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Radio On

Being “on the road” in U.S. literature and cinema is synonymous with living free, which is why the road movie is such a uniquely American product. Christopher Petit’s Radio On (1979) is the rare U.K. riff on this subgenre, where the motorway exudes a much more oppressive presence. Drawing influence from Monte Hellman’s existentially minimalist Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), Petit’s movie tracks a stoic D.J.’s road trip from London to Bristol as he follows up on news of his brother’s death. The film has a stunning soundtrack, magically licensing the likes of David Bowie, Kraftwerk, and Robert Fripp. (It even features Sting’s on-screen debut, as an Eddie Cochran–obsessed gas-station attendant.) Shot in exquisite black and white by Wim Wenders’s assistant cameraman, Martin Shäfer, the hypnotizing and mysterious Radio On is pure, contemplative cinema that captures the Winter of Discontent austere ambiance. It’s currently streaming on the Criterion Channel, and was recently made available on Blu-ray by Fun City Editions. ( —Spike Carter


Act + Acre

Training my hair to be washed only once a week? Easy. Finding products I actually like when I do wash it? Impossible. I tried dozens before I finally found Act + Acre. Started by the hairstylist Helen Reavey—whose clients include Harry Styles—and her husband, Colm Mackin, the company sells a variety of plant-based hair products. Wash days now mean pre-cleansing with Scalp Detox, double-washing with Hair Cleanse, moisturizing with Restorative Hair Mask, and finally massaging Apple Stem Cell Serum into my scalp. For the days between washes, I go with the non-aerosol dry shampoo. My hair is healthier than ever, and, even better, I spend less time washing it per week. If you’re in New York City, I recommend stopping by Act + Acre’s Lower East Side store for a scalp consultation. Reavey will devise a personalized routine for you. (Starting at $22, —Gracie Wiener


Street Legal

It’s 2012, and weed is about to be legalized. That seems like good news for a weed dealer. Well, it’s not. The time between almost legal and legal is long enough for Eli, who is “not a very good criminal”—his mother’s description—to get into a lot of trouble. By the end of Street Legal’s first chapter, he’s arrested. Rafi Zabor’s third novel—part thriller, part comedy—looks at the weed dealers, the cops, and the parasitic businessmen preparing for a soon-to-be corporate, oversaturated kush market. The old-school dealers tell themselves, “There’s always gonna be room for primo artisanal weed with quality at least on the Häagen-Dazs/Mercedes-Benz principle of, like, you know, do a decent job at what you do.” The question is: Who can make the Häagen-Dazs of marijuana first? ($26.95, —Jensen Davis



A picnic is always a good idea—in theory. In practice, it can be a messy, cumbersome affair, especially if you don’t have the right accoutrements. But this kitted-out basket from Japanese fashion powerhouse Sacai and cult porcelain purveyor Astier de Villatte will have even the most dedicated homebodies hustling to Eataly for food to pack. It’s much more pleasant to commune with nature when the barrier between one’s good pants and the soil is this smart jacquard blanket. And then there’s the beautiful dishware, which will make any old sandwich look like something served at Sant Ambroeus. Sure, it’s a little over the top, but we’re making memories here, people. And just imagine all the envious likes it will generate on Instagram … It might just be the start of your new career as an influencer! ($2,790; —Ashley Baker


Remain Birger Christensen

Knit dresses are a spring ’22 trend—but is this good news? Most of them, especially the silk ones, are snag-prone, so investing in an expensive designer version holds little appeal. However, we do love the casual-yet-polished look. This brings us to the ribbed-knit Ella dress from Remain Birger Christensen. The winning silhouette has a kicky, flared hem, plus short sleeves and a sporty collar. Bonus points for the color, which is a fresh alternative to the baby blues that have dominated the past few seasons. Its relatively sturdy fabric comes courtesy of a viscose-nylon blend that is, miraculously, hand-washable. Worn with chunky sandals (or, for the daring, socks and loafers), it’s a low-maintenance spring look that might even reach uniform status. ($250, —Ashley Baker

Washington, DC, USA. 11th Oct, 1996. The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt displayed on the National Mall October 11, 1996 in Washington, DC. The full quilt, which stretches nearly a mile from the Washington Monument to the US Capitol.


With his first podcast, Slow Burn: Watergate, the journalist Leon Neyfakh showed that no matter how much you thought you knew about Richard Nixon’s downfall, you barely knew the half of it—and the other half is much more fascinating. Now Neyfakh presides over a podcast series called Fiasco, and Season Five looks back at the AIDS crisis in America, uncovering people, events, and turning points that few noticed at the time—or have since. In the shadow of the coronavirus, the fear and despair that gripped the country in the early 1980s has new resonance. It is baffling and enraging to look back on the Reagan administration’s blinkered inaction in combating what many called “the gay plague,” but Neyfakh also showcases the guts—and empathy—of those who went to war for a medical solution. If you think you already know it all, think again and listen. ( —Alessandra Stanley

Issue No. 141
March 26, 2022
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Issue No. 141
March 26, 2022