Culture Bouquet #1 – Films, Stand-Ups & More

February was a content-heavy month for me. From binge-watching Netflix while I contemplate my existence to drooling at bookstores, I bring you a selection of my favorites & recommendations. I’ve only recently watched Breaking Bad in its entirety, so I’m not always on the what’s hot wagon as soon as shit drops but once my interest is piqued, ain’t no dropping it.

Also, I’ve been trying to get back on my reading and GoodReads has become my new best friend again, so I’ll sprinkle in a couple of want-to-reads as well.

(Follow me on GoodReads and make me feel bad for only having read 1.5 fiction books so far this year. My 15 year-old self is v sad right now)

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Hiba has
read 1 book toward
her goal of
15 books.
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Films

This month, with the Oscars and all, I’ve been keeping up to date with the relatively new releases and, damn, were there some fine masterpieces out.

Get Out

Jordan Peele took it to the next level with Get Out. This was an absolutely gripping watch, from the brilliant cinematography to the simple but effective dialogue and interaction between the very three-dimensional characters. Not gonna lie, after watching it I got on YouTube and watched heaps of “easter egg” and interpretation videos and my appreciation for it only grew. Its intricacy and symbolism made it something I’d happily watch and rewatch and recommend and re-recommend. It put a powerful message forth with such delicacy and attention to detail. From Peele’s genius to the brilliant performance of Daniel Kaluuya (goals), Allison Williams (Girls throwback!), and the whole cast – Get Out is a must-watch.

Lady Bird

I enjoyed this movie with a genuine nostalgic warmth. Set in 2002 Sacramento, California, seventeen-year-old Christine “Lady Bird” (played by the brilliant Saoirse Ronan) is dealing with all the saturated and heightened adolescent experiences from her first romantic experiences and tangled friendships to her family’s financial hardships and her desire to get out of Sacramento. This movie was relatable in the sense that I felt I had a case of ‘small-town syndrome’ myself while growing up, and my biggest dream throughout was to move out for college somewhere that offered me more. The learning curve Christine embarks on is something many of us can see elements of their personal experience in. In fact – fun fact! – the director/writer Greta Gerwig (a new favorite!) also graduated from a Catholic High School in her hometown of Sacramento in the same year this film takes place in.

 

Call Me By Your Name

I jumped at the opportunity to watch this movie as soon as I heard about it. Call Me By Your Name follows seventeen-year-old Elio (played by the breakout star Timothée Chalamet) as he explores his feelings for his dad’s research assistant, Oliver, whose visiting them at their summer home in Northern Italy for the summer. This film offers gorgeous scenery, endearing moments of connection and a whole lot of pretentious dialogue (that I secretly kinda love). Despite enjoying this movie, my review of it would be polarised and if you have already watched it, I recommend you read this review on The New Yorker titled ‘The Empty, Sanitized Intimacy of Call Me By Your Name’, because I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Netflix

I have to say. I’m almost done with How I Met Your Mother (I told you I’m late to bandwagons. What a disgusting hipster) and I feel like my life is going to be so empty the second that last episode is over. This is like Better Call Saul all over again. What is my life.

Black Mirror

Not even a new pick, I’ve been watching this show since junior year but goddamn does it never stop being sick! I’ve only recently finished the last episode yesterday after being startled by the gore and pausing it for a couple of weeks. But, surprise surprise, it was totally worth the wait. If you love dystopian thrillers, go get’em.

Atypical

I first binged the first season of Atypical on the train last summer but, lol, I’m re-watching it. Created by Robia Rashid, this show revolves around Sam, an eighteen-year-old American high school senior who is on the autism spectrum, as he navigates romance, social relationships and understanding. What’s so lovely about this show is it’s filled with the parallel storylines of his parents and his sister as they navigate their lives alongside his and the effort put into the show to make it representative and realistic is worth celebrating. As always, if you have watched it, give this article on The Guardian a read, titled ‘What Netflix comedy Atypical gets right and wrong about autism’

The End of The F***ing World

Brief Synopsis: This ‘dark comedy-drama’ based on a graphic novel of the same name by Charles Forsman jointly follows 17-year-old James (who believes he’s a psychopath) and Alyssa who see an opportunity in each other to escape from the blandness of their lives. I’ve just started watching this show and so far, so good & I’m a fan of the outlandish nature of the characters and their storyline. all I can say is Alyssa was initially James’s prospective victim. No biggie.

 

Stand-Up

I’m a massive stand-up fan; Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle, Marlon Wayans, Kevin Hart and the list goes onnnnnnn. Here are my faves from the last few weeks – both available on Netflix!!! What a dream!!!!

Marlon Wayans: Woke-ish

Chris Rock: Tamborine

Books

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been lacking big time on this front!! However, I got one recommendation & one on my currently reading shelf.

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Laughable Loves by Milan Kundera 

(Czech: Směšné lásky)

I bought this book while in Prague and spent a whole day at a Starbucks reading. (I am trash. I know. But it was so worth it). This is a collection of seven stories, all concerned with love, attraction, panic, vanity, age, time, humiliation, lies…are you curious yet? This book was beautifully written and didn’t shy away from the topics most would consider taboos. Considering the time it was released (1969), I consider that to be revolutionary.

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The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Considering Eugenides wrote The Virgin Suicides, I knew I had to read the rest of his books and I’ve been stacking them on my to-read shelf yet not really starting. So I’m sucking it up and reading this starting today! If you’d like to find out more about it, why not check it out here and while you’re at it, follow me on GoodReads and send me hate mail for not reading enough!

That’s all folks!

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