Review: Björk’s Utopia

Since the beginning of her career, Björk has been a singular voice in music. Interested equally in the performing and technical aspects of her craft, her albums haven’t been listening experiences as much as they’ve been ornamental puzzle-boxes for listeners to solve. Sometimes, this has yielded great results. Homogenic, with its icy asceticism, is one of the best albums of all time while Volta, released 10 years later, was an unmitigated disaster (Björk herself has publicly distanced herself from the album). Twenty years after her highest point and 10 years after her lowest, Björk is, once again, at her idiosyncratic best. The most welcome aspect of Utopia is the return of Venezuelan producer Arca. His work with Björk on her […]

Read more

Review: Mother!

All things considered, Mother! could be the most emblematic film of director Darren Aronofsky’s career. Much like the director’s recognizable work, the ballet thriller Black Swan and the addiction drama Requiem for a Dream, Mother! is a film that traffics mostly in disturbing, surrealist imagery and exploiting our worst fears: emotional isolation, cannibalism, and uninvited house guests. At the centre of the film are Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) and Him (Javier Bardem), a married couple who live in a picturesque house in the bucolic and secluded surroundings that people in horror movies are unfortunately blessed with. Their life is a simple one: Mother renovates the house while Him, a poet suffering from writer’s block, tries to continue his work. All this […]

Read more

Review: André Aciman’s Enigma Variations

André Aciman’s fourth novel, Enigma Variations, is more of an exercise in tone than anything else, which makes sense. The title is taken from an eponymous composition by Edward Elgar and is, in an odd sort of way, a literary interpretation of the piece. The book is broken into five sections, each of them tracing the relationships that Paul, a classicist, has with a significant romantic partner. As a whole, Enigma Variations is short on plot and substance, but its stream of consciousness narrative and naked display of emotion make the experience a rewarding one. “First Love,” the opening and best section of the book, sets an impressively high bar for the rest of the story. On vacation with his […]

Read more

Book Blog: Books by celebrities that are actually kind of okay

It’s been about a month since former One Direction member Zayn Malik released Z, a memoir/photo diary about the transition period between his last days as a boy-band member and his solo career. Unfortunately, it’s not well-written or trashy enough to recommend. Fortunately for you, I’ve compiled a list of books, fiction and nonfiction, by other celebrities that are more than worth your time. I’ll Never Write My Memoirs – Grace Jones Grace Jones’ career has been a long and diverse one. She’s been a model, singer, actress, muse, and shows no signs of stopping. Having worked with Keith Harring, Andy Warhol, and Yves Saint Laurent, Jones has had a long and storied career—the kind that’s perfect for a tell-all […]

Read more

Book Blog: Ways of Reading

When people think about John Berger, who passed on Jan. 2, they’re probably thinking about the documentary series Ways of Seeing, in which he discussed the perception of art, touching on subjects like oil painting, the nude, and reinterpreting Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction for a new generation. However, Berger’s true strength lay in his written works: eight novels and a multitude of nonfiction texts have come to define his legacy as a humanist and sagacious interpreter of art. Here are some of his notable works. G. (1972) Published the same year that Ways of Seeing was originally broadcast, G. was Berger’s first great novel. The story is an update of the Casanova […]

Read more
1 2