What to watch, read and listen to this month.
1 TALES FROM THE HOOD • It turns out that Little Red Riding Hood was not actually going to see her grandma, at least not as Catherine Hardwicke tells it.The Twilight director has applied her toothy touch to Red Riding Hood, an adaptation starring Amanda Seyfried as a woman in love with one man, betrothed to another and engaged in a desperate fight against a werewolf. MARCH 11
2 PIERCING COMMENTARY • The HBO miniseries remake of the Great Depression–era Mildred Pierce— which producers hope will resonate in the current economic climate—stars Kate Winslet as a newly divorced woman trying to make sense of working life. Along the way, she struggles to connect with her opera singer daughter (Evan Rachel Wood). MARCH 27
3 ABOUT FATES • How much control do we really have over our lives? According to The Adjustment Bureau, not as much as we think. Matt Damon plays a young politician in this adaptation of a dystopic Philip K. Dick short story. When a romance with a ballerina threatens his career, mysterious men start causing trouble. MARCH 4
4 KITCHEN CONFIDANT • None other than Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain—chef, author and host of the peerless food/travel show No Reservations—have bowed down to the narrative mastery of Blood, Bones & Butter, by chef Gabrielle Hamilton, owner of NYC’s excellent eatery Prune. MARCH 15
5 STARS AND STIPE • R.E.M. enlisted help from the likes of Patti Smith and Eddie Vedder for their new record, Collapse Into Now—which, judging from the track “It Happened Today,” stands as evidence that though gray at the temples, the Georgia band can still stand toe to toe with virtually anyone in rock. MARCH 8
6 HIGH CRIME • In Rodin’s Debutante—Chicago novelist Ward Just’s spare and unflinching novel about a sculptor coming of age in the city’s rough-and-tumble Southside in the 1950s—the long-buried memory of a hideous crime sets off a feverish hunt for a killer. MARCH 1
7 YOU’RE KILLING ME • The Killing, a surprisingly crisp AMC thriller from the brains behind CBS’s procedural Cold Case, is based on the hit Danish series Forbrydelsen and centers on the investigation into a single murder in the Seattle area. As star Mireille Enos (Big Love) discovers, everyone has a secret. APRIL 3
8 FRESH EYRE • It’s an unwritten law that Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre must be made into a movie every five years or so. In director Cary Fukunaga’s spooky adaptation, Mia Wasikowska plays the mousy yet haunting governess in love with her employer, Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender), and befriended by Mrs. Fairfax (Judi Dench). MARCH 11
9 KNOW-IT-ALL • Twice shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, science writer James Gleick has an enviable talent for making even the densest scientific history readable. In The Information: A History. A Theory. A Flood, see if the man who popularized “The Butterfly Effect” can do for information theory what he did for chaos theory. MARCH 1
10 SWEDE RELEASE • Best known for their 2007 hit “Young Folks,” a song so catchy you needed an exorcist to get it out of your head, Sweden’s Peter Bjorn & John drop their sixth album, Gimme Some, this month. After two experimental releases, they’ve returned to their trademark stripped-down pop sound. MARCH 29
LEGENDARY KINKS SINGER RAY DAVIES PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS.
By Joe Keohane
WHEN YOU THINK of ideal duet partners for Ray Davies, the former Kinks frontman, James Hetfield from Metallica isn’t the first guy that leaps to mind. Yet in 2009 Metallica contacted Davies to see if he’d be willing to play “You Really Got Me” with them at a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concert at Madison Square Garden. Davies, who had been a solo act since The Kinks disbanded in 1996, did it, liked it and decided to do more.
On April 5, he releases See My Friends, a collection that pairs him with Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Lucinda Williams, Spoon, Frank Black, John Bon Jovi and more, on 14 Kinks tunes. “It was quite a learning curve for me,” says the famously difficult songwriter. “The secret was to know when to stand back and let them work.” When Jackson Browne, a Southern Californian, came in to do the intensely London-centric “Waterloo Sunset,” Davies all but handed him the reins. “I just sort of let him flow through it and sing it the way he wanted to. Then I put in my ten cents. I said, ‘Everybody’s heard me sing the first verse. You sing the first verse.’”
Most of the tracks were cut in London, but if someone couldn’t come to Davies, the 66-year-old went to them. This included a trip to New Jersey to record “Better Things” with Springsteen. They did the track in 30 minutes, and then spent the next four hours just hanging out. “We had a lot to talk about,” Davies says. “It was a great afternoon.”