Paul Bruinooge/PatrickMcMullan

The Muslims

November 24, 2008

If most of this decade has seen indie rock captured by the Brits, then 2008 is the year that American bands have seized it back. From Black Kids and Boy Crisis all the way to MGMT, the United States -finally boasts many of the world’s best new groups. The latest addition is the provocatively named San Diego four-piece the Muslims, whose members clearly don’t practice Islam and aren’t-they swear-out to make a sociopolitical point (“It’s just a catchy name,” says singer Matt Lamkin).

Anthony Mackie

November 24, 2008

On paper, actor Anthony Mackie and rap icon Tupac Shakur couldn’t be more different: Mackie is an up-and-coming Hollywood star who grew up in middle-class New -Orleans and is doing films with greats like Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood; Tupac was a gangsta rapper who was raised by a drug-addicted mother and vilified by mainstream America. The upcoming biopic Notorious, about Tupac’s onetime friend and, later, greatest enemy, Notorious B.I.G., exposes the stereotypes surrounding the early hip-hop scene. But the film also shows what a brilliant shape-shifter Mackie is.

Rei Kawakubo

November 24, 2008

Rei KAWAKUBO The iconic Japanese designer and founder of Comme des Garçons says that she works in fashion and not art. But, over the years-with collections like that of the infamous “bumps” for 1997 to the black vinyl dymaxion-like collage dresses for Spring/Summer 2009-she has systematically reimagined the human form. Once Kawakubo’s renunciation of the artist’s role might have been seen as modesty, but today it’s almost a rejection of limitation.

Hot Times

November 23, 2008

No longer big and brash, the season’s sexiest watches are discreet little numbers, easy to forget for a few minutes when something more urgent comes up.

Cam Archer

November 22, 2008

“My favorite art is the stuff that breaks my heart,” says 27-year-old Santa Cruz, California, resident Cam Archer. “That pushes me to put work out there that does the same.” The young director became a film-festival favorite in 2006 with his winsome feature Wild Tigers I Have Known, about a 13-year-old’s unrequited love for a cool-boy classmate; it expanded on his 2003 short film Bobbycrush.

Sonia Rykiel

November 22, 2008

When the woman who practically invented left-bank chic celebrated her 40th anniversary, nearly every other fashion designer got in on the surprise party.

Steven Soderbergh

November 22, 2008

With a new four-hour epic about the life of Che Guevara, the director paints a controversial portrait of one of the 20th century’s most notorious Marxist rabble-rousers that’s too big-and too bloody-to fit on a T-shirt.