The Arts Desk’s weekly picks for television, movies, novels and music
Television: “Lovecraft Country”
In an upcoming HBO series, executive producers Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams will try to take back the Lovecraftian trope by turning it on its head. The series will follow Atticus Black, his friend Letitia and his Uncle George on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search for Atticus’s missing father, resulting in a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the horrific monsters from H.P. Lovecraft’s most notable works. Based on the dark horror fantasy novel by Matt Ruff, the series is set to release late 2019.
Remember the movie “Hereditary” *tongue cluck* written and directed by the brilliant Ari Aster? On Aug. 9, he is set to release his follow-up horror film that is said to be more brutal than his first. As it goes, the film follows a wife and husband on vacation in a Swedish village hosting a festival that only takes place once every 90 years — filled with flowery Pagan crucifixes and a little too much bleached blonde hair for comfort, Aster is surely setting us up for another ritual that will inevitably result in the summoning of some hellish deity. Coming from A24 studios, my hopes remain high for this summer release.
Novel: “Riot. Strike. Riot.”
Award-winning poet and UC Davis’s own Joshua Clover offers a new understanding of the riot as a form of insurrection. Clover highlights the history of the riot as the central form of protest in the 17th and 18th centuries, then speaks to its supplanting in the 19th century with the strike, only to return in full effect in the 1970s, forever changed in coordination with race and class. This book creates new ways for its readers to acknowledge the embarrassments of present history, thus providing petrol for all antagonists in their struggle toward a revolutionary horizon and a means to break through the oppressive simulation of utilitarianism.
Album: “The Sky’s Gone Out”
Bauhaus, considered to be pioneers of goth music, released this album back in 1982, and it was an absolute hit — it still is. The dark and ominous tones of the ensemble hold a melody with the Bowie-esque vocals of Peter Murphy, the lead singer, resulting in my undying love for this collection of works. In 2005, Bauhaus took the stage at the Coachella Music Festival and performed a number of these hits while Murphy conducted the whole of his performance suspended upside-down from a crane, as an homage to Carl Laemmle’s “Dracula,” who inspired their hit song “Bela Legosi’s Dead.” And though they have been broken up since, their music is still worth a listen today.
Written by: Clay Allen Rogers — email@example.com