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Media diet for July

Books

Dune — Frank Herbert

A classic. I read this when I was a kid, but hadn’t reread it since then. It’s weird, long, and great. The rest of the series is supposed to be bizarre, so I can’t wait. The spice must flow.

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead — Sara Gran

An alright mystery book, but more than a few times, I think the author attempted to add grit but just ended up sounding like a very awkward narrator. Also points off for a trans slur—like, c’mon, I don’t care who your narrator or, or how much of a fuck-up she is, leave us alone.

Paradise Rot — Jenny Hval

A strange story of roommates, love, and interior mold. I hope Hval writes more strange books.

Movies

The Farewell

I cried a lot during this film. Awkwafina did a fantastic job, and it’s cool to see a major US release mostly in Mandarin. If you’ve recently lost a grandparent, or have gone through family illness, this might just hit you really hard.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

This was a very strange movie, even by Tarentino’s standards. A mix of fake show clips, stories of a man and his valet, and glimpses into the Manson family. I laughed quite a bit, and generally found this movie to be a blast.

A Vigilante

This was hard to watch. It was very well done, and intensely paced, but the abuse in the films was painful. There’s a grim morality in this film, and a certain catharsis in seeing abusers punished, but fuck.

Thoroughbreads

A fantastically creepy film about ennui and friendship. I loved it.

Spiderman: Far from Home

This is exactly what I want from a superhero movie: fun. The stakes were much smaller than an Avengers movie, despite this film happening in the aftermath of both the “blip” and many deaths, and that’s a good thing. Instead of world-changing events, we got to enjoy Peter and his classmates goofing around in Europe, and the zany world of Mysterio. I loved this movie. The action was exciting, and the jokes were silly and fun.

Hospitalitié (歓待)

A strange movie reminiscent of a short story I read years ago where. house guests slowly take over a family’s home. It’s dark, funny, and a poignant commentary on xenophobia.

Midsommar

Wow. What a gorgeous, twisted, wild film. From the music to the ultra-bright summer of it all, I loved this movie. If you’re quite squeamish, give it a pass. Otherwise, skål!

brook is a noted sapphist who lives in a forest with her cat snorri. she loves travel, food, and satan.