The Yes List
Each week, The Daily Beast scours the cultural landscape to choose three top picks. This week, a Palme d'Or winner at Cannes is a powerful portrait of high-school life in Paris.
The Class Is in a Class by Itself
You might have missed this gem during the holiday movie overload, but The Class (Entre Les Murs)— released Tuesday on DVD—is one film you shouldn’t skip again. Laurent Cantet's work was the first French film in 21 years to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes for its true-to-life depiction of a teacher and his classroom of racially mixed students. François Bégaudeau wrote a novel in 2006 about his experiences and plays himself in the semi-autobiographical film set in an inner-city Parisian high school. Seamlessly blending a faux cinéma vérité style—these young students feel real precisely because they aren’t actors—with the heavy drama inherent in clashes of age and culture, The Class will make you fight for all involved.
Statues Come Alive in London
Anyone can become a piece of art in Antony Gormley’s expansive One and Other, one of the most surprising public art projects currently on display in London’s Trafalgar Square. The English sculptor’s undertaking involves 2,400 members of the public, each hoisted by a cherrypicker to the top of the square’s Fourth Plinth and allowed to do whatever they wish for an hour. Nearly anything goes for the living sculptures—except no intoxication is allowed, of course. The project began July 6, and one person has occupied the space—wearing panda suits, a duck costume, and placards promoting charities—day and night since then. Curious citizens can still apply for their very own place on the plinth via the project’s official site until its run is over October 6. More than 30,000 residents from all over the U.K. have applied for the 2,400 slots, so get clicking.
The excitement has been at a fever pitch for months. You’ve Mad Men-ed yourself into a cute little ‘60s secretary or dashing advertising executive. Drooled over the gorgeous Vanity Fair spread with Jon Hamm and January Jones. (How can two people be so ridiculously attractive?) Maybe even tried to score a walk-on role. And now, finally, the show everyone loves returns to AMC on Sunday at 10 p.m. If Mad Men’s 32 Emmy nominations and the intense watercooler buzz haven’t hooked you yet, get ready to feel like the outsider at every conversation. With a dearth of quality shows on TV this summer, Don Draper will be the only name on anyone’s lips. Read Caryn James’ rave review of Season Three’s first episode.