Generation Wealth. The latest from acclaimed director/photographer Lauren Greenfield (Queen Of Versailles) looks at wealth culture in all of its narcissistic, manic glory. She investigates the pathologies behind the wealthiest society created and finds one common thread: Even when they have it all, it’s still never enough. Greenfield captures the American Dream at its ugliest, with all of its participants sacrificing their souls to keep their money addiction fed. It’s a horrifying, important cautionary tale, with such issues as consumerism, gender, beauty, at the forefront. Greenfield also shows how this obsession with wealth has shaped our political landscape. This doc is a dark ride that comes with all of the best accessories. Generation Wealth opens this weekend. You can also go to www.generationwealthmovie.com for more information.
McQueen. Alexander McQueen hit the fashion world like a hurricane, winning the British Fashion Designer Of The Year four times in a seven year span and celebs such as David Bowie, Björk, Rihanna, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman seeking to collaborate with, and wear his designs. His 2010 suicide has left a void that the fashion industry is still struggling to fill. In this new documentary, directors Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgun talk with family, close friends, collaborators and contemporaries to look back at the extraordinary, but all too brief life of this fashion visionary. Using archival material, visuals and music, they uncover all of the influences and forces that made his presentations – theatrical, and at times, controversial events – and how those same forces ultimately led to a tragic end. Told with warmth, candor, and reverence, Bonhôte and Ettedgun has put together the most comprehensive look at McQueen to date. McQueen opens in New York and Los Angeles July 20th and in select theaters starting July 27th. You can also go to www.McQueen.film for more information.
Everything Is Here by The Suffers. The 2nd album by the Houston based 9 piece band builds on what they call ‘Gulf Coast Soul’ – a mix of R&B, funk, blues, soul, country, Cajun, jazz, and rock – anchored by out of this world vocalist Kam Franklin. What stands out about this album – as it did with their debut – is that its the sound of a fully functioning R&B-driven BAND. This includes strong song structures, extended instrumental passages, with an emphasis on delivering a consistent album rather than a few choice tracks. Carrying on the legacy established by such groups as Earth, Wind & Fire, Rufus and The Isley Brothers, The Suffers have crafted an album that was made for the summer and beyond. One of the year’s best. Everything Is Here by The Suffers is available now through Amazon, Itunes and all major music retailers. You can also go to www.thesuffers.com for tour dates and more information.
The Invisible Man: An Orchestral Tribute to Dr. Dre by Sly5thAve. What if Dr. Dre ventured into soundtrack work and scored Shaft, Superfly or The Mack? That’s the vibe presented on this new album by Grammy award-winning multi-instrumentalist Sly5thAve. Working with an array of collaborators (Jesse Fischer, Cory Henry, Mark de Clive Lowe, Zack Brock, Sydney Driver, Matthias Pedals Loescher, Paul Wilson, Melissa McMillan and Patrick Bailey), Sly5thAve transforms Dre produced classics such as ‘Guilty Conscience’, ‘Still D.R.E.’, ‘California Love’ and ‘Next Episode’ into extended, slightly tripped out space funk operas. There’s also nods to the 70s funk pioneers such as George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and Curtis Mayfield, who greatly shaped the G-Funk sound that dominated the later part of the 20th Century and beyond. Rich orchestrations, slinky guitars, soulful vocals and, of course, heavy slabs of funk, this is the album you put on to glide your summer stroll. The Invisible Man: An Orchestral Tribute to Dr. Dre by Sly5thAve is available now through Amazon, Itunes and all major music retailers. You can also go to www.sly5thAve.com for more information.
New York City. The Female Gaze. In 2018, Rachel Morrison made history as the first woman to be nominated for the Best Cinematography for her work on the film Mudbound. While it was viewed as a triumph, it also underscored how gender inequality within the cinematography field has been largely unchecked. The Film Society Of Lincoln Center will be presenting a two-week retrospective feature ladies of the lens who have made memorable contributions to the world of cinematography past and present. Some of the films will include Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (Ellen Kuras); Fruitvale Station (Rachel Morrison); Velvet Goldmine (Maryse Alberti); and a sneak preview of I Think We’re Alone Now, featuring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning, with Reed Morano doing double duty as director and cinematographer. There will also be in-house appearances featuring a number of cinematographers and much more. A fitting look at some of the great ladies who have created some of the film’s most lasting images. The Female Gaze will be at The Film Society Of Lincoln Center July 26th through August 9th. You can also go to www.filmlinc.org for tickets, a complete run down of films and additional information.
New York City. Culture Pass. The New York Public Library has teamed up with some of city’s top cultural institutions for a new program designed to help residents discover – and rediscover – some of the city’s best museums. Anyone 13 years old and older with a Queens Library, Brooklyn Public Library and New York Public Library Card can go online and reserve free passes for Brooklyn Museum, The International Center Of Photography, The Museum Of The City Of New York, The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, MoMa, The Guggenheim, The Queens Museum and much more. Terms and conditions apply, but it’s an exceptional way to get introduced to, and caught up on city culture. You can go to www.culturepass.nyc for more information.
New York City. Store Front: The Disappearing Face Of New York. For New York City residents, the local candy store, record shop and bodega was the centerpiece of your neighborhood. Gentrification and the rise of the mega market has all but made the candy store obsolete. Photographers James and Karla Murray sought to preserve this small, but vital piece of NYC life through a series of photographs that captured the artistry that would draw in patrons locally and from the outer boroughs. As a companion to their two critically acclaimed, award-wining books, Store Front and Store Front II, The Store Front Project Art Gallery will be presenting an exhibit featuring some of the best work from both books. It captures some of the city’s local gems showing how the store front were also small pieces of glorious street art. A time capsule and warning call, this exhibit preserves a vital piece of NYC culture. Store Front: The Disappearing Face Of New York will be at The Store Front Project July 25th through August 12th. You can also go to www.storefrontproject.com for more information.
New York City. The Spook Who Sat By The Door. There’s not that many films that got the attention of the U.S. intelligence community. But that’s what happened when The Spook Who Sat By The Doors hit the screens back in 1973. Based on Sam Greenlee’s novel (who also was aboard as co-screenwriter), Ivan Dixon (of Hogan’s Heroes fame) directed and produced he story of Dan Freeman (Lawrence Cook), the first black desk agent for the CIA (Lawrence Cook), who upon re-entering civilian life, uses the guerrila warfare techniques he learned on the job to train young black men around the country with the hopes of overthrowing the government. Despite doing solid numbers at the box office, the film was quickly pulled from theaters, with film prints mysteriously disappearing. Speculation ran rampant that the FBI and CIA – fearing that Blacks and other oppressed groups may take the film’s militant message to heart – pressured distributors to yank the film and played a role in the destruction of its prints. Sensing something was up, Dixon kept a remaining negative of the film in a vault under a different name. Actor/director/producer Tim Reid found the negative and spearheaded a campaign that resulted in getting The Spook Who Sat By The Door released on DVD. Now, nearly 45 years later, Metrograph will be presenting this seminal classic the way it was meant to be viewed: On the big screen. Come out and capture the subversiveness. The Spook Who Sat By The Door will be at Metrograph July 20 through the 22nd. You can also go to www.metrograph.com for more info.