📚 The Vernon Subutex Trilogy (Virginie Despentes): It took a while for this French series to see an English translation, but all three books are now widely available. The trilogy follows Subutex, a former record store owner who, after being thrown out of his apartment, becomes a DJ with a literal cult following. The gallery of about a dozen main characters is vast, but with distinctive personalities, their stories join together in a straightforward path.
Not a million miles away from Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, the Subutex books are as funny as they’re ridiculous, yet also strangely heartfelt. And how can you not love these covers?
🍗 PBJ Chicken Wings: A follow-up to my air fryer wings, this PBJ take on them is just as easy to make, yet with a completely different flavor profile.
I took 24 drumettes and tossed them in 24 oz of Frank’s Original Hot Sauce, about ¼ cup raspberry jam, and circa ½ cup peanut butter. Give or take: I honestly did not measure, so follow your instinct.
Cook on 400 in the air fryer for 20 minutes, give the basket a shake, and cook for an additional 15 minutes on 325.
That’s it: The hot sauce and peanut butter balance out any overt sweetness from the jam, making these wings more subtle than you’d expect.
🎥 Infinity Pool: Here’s a film I have an uncharacteristically torn relationship with. On the one hand, the subject matter is interesting: Obnoxious tourists sentenced to death for breaking the laws of a fictitious African country. The twist: The country allows for tourists to purchase clones to be executed in their place.
The ethics of cloning might not be an original premise, but writer/director Brandon Cronenberg takes it in some unusual directions. And Infinity Pool is a solid satire on gauche tourism.
That would all be well and good had it not been for the film’s unnecessarily graphic scenes. Brandon is his father’s son—David Cronenberg, natch—and seems intent on eclipsing his elder’s 1980s shock values. Using those types of visuals today feels more juvenile than shocking, and had Infinity Pool leaned on its suspense-thriller aspect—which is well executed—it could have been a classic. When the film forgets about its “edginess,” it is a tense, often thought-provoking watch.
As it stands, Infinity Pool is not for everyone. If you can get past the gratuitous parts—easier said than done—you’re left with good concepts, stylish cinematography, and a great cast.