M83’s ‘Junk’, ‘Trainspotting’ Two Decades Later, and More: Today’s Recommended Reading

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Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘Net are doing, too. Today, we have a profile of M83’s Anthony Gonzalez, an “oral history” on Trainspotting, a call to action for abortion policy reform, and yet another open letter to Sam Smith — this one from an openly gay two-time Oscar winner.

Pitchfork’s Devon Maloney talks to M83’s Anthony Gonzalez about his forthcoming album, Junk.

M83, whose last album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, was released almost five years ago, is finally releasing a new album in April. Junk — a name inspired by Gonzalez’s thoughts on how people pick and choose a couple of songs from any album before dumping the others — is described as Gonzalez’s “most personal record yet” and he attributes the massive success and recognition he received from “Midnight City” to the final product.

He talks about how he sometimes feels trapped by a lifelong compulsion to keep creating; even while recording an intentionally off-the-cuff record likeJunk, he still found himself obsessing over every detail. It all makes him wish he had the guts to do something more important with his life, like “travel to Africa and help some kids.”

The Hollywood Reporter runs a letter from Rob Epstein that teaches Sam Smith some history.

Much hubbub has been about Sam Smith’s egregious assertion that he was the first openly gay man to win an Oscar this past Sunday at the Academy Awards. And while the most salient response thus far came in the form of a snarky (but brilliant) tweet from Milk-writer Dustin Lance Black, today’s open letter from two-time (openly gay) Oscar-winner Rob Epstein may take the cake.

Thirty-one years ago at the 57th Academy Awards in 1985, I won the Oscar for best documentary feature for The Times of Harvey Milk. My filmmaking partner and co-winner, Richard Schmiechen, and I knew that if we were to win, this would be a first. No other gay-themed film, made by openly gay filmmakers, had ever received this acknowledgement. We would have to make the most of our moment before an international television audience.

VICE‘s Daniel Dylan Wray talks to some of the actors from Trainspotting, as well as the author of the book that inspired the movie, about what the movie means two decades later.

It’s hard to believe that Trainspotting is 20 years old. The harrowing tale of drugs and lust is still considered an (Academy Award-acknowledged) cult classic. Speaking with two of the movie’s stars (Ewan McGregor and Kelly MacDonald) and the original novel’s author (Irvine Welsh), this “oral history” looks on the conception of the movie “from book to film” all the way from “auditioning” to “reactions to the film and accusations of drug glamorization.”

In the late 90s, pre-internet, in a small English town in Yorkshire, Trainspotting provided us with a lot of firsts. It was a portal into an adult world we’d never seen before, in real life or on the screen. Tarantino had given us a glimpse at sex and drugs, but under a heavy gloss of style. Trainspotting added the weight of reality to that world, and watching it as a 12-year-old, the film made you feel more grown-up, somehow more experienced. Or at least it did for me.

Paper Magazine‘s Lizz Winstead riffs against the current policies that aim to make it difficult for women to get abortions.

As the 2016 presidential race rolls on, the general public is being continually exposed to excessively misogynistic rhetoric, specifically as it pertains to the reproductive rights of women. Earlier this year Congress voted to defund Planned Parenthood, causing an uproar for those of us who are pro-choice. Now, co-creator of The Daily Show Lizz Winstead speaks up and calls for action.

Maybe we were busy, maybe it just seemed like access to abortion was settled law. Or worse, maybe you just got yours and moved on, not realizing your ability to move on is not something afforded to everyone. Some may not realize that we have an obligation to fight to make sure that affordable reproductive care is available to people less fortunate. Some of us never really connect with the fact that access to birth control and abortion is often the determinant of whether someone can escape poverty.