Things to Do in Self-Isolation: Hannah Lack’s Guide

Pin It
Laura Dern Foxes 1980
Laura Dern in Foxes, 1980(Film still)

Deputy editor of Another Man Hannah Lack shares her isolation recommendations, from reading Eve Babitz to listening to Nick Cave

At AnOther, we believe that in this unprecedented time of isolation, economic uncertainty, and social distancing, culture is more important than ever. Over the past few weeks, we have been publishing daily to do lists curated by the teams behind AnOther, Another Man and Dazed, featuring things to read, watch, listen to, look at and follow on social media to get you through this time. Here, AnOther’s Document and features editor and Another Man’s deputy editor Hannah Lack shares her recommendations.


Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz: sunshine and hangovers in 70s Los Angeles ... Yes she played chess naked with Duchamp and was Jim Morrison’s LA Woman, but those are the least interesting things about Eve Babitz ... I love her infectious, freewheeling writing about life in Hollywood – all earthquake weather, liquor-store lights and messy nights. She makes a good foil to reading Joan Didion’s lethally perfect sentences about the city – Eve is like Joan’s naughty little sister. A collection of her writing (I Used to Be Charming) was re-released recently by the New York Review of Books. Or for a more political take on the city, Mike Davis and Jon Wiener’s new book Set the Night on Fire: LA in the 60s was released last week – a history of urban turbulence in Los Angeles from the Watts riots to the Chicano walkouts and the Black Power movement.


I love two cult films from 1980 that both have indelible performances by teenage actresses: Foxes I discovered when I interviewed Laura Dern recently for AnOther – it stars Dern, Jodie Foster, and the Runaways’ Cherie Currie as feral teens tearing around the wastelands of LA on a diet of Twinkies and quaaludes. And then there’s the pitch-black, unsung gem Out of the Blue, directed by Dennis Hopper during the queasy depths of his addictions – this one has an electric performance by Linda Manz as a troubled, Elvis-obsessed teenager in a blue-collar town spiralling toward self-destruction. 

But if you want 200 movies for the price of one, Los Angeles Plays Itself by Thom Andersen is a cinephile’s dream, a film essay made entirely of spliced-together scenes from other films set in LA. It’s an ingenious look at the way the city and its architecture has been used as a character in movies from Sunset Boulevard to Clueless, Blade Runnner to gay pornos. Andersen’s sardonic voiceover takes you all over LA from Skid Row to the glass houses in the Hills.


Nick Cave’s playlist of ‘hiding’ songs. Recently discovered Kourosh Yaghmaei: the godfather of 70s Iranian psychedelic rock. Him and his Vox Continental have been keeping things cheerful – that and David Lynch’s Lady in the Radiator.


I could spend all day imagining the stories that lurk behind Gregory Crewdson’s photographs.