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Weekly Reading: The best longreads all in one place

Friday 12th May 2017

Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet.


Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson talks to Caity Weaver in this week's GQ.

Photo: AFP

Dwayne Johnson for President!, by Caity Weaver, GQ

“One of the first things he'd needed to know about me was if I'd ever been to Australia. I haven't, I told him, and he beamed and shook his head. “You'd love it,” he declared. A puzzled pause hung in the air while I frantically tried to deduce what about my bearing projects that I would love Australia, and Johnson remembered that he didn't actually know anything about me (yet), except that I'd never been to Australia. Which made him want to learn everything.”

How A24 is Disrupting Hollywood, by Zach Baron, GQ

“Sacco: I wouldn’t say I got it. I…I was tasked. I woke up one morning to an e-mail from Daniel that was sent at three in the morning: “Can you go to Pittsburgh?” I come into the office, and there are interns running around like in some crazy factory. Daniel’s like, “Okay. We’re putting together a gift basket of glass guns and a gift basket with munchies…”

Fenkel: We made bongs.

Sacco: Gun bongs. And the interns are running around trying to find a glassblower.”

Inside the Roller-Coaster Journey to Get David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Back on TV, by Maureen Ryan, Variety

‘“It comes in a burst,” Lynch explains. “An idea comes in, and if you stop and think about it, it has sound, it has image, it has a mood, and it even has an indication of wardrobe, and knowing a character, or the way they speak, the words they say. A whole bunch of things can come in an instant.” Frost describes a case in point: “I remember him calling me to say, ‘Mark, there’s a giant in Cooper’s room,’” he says. “I learned early on that it was always best to be very receptive to whatever might bubble up from David’s subconscious.”’

The Great British Brexit Robbery: How our Democracy was Hijacked, by Carole Cadwalladr, The Guardian

“Why would anyone want to intern with a psychological warfare firm, I ask him. And he looks at me like I am mad. “It was like working for MI6. Only it’s MI6 for hire. It was very posh, very English, run by an old Etonian and you got to do some really cool things. Fly all over the world. You were working with the president of Kenya or Ghana or wherever. It’s not like election campaigns in the west. You got to do all sorts of crazy shit.”’

‘13 Reasons Why’ Makes a Smarmy Spectacle out of Suicide, by Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker

“If I had less faith in the ability of teen-agers to know bullshit when they see it, I would worry about what they might take from “13 Reasons Why,” which never touches on the subject of mental illness, and which presents Hannah’s suicide as both an addictive scavenger hunt and an act that gives her the glory, respect, and adoration that she was denied in real life.”

Is an Open Marriage a Happier Marriage?, by Susan Dominus, The New York Times

“In mid-March, about two weeks after Elizabeth and Daniel first agreed to think of their marriage as open, they drove toward a bar, where Elizabeth’s boyfriend, Joseph, was waiting for them. Tammy Nelson, their therapist friend, had long been telling Daniel he should meet the man Elizabeth was seeing. “Once you meet him, then you can decide how you feel,” she said. “Because right now, it’s just a story you’re telling yourself.” He was ready, and at Elizabeth’s urging, Joseph, too, had reluctantly agreed to meet. Riding in the car, Elizabeth fielded nervous texts from Joseph, who arrived before them. “I’m going home,” he texted her. “I don’t think I can do this.”’

How TV Became Respectable Without Getting Better, by Matthew Christman, Current Affairs

“While there are many kinds of television shows being made at the moment, it’s worth pointing out that a significant majority of critically-acclaimed, so-called “prestige television” shows are about angsty white criminals (The Sopranos, Breaking Bad), angsty white cops (The Wire), and angsty white ad execs (Mad Men). The current generation of prestige shows, which are universally inferior to that first wave by all accounts, rely on an assortment of genre tropes and the template laid by those pioneering programs. Mostly crime. Mostly male. Mostly extravagantly unlikeable anti-heroes whose sheer awfulness makes us feel better about our own, more mundane foibles.”

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