There’s a search for a fifth meat- and 19 other things podcasts taught us in 2016

Whether its asking what happens when you watch Sexuality and the City 2 more than 50 days or which Oscar has won an Oscar, theres no question a podcast somewhere hasnt answered

1 Richard Ayoade used a ThunderCats duvet cover until he was in his late 20 s

Where we learned it The Adam Buxton podcast

Adam Buxtons life-affirming, jingle-packed ramble chats with his celebrity guests are a constant pleasure. In this two-parter, the multi-talented Ayoade went into everything from the height of pillows to the reaction to his notoriously awkward interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy. As funny as the pod is, you will learn a lot, too from Buxtons honest discussions of heartbreak when his dad succumbed to how upsetting Sara Pascoe sees it when people induce clicky sticky noises with their mouths.

Other lessons from this podcast Louis Theroux does a fine rendition of Yes Sir, I Can Boogie. Ellie Violet Bramley

Journalist and writer Malcolm Gladwell. Photograph: Anne Bailey

2 One of the biggest auto recalls in history may have been caused by drivers pressing the wrong pedal

Where we learned it Malcolm Gladwells Revisionist History

If you are familiar with Gladwells run, then Revisionist History is both a treat and familiar province. The New Yorker writer often takes assumptions and things we might think to be true and unravels them to end up in a different place altogether. In his bestseller Blink, he explained why it might not have been so unusual that an unarmed man was shot 41 periods by New York police. In the best episode of Revisionist History, Gladwell looked back at Toyotas sudden unintended acceleration phenomenon, which led to a gigantic fine for the car manufacturer. The conclusion when you are listen to a 911 call in which a man is driven to his death by a vehicle that wont slow down was not that the cars accelerators were sticking, but that drivers unfamiliar with certain autoes were having a brain malfunction that entailed the latter are physically unable to differentiate between the brake and the accelerator.

Other lessons from this podcast American colleges with the nicest canteens are the worst choices for poor students; if you want to score the most free-throws in basketball, do them underarm. Will Dean

3 One day, everyone in Sweden switched to driving on the opposite side of the road

Where we learned it 99% Invisible

You neednt be an architecture or design fanatic to enjoy Roman Marss gentle unpicking of how the world around us came to look and function as it does. As well as tales about the origins of the inflatable humen they have outside automobile traders in the US, and why they used to publicize missing children on milk cartons, you are able to learn about Hgertrafikomlggningen , or H-day 3 September 1967 when everyone in Sweden switched from driving on the left side of the road to the right.

Other lessons from this podcast Californias Salton Sea was formed by mistake; 20 years ago, the world became obsessed with a phone booth in the middle of the Mojave desert. Leah Harper

4 Having your own podcast wont win you an election

Where we learned it With Her

How do we know that Hillary Clinton enjoyed a Cuban sandwich and a brew at the end of a day on the road? Well, she had her own campaign podcast, about the little details of being on the road. In the first episode, Max Linsky, of the podcast Longform, talked to her in Miami about what she was going to have for dinner that evening. As the first presidential nominee to have a campaign podcast, Clinton tried to harness the power of the medium to proves a more personable side of herself. Suffice to say, it didnthave the desired effect.

Other lessons from this podcast Clinton is a TED talks fan and has to ration her Elena Ferrante novels. EVB

The hosts of My Dad Wrote a Porno.

5 Theres more than one way of motivating your sales force

Where we learned it My Dad Wrote a Porno

Pots-and-pans sales supremo Belinda Blumenthal can find lust in any situation even when she is lost in an ornamental labyrinth. The superstar of the erotic fiction written by comedian Jamie Mortons father has taught the world that a regional marketings conference has just as much possibilities for naked fun as a business trip-up to Amsterdam. Other things she has appropriated into her libidinous realm include a charity tombola, Herb Alpert, a chalet, a pomegranate, a horsebox and any sentence involving the words further access. What she has taught listeners about her ridiculously sexy life may be unsavoury, but via Mortons podcast it has brought a whole lot of mirth.

Other lessons from this podcast There is such a thing as a vaginal lid; never read erotic fiction written by your dad. Hannah Verdier

6 Sacha Baron Cohen has been known to use a getaway car

Where we learned it WTF

Marc Marons WTF can be off-putting: the hosts 15 -minute opening monologue and guitar jams are often enough to deter new listeners. But when it comes to teasing out colorful details from the careers of some of Hollywoods funniest and finest, Maron is the master. Grimsby may have bombed in the cinema, but it was worth it for the interview Baron Cohen did with Maron to promote the cinema. The best bits were the details of the logistical difficulties of attaining Brno, from how a redneck battle crowd were deceived into watching a homoerotic romp to how Baron Cohen managed to escape Kansas police after being caught with, among other things, a pedal-powered sexuality machine in a hotel room.( He had a auto waiting outside with the engine running .)

Other lessons from this podcast Asking what peoples parents were like rarely gets a dull answer; if you have the US president over to record in your garage, youd better have nice neighbours; William Friedkin is the best storyteller in Hollywood. WD

Alix Fox looks into peoples sexuality lives. Photograph: Ken McKay/ Rex/ Shutterstock

7 Having two vaginas doesnt mean you can have vaginal sex with two men at the same time

Where we learned it Close Encounters from the Guardian

Alix Fox pries into the complicated and fascinating lives of people for whom sex is not always entirely straightforward, from a polyamorous couple to a human paralysed from the waist down just before his honeymoon. An extraordinary interview with double-barrelled Hazel, who talked openly about the effects her condition has had on her and may have on her if she wants to have children is the standout so far.

Other lessons from this podcast Russian-doll-style dildos can cure vaginismus; having cold feet can help to delay an orgasm. LH

8 The search for a fifth meat continues

Where we learned it The Beef and Dairy Network podcast

The centuries-old assumption that there are only four meats beef, lamb, pork and chicken is crumbling after unconfirmed reports that the European Space Agency has identified a mysterious fifth meat. The Beef and Dairy Network podcast, produced by comedian Ben Partridge, is the No 1 podcast for those involved or only interested in the production of beef animals and dairy herds. Featuring guest appearances from agricultural experts such as Josie Long, and attracting fans including Miranda Sawyer, it is a surreal beefstravaganza.

Other lessons from this podcast According to Beef and Dairy Network sponsor Mitchells, 90% of cattle can kick through a vessel hull after just a few months of taking hoof-strengthening supplement Steel Hoof Deluxe. EVB

Dont put this cow in your ships hull. Photograph: Brian Brown/ Getty Images

9 John Oliver is not dead

Where we learned it The Bugle

For a decade, long-time comedy partners John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman set the world to rights via the medium of their audio newspaper for a visual world. Their riffs on anything from civil liberties( Like puppies, John, we love our own, but we get genuinely vexed when other peoples civil liberty keep shitting on our lawns) to Texas barbecues( All I know is this, Andy: if I was a cow, and I knew that I could savor like that, Id find it very hard to make a coherent example for not being immediately killed and slow-cooked) often attained the indicate the funniest thing you could get on Wi-Fi. With Oliver having left the Daily Show to front his own display on HBO, the Bugle went into satirical hibernation. It awoke in mid-October, just in time for a political event so ridiculous that even Zaltzman at his most surreal couldnt have imagined it. The pods Have I Got News for You-style rotating guest co-hosts now include US comics Wyatt Cenac and Hari Kondabolu, as well as Brit Nish Kumar and brilliant Indian standup Anuvab Pal. They dont know each other as well as best friends Zaltzman and Oliver, but perhaps the other co-host, Andys sister Helen, could claim an advantage on that front. The Bugle is dead, long live the Bugle.

Other lessons from this podcast Bashar al-Assad bought LMFAOs Im Sexy and I Know It as the Syrian civil war raged. WD

10 A bloke operating a driving school in Acton, west London, was also helping to prop up the death penalty in the US

Where we learned it More Perfect

In a residential area of west London, inside a house with a banner that reads Elgone Driving Academy, is a guy in his 50 s who seems a bit like William Hurt and who was the one-man operation helping to provide the narcotics used for capital punishment in the US. That was until a human rights charity alerted the UK government to his pharmaceutical broom closet of death. In the inaugural episode of More Perfect, a Radiolab spin-off looking at how US supreme court cases affect lives miles away from the bench, the presenters explored those three little terms from the American constitution: cruel and unusual.

Other lessons from this podcast An unusual 911 call made in Houston, Texas, in 1998, led to one of the most important LGBTQ rights decisions in the courts history, effectively building homosexual relations a basic civil right. EVB

11 The political insiders word for people panicking about a Trump win was bedwetters

Where we learned it Keepin it 1600

A politics podcast hosted by Barack Obamas former speechwriter and a senior communications consultant ought to scream wonkishness, but Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer may be the two most engaging analysts of a bonkers election campaign. Having been at the heart of two US election blizzards, they alongside other hosts Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor know, inside-out, how this world runs and share it. Their near certainty about a Clinton win up to the morning of general elections induced 1600 one of the most reassuring political podcasts you could listen to and construct their morning-after mea culpa on 9 November all the more extraordinary. Now its actually time to wet the bed.

Other lessons from this podcast The Obama team realised it was impossible to refute crazy lies about its candidate after Fox News said in 2008 that the young Obama had been raised a Muslim when the team complained, they were told that it was an amusement show. WD

12 Billy Joel has really soft hands

Where we learned it Two Dope Queens

Comedians and co-podcast hosts Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams went where two black women have never gone before a Billy Joel concert. They sneaked in their ros in suntan lotion bottles bought on Amazon the kind that get white daughters, watching the Shins, through Coachella. And, having been given front-row tickets because Billy likes to see fairly girls up at the front, they got to shake his baby-soft hands. If thats not informative enough for you, listen to the other episodes of this snort-out-loud-funny podcast from WNYC and hear some of New Yorks best female comedians talking about sexuality, romance, race, hair journeys and living in the city.

Other lessons from this podcast Pierce Brosnans volcano thriller Dantes Peak has a lot to tell us about how far we have come since the 90 s; talcum powder is the best method to deal with boob sweat. EVB

13 Tar heroin reeks just like capers

Where we learned it Guys We Fucked

Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson host the anti-slut-shaming podcast, featuring interviews with everyone from Jon Ronson to Stoya( and, as the title gently suggests, people with whom they have had sex ). Their interview with Wendi Kent or, as they call her, White Precious who photographs protesters outside abortion clinics, exposed the same reasons she can no longer feed capers and what its like to have sex when youre homeless. But its not all heavy-going. The episode titles alone are a treat good luck disguising You didnt go to France because you wanted to masturbate ?, His pubes were haunted? and Period sex: supposes? from fellow commuters.

Other lessons from this podcast DIY HIV tests can be done at home( or on-air) with a mouth swab; comedians on the circuit all hook up with one another. LH

There is such a this as too much SatC2 I mean, you knew that already, right? Photograph: Allstar/ Warner/ Sportsphoto Ltd

14 You can watch Sex and the City 2 too many times

Where we learned it The Worst Idea of All Time

A lot of time, effort and fund, especially money, went into making this film, says Guy Montgomery. Weve just opened up the most disgusting can of worms. Theres no need to watch SatC2 because he and Tim Batt have done it more than 50 times for the sake of their podcast( they did the same with Grown Ups 2 ). Mirandas nanny Magda is a spy who is gradually poisoning her, Charlotte is the other one and the whole thing is crying out for the kind of dialogue that attained the Tv series great.

Other lessons from this podcast We Are Your Friends is next on your hatewatch list. HV

15 You can have a podcast about a podcast

Where we learned it Slates Serial Spoiler Specials

Slates week-by-week analysis of Serial, 2014 s podcast preoccupation, is perfect for when everyone you know is listening far too slowly offering story recaps, whodunnit hypothesis and critiques of the host, Sarah Koenig. Not to mention digging deep down into Reddit rabbit pits about the two cases encompassed so far.

Other lessons from this podcast The cow birth in season two can be seen as an agricultural metaphor for the militarys have responded to Bowe Bergdahls disappearance; its almost impossible to map a timeline via audio. LH

16 Moby is a CD thief

Where we learned it Heavyweight

Jonathan Goldsteins Heavyweight aims to the tell the stories of people whose lives have taken a wrong turn somewhere. One of these was to reunited his 80 -year-old father with his elder friend before it was too late. Another was to reunite his friend Gregor who is haunted by the moment he loaned a box of Cds to a techno-producer friend. The friend, was, of course, Moby, who utilized many of them as the basis for his squillion-selling Play. Gregor doesnt want royalties he only wants his Cds back. And Goldstein helps him get them.

Other lessons from this podcast Tracking down your school bullies is an uncomfortable eye-opener( as demonstrated by Julia in episode seven ). HV

17 You can have an -Alist cast in a podcast drama

Where we learned it Homecoming

Although Serial was essentially a piece of investigative journalism, its format have also shown that podcasting didnt need to be limited in its sort. Gimlet Media, functional specialists podcasting company, emerged around the same period as that NPR made and proved its aspirations in the field. Its scripted drama, Homecoming, aimed straight for the stars with a cast including Catherine Keener, Star Wars Oscar Isaac and David Schwimmer. The story flips between Keeners characters work at an experimental facility that helps soldiers integrate back in local communities and her present-day life as a waitress. There are plenty of cliffhangers helping to tell the story of what happened in between.

Other lessons from this podcast You dont mess with David Schwimmer. As Colin Belfast, he oozes fury and has the air of a human on the edge. HV

18, 19, 20 France buys in most of its frogs legs only one person called Oscar has won an Oscar Donald, Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck were more reprinted comic book characters( that arent superheroes) of all time

Where we learned it Answer Me This !

Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann( plus Martin the soundman) solve listeners queries on a fortnightly basis with questions ranging from the practical to the ethical to the ridiculous. Suffice to say, you will learn more listening to them while doing the washing up than from Heart FM. You will also learn that drunken voicemails are welcome, especially from Dave from Smethwick and Graham from Canada.( Its Oscar Hammerstein II, by the route .) LH

The Guardian publishes a wide range of award-winning podcasts daily, from Football Weekly to the Guardian Books podcast, all of which are available on our site , iTunes and other leading podcast platforms .

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Georgia O’Keeffe, health food devotee: the pioneer of modernism’s favourite recipes

The American artist lived until she was 98 and a new volume of her favourite recipes might give some clues as to how

Georgia OKeeffe was an icon of the American art world: a pioneer of abstract modernism, with boldly innovative paints of flowers and bleached animal skulls. Lesser known is that her diet, too, was ahead of its period.

A new cookbook of OKeeffes personal recipes Dinner with Georgia OKeeffe: Recipes, Art and Landscape, by the Australian author Robyn Lea reveals she was a forerunner to todays organic, slow food movement, a health food follower who built her own yoghurt.

A hundred years ago, OKeeffes first solo exhibition opened in New York and, in 2014, her 1932 painting Jimson Weed/ White Flower No 1 set a record cost for a run by a female artist, selling at Sothebys for $44.4 m. With her art so highly coveted, it is unsurprising that an astute luxury publisher such as Assouline believes there is also a receptive market awaiting her recipes. But her lifestyle habits will be of interest to an audience beyond art aficionados since OKeeffe lived until the age of 98.

In photographs, OKeeffe appears unsmiling and stern-looking, garmented in a largely androgynous uniform of monochromes and striking silhouettes. She was often photographed by her husband and mentor, the photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz but knowing what she liked to eat goes some route to humanise her beyond his powerful black and white images.

You various kinds of feel like youre reading people diary in a way, feeing the food they eat, because its quite a personal thing, Lea says. She actually was quite a force-out for this new way of thinking across so many levels, whether in art, food, dress and interiors.

The book is a companion piece of sorts to Leas 2015 volume, Dinner with Jackson Pollock, which featured the personal recipes of the celebrated modern painter. Lea believes it is natural that she should follow up her Pollock book with one on OKeeffe. If you think of the hero male icon and the hero female icon of the 20 th century in art in America, they are the two.

When Lea began conducting online research from her home in Melbourne, she knew nothing of OKeeffes feeing habits. It was four months later in March 2016 that she visited the Georgia OKeeffe Research Centre in New Mexico and discovered a trove of OKeeffes handwritten recipes, along with magazine trims and instructional handbooks for her yoghurt manufacturer and various kitchen accoutrements. What fascinated me was how the three elements of food, art and nature worked together both visually and philosophically in OKeeffes life, Lea says.

Georgia OKeeffe with a canvas from her Pelvis Series, Red With Yellow in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1960. Photograph: Tony Vaccaro/ Getty Images

Stieglitz described his wife as quite a cook, loves experimenting is in everything she does, what she is as a painter[ sic ]. During summers with the Stieglitz family at Lake George in upstate New York, OKeeffe attained dinners so delicious that Stieglitz even joked about opening a eatery.

OKeeffe had been raised on a farm in Wisconsin, and induced the first of many journeys to northern New Mexico in the summer of 1929. The stark scenery had a profound influence on her art. From the mid-1 930 s, she began spending a lot more time in New Mexico, away from Stieglitz in New York. In 1940, she bought a home at Ghost Ranch , northwest of Santa Fe. At the end of 1945, she bought a second property only 25 km from the Ghost Ranch, a destroyed hacienda in the village of Abiqui. It was here that she ultimately grew her dreaming garden of fruit and vegetables. OKeeffe moved to Abiquiu permanently in 1949, three years after Stieglitzs death, and she remained in New Mexico until her death in 1986.

Leas book exposes the great lengths OKeeffe went to to procure superior quality raw ingredients. She requested walnuts, dates, wheat germ and brewers yeast from her sister Claudia, while goats milk was procured from neighbouring Franciscan priests. OKeeffe believed water had to already be simmering before corn was picked from the garden( to avoid loss of vitamins ); organic whole grains needed to be ground for homemade bread; and herbs were to be harvested from the garden and hung to dry. OKeeffe was also a follower of health beverages such as vitamin A cocktail, a vegetable juice, and Tigers Milk, a yogurt and fruit drink.

OKeeffe was passionate about sharing her nutritional knowledge with others and would make healthy smoothies for friends on neighbouring properties, insisting they drank them. Even her gardener, shed induce him have these smoothies saying, Youll live longer, youll be healthier, Lea says.

Fifty of her favourite recipes are included in Leas book, including brightly coloured vegetable soups( a creamy carrot soup adorns the cover-up) as well as bread and salads. Lea says she isnt sure whether the vivid colouring in OKeeffes recipes was motivated by her preoccupation with colour, or more because she only wanted things only cooked to the point where they were right to feed and not over simmered. But its hard not to conclude that the colours of such healthy dishes must have pleased the artist.

OKeeffe also believed that food could enhance artistic output. The volume contains an anecdote about OKeeffe quizzing the artist John Marin about what he feed for breakfast on the day he painted three runs admired by OKeeffe. She truly did believe that, if you feed something good for breakfast, that had the power to help your creative work, your expres, Lea says. While such thinking is common now, it was not in 1925.

It feels like a new discovery in a manner that is, that people are talking like that today, but it seems she was thinking that route before these ideas were scientifically proven.

Dinner with Georgia OKeeffe: Recipes, Art and Landscape will be launched in Australia at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on 5 July, to coincide with OKeeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith: Inducing Modernism, which opens at AGNSW on 1 July

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The Jean-Michel Basquiat I knew …

The graffiti artist turned painter became the starring of the 1980 s New York art scene. Since his death aged 27, his reputation has risen. On the eve of a major UK show, we speak to his friends

It’s always tempting to mythologise the dead, especially those who die young and beautiful. And if the dead person is also astonishingly gifted, then the myth becomes inevitable. Jean-Michel Basquiat was just 27 when he died, in 1988, a strikingly gorgeous young man whose stunning, genre-wrecking work had already brought him to international attention; who had in the space of just a few years morphed from an underground graffiti artist into a painter who commanded hundreds of thousands of dollars for his canvases.

So perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that everyone I talk to who knew Basquiat when he was alive, from girlfriends to collectors, musicians to painters, speaks about him as special. Still, it’s noticeable that they all do. Basquiat- even before he was acknowledged as an artist- was ensure by his friends as exceptional.

” I knew when I satisfied him that he was beyond the normal ,” says musician and film-maker Michael Holman, who founded the noise band Gray with Basquiat.” Jean-Michel had his flaws, he was mischievous, he had certain things about him that could be called amoral, but setting that aside, he had something that I’m sure he had from the moment he was born. It was like he was born fully realised, a realised being .”

” He was a beautiful person and an amazing artist ,” says Alexis Adler, a former girlfriend.” I recognised that from the get-go. I knew he was brilliant. The only person around that time I felt the same thing about was Madonna. I wholly, 100% knew they were going to be big .”

Basquiat the man and Basquiat the painter are hard to untangle. He lived hard and succumbed harder( from an unintentional heroin overdose ), and had more of the rock-star persona than the art aesthete about him, a cool celebrity sparkle that didn’t always work in his prefer. Some art connoisseurs find his work hard to take seriously; others, though, have an immediate, nearly visceral response. To me, a non-art critic, his work is fantastic: it feels contemporary, with a chaotic, musical sensibility. It’s beautiful and hectic, young and old, graphic, arresting, packed with ambiguous codes; there’s a questioning of identity, especially race, and a sampling of life’s stimulations that takes in music, cartoons, commerce and institutions, as well as celebrities and art greats.( Not sexuality, though: though he had lots of partners, his paintings are rarely erotic .). You could stand in front of a Basquiat painting and be fascinated for hours.

Since he died, Basquiat has had a mixed reputation. There was a time in the 1990 s when he was dismissed as a lightweight. Museums repudiated him as a jumped-up wall-sprayer. But over the past few years, his superstar has been on the rise and even those who are snooty about his art can’t argue with his culture influence. A couple of years ago a Christie’s spokesperson described him, pointedly, as” the most collected artist of sportsmen, performers, musicians and entrepreneurs “. As one of the few black American painters to break through into international consciousness, he is referenced a lot in hip-hop: Kanye West, Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, Nas and others cite Basquiat in their lyrics; Jay-Z, in Most Kingz, uses the” most kings get their head cut off” phrase from Basquiat’s painting Charles the First . Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz own his works, as do Johnny Depp, John McEnroe and Leonardo DiCaprio. Debbie Harry was the first person ever to pay for a Basquiat piece; Madonna owns his art and they dated for a couple of months in the mid-8 0s.

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 painting Untitled( LA Painting) sold for $110.5 million( PS85m) at Sotheby’s in New York, to became the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction. Photograph: Shutterstock

A household name in the US, Basquiat is less well known in the UK, though the sale, in May, of one of his paints ( Untitled( LA Painting ), 1982) for $110.5 m( PS85m ), the highest amount ever for an American artist at auction, constructed headlines. Now, Boom for Real, a vast exhibition at the Barbican- the first Basquiat show in the UK for more than 20 years- aims to open our eyes. Researched and curated for four years, it follows his career from street to gallery, recognise the exceptional days he was working in, and expands its references from straightforwardly visual art to music, literature, TV and movies, all areas in which Basquiat experimented. It tries to see things from Basquiat’s point of view.

Eleanor Nairne, co-curator of the present, explains why there hasn’t been a full retrospective up to now. Although Basquiat was vastly prolific during his short life, institutions were slow to recognise his talent.” The time between his first solo indicate and his death was six years ,” she says.” Institutions do not move that quickly. During his lifetime he only had two displays in a public space[ as opposed to a commercial gallery ]. There’s not a single work in a public collect in the UK .” There are not many in the US, either: the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York has a couple, but when the city’s Museum of Modern Art( MoMA) was offered his work when he was alive, it said no, and it still doesn’t own any of his paintings( it has some on loan ). The head curator, Ann Temkin, subsequently admitted that Basquiat’s work was too advanced for her when she was offered it.” I didn’t recognise it as great, it didn’t look like anything I knew .”

Basquiat was born to a middle-class family in Brooklyn. “His fathers” was Haitian- quite a strict figure- and his mother, whose mothers were Puerto Rican, was bear in Brooklyn. His parents split up when he was seven and he and his sisters lived with “his fathers”, including a move, for a while, to Puerto Rico. His mom, to whom he was close, was committed to a mental hospital when he was 11. Basquiat was rebellious, angry, and moved from school to school. His education ended in New York when, for a dare, he emptied a box of shaving cream over the principal’s head during a graduation ceremony. By 15, he was leaving home on and off. He once slept in Washington Square Park for a week.

New York City in the late 1970 s was utterly unlike it is now: un-glitzy, rough, with many buildings burnt out and abandoned.” The city was disintegrating ,” says Alexis Adler,” but it was a very free time. We were able to do whatever we wanted because nobody cared .” Rents were cheap( or people squatted) and downtown New York was a grubby, exhilarating mecca for the artistic dispossessed. The punk scene, centred on the venue CBGB, was giving way to something more experimental, involving art, movie and what would become hip-hop. Everyone went out every night, everyone was creative, everyone was going to make it big.

” We were all these young kids in New York to carry out our Warhol fantasy ,” says Michael Holman,” but instead of being a ringleader as Warhol was, we were in the band ourselves, making art ourselves, we were acting in films, inducing movies, “weve all” one-man presents, with a lot of collaborations. That was the norm, to be a polymath. Whether you were a painter, an actor, a poet … you also had to be in a band, in order to really be cool .”

Basquiat was, of course, in a band, with Holman and others including Vincent Gallo; they were called Gray. They formed in 1979, but before that, Basquiat made his presence felt through his graffiti. Running with his school friend Al Diaz, from 1978 he was spraying the buildings of downtown NYC with their shared SAMO tag. SAMO( c ), originally a cartoon character Basquiat had described for a school publication, was derived from the phrase” same old shit “. It was meant, in part, to be a irony on corporations and the tag was straightforward , not decorative. Instead of images, SAMO( c) asked odd questions, or made enigmatic, poetic declarations:” SAMO( c) AS A CONGLOMERATE OF DORMANT-GENIOUS[ sic ]” or” PAY FOR SOUP, BUILD A FORT, SET THAT ON FIRE “. The SAMO( c) tag was everywhere. Before anyone knew Jean-Michel Basquiat, they knew SAMO( c ).

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Al Diaz’s SAMO( c) tag. Photo: Jean-Michel Basquiat /( c) Henry A. Flynt Jr

Basquiat left home permanently at 16 and slept on the sofas and floors of friends’ places, including UK artist Stan Peskett’s Canal Street loft. There he made friends with graffiti artists including Fred Brathwaite( better known as Fab 5 Freddy) and Lee Quinones of graffiti group the Fabulous 5, and attained postcards and collages.( Once Basquiat spotted Andy Warhol in a restaurant, popped in and sold him a couple of those postcards .) Brathwaite and Holman put on a party at the loft on 29 April 1979, as a route of bringing uptown hip-hop to the downtown art mob. Before the party started, Holman recollects, this child turned up, and said he wanted to be in the demonstrate. Holman didn’t know him, but” people with that kind of energy, you never stand in their way, you just say, Yes, go !” They set up a large piece of photo newspaper and Basquiat started spraying it with a can of red paint. He wrote:” Which of the following is omniprznt[ sic ]? a) Lee Harvey Oswald b) Coca Cola logo c) General Melonry or d) SAMO .”” And we all ran, Oh my God, this is SAMO !” says Holman. Later at the party, Basquiat asked Holman, who had been in the glam-rock band the Tubes, if he too wanted to be in a band. Gray was formed there and then.

The members of Gray, which settled into the line-up of Holman, Basquiat, Wayne Clifford and Nick Taylor, intentionally use painting or statue as references, as opposed to music. Their highest expression of kudo was ” ignorant”, used in the same way as bad( entailing good ). Holman recollects playing a gig with a long loop of videotape passing through a reel-to-reel machine and then around the whole band. Brathwaite was at Gray’s first gig, at the Mudd Club in New York, and said afterwards:” David Byrne[ of Talking Heads] was there. Debbie Harry. It was a real who’s who. Everyone was there because of Jean…SAMO’s in a band! They came out and played for just 10 minutes. Someone was playing in a box .”

Gray aimed when Basquiat’s painting took off. He was always painting and drawing, initially in the style of Peter Max( believe Yellow Submarine ), but quickly detected his own aesthetic, which utilized writing, and had elements of Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg. Because he had no money for canvases, he painted on the detritus he dragged in from the street- doorways, briefcases, tyres- as well as the more permanent elements in his flat: the refrigerator, the TV, the wall, the floor. About the same time that Gray began, Basquiat started dating Adler, then a budding embryologist( he stepped in to protect her when she innocently provoked a street fight ). Adler observed a flat- at 527 East 12 th Street- where she still lives today, and they both moved in. There, Basquiat painted on everything, including Adler’s clothes.( When, in 2013, Adler revealed that she had maintained a lot of his run, she sold an actual wall of her flat via a Christies auction: it had a Basquiat painting of Olive Oyl on it.” They were careful about taking it out ,” she tells me.” And now we have glass bricks there instead !”)

Although she and Basquiat were sleeping together, it wasn’t a straightforward boyfriend-girlfriend thing, says Adler.” It was before Aids, a wild hour, you could have whatever relationship you wanted .” They had separate rooms, and had sex with other people. Adler bought a camera to take pictures of Basquiat’s art, and of him mucking about: he played with putty on his nose, was interested in movie and Tv( his phrase” boom for real”, employed when he was impressed, came from a Tv program ), and shaved the front half of his head, so he would” appear as though he was coming and going at the same time “.

They went out every night to the newly opened Mudd Club, in the Tribeca district. Friend came over until all hours( hard for Adler, who worked in a laboratory by day ). PiL’s Metal Box was on rotation, along with Bowie’s Low and records by Ornette Colman, Miles Davis. Adler loved Metal Box and nailed the cover up on the wall. When Basquiat saw it, he was full of disdain. He took the album down and nailed up William Burroughs’s The Naked Lunch in its place.” He find it offensive that I would put it up ,” says Adler. It wasn’t good enough to be art in his eyes.

Basquiat on the situated of Downtown 81, spray can in hand. Photograph: Alamy

Basquiat lasted at Adler’s flat until the springtime of 1980. During that year, his work featured in a couple of group proves and he played the lead role in the film New York Beat Movie ( eventually released in 2000 as Downtown 81 ; the Barbican indicate will play it in full ). In the movie, Basquiat is the star, but it’s fun to play spot-the-famous-person: there are cameos by Debbie Harry, Fab 5 Freddy, Lee Quinones; the band Dna and even Kid Creole and the Coconuts make an appearance. The plot is of the day-in-the-life form: Basquiat plays an artist who strays the street trying to sell a painting so he can get enough money to move back into his apartment. He sells it, but is paid by cheque, so he club-hops, trying to find a girl he can go home with. You can’t imagine the role was much of a stretch.

When he wasn’t clubbing, Basquiat worked hard- Brook Bartlett, an artist he mentored in the early 1980 s, remembers him painting continuously- and his transformation from being penniless to rich happened between 1981 and 1982. He was by then living with Suzanne Mallouk, who had moved from Canada to become an artist. They’d fulfilled when she was bartending at Night Bird. Basquiat would come in, stand at the back of the room and stare at her. Initially, she thought he was a hobo- he had shaved hair at the front of his head, bleached baby dreads at the back, and wore a coat five sizings too big.” He wouldn’t come to the bar because he had no fund for beverages ,” she recalls.” But then, after two weeks, he came in, put a loading of change down and bought the most expensive drink in the place: Remy Martin.$ 7 !”. Mallouk was intrigued. They were the same age and had a lot in common. Basquiat moved into her tiny walk-up flat.

Within eight months, there was money everywhere. Mallouk:” I watched him sell his first painting to Deborah Harry for $200, and then a few months later he was selling paintings for $20,000 each, selling them faster than he could paint them. I watched him stimulate his first million. We ran from stealing bread on the way home from the Mudd Club and eating pasta to buying groceries at Dean& DeLuca; the refrigerator was full of tarts and caviar, we were drinking Cristal champagne. We were 21 years old .” Basquiat would leave heaps of money all over the apartment, buy Armani suits by the dozen, throw parties with” hills of cocaine “. His rise coincided with a shift in the city: financiers were looking to invest in art, and the latter are cruising around art demonstrates, snapping up new work.

The first public illustrate of Basquiat’s paintings was in 1981: New York/ New Wave, at PS1 in Long Island, brought together by Mudd Club co-founder and curator Diego Cortez. It was a group show that included pieces by William Burroughs, David Byrne, Keith Haring, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpeand Andy Warhol, but Basquiat was given a whole wall, which he filled with 20 paints.( The Barbican show recreates this, with 16 of the original 20 on display .) His work caused a sensation.

Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, 1983. Photo: Jean-Michel Basquiat/ Barbican

Basquiat gained a merchant: Annina Nosei. She devoted him the basement under her gallery to work in( Fred Brathwaite didn’t approve:” A black kid, painting in the cellar, it’s not good, man”, he said subsequently ), which was where Herb and Lenore Schorr, benign and interested art collectors, fulfilled him. The Schorrs expended some time in the gallery choosing a piece of work, without knowing that Basquiat was running beneath them. Once they’d decided, he came up, and, though other collectors find Basquiat threatening or obtuse, they liked him instantly. He didn’t explain his work-” he always said:” If you can’t figure it out, it’s your problem ,” says Lenore; to Bartlett, he said:” I paint ghosts”- but he pointed out proportions that he thought he’d done particularly well, such as a snake.

Things were on the up. In early 1982, Nosei arranged for Basquiat and Mallouk to move from their small flat to the much fancier 151 Crosby Street in Soho, and she hosted his first ever solo indicate at her gallery: a huge success. Through another merchant, Bruno Bischofberger( his most consistent representative ), Basquiat was formally introduced to Andy Warhol; afterwards, Basquiat immediately made a paint of the two of them, and had it delivered to Warhol, still wet, two hours after they’d parted. They formed the beginning of a friendship. Basquiat was then asked to do a show in LA, at the Gagosian gallery.

Film-maker Tamra Davis, who built the Basquiat documentary Radiant Child ( 2009 ), gratified him in Los Angeles. She was an assistant at another gallery and a friend brought Basquiat over.” Jean-Michel came and he didn’t have a car and he didn’t know where to go and we showed him around ,” she says.” That was our assigning. It was the funnest thing ever. I was going to cinema school, and he really loved films, so we would go to the movies together, talk about them. He was the new thing in town, everyone wanted to get to know him. He was so charming, but it was also like hanging out with the Tasmanian devil. Everywhere he went, chaos would pass. You didn’t know what was going to happen next. It was invigorating, but it was also genuinely tiring .”

Basquiat, though, was never tired. He had unending energy, partly drug-fuelled: he needed it in LA, as he brought no paints with him. He rarely did, for his indicates: instead he’d arrive early at whichever city the indicate was in and attain the paints there.” He could attain 20 paints in three weeks ,” says Davis. In 1986, she filmed him working: he would have source books open, the Tv on, music playing and worked on several canvases at once. For this first LA show, he made works including Untitled( Yellow Tar and Feathers ) and Untitled( LA Painting ), the picture that only cost Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa $ 110.5 m( in 1984, it ran for $19,000 ). Every single one sold.

Once back in New York, Basquiat left Nosei and joined another merchant, Mary Boone. His reputation was rocketing. The opening for his solo indicate at Patti Astor’s Fun Gallery was packed with celebrities, recall the Schorrs, who consider that particular show to be his finest, and all the work sold on the first night.

Reviews, however, were scarce. Basquiat’s push-me-pull-you relationship with the art establishment was becoming evident: the merchant he wanted, Leo Castelli, rejected him as too troublesome; there was racism against him for his youth, for having first worked as a graffiti artist, for being untrained, and for being black. His work was represented as instinctive, as opposed to intellectual, though he was well versed in art history; some held the patronising idea that he didn’t know what he was doing.

Basquiat’s Hollywood Africans, 1983. Photograph: Jean-Michel Basquiat/ Barbican
Racism also had an everyday impact: he would leave successful opening parties and find it impossible to get a cab. Herb Schorr would give him lifts to build his life easier( they would joke that he should wear a peaked cap and be Basquiat’s driver ). George Condo, an artist on the rise at the same time, recalls going to a restaurant with him in LA and not being allowed in.” I said:’ Do you know who this is? This is Jean-Michel Basquiat, the most important point painter of our time .’ The guy said,’ He’s not coming in. We don’t allow his kind in here .'” Brook Bartlett remembers a trip-up to Europe in 1982 during which a rich Zurich socialite intimated that she, an 18 -year-old white woman, would be a civilising influence on Basquiat, who was four years older and already established. No wonder race became more prominent in his run: in his second LA Gagosian show, in 1983, Basquiat demonstrated paintings such as Untitled( Sugar Ray Robinson ), Hollywood Africans , Horn Players and Eyes and Eggs , featuring black musicians, performers and sportsmen.

Drugs, too, were around more and more.” Everyone in the East Village and in the arts world in the 80 s did medications. Wall Street did medications, everyone did drugs ,” says Mallouk. But after Mallouk and Basquiat split up in 1983, Basquiat get increasingly into heroin.” He was sniffing it, smoking it and injecting it ,” says Mallouk.” There were some models that he was hanging out with that were doing it and that’s how he got into it .” He became unreliable, travelling to Japan on a caprice, instead of going to Italy, where he had a reveal. But then, his focus was constantly diverted. Everyone wanted him. He was moving into another world: his old friends still find him, but intermittently.

During 1984 and 1985, Basquiat’s star shot higher and higher. There was a lot of traveling, a lot of attention. He was featured on the front cover of the New York Times Magazine in a suit with his feet bare. The Warhol estate rented him an even bigger place, a loft on Great Jones Street large enough for him to use as a studio as well as a flat, and in 1985 Basquiat and Warhol had a show of paintings that they’d made jointly. Though the poster for the prove has subsequently been constantly reworked and sampled( even Iggy Azalea employed it on the coverof her 2011 mixtape Ignorant ), at the time, the indicate was not a success. One critic called Basquiat Warhol’s ” mascot “. Tamra Davis says this was hard for Basquiat.

” He really thought he was finally going to be appreciated ,” she says.” And instead they tore the demonstrate apart and said these horrible things about him and Andy and their relationship. He got really sad, and from then on it was hard to see a comeback. Anybody that you talked to that considered him around that time, he got more and more paranoid, his dreaded ran deeper and deeper .”

With Andy Warhol at their joint show in 1985, which was savaged by the critics. Photo: Richard Drew/ AP

And gradually, gradually his heroin use was catching up with him. Alhough he was greatly inspired by a journey to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and though he had presents all over the world- Tokyo, New York, Atlanta, Hanover, Paris- it became known among his friends that he was struggling. Mallouk would go over to his Great Jones loft.” I would beg him to get help and he merely couldn’t do it ,” she says.” He hurled the TV at me. People would stop me on the street, saying Jean-Michel is in a really bad way, he has spots all over his face, he looks really out of it, you need to go and help him … It was pretty common knowledge that he was not well .”

In February 1987, Andy Warhol succumbed at the age of 58. Basquiat became increasingly reclusive, though he still made work for shows, and constructed schemes, in early 1988, to revisit Ivory Coast to go to a Senufo village. He began to talk about doing something other than art: penning perhaps, or music, or setting up a tequila business in Hawaii. In 1988, he went to Hawaii to get clean: Davis assured him in LA afterwards.” He was sobers, he was gonna do better, it was like LA had a bit of Shangri-La about it for him .” But his visit was strange: he brought random people to dinner, people he’d only met at the airport, and he was unnaturally upbeat, too happy. It constructed her afraid.

In 2014, Anthony Haden-Guest wrote an article for Vanity Fair that describes in detail Basquiat’s last night: 12 August 1988. In New York, he did drugs during the day, and was dragged out to a Bryan Ferry aftershow party at bank-turned-club MK by his girlfriend, Kelly Inman, and another friend. He left promptly, with his pal Kevin Bray. They went back to the Great Jones loft, but Basquiat was nodding. Bray wrote him a note.” I DON’T WANT TO SIT HERE AND WATCH YOU DIE ,” it said. Bray read it out to Basquiat, and left.

The next day, Inman went to the apartment at 5.30 pm. Jean-Michel Basquiat was dead.

It was a sad aim to a rocket-flight life. And the subsequent oppose between Basquiat’s estate and various dealers over pieces of his run was not fairly. Collectors sued for paints bought but never received. Merchants claimed they owned works; the estate said they’d stolen them. There were too many Basquiat pieces knocking around on the market( 500 -6 00 canvas, according to one expert ): the estate would only confirm the provenance of a few. Then the taxman came knocking: Basquiat hadn’t paid taxes for three years before his death.

But the years have softened or resolved the arguments, and the run has had a life of its own. Though most of his most important art is owned by collectors, who keep it hidden away, it keeps oozing out, as if drawn to its public. And we want his work, it appears. Not only are organizations eventually coming around to his genius, but his work can be seen on T-shirts, on sneakers( Reebok did a Basquiat range ), on the arms of hip-hop artists. Just samples, short clips taken out of context, snippets and clues of the full, mind-whirling Basquiat experience.” He questions things and he references things he wants you to pay attention to ,” says Davis.” His paintings were meant to be seen by as many people as possible. They’re like movies or music , not just for one person alone .”

His art is irrevocably intertwined with their own lives: his charisma and drive, his race, his talent and sad demise. But it is bigger than that. Like the best art, it needs the world and the world needs it. And if you stand in front of a Basquiat and appear, it sings its own song, merely to you.

Basquiat: Boom for Real is at the Barbican, London EC2, from 21 September until 28 January 2018

Basquiat, as recollected by his friends

Basquiat with then girlfriend Suzanne Mallouk. Photograph: Duncan Fraser Buchanan

Michael Holman, musician and film-maker
Basquiat was born fully realised. And if anything, that is the kiss of death: you’re gonna burn brightly and burn fast. If you impressed him, if he complimented you, you just felt you’d been blessed by a saint, it was a very emotionally and spiritually profound experience. That’s one of the ways to calibrate his otherworldliness. Because he would never compliment you if he didn’t believe it to his core.

We all went out[ virtually] every night, till 4 in the morning. It was so important. Not merely did we go out and blow off steam, and satisfy people, have sex in the bathroom, get high, all that stuff that you do in clubs. But within the clubs the scene also creatively happened … all kinds of happenings, performances, art shows … Club 57 and Mudd Club, they fed us and they directed us and guided us, brought us together with crucial people, in a manner that is that going to openings or concerts simply didn’t do. It generated a community that supported each other. It was a special day. With[ our band] Gray, I taped a microphone to the head of a snare drum, face down, and attached masking videotape to the drum, then pulled the masking tape off and allowed that to be a voice. Jean would loosen the strings on an electric guitar, then run a metal file in the different regions of the strings.

In 1982, two years after Jean left Gray, I’d become an avant garde film-maker. I had this cable TV demonstrate, and I asked him to do an interview. He made it clear to me, without saying anything, that I wouldn’t be able to do this interview if I didn’t get high with him. He was doing base, like a high-end sort of fissure. I’d never done it before and, boy, I’ve never done it since. I could barely keep my focus. I could barely stop shaking, but it scarcely affected him. He had such a high tolerance.

He was a sensationalist. He pushed the boundaries of any type of sensation, anything that would set off his endorphins, his nerve ending, his brain cells. He was after the sensation of something special and brilliant and different and electric and massive. Would he have been good at middle age? Well, part of middle age is the struggle of coming to this place in which you know you’ve plateaued in some manner. When we pass that hump and start going down the other style, we are living and dying at the same time. I don’t think he wanted to go there.

Lenore and Herb Schorr, major New York collectors, and the first to recognise and support Basquiat
Lenore : We were very excited by the first painting we considered by him. This is not a common reaction, we’ve procured, even now! He’s a very difficult artist for many, many people. But we just felt he was a wonderful, brilliant artist, very, very early.

Herb : The artists understood him- some of them. They were there first, along with a few professionals. Basically, he had his collector base, but they weren’t knocking down the doors for them as they are today. There was not this hysteria. Really , nothing changes. We’re just finishing reading a book called The Portrait of Dr Gachet by Cynthia Saltzman, which is about a Van Gogh painting, and a lot of it is the same tale as Basquiat. It takes 20 years after his death before a Van Gogh enters a museum. Anything which breaks new ground takes a while for people to catch up to.

Lenore : Jean was very smart and he knew his art history. Modernism, Picasso, right up to the present and Jean knew it all. So we are genuinely had a nice rapport. I could see it in his run, Picasso, Rauschenberg, they were all important influences, he had absorbed their work. It was beautifully rendered, remade in his language, with his message, with New York at the time, his personal feelings.

Herb : We didn’t see him in a drugged nation, well maybe once, he seemed a little angry, he wasn’t the same person. He would call and maybe he required more money. Once, he called us up early in the morning and we lived in the suburbs, you know, and he said,” I need fund, I have a painting for you .” But he didn’t turn out following completion of the day …

Lenore : It’s so sad, he tried to get down it. Andy Warhol tried hard with him, they would exercise together.

Herb : We have good memories of him. One hour he said he wanted to come up and have a white man’s barbecue.

Lenore : We expected him around three and he shows up at eight, with friends. It was quite a party, there was skinny-dipping- not me!- I had the children here and there was a little pot being smoked, I could smell it, and we were like, We’re gonna be busted! It was a great, fun evening.

Suzanne Mallouk, partner, 1981 -1 983, and lifelong friend
We instantly had this feeling of kindred spirits. We were the same age, I left home at 15, so did he. We were both first generation from immigrant households- my father was Palestinian, “his fathers” was Haitian. Both of us didn’t fit into any racial or the various ethnic groups. Both of us suffered racism. We both had old-world fathers who use corporal punishment. My mom is English, from Bolton. His stepmother was English. It was very interesting, the common histories we had. Authoritarian parents that ensure European females as a award. And I think it genuinely shaped Jean-Michel’s experience. He was intelligent enough to resent that European women were somehow valued more, he saw the racism in that, yet most of his girlfriends were white. He was conflicted about it; he discussed it with me.

I disliked that I had a task and he didn’t. I was an artist, too- how dare he build me run as a waitress and live off me! Often I would come home and he would take fund out of my handbag to buy narcotics. We would have terrible fightings. He would say,” I promise I’ll look after you when I’m famous, please just let me do my art, I’m going to be famous very soon .” But I didn’t keep anything, so I didn’t get anything. He didn’t like me keeping things, he would virtually be jealous of his own artwork. He would say,” Why do you want to keep something of mine when you have me ?” Eventually, he gave me the message that really I could no longer be an artist. He was the only artist in the family and I had to look after him. It was kind of misogynist.

It wasn’t that he only saw Andy[ Warhol] as a father figure, he also genuinely had a flirtation with him. Often when I was with the two of them together, it didn’t feel like I was there with Jean; it felt like I was there with two homosexual lovers. He once joked with me that he had had sexuality with Andy, but I don’t know if it was a joke. Jean had a history of being bisexual, but Warhol was asexual, so I don’t know. People misunderstand the relationship if they just think Andy was helping Jean. Jean was already he was highly established, he was already famous or Andy would not have been interested in him. I think Andy required new life breathed into his career; I suppose the two of them needed each other.

Two weeks before his death, I was living with a new boyfriend in my little East Village hovel. Jean rang the buzzer in the middle of the night and we both got up, and said ” Who is it ?”” Jean-Michel, Jean-Michel, is Suzanne there ?” I buzzed him in but he never came up. I operated down the stairs to look for him, but he’d gone, and two weeks later he was dead. My heart was broken when I operated down the stairs and he was gone. Because I never stopped loving him. I still feel love for him and he’s been dead for over 30 years.

You’re going to think I’m mad, but I have dreamings, and in the dreams Jean-Michel is ageing. It’s as though he’s living in a parallel cosmo. And often he’s annoyed that I’m there, he’s like,” Don’t tell anyone I’m here Suzanne. Don’t tell anyone I faked my demise, and especially don’t tell the New York Times !” He’s just living a really simple life,

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Sorry to Bother You review- weirdo workplace satire may become a cult classic

Atlantas Lakeith Stanfield plays a conflicted call-centre droning in Boots Rileys freewheeling comedy, a patchy but impressively punk-rock affair

Rapper Boots Riley’s first feature film proves a great deal of spirit and promise, and farther secures Lakeith Stanfield as the one of the key performers of the moment. That’s my very polite way of saying I respect this movie, but wanted to like it more than I actually did. Despite being about serious matters( labor relations, systematic persecution, racial microaggressions ), Sorry to Bother You is slight and raggedy, but when it leans into its surreal, midnight movie instincts it proves engaging and amusing.

Cassius Green( Stanfield, once again immediately sympathetic with just a glance) lands a crappy job at a scummy bellow centre. His male directors look like they haven’t bathed in months; the female one( a very funny Kate Berlant) has one of those stapled-on smiles that stimulates you want to leap from a building. The movie get into gear when Cassius builds his first sales calls: his desk “drops” into the home of whomever he’s dialled-up , no matter what they are doing. He gets a tip from an older cubicle-mate played by Danny Glover:” Use your white voice .”

Cassius doesn’t just do that( and these lines are dubbed in by David Cross) but he has a knack for getting inside the heads of those he’s pitching to. Meanwhile, his co-workers, led by Steven Yeun, are preparing to unionize. Merely as they lead a stoppage, Cassius get called upstairs to become a” power caller “. Will his allegiance stay with his people, or will he go after the money? The fact that his Uncle( Terry Crews) is about to lose his home( the garage of which Cassius lives in) adds a little extra herb to the soup.

Beside him through all this is his girlfriend Detroit( Tessa Thompson ), a performance artist and roadside sign holder/ dancer whose actually part of a band of underground culture jammers against “Worry Free”, which just so happens to be Cassius’s next client. Worry Free is an even worse deal that the one in Downsizing. With a life-long contract you get free housing and snacks and a manufacturing task. The factories/ dormitories are blinged-up prisons. These people are essentially slaves.

We learn about Worry Free through one of the film’s many television inserts, which is not exactly Riley’s strongest directorial play. Cassius’s world is modern-day Oakland one minute, Idiocracy the next. Instead of feeling like an exaggerated version of our world, it comes off like half-baked science fiction. This lack of cohesion is a bit disappointing, as is a very unadventurous visual style on Riley’s part.

But then there’s the comedy. Armie Hammer is marvellous as the sarong-wearing CEO of Worry Free, precisely because he doesn’t chew up the scenery. He lets the ridiculousness of his extravagant, cocaine-fuelled house party do a lot of the work for him. Tessa Thompson is also delightful in a role that could have just been the preachy, moral girlfriend.( Extra points for her recurring gag of enormous earrings that tote radical action phrases in a font you’d find on the old Electric Company television prove .)

Then there’s Stanfield, slapped around by indignity at every turn and always taking it on the chin. I was similarly mixed on Come Sunday, which also debuted this Sundance, but Stanfield’s performance in that as a church organist struggling with his sexuality was a stunner.

Sorry to Bother You is miles away from the gloss of that film’s” prestige painting” vibe. This is low-budget, weird and substantially punk rock in its defiance to genre. This will definitely resonate with young people busting their hump at a miserable undertaking, but, weirdly enough considers that it is pro-labor stance, it’s best served as Boots Riley’s calling card for bigger films.

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How we stimulated Musical Youth’s Pass the Dutchie

We met Michael Jacksons snake, made a movie with Mr T, and were the first black band to be interviewed on MTV. It was a relief to get back to school

Dennis Seaton, singer

We were all still schoolkids in Birmingham when the band was formed. Patrick and Freddie ” Junior ” Waite’s dad was a reggae musician and he taught us how to play. He also sang on our first two songs, Political and Generals, but when the ways were played by DJ John Peel, music industry people said:” You can’t have an old geezer singing if you’re called Musical Youth .” So I became the lead singer, aged 11. The chap who signed us to MCA told us the company chuckled at him for signing schoolboys.

We played reggae makes and some of our own songs, mostly in West Indian running men’s clubs. When we played the Mighty Diamonds’ sung Pass the Kouchie at Heaven in London while supporting Culture Club, 3,000 people went crazy. It was a anthem about a big marijuana bong, so the record company asked us to do something about the lyrics. We changed kouchie to dutchie, which is a West Indian cooking pot, and switched” How does it feel when you’ve got no herb ?” to” got no food “. Kelvin Grant, who played guitar, added the rapping.

When we recorded the anthem, we couldn’t play it short enough for a seven-inch single, so the producer cut the tape and spliced it back together. Don Letts built a video of us by the Thames in which a truancy officer chases us, trying to get us into school.

The song went to No 1 and sold 5m transcripts worldwide. After it reached the top 10 in America, we went to Michael Jackson’s house. He had a chimp called Bubbles and a serpent called Muscles, which slithered around his room. He told us Muscles, the track he wrote for Diana Ross, was about the serpent. We made a movie with Mr T in Hollywood and were the first black band to be interviewed on MTV. In a route, it was a relief to get back to school and restore some normality.

Because we were so young, we were only allowed to work 42 days a year, which scuppered our career. It took 18 years to see any money. I’m a health and safety professional now. I miss hanging out with my friends, but I’m proud that Michael Grant and I have maintained playing. When we do 80 s-themed celebrations, I’m still the youngest performer there.

Musical Musical Youth … clockwise from top left: Junior and Patrick Waite, Dennis Seaton, Michael and Kelvin Grant at Capital Radio, London, in 1982. Photo: Rex/ Shutterstock

Michael Grant, keyboards

We were exposed to sexuality, drugs and rock’n’roll at the age of 13. We saw things like DJs putting their hands down women’s tops- they’d be sacked on the spot today. Not all of us succumb to the various temptations, though. If “youre starting” taking drugs at that age, you’re not going to be around for long.

Patrick, our bass player, was a really quiet, lovely guy. You’d guess butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. Sadly, he ended up doing all sorts of craziness and died of a heart condition when he was 24. His brother Freddie, our drummer, couldn’t manage reputation- nor the pressure when success stopped. He started having mental problems and was diagnosed as schizophrenic. The last period I find him, he asked me: “Where’s Patrick?” It violated my heart.

Patrick succumbed broke and we’ve had court combats over Pass the Dutchie. We didn’t get songwriting credits, even though we’d changed the lyrics and the arrangement. Years afterward, the record company settled with us and we got some fund. I don’t feel hard done by, though, as the highs outweighed the lows. I met Michael Jackson, Paul and Linda McCartney, James Brown, Prince and Donna Summer. We did things a kid could only dream of. At one point, I was jamming with Stevie Wonder in his Wonderland studio.

The The stuff of dreams … Michael Grant with Michael Jackson at the 1983 Brit awards. Photograph: Richard Young/ Rex/ Shutterstock

Back then, I was too young to buy cars or homes. All I wanted was a BMX Super Burner bike. When the record company dropped us, I asked the accountant:” Does this entail I’ll have to sell my motorcycle ?” He told me:” No. You can keep your motorcycle .”

Musical Youth’s new album, When Reggae Was King, is out now; They play the Absolute Eighties Weekender at Butlin’s, Bognor Regis, on 5 October

Beyond The Cove: what happened after the Oscar-winning documentary?

In new documentary A Whale of a Tale, film-maker Megumi Sasaki revisits the Japanese town of Taiji and examines the damage left behind

The 2009 documentary The Cove, which depicted the practice of corralling and slaughtering dolphins in a small bay tinged crimson from the blood, has visited a bewilder past decade upon the small Japanese town of Taiji.

An outburst of international outrage at Taiji’s 400 -year-old practice of dolphin hunting saw activists descend upon the coastal township to demand change, as well as lacerating criticism from celebrities and politicians including the then US ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, who called the activity “inhumane”.

A year after its release, The Cove won an Academy award for best documentary, with producer Fisher Stevens comprehending the Oscar statue as he explained how the work was an” entertaining film that also tries to enlighten everybody “.

This was the moment that New York-based Japanese film-maker Megumi Sasaki felt elicited to craft a response.” There’s a saying in Japan about a little fishbone stuck in your throat ,” she tells the Guardian.” It’s an issue that bothers you but you can’t reach it. This was my fish bone and I needed to speak up. I decided to make a cinema as soon as The Cove won the Academy award .”

Sasaki’s film, A Whale of a Tale, spans six years in and around Taiji as fishermen and activists face off, from time to time unpleasantly.” It’s wrong for foreigners to come in and try to destroy our history and culture ,” says a whaler at one point, as protesters from the Sea Shepherd group film his comrades and hurl criticism at them. One of the activists calls a whaler a” dumbass shit “.

Dolphin hunting takes place elsewhere in Japan but Taiji is the only place where “drive” hunting results. This involves forcing dolphins into the now infamous cove, where they are then penned in by long nets. The dolphins are then either sold on to aquariums to become performing exhibits or butchered for meat.

In the US and most of Europe, it’s become axiomatic that the killing of dolphins and whales is barbaric and unnecessary. Dolphin indicates are also coming under more scrutiny. Ric O’Barry, who brandished a pro-dolphin flag on stage at the 2010 Oscars, to benefit from develop dolphins for the popular US TV series Flipper until one, Kathy, died.

O’Barry am firmly convinced that Kathy intentionally closed her own blowhole and committed suicide because of her distress. He has spent the following 40 years campaigning against dolphins in captivity and, latterly, the Taiji huntings.” I made this dolphin amusement industry ,” O’Barry says in A Whale of a Tale.” I used to be motivated by guilt , now I’m motivated by progression .”

Sasaki, whose previous documentaries include 2008′ s Herb& Dorothy, use A Whale of a Tale to question whether progress would be better served in bridging a yawning culture divide rather than simply shutting down the Taiji hunt.

Residents of the town are shown ladling whale meatballs into cups and enjoying chunks of striped dolphin. At other points, they burn incense in ceremonies that deify whales, the likeness of which adorn almost every large wall in Taiji. The whalers mill glumly around the dock as they are harangued. Sasaki is pointing to a long cultural practice that has collided with an angered west that has purged itself of whaling.

” The Cove was a well-told story but it was so one-sided and was full of prejudice ,” she says.” It was like they were pointing a camera at people who can’t raise their own voice. It’s like bullying .”

Scott Scott West in A Whale of a Tale. Photograph: Fine Line Media

A Whale of a Tale illustrates how a sophisticated campaign by groups such as Sea Shepherd has, perhaps unsurprisingly, barely been countered in the court of public opinion by a town of scarcely 4,000 people. But it does also acknowledge how nationalist figures in Japan have seized upon the issue.

Consumption of whale and dolphin meat has been declining steadily in Japan, to the point where many young person in Tokyo have never eat it. Sasaki has expended the last 40 years in New York but grown up in Sapporo, where she recollects merely eating whale meat for the occasional school lunch.

” The older generations who grew up after the war, when there was a food dearth, have a sense of nostalgia towards it, but it was never my favourite food ,” she says.” I didn’t even have dolphin until I fulfilled the leader of the whalers in 2014 and went to his house. He gave me dolphin sashimi, I suppose it was a test. It was delicious, it savoured like beef carpaccio with a fishy savor .”

Even as intake of whale and dolphin meat has dropped, it has been embraced as an intrinsic part of Japanese character by rightwing activists, some of whom are shown in A Whale of a Tale, telling Sea Shepherd to go home via loudspeakers mounted on cars.

The dolphins slaughtered in Taiji aren’t considered at risk of becoming extinct, so the hunting throws up broader questions. Do we have the moral right to kill animals in this way? What about swine and kine dispatched in miserable conditions in the west? Who has the right to tell who what to kill or feed? The overseas opprobrium has, ironically, inhaled life into a succumbing practice.

” As long as we have pressure from outside the country, the more determined Japanese people are to continue it ,” Sasaki says.” It’s such an irony. If these activists just stopped pressuring Japan, the younger generation would not care about feeing this and it would basically all go away .”

Megumi Megumi Sasaki. Photograph: Fine Line Media

Sasaki said that the hunt drawn attention to broader divides between countries such as the US and Japan.” Many Christian western countries think in terms of a hierarchy, where humans are near the top, just below God, and then nature is beneath us ,” she says.

” In Japan, people suppose humen are only part of nature and no animal is better or worse. It’s very puzzling for them when westerners say dolphins and whales are intelligent and human-like, because all creatures are special. What makes an intelligent animal, anyway? Birds can fly halfway around the world without GPS, isn’t that intelligence? We hand-pick the animals we like, like dolphins or elephants that we think are majestic, but we don’t pay attention to others that are jeopardized .”

This culture misalignment is exacerbated by a certain stubbornness in Japan, Sasaki says.” Tradition in Japan is something that is just handed down, whether it’s good or bad, whether it fits today’s world or not. In the west, there’s more of an examination of these sort of traditional activities .”

Ultimately, Sasaki hopes she has presented something more even-handed than The Cove, where the dolphin hunters were largely seen in footage shot from undercover cameras disguised as rocks. She doubts it will change many minds, however.

” This town of Taiji has been totally bullied by the international community but I made it clear to the fishermen that I’m not going to take sides ,” she says.” I’m not here to change minds, I’m not an activist, I’m a storyteller. I want people to think about new views because the world is complicated, it’s not black and white.

” There are universal themes about how we coexist. Things are so divided in the world, we don’t listen to each other, we demonize the other side of the argument. This is just a microcosm of that .”

A Whale of a Tale will open theatrically in New York on 17 August and Los Angeles on 24 August with a nationwide release to follow. A UK date has yet to be announced

Madonna raises $7.5 m for Malawi and criticises Trump at Miami show

Singer says predicament of Native Americans constructs her ashamed to be an American at benefit performance and auction

Madonna has repeatedly criticised Donald Trump and said she is ashamed to be an American, in a performance and auction in Miami that raised more than $7.5 m( 5.9 m) for her Malawi foundation.

Images of the president-elect appeared behind her as she sang the line You know that youre toxic from her covering of the Britney Spears hit.

The singer also disclosed she had once been in Trumps bed for a magazine photoshoot when the tycoon was not at home. She took a shot at his cheap sheets, saying: They wont be Egyptian cotton because we all know how he feels about Muslims, dont we?

Madonna covers Toxic

Madonna also spoke about the plight of Native Americans and asked why their land was being destroyed. It just really induces me feel ashamed ashamed to be an American, ashamed to be a human being, actually, she said before performing her 2003 hit American Life.

The benefit show, billed as an evening of music, art and mischief, assured Madonna resurrect her cabaret display, Tears of a Clown, first performed in Australia earlier this year.

It was one of the many parties held during Art Basel Miami Beach, the biggest art carnival in North America, which attracts super-rich art collectors and celebrities from across the world. Guests, who paid at least $5,000 to attend, included Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, former boyfriend Alex Rodriguez, Courtney Love and James Corden.

Before her hour-long performance, Madonna auctioned pieces from her personal art collecting, including a Tracey Emin print that sold for $550,000 and three Herb Ritts photographs from her 1985 wedding to Sean Penn that fetched $230,000.

Other lots included a Damien Hirst painting, a private performance by the magician David Blaine, who also attended, and a week-long stay at DiCaprios home in Palm Springs that went for $140,000.

Penn bid on several items when the auction stalled. At one point, Madonna walked into the audience, climbed on tables and gave one man a lap dance. She abruptly stood up at another point, grabbed the chair on which she had performed and said she also wanted to auction it , noting $600 could send a girl in Malawi to secondary school. The chair sold for $10,000.

Madonna adopted her 11 -year-old son, David, from an orphanage in Malawi more than a decade ago. At the time, she said she didnt know where Malawi was. David had pneumonia and malaria. His mother died in childbirth and his siblings were also dead.

He was at the event to introduce the singer, telling the audience: I realise Im one of the lucky ones.

Madonna demonstrated videos of Malawi, asking for help to build a paediatric surgery and intensive care unit at a hospital there. Half the population are under the age of 15, according to her foundation, Raising Malawi.

As well as political statements and corny clown jokes, Madonna lamented the fact she was very single and had not had sexuality for some time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report .

Read more:

Madonna creates $7.5 m for Malawi and criticises Trump at Miami show

Singer says predicament of Native Americans makes her ashamed to be an American at benefit performance and auction

Madonna has repeatedly criticised Donald Trump and said she is ashamed to be an American, in a performance and auction in Miami that raised more than $7.5 m( 5.9 m) for her Malawi foundation.

Images of the president-elect appeared behind her as she sang the line You know that youre toxic from her covering of the Britney Spears hit.

The singer also exposed she had once been in Trumps bed for a publication photoshoot when the tycoon was not at home. She took a shot at his cheap sheets, saying: They wont be Egyptian cotton because we all know how he feels about Muslims, dont we?

Madonna encompasses Toxic

Madonna also spoke about the plight of Native Americans and asked why their land was being destroyed. It just really induces me feel ashamed ashamed to be an American, ashamed to be a human being, actually, she said before performing her 2003 hit American Life.

The benefit show, billed as an evening of music, art and mischief, insured Madonna resurrect her cabaret display, Tears of a Clown, first performed in Australia earlier this year.

It was one of the many parties held during Art Basel Miami Beach, the biggest art carnival in North America, which attracts super-rich art collectors and celebrities from across the world. Guests, who paid at least $5,000 to attend, included Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, former boyfriend Alex Rodriguez, Courtney Love and James Corden.

Before her hour-long performance, Madonna auctioned pieces from her personal art collection, including a Tracey Emin print that sold for $550,000 and three Herb Ritts photographs from her 1985 wedding to Sean Penn that fetched $230,000.

Other plenties included a Damien Hirst painting, a private performance by the magician David Blaine, who also attended, and a week-long stay at DiCaprios home in Palm Springs that went for $140,000.

Penn bid on several items when the auction stalled. At one point, Madonna strolled into the audience, climbed on tables and dedicated one man a lap dance. She abruptly stood up at another point, grabbed the chair on which she had performed and said she also wanted to auction it , noting $600 could send a girl in Malawi to secondary school. The chair sold for $10,000.

Madonna adopted her 11 -year-old son, David, from an orphanage in Malawi more than a decade ago. At the time, she said she didnt know where Malawi was. David had pneumonia and malaria. His mom died in childbirth and his siblings were also dead.

He was at the event to introduces the singer, telling the audience: I realise Im one of the lucky ones.

Madonna showed videos of Malawi, asking for help to build a paediatric surgery and intensive care unit at a hospital there. Half the population are under the age of 15, according to her foundation, Raising Malawi.

As well as political statements and corny clown jokes, Madonna lamented the fact she was very single and had not had sex for some time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report .

Read more:

Madonna raises $7.5 m for Malawi and criticises Trump at Miami show

Singer says predicament of Native Americans induces her ashamed to be an American at benefit performance and auction

Madonna has repeatedly criticised Donald Trump and said she is ashamed to be an American, in a performance and auction in Miami that raised more than $7.5 m( 5.9 m) for her Malawi foundation.

Images of the president-elect appeared behind her as she sang the line You know that youre toxic from her covering of the Britney Spears hit.

The singer also exposed she had once been in Trumps bed for a publication photoshoot when the tycoon was not at home. She took a shot at his cheap sheets, saying: They wont be Egyptian cotton because we all know how he feels about Muslims, dont we?

Madonna covers Toxic

Madonna also spoke about the plight of Native Americans and asked why their land was being destroyed. It just really constructs me feel ashamed ashamed to be an American, ashamed to be a human being, actually, she said before performing her 2003 hit American Life.

The benefit show, billed as an evening of music, art and mischief, watched Madonna revive her cabaret depict, Tears of a Clown, first performed in Australia earlier this year.

It was one of the many parties held during Art Basel Miami Beach, the biggest art fair in North America, which attracts super-rich art collectors and celebrities from across the world. Guests, who paid at least $5,000 to attend, included Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, former boyfriend Alex Rodriguez, Courtney Love and James Corden.

Before her hour-long performance, Madonna auctioned pieces from her personal art collect, including a Tracey Emin print that sold for $550,000 and three Herb Ritts photographs from her 1985 wedding to Sean Penn that fetched $230,000.

Other plenties included a Damien Hirst painting, a private performance by the magician David Blaine, who also attended, and a week-long stay at DiCaprios home in Palm Springs that went for $140,000.

Penn bid on several items when the auction stalled. At one point, Madonna walked into the audience, climbed on tables and dedicated one man a lap dance. She abruptly stood up at another point, grabbed the chair on which she had performed and said she also wanted to auction it , noting $600 could send a girl in Malawi to secondary school. The chair sold for $10,000.

Madonna adopted her 11 -year-old son, David, from an orphanage in Malawi more than a decade ago. At the time, she said she didnt know where Malawi was. David had pneumonia and malaria. His mother died in childbirth and his siblings were also dead.

He was at the event to introduce the vocalist, telling the audience: I realise Im one of the lucky ones.

Madonna showed videos of Malawi, asking for help to build a paediatric surgery and intensive care unit at a hospital there. Half the population are under the age of 15, according to her foundation, Raising Malawi.

As well as political statements and corny jester jokes, Madonna lamented the fact she was very single and had not had sex for some time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report .

Read more:

2017: the year in pop culture

A month-by-month digest of 2017s most memorable moments, from Trumps not-so-triumphant inauguration to Get Out resuscitating the horror genre, Love Islands surprise success and beyond


Trump’s inauguration

The year began with nobody RSVPing to Donald Trump’s inauguration invite. After reaching the end of his Rolodex, he eventually got 3 Doors Down to perform- so, crisis over.

Musical chairs … the extensive listing of musicians that shirked Trump’s big day. Photograph: Guardian Design Team

Meanwhile, in popular culture, 2017 started with a similar sense of aspiration and optimism, which soon turned into disappointment.

Going down … the listing of the lost: Twin peaks, Blade Runner 2049, the xx, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Mother !.
Photograph: Guardian Design Team
<iframe class="fenced" srcdoc="var" localurlvar=''. icon thicknes: 36 px; height: 36 px; showing: inline-block; vertical-align: middle; svg fill: #FFF ; . left-rule: before,. right-rule: before content: ”; float: left; thicknes: 43%; height: 1px; border-top: 1px dotted #bdbdbd; margin-top: 12 px . right-rule: before content: ”; float: right svg display: block; margin: automobile p margin: 0px </p> <div class="bookshop-button-wrapper" id="wrapper"> </div> <p> “> </p> <h2> <strong> February </strong> </h2> <h2>The Oscar blunder fallout</h2> <figure class="element"> <div class="u-responsive-aligner"> <div class="embed-video-wrapper"> </div> </p></div><figcaption class="caption"> School of card knocks … Warren Beatty announces the wrong winner of the best picture Oscar. </figcaption></figure> <p>We used to know the drill for awards ceremonies: some off-colour compere banter, winners reeling off their thank-yous, Jennifer Lawrence wearing vintage Dior, Helena Bonham Carter wearing vintage Edward Scissorhands. But all that was swept under the red carpet this year- the year that awards lost the plot.</p> <p>Who can be surprised that it began with Meryl Streep, who has every reason to rebel against acceptance-speech protocol by now? Accepting her 8,000 th Golden Globe, <a href=""> she stood up against the yet-to-be-inaugurated Donald Trump</a>and his mockery of disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski, and the audience stood up in approval.</p> <p>The tone was defined. For the rest of awards season, winners seemed out of place if they weren’t constructing some sort of political statement, and- in the unfolding Trump era- there were plenty of options: the Muslim ban; the border wall; LGBTQ, racial and gender discrimination.</p> <p>Things turned a different shade of bonkers at the <a href="">SAG awardings</a>, when David Harbour’s barnstorming speech for Stranger Things (” We will shelter freaks and outcasts … We will get past the lies. We will hunt monsters !”) was undercut by the manic facial contortions of Winona Ryder standing next to him- confounded, astonished, defiant, suspicious, everything-at-the-same-time. Nobody realised she’d stayed in character as Joyce Byers between seasons.</p> <p>Not even the wizened Adele could stick to the programme. At the Grammys she had her own mini-meltdown, starting her tribute to <a href="">George Michael</a> off-key( talking here a careless whispering ), then stopping the music, apologising for” fucking this up”, apologising for swearing, then apologising for starting again.</p> <p>Then the Oscars the appropriately disastrous finale, with Warren Beatty handing the biggest award of the night to the incorrect movie. It was a plot twisting, or rather a plot loss, that no one insured coming- least of all Team La La Land, who were still going through their thank-yous as bewildered Team Moonlight took the stage. The painfully prolonged shambles uncovered just how bad improvisational skills are in Hollywood. Sticking to the programme has never seemed so appealing. <strong> <em> SR </em> </strong> </p> <h2>The Nightly Show: five reasons ITV’s attempt at news satire didn’t work</h2> <figure id="img-3"> <a href="#img-3" class="article__img-container"> </p> <div class="u-responsive-ratio"> <img class="gu-image" alt="Gordon" /><figcaption class="caption"> Nice gag … Gordon Ramsay. </figcaption><p> <strong> 1 </strong> Chatshows are notorious for squint-inducing defines- portion lap-dancing nightspot, portion suburban soft play. The Nightly Show’s was especially weird, however, such as the desk that doubled up as a shelving division, complete with wilted plant.</p> <p> <strong> 2 </strong> None of the guest presenters shone, but Gordon Ramsay breathlessly delivering a spit-or-swallow joke to Tv chef Gizzi Erskine during a taste test made an entire nation gag.</p> <p> <strong> 3 </strong> John Bishop’s terriers straying aimlessly around a doggie assault course was one of many misfiring sketches, which in this case concluded with said pets looking at their master, as if to say:” Fire your agent. Now .” </p> <p> <strong> 4 </strong> Monologues delivered by guest hosts tried to take a swipe at current events but failed. Note to producers: reading Trump’s tweets in a funny voice does not make for side-splitting comedy.</p> <p> <strong> 5 </strong> Joe Pasquale getting his bumcrack waxed via video connect surely signalled the death knell for this lamentable attempt. The welts on his rear end were nothing next to the scars sustained by spectators. Help! My eyes! <strong> <em> FS </em> </strong> </p> <figure class="element"> <iframe class="fenced" srcdoc="var" localurlvar=''<title>. icon width: 36 px; height: 36 px; showing: inline-block; vertical-align: middle; svg fill: #FFF ; . left-rule: before,. right-rule: before content: ”; float: left; thicknes: 43%; height: 1px; border-top: 1px dotted #bdbdbd; margin-top: 12 px . right-rule: before content: ”; float: right svg showing: block; margin: automobile p margin: 0px </p> <div class="bookshop-button-wrapper" id="wrapper"> </div> <p> “> </p> <h2> <strong> March </strong> </h2> <h2>Get Out: how the film’s fresh take over horror took over 2017 </h2> <figure id="img-4"> <a href="#img-4" class="article__img-container"> </p> <div class="u-responsive-ratio"> <img class="gu-image" alt="Get" /><figcaption class="caption"> Get in … Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out. Photograph: Allstar/ Blumhouse Productions </figcaption><p>With so many film sectors having a terrible year- big-budget blockbusters, comedies, sci-fi, reboots , non-reboots- horror pretty much saved the box office. How did it do this? By an obscure, mystic process known as” constructing movies that do not suck “. </p> <p>If there’s an emblematic horror movie of 2017, it would have to be <a href="">Get Out</a>. It was accessible and arousing but also fresh and political, giving the good old they’re-all-out-to-get-me scenario a contemporary shot of racial paranoia. In a year that gave us Charlottesville and Colin Kaepernick, it felt right. But despite the States’s widening divisions, audiences had no problem identifying with a black human surrounded by creepy racists. Let’s not forget that Get Out only became possible in our current epoch- when an African-American film-maker( Jordan Peele) was at last entrusted with a mainstream horror movie.</p> <p>It didn’t stop there, though. There were quality horrors across the board. We got huge makes such as It( which doubtless benefited from the Stranger Things effect ), <a href="">Split</a>( with its all-star cast of James McAvoy, James McAvoy, James McAvoy and James McAvoy ), and Annabelle: Creation( admittedly a textbook franchise horror ). In the alternative margins were interesting new directions such as <a href="">A Ghost Story</a>and <a href="">It Comes at Night</a>. European cinema gave us the likes of <a href="">Personal Shopper</a>, <a href="">Raw</a> and <a href="">Thelma</a>. The horrors that really bombed were autopilot duds such as Gore Verbinski’s A Cure for Wellness, Jigsaw( AKA Saw VIII) and Tom Cruise’s overblown The Mummy- which forgot it was supposed to be a horror movie at all. In other terms, movies that sucked.</p> <p>If 2017 is a horror high point, though, it could well be downhill from here in 2018. As studios sift through the wreckage of their failings, they might start asking why they expended PS130m on King Arthur: Legend of the Sword when Get Out made more money( more than PS190m worldwide) on a budget of PS3. 3m. Numbers like that are hard to ignore, but horror has a nasty habit of sequelising and cannibalising its best ideas to demise. Next year we could be facing a horror glut. Be afraid. Be very afraid. <strong> <em> SR </em> </strong> </p> <h2>Galway Girl: deconstructing one of the year’s most divisive singles</h2> <figure id="img-5"> <a href="#img-5" class="article__img-container"> </p> <div class="u-responsive-ratio"> <img class="gu-image" alt="Michael" /><figcaption class="caption"> Michael Flatley+ tin whistle+ Jim Corr+ fiddle- The Cranberries= Galway Girl by Ed Sheeran. </figcaption><figure class="element"> <iframe class="fenced" srcdoc="var" localurlvar=''<title>. icon width: 36 px; height: 36 px; display: inline-block; vertical-align: middle; svg fill: #FFF ; . left-rule: before,. right-rule: before content: ”; float: left; thicknes: 43%; height: 1px; border-top: 1px dotted #bdbdbd; margin-top: 12 px . right-rule: before content: ”; float: right svg display: block; margin: auto p margin: 0px </p> <div class="bookshop-button-wrapper" id="wrapper"> </div> <p> “> </p> <h2> <strong> April </strong> </h2> <h2>One Direction: their solo careers assessed</h2> <figure id="img-6"> <a href="#img-6" class="article__img-container"> </p> <div class="u-responsive-ratio"> <img class="gu-image" alt="Louis" /><figcaption class="caption"> One-upmanship … <em>( from left) </em> Louis Tomlinson: no direction; Zayn Malik: ex-directory; Harry Styles: direct debit; Niall Horan: direct line; Liam Payne: directional derivative. Composite: Guardian Design Team </figcaption><p>This month watched the release of Sign of The Times, the debut single from Harry Styles. From Niall’s nan-friendly folk, to Liam’s pop pillaging, here’s the direction the chaps went in next.</p> <p> <strong>‘ Ed Sheeran, but twangier’<br /> </strong> Zayn continued his endearing knack for mimicry, swapping the Weeknd of Pillowtalk for the Sia of Dusk Till Dawn( featuring Sia ). Also striding through the Stars in Their Eyes dry ice was Harry, who went to LA and is coming as a silk-suited hybrid of Mick Jagger and Green Man-era Mark Owen. The genre roulette wheel stopped at” Ed Sheeran, but twangier” for cosy knitwear fan Niall Horan, whose album Flicker looked like Fucker when written in capitals. Bear Payne’s dad Liam, meanwhile, regenerated as Justin Timberlake-lite, while poor Louis failed to be the main act on his own singles.</p> <p> <strong>‘ Unnervingly normal’<br /> </strong> With Zayn’s moodiness cemented by fancy covers on fancy style publications, it was up to everyone else to play repositioning catch-up. <a href="">Louis appeared in the Observer</a> and on the Noisey website applying his apparent uselessness as a selling tactic, while Niall was described as” unnervingly normal” in his Sunday Times Culture feature. For Liam, his change away from his boyband past involved the covering of the Telegraph magazine and a ludicrous amount of blue steel sulk. The real repositioning prize, however, was saved for Harry, who appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in an elegantly preposterous profile written by Cameron Crowe.</p> <p> <strong>‘ Unsexy sex romp’<br /> </strong> Zayn started the year cosying up with girlfriend <a href="">Gigi Hadid’s</a> bessie mate( and Harry’s ex) Taylor Swift in unsexy sexuality romp I Don’t Wanna Live Forever. Louis sang a couple of words near a mic being held by Bebe Rexha on Back to You, while Liam appeared on a Zedd song and danced weirdly near a non-plussed Quavo on debut solo single, Strip That Down. Niall is friends with everyone, the sweetheart, while Harry get Stevie Nicks- the mother lode for any authenticity-seeking serious musician- to appear on stage with him in LA.</p> <p> <strong>‘ Styled by Gap’<br /> </strong> Since his departure, Zayn’s had a US and UK No 1 album and single, plus two other UK Top 5 hits. Liam’s Strip That Down was Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic, Louis had some success at home but constructed little dent in the US, while Harry’s Sign of the Times topped the charts in the UK and his self-titled album did the double( ie it was a US and UK chart-topper, do keep up ). But it’s sweet Niall and his” styled by Gap” acoustic ditties that could be the real long-term success narrative; he’s had two UK Top 10 s, topped the US Adult Top 40 chart in America with the actually very good Slow Hands and merely missed out on a UK No 1 album to fellow ex-boybander George Michael. As the saying goes, it’s always the quiet ones lumbered with braces early on who come good in the end. <strong> <em> MC </em> </strong> </p> <h2>Nicole Kidman: why the actor had a bonza year</h2> <figure id="img-7"> <a href="#img-7" class="article__img-container"> </p> <div class="u-responsive-ratio"> <img class="gu-image" alt="The" /><figcaption class="caption"> Yes, she Cannes … <em>( from left) </em> The Beguiled; Big Little Lies; Top of the Lake; at the Oscars; The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Composite: Guardian Design Team </figcaption><p>If a 50 -year-old woman is considered past it in Hollywood, then nobody told Nicole Kidman. She started 2017, the year of her half-century, with her fourth Academy Award nomination for Lion. In the event, she didn’t add to her tally( the Oscar went to Viola Davis for Fences ), but did win the evening’s arguably more important battle of the memes. What was that gif-tastic” seal clap” all about? An effort to protect expensive rings, on loan from Harry Winston, apparently.</p> <p>Then onwards to the Cote d’Azur in May, where Kidman was dubbed Queen of Cannes before her private plane had even touched down. Her four entries in the festival’s official selection would have ensured she stood head and shoulders above other Hollywood -Alisters, even if, at 5ft 11 in, she didn’t also literally tower above most. Both Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled and Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer paired her winningly with Colin Farrell, with Kidman adding a cool grandeur to his unpredictable febrility.</p> <p>On television, Kidman’s performance in <a href="">Big Little Lies</a>( which she also co-produced) won her an Emmy, kudo for revealing current realities of domestic violence and, in co-stars Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz and Shailene Woodley, a ready-made squad to rival that of fellow willowy blonde, Taylor Swift. But perhaps Jane Campion’s second series of <a href="">Top of the Lake</a> offered Kidman her most intriguing role of the year. As she revealed in interviews, playing Julia allowed for some oblique exploration of her own experiences of motherhood, adoption and surrogacy.</p> <p>Does it add to Kidman’s satisfaction that while her career runs from strength to strength, ex-husband Tom Cruise goes from flop to embarrassing flop? <br />If so, she’s far too evolved to let on. <strong> <em> EEJ </em> </strong> </p> <h2>Pepsi-gate: how the’ influencers’ stopped get likes</h2> <figure id="img-8"> <a href="#img-8" class="article__img-container"> </p> <div class="u-responsive-ratio"> <img class="gu-image" alt="Kendall" /><figcaption class="caption"> Coke bloat … Kendall Jenner brings peace. </figcaption><p>Ah, to be an “influencer”, paid bajillions of dollars to promote everything from makeup to flat belly teas to an audience of pleb. It all seemed so attractive- until 2017 came along to destabilise the world’s superstar selfie-takers.</p> <p>First up, Kendall Jenner- the eldest of Kris Jenner’s non-Kardashian brood- who was the starring of a <a href="">tone-deaf Pepsi campaign</a>. In it, Jenner successfully diffuses police-protester relations at a Black Lives Matter-style protest by dedicating a police officer a fizzy drinking. If merely it were all that simple, Kendall! She and sister Kylie also launched- and then pulled- a <a href="">controversial T-shirt line</a> that featured images of their faces superimposed on to unlicensed photographs of the likes of Biggie and Tupac.</p> <p>Also perfecting her saccharine apologies this year was pal Gigi Hadid, who claimed to have” the utmost respect and love for the people of China” after a video circulated online of her squinting next to a biscuit shaped like a Buddha in February. Then in July, she and boyfriend Zayn Malik were the subjects of a much-ridiculed Vogue cover that claimed the androgynously garmented pair were” gender fluid “. Sister Bella Hadid was also ridiculed in October when a video of her chatting about trainers in an approximation of black slang spawned thousands of “homeboy” memes.</p> <p>But, above all these examples of questionable influencer behaviour, two stand out. Video-maker PewDiePie lost contracts <a href="">with YouTube and Disney</a> after posting antisemitic videos, subsequently describing himself as a” rookie comedian” in something of a non-apology. Elsewhere, Ja Rule’s Fyre festival- promoted by the likes of, yes, you guessed it, Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner- <a href="">tanked</a> when festival-goers arrived at their “luxury” experience in the Bahamas to find disaster relief tents and cheese sandwiches. While the organisers were hit with legal action, the influencers- who hadn’t signalled that their social media posts were adverts- got out unscathed.</p> <p>However, with this much controversy, perhaps 2018 will be the year the wheels truly come off their pristine social media vehicles. <strong> <em> HJD </em> </strong> </p> <figure class="element"> <iframe class="fenced" srcdoc="var" localurlvar=''<title>. icon thicknes: 36 px; height: 36 px; showing: inline-block; vertical-align: middle; svg fill: #FFF ; . left-rule: before,. right-rule: before content: ”; float: left; width: 43%; height: 1px; border-top: 1px dotted #bdbdbd; margin-top: 12 px . right-rule: before content: ”; float: right svg display: block; margin: automobile p margin: 0px </p> <div class="bookshop-button-wrapper" id="wrapper"> </div> <p> “> </p> <h2> <strong> May </strong> </h2> <h2>From Master of None to Insecure: how dating apps spiced up TV’s sex life </h2> <figure id="img-9"> <a href="#img-9" class="article__img-container"> </p> <div class="u-responsive-ratio"> <img class="gu-image" alt="Get" /><figcaption class="caption"> Get thumb action … Aziz Ansari in Master of None. Photo: AP </figcaption><p>Following on from the likes of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Broad City, 2017 was the year that TV took a swipe at dating app culture in wry, realistic style. The second series of Issa Rae’s dramedy <a href="">Insecure</a> opened with one such scene. Fictional Issa is sat with her ex in a restaurant. Except that he isn’t there. As the camera pans back from Issa to her date, we find a total stranger. And then another. And then another. She’s on a string of unsuccessful dates, answering the same tired questions from men she’s met on Tinder, Hinge and Bumble. Frustrated, she does some trademark rapping in the toilet (” My ex won’t take me back/ So my broken ass is here, small-talking over apps “), before accidentally spilling a drink over one of her suitors.</p> <p>Elsewhere, Aziz Ansari’s <a href="">Master of None</a> offered the male perspective of the “revolving door” scenario in the episode titled First Date. Like Issa, Dev( Ansari) is on a series of dates, which- over the course of a 30 -minute episode- are spliced with one another as we confront awkwardness, fleeting connects and even racism, as Dev discovers a blackface “mammy” -style jar one date keeps her condoms in. It also emphasises the gamified nature of apps, with Dev firing off the same witty opener (” I’m going to Whole Foods, want me to picking you up anything ?”) to two more matches at the end of the episode.</p> <p>And so, both proves succeeded in presenting the anonymous, restless and often shallow nature of post-Tinder dating, while remaining sympathetic to the people caught in its hold- and, perhaps, making audiences think twice about their own swiping etiquette. <strong> <em> HJD </em> </strong> </p> <figure class="element"> <iframe class="fenced" srcdoc="var" localurlvar=''<title>. icon width: 36 px; height: 36 px; display: inline-block; vertical-align: middle; svg fill: #FFF ; . left-rule: before,. right-rule: before content: ”; float: left; width: 43%; height: 1px; border-top: 1px dotted #bdbdbd; margin-top: 12 px . right-rule: before content: ”; float: right svg showing: block; margin: automobile p margin: 0px </p> <div class="bookshop-button-wrapper" id="wrapper"> </div> <p> “> </p> <h2> <strong> June </strong> </h2> <h2>Oh, Jeremy Corbyn: how woke was pop? </h2> <figure id="img-10"> <a href="#img-10" class="article__img-container"> </p> <div class="u-responsive-ratio"> <img class="gu-image" alt="Chants" /><figcaption class="caption"> Chants encounter … the crowd at Glastonbury. Photo: Matt Cardy/ Getty Images </figcaption><p>Not since the Red Wedge gigs of the 1980 s has there been such a boom in political pop, with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce and Stormzy exploring issues such as structural racism and political corruption. <a href="">Even Jeremy Corbyn went from embattled leader to Glastonbury Pyramid Stage star,</a>preaching collectivism and progressive taxation between Craig David and Run the Jewels.</p> <p>The Trump presidency has now intensified an artistic importance that performers feel compelled to respond to. In fact, artists who didn’t have anything to say about the world fought: Taylor Swift is coming with a single that was all about her, and was roundly sniffed at for being too self-involved.” Simply commenting on her soured reputation does not a cultural critique construct ,” said USA Today.</p> <p>This has put some artists in an odd stance, those who don’t really have anything worthwhile to say or don’t want to be so radical that brands or right-wing fans are scared off. The answer? Keep things vague( interestingly, 2017 saw a lot of press releases frame sad sungs as” challenging the stigma of mental health issues” and happy ones as” anthems of self-empowerment “). </p> <p>The queen of the vague-pop movement is <a href="">Katy Perry ,</a> who changed her Twitter bio to” Artist. Activist. Conscious” and returned with lead single Chained to the Rhythm, with its refrain” So comfortable, we’re living in a bubble, bubble/ So comfy, we cannot see the difficulty, difficulty “. It sounds like it could be against consumerism? But crucially, only if you want it to be.</p> <p> <a href="">Pink</a>, a long-term veteran of vague pop, returned with What About Us, a kind of Earth Song of</p> <p>Read more: <a href=""></a></p> </p></div> <p></a></figure> </figure> </div> <p></a> </figure> </figure> </div> <p> </a></figure> </div> <p> </a></figure> </div> <p> </a></figure> </figure></div> <p></a></figure> </p></div> <p></a></figure> </figure> </div> <p></a> </figure> </figure> </div> <p></a></figure> </div> <p></a></figure> </div><!-- .entry-content --> </article><!-- #post-## --> <nav class="navigation pagination" role="navigation"> <h2 class="screen-reader-text">Posts navigation</h2> <div class="nav-links"><span aria-current='page' class='page-numbers current'><span class="meta-nav screen-reader-text">Page </span>1</span> <a class='page-numbers' href=''><span class="meta-nav screen-reader-text">Page </span>2</a> <span class="page-numbers dots">…</span> <a class='page-numbers' href=''><span class="meta-nav screen-reader-text">Page </span>12</a> <a class="next page-numbers" href=""><span class="screen-reader-text">Next page</span><svg class="icon icon-arrow-right" aria-hidden="true" role="img"> <use href="#icon-arrow-right" xlink:href="#icon-arrow-right"></use> </svg></a></div> </nav> </main><!-- #main --> </div><!-- #primary --> <aside id="secondary" class="widget-area" role="complementary"> <section id="search-2" class="widget widget_search"> <form role="search" method="get" class="search-form" action=""> <label for="search-form-5ba8930611234"> <span class="screen-reader-text">Search for:</span> </label> <input type="search" id="search-form-5ba8930611234" class="search-field" placeholder="Search …" value="" name="s" /> <button type="submit" class="search-submit"><svg class="icon icon-search" aria-hidden="true" role="img"> <use href="#icon-search" xlink:href="#icon-search"></use> </svg><span class="screen-reader-text">Search</span></button> </form> </section> <section id="recent-posts-2" class="widget widget_recent_entries"> <h2 class="widget-title">Recent Posts</h2> <ul> <li> <a href="">Flyers were placed on vehicles outside a sheriff’s office. 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