Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important pop cultural happenings. Below, our picks for November. Enjoy.
PERUSE: Dali: Les Diners de Gala
Turns out Salvador Dali and his wife Gala used to host lavish dinner parties, inspiring the artist to release a rather surreal, extremely hard-to-find cookbook. Thankfully, it’s finally getting a proper reprint. While curating the recipes from a variety of top French chefs, Dali himself used to his cooking tome to pontificate on the art of dinner conversation and aphrodisiacs ... and offer up his own rather NSFW illustrations. (11/20)
WATCH: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee tackles the politically tinged 2012 novel, transforming a scathingly funny and irreverent book into an actual spectacle: certain scenes were filmed at 120 frames per second in 3D at 4K resolution. It’s going to look insane, but early indications are that Lee’s managed to keep the script dramatic but grounded. (11/11)
LISTEN: Chicago Podcast Festival
It’s no secret podcast consumption is on the rise, and that Chicago is home to many a podcast worthy of your listening pleasure. And while we’ve seen live podcast festivals pop up in recent years, the audio renaissance will be in full effect at the first ever Chicago Podcast Festival, a gathering of thirty-some local and national podcasts and storytelling shows. Local highlights include Filmspotting and the always-hilarious Hello From the Magic Tavern. But we’ve already got tickets to My Favorite Murder, hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, two lifelong fans of true crime stories who love to discuss their favorite tales of murder. (11/17-19)
Elsewhere in the world of narrative audio, the Third Coast International Festival is throwing a can’t-miss show with the shadow puppeteers at Manual Cinema. Aptly titled Radio Cinema Spectacular (11/10), the shadow puppetry collective will provide visuals for a collection of short audio documentaries curated by Third Coast.
DO: Chicago Printer’s Guild Publishers Fair
While the Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design Fair (SOFA, 11/4-6) will feature over 70 exhibitors from around the world, a smaller, and much more accessible fair also dedicated to outfitting your abode takes our pick this month. When the Chicago Printer’s Guild will hosts its first ever expo, over 36 artists will be selling their own self-published print work, giving you the very rare opportunity to purchase original artwork from the artists directly. (11/18-19)
LAUGH: Mitch Hedberg: The Complete Vinyl Collection
Comedy Central is releasing the entire discography of the late comic’s unusual and highly quotable work (“I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.”) as a four-record box set, which includes rare photos, new essays and some never-before-heard material. (11/4)
SEE: Chicago Humanities Fest
There’s still plenty of time to check out this year’s Chicago Humanities Festival, the city’s popular lecture series that brings together a wide range of speakers under one theme. This year sees the festival looking at “speed,” with upcoming headliners including Daily Show host Trevor Noah and drug aficionado and host of vice.com’s new show Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia Hamilton Morris. Visit the website for the full list. (Until 11/12)
This British comedy used to be called Scrotal Recall, which unfortunately belied the show’s rather sweet nature (though it captured the humor just fine). Now renamed and moved to Netflix, the comedy follows one man’s mission to track down his previous romantic partners ... after he’s tested positive for chlamydia (“That doesn’t sound positive.”). (11/17)
LISTEN: Our monthly Spotify playlist
The best new songs of the month, including bands old (Flaming Lips, Metallica), very old (Lee Fields, The Rolling Stones) and new (Jenny Hval, NxWorries).
READ: Chicago In Quotations
Chicago native Stuart Shea compiles this wonderful compendium of quotes and impressions about our fair city, collected from the likes of famous figures such as Carl Sandburg and Eugene V. Debs. A sentimental book that belongs on your coffee table. (Out 11/15)
ALSO: Michael Chabon takes a “fictional non-fiction” turn with Moonglow, which examines his grandfather’s death and serves more as a commentary on life in the twentieth century (11/22) ... If you’re still in a nostalgic trip post-Stranger Things — but crave something lighter — Amazon’s ‘80s country club comedy Red Oaks returns for a second season (11/11) ... Your escape-from-the-fam excuse on Thanksgiving arrives with Bad Santa 2 (11/23) ... Call of Duty literally says “Screw it, let’s go to space” for the game’s umpteenth installment Infinite Warfare (11/4) ... Metallica returns with Hardwired...to Self-Destruct, consciously going back to their trashier roots (11/18) ... Before he tackles Blade Runner 2, director and budding auteur Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario) take a more cerebral approach to an alien invasion — think more linguistics, less shooting with Arrival (11/11) ... The Ron Howard-produced Mars is half present-day documentary, half fictional telling of the first mission to Mars (11/14).