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Review: Edmond Baudoin’s Piero and Olivier Schrauwen’s Parallel Lives

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Review: Edmond Baudoin’s Piero and Olivier Schrauwen’s Parallel Lives
Review: Edmond Baudoin’s Piero and Olivier Schrauwen’s Parallel Lives

There’s a Chinese calligraphic tradition called Dishu, which is commonly practiced in the parks of Beijing, among other locations. Its salient elements include brushstrokes of water and the use of the ground as a canvas. It’s been well documented by François Chastanet, and, it turns out, well appreciated by Edmond Baudoin, the noted French artist. Baudoin once observed it firsthand, as he recounts in Laetitia Carton’s documentary Edmond, a Portrait of Baudoin. “And as he wrote,” he exclaims therein, “the trace was vanishing!” For Baudoin, the activity expresses “the philosophical relationship between permanence and the ephemeral.”

A fascination with ephemerality also comes through in Baudoin’s 1998 graphic memoir Piero, whose new edition features an English translation by Matt Madden and lettering by Dean Sudarsky. The book is titled after the author’s younger brother, with whom he spent a childhood immersed in numerous imaginative escapades in Nice and Villars-sur-Var. Those experiences are among Piero‘s key recollections, the tone of which is established by an initial pen sketch of a plane tree and its descending leaves. The image’s inky pools of black collide with tangles of line work to suggest the vague contours of memory.

The Road Not Taken: Yukiko Motoya’s The Lonesome Bodybuilder

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The Road Not Taken: Yukiko Motoya’s The Lonesome Bodybuilder
The Road Not Taken: Yukiko Motoya’s The Lonesome Bodybuilder

“My mission is to stay as free and unfettered as possible.” Yukiko Motoya so commented on her career and creative process during an interview for Granta. The course of that career certainly indicates a restless curiosity. Motoya was born in snowy Ishikawa Prefecture on the Sea of Japan but later set out for Tokyo, where she completed an acting course and worked as a voice actor for a spell before deciding to zero in on writing novels and plays.

Motoya founded her own theater company and has also set aside time for various other endeavors, like hosting a radio show and a televised documentary series. Her varied work has resulted in numerous accolades, and, most recently, the release of The Lonesome Bodybuilder, the first book-length English translation of her fiction. Asa Yoneda, the book’s translator, has signal-boosted a story collection whose off-kilter style strenuously upholds Motoya’s stated mission.

Chasing Ghosts David Grann’s The White Darkness

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Chasing Ghosts: David Grann’s The White Darkness
Chasing Ghosts: David Grann’s The White Darkness

There’s a ghostly quality to much of David Grann’s nonfiction. It manifests variously, trailing annihilations both concrete and abstract. He’s written about seekers who became phantasmal figures, to differing extents, in the lives of their loved ones. In Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, he details a murderous conspiracy that targeted the Osage Nation in the early 20th century. In his New Yorker essay “Trial by Fire,” he reports on a man who, after being placed on death row through flimsy evidence, sensed “that his life was slowly being erased.” And there’s also, among other examples, “A Murder Foretold,” Grann’s piece about a Guatemalan lawyer’s response to the murder of his fiancé and her father. We learn that the lawyer pored over surveillance footage of the moments preceding the crime. At one point, he longingly “touched the television screen—she was there but not there.”

That gesture is faintly echoed in Grann’s latest book, The White Darkness. In 2003, Henry Worsley, the book’s subject, traveled to the gravesite of Ernest Shackleton, the polar explorer. Upon arriving, he extended his hand toward the tombstone. Worsley, who served in the British army and completed two tours with the Special Air Service, regarded Shackleton as a hero. In order to reach the gravesite, he traveled to the far shores of South Georgia Island in the southern Atlantic Ocean. And he would, in the years that followed, travel farther still. In 2008, after much preparation, he began his first expedition across Antarctica. And he later decided to attempt two more.

Bright Light Bright Light Brings Tough Love to the East Coast

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Bright Light Bright Light Brings Tough Love to the East Coast

Bright Light Bright Light

Bright Light Bright Light Brings Tough Love to the East Coast

Following tour dates in Europe and the West Coast in support of his new EP, Tough Love, Bright Light Bright Light—nom de disque of Welsh-born, New York-based singer-songwriter Rod Thomas—is bringing his Tough Love Tour to the East Coast. The final leg of the tour kicks off tomorrow in Philadelphia, followed by performances in Washington D.C., Cambridge, Toronto, and New York City.

Ariana Grande Embraces Serial Monogamy on Single “Thank U, Next”

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Ariana Grande Embraces Serial Monogamy on Single “Thank U, Next”
Ariana Grande Embraces Serial Monogamy on Single “Thank U, Next”

In the two-and-a-half short months since Ariana Grande released her fourth album, Sweetener, the pop princess broke off her engagement with Pete Davidson and mourned the passing of ex-boyfriend Mac Miller. Most artists might lay low in the wake of such loss, but Grande is already working on a new album, reportedly titled Thank U, Next.

Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Party for One” Is the Self-Love Anthem We Deserve

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Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Party for One” Is the Self-Love Anthem We Deserve

Interscope

Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Party for One” Is the Self-Love Anthem We Deserve

It’s been over three years since Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion turned the Canadian singer from a one-hit-wonder into a cult pop figure and critical darling. In the intervening years, Jepsen has kept herself busy with film and TV roles—including last year’s Leap!, which featured her song “Cut to the Feeling”—but she finally seems poised to make her official comeback with “Party for One,” the first single from her fourth album.

Echoes from the Void José Revueltas’s The Hole

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Echoes from the Void: José Revueltas’s The Hole
Echoes from the Void: José Revueltas’s The Hole

In the visitors’ lobby of a Mexican prison, a mother secretly wishes death on her incarcerated son. He’s got a wish of his own: getting his hands on a feverishly anticipated bag of drugs. Smuggling the stuff past the prison guards—so-called “apes”—will no doubt prove difficult. But a plan has been worked out—and the mother has agreed to help. She remains, after all, bound to “this son who still clung to her entrails, where he watched her with his miscreant’s eye.”

We’re only a short way into this 1969 novella by José Revueltas, the Mexican writer and political activist. Entitled The Hole, it concerns three cellmates awaiting their next fix. The son, the most detested member of this trio, is dubbed the Prick, and the narrator hatefully insists that he’s indeed “a useless prick, blind in one eye, dragging himself around with the shakes and a lame leg.” Holed up alongside him is Albino, who throttles the Prick from time to time. Polonio is no less violent, and he intends to kill the Prick, but only after that bag of drugs is delivered to them.

In Action-Packed 4K Panoramic Trailer, Just Cause 4’s Scenery Chews You

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In Action-Packed 4K Panoramic Trailer, Just Cause 4’s Scenery Chews You

Square Enix

In Action-Packed 4K Panoramic Trailer, Just Cause 4’s Scenery Chews You

No doubt there are those out there who are genuinely looking forward to Just Cause 4‘s continuation of protagonist Rico Rodriguez’s story. For the rest of us, however, the series’s continuing appeal can be reduced entirely to the free-form environment, or as we put it in our 2015 review of Just Cause 3, “the impressive, kinetic insanity” and the somewhat exhilarating feeling of using a “grappling hook, parachute, and new wingsuit to traverse the environment.”

Behold the Psychological Horrors of an Actor’s Mind in Layers of Fear 2 Trailer

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Behold the Psychological Horrors of an Actor’s Mind in Layers of Fear 2 Trailer

Bloober Team

Behold the Psychological Horrors of an Actor’s Mind in Layers of Fear 2 Trailer

In our review of 2016’s Layers of Fear, we suggested that “by focusing on the twisted imagery of an insane painter, Bloober Team has made the rare horror game that veers closer to art porn than torture porn.” The new revelation that Bloober Team’s formerly titled Project Méliès is actually just a codename for Layers of Fear 2 will likely send encouraging goosebumps up our arms. (The Roman numerals MMXVIII shown under the trailer’s title card hint at a late 2018 delivery, but that may simply be wishful Halloween thinking.)

Updating Slant Magazine’s List of the 100 Greatest Horror Movies of All Time

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Updating Slant Magazine’s List of the 100 Greatest Horror Movies of All Time

Warner Bros.

Updating Slant Magazine’s List of the 100 Greatest Horror Movies of All Time

On October 28, 2013, Slant Magazine published its list of the 100 Greatest Horror Films of All Time, one of the most viewed articles in our publication’s history. Five years later, we’ve revised our list, which can be viewed here. The new list is based on polling nine contributors to the site, some of whom contributed to the original list. For the sake of posterity, we are presenting below the 100 titles that made our original list.