Cultural criticism is great, isn’t it? There are so many really smart pieces of longform writing floating around that present nuanced, enlightening discussions of our response to successful female businesswomen, the nature of celebrity, white feminine victimhood, the commercialization of feminism, the line between country and pop music, the role of authorial intent in interpreting art, the reasons why the colonialist fantasy of Africa as a giant theme park empty of humans still persists so strongly in the American imagination, and many other interesting issues as they relate to Taylor Swift.
WAIT JUST KIDDING. Some days it seems like the entire Internet is actually a Dumpster full of faux-intellectual schlock that stakes out a narrow yet vehement, take-no-prisoners position on Taylor Swift because somebody had a deadline that day and, well, Taylor was there. Here’s a tour of the trash heap.
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There are many reasons you should be watching Nashville–Hayden Panettiere’s fierce performance, the relatively progressive politics, Connie Britton’s hair–but one of the most distinct pleasures is the soundtrack, which manages to represent almost all of the archetypes of country music. Down-home hillbilly country is mostly left out (unless the detested Vita comes back), but otherwise it has everything from Juliette’s bubblegum pop country to Zoey’s Southern soul country to Avery’s weird punk country. And best of all, most of the characters have obvious real-life counterparts who share the same artistry and/or biographical legend, and sometimes even the same face. Continue reading →
Stylus writes about Echo and the Bunnymen‘s eerie–and apropos–“Villiers Terrace.”
EW‘s Fall Book Preview, including Zadie Smith’s Swing Time, Elena Ferrante’s “dark and eerie” tale of a doll abandoned on a beach, and Margaret Atwood’s comic about a part-bird, part-cat superhero.
Variety‘s list of most anticipated movies this Oscar season, including Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence starrer Passengers, Derek Cianfrance’s Light Between Oceans–starring real-life couple Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender–and Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival.
Speaking of Arrival, it’s getting RAVE reviews out of Venice. Here’s our favorite, from The Playlist.
You’re the Worst came back this week! We’ll be posting coverage of the premiere shortly, but for now, here’s Stephen Falk on the characters’ unsuitability for parenthood and the “traumatic” romantic experiences of the writers.
[Saying “I love you” is] never a mutual thing, it’s always one person says it. But yeah, in the writer’s room, we tell a lot of personal stories, and I do remember, yes, a lot of stories of saying it and getting a “thanks” back, or something horrible like that. All the writers have a lot of romantic trauma in our past, so there’s a lot to mine in that room.
Did you think Kafka made up the hunger artist idea? I did, but Atlas Obscura revealed that this was actually a long-running obsession in Europe.