Compelling films and novels to release next week


Chris Pizzello

(from left) Ari Aster and Joaquin Phoenix pose together at the premiere of the film “Beau Is Afraid.” The movie will release in theaters next Friday. (AP Photo | Chris Pizzello)

By Nick Glover, Lifestyle Editor

“The Double Life of Benson Yu” by Kevin Chong

“The Double Life of Benson Yu” is Canadian author and journalist Kevin Chong’s seventh book. This novel will look at the titular character Benson Yu as he recounts his childhood. After his grandmother, his legal guardian, is hospitalized, Benson has to live with his nextdoor neighbor, Constantine. As Benson narrates the story, more unsavory details start to appear. In this 224 page novel, Chong looks to lets his literary talent shine, giving the reader a work of glorious metafiction full of humor, sorrow and everything in between. “The Double Life of Benson Yu” comes out Tuesday. 

“Fire Rush” by Jacqueline Crooks 

Jacqueline Crooks’ “Fire Rush” is set to release Tuesday. The novel looks at the Jamaican community in London, something that Crooks herself is a part of. Yamaye, the main character of the novel, is a partier — she loves going to, and dancing at, loud clubs. This party life changes when she encounters Moose, a fellow Jamaican and a carpenter. Everything seems to be looking up for Yamaye, but the state government starts to enact violence. “Fire Rush” dives into themes of identity, home and the past. Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, this novel is looking to be one of the more intriguing and powerful books of this year. 


“Chevalier” follows the true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Born to a wealthy planter and an enslaved woman, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges was a mixed-race man trying to hold his place in 18th century French high class culture. The film follows Saint-Georges during his ascent as a gifted composer and world-class fencer. As he begins to become part of the bourgeoisie, Saint-Georges forms a relationship with Marie Antoinette, the queen of France. With Kelvin Harrison Jr. in the leading role, “Chevalier” is the most recent attempt to dramatize life in the past. The film will be released to theaters next Friday.

“Beau is Afraid” 

Psychological horror director Ari Aster’s new film “Beau is Afraid” will be released to theaters next Friday. After Aster’s success with his first two feature films, “Hereditary” and “Midsommar,” his third feature is highly anticipated. Starring Joaquin Phoenix as Beau alongside a star-studded cast that includes Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan and Parker Posey, the film seems to be predisposed to greatness. As for the plot, just like any other of Aster’s films, it seems horrifying and dark; Beau, full of anxiety, has to cope with the death of his mother. He has to return home amidst massive mental struggles and hallucinations.