The Weekly Special: The Weekend Edition team’s top picks for the week
It’s been a wild couple of months staying indoors, with the world around us in a state that we’ve never seen in our lifetime. The Weekend Edition has been with you every step of the way, from dissecting confusing restriction advice to telling you just how many 80s-style aerobic workouts you can do from your lounge room. As Queensland starts to reopen to Queenslanders, we’re in a bit of a state of limbo – we’re allowed out, we’re starting to regain a bit of the life we used to live, but with restrictions around us. For us, our mandatory slow down has been a bit of a blessing in disguise – it’s encouraged us to stop and reflect on things we’ve perhaps been too busy to notice or do in the past. We’ve had more ‘me time’, which has allowed us to discover and engage with new things. This is something we are making an effort to continue to do as we slowly reemerge into the outside world – and we’d love to take you on that journey with us. Each week we’ll share with you the books, music, TV shows, podcasts, food and more that The Weekend Edition team is enjoying, to take them from our homes to yours. Introducing The Weekly Special – The Weekend Edition team’s top picks for the week.
Miiesha – Nyaaringu
I first saw Miiesha at Bigsound 2019 and I instantly fell in love. She captivated the crowd with her soulful swagger and fearless lyrics, telling a powerful story of her experience as an Indigenous woman. Since that night, I have been rotating through her only two songs available on Spotify, ‘Black Privilege’ and ‘Drowning’, and longing for more – until now. Miiesha has released her debut collection Nyaaringu (you may have heard it featured on triple j last week) and it’s everything I could have wanted and more. Coming from a small Aboriginal community of Woorabinda in Central Queensland, and as a proud Pitjantjatjara/Torres Strait Islander woman, Miiesha tells the story of her community, her people and her individual experiences through her music and spoken word. The album is jam-packed with soul, each track beautifully crafted to tackle discrimination, empowerment, ignorance, racism and more through Miiesha’s smooth r’n’b and gospel-inspired sound. Her voice is like velvet yet powerfully ferocious, which throughout the collection is accompanied by everything from sultry synths and mellow beats, to the waving rumble of didgeridoo. Nyaaringu is also weaved with moving spoken words of wisdom from Miiesha’s late grandmother that, quite frankly, we all need to hear right now, including her opening statement “I think for we who’ve been trodden on, not given a lot of freedom, you’ve got to believe in yourself”. Nyaaringu is available on Spotify now – make sure you listen from start to finish.
Chrisanthi Demos, managing editor
Image: triple j unearthed
If there is one thing that being at home more has allowed us to do, it’s make movie night a regular occurrence. The tricky thing about movie night (especially if you are settling in with family or housemates) is deciding what to watch. At a time like this I turn to another entertainment medium for guidance – podcasts! The Rewatchables is a lively movie discussion podcast that spotlights an iconic film to dissect each week. A rotating cast of hosts sits down to talk about all kinds of films, from critically acclaimed flick such as The Godfather, Reservoir Dogs, Forrest Gump and The Shawshank Redemption, to contemporary favourites such as Mean Girls, Con Air, John Wick and the Fast and Furious franchise. The hosts dissect the film, discussing everything including its highlights and lowlights, best performances, critical reception and interesting movie trivia. Quentin Tarantino himself joined the crew for a three-episode run to chat about his favourite movies – so you know this crew has clout. So, next time you have a movie night and can’t decided what to watch, fire up Spotify, pick a film from the The Rewatchables playlist, then join the team for a lighthearted debrief afterwards. It’s made my movie-watching experience much more complete!
James Frostick, assistant editor
Self-isolation. Yep, we’re all very, very familiar with that term now. Though, you’ll see the concept redefined in The Beach, a six-part documentary series by award-winning filmmaker Warick Thornton. The immersive and relatable doco follows Warick on a journey of self-healing as he explores the fragility of the human mind, body and spirit in modern times. With his filmmaking success coming at a personal cost, Warick attempts to transform his life by stepping away from the hustle and bustle and escapes to an isolated beach in Jilirr in the stunning Dampier Peninsula, on the north-west coast of Western Australia. It’s just him, a tin shack, an old Jeep and three chickens. It’s a mostly silent series (apart from when he chats to his chickens) and while it’s slow viewing, each episode has a way of making you too want to decelerate, detach yourself from the chaos of everyday life and embrace his pace. Like his ancestors, the Kaytetye people, Warick relies on the land. You’ll see him explore the remarkable landscape to gather and hunt, before retiring to the tin shed to cook and create the most exceptional, restaurant-quality meals to nourish his body and spirit – at times, it almost segues into a silent cooking show. Filmed by Warick’s son Dylan River, The Beach aims to show us all how a life of excess, neglect and self-abuse can be transformed through the ancient healing power of nature and connection to the country. It’s well worth three hours of your time. A lot of delicate and hard-hitting themes lie just below the surface – so don’t be on your phone while you watch (we all do it). Give it your full attention, take in the details and go on the journey with him.
Janna Hrastovec, assistant editor
Reunited Apart with Josh Gad
If you’re anything like myself, you have probably spent a fair amount of time re-watching a lot of your favourite flicks and TV shows during quarantine. Keeping with the old-school theme and our love of nostalgia-inducing movies, actor Josh Gad has been organising surprise cast reunions that range from iconic films of the 80s to the early 2000s in his new YouTube series, Reunited Apart. The feel-good series, which allows guests to call in via Zoom from their homes, helps to raise money for a different charity each episode. So far there’s been a Lord of the Rings episode which brought together The Fellowship and a few friends, a reunion with The Goonies (hello Josh Brolin), a Back to the Future instalment that brings Marty McFly and Doc together again, and a Splash reunion with America’s sweetheart aka Tom Hanks. So who’s next, you ask? Josh Gad is set to reunite the cast of the 1984 supernatural comedy classic (and my favourite film) Ghostbusters. It hasn’t quite yet been revealed what members will take part in the get-together, though I am crossing my fingers for the OG proton pack-wearing crew – Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd and Ernie Hudson – and hopefully the likes of Sigourney Weaver too.
Sara Weckerle, editorial assistant
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Bjenny Montero’s Instagram account
In this absolutely bonkers time, social media fatigue is a very real thing I’ve been experiencing. While it’s important to stay informed, I’ve also been mega grateful for cute little pockets of joy that break up my feed – and Bjenny Montero’s Instagram account is one such treasure. The Melbourne-via-New York artist specialises in cartoon doodles that have a really neat way of distilling somewhat melancholic themes into a much more digestible format. Existential angst, social injustice and mental health issues become a little easier to deal with when softened by Bjenny’s wide-eyed and wondrous characters. Smash that follow button for relatable, funny and often uplifting pops and bops of colour on your feed.
Georgia Brooker, digital media specialist