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Best physical media of April: Jeff Wall photography book, Andor in 4K and BB King vinyl - ae
Best physical media of April: Jeff Wall photography book, Andor in 4K and BB King vinyl

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Best Physical Media Of April: Jeff Wall Photography Book, Andor In 4K And BB King Vinyl

Best physical media of April: Jeff Wall photography book, Andor in 4K and BB King vinyl
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Best physical media of April: Jeff Wall photography book, Andor in 4K and BB King vinyl

Best physical media of April: Jeff Wall photography book, Andor in 4K and BB King vinyl

Uae News

Klyoum.com - thenationalnews

April brings a new slate of hard to miss physical media releases.

This month, our favourites include a French Cinema modern classic that focuses on the lives and struggles of minorities, one of BB Kings greatest albums re-released pristinely for a new generation and a Star Wars Disney+ show that has been praised for its maturity and depth.

Jeff Wall (Released April 9)

Whats the best way to describe the work of Jeff Wall? The Canadian photographer, who has been operating since the 1970s, often calls his work “cinematographic”, but it might be more simply understood as staged photography.

An artist more than a documentarian, Wall, 78, takes inspiration from literature, film and art history, with work that is reminiscent in theme to legendary creatives such as Manet, Kafka, Ellison and Hokusai. Cataloguing the more than 50 works collected at the large-scale solo exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland, the book has large-format slides in light boxes, black-and-white photographs and colour prints.

Theres no one quite like him, so there will be no book on your coffee table quite like it, either.

William Mullally, arts and culture editor

La Haine (Released April 2)

Mathieu Kassovitz might be most recognisable for his role in whimsical romance film Amelie, but he also directed one of the angriest and most artistically constructed films about the state of youth in 1990s France.

La Haine, which translates to hatred, was released in 1995 during a time when France was mired by constant clashes between the police and the youth living in impoverished housing estates. Presented in black and white, the film tells the story of three French teenagers (played by Vincent Cassel, Hubert Kounde and Said Taghmaoui), each from a different ethnic background, and their odyssey to Paris in search of solace from the chaos of their community.

The film is being released by the Criterion Collection in 4K UHD, having been released previously by them in Blu-ray. La Haine is beloved many actors and filmmakers around the world, including Oscar winner Jodie Foster who previously said: “There’s a movie I didn’t even make, that I helped release in the US, called La Haine. It’s the one I’m the most proud of, even if I had nothing to do with how wonderful it is.”

Faisal Salah, gaming and social writer

Lee Quinones: Fifty Years of New York Graffiti Art and Beyond (April 30)

In the minds of many, there is simply no more influential artist to emerge from the New York subway art movement than Lee Quinones. Since he first started spray painting murals on the citys underground at the age of 14, he moved from a precocious young graffiti artist into something greater. He is credited with inventing the free-standing urban mural with his famed Howard The Duck piece in 1978, and his work only got better and bolder from there. By 1980, he also helped legitimise the art form with his ground-breaking show White Columns.

He had a direct impact on luminaries such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and David Wojnarowicz, and indirectly, on the thousands of anonymous artists worldwide who looked to the New York scene for guidance.

This new monograph includes his street art and paintings as well as his drawings, all with their deft social commentary put in focus and cultural context.

Lapsed Pacifist – Hypatia (Released April 12)

A sound engineer by trade, Colin Dunkerley had also built a humble fan base through his electronic works as Negative Neuron.

Under the Lapsed Pacifist moniker, he began to slowly but steadily explore a more ambient soundscape. The album Hypatia is the result of that exploration, bringing together field recordings and audio loops that Dunkerley collected on his travels and then processed.

The album was released this month via the record label A Strangely Isolated Place. Its vinyl edition has a beautiful transparent copper design that will definitely stand out on your turntable. The eight tracks on the album are, as the record company puts it, “a scrapbook of senses”, filled with sonic textures that inflict a gamut of emotions.

“The experience of moving between places so frequently can be fascinating but also dislocating and often quite lonely,” Dunkerley said of the album on its website. “I have so many small stories about places I’ve been, but I often think they aren’t necessarily real reflections of anywhere, no more real than anything Invisible Cities author [Italo] Calvino dreamt up.”

Razmig Bedirian, arts and culture writer

The Departed (April 23)

One of the most exciting and nail-biting films to come out of Hong Kong is Infernal Affairs from 2002, starring Andy Lau and Tony Leung, directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak. The film is an action thriller depicting two moles, one embedded with the police while the other is within a local gang.

The film became a cult favourite among many, including legendary director Martin Scorsese, who remade the film in 2006. Starring Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg, The Departed is set in Boston and depicts both the seedy underbelly of the town as well as the strength of its police force.

The Departed was a box office success, making more than $290 million in global ticket sales. It was also nominated for five Academy Awards, taking home four Oscars, including Martin Scorsese’s only win for Best Achievement in Directing.

The film is being released in 4K UHD in two editions, one of which is a limited-edition steelbook with new artwork on the cover.

BB King – Blues is King (April 22)

BB King’s seminal live album Blues is King is getting its first official US vinyl release in more than 40 years.

Coming out on Monday, the album captures a 1966 performance in Chicago. The legendary bluesman, who died in 2015 aged 89, is accompanied by trumpeter Kenneth Sands, saxophonist Bobby Forte, Duke Jethro on organ, Louis Satterfield on bass and Sonny Freeman on drums.

The record contains emotive interpretations to several jazz and even country standards. In Night Life, King puts his own twist on the Willie Nelson song. In Buzz Me, he offers a bluesy take on the track made famous by Louis Jordan, also honouring the saxophonist with a rendition of I Know What Youre Puttin Down. Of course, he also plays originals, including Waitin on You and Gonna Keep on Loving You. In Gambler’s Blues, King arranges a track that, through its title, can be seen as a novel imagining of the folk song that also goes by St James Infirmary Blues.

Overall, Blues is King is sure to be a noteworthy addition to your record collection and offers a sharp insight into King’s legacy and soulful craft.

Andor (Released April 12)

For the uninitiated, the world of Star Wars is often dismissed as infantile – something adults cling to from their past that has no real value without the nostalgia one has from discovering it as a child. The problem is, as fun as Star Wars can be, the uninitiated often have a point.

Thats especially been true since Disney took over. Even promising starts such as The Mandalorians first season end up devolving into childish fan service, and flashes of brilliance such as The Last Jedi are often met with backlash from the toxic subset of Star Wars fans. Possibly as a result, the majority of the franchises content these days feels like boys playing with their toys.

Andor, however, is something very different. In fact, the Disney+ original series, now lovingly released in a deluxe 4K set, is the only Star Wars content Ive ever recommended to the uninitiated and had them fall in love with it. And curiously, its greatness was not achieved by dismissing the franchises key tenets. Rather, its great because its creator Tony Gilroy, the man behind Michael Clayton and the Bourne trilogy, takes Star Wars so seriously.

The Rebellion are treated as the true political radicals they are, and their attempts to destabilise the evil empire are treated with the stark realism of the world we live in. Meanwhile, the perspective of those working within the autocratic government are also deeply considered, giving them a similarly uncanny and disturbing humanity to that found in Jonathan Glazers The Zone of Interest.

This is the best Star Wars thing ever made, worth watching even if you have no interest in the rest. And this set is the best way to experience it.

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