A look at the things we're most excited about watching, reading, browsing, and listening to:
The breakout sensation of this year's Sundance, Beasts of the Southern Wild, sees limited release Wednesday. A strange, surreal, magical tale told from the point of view of a young bayou girl, it—as Robert Levin wrote for The Atlantic in January—"offers a heady Louisiana fever dream and a unique cinematic vision that never spirals out of control." Other critics have raved similarly.
The "stripper with a heart of gold" pop-culture trope gets gender flipped in Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike, which rounds up Channing Tatum (a former stripper in real life), Matthew McConaughey, and Alex Pettyfer to play dancers.
A series of collaborations with musicians ranging from Ke$ha to Bon Iver to Yoko Ono to the (now-estranged-from-the-band) Erykah Badu, The Flaming Lips' The Flaming Lips & Heady Fwends, recorded for a Record-Store Day promotion is better than it has any right to be. The song set saw its initial vinyl release in April, but is available on CD and digitally Tuesday. "Their [the guest artists'] fresh influx of ideas on The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends creates new flavor profiles for the band's loopy psychedelic slurry," writes Entertainment Weekly.