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.

Kirin J Callinan — Embracism

This week I choose… Kirin J Callinan’s fantastic album Embracism, which is out next week via Terrible records and is a definite album-of-the-year contender. As I discussed in a recent feature on Callinan, there are a series of really interesting lyrical themes that run through the record: masculinity, loss, the fluidity of personality. But even if you couldn’t understand a word of the lyrics, you’d still find Embracism intriguing, because it’s one of idiosyncratic and involving listening experiences of the year. — Tom Hawking, Music Editor

Le Fresnoy’s Panorama

French contemporary art studio Le Fresnoy is focused mainly on audiovisual artworks (digital and traditional). The school boasts an impressive list of visiting professors, including Jean-Luc Godard, Claire Denis, and Michael Snow. Le Fresnoy’s annual exhibition, Panorama, is the culmination of the in-depth program. This year, guest curator Arnaud Laporte is presenting “unconventional documentary, essay and fiction films that go beyond their chosen genres,” produced for the exhibition. Streaming website MUBI is hosting all 29 films, which you can watch for free through July 21. — Alison Nastasi, Weekend Editor

Much Ado About Nothing (dir. Joss Whedon)

Like anyone who loves both Buffy and Shakespeare, I had been looking forward to Joss Whedon’s Much Ado for months. I finally got to see it on Thursday, and enjoyed it even more than I figured I would. Far beyond the novelty of its existence, the film is wonderful because it succeeds in making Shakespearean language — rich, flowery, bawdy, and often surprisingly contemporary — work in the present day. Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof are especially electric as Beatrice and Benedick. And, six days later, I’m still coveting Whedon’s beautiful home. — Judy Berman, Editor-in-Chief

Veronica Mars

I have finally broken down and started watching Veronica Mars. I don’t know what kept me from it before, but what a silly person I was for waiting this long — she’s like Buffy and Daenerys rolled into one, with spy sauce. Also, there’s the fact that the show is the closest representation of my own high school experience (fashion- and culture-wise, anyway) that I’ve ever seen. Awkward memories, great TV. Plus, constant reminders to re-watch the Kristen Bell sloth video. — Emily Temple, Literary Editor

An Auteurist History of Film at MoMA

At least once a week, museum members can visit and see an archived film, often in a language they don’t speak, for free. It’s a good deal in most cases, and all the more so when the offerings include classics like Andrei Tarkovsky’s original version of Solaris or Jean-Luc Godard’s boldly inventive classic Breathless, which I have no problem watching 50 times. French New Wave fans and students of pre-Hays Code American cinema are treated especially well, with regular showings of films by Claude Chabrol and Mervyn LeRoy. — Reid Singer, Art Editor

James Murphy’s Red Bull Music Academy lecture

I am still kicking myself for not getting tickets to see James Murphy’s lecture at NYU last month. I finally got around to watching a video of it, which is basically 90 minutes of Murphy talking about his favorite songs. It’s obviously a really great playlist that includes The Fall, Heaven 17, and a bunch of other great tracks you might’ve never heard. Murphy also has a knack for making his interviews feel intimate, and the living room setting makes this one feel especially personal. I felt like I was actually sitting on the couch with Murphy, laughing as he describes crying to Gilbert O’Sullivan in a Darth Vader mask. This man is the best friend of my dreams. — Sarah Fonder, Editorial Apprentice


For the past year or so I’ve been watching Cheers on Netflix Instant. Have you heard of it? Pretty good show! I’m in the middle of Season 5, which is the year when Shelley Long’s Diane Chambers is arguably at her most obnoxious (it’s also her last season on the show, and perhaps her imminent departure was enough to drive the writers to make her as loathsome as possible). It’s also the season in which we are formally introduced to Lilith Sternin as Frasier’s love interest (and, of course, a constant source of strife). The best part about watching Cheers, though, is that I have a great excuse for why I’m not watching any current series, from Homeland to Breaking Bad. “Sorry, I can’t start anything new right now. I’m still in the middle of Cheers.” — Tyler Coates, Deputy Editor