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Dark Star

Video Archives

In the early 1980s, a decade before Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary co-wrote Pulp Fiction, the two met working at Video Archives, a movie-rental store in Manhattan Beach, California. After Video Archives shuttered in 1994, Tarantino purchased its entire library. On the boys’ new podcast, they revisit the movies they discovered while organizing store shelves in their early 20s. For each episode, they pick two or three films to discusss. Even if you’ve never watched or heard of the movies—the focus of the first episode is the John Carpenter cult classic Dark Star and the far-lesser-known 1972 film Cocaine Cowboys—their rapport, film summaries, and exhaustive knowledge of movie history are a delight to listen to. ( —Jensen Davis



We wish we could give silk blouses more of our attention. We really do. Unfortunately, they are so high-maintenance that they must be worn strategically. On a daily basis, a cotton button-up is de rigueur, and while we are loyal to men’s-wear-y oxfords, a printed version occasionally captures our imagination. Enter the Blair top from Mille, a Minneapolis-based brand by Michelle LeBlanc. It has all the utility of a cotton work shirt, but with the style of a much fancier model. Its autumnal earth tones are even putting us in the mood for fall. Like all of Mille’s designs, it earns bonus points for the friendly price. ($163, —Ashley Baker


Cece Jewellery

When Cece Fein Hughes inherited a 1920s Art Deco ring from her grandmother, she set off to learn everything she could about it, including the intricate process behind the ring’s unusual enameling. She studied art history at the University of Exeter (she was the first member of her bohemian family to attend university), then took postgraduate jobs at Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Now she makes her own jewelry in London using recycled 18-karat gold, and decorates every ring and pendant with a mix of hand-painted enamel designs, engravings, and precious colored gems. The pieces are delicate and distinctive, and feel both modern and traditional. ( —Bridget Arsenault

Claudine Pascal is played by Lily Frazer in “Hotel Portofino.”

Hotel Portofino

It seems like everyone is summering in Italy at the moment. But there’s no need to brave air travel now that Matt Baker’s Hotel Portofino has landed on PBS. This transportive drama, set in 1926, stars Natascha McElhone (luminous as ever) as Bella Ainsworth, the hotel’s cheerful and enterprising proprietor. An erstwhile painter, she left behind a complicated situation in England in favor of a fresh start in Italy, where she turned her attention to a different type of canvas. And what a rich tapestry she weaves—not only in terms of the sumptuous hotel but of the snafu-prone characters who flit about its rooms, terraces, and kitchens. At the end of the six-episode series, only some of these guests and staffers get their Hollywood ending. Fortunately for us, a second season is being filmed right this minute. In the meantime, another limoncello, please. ( —Ashley Baker


Love Brand & Co.

Did James Bond’s (Daniel Craig) rising from the ocean in Casino Royale (2006), wearing a pair of thigh-hugging sky-blue trunks, change men’s swimwear forever? Perhaps. It definitely made ill-fitting board shorts completely outdated. Love Brand & Co., a swimwear brand launched in 2011, specializes in well-tailored suits fit for 007. These have a twist: Oliver and Rose Tomalin, the husband-and-wife team behind the brand, use eye-catching prints, inspired by their laid-back island life in the Bahamas. Best of all, a percentage of revenue goes toward saving endangered species, such as elephants. (Starting at $125, —Bridget Arsenault


Librae Bakery

Earlier this summer, Andre Gerschel and Dona Murad opened a bakery in NoHo that takes “ingredients that are very Middle Eastern, flavors that represent us and places we love, and add[s] them to a Scandinavian-Danish pastry template,” as Murad describes it. Think saffron buns with cardamom sugar, strawberry-sumac linzer cookies, and za’atar labneh morning buns. Pair your pastry with coffee, which they source from Murad’s Bahrain-based roastery. Unlike many bakeries, all of their food is homemade. “We are insane freshness snobs,” Gerschel says. “We don’t buy jam—we make jam. We don’t buy yogurt—we make yogurt.” ( —Jensen Davis

Issue No. 161
August 13, 2022
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Issue No. 161
August 13, 2022