Each week, The Spyglass Magazine brings you a rundown of the best books, music, TV, movies and more to get you through long days in self-isolation. Whether you’re looking to expand your horizons, make sense of the world or come to terms with uncomfortable truths, there’s something here for you.
Movie: Jojo Rabbit – Searchlight Pictures
Taika Waititi’s “anti-hate satire” sparked debate about whether it was in good taste to make jokes about Nazis at a time when the far right is posing an ever more serious threat. However, Jojo Rabbit is much cleverer than that. It doesn’t just make fun of Nazis, but provides a satirical takedown of ideology and how childish adults can be about their beliefs through the story of a young boy whose beliefs are shaken when he realises his mother is not only resisting the Nazis, but sheltering a Jewish girl in their attic.
Though there are certainly gags which play to a broader audience, mostly provided by Waititi’s buffoonish Hitler, Jojo Rabbit is filled with subtle humour which may require more thought. It’s also dark – very dark (not only in its style of humour). There are emotional moments in Jojo Rabbit which are genuinely shocking and stick in the mind long after viewing. It’s difficult to walk the line between humour and such powerful emotions, but Waititi manages it. With its Academy Award winning screenplay and strong cast (led by an excellent Roman Griffin Davis as the titular Jojo), this is one film which should be considered essential viewing in the current climate. It’s definitely worth your time.
Book: Moneyland – Oliver Bullough
This is a book about offshore finance. No, don’t discount it yet! The streams of unaccountable money which flow through global markets and accounts are one of the most influential forces affecting our world today and you need to know about them.
British journalist Oliver Bollough has written extensively about Russia and Eastern Europe for Reuters, The Guardian and The New York Times. In this pacy read, he takes you on a journey from the exclusive penthouses of London, to the secretive banks of Switzerland, to the spires of New York and casinos of Reno, to the tropical islands of St Kitts and Nevis. The story of trillions of dollars being stolen from developing nations by an elite few feels like something straight out of a Le Carré novel – except its all true. This book will change the way you think about money, finance and power.
Theatre: A Streetcar Named Desire – The Young Vic Theatre
National Theatre Live at Home is one of the few upsides of this strange time. Previously, if you could not fork out enough money to buy a theatre ticket or journey down to London, you would have to attend a small number of screenings at your local cinema (if it was being shown there at all). Now, world class theatre is so much more accessible.
The Young Vic production of Tennessee William’s classic play has been a highlight of the programme so far. Featuring a career best performance from Gillian Anderson as Blanche Dubois, strong supporting performances from Vanessa Kirby and Ben Foster, and intimate yet voyeuristic staging and camera work, this production is a must see.
Podcast: The Guilty Feminist – The Spontaneity Shop
277. Greenham Common with Suzi Ruffel and special guest Rebecca Johnson – The Guilty Feminist
- 277. Greenham Common with Suzi Ruffel and special guest Rebecca Johnson
- 276. Feminist Pornography with Alison Spittle and special guests Erika Lust and Grace Petrie
- 275. Fighting for Hope with Bridget Christie and guests Travis Alabanza, Holly Harrison-Mullane and She Drew the Gun
- 274. Youth with Jessica Fostekew and special guests Elena Soper, Ashley and Fatima
- 273. Monkey Business with Kemah Bob and special guests Nina Conti and Jess Robinson
This podcast explores the cast and audiences noble goals as feminists and the hypocrisies and insecurities with undermine them. And it’s a blast! Combining standup, discussion and interviews with remarkable people, Deborah Frances-White has created something of a phenomenon with this long-running podcast which regularly sells out theatres.
Although the new lockdown format is slightly different, you still have a diverse back-catalogue of 200 episodes to enjoy discussing issues ranging from human rights to sex education. It’s a vibrant podcast which has built a community around it. And boy, what a lovely community it is to be a part of.
What would you recommend to fellow members of the COVID-19 Quarantine Culture Club? Leave a comment below and sign up for future updates.
For more information on COVID-19 please go to the WHO website or your national health authority.