Picks of the Week: Indie flicks, festivals and features for February

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Happy Monday, folks!

Oscar nominations were released this past Tuesday which means the race to watch all of the awards contenders begins now. One thoroughly unsurprising nominee was Lady Gaga for the song “Shallow” in “A Star is Born.” I’ve always hated that song since I had to hear it 30 times a day in the “A Star is Born” trailer, which was constantly playing at the movie theater I worked at. However, the song “Look What I Found” from the “A Star is Born” soundtrack bops way harder and also doesn’t haunt my nightmares in the same way.

While Monday can be spent appreciating all of the wonderful nominees, Tuesday can be for those who were not as fortunate. With every annual release of Oscar nominations there comes an equally large batch of Oscar snubs who are now not really going to be discussed beyond the “Oscar Snubs” think pieces. However, there are still some must-see pictures in the ignored batch that need our attention! “Eighth Grade,” directed by Bo Burnham, was completely ignored by Oscar voters but is one of my favorite movies I saw this year. It is now available to stream or rent online. Boots Riley’s “Sorry to Bother You” also offered something entirely new and special to the cinematic landscape in the form of absurdist performance art. Regardless, it was also shut out of the awards program. It is available to stream online.

Since the end of last semester I’ve been listening to King Princess almost constantly. It took me three listens to “1950” before I fell completely head over heels. Back in high school I had a similar experience with Fiona Apple’s “The Idler Wheel…” album. And last week a collab was released between the two artists called “I Know,” the first new track Apple has released since her last album. So, spend the rest of Tuesday catching up on both these femme artists. I recommend “Tymps,” “Paper Bag,” and “Hot Knife” for a taste of Apple’s old albums. While King Princess has yet to release a full album, “Upper West Side” and “Pussy Is God” are great starting points for her currently limited discography.

For Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I will close out with some music recommendations to match this very musical Picks of the Week. Vampire Weekend released its first new music in six years this week. I was never a huge Vampire Weekend fan, but you better believe that when I made my first indie music playlist in 2015, 2008’s “Oxford Comma” was one of the first three tracks. The songs “Harmony Hall” and “2021” are the first two singles off the upcoming album “Father of the Bride.”

SF’s 21st IndieFest kicks off this week, and on Saturday there will be a “Bad Art Gallery” in the Mission with artwork curated from thrift stores, flea markets and dumpster dives. Finish the day out and about in the Bay at Starline Social Club, which is going to be hosting Emo Night with DJs playing hits from Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and tons of the other great artists ripped straight from the Sharpie on the soles of your knee-high black Converse.

On Sunday some of you might be shocked to find out the Super Bowl is happening again. Watching it will not be my Sunday recommendation but I felt it worth mentioning so you aren’t as blindsided as I was. The final episodes of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” were released this week and Sunday is a perfect time to finish up the last season. I watched them all in one sitting and I think that is possible for anyone who believes in themselves.

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is one of the most unapologetically upbeat television shows out right now. There is something distinctly comforting in watching the finale of a show and not worrying about whether or not the main character is going be arrested or die of brain cancer. This last season of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is just one in a number of female led programs that will be saying their goodbyes in the next several months. Two of my favorites, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Jane the Virgin,” are also broadcasting their final episodes in 2019. Both are available to stream on Netflix.

With the start of the new semester the Daily Californian is redoubling its efforts to bring you more in-depth looks into many of the Picks I feature each week and much more. Our weekly arts column has picked up again with Areyon Jolivette’s weekly column “Views From Outside” on celebrating identity through art. Malini Ramaiyer’s culture shot about Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” perfectly articulated why I did not include the hit song in last week’s slate of Picks. Finally, Shannon O’Hara’s funny and thoughtful review of “Glass” brought to my attention that M. Night Shyamalan is still directing movies and they are still not good!

For my European Pick of the Week I reached a bit of a roadblock. Every American movie you could ever want to see is more or less at your fingertips. However, very successful Irish documentaries from just a few years ago are nowhere to be found. I heard about a great documentary called “A Mother Brings Her Son to Be Shot” about paramilitary groups in Ireland that I desperately want to see but I am unable to find it anywhere.

If anyone is able to locate this movie, email me at pic[email protected] so it can be a major feature of next week’s Picks and not just recommended based on hearsay.

Till then,

Kate

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