The Filtered Excellence: March 30, 2017


Bob Geldof once asked us, “Where is the filtered excellence!?” It’s right here. Once a week we take a break from comedy to bring you this week’s picks of the best things to watch, the most interesting things to do, great things to try, the best picks to read, our favorite things to listen to and more.


WATCH THIS:

Brockmire.  This hilarious new IFC series stars Hank Azaria as Jim Brockmier, a beloved MLB play by play announcer who get fired after having an epic on air meltdown regarding his wife’s affair.  After spending 10 years overseas, Brockmier is hired to call games for a minor league team in the fracking town of Morristown, Pennsylvania.  Julia ‘Jules’ James (Amanda Peet), the team’s hard drinking owner convinces Brockmier to take the job even though the only people that will hear him are the people in the ballpark. She also brings aboard the internet savvy intern Charles (Tyrel Jackson Williams) to make the team’s-  and Brockmier’s –  memorable moments become viral video sensations.  Jules is hoping that his notoriety – which has lived on thanks to YouTube – along with her assortment of colorful players will rescue the town’s dwindling prospects.   Azaria is pitch perfect in the title role, nailing down all of the cadences of the classic play by play man yet adding dark wit, irony and laugh out loud lines in his delivery.  Peet is just as strong as the boozing, yet always hopeful owner, whose sly, offbeat plans – and her obsessive love of the game – could rescue everything and everyone around her.  It’s a sharp, uncompromising comedy that is one of the best new shows of the TV season.  Brockmier premieres April 5th at 10pm Eastern on IFC.  You can also go to http://www.ifctv.com/ to view the plot, get show extras and more information.

David Lynch: The Art Life.  Most of us know David Lynch as the creative mastermind behind such films as Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and the TV Series Twin Peaks.  But in this new documentary by Jon Nguyen, we get an intimate and complete portrait of Lynch the filmmaker, writer, painter and much more.  With complete access to Lynch and his archive, we see him engaged in his other love, painting, and how various memories (some of which are seen through home movies featuring Lynch in his formative years) served as a spark behind some of his most memorable work.  It’s a dreamy, often surreal look at one of the cinema’s most forward thinking filmmakers.  David Lynch: The Art Life opens this weekend.  You can also go to http://www.janusfilms.com/ for more information.

Donnie Darko.  Richard Kelley’s dark 2001 sci-fi masterpiece barely got a theaterical release and when it did, it underperformed at the box office.  But critics loved it, singling out the screenplay, direction and breakout performances by Jake Glyllenhaal and Jena Malone.   Those who did see it loved it and with strong word of mouth, the film achieved cult classic status.   It also featured Guy Jules and Thomas Newman’s haunting cover of Tears For Fears’ ‘Mad World’, which ended up topping the UK charts.  Now over 15 years after its release, Donnie Darko is back in theaters, remastered, restored and once again ready to stop the world from ending in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds.  Its a great chance to see what set the sci fi template for the new millennium.  Donnie Darko will be re-released in theaters this weekend.

LISTEN TO THIS

Dog Eat Dog Soundtrack by We Are Dark Angels.   Among the many accolades that was made about Paul Schrader’s dark crime noir was how the music added more emotional and comedic punch to the scenes.  Now the film’s soundtrack – which was scored by We Are Dark Angels  – is set for release.  Deantoni Parks and Nicci Kasper are the driving forces behind the group and the soundtrack, which runs the gamut from swagger filled funk, cool atmospheric electronica, and Henry Mancini-inspired jazz, to richly textured, at times mournful, Avant-garde.  It’s not easy to create a soundtrack that can holds its own without seeing the movie, but We Are Dark Angels paints a rich, vibrant musical soundscape that makes it look easy.  This is a team that has an incredible amount of talent, depth and a potential that has only scratched the surface.  One could only wonder what they have planned next.  The Dog Eat Dog Soundtrack by We Are Dark Angels will be available Friday through Amazon, iTunes and all major music retailers.

READ THIS

Mr. Rotten’s Songbook by John Lydon.  Whether as a member of The Sex Pistols, Public Image Limited or a solo artist, John Lydon’s lyrics are as much as a life manifesto as they are songs.  Now with his new book, you can an intimate look at how he puts the songs together and the  inspiration behind them.  It compiles all of his handwritten and annotated lyric sheets along with never before seen artwork to every song Lydon’s ever written in a gloriously large luxury format.  Covering everything from Never Mind The Bollocks through What The World Needs Now, this is the definitive look inside the creative mind of one of rock’s most outspoken, yet brutally honest front men.  Mr. Rotten’s Songbook will be available on March 31st exclusively through http://www.johnlydon.com/

 

DO THIS

New York City: The Films Of David Lynch – A Retrospective.  As a build up to the release of David Lynch: The Art Life, IFC Center will be holding a two week retrospective of his extraordinary body of work.  In addition to screening his classic works (a 4K restoration of Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway, The Straight Story, Wild At Heart, Inland Empire, and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me), it also feature Lynch directed short films, and the documentary, Meditation, Creativity, Peace, which chronicles Lynch’s 16 country tour of Europe, The Middle East, and Latin America promoting the individual and global impact of meditation.  The centerpiece of the retrospective is the premiere of the Jon Nguyen profile on Lynch, The Art Life.  This is a must see series for new and long time Lynch fans.  The Films Of David Lynch will be at IFC Center through April 6th,  You can also go to http://www.ifccenter.com/ for a complete rundown of films, times and additional information.

Latin History For Morons.  For his latest stage show, Emmy and Obie winner John Leguizamo found inspiration helping his son with a school project.  He was upset to learn that Latinos contributions to America were all but left out of his son’s American history class.  So Leguizamo goes on a manic search to set the record straight about the notable contributions Latinos have made to U.S. – and global culture.  The result is a hilarious 90 minute history lesson that covers everything from the Aztecs, the Mayans, The Revolutionary War, and how Desi Arnaz as Ricky Richardo forever changed television.  Irreverrant, unapologetic and gloriously uncensored, Leguizamo has put together another winner that serves as part history lesson and all stand up.  Latin History For Morons will be at The Public Theater through April 28th.  You can also go to http://www.publictheater.org/ for tickets and additional information.

 

Major League: Wesley Snipes In Focus.  The 30 year plus film career of Wesley Snipes is the subject of this new retrospective happening at The Brooklyn Academy Of Music.  Whether in supporting roles or as the lead, Snipes became a Hollywood mainstay throughout the 80s and 90s.  He also worked with some of the top directors including Guillermo Del Toro, Walter Hill, Mike Figgis, and had worked with Spike Lee on a number of films.  This 10 day retrosepctive highlights some of Snipes’ best work including a career defining performance in New Jack City; Jungle Fever, Major League, Passenger 57, the Blade series, and White Men Can’t Jump, which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary.  Also included will be smaller budgeted, but strong performances in One Night Stand, and To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar.  Its a great chance to reinvest time and focus on one of Hollywood’s most durable and endearing actors.  Major League: Wesley Snipes In Focus will be at The Brooklyn Academy Of Music March 31st through April 9th.  You can also go to http://www.bam.org/ for a complete list of films, runtimes and more information.

 

The Affordable Art Fair.  If you love art, always want to buy someone’s work, but always felt priced out, then The Affordable Art Fair is the great equalizer.  Now in its 23rd year, you can check out exhibitors from all corners of the globe, selling works as low as $100 and over half of the works not exceeding more than $5000.  You can also be the first to see the latest from both the established and the emerging artists before they take permanent residence in the world’s best museums and galleries.  Price friendly and fun, this is a must see event for an art lover.  The Affordable Art Fair will run through April 2nd.  You can also go to www.affordableartfair.com/fairs/new-york for more information.

Want more excellence? Read last week’s The Filtered Excellence and visit The Interrobang Recommends

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Earl Douglas is a writer/photographer based in New York City. A frequent contributor to The Interrobang, Earl is also Executive Director for the New York chapter of The Black Rock Coalition. Earl worked in radio for nearly two decades at WNEW-FM and XM Satellite Radio, which included being the on-air producer for Carol Miller, Scott Muni and Ron & Fez, and a contributor to Opie & Anthony. Earl has also independently published a number of books including Black Rock Volume 1, Urban Abyss, Mobile Uploads, and For Shimmy. His latest project is the photojournalism magazine PRAXIS, which is available exclusively through Blurb.com.

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