New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Staff Recs: Valentine’s Day Edition

The Arts Desk recommends the best films, music and galleries for you to enjoy this Valentine’s Day.
In the mood for love? WSN recommends some Valentine singles you may have missed this week.(Illustration by Rachel Buigas-Lopez)

Ashley Wu, Deputy Arts Editor 

Even though Valentine’s Day was invented by Hallmark to sell greeting cards, let’s try to forget about capitalism for a second and celebrate love or something. This Friday, show your significant other you appreciate them by indulging in some cinematic escapism! Impress your artsy NYU bae(s) with Gaspar Noe’s aptly titled film, “Love.” “Love” is sheer gorgeous cinematography and little else. It’s basically just neon-lit softcore porn. And If you’re trying to segue your relationship into a non-relationship, “Midsommar” is even more of an ideal pick. Nothing exposes the little flaws in your relationship like a few frisky Swedish people on psychedelics. On the flip side, if things are going well, a dramatic reading of Ocean Vuong’s poem “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” will get your significant other to fall irrevocably in love with you forever. Satisfaction guaranteed. 

Sasha Cohen, Books & Theater Editor

If you are contemplating what you and your significant other should watch this Valentine’s day, nothing says romance like business casual. No, I’m not talking about people-watching in Stern, but rather “Set It Up” on Netflix! When overworked personal assistants Charlie and Becca become tired of their absurd work schedules, they scheme to set their bosses up with each other. But who cares about all the lies, deception and selfishness involved when love could possibly bloom? The movie basically justifies manipulating people if there is some sort of personal gain in exchange, so take notes folks! Whether your Valentine’s Day plans include dinner with loafers and briefcases or Excel spreadsheets and chocolate-covered strawberries, this movie is a perfect way to end your night!

Kaylee DeFreitas, Arts Editor

Looking for something fun to do this Valentine’s Day? Why not go see a classic movie on the big screen? Both Metrograph downtown and Village East Cinema on 2nd Avenue are playing the all-time classic “Casablanca” this Feb. 14. Enjoy one of Hollywood’s most classic love stories ever brought to screen in all its glory on 35 mm film. Watch as legend Humphrey Bogart and the stunning Ingrid Bergman fall in love all over again against the backdrop of WWII-era Morocco. Movies not your jam? Head uptown to The Metropolitan Museum of Art to enjoy the beautiful collection with your Valentine’s Day sweetheart. From Van Gogh to Ancient Greek statues, the Met has something for everyone to enjoy. Take your honey here and it may just have you saying, “What if we kissed in front of The Temple of Dendur? Haha, just kidding… Unless?” 

Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer, Music Editor

Looking to wallow in your pathetic lovelessness this Valentine’s Day? Why not watch “Blue Valentine” and listen to The Smiths all weekend. Sometimes the overbearing sight of kissing lips all around town is just too much to handle, mere hapless reminders of your own lack of love. Which’s why on this Valentine’s Day, I recommend plunging into your sofa and watching “Blue Valentine,” Derek Cianfrance’s melancholic portrait of a relationship wildly down-spiraling. To hell with “Marriage Story” true lovelessness resides in a balding Ryan Gosling and the rawness of Michelle Williams’s discontent. Now, if that doesn’t satisfy your lust for pathos, try listening to The Smiths’s “Hatful of Hollow” right after you finish the film. Bearing such tracks as “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” and “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want,” “Hatful of Hollow” is the perfect album to listen to if you want to amplify your heart’s agony as a self-inflictive attack against the world’s fixation on cheery hearts and perfect couples. 

Fareid El Gafy, Film & TV Editor

If you’re looking for something to do with your boo this Valentine’s Day then look no further than the greatest romantic comedy of all time, “When Harry Met Sally.” 1989 called, they want their heartfelt magnum opus on the inevitability of true love to be shared with couples for generations to come back. The floor I lived on at Lafayette last year was named after Nora Ephron, who wrote the script. I’ve been riding that high for months. We first meet University of Chicago graduates Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) as they share a ride back to our own beloved New York, and the rest of the film chronicles their rollercoaster friendship through the wild years of their 20s. It’s a wonderful movie that evokes the feeling of unconditionally loving someone for exactly who they are, I assume. It’s available on Hulu, so load it up and settle in with your significant other. Hold each other, shut your eyes and imagine you’re listening to Mike Wazowski hitting on Anastasia. Did you know Meg Ryan was Anastasia? I learned that for this joke.

Ethan Zack, Arts Editor

Getting your love life to line up with the one day of the year you’re specifically supposed to celebrate it is like spinning an evil version of the Wheel of Fortune where every slice of the board is Bankruptcy except one. I’m recommending some music for everyone who landed on one of the unlucky spaces. The 2000 album “We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes” by Death Cab for Cutie is grungy, bitter, regretful and exactly the kind of music you want to hear if you’ve been burnt recently. It’s a really cohesive piece of work that functions best as a whole, but I’d say that “For What Reason” and “Company Calls Epilogue” particularly stand out as perfect backdrops for ruminating on the past flings that still sting. Most people say you just shouldn’t think too much about your romantic life if you’re not with someone for the big day, but what good does ignoring your feelings do? For at least one day, hurt as much as you like.

Email the Arts Desk at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Kaylee DeFreitas
Kaylee DeFreitas, Deputy Managing Editor
Kaylee DeFreitas is a senior (Yikes!) majoring in Journalism and Educational Theatre with a minor in Irish Studies. When she isn’t writing for WSN, you can find her watching “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” doing embroidery and taking care of her plants. Born and raised in New Jersey, she will fight anyone who says Central Jersey doesn’t exist or calls a pork roll sandwich a taylor ham. Follow her and say hi on Twitter and Instagram at @kaylee_defre.
Ethan Zack
Ethan Zack, Deputy Managing Editor
Ethan is a junior in CAS majoring in Journalism and History. When he's not stumbling through an endless stream of Zoom classes, he's doing fun and cool things like reading the Wikipedia plot summaries of horror movies because he's too scared to actually watch them or making yet another three-song playlist that he will literally never touch again, ever. He's most active on Twitter (@ethanzack), so feel free to reach out with any spicy takes.
Sasha Cohen
Sasha Cohen, Arts Editor
Sasha Cohen is a junior studying Producing and Promotion for the Arts with a minor in Business of Entertainment, Media and Technology. She is from Chicago, but please do not ask her to choose between New York- and Chicago-style pizza. When Sasha is not working, she is often belting Broadway tunes, searching for the best pastries or checking out NYC parks. For more about Sasha, follow @_sasha.cohen_ on Instagram.
Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer
Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer, Arts Editor
Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer is a senior double-majoring in journalism and cinema studies. He has written for Le Cinéma Club and ScreenSlate, as well as programmed for Spectacle Theater and the Film-Maker's Cooperative. Nico is also an avid consumer of media: film, music, books — you name it! You can follow him over at @nicopedrero on Instagram, stalk his audiovisual habits by way of @nicolaspsetzer on Spotify and Letterboxd, or track his ramblings on Twitter at @NicoPSetzer.
Ashley Wu
Ashley Wu, Editor-in-Chief
Ashley Wu is a mysterious Asian woman.
Fareid El Gafy
Fareid El Gafy, Film Editor
Fareid is a senior at Tisch double majoring in Film & TV and Politics. He’s half-Egyptian and half-British which is pretty neat, if he does say so himself, but that’s where the neat stuff ends. Hit him up if you know Jake and Amir or don’t and want to throw down. Alternatively, Fareid can talk for a solid hour about the importance of insects to human culture or find any country on a map and pretend to know something about it. Fareid spends very little time outside. That’s why he writes for the newspaper. What’s everyone else’s excuse?

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