Kathryn Bigelow, the only female to win the Academy Award for best director, poses with her Oscar statuette on March 7, 2010. Her award-winning film, “The Hurt Locker”, is being screened as part of the Cinémathèque’s #ONLYFIVEWOMEN season.
Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock
From hidden women’s stories to binge-worthy series, here are the Delano team’s 10 picks of the month.
Hidden history: The Telegraph featured “10 female mathematicians who changed the world” in February 2017, while the BBC profiled “Seven female scientists you may not have heard of - but should know about” earlier this month (only two names overlap). AG
I’m thick into “She Said” by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the New York Times journalists who reported on the Harvey Weinstein allegations which just this week led to his being convicted of rape. What I find interesting--apart from how their work has helped victims come forward--is their personal anecdotes: the challenges they had in getting sources to share their stories, the challenges they faced as unearthed facts, and how the New York Times as a publication backed them in moments of doubt. NG
“The Best American Short Stories 2019”: I am halfway through this eclectic collection, edited by Anthony Doerr, whose brilliant “All The Light We Cannot See” is a favourite novel. I have been entranced by Kathleen Alcott’s “Natural Light”, a heartbreaking voyage of discovery via a found photograph; excited by Jamel Brinkley’s “No More Than a Bubble”, a wonderfully effervescent contemporary tale of a college party; and delighted by Wendell Berry’s “The Great Interruption”, an authentically written Tom Sawyeresque story about the creation of folklore. Other names in the collection that I have not yet gotten around to reading include contributions from Sigrid Nunez, Jeffrey Eugenides and Mona Simpson. DR
I just caught this Independent column after seeing someone retweet: “This is the best thing I’ve read about Gen X” and let me mark my generational agreement. “Boomers don’t understand the internet and millennials were raised on it. Generation X created it,” David Barnett wrote in this February 2017 piece. He later opined: “Boomers live in the past and have ransomed the future. Millennials fear the future and are ignorant of the past.” AG
Must-see films & series
#ONLYFIVEWOMEN, the Cinémathèque’s retrospective of the five films by the only female directors to have been nominated for the best director Academy Award, is essential viewing. If you haven’t seen Jane Campion’s “The Piano” or Sofia Coppola’s “Lost In Translation”, featuring great performances from Holly Hunter and Scarlet Johansson respectively, then here’s a chance to redeem that criminal negligence. Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” and Kathleen Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” (the sole Oscar winner for a female director) are both also superb films in their own right. And then there’s the pioneer, Lina Wertmüller, with her 1975 film “Pasqualino Settebellezze” (Seven Sisters). Showtimes here. DR
Binge-worthy TV series are two a penny on Netflix. Much rarer are gripping films that provoke a reflection on life, regret and purpose. Watching Fernando Meirelles’ “The Two Popes” was like coming up for air. Its reimagining of the relationship between Pope Benedict XVI (played by Anthony Hopkins) and Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergolglio (played by Jonathan Pryce) at the time of the Vatican leaks scandal is poetic, poignant and, surprisingly, very funny. I’ll never look at Fanta in the same way again. JB
Listen to this
“Chasing Cosby”is a gripping investigative podcast charting the downfall of American comedian Bill Cosby after he was exposed as a serial sexual predator. Starting with the courageous efforts of Andrea Constand, the only one of 60+ accusers to have her case heard in court, the podcast by the Los Angeles Times with Nicki Weisensee Egan includes heart-wrenching first-hand accounts from more than a dozen survivors. JB
East Berlin escapes: I recently binge-listened to “Tunnel 29”, a BBC Radio 4 podcast series from last year that tracks the construction of an escape tunnel under the Berlin Wall in the 1960s. I had heard about such tunnels before but never knew that a US TV network had financed one. AG
A Truckload of Sky: the lost songs of David McComb, Vol.1: David McComb, the lead singer and main songwriter with Australian band The Triffids, died tragically at the age of 36 in 1999. This collection of previously unrecorded songs from the McComb canon is a real labour of love by former band mates (including David’s brother Rob) and friends. It showcases some brilliant songs and makes me mourn the loss of a truly great Australian songwriter. Listen to the brilliantly titled “Kiss Him (he's history)” or the very Triffids-like “Lucky For Some” and you get a sense of McComb’s shiny, melancholic, guilt-ridden best. Available via Bandcamp and to order on CD or vinyl from Australia (which makes it quite pricey). DR
I finally managed to check out the Hels1nk1 concept store this month. Despite the nearby Hamilius works, it’s a little oasis inside: sustainable and modern brands, with a Nordic touch. The staff are sociable, and it’s a great place if you’re looking for a last-minute gift. NG
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