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Operation Jane Walk appropriates the hallmarks of an action roleplaying game – Tom Clancy’s The Division (2016), set in a barren New York City after a smallpox pandemic – for an intricately rendered tour that digs into the city’s history through virtual visits to some notable landmarks. Bouncing from Stuyvesant Town to the United Nations Headquarters and down the sewers, a dry-witted tour guide makes plain how NYC was shaped by the Second World War, an evolving economy and the ideological jousting between urban theorists such as Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. Between stops, the guide segues into musical interludes and poetic musings, but doesn’t let us forget the need to brandish a weapon for self-defence. The result is a highly imaginative film that interrogates the increasingly thin lines between real and digital worlds – but it’s also just a damn good time.
Directors: Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner
Narrator: Jacob Banigan
Dazzling timelapse shows how microbes spoil our food – and sometimes enrich it
Inside the unique London community built by residents to defy housing discrimination
Film and visual culture
With human help, AIs are generating a new aesthetics. The results are trippy
From manners to mud – two women recall coming of age in Victorian London
Gender and identity
The joys and complications of raising a baby without gender in a binary world
Sports and games
Bodies, bikes and groovy music propel this stylish classic film from 1965
Can art in a swanky restaurant ever be transcendent? On Rothko’s Seagram Murals
The ancient world
Why did the Romans create a massive, entirely impractical map of their empire?
Human rights and justice
The staggering cruelty of Ireland’s Church-run ‘mother and baby homes’