What we’ll be listening to, watching, and reading to sate our pop culture needs.
We’re reading about reproductive rights, belting along with Mary Lambert’s “Secrets,” and so much more on this jam-packed weekend.
A biting satire about racism in our “post-racial” society, Dear White People is set on a fictional Ivy League campus and follows Sam (Tessa Thompson) who uses her radio show to draw attention to the racial divide among her classmates, with witty and provocative insights. Crowdfunded after director Justin Simien’s Twitter account (@DearWhitePeople, which he used as a litmus test to find out what might work in his movie) went viral, Dear White People is just the kind of film we need in the wake the latest rash of white cops killing black men and our recent awakening that this nation’s racial tensions have never really waned.
It’s a banner week for reproductive rights discourse with the release of both Katha Pollitt’s book Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights and Jonathan Eig’s The Birth of the Pill. As Pollitt looks at the shift in the pro-choice movement, from the demand for “Abortion without apology” to its “awfulization” in today’s politics, even by its most staunch supporters, Eig explores the teeny-tiny invention that changed women’s lives, and the way we have sex, forever. The two are perfect nightstand companions, one examining where we took a wrong turn with our fight to keep our reproductive rights (and how we can regain our autonomy), the other offering a mostly unknown and fascinating history, one that will make you appreciate the Pill in a whole new light.
Mary Lambert may have risen to fame as the female vocalist behind the defiant and heartbreaking hook in Macklemore’s “Same Love,” but the singer-songwriter is so much more than that Top 40 hit. But it did get her a much-deserved record deal and her debut full-length Heart on my Sleeve, on which she bares her soul about everything from sexual assault to her bipolar disorder, will be on heavy rotation.
Last year writer and editor Sari Botton brought us the anthology, Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York, which contained a variety of accounts of people’s break-ups with NYC. Now we get the opposite: Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakeable Love for New York, which features essays by some incredible scribes including Anna Holmes, Susan Orlean, and two of DAME’s very, our Friendkeeper columnist, Dear Julie Klam, and frequent contributor Alexander Chee. From its dive bars to museums, New York has a way of grabbing your heart and holding on for dear life, and this book explores every dirty, smelly, magical, frustrating, inspiring aspect of that bond.
Based on a novella of the same name by the King of spook himself, Big Driver stars Maria Bello as mystery writer Tess Thorne who, after being assaulted and left for dead, decides to take revenge into her own hands. With Olympia Dukakis playing one of Thorne’s imaginary characters, and Joan Jett (!!) in a brief supporting role, we’ll be watching this one for the star power alone.
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