See, Hear, Read: They love it. We want it. Three red-hot releases for January

See, Hear, Read: They love it. We want it. Three red-hot releases for January

They love it. We want it. Three red-hot releases

“I’m a big fan of Noé’s—he’s a provocateur, which I admire. His last film, Irréversible, featured Monica Bellucci in a harrowing 10-minute rape scene. Enter the Void doesn’t have anything as controversial, but there are some outrageous moments. The whole thing is shot from the point of view of the main character, a drug dealer in Tokyo, who dies and returns as a ghost. The way the film registers his blinking, it’s like you’re actually seeing through his eyes. It really pulls you in.”
—Mark Hanson
Staffer at Bay St. Video

Enter the Void, directed by Gaspar Noé (Jan. 25)

“The single ‘Down by the Water’ has a Bruce Springsteen–Thunder Road vibe to it—a summery feel, but in a dark way. It’s the kind of song that sticks in your head because it gives you a feeling in the pit of your stomach. The Decemberists have a loyal cult following, but they’re still under the radar. With similar bands like Arcade Fire and Mumford and Sons breaking huge, this could be the right record to attract a mega-audience.”
—Mike Waite
Owner of Mike’s Music

The King Is Dead, The Decemberists (Jan. 18)

“Debut novelist Rebecca Hunt has found an original, insightful way of dealing with the topic of depression: she anthropomorphizes it in the form of a big, black dog named Mr. Chartwell, who rents a room from a House of Commons clerk named Esther in the summer of 1964. Following her husband’s suicide, Esther becomes a typist for Winston Churchill and soon realizes that the politician has had his own encounters with Mr. Chartwell. Churchill referred to his depression as a ‘black dog.’ Ultimately, the book is about how some people can choose to go down a certain path, while others cannot.”
—Susan Barnacal
Staffer at The Book Mark

Mr. Chartwell, by Rebecca Hunt (Jan. 21)

(Illustrations by Brett Affrunti. Photographs: top courtesy of IFC; middle courtesy of Capitol Records; bottom courtesy of HarperCollins)