Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 11:46 a.m.

What We’re Watching: “Boyhood”

boyhood_xlg“Boyhood”

★★★★✰

The concept behind Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” is one-of-a-kind: a movie that follows a boy from age six to 18, filmed with the same actors over 12 years.

The word “nostalgic” doesn’t come close to encompassing this movie. Still, viewers don’t necessarily walk away from the film thinking they’ve just seen a masterpiece of a project. It feels more like a great home movie, the kind you secretly love to watch with your family on rainy days.

In the theater, the audience genuinely laughed at cutesy kids jokes and often whispered to each other when scenes between parents reminded them of their own.

The movie follows Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as he watches anime, attends the book release of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” rides a bicycle with a friend on a RipStik and spends class time traveling the Oregon Trail on a PC. As audience members watch the kids get braces, play the new Game Boy Advance and eventually grow facial hair, they are immersed in the movie’s realistic quality. Shooting in short bursts from 2002 to 2013, the filmmakers didn’t need to set the scene or buy the right items from eBay to fit the time. The costume directors didn’t have to go to Goodwill to buy clothes from 2003.

“Boyhood” not only enthralls viewers with a convincing story, but also makes them remember their childhoods, the time their parents fought, the time they had to go to a new school. Linklater shows all of these common experiences without making the film too self-aware of the feat it is accomplishing.

In the early years, Mason is a quiet, shy boy who is overshadowed by his loud, attention-seeking sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater). Living with their mother, the children are overjoyed when their somewhat irresponsible and immature father (Ethan Hawke) comes back from Alaska in his black, 1968 Pontiac GTO with a pile of presents inside.

The audience really gets to know Mason a few years later when he and his father go camping. Mason starts to develop into a more independent and unique character. As the story progresses, he deals with multiple moves within Texas, alcoholic stepfathers, girl problems, bullies and deciding what to do after high school. His dad changes, his mom changes, his sister changes, he changes and we watch it all on the screen.

Linklater is known for his attention to detail, and this talent is ever-present in “Boyhood.” He is one of those directors who you swear must keep a running list of ordinary things people say so he can include them in every movie. But rather than the usual philosophical and theoretical banter in his “Before” films or “Slacker,” Linklater’s dialogue is centered on everyday life and follows the actual experiences of growing up.

The sentimental soundtrack fits the scenes of the movie nicely, with songs playing during the years they were actually released: “Yellow” starts the movie off and goodies like “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” and “Somebody That I Used to Know” are sprinkled in. Those details remind viewers that they are watching a movie that spanned years of filming.

A lot happens in the almost three-hour movie, but “Boyhood” never feels overwhelming. Transitions move the audience seamlessly from one glimpse of each year in Mason’s life to the next. His boyhood ends in the final scene: a hike with new friends. It’s a start to another chapter beyond the camera lens.

Released: July 18
Director: Richard Linklater (“Dazed and Confused” and “Before Midnight”)
Genre: Coming of Age/Drama
Cast: Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Patricia Arquette (“Medium”), Ethan Hawke (“Reality Bites” and “The Purge”)

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Photo by Robert Redfield, courtesy of Elastic Artists.

Photo by Robert Redfield, courtesy of Elastic Artists.

D.C. has waited a long time for up-and-coming Canadian singer Mac DeMarco.

DeMarco, with his new indie-pop album “Salad Days,” played the last show of his U.S. tour Saturday night at the 9:30 Club.

The line of teenagers, dressed much like DeMarco in white shirts and baseball caps, flowed off the sidewalk hours before doors even opened for the show that sold out almost immediately after tickets went on sale in April.

The crowd could not control its excitement for the Canadian idol. Even as Mac DeMarco and his touring band watched the opening acts from the balcony, fans pointed him out to their friends and took pictures of him with their phones.

DeMarco finally stepped on stage. His songs are often described as “jizz jazz,” with the swing and flow of the rhythm complementing a giddy chorus.

“This song’s called Martha Stewart’s pussy,” DeMarco joked before playing the comforting song “Blue Boy.”

From the moment the band started playing its first song, “Salad Days,” the entire crowd sang along with DeMarco until the end of the set. DeMarco fed off the crowd, staring into fans’ eyes to “find a vibe” and thanking them for paper notes they handed him.

Everything that could happen at a concert did. Someone requested “Free Bird” – and the band delivered. About 30 people crowd-surfed, including band members and DeMarco. “Rock and Roll Night Club,” one of DeMarco’s most well-known hits, made it on the setlist with bassist Pierce McGarry’s usual high-pitched ending.

In his “Simpsons” tee, DeMarco belted out the lyrics to “Cooking Up Something Good,” with maniacal screams.

Mosh pits don’t usually come with bands as easygoing as this one, but DeMarco’s psychedelic, jazz-inspired rock had kids pushing and jumping around all night.

The band’s jokes broke up the setlist and sent the show on entertaining tangents.

“I’d like to preface this next song with some medical knowledge,” said McGarry.

The bassist informed the crowd that if you’re depressed, you should try using leeches to cheer up. Then he sang Coldplay’s “Yellow” in his now-famous whinny hollering. Hundreds in the audience took out their lighters and sang along.

The night ended with an encore of two covers,“Enter Sandman” and “Smoke on the Water,” leaving all happily basking in the rock vibes.

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Summer may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. Keep your week alive with some concerts, comedy and films.

Monday

Ceremony at Rock & Roll Hotel: All the way from California, the punk-rock band Ceremony is coming to the Rock & Roll Hotel. The group has toured with rock bands like AFI, and its pre-hardcore, punk-inspired songs are sure to get you in a rocking mood.

La Bomba! Stand Up Comedy at Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar: Punk rock not your thing? Head out to this weekly stand-up comedy show instead. Free and 21+.

Tuesday

Us the Duo at 9:30 Club: A love story for the ages: Michael and Carissa Alvarado fell in love and started writing music together before becoming Us the Duo. Their soft pop-folk songs and covers skyrocketed them to internet fame. Their beatbox-infused duets made them stars on Vine, and now you can catch them at the 9:30 Club for $20.

The Clientele at Black Cat: Experience a little more of the pop-rock genre with The Clientele at Black Cat. Catch the British band for just $15.

moonrise-kingdom-international-posterWednesday

“Moonrise Kingdom” at the Bethesda Outdoor Movie Series: Head out to Bethesda to catch this Wes Anderson favorite outside. The movie will start when the sun goes down at about 9 p.m. A limited number of seats are available, but you can bring your own chair or blanket. Maybe it’s time to crack out that GW towel you got at Colonial Inauguration.

Coen Brothers Double Feature at Washington Jewish Community Center: For just $12, you can see “A Serious Man” and “The Big Lebowski” back to back. The first showing is at 6:30 p.m., followed by the second at 8:30 p.m. Don’t want to spend the whole evening watching movies? Your ticket is good for two movies that week, so you can always catch the next one on Thursday, Saturday or Sunday.

Thursday

Official Flume Afterparty at U Street Music Hall: Couldn’t get tickets to the sold-out Flume show? Tickets to this 18+ event are $10. If you are going to the Flume show, you get in for free with your ticket stub or 9:30 Club stamp.

Hospitality and Ex Hex at Rock & Roll Hotel: Catch these female-fronted rock bands at the Rock & Roll Hotel. Hospitality is touring to promote its latest album, “Trouble,” which earned a 7.5 rating on Pitchfork. Tickets are only $13.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014 3:56 p.m.

GW ‘making history’ with custom coin

The GW challenge coin. Photo courtesy of GW Impact.

The GW challenge coin. Photo courtesy of GW Impact.

If you’re trying to raise $1 billion, just mint a few coins.

At least that seems to be part of GW’s strategy for its “Making History” fundraising campaign that publicly launched this June.

During the glamorous launch event at George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, Va. earlier this summer, alumni and donors rubbed shoulders with top University administrators. And as a bonus, GW unveiled freshly minted “challenge coins.”

The coins, featuring a profile of the first president, are meant to give owners a sense of pride in Washington’s vision for a college in the nation’s capital. And because everyone loves a good challenge, the coin also acts as a reminder to work toward the massive fundraising goal.

It’s unclear how effective the novelty will be in pulling in multi-million dollar donations. But, hey, at least it looks cool.

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We’d rather not discuss how many weekends are left until classes begin, and we’re sure you don’t either.

Keep summer alive with these weekend events, sure to help you check a few items off your D.C. bucket list.

Paramore performs on the Parahoy! cruise earlier this year. Photo by Flickr user Laurence Dion, used under cc-by-2.0

Paramore performs on the Parahoy! cruise earlier this year. Photo by Flickr user Laurence Dion, used under cc-by-2.0

Friday

Charles Feelgood at U Street Music Hall: If you’re interested in blowing off steam from a long week, U Street Music Hall has the performer for you. D.C. area-based DJ Charles Feelgood brings his electronic dance jams to the basement at U Street. Tickets are $10 in advance for ages 18 and up and the event is free before 12 a.m. for anyone 21 and older.

#HIPSTERHEIGHTS 90s Party at Liv Nightclub: Tonight is full of throwbacks, and this one will take you all the way back to the 90s. The party features old school 90s rap, a 90s dress competition and live performances. Entrance is free before 10 p.m. for anyone 21 and older.

Saturday

Guys & Dolls Vintage Party at Penn Social: As if the world needed another hipster throwback, vintage vendors from D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Philadelphia will flock to Penn Social for a shopping soiree from noon to 4 p.m. Sponsored by Façon Magazine and Shop Love DC, guests will compete for the title of best-dressed and the first 75 guests will get “swag bags” – we can’t make this stuff up. So if you’re down to shop for new styles (or just curious to find out what’s in a “swag bag”), reserve your spot for free online.

DC BRGR Bash in Shaw: For a burger celebration just as intense as its title lets on, head over to the DC BRGR Bash for great food and drinks. Ten burger connoisseurs across the DMV area will compete for best burger (BRGR?) between noon and 6 p.m. – and you can be one of the lucky judges. After enjoying the burgers, beer and live music, guests will head to grease-stained ballot boxes to crown the victor. Day-before ticket options start at $30.

The DC Scoop at Union Market: Burgers not your style? Trade savory for sweet between 1 and 4 p.m. at this celebration of everything ice cream-related: from gelato to ice-cream sandwiches, popsicles and more. On the hit list are Shake Shack’s legendary custards, Carmen’s Italian Ice, Nice Cream and other D.C. favorites. Entrance is free. Ice cream prices will vary.

De La Soul 25th Anniversary at Howard Theatre: The hip-hop trio from Long Island, N.Y. famous for their laid-back rhythm and eclectic style will celebrate 25 years of sound this Sunday. Now working on their eighth album, De La Soul combines funky beats with soulful lyrics to form a style known as “jazz rap.” Doors for the 6 p.m. show open at 8 p.m., and general admission tickets are $37.45 – and selling out fast.

Sunday

Capital Fringe 2014 presents The 27 Club: As part of Capital Fringe’s summer theater festival, The 27 Club will honor the six rock legends who met their deaths at the age of 27. The performers will help the audience peer into the lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain with excerpts from letters and stagings of real-life conversations and events. Tickets for the 8:45 p.m. show are $17.

Adam Lambert performs with Queen. Photo courtesy of Queen + Adam Lambert Facebook page.

Adam Lambert performs with Queen. Photo courtesy of the Queen + Adam Lambert Facebook page.

Queen + Adam Lambert at Merriweather Post Pavilion: Confused? Excited? A combination of both? After this duo performed at the iHeartRadio Music Festival last September, Lambert and Queen decided to join forces again for a 19-date tour that ends with a showing this Sunday. Hear timeless classics like “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” at this (truly) one-of-a-kind event, beginning at 6:30 p.m. While general admissions is sold out, you can still snag lawn tickets starting at $45.

Free Hitchcock film screening in Alexandria: As part of their “Hitchcock in July” event, the Beatley Central Library will offer a free matinee screening of the 1959 Hitchcock classic “North By Northwest” this Sunday at 2 p.m. In this thriller, the innocent New York advertising executive Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) is mistaken for a government agent, and must figure out how to escape from the mysterious foreign spies who pursue him. Also, it’s Hitchcock and free.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Everly Jazi.

Lead singer Jordan Lee of Mutual Benefit. Photo courtesy of the Windish Agency.

Singer-songwriter Jordan Lee of Mutual Benefit. Photo courtesy of the Windish Agency.

Before other musicians joined Jordan Lee on stage, Mutual Benefit started as a solo project with a second-hand karaoke machine.

But last Saturday, the collaborative project, known for its heavy use of string instruments like violins and guitars, opened for indie-rockers Wild Beasts and played for a full house at the 9:30 Club.

The band’s performance struck the same melodic outline as the album tracks, but with several recording group members skipping the tour, improvisation from the artists on stage filled the gaps.

After collaborating with many musicians, Mutual Benefit has a consistent lineup for this tour that performs well together.

Lee, whose first breakout success came last fall, started Mutual Benefit in 2009 with the eerie “Figure in Black” EP.

“At first, it was just a solo recording project,” Lee said. “I was playing in a rock band in Texas and I wanted to have an outlet for other kinds of music, and I went to the thrift store and I bought a broken karaoke machine that recorded right on to a cassette player.”

He said the musicians he works with now “occupy some position in between” touring members and bandmates. A couple of members on tour contributed to “Love’s Crushing Diamond,” but Lee said he doesn’t know who he wants to have on the next record.

“I guess for better or for worse, it’s a flexible thing. But I’ve really, really been enjoying playing with this lineup,” he said.

After headlining a sold-out show at the Black Cat in February, Mutual Benefit played for a mixed crowd during its opening performance at the 9:30 Club. As they set up, the bandmates joked that they had convinced the U.K.-based Wild Beasts that they were a big deal in the U.S.

Tours with big crowds are a new experience for the band. Lee, who spent the last two years playing house shows, said he was nervous before his performance at the 1,200-capacity 9:30 Club, even after he recently had higher-profile exposure on popular radio shows.

“Even being on KEXP or even playing a venue like the Independent in San Francisco that I’ve always wanted to play, but then seeing what it’s like on the back end and talking to the hospitality guys and stuff like that, it just kind of makes everything less magical than how you hoped it would be,” Lee said.

As the heavy drum ending of “Advanced Falconry” gave new life to a normally softer sound, the crowd pulsed with the rhythm. Even the Wild Beast fans, who did not seem to jive with the opener, swayed a little.

Lee has only written a couple of songs since the album, but hopes to record his next project in the Columbus Theatre recording studio in Rhode Island.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Sandra Loyola.

The weekend is winding down, and Monday’s forecast for both weather and places to go out doesn’t look promising. After getting past that hurdle, here’s what to look forward to later in the week.

Tuesday

Sunset Yoga & Pilates at the Georgetown Waterfront Park: Stressed from your internship or job and need a way to relax? The Georgetown Business Improvement District, in partnership with Georgetown yoga and pilates studios, will host free one-hour sunset sessions at the Georgetown Waterfront Park. Come to the park near the intersection of Water Street and Potomac Street any week this summer. Corepower Yoga will run this week’s session at 6 p.m. Space is limited, so make sure you RSVP.

Free Comedy at Vendetta: Catch a free comedy show every Tuesday at 8 p.m. The shows include D.C.’s best stand-up comics along with up-and-coming comedians. Ages 21+.

Wednesday

The Avalon Theater is at 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW. Photo by flickr user Mr.TinDC used under a CC BY-ND 2.0 licence.

The Avalon Theater is at 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW. Photo by flickr user Mr.TinDC used under a CC BY-ND 2.0 licence.

French Cinémathèque at the Avalon Theatre: The Embassy of France and the Avalon Theatre have teamed up to show contemporary French films during the month of July. Don’t worry if your French is rusty – English subtitles are provided. Tickets are $9 for students.

Summer Happy Hour Chocolate Tastings at Cocova: Cocova hosts a themed chocolate tasting every Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. This week’s tasting will feature white and milk chocolate bars.

Thursday

Stand-up Comedy at the Topaz Hotel Bar: Don’t feel like repeating another night of bar hopping at Dupont Circle? Topaz Hotel Bar hosts a live stand-up show every Thursday night from 8 to 10 p.m. with veteran comedians as well as “non-coms,” who are invited to get up on stage and try to win a $25 cash prize for the best joke.

Queens of the Stone Age featuring St. Vincent at Merriweather Post Pavilion: With tickets starting at $40, this summer concert will be filled with rock, sprinkled with some indie tunes from St. Vincent.

Friday

Take the orange or blue line to the Smithsonian. Photo by flickr user m01229 under a CC BY 2.0 licence.

Take the orange or blue line to the Smithsonian. Photo by flickr user m01229 under a CC BY 2.0 licence.

A Garden of Wonders at the Smithsonian Castle: Time to party like Alice and enter wonderland in this madcap party that transforms the Smithsonian Castle’s garden into a landscape of magic. With outdoor games, craft activities and a DJ, you don’t want to be late to this party. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Ages 21+.

Sasha Lord and Chris Rudy present 80’s Karaoke Performance Art Competition at Comet Ping Pong: Gather a group of friends and head to Comet Ping Pong to enjoy pizza and celebrate the start of weekend by watching an 80’s Karaoke showdown backed by the HariKaraoke Band. Admission is $12, and all ages are welcomed.

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Fourth of July celebrations dominated last week, but the red, white and blue won’t be here to yank you out of bed and pry you away from Netflix this weekend.

Made it through another week of your internship and looking for something to do? Here are a few options to make your mid-July weekend more than just some R&R.

Photo courtesy of the official Morrison Brothers Band Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of the official Morrison Brothers Band Facebook page.

Friday

The Morrison Brothers Band at 9:30 Club: The L.A.-based country band, known for touring with Keith Urban, Alison Krauss and Tim McGraw, will perform at the 9:30 Club with Amy Wilcox. Tickets are $20.

Saturday

Once you’ve watched the Netherlands and Brazil fight for a third-place finish in the World Cup, the 9:30 Club has the grooves to celebrate a win or forget defeat.

Wild Beasts at 9:30 Club: Wild Beasts are bringing their 80s-inspired sound on Saturday night. One-man band Mutual Benefit will open for the group. Tickets are $20.

Sunday

World Cup watch parties: The World Cup has captivated the nation, even a town that is hyper-focused on politics. And now the final match is here: Germany vs. Argentina. It’s going to be intense, so pick a side and grab some friends (and a beer).

Cheering on Lionel Messi and Argentina? Head out to Del Campo.

Have a preference for the well-organized team play of Germany? Then Biergarten Haus is the place for you.

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Photo by Hatchet photographer Christie Carpenter.

Photo by Hatchet photographer Christie Carpenter.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Christie Carpenter.

A shattered mirror sits on the floor in the Corcoran College of Art and Design.

Between the fragmented glass it reads, “The words in my head are a reflection of my environment whether good or bad,” in black handwriting.

The striking piece is part of the Corcoran’s newest exhibit, “The Gray Area: Living in Transition,” which explores the adjustment from military to civilian life and the way the line between the two worlds can blur.

“The Gray Area,” presented by a group of veterans within the Corcoran community, opened this month in Gallery 31. Though they come from different branches and backgrounds, the veterans joined to express their personal narratives for the showcase featuring mediums such as photography, film, paint and animation.

Veteran and artist Heather Muniz described her work as “a manifestation of the emotional places I have been – the confusion, sadness and anger of the experience.”

The works convey the doubts the artists have experienced as they leave the regimented life of service and war and reenter their homes. Whether through tattoos, like Robert Lliteras, or by examining small details in everyday life, like Jonathan Fields, the veterans all channel the struggles of re-assimilation into civilian life.

Field's prints for "The Gray Area" exhibition. Photo by Hatchet photographer Christie Carpenter.

Fields’ prints for “The Gray Area” exhibition. Photo by Hatchet photographer Christie Carpenter.

With “Therapy in Blood and Ink,” Lliteras shows how he experienced depression not from the horrors of war, but from the lack of it. He began to deal with withdrawal by getting tattoos.

Meanwhile, Fields said his piece, a collection of three silver gelatin prints, is meant to remind him to pay attention to small details that help him stay grounded in his surroundings outside of the military community.

These works, among others, will be on display until July 20. Admission is free, and the Corcoran’s hours of operation are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Corcoran Gallery of Art is located on 1500 17th St. NW.

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Monday, July 7, 2014 10:12 p.m.

Free outdoor movies return to NoMa

summer outdoor

The NoMa Business Improvement District hosts outdoor film screenings every Wednesday night in Northeast D.C. Photo used under the Creative Commons License.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Christie Carpenter.

What: Free outdoor movies
Where: The field on L Street between 2nd and 3rd streets NE
When: Every Wednesday night. You can arrive starting at 7 p.m., but the movie doesn’t begin until dark.

Summer in D.C. can be expensive, but the city does have options for those who maybe have already spent more than they had budgeted for two months ago. While many festivals are winding down, the NoMa Summer Screen still has six more movies scheduled for the coming weeks.

The NoMa Business Improvement District, which hosts the 13-week outdoor film series in the North of Massachusetts Avenue neighborhood, chose “unlikely friendships” as this year’s theme

Arrive early and have a picnic with your friends, or bring a lawn chair and enjoy some White House White Cheddar popcorn from the Popped! Republic food truck. Either way, you’ll spend less money than you would on that 100th Sweetgreen salad this summer, and you’ll get to see a movie for free.

Here is the line up for the remaining weeks of Summer Screen:

July 9: “The Muppets”
July 16: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
July 23: “The Dark Knight”
July 30: “Pitch Perfect”
August 6: “Top Gun”
August 13: “The Sandlot”

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