Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘net are doing, too. Today, we have an interview with the stunningly powerful ANOHNI ahead of her upcoming album release, a musing on the constant vitriol that is thrown at Girls‘ Hannah Horvath, a reported feature on the fall of the upcoming Nina biopic, and an explanation connecting student loan debt to Wall Street.
On Pitchfork, Brandon Stosuy talks to ANOHNI about her new album, working with Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never, and not working with Skrillex.
Having already stunned audiences with the gorgeous Naomi Campbell-starring music video for the equally gorgeous Hudson Mohawke-produced “Drone Bomb Me” last month, the Oscar-nominated ANOHNI has all eyes peeled as we wait for the May 6 release of her upcoming album Hopelessness. The artist, who is extremely upfront and vocal about her politics (see here), hopes to package her somewhat morose subject material into brighter danceable material so as to reach a wider audience.
Anohni’s Hopelessness is complicated. It’s probably the most outwardly political album you’ll hear this year, triumphant and wrenching all at once, full of moments that will bring chills and tears. Featuring beats and production from Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin and Hudson Mohawke’s Ross Birchard, the record hits on a unique sweet spot between dance music and revolution; you’ll want to move to these songs about climate change, drone warfare, totalitarianism, and executions, to these lyrics about bodies exploding, skies burning, and dead animals falling from trees.
On BuzzFeed, Kate Arthur talks to some of the key players in the making of the upcoming Nina Simone biopic Nina to find out how such a powerful story, 11 years in the making, has become such a widespread media disaster.
For much of the past few months, Nina has been in the headlines, but not for reasons that the film’s director, Cynthia Mort, would want. Rather than being a hot topic because of the excitement surrounding its week-away release, Nina has been repeatedly criticized by everyone in the media, mostly concerning the egregious casting choice of Zoe Saldana in the role of Nina Simone. (We’ve even offered our own opinions here.) Here, Mort (and others involved) get to offer their side of things.
But yes, Mort said, the movie needed star power to help get funding — an assertion that gets to the heart of not only the debate over Nina, but also Hollywood’s recent #OscarsSoWhite crisis. “Go to those people,” Mort said about financiers and studio executives. “Take a look at their lists. And find out how many black actresses are on their lists. Or how many women of a certain age are on those lists. Or how many women who look a certain way are on their lists. It’s really informative.”
On Vulture, Kathryn VanArendonk wants to know why, after all of these years, we still seem to hate Girls‘ Hannah Horvath so much.
Even though Hannah Horvath is Girls’ clear star, there is no doubt that she’s the most disliked character on the show. It would take a while to list all the reasons why this is the case, but it mostly boils down to Hannah’s never-ending self-centeredness. Here, Kathryn attempts to wrestle with the roots of this utter contempt, what it says about the show as a whole, what it means for how viewers watch the show, and, furthermore, what it says about our cultural perceptions at large.
We want so badly to see these characters grow, and to become functional, happy, confident, and thoughtful people. We want this in part because we identify with the characters we see in fiction, and it’s painful to watch them fail. But we also want this for her, because in constantly failing to meet our expectations for adulthood and growth, she regularly fails our cultural, societal requirement of what a successful person looks like. And she does this regardless of whether the standard you hold her to is based on the way women should act, or the way young people should act, or the way Brooklynites should act.
At Rolling Stone, Raúl Carrillo attempts to explain how student debt helps Wall Street.
With more than 40 million Americans being in student loan debt (totaling at least $1.2 trillion), it’s no surprise that so many (Democratic) presidential nominees have spent much of this most recent campaign period pandering to those that want to make college more affordable. However, when considering how student loan debt plays right into the hands of one of the Democratic Party’s other enemies (Wall Street), it takes on unprecedented importance.
One rarely discussed feature of the “student loan industrial complex” is the $200 billion market for student loan asset-backed securities (SLABS). This is a circular business, involving lenders like Sallie Mae and big banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Like mortgages, student loans get pooled and repackaged into new financial products (securities). The lenders then sell the securities to investors. Investors receive the reward of monthly loan payments, plus interest. They can hold the securities themselves, trade them or bet on them.