Netflix And Swill

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Instead of watching ‘Home Alone’ movies back-to-back, this year, Antonia is going spend the festive period getting through her list of recommendations, and she invites you to join her.

There isn’t a better time to hibernate than over the Christmas period. I’m going to put my feet up over the next few weeks – as I’m sure most of you are. Whilst you’re all enjoying leftovers from Christmas dinner, I’ll be on a liquid diet and amusing myself by finally getting through my ever-growing list of recommended films, series and podcasts. 

Whether you need something to put on whilst you’re wrapping up presents, something to drown out the sound of Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé, or if you don’t fancy watching ‘Bad Santa’ for the seventeenth time, I’ve got just what you need. The alternative Christmas list: Netflix and Swill. 

*disclaimer: Please note, not everything on this list is available on Netflix, you may have to do some digging elsewhere.

‘Iris’

Source: newsweek.com

Source: newsweek.com

‘If your hair is done properly and you’re wearing good shoes, you can get away with anything.’ – Iris Apfel

Oversized round glasses, bright colours, chunky accessories and draped in fur, Iris Apfel is a picture of unapologetic individuality. I dare you to try and find me a 94-year-old as timelessly chic as this icon. This documentary pries into her professional career in the fashion world, interior and textile design and her relationship with late husband, Carl Apfel. I want to spark my imagination to add bit of pazazz into my wardrobe and I’m hoping a bit of inspiration from Iris can send me in the right direction.

‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’

I’ve already seen this feature film about jazz legend, Nina Simone, but I’m going to watch it again – that’s how good it is. Nina Simone was always someone I admired from a distance. I never really knew too much about the ways in which the period she lived through and her own personal struggles contributed to her refined sound. Whether you’re into jazz or not, you know that Muller yoghurt advert? Nina. Virgin Atlantic advert? Nina. Renault Clio advert? Nina. Kanye West’s ‘Blood On The Leaves?’ Nina (albeit via Billie Holiday). I bet you wanna know more now, don’t you?

‘Rubble Kings’ 

New York City is a place I want to visit and if given an opportunity to further legitimise my love for hip-hop, it’s always going to be a resounding ‘yes’. ‘Rubble Kings’ delves into a pre-Crips and pre-Bloods gang environment, drawing out social elements and a world order during the 1970s that almost single-handedly contributed to the birth of one of my favourite genres of music. If, like me you’ve seen ‘The Warriors’ and want to see it through the lens of archival footage, then jump on Netflix and give it a go. The soundtrack sounds funky fresh.

‘Luther’

Source: nothingbutstatic.co.uk

Source: nothingbutstatic.co.uk

If you thought British coppers couldn’t be cool, think again my friends. Luther is ice cold. Forget about ‘CSI Miami’ and ‘NCIS’ – Idris Elba’s performance will have you on the edge of your seat for 59 minutes without blinking. Series 4 starts on Tuesday, 15th December. If in need of a recap or want to get the lowdown since day one in a short, concise clip, watch this here. Idris plays Detective Inspector John Luther – a volatile, manipulative, obsessive and disturbed character. His commitment to solving crime often ends up in him committing it, which of course makes for good TV. Trust me. Almost incapable of sustaining a healthy human relationship with anyone whom he comes into contact with, it’s fascinating to see how he operates, being driven into destruction completely by his emotions. 

‘Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton’

Based in LA, Stones Throw Records is one of my favourite indie labels. It has been home to some of the most musically complex hip-hop and funk. It’s just as well that LA is third on my bucket list in America (after New Orleans and New York). Given there’s been a vinyl revival and the likes of Tesco are jumping on the bandwagon, I’d like to be reminded of the key figures that have allowed the art of turntabling to progress and take off in the way it has internationally. J Dilla, Jonwayne, Madlib, and MF Doom all came through this label and you can definitely hear it in the homogenous sound that Stones Throw Records has cultivated. Stones Throw was started up by Peanut Butter Wolf and this feature film interviews Kanye West, Common, Flying Lotus and many more to unearth the myriad of veins flowing through hip-hop that Stones Throw is connected to. 

‘Serial’ Podcast

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Source: serialpodcast.org

Serial has been on my radar for a while now, however I must warn you, it doesn’t sound like it’s for the faint-hearted. Each series investigates a true crime story, takes the audience through real-life evidence, and the rest is a journey. I’ll be starting off with the first series, which follows the case of Adnan Syed, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Hae Min Lee in Chicago in 1999. The narrator, Sarah Koeing, sources evidence from witnesses, relatives and police personnel to uncover the details. At no point does narrator Sarah claim to get to the truth of Adnan’s part in it, but it appears that she simply offers her opinion based on the evidence presented. As, with most things, I missed the period when Serial was the world’s hot topic – fans worldwide would wait for every week for an episode to be released and then comment on what they thought really happened and whether or not they believed Adnan to be innocent or guilty. I don’t have to wait in suspense on a weekly basis, desperate to find out the next part of the case. Good things come to those who wait, right?

And if none of these tickle your fancy – try making your own short film. Seriously. Encounters Film Festival are on the Rife Guide and they’re calling for submissions for the next annual festival. 

Get in touch via Twitter @Rifemag and let us know what you’re watching in the meantime. 

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