The Culture Trip: August Newsletter


“People need to realise that every single day,
they make some difference in the world.”

Jane Goodall

The Classiq Journal monthly newsletter goes out every first Sunday of the month, bringing you a personal round-up of books, films, music, podcasts, talks and cultural news. Here is the August culture trip.

There are two books* that have kept coming my way in the last couple of months, especially through rabbit-hole inducing conversations and interviews: Country Girl, by Edna O’Brien, and American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins. I am making my way through them and enjoying them tremendously, for different reasons, obviously. Edna O’Brien’s writing is beautiful, and American Dirt is a page-turner, keeping me on the brim of my seat.

Interiors, an online journal that focuses on architecture and film, has released the book The Architecture of Cinematic Spaces by Interiors, a highly visual, graphic analysis of film in terms of architecture, cinematic spaces and production design, and discusses films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Rope, Le mépris, Playtime, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Home Alone, Panic Room, A Single Man, Her and Columbus.

These photography books take you on a journey through the fashion of the 1990s, and the supermodels are driving.

The interview:
Jane Goodall thinks we can be better travellers. “People need to realise that every single day, they make some difference in the world.”


Left: Sigourney Weaver in “Gorillas in the Mist”, 1988, Warner Brothers
Right: Photographic print part of the Classiq Journal Editions, available in the shop


It’s about that silver lining. The best thing about this summer so far? It’s given us the opportunity to finally set out to set up a backyard movie theatre, making me miss a little less the experience of going to the movies. Here is everything you need to know about building your own outdoor cinema. First movie on the list? Jaws (a family summer tradition), followed by The Birds (by the way, Camille Paglia’s book about the film is the best piece of writing I have read about Hitchcock’s masterpiece).

Five indie films to satisfy your travel cravings.

Gorillas in the Mist, the adaptation of wildlife expert Dian Fossey’s autobiography, a remarkable story of thirteen years spent with the rare mountain gorillas in the heart of Africa, first to study and then protect them from poachers. Superbly acted by Sigourney Weaver, it is a gripping, wondrous, emotional film that sees Fossey’s passion become an obsession, and rightfully so, given the cruel reality she witnesses. There is more than the impressive life story that I took a liking to: the sounds and colours and textures and light (the film is beautifully shot) of Africa, and, not in the least for someone who writes extensively about style in film and costume design, Sigourney’s African life-appropriate looks. You can watch the film here.

On every road trip this summer (could this be the new era of the road trip?) I am listening to this album.

Quentin Tarantino selects his favourite 10 albums of all time.

Jon Caramanica is joined by Joshua Rothkopf for the latest New York Times Popcast to discuss the unforgettable compositions of the late Ennio Morricone. In one of my interviews with film industry insiders, Alessandro de Rosa, The author of the book Ennio Morricone: In His Own Words, is recalling one of his favourite cinema experiences – it involves a Morricone soundtrack.

A friend of mine who is a painter was telling me that she’s been listening to audiobooks because after she paints all day long her eyes can not sustain reading a book. So from now on I will try to recommend a different audiobook in each monthly newsletter. The book she recommended is The Water Dancer, the debut novel of Ta-Nehisi Coates, narrated by actor Joe Morton. I was first introduced to Ta-Nehisi Coates a couple of years ago by the man behind this exceptional bookshop, who considers Coates one of the most important discoveries he has made in the past years (and about whom Toni Morrison wrote that he filled an intellectual gap in succession to James Baldwin), and who pointed out the author’s Between the World and Me, winner of the National Book Award for Non-Fiction in 2015 and Pulitzer Prize finalist, to me.



The call of the 21st (that’s the 21st of each month). Are you committed to buying less and buying wiser? Then consider DEMAIN.
On an end note

Now more than ever, we have all been seeking refuge in nature. But not everyone can, nor they should, move to the countryside, which is why we have to take better care of our cities. These cities offer a model on how we can build happier communities.

A small French town is fighting Amazon. And here is further proof of how six independent shops have become community anchors in their respective cities, shunning large retailers.

A simple message that goes a long way: Be a lady!

* For an easily accessible, official synopsis of all the books mentioned in this article, I have linked to the respective publishing houses. However, in these trying times, our intention is to support artists and small businesses of any kind, especially bookstores, therefore we will not link to global online book chains or corporations, leaving you to make the choice of helping your favourite independent bookshop and placing your order with them. If you don’t have a favourite indie bookstore, here is how to find one you can support.

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