Smörgåsbord: A review of 2017

graphic by Caroline Tan

Best Movie:

By Grace Forrest

With a great cast, entrancing story line, and perfect dramatic as well as comedic timing, Dunkirk, released in July of 2017, is a cinematic revelation against all odds. The plot sounds particularly boring in all honesty, and I’ve heard others describe it as “just another WWII movie”. However after watching, I would be the first to disagree. The movie describes the lives and the numerous evacuation attempts of French, Belgian, and British soldiers as they are completely surrounded by the Germans, in Dunkirk, France. The quick cuts and close up shots of the soldiers we see gives us a true sense of what they’re feeling and seeing, which I almost guarantee will make your breathing as short and panicked as theirs is. The complex story lines of people on land, air, and sea give the audience a full retrospective of the events that occurred in May of 1940. I highly recommend this movie, regardless if you’re a history buff or not. It genuinely has something for everyone, and it’s definitely worth the time to see.


By Sam Harshbarger

A unique ahistorical tension has become increasingly apparent creeping through the Russian society under the leadership of President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who has led the country since December 31, 1999. In The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Russian-American journalist and LGBT rights activist Masha Gessen profiles seven Russians through the complex social and political changes of the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. In doing so, she explores the concept of homo sovieticus, an embodiment in public opinion of the violent, conservative authoritarianism that has been a consistent feature of Russian society through the ages. It’s a great read for understanding contemporary politics in Russia, as well as the trend of democratic backsliding worldwide.

Best TV Show:

By Grace Forrest

When I first thought about what show was the BEST of the year, only one came to mind. In simple terms, it’s the only show I could, or wanted to remember. Dear White People, which premiered in April of 2017 on Netflix, following the 2014 movie, shows the lives of black students in a predominantly white university, and the different forms of racial and other discrimination they face. In each episode the point of view changes to a new character and the individual struggles they face, such as how they deal with current events at the university, and their relationships with other documented characters. It also ties in the questioning of sexuality, feminism, family ties, and the political stage. The show always left me wanting more, knowing more about things I questioned, and brought light to subjects I hadn’t thought of before. In the politically controversial time of 2017, what I would watch on the news and what I’d be watching in this show usually related perfectly, and not only that — it’s hilarious, with comedic timing on point, virtually every time. It’s a show highly underestimated, and easily addicting. If you need a New Year’s resolution that won’t be hard to keep, watching this before season 2 premieres should be quite easy.




By Ben Quainton

I like to bike. A lot.
And when I do, I almost always listen to music. Something about biking around and listening to that perfect song is so liberating.  And “Biking” by Frank Ocean is one of those songs that captures that experience perfectly. The song is so simple and yet so beautiful — similar to the experience of biking itself. Poetic and effortless lyrics, coupled with Frank’s smooth rhythmic voice, create this relaxed sound that makes you feel like you’re outside with a warm breeze in your face, pedalling and zooming downhill. Close your eyes and listen to this song; all of your worries will suddenly seem less important.

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