Picks of the Week: Awards shows, music and movies to kick off the new semester


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Welcome to the new spring semester and the new Picks of the Week newsletter under my measured watch. My name is Kate Tinney and I will be your Picks of the Week pilot for the next few months. In an effort to promote full disclosure, I’ll be flying this plane from across the ocean in Dublin, Ireland, where I will be spending the next few months studying abroad. Still, I assure you — the ride will be just as seamless as ever.

I have been away for just under a week and already feel completely out of touch with my former blasé American culture, but I promise to reach deep within that old part of myself each week and bring forth the best of what it and Berkeley have to offer.

Speaking of blasé, before another moment passes, be sure to check out Kehlani’s new music video for “Nights Like This” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, which was released a few days ago. No shade to Kehlani, but apparently Ty Dolla $ign has a song called “Blasé,” which I discovered while Googling whether or not I was using the word correctly. Anyway, that “Nights Like This” video is the queer “Ex Machina” alternative we never knew we needed and has already garnered more than a million views on YouTube.

Since there hasn’t been a Picks of the Week newsletter released in a few weeks, I find it entirely within my purview to reach back a bit into some entertainment news from the past few weeks. For example, the always lovely and quaint Coachella announced an absolutely stacked lineup at the beginning of the month, with Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande headlining. Those of you who, like me, have little to no interest in getting sunburnt and sore and having to pay for the pleasure but wouldn’t mind improving your knowledge of indie music can start by exploring some of the smaller scheduled artists such as Hop Along and Superorganism on Spotify.

The most important dynamo slated to perform, however, is Lizzo. Her hit “Good as Hell” was the most fun song of 2016, and she is back again with “Juice,” which is sure to fit nicely on every feel-good playlist of 2019. Why not spend your Tuesday with some noise-canceling headphones, catching up on some Coachella-worthy tunes while ignoring your parents and unwinding from all the holiday family time?

Wednesday would be the perfect opportunity to catch up on all the new awards show news. The Golden Globes were last Sunday and featured a handful of must-see moments. Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh’s monologue definitely brought kindness back to the traditional “host roast” to begin the show, although it was, as a whole, pretty missable. The pair did, however, reference my favorite meme of the awards season — Lady Gaga’s perennial hundred-people-in-a-room interview and awards circuit quip.

The English period comedy-drama “The Favourite” garnered a win for Olivia Colman who played Queen Anne. Colman’s Queen Anne is truly grotesque and deserves all of the awards for the chaotic film’s standout cake scene alone. The movie will be playing at the Landmark’s California Theatre this Thursday if you’d like to stop by and see what I’m talking about.

In other news, as more and more people find themselves making their way back to Berkeley after winter break, “Nosferatu,” the 1922 German horror flick, is going to be playing Friday evening at The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive — which, for some of you, may seem like a strangely perfect introduction into the next semester.

Afterward, for a fun Saturday night in, the fabulous 2018 documentary “Shirkers” is available on Netflix, featuring an especially macabre Nosferatu parallel in the third act. The documentary follows director Sandi Tan as she examines her unreleased 1992 film, also called “Shirkers,” which was shot on the streets of Singapore in the years before it became the wealthy and developed country it is today. It is a perfect movie for those interested in arthouse cinema or just really excellent storytelling.

For some extra special European picks on a lazy Sunday from your own American on the inside, I suggest “Mary Queen of Scots” starring Margot Robbie and (the Irish) Saoirse Ronan. The film will be playing at the Landmark’s Albany Twin, a perfect reason to make a weekend excursion. One fun fact about the movie is that the two leads did not actually interact until they filmed the climax, so the final confrontation between the two iconic historical figures could be all the more intense. On the Uber ride over to the theater, perhaps you can bump the song “Parallels” by Mànran, which is a Scottish song with fiddles, bagpipe and a beat drop. The brief experience of a culturally rich sound alone is worth the listen!

As my first Picks of the Week newsletter draws to a close, I wish you the happiest of final days at home, and I hope I’ve offered you sufficient content to avoid the pitfalls of end-of-break boredom!

More to come. Onward!

Kate Tinney writes the picks of the week newsletter. Contact her at [email protected]. Tweet her at @katetinney.