Since part of my job is to watch movies, and the rest of the time I’m consuming media in other ways, I thought it would be a good idea to do a roundup of sorts at the end of each month. The aim here is to have all my TV, music, film and book recommendations all in one convenient post every month!
TV shows I watched
April saw the return of my problematic fave Game of Thrones. As a huge fan of the book series, to say I’m a little apprehensive about the way some storylines are shaping up this season would be an understatement. Without spoiling anything, I’m incredibly nervous about the direction of certain character arcs and I hope more than anything that I’m wrong when assuming the course it is taking. Nevertheless, I remain hopelessly addicted to the show and it’s such a thrill to watch it every week.
Some other great shows also started up again in April too: Mad Men (the final season – sob!), Veep, Louie, and Silicon Valley. All fantastic shows – I’m pretty sure Veep is the funniest thing on TV at the moment. It’s a bit of a struggle since most of these shows all air on the same night! Definitely check them out if you’re in need of something new to watch.
Music I listened to
I’ve pretty much had Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, Sufjan Steven’s Carrie & Lowell, and Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit on repeat for the entirety of April. These albums couldn’t be more polar opposites of each other, but they’re all really incredible new releases. Other than that, I’ve obsessed with the new Tame Impala track “Let It Happen”, “Heaven Sent” by Best Coast, “The Thrill” by Nero, and “Raising The Skate” by Speedy Ortiz.
Incidentally, I finally upgraded to Spotify Premium this month! No more god-awful ads to interrupt my listening, hooray!
Films I watched
I watched quite a few incredible films in April, many of which were documentaries. While I'd highly recommend all of the films mentioned below, I'd like to bring special attention to two films: The Look of Silence and It Follows. The Look of Silence is a follow-up to perhaps the best documentary I have ever seen, The Act of Killing, which exposed the horrifying mass executions of accused communists in Indonesia and those who are celebrated in their country for perpetrating the crime. I highly, highly recommend that you watch this film immediately - it's horrifying and mesmerising, and I promise you will have never seen anything like it. On the other side of the filmography spectrum, we've got It Follows, the horror film currently in cinemas that's receiving huge amounts of praise for its original story, incredible soundtrack, and genuinely creepy atmosphere. I must have made bruises all over my boyfriend's arm while watching this, I was gripping it so hard. There were some pretty terrifying moments in this film, but it was so much fun to watch, particularly if you enjoy horror films but dislike over-the-top gore and torture sequences. I definitely recommend watching it in a cinema if you can!
Iris: A look into the late life of fashion- and interior-design maven Iris Apfel
The Look of Silence: A family that survives the genocide in Indonesia confronts the men who killed one of their brothers
The Hunting Ground: A startling expose of rape crimes on US campuses, their institutional cover-ups, and the devastating toll they take on students and their families. Weaving together footage and first person testimonies, the film follows the lives of several undergraduate assault survivors as they attempt to pursue - despite incredible push back, harassment and traumatic aftermath - both their education and justice
Avengers: Age of Ultron: Does this really need a synopsis? The Avengers team up to save the world, hilarity ensues
People, Places, Things: Will Henry is a newly single graphic novelist balancing being a parent to his young twin daughters and teaching a classroom full of college students, all the while trying to navigate the rich complexities of new love and letting go of the woman who left him.
It Follows: For 19-year-old Jay, fall should be about school, boys and weekends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, or something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her teenage friends must find a way to escape the horrors that seem to be only a few steps behind.
Books I read
I finished two new-ish books in April: Kazuo Ishiguro's The Buried Giant and Miranda July’s The First Bad Man. Again, both of these books couldn’t be more different from each other, but they were both quite intriguing reads. The Buried Giant is an extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day. The Buried Giant begins as a couple set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years. Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in nearly a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge, and war.
Miranda July’s latest release The First Bad Man is a bizarre novel that is heartbreaking, dirty, tender, and funny. The book follows Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people's babies. Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women's self-defense non-profit where she works. She believes they've been making love for many lifetimes, though they have yet to consummate in this one.
When Cheryl's bosses ask if their twenty-one-year-old daughter Clee can move into her house for a little while, Cheryl's eccentrically-ordered world explodes. And yet it is Clee--the selfish, cruel blond bombshell--who bullies Cheryl into reality and, unexpectedly, provides her the love of a lifetime.
Clothes I wore
As I mentioned in my April favourite post, I went a little Gorman-crazy this month. I bought some great pieces that will see me through the cooler months, and am pretty sure they’re basically going to be my uniform for a while! As we entered further into autumn, it gave me the opportunity to wear this huge scarf I bought from ASOS (similar here) – it pretty much engulfs my entire head but it is so warm and can double as a blanket if I need it! It’s paying for itself when I’m leaving for work in 6 degree weather.
What did you love in April? Let me know in the comments!