The Chronicle Entertainment Rundown

Anneliese Esparza, A&E Editor

Book: Educated: A Memoir

Tara Westover’s 2018 memoir chronicles her inspiring quest to gain an education despite her tumultuous upbringing. Westover was raised in rural Idaho by survivalist Mormon parents who unschooled their children and attempted to keep them isolated from the outside world. However, Westover was determined to learn, overcoming all odds to broaden her horizons by getting an education. Penned in a conversational, tender writing style, the memoir is humorous, heartbreaking and profound. The book is CSUSM’s 2019-2020 Common Read and members of the campus community can find an e-book of Educated: A Memoir on the CSUSM library website.

Movie: Parasite

The winner of the 2020 Academy Award for Best Picture, Parasite is a powerful film that depicts what happens when the lives of lower and upper-class families intertwine. Through cleverness and deceit, the poor yet enterprising Kim family manages to form a symbiotic relationship with the wealthy Park family. However, as their deceit becomes harder to maintain, things start to unravel, leading to tragic consequences for both sides. Bolstered by Bong Joon-ho’s stellar direction, an unforgettable story and compelling acting, Parasite is a captivating, shocking and thought-provoking masterpiece that uniquely blends tragedy and comedy. Parasite was released on Hulu on April 8.

TV Miniseries: Mrs. America

Drama TV miniseries Mrs. America is a fascinating snapshot of the women’s rights movement in the 1970s. It examines the topic from the perspective of several historical figures, including Phyllis Schlafly, Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm and Betty Friedan. While the series does display some historical inaccuracies, it is buoyed by its retro 70s feel and by the acting, especially the strong performances of Cate Blanchett as Schlafly and Rose Byrne as Steinem. The first five episodes of the nine-episode series are currently streaming on Hulu, with a new episode set to be released each Wednesday.

Music: “Isolation”

Johnny Depp and legendary lead guitarist Jeff Beck teamed up to produce a cover of John Lennon’s 1970 song “Isolation.” Released on Apr. 16, Depp and Beck reimagine “Isolation” as a desperate, gritty rock song instead of Lennon’s more laid-back acoustic version. Depp’s vocals are surprisingly quite good and Beck’s guitar solos are spectacular. Despite the fact that the song was written 50 years ago, Lennon’s lyrics are still just as relevant today as they were then. “We’re afraid of everyone / Afraid of the sun / Isolation” sings Depp, words which likely ring true for most of us in this time of home isolation.

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