This week felt as if a warning shot we’d been waiting a very long time for finally went off. We’re going through a set of crazy science fictional scenarios—pandemics, heavy weather events—which seem more mundane than the Big Bangs we were led to expect, and all the more scary for it. More sleepless nights ahead, we reckon.
But amongst the strangeness, beneath the pitiless skies, The Cut remains, as nonsensical and arbitrary in our selections of weekend reading as ever. We’re off to the coast for the weekend, to dip our toes in the sea and eat some fish while we can still go outdoors.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
Brian Eno’s Music For Airports redefined what music could be on its release in 1978, sparked off a whole new genre of experimental sounds and remains a work of rare and unusual beauty. Reverb Machine digs into the techniques Eno used to create the piece (some of which will be very familiar to fans of Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop) and even allows you to make your own loops. This is a lot of fun and surprisingly immersive…
The Tory Leadership campaign rumbles on, the choices narrowing from a set of five no-hopers down to two. It feels like the blue team are finally sick of being in charge and looking for a way to step back for a bit. We feel the most obvious candidate for the role was overlooked. He’d certainly have got our vote…
The release of Studio Ghibli’s masterpiece Princess Mononoke in America twenty-five years ago was fraught with difficulty, much of which came from the disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who had a clear idea of how he wanted the film to be seen. He did not reckon with Mononoke’s creator, the unmovable, unstoppable Hayao Miyazaki. NO CUTS!
The heatwave this week led to a ton of panic-inducing articles in the media about how to cope and, more helpfully, a lot of tips on Twitter from people who live in hot countries on survival tactics. This thoughtful piece from journalist and snark machine Marie Le Conte makes a more serious point—if climate change means irreversible change to the British climate, the Northern European way in which we conduct our lives will have to change as well.
Robin Rendle is best known for his writing on typography. But this beautifully presented slideshow/essay is more concerned with how we capture images, and whether we need to reconsider that process. Given the beauty of the pictures he presents, we have to admit man’s got a point.
On the subject of design for the web, we present without further comment this absolute gem from a jeweler and psychic called Skydin. Let this one wash over you.
The internet’s main character this week has to be Emmanuel the emu. His attitude and the reactions he elicits from his keeper Taylor Blake have had us in stitches. Memories of Rod Hull have come flooding back, and we suddenly realise just how clever his mastery of an irascible puppet was. Anyway, stakes were raised recently when all the inhabitants of Knucklebump Farm decided to get a piece of the action.
You may have heard of RRR, the epic South Asian movie smash which has critics hailing a new wave in Indian cinema. Western critics, that is. There’s a lot to consider when reviewing the film in terms of the politics, history and social structures from which it sprang. Ritesh Babu has all the context you need in the latest edition of his Lettes From Limbo Buttondown. It’s a long read, fair warning, but well worth it. Also he talks about comics so you can see how our interest was sparked.
Science fiction and fantasy is going through an absolute golden age at the moment, based on an embrace of different voices, perspectives and cultures. It’s an amazing, vibrant scene popping off signs and wonders in a glorious firework display of creativity. The Guardian’s Brian Attebery presents a useful list of starting points to get you up to speed.
And finally. This New York Times bit on the rise and fall of the anti-hero is catnip to the Ninth Art Desk. We found the latest iteration of That Batman to be as dour and tedious as they did. We prefer a lighter, less miserable tone.
We’re taking you to Glasgow for this week’s Exit Music, more specifically to the starry-eyed romance of The Blue Nile. They were an obsession to some members of The Music Desk back in the day, and the band’s soaring synths can still evoke chills and a pricking of tears at the corner of the eye. Kieran Curran at Tribune provides some context, and there’s a full concert from the BBC broadcast from Manchester’s Free Trade Hall in 1990 which captures them in full wide-screen majesty.
See you next Saturday, bruised romantics.