The Atlantic's Week in Culture

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Don’t Miss

The United States of Billy JoelAdam Chandler investigates how the Piano Man, who hasn’t released a new pop album since 1993, continues to sell out stadiums.



What’s in Store at This Year’s Cannes Film FestivalDavid Sims reports on the surprising titles to screen next month in France, including episodes of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake.

Unforgettable Is the Opposite of Its TitleChristopher Orr bemoans the new female-stalker movie starring Rosario Dawson and Katherine Heigl.

Why Fast & Furious Needs to Go Small to SurviveDavid Sims makes the case for a back-to-basics approach for the high-flying franchise.

A Quiet Passion Is a Biopic With Poetic ScopeDavid Sims enjoys Terence Davies’s new film about the reclusive, and sometimes frustrating, life of Emily Dickinson.

Free Fire Brings the Guns, but Forgets the CharactersDavid Sims argues that Ben Wheatley’s latest film, a 90-minute shoot-out in an empty warehouse, is exactly as interesting as that sounds.



What Was Missing From the Girls FinaleSophie Gilbert laments the disappointing ending to the HBO series.

The Leftovers: Seven-Year ItchSpencer Kornhaber and Sophie Gilbert unpack the premiere of the HBO show’s final season.

Recommended Reading

In Fargo Season 3, a Family Feud Turns BloodyLenika Cruz weighs in on the return of Noah Hawley’s anthology series, which stars Ewan McGregor.

Why Was Bill O’Reilly Really Fired?Megan Garber explains how the host’s ouster serves as an object lesson about what happens when morality and money come to a head.

Stephen Colbert’s Alex Jones Parody Is Hardly a ParodyDavid Sims recaps the Late Show host’s take on the embattled InfoWars conspiracy theorist, who now claims he’s been “in character” for years.

Veep’s Return Brings Bad News for Selina MeyerMegan Garber discusses the HBO show’s return for a sixth season.

The Americans Offers a Rare Lesson in HumilityMegan Garber weighs in on the latest episode of the FX series.



A Graphic-Novel Memoir That Tangles With the Puzzle of ExistenceArnav Adhikari reviews Kristen Radtke’s Imagine Wanting Only This, which fuses existential prose and breathtaking illustration.

When Writing Is Actually About WaitingJoe Fassler talks to The Good Thief author Hannah Tinti about what she learned about patience and risk from the T.S. Eliot poem “East Coker,” as part of The Atlantic’s ongoing “By Heart” series.

The Thrill and Pain of Inventing Angela CarterJeff VanderMeer explores a new biography by Edmund Gordon, which takes an exhaustive and meticulous look at the revered British author.

Ted S. Warren / AP


The Podcast Spreading the Love of Cowboy CultureCarson Vaughan listens to a new audio series that aims to connect a vibrant community of western poets, singers, and storytellers with a wider audience.

Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery


Remembering Barkley L. Hendricks, Master of Black Postmodern PortraitureKriston Capps pays tribute to the work of the late painter, who documented the African American figure as a cultural, and commodified, phenomenon.

Amy Harris / AP


Kendrick Lamar and the Sin of SwaggerSpencer Kornhaber listens to the Compton rapper’s excellent new album Damn.