The Movie “Yarn” Threads The Needle Between Feminism, Fine Art, And—Why Not?—The Icelandic Circus

Exclusive clip: Knitting isn’t just for hipsters (or even grannies)—it’s a weird, wild art form with activist roots

In recent years, knitting has earned itself a twee reputation as the hobby of choice for a certain subset of young urban professionals. You know the ones—they look a lot like New Girl’s Jessica Day, and they don’t find the idea of purchasing Hipster brand yarn embarrassing in the slightest.

But the eye-popping new documentary Yarn—which made its debut at SXSW in March and heads to NYC’s IFC Center on June 24 before its expanded summer release—aims to set the record straight. Challenging the notion that knitting is a toothless pastime for the bored or matronly, the film follows daring artists, circus performers, and activists as they do unbelievable stuff with yarn in Poland, Italy, Canada, Iceland, Cuba, NYC, and elsewhere. Think building-sized crocheted structures modeled after spiderwebs, or acrobats soaring through the air with only strands of yarn to support them.

For the casual viewer looking to zone out in an air conditioned theater on a hot summer day, it’s a light and airy diversion, jam-packed with more than enough weird, whimsical animations (not to mention yarn-tailed mermaids and street mimes in hot pink crocheted bodysuits) to keep you entertained. But director Una Lorenzen gives the film some unexpected teeth, touching on the history of women knitting in wartime and the potential of “yarn bombing” as political statement—as when graffiti artist Tinna Thorudottir Thorvaldar protests by installing “free speech crochet” art in Cuba.

In the clip below—exclusive to GOOD—artist Horiuchi MacAdam reflects on the reasons why women have been so intimately linked to knitting, weaving, and other fabric arts.


via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

Keep Reading Show less

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

Keep Reading Show less