Destroying L.A. and Female Rock Critics: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

Highlights from seven days of reading about entertainment

Warner Bros.

On the Trail of a Creole Music Pioneer, Still Alive in Song
Campbell Robertson | The New York Times
Years of attempts to recover the body of Amédé, as he is widely known, have come to nothing. As with Mozart’s grave, Amédé’s is known only by its general vicinity: the area where the blacks were buried.”

The World Needs Female Rock Critics

Anwen Crawford | The New Yorker

When I was about fourteen, I stood outside science class holding a folder that was decorated with an array of faces which I had carefully cut out from the pages of music magazines. Pointing to a photo of Björk on my folder, a passing boy sneered at me, ‘I bet you don’t even know who she is.’”

L.A. Apocalypse! San Andreas and 23 Thoughts on Destroying the City of Angels
Alex Pappademas | Grantland
“When bad things happen to San Francisco onscreen—bat flu in Contagion, simian revolt in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a thick-necked thunder lizard fighting MUTOS downtown in Godzilla—we’re usually encouraged to see this as regrettable, whereas the versions of Los Angeles pulped in popular entertainment almost always seem on some level to deserve it.”

Cameron Crowe Takes Us on a Musical Tour Through His Filmography
Joanna Robinson | Vanity Fair
Every passing soundtrack feels like a mix your untrendy friend or family member would make for you. Crowe’s not trying to impress, but he is giving fresh takes on enduring classics and handpicking new, rare gems for us to love and treasure as much as he does.”

Will Emma Sulkowicz’s Protest Mattress Wind Up in a Museum?
Andy Battaglia | Vulture
“The mattress itself is of course just part of the art, a prop to instigate all that happened around it. In that, it falls into another lineage as an artifact of performance art that can be difficult, if possible at all, to document and show.”

We All Agree that Mad Max: Fury Road Is Great. Here’s Why It’s Also Important.
Leah Schnelbach | Tor
“The people who referred to this film as a ‘Trojan Horse’ were completely correct—but Miller wasn’t smuggling feminist propaganda, he was disguising a story of healing as a fun summer blockbuster.”

What If The Wire Were Set in Ramallah?
Debra Kamin | Foreign Policy
With a majority of Arabic dialogue, a cast packed with Arab actors, and a plot line that makes it clear that both sides are as complicated as they are culpable, Raz and Issacharoff have taken the black-and-white narrative of Israel and its enemies and spun it into all kinds of gray. In war, [Fauda] insists, you don’t know if you are right or wrong. You only know your orders.”