Nanor Vosgerichian & Samar Nasser
Movie: Paprika (2006)
This sci-fi anime film is set in the near future where a device called the DC Mini has been invented, allowing its users access into people’s dreams. Dr. Atsuko Chiba uses this device in therapy to help psychiatric patients by entering their dreams. Throughout the film, Atsuko alternates between reality and the dream world, where she takes on the persona of Paprika. However, problems arise when someone steals the DC Mini, and eventually, dream and reality merge into each other. Although the plot may be difficult to follow, this movie is more to be experienced than understood. Praised for its visuals, the film features intricate and stunning animation, all while delving deep into the nature of dreams and what happens when two worlds collide.
Song: Get Free by Lana Del Rey
In stark contrast to her mainly dark, introspective songs comes Lana Del Rey’s most uplifting track to date from her latest album “Lust for Life”. Del Rey sings about “crossing the threshold/from the ordinary world/to the reveal of my heart”, defining a shift in her music and perhaps her personal life.
With this song, Del Rey liberates herself from her expected musical persona of a “sad girl” to reveal the reality of her sentiment. She expresses her desire to move on, “out of the black” world of her notoriously maudlin music, and “into the blue” world where she can be carefree and unapologetically happy.
Book: Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente
Hypnotically unique, this book fuses Russia’s 20th century history, through its defining revolution and its Stalinist struggle, with the country’s rich folkloric tradition through the protagonist Marya Morevna. Kidnapped by the Tsar of Life, Marya, torn between the mirrored wars of the immortal and mortal, must grapple with mortality, memory, dark power, and love in this genre-defying narrative. Valente expertly and intricately weaves the complexities of the human condition into the novel, bringing depth and intimacy to this unforgettable piece of fiction.