With this slightly unconventional start to the school year, organizations on campus have had to adapt in order to recruit new members. Postponed are the days of the in-person activities fair, which means clubs have had to make the best of our largely-virtual Kenyon experience by making informational videos about themselves. I commend this effort, and decided to make the best of the situation myself by reviewing a few as if they were movies and the satire blog I write for were Letterboxd for a moment.
The Stairwells (2020) ★★★ Some of the best films rely on the simplistic, or how to say things without saying them at all. The Stairwells (2020) accomplish this feat by eliminating any potential dialogue and letting sepia tone, the Ken Burns effect, and the fact that every other photo seemed to be taken in a vacant field tell their story. Oh, and singing. Lots of singing. With these artistic choices, the viewer can’t help but confront the unflinchingly important questions such as do these people just live on a commune out in Amish country? and Seriously are they gonna pull a Partridge Family through Rural Ohio while attending their remote classes? The casting was also impeccable, particularly in the case of Kid With the Trombone. Which leads me to my main qualm with the movie, which classifies itself in the “a cappella videos” genre. But during my viewing of The Stairwells (2020) I counted seven instruments in the establishing shot alone!! So I don’t know why they’re lying to me. They lost stars for that, but they seem fun and weird and I liked the folk music.
Alpha Delta Phi ★1/2 While directors like William Friedkin of Exorcist (1973) fame rely on gore and impending doom to elicit horror, the film Alpha Delta Phi (2020) enters the genre from a more psychological sense. The ominous lighting and cryptic narration fill the viewer with a sense of existential dread. The overall tone is claustrophobic and eerie. I grappled with a suddenly all-consuming fear of being perceived. In this way Alpha Delta Phi (2020) paves the way for psychological horror movies that may follow, so I guess you gotta give them credit for that. But it really freaked me out and I had to take both a restless nap and a shower after watching it. One and a half stars.
The Kenyon Thrill ★★★★★ There isn’t much to say. This is a masterful piece that changed my life. From an entirely unbiased standpoint, I implore you to check it out for yourself.