Every month, our contributors compile a list of their favorite things that they want to share with you. Here are a few things we liked in the month of July.
SCUM FUCK FLOWER BOY
So I started working for Vans recently and I just noticed how much I love their design. They have a good range of color and I’m even starting to fuck with their bulky pro-skate shoes. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I think imma sport them either way.
I also recently became vegetarian and I just now realized how little options I have when I go out to eat with friends/family/alone. So, when in doubt, a salad and french fries it is. I’ve found a new love for french fries—the savior of vegetarianism.
A GOLD CHAIN
Throwing on a gold chain has saved sooooooo many of my outfits. It’s crazy. It dresses the simplest outfit up without making it look too weird. While I’m on the record here, I lost my second gold chain that I’ve bought in a 2 month span. Thank god for cheap chains and the reliable vintage stores that hold them.
TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN
David Lynch should be known as the eighth wonder of the world. Watching each episode of the new Twin Peaks with my best friend over Skype is the only time I feel truly happy. That’s all I can say.
THE BIG SICK
I’ve been in love with Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon as a couple since I saw their “What’s in My Bag?” video with Amoeba Records. Their movie (the real-life account of their relationship’s turbulent beginnings) hits every romantic and comedic beat with precision; you get these very familiar characters, the embarrassing, however charming, first stages of a new romance, and an intimate look inside Kumail’s identity as a Pakistani American. Plus, Ray Romano is in it. Everybody loves that guy.
Oh my god you guys, I love Spider-Man so much. Michael Keaton is the best villain in the MCU by a long shot, New York is finally painted as vibrant and diverse as it is in real life, and Tom Holland is a pure joy on screen. I count myself incredibly lucky to have grown up with the Sam Raimi trilogy, but even though those are a goddamn miracle, it was wonderful to see our baby Peter Parker in his absolute comic-book prime. It’s also one of the best teen movies I’ve seen in years.
WIND / PINBALL by HARUKI MURAKAMI
Milo reads? Not nearly as much as I should, but yes. I’ve been addicted to Haruki Murakami ever since I read Norwegian Wood and realized that books don’t have to be over-indulgent exercises in narcissism. I was attracted to Murakami’s straightforward prose and his ability to write enormity in simple ways. Also, it’s healthy to read into the perspectives of other cultures.
THE NEW YORK SLICE I GOT DOWNTOWN THE OTHER DAY
A harshly-lit family owned pizza joint, complete with John Turturo and some lady upset about the lack vegan options. It was a Hawaiian slice too, so fuck your anti-pineapple heresy.
At the beginning of summer, I promised myself that I would learn something new and found my saving grace in the ukulele. I used to take piano lessons, but I was immensely intimidated by my teacher who scolded me for not practicing, and then moved on to the guitar, which my hands were (and are still) too small for. Some laughed at my venture into the instrument—which may as well be renamed “the guitar’s lame younger brother”—but I have fallen in love with it. Sometimes my mind will randomly conjure lyrics that don’t fit into poems or stories, so it’s nice to have a musical outlet. I know about five chords—although I struggle heavily with G and one might be made up—and every night I play my own renditions of songs alongside my poor singing abilities. So far I’ve “learned” Something by The Beatles, God Only Knows by The Beach Boys, and Lua by Bright Eyes.
After reading countless theories that we’re living in a simulation and that artificial intelligence will reduce humanity’s value (shoutout to Elon Musk), I knew it was time to embark on the TV series that I had been meaning to get around to for so long. Each episode has a new storyline and all comment on different aspects of technology, whether that be already existing ones such as social media or devices that could possibly be invented. Black Mirror doesn’t spell out the episode’s message and often depicts the story quite objectively that is left for the viewer’s interpretation. If you don’t have time to sit down and watch the full series, I highly recommend the episodes White Bear, Nosedive, White Christmas, Hated In The Nation and The Entire History of You.
PAYING ATTENTION TO LIGHTING AND COLOUR IN FILM
Sounds overtly pretentious, but hear me out. The amount of thought and intention that filmmakers put into these factors of their work are undoubtedly effective, just as we find our moods dependent on whether or not the sun is out. But I think you gain a whole new perspective of a film by noting if it’s dimly lit or bright, or if there’s a pattern of pastel hues or primary colours. Wes Anderson is often regarded as the director whose aesthetic is distinct and unique, but that isn’t to say that this isn’t found in other filmmakers. I recently watched Carol, and was mesmerized by the muted tones in each scene but with vibrant pops of red, whether from lipstick or nail polish.
DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION
I remember catching glimpses of Degrassi: The Next Generation on television when I was a kid, particularly when The N was still channel 303 on DirecTV, but it never appealed to me. Now into my late adolescence, I’ve somehow developed a strange fascination with it. I recently started watching The Next Generation in its chronological order (after finding out that The Next Class was an extension of the previous generation—which meant that I had to catch up on fifteen years of television), and I love it. Its painfully campy and melodramatic nature—and the fact that it is an after-school special trying so hard not to be an after-school special—is the reason why I find it so enjoyable; in the process of sitting through near-insufferable scenes of characters going through puberty, overdosing, and getting stabbed, you end up developing an attachment to the ill-fated characters. I’m midway through the second season, but I’ve already spoiled the most outrageous moments for myself. CRAIG 4EVA<3
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
I have been waiting for this film to come out for-fucking-ever. I sped-read the novel earlier this year, and I am currently rereading it to excite myself for the trailer dropping later this week. There’s something about the idea of Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer (David Fincher keeps the other twin trapped in his cellar) within a close vicinity of one another that truly…electrifies me.
BEGIN TO HOPE by REGINA SPEKTOR
Regina Spektor’s debut album is one of my favorite albums of all time. As for the rest of her discography, I tend to listen to it in scattered intervals—a track here, a track there. A few days ago, I found myself listening to Begin to Hope on an endless, reverberating loop, and I was awe-stricken by its magic. The way Regina is able to sound completely identical to Björk for five seconds on 20 Years of Snow before switching to a petrifying falsetto is mind-blowing. Imitating the different noises she makes on Music Box and the accents she speaks in Better is the best part of listening to the album (and, plus, reciting the Russian lyrics on Après Moi is an impressive party trick).
STAR-SHAPED EARRINGS FROM URBAN OUTFITTERS
I don’t wear earrings that often, so my recent purchase of $20 gold-plated star-shaped earrings from Urban Outfitters was a little unnecessary. What’s that saying? Treat yourself? Well, I wanted something bizarre to wear on my birthday, and my impulsive purchase ended up being one of my favorite possessions as soon as I strung them through my ears. Let’s just hope that I don’t get any comparisons to Spike from Degrassi.