Film Noir: 100 All-Time Favourites (Taschen)
Post-War America was a dirty place, stained with the cynicism and suspicion of rampant capitalism. An alpha male society with shadows behind doors and skeletons in the closet. The atmosphere was reflected in the cinema of the time, with films taking a challenging look at American life - the corruption, the hopelessness, the crime. The term coined by French cinema critics was 'Film Noir', commenting on the grim nature of films from across the Atlantic.
This new book from Taschen documents the enigmatic genre in brilliant detail. Kicking off with The Cabinet of Dr Calgari in 1920, the book profiles dozens of examples of the genre right up to present day, including posters, rare screen shots, quotes and information about each. For those who thought Film Noir was a relic from a bygone era, modern classics like Pulp Fiction, Memento and Drive are all tackled.
The highlight of the whole package is the collection of striking movie stills chosen for each film, which tell the classic stories expertly. Heroines in distress, macho leading men, fedora-d gunmen and inquisitive upstarts all bring the book to life.
You'll need a sturdy coffee table, as the book is roughly the size of a small car, but film lovers will not be disappointed.
Available now from Taschen
Blind Arcade Meets Super Weird Substance Mixtape
Need a soundtrack to your summer? Greg Wilson has sorted it for you already. Working with Kermit Leveridge, formerly of Ruthless Rap Assassins and Black Grape, the two big players of the North West music scene have put together this ace mixtape. Made up of demos, works in progress and peppered with edits from Wilson, the mix switches from dub reggae to hip hop to soul. Big soundsystem vibes. It's a free download too. The accompanying blog written by Greg himself can be found here.
Tru Thoughts - Shapes Compilation
It's no small feat for a record label to still be on the cusp of innovation after 15 years, but Brighton's Tru Thoughts manages it like it ain't no thing. Their latest compilation in the Shapes series showcases some of the newer talent they've signed to the label, including the tremendously talented Werkha and Lost Midas. On top of that there's tracks from old skool heads Rodney P and Zed Bias, house from Titeknots and even a brass band. As diverse and accomplished as we've come to expect from Tru Thoughts.
Released June 30th here.
Brutus Trimfit Ltd Edition Shirts
One of the best pieces of style advice anyone ever gave me was that you can never have too many white shirts. Another good piece of advice is to have at least one Brutus shirt in your wardrobe. The veteran British shirt makers have strong ties to youth culture in this country, being the uniform of the skins and mods over the past few decades. For the World Cup, they've released a limited edition white number with red tabs, in their signature trim-fit shape. Available to buy here.
Marshall Stanmore Home Speaker
Are you the kind of person who spends time and money making their gaff look snazzy, only to stick a £10 Tescos iPod dock on the side like some cheap suburban massage parlour playing Buddha Bar vol 14 while you get your shiatsu? No? Then you need to invest in some decent home speakers, and this Marshall Stanmore is where you should start. Using the timeless aesthetic we've come to love from the audio brand, this cunt is portable, offers quality (and let us make this point again: quality) sound and looks the biz.
Available to buy here.