The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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THE ACTION 8

The hottest things in pop culture this week

1. My Kid Could Paint That

Her paintings have garnered more than $300,000. Her style has been compared to that of Jackson Pollock and Wassily Kandinsky. She has also been called a fraud and a phony. All this, and Marla Olmstead is only four years old. In the new documentary “My Kid Could Paint That,” director Amir Bar-Lev explores the controversy surrounding this young artist. Several news programs, including “60 Minutes,” suggested that Marla’s father, himself an amateur artist, assists his daughter. Is Marla’s recent press nothing more than her parents’ insensitive manipulation? Or is it deserved praise for a truly gifted child? While the film may not provide the answer to its own question, “My Kid Could Paint That” does showcase some incredible art, regardless of who painted it.

2. Dumbledore is gay?

On the last stop of J.K. Rowling’s U.S. tour, in which the record-breaking author read from her insanely popular “Harry Potter” series and answered questions from fans, Rowling revealed that a major character in her beloved book series is gay. When a young member of the audience asked Rowling if Albus Dumbledore, Hogwarts School’s headmaster, had ever been in love, Rowling replied that Dumbledore was gay and had been in love with Gellert Grindelwald, a friend from his youth. This statement significantly alters the reading of Rowling’s final book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” in which the headmaster’s friendship with Grindelwald has significant consequences. But regardless of how you read the text (were the clues really there all along?), you have to admit outing the headmaster was a bold move. Dumbledore is a fan favorite, revered among Potter fans for his wisdom, strength and kindness. He also happens to be gay. Bravo, J.K, for promoting tolerance and acceptance.

3. “Young Frankenstein” on Broadway

It’s alive! Mel Brooks’ classic comedy “Young Frankenstein” is now a big musical production on Broadway. The last time Brooks turned one of his cult-favorite films into a Broadway show, “The Producers” broke Tony Award records. If early praise for “Young Frankenstein” is any indication, this one shouldn’t disappoint either. The story is a parody of the classic Frankenstein tale, complete with musical numbers like “The Transylvania Mania,” “He Vas My Boyfriend” and, straight from the original film version, a hilarious rendition of “Putting on the Ritz.” Starring Roger Bart (Tony winner for “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”), Sutton Foster (Tony winner for “Thoroughly Modern Millie”) and Megan Mullally (Karen from “Will & Grace”), the comedic talent in this show is huge. So if quotes like “Abby someone, Abby Normal” and “It’s pronounced Fronkensteen” mean anything to you, check out the musical version for a whole new, ridiculously funny spin. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, rent the movie; it will be perfect for Halloween.

4. The Breast Cancer Three-Day

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, during which cities across the U.S. raise millions of dollars for breast cancer research. Right on the heels of last week’s immensely successful Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is the Breast Cancer Three-Day race in Dallas. Benefiting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund, the Breast Cancer Three-Day is a 60-mile walk starting on October 26 and concluding on October 28. Each participant has pledged to raise a minimum of $2,200 and walk a total of 20 miles a day to promote breast cancer awareness and donate to cancer research. The opening ceremony begins in the early morning hours of October 26 at Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas. The event concludes right here on campus with a closing ceremony on October 28 at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Breast Cancer Three-Day Web site, www.the3day.org.

5. Iggy-gate

When did doing a good deed like giving a child a puppy turn into such a red-tape ordeal? Ellen DeGeneres is facing the heat after an emotional broadcast of her talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” In the October 15 taping of the program, DeGeneres broke down into tears while talking about Iggy, a dog she adopted from the Mutts and Moms pet adoption agency in September. When DeGeneres realized that Iggy didn’t get along with her cats, she gave the dog to her hairdresser’s young children. But giving Iggy away without any notification was not part of the contract DeGeneres signed with Mutts and Moms, and the agency promptly took the dog back. In her tearful plea to return Iggy to the children, DeGeneres unwittingly incited in her fans a powerful backlash against the adoption agency. DeGeneres later admitted that the situation had gotten out of hand, asking her viewers not to resort to violence. Meanwhile, Mutts and Moms placed Iggy with a new family, refusing to return him to the devastated children.

6. Steven Colbert on the bestseller list

For those of us who remember Words of the Day like “truthiness” and “SMAFU,” the latter a reference to our own university and the Bush Library controversy, the news of Steven Colbert’s new book was probably met with great excitement. “I Am America (and So Can You!)” debuted this week at No. 1 on the New York Times’ Nonfiction Bestseller list. And surely a national bestseller can only help the new presidential candidate in his rather unconventional campaign. But what’s best about the new book, which follows in the footsteps of “The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart (“America: The Book”), is its combination of politics and humor. The book successfully translates Colbert’s political wit and satire from his hit Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report,” onto the page. It’s definitely not one to miss.

7. Stanley Kubrick on DVD

Wildly inventive and, let’s face it, at times disturbing, director Stanley Kubrick incited both praise and controversy for each of the films in this new DVD collection: “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “The Shining,” “Eyes Wide Shut” and “Full Metal Jacket.” Although the collection sadly lacks other great films like “Lolita” and “Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” it offers classic Kubrick in special edition or deluxe edition discs of each film. The collection spans several decades in Kubrick’s career. The earliest film in the bunch (“2001: A Space Odyssey”) dates from 1968, while “Eyes Wide Shut,” from 1999, was actually released after Kubrick’s death. The legendary director had passed away just days after viewing a final cut of the film. This collection also includes the 2001 documentary, “Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures,” narrated by Tom Cruise. Best of all, the set is the first in a new Warner Home Video Directors Series, which means more great directors’ collections to come.

8. A big week for “Dancing with the Stars”

I admit it: I don’t usually watch this show. I’m more of a “So You Think You Can Dance” person. That’s the show that actually showcases dance talent, and in more genres than just ballroom dance. But, thanks to YouTube, I was able to see what I missed Monday night on “Dancing with the Stars.” If you haven’t seen the videos and headlines posted on every news Web site from CNN to blogger-favorite Perez Hilton, Marie Osmond had just finished performing a samba with her dance partner and was awaiting results from the judges when she suddenly collapsed. The show quickly cut to commercial and assured audiences when it returned that Osmond was just fine. Still, one has to wonder what was behind the sudden fainting spell. On Tuesday’s result show, Mark Cuban was finally eliminated from the dance competition. Thank goodness. Now he can focus on what he does best: acting really annoying at Mavs’ games.

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