The Filtered Excellence: October 26, 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

At Home With Amy Sedaris.  The actress, comedian and author takes dead aim at cooking and craft shows in this new TruTv series.  On the surface, it looks like any of the programs that you would see on The Food Network or other network daytime shows.  But in the hands of Sedaris, she comes off as a cross between Martha Stewart and Sue Ann Nivens from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, with lines that are pointedly dark, satirical and laugh out loud funny.  Jane Krakowski, Michael Shannon and Justin Theroux are just some of the guest stars slated to appear in a show that is one of the best to emerge this season.  At Home With Amy Sedaris airs Tuesday nights at 10:30pm on TruTv.  You can also go to www.trutv.com for more information.

 

Bill Nye: Science Guy.  This new documentary from David Alvarado, and Jason Sussberg looks at Bill Nye and his one man crusade to stop the wave of anti-science sentiment happening around the world.  It chronicles his early days as the host of the highly successful show, Bill Nye The Science Guy and how it make science fun and accessible to young people.  They also show Nye’s work off camera as CEO of The Planetary Science, which strongly advocates for science, research and discovery.  But at the heart of the film is Nye’s warnings about climate change, how its real and how he goes toe to toe with those who deny it.  Alavarado and Sussberg have full access to Nye – who has achieved an almost rock star like following – making the rounds on the media, lecture circuit and in preparation of the launch of a solar propelled spacecraft into the cosmos.  It shows Nye as his most engaging, witty and as someone who truly loves what he does.  It’s a great portrait of one of science’s greatest champions.  Bill Nye: Science Guy opens in New York this Friday and select theaters starting November 10th.  You can also go to www.billnyefilm..com for more information.

 

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer.  Writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) once again pairs up with Colin Farrell for this cerebral thriller.  Farrell plays Steven, a successful surgeon living in Cincinnati with his wife Anna (Nicole Kidman) and their two children Kim (Raffey Cassidy) and Bob (Sunny Suljic).  But his life is anything but ideal:  He goes through the motions at home and he’s a recovering alcoholic.  One of his darker secrets arrives in the form of Martin (Barry Keoghan), the teenage son of one of Steven’s former patients.  Martin knows that Steven was responsible for his death, which happened where Steven operated on him while drunk.  It begins a twisted cycle of revenge which includes, among other things, Steven’s children suddenly losing their ability to eat, walk, and, bleeding from their eyes – and that’s only the beginning.  How Steven and Anna choose to deal with disaster of near Biblical proportions is the heart of the film.  It’s easy to see why Farrell chose to work with Lanthimos again:  The script is loaded with twists, turns and a ton of black comedy.  The entire cast dives into the darkness and mines out gold.  Far and away the best of the Halloween thrillers rolling out this season.   The Killing Of A Sacred Deer opens this weekend.

 

Thank You For Your Service.  The struggle to make the transition from the battlefield to civilian life is the core of this new film from writer-director Jason Hall (American Sniper).  Based on the book by Washington Post writer David Finkel, it stars Miles Teller as Adam Schumann, who returns home after several tours in Iraq.  Though he’s happy to be home with his wife and two young children, he’s still haunted by two incidents:  One that was lauded as heroic, the other that left his wife’s friend, a widow.  Newcomer Beulah Koale stars as Tausolo Aeiti, who also served with Schumann, and has to deal with crippling memory loss while trying to adjust to life as a husband and father to a newborn son.  As he did with American Sniper, Hall captures the internal struggles that soldiers go through long after the battles are over.  Namely, how to undo being told to remain stoic and reserved even when every fiber of your being is screaming for help.  Hall also reminds us yet again how little mental care is giving to our soldiers once their days in the field end.  Teller puts in another terrific performance as the tormented Schumann trying to make peace with himself and his life in service.  Koale is a great find as Aeiti, who wears his emotional battles on his face as he does any of his medals.  Hall has put together a film that serves as a salute to those who serve and a call to arms to improve mental help services for them.  Thank You For Your Service opens nationwide this weekend.   You can also go to www.thankyouforyourservicemovie.com for more information.

 

 

LISTEN TO THIS

 

Milano by Daniele Luppi & Parquet Courts.  This new collaboration between artist/producer Daniele Luppi, and Parquet Courts is a concept album about the Italian counterculture – misfits, outcasts, junkies, and fashionistas struggling to maintain amidst a rapidly gentrifying Milan in the mid-1980s.  While the album is set in Italy, the quirky, no-frills, lo-fi quality of the album has a lot more in common with the Punk, New Wave and No Wave scene that came out of the New York City’s downtown music scene at the same time.  They hammer this point home, Luppi enlists Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs for a number of tracks.  Coming off like a lost 80s album that has been re-discovered, Luppi and Co. have crafted a dynamic album celebrating a moment in time that should not be forgotten.  Milano by Daniele Luppi & Parquet Courts is available now through Amazon, Itunes and all major music retailers.

 

 

READ THIS

 

I’m The Wolf: Lyrics And Writings by Mark Lanegan.   Most music fans associate the Seattle music scene with bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains, but Mark Lanegan, was the connecting thread to making those bands happen on a national scale.  Whether it was with the group Screaming Trees, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Gutter Twins, Mad Season or as a solo album, Lanegan has emerged as one of rock’s  most respected vocalists and songwriters, drawing comparisons to everyone from Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen.  This new book collects lyrics from each phases of his career, along with the stories behind the songs.  To see the body of work progress though all of his artistic stages reveals incredible growth and development as a writer and a musician.  A must have for Lanegan fans, new and old.  I’m The Wolf: Lyrics And Writings is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all major book retailers.

 

 

I Can’t Breathe: A Killing On Bay St by Mike Taibbi.   On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner had a fatal encounter with members of the NYPD.  Captured on a cell phone, it showed officer Daniel Pantaleo placing Garner in a chokehold – a maneuver that has been banned by the NYPD – before other officers wrestling him to the ground.  Garner’s final words were ‘I can’t breathe’ – words he repeated 11 times – before he died on Bay Street.  The coroner ruled Garner’s death a homicide, but despite videotaped evidence, a grand jury chose not to indict Pantaleo.  It sparked a series of protests around the city and gave rise to the Black Lives Matter movement nationwide.  In this new book, Rolling Stone contributing writer Matt Taibbi looks back at the Garner case with looking at how the ‘broken windows’ policies played a key role in the case.   Taibbi also gives a rounded, complex portrait of Garner, who despite having run-ins with the law, was a devout family man who gave his all of his earnings to his family, never spending any money on himself.  Even more revealing is how Garner ran a solid, albeit illegal, business operation.  Taibbi also talks to those were present at the incident to present a timeline of events that run counter to what has presented as the official version.  Finally, the book shows how the Staten Island DA’s office half-heartedly pursued criminal charges against Pantaleo ,leading to what the Garner family and others to believe has been a complete miscarriage of justice.  Taibbi leaves no stone unturned, revealing all of the nuances, politics and policies that made a situation like this all but inevitable.  A stinging look at a case that is still being felt today.  I Can’t Breathe: A Killing On Bay St by Mike Taibbi is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all major book retailers.

 

 

DO THIS

 

New York City.  The Shining Halloween Party.  Stanley Kurbrick’s 1980 adaptation of the Stephen King classic remains a high point in the legendary director’s career and has become a Halloween classic.  Now Videology will take it up a notch with a special screening designed to enhance the experience.  The screening room will be made over to look like The Overlook Hotel’s Gold Room (complete with Lloyd serving drinks) to capture the essence of Jack Nicholson’s slow descent into madness.  All with optimum sound and visuals.  It’s a great way to put your Halloween weekend into high gear.  The Shining Halloween Park will take place at Videology this Saturday.  You can also go to www.videologybarandcinema.com for tickets and more information.

 

Los Angeles.  Dia de Los Muertos.  It’s billed as California’s largest Day Of The Dead celebration and very can dispute it.  This annual celebration – held at Hollywood Forever Cemetery – has grown so large that they have to turn people away due to overcrowding.  It will feature art exhibitions, dance rituals, musical performances, children’s arts and crafts projects, a costume contest and much more.  It will also honor renowned Mexican political printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada.  A sight for the eyes and ears, this is the ultimate Day Of The Dead celebration.  Dia de los Muertos will be at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday, October 28th.  You can also go to www.ladayofthedead.com for tickets and more information.

Want more excellence? Read last week’s the filtered excellence.

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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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