Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.
The World According to Garp on Blu-ray
George Roy Hill’s 1982 film adaptation of John Irving’s bestseller (newly available on Blu-ray, via Warner Archive) was initially met with some cynicism; fans of the book doubted it could even be made into a movie, and to be honest, compressing its sprawling events into 135 minutes turns Irving’s narrative into something of a tragedy parade. But Hill — the undervalued director of Butch Cassidy, The Sting, and Slap Shot — adopts a wry, bemused style that serves the material well, and comes up with a picture that’s sometimes delightfully weird, and sometimes horrifyingly sad. He also provoked one of Robin Williams’ finest performances (his anguish in the scenes after discovering his wife’s adultery is real, and stunning), and finds real truth in small moments about the strains of marriage and the difficulty of the writer’s life. And while the business about the Ellen James Society hasn’t aged so well, the sensitivity of the writing and playing of John Lithgow’s trans character were remarkably ahead of their time. Late in the film, Garp has a wonderful speech about looking back in your life while it’s in progress, before it’s too late; it’s not just good advice, but a fine summary of this challenging and rather wonderful film. — Jason Bailey, Film Editor
The Marquise of O (dir. Eric Rohmer)
There are rape jokes, there are rape storylines, but Rohmer’s sometimes bitterly humorous, sometimes straight-up wrenching, always visually impeccable film (which I saw as part of BAM’s Period Rohmer retrospective) hinges entirely on the rape of a young noble widow as her father’s citadel is being overtaken by the Russian army. The titular marquise wakes up from a chemically induced nap pregnant, with no idea who could be the father of her child. Based on Heinrich von Kleist’s 1808 novella of the same name, The Marquise of O features captivating performances by Bruno Ganz and Edith Clever, and — painfully — skewers ideas of class, propriety, marriage, and family that aren’t quite as antiquated, centuries after the story is set, as they should be. And it has one of those endings you won’t know whether to laugh or cry about. — Judy Berman, Editor-in-Chief
Beach House, Depression Cherry
I’ve spent my week cycling between two albums that, together, manage to satisfy all my musical needs. For my up days, I’ve got Carly Rae Jepsen’s wall-to-wall jam collection of a pop album — and for my, um, less up days, I’ve got Depression Cherry. Beach House’s music has long managed to contain virtually every emotion on the melancholy end of the spectrum (check out former Flavorwire music editor Jill Mapes’ profile for more thoughts on their appeal), and the album’s nine painstakingly crafted tracks always seem to reflect my mood, whether I’m calm, contemplative, or, yes, depressed. Three years later, Myth is still in my regular rotation, and I expect Depression Cherry to stick around for just as long. — Alison Herman, Associate Editor
The Maria Bamford Show