The best movies, TV, books and music for February
Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important cultural happenings, pop and otherwise.
WATCH: Velvet Buzzsaw
After an unknown artist dies, his work is discovered — thus awakening a supernatural force hellbent on punishing the money-obsessed power players in the contemporary L.A. art world. Dan Gilroy’s follow-up to Nightcrawler sees Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo return among a heavy-hitting ensemble that also includes Toni Collette and John Malkovich. Expect equal parts terror and satire. (Feb. 1, Netflix and in theaters)
For more recommended flicks, check out our 21 Movies You’ve Gotta See Between Now and April.
PERUSE: David Lynch: Someone Is in My House
No surprise, the enigmatic filmmaker is an equally gifted visual artist. This new hardcover tome highlights the auteur’s photography, paintings, sculptures and installations … all of which are often more disturbing (and NSFW) than this films. (Feb. 19)
STUDY: Digital Minimalism
Author/professor Cal Newport would like you to put down your phone for awhile and focus on healthier offline activities. It’s a digital declutter strategy guide — and thankfully not a cold turkey unplugging — from the “Marie Kondo of technology.” Buy the hardcover, not the Kindle version. (Feb. 5)
READ: Trump Sky Alpha
Whatever your political affiliation, this post-apocalyptic satire (warning?) sounds both fun and prescient: after a nuclear wear, a journalist attempts to document Internet humor and memes just before the end of the world. (Feb. 19)
LAUGH: The Ron Burgundy Podcast
“I’m kind of a big deal. Everyone knows me.” Yes, they do, and Ron Burgundy has returned … thankfully not in a mediocre movie sequel. Will Ferrell’s clueless Anchorman protagonist headlines a new podcast co-produced by Funny or Die and iHeartRadio. (Feb. 7)
BINGE: This Giant Beast That Is the Global Economy
More Anchorman … well, more The Big Short, really. Adam McKay, the director of both films, explores the global economy and answers questions that cover everything from money laundering to “Why is it easier for d*cks to get rich?” in this new Amazon Prime series, hosted by Kal Penn. (Feb. 22)
LISTEN: Our monthly Spotify playlist
All of the month’s best new tunes from artists old and new, including tracks by Interpol, White Lies, Lana Del Rey, James Blake, Karen O. and more.
And don’t forget … It’s been five years since everything was awesome, and the citizens of Bricksburg are now facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO® invaders from outer space, as seen in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (Feb. 8) … Roger McNamee was a mentor to Mark Zuckerberg and an early investor in Facebook. Now, he’s making waves by calling Facebook an “existential threat” in Zucked (Feb. 5) … Anthem is your smarter-than-Fortnite, post-Destiny video game for spring (Feb. 9) … Alternative superhero fans: The Umbrella Academy is Gerard Way’s comic book turned droll end-of-the-world Netflix drama that serves as a nice counterpoint to the Marvel/DC universe (Feb. 15).