The Filtered Excellence: August 31, 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.


Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story.  Throughout the 70s and 80s, Mick Ronson was one of rock’s most in demand guitarists, arrangers and producers, recording and performing with such acts as Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter, John Mellencamp, among others.  But he’s best known for being a key collaborator and on stage foil for David Bowie and The Spiders From Mars.  This new documentary from Jon Brewer looks back at the too brief, but amazing life at the man from Hull who went from being a gardener to the X factor in rock’s biggest watershed moments.  Working closely with the Ronson estate, Brewer was able to secure a wealth of archival footage of Ronson on and backstage, in the studio, and in interviews – most of which is being presented for the first time.  Recorded shortly before his passing, Bowie provides haunting but moving voiceovers to serve as a bridge between the many shifts in Ronson’s career.   He’s joined by family, friends, collaborators, contemporaries, and fans to provide an elegant salute to a rock n roll great.  Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story will open in select theaters this weekend.  You can also go to for more information.

Dream Is Destiny.  The latest installment of the acclaimed American Masters series looks at the life and career of writer, producer and actor Richard Linklater.     The doc dives into the early forces and factors that fueled Linklater’s creative process and led him to pursue a career in film.  It also looks why he works away from Hollywood and New York; his insistence on both autonomy and quality even when he’s involved in a studio project; and why he prefers to use the same group of actors, unknowns and collaborators with each project.  Featuring appearances by Matthew McConaguhey, Julie Delpy, Jack Black, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, , and the late Jonathan Demme; clips from now classic films as Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight, Dazed & Confused, Slacker and Boyhood; and archival footage that is making its first appearance here, this is the most compelling and multi-dimensional look at one of cinema’s true auteurs.  Dream Is Destiny premieres this weekend on PBS.  Go to for more information.

Dolores.  We all know the story of Cesar Chavez and how he fought for racial and labor justice.  But he had an equally formidable partner in Dolores Huerta who stood alongside him and carried on his work after his death.  In this new documentary by Peter Bratt, we get the most comprehensive portrait of the one of the most important, yet unsung activists of our time.  Bratt is granted rare access to Huerta – who is still fighting the good fight at the age of 87 – her children, contemporaries, and influences to show how she played an important role in the lives of women, the workforce and the political landscape well into the 21st Century.  With new interviews and plenty of archival footage Bratt has put together a loving and multi dimensional tribute to a true American icon.  Dolores opens in New York this weekend and in select theaters on September 6th.  You can also go to for more information.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: 40th Anniversary Edition.  A lot was riding on Steven Spielberg’s follow up to the blockbuster Jaws.  Filming and post production was also hampered due to bad weather, technical problems and producer Julia Phillips departure from the project due to drug problems.  The film’s budget went nearly 10 times over its projected cost to the point where Columbia Pictures had to raise money from outside sources to get the movie finished.  Nevertheless, it was another box office boom for Spielberg, grossing over $337 million worldwide and introduced special effects innovations that are still being felt today..  To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of its release, Close Encounters will make a brief return to theaters.  Featuring a 4K restoration, a new generation of movie goers will get to see the film that cemented Spielberg’s status as one of the greatest directors of all time   Plus you get to a hear a new stereo mix of John Williams’ memorable score.  A great opportunity to see a master filmmaker’s ascend into the cinematic stratosphere.  Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: 40th Anniversary Edition opens this Friday.


NEW YORK CITY: Jerry Lewis Tribute: Two Masterpieces by The Total Filmmaker.  Jerry Lewis’ contributions to the world of comedy are monumental.  But it took his recent passing to recognize what directors such as Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg have known for decades: Jerry Lewis the filmmaker is on par with the all time greats.  The Museum Of The Moving Image has long recognized this, kicking off their move into their permanent space with a full blown Lewis retrospective and hosted a Comedy Hall Of Fame program with Lewis being interviewed by Scorsese.  To pay tribute to the legendary comic actor, writer and director, MoMi will screen two films that capture Jerry Lewis at his artistic and creative zenith: The Nutty Professor, a wry reworking of Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde, that is considered his masterpiece; and The Ladies Man, the 1961 comedy that featured Lewis in one of the most elaborate sets Hollywood ever created.  Recent Lewis admirers only saw him through television.  Here’s a chance to see him where he lived and thrived: On a big screen.   Two Masterpieces by The Total Filmmaker will be at the Museum Of The Moving Image September 2nd and 3rd.  You can go to for more information.


NEW YORK CITY: 4 by Teri Garr.  On paper, the roles that Teri Garr played during the 70s and 80s characterized the stereotypical put upon blonde.  But Garr was able to add some warmth, depth and biting humor in each of those parts that wound up stealing the movie.  BAM Cinematek will present four films that best captures the essence of what Garr put into those performances.   It will include such classics as Young Frankenstein and Tootsie alongside criminally under appreciated gems such as After Hours and One From The Heart.  The fact that she got to work with such exceptional directors such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Mel Brooks and Sydney Pollack reveals the scope and range of her talent.  Re-discover one of Hollywood’s greatest character actresses.  4 by Teri Garr runs at The Brooklyn Academy of Music September 1st through the 4th.  You can also go to for more information.


NEW YORK CITY: The Jim Henson Exhibition.  Whether it was television or film, the creative vision of Jim Henson left an impact on both mediums that are still being felt today.  Henson’s family has teamed up wth the Musuem Of The Moving Image to present this permanent exhibition featuring the creations behind such endearing classics as Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal and more.  300 objects are on display including Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy, Big Bird, Elmo, along with sketches, storyboards, scripts, photos and costumes.  Early experimental film projects, behind the scenes footage and interactive experiences are along featured, giving attendees the most comprehensive look at a television and film giant.  It’s an exhibition that will bring out the kid in all of us.  The Jim Henson Exhibition is on display now at The Museum Of The Moving Image.  Go to for tickets and more info.


Los Angeles: Cinecon 53.  For over 50 years, The Cinecon Film Festival has been the must see event for film lovers to spend their Labor Day weekend.  Archivists, authors, collectors and straight up fans come together to view classic films, attend memorabilia shows, meet special celebrity guests and much more.  Actors Norman Lloyd (still vibrant and active at the age of 102!) and Patricia Morison will be on hand to receive the 2017 Cinecon Legacy Award, with screenings of films featuring Harold Lloyd, Bing Crosby and vintage Hal Roach comedies also slated to air.  Whether you are a hardcore movie goer or eager to dive into the rich and vast history of cinema for the first time, this is the perfect event to round out the summer.  Cinecon 53 will run at various theaters and venues in Hollywood through September 4th.  Go to for a complete rundown of events, tickets and additional information.


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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

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