Portishead Is Taking on Abba: Links You Need to See

Portishead and Abba are likely two bands whose names you never expected to utter in the same sentence. But Portishead announced that soon whatever vast gap that formerly lay between them will be bridged. As DIY reports, they’re covering Abba’s “S.O.S.” for A Field in England director Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel, High Rise. (Yes, that was a lot of really exciting names; perhaps I should also mention that Tom Hiddleston and Elisabeth Moss star in the film.) Consequence of Sound notes that this will be Portishead’s first recording in six years. As you anticipate that, there are plenty more surprising covers released in the last couple of days, like Ciara’s melodrama-delighting cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” (and, as we already reported, James Blake/Justin Vernon’s Simon and Garfunkel cover and Kurt Cobain’s The Beatles cover).

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Another day, another bit of news about another thing Disney once did that they’re now doing again, only slightly differently. Today, the news is that the company has accelerated their plans for a live-action Cruella de Vil-centric film, which hails from a seemingly unlikely team: it’s being penned by Fifty Shades of Grey screenwriter Kelly Marcel (granted, she did also write Saving Mr. Banks), and the co-creator of HBO’s Togetherness (Steve Zissis) is also working on the story. No matter what they do, it’s hard not to wonder how they’ll focus a whole story around someone whose main aim is to wear dead puppies. (Perhaps they’ll make her more sympathetic by making the puppies the villains?) In what seems a far more enticing reconsideration of a narrative that’s also been told by Disney, Company XIV, a group of “classically trained theatrical libertines,” is presenting a Cinderella that combines “burlesque, ballet, circus tricks, cheeky baroque costuming, gender-bending sexuality and pop songs turned into Broadway-worthy ballads.” Per Hopes & Fears, it returns the story to the “sexuality and otherworldly” nature of the folktale — Rhodophis — on which it’s based.  

You may have noticed that the Flavorwire staff is very excited about the changes the creators The Leftovers have made to their show — adroitly creating a tension between hope and despair, rather than merely meditating on the latter. One of the ways they’ve done so is with the introduction of the mysterious Murphys, the family who seems to be entrenched in the (supernatural?) maintenance of the (falsely?) invincible framework of the show’s new location. Paste featured an interview with Regina King, who plays matriarch Erika Murphy on the show. In the interview, she not only discusses her acting here, but also in American Crime, as well as her directing work for Scandal. Should you find yourself missing the more morose tone of the first season, perhaps this tour of the world’s most depressingly named places will suffice. (Alone, Italy is my particular favorite.)