This Week in Culture

These are the 12 most exciting things happening in the world right now—get your culture fix!

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Secret away to MoMA's presentation of Nan Goldin: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, a powerful telling of the rough-edged photographer's world in the 1970s and '80s. A slideshow-like presentation of 700 photographs set to a soundtrack of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera, The Ballad tells a tale of pain, love, and loss that is both intimate and universal.

On view through February 12, 2017, in New York City. 

Outside the mighty Art Basel.
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Nestled on the bank of the Rhine River, Art Basel returns to Europe for its 47th edition this year, featuring 287 galleries from over 33 countries. Don't miss the restaging of Jannis Kounellis's 1972 work Da Inventare Sul Posto, which will combine ballet, music, and abstract art in a breathtaking piece of performance art. Meanwhile, in Cutting the Puppeteer's Strings with Paper Teeth, Czech artist Eva Kotátková explores the history of puppetry through her mixed media presentation.

On view June 16–19 in Basel, Switzerland.


Pick up Tig Notaro's new book now. You won't regret it!

In 2012, standup comedian Tig Notaro stunned a Los Angeles audience when she walked on stage and opened with, "Good evening, hello, I have cancer, how are you." Instead of a typical set, Notaro recounted her recent personal struggles: contracting C. diff (Google with caution), going through a breakup, her mother's sudden death, and her cancer diagnosis. The recording of the set, which her friend Louis C.K. shared on his website, went viral, and Notaro, now cancer-free, has written a memoir about her worst year ever. I'm Just a Person is weird, funny, and a little dark, much like the comedian herself.

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June 14

Debut novelist Emma Cline's electric novel is one of the rare books that lives up to the summer hype.

There's teenage rebellion, and then there's joining a cult. In The Girls, writer Emma Cline's first novel, 14-year-old Evie Boyd encounters a group of older teenage women stirring up trouble in a park, and is instantly drawn to them. In a youthful flirtation with danger told in lyrical prose, Evie becomes part of the girls' cult, led by a man with Manson-like charisma known as Russell, and becomes part of 1960s hippie lore.  

June 14


Fresh fixings ready to be transformed into an amazing meal.
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Portland, Oregon's Doa Dui, the buzzy Vietnamese pop-up restaurant that's gained a following for its fresh take on regional dishes like banana flower salad and turmeric-marinated monkfish, is decamping to the nation's capital. This is a return to Washington D.C for chef Anna Maria Vocaturo (she was formerly a line cook at the city's James Beard-nominated Rose's Luxury), this time around she's posting up at new tiki bar Archipelago. Don't miss the opening this Sunday—future dates are still TBA.

June 19 

From chef Corey Lee's In Situ test kitchen: an artful dish of lamb belly, sea buckthorn, and jerusalem artichokes from a recipe by Swiss chef Andreas Caminada.
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After being closed for nearly three years for a massive renovation, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art finally reopened back in May. But another exciting addition to the space and programming is opening this week: In Situ, the ambitious restaurant concept helmed by three-starred Michelin chef Corey Lee. The menu will function as a rotating exhibition, with Lee recreating over 80 signature dishes from some of the world's most renowned chefs throughout the year. A glimpse at the opening menu finds everything from the "Ice Cream of Salted Butter" by chef Esben Holmboe Bang of Maaemo in Oslo, Norway to "Ketchup Fried Rice" by Los Angeles' Roy Choi.

June 14


Get ready—your favorite inmates are on their way back to the small screen this week!

Put on your favorite pajamas and get your local pizzeria on the horn: the women of Litchfield are back, and season four of Orange is The New Black promises to be darker than ever. The prison is struggling with overcrowding, a new Martha Stewart-inspired character is shaking up the social dynamics: hours of nail-biting and shameless streaming await.

Premieres June 17 (but be aware: last season was released early!)

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If this 1996 film poster doesn't convince you that this film is a must-watch, maybe James Franco will.

James Franco is making cultural mischief again. His latest bizarro project, debuting on Lifetime this week, is a remake of the 20-year-old made-for-TV movie starring Tori Spelling, Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?, a "lesbian vampire drama" that has reached camp classic status. (Spelling will reprise her original role for the reboot.) Oh, James. What will you dream up next?

Premieres June 18 on Lifetime


The poster for this year's P-Town Film Festival, as it's conversationally known.

Laid-back artists and a vibrant LGBTQ community may define the late summer months in Provincetown, MA, but June is reserved for its annual international film festival. Highlights at this year's five-day moviethon include Strike a Pose, a new documentary that catches up with six male dancers from Madonna's 1990 "Blond Ambition" tour; a screening of Multiple Maniacs, a new restoration of Provincetown local John Waters's 1970 black comedy; and an appearance by the winner of the festival's 2016 Filmmaker on the Edge award, Ang Lee.

June 15–19 

Yo-Yo Ma with the dynamic Silk Road Ensemble performing at Carnegie Hall in 2013. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

Morgan Neville, the Oscar-winning director behind 20 Feet From Stardom (the 2013 documentary about backup singers), is back with a new film, this time about Yo-Yo Ma and his incredible 50-person collective The Silk Road Ensemble. The group, which is composed of musicians and artists from many different countries, is Ma's on-going exploration of creative collaboration, and Neville's depiction of how it has touched the lives of people both within the group and those who've had the pleasure of witnessing their work will inspire you to bring friends together to make something of your own.

In theaters now.


The dramatic night sky in Reykjavík is still almost as bright as day. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

There's no place to celebrate the summer solstice quite like Reykjavík, where the sun doesn't set for a full 72 hours. And what better way to take advantage of the midnight sun than with the Secret Solstice music festival? The three-day jamboree is themed around Viking mythology, and, more importantly, has an incredible line-up. This year you can rock out to Radiohead, Of Monsters and Men, and Die Antwoord while you discover the likes of local Icelandic band Landaboi$ and Denmark's Kristian Kjøller.

June 16–18 

First Aid Kit performs at Best Kept Secret in 2015. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

The town of Hilvarenbeek in the Netherlands is home to the fourth installment of Best Kept Secret, a music festival that aims to offer more entertainment than your traditional music fest. In addition to its high-caliber headliners—Beck, Jamie XX, Wilco, Beach House—the event also offers camping, lake swimming, barbequing, indie karaoke, and, appropriately, a number of secret shows for festival-goers to seek out.

June 17–19

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