Distant Strangers 🌻

Shuffle Sundays #17 • April 25, 2021

Hello and welcome to Shuffle Sundays, a weekly curated list of content I thought was worth sharing with more people. Hope you enjoy this week’s issue!

In preparation for the Oscars (that happens tonight 4/25), I took some time this week to catch up on some of the documentaries and short films, both live-action and animated, so I wanted to bring a couple of my favorites here today, in addition to some personal recommendations from our guest Erica Reade, and much more.

Soundtrack: Paul McCartney - McCartney III Imagined


🌻 A Love Song for Latasha

{something to watch • short documentary, 19min}

I can’t remember the last time I was so impacted by such a short film. A Love Song for Latasha is a 19min documentary that revisits the death of Latasha Harlins by a store clerk in South Central Los Angeles. Forget about talking heads though, here the story is narrated as a flashback by one of Latasha’s best friends and reenacted in a dreamlike narrative, as opposed to using archival images. It’s a beautiful film to watch if it wasn’t for the sad and difficult subject. Although the story takes place in the 1990s, it’s sad to think that things like these still continue to happen day after day.

Available on Netflix | watch the trailer on YouTube.


🎬 Two Distant Strangers

{something to watch • short film, 32 min}

Even if this one is not based on a specific true event, it vividly illustrates a lot of the conflicts between young African-Americans and cops that we constantly see and hear about it. Two Distant Strangers follows the story of Carter, a young man who’s trying to get home to his dog after a one-night-stans, but gets stuck in a time loop every time he runs into the same cop outside of the building. The heaviness of the theme is camouflaged by the sci-fi element of the time loop (who doesn’t like that?), but don’t let that fool you. It was another short film that left me completely speechless at the end!

Available on Netflix | watch the trailer on YouTube.


📣 Shuffle Guest: Erica Reade

Once a month I bring a guest to feature their work and share some of their recommendations with you. Check the previous one here.

🗣 » Tell us a bit about yourself: am a Brooklyn-based photographer, originally from Montreal Canada. I have been in NYC for 15 years, and I jumped into full-time freelance life in 2018. I shoot a mixture of portraits, street, weddings, and still-life. My creative photographic work takes place mostly on the beaches of NY, with a focus on the Rockaways. I have been working on my series Beach Lovers since 2015, and I just launched my Kickstarter campaign for my Beach Lovers book on April 13th. This is my first photo book and I'm really excited to make it happen. 

📚 » Book: Severance, by Ling Ma. I first read this book about a year before the pandemic and was immediately drawn in by how eerily close to our reality this dystopian novel is. Through the eyes of a young millennial who is figuring out her life's purpose and goes on long photo walks with her camera, the story is the unfolding of a global pandemic that wipes out NYC and life as she knows it. I reread the book a few weeks into quarantine in Spring 2020 and I got goosebumps looking around at how much of the novel was coming true in real-time. It is a brilliant, timely, and timeless novel about identity and being a first-generation immigrant, finding yourself in your 20s in NYC, and the effects of a post-capitalist world is having on all of us. It's brilliant and devastating and one of my favorite books.

🎧 » Music: Thanks to Spotify's "Artists You'd Like" I recently discovered Bakar and I cannot get enough of this London-based artist. Equal parts indie, rap, rock, and punk, his songs appeal to a wide audience, and my three favorites are 'Hell and Back,' '1st Time' and 'Sober.' 

🎙 » Podcast: I was writing up a review of a podcast when I realized I was in fact sharing a favorite app. The readings are so timely and in-depth that I forgot it was an app and not a podcast. I am talking about Chani Nicholas and her app Chani. There is both a free and paid version. While I realize not everyone is into astrology or follows it, she does such a beautiful job of breaking down the bigger picture, tying in politics, social justice, and climate change, and our current political climate and pandemic to what is happening astrologically. She releases a weekly reading for the week ahead every Sunday and they're so informative and soothing, it feels like a podcast. On a personal level, there is a fantastic breakdown of your birth chart, how to read it, what each week holds for your particular chart (paid), as well as journal prompts and over a dozen meditations. Her voice is very soothing and I do a meditation at least once a day. If you're ready to dip your toe into the waters of astrology, I highly recommend Chani as a wonderful starting point or going deeper on your journey.

Learn more about Erica and check out her work at her website or Instargram.


🔀 On a different note: 

  • 📺 » I still can’t believe we’re getting a 3rd season of Master of None, one of my favorite series on Netflix! I’m so excited about it.

  • 💌 » If you’re curious to know a little bit of my workflow to collect and curate content for this newsletter, check out this blog post or the thread below that I recently posted on Twitter.

  • 🎙 » I also was a guest at my friend Reddy’s podcast, who challenged me to talk about my workflow in 9min! Listen to our fun chat here.


⚡️ Something to Inspire

Oscar Ukonu is a self-taught hyperrealist artist living and working in Lagos, Nigeria. It’s really hard to believe that these are done with a ballpoint pen, and not with a camera. Check out his website or Instagram for more. Here are some favorites:


💽 New Music

{something to listen to • albums & singles}

This week I'm particularly interested in checking the new albums from Alfa Mist, BaianaSystem, Kaleo, Porter Robinson, and Rob Frye. Also, new tracks from Jack Garrat, Gustavo Bertoni, Villagers, VHS Collection, Jorja Smith, and many more. If you’re curious to hear some of these songs and more, make sure to follow my 2021 playlist on Spotify, updated weekly with new releases: 


👋🏼 See you next Sunday

My name is Leo Mascaro and you are receiving this email because you signed up for Shuffle Sundays, a weekly curated list of content I thought was worth sharing with more people. If this email was forwarded to you, subscribe using the box below:

If you found anything inspiring in this Newsletter, have something to share with me, or just feel like saying hello, reply to this email and let's start a conversation! Know someone who would enjoy something from this issue? Have a friend or two who is looking for some inspiration? Please share it:

Share Shuffle Sundays


📬 Connect with me:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn