The Filtered Excellence: June 14, 2018

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.


Courtside At The NBA Finals. HBO Sports and the Bill Simmons Media Group team up once again to present a one hour look at the 2019 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and The Cleveland Cavaliers. With direct access to the players and coaches, viewers get all of the sights, sounds and nuances as the two teams compete for basketball’s biggest prize. We also see all of the preparation, press conferences, pomp, circumstance and extreme fandom behind all of the games. It’s a fitting wrap up to another historic NBA Season. Courtside At The NBA FInals premieres June 19th at 8pm on HBO. You can also go to for more information.


Electric Powered Soul. Led by legendary producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist V. Jeffrey Smith (The Family Stand, Corey Glover, Paula Abdul) and in demand drummer/programmer Howard Alper, Electric Powered Soul is a wonderful mix of rock, funk, reggae, jazz and soul amidst a flurry of electronic soundscapes. It also, with the help of some long time collaborators, takes dead aim at the current political landscape – most notably, the current administration. Living Colour frontman Corey Glover is all bite and bile on ‘U Trippin’, which features actual quotes made during the 2016 Presidential election. The title track has David Pilgrim and Sandra St. Victor laying out the state of world affairs backed by a laid back reggae-tinged groove. St. Victor pulls in an album stealing performance on ‘State of The Union’, in which she takes on both political parties, voters who opted to sit out the election, sexual predators and even throws quick shade at Taylor Swift. With strong contributions from Marcus Machado, Leon Gruenbaum and Leslie Lemon, Smith and Alper have put together that is of the moment, yet transcends it at the same time. One of the year’s best. Electric Powered Soul is available now at


New York City. The Human Rights Watch Film Festival. For 40 years, Human Rights Watch has been defending people at risk of human rights violations. Though rigorous investigations, aggressive media campaigns, and relentless advocacy, they have been the driving force behind have these rights respected and justice for the abused. This festival features films that both dramatize and spotlights abuses from around the globe. In the wake of women raising their voices about abuse and discrimination here and abroad, 12 of the 15 films featured this year were directed by women. Whether its in Baltimore, Cuba, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iraq, all of these films will awaken and inspire one to action. A vital and important film festival. The Human Rights Watch Film Festival will be at the Film Society Of Lincoln Center through June 18th. You can also go to for tickets, a complete schedule of events and additional information.

New York City. The HBO Bryant Park Film Festival. Now a summer mainstay, The HBO Bryant Park Film Festival has a simple premise: Each Monday night, bring a blanket to to Bryant Park, kick back and watch a movie under the stars. This year’s slate of films kicks off with the John Hughes classic The Breakfast Club and concludes with The Terminator. Other films include A League Of Their Own, When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride, The Wiz, Thelma & Louise, Little Miss Sunshine, A Philadelphia Story and Fried Green Tomatoes. Whether you are doing an after work thing or winding down a day off, this is as New York cool as it gets. The HBO Bryant Park Film Festival runs June 18th through August 20th. You can also go to for more information.

New York City. Celebrating Bill Cunningham. For nearly 40 years, writer-photographer Bill Cunningham documented the style of the streets and some of the best parties for The New York Times. When he passed away in 2016, his family discovered a large trove of items – including a finished, unpublished memoir – that have been rarely seen. To coincide with the publication of the memoir this fall, The New York Historical Society will be presenting an exhibition featuring some of this recovered archive. It includes Cunningham’s bicycle that he used to get around the city; his first camera; personal photos of him at home and with friends, personal letters, scrapbooks, his always constant blue jacket and much more. It will also feature the ‘Bill Cunningham Way’ sign that graced the corner of 57th and 5th after his passing, along with his official New York Living Landmark plaque. It’s a fitting honor to one of the city’s most beloved documentarians. Celebrating Bill Cunningham will be at The New York Historical Society through September 9th.

New York City. Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment. Long considered, as described by Robert Capa, ‘a Bible for photographers’, Henri Cartier-Bresson’s The Decisive Moment is considered to be his most definitive work, paving the way for the photograph itself to be a unique narrative form. This new exhibition shows how the collaborations in this project – Bresson, artist Henri Matisse (who designed the book cover), American and French publishers Simon & Schuster and Teriade – helped shaped the narrative that would make history. The exhibit includes vintage gelatin silver prints, first-edition publications, periodicals, correspondences between various parties and much more. It brings new insights into what is now considered a masterpiece and a must see for anyone into photography. Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment will be at The International Center Of Photography through September 2nd. You can also go to for tickets and additional information.

Los Angeles. Rooftop Cinema Club. Time Out has once again teamed up with The Rooftop Cinema Club for the fourth season of screening classics, cult faves and new releases on some L.A.’s top roof decks. This year’s lineup includes such iconic films as Sunset Boulevard, Rebel Without A Cause, Singin’ In The Rain, Breakfast At Tiffany’s and Vertigo; new classics – Pulp Fiction, Coming To America, Lost In Translation and Ghostbusters; and recent box office hits Black Panther, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, La La Land and Ladybird, among many others. With great weather, comfortable lounge chairs and some of the greatest films ever made, this is one of the must see events of the summer. The Rooftop Cinema Club runs through July 31st. You can also go to for tickets, a complete schedule and additional information.

Los Angeles. The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited. Whether it was television or film, The creative vision of Jim Henson left an impact on film and TV that is still being felt today. An ongoing exhibit at New York’s Museum Of The Moving Image featuring the creations behind such endearing classics as Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal and more is still drawing kids of all ages in N. Now the exhibit has made its way west with a 3 month run at Skirball Cultural Center. It will feature 100 objects including Sesame Street puppets, Labyrinth costumes, sketches and scripts, photos and costumes. It will also screen every episode of The Muppet Show, and select screenings of The Muppet Movie and Labyrinth. A fitting tribute to a film and TV icon. The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited is on display now at Skirball Cultural Center through September 2nd. Go to for tickets and more info.


Want more excellence? Read last week’s the filtered excellence.

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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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