Gas Stop

Book by David Freund

 

In post-war America, gas stations were a culture of their own—bustling oases beckoning passersby to stop in for a meal, repairs, directions, maps and bathrooms. In Gas Stop, renowned photographer David Freund, whose work has appeared in galleries such as MOMA New York and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, archives this lost culture via photographs of gas stations he took in over 40 states during 1978-81. Freund captured the attitudes and activities particular to employees and customers at these roadside watering holes, as well as the distinct architecture and signage that beckoned to weary travelers. Of the over 200,000 gas stations surviving at the time of Freund’s project, most are gone, forever commemorated in Gas Stop (Steidl)

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Free Fire

Film by Ben Wheatley

 

Bold, breathless and wickedly fun, Free Fire is an electrifying comedy-thriller about an arms deal that goes spectacularly and explosively wrong. Acclaimed filmmaker Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High Rise) propels the audience head-on into quite possibly the most epic shootout ever seen on film as he crafts a spectacular parody—and biting critique—of the insanity of gun violence. Everyone’s got a gun, and absolutely no one is in control. Set in a colorful yet gritty 1970s Boston, Free Fire opens with Justine (Oscar winner Brie Larson), a mysterious American businesswoman, and her associate Ord (Armie Hammer) arranging a black-market weapons deal in a deserted warehouse between IRA arms buyer Chris (Cillian Murphy) and shifty South African gun runner Vernon (Sharlto Copley). What starts as a polite if uneasy exchange soon goes south when tensions escalate and shots are fired, quickly leading to a full-on Battle Royale where it’s every man (and woman) for themselves. (A24)

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Too Much and Not the Mood

Book by Durga Chew-Bose

 

Too Much and Not the Mood is the first collection of essays from Brooklyn-based writer Durga Chew-Bose. Born in Montreal to parents from Kolkata, Chew-Bose meditates on “the beautiful dilemma of being first-generation,” by blending personal experience, cultural criticism and her insightful, poetic prose. The collection is named for an 1931 entry in A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf, which ends with the phrase “too much and not the mood,” describing Woolf’s agitation at writing to please an unseen reader and questioning her work’s intrinsic value. Chew-Bose takes on this same dilemma and answers it through the particulars of her lived experience. Too Much and Not the Mood builds to a grappling with society, place and identity, all the while exposing Chew-Bose’s eye for small impressions with sharp, lucid descriptions of the world around her. (FSG Originals)

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Belladonna of Sadness

Album by Alexandra Savior

 

Belladonna of Sadness is the long-anticipated debut album of Portland based artist Alexandra Savior. Savior first gained attention as a 17-year-old in 2012 when Courtney Love spotted her rendition of “Big Jet Plane” on YouTube. The following year, Savior scrapped her plans for art school, moved to Los Angeles and signed to Columbia Records, where she developed an organic writing partnership with Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner. Belladonna of Sadness, previously titled Stranger Portrait, was written and recorded in Los Angeles from 2014-15 with Turner and co-producer James Ford. Grammy winning artist and producer T. Bone Burnett selected her first demo “Risk” as part of the soundtrack for HBO’s second season of True Detective. Savior has since released three more singles from Belladonna, co-written the Last Shadow Puppets’ single “Miracle Aligner“, appeared at festivals such as SXSW and supported the likes of Daughter and Hamilton Leithauser. Named after an obscure 1973 Japanese film about an exiled woman seeking revenge on her village, Belladonna of Sadness is available this week. (Columbia Records)

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SHOT: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America

Book by Kathy Shorr

 

In the last few decades, gun violence has almost become the norm around the world, but particularly in the United States. New York based author and photographer Kathy Shorr traveled 100,000 miles around America photographing 101 survivors of shootings for SHOT: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America. The photographs include survivors of all different races, ethnicities, political views, high & low profile shootings, and range from 8-80 years old. Most of the survivors were photographed in the area they were shot. Esteemed photographer Max Kozloff has written the foreword and Miami based trauma surgeon Dr. Tanya L. Zakrison has written the afterword. (powerHouse Books)

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Sono Oto

Album by Sono Oto

 

Under the moniker Sono Oto, musician Mark Henry Phillips brings us his groovy debut indie rock album, Inheritance. An accomplished composer, podcast producer and sound designer, Phillips has been the sound designer on such films as Oscar-nominated Cutie and the Boxer (2013) and has worked on radio shows such as NPR, Radiolab and All Things Considered. After learning his father was terminally ill, Phillips began writing the music for Inheritance in 2008.

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Graduation

Film by Cristian Mungiu

 

Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or Nominee Graduation made the most recent international film festival rounds, receiving praise along the way. The Romanian film centers around a young student Eliza (Maria-Victoria Dragus) on the verge of beginning university, when she is attacked just before taking final exams vital to her officially beginning her secondary education. Devastated that this may mean losing her chance on leaving their small town, Eliza’s father, played by Adrian Titieni, begins to find ways to ensure she will still have a chance at a different future for herself, but he begins to see the implications along the way. Cannes Best Director winner Cristian Mungiu has also won the Palme d’Or for 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days in 2007, however the Village Voice has called Graduation “…his best work yet.” (IFC Films/Sundance Selects)

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Wilson

Film by Craig Johnson

 

The Skeleton Twins director Craig Johnson returns with Wilson. Graphic novelist Daniel Clowes, also the writer of the screenplay, has always honed in on curmudgeons and misfits in his writing. The film centers around Wilson (Woody Harrelson), a neurotic and honest middle-aged man who is looking for a second chance at a fulfilling life. After finding out he has a teenage daughter, Wilson hilariously sets out to reunite with his estranged wife and bring the three of them together as a family. The film is rounded out by an exceptional supporting cast including Judy Greer, Laura Dern, and newcomer Isabella Amara. (Fox Searchlight)

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