What we’ll be listening to, watching, and reading to sate our pop culture needs.
After a week of devastating news and great loss, we’re going to hit rewind, and remind ourselves why we loved those we lost.
With Lauren Bacall’s passing Tuesday at the age of 89, we lost not only a legendary film icon, but also one of our last remaining ties to the old-school glamour of Hollywood’s golden age. How better to honor Bacall than by revisiting the movie that put her on the map, and kicked off a career that would include over 40 films and last more than five decades: 1944’s To Have and Have Not. It’s where we first saw her smolder with her then-future husband Humphrey Bogart, but more than that, it’s where her charisma first captured our hearts—and it never did let go.
From The World According to Garp to Dead Poets Society and so very many others in between, Robin Williams made us laugh and cry, often at the same time. Something we’ll be doing more of this weekend when we revisit our favorite films starring the actor and comedian, whose death shook the world this week. We might even throw in a few episodes of Mork & Mindy, to remember the early days of Williams’s wild and breathless run, when we were just getting an inkling of the genius to come.
Recently Sinead O’Connor’s been in the spotlight for blasting Miley Cyrus and her life choices. But lest we forget the Irish instigator is first and foremost a singer-songwriter, she has released her 10th studio album, more than 25 years after her brilliant first record The Lion and the Cobra dominated the alt-pop scene. On the perfectly titled I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss, O’Connor swings from one style to another, adding blues and funk to her melancholy melodic pop—an album that incites as much emotion as her off-mike activities.
This new Cinemax show, directed by Steven Soderbergh, premiered last week, but now’s the perfect time to catch up on it, especially since the first episode is available on YouTube. Set in New York’s Knickerbocker Hospital at the turn of the last century, The Knick features Clive Owen (sporting a compellingly repulsive mustache) as Dr. John Thackery, a cocaine-addicted surgeon, living, working, and loving (or at least having sex) in the dark and bloody days of early modern medicine. It’s a gripping show that has the bonus of making you feel better about the current state of our health-care industry.
The Seven Swiney Sisters of Ireland are at the heart of this spirited novel, as narrator Manticory takes us through the roaring family politics as her sisters divide into two opposing camps, only to join together to overcome their poverty with a hair-focused vaudeville show that shoots them to stardom (the sisters are blessed with other-worldly locks that hang past their knees). But for this family of women (based on the real-life Sutherland sisters), fame and fortune doesn’t come without a price, and Michelle Lovric’s prose takes us through their rise and fall with the energy of an Irish jig.
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