“Black Mirror” Is Back, and Our Dystopian Future Never Looked Better
October’s best pop culture is heavy on technophobia and nudity
Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important pop cultural happenings.
BINGE: Black Mirror
Netflix premieres 12 new episodes of this creepy anthology series (six now, six next spring). Expect a mix of horror, satire and technophobia. Details are tight, but some leaks suggest feral mutants, deadly video games and social media-inspired murders.
IMPRESS: Mozart 225: The New Complete Edition
This, let’s say “pathological” Mozart retrospective boasts 240 hours of classical genius (that’s 4,000 tracks, or 10 days straight of music), plus a new hardcover biography and several frame-worthy prints. He deserves the time: the guy wrote his first opera at 14; what have you done?
ATTEND: A Promise Not to Forget: Día de los Muertos
Make sure you get to this celebration of the living, the dead, and the connections between them for opening night, when the exhibitions and altars will be enlivened (excusing the pun) by spoken word, music, and comedy. (10/5-11/7, opening night celebrations 10/7 6-9 p.m.)
LISTEN: Joyce Manor
And then there’s brevity. The Cali band’s fourth album Cody features 10 songs in 24 minutes — all concise, perfect indie-emo singalongs, with a first single (“Fake ID”) that details how a young man’s tryst ends when his paramour suggests Kanye West “is better than John Steinbeck.”
GET OUT FOR: Litquake
It's just one of many book fests in town, but Litquake's special. TBH: Our first choice, comedian Phoebe Robinson's, show is sold out — but there's a ton of great stuff on the schedule, from local icons like Maxine Hong Kingston to the fest's take on celebrities reading mean tweets about themselves, "i thought it sucked: One-Star Reviews of Best-Loved Books." (10/7-10/15)
READ: Loose Lips: Fanfiction Parodies of Great (and Terrible) Literature
Former InsideHook editor Casey Childers and Amy Stephenson curated this anthology of satirical erotic fan fiction, as crafted by dozens of Hugo, Nebula and Rita award-winning authors. Says Childers: “Loose Lips answers pressing questions from history's favorite books, questions like, "I'm new to being rich...can I f--- my yellow car?" and ‘How come there's not one woman in Moby Dick who isn't a boat?’ It's gross af, and there are so many laughs.” (Out now)
MARVEL AT: "Silence" at the Arab Film Festival
If you're interested in an entirely different angle on life in the Arab states, do not miss the 20th edition of the Arab Film Festival. Our pick: the animation series, which includes the award-winning dystopic short "Silence." An entertaining way to better understand the world around us. (10/7-10/16)
An arty, limited-edition NSFW photo journal focusing on the voluptous Alex Hanson. Yes. (Out now)
WATCH: The Accountant
A “forensic accountant” (Ben Affleck) who’s made his career working with money launderers, terrorists and assassins goes legit and uncovers financial chicanery at a robotics company. Math and gunplay ensue. The twist (Affleck’s character is autistic) and A-plus supporting cast (Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons) bode well for this unusual fall thriller. More picks in our fall movie guide. (10/14)
LISTEN: Our Spotify playlist
Over 90 minutes of hand-picked new music, including Solange, Royksopp, Dawes, Leonard Cohen, Zach de la Rocha and Justice.
PLAY: Battlefield 1
As Call of Duty heads to the future, its like-minded FPS cousin dives back into World War I. Meaning: Lots of mustard gas, bolt-action rifles and zeppelin attacks, along with 64-person multiplayer action. Take a dekko, watch for crump-holes. (10/21)
ALSO: Remember when video game box art was way better than the game itself? The Art of Atari will remind you (10/25) ... All the Mad Max movies and plenty of extras (including a black and white take on Fury Road) come together on the Mad Max High Octane Anthology Collection (10/25) ... Stashimi is a cool app for obsessively following your favorite musicians (out now) ... A telepathic, disfigured Backgammon champ roams the world in Jonathan Lethem’s eccentric new tome A Gambler’s Anatomy (10/18) ... Funnyman Joel McHale (Community, The Soup) gives “get rich gradually” tips in his autobiography Thanks For the Money (10/25), which has a rather insanely great promo trailer ... Werner Herzog + volcanoes = works for us. Catch his Netflix doc Into the Inferno (10/28) ... The true scares this Halloween arrive via the small screen: most notably, the “creepypasta”-inspired Channel Zero (10/11) and the Aussie serial killer drama Wolf Creek (10/14)
Día de los Muertos photo: Rio Yañez