Staff Picks: ‘Horse Money,’ ‘Between the World and Me’ and Ezra Miller/Tilda Swinton’s ‘Trainwreck’ Reunion


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 recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.

The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail

I started watching Comedy Central’s adaptation of this long-running L.A. stand-up show when its second season began a few weeks ago, and as of this weekend, I’m fully caught up with the first. Non-Angelenos may know co-hosts Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani from the Nerdist podcast and Silicon Valley, respectively, but their stand-up showcase in the back of West Hollywood’s Meltdown Comics is regarded as one of the friendliest and most forward-thinking rooms in the comedy capital of the country. The televised version of Meltdown is a little more star-studded than the IRL one—think Reggie Watts and Jim Gaffigan bantering with Nick Kroll during one of its many green room interludes—but retains its anarchic, experimental soul, including truly lunatic bits from the likes of Eric Andre, Paul Sheer with Rob Huebel, and Adam Pally with Gil Ozeri. — Alison Herman, Associate Editor

Finally finishing Community

I’m perpetually a month or so behind a television anyway, but the “Screen” platform that Yahoo used to stream the most recent season of Community was such a shit shower—here’s a tip: when a show puts jokes right before the commercial breaks, make sure your player goes to commercial breaks at the end of those jokes—that I took way longer than I should have to finish the most recent season of Community, which is seriously one of my favorite shows. And, as our own Pilot Viruet noted, it’s one of their best seasons to date; the “Basic Email Security” episode was a flat-out brilliant riff on the Sony hacks (Community was a Sony series, btw), “Intro to Recycled Cinema” was one of the show’s richest deep-dives into movie obscurities, and the third-act twist of “Wedding Videography” still makes me giggle. And, of course, the season finale was unexpectedly poignant and candid yet still endlessly satisfying. There are times when the show’s constantly shifting cast (“I wanna ask, do you ever think, ‘This show sucks now?’” Dan Harmon asked the last-cast-standing at SXSW) and varying quality made it seem perhaps not quite worth the trouble; now, I’m ready for another season. Or a movie. — Jason Bailey, Film Editor

The weird reunion of Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller in Trainwreck

Before seeing Trainwreck, the last thing I thought I would have come out of it saying is “that made me recall We Need to Talk About Kevin.” And thematically, thankfully, it did not. But seeing Tilda Swinton as a corporate blogging tycoon and Ezra Miller as the embarrassingly sycophantic intern seemed like perfect justice for all the horror his Kevin character unleashed on his mother (played by Swinton)… and his father… and his sister… and his high school in Kevin. (Well, I suppose perfect justice for what he did would have been a lot harsher than a bad media internship.) Add to that the fact that both Swinton and Miller tend to represent the highest of brows, and one of the film’s greatest pleasures/oddities (and there are many) comes from Swinton being crassly normative and Miller being utterly goofy. — Moze Halperin, Associate Editor

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me

I don’t want to blab on too much about Between the World and Me, because it speaks for itself as a stunning polemical memoir about race in America. I’ll simply say, sometimes these books come out and reading wide-ranging and interesting reviews, thinkpieces and interviews feels like enough. In this case, it’s well worth going right to the source, and reading it yourself. — Sarah Seltzer, Editor-at-Large


Portland-based artist Roger Peet created a series of jarring prints in his exhibit, IN // APPROPRIATE, exposing the truths of cultural appropriation to those who are often unaware of its ubiquity. The exhibit is quirky and interactive, requiring viewers to put on 3-D glasses, which he calls “Whiteness Goggles,” in efforts to understand a lot more by first seeing a little less. One print illustrates Miley Cyrus twerking and Taylor swift rapping with a boom box rested on her shoulder, placed over a larger photograph of the Ferguson, MO police in riot gear in August of last year. Goggles on, one can only identify the two female artists in their humorous costumes; Goggles off, and the disconcerting reality of racial discrimination carried out through cultural appropriation comes into focus. The show opened in Portland State University’s Littman Gallery and is on view till July 29; check out the images on Huffington Post. — Rebecca Blandon, Editorial Apprentice

Pedro Costa’s Horse Money

Pedro Costa began his career at the height of European art cinema with the Romantic O Sangue (Blood), a film that improbably married Robert Bresson with Nicholas Ray. It’s no great leap to suggest that over the course of last quarter century his films have only improved — albeit in a different mode. With Ossos, Costa began his foray into Fontainhas, a slum in Lisbon inhabited largely by Cape Verdeans. But what followed, beginning with In Vanda’s Room and continuing with Colossal Youth — two films that keep their Fontainhas setting but shed the invasive legacy of European film production — is a story for the legend of cinema. For cinema’s best and too often ignored critics, Costa’s Fontainhas films, which likewise shed the distinction between “fiction” and “documentary,” amount to nothing less than a reinvention of the form. This month Costa is back in New York City with his new film, Horse Money, which features Ventura — my selection for the greatest “character” in the history of cinema (at least after Chaplin’s tramp). — Jonathon Sturgeon, Literary Editor


Perhaps you’ve heard of this sharp pop culture site, which teeters between politically-minded analysis and more fun-loving fare, and which allows its writers to express themselves above all. In all seriousness, I was a fan of Flavorwire before I started working here about a year and a half ago, and with my tenure coming to a close in the next few days, I wanted to take a moment to shout it out. I know, how self-indulgent, but I am constantly in awe of my fellow editors, who’ve taught me a lot through their writing and the heated debates that are often behind their best work. — Jillian Mapes, Music Editor