This week, Jared Bowen reviews "Black Panther" and "William Kentridge: Triumphs and Laments" at Emerson Urban Arts: Media Art Gallery.
"Black Panther," in theaters nationwide February 16
The latest installment in the Marvel Universe is a cultural phenomenon even before opening in theaters. "Black Panther" follows T'Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman), the titular hero and heir to the largely ignored African nation of Wakanda, which is secretly the most technologically advanced country in the world. When his father is murdered, T'Challa must confront old and new enemies to assume the throne. This highly-anticipated film directed by Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) features some of the great thespians of modern cinema, including Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Angela Basset, and Forest Whitaker, among others. Along with a playlist co-produced by Kendrick Lamar, influences of vibrant African art and culture can be found in the wardrobe, set design, and music of this film. "It is stupendous," says Jared. "I think it will rank as one of the best and most imaginative superhero movies ever."
"William Kentridge: Triumphs and Laments," on view at Emerson Urban Arts: Media Art Gallery through April 14
Pieces inspired by South African artist William Kentridge's latest work, "Triumphs and Laments" are on view together for the first time at Emerson Urban Arts: Media Art Gallery. Inspired by his 550 meter-long 2016 installation along the Tiber River in Rome, Kentridge employed "reverse graffiti" (in which the surrounding surface is cleaned, revealing images from the dirt) to create a series of temporary images highlighting the "triumphs and laments" of Italian history. The free exhibition features eight large prints that further address themes of migration, transience, and displacement. "His style of making is so different," says Jared. "Just the process in and of itself is fascinating."