'Breaking Bad,' Hemingway, 'Ice Age': The Week Ahead in Pop-Culture

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A look at the things we're most excited about watching, reading, browsing, and listening to:

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MOVIES

The bizarre, real-life tale of a 13-year-old boy who disappeared from San Antonio only to apparently reappear in Europe three years later—"apparently" being the operative word—gets told in the raved-about documentary The Imposter. Anyone who isn't wary of spoilers should read David Grann's gripping 2008 New Yorker story about the titular imposter.

Ice Age: Continental Drift is the fourth installment in the star-studded CGI kids-film franchise. "Don't go expecting too much and you'll enjoy it well enough," writes The Birmingham Post, summing up the critical consensus.

France's Farewell, My Queen imagines Marie Antoinette in a same-sex love triangle. "But rather than play up the latent (and sometimes not-so-latent) lesbianism for cheap effect, [director Benoît Jacquot] smartly focuses on the toxic relationships ... between the various classes of French society," wrote Jon Frosch for The Atlantic last month.


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MUSIC

Mission of Burma—the ear-shedding, '80s, post-punk legends from Boston—have a fifth album on deck called Unsound. How was it recorded? "We are a four headed hydra trying to create unity without canceling or censoring each head," drummer Peter Prescott says in the press material. "So we juggle melody, groove, noise, depression, disruption, ecstasy... tension, release." Seems right.

The artsy Talking Heads disciples Dirty Projectors' sixth album, Swing Lo Magellan, is, in the words of U.K.'s The Fly, "pretty fucking awesome." Check out "Gun Has No Trigger" to see if it's your kind of thing.


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BOOKS

For sale Tuesday:

Didn't like the ending of Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms? Then check out a new edition of the high-school-reading-list staple out this week: It includes 47 alternate endings.

Cheryl Strayed is having a moment. First her debut book, Wild, was selected for Oprah Winfrey's book club reboot. Now she's got another book coming out: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, a collection of columns from her tenure as The Rumpus's advice columnist.


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TV

Breaking Bad, AMC's fascinating series about a high school science teacher who becomes a meth dealer to support his family after he's diagnosed with terminal cancer, comes back for its fifth season on Sunday. The last season was explosive, making the premiere highly anticipated—especially considering there are only two short seasons left.

Ripped-from-the-headlines TV show premises can work surprisingly well: Think The Good Wife, an alternate history of what could have happened after Eliot Spitzer was caught using prostitutes. USA's Political Animals, which premieres on Sunday, also takes its inspiration from a cheating politician and his wife's reaction to his philandering—though this time it's clearly Bill and Hillary Clinton who are the inspiration. Sigourney Weaver stars as a former first lady and current Secretary of State who divorces her husband after he cheats on her.

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Eleanor Barkhorn & Spencer Kornhaber

Eleanor Barkhorn and Spencer Kornhaber are senior associate editors at The Atlantic.

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