Some things to watch, read or listen to to distract you from the confusing exciting/sad times to come in the next fortnight.
Lupin on Netflix
Not new but such amazing fun, starring the handsome and charming former stand-up comedian Omar Sy as a modern iteration of a gentleman thief. Absolutely as good as Sherlock was, before it went all mad and self-referential.
This is a movie starring Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney in a high-school embezzlement scandal based on a true story. I Care A Lot is also out, starring Rosamond Pike, but it is less good. I could have not watched it and that would be fine.
Sorrow & Bliss by Meg Mason
An absolutely stunning portrait of a complex interior life, brought to my attention by Spiker Ella Ward. I don’t want to say more because I don’t want to give anything away but this is brilliant.
Cobble Hill by Cecily Ziegesar
I had no idea the author of the Gossip Girl books was so brilliant. This is a novel for grown-ups set in a small enclave in New York with a fun and real bunch of characters, very deftly handled by Ziegesar. Fun from start to finish
Wintering by Katherine May
I really ought to have drawn your attention to this book at the start of lockdown but I got distracted. This book is about the importance of hibernation and various “winters” of our lives, which may (confusingly) happen in summer. I read 3/4 of it and then got put off by her enthusiasm for cold water swimming, but I was given great comfort by the bits that I read.
The Hollywood Con Queen
I really love investigative podcasts that tell winding, strange stories (basically the absolute opposite of the type of podcast I make) or let me into a world that I would otherwise never see. This is a corker, lifting the lid on a bizarre con where Hollywood support staff are lured out to Jakarta on the promise of filmset work that never appears. Weird and brilliant.
Wind of Change
Two journalists try to get to the bottom of a rumour that the anti-communist song “Wind of Change” by the 80s hair band The Scorpions was in fact written by the CIA. Sounds niche, nerdy and dull but it’s really good stuff, told in such a way as to keep you guessing about all sorts of things. Very deft.
Foundering: the We Work story
The picking-apart of batshit tech founders is quite the theme of many American podcasts, there’s another series called Without Fail that gleefully does this and it’s always intriguing; the DropOut is another one.
Carefree business people with their wild ideas and sometimes shady relationship with the truth are always interesting as they live their lives outside the boring rules I slavishly stick to. I also find the mechanics of business and start-ups interesting as it’s so far removed from what I do.
Anyway, Adam Neumann is one such crazy founder dude who started WeWork. This is the story of its meteoric rise and catastrophic implosion.
How about you? Anything you have seen/read/listened to lately that you can share?