A week after he released two albums and an accompanying magazine, millions of music fans are still trying to work out exactly what Frank Ocean is up to. Let them get on with it, we say, while checking out the other pearls that pop culture has to offer from now until Sunday.
1. WHAT TO WATCH AT THE CINEMA WITH SOMEONE WHO ISN’T AFRAID TO SHED A TEAR IN PUBLIC
Directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), this sleek-looking adaptation of an acclaimed Australian novel tells the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who adopt a baby girl when she mysteriously washes up on their island inside a rowing boat. Several years later, during a visit to the mainland, they discover that their well-meaning decision has had a devastating effect on the lives of others. With Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz in lead roles, this has the pedigree of a future Oscar contender.
2. WHAT TO WATCH AT THE CINEMA WITH SOMEONE WHO ISN’T EASILY SHOCKED
Elizabeth Wood says her directorial debut became one of Sundance 2016’s most discussed films because some people “found it so overtly sexual as to be unrealistic and just for shock value.” The plot follows an affluent white college student who falls for a Puerto Rican drug dealer and then goes to extreme lengths to help him out when he gets arrested. The sex scenes are definitely intense, but Wood’s film also offers a thoughtful exploration of interconnecting issues issues surrounding race, class and gender.
3. WHAT TO WATCH AT HOME WITH A FRESH PAIR OF EYES
David Lynch‘s L.A.-based mystery has just been named the greatest film of the 21st century by BBC Culture, who polled 177 movie critics from 36 different countries. Featuring several interlocking stories that stem from the unexpected friendship that develops between an aspiring actress and a strange amnesiac woman she finds hiding in her aunt’s attic, it’s a cryptic and ambiguous film that bewitches some but irritates others. Either way, Mulholland Drive is well worth revisiting if you haven’t seen it since it came out in 2001.
4. WHAT TO WATCH AT HOME WITH THE HARDCORE TREKKIE IN YOUR LIFE
Premiering at 8 pm on Sunday, September 4, this two-hour Smithsonian Channel documentary follows the National Air and Space Museum’s mission to restore the 11-foot model of the USS Enterprise used in the original Star Trek TV series. It also charts the construction of a new Star Trek exhibit at Seattle’s EMP Museum, so expect an intriguing insight into the tech innovations and forward-thinking storylines that define the beloved sci-fi franchise as it celebrates its 50th birthday in September. (By the way, to mark the 50th anniversary on Thursday, September 8, BBC AMERICA will air a special Star Trek marathon of digitally remastered HD versions of episodes from seasons one and two of the original series. The marathon will run through Sunday, September 11.)
5. WHAT TO ADD TO YOUR PLAYLIST FOR A VERY BRITISH TOUCH OF CLASS
Formerly a Kylie-style dance artist, Ellis-Bextor reinvented herself as a poised purveyor of grown-up folk-pop on her 2014 album Wanderlust. This follow-up collection, once again co-written with cult British musician Ed Harcourt, continues her elegant second wave with a few welcome winks to her disco roots. As ever, listening to her crisp and distinctive voice feels as English as taking afternoon tea while complaining about the weather.
6. WHAT TO ADD TO YOUR PLAYLIST FOR A BURST OF SOMETHING STRANGELY FAMILIAR
Say Lou Lou, Swedish-Australian twin sisters who released an excellent debut album last year, have reimagined the Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever classic as a seductively low-key synth-pop ballad. It works surprisingly well, especially if you’re looking for a song to soundtrack your last-nights-of-summer melancholy.
7. WHICH POP STAR SWAG TO SPLASH OUT ON
The pointedly ironic “Boycott Beyoncé” T-shirts she’s been selling on her Formation World Tour are obviously awesome. But now Queen Bey has freshened up her official clothing range with new additions including a T-shirt, sweater and tote bag featuring the “Boy, bye” slogan from her hit “Sorry.” Why can’t other singers also design merch you actually want to wear in public?
8. WHICH FORMER CHILD STAR TO CATCH UP WITH ON TWITTER
The little girl from Mrs. Doubtfire and Miracle on 34th Street is now a grown-up New Yorker who’s about to publish her first book, an autobiographical collection called Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame. Her droll and opinionated Twitter feed is neatly summed up by its knowing bio: “Childhood ruiner, retweet curator. Now appearing in your clickbait.” Take that, listicle websites!
9. WHO TO ADD TO YOUR FEEDS FOR A DASH OF OLD-SCHOOL GLAMOUR
The former Dynasty actress is still going strong at the grand age of… well, it wouldn’t be polite to mention, would it? She’s just finished shooting a new movie called The Time of Our Lives (which sounds a bit like Thelma & Louise crossed with The Golden Girls) and through September she tours the U.K. with a new one-woman show. This means now is an especially good time to add this proper showbiz trouper (on Twitter and Instagram) to your social feeds—after all, how many other (sharp-witted and impeccably dressed) Dames of the British Empire do you follow?
10. AND, FINALLY, WHO TO FOLLOW ON SNAPCHAT FOR LIGHTHEARTED #DAILYINSPIRATION
The Scottish DJ’s tongue-in-cheek “motivational talks” are fast becoming the stuff of Snapchat legend. “Today I’d like you to think about all the times you’ve eaten cold food when really it should have been hot,” Harris advised in a recent clip. “Hot food is a blessing, one that we should utilize as often as possible.” Sadly, he didn’t say whether warming up soup on your lunch break counts as cheating or not.Read More