Top Picks: Margaret Glaspy's 'Emotions and Math,' the movie 'Mountains May Depart,' and more

Broadway stars work together to record a song following the Orlando shooting, the movie 'Embrace of the Serpent' casts a spell, and more top picks.

Courtesy of Kino Lorber

Class divide

Mountains May Depart follows the life of Tao, a Chinese woman, over a span of 26 years, exploring issues of class division and China’s modernization. The eventual alienation between Tao and her son suggests that the viewer take a critical look at the traditional values being challenged by the rise of capitalism. The movie will be available on DVD and Blu-ray July 12.

Broadway love

In the wake of the shooting in Orlando, Fla., Broadway stars including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, and Bernadette Peters came together to record the song “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” composed and written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Check out the video of the group performing the Broadway for Orlando song at http://bit.ly/broadwayorlando. Proceeds from the track are going to the LGBT Center of Central Florida.

Courtesy of Matthew Halsall

Serene jazz

The special edition of the album On the Go by trumpeter Matthew Halsall offers peaceful, serene jazz music. While “The Journey Home” is the most upbeat track, “The End of Dukkha” is the most intriguing. The album is now available.

Phantasmagoric film

The film Embrace of the Serpent, inspired by the journals of two ethnographers who traveled the Amazon in the 20th century, casts a spell. It’s an elegy for the Colombian tribes decimated by colonialism, but it doesn’t have the punch of an indictment. Its artfulness is much stranger and nuanced. “Embrace of the Serpent” is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

ATO Records

Star sighting

It’s difficult to find a musician who doesn’t cite Joni Mitchell as an influence, but New Yorker Margaret Glaspy will make you a believer with her stunning debut Emotions and Math. There’s nothing folksy going on here, but Mitchell’s naked, confessional songwriting is alive these many decades later in Glaspy’s thoroughly modern tales of love gone wrong, or just plain gone. Her pliant voice demands your attention, ranging from plaintive pleading to a growl in the space of a measure, and she’s no slouch on electric guitar, either. A star ascending. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.