'Wonder Woman' Is A Stunning Tribute To The Women That Inspired Her Creation

'Wonder Woman' Is A Stunning Tribute To The Women That Inspired Her Creation

Patty Jenkins' film invites Diana Prince into the present by channeling her history.

When Elizabeth Holloway Marston heard that her husband, William Moulton Marston, had decided to develop a new superhero for DC Comics that triumphed through love, she told him, "Fine, but make her a woman." Seventy-six years later, Diana Prince takes to the big screen in her own solo film, Wonder Woman, and she is just as much a breath of fresh air for the surge of recent superhero films as she was for the comic book industry in 1941. She is fierce and high-spirited, strong-willed and compassionate, forging a film that sings among the tension and grim outlook of her superpowered colleagues across the world of modern comic book movies. Its message is one of love, strength, and belief in your own power and ability, one that honors not only Marston's original image, but the lives of the women Wonder Woman was created to emulate and inspire.

While the original Wonder Woman comics took place during World War II, Patty Jenkins' film places Diana in World War I after following American pilot, Steve Trevor, from her home on the island of the Amazons, Themyscira. This time shift may seem odd at first, considering that the plot would mainly stay the same had the story remained in World War II, but by dropping Diana into the 1910s, the film actually better honors the history that formed her in the first place. Marston's 1940s vision of Wonder Woman came directly from the Suffragette Movement of the 1910s and the women that were born of it, namely his wife, the outspoken, ambitious lawyer out of Mount Holyoke's own version of Themyscira, Sadie Elizabeth Holloway, and his lover, the caring writer and daughter of two women's rights activists, Olive Byrne. From these two women, both of whom lived together with Marston and continued to do so following his death, Wonder Woman gained compassion and drive, and from the attitudes that produced them drew the faith and power Wonder Woman sees in the women of the world.

So, Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman places Diana in exactly the environment that necessitated the ideas that she was created to represent in the first place. She stands in contrast to Etta Candy's English secretary, but never degrades or diminishes her. She refuses the expectations the men around her try to impose until they no longer underestimate her. She turns Steve Trevor's use of the phrase "women and children" as a synonym for "helpless innocents" on its head as she prepares to enter No Man's Land and delivers the line to mean "beings of powerful potential," implying that the idea of something with the will and ability to kill women cannot be underestimated. She defies the bonds placed on her in the film's third act with new, enriched vigor as she so often did to the chains inspired by the early feminism of the 1910's use of bondage in response to women's compulsory attachment to men and to concepts like motherhood and homemaking in the early comics. The change in time period amplifies what is already a part of Diana's character and allows her to project her love of and faith in the women of the world that much clearer.

With this history as its base, Wonder Woman is able to sell a completely unique superhero movie experience. It provides a story brimming with fun, awe-inspiring action and a collection of rare characters, from its shining protagonist to its love interest/sidekick thankfully absent of the "womanizer with a heart of gold beneath the wise-cracks and cool exterior" trope that is so common for men in modern comic book movies (looking at you, Marvel), to the motley crew of soldiers that make up Diana's support system (though, I do wish part of that support system had been another woman). The DCEU has built itself around hope, love, and the potential mankind has for good, and Patty Jenkins does not shy away from making sure this message is clear. "I wanted to tell a story about a hero who believes in love, who is filled with love, who believes in change and the betterment of mankind," she told The New York Times. "I believe in it. It’s terrible when it makes so many artists afraid to be sincere and truthful and emotional, and relegates them to the too-cool-for-school department. Art is supposed to bring beauty to the world." Jenkins' attention to the DCEU's message is especially evident in the film's large and loud final thirty minutes, as Diana's faith in love and mankind allows her to literally and physically break through boundaries and limitations. Wonder Woman provides power to compassion and spirit, leaving its audience feeling warm and infinite.

Cover Image Credit: DC

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11 Mashups PTX Should Work On ASAP

New Rules x Are You That Somebody was great, but what about these ideas?

So, famed acapella group Pentatonix released their sixth and latest album called PTX Presents: Top Pop, Vol. I on Friday and the 13th. Spooky, but the album is scary impressive (as always), so that makes sense.

My more escalated excitement than usual comes from the fact that PTX decided to go back to pop music covers. Trust me, I liked "Can't Sleep Love" more than any other fan, but I missed their covers. They never failed to blow me away. There is something to be said about a group of people breaking down a song, figuring out how to make the cover stand out, translating it so that it fits the human voice, actually producing it, and putting it out there in the world. I STILL go back to the PTX Vol. 1 album because of how much it impresses me.

The only critique I have with this newest album is the fact that every song came out in the last three years. Every song you have heard on the radio at least a thousand times, save for "Are You That Somebody?" by Aaliyah that they mash up with "New Rules".

Speaking of mashups, those are always my favorite when it comes to PTX. This album, they made two: New Rules/Are You That Somebody, and Despacito/Shape of You. Solid choices aside, PTX can do better. Obviously, mashups sound harder to create because you have to find enough similarities to a song that they would sound great if you played them at nearly the exact time. Let me help you, PTX. I conjured up a few ideas for mashups. I am awful at making music, but I know you guys are great at it. So, hear me out. These may have already been done, but some are ready to finally go out into the world.

1. "Havana" by Camila Cabello/Smooth by Rob Santana

Apparently, this one already got all mashed up, although Havana can be fused with literally any song.

2. "Americano" by Lady Gaga/"Boots" by Kesha

Two songs about women about the power of falling in love while some mesmerizing guitar playings in the background. Plus, I feel the aesthetics of each song are similar. Just slow down Boots a little bit. Please. This would sound AMAZING.

3. "Two Princes" by Spin Doctors/"Semi Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind

Again, already mashed, but this is just a rough draft. Let's perfect this bad boy.

4. "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet/ "Walk Like An Egyptian" by The Bangles

Some YouTube user beat me to this TEN YEARS AGO. It sounds great, so no complaints.

5. "Can I Have This Dance" by Francis the Lights feat. Chance the Rapper/"In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel

They both start off with slow, and build up slowly toward the refrain. Francis and the Lights seems to emanate some 80s ambience, so this is definitely doable. The top comment in the above music video even says it sounds like a Phil Collins song.

6. "1, 2 Step" by Ciara/"Love Game" by Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga returns paired with a throwback I feel ashamed to forget. Sing Love Game's refrain while 1, 2 Step's hook plays. MAKE. IT. HAPPEN.

7. "Cross My Heart" by Marianas Trench/"Accidentally in Love" by Counting Crows

I told my friends this for year by screaming out the lyrics to Accidentally in Love whenever this song comes on (which happens more often than I would prefer), but the resemblance is uncanny. The guitar riff introduction is a NEAR REPLICA. How has nothing come of this yet?

8. "1999" by Prince/"Not That Kinda Girl" by Fifth Harmony feat. Missy Elliot

Think about how energetic this would sound. Sure, their BPM does not match with 1999 at 115 beats and Not That Kinda Girl at 119, but nothing a little music editing can solve, right? Please, I want to know.

9. "New Romantics" by Taylor Swift/I "Really Like You" by Carly Rae Jepsen

Well look, user Neko Jinny beat you, PTX. This came out this month THIS YEAR. Simple pitch shifting showcases how identical these 80s inspired songs sound.

10. "Work This Body" by Walk the Moon/"Jai Ho" by A.R. Rahman and The Pussycat Dolls

A classic banger and a make you sweat jam. Make me feel emotional while working out, PTX. Come on. Their BPM is only two beats apart!

Come to think of it, where are any Jai Ho mashups?

11. "Luck" by American Authors/"Marry You" by Bruno Mars

This may be a bit of a stretch and require more manipulation, but both songs are the kind you sing with your friend during a long car rides. I also think lyrically, the story this fused pair would tell intrigues me. He makes his own luck so he is going to marry this girl. Nice.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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4 Reasons Costuming Is One of the Most Important Jobs In Theatre

Why I have a newfound respect for the people who make actors look good.

I've been involved in theatre for several years, and never once did it cross my mind to try out anything involving costuming or wardrobe. This is essentially taking care of all the costumes and anything that gets worn by an actor. After being put on the wardrobe crew for Longwood's production of The Heidi Chronicles, I can honestly say I have a newfound respect for everything a wardrobe crew does. Here's why:

1. The hours are insane.

Because they have to check in every costume piece used during the show, the wardrobe crew has to arrive an hour before everyone else shows up for performances. We have to grab laundry from the previous night, check in all pieces, make sure all of our quick changes are ready to go, and then we wait. After the show, if there are alterations to be made, the wardrobe crew is liable to stay back several hours. One show required the crew to stay back until 2 am to make sure everything was ready to go. It's a crazy amount of hours and requires an incredible amount of dedication, commitment, and coffee to get through.

2. They're tasked with making the actors look amazing.

As an actor, I can only speak for myself when I say this is no easy task: I tend to walk into the green room looking like a flaming garbage can before each performance. Wardrobe does an amazing job of making sure actors look the best that they possibly can, especially in terms of makeup, hair, and costuming. The wardrobe crew is the difference between actors looking like a big ol' mess or looking like a Broadway-caliber cast.

3. They have to make costume alterations on the fly.

One of the most stressful aspects of working on a wardrobe crew is hearing those four fateful words, "my costume is broken." Whether that's a broken zipper, a ripped-off button, or a lost hat (all things we've dealt with during Heidi), it's Threat Level Midnight whenever something inevitably goes wrong. Sometimes it's necessary to restitch something within minutes of it breaking so that the piece can go on stage with its respective actor. It's a lot.

4. Quick changes. Just... quick changes.

If you've ever acted in a play that requires multiple costumes, you know something about Satan's gift to actors, i.e. quick changes. In Heidi, every scene requires a different costume for every character, and some characters are in scenes back-to-back. During the transitions from scene to scene, the wardrobe crew has at most a minute and a half to get actors out of costume and into their new one before the next scene starts. It's a stressful as it sounds. Wardrobe people are absolute gods for getting it perfect every single performance.

In all, wardrobing is an extremely rewarding experience that I'm very glad I got into. From here on out, I will always have the utmost respect for these gods and goddesses who make actors look their best.

Cover Image Credit: California State University

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