The Filtered Excellence: May 9, 2013

Bob Geldof once asked us, “Where is the filtered excellence!?” It’s right here. Here are this weeks picks of what to WATCH, what to DO what to TRY what to READ what to LISTEN TO and more:



Family Tree. Fans of Christopher Guest’s well-loved mockumentaries have been anxiously awaiting this new HBO comedy series by the writer-director. Starring Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd, Bridesmaids), the series focuses on the journey of one lonely and recently unemployed young British man set off to uncover his family roots after receiving a package from an aunt that he never knew that he had. We’re betting that bizarre situations and quirky and utterly endearing weirdos will be met all along the way. Expect to see many of Guest’s familiar co-stars here in supporting roles- Fred Willard, Michael McKean, Ed Begley Jr., Bob Balaban, and Jim Piddock, (who shares the writing credits for the series). The series premiere is Sunday, May 12th at 10:30pm Eastern on HBO.

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Mammas with Isabella Rossellini. You saw and loved “Green Porno” and then “Seduce Me.” Now check out “Mammas” a special collection of animal oriented quirky shorts created by and starring Isabella just in time for Mother’s Day. It’s smart. It’s weird. And it’s a much better way to honor all the reasons we love moms than a corny hallmark card. Airs this Sunday, May 12 at on the Sundance Channel.

2013 NBA Conference Semi-Finals. It’s second round action in the NBA playoffs all through the weekend and into next week. Match ups include: The Miami Heat versus the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks versus the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference. And in the Western Conference, it’s the Golden State Warriors against the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder versus the Memphis Grizzlies. Games are televised on ABC, ESPN and TNT.

Go to, for a full schedule.

Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay. We missed this one back in April so better late than never. More than a few people will certainly recognize his fantastic voice from his work as narrator of movies such as Magnolia and Brothers Bloom, or his acting work with writer/director David Mamet. But if you haven’t seen his incredible slight of hand work in magic shows (or the dozens of YouTube clips online which can become addictive) you have no idea how talented the charismatic Ricky Jay really is. It’s about time a director turned the camera on this cult hero, who also happens to be a walking, talking encyclopedia on the history of magic, illusions, and card tricks. And it all started in the family for Ricky, who shares memories of his first mentor, his grandfather. Not only are his tricks fun to watch, but his sharp mind and warmth makes an audience want to listen to all the stories he has to tell, even if you claim not to be fan of tricks.

The Sightseers. Steve Oram and Alice Lowe wrote and star in this DARK comedy about a couple taking a road trip through the British Isles. Oram plays the self-proclaimed invisible ginger Chris who opens a new world up to sheltered girlfriend Tina. Along the way a strange side to Chris is finally revealed to Tina who has her own unexpected reaction. The movie certainly is not for someone looking for a “light” comedy, but anyone who enjoys deadpan British humor that might go a little over the edge will have a great time. Executive produced by Edgar Wright, Kill List’s Ben Whitley directs the satire with the perfect blend of surrealism and naturalism.



The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin.  Temple is not only on the front lines of Autistic research, she is autistic herself, giving her an incredible perspective into several angles of autism.  Explore scientific advances, the latest research, brain scans, and theories with Temple in this outstanding new book.  A must read for anyone dealing with the realities of autism, or just those interested in understanding.



The Doors.  The new app from Warner Music Group.  Produced by Jac Holzman and Robin Hurley this brand new app. Listen to music (with lyrics), watch videos, read the stories and more.  Excerpts from Griel Marcus, Jac Holzman, John Densmore, and others, a map of places where famous Doors events took place, tons of photos of the band, places, artwork, memorabilia, a full discography, and so much more.  A bargain for under five bucks.



New York City: An Evening With Sidney Poitier with Introduction and Questions Moderated by Dr. Annette Insdorf @ The 92nd Street Y. The iconic actor, director, and producer will be talking with Columbia University Undergraduate Film Studies Director about his extraordinary career, breaking the color barrier in Hollywood and his first novel, Montaro Caine. Expect plenty of film clips, thoughtful insights and pearls of wisdom. Poitier will also do a book signing after the discussion. A very rare opportunity to hear from one of our greatest screen legends. Takes place 5/13.

New York City: The Master Builder starring John Turturro @ BAM. May 12 through June 9. Henrik Ibsen’s classic 1892 drama gets another revival, this time at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music. John Turturro plays Halvard Soness, a successful and driven architect looking to add his empire. Katherine Borowitz plays his wife Aline, who is still mourning the deaths of their twins from a fire. When Hilde (played by Wrenn Schmidt), an old acquaintance of Halvard’s unexpectedly returns after a long absence, she fuels both his professional and personal fires that threatens to destroy everything that he has worked for. Turturro has always been one our great actors on screen and on stage, so the chance for him in a lead role should be nothing short of electric. Expect nothing but excellence. The Master Builder runs at BAM May 12th through June 9th.

Nashville, Tennessee: Kris Kristofferson. It’s your chance to see the legendary songwriter and Country Music Hall of Famer Kris Kristofferson in concert in Nashville. He’ll be performing his classics, as well as songs from his latest album “Feeling Mortal” at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Wednesday, May 15th at 7:30pm.

Washington DC: This Filthy World: An Evening with John Waters. The director of “Hair Spray”, “Cry Baby”, and “Pink Flamingoes”, John Waters will be performing his one man Vaudeville style lecture “This Filthy World” in DC. The Pope of Trash is appearing live at The Howard Theater in Washington DC on Wednesday, May 15th at 8pm. Doors open at 6pm. It’s first come, first seated.

Palm Springs, California: The 20th Evening Under the Stars with Cyndi Lauper. The amazing Cyndi Lauper is headlining the 20th annual “Evening Under The Stars” gala event to benefit AAP (AIDS Assistance Program). The concert also includes cocktails, dinner and dancing. The benefit happens Saturday, May 11th at 5:30pm at the O’Donnell Golf Club in Palm Springs. Tickets are still available and the money goes to a good cause.

Metuchen, New Jersey:  Psycho on the Big Screen for Mothers Day. What could be more appropriate for Mother’s Day than a screening of Psycho!? In Celebration of Mothers Day The Forum Presents A Mothers Day Eve Double Feature of “Hitchcock” starring Anthony Hopkins followed by Psycho starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh & Vera Miles. Cheap date for you and mom. The fun starts at 7:30 at the Forum Theater Arts Center in Metuchen NJ.

Rochester, New York:  Rochester Lilac Festival.  Summer festivals are here and our first official reported festival takes place in Rochester. Over a century old, the annual event features thousands of lilac bushes in full bloom, plus art vendors and live entertainment. Saturday night, the 1990’s own The Spin Doctors! Sunday night, the 1980’s own Eddie Money!  May 10 – 19 in Highland Park.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Spring Art Star Craft Bazaar. Down on the waterfront at The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, shoppers can expect to find an amazing array of top quality handmade goods being sold by over 100 local and national artists. Unique finds will include housewares, prints, paintings, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, clothing, jewelry and accessories, and many other wonderfully cool and uncommon pieces to treasure. This retail art and craft show, organized by Philadelphia’s Art Star Gallery & Boutique, will also feature live music, food and all kinds of fun for all down by the Delaware on Columbus Blvd between Walnut & Market Streets. Saturday May 11 & Sunday May 12th 11 AM-6 PM


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