The Atlantic's Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment

Harvey Weinstein attends the 'Reservoir Dogs' 25th anniversary screening during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival
Charles Sykes / Invision / AP

Don’t Miss

What Harvey Weinstein’s Apology RevealsMegan Garber writes that Weinstein responded to an article reporting “decades of sexual harassment accusations” against the mogul with a statement that perfectly captures this chaotic moment in American culture.

Katie Posner

The Business of Creativity

The Curious Life of an ExtraDanielle Sepulveres played bystanders and party guests for a temporary gig, but it turned into a viable, and surprisingly fulfilling, way to make a living.

Cohen Media Group


Agnes Varda’s Faces Places Is a Work of Art About ArtDavid Sims enjoys the legendary French filmmaker’s collaboration with the photographer JR, a wonderful documentary about communities, memory, and her own history.

Blade Runner 2049 Is a Worthy Heir to a ClassicChristopher Orr can’t disclose very much about the movie, but he can say it’s terrific.

The Florida Project Is One of 2017’s Best FilmsDavid Sims loves Sean Baker’s follow-up to Tangerine, which includes career-best work from Willem Dafoe and a breakout performance by 7-year-old Brooklynn Prince.

What Finally Ruins The Mountain Between UsMegan Garber asks what could go wrong with Idris Elba and Kate Winslet struggling to survive in the elements? (A lot, it turns out.)



The Kaepernick Protest Comes to SNLSpencer Kornhaber watches the show’s season premiere, where Jay-Z supported kneeling athletes, Alec Baldwin’s Trump dissed Puerto Rico, and bad typography got called out.

‘It Feels Like Someone Has Opened a Window Into Hell’Sophie Gilbert recounts how faced with the horror of Las Vegas, late-night’s comedians showed their despair.

The Opposition With Jordan Klepper Isn’t Paranoid EnoughDavid Sims believes The Daily Show correspondent’s new nightly show, which is trying to parody InfoWars, comes off as more of a watered-down Colbert Report.

Is The Mayor the Future of Politics?Sophie Gilbert calls the new ABC comedy about a rapper who runs for office charming, funny, and oddly hopeful.

Black-ish Embraces the Urgency of HistoryMegan Garber deems the show’s fourth-season premiere, “Juneteenth: The Musical,” a comedy, and a work of education, and an indictment.

Will YouTube, Facebook, or Apple Be the Next Great TV Network?David Sims notices that the streaming industry is reinventing itself yet again, and now Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are part of the old guard.

Bill Hughes / Las Vegas News Bureau / Reuters


Another Concert Made Into a TargetSpencer Kornhaber explains that a country-music festival in Las Vegas joins the list of pop-cultural gatherings, usually sites of community and escape, to become sites of mass killing.

The Humble Hugeness of Tom PettySpencer Kornhaber remembers the rocker, who died at 66, as someone who always let his songs be the star.

The Nuanced Bluster of Kamasi WashingtonMarcus J. Moore listens to the saxophonist’s latest album, a lush, soaring ode to unity.

For Women Seeking Pop Hits in 2017, It’s a ClimbSpencer Kornhaber tells how Miley Cyrus, Shania Twain, and Demi Lovato’s new albums enter a newly indifferent charts landscape.

Tom Petty’s Psychedelic Curveball TriumphSpencer Kornhaber admits “Don't Come Around Here No More” is an outlier in the late rocker’s catalogue, and all the more glorious for it.

Nina Simone Nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—FinallySpencer Kornhaber analyzes this year’s list, which spans gospel and synth-pop, as well as overdue inclusions and new shoo-ins.

Brad Mills / USA TODAY Sports / Reuters


Deciding to Skip the NFL SeasonDavid Dennis Jr. says goodbye to the league, a year after Colin Kaepernick’s first kneeling protest.

The Insidious Logic of ‘Stick to Sports’Paul Ringel breaks down the 150-year-old marketing strategy, which casts professional athletics as an escape from, rather than a part of, American corporate culture.

Baseball’s Wild Cards Are the Perfect Postseason PrologueRobert O’Connell thinks the exhilarating MLB play-in games break with the drowsiness of the regular season in the feverish lead-up to the World Series.

Jose Altuve, Baseball’s Unlikeliest SuperstarAlex Putterman states that the 5-foot-6-inch Houston Astros second baseman and American League MVP frontrunner is one of the greatest anomalies in the sport’s history.

Penguin Young Readers


What a Forgotten Kids’ Book Reveals About U.S. PublishingPooja Makhijani examines the poignant children’s novel Gay Neck, which was written by an Indian immigrant who became the first person of color to win the Newbery Medal.

Writing Advice From a (Newly Minted) Nobel WinnerMegan Garber relates that Kazuo Ishiguro wrote the bulk of The Remains of the Day in four weeks with extreme dedication and a willingness to be terrible.

Greg Smith / AP


Down the Rabbit Hole: The Surprising Tale of the Bunny SuitKimberly Chrisman-Campbell lays out how like Hugh Hefner himself, Playboy’s iconic costume was a blend of provocative and old-fashioned.

Charles Sykes / AP


Harvey Weinstein, Jay-Z, and the Misuse of ArtSpencer Kornhaber notes that the film producer explained away his alleged misconduct by making up the words to a very personal song.



The Museum Grappling With the Future of Black AmericaAdrienne Green looks at how the Smithsonian’s memorial of African American history and culture turns 1 at a time when its lessons are particularly resonant.