Pop Culture Happy Hour Hosts Share What Brings Them Joy: NPR
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This week we learned what a negroni sbagliato is, how to show our friends we love them, and why cow burps are taxed in New Zealand.
Here’s what NPR’s pop culture happy hour team was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.
I watched this film last week at MoMa as part of a retrospective of new Indian independent films. It’s supposed to be the big year for Indian movies. The film is in regional language Maithili. It’s called Gamak Gharthe english name is The village house and the filmmaker is Achal Mishra.
This film is about a family and their home. For two decades, their home has remained constant. Mishra traces changes in the family through deaths and births. When the family prospers, the house looks better. When they go through more difficult financial times, the house looks worse. It’s nice. It could be a metaphor for a hundred things. I would deeply, deeply recommend Achal Mishra Gamak Ghar (The Village House); it is available for rent or purchase on Vimeo. – Bedatri Choudhury
by Rosalia Motomami Round
My highlight of the week was seeing Rosalía here in Los Angeles as part of her tour for her recently released album, Motomami. It was one of the best concerts I have ever attended. I love it. I love his music. I think she’s an incredibly innovative and exciting pop star at the moment.
The tour is also very interesting because it takes the show off, one would expect flowery Spanish flamenco energy, but it’s this incredibly rigorous, somewhat modernist minimal pop gig. One of the highlights of the concert was when she performed a song that I really like called “Candy”. This pretty song was interpreted with its “mottopapis”, its dancers.
It was wonderful and it’s an album that I really like. I still want it. If the tour is coming to your city, I highly recommend seeing Rosalía perform. – Bilal Qureshi
In memory of Dame Angela Lansbury
What makes me happy is the outpouring of appreciation for the life and work of Dame Angela Lansbury, who passed away earlier this week. It’s just appropriate. There are times when Twitter ceases to be a hellish space and becomes useful, as was the case this week when Gay Twitter and Movie Twitter and Theater Twitter came together to form Gay, Movies, Theater, Twitter “Voltron “, to point you in the direction of performance you need to see.
I can’t tell you how many women and gays are crushed, moved and nostalgic for something from the past with the news of the passing of the fabulous Dame Angela Lansbury.
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) October 11, 2022
Now, there are many that we all know. The Murder She Wrote, The beauty and the Beast, Sweeney Todd and Bed knobs and brooms. But if you haven’t seen Angela Lansbury’s darker stuff like her first performance as the scheming housekeeper Nancy in the 1944 film gas lampa movie that added “gaslight” to our lexicon. One reason for that is Angela Lansbury’s performance. Also, her popularly recognized performance as a mother in the 1962 film The Manchu Candidate is scary and terrifying.
But I’m going to point you not to a devilish performance, but to a commanding performance – charismatic, compelling, powerful. You’ll find it on the Broadway show’s 1966 cast album Mom (music and lyrics by Jerry Herman). When searching for this show, it is extremely important to include the term Angela Lansbury in the search bar. ‘Cause if you’re looking for the Lucille Ball version, I’m gonna come over to your house and slam that laptop on your damn table. Show respect this week of all weeks.
Angela Lansbury had a voice like a brass instrument, which meant she had to be written in a very specific way. Jerry Herman knew how to write for it. Everyone knows a lot of songs from the musical “We Need a Little Christmas,“ some people know “it’s today”. If you’ve been to a gay bar in the past four decades, you’ve seen bosom buddies on the television. But this is a snippet (see video below) of the song “Open a New Window,” in which Angela Lansbury plays the wild, willful socialite Mame Dennis, urging her nephew, Patrick, to live an unconventional and interesting life. .
This song is a march, as you can see, and it’s led by the conductor, that bugle call, the whole horn section, that’s Angela Lansbury’s voice. You could do a lot worse this weekend than fall down a YouTube rabbit hole as a tribute to the late Grand Dame Angela Lansbury. “Lady Mame”, as they call her at home. That’s what I’m going to do. I had the champagne on ice because as we were reminded this week, even though it came to 96, the fizz doesn’t fizz for too long. –Glen Weldon
More Recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour Newsletter
by Linda Holmes
20th century workshops
I will have a full exam next week of The wish part 2 on HBO, but it’ll definitely be worth watching if you find yourself sucked into the first episode in 2020, and it airs Monday night.
You know what really gave my week a boost of joy? Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for pumpkin bread. Forgive me while I eat all the bread.
I had mixed feelings about the new movie Rosaline, now streaming on Hulu, which is the story of Romeo and Juliet from the perspective of her ex. I wasn’t crazy about the script, but I love Kaitlyn Dever’s lead performance, and there are some very cute jokes about other romantic comedies in the musical supervision. Perfect for an afternoon with a cup of tea.
Another one I want to alert you to despite my mixed feelings about it at first (although I only got one episode): Ryan Murphy, who just had a hit for Netflix with his Jeffrey Dahmer project, has some now another one available: The Observer is based on a true story that appeared in The Cut about a family who bought a house and then started getting some really creepy letters. I think the show is off to a slow start, but the cast – Naomi Watts! Bobby Cannavale! Margo Martindale! Mia Farrow! – certainly piques my curiosity.
NPR’s Pilar Galvan adapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment “What’s Making Us Happy” into a digital page. If you like these suggestions, consider subscribe to our newsletter for recommendations each week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour on Apple podcast and Spotify.