Tablet Life & Arts

Three for three: Arts writers’ picks for the week of Feb. 2

The Star-Telegram arts writers spotlight what’s rocking their world this week.

1 31 Days of Oscar on Turner Classic Movies: TCM’s annual Academy Awards tribute (which began Saturday) takes a different tack this time, with every evening devoted to an Oscar race from a particular year. The Sunday lineup, for instance, features Best Picture nominees from 1945, but races in other categories and years are also represented in prime time. It’s not just limited to prime time, though — the daytime lineup features such offerings as Tuesday’s foreign film nominee/winner marathon. Through March 3 on TCM.

— Robert Philpot

2 Sam Smith, Nirvana EP: If you believe the buzz, vocalist Sam Smith could be the next big thing to burst out of Britain. He has already contributed to indie electronica faves Disclosure’s well-received debut, Settle, and his own full-length debut is set for an American release this spring. To tide over the curious, Smith digitally released this seven-song sampler in January, and it proves the hype is no joke. Smith’s lighter-than-air tenor fits snugly within digital glitchery (Disclosure makes a cameo), although this man among machines definitely has soul.

— Preston Jones

3 Pit Stop : Austin director Yen Tan’s intriguing tale of two men in a small town dealing with being gay — one just came out, the other has just broken up with someone — doesn’t go to expected places. Co-written by David Lowery ( Ain’t Them Bodies Saints), it doesn’t portray small-town Texas as a homophobic hell but makes their struggles more internal yet still universal. Out Tuesday on DVD.

— Cary Darling