What we’ll be listening to, watching, and reading to sate our pop culture needs.
From the theater to our cozy couch, this weekend’s a full-on movie marathon plus the added bonus of some hang time with Meghan Daum and Joni Mitchell.
The long-awaited return of Katniss is here. Sure, we already know what happens in Mockingjay: Part I, but seeing our arrow-slinging heroine on the big screen is a whole new thrill. Albeit a bittersweet one—this third installment of The Hunger Gamesfranchise will be one of the last new performances we get from Philip Seymour Hoffman. Reason enough to head to the theater.
L.A. Times columnist Meghan Daum’s wit and candor is on full display in The Unspeakable, her new collection of interconnected essays. Whether she’s being uncomfortably frank about watching her mother die from gallbladder cancer, or dropping bon mots about her attempt at being gay (“The whole scene freaked me out enough to make me realize that I was not a lesbian so much as someone who appreciated a good haircut.”), the woman who helped bring confessional writing to the forefront has proven why we were so drawn to her stories in the first place.
The entire internet is in love with Benedict Cumberbatch, and his performance in The Imitation Game will undoubtedly fan the flames of this phenomenon. His portrayal of Alan Turing, the pioneering computer scientist who helped crack Nazi codes and was later persecuted for being openly gay, makes this Sherlock even more endearing, and almost certainly an Oscar contender. The only downside of the movie’s release is that we’d rather have Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley do press together forever and ever.
When Joni Mitchell was asked to compile some of her favorite love songs into a single album for a dance project, she couldn’t possibly comply (the Canadian singer-songwriter’s put out 19 albums since 1968 for Chrissakes), so lucky us, the result is a four-record box set, Love Has Many Faces, which sets some of her classic material in a whole new light. By pairing tracks like “In France They Kiss on Main Street” and “You Turn Me On I’m a Radio” with “Court and Spark,” Mitchell explores the sweetness and madness of love, reminding us why our own love for her presses on.
Hollywood lost one of the greatest of the greats yesterday: film and theater director, producer, actor, and comedian Mike Nichols, who suddenly passed away at 83. His film canon alone is tremendous—where to begin? Perhaps at the beginning, with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Oscar winner The Graduate, Cher’s star turn with Meryl Streep in Silkwood, Melanie Griffith’s classic role in Working Girl, and more recently his incredible screen adaptation of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America—and, for a feel-good closer, The Birdcage. These, just a primer … Sigh.
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