June and Winter: Picks of the Week

By Tara Fitzpatrick and Niall Christie

Our rundown of the music releasing, films screening, shows performing, books to read and events happening in the week ahead.

Film: Atomic Blonde (released July 28)

Charlize Theron stars in this Cold War action-thriller directed by David Leitch. The film follows Lorraine Broughton (Theron) an undercover MI6 spy sent to Berlin to investigate the murder of another  agent. There has been murmurs of ‘the female James Bond’ surrounding  this film however, in wake of the Box Office success of Wonder Woman, it seems more likely that Atomic Blonde is another high-profile example of the rise of the female action star in her own right. Atomic Blonde was a passion project for Theron which she produced over a five year time span through her own production company Denver and Delilha Prods.
Also stars James McAvoy, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella and Toby Jones. TF

Album: Arcade Fire, Everything Now (released July 28)

The 5th studio album from Arcade Fire ponders on the fast-past, all consumer nature of modern life (hence the title). When discussing the influence for Everything Now, front man Win Butler said: “There’s sort of an everything-nowness to life. I feel like almost every event and everything that happens surrounds you on all sides. Some of it is fake and some of it is real and some of it is trying to sell you something and some of it is profound. Every moment of everything refracts into a thousand different things. It’s trying to capture some of the experiences of being alive now in all its flaws and all its glory.” 

The album promises to deliver on the dazzling, euphoric pop with which the band are most associated and the single Creature Comfort, released in June sets a promising 80s disco-punk vibe. TF

 

Theatre: The Last Queen of Scotland, Dundee Rep: Fringe Preview (21st – 22nd July)

Jaimini Jethwa, Stellar Quines Production

Commissioned and supported by the National Theatre of Scotland, The Last Queen of Scotland by playwright and film-maker Jaimini Jethwa sheds light on the social history of 1970s Scotland. Jethwa recalls her own story growing up in Scotland following the expulsion of Asians from Uganda under Idi Amin in 1972. This one-woman show is a story of exile, dual-heritage and a love letter to the city of Dundee. A perfect opportunity to catch the performance before the Fringe festival in August. TF

 

Book: Optimism Over Despair – Noam Chomsky and C J Polychroniou (27 July, Penguin)

Out late next week is the latest update from the voice of more than one generation, Noam Chomsky. Alongside political scientist Polychroniou, the now-world famous linguist and writer brings us his thoughts on some of the world’s most salient issues.  The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe and the general crisis in the White House, as well as with the political establishment across the world, Optimism Over Despair promises thought and consideration in a world full of first-across-the-line reactionaries. First out in May, this latest version promises an insight into the car crash of an election last year. A reader of his previous writings, this release filled me with a great deal of excitement for later next week. And given the quality of Chomsky’s past Penguin publications, this should turn out to be essential reading for anyone politically left of the neoliberal disgrace that the great writer himself ponders. NC

We have two choices. We can be pessimistic, give up, and help ensure that the worst will happen. Or we can be optimistic, grasp the opportunities that surely exist, and maybe help make the world a better place. Not much of a choice.

 

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