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The Wild Goose Lake
Maybe there’s an upside to what one hopes is the temporary shutdown of movie theaters: Arthouse fodder like this stylish Chinese neo-noir might have a better shot at an audience if moviegoers don’t have to go outside to see it. But the downside is more than economic, as the atmospheric cinematography, which lenses gorgeous images out of everything from a rainy window to a blood-soaked umbrella, would look so much better on one of the AFI Silver’s big screens. The Wild Goose Lake tells the complicated story of Zhou Zenong (Hu Ge), a gangster who, as the movie opens, is injured and on the run after killing a policeman. One rainy night, he meets the mysterious Liu Aiai (Gwei Lun-mei), a former prostitute who may hold the key to Zhou finding his long-lost wife. Director Diao Yinan’s 2014 thriller Black Coal, Thin Ice won top honors at that year’s Berlinale, and if this film isn’t as consistently compelling, it still deserves a proper theatrical viewing. In the meantime, you can stream this through the AFI’s Virtual Screening Room, but try to watch it on the biggest home screen you can muster—you’ll want as much screen resolution as possible for this visual feast. The film is available to stream at filmmovementplus.com. $12. —Pat Padua
Shea Butter Baby
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Week four of quarantine: Your food supply is running low, you have no more toilet paper, and you’re in dire need of physical interactions with your friends, leaving you stir-crazy. Consider staying occupied during this time by jamming to R&B artist Ari Lennox‘s album Shea Butter Baby. Lennox, who was born and raised in Washington, D.C, listened to artists ranging from John Legend to Red Hot Chili Peppers growing up, which influenced her distinctive voice, she explained in an interview with NPR. Last May, Lennox released her debut album Shea Butter Baby. Although it’s almost a year old, Shea Butter Baby still fails to disappoint, including hits like “Up Late,” “BMO,” and “New Apartment,” alongside features from J. Cole and JID. Not only will this album make you want to dance, cry, and “leave your curls in the shower,” it might leave you wanting more. Lucky for you, Lennox released an EP of remixes to Shea Butter Baby on March 27, featuring rising artist Doja Cat, leaving us with three more tunes to keep us occupied during quarantine. Of course, you can always relax and unwind with the original album’s “I Been,” where Lennox narrates a day: “I’ve been smokin’ purple haze, ooo, to forget about you, but you lie, and you lie, and you lie, and you lie, you lie.” We all have something to forget about right now, right? Shea Butter Baby is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music. Free. —Kennedy Whitby
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