Greedy Lying Bastards. Directed by political activist Craig Rosebraugh and Executive Produced by Daryl Hannah, this searing documentary looks into the people and groups behind the efforts that cast doubt and in some case, disrupt any real dialogue and action pertaining to climate change. It also tells how one Alaskan community has already been affected by climate change and how the Citizens United case highlights how cozy the relationship is between corporate America, politicians and the courts. Unapologic and uncompromising, Greedy Lying Bastards is a must see film about an issue that affects all of us. It opens in select theaters this Friday.
The We and the I. Michel Gondry’s entry into cinema verte narratives is both more moving and effective on the topic of bullying in school than the more pointed films we’ve seen addressing the hot topic. Filmed almost entirely on a school bus with teens from The Point in the Bronx, he spent four years observing, befriending, and writing the script with the teens from the center. Gondry’s love of hip hop is retained as is his use of hand -crafted fantasy sequences, while the movie focuses on the cruelty, dramatics, and humor of being a teenager from the side of bullies and victims (often one in the same). In theaters March 8, 2013.
Stoker. The first English language film from Park Chan-wook, the director of Old Boy, Stoker isn’t as violent as his other films, but shares the same disturbing style and may be his most beautiful looking film to date, utilizing the gothic story to enhance his haunting visuals. Its far from perfect, but it is probably the first movie of the new year which isn’t part of the early year slump, and fans of Hitchcock, Terrance Malick and The House of Usther will appreciate the subtle (and not so subtle) references. The underrated actor Matthew Goode is perfect as the disturbingly charming Uncle Charlie (the name is not accidental) and Mia Wasikowska is effective (and disturbingly erotic) as his odd niece India.
Beyond the Hills. In theaters March 8th (limited), On Demand March 14th. Inspired by the non-fiction novels of Tatiana Niculescu Bran, Beyond the Hills is a beautifully shot new film, written and directed by Cristian Mungiu, which portrays the intensely chilling story of two Romanian girls, Alina and Voichita. The girls met as children growing up in a Romanian orphanage, in which time time they became each other’s closest friend and loyal supporter. Their’s is a loving relationship which endures through childhood and into adulthood. After living many years apart, Alina who has spent times living in Germany, rejoins Voichita who has come to live and work in a secluded Romanian monastery where the devout virtuously labor under the grim and exacting watch of an Orthodox priest known as Papa. Alina implores Voichita to return to Germany with her, but pious Voichita is reluctant to leave her life with the community of clergy people. It is then Alina who decides to remain with her longtime friend in the monastery, and it is then that the harrowing story really begins to unfold. Beyond the Hills, while bleak and severe, tells a fascinating story which is visually remarkable. (This IFC film has won best actress and best screenplay awards at Cannes.)
In Time by The Mavericks. Why The Mavericks aren’t one of the biggest bands in the world is a complete mystery. They have one of, if not, the best vocalists on the planet in Raul Malo, and the other members – Paul Deakin, Robert Reynolds, Eddie Perez, and Jerry Dale McFadden – can play everything from straight up rock and country to jump blues and Tex-Mex with relative ease. Fans were crushed when they split up in 2004 and were equally stunned when they announced they were reforming last summer. For their 1st album in nearly a decade, the band hasn’t missed a step. Malo co-produced the CD with Niko Bolas and they place an emphasis on making the album sound like you’re in the room with them. There’s also something for everyone; Country (‘Back In Your Arms Again’, ‘That’s My Not My Name’); Tex-Mex with a splash of Afro-Cuban (‘Dance In The Moonlight’, ‘Fall Apart’, ‘Come Unto Me’); Texas swing laced with rockabilly (‘As Long As There’s Loving Tonight’) jaw-dropping ballads (‘Forgive Me’, ‘In Another’s Arms’) and even an extended piece (the epic 8 minute closer ‘Call Me When You Get To Heaven’, that just KILLS). In Time is a triumphant return to form. It’s The Mavericks – and American music – at its best. In Time is available now on Itunes, Amazon and all digital music outlets.
Lonely and Blue: The Deepest Soul of Otis Redding. Artists like Otis Redding are re-packaged so frequently that it’s difficult to muster much excitement for a new compilation. Redding’s latest posthumous release runs counter to that thinking. Eschewing his best-known hits this compilation collects Redding at his most mournful and soulful. If you already know Redding, this is a great collection of tracks. If you don’t know him beyond the hits, it’s a revelation. Great stuff.
Songs for Slim by The Replacements. Last year, Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap suffered a stroke. As a way to alleviate some of the financial stress on his family from medical bills, Replacements Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson got together for new batch of songs for the first time in 21 years. Replacements drummer Chris Mars contributed a track as well. The resulting tracks were released as a limited edition vinyl ep that raised over $100,000 for Slim’s family. Now the tracks are available to the general public in digital form, with proceeds continuing to go towards medical bills. It’s a shame that it took such a sad event to get the members of the band back together, but it’s great to hear the Replacements again. It’s mostly covers, and it’s only an EP, but it provides a healthy dose of the ramshackle magic that was the ‘Mats. Plus, it may even open the door for a proper Replacements album down the line.
What Are You Doing Here: A Black Woman’s Life And Liberation In Heavy Metal by Laina Dawes. What happens when you’re an outsider within an outsider culture? Laina Dawes, a journalist and photographer based out of Toronto, tells her story of being a black heavy metal, punk and hardcore fan, the sexism and racism (from blacks and whites) and that she and her fellow black female fans/musicians have had to deal with and the steps that she and others like her are taken to carve their place in this community. Part memoir, history lesson, and class study, What Are You Doing Here is a provocative and unique look at a scene that only continues to grow. It’s available now on Amazon and all major book retailers.
New York City: Larry Clark Stuff @ Milk Gallery. Lauded by some, despised by others, the films of Larry Clark (Kids, Bully, Another Day In Paradise, Wassup Rockers and Ken Park) have pushed the envelope in terms of what can or cannot be shown on the screen. But Clark is also an accomplished photographer and tireless champion of skateboard culture. To coincide with the release of his latest film, Marfa Girl (which can only be purchased and viewed online), Milk Gallery is presenting a new exhibition of, well, Larry Clark’s stuff: movie posters of his films, his collection of skateboard decks, portraits, T-shirts, outfits and boards that were used in Wassup Rockers and Marfa Girl and much more. If you’re a fan, this is another portal of what goes on in his head. If you’re not, it’s a way to find out what all of the fuss is about. Larry Clark Stuff will be at The Milk Gallery though March 10th.
New York City: The Atlantic Ten Tournament. Catch the big east tournament at MSG next week for the last time in its traditional configuration with all the original rivalries that date back to the 80’s. Tickets are cheaper than national NCAA tournament and games are just as intense. For the hipsters, the Atlantic 10 tournament will be in BK with lots of good small school teams like St Louis, and recent final four contestants VCU and Butler; big 5 winner Temple; plus a great LaSalle team. Either tournament is a great primer for the big dance.
Joliet, Illinois. Buddy Guy at the Rialto Square Theatre – Saturday, March 9 at 8pm. Buddy Guy, pioneer of the Chicago Blues sound will be playing Joliet, Illinois this Saturday night with special guest Jonny Lang. It’s your chance to see in absolute legend in action. The Rialto Square Theatre is located at 102 N. Chicago Street, Joliet Ill.
Tarrytown, New York: Sandra Bernhard at the Tarrytown Music Hall. Saturday, March 9 at 8pm The fabulous Sandra Bernhard will be performing at the Tarrytown Music Hall on Saturday night. Tarrytown Music Hall is located at 13 Main Street, Tarrytown, NY 10591
Los Angeles, California : The 39th Annual Festival of the Kite. Sunday, March 10 – Noon. It’s one of Southern California’s longest running kite festivals. Spend a free afternoon and celebrate as hundreds of kites color the sky. You can just watch or bring your own. There’s also contests and live music.. Redondo Pier located at 100 Fisherman’s Wharf, Redondo Beach 90277