Rain and Leaves, with Hints of Snow

Teen Editorial Staff November 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Disha Cattamanchi and Yoon Lee

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Welcome to the “Thursday” of the year! November isn’t exactly the Wednesday of the week, but it definitely isn’t Friday either. As we float towards the weekend of the year (December), the local arts scene too begins making the shift from fall to the holiday season. Various arts events of holiday spirit now coexist with cultural exhibitions that redefine the giving season, culminating in a Mariah Carey-esque thawing as the festive fun begins. So please you, enjoy yourself this November with productions of all kinds, holiday-themed or not!

Thanksgiving season is a time to reflect on our cultural identities, identifying how they will shape our futures. American Art: The Stories We Carry, an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, does just that, highlighting a diverse array of experiences that give new meaning to the term “American.” The exhibit opened on October 20th, and is a fun way to spark conversation with family and friends as you trudge about Seattle’s art scene in the remaining fall weather.

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Vesper: Morality and Mortality After the Apocalypse

Review of Vesper film at the Grand Illusion Cinema

Written by Teen Writer Aria Sanya and edited by Teen Editor Audrey Gray

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When our communities break, do we fight, lie, trick, and steal? Help each other out? Or do we flee the situation completely? Vesper (2022) is a French-Lithuanian dystopian film directed by Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper. It tells a story of a young girl navigating an inhospitable Earth while dealing with classism, relationships, morality, and survival. After an effort to combat an ecological disaster using genetic engineering goes wrong, most life is destroyed by bioengineered bacterial organisms, plunging the planet into “the new dark ages.” The upper class hedges itself off in affluent areas called Citadels, where they enslave artificially created, humanoid creatures called Jugs. The Citadels control food and resources, so the poor are forced to scavenge for food and to rely on the wealthy for genetically modified seeds that yield only one harvest each.

Vesper (Raffiella Chapman) is a curious 13-year-old girl struggling to survive in a community where resources are scarce and monopolized. She is incredibly intelligent with a natural talent for biohacking, an ability that she utilizes throughout the movie to experiment on plants and produce food and medicine. Vesper has a genuine heart but is polluted by the naivety of youth. Her tenacity is tested throughout the movie, when the condition of her paralyzed father (Richard Brake) grows increasingly worse, and a mysterious stranger (Rosy McEwen) offers a poisonous promise that could hold the key to Vesper’s survival. Film still from Vesper directed by Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper

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Frights and Thrills for the Creative Spirit

Teen Editorial Staff October 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Audrey Gray and Esha Potharaju

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A rush of autumnal spirit thrums in the air. The transition from September to October is jarring—all of a sudden, the wind picks up, carrying the aroma of fall spices, and Halloween seems just around the corner. Throughout the local art scene, creative minds are preparing for this transition, setting up spooky productions of well-known favorites and spine-tingling selections of film and art that are sure to offer you a new vision into what the human mind is capable of creating. This October, seek out some new frights and thrills to get your blood pumping and rejuvenate your spirit, curated by the Teen Editorial Staff here at TeenTix.

If you’re eager to experience how the classic monster-laden iconography of Halloween manifests in the mind of Shakespeare, visit Center Theatre for Seattle Shakespeare Company’s taste of cackling witches and cold-blooded murder in their production of the world-renowned play Macbeth. If you’re riding on that wave of spooky theater but are looking for something a bit more lighthearted and punchy, drop by at Village Theatre to watch Little Shop of Horrors, based on the cult classic 1960s film of the same name. The show is jam packed with comedy, rock, romance, and carnivorous, borderline predatory plants.

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Windows and Mirrors Across the Seattle Art Scene

Teen Editorial Staff September 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Kyle Gerstel and Aamina Mughal

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As summer yields itself to autumn, a sense of renewal flurries in the air. For TeenTix, this manifests itself most literally in our new batch of TEDS (Teen Editorial Staff) and Newsroom writers, but we also want to consider the importance of increasing the range of stories we consume and how we consume them. Depending on your perspective, the events you’ll see reviewed on the blog this month can act as windows into experiences different from your own, as well as mirrors reflecting and representing voices that are too often left unheard.

Art has served as an outlet for marginalized communities, but the arts community has also historically suppressed these voices, making diverse perspectives inaccessible. We believe it is critical for teens (and all citizens) to see themselves represented in art and expose themselves to the experiences of others. As the school year starts back up, it is our hope that we continue this trend of renewal and are able to introduce a greater feeling of belonging in the arts scene.

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Learning From The Inside Outtakes

Takeaways from Bo Burnham's The Inside Outtakes
Written by Teen Writer Kyle Gerstel and Edited by Lucia McLaren

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On Monday May 30, 2022, comedian Bo Burnham honored the one year anniversary of his popular Netflix special Inside by releasing over an hour of outtakes on his YouTube channel. While the outtake reel isn’t as polished as the original special, I believe it more effectively satirizes the role of media in our society and delivers laughs of larger quantity and quality. It also serves as an educational tool for aspiring and practicing artists alike:

Lesson 1: Respect the audience.

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Saving Face

Review of Hatching presented by SIFF

Written by Teen Writer Elle Vonada and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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This coming of age meets horror film unnervingly unpacks Tinja’s (Siiri Solalinna) toxic relationship with her mother (Sophia Heikkilä) as well as her own repressed demons. Tinja’s mother is a family lifestyle vlogger, determined to encapsulate her family’s day to day life as perfect. Throughout the film, however, it becomes apparent that Tinja’s family is far from perfect. Director ​​Hanna Bergholm exposes the overbearingness of Tinja’s mother through costuming and set design. Tinja is thirteen years old and still wears frilly dresses and hair bows. Her bedroom is the epitome of a grandma who’s aesthetic never developed past the 1940s. With walls covered floor to ceiling in flowery wallpaper and sheer voile curtains, there is no doubt that Tinja has never rebelled against her mother.

To any outsider, this behavior would scream mommy issues, but to Tinja, she is simply upholding her mother’s desires and is happy to do so for her mother’s approval. Tinja lacks the freedom to be an unbothered teenage girl, so when she finds an egg in the woods, Tinja immediately bonds with it as this is the first thing that is truly hers. Still from Hatching (2022) directed by Hanna Bergholm. Distributed by IFC Films.

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Final Stretch, Here We Come!

Teen Editorial Staff May 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Esha Potharaju and Disha Cattamanchi

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Exam season is in full swing for teens across the country. It can be difficult to ease the waves of stress that accompany exams. We at TeenTix would like to reassure our readers that we have full faith in their abilities. Whatever happens, it will be alright! De-stressing is important for success, both personally and academically. We hope that readers will set time aside to take care of themselves by participating in art, be it a classical music performance or a modern film! There’s a huge selection of events that will be happening this month, and we’d like to highlight just a few that we hope you’ll enjoy.

From May 20-21, Pacific MusicWorks will be holding their music show, Wayward Sisters: A Dynamic Tapestry of Sound, at Benaroya Hall. The event will be an ode to 17th century soprano trios, reimagining the major works of the century as theatrical events. If you’re looking for something more contemporary, catch SIFF’s film Hatching. The film follows a twelve-year-old gymnast as she confronts her conflicts in the form of a fantastical, yet increasingly grotesque, creature that hatches from an egg that she finds in the woods.

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Spin Me Round Leaves Me of Two Minds

Review of Spin Me Round presented during SIFF's 48th Seattle International Film Festival

Written by Teen Writer Roy Callahan and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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Spin Me Round is a comedic fever dream that surprises the audience with its crazy twists, well-rounded cast, and addicting relationships. What seemed like a basic comedy turned out to be a unique film that delivered emotion, depth, and genuine disappointment.

Amber, played by Alison Brie of the popular show Community, works as a manager for a trashy Italian food chain in the small town of Bakersfield. While working there, she is invited on a corporate retreat to the company’s luxurious mansion in Italy. Amber heads off on her trip with hopes of finding love and a life-changing experience.

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April Showers Bring Art’s Flowers

Teen Editorial Staff April 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Eleanor Cenname and Lucia McLaren

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There is something a bit nostalgic every time spring rolls around. The familiar whiff of flowers that brings to mind the warmer seasons. For those of us going to school, the end of the year starts to come into crisp focus. And best of all, the days grow longer, giving us just a little more time in the day to play. At TeenTix, we like to play by enjoying art. If you would like to join us as we use our new daylight hours, consider visiting the TeenTix calendar for a full list of arts events happening this month. Let us also recommend a few of the April events that we are most looking forward to.

As the weather gets warmer and students get restless, it’s a great month to take a look at some old favorites. If a nostalgia trip feels like the right thing for you this time of year, come down and see a musical adaptation of the classic, fun kid’s book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! at Seattle Children’s Theatre. Or if you want to engage in some more mature forms of art, Pacific Northwest Ballet will be presenting the unforgettable Swan Lake. Even if you are not much of a ballet enthusiast, this age-old story is truly a delight to watch for everyone, and the dancers performing are sure to be talented and creative.

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Fifteen Years Later, Sweeney Todd’s Macabre Whimsy Holds Up

Review of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) directed by Tim Burton

Written by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf and edited by TeenTix Teaching Artist Jas Keimig

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Cannibalism, capitalism, and class struggle come together in Stephen Sondheim’s darkly humorous satire, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, beautifully adapted by director Tim Burton for the screen. Songs are cut down and some slashed altogether, shaving an hour off of the stage show’s runtime. The pacing keeps things engaging, and, unless you’re a diehard fan of the original Broadway production, it’s hard to tell anything’s missing. The film manages to do what many other stage-to-screen adaptations miss the mark on—making a movie that stands on its own.

After spending fifteen years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, mild-mannered barber Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) returns home with a thousand-yard stare, a newfound cynicism, and a new name—Sweeney Todd. His last shred of hope is shattered when he discovers his wife Lucy (Laura Michelle Kelly) is dead and his teenage daughter Johanna (Jayne Wisener) is in the custody of the corrupt Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) who had him sent away. Promising revenge on the aristocrats that ruined their lives, Sweeney and down-on-her-luck baker Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) hatch a delectable plan. But as they build a business off consuming the rich, they too are consumed—Sweeney by violence and Mrs. Lovett by greed—becoming the very things they swore to destroy. After all, you are what you eat. Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) directed by Tim Burton.

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A New Era of Theater: Accessibility Fits the Bill

Written by Teen Writer Zoe Loughnane and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

Rachel Zegler as Maria in West Side Story 20th Century Fox 2021

Musical theatre is a beloved art form. However, fans of the genre will be the first to admit that there are a lot of unrealistic parts to musical theater: breaking into song every few seconds, random dance breaks, that one character who only talks in minute-long monologues. Unfortunately, one all-too-real problem is how inaccessible it is. Musical theater is supposed to be fantastical and fun. Even when it discusses hard topics, there are songs and elaborate dance numbers to add levity. It’s a way to escape from the real world for a while, to a place where everything is a little brighter. It’s not fair that only some people get to experience this form of escapism.

As a lower-middle class individual who loves musical theater and has grown up bouncing between Chicago and Seattle, two big theater industries, catching shows has been near impossible. Tickets are expensive and getting them for a family of four is a financial nightmare. My family tried to get tickets to Hamilton for two years before we were able to find upper balcony, back row seats that we still had to dip into our savings for. Theatre is elitist. It shouldn’t be.

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BANNED! Acknowledging Controversial Films

Review of BANNED! Witch Hunt presented by SIFF

Written by Teen Writer Nour Gajial and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

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“Banned! Witch Hunt,” is the first of a series of film talks at SIFF focussing on banned films and censorship throughout history. This informative two-hour workshop was communicated via a thought-provoking presentation on films banned by the U.S. government under 1920s obscenity laws. Due to COVID-19 precautions, this production was offered in a hybrid model where audience members had the option to participate in-person or view the production online through Zoom.

I engaged through Zoom, and the workshop started promptly. The presentation was effectively presented through a shared screen and the audio was extremely clear. The session was largely divided into three parts: an educational lesson on silent films, an exploration of two silent films, and a Q&A.

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Welcoming 2022

Teen Editorial Staff January 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Member Triona Suiter and Lucia McLaren

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2022 will be another year of firsts—some good, some bad, but hopefully enough to get us on the right track. It can be difficult to face yet another wave of uncertainty, but if nothing else, we here at TeenTix know that the art world will continue to flourish. Be it film, theater, music, or whatever else gets your creativity flowing, join us as we start the new year off with pieces from across the state.

Feeling like heading back to the stage this January? If you’re looking for something to make you laugh, come and watch See How They Run at Taproot Theatre Company, a lighthearted comedy about how one woman’s night out on the town can turn to mayhem. Or if you have an animal companion at home and want to see a creative take on their shades of morality, take a look at Animal Saints & Animal Sinners 3 at 18th & Union. For those who like a touch more realism, ACT presents Hotter Than Egypt, a dramedy (drama-comedy) that follows two American tourists and their two Egyptian tour guides. And for anyone interested in historical activism, Seattle Rep’s one-woman musical Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer is sure to be a hit.

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Fall 21: Whim W’Him’s Unique Explorations of Liminality

Review of Fall 21 by Whim W'Him

Written by Teen Editor Triona Suiter and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

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As we move into the shorter days, Whim W’Him opens their season with their annual Fall Showcase, this year featuring “Nova” by Alice Klock and Florian Lochner, “Underlove” by Mark Castera, and “E=16-0163-TSX” by Rena Butler. Presented as both live performances and as films on Whim W’Him’s streaming platform IN-With-WHIM, these three dances traverse the lands of unreality in ways that manage to hit startlingly close to true.

(The following is a review of the films only, not the live performances.)

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Celebrate the Holidays with Art

Teen Editorial Staff November 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Esha Potharaju and Triona Suiter

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As we settle into the cozy fall weather, November beckons a slew of holiday celebrations. One way to get into the spirit is by enjoying some good old art, maybe to bond with a loved one you haven’t caught up with in almost two years, or maybe to treat yourself on a solitary afternoon. In the coming month, the TeenTix Newsroom will be hurtling through ballet shows, film classes, timeless plays, and holiday thrillers—and we hope you can join us in the journey.

To kick off the month right away with a healthy dose of feminism, we highly recommend checking out From Heartthrob to Movie Star at SIFF on November 4th. This virtual class focuses on the power of stories written specifically for a female audience and the importance of continuing to tell these stories despite the film industry’s increasing disregard for their value. Or, if you’re interested in female empowerment but want something a little more self-guided, Henry Art Gallery is hosting Diana Al-Hadid’s Archive of Longings exhibition, which will showcase sculptures exploring the natural world, Syrian and Muslim histories, and the female body.

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Film as a Medium for Change at Local Sightings Film Festival

Review of Local Sightings Film Festival presented by Northwest Film Forum
Written by Teen Writer Stella Crouch and edited by Teen Editorial Staff

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The Local Sightings Film Festival is continuing to thrive in its 24th year. It is the only film festival in Seattle dedicated to Pacific Northwest films. The Northwest Film Forum was founded in 1995. It has kept Seattle’s film culture alive through its countless festivals, even through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Local Sightings Film Festival was held entirely online and now this year’s has been held hybrid, showing films both in person and in a virtual, COVID-safe manner. This year's festival has shown a wide array of genres and narratives with their only commonality being their connection to the Pacific Northwest. Regardless of their many differences they all feel as though they belong and there is something for everyone to appreciate.

Occupying the Megalopolis

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Witnessing Human Vulnerability Through an Insightful Polish Production

Review of Never Gonna Snow Again presented by SIFF
Written by Teen Writer Malak Kassem and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

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Never Gonna Snow Again is a Polish production directed by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert. The film emphasizes hardship, the challenge to accept personal flaws, and the battle to be one’s best self. Zhenia (Alec Utgoff) is a Ukrainian masseur who works in Poland. He gives massages that have radioactive powers, which work against high stress, exhaustion, and short-term depression by casting a spell and instantly putting patients to sleep, which is followed by great relief from the individual. Zhenia’s skills and powers are demanding in this uniformed, isolated town where houses are identical, door bells have the same tune, and the sky is never blue. The neighborhood lacks vibrancy, color, and driven individuals. Except for the sounds of clocks ticking in dining rooms and barking dogs going for walks, the neighborhood is hushed. The combination of lighting, sound, and the actors’ dull tones create an eerie atmosphere.Actors are in character and are in sync with one another. They live realistically within their roles. Never Gonna Snow Again’s characters are portrayed in a subtle and mysterious manner. Characters have an analytical mindset and are direct with the expression of their inner thoughts when it comes to their personal struggle and depression, especially around Zhenia. The people in this town are shameless and awkward in their interactions. Film still from Never Gonna Snow Again, directed by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert

Szumowska and Englert represent how the concept of internal struggle appears differently depending on the personality it affects. Zhenia had his own struggles and trauma. Zhenia is portrayed as a therapist, proving that therapists, counselors, and the people we rely on have their own stories too. A person behind closed doors is different from how they may seem in public. Everyone makes an enormous effort to represent their best selves in public spaces and platforms. It is not a coincidence that Zhenia refuses to be seen as an emotionally broken person except during this one instance, when he had drinks with the gatekeeper who is also Ukrainian. Perhaps Szumowska and Englert believe that it is only natural that people feel more comfortable around those who come from the same background, especially on foreign land. Immigrants and foreigners tend to create micro-communities to build a safe, gated, and trusted space for each other. Zhenia creates a bold, charming, and reliable image for himself which lures his patients to unfold and reveal their weaknesses in his company. Ironically, he is Ukrainian and they are Polish, going against the theory of trusting those from similar backgrounds. Zhenia is a one-way valve to vulnerability. Though he refuses to express vulnerability to others, they find him to be a confidant. The film highlighted some important motifs that are present in the real world that society tends to overlook, such as internal struggle, overcoming personal flaws, the challenge of living on foreign land, the importance of expressing yourself, societal pressures, the ugliness of the truth, and the realization that being hidden is better for your public image. The sun's lack of appearance in the movie symbolizes that happiness doesn’t follow people, but that people destined to be happy are the ones that go find it. Despite the film’s thoughtful ideas and messages, at times it was repetitive, and many scenes were predictable. There were some scenes that felt empty, and the movie would have been better without them. The story line was vague and there wasn’t a hook that had me at the edge of my seat. More dialogue and action could have improved the piece. Overall, Never Gonna Snow Again is a well thought out film with intriguing themes, but the slow pacing makes it hard to sit through. A short film could have gotten the same message across while keeping it engaging.

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Back in School, Back in Business

Teen Editorial Staff September 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Disha Cattamanchi and Lucia McLaren

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While 2021 renews the all-too-familiar challenges of last year, it also brings something a bit more hopeful: a fall season full of new opportunities. The pandemic may not be defeated, but we are learning to adapt and minimize its spread, which means (you guessed it!) in-person events are returning. So as students pack their bags for the semester and the weather gets cooler, look to see what art we’re reviewing this September.

If starting school again makes you want to get on your feet and dance, then going to an in-person dance event may be just for you. Let ‘im Move You: This is a Formation, a contemporary dance performance at On the Boards utilizes themes of Black Femme and queerness to tell a vivid portrayal through dance. Whim W’Him is also presenting exciting performances with Fall 21 to get your spirits running high and ready for school. If dance isn’t what you’re looking for, you’re in luck. TeenTix LA has recently expanded to LA, and we will be are featuring the TeenTix LA staff to learn about the arts landscape in LA and what it’s been like to open a new branch of TeenTix.

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Using Film as a Lens for History: Two Views on Fritz Lang’s Metropolis

Review of Metropolis

Written by Teen Writer Yoon Lee and edited by Teen Editor Lily Williamson

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The 1927 Fritz Lang film Metropolis is among the most influential films to ever exist, spawning discussion and setting standards that would influence the entire science fiction genre going forward. However, as is the case for any near-century-old film, many aspects are impossible to address without considering the historical context of its creation. As such, interpretations of this film from any time period can be an opportunity to further understand its context, and the viewpoints of those that viewed it in its prime. Among the best ways to pursue this opportunity is to view the reviews and critiques by audiences of the time. Of the multitude of high-profile figures that viewed and spouted their (often disapproving) takes on “Metropolis,” among them prolific science fiction author H. G. Wells, an often overlooked 1929 review is that of Shim Hun. This oversight is both due to the non-Western nature of the review, being written by a Korean, and due to Shim being an author targeted by Imperial Japanese censorship and subjugation.

Metropolis is a German science-fiction drama that presents a futuristic utopia existing above a bleak underworld populated by mistreated downtrodden workers. When the privileged Freder discovers the poor, and often fatal, conditions under the city, he becomes intent on helping the workers. He befriends the rebellious teacher Maria, who preaches to the workers of Metropolis, but this puts him at odds with his authoritative father Fredersen, master of Metropolis. Fredersen seeks out the deranged genius Rotwang to impersonate Maria so that the workers can be fooled and controlled. Brigitte Helm in Metropolis, 1927.

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Bringing Joy In June

Teen Editorial Staff June 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Eleanor Cenname and Triona Suiter

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Take a deep breath. We’ll do it with you: in… and out. You have made it to June, and we are so proud of you. Whether you are a student and are nearing summer break or are working, take a moment this month to step back and breathe. When we think about summer, we might associate it with the beach or the pool. Proximity to water has been shown to reduce cortisol (a stress hormone) levels. This is called the Blue Mind Theory. So as we enjoy this warmer and sunnier month, we can take a moment to let the water that surrounds us here in Seattle carry away a bit of our stress. Another way that we can take breaks this month is through art. We have an exciting list of events for June that we hope will bring as much joy to you as they do to us.

Tune in on the 10th for a virtual presentation from Dr. Temple Grandin at Town Hall, discussing science, curiosity, and her new book. Check out Seattle Shakespeare’s Romeo y Julieta, a multilingual adaptation of the classic star-crossed lovers story. Spend some time exploring Seattle Public Theater’s HUE festival, a celebration of women playwrights of color and their creations. Tackle the truly absurd with The Doll Pit at Washington Ensemble Theatre, where Jody Kuehner spends an hour talking to herself--or rather, her iconic character Cherdonna Shinatra. Or, if you’re looking for something more visual, why not check out MoPOP’s Heroes and Villains exhibit, featuring over 70 iconic Disney costumes?

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