Bjork – Biophilia (Album, released October 10th)
Not many artists manage to make music for upwards of 25 years. But Bjork’s latest album, Biophilia, shows that even after a lifetime in the music industry she’s still one of its biggest innovators. She should be making a living off ‘Best Of’ compilations by now, not attempting to deconstruct the whole nature of ‘the album’ itself by setting the incredibly experimental songs alongside a series of equally inventive iPad apps, surely?
M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Album, released October 18th)
M83 – the pseudonym of electronic maestro Adrian Gonzalez and his band – released their last LP, Saturdays=Youth, back in 2008, and it remains one of the most emotional evocative records in recent memory. The 22 tracks of expansive, shoegazey electro-pop are as grandiose as the album’s title, and if early singles ‘Intro’ and ‘Midnight City’ are anything to go by, this record’s quality is going to match up to Gonzalez’s ambition.
FIFA 12 (Game, Out Now)
By the time you read this you will probably have played FIFA 12. You’ll very probably be enjoying it, too. EA have carried out some important overhauls to the game mechanics, and the new tactical defence system is set to be revolutionary. Rumours of a Fernando Torres difficulty mode – where scoring a goal is physically impossible – are as of yet unconfirmed.
Benjamin Francis Leftwich (Gig, Lancaster Library, October 30th)
What is there to do on a grey, dreary and very probably rainy Sunday afternoon in Lancaster? It’s a question that we’re faced with far too often here, but on Sunday 30th Benjamin Francis Leftwich has answered this question superbly. The Lancaster Library’s gigs are already whimsical and relaxed, thanks to their propensity for selling home-made cakes instead of alcohol, and will no doubt be a perfect match for Leftwich’s beautifully dreamy acoustic pop.
Downton Abbey (TV, ITV, Sunday Nights)
The second season of the wonderful Downton Abbey is set against the tragic backdrop of the Great War, but much of the action looks set to happen in Downton itself. Will Mr Bates let his loyalty to the Crawleys destroy his relationship with Anna? What of Mary and the Turk’s death? Will the Dowager Countess win the Flower Show this year? Must Julian Fellowes constantly make us crave an answer to so many questions?
The Help (Cinema)
In a surprise turn of events, this tale of African American housemaids in 1960s America saved Hollywood’s summer after disappointing box office turnouts by the usual superhero and action fare. Viola Davis is said to give a pitch perfect performance in this adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s bestselling novel and the words ‘Oscar Nomination’ have been whispered more than once already.
Johnny English Reborn (Cinema)
That’s right, the sequel that none of us have been waiting for hits the cinema this month: Rowan Atkinson is back as the haphazard MI5 agent who will inevitably fall over a lot and pull wide eyed expressions. Gillian “Scully” Anderson is also along for the ride this time around…but I must be honest: I don’t want to believe.
The Ideas of March (Cinema)
George Clooney, Ryan Gosling and Philip-Seymour Hoffman star in this tale of morality and corruption on the Presidential campaign trail. Gosling is the idealistic aid; Clooney is the man who would be king. Let’s be honest, this has Oscar-bid written all over it. And judging by the trailer and the presence of Mr Hoffman, it might just be worthy of a few.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (Cinema)
If you didn’t read Lionel Schriver’s novel I can assure you it was extraordinary. Tilda Swinton stars in this screen version as the mother of a killer who tries to piece together the story of her son in letters to his father. Swinton never disappoints and I can only hope this adaptation is as beautifully conceived as the novel before it.