Culture Trip Week Five: Keep the blues away

All the recommendations to both ground you and increase your dissociation from reality.

I begin to write this at 3am after watching the entirety of The Sound of Music with my notes in front of me as I pretend to work. It is at this moment I realise this must mean it is Week Five.

Juggling the lack of motivation and looming deadlines at this point is tough. The temptation to turn to the search tab for flights to Spain is ever increasing. Not only is it Week Five for us here, but it seems that this time especially, the rest of the country has joined in the misery, with the arrival of Storm Eunice. In this weather, I recommend a new and interesting pastime – watching the trees blow about in the wind. I’ve also been recently told that watching risky plane landings at Heathrow is great entertainment too. 

But on a happier note, here are the best things to get watching…

Film – Fight Club

Starting us off is a movie whose most famous line should forbid me from writing the rest of this paragraph. However, as a movie that is obviously not just about a fight club, it perfectly sums up that week 5 blues melancholy of feeling dissociated from reality, questioning society, and of course, being at a much higher risk of joining a cult. Controversially being one of my favourite comfort films, the scenes have a lot of great messages to take away – such as learning, “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”  It opens your eyes to the fact that “We buy things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like,” or to put it simply: “We are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

The red jacket I want… (Image Credits: Michelle Crees, screencap of Fight Club)

Teaching us the consequences of not getting enough sleep, ‘Fight Club’ is an incredible psychological thriller that will keep you guessing at every moment. The twists will shock you, the cult-like behaviour will remind you of college rowing, and you will find yourself desperately scouring the internet to buy Brad Pitt’s red leather jacket…not speaking from personal experience or anything. 

TV Show – IT Crowd

This weeks TV recommendation is a show I cannot fault. The ‘IT Crowd’ bases its premise on Jen who gets hired as the head of the IT department has no knowledge of anything remotely technological. Her story, along with employees Roy and Moss (played brilliantly by Chris O’Dowd and Richard Ayoade) follow the hilarious antics of the group, starting in the most mundane situations that escalate to the most unnecessary outcomes. The characters’ social awkwardness is scarily relatable – like accidentally being caught using the employee bathroom leads you to pretend to work at the bar, or being caught using the disabled leads you to pretend a bearded man broke in and stole your wheelchair. 

‘Four.. no five.. I mean fire!’ (Image Credits: Michelle Crees, screepcap from IT Crowd)

The show will have your quoting lines from every scene, from the new ambulance service number with better-looking drivers to the rules to street countdown, or simply, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” It’s an easy-to-watch show with short episodes that are perfect for work breaks, or crisis relaxation. 

Album – An Evening with Silk Sonic

‘Not to be dramatic but I wanna die’ (Image Credits: Michelle Crees, screenshot of Silk Sonic’s Spotify page)

Recently winning Best International Group of the Year, Silk Sonic’s blend of 70’s funk and R&B sound creates the perfect album to relax to during the toughest week of term. From their top, the ballad-inspired song ‘Leave the Door Open’ to the upbeat ’Skate’, Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak sets the standard for truly silky sound. Guaranteed to help you refocus, the album both chills and hypes, with songs like ‘Fly As Me’ and ‘777.’ 

Book – The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

I will never be able to cook something this good (Image Credits: Author’s own screenshot)

Following the character of young Rose, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is the story of her discovering an ability to taste the complexity of people’s emotions in their cooking. Leading to hidden revelations and the pain of feeling someone else’s sadness is the clear reason for its recommendation. Though its bleak appearance may seem uninviting, the book’s witty writing holds some comical moments and playful scenes that deliver a long-standing message on empathy and reaching out to one another. The only downside is how jealous it makes me that I cannot cook without catching something on fire after burning pasta twice. 

Trailers – Super Bowl Round-Up

Last week saw the arrival of the biggest trailers of the year as the Super Bowl 2022 ad break played to millions around the world. These are the main takeaways to put into your diary to rush to Vue or the Picturehouse as soon as possible. 

Go watch these now (Image Credits: Michelle Crees, screencaps of trailers from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Nope, Jurassic World: Dominion, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2)

Starting with the biggest internet breaker, the official trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness revealed the most mind-bending and question enticing shots in MCU history leading to fans pouring over every second of footage all the way to each reflection in the new official poster. Speculation around the mass of cameos reached a breaking point when Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier rolled onto the screen for mere moments. As the first X-Men crossover into this Universe, the number of characters and variants that could be appearing on May 6th is ever increasing. 

Most anticipated was the first look at Jordan Peele’s new social thriller Nope. Leaving audiences still totally in the dark about the actual storyline, the horror imagery and chilling feeling from just the trailer is sure to leave the movie as successful as his previous works. 

Along with these, Jurassic World: Dominion combines the old Jurassic Park cast with the new, as the movie seems to finally explore what happens when velociraptors end up on the streets of Italy. The new Lord of the Rings series on Amazon promises a huge world exploring the scope and the next Marvel Disney+ show Moonknight  is set to explore Egyptology and split personality psyche simultaneously. Lastly, the great sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog is set to return with characters Knuckles and Tails sending me into a spiral of nostalgia from playing Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games constantly. 

Featured image credits: Max Pixel and the Creative Commons License 

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