Tag: Natalie Keane

A Look at the Arts & Entertainment of 2017-2018

Words: Natalie Keane

The year is finally coming to a close, and it’s been hectic, shocking, and beautiful in the world of entertainment. From late-2017 to mid-2018, these are some of the cinematic highlights of the season.

Coco – November 22, 2017

Winning Best Animated Feature Film at the 2018 Oscars, Coco, directed by Lee Unkrich, tells the story of young Miguel, an aspiring musician, who enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great grandfather and lift a curse on music from his family tree. While highlighting beautiful Mexican traditions, this movie tells a story of discovery, family, and courage through stunning Pixar animation.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – December 15, 2017

Directed by Rian Johnson, the iconic Star Wars saga continues with The Last Jedi. The well-known heroes from The Force Awakens take part in an adventure to fight for the prosperity of the galaxy, while unlocking age-old secrets of the past and shocking revelations from the original Star Wars trilogy.

Lady Bird – February 15, 2018

Directed and written by Greta Gerwig, high-school senior Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson clashes with her similarly strong-willed and opinionated mother, who is working as a nurse to hold her family together as she is now the only source of income for the family. Lady Bird is told that she is ungrateful for what she has, and through her personal journey of self-reflection, this movie touches upon the struggles of leaving adolescence behind and what we truly define as home.

Black Panther – February 16, 2018

This influential black-led major motion picture, directed by Ryan Coogler, dominated in the first quarter of 2018. In total exceeding $1.34 billion at the global box office, in four weeks this movie became the highest grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe movie domestically, second to only The Avengers. This action film, set in the fictional land of Wakanda, still has the power to change the film industry permanently with its diverse cast and powerful storyline.

Love, Simon – March 26, 2018

Based on the 2015 novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, this romantic comedy surrounds the life of high-school senior Simon Spier who wants nothing more than for people to understand him. This movie, directed by Greg Berlanti, marks the first ever major motion picture in history to feature a gay teen protagonist.

A Quiet Place – April 6, 2018

Directed by and featuring John Krasinski, the suspenseful thriller A Quiet Place depicts a family of four as they’re forced to live their lives in complete silence after strange creatures threaten to ruin their lives. This fast-paced and packed movie holds the audience on edge at each moment as you’re taken through this post-apocalyptic world.

Avengers: Infinity War – April 27, 2018

The Avengers series, ten years in the making and an iconic part of Marvel Cinematic Universe, has its most intense and thrilling installment of all with Avengers: Infinity War, directed by siblings Anthony and Joe Russo. To defeat Thanos, the Avengers and their team must sacrifice everything they’ve ever known to protect the well-being of the universe. As of May 27, Infinity War has topped $1.9 billion at the global box office in a span of just over four weeks, making this hit one of the biggest domestic earners in American cinematic history.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Paints Out the Competition

Words: Natalie Keane / Photos by: Nan Collins

The Centennial art department continues to make great strides in the art community. The achievements have all been won by student artists, and their entries into these contests showcase significantly what Centennial’s art program is capable of.

In April, junior Katie Harris, enrolled in Art III AP, won first prize in the 2018 Elijah Cummings Congressional Art Competition with her charcoal piece Self Portrait With Pashmina. She is one of eight student artists in the state who received first place in this Congressional Art Competition. Harris’s artwork will be displayed in the tunnels under the US Capitol Building in Washington DC for the following year.

Senior Abbigail Hong, enrolled in Photo III AP, recently took home the curator award from the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture through her photograph titled Uber Street.

In addition, junior Bingbing Chang won first place in the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Historical Society Art Contest. Her winning artwork will be featured on the back cover of the Historical Society’s quarterly magazine, and she will receive a 1-year student membership to the society.

“It’s not something I expect every year,” Nan Collins said, who is one of three art teachers at Centennial. “We have very dedicated students who are serious about their art, and who work very hard to improve their skills.  They are learning from each other, open to critique, [and] eager to improve as artists.”

The marks that these students have made upon these events have shown their own hard work and persistence out of hundreds of pieces that are considered for these places every year. The students who received these significant awards represented Centennial with pride and dedication to their art, and will continue to make the Centennial community proud.

“The precedent was set 40 years ago,” Collins said. “The Commitment to Excellence is no mere slogan. The students in all subjects excel and strive to achieve. I am confident that our art students will continue to make exceptional artworks, and will make the school proud.”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial’s Mock Trial Team To State Semifinals

Words: Natalie Keane

From Thursday, April 19, to Friday, April 20, Centennial High’s very own Mock Trial team will be attending the Mock Trial State Semifinals in Annapolis, Maryland. They are this year’s county champions, and have previously won both rounds of Circuit Championships against Rockbridge Academy and Marriotts Ridge High School. As circuit champions two years in a row, they now continue their undefeated season this week against teams from across the state.

Centennial’s team is the first Howard County team to advance to the state semifinals in history, which is significant for its members. “Because we’re the first Howard County team to ever advance to [this level], we’re all being exposed to a different environment,” says junior Anjali Gajendiran, who acts as one of the team’s defense attorneys. “It’s definitely daunting; I’m so grateful we have this opportunity.”

“One of the best parts about Centennial moving onto state semifinals is the opportunity to compete against high-level teams, which will be a great experience for us,” says senior Kayleigh Hasson, who is the captain and a defense attorney of the team. “I’m proud to say [that] we’ve had an undefeated season so far, and the experience of winning the state title would be incredible.”

Advancing even further would be an ideal result of the semifinals, but there’s more to the competition than just winning a prize or title. Reaching this far in the competition involves building strengths and learning to work closely together as a team. “I am so proud that our team is one of the top four teams in Maryland,” says Hasson. “We’ve made Howard County history by making it this far!”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Theatre Department Takes the Stage With 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Words: Natalie Keane

During the weekend of March 23, the Centennial High School Theatre Department presented the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in Centennial’s auditorium.

The musical, packed with fast-paced wit and humor, follows six middle schoolers as they compete to become Putnam County’s next spelling bee champion. As they progress through each round, with each filled with words that sound suspiciously fake, they also come to address their own adolescent insecurities. While the mood of the show remains playful, some moments highlight more serious and heartfelt undertones of the students’ personal lives.

Speller Olive Ostrovsky wants nothing more than validation from her parents, who are too busy to attend the competition to watch her perform. Leaf Coneybear, clad in a bright red cape, is plagued with self-doubt. Despite the constant mockery he hears from his own family, he manages to develop some much-needed self confidence throughout the play.

Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre has two overbearing moms, who are likely more invested in her own victory in the competition than she is. William Barfee is burdened with a chronic sinus condition and a last name that often provokes mispronunciation. Marcy Park describes the struggles of being simply too good at everything, and Chip Tolentino, a boy scout and last year’s spelling bee champion, is forced to come to terms with his own eventual failure in this year’s bee.

To the surprise of many, the show included audience participation. Four members from the audience were invited to be “guest spellers” in the bee, and did their best to spell through the competition on stage alongside the actors and actresses, contributing even more to the humor of the show. Audience participation highlights the uniqueness of the production, because no two performances can be exactly the same.

The true relatability of every character makes the show all the more wonderful to watch. It becomes easy to cheer on the six misfits as they navigate their way through the competition and their own personal struggles.

Altogether, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,  featuring drastically different characters who light up the stage, truly highlights what makes each of us one of a kind. It teaches a much-needed lesson that little victories, even if not intended to be found, can sometimes be worth more than the ones for which we’re really looking.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Aquila Announces Their Upcoming Coffeehouse

Words: Natalie Keane

Aquila, Centennial’s Literary Magazine, is holding a coffeehouse in the school’s cafeteria on Friday, February 23, from 2:30 to 4:30. The event will feature musical performances from Centennial’s student community. The admission is $5 per person, and all money received is put towards the production of the magazine. Food and drinks will be provided.

Final submissions to Aquila are due on Friday, February 9. Art, writing, and photography can be submitted; writing pieces must not exceed 2,000 words.

To enter your pieces for review, the submission page can be accessed through the magazine’s website, centennialaquila.weebly.com. You may submit as many pieces as you want for review to be in the print magazine.

If your submission is accepted, you will receive a free copy of the magazine issue with your piece featured in it. For any questions, please contact Ms. Mancini in Room 203.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

‘The Post’ Review: A Perfectly Timed Retelling

Words: Natalie Keane

Releasing in theatres on January 12, The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg, tells the true story of Washington Post journalists in 1971, in the midst of the Vietnam War. The film portrays their efforts in publishing the Pentagon Papers to expose private information about America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, a topic that the Nixon administration had been hiding from America for almost two decades since the war had begun.

The movie focuses on the story of Katharine Graham, played by Meryl Streep, who is the lead publisher of the Washington Post and the first woman to be the publisher of a major American newspaper. For the Pentagon Papers to be published, she and editor Ben Bradlee, played by Tom Hanks, must gain on The New York Times as both papers strive to publicize strictly classified documents that the American government had been hiding for years. Doing this means risking their jobs, their company, and even their own freedom, to bring the truth to light.

The message of the film can significantly be related to current events, despite the event happening almost 50 years ago. It’s about the importance of the First Amendment, and the ongoing battle over how much power the government truly has over the media. This movie emphasizes that the press exists not to serve the government, but to serve those who live under it. And as it’s proven, democracy cannot exist without freedom of the press.

It relates to the conversation happening all across the country today, about the president himself being able to control or filter what is put into journalistic media. Whether it be television, radio, print, or even the internet, doing so would conflict with the powers that are given to him in the Constitution. This movie shows that it’s the responsibility of media and news sources to reveal matters like this to the public eye, and in our world today, this film stands as a reminder of how vital, and valuable, the truth can be.

The opinions stated in this article do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the Wingspan staff as a whole.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Wonder Movie Review

Words: Natalie Keane

Based on the bestselling novel by R. J. Palacio, the movie Wonder hit theaters on November 17, sharing a message of complete authenticity to viewers. For a movie seemingly aimed at kids, Wonder does an unusually good job of bringing depth and underlying wisdom to the screen, while still being clear enough for younger viewers. With important life lessons threaded through each individual character’s story, it surprisingly could appeal to not just the movie’s aimed demographic of kids, but to much older people as well.

Thankfully, the movie proved to be a near exact replica of the book, and it was a relief to know that the author of the book had a large part in producing the on-screen adaptation. Just as the book is written, the movie begins showing the seemingly minor life of a kid who desperately wants to fit in, but then expands into a movie about community, kindness, and how the decisions we make can affect people in ways we don’t know.

The message of Wonder is clear. The year-long story surrounds 10-year-old Auggie Pullman, who has a facial deformity and is going to public school for the first time. As he navigates through the fifth grade, we watch his character as well as many of the other children at his school go from being closed off and unwilling to accept change to people who work to see beyond their own differences and connect with each other. The movie starts off in Auggie’s point of view, but as the story progresses, the perspectives switch between each of the characters and their stories relative to Auggie’s. Through these differing perspectives from the same year, director Stephen Chbosky doesn’t fail to bring a sense of warmth and genuineness to the screen.

It is often forgotten that sometimes there can be more to a movie than just the entertaining aspect, and Wonder represents this perfectly. Once you dig down to the very roots of why this story was made, you find that there is so much more than what this film seems to be on the surface. It is a lesson that so many people have difficulty learning, which is a lesson of hardship, acceptance, and ultimately, how the choices we make show who we truly are, not anything else.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.