As the first editor up, I think it's important to start with the caveat that for the past few weeks, my media consumption has been limited to Robyn and Orange Is The New Black . But, now I've finished the Netflix show, and it's time to let go and move on...for the next handful of months, anyway. Here's where I'll be detoxing, this week.
Read: This Town
I have a friend who used to be addicted to Us Weekly. And then, during the '08 election, she traded that frenzied obsession for MSNBC. This book is like catnip for people like her. It's basically the political version of that insanely dishy memoir Rob Lowe wrote (which, full disclosure: I read, and loved).
It's more than that, though. Sure, it's a guilty pleasure. And it's ridiculous gossip, absolutely. But it's also a biting look at what really goes on in any industry town where funerals are more of a networking event than a moment for solemnly expressing grief. (Yes, that's a real anecdote from the book.) It's a commentary on the world we live in, and the people who make so many of the decisions in it. And it's written by a true insider, in the form of the Times' Mark Leibovich. This book's been out for about two weeks now, but unfortunately, thanks to Piper Chapman and her fellow inmates, I haven't had a chance to crack it (or whatever the digital equivalent to that is). But now, I'm ready.
When I was growing up, my dad only allowed thrillers on family movie nights (once I tried to make him watch my favorite movie, Evening — it didn't go well). So, I have many years of experience with the genre, and I'm well versed in what makes a solid, suspenseful action flick. And this baby has all of that — and then some. Just watch the trailer, in case you are one of the handful of people who haven't yet.
Besides, I loved director Neil Blomkamp's previous work, District 9. A lot. And while there's no stirring apartheid allegory here, there does seem to be a poignant re-envisioning of our world at an unrecognizably brutal end point. The extreme version of our most base instincts take control, and then suddenly, there you have Matt Damon struggling for his life...and becoming an unwitting hero. What's not to love?
But, my excitement for this Friday's theatrical release of the movie is nothing compared to the feverish enthusiasm of our news editor, Lexi Nisita, who daily bemoans the fact that she wasn't invited to a screening of the movie. In her own words, if you need further convincing: "I'm obsessed with Neil Blomkamp because, like the genre's classic auteurs, he knows that the best sci-fi comes with biting, relevant social commentary. And I'll admit that Matt Damon's scowling, bald face is a major draw — though, I would've killed to see Die Antwoord's Ninja in the role, as Blomkamp originally intended."
Play: FKA Twigs' "Water Me"
Okay, so this rec was lifted directly from our music writer, Nathan Reese. But I did listen to it. And I do love it. It's pretty but not boring or lacking in edge. The insistent beat in the background of the melodic vocals make this a song you could take to the gym or on the subway, or for a run/stroll around the park. Personally, I'll be taking it to the gym, because running outside in the summer heat is a no-go for me.
But, here's the music-writer synopsis from Nathan, for those who need more of a professional opinion: "London songstress FKA Twigs (who, until now went by simply Twigs) just dropped a mesmerizing new collaboration with avant-garde producer and frequent Kanye West-collaborator Arca. With a hypnagogic trip-hop-inspired beat and spare vocals that recall The xx, FKA Twigs' upcoming new EP has officially skyrocketed to one the most anticipated of the year."