Rich seams - Issue 171 - Magazine | Monocle
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Music

Phasor
Helado Negro
In Phasor, the eighth album by Helado Negro (aka Roberto Carlos Lange), the singer continues to deliver his customary atmospheric beats but there’s also a new sunniness here – a nod, perhaps, to his Floridian childhood. Where his previous album, Far In,was inspired by quarantine, Phasor is about getting out there. Among its highlights are the beautiful dream pop of “Best for You and Me” and “I Just Want to Wake Up with You”, an ode to comfortable love.
Out now

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Girl with No Face
Allie X
Toronto-born singer Allie X’s third album, Girl with No Face, is a hedonistic set of 1980s-influenced electro tracks. At times, the bass-driven first single, “Black Eye”, sounds like a modern update of The Human League. The witty “You Slept on Me” perfectly encapsulates the self-produced album’s campy, danceable mood. 
Released on 23 February

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Letter to Yu
Bolis Pupul
Pupul’s debut solo album, following his successful collaboration with Charlotte Adigéry, is a homage to his late Chinese mother (his father is Belgian), who died in a traffic accident. It’s also a celebration of his Chinese roots. The album’s first single is the excellent “Completely Half”, built around field recordings taken on the Hong Kong subway; meanwhile, the propulsive “Spicy Crab” refers to the city’s seafood staple. 
Released on 8 March

Film

Evil Does Not Exist
Ryusuke Hamaguchi 
The latest film by Drive My Car director Ryusuke Hamaguchi tells the story of the battle between a resident of an unspoiled village and a developer intent on transforming it into a glamping spot. Hamaguchi turns a story of corporate greed into something far more human. 
Released on 1 March 

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High & Low – John Galliano 
Kevin Macdonald
Fashion designer John Galliano’s rise was as swift as his fall after being ostracised from the industry after an anti-Semitic rant in a Paris bar. Oscar-winning Scottish documentarian Kevin Macdonald puts his subject into context, from Galliano’s rise while a student at Central Saint Martins to the gruelling demands placed on him as Dior’s creative director.
Released on the 8 March 

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The Teacher’s Lounge
Ilker Catak 
Teacher Carla tries her best in a new school that is plagued by thefts. Taking matters into her own hands, she identifies the thief – causing members of the community to turn against each other. No good deed goes unpunished.
Released on the 22 March

Art

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Käthe Kollwitz
Moma, New York
German artist Käthe Kollwitz, who died shortly before the end of the Second World War, did more than almost any of her peers to document one of the most tumultuous periods in her country’s history. This look at her long career takes us from her early engagement with the darker side of the Industrial Revolution to her explorations of the human cost of war, via peasant portraits and prints that double as pacifist propaganda.
Runs from 31 March to 20 July

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Brancusi: Carving the Essence
Artizon Museum, Tokyo
A contemporary of Pablo Picasso, Romania’s Constantin Brancusi was equally important when it came to introducing non-Western influences to 20th-century European art. The clean lines of his carvings reflect his serene approach to his craft and his search for his subjects’ essence. Drawings, photos and frescoes add further context to this first Japanese retrospective.
Runs from 30 March to 7 July

Photography

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Boris Mikhailov
Fotomuseum Den Haag, The Hague
A timely survey of the work of the Ukrainian photographer and artist who has long explored the collapse of the Soviet Union. Hand-painted found photographs of Soviet soldiers are given layers of irony by Mikhailov’s lurid colours, while the rough edges and sepia tones of his 1982 Crimean Snobbism series add a conceptual edge to Black Sea holiday snaps.
Runs from 30 March to 18 August

Books

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Vladivostok Circus Elisa Shua Dusapin, translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins
In this perceptive new novel by the French-Korean author of The Pachinko Parlour, an art graduate arrives in the city of Vladivostok to design costumes for three performers preparing for the Russian Bar – one of the most perilous circus acts. Translated from French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins, it’s a sensitive, shrewd tale about friendship, creativity and what it means to put our lives in the hands of others.
Out now

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Until August
Gabriel García Márquez, translated by Anne McLean
Shortly before he died in 2014, Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, who was then living with dementia, decided not to publish his last novel. Now, a decade later, his sons have chosen to disregard his wishes and share it. Translated from the original Spanish by Anne McLean, Until August follows a middle-aged woman who takes an annual pilgrimage to the island where her mother is buried on the anniversary of her death. Sure to be one of the year’s literary highlights, the novel interrogates desire and fear with the sensitivity and depth that devoted readers expect from the Colombian author of One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera.
Published on 12 March

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Help Wanted
Adelle Waldman
More than 10 years after Adelle Waldman garnered legions of fans with her charming and clever first novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P, she is finally back with Help Wanted. Where her debut focused on the romantic entanglements of the Brooklyn literati, her new work explores the economic dreams of poorly paid workers in the retail industry. At a superstore in Upstate New York, employees hatch a plan to promote – and so get rid of – an inept team manager called Meredith. This, they hope, will also improve their own prospects of promotion. A witty and perceptive portrait of people doing their best to make a living.
Published on 21 March

TV

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The Regime
HBO/Sky Atlantic
Kate Winslet was spellbinding as a caring but overworked detective in US crime series Mare of Easttown. Now she delivers an equally striking performance in The Regime, a new series directed by film-maker Stephen Frears and The Crown’s Jessica Hobbs. Winslet stars as an authoritarian leader of a fictional European country that is falling apart at the seams. Expect political intrigue and manipulation across six episodes penned by Succession writer and producer Will Tracy.
Released on 3 March

3 Body Problem
Netflix
The long-awaited follow-up project from Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and DB Weiss promises to be a sprawling, highly ambitious sci-fi epic. Based on a Hugo Award-winning book trilogy by Chinese writer Liu Cixin, it begins with the story of an astrophysicist who witnesses the murder of her father during the Chinese Cultural Revolution – before shifting gears to become a wild ride encompassing conspiracies, plenty of weird science and an impending alien invasion.
Released on 21 March

Arctic Circle, series 2
Walter Presents

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Filmed in Finnish Lapland, this crime drama about police officer Nina Kautsalo (Iina Kuustonen) is almost as chilling and unforgiving as its setting. The first series, filmed prior to the coronavirus pandemic, notably followed the characters’ desperate attempts to control a deadly virus. In this second series, which recently debuted in the UK on the Walter Presents streaming service, Kautsalo is forced to confront a past that she is trying to forget after the discovery of her unexpected connection to a shocking murder.
Out now

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