Washington Square News

Washington Square News

Washington Square News

Ryan Mikel

Ryan Mikel, Arts Editor

Ryan is the Arts Editor and a culture reporter at Salon. He studies Journalism and Cinema Studies in CAS, with hopes of owning A24 or Penske Media Corporation some day. A native of Kentucky, Ryan was drawn to art for its exposure of the world around him. He has previously written for Out Magazine and interviewed the likes of Sean Baker ("The Florida Project") and Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird"). Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @are_why_ayy_in.

All content by Ryan Mikel
Ryan Mikel

Ryan Mikel

May 7, 2020

My time at Washington Square News started off as an experiment of sorts: I had never written an “article” before in my life. All I knew was that I liked dance — specifically...

Barry Jenkins won an Oscar just last year for Moonlight. Now, he is gearing up to release his latest project If Beale Street Could Talk.(Photo by Ryan Mikel)

Barry Jenkins Talks ‘Beale Street,’ Baldwin and #MeToo

The “Moonlight” director warns to never adapt your heroes, but finds “If Beale Street Could Talk” to be a pretty fruitful attempt.
Dec 3, 2018

How does one begin to honor the legacy of James Baldwin but also forge one of their own? This is the question Barry Jenkins, the director of the Academy Award-winning film “Moonlight,”...

The cast of A Fish Called Wanda. (via flickr.com)

Staff Recs: Best Film Ensembles

Every so often, a movie ensemble absolutely blows audiences away and makes us ask ourselves, “How can one movie could contain so much talent and power?”
Nov 16, 2018

Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Jackie Weaver, Liam Neeson and Robert Duvall — every so often, a movie ensemble, like the cast of Steve McQueen’s...

From left to right, clockwise: “Lush” by Snail Mail, “Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel, “Magic Potion” by The Black Keys and “Collection” by Soccer Mommy. (via spotify.com)

Staff Recs: Best Albums for Fall

Nov 9, 2018

“Lush” by Snail Mail Ryan Mikel, Arts Editor I am not going to lie: I fell in love with the album “Lush” when I discovered Snail Mail early last spring. I was lucky...

Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet. (via twitter.com)

Staff Recs: Best Villains

Get your watch queue ready for the baddest villains of them all.
Nov 1, 2018

The spookiest day of the year is behind us, but you can still binge your favorite scary movies and television shows. Earlier this week, WSN staff gave their unpopular opinions...

Unpopular Opinions: Supernatural Villains

Unpopular Opinions: Supernatural Villains

This week we’re getting spooky niche with our unpopular opinions and taking a look at supernatural villains!
Oct 30, 2018

The spookiest day of the year is upon us: Halloween. All the ghosts and goblins come to play on this night of tricks and treats. Halloween is a pop culture phenomenon — the basis...

John Travolta and Uma Thurman in a scene from Pulp Fiction, which boasts one of the most iconic soundtracks in cinema history. (via facebook.com)

Staff Recs: Best Movie Soundtracks and Scores

Oct 25, 2018

When the year’s most anticipated albums like “Astroworld” or “Queen” finally found their release, not all of us were bingeing Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” on an...

Elena Fokina as Olga in Suspiria. (via youtube.com)

‘Suspiria’ Breathes Life Into Argento’s Horror Classic

Oct 22, 2018

Tremble, tremble, the witches are back with Luca Guadagnino’s reimagining of the technicolor nightmare “Suspiria.” Less of a remake and more of a cover, “Suspiria” is...

Masked serial killer Michael Meyers in Halloween. (via facebook.com)

Staff Recs: Scariest Horror Movies

Oct 18, 2018

“Halloween” (1978) Ryan Mikel, Arts Editor I don’t care what anybody says: John Carpenter’s original “Halloween” is the best horror film of all time. It not only...

Unpopular Opinions: 20th Century Authors

Unpopular Opinions: 20th Century Authors

Oct 16, 2018

Ernest Hemingway. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Virginia Woolf. Philip Roth. Vladimir Nabokov. Undeniably, the 20th century birthed some of the greatest wordsmiths to sit in front of a...

Greta Gerwig and Sam Levy on the set of Lady Bird. (Courtesy of A24)

Staff Recs: Best Actors-Turned-Directors

Oct 11, 2018

Sometimes being an actor just isn’t fulfilling enough. Actors are often considered nothing more than pretty faces, so who can blame them for wanting to tackle something considered...

(photo courtesy Umi Akiyoshi)

Aliza Russell

From Kansas City to Princess Grace
Oct 10, 2018

Dancing in front of mirrors for 15 years is a taxing yet admirable feat. Ask Aliza Russell, a 20-year-old dancer in the Tisch School of the Arts and recipient of the Princess Grace...

Unpopular Opinions: Directors

Unpopular Opinions: Directors

Oct 9, 2018

The director: the artistic visionary behind the camera responsible for breathing life into the motion picture. Some — like Jean-Luc Godard, Federico Fellini and Alfred Hitchcock...

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga on the A Star Is Born album cover. (Courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Cooper Revitalizes a Star in ‘A Star Is Born’

Oct 9, 2018

Lady Gaga received terrible reviews for her feature film debut in the 2013 movie “Machete Kills.” Commenting on her performance, the Washington Post wrote, “Lady Gaga should...

Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly in Chicago.

Staff Recs: Hollywood Movie Musicals

Oct 4, 2018
Celebrate the premiere of "A Star Is Born" with our personal picks for the best movie musicals.
Members of boy group *NSYNC.

Staff Recs: Best Early 2000s Jams

Sep 27, 2018
Unabashedly indulge your bedazzled former self and rock out to these early 2000s hits.
Unpopular Opinions: Cinematic Classics

Unpopular Opinions: Cinematic Classics

Sep 25, 2018
Don't be shy about hating some of these classic films.
 Kali Uchis and Tyler, The Creator in the Perfect music video.

Staff Recs: Best Songs To Fall In Love To

Fall is the season when everyone wants to find in love — here are the best songs to indulge your inner romantic.
Sep 20, 2018
Fall is the season when everyone wants to find in love — here are the best songs to indulge your inner romantic.
Screenshots from some of the shows mentioned. From left to right: Alex Strangelove, Mudbound, Ozark, Nailed It! and Sacred Games.

Staff Recs: Best Netflix Originals

Netflix is the future of cinema and here's why.
Sep 13, 2018
Netflix is the future of cinema and here's why.
 Mia Goth and Dakota Johnson in a scene from Suspiria.

Staff Recs: Our Most Anticipated Films of Fall 2018

Many of this fall's film releases are highly anticipated, but these are the ones we're looking forward to the most.
Sep 6, 2018
This fall's film releases are highly anticipated, but these are the ones we're looking forward to the most.
Students performing in the annual Reality Show at Barclays Center.

Sex, Drugs and the Story Behind NYU’s Reality Show

Aug 26, 2018
Our Arts Editor gives an inside look into NYU's long-running Reality Show, an exciting and meaningful event held to welcome the first-year class.
A scene from The Milk of Sorrow.

Film Series Spotlights Women Behind the Camera

Aug 1, 2018
Uptown, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is hosting "The Female Gaze," a two-week survey of films shot by women cinematographers. WSN sat down with curators Madeline Whittle and Tyler Wilson to discuss the films that are on display.
Elsie Fisher in Eighth Grade.

Review: Puberty Sucks But ‘Eighth Grade’ Doesn’t

Jul 13, 2018
Buckle up. "Eighth Grade" is taking us on a trip down memory lane.
Young filmmakers at the 13th Annual KidsFilmFest.

Brooklyn Kids Festival Tackles Adversity, Bullies and Trump, Too

Jun 5, 2018
The Brooklyn International Film Festival held its kidsfilmfest this past weekend, where 15 films tackled prevalent themes in today's political landscape.
John Krasinksi in A Quiet Place.

Staff Recs: Intelligent Horror Films

Apr 26, 2018
In honor of "A Quiet Place" getting a sequel and "Get Out" winning an Oscar, WSN has compiled a list of the most intelligent horror films for your viewing pleasure.
Tisch School of the Arts building on Broadway.

Tisch Students Use Flyers to Push for Course Addition

Apr 26, 2018
After 47 Tisch students were not admitted into a senior filmmaking class, Film & TV junior Greyson Horst created a flyer voicing students' grievances.
The crowd at Lollapalooza in Grant Park, Chicago.

Best Festival Lineups

Apr 19, 2018
From New York to Spain and even Alabama, WSN staff has compiled a list of the best festival lineups this summer.
Alec Baldwin at the Tisch Gala 2018. (Photo by Veronica Liow)

Tisch Gala Celebrates Students, Calls For Change

Apr 17, 2018
A call for change in diversity and inclusivity at NYU was at the center of Tisch School of the Arts' annual gala this year.
Artist Frank Ocean

Staff Recs: Best Frank Ocean Songs

Apr 12, 2018
WSN staff compiled a list of the best Frank Ocean songs. So sit back, relax and let this playlist take you to the Pyramids tonight.
The Arts Issue 2018: Movements

The Arts Issue 2018: Movements

Apr 5, 2018

movement (ˈmo͞ovmənt/) a group of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas. In my journalism class sophomore year, my professor...

Porches frontman Aaron Maine performing at South by Southwest earlier this month.

Aaron Maine Talks Porches, Home and ‘The House’

Mar 26, 2018
Porches returned to New York with "The House" tour on Friday night. WSN caught up with frontman Aaron Maine at SXSW earlier this month to talk home and "The House."
The cast of Seinfeld.

Staff Recs: Best Shows to Binge on a Snow Day

Mar 22, 2018
Whether summer lethargy or winter blizzards are responsible for your next binge-watching stint, WSN is here with a few of our favorite television shows to get the job done.
Emma Seligman and Rachel Sennott talking on the set of Shiva Baby.

Tisch Alumna Talks Sugar Babies, Shivas and SXSW

Mar 19, 2018
Emma Seligman's senior thesis "Shiva Baby" premiered at SXSW last week. WSN sat down with the student filmmaker to discuss shivas, sugar babies and the acclaimed Texas festival.
A scene from Madeleine Olnek’s new film “Wild Nights with Emily,” starring Molly Shannon and Susan Ziegler as Emily and Susan, respectively.

The Hidden Irreverence of Emily Dickinson

Mar 19, 2018
“Wild Nights with Emily” uncovers the vivacious and queer life of Emily Dickinson and the poet's relationship with her brother's wife Susan Gibert.
Jon Michael Hill and Blake DeLong in “Pass Over.”

What You Missed at SXSW

Mar 19, 2018
Politics surrounding race, class and gender were at the center of this year’s South by Southwest Conference & Festivals in Austin, Texas.

Alexia Salingaros

Directing Change One Movie at a Time
Mar 8, 2018

For Tisch sophomore Alexia Salingaros, the magic of filmmaking began with summer lethargy and the absence of cable television in her San Antonio home. “The summer after seventh...

Clockwise starting top left: Ethan Uno (City College ‘21), Adrien Calvet (Gallatin ‘20), Jack Laboz (Clive Davis ‘20) and Manny Pinkins (Clive Davis ‘20)

Photo: Students Serve Up Diverse Set of Singles

Mar 6, 2018

Clockwise starting top left: Ethan Uno (City College ‘21), Adrien Calvet (Gallatin ‘20), Jack Laboz (Clive Davis ‘20) and Manny Pinkins (Clive Davis ‘20)

The Awards Feature

The Awards Feature

We all dream in violet.
Mar 5, 2018

Let’s face it: the Academy Awards is not the end-all, be-all for measuring aptitude and success in the film industry. Every year there are snubs. Every year there is controversy....

Sean Baker: “The Florida Project”

Sean Baker: “The Florida Project”

Mar 5, 2018
WSN sat down with filmmaker Sean Baker to discuss "The Florida Project," the Academy Awards and what's next for the Tisch grad.
André Aciman: “Call Me By Your Name”

André Aciman: “Call Me By Your Name”

Mar 5, 2018
WSN sat down with author André Aciman to discuss "Call Me By Your Name" and its unprecedented success.
This week’s staff recommendations is on what film should win Best Picture for the 2018 Oscars.

Staff Recs: Who Should Win Best Picture

Mar 2, 2018
The WSN Staff makes a case for which "Best Picture" nominees should take home the top prize at the 90th Academy Awards this Sunday.
A variety of leafy greens and other salad ingredients.

Staff Recs: Best Leafy Green

Feb 23, 2018
The WSN Staff has compiled a list of the best leafy green for your next salad. Lettuce begin!
Alumni Hall

Alumni Hall

Feb 22, 2018

Address: 33 Third Ave., New York, NY 10003 Cost per semester: $10,714 Low cost: Not available Rooms available: Singles Nearby subways: R, W, 6 NYU Shuttles:...

A still of the friend group of “That’s So Raven”.

Staff Recs: Best TV Friend Groups

Feb 16, 2018
In light of Galentine’s Day recent passing, the WSN Staff compiled a list of our favorite friend groups on television.
From your safety net of friendships to the characters and voices filling your headphones and screen, you physically won’t be alone this Valentines Day.

Valentine, Who? Spending the 14th ‘Alone’

Feb 11, 2018
From your safety net of friendships to the characters and voices filling your headphones and screen, you actually won’t be alone on Valentine's Day.
Staff Recs: Best Songs to Cry To

Staff Recs: Best Songs to Cry To

Feb 9, 2018
The WSN Staff compiled a playlist of the best songs to cry to this Valentine's Day. Sit back, relax and feel all the feels.
Staff Recs: Movies You Might Have Missed in 2017

Staff Recs: Movies You Might Have Missed in 2017

Feb 2, 2018
From Sean Baker’s indie darling “The Florida Project” to Margaret Betts’ widely unseen “Novitiate,” here are WSN's picks for movies you might have missed in 2017.
‘The Post’ stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. The film tells the story of the Pentagon Papers scandal, and the journalists who challenged the Nixon administration in order to expose government corruption.

A Tale of Two Administrations

Jan 22, 2018
The Golden Globe-nominated biopic "The Post" reveals unsettling parallels between the political administrations of then and now.
Hanks, Streep and Spielberg speak with college publications via Skype about their new movie.

‘The Post’: A Q&A with Hanks, Spielberg and Streep

Dec 10, 2017
WSN speaks with Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg about their upcoming movie, The Post.
Greta Gerwig’s film “Lady Bird” is her directorial debut and is the best reviewed film of all time on Rotten Tomatoes with a rating of 100%.

Greta Gerwig and the Indie That Could

Dec 4, 2017
Greta Gerwig, director of this year's smash hit "Lady Bird," spoke with college newspapers about mothers and daughters, women in film and coming of age.

Cats vs. Dogs: The Debate

Dec 4, 2017

We’re all familiar with debates over this vs. that, from favorite soda brand — Coke or Pepsi? — to the perceived colors of that optically confusing dress. But no feud has...

The 40-foot tree stands in George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” is one of the focal set pieces in the performance.

Not My Nutcracker: An A-Z Guide

Nov 27, 2017
A guide to choosing which production of "The Nutcracker" is best for you and yours.
The Social Media Issue

The Social Media Issue

Nov 13, 2017
There is no denying social media has transcended the intentions of its forefathers and impacted past, present and future generations alike in unprecedented ways.

“Lady Bird” is a coming of age story of a girl and her troubled relationship with her parents.

‘Lady Bird’ Is A Testament to Growing Up and Getting Out

Oct 31, 2017
Greta Gerwig's directorial debut "Lady Bird" is a beautiful homage to teenagers and their mothers.
Ai Weiwei’s new installation artwork “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” under the Washington Square Arch comments on the increasing hostility towards immigrants and the rise of nationalism.

Ai Weiwei Challenges Trump’s Wall, DACA Repeal

Oct 23, 2017
You might have noticed Ai Weiwei's installation underneath the Arch in WSP. "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" was created in order to draw attention to the rising levels of nationalism and animosity towards immigrants around the world.

Behind the Scenes With Free Beer

Oct 10, 2017
Free Beer is an NYU sketch comedy group that uses its name as a ploy to get students to show up to their performances.
Staff Recs: Scariest Horror Movies

Staff Recs: Scariest Horror Movies

Oct 5, 2017
WSN staff members choose their picks of the scariest horror movies of all time.
A Timeline of Celebrity Political Demonstrations on TV

A Timeline of Celebrity Political Demonstrations on TV

Oct 5, 2017
From Meryl Streep fiery Golden Globes speech to Marlon Brando's 1973 Oscars boycott, WSN explores the lively, and mostly recent, history of celebrity political demonstrations made on television.
Not Since “Tiffany’s:” The 10 Worst Whitewashing Incidents in Film

Not Since “Tiffany’s:” The 10 Worst Whitewashing Incidents in Film

Oct 5, 2017
Whitewashing is a casting practice in film in which white actors are cast in historically non-white character roles. Explore WSN's picks for the Top 10, or in this case, Bottom 10 incidents of whitewashing in film.

The Rainbow Arch

Oct 2, 2017

Coming to NYU was a daunting move. We’re talking 6,000 plus incoming freshman in the class of 2020 — the largest to date in NYU history. Living in New York City was even more...

“Swan Lake” ballerina from the New York City Ballet dances on the opening night at the David H. Koch Theatre.

Opening Night at City Ballet

Sep 21, 2017
The New York City Ballet kicked off its 17/18 Season with "Swan Lake," featuring reimagined and mesmerizing choreography by Ballet Master in Chief, Peter Martins. This revival brings new life to the classic ballet.
In Bed With Lady Gaga

In Bed With Lady Gaga

Sep 20, 2017
Lady Gaga's new Netflix documentary "Gaga: Five Foot Two" gives an intimate look into the NYU alum's life.
Baayork Lee hosted and master class and a Q&A at Skirball on September 12th.

Broadway Legend Baayork Lee Visits Tisch

Sep 14, 2017
Tisch Departments of Drama and Dance and Skirball Center for the Performing Arts hosted a masterclass with Broadway legend Baayork Lee.


Sep 11, 2017
Paul the Pigeon Man has been part of Washington Square Park for 16 years.

First-Generation Student to Next-Generation Developer

Sep 5, 2017
CAS senior Jeremy Muhia moved to the U.S. from Kenya at a young age, and worked to earn admission at NYU.
Brandon Stanton, the man behind the portraits on Humans of New York, is setting his sights on turning HONY into a docuseries.

‘Humans of New York’ in Motion

Sep 5, 2017
The Humans of New York Instagram page is known around the world -- now, Brandon Stanton is taking his concept to a docuseries, premiering on Sept. 5 on Watch on Facebook.
Welcome Week Stories: The Magical, Mystery Pizza Tour

Welcome Week Stories: The Magical, Mystery Pizza Tour

Aug 28, 2017
Ryan Mikel's Welcome Week was unforgettable: he went on a one-night tour of the best pizza places around.
The Latin American ballet company, Ballet Hispanico, returned to New York City on April 18 to perform a culturally rich and innovative triple bill.

Ballet Hispanico Examines Dance and Politics

Ballet Hispanico's New York run at the Joyce Theater was a success, examining politics through dance.
Apr 26, 2017

Exuding Latin American pride and a wealth of artistry, athleticism and heritage, Ballet Hispanico made its celebrated return to New York City last Tuesday, April 18 at the Joyce...

Attacking stereotypes about modern youth through a barrage of musical-comedy, “Aliens Coming” is a lighthearted critical success from Tisch senior Joe Kelly.

Aliens Land at NYU in New Musical Comedy

Apr 17, 2017
"Aliens Coming: The Musical" mades as many puns as any human can manage, and innuendos that only an extraterrestrial could come up with.
Dancing the Good Fight for Diversity

Dancing the Good Fight for Diversity

Apr 6, 2017
Ballet has long been a highly esteemed art form, but it's long past time for its participants to start taking diversity seriously.
Ailey 2 is composed of multiple choreographed works that serve to connect to the community. It played at Skirball Center for the Performing Arts from March 29 to April 2.

NYU Grad Takes Professional Stage

Apr 3, 2017
The Ailey 2 New York season premiere featured Tisch alum Jacoby Pruitt in its New Works program, which presented a musically complex and choreographically collective show.
From left to right, Phil Jimenez, Ramzi Fawaz, Jennifer Camper and Margaret Galvan joined the panel hosted in Strand to discuss LGBTQ representation in the comic industry. The panel occurred on March 22.

Strand Panel Addresses LGBTQ Representation in Comic Industry

Mar 27, 2017
The Strand Bookstore's recent panel on LGBTQ representation in comics was not only riveting, but sorely needed in an industry that continues to prioritize white, straight, cisgender men over practically any other sort of heroes.
NYU faculty member Lyle Ashton Harris is featured in this year’s Whitney Biennial, the longest-running survey of contemporary American art. The goal of his archive is to create an intersection between the personal and the political.

NYU Professor Featured in Whitney Biennial

Mar 24, 2017
This year the prestigious Whitney Biennial, the longest-running survey of contemporary American art, features Steinhardt professor Lyle Ashton Harris' "Ektachrome Archive." His interview explores his probing of both the personal and political in his art and the world at large.
This past weekend’s Tisch Dance MFA 1 Concert, a program of original works both choreographed and performed by students, introduces many artistics and political themes, such as gender roles and domestic abuse. The first-year graduate MFA 1 students spent a semester choreographing the works.

Tisch Grads Collab for Evocative Dance

Feb 27, 2017
Tisch's MFA1 dance showcase this past weekend elevated dance from mere entertainment to a form of communication and education that only the most precise of artists can manage.
Stern freshman, Mohan Maholtra, is competing on the “Jeopardy! College Championship.”

NYU Student in the Running to Win $100,000 Jeopardy Prize

Feb 23, 2017
Stern freshman Mohan Maholtra talks competing on "Jeopardy! College Championship," his love for history and how he prepared for the game show.
On Friday and Saturday night, an all-male cast of Royal Ballet School graduates perform “Concerto Grosso” at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

ABT and Royal Ballet School Showcase Talent at Skirball

Feb 16, 2017
Last weekend, the Skirball Center hosted the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company and the Royal Ballet School in an awe-inspiring and "en pointe" night of grace and precision.
The eerie dance theater performance, “Future Perfect,” runs at the Baruch Performing Arts Center till Sunday.

Vim Vigor Dance Company Haunts in “Future Perfect”

Feb 9, 2017
Vim Vigor Dance Company creates a beautifully ambiguous, painstakingly detailed performance about four campers the not-so-dead body they happen upon in the woods.
Actor Jon Glasier, who plays Laird on Girls, answering questions at the screening in Kimmel on Tuesday.

“Girls” Attracts More Than Just Girls

Jan 31, 2017
The "Girls" screening and Q&A with cast members Alex Karpovsky and Jon Glaser was a major success for NYU's Student Resource Center and HBO.
Tchaikovskys Swan Lake was one of the three ballets performed by the NYCB in honor of George Balanchines birthday

“All Balanchine” Ballet Preserves NYCB Legacy

Jan 27, 2017
In a worthy tribute to their founding artistic director George Balanchine, the latest New York City Ballet showcase "All Balanchine" stuns and awes audiences with its dancers' skill and precision.

BalletCollective pushed the boundaries of the classical art form in its dynamic and atmospheric performance on the 27th of October.

BalletCollective Goes Bigger, Better

Oct 31, 2016
BalletCollective's recent show at NYU's Skirball Center was an exciting development within ballet, using principal ballerinas that both grew and honored the tradition of the style.