The Monocle Minute

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 5 August 2017

Film

Image: Getty Images

Go with the flow

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei’s first feature film focuses on the plight of refugees.

Amazon Studios beat its streaming-service rivals to the punch when it acquired the US distribution rights to Human Flow, Ai Weiwei’s first feature film. The television network, an arm of Jeff Bezos’s online retailer Amazon, will begin showing the film soon – but not before its premiere at the Venice International Film Festival at the end of this month. The documentary follows the plight of refugees across 40 camps in 23 countries, with a focus on the Greek island of Levsos. Recent works from the Chinese artist and activist – who was banned from travelling for years because of his politically critical work – have touched on Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis but his latest project could well be his most powerful.

Media

Image: Getty Images

Don’t cry for me

Argentina’s only English-language daily newspaper stops the presses for the final time.

Print has been fighting fit in recent years despite bleak forecasts but this week the press took a blow. The Buenos Aires Herald announced on Monday that it is shutting down, just a year after switching from a daily to a weekly due to financial difficulties. Latin America’s only English-language daily earned its reputation for objective and thorough journalism under the Argentine military junta that ran from 1976 to 1983; it spoke against the violence and abductions rife in the country when other media remained silent. But its adieu does not mean the end of reputable press: Argentina’s World Press Freedom Index ranking is on the up and is one of the highest in South America.

Music

Not a hair out of place

The new album from 1980s popstar Nick Heyward echoes his best work.

Nick Heyward (of Haircut 100 fame) was one of the architects of the 1980s pop explosion. The good part of it – with the whacking choruses, wry lyrics and great hair. His perfect-pop production line may have slowed to a more stately pace in recent years but Heyward has never quite stopped. His new solo album Woodland Echoes is a thrilling selection of soulful pop-rock songs recorded in bits and bobs in various outward-bound locales, including Ian Shaw’s beguiling boat-studio down among the rum in Key West. Like fellow time-travellers Nick Lowe and Norman Blake, Heyward couldn’t write a bad song if he tried. And the hair? Still great.

Culture

Fare share

Dig into a delectable new food magazine that merges the culinary world with those of culture and politics.

From furtive coffeehouses in dimly lit alleyways to literary scrawls from author Sait Faik Abasiyanik, the first issue of food magazine Fare admirably muddles culture, politics and food. The theme of its first edition is Istanbul. Glasgow-based food historian and editor Ben Mervis commissioned photography and writing from Turkish contributors to illustrate the city’s bustling and sometimes chaotic charm, with tales of preparing the predatory bonito fish alongside portraits of rain-lashed fishermen on the Galata Bridge. The delicious dichotomy of fine food and political fomentation is poignant and the photography both revealing and appetising. Hungry for more? You’re in luck. Future issues will tackle as-yet-unannounced cities.

From Monocle 24

The Fighting Temeraire

Action!

When James Bond met Q at London’s National Gallery in 2012’s Skyfall, the pair sat opposite a painting rich with symbolism. It also happens to be the UK’s favourite artwork. We visit the gallery with deputy director Susan Foister to discover the symbolism behind The Fighting Temeraire.

From Monocle Films

Brooklyn Navy Yard

From urban farming to robotics, we take a tour around the Brooklyn Navy Yard to see how this vast shipyard has rebuilt its industry and community once more.

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