The SLMan Culture List – October
The SLMan Culture List – October

The SLMan Culture List – October


Whether you fancy a trip to the cinema or want a new documentary to get stuck into, SLMan’s monthly edit of the best new books, films and series is here to see you through October…
Words Heather Steele


A Friend of the Family

A Friend of the Family is a nine-parter based on the harrowing true story of the Broberg family, whose daughter Jan was kidnapped multiple times over a period of years by a charismatic, obsessed family ‘friend’. The Brobergs – devoted to their faith, family and community – were utterly unprepared for the sophisticated tactics their neighbour used to exploit their vulnerabilities, drive them apart and turn their daughter against them. This is the story of how their lives were permanently altered – and how they survived. Its cracking ensemble cast brings together Anna Paquin (The Irishman), Jake Lacy (The White Lotus), Colin Hanks (The Offer) and Mckenna Grace (The Handmaid’s Tale).



Gangs of London

Fans might have had to wait more than two years IRL for it, but series two picks up just one year after the death of Sean Wallace and the violent reckonings of Gangs of London’s outstanding debut series. The map and soul of London has been redrawn. The surviving Wallaces are scattered, the Dumanis broken and estranged, and ex-undercover cop Elliot is now being forced to work for the investors. To restore order, the investors have aligned behind heroin baron Asif Afridi and together they have installed a new ruling force in London: brutal gang leader Koba. His vision for the criminal landscape is a dictatorship, a world in which old-school gangster codes don’t exist and he holds a complete monopoly over London’s drug trade. But this monopoly can’t last forever – and the gangs are soon back on fighting form.




Forthcoming cinema release Amsterdam is a crime epic about three close friends who find themselves at the center of one of the most shocking secret plots in American history. A fascinating tale that brilliantly weaves historical fact with fiction, the film stars a truly impressive cast of award winners and A-listers, including Christian Bale, Rami Malek, Robert De Niro, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Alessandro Nivola, Andrea Riseborough, Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Rock, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Shannon, Mike Myers, Taylor Swift, Timothy Olyphant and Zoe Saldaña. Oh, and it’s directed by David O Russell (Three Kings, The Fighter, American Hustle).



Peaky Blinders – The Redemption of Thomas Shelby

Yes, this is a dance show, but The Redemption of Thomas Shelby has been written and adapted for the stage by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight – and the production features a live band playing specially commissioned music and iconic tracks from the hit BBC drama. The show picks up the story of the Peaky Blinders at the end of World War I, following Tommy Shelby and Grace Burgess through their love affair. While Tommy is building his empire, Grace is operating as an undercover agent for Special Branch on a mission to get close to the heart of Tommy’s gang. The show will be at Wembley Park from 10th October to 6th November, then on tour across the UK until April 2023.



A Pocketful of Happiness by Richard E. Grant

Richard E. Grant emigrated from Swaziland to London in 1982, with dreams of making it as an actor, when he unexpectedly met and fell in love with renowned dialect coach Joan Washington. Their relationship and marriage, navigating the highs and lows of Hollywood, parenthood and loss, lasted almost 40 years. When Joan died in 2021, her final challenge to him was to find ‘a pocketful of happiness in every day’. This honest and frequently hilarious memoir is written in honour of that challenge. Richard has faithfully kept a diary since childhood, and in these entries he shares in raw detail everything he has experienced: the pain of losing his wife and the excitement of their life together; the role that transformed his life overnight in Withnail & I; and his thrilling Oscar nomination 30 years later for Can You Ever Forgive Me?



In Vino Veritas

Unlikely duo Jamie Theakston and Alexander Armstrong have launched a new podcast in which they take listeners through their detailed knowledge of wine, sharing their insight into the best wines on the market as well as recommending the music that perfectly matches. Each week from 6th October, Jamie and Alexander will raid their personal cellars to provide listeners with their recommendations of affordable and rare wines. Threading together the perfect glass of wine and the track to listen to, the episodes will steal listeners away from a busy day, allowing the pair to explore some of their hilarious and informative experiences. 



The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer

A page-turning story with a cast of unforgettable characters, The Satsuma Complex is the funny first novel by author and comedian Bob Mortimer. Gary Thorn goes for a pint with a work acquaintance called Brendan. When Brendan leaves early, Gary meets a girl in the pub. He doesn’t catch her name, but falls for her anyway. When she suddenly disappears without saying goodbye, all Gary has to remember her by is the book she was reading: The Satsuma Complex. But when Brendan goes missing, Gary needs to track down the girl he now calls Satsuma to get some answers. And so begins Gary’s quest, through the estates and pie shops of South London, to finally bring some love and excitement into his unremarkable life.



The Trainspotter's Notebook by Francis Bourgeois

From sleeping in a car to get a good shot of 73962 Dick Mabbutt to trainspotting with Joe Jonas, Francis Bourgeois has been on one hell of a ride over the past year. Bringing joy to millions, the TikTok sensation’s new book – The Trainspotter's Notebook – shares Francis’s greatest trainspotting adventures and takes readers with him across the fields and footbridges of Britain, passing through historic terminals and backwater stations in pursuit of tones, thrash and locomotive perfection. Told in his inimitable style, these hilarious and heartwarming tales take you behind the scenes of his most popular videos, and celebrate the places and people of the railway.



The Bear

The Bear follows Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), a young chef from the fine-dining world who comes home to Chicago to run his family sandwich shop – The Original Beef of Chicagoland – after a death in his family. A world away from what he’s used to, Carmy must balance the soul-crushing realities of small business ownership, his strong-willed and recalcitrant kitchen staff, and his strained familial relationships – all while grappling with the impact of his brother’s suicide. As Carmy fights to transform both The Original Beef of Chicagoland and himself, he works alongside a rough-around-the-edges kitchen crew that ultimately reveal themselves as his chosen family.



Faith, Hope & Carnage by Nick Cave & Seán O’Hagan

Created from more than 40 hours of intimate conversations with the Observer journalist Seán O’Hagan, this is a profoundly thoughtful exploration – in musician Nick Cave’s own words – of what really drives his life and creativity. It draws candidly on Cave’s life, from his early childhood to the present day, his loves, his work ethic and his dramatic transformation in recent years. The book examines questions of belief, art, music, freedom, grief and love. Best of all, Faith, Hope and Carnage offers ladders of hope and inspiration – and is the ideal companion piece to Carnage, his recent album with long-time collaborator Warren Ellis.



Madly, Deeply: The Rickman Diaries by Alan Rickman & Alan Taylor

Alan Rickman remains one of the most loved actors of all time across almost every genre – from his breakout role as Die Hard's villainous Hans Gruber to his heart-wrenching run as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film franchise. In this posthumous book, his diaries are laid bare, running from 1993 to his death in 2016, and offering insight into both a public and private life. Rickman's writing details the extraordinary and the ordinary in a way that is anecdotal, indiscreet, witty, gossipy and utterly candid. Madly, Deeply includes a foreword by his friend and actor Emma Thompson and a selection of Rickman's early diaries, dating from 1974 to 1982, when his acting life began.



Decision To Leave

South Korean director Park Chan-wook is among the most influential filmmakers of the last 20 years, earning global acclaim with Cannes Grand Prix winner Oldboy (2003), Sympathy for Mr Vengeance (2002), Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005), Thirst (2009), Stoker (2013), The Handmaiden (2016) and his TV series The Little Drummer Girl (2018). In his latest film, a man falls from a mountain peak to his death. The detective in charge of the investigation, Hae-joon (Park Hae-il) comes to meet the dead man’s wife Seo-rae (Tang Wei). When she becomes a suspect, Hae-joon finds himself slowly developing an interest in her.



The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy

Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy (The Road) is back with not one, but two new tales. This month, The Passenger lands. In 1980s Mississippi, Bobby Western discovers a sunken jet – nine bodies still buckled in their seats. Missing from the crash site are the pilot's flight bag, the plane's black box and the tenth passenger. But how? A collateral witness to machinations that can only bring him harm, Western is shadowed by men with badges; by the ghost of his father, inventor of the bomb that melted glass and flesh in Hiroshima; and by his sister, the love and ruin of his soul. Traversing the American South, from the bar rooms of New Orleans to an abandoned oil rig off the Florida coast, this is a novel that explores the madness of human consciousness. In December, Stella Maris – which focuses on Bobby’s sister – will be released, and both books will be available to buy as a boxed set.


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