Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

5 things to watch, listen to, and read this weekend

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

The movie to watch

Call Me By Your Name

“In Luca Guadagnino’s sensitive, sensual Call Me By Your Name, a bright teenage boy living in the picturesque Italian countryside falls into a passionate summer fling with an older man, the American graduate student who’s come to study for the season… Paced like an especially lazy summer, the film sidesteps conflict and subplot, devoting nearly all of its languid two hours and change to the tractor beam of mutual attraction, as its lovers-to-be trade signs, flirtatious gestures, furtive glances, stolen touches, and loaded squabbles. They dance around each other, sometimes literally, and the film is a kind of dance, too: that agonizing, exciting waltz of uncertain courtship—of two people orbiting one another, feeling out the feelings between them, dropping and interpreting clues, inching ever closer together.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The album to listen to

Björk, Utopia

“Wondrous and intense, Utopia is as Björkian as it gets. Strongly rejecting Vulnicura’s darkness, it more resembles the warm, futuristic ‘folktronica’ of 2001’s Vespertine, inspired by her then-nascent relationship with [Matthew] Barney. It’s no coincidence that, on Utopia, Björk is dating again, and a breathtaking lightness permeates its 82 minutes. Part of that is expressed in Björk’s lilting, baroque choral and flute arrangements, as well as the Icelandic and Venezuelan birdsong that chatters throughout; part of it is in the album’s lyrical themes of possibility and purification.”
Read the rest of our review here.

The podcast to listen to

Dü You Remember?


“Hüsker Dü was formed in 1979 in St. Paul, Minnesota. On Dü You Remember?, The Current provides a lean oral history of the band, from its working-class beginnings, to its debut album, to its ultimate breakup. Taking a page from the Netflix playbook, the five-episode series was released all at once, leaning into the notion of bingeable listening… The series is brisk and entertaining, even if you’re only a casual fan of the ‘fastest hardcore band around.’”
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.

The show to watch


“The beauty of the Runaways concept—in which the central sextet discover their moms and dads are secretly a cabal of evildoers, and set out to stop them—is that many teens already think of their parents as evil supervillains; for these particular teens, that’s not a metaphor, which gives their acts of adolescent rebellion tremendous dramatic stakes. Runaways also throws together Breakfast Club-like archetypes—princess, jock, nerd, goth—in a blender and delights in how they collide with each other. The most valuable part of the series is how these not-yet adults somehow bring the best out in each other as they learn how to survive and create their own, vital family-of-choice, a bond that’s only more effective when it’s displayed on a more granular level in the TV show.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The comic to read

Melanie Gillman, As The Crow Flies


As The Crow Flies collects the first volume of Melanie Gillman’s excellent webcomic of the same name, a story about an all-girls sleepaway camp and the troop who goes there one summer. The focus is on Charlie, a 13-year-old who feels out of place at the overtly religious and adamantly female-focused camp, isolated from everyone else by race, orientation, and the fact that Charlie clearly has a better understanding of what feminism is than most of the adults running the place. It’s an emotional and intimate comic, restrained in many ways and deeply personal, with a backdrop of stunning mountain vistas.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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