The Best Movies, TV, Books and Music for October
Including 'Jojo Rabbit,' the most unusual (and divisive) film of the year
Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important cultural happenings, pop and otherwise.
South Korean director Bong Joon-ho will be familiar to American audiences for his unique brand of fantastical, typically future-set black comedy in films like Snowpiercer and Okja. This new effort explores familiar themes — family dynamics, class warfare, loyalty — and took home the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, the first Korean film to do so.
For more movie picks, check out The 20 Films to See Between Now and December.
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WATCH AND LISTEN: Western Stars
A concert film, shot in a barn, based off of Bruce Springsteen’s most recent album and interspersed with interview clips. Given that the singer isn’t currently touring, this’ll be the closest you’ll get to a live show this year. An album of live material from the film/show also arrives this month. (Oct. 25)
A dramatic retelling of the 1986 nuclear disaster, this HBO miniseries (coming to Blu-ray) is pretty much the best-reviewed show of the year. Worth it alone for that chilling soundtrack, all using sounds captured from real-life power plants. (Oct. 1)
Set 30 years after the events in Alan Moore’s seminal comic book series — and Zack Snyder’s ok-not-great movie adaptation — Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers) examines an alternate world where superheroes are outlawed, Robert Redford is president and white supremacy is a growing concern … along with a possible return of the God-like Doctor Manhattan. (Oct. 20, HBO)
PERUSE: Cabin Porn: Inside
A beautiful photographic journey inside the shelters and retreats found on Zach Klein’s cabin-lifestyle website, with a focus on “the small details that enable their dwellers to live pleasantly and efficiently.”
For more literary picks, check out The 9 New Books You Should Be Reading This October.
LISTEN: Songs of the Week
Every week we compile the best new songs you should be listening to, genre be damned — which is how we can recommend everything from Huey Lewis’s comeback to a Future Islands rap side-project.
But if you’re more about full albums, this month alone we have new releases from Wilco, The Avett Brothers, Charli XCX, Nick Cave, The Darkness, Kim Gordon, Jimmy Eat World, Foals, FKA twigs, Underworld and Neil Young & Crazy Horse.
And don’t forget … Brainless isn’t always bad — we’ll happily watch undead comedy sequel Zombieland: Double Tap (Oct. 18) … Critics are wildly divided, but Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit is certainly the year’s most absurd comedy, a farce about Hitler Youth, young love and an imaginary best friend who happens to be Adolf Hitler (Oct. 18) …There is yet another Call of Duty arriving, but the 64-player mode adds a bit of Fortnite intrigue (Oct. 25) … Airport read solved, thanks to the new John Grisham legal thriller The Guardians (Oct. 15) … 24/7 College Football is essentially Hard Knocks but following four major college programs (Oct. 2) … And finally, the welcome return of Big Mouth (Oct. 4, Netflix), Mr. Robot (Oct. 6, USA), Castle Rock (Oct. 23, Hulu) and Silicon Valley (Oct. 27, HBO), along with the Breaking Bad movie El Camino (Oct. 11, Netflix).