1. “Mannish Boy.” With his gap-toothed smirk and carefree tunes, Mac DeMarco has quickly become the goofball Prince of indie rock.
“To understand why this grubby, gap-toothed kid has seized a strong following over the last few years, consider the other festival-friendly indie rock outfits currently in his sphere. In a heap of artists who take their craft very seriously, here’s a guy with a penchant for public nudity, shameless drunkenness, and slovenly classic-rock covers peppered with the shouted words ’SUCK MY DICK!”’ So while some find his behavior repugnant, others are enthralled with his youthful abandon; either way, within the often faceless world of modern guitar rock, DeMarco demands attention by not giving a fuck. It’s no wonder he recently found a kindred spirit in shit-stirrer extraordinaire Tyler, the Creator, who tweeted: ’DEAR MAC DEMARCO I LOVE YOU YOU ARE AWESOME.’”
2. “British Horror, After the Hammer Fell.” Enterprising, prolific and notorious, Pete Walker and Norman J. Warren departed from Hammer’s penchant for period Gothic terror in favor of modern-day settings with ramped-up doses of sex and violence.
“The United Kingdom was better known for banning horror movies than producing them until the late 1950s, when hitherto minor studio Hammer Film Productions gambled on color remakes of Frankenstein and Dracula—surprise smashes that spawned numerous sequels (and imitations) while making stars of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. By the early 1970s, however, Hammer had boxed itself into a corner, repeating itself to diminishing returns and failing to find success with non-horror films. After 1974 it basically closed shop, only recently returning to feature production with movies like The Woman in Black with Daniel Radcliffe. If Hammer’s films had begun to seem old-fashioned, however, there was still demand for British horror movies—and a slew of independent directors and producers sprang up to fill the gap.”
3. “The BBC has betrayed its historic mission by killing The Review Show.” The Review Show has been cancelled after 20 years as the pre-eminent, and often the only, serious panel discussion of the arts on television.
“Its cancellation is a powerful blow against information, education and entertainment, the BBC’s three reasons for being. The Review Show was the programme that helped viewers think about the arts and not just consume them. And for that reason it was invaluable. Absurdly, its loss came in the same week as BBC Director-General Tony Hall announced the corporation’s ’strongest commitment to the arts…in a generation’. The official statement on the axing declares, ’The BBC has ambitious plans for arts on TV, radio and online. Review will continue to have a place across the BBC alongside more topical arts coverage.’ I’d like to know where that place will be. It evidently will not be on BBC2 as a major weekly show. It also, evidently, will not even be on BBC4 in a shifting monthly timeslot we have to work hard to find. Form suggests that this new place for review on the BBC will be one viewers will struggle to visit.”
4. “Second Sight: How Channel-Surfing, an iPod, and Peggy Sue Got Married Restored a Movie Critic’s Eyesight.” A moving piece by Aaron Aradillas about watching, loving, listening to, and writing about movies, through the lens of a vision impairment.
“I tried to visualize what I was hearing. The new seasons of Girls and Justified started, and the very verbal natures of these shows allowed me to construct the blocking and settings in my head. On the days my dad would come over to keep me company, we’d watch Justified and listening to Walton Goggins’ Boyd Crowder do his soft-spoken intimidation of people provided some fleeting moments of relief. True Detective was more difficult. With its Sam Shepherd-meets-Jeff Nichols ’poetic’ dialogue, its back-and-forth structure, and its backwater setting, I knew I wasn’t experiencing the whole story. I intuited that the pregnant pauses, the sideways glances, the visuals were a major part of the story. (I stopped watching after three episodes.)”
5. “Show Me a Story.” Ashley Clark on The Wire (episode: “Misgivings”) and Juice.
“Yet Juice—in its early stages, at least—now seems remarkable for its visual similarities to The Wire. The initial scenes unfold with the same documentary-style clarity as ’Misgivings,’ with frequent long-lens shots, and a constantly prowling camera situating the characters within their environments as though they’re constantly being observed from a distance by a third party. Dickerson also frequently deploys the motif of a camera creeping out from behind a wall or an obscuring surface, suggesting that for young urban black males, constant surveillance is a way of life.”
Video of the Day: The trailer for The Drop, James Gandolfini’s final film:
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