We recommend things to listen to, read, watch, look at and indulge in this bank holiday weekend
Fiona Apple’s first album in eight years, Fetch the Bolt Cutters is a great listen – so great, in fact, that is now Metacritic’s highest rated album of all time. The titular song is a timely anthem for life in lockdown, too, while the rest of the record is as intimate as it is sonically stunning. Hosted by New York Times writers Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, Still Processing is one of the best culture podcasts out there – and it’s just come to the end of its latest series. Listen to the final episode – which explores the “dystopia” of Westworld and the “utopia” of Hollywood – here. Meanwhile, if you fancy a bit of light relief, then may we recommend the Guardian’s Today in Focus podcast’s Blind Date episodes, where you can listen in on people looking for love in lockdown, meeting remotely for a socially distanced evening of drinks and dinner. Well worth a listen.
If you’re looking for something to watch, look no further than The Last Dance. This ten-part Netflix series follows Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls as they go after their sixth NBA title in eight seasons, resulting in a transfixing portrait of one of the greatest athletes of all time – which you don’t need to be a sports fan to enjoy. Alternatively, there’s The County – Icelandic filmmaker Grímur Hákonarson’s new comedy about a middle-aged dairy farmer called Inga, who rebels against a powerful local co-operative (available to stream on Curzon Home Cinema). Or there’s the much-talked-about Never Rarely Sometimes Always, a powerful new film that follows two teenage girls – Autumn and Skylar – as they travel from rural Pennsylvania across state lines to New York City to get an abortion, after Autumn learns of her unintended pregnancy. Failing that, MUBI has opened up its library, offering hundreds of brilliant films to lose yourself in.
The bank holiday provides ample opportunity for working through the pile of books you’ve been promising to read since the beginning of lockdown. For those looking for a place to start, though, begin with our list of the 30 most engrossing fashion books of all time – following the release of editor-at-large of American Vogue André Leon Talley’s autobiography The Chiffon Trenches, we’ve collated a definitive guide to fashion literature, from tell-all biographies to inspiring essay collections. We’re also reading Rainbow Milk, the debut book from Paul Mendez, a coming-of-age story about a young black gay man with a Jehovah’s Witness upbringing moving to London, interwoven with flashbacks to the Windrush generation’s arrival in the UK. It’s a moving, original novel – and heralds an exciting new voice in fiction. Those who haven’t read Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women or Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House yet should add them to their list – the pair spoke to each other as part of our Conversations From Isolation series about sex writing, the joy of puzzles and horror-movie favourites. We also recommend this long read by activist and author Naomi Klein on The Guardian, a powerful – and unsettling – account of how big tech looks to profit from the Covid-19 pandemic.
While galleries and museums remain closed, there are many exhibitions available to visit virtually online, from home. London’s Hamiltons Gallery is showcasing some of Don McCullin’s most enduring photographs, spanning the entirety of the legendary photographer’s career. McCullin – who also featured in Another Man’s 30th issue, speaking about his most personally significant photos – was filmed by the gallery in 2015 telling some of the stories behind his images, and the video is now available to watch online. Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, the V&A’s blockbuster exhibition tracing the storied history of the Japanese garment, opened weeks before London went into lockdown. Now, through five videos available to watch on the institution’s YouTube channel, the exhibition can be enjoyed at home, as curator Anna Jackson hosts a guided tour. While staying at home in Los Angeles, seminal feminist artist Penny Slinger was invited by gallery Blum & Poe to create new work about living in lockdown. In her photomontage series, My Body in a Box, Slinger alludes to the new normal we are facing – featuring stockpiled food, medical masks, gloves, medicine and interspersed with poetry.
Summer is almost here and with it, two summer fragrances: Louis Vuitton’s latest cologne California Dream which, both floral and fruity, promises “a moment that prolongs the happiness of a summer’s day” (yes please); and Aesop’s fourth scent, Rōzu, which is inspired by the designer Charlotte Perriand, an unsung heroine of 20th-century design. Expect a fragrance which echoes Perriand’s intellectual, tactile approach to design: florals and metallic highlights of green citrus and wood, formulated alongside Barnabé Fillion, make for a delicious summer scent. Meanwhile, Paris-based beauty brand Typology has launched in the UK this week. Fast developing a cult following, Typology – founded by Made.com’s Ning Li – is described as “clean, genderless and 100 per cent digital”, with a covetable roster of vegan, cruelty-free, minimalist products. From its botanical oil blends to the ‘raw’ range of potent single-ingredient products, designed to be either combined or used alone, Typology is the ultimate in pared-back luxury beauty.