Two big things you need to know about H.P. Lovecraft: 1) His tales of madness and monsters were wildly influential, and 2) he was super racist. The new series Lovecraft Country, based on Matt Ruff's novel, looks to reclaim the literary innovations by fusing them with the horrors of the Jim Crow-era South, where two Black families encounter all manner of supernatural forces representative of America's injustices. The show, developed by Underground creator Misha Green and co-produced by Jordan Peele, is a resonant and radical allegory for our past and our present. It airs Sunday nights on HBO. (NATHAN WEINBENDER)
THE TERRIFYING TOLL
After watching the new Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, I felt a strong urge to delete all my social media accounts, paired with the bleak resignation we're all doomed anyway. The documentary by Jeff Orlowski features sobering revelations and dire warnings from former employees of Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest and other big tech mixed with pretty corny dramatizations of social media's harmful effects on a suburban family. That social media is harmful, addicting and overly surveillant is nothing new, but concerns shared by the people — mostly White, male programmers — directly responsible for coding the algorithms driving the social media manipulation machine are truly unsettling. (CHEY SCOTT)
CELEBRATING THE SCENE
Spokane Arts pulled off a fun virtual Spokane Arts Awards show from the Lucky You Lounge Saturday, a nice mix of dance, music and literature along with the actual awards. If you missed it, you can catch videos of all the nominees, and a special vid featuring Impact Award winner Kate Vita, on Spokane Arts' YouTube channel. Here are this year's winners:
Collaboration: Carl Richardson, artist and SFCC fine arts instructor
Imagination: Sylvia Fountaine, feastingathome.com blog
Inclusion: Spokane Poetry Slam
Leadership: Juan Mas, Spokane Film Project
No, it's not a film about the electric car company and its eccentric CEO. Tesla is, in fact, a biopic about Nikola Tesla, who advocated for alternating current energy in the 1880s, publicly butted heads with Thomas Edison and is now considered one of science's greatest underdogs. But this ain't your grandfather's biopic: Characters break the fourth wall, historical figures use 21st-century technology, and Ethan Hawke (as Tesla) performs a Tears for Fears song. It's an unusual style, typical of director Michael Almereyda, and your mileage may vary. See for yourself: Tesla is available to rent on YouTube, Amazon and Google Play. (NATHAN WEINBENDER)
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
Some noteworthy new music hits online and in stores Oct. 2. To wit:
BRENT COBB, Keep 'Em On They Toes. This cool country cat writes some killer tunes.
DEATH VALLEY GIRLS, Under the Spell of Joy. The buzz-y psych-rockers are delivering what they call "space-gospel," and the songs I've heard sound great.
DOLLY PARTON, A Holly Dolly Christmas. The only acceptable Christmas item to think about in early October. (DAN NAILEN)