Random Acts Of Flyness. Heavy buzz surrounding this new HBO late night series from Writer/director Terence Nance (The Oversimpification Of Her Beauty). Spread out over 6 episodes, the show features interconnecting vignettes featuring guest appearances by Whoopi Goldberg, Dominque Fishback (The Deuce) and Gillian Jacobs (among others). It tackles everything from the long term effects of white supremacy, ancestral trauma, and death down to toxic patriarchy and sensuality. Incorporating elements of surreal melodrama, animation, comedy and musical performances, this has all of the making of the wild, trippy, but woke ride. Random Acts Of Flyness premieres August 3rd at midnight on HBO. You can also go to www.hbo.com for more information.
Animals. The 3rd season from animators Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano picks up three years after last season’s cataclysmic finale in which New York City is destroyed by a nuclear attack. The city is uninhabitable for humans and now the animals run their own domains: Rat City, Dog Centre, Ye Olde Horseburg, Pigeon Heights and The Democratic People’s Republic Of Kitty Cat. Humans aren’t completely out of the picture: with surveillance cameras, U.S. military officials are keeping tabs as the animals navigate their way through their newfound post-apocalyptic existence. Featuring guest appearances by Demi Moore, Tracy Morgan, Bob Balaban, John Mulaney, Carol Kane, Soledad O’Brien, Aisha Tyler, John Leguizamo, Edie Falco Moby, among others, Matarese and Luciano are taking it all the way out and it’s all good. Season 3 of Animals premieres August 3rd at 11:30pm Eastern on HBO. You can also go to www.hbo.com for more information.
The Atomic Cafe. Released in 1982, directors Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader and Pierce Rafferty culled music, propaganda and culture along with newsreels, educational and training films and ads to show the Cold War at its most surreal and absurd. It become a cult classic, a fitting coda to what ultimately lead to the end of that era. But given the current political climate, the film now comes across as a prophesy as much as it was parody. Over 35 years after its initial release, it’s now making the rounds again in select theaters. With a new 4K restoration and pristine sound, it will make a pause to think as much as it will make you laugh. The Atomic Cafe opens in New York this weekend and in select theaters starting August 10th. You can also go to www.kinolober.com for more information.
Nico, 1988. The final years of the former Velvet Underground vocalist and Warhol muse is the subject of this uncompromising new biopic from Susanna Nicchiarelli. Danish actress Trine Dyrholm plays Nico, as she struggles through drug addiction and an inexperienced band touring Europe. She finds herself desperately trying to distance herself from her past, even as everyone around her is eager to recapture her days as the Godmother Of Goth. Nico is also trying to reconnect with her suicidal son Ari (Sandor Funtek), whom she releases from an asylum to join her on tour. This film is unsentimental in presentation, with Dyrholm absolutely electric form in the title role. This is no glossy look back – Nico is presented here as abusive, self-centered, and selfish, but also eager to pick up the shattered pieces of her life and establish herself as a mother and an artist. It’s a multi-dimensional look at a rock n roll iconoclast. Nico, 1988 is available now in New York and Los Angeles. You can also go to www.nico1988.com for more information.
I Don’t Want The Gold Fire Sessions by Santigold. Between the ages of 10 and 18, Santigold and her family would go to Jamaica. She immediately fell in love with the music of the region – especially with the mixtapes that were sold in local shops. Last summer, as she prepared to give birth to twins, Santigold teamed up with producer Dre Skull and created a dancehall-inspired album in a couple of weeks. Now, to coincide with her tour with Lauryn Hill, those sessions have seen the light of day. While the sound is laid back and perfectly in tune with the season, songs such as ‘Coo Coo’, ‘Crashing Your Party’ and ‘Gold Fire’ are rooted in blunt social commentary. It’s a joyous conscious party that demands multiple listens. I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions by Santigold is available now through Amazon, Itunes and all major music retailers.
New York City. Performance Anxieties: Fosse At The Movies. As a writer, director, choreographer, and actor, Bob Fosse was a visceral force on Broadway, Television and Hollywood. During his near 40 year career, he won 9 Tonys, 3 Emmys, and a Best Directing Oscar, leaving behind a legacy that is still being felt across all of those mediums. Fosse’s incredible body of work will be the subject of a two week retrospective at Quad Cinema. The series will cover his work as a choreographer (Damn Yankees), actor (My Sister Eileen), TV work (Liza With a Z) and as an Academy Award-winning director (Cabaret, All That Jazz, Lenny, Star 80, Sweet Charity). What’s even more dynamic is the depth and range, covering everything from musicals to historical docu-dramas. As an added bonus, Fosse’s daughter Nicole will be on hand to do film introductions and post-screening Q&As. It’s a powerful salute to an entertainment icon. Performance Anxieties: Fosse At The Movies will be Quad Cinema August 3rd through the 9th. You can also go to www.quadcinema.com for more information.
New York City. Modern Color by Fred Herzog. The latest exhibition from the Canadian photographer captures working class life through the 50s, 60s and 70s. What makes this work stand out is that Herzog shot in color at a time where black and white was still the standard. To see these images of a pre-gentrified, post-war, North American life brings out the innocence and promise, while reminding us of what was ahead, and ultimately what was lost. A beautiful exhibit that also serves a moving time capsule. Modern Color by Fred Herzog is at the Laurence Miller Gallery through August 16th. You can also go to www.laurencemillergallery.com for more information.