Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important (pop) cultural happenings.
One thing they forget to tell you about the holidays:
So take a little time for yourself. Hit up a movie. Say, the heartwarming tale of Leo DiCaprio getting mauled by a bear. Or fire up the Blu-ray and enter an Italian world of degradation and vice. Or stand witness to what some consider the greatest concert of all-time.
Oh, and Bill Murray’s hosting a holiday party.
Those and the rest of our culture picks for December, right this way.
WATCH: The Revenant
Leonardo DiCaprio is put through a literal winter hell as a frontiersman left for dead—but bent on revenge. Gory, visceral and captivating, the latest from director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman) could see a lot of action on Oscars night. Consenting action. (Opens Dec. 25)
READ: Into the Unknown
For more upbeat outdoor escapades, dive Into the Unknown, a compendium of tales from the world’s greatest explorers, as collected by the Royal Geographic Society and arthouse publishers Folio Society. Herein: Crossing Greenland’s icecap, sailing the Northwest Passage and Edmund Hillary’s conquest of Everest, with never-before-seen photos of their journeys. (Available now)
Italian horror and LSD-fueled orgies dominate Lucio Fulci’s bonkers 1971 psychological thriller, finally available on Blu-ray. Peek in for the softcore thrills, degradation and vice. Stay for the wildly psychedelic soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. (Out Dec. 18)
STREAM: A Very Murray Christmas
Bill Murray’s Netflix Xmas special is pretty much what you’d expect: a night of chummy karaoke and celebrity cameos (Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, George Clooney). As Murray says: “We got food, we got booze, we got attractive people.” In any case: a welcome addition to your holiday canon. (Dec. 4)
BINGE: On classic music box sets
The best part of the holidays? Music box sets. Explore the latter career of jazz legend Miles Davis on The Last Word (Dec. 11), the classic Sun Records singles of Johnny Cash (Dec. 11) and a seven-disc overview of Bruce Springsteen’s 1980 classic The River (Dec. 4), complete with a coffee table book, unreleased tracks and a DVD concert of a 1980 show that’s considered possibly his best ever live performance.
STREAM: Noon Pacific
In lieu of our monthly Spotify playlist (back in January!), we suggest this: a free, weekly curated mixtape, delivered to your inbox every Monday at, uh, noon PST. No Taylor Swift here: expect more chill indie/electronic vibes.
And the rest: HBO broadcasts U2 live in Paris, a concert rescheduled after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks (Dec. 7) ... You can finally catch that Black Mirror Christmas special on Netflix (Dec. 25)... Something called Star Wars (Dec. 18) ... And finally, Showtime presents a (somewhat) revealing look at the musical oddity that is Daft Punk (Dec. 10)