This will be a new feature, hopefully weekly (YOU’VE LIED TO US BEFORE, BUM), wherein I recommend one movie and one album coming out this week based on hype alone and also I recommend great articles to read from the past week.
It’s hard to imagine that a movie with this pedigree (directed by Christopher Nolan, who has yet to direct a movie I haven’t loved; starring Matthew McConaughey, my woman crush Jessica Chastain, the reliable Michael Caine, and the suddenly prestigious Anne Hathaway) could fail. Putting aside those hilarious Lincoln ads, McConaughey is on an incredible run. This should just keep his streak alive. The trailers have been (wait for it…) STELLAR, especially in how little of the plot has been revealed, hopefully allowing for a little surprise, something uncommon at theaters of late. Expectations may be too high for a movie throwing around words like “wormhole”, but advance word is good, about on par with Inception, which may have been the best movie of 2010. There’s no way I’m not seeing this this weekend.
Slow week for music, but even in a busy week, Dylan would reign supreme. While I’m not a Dylan-oholic, I do love the guy’s music, and I do happen to be a fan of the original Basement Tapes, which he released with the great band The Band. Also, the Bootleg Series has done a superb job of mining Dylan’s vast back catalog of demos and unreleased songs and live cuts for some incredible gems. This set is six (six!) discs long, which may seem like overkill, but considering this series is already on Volume 11, subtlety isn’t exactly the goal here. Honestly, six discs seems like it might not be enough to do this historic recording session justice.
The 30 Best American Independent Horror Films (The Dissolve)
I have a fondness for lists of genres, especially when the genre is absurdly specific, with qualifiers like “American” and “independent”. This is helpful though- maybe you don’t like foreign movies or glossy blockbusters, but you still want to pee your pants out of fright, even after Halloween. If that’s the case, then the fine folks at The Dissolve have you covered. They know their stuff, and I can personally attest to the high level of terror I reached during six of these movies. That means I can guarantee 20% accuracy from this list. What more could you want?
Is It Time to Stop Watching Sports? (Christ & Pop Culture)
I’ve asked myself this question many times over the past few months. The litany of horrific news forced me to confront whether or not it was even worth it. This was, of course, a purely academic exercise in my mind, because the teams I support are deeply ingrained in my heart due to personal experience or family ties, so I couldn’t even imagine not rooting for them. Ethan McCarthy at CAPC reminds us that there’s more to sports than the negatives, even when those feel crushing.
Suffering Sappho! The Tortured History of Female Superheroes (Grantland)
The title is a little misleading. Molly Lambert’s article is more about the history of Wonder Woman than anything else, though she does tie it into the current state of women in superhero movies. Basically, if reading Jill Lepore’s new book sounds too daunting, Lambert gives you a similarly themed, well-organized, and thoughtful perspective on Princess Diana and her cultural legacy.