With a fortnight of sporting drama now underway in Rio de Janeiro, some of us will be looking for distractions from the Olympics onslaught. Fortunately, there’s also lots going on in the world of pop culture this week, so let’s get stuck in.
1. WHAT TO WATCH AT THE CINEMA WITH ONE OF YOUR MORE REFINED FRIENDS
This biopic from British director Stephen Frears (The Queen, Philomena) gives a peach of a role to the peerless Meryl Streep. She plays the deluded title character, a wealthy heiress who dreams of becoming an opera singer but unfortunately is tone-deaf. Hugh Grant provides solid support as her sympathetic husband, and Streep deftly ensures we never view Jenkins too cruelly as her fawning hangers-on convince her she really can sing.
2. WHAT TO WATCH AT THE CINEMA WITH ONE OF YOUR SLIGHTLY LESS REFINED FRIENDS
In this new computer-animated film (warning: trailer contains NSFW language), a supermarket sausage named Frank sets off on a journey to discover the truth behind his existence—yes, really. This very funny spoof of Disney Pixar movies like Finding Dory is definitely for adults only: The title’s double entendre is actually one of its cleaner jokes. An awesome voice cast, led by Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen (who also co-wrote the script), sounds like they’re having a blast delivering edgy one-liners.
3. WHAT TO WATCH AT HOME WITH ONE OF YOUR OLDEST AND DEAREST FRIENDS
Based on a novella by Stephen King, Rob Reiner‘s classic coming-of-age drama turns 30 years old this week. The story follows four teenage boys as they embark on a hiking trip to find the dead body of a missing child and gradually learn more about themselves and one another along the way. If anything, this sweet, sensitive film has only grown more poignant with age, partly because of the untimely death of one of its young leads, River Phoenix, who passed away in 1993 aged just 23.
4. WHAT TO WATCH AT HOME ALL BY YOURSELF
Created by Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby director Baz Luhrmann, this new Netflix drama series is billed as “a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco.” HBO’s Vinyl, recently cancelled after one series, told a broadly similar story from inside the music industry, whereas this series follows a fictional group of South Bronx teenagers who witness and help shape the cultural shift. With four-time Oscar-winner Catherine Martin handling production and costume design, and Jaden Smith leading an intriguing cast of rising stars, we suspect you’ll want to savor every minute.
5. WHAT TO KEEP ON WAITING PATIENTLY FOR
Because the elusive Frank Ocean has given so little away about his follow-up to 2012’s channel ORANGE, his game-changing debut album, the hype has been spiraling for months. Everyone was convinced it was going to drop last Friday, but the clock kept ticking and… well, nothing came. But the live stream on Ocean’s official website, launched last week without any kind of explanation, is still running, so surely something has got to be on its way. Right?
6. WHO TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE
Beloved new wave band The Go-Go’s, the first (and to date only) all-female group who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to score a Billboard number one album, head out on their farewell tour this month. Follow their official account for news, tour dates and links to their final TV performances of ‘80s pop classics like “Vacation” and “We Got the Beat.”
7. WHO TO FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM BECAUSE THEY’RE BREAKING THE MOLD
New York City-based model Hari Nef, 23, has just become the first trans cover star on a British magazine. Join her other 118,000 Instagram followers for an insight into her photo shoots, writing assignments for publications like Dazed and Vice, and even the odd acting job; she has a recurring role as flashback character Gittel in season two of Amazon’s Emmy-winning original series Transparent.
8. WHAT TO ADD TO YOUR PLAYLIST BECAUSE YOU PROBABLY ALREADY KNOW MORE OF HER SONGS THAN YOU THINK
This rising star from Denmark sang on 2015’s big club hit, Major Lazer‘s “Lean On,” and now shares vocals with Justin Bieber on their follow-up smash “Cold Water.” She’s a fierce and unique prospect, equally inspired by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and the Spice Girls, and her solo tune “Final Song,” already a hit in the U.K. and Australia, is a super-catchy slab of on-trend pop. And if you’re wondering how to say her name, listen to her pronounce it here.
9. WHAT TO READ FOR AN INSIGHT INTO A WORLD THAT NO LONGER EXISTS
Another Brooklyn is the first adult novel in 20 years from National Book Award-winning children’s and young adult author Jacqueline Woodson (Miracle’s Boys, Brown Girl Dreaming) . It’s a riveting and at times shocking coming-of-age tale set in 1970s Brooklyn, a time when New York City’s trendiest borough was a rather sketchier place than it is today, especially when, like this novel’s heroines, you happened to be young, female and black.
10. AND, FINALLY, WHAT TO PLAY AROUND WITH ON YOUR SMARTPHONE
The picture-sharing platform has just introduced a new “Stories” feature, which enables you to compile any number of snaps into a daily narrative, before the whole lot disappear after 24 hours. It’s an idea borrowed from Snapchat, but Instagram Stories’ range of filters and editing options may actually be superior. Let the Stories wars commence!Read More