Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important (pop) cultural happenings.
Colossal has four quarters, a drum corps, a halftime show and a good portion of a football team — one of whom has a spinal injury. This is the West Coast premiere of Andrew Hinderaker’s play, which teases out the meaning of football — cultural, societal, mystical — in myriad unexpected ways. A theater spectacle for the non-believers. (Mar. 15 - Apr. 30)
ABSORB: Light City
Think of Light City as a TED Talk for art, tech and music. Held in Baltimore — the first U.S. city to illuminate its streets with gas lanterns back in 1816 — the inaugural LC will feature 1.5 miles of illuminated art installations, giant crabs made of light, an assortment of tech innovation conferences and an ongoing live soundtrack from the likes of Dan Deacon, DJ Spank Rock, Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation, Robert DeLong and Thomas Dolby. (Begins March 28)
WATCH: Midnight Special
A father goes on the run to protect his unusually gifted eight-year son. On their tail: the government, Adam Driver and a group of religious zealots called The Ranch. Set in the Deep South and once again starring the imperious Michael Shannon, the fourth film from indie director/writer Jeff Nichols (Mud) adds a welcome touch of ‘80s sci-fi nostalgia. John Carpenter and Steven Spielberg will be proud. (March 18)
Has criminally misused Will Arnett finally found his ideal post-Arrested Development role? As Chip, a recovering alcoholic and habitual F-up, Arnett perfectly inhabits the weird, insular world of Venice, California (as co-star Christopher Mintz-Plasse notes, “I like this place. It’s like an online community but in real life”). A serio-comedic midlife crisis via Netflix, with help from Arrested creator Mitch Hurwitz (an executive producer here). Plus, the best TV soundtrack of the year. (March 11)
There’s a verifiable renaissance of Nigerian literature going on — led most notably by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie and ably represented by novelist A. Igoni Barrett, the Port Harcourt-born son of Jamaican man of letters Lindsay Barrett. NPR named his short story collection, Love is Power, or Something Like That one of its best books of 2013; he looks to continue the streak with debut novel Blackass, about a black man who wakes up one morning as a white one. (Mar. 19)
READ: The Throwback Special
Miss football? Not like these guys. The NFL’s most infamous — and cringe-inducing — injury is the basis for this satirical meditation on manhood. In Chris Bachelder’s novel, a rather eclectic group of 22 men gather to recreate the 1985 infamous play where Lawrence Taylor eradicated Joe Theismann’s leg. Think Fight Club by way of Men of a Certain Age. (March 14)
The trippiest, biggest, most-ambitious art exhibition out there may well be at the San Jose Museum of Art. The exhibition’s title is a mouthful, but the work is even harder to describe: inspired by anime, manga and more historical Japanese media, conceptual artist Tabaimo creates room-sized animations that must be seen to be believed. The show is new to U.S. shores, and along with it, Tabaimo debuts a site-specific piece for American eyes only. (Ongoing)
Speaking of nostalgia: This rather clever Instagram reimagines modern movies (The Revenant, It Follows) as classic VHS tapes.
SPLURGE: Prima Cinema
Unofficially dubbed the “Netflix for billionaires,” PRIMA offers day-and-date releases of Hollywood’s biggest movies in the comfort of your home … for about $500 per flick. Encrypted films are downloaded onto your home theater, and you access these new releases via a fingerprint sensor. The tech’s been around for a bit; the news is that a next-gen, 4K system is imminent.
LISTEN: The best music of March
An hour of the month’s best new music on our monthly Spotify playlist, from classic rock stylings (The Virginmarys, Brian Fallon) to electronic supergroups (Miike Snow) to beautiful, folksy musing (Whitney’s “Oh Woman”).
© Tabaimo / Courtesy Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo and James Cohan Gallery,New York/Shanghai