Staff Picks: “Sunday Candy,” ‘Barry Lyndon’ and ‘Black Cat Bone’


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.

Barry Lyndon (dir. Stanley Kubrick)

Because I’m a terrible cinephile, I’m prone to letting emails from local movie theaters slide into my spam folder. Because I’m a really terrible cinephile, I’d never seen Stanley Kubrick’s 1975 period drama before. Luckily, a more diligent friend dragged me out of the house for a screening this weekend, because it’d be a shame to see this three-hour Thackeray adaptation unfold anywhere but the big screen. I enjoyed the maximalist score, meticulous candle lighting, and gravity-defying hairstyles so much that I immediately signed on to see its aesthetic opposite, and fellow Kubrick masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey early next month—and resolved to do better at seeing movies that aren’t B-List Marvel Hero 4: The World-Building in theaters. — Alison Herman, Associate Editor

Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment’s “Sunday Candy”

I don’t typically fawn over music I’d consider impeccable summer listening — despite quite liking happiness (who doesn’t like happiness?) my musical predilections inexplicably tend toward the somber. And yet “Sunday Candy,” one of the most exuberant and sexiest songs I’ve heard all year, with its steel drums, gushing choruses, dizzied horns and warm back-and-forth between Chance the Rapper and Jamila Woods, has made me fall completely in love with Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment. Even if profound joy and sensual bliss aren’t your musical go-tos, every turn in this song is startling and dynamic, and it’s impossible not to get swept up in it. — Moze Halperin, Associate Editor

At this time of the year, I tend to barricade myself into my (air-conditioned) basement and hope that by September I’ll be able to stop worrying about whether the world outside is going to be consumed in some sort of spontaneous apocalypse. As I do this, I ten to listen to the sort of music that evokes the atmosphere of places where the pavement isn’t constantly on the verge of melting — and as such, Tom Waits’ “Tom Traubert’s Blues (Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen)” has been on high rotation this week. A song about wandering lost and broken-hearted through cobblestone streets in the Scandinavian rain is about as far from the NYC summer as you can get — and beyond that, it’s just a gorgeous, beautiful, sad, romantic masterpiece, one of the best songs Waits ever wrote. And it’s the best ever interpretation of “Waltzing Matilda,” a song that’s pretty much the unofficial national anthem of my (equally hot) homeland. — Tom Hawking, Deputy Editor


I recently stumbled on NOWNESS, a website that curates and creates sleek videos about art, fashion, travel, music, and culture. These videos are exclusive to NOWNESS, so you probably won’t find them anywhere on Youtube or Vimeo, which makes them all the more special. Each video is also accompanied by a written summary of the project, providing a detailed preface to all of the clips. NOWNESS also allows viewers to craft playlists of their favorite videos, rate them best out of four hearts, and comment on each of them. My recent favorites include “When Women Look at Other Women on the Street,” in the fashion section, Rodrigo Amarante’s new music video for “Mon Nom” from his solo album Cavalo, and the absurdist music video for Slime’s track, “Hot-Dog,” featuring a walking, lonely hot-dog. Take a look yourself. — Rebecca Blandon, Editorial Apprentice

“The State of the Movie Fan Union” on Film School Rejects

When I read Alex Pappademas’s Grantland profile of “Alpha Geek” and self-proclaimed “fanboy journalist” Umberto Gonzalez, I felt a sharp mixture of emotions: admiration for Pappademas’s writing (that last graf, holy cats), yet an overall feeling of wanting to take a steel-brush shower, so repugnant is this (accurate!) portrait of what “movie journalism” has become. So it was something of a relief to read FSR managing editor Scott Beggs’s thoughtful, searching, wtf-are-we doing response shortly thereafter, prompted not just by the Gonzalez profile, but the recent shuttering of The Dissolve, and all that is represented by those two events. “The movie fandom of 2015 is one of rampant, gleeful sleuthing and prognostication,” Beggs writes. “We care more about 2018 than we do 2015.” And in dissecting a preference for flash over substance, for news about movies that might happened over analysis of those that have, Beggs pinpoints a troubling trend in film writing that we all—from EW to Indiewire to FSR to, yes, Flavorwire—hold some responsibility for, and bear the burden of fixing. — Jason Bailey, Film Editor

Black Cat Bone by John Burnside

Burnside’s latest collection of poems is also his first American release. Out this month from Graywolf, Black Cat Bone (which has already one the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize) is easily one of the best poetry books of 2015. It opens with a masterful hunting poem, “The Fair Chase,” that recalls the audacity (if not the evil) of Frederick Seidel’s “Kill Poem.” This sample alone should be enough:

Everyone becomes the thing he kills — or so the children whisper, when they crush a beetle or a cranefly in the dust, feeling the snuff of it bleed through the grain of their fingers; I’d always though of that as superstition: a wishful thinking, how the spirit moves

Jonathon Sturgeon, Literary Editor