The Best Movies, TV, Music and Books for May
Psychedelic art nudes. Radical Modernism. FLW. Let's preview.
Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important (pop) cultural happenings.
Turns out Brook Power, the Oahu-based Native American who was just crowned the 58th Playmate of the Year, makes psychedelic nudie collages in her spare time. “I like to create dreamy little worlds to let your imagination roam in,” she notes. “No deeper profound meanings, no social commentary or any of that bullshit.” (Available now)
READ: Chicago: Classic Photographs
Brought to you by the city’s most foremost photo historians Richard Cahan and Michael Williams, this 240-page hardcover celebrates some of the most seminal Chicago street snaps of all time, many of which long-lost until now. We previewed the book in detail here, and allow us to say it belongs on every Chicagoan’s coffee table. (May 9)
WATCH: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Guy Ritchie turns the sword-in-the-stone tale into a grimier story of back alley brawlers and kinetic, Led Zeppelin-fueled battles — this looks more like a medieval Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels than a fantasy epic (Arthur even runs with a low-life “crew”). (May 12)
Look out for our full summer movie guide, coming May 4.
DO: Wright Plus 150
Everyone’s favorite architect would’ve turned 150 this year, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust is celebrating with a year-long celebration that does the man’s legacy proud. You won’t wanna miss Wright Plus 150, a special edition of the annual housewalk that adds four private Wright homes, including his Japanese-influenced Hills-DeCaro House. It all begins at Wright’s Home and Studio in Oak Park. See the full lineup here. (May 20)
READ: Everybody Lies
Fan of Freakonomics and outside-the-box analysis like Michael Lewis and Malcolm Gladwell? Try this. Former Google data scientist and Harvard-trained economist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz uses big data to answer really uncomfortable questions about racism, gaming the stock market, violence in entertainment, parenting skills and “How many people actually read the books they buy?” If you buy this, read it. (May 9)
DO: Dan Friedman: Radical Modernism
His art never graced hip-hop albums. He’s never had a biopic made after his life. His work will never be turned into toys — but he’s a pillar of radical postmodern art as much as anyone named Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquat or Jeff Koons. The Chicago Design Museum’s spring show is devoted to the career of Dan Friedman, a pioneer of “new wave” design. Curated by Friedman himself before his tragic death in ‘95, the exhibition show his dogged experimentation and style in its full glory. (Open now)
DO: Renegade Craft Fair
If our Mother’s Day Gift Guide doesn’t have what you’re looking for, you’d do well to visit Renegade Craft Fair’s special Mother’s Day pop-up in Pilsen. There you’ll find the best of the best of when it comes to indie craftmakers, alongside food trucks, music by Lumpen Radio and beer from Half Acre. (May 13-14)
WATCH: Twin Peaks
Showtime’s really playing up the “mystery” part of their revival of David Lynch’s murder mystery … there’s exactly one new scene (tracking footage of a forest) that’s leaked. That said, the original cast plus Eddie Vedder, Laura Dern, Naomi Watts, Michael Cera, Jim Belushi and Jennifer Jason Leigh? Worth another look. (May 21)
Nearly 30 years after winning a Golden Globe award and Emmy nomination for his portrayal of the Ernest Hemingway in the 1988 television mini-series Hemingway, Stacy Keach returns as the the famous Oak Parker in the world-premiere Pamplona at the Goodman Theatre. The drama — directed by Robert Falls — follows the author during his declining years following his Pulitzer and Nobel Prize honors, holed up in a Spanish hotel, struggling to capture the spark of his youth. (Opens May 19)
Chicago Cultural Center mosaic work
EXPERIENCE: Obscura Day
Atlas Obscura, the alternative travel guide to the world’s weirdest attractions, puts on 170 unusual/cool cultural events around the globe during the first week of May. Including: canoeing through a flooded mine (headlamps and all) in Kansas City, a private tour of Chicago’s Leather Archives and Museum and touring the Loop’s little-known mosaic artworks. If “exploring some of the biggest diasters that helped shape Downtown Chicago” can’t sell you on the idea, then stay home. (May 6)
A new print mag built from a website where great photographers showcase beautiful implied nude photography. Porn? No, art.
Photo: War on Drugs
LISTEN: Our monthly Spotify playlist
Eagerly awaited new tunes from Beth Ditto, Gorillaz, Soulwax and The War on Drugs, plus soon-to-be-classics from youngsters Royal Blood, White Reaper and Strange Bones.
And don’t forget: It’s a three-way tie for the “best book title of the month with the author’s name as part of the title” between The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6’ 4″, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian (May 2), Al Franken, Giant of the Senate (May 30) and Chuck Klosterman X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century (May 16) … Tracy Morgan makes his welcome return to the stage for a Netflix special (May 16) … The Bob’s Burgers soundtrack has 112 songs, including “Butts, Butts, Butts” (May 12) … Kingsman was the Bond movie the 21st century deserved. Its sequel has inspired a rather dapper clothing line for Mr. Porter (out now) … Speaking of Bond, how did George Lazenby get one film as 007? Hulu examines that anomaly in new doc Becoming Bond (May 20) … Prey is hella creepy and this year’s best first-person shooter (May 5) … Heat gets a 4K Blu-ray remaster and new extras, like an interview with the cast and crew (Mann, Pacino, De Niro) conducted by Christopher Nolan (May 9) … It doesn’t happen until September (and it’s sold out), but maybe you could book your stay at the kitschy Camp John Waters Club Getaway for next year.
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