Support independent, student-run journalism.

Your support helps give staff members from all backgrounds the opportunity to conduct meaningful reporting on important issues at Stanford. All contributions are tax-deductible.

Pop thrills: Edgar Wright’s ‘Baby Driver’ is a smart, sexy musical for the age of Spotify

I’m digging the recent resurrection of the film musical for postmodern times. Whit Stillman’s “Damsels in Distress” (2012) ended with a ludicrous dance combo across Stanford-like fountains of a preppy university, where sorority sisters and their thick-skulled Roman frat bros joined forces to spark the latest dance craze. (Do the Sambola!) Damien Chazelle’s “La La…

‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’: Reflections on a Beatles opus, 50 years on

This month, we celebrate 50 years since “Sgt. Pepper” taught the world to listen. As the years ran on, the “foreign” modes of this thirty-five-minute-long album (Hinduist philosophy, ‘20s music-hall, hippie stoner culture) became familiar, lodged into a generation’s memory bank. But can we separate the legacy from the musical text? What else is there to glean in “Pepper” in 2017, beyond…

Amir Abou-Jaoude’s top five films of 2016

I submit this “best of 2016” list with some reservations. I still haven’t seen highly acclaimed films such as Barry Jenkins’s “Moonlight,” Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann,” Paul Verhoeven’s “Elle,” Pablo Almodovar’s “Julieta,” Mike Mills’s “20th Century Women,” Martin Scorsese’s “Silence,” and Kelly Reichardt’s “Certain Women.” And I am particularly excited to eventually see Whit Stillman’s…

Film review: Terence Davies’ ‘Sunset Song’ is lilting, lyrical, life-affirming poetry

“Sunset Song” — the latest quiet work from cinemaster Terence Davies (“Distant Voices, Still Lives,” “The Long Day Closes”) — is the humanist film to beat this year. Like a less portentous “Gone with the Wind,” his film is centered around a young Scottish girl named Chris (played with gusto by Agyness Deyn), raised on…

Film review: Mexican must-see “Bleak Street” mixes poetry and poverty

Arturo Ripstein’s “Bleak Street” is a crude, black-and-black, unsentimental view of desperation and woe on Mexico’s Poverty Row. Despite what “Variety” or “The A.V. Club” might tell you, psychologically complex characters are not this film’s goal. It milks a mood (down-and-dirty Mexican backstreets) for all it’s worth, and for a higher purpose. This is fairy tale journalism…