The Grammy’s Golden Girls

By: Rebecca P’18

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards was a star-studded night full of performances and buzz-worthy moments. From the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest’s politically charged attack on President “Agent Orange” to Bruno Mars’ stellar tribute to the late Prince, there was a lot to talk about at the Grammys. However, the talk of the night was centered on two women in particular – Adele and Beyonce.

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A Tribe Called Quest delivered a heated performance at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.

The two women had delivered stunning performances throughout the show. Adele opened the ceremony with her smash hit “Hello” and later returned to the stage to honor the late George Michael with a rendition of his “Fastlove.” Despite having a bumpy start, she successfully completed her performance to a standing ovation. After Adele’s performance, Beyonce blessed the audience with a dazzling performance of “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles”. The performance was an ode to motherhood, which was more than appropriate considering that she is expecting twins later this year. Accompanied by holograms of her mother and daughter, Beyonce was decked out in a gold outfit that alluded to divine figures in various mythologies.

The mononymous divas were among the most nominated artists of the night –  Adele with five nominations and Beyonce surpassing hers with nine. They faced off for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and the prestigious Album of the Year. In the end, Adele came out on top, winning all five of the awards she was nominated for. She graciously accepted her Grammy for Album of the Year but also acknowledged Beyonce’s phenomenal achievements.

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Adele and Beyonce at the Grammy Awards.

The variance between Adele and Beyonce highlights an important struggle for the Grammys and for music in general. These women are very unique artists. Known for her powerful vocal ability, Adele is a more traditional singer. Her album 25 is heartfelt and mostly apolitical. Conversely, Beyonce is a more experimental artist who addressed topics such as womanhood and black identity in her Lemonade. Both albums were met with critical and commercial acclaim, yet both focused on different subject matters. So how does one compare the two? How does the Recording Academy determine which is more worthy of being the Album of the Year?

According to Adele, the impact an album has on society should be the deciding factor. When receiving the award for Album of the Year, she acknowledged how an album like Beyonce’s Lemonade made her feel. In particular, Adele highlighted the empowerment it inspired in her black friends. This is an important distinction to be made. Lemonade was made to empower all women, especially women of color. Adele recognized that the album was intended for an underrepresented audience and included the factor of an album’s impact in her acceptance speech. She even broke her Grammy in half to offer a piece of the award to Beyonce. The entire affair was a beautiful instance of women supporting each other despite being distinctively different artists and an example of reconciling the ever-growing gaps in music.

A Recap of Golden Globes 2017: A Night of New Records, Mixup Titles, and Meryl Streep

By: Valerie F’18

On Sunday, January 8th, Jimmy Fallon hosted the 74th annual Golden Globe Award Show. The dazzling award ceremony was held at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angeles. Fallon was greeted by a room full of famous faces from well known T.V. shows and the latest popular films.  The Golden Globes, though known as the more lively and relaxed brother to the more prestigious and serious award shows, was a lively and enjoyable way to kick off the award show season.

The award ceremony had a number of memorable moments, from Jimmy Fallon’s flamboyant opening musical number to director Damien Chazelle’s domination of the night with his latest jazz-infused film. Chazelle’s critically acclaimed film ‘La La Land’ triumphed with a record breaking seven awards, defeating the previous tied records holders “Midnight Express” (1798) and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) who each obtained six awards.

While making his acceptance speech after winning the award for Best Director of a Motion Picture, Damien Chazelle expressed his content and appreciation: “I’m in a daze now officially…”

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Damien Chazelle’s La La Land made Golden Globe history by winning a record breaking seven awards.

Along with La La Land’s success, another notable occurrence was Meryl Streep’s politically charged speech. Meryl Streep, a thirty time nominee and eight time winner, was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. Though spoken in a scratchy whisper, for she had lost her voice in “screaming and lamentation,” Streep’s acceptance speech spoke volumes. She seized the moment to comment on the recent presidential election. While she never mentioned Donald Trump by name, Streep’s stirring speech was an apparent statement on the political climate that Trump has fostered.

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Meryl Streep delivered a fiery speech that condemned President Donald J. Trump – without mentioning his name.

“Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose,” said Streep, condemning Trump for acceding bullying.

Streep continued by highlighting the importance of foreigners to American culture, the role of the press in “safeguarding the truth,” and the privilege of being an actress.

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President Trump’s response to Streep’s Golden Globes speech.

Ending her speech on a powerful note, Streep paid a touching tribute to her close friend, the late Carrie Fisher: “My dear, departed friend Princess Leia once told me, take your broken heart, make it into art.”

Streep’s speech was undoubtedly a memorable moment; however, one of the more unnoticed moments of the Golden Globes was the kiss that Ryan Reynolds and Andrew Garfield shared as Ryan Gosling walked to the stage to give his acceptance speech for winning the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture. Reynolds and Garfield, who were seated adjacent to each other at the ceremony, were nominated for their roles in Deadpool and Hacksaw Ridge, respectively. Once viewers noticed the charming moment shared by the two respected actors, social media was ablaze with excited and hilarious responses. In a later interview with metro.co.uk, Gosling joked: “ I’m happy for them. I’m happy they found each other.”

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Ryan Reynolds and Andrew Garfield share a kiss, a moment that was largely unnoticed by Golden Globe viewers. 

Charming moments, such as that shared by Reynold’s and Garfield, are common finds in popular award shows. Similarly, award shows often contain flubs made by presenters or performers. Throughout the night, the prominent blunder that kept coming up was the confusion of the titles of the two films Hidden Figures and Fences, films that both feature largely African-American casts.

The mistake first arose when NBC’s pre-show host Jenna Bush asked producer and composer Pharrell Williams about the musical score of Hidden Figures, mistakenly calling it Hidden Fences. Later on, during the award show,  actor Michael Keaton echoed Bush’s mistake when he referred to Hidden Figures as Hidden Fences when presenting the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture. Viewers quickly realized Bush and Keaton’s blunders and seized the opportunity to make the gaffe a popular joke on social media.

The morning following the Golden Globes, Bush apologized for her blunder, saying “I had an error in the night which I have to apologize for; when I was interviewing the incomparable Pharrell, who I adore, I accidentally in the electricity of the red carpet, which I had never done, called Hidden Figures, Hidden Fences.”

Keaton also apologized for his mistake when speaking to reporters before the Los Angeles premiere of his new film, The Founder, saying “I screwed the line up. I was nonchalant about it. I actually, now, I totally understand … It makes me feel so badly that people feel badly. If somebody feels badly, that’s all that matters.”

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Jenna Bush and Michael Keaton’s “Hidden Fences” flub prompted many to poke fun at the mistake.   

This year’s Golden Globes celebrated 2016’s achievements in cinemas, in both a light and serious atmosphere. With 2017 ahead of us, we should look forward to new and exciting feats the movie industry will bring, along with next year’s Golden Globes ceremony.    

The Women Behind the Screen: QHSS’ Third Movie Day!

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By: Pelumi Omotosho

On February 17th, at 9:00 am, our school will be venturing on a day trip to see the movie Hidden Figures at Jamaica Multiplex. Much like similar outings a couple of years ago, during which we saw the movies The Great Gatsby and Selma, this “Movie Day” aims at entertaining and informing QHSS students. In its 127 minute runtime, Hidden Figures tells the untold story of three female African American mathematicians whose calculations were imperative to Project Mercury, the first human spaceflight program of the United States.

Hidden Figures, which is based on the book, chronicles the impacts of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, as they broke barriers in space and their professions.  

In the midst of pressure caused by a successful Russian satellite launch, Katherine Johnson was assigned to the Space Task Group, which made her not only the first African American woman on the team, but also the first in the entire building. Katherine would go on to aid in the dissolution of segregation within the Space Task Group and calculate the trajectory for the spaceflight that landed the first two humans on the Moon: Apollo 11.

Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson experienced similarly impressive breakthroughs. Dorothy Vaughan became supervisor of the West Area in 1949, making her the first African American woman to supervise staff at the center. She also prepared for the introduction of machine-computers that can perform the jobs of her and her colleagues by teaching herself and her staff the programming language FORTRAN. Her knowledge in the area would lead to her heading the programming section of the Analysis and Computations Division. Mary Jackson became NASA’s first black female engineer in 1958 and, after 34 years at NASA, would earn the highest title for an engineer. Her focus later turned to highlighting the accomplishments of women in her field.

Despite their very impressive feats, the stories of these women have been concealed for several decades. Hidden Figures aims to bring the undervalued achievements of these women out of the dark by telling the story in a way that could only be captured on the big screen. Hidden Figures makes it so that the incredible impacts of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson aren’t hidden any longer.

 

Modern Twist on a Musical – ‘La La Land’ Movie Review

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By: Ashley G’18 and Britney Y’18

Damien Chazelle’s La La Land follows a jazz pianist named Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling and an aspiring actress named Mia, portrayed by Emma Stone. The movie takes place in modern day Los Angeles but also pays tribute to classic musicals such as Singing In the Rain and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

When watching La La Land, expect the film to be filled with mellifluous tunes and a variety of dances, from tap dancing to ballroom dancing to modern dancing. Although the movie is mainly about two struggling artists trying to achieve their dream, it also incorporates a love story.

The film includes a variety of scenes that take place in some popular locations in LA. There is the Griffith’s Observatory, The Lighthouse Cafe in Hermosa Beach, the back-lot of the famous Hollywood Center Studios, and many more.

Our reactions to the two hour movie were along the same line. We both believe Chazelle successfully captured and displayed the emotions, trials and tribulations of a person in the arts industry. Being a creative artist exposes you to excessive rejection and embarrassment– especially if you’re constantly going to castings for films, TV shows, etc. Throughout the movie, a recurring theme is “rejection can really beat a person’s self esteem.” However, Chazelle’s movie also displays the idea that with an encouraging person by your side, nothing is impossible.


Britney’s Rating: ★★★★☆

Personally, I thought this movie was brilliant. However, it was a little confusing for me to follow in the beginning considering I did not know what the backstory of the movie was. Before watching it in theaters, I expected it to be the usual boy meets girl, girl meets boys, they fall in love, the end. To my surprise, Chazelle did a wonderful job creating a unique storyline for the movie to engage his audience. Furthermore, the soundtrack to the film is entirely original. If you’re a music geek like me and you play an instrument, it’s almost impossible not to become obsessed with the songs. In fact, I looked up the music sheets of the soundtrack so I can play the music myself. Here’s a fun fact, Ryan Gosling learned piano in 3 months just to play his role in the movie!

Ashley’s Rating: ★★★★★

Since the day I watched the first trailer, I had been eagerly awaiting the premiere of this film. The idea of an original jazz musical with a modern twist on classics drew me in, and I had a feeling that it would have a lasting impression in one way or another. Just as I anticipated, the film proved to be original, inspiring, magical, and genuine. Chazelle brought out the best of the old and new in a way that complimented the other. I appreciate and admire the creative decisions that went into the film, from the camera directions, to the choreography of the dance numbers and the one shot scenes. In addition, the soundtrack includes an eclectic range of songs composed by Justin Hurwitz, with upbeat and tuneful scores, piano solos, as well as graceful symphonies.It also showcases meaningful lyrics and the smooth sound of the double bass and the vibrant trumpet. With that being said, I encourage anyone with even the slightest bit of interest to watch it. After all, it won all seven of the categories it was nominated for in the Golden Globes!