Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, June 22, 2024

Ethan Essner


Senior Profile: Carl Svahn brings his love for art, journalism to the Daily and beyond

Carl Svahn entered Tufts as a first-year in the fall of 2020. With classes held online and COVID-19 restrictions in full effect, Svahn, like many others in his grade, felt isolated, so he began looking for ways to connect with his classmates. A comic book lover, he spent time at Kamikaze in Davis Square, which is where he learned about the opportunity to pursue journalism with the Daily.


Harmonies in the Limelight: A ‘Dancer in the Dark,’ forever dreaming of singing and dancing in the light

Lars von Trier emerged as a filmmaker who experimented with intertwining the avant-garde and melodramatic. He and Thomas Vinterberg penned the Dogme 95 manifesto, which outlined a new generation of art house creativity. It called for all camerawork to be handheld, denounced superficial action and prohibited optical work and filters, amongst other rules. Independent films after the 1995 conception of the Dogme 95 movement, especially those from von Trier, were not all strictly a part of the movement but remained mostly inspired by its goals and guidelines. “Breaking the Waves” (1996) is a prominent and majestic example of the style in action. “Dancer in the Dark” (2000) is possibly the strangest example, while also being one of the most remarkable.

Illinoise Photo

Sufjan Stevens’ ‘Illinoise,’ or, how to enamor an entire audience with hymns and ballets, or, the war for morality, state and sanity, or, an ode to the unabashed joy of being alive

Such a view is the place from where singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens looks out at a world — cold and complex. It’s full of joy, peril and an untellable delicacy. Bordering Lake Michigan is the heartbeat of the Midwest, Illinois, a place of superheroes, zombies and forsaken love stories. In 2005, Stevens peered at the prairies and penned a 22-song mammoth of an album. It’s a collection of tunes that transcend the term ‘album’ as they fashion the experience of an ‘epic.’ The album reads like a grim, romantic and, at points, sardonic comment on the rich culture of Illinois with the ever-so exclamatory title of “Come On! Feel the Illinoise!”


‘Stop Making Sense’ hasn’t lost its luster

David Byrne walking to the tip of a stage with a six-string and fashioning a world of the utmost rhythm and beauty is one of the most perfect sights. His band, Talking Heads, steadily crafted one of the most organically listenable catalogs in American music history.

Harmonies In the Limelight column graphic

Harmonies in the Limelight: Dances, drugs and ‘All That Jazz’

“It's showtime, folks!”  This is Joe Gideon’s morning mantra — reassuring himself that every day would be as indelibly entertaining as the last. Whether or not any performance is on the docket, to Gideon, protagonist of “All That Jazz,” the whole world is a stage. He lives in a setting ...

Graphic for Ethan Essner’s column “Attack of the B Movies”

Attack of the B-Movies: Tread carefully once you ‘Enter the Void’

Perhaps for this week’s column we’ll step away from the films with a B-movie outline or B-movie qualities and enter the world of art-house cinema. From a stylistic view, “experimental filmmaking” can be a product of the B-movie skeleton; hence, its presence is worth discussing here. Gaspar Noé is a director whose work oscillates between genres of experimentation, erotica and thriller. His transgressive styles tend to settle on themes of a brutalized humanity. He has an evident no-holds-barred approach to his work — some are turned off by his gruesome imagery — but when he hits a stride with genre films, there’s a beautiful synchronicity. “Enter the Void” (2009) is a flawless, harmonic flux of fear and desire and, as a result, is the ultimate avant-garde brainchild of Noé. It’s no surprise that the Argentine director has received a mix of praise and criticism, but he continues to produce taboo visions without holding back.

Graphic for Ethan Essner’s column “Attack of the B Movies”

Attack of the B-Movies: Fading away into ‘Altered States’

Cinema and hallucinogens: a match that’s a far cry from our typical pairings on television or theater screens. Yet, Ken Russell is one of those classic directors who doesn’t have any trouble submerging your head into pools of visual craziness. All the humdrum of any plot is thrown out the window and replaced with the utmost of sadistic experiences. His 1971 breakout masterpiece “The Devils” tackles sexual repression under the guise of the Roman Catholic church and is perhaps most infamous for splicing religious power and horniness with the ever-so sacred crucifix. Nearly ten years after “The Devils,” Russell coupled salvation with a magic mushroom trip in his 1980 film “Altered States.” This film possesses the off-kilter elements of a B-movie classic while also containing a remarkable lead performance from William Hurt.

More articles »

The Tufts Daily Crossword with an image of a crossword puzzle
The Print Edition
Tufts Daily front page