Culture Crash 18-51: Roma

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine what’s new and old in entertainment.

A new movie recently popped up on your Netflix homepage. It’s called Roma, and it’s director Alfonso Cuarón’s passion project. You may know of Cuarón from Gravity, Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá También, or even Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. In Roma, he tells the story of Cleo, a young maid in Mexico City during 1970 and 1971. She and her fellow maid, Adela, live with a family and end up being the people most responsible for keeping the home together. They cook, clean, they even help put the kids to bed.

Cuarón has been forthcoming about the fact that the movie was inspired by his own childhood. It’s even dedicated to his family maid, Libo. One of my favorite things about Cuarón is how Cuarón filters his memories through Cleo’s experiences. When the Corpus Christi massacre starts taking place outside the window of a shop Cleo is in, the camera doesn’t shift to show this moment in history. It stays with her, and we follow her back into the world through the chaos. 

Roma is a Best Picture contender and a Best Director contender, but even more important, it’s a masterpiece. You truly get to know and care for Cleo. You understand her struggle. And further, the film is technically brilliant, with beautiful cinematography and featuring such realistic sound design that I actually turned around in the theater on two different occasions, thinking someone was making noise inside the room, when in fact, it was coming through the speakers. It’s a movie that is well-served to be seen in theaters, but if that’s not an option near you, then that’s where that Netflix subscription comes in handy. Roma is now streaming– Just make sure to eliminate distractions and let yourself be swept up in the story. It’s a trip into the past that is worth taking.

I’m Evan Rook. 

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Coming Up On Viewpoints 18-22



Is Cursive Still Worth Teaching?

With all of our technology and reliance on computers, many schools are phasing out some handwriting lessons. Specifically, schools have stopped teaching cursive. We talk to two experts about whether that’s a good idea.

The Fight for Paternity Leave

Bringing a new baby home is exciting…and chaotic. The last thing parents want to worry about is their work life. But for many dads, the stigma and financial burdens of trying to stay home means they have little time to bond at home. We talk to Josh Levs, a journalist who took the fight for paternity leave head-on.

Culture Crash: Watching Film Classics in a Streaming World

Netflix and Amazon are go-tos for many Americans looking for a movie to watch. But how can people watch classics like The Maltese Falcon or Singin’ in the Rain in this new world?

18-04 Segment 2: Working to Maintain a Healthy Marriage

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Maintaining a relationship or a marriage is a wonderful thing, but sometimes it can be tricky. We hear tips from an expert clinical psychologist on how couples can communicate better, understand each other more deeply, and work through some of the issues common in modern marriages.


  • Dr. Daphne de Marneffe, clinical psychologist and author, The Rough Patch: Marriage and the Art of Living Together

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Culture Crash 17-50: Christmas Music

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine american culture. What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

No time of year has more classics and standards than the holiday season. Beginning in early November, you can’t help but to start hearing the familiar Christmas tunes of years past in department stores and on the radio.

Personally, I’m a strong believer that Christmas music is appropriate starting on Black Friday and extending until New Years Day. Once Thanksgiving dinner is done, I pull the records out of the drawer and once New Years has past, I put them back away… metaphorically, of course. What I literally mean is I take my Christmas playlist out of a hidden folder in Spotify for a month or so and then hide it again.

Naturally, I enjoy the Christmas classics- Chuck Berry singing “Run Run Rudolph”, Frank Sinatra’s “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow”, and Nat King Cole’s “Joy To The World.”

And then I enjoy the more modern Christmas wrinkles like NSYNC’s infectious “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Wrapped in Red.”

But like all families, my family has some holiday traditions of our own. My dad’s favorite Christmas tunes come from the Beach Boys, so this is the time of year I like to enjoy “Little Saint Nick”, “Santa’s Beard”, and the “Man with All the Toys.

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But one of my most cherished Christmas traditions is listening to my mom’s favorite Christmas album. Every year growing up, or at least some years, my sister, my brother, and me would open our presents to Amy Grant’s Christmas album. Nothing says Christmas day to me more than hearing Amy Grant’s “Emmanuel.”

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Admittedly, “Emmanuel” is probably a classic to no one outside of my family-and maybe Amy Grant’s- but for us, it’s essential Christmas listening.

Whatever your favorite Christmas songs are, whatever you consider the appropriate time to blast them in your car, and especially you only want a hippopotamus for Christmas, there’s no debating that now is the time to revel in that warm holiday feeling that comes with hearing the Christmas songs you cherish the most.

I’m Evan Rook.

17-36 Segment 2: The Perils of Over-parenting


Parents want what’s best for their kids. But sometimes, they can take it too far. We talk to two experts about “over-parenting,” the tendency to demand your child earn straight A’s, work to be a sports star, and find the time to work a part-time job and how to fix it.


  • Carl Honoré, author of Under Pressure: Putting the child back in childhood
  • Terri Khonsari, author of Raising a Superstar: Simple strategies to bring out the brilliance in every child

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Coming Up On Viewpoints Show 17-18



A Writer’s World: Jonathan Lethem on literature and his decades-long career: Jonathan Lethem is the award-winning author of Motherless Brooklyn and other novels. His latest book is an inside look at his thoughts on literature. He talks to us about the importance of reading, what inspires him, and how he feels about tough critics.

Gene Crunching: The ethics and impact of genetic screenings on children Science enables us to know much more than ever before. We can be aware of what disorders we could pass on to our kids and we can conduct screenings on children to discover irregularities in their genes. Such screenings can help doctors catch issues early…but they can also put a huge burden on families.

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17-16 Segment 1: The State of Education for Students with Autism

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The right to an education is guaranteed to all students, regardless of disability, by federal law. But experts and parents are now wondering if we are doing enough to help autistic students maximize their abilities to live their best possible lives. Mark Claypool, co-author of How Autism is Reshaping Special Education, discusses the current status of public schooling for autistic students and how the systems in place can be optimized to help students grow even more.

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