A daily bulletin of news & opinion

6 March 2015

MUSIC: Purity Ring, Another Eternity

“Kind of like a Miley Cyrus record made by PhD students – very, very pure pop”

Will Hodgkinson, rock and pop critic for The Times

The Times’ Will Hodgkinson and Monocle’s Robert Bound tussled over the merits of this album but any fight over the soft synths, ethereal vocals and occasionally pounding pop of Purity Ring is surely one of the pillow variety rather than the fisticuffs kind. The Canadian duo’s new album Another Eternity continues their luxurious plundering of textures but dials back the weirdness, slightly, of 2012 debut Shrines – ramping up the big choruses instead. But how big is too big? That’s what Robert and Will are still rolling around in the feathers over.

FILM: Wild Tales

“The pace and cinematography is terrific, the writing is splendid; I put this on to watch it and dinner got cold”

Karen Krizanovich, film critic

This Argentine-Spanish co-production brings together six stories that stir up the darker side of emotions in deliciously comic style. Opening salvo Pasternak finds passengers on a possibly doomed plane ride while closing story Hasta que la Muerte nos Separe is one of adultery and deception at a wedding – and there’s plenty more unusual scenarios in between. The quickfire delivery comes courtesy of Argentine director Damián Szifron, and his work was rewarded with the film being Oscar-nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the recent Academy Awards.

ART: The Armory Show, New York

“It’s not ‘New York Week’ about New York, it’s the city focusing on something else”

Ossian Ward, head of content at Lisson Gallery and writer on contemporary art

Piers 92 and 94 on Manhattan’s waterfront welcome The Armory Show this weekend, one of the biggest contemporary-art fairs in New York’s calendar. The focus of this year’s show, curated by Omar Kholeif of London’s Whitechapel Gallery, will draw inspiration from the Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean. Galleries exhibiting include Beirut’s Agial Art, Dubai’s Lawrie Shabibi and Galerist from Istanbul.

TV: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

“I think it’s going to be a bit of a sweet pill for those ‘30 Rock’ fans who are feeling bereaved”

Alice Vincent, arts and entertainment writer for The Telegraph

As of today, Netflix bingers can get all 13 episodes of the brand-new sitcom from much-celebrated US comedy writer Tina Fey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The series starring Ellie Kemper follows the eponymous character as she emerges from 10 years of isolation as part of a religious cult and tries to make sense of the big bad world – namely New York – and, of course, hilarity ensues. And if the show carries on the winning streak of its creator, whose previous work includes Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, they may have to re-apply the unbreakable tag to Fey.

BOOK: The Evil Hours by David J Morris

“One of the reasons maybe American culture has such a problem talking about soldiers suffering is that the society itself hasn’t fully reconciled the consequences of these wars”

Parul Sehgal, The New York Times Book Review

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is the topic of this towering work by former US marine and Iraq-War reporter David J Morris. In 2007, Morris’s vehicle was blown up by an IED and his subsequent mental struggles were met with misunderstanding and a concerning level of ignorance back in his home country, the US. In The Evil Hours, Morris traces back through the history of conflict to try and understand not only his own condition but society’s approach to it – and finds there’s still much work to be done.


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