Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week


Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers each recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed the most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.

by Amity Gaige

Showered with praise upon its release in February, Amity Gaige’s third book is as gripping and disturbing a father-daughter fugitive road-trip novel as all the comparisons it’s garnered to Lolita suggest. The story of a German national who renamed himself Eric Kennedy as a teenager and grew up to build an entire life around that lie, Schroder is constantly challenging me to interrogate my own sympathies: although I feel devastated for the mother whose fraud of an ex-husband has abducted their daughter and headed for the hinterlands, Gaige keeps us so totally inside her narrator’s head that it’s difficult not to feel some sympathy for him. Thought-provoking in its themes of family, memory, and identity, Schroder also makes for addictive reading. –– Judy Berman, Editor-in-Chief

Stories We Tell (dir. Sarah Polley)

I had the opportunity this week to revisit Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley’s extraordinary new documentary that begins as an examination of a family mystery and ends up getting at the essential slipperiness of the past — the power of repressed memories and overheard conversations, and of how we reconstruct what happened in the past in our own impressions, storytelling, and imagined alternate histories. Polley’s confident direction visualizes those reconstructions (sometimes literally, and sometimes illustrating the creation of said reconstructions), while the fascinating narrative slowly unveils more information, layer by layer, going back and revealing more, until the essential question is asked: family or friend, spouse or lover, how well do you ever know anyone, really? –– Jason Bailey, Film Editor

Jeffrey (dir. Christopher Ashley)

I recently watched Jeffrey, the 1995 AIDS comedy (yep!) based on the play by Paul Rudnick. Starring Steven Weber (whatever happened to him?) and Patrick Stewart, it’s a charming depiction of what it’s like for gay men to date in New York. While it’s pretty dated, the meat of the film definitely holds up today. It also features an amazing performance from Sigourney Weaver, who has a single, yet hilarious, scene as an aggressive motivational speaker. –– Tyler Coates, Deputy Editor

Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea

I started reading Michelle Tea’s Mermaid in Chelsea Creek on the subway this morning and was instantly hooked — dirty mouths and too-clean legs, mysterious creatures in polluted waters, two girls that seem completely magical and also just like everyone I know. I’ve just started, but the book is already scary and strange and great and I can’t wait to get back to it. –– Emily Temple, Literary Editor

The Great Gatsby (dir. Baz Luhrmann)

This week I enjoyed… The Great Gatsby, curiously enough. Sure, it’s not the most faithful adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, and sure, it does get a bit too Baz Luhrmann for its own good at times. But it’s not a terrible adaptation, either, and it’s as visually spectacular as you might expect from the man responsible for Romeo and Juliet (and, um, Australia). It feels strange to say this about a Fitzgerald adaptation, but you should definitely see it in 3D if you can. –– Tom Hawking, Music Editor

“Ryan Gosling Refusing to Eat Cereal Is the Internet’s Raison D’etre” by Neetzan Zimmerman, Gawker

Admittedly, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time this week watching the latest Ryan Gosling meme, in which the actor cannot, absolutely will not, eat his cereal. When I was a child, I regularly refused to eat my breakfast cereal, until one day it actually got poured over my head — which perhaps explains my fairly compulsive love of cereal, and the fact that it takes me under a minute to polish off a bowl. Really, there is no logical explanation as to why I enjoy this meme. Basically, I love cereal, I love Ryan Gosling, and for some reason, I love that Ryan Gosling refuses to eat it. –– Chloe Pantazi, Editorial Intern.