For my stab at Read, Watch, Play, I really wanted to think about rediscovering. In the middle of Fashion Week, it is so easy to be bombarded with an overload of information that it's okay to remember your so-called "deep cuts" — the things you've delved into deeply and know intimately — and to pull them out and sample again, finding something new.
The incredibly detailed and entertaining account of Alfonso Cuarón's making of Gravity is almost as entertaining as we're hoping the movie will be. I recently made the claim that modern sci-fi, in its current incarnation, is wildly unfulfilling. Yet, it appears that Cuarón's first foray into filmmaking in seven years may prove me wrong. Variety's incredible depiction of how Cuarón worked to make Gravity a real and viable space movie is captivating; it sounds like he is redefining cinema in the same way his pal James Cameron did with Avatar. To film one scene, Sandra Bullock strapped herself into a box, and the lights moved around her in a complicated ballet instead of the other way around. The complex technical dance outlined in the piece seems to have seriously paid off.
Watch: Mademoiselle C
The world depicted in The September Issue seems oddly out of balance now, with bloggers and online editors taking up front rows, and the media landscape changing in the midst of the economic climate. Mademoiselle C follows Carine Roitfeld on her mission to launch CR Fashion Book and shows the hardworking, hands-on, and emotional editor as the anti-Wintour. Roitfeld is so much more hands-on and accessible than her fashion brethren. She's endlessly quotable, surprisingly likable, and — despite the globetrotting, the fashion, and the access — strangely down-to-earth. (Out September 11)
Play: Hesitation Marks by Nine Inch Nails
Okay, if you don't want to hear industrial musings, check out the endlessly vibe-able Lost Scripts track, "I'll Be Watching You." It's a dance jam for everyone. With that out the way, I must admit: I am an unabashed Nine Inch Nails fan. But since The Fragile, I haven't found anything I've really connected with (I loved Ghosts, but I don't "crave" listening to it). But Hesitation Marks is a triumph, one that shows a 48-year-old industrial god can still provide something fresh for listeners raised on Skrillex and Avicii. Dark and tense, tracks like "Came Back Haunted," "Copy of A," and "In Two" have Trent Reznor casting off his faux-rock attempt for what he knows: layered angst. While this isn't the grinding, soul-crushing, multifaceted masterpiece of The Downward Spiral, it has true moments of brilliance that prove Reznor's Nails aren't still stuck in the '90s.