It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another rummage through Rob’s browser history (well, the bits I’m happy to share, anyway). Welcome one and all to the second issue of The Cut!
Let’s start with a few film links.
David Fincher’s Zodiac is one of his most divisive movies. To my mind, that’s because it refuses to tie up the story with a neat bow. Instead, Fincher chooses to let the fact that the case has never been solved guide the narrative. Zodiac is a film with no easy answers and is all the more disturbing for that.
Film School Rejects has a great deep dive on the movie. If, like me, you’re a fan, there’s plenty to like here. If not, well, this might just persuade you to take another look.
Much as I hate to bang on about Mad Max: Fury Road—oh, who am I kidding? I love the film. It’s a triumph of will over circumstance, an action movie that’s as much a feminist art film as it is a bone-crunching display of mind-boggling stunt work. As rumors of a Furiosa prequel start to percolate (helped no end by the news that Director Of Photography on Fury Road, John Searle is coming out of retirement to step back behind the camera) the five-year anniversary of its release is becoming more special. Witness this Daily Grindhouse article on the continuing legacy of Mad Max: Fury Road.
If you’re in the mood for a little light viewing, can I suggest Reprobate Press’s Movie Guide For Shut-Ins? Some truly weird and wonderful stuff for you here. Week Nine includes features like the bizarro Elizabeth Taylor psychodrama Boom! and British horror fairy-tale freak out Pervirella. Yes, I said Week Nine. There’s plenty more in the archive. Start diggin’!
Some light reading on what we here at The Cut like to call The Situation. We’ll try not to focus too much on the horror of it all, promise!
First up, Fast Company have a great piece on how The Roots, one of the world’s finest hip-hop collectives, have given themselves the lockdown license to push their creativity to new levels. A bit depressing if the extent of your creative output has been to reorganize the kitchen drawers, but still, hopefully inspiring stuff. Questlove’s DJ sets are the bomb, by the way.
Over at the New York Times, Ann Friedman has a fascinating piece on the struggle extroverts are facing in these isolated times. Introverted me hadn’t really considered the existential crisis some people are facing in not being able to socialise in the way they need. An eye-opening article for me, and perhaps for you too.
A tip from Ann’s newsletter (which I can very strongly recommend) is poet Sabrina Oprah Mark’s extraordinary article on fairytales, motherhood, job interviews, life during lockdown and, yes, bread. I’ll say nothing more. Get on this one.
Finally, it’s easy to point the finger at the UK government for their failings in dealing swiftly with The Situation. It becomes easier when you have access to a precise timeline of the decision-making process (or lack of it). Created by the Led By Donkeys lads, this is less confrontational than their Brexit commentary, but in its quiet way even more devastating. Check it out, and prepare to get angry.
Moving swiftly on to something more soothing. Actor Vincent Price is best known for his horror roles. He also had a reputation as both a bon viveur and cook. He even snagged a cookery show with ITV in the seventies! The link below leads to a couple of recipes snagged from an album Vincent made in which he talked through the preparation of some delightful meals—in his own inimitable style. It really is quite special.
You may, if you’re a fan of director and all-round good egg Duncan Jones, that he has a new project on the go. Not, alas, his long-gestating film adaptation of 2000AD’s Rogue Trooper, the thought of which still gives me a dose of teh squeees. instead, he’s teamed up with writer and badass Alex DiCampi to create the third part of his “salty Cornetto” Mooniverse saga. MADI is the tale of an enhancile mercenary who takes on a risky job to save herself and her squad from a lifetime of indentured servitude.
Illustrated by a huge rollcall of comics talent, this is the must-check comic of the year. The Kickstarter went live on Wednesday–at the point of writing this, it’s smashed the £40,000 pledge target by a factor of 4, with most of the month still to go. Stretch goals await, so be like your old pal Rob and snag a copy. You know it makes sense.
More background and a link to the Kickstarter right here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/z2comics/madi-once-upon-a-time-in-the-future
As a sidebar, Alex’s first book, historical romp The Scottish Boy is out this week. I backed it through Unbound, and am very much looking forward to hearing the novel thunk through my letterbox. Check it out…
And finally. As I mentioned last week, I’m still considering how X&HT works in the modern age, during The Situation and after. Writer and hedge wizard Warren Ellis has always been really good on this sort of thing, and his thinking in this linked series of posts has given me a lot to think about. Possibly a bit specialist, but I think it’s important to get the thinking out there. Is a text renaissance coming? All I’d say is that speaking personally, I prefer to read my information rather than listen to or watch it.
Oh, hey, finally finally. I should make noise about the most recent WROB/DJ Unknown slapfight over on our sister site, right? Self-promotion is, I’m led to believe, A Good Thing. It’s another jazz mix with the usual melting pot of styles and genres. Maybe something nice to check out this weekend?
Finally, finally, finally. Our exit music this week is a bit of a monster. It’s a show from the 1985 Purple Rain tour, with Prince and The Revolution at the absolute height of their powers. Climaxing in a 20 (!) minute version of the title track, it is a remarkable document of a remarkable time and a remarkable artist. This is well worth two hours of your upcoming Bank Holiday weekend, Readership. Crank this up. Let’s Go Crazy.
See you next week!