Redbrick’s Entertainment Editors come together for their top picks to watch and play this March

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Films to Watch

Film Editor James Richards

The Age of Innocence (1993)

The Gilded Age becomes a gilded cage in this Edith Wharton adaptation. It’s a rare romance from Martin Scorsese, with Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer as the nominal matinée idols: two moneyed young things jostling against the stuffy conventions of their time. Coming just three years after Goodfellas (1990) and only two before Casino (1995), the film occupies a unique spot in Scorsese’s storied filmography. If mob films like these are the director’s bread and butter, then The Age of Innocence makes a sort of filling for this impromptu sandwich – a rich, tasteful offering with a lingering, bittersweet afterburn.

Print & Features Editor Jess Parker

Palm Springs (2020)

Max Barbakow’s 2020 Sundance hit Palm Springs follows Niles (Andy Samberg) and Sarah (Cristin Milioti) as they navigate a time loop that takes place on Sarah’s sister’s wedding day: one of the worst days of her life. The two bond over their unconventional circumstances, and navigate their newfound sci-fi landscape together.

Palm Springs is a gloriously joyful film for something that hinges on an unwelcome inability to die. Samberg’s signature Lonely Island humour, alongside stellar performances from himself and Milioti, and support from J. K. Simmons, make for the perfect watch as we enter 2024’s warmer months.

Film Editor Tom Green

Buffalo 66 (1998)

Vincent Gallo’s directorial debut takes several of the most nauseating cinematic tropes and somehow welds them together to create a sublime piece of Americana. It follows the pathological Billy Brown (Vincent Gallo), who, after being released from prison kidnaps a young woman (Christina Ricci), roping her into his plan to impress his overbearing parents and kill an ageing sports star. Gallo’s sensibility is at once uniquely bleak and strangely playful, occasionally veering into the surreal; Buffalo is elevated by its mesmerising setpieces, choice needle drops, and two central performances for the ages.

Games to Play

Gaming Editor Louis Wright

Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

What game has sold 195 million copies, seen 4 different launches, and on 7 different consoles? Grand Theft Auto V (2013) of course!

Rockstar Games’ endlessly milked cash cow has stuck around for 11 years now and still somehow finds itself as enjoyable and recklessly debauched as it was all that time ago. Replaying story mode has been a blast for a variety of reasons. The satirical nature of its writing reaches new heights now that I’m actually of the legal age to play the game. Going on endless sprees of virtual violence with an array of weapons with 0 consequence is cathartic.

If you’re in eager anticipation for GTA VI, play GTA V again. It scratches the itch.

TV Shows to Watch

TV Editor Kylie Clarke

Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (2003)

My pick for this month is a classic show: Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. Anything with Gordon Ramsay never fails to entertain. With his dramatic shouting, insults and exaggerated throwing, Ramsay is at both his best and worst when in a hot kitchen dealing with incompetent restaurant owners who refuse to accept that they are wrong. There are some heartwarming moments too though, and Gordon does seem to be happier when he feels he is actually helping people with their business (rather than having to tell them off). An easy watch, although some of the food hygiene standards displayed may have you gagging. 

Print & Features Editor Ellie Atkinson

Happy Valley (2014)

This month I revisited Happy Valley, one of my favourite TV shows ever! If you haven’t seen this series, then I highly recommend that you stop what you’re doing and watch all 18 hours immediately. This multi-award-winning show is set in West Yorkshire and follows a Police Sergeant, played by Sarah Lancashire, who finds herself involved in a host of sinister, life-threatening circumstances stemming from the tragic loss of her daughter. Sally Wainwright, the writer, achieves the perfect balance between suspense and action that immerses the viewer and leaves them, and me, no other option but to watch it all. 

TV Editor Tom Stone

Merlin (2008)

As the world descends into madness and destruction, why not substitute real existential threats and disasters with fantastical and magical ones? My recommendation for this month is the absolute childhood classic BBCs Merlin. Running five seasons from 2008 to 2012, this show fulfils that need of a consistently familiar ongoing watch, with what provides a reliably warm feeling every episode. Merlin follows the titular character (Colin Morgan) slowly realising his magical abilities and responsibility in protecting Camelot through his very, very, platonic ‘friend’ Arthur (Bradley James). With help from his mentor Gaius (Richard Wilson) and John Hurt in his usual dragon form, each episode provides a particular problem for them to solve which develops later into a more significant plot. If you want pleasant light-hearted but well-made escapism, look no further!

Albums to Play

Music Editor Hannah Gadd

GUTS – Olivia Rodrigo (2023)

Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS has been an album I keep coming back to following its release in September of last year. GUTS is a perfectly messy album fueled by rage, emotion and ambition, Rodrigo being confidently vulnerable from start to finish. 

With this release, Rodrigo leans into a grungier, guitar-infused sound reminiscent of the early 2000s. These tracks often see Rodrigo being candidly witty in her lyrics covering everything from ex-lovers, social anxiety and the frustrations of girlhood. When Rodrigo isn’t angstily detailing her feminine rage on top of a messy electric guitar riff, she is delicately honest about finding her place in a modern world that seems to be working against us. 

Ultimately, GUTS is a sincerely witty and beautifully heart-wrenching ode to the complexities of growing up.

Music Editor Oliver Scoggins

Where we’ve been, Where we go from Here – Friko (2024)

Friko are a Chicago band made up of frontman Niko Kapetan and drummer Bailey Minzenberger, and part of the ‘Hallogallo’ scene (named after a song by NEU!), one I know very little about. Many reviews have described them as ‘torchbearers of indie rock’, and whilst this is not meant as a criticism, it brings with it a certain expectation that Friko are derivative or overly reliant on reviving the sounds of Wilco, Sonic Youth, and other such bands. This comment, however, is irrelevant. From front to back, this album offers anything a person could want from an indie rock album: building epics such as the title track ‘Where We’ve Been’, anthemic singalongs like ‘Crimson to Chrome’ and ‘Get Numb To It!’ (the breakdown of the latter song is probably the most celebratory a band could make the phrase “And it doesn’t get better” sound) and lovely ballads like ‘For Ella’ and closer ‘Cardinal’. The standout track for me, however, has got to be ‘Chemical’, built around one of the most cutting-yet-listenable guitar riffs I’ve ever heard on an indie rock song. Whilst perhaps reminiscent of 90s/2000s indie, this album is unique and fresh, and a genuine must-listen for any fan of indie rock in all its forms. There’ll be at least one song on here you love. 

Music Editor Isabelle Porter

LIVE, RAFF, LOVE (Act II) – Raffaella (2024)

Raffaella’s recent follow-up to her 2022 EP, LIVE, RAFF, LOVE (Act I), marks a new chapter in her candy-coated indie pop discography. The opening track, ‘Millennial,’ is reminiscent of the early 2000s pop-punk style of Avril Lavigne (whom she references in its lyrics) and Wheetus’s ‘Teenage Dirtbag.’ ‘F****g Smiling’ and ‘Rowan’ are emotional touchstones on the EP, with ‘Polly Pocket’ leaning into a whimsical, Sleigh Bells-like electronic sound. Raffaella is a memorable rising artist on the scene, and her quirky EP is perfect for the upcoming spring season.

Music Editor Devin Birse

Nacre – Quade (2023)

Emerging from Bristol’s vibrant experimental scene Quade carry in equal parts the cities past and present. While their sound is immediately reminiscent of the post-rock greats genre tags feel reductive, a way to box in the wild yet distinct vision the band display. On ‘Circles’ an initial pulse of plucked violins and synths slow down into a loud and quite structure built around a bleak recording of Techno-Punk legend Andrew Weatherall recalling his youth. The sample hints at the core of Nacre, a hauntological sense of mourning, a kind of sonic requiem that felt more than heard. 

What is heard is utterly beautiful. A loungey gothic mood persevering across a deep sonic gloom, the ghostly vocals of Barney Matthew playing against the transcendent violins of Tom Connolly to create a sound that reaches out from the mausoleum of lost futures and stretches into the sky. On ‘measure’ Matthew croons to ‘reach out’ his words seem designed to pierce the listener, as if begging them reach back and follow the band into the future they’re charting. Beyond the mourning there’s a sense of movement to Nacre, a use of the old world to redefine the new, beyond the folk fog and electronic static the album forms a guiding light begging the listener to reach out towards the new. 

Enjoy this month’s recommendations? Check our our entertainment editors’ previous picks:

Editors’ Picks: What to Watch and Play December 2023