


A&E 3/23/21 10:39pm

Sid Rich Theatre’s original radio play ‘Space Axed’ embraces spontaneity

Nafisa Istami wanted to put on a play with members of Rice’s theater community, and she knew exactly what she had in mind: a murder mystery set in space, with audience interaction that dictated the ending. Despite being planned as a traditional play in Sid Richardson College’s new building’s theater space, the final product, “Space Axed,” is a live radio play by Sid Rich Theatre that met all of Istami’s expectations and more. 


A&E 3/23/21 10:31pm

HACER’s ¡Ritmo! celebrates community resiliency and futurity

¡Ritmo! is known for being an explosion of vibrant colors, sounds and style, and for the members of Rice’s Hispanic community involved onstage and behind the scenes, it’s both a celebration of their cultures and a testament to their perseverance. The annual showcase is the chef-d’œuvre of the Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice. This year’s Ritmo (Spanish for “rhythm”) will be screened virtually at watch parties hosted by each of the residential colleges on Saturday, March 27. The event will include singing, dancing, poetry recitation and other artistic interpretations from both Rice students and members of the larger Houston community. 


A&E 3/23/21 9:51pm

The New Heart of Montrose: Blessings Gallery engenders gratitude

Tucked into a corner of Houston’s eclectic Montrose neighborhood, Blessings Gallery is a groovy one-stop shop for music lovers and plant parents alike. David Blessings opened the charming boutique amidst the pandemic on Oct. 11, 2020 to remind his community that in the face of hardship, we can still count our blessings, no matter how small.  



A&E 3/16/21 10:26pm

Femmes on Film: Women’s History Month Watchlist

It’s Women’s History Month, and you know what that means! Companies are going to tweet about how women are human beings as if it’s a revolutionary point, and there’s going to be more shirts at Forever 21 that say “feminism.” Cynicism aside, this month serves as a good reminder to support films made by women and reflect on the importance of celebrating women in the often male-dominated industry of filmmaking.  


A&E 3/16/21 9:23pm

‘ITCHY SOUR CANDY’: VADA students talk solo exhibition series

“ITCHY SOUR CANDY,” a series of four student solo art exhibitions, is this year’s Mavis C. Pitman Exhibition, organized through the visual and dramatic arts department. Kyle Dickens, Ginny Jeon, Isabel Samperio and Sumin Hwang’s exhibitions will each be open for eight days at Sewall Hall’s Emergency Room Gallery, spaced from March 12 to April 28. 


A&E 3/16/21 8:54pm

Historic River Oaks Theatre at risk of permanent closure

The River Oaks Theatre, a historic art deco cinema from the 1930s located at 2009 West Gray Street, is at risk of permanent closure after being unable to pay rent to Weingarten Realty for a year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Houston organizations, Artists for Artists and the Houston Film Critics Society, are working to prevent the cinema’s closure. 



A&E 3/9/21 10:12pm

Black Art at Rice: A Conversation With Milkessa Gaga

Milkessa Gaga (Martel College ’22) challenges norms within the realm of Japanese art by creating manga as a Black artist. Drawing inspiration from comics such as “Naruto,” “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” and “My Hero Academia,” he constantly integrates new techniques to refine his artistic style, and often shares his work on Instagram (@avantgaga). Unfortunately, because of the lack of Black creators in this field, manga and anime often depict Black characters with racist stereotypes. As a result, Gaga is passionate about uplifting other Black artists and hopes to someday create his own comics to reimagine manga in the image of Blackness.