Sex, Lies and Videotape
More than two decades before Stephen Soderbergh copped an Academy Award for directing Traffic, he wrote and directed this groundbreaking piece of indie cinema about infidelity, human need and stinging betrayal. Starring Andie McDowell, Peter Gallagher and a coolly secretive James Spader, the film (which won the Palme D’or at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival) astonishes in its open, affecting and slowburning realism.
“Easy Please Me”
British siren Katy B (crossed between Colbie Caillat and Adele) addresses the challenge of finding a lover she won’t have to later toss in the “Uneligible” pile. Along with her modest gift as an attention-worthy storyteller, the groovy single reveals the singer’s sly charm and sense of romantic adventure.
True Blood (Season Four)
Ever since I thirstily devoured (in two weeks) the first three seasons of the hit HBO drama about vampires, werewolves, shifters and witches in the fictional Bon Temps, Louisiana, my craving for the Alan Ball-created series has only intensified. There’s just something about losing myself in such a fascinating, dangerous and highly sexualized world that appeals to me, especially when today’s real-life climate is no longer that far removed from TV fantasy.
In her stunning fourth collection, Elizabeth Alexander, the poetess singled out to read at the 2009 Obama presidential inauguration – and whom I met and took an instant shine to at Calabash a year earlier – forges lyrical, joyful magic out of hot-button themes as familiar and universal as race, class and family. “Stray” and the four-part “Matrimonio” are delightful highlights.