The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 27 October 2018

Racing

Image: Getty Images

Coming to America

Drivers at a vintage-car race in Italy are making a break for the border.

Italy’s historic Mille Miglia, has arrived stateside. The 1,600km car race from Brescia to Rome and back, began in 1927 and took place almost every year until 1957, when fatal crashes forced it to stop. It was resurrected in the 1970s, with one stipulation: drivers could only compete in vehicles from the era of the original races. While participants – behind the wheels of vintage Alfa Romeos, Porsches, Jaguars and Cadillacs – have long been global, the race has never taken place outside Italy until now. Across Virginia and Maryland, a two-day 240km version of the race will come to a close today. But it’s not the finish line for Mille Miglia: it’s organisers have hinted at a plan for global expansion.

Media

Image: Getty Images

Ghosts in the machine

After a tough year for Facebook, a new documentary is set to give audiences the inside scoop.

US public broadcaster PBS’s investigative programme Frontline is gearing up to release the first in a two-part episode of documentary The Facebook Dilemma. It’s been a tough year for social-media giant Facebook – maybe the hardest – with controversies including accusations of fake news being spread on the site, data breaches and critics calling the platform a surveillance machine. The documentary draws on interviews with current and former Facebook employees and sheds light on the fact that the company may not be as naive as people think. The one question everyone’s still asking? Can its business model survive without using people’s data to lure advertisers?

Art

Image: Meryl McMast, Stephen Bulger Gallery

Big draw

The strong international showing at a Toronto art fair will be a welcome boost to Canada’s scene.

The great and the good of the international art world have descended on Toronto for this year’s Art Toronto – Canada’s best regarded international art fair. Canadian art fairs seem to be growing in credence. Exhibiting at Art Toronto this year are some of the most notable galleries in Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver, as well as an international contingent from Israel, Belgium, the UK and the US – including New York’s Downs & Ross and Golestani from Dusseldorf. It’s a welcome shift for Canada’s contemporary artists, many of whom have been expected to set up studios abroad to boost their profiles rather than having the art world come to them - a trope which may be changing.

Television

Image: Getty Images

Korea’s got talent

The nation’s pop stars are branching out into new forms of entertainment. This time, it’s a tongue-in-cheek sitcom.

Korean K-pop stars already sell everything from sweets to shampoo, as well as songs, ­but now they are making their own sitcoms. YG Future Strategy Office debuted on Netflix earlier this month. The eight-episode series stars singer Seungri from the boyband Big Bang playing himself in a fictional role at real-life record label, YG Entertainment. The Office–style fly-on-the-wall mockumentary features a roster of Seungri’s label stablemates, acting as his colleagues or making cameos. Some are crediting YG Entertainment’s boss, Yang Hyun-suk, who is referenced in the show but never seen on screen, with a clever marketing trick. Others see signs of trouble after the high-profile departure of Psy (of Gangnam Style fame). Whatever the reality is, the TV show looks set to become another Korean soft-power success.

From Monocle 24

The Glendalough Distillery

The Entrepreneurs: Eureka

A group of friends from the Dublin area are reviving the heritage of craft distilling in Ireland. They’ve set up The Glendalough Distillery in the scenic mountain surroundings of Co Wicklow, and have been making standout Irish whiskey and gin. But it’s in crafting the traditional Irish spirit poitín, called the ancestor of all distilled drinks, where the friends are really making their mark.

From Monocle Films

Day and night

To celebrate the launch of A. Lange & Söhne's limited-edition timepiece Datograph Up/Down Lumen, we speak to architect Joe Morris and photographer Polly Tootal about their creative processes – and how light informs their practice.

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