APPAREL Every grown man should have a light jacket for working around the house or running errands. I’m partial to my green Army jacket. It’s just nice and simple. You don’t want to look like you’re slumming it or like you’re making a statement. But you also don’t want to seem too formal. An Army jacket is easy—and almost benign in a good way.
FILM I keep coming back to Chevy Chase’s National Lampoon’s Vacation as an example of what comedy should try to achieve; the jokes just hold up so well. I love the scene when John Candy, who plays a security guard, tells the Griswolds that the amusement park is closed. The way his eyebrows move and hand shoots up is so amusing and timeless.
HOME My favorite thing in my living room is a Joe Coleman print. Coleman does these detailed portraits that are all kind of dark and beautiful. And if you look really closely at them, there are words and faces painted into the image. Mine is of Harry Houdini. I’m not into magic, but it includes all these little details about his family history that I find really interesting.
PODCAST There’s a fantastic new podcast about Hüsker Dü called Dü You Remember? It interviews all three members of the band, which hasn’t been done since they broke up, in 1988. I was unaware of how hard they had to work, being from Minneapolis, to get noticed. —AS TOLD TO J.R. SULLIVAN
A MOUNTAINEER’S MEMOIR
PORTRAIT: MEREDITH JENKS/TRUNKARCHIVE.COM. FILM: COURTESY OF OBSCURED PICTURES
JON HAMM CLEANS HOUSE If you can’t take it with you, what happens to all the stuff you’ve left behind? That’s the question driving director Mark Pellington’s new film, Nostalgia. Jon Hamm plays Will, a divorced sports-memorabilia broker who earns his living by convincing bereaved family members to cash in their loved ones’ treasures. Will’s life is upended when his aging parents move to Florida, and he’s forced to clean out his childhood home. Though he makes his living appraising heirlooms, he’s unsentimental about the artifacts of his own life, unable to understand why his sister (Catherine Keener) wants to put any of them in storage. But a tragedy forces him to realize that all this clutter—old records, handwritten letters, dogeared paperbacks—actually amounts to a lot more than stuff to be sold at auction or simply thrown out. It’s heavy stuff, for sure. But Nostalgia is full of insights that hit all men of a certain age. And that’s thanks mostly to Hamm, who inhabits the role of Will as completely as he did Don Draper in Mad Men. Death is a common theme in movies, but few films address what family and friends go through after the funeral. Nostalgia helps make sense of all the mess. —J.R.S. MEN’S JOURNAL