The Roundup 04.03.18
It can be tough, when faced with the eat-sleep-work-repeat grind, to keep on top of capital C Culture. That's why, every Sunday, the Tung team has a lil tete-a-tete in which we discuss all the podcasts, articles, songs, films, and TV we've loved over the past week. We choose our favourites and package them up in The Roundup to save you the legwork.
WATCH: The Blaze ‘Heaven’
The Blaze can do no wrong. Their music — moving, layered electronica — is made even more stirring by the release of a string of emotional videos, each exploring the ecstatic power of dance. The video for ‘Heaven’, like the two that came before it, places particular focus on the effect of dancing on stereotypical masculinity — in this one, a young father dances unselfconsciously in a bucolic idyll, surrounded by friends and family, finding ecstasy in togetherness. It’s the kind of video that makes you yearn for a summer of river-swimming and lying under the stars.
LISTEN: Unpopped - The Spice Girls and Kathy Acker
In the new BBC podcast Unpopped, host Hayley Campbell and friends explore a huge cultural moment: the day in 1997 that the feminist punk poet and experimental writer Kathy Acker interviewed the Spice Girls for the Guardian. As you may or may not know depending on how religiously you read The Tung, I'm a big supporter of the Spice Girls' version of feminism on the grounds that it acted as a great starter-pack for so many little girls, and I was glad to find that Acker left the interview feeling similarly.
LATE TO THE PARTY: The Party
This week I finally sat down to watch Sally Potter’s 2017 chamber piece The Party. It’s a brutal satirical takedown of bourgeois middle-class pseudo-intellectualism that looked to me a little like a flash forward into the adult lives of some of the people I met at uni. The cast is insane - we’re talking Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall and Cillian Murphy to name but a few - but the star of the show is 100% Patricia Clarkson as the acid-tongued uber comic who spits zingers like ‘you’re a first-rate lesbian and a second-rate thinker.’ It’s short (coming in at about 70 minutes) but it's definitely not sweet.
LISTEN: Superorganism Superorganism
The debut album from Superorganism is as wonderfully weird as you might expect from the string of singles released over the past year beginning with ‘Something for Your M.I.N.D’. Neither the motley band nor the eclectic sound of the album would be out of place in a Michael Cera movie. Right from the get-go with opener 'It’s All Good' we are transported to an alternate universe, full of unconventional shape and colour -- it's the perfect escape from the chill of this pseudo-Spring we're having.
Listen to the album here.
READ: 'Why Did It Take So Long For The Oscars To Nominate A Female Cinematographer?' via FiveThirtyEight.com
Until this year, no woman has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Cinematography category. Finally, the 'last glass ceiling at the Oscars' has been broken by Rachel Morrison for her work on the Netflix Original film Mudbound. In this piece for FiveThirtyEight, Walt Hickey examines why it has taken so long. Spoiler alert: 'The cards are stacked against an entire gender behind the camera.' Here's hoping tonight's Academy Awards ceremony takes a decisive step in the right direction.
Read the article here.
LATE TO THE PARTY: The Hurt Locker
To continue the Oscars theme, in addition to the Best Cinematography category, it's no secret that women are also astonishingly underrepresented in the Best Film and Best Director categories. In 2010 Katheryn Bigelow became the first and only female winner (so far, but perhaps not for long if Greta Gerwig has anything to do with it) for best director for her movie The Hurt Locker. I missed it when it was originally released but I'm pleased to say that I've rectified the situation now and unsurprisingly I couldn't recommend it higher. Bigelow's portrait of a maverick bomb disposal specialist is a cinematic masterclass.
Watch the trailer here.