Kobe Bryant Tribute

by Sarah McLaughlin '23
Editor-in-Chief


Arts & Entertainment


Musicians Pay Homage

by: Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

Nearly a month ago, the world was shocked and saddened by the sudden deaths of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, along with seven others in a helicopter crash. On Monday, February 24, the Staples Center in Los Angeles held a memorial for Kobe and Gianna, which featured several emotional tributes to the father-daughter duo.  

PHOTO COURTESY OF HOUSE OF HIGHLIGHTS ON YOUTUBE

The event included speeches from Bryant’s friends and NBA stars as well as the first occasion that Vanessa Bryant spoke about the deaths of her husband and daughter. In her emotional speech, Bryant concluded by saying, “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other.” 

Not only did the memorial allow Bryant’s loved ones and all those who supported him to pay tribute to him, but there were also several heartfelt performances at the event. A major performer was Beyoncé, a longtime friend of Bryant. 

Beyoncé sang “XO” in a tune that she specifically noted as one of Bryant’s favorites. She began her performance by telling the crowd, “I’m here, because I love Kobe, and this was one of his favorite songs. So, I want to start that over, but I want us to do it all together and I want you to sing it so loud they hear your love. Are y’all ready? Love you.” 

Another key performer was Alicia Keys. She played the piano for a special performance of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” This song has a special meaning to Bryant and his wife Vanessa, and he had even learned how to play it on the piano at one point to surprise her.  

Music is emotional and powerful, and during times like these, Beyoncé and Alicia Keys were able to use it to bring everyone watching together to celebrate the lives of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, as well as mourn the loss of these two incredible individuals.  

PC Students Present The Vagina Monologues

by Sarah McLaughlin '23
Editor-in-Chief


Theater


by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

PHOTO COURTESY OF LIZ DONNELLAN ’20

The Vagina Monologues has been performed by Providence College students for the past 17 years at AS220, a performing arts venue in downtown Providence. The play was written by Tony Award Winner and known activist Eve Ensler.  

Ensler wrote TVM in 1994. Since its debut, it has been translated into 50 languages and performed in over 140 countries. The play was originally written as a “moving work of art on violence,” according to the V-Day website. As the show became more popular, Ensler was approached by many women who were survivors of violence, and she realized that the show could be more than just a piece of art about violence against women. TVM then progressed to being a “mechanism for moving people to act to end violence.”  

The V-Day Movement has grown since the original production of TVM and is a “global activist movement to end violence against women.” Not only is the V-Day Movement on a mission to end the violence against women that is sadly present around the world today, but it has also raised over 100 million dollars to support women and end the fight against domestic and sexual violence.  

All of the funds raised from the two shows on Feb. 19 and 22 will be donated to the Sojourner House in Providence. Sojourner House provides a safe haven 24 hours a day, seven days a week for victims of domestic and sexual abuse.  

The performance tells the stories of real women and maintains a serious tone with hints of humor throughout. The show ran for two hours with a brief intermission and was broken up into a series of monologues, as the title suggests. Some titles from TVM include “Over It,” which spoke to how fed up the speaker is with violence against women, and “Crooked Braid,” a monologue that specifically refers to the domestic violence that Native American women face within their homes and communities.  

Emily Tolbert ‘20 is on the executive board of TVM at PC along with Maria Johnsen ’20 and Lucia Gonzalez ’22. When asked to comment on her experience with TVM, Tolbert said, “The Vagina Monologues has been the most empowering thing I’ve done at PC. It is so inspiring to see this tradition continue thriving each year without any support from the institution.” She went on to emphasize that “It’s so important to be able to speak openly about sex and sexual violence, and this show starts those conversations within the PC community.” 

Sparking conversations about domestic violence is one of the goals of TVM. Generally, sexual violence against women is not talked about, and the world needs to start having this conversation if violence against women is going to end. The Vagina Monologues has ignited this discussion around the world and will continue to do so for many more years to come.  

The 92nd Oscars Shocks with Performers, Awards

by Sarah McLaughlin '23
Editor-in-Chief


Film and Television


Eminem Takes His Opportunity while Parasite Makes History

by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

While the Super Bowl is the premiere event in sports, this past Sunday the entertainment industry had a super bowl of its own: the Oscars. A list of top tier actors, actresses, and crew members were nominated to win coveted Oscars. Not only are the nominees showcased at the event, but there were top notch performers in attendance as well. 

The 92nd Academy Awards debuted live on ABC on Feb. 9, and, as per usual, the show impressed those watching at home with an entertaining evening. The organization continued the tradition of broadcasting without a host for the second year in a row. 

The list of nominees was expansive, and there were plenty of great contenders. One of the biggest winners of the night was the movie Parasite. Director and producer Bong Joon-ho won in four categories for which he and the film were nominated, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Film, and Best Original Screenplay. The film made history as the first foreign language film to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Much to the amusement of those watching, Bong Joon-ho joked to the audience in his acceptance speech for Best Picture, saying, “I’m ready to drink tonight.”

GRAPHIC BY PATRICK FULLER ’21/THE COWL

Brad Pitt earned an award for his role as Cliff Booth in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, walking away with the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. 

Other big wins for actors included Joaquin Pheonix for his performance in Joker.  Though he has been nominated before, this was Phoenix’s first Oscar win for Best Actor, and he used the opportunity to express how his position has allowed him to give a voice to the causes important to him. The actor spoke about inequality and the environment, claiming that “human beings, at our best, are so inventive and creative and ingenious, and I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.”

Some big wins for actresses included Laura Dern with her first Oscar win for Best Actress in a Supporting Role due to her role in Marriage Story, a role for which she also won a Golden Globe this year.  Renée Zellweger also won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the Judy Garland biopic, Judy. 

Not only did the night feature groundbreaking wins, but the Oscars also featured a series of performances during the show. Idina Menzel performed “Into the Unknown” from Frozen 2 with a backing chorus of ‘Elsas’ from countries throughout the world singing in their native languages. Good Morning America dubbed this a “truly global performance.” The Oscars also featured a surprise performance by Eminem. He performed “Lose Yourself” following a montage of iconic music in films. 

The Oscars were filled with first-time wins and groundbreaking victories. With many well-deserved winners, this year’s Oscars have set a precedent for many years to come. 

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez Own Halftime Show

by Sarah McLaughlin '23
Editor-in-Chief


Music


Celebrate Latinx Roots and Female Empowerment

by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

Every year, people across the country get together to watch the Super Bowl. Not only is this one of the world’s biggest stages in sports, but the halftime show at the Super Bowl is the world’s biggest stage for musical artists as well.  Viewed by over 100 million people this year, the performers of the Super Bowl Halftime Show have the opportunity to stun the world each year. 

This year at Super Bowl LIV Jennifer Lopez and Shakira took the stage and their highly anticipated halftime performance did not disappoint. Some notable predecessors are Madonna, Beyoncé, and Prince. 

The two women made history during this Super Bowl performance as it was, “the first time two Latinas star[red] on that stage and the first time the two global superstars perform[ed] together.”  

Both women commented on the fact that they would be making history with this performance. Lopez spoke out, saying, “Two Latinas doing this in this country at this time is just very empowering to us.” Shakira went on to comment, “It’s very important for us to convey a message of unity and also to show what a relevant force the Latin community is in this country.” 

Not only were the two stars intending to showcase their Latin roots, but they also intended to pay tribute to the recently deceased Kobe Bryant with this performance.  

The stars declared their excitement to perform together at the Super Bowl when it was announced. Jennifer Lopez spoke about how she has wanted to perform at the  Super Bowl since watching Diana Ross do so in 1996. She went on to say that “It’s made even more special not only because it’s the NFL’s 100th season, but also because I am performing with a fellow Latina. I can’t wait to show what us girls can do on the world’s biggest stage.” 

Shakira also noted how excited she was to represent Latin artists on such a large platform. In a press conference, she told reporters, “This is a true American dream and we are going to bring the show of a lifetime!” 

The women set out to impress and gave a standout show to the 100 million people watching. The set list included fan favorites such as, “Hips Don’t Lie,” “Waka Waka,”  “Jenny from the Block,”  and “On the Floor.”  

Lopez and Shakira gave a performance that embodied Latinx and female empowerment, even including Lopez’s daughter and a group of other young girls on stage with them towards the end of the performance.  

This was certainly a show to remember, and Shakira and Lopez made history as they joined the esteemed ranks of people who have performed on the world’s biggest stage.  

Looking Back at the 2020 SAG Awards

by Sarah McLaughlin '23
Editor-in-Chief


Film and Television


Robert De Niro Uses Platform to Call for Political Change

by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

On Jan. 19, the 2020 awards show season continued with the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. The SAG Awards are “the only televised awards ceremony to exclusively honor performers,” according to the show’s website. The 13 awards presented focus on the outstanding performances of the past year in both film and prime time television.  

A notable winner from this year’s SAG Awards was Robert De Niro, who was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was announced in November of 2019, but De Niro was presented with it at the ceremony.  

The award honors “career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment” and individuals who encompass the “finest ideals of the acting profession.” Leonardo DiCaprio, who himself has recently won both an Oscar nomination and a SAG nomination for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, presented De Niro with the award.  

CHRIS PIZZELLO/ASSOCIATED PRESS

When De Niro accepted this achievement award, he used the opportunity to comment on the current political climate saying, “There’s right and there’s wrong. And there’s common sense and there’s abuse of power, and as a citizen, I have as much right as anybody—an actor, an athlete, a musician, anybody else—to voice my opinion. And if I have a bigger voice because of my situation, I’m going to use it whenever I see a blatant abuse of power.” 

Some other notable wins for actors were Jennifer Aniston with Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her role in The Morning Show. Brad Pitt also won for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role with his role in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.  Additionally, Game of Thrones’s Peter Dinklage won Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series.  

Streaming networks like Amazon Prime and Netflix also had big wins during the SAG Awards. Netflix’s The Crown came out on top as the Oustanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, and Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was awarded Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. 

The Best Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture was awarded to the film Parasite. The cast of this film made history with this win, as it was the first foreign film in history to win the award. Song Kang-ho, who plays Kim Ki-taek, told the crowd in his acceptance speech that, “I am so honored to receive this award in front of such amazing actors that I admire. I will remember and never forget this beautiful night. Thank you so much.” 

These particular wins made for a very entertaining awards show and provided some hints of what is to come as the 2020 awards season continues.

DeGeneres Presented with Carol Burnett Award at Golden Globes

by Sarah McLaughlin '23
Editor-in-Chief


Arts & Entertainment


First Person Besides Burnett to Receive the Honor

by: Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

PHOTOS COURTESY OF FLICKR

While most attendees of the annual Golden Globes spend the night waiting for their names to be called, this year, there was one award for which waiting was not necessary. Ellen DeGeneres received the Carol Burnett Award, and she was certainly grateful for not having to wait anxiously for the winner announcement. She even noted in her acceptance speech, “There’s nothing worse than sitting there, like most of you, waiting and wondering if you’re going to win.”  

The Carol Burnett Award was created with the intention of honoring excellence in the television industry.  DeGeneres is the first person to receive this award aside from Carol Burnett herself. The award was presented for the first time at the January 2019 Golden Globes. 

DeGeneres acknowledges Burnett in her speech saying, “I feel like we all think we know someone—there’s a connection when we watch someone on TV for as long as we are on TV, and that’s what it was like with me with Carol Burnett.” 

According to the Golden Globe Awards website, the award is “equivalent to its film accolade counterpart, the Cecil B. Deville Award, the Carol Burnett Award will be presented annually to an honoree who has made outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen.” 

The award was presented by Kate McKinnon, who is best known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Following her presentation of the award, a video played showcasing moments from the entirety of DeGeneres’ almost 20-year long career in the television industry.  

DeGeneres’ funny speech showed her personality and detailed her career. The talk show host managed to explain the bumps along the road, such as when her sitcom was canceled once she declared herself openly gay, as well as her successes with a sense of humor and sentiment that are unique to DeGeneres’ personality.  

Throughout her speech, DeGeneres addressed both her struggles and her triumphs in the industry, the biggest triumph thus far being the first openly gay woman to host her own daytime television show. When talking about her show during the acceptance speech, DeGeneres tells the audience, “All I’ve ever wanted to do is make people feel good and laugh and there is no greater feeling than when someone tells me that I’ve made their day better with my show.”  

She ended her speech by saying, “The real power of television, for me, is not that people watch my show, but people watch my show and then they’re inspired to go out and do the same thing in their own lives. They make people laugh or be kind or help someone that’s less fortunate than themselves, and that is the power of television, and I’m so, so grateful to be a part of it.“ 

The bar has certainly been set high with these inaugural winners of the Carol Burnett Award, and it is sure to continue to gain prestige with every passing year. 

Taylor Swift Dominates American Music Awards

by The Cowl Editor


Music


Singer Songwriter Receives Artist of the Decade Accolade

by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

Over the past 10 years, 29-year-old singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has reached great heights, from five No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Top 100 List to 10 Grammy awards. Due to Swift’s number of achievements since her debut album in 2006, she was recently named Artist of the Decade at this year’s American Music Awards.  

Not only did Swift win Artist of the Decade, but she received multiple awards, including Video of the Year and Pop/Rock Album of the Year for her most recent LP, Lover. On top of this, Swift also gave a standout, 11-minute performance at the show. This year’s wins at the AMA’s put Swift above Michael Jackson as the most awarded artist in the show’s history, with 29 awards in total. 

Though the singer has had her fair share of public controversy, Swift’s strong fan base coupled with her award-winning music has allowed her to remain on top time and time again.  

PHOTO COURTESY GETTY AND ASSOCIATED PRESS

Before her performance on the AMAs stage, Swift faced conflict with Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun, who recently received copyright ownership over Swift’s older tracks, which she recorded under Big Machine Records. Due to this shift, the controversy concerned whether Swift would be able to perform these older hits at the AMAs. 

Swift called in her fans via social media to help ensure that she would be able to sing her older songs during her performance. According to The Guardian, Swift urged “her 122 million Instagram fans to let Braun ‘know how you feel about this,’” Braun relented, and she was able to perform both her old and new hits.  

Ultimately, Big Machine allowed Swift to perform these songs in a medley that left the audience stunned. She started off with a bang, performing her recent hit “The Man,” followed up with a medley of her older songs including “Love Story,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and “Blank Space.” Swift then finished with “Lover,” the title track on her most recent album.  

After her performance, singer Carole King gave a tribute to Swift before officially presenting her with the Artist of the Decade award. The award-winning songwriter praised Swift, saying, “She is one of the only modern pop artists whose name appears as the sole songwriter in her song credits… The past decade has been incredible for this  brilliant artist, and the best is yet to come.” 

In Swift’s acceptance speech, she gave a nod to both the challenging and enjoyable parts of her career over the past 10 years. She also was sure to acknowledge her fans, saying, “The fact that this is an award that celebrates a decade of hard work and of art and of fun and memories, all that matters to me is the memories that I have had with you guys, with you, the fans over the years.” 

She ended with a promising declaration of her appreciation for her record label, Universal Music Group and subsidiary label Republic Records, during her acceptance speech for Pop/Rock Album of the Year and left fans feeling very hopeful when she told everyone watching that, “This album felt like a new beginning.”  Even after 10 years of success, this is not the end of the road for Taylor Swift, and there is sure to be more to come from the iconic artist in the next decade. 

Taylor Swift Dominates American Music Awards

by The Cowl Editor


Music


Singer Songwriter Receives Artist of the Decade Accolade

by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

Over the past 10 years, 29-year-old singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has reached great heights, from five No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Top 100 List to 10 Grammy awards. Due to Swift’s number of achievements since her debut album in 2006, she was recently named Artist of the Decade at this year’s American Music Awards.  

Not only did Swift win Artist of the Decade, but she received multiple awards, including Video of the Year and Pop/Rock Album of the Year for her most recent LP, Lover. On top of this, Swift also gave a standout, 11-minute performance at the show. This year’s wins at the AMA’s put Swift above Michael Jackson as the most awarded artist in the show’s history, with 29 awards in total. 

Though the singer has had her fair share of public controversy, Swift’s strong fan base coupled with her award-winning music has allowed her to remain on top time and time again.  

PHOTO COURTESY GETTY AND ASSOCIATED PRESS

Before her performance on the AMAs stage, Swift faced conflict with Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun, who recently received copyright ownership over Swift’s older tracks, which she recorded under Big Machine Records. Due to this shift, the controversy concerned whether Swift would be able to perform these older hits at the AMAs. 

Swift called in her fans via social media to help ensure that she would be able to sing her older songs during her performance. According to The Guardian, Swift urged “her 122 million Instagram fans to let Braun ‘know how you feel about this,’” Braun relented, and she was able to perform both her old and new hits.  

Ultimately, Big Machine allowed Swift to perform these songs in a medley that left the audience stunned. She started off with a bang, performing her recent hit “The Man,” followed up with a medley of her older songs including “Love Story,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and “Blank Space.” Swift then finished with “Lover,” the title track on her most recent album.  

After her performance, singer Carole King gave a tribute to Swift before officially presenting her with the Artist of the Decade award. The award-winning songwriter praised Swift, saying, “She is one of the only modern pop artists whose name appears as the sole songwriter in her song credits… The past decade has been incredible for this  brilliant artist, and the best is yet to come.” 

In Swift’s acceptance speech, she gave a nod to both the challenging and enjoyable parts of her career over the past 10 years. She also was sure to acknowledge her fans, saying, “The fact that this is an award that celebrates a decade of hard work and of art and of fun and memories, all that matters to me is the memories that I have had with you guys, with you, the fans over the years.” 

She ended with a promising declaration of her appreciation for her record label, Universal Music Group and subsidiary label Republic Records, during her acceptance speech for Pop/Rock Album of the Year and left fans feeling very hopeful when she told everyone watching that, “This album felt like a new beginning.”  Even after 10 years of success, this is not the end of the road for Taylor Swift, and there is sure to be more to come from the iconic artist in the next decade. 

Let’s Rant: Fan Fiction

by The Cowl Editor


Arts & Entertainment


by: Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

While fans of the fan-fiction-turned-movie After may be pleased that it has won the People’s Choice Award for Best Drama Film of 2019, the movie follows a trend of others that have come before it, such as the popular series 50 Shades of Grey. Both were fanfictions turned books turned movies that seemed to capture the hearts of teen girls across the country.  

After Vertical Movie Poster
PHOTO COURTESY OF JOBLO.COM

Critics, on the other hand, are not such big fans of the movie. While it was given a 72 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, it only scored a 17 percent on the tomatometer. One top critic and writer for the Los Angeles Times says that in After, “characters act illogically, as though written by someone who napped through most of Intro to Psych and skipped English 101 altogether.”  

This film’s success at the People’s Choice Awards comes down to the voting system. As one of the only award shows where fans pick the winners as opposed to experts, movies such as After can win big.  

This is the problem with the People’s Choice Awards, and why the results of this awards show should mean less. When discussing the wins of movies such as After, which have won awards but are not necessarily high-quality films, the voting process seems to be the problem. According to Vanity Fair, a lot of movies like this one “develop passionate but niche fan bases—who, it seems, have the ability to sway even a robust voting process like the People’s Choice Awards.”  

The niche for movies like After and Twilight is teenage girls, and as Vanity Fair stated, this audience often manages to control the voting process, which allows for movies like After to win awards and make a lot of money. When describing the voting process Vanity Fair states that “it’s a system that rewards both a young fan base and spamming” which is perfect for the teen girls who favor fan fiction-based flicks.  

As this kind of voting process continues, a People’s Choice Award seems to mean less and less and the cycle of low-quality movies winning the award will live on.  

Where Are They Now?

by The Cowl Editor


Music


An Update on the Former One Direction Members

by Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff

One Direction joined the ranks of boy bands whose members have gone their separate ways when the group split in 2015. Like other groups that have done so, all five former members of One Direction have decided to pursue solo careers.  

Zayn Malik has enjoyed recent success by joining Shaed on their recent hit “Trampoline.” This is one of the first songs Malik has released since his album Icarus Falls in 2018. Malik also worked on a pop version of the song “A Whole New World” for Disney’s live action Aladdin remake.  

Louis Tomlinson released his song “Kill My Mind” this year, with promises of more music to follow. According to Rolling Stone, Tomlinson stated, “The next few songs I have coming out fully represent me as an artist.” He continued, “This new song is me really being true to myself.”  

Liam Payne has also produced some music beyond the boy band since the group has split up. He released a single “Stack It Up” which was co-written by Ed Sheeran, and features A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, who performed at Providence College’s Late Night Madness earlier this fall.  

More recently, Niall Horan has come out with a recent hit titled “Nice to Meet Ya.” This recent hit follows his debut solo album Flicker released in 2017, for which he received an American Music Award for Best New Artist. “Nice to Meet Ya” is the first song to be released off Horan’s upcoming sophomore album.  

Perhaps the artist that has made the biggest splash with his solo career as of late is Harry Styles. Styles released his song “Lights Up” which recently peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard charts. Vulture suggests that the song is something that One Direction may have come out with had they lasted together and says that the song is “packed with organic flourishes, guitars galore, gorgeous piano notes scattered over top of the bridge and chorus.” 

PHOTO COURTESY OF SPOTIFY

This past week, Styles announced that he will be coming out with his sophomore album, Fine Line, to be released on Dec. 13. Along with the announcement, he has released the cover art for the album.  

According to Rolling Stone, Styles went on to reveal that “much of his album was recorded over a six-week period in Rick Rubin’s Malibu-based Shangri-la studios with producers Tyler Johnson and Jeff Bhasker.”  

Fans of Styles as a solo artist can look forward to this album and to his duel appearance as both host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live on Nov. 16, where he is sure to showcase his newest hit “Lights Up.”