Korean film “Parasite” wins big at the Oscars
Feb25

Korean film “Parasite” wins big at the Oscars

The Academy Awards have come and gone once again, but cinema has been changed forever. One can have optimism that this change is for the better. Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-ho spoke about the Oscars with disdain last year in an interview with Vulture, saying “The Oscars are not an international film festival. They’re very local.” He called the American love for his newest film “Parasite” “strange”. It is strange. American audiences don’t typically watch foreign films. Many Americans claim that they don’t have the attention span to put their phones down and appreciate the film for what it is. Bong Joon-ho also said after winning the Golden Globe for best director earlier this year “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many amazing films”. He couldn’t have been more right. Recently, I’ve started to go through the Criterion Channel, a streaming service of classic films. These classics include the filmography of acclaimed international directors such as Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini. Sadly, The Academy has never acknowledged these films. Out of the 92 years of the Academy Awards, only 13 films have been nominated for best picture that weren’t in English. Out of those, none won until this year. This is a reason to celebrate. While Bong Joon-ho never expected to win, he swept the major categories with 4 wins for “Parasite,”: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best International Film and Best Director. This type of sweep is not typical for the Academy, but much less for an international picture. As film fans, art lovers or people who just want to diversify their cultural appreciation, people everywhere can celebrate these historic wins for Bong Joon-ho and the filmmaking community. All we can do now is hope that the Academy keeps on this track and that this will encourage audiences to watch more international...

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Students find new opportunities at job and internship fair

McLane Hall was filled with booths occupied by 42 companies and organizations around the Belton area on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Company representatives were looking for students from all different majors. The UMHB career services department job internship fair was to “help students and alumni find opportunities, talk with recruiters directly, and hopefully find jobs,” Assistant Director of Career Services Emily Kelly said. Kelly said she hoped that “students find work they love.” For over 20 years, UMHB has been holding job fairs. Recently, they have added internships to broaden the opportunities for students. Students were seen talking in business attire with a name tag featuring their name and major on it for company recruiters, who were willing to give jobs to anyone they saw as a good fit for their specific company. Not only was the job and internship fair a good way for students and alumni to get jobs, but it was also a great way to freshen up their interview skills. The interviews were like what you would see in speed dating, where a recruiter would be standing talking to one candidate then would move on to the next recruiter after they were done. Overall, whether the student or alumni got a job or internship they had an experience that they can carry on with them...

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One Voice inspires with praise

The One Voice choral ensemble rocked the Fikes Chamber Performance Hall Oct 10- Oct 11 with music that brought its audience on an emotional joyride. The concert began in reverence with Salvator Mundi from Requiem, written by Herbert Howells. The song detailed in heart-aching, searing beauty, an expression of loss that echoed with every line throughout the performance hall. The choir sang “Save us! Help us!” tenderly as the piece concluded. Taking a few steps back in time with traditional selections such as Canticum B.Simeonis Herr, nun lässest Du Deinen Diener and Cantate Domino, by Heinrich Schütz, which were performed in the late 1500s and early 1600s carried the typical cathedral sound partial to church music of the time period. It was this sound that served as the cornerstone for choral music as a whole, even now. One Voice’s seamless performance of this very sound had the audience at a standstill; they basked in the melancholic melodies that washed over them as three soloists, James Jones, Cydney Wilkerson and Sarah Ash sang to represent the Blessed Soul of the Fallen, the Holy Spirit, and the Seraphim, while the rest of the ensemble carried on as the procession. This piece included wonderful, solemn instrumentation provided by Lisa Clement, organist and voice teacher at UMHB, Ashton Yarbrough, a student at Temple College and cellist Nathaniel Keefer, a teacher at Lamar Middle School in Temple. What was truly astounding was One Voice’s flexibility in mastering the execution of so many different styles of voice and song. Singing in order from year of release and style (from traditional to modern to something in-between at the program’s closure), the One Voice program consisted of classic choral, gospel, contemporary christian and even a funky be-doop style partial to barber shop singers in the 40s. “I auditioned for One Voice because I had heard about all the things they had performed and I wanted to be a part of their legacy,” said freshmen music education major and One Voice member, Chandler Webb. “When I auditioned for the ensemble, one of the things I told the director during my meeting with him was I wanted to grow in two ways,” Webb said. “Spiritually and musically. I feel that this ensemble has done both …for me because we have sung in so many styles that all praise God, “ Webb said. Throughout the performance, a sense of comradery could be felt in the singers as they swayed, snapped, clapped and even kazooed together. It was infectious in nature, spreading to the audience. “The thing I like the most about One Voice is we’re a family growing and worshiping...

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Miss Search CRU wins Miss MHB 2020
Nov09

Miss Search CRU wins Miss MHB 2020

  17 stunning young women made their way into Walton Chapel Saturday, Nov. 9 to throw their hat into the ring for the opportunity to be crowned Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor for 2020. The show began and contestants introduced themselves, stated their hometown and said something witty regarding where they were from. The talent portion of the pageant featured the contestants’ musical stylings and speeches, with one contestant even shooting arrows to show off her archery marksmanship. There was never a dull moment during the night as contestants sought to show UMHB what they were capable of. They were judged on confidence, creativity, preparation, originality and their overall presentation. “What I liked about the talent portion was all the different things and how all the girls weren’t afraid to express themselves or to step outside the box,” said Hailey Baez, freshman psychology major. “Not only does it show that no one on campus is afraid to be themselves, but also they know everyone wants to see who they truly are. It inspires and encourages people to go out and do what they feel they are good at and have fun doing,” Baez said. Following the talent portion of the pageant, the 17 contestants joined one another on stage to perform a group dance number set to the popular show tune “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” The contestants skillfully and gracefully danced on stage twirling umbrellas. At one point they bounded into the audience, to envelop the crowd in song and dance. The evening gown portion of the show featured the contestants walking with grace and poise to show off their silken and jeweled gowns. During this time, the audience would learn a little bit more about each contestant as they strode elegantly across stage. These contestants were graded on gracefulness, ease of movement in their gowns, color and dress appropriateness and overall impression. From here the top five finalists were narrowed down and thus began their interview from 2019’s Mr. Crusader Knight, Richard Rogers. The answers presented would determine who was to be crowned Miss MHB, and the runner-ups for the position. They were judged on confidence, diction, personality and sincerity of response. This was followed by one last evening gown stroll and heartfelt goodbye with Miss MHB 2019, Briana Fredrickson, as she prepared to hand the crown off to Mary Hardin’s next Pageant Queen. In her farewell address she stated: “To have held the crown as Miss MHB has truly been one of my most treasured experiences and I cannot thank you enough,” Fredrickson said. Overall, the pageant was a stark representation of the heart and passion many of...

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“Sinister:” A perfect film to watch of Halloween
Oct31

“Sinister:” A perfect film to watch of Halloween

If you ask any of my friends, they can all tell you that my favorite holiday is Halloween. I go all out. I watch at least three horror films a week during the month of October. One movie, though, has come back throughout the years. Some watch “Halloween” every October 31, for obvious reasons, but I watch Scott Derrickson’s “Sinister.” Not only is it one of my favorite horror films, but it’s also one of my favorite movies. It’s an understatement to say that Scott Derrickson is talented. Looking at his filmography, there are few movies that are below average. The standouts in his film catalog are Marvel Studio’s “Doctor Strange,” “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” and “Sinister.” Each are very different films and great on their own regard, but I’d argue that “Sinister” stands out above the rest. “Sinister” follows Ellison, played by Ethan Hawke, a murder novelist who moves his family into a new town. The problem, though, is that he moved his family into a house where the family before was found dead. They weren’t just found dead, but the entire family was found hanging from a fallen tree branch. Ellison made the decision to not tell his family about this incident, instead acting like everything was okay. Soon, Ellison finds reels of 8mm film that contains footage of the family who lived in the house previously being hanged and other murders. Slowly, Ellison finds that these murders are connected in a terrifying way. These connections lead Ellison down a dark path as he unravels what is at the heart of the murders. “Sinister” is one of the most tense experiences I’ve had watching a film. The film is unrelenting as it masterfully builds up to scares. Even though they start in a cliché manner, every scare in the film finds a way to twist the cliché in a way that audiences don’t see coming. From the famous lawnmower scene to extremely flexible children, each scare is great in its own right. Oftentimes, horror films rely on loud music and flashy camera tricks to scare audiences, but “Sinister” never pulls away. It racks up the tension by never backing out of a scene until the film feels that it earns its scares. The film, though never graphic, makes you feel every second. Time goes slower watching Ellison sift through the reels of film. Sometimes you may want to look away, but you just can’t bring yourself to. This is a sign of not just a good horror film, but a great one. It’s a masterclass in filmmaking, and one that will haunt your dreams for years....

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Two Will Smiths can’t save “Gemini Man”
Oct25

Two Will Smiths can’t save “Gemini Man”

From “The Life of Pi” to “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,” Ang Lee crafts technical and action-packed marvels of cinema… sometimes. “Gemini Man” has everything going for it. The film has star power with Will Smith playing two main characters in the film, the budget for the film is roughly $140 million and it has a talented director behind the camera. Sadly, none of these aspects of the film can save the bore that is “Gemini Man.” The film is fascinating, but sadly for all the wrong reasons. I really tried to find a positive note in the film, and the only thing that could be considered positive is the VFX. The de-aging technology used in “Gemini Man” is the best that the technology has been. Most of the time, the technology is seamless and I never thought about how young Will Smith looks. That being said, there are scenes where the technology doesn’t look right. Will Smith looks closer to a character out of a video game rather than a realistic version of Smith in his 20s towards the end of the film. There are elements of “Gemini Man” that could have been great, but the film isn’t able to pull through on the story. The philosophy of cloning could have been a really cool touch. The film tries to hit the deeper notes, but doesn’t get into anything that could be considered worthwhile for the audience. Instead of going deeper into what could make a great film, “Gemini Man” decides to play it safe and never even scratch the surface in anything worthwhile. We instead follow bland characters through exposition dumps and action, of which none contribute to the film. The action doesn’t know how it wants to work. Sometimes the action is underwhelming: the action is shot close-up and you can’t tell what exactly what is going on. What makes this even worse is that the action is either boring or completely over the top. People try to push each other off of motorcycles, bullets glow orange when shot and the fight scenes easily go too far into the realm of cheesiness when trying to be serious. The whole problem is that “Gemini Man” doesn’t mean to do anything. When trying to be serious, the film comes off almost comedic, when trying to be comedic, the film comes off as cheesy and when trying to be fun the film comes off as boring. I really wanted to love Will Smith and Ang Lee’s newest outing, but I found myself wishing that the film would just end. Rating:...

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