Life is busy. It’s easy to make it to Sunday night without having engaged in much past the eat - sleep - work - repeat grind. Here to make it easier for you to find little cultural nuggets to brighten up the week are the Tung Team - Anna, Jacob and Sarah - who have kept our ears to the ground from Monday to Sunday, rooting out our favourite bits and pieces from the week, so you don’t have to.
ARTICLE: The New York Times, 'From Prison to P.h.D: The Redemption and Rejection of Michelle Jones'
Produced in partnership with The Marshall Project, a non profit news outlet covering the US justice system, this piece will have you questioning your moral compass. Michelle Jones murdered her four year old son, and two decades later was accepted for a doctorate at Harvard. Redemption, race, and class all play a part in this ambiguous modern fairy tale. Read here.
FILM: Wind River
A fictional account of the very real crisis facing Native American women, Wind River is remarkable, harrowing, and important. I was left entirely shaken by this film, and it will stay with you long after you leave the cinema. Bypass the Hollywood horror of Jennifer Lawrence's Mother! and experience an intelligent take on the the power of isolation and social disintegration. Watch the trailer here.
NOTE: Wind River contains uncensored scenes of rape, self harm, and violence against women, which could be traumatising. Please avoid if you think you could be harmed or triggered by these themes.
OLD FAVOURITE: Salvador Dalí and Walt Disney, Destino
This week I found a lil gem of a Dalí book in a charity shop, and fell back in love. In my renewed infatuation I've been revisiting his dreamy short film created with Walt Disney, Destino. Hidden and unfinished for sixty years, Destino captures two men at the peak of their artistic output, a perfect collaboration demonstrating the best of both. Watch here.
ARTICLE: ‘The Sucker, the Sucker!’ by Amia Srinivasan in the LRB
It’s not every day I spend upwards of an hour watching YouTube video upon YouTube video of octopuses just pootling about, but that’s precisely what I did after reading Amia Srinivasan’s review of two recently published books on the eight armed cephalapod. The first discusses the strange evolutionary path the octopus has taken, given its relatively high level of intelligence, and the other explores the extent to which an octopus has consciousness. Humans are so vastly unlike octopuses that contact with them is the closest we can get on earth to understanding what it might be like to meet intelligent alien life. Weird. Read the article here.
TV: Doctor Foster
I was pretty late to the party on Doctor Foster series 1, but earlier this year I finally got round to binge watching the entire thing and was blown away. Written by playwright Mike Bartlett, the drama and the stakes are skyscraper high as a successful doctor plots her revenge on her weak, adulterous husband, eventually driving him out of town. This time round the now ex-husband is back, and it’s his turn to run Doctor Foster out. The show draws on Greek tragedy, but is nonetheless a totally modern story of sex, betrayal, and child custody issues. Watch here.
LATE TO THE PARTY: Maggie Nelson ‘Bluets’
Oh man, Bluets. I couldn’t really tell you what it was about per se - a series of prose poems about loss, pain, and the colour blue is pretty much all I’ve got. The fragments aren’t in chronological order, and instead sort of bleed into one another through a logic entirely of their own. It’s not a cheerful read - if I had read it having just been broken up with, I probably would have had to lie down on the kitchen floor for a day or two - but Nelson’s grief isn’t a bottomless pit. There’s so much beauty, humour, and not just a little light to be found at the end of the tunnel. Buy the book here.
SONG: The xx ‘On Hold (Jamie xx Remix)’
We at The Tung weren’t massive fans of the recent The xx album but a stand out hit was lead single ‘On Hold’. This was largely due to Jamie’s enormous post- In Colour fingerprints all over the production. Jamie xx returned this week with an updated club ready version. He has given the original a four-to-the-floor bassline groove that we didn’t now we needed. Listen here.
SONG: Burial ‘Rodent’
The first LP I ever bought on vinyl was Untrue and it’s still the most played in my collection. ‘Rodent’ marks the third release this year, with former tracks including an acclaimed update on Goldie’s infamous ‘Inner City Life’. ‘Rodent’ is a return to club music for Burial and at 4 minutes 25 seconds it’s probably one of the shortest records he’s made in recent years. It’s bouncy, typically atmospheric, and contains a somewhat unexpected sax. Listen here.
LATE TO THE PARTY: Ozark (Netflix)
The name Jason Bateman isn’t perhaps naturally associated with cutting edge dramas. Sure, Arrested Development was great but let’s not forget the piss-poor non-comedy delivered in Horrible Bosses, The Change Up, and Hancock. ‘Ozark’ is a stark change for Bateman, and maybe this is the sort of work he should have been doing all along. He’s excellent as financial advisor Martin Bryde forced to relocate to the Missouri Ozarks when his relationship with a drug cartel goes sour. This is a thrilling series of Breaking Bad proportions. Watch the trailer here.