The Filtered Excellence: June 28, 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.


Three Identical Strangers. This new doc from Tim Wardle tells the story of Bobby Shafran, Eddy Gallan and David Kellman, triplets were separated at birth, who, by sheer coincidence, are reunited in 1980 when David and Eddy attended the same college. The story becomes a global sensation, turning them in media darlings, Studio 54 regulars and a cameo in the film Desperately Seeking Susan. But the brothers also explore why they were separated in the first place, and they uncover a dark secret that they – and the world – was not prepared for. Wardle speaks with the surviving brothers (Gallan passed away in 1994), family members and the news reporter who broke this extraordinary story on how a feel good story took on a darker, sinister tone. The twists and turns come out of nowhere, and will totally blow your mind. It’s a doc that will stay with you long after its over. Three Identical Strangers opens in New York this weekend and in select theaters starting July 5th. You can also go to for more information.

Love, Cecil. The latest from Lisa Immordino Vreeland (Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict) profiles Cecil Beaton, the acclaimed author, painter, designer and photographer. It covers all facets of Beaton’s life including his work with Vogue, as the Queen’s official photographer, and his Oscar-winning work on the costumes for My Fair Lady. The doc shows how Beaton’s work had positive and negative effects on his personal life, affairs with both women and men, and how kept his creative juices flowing despite suffering a stroke. Rupert Everett is on board to read passages from Beaton’s diaries, which gives additional life to the trove of archival photographs and footage that are showcased. Sprawling, sparkling and richly detailed, Vreeland has crafted a fitting salute to a multi-talented icon. Love, Cecil opens in New York this weekend and in select theaters nationwide July 6th. You can also go to for more information.


Heaven And Earth by Kamasi Washington. The eagerly awaited full length follow up to The Epic is slightly smaller in scale in terms of length (Two discs as opposed to three), but is nevertheless just as ambitious in scale. It runs the gamut from hard bop, funk, fusion, Latin, and all points in between, honoring and adding on the musical legacies established by Miles, Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Freddie Hubbard, and other jazz legends. As a tenor saxophonist, bandleader and composer, Washington – anchoring an excellent core of musicians appropriately named Next Step – are on fire from start to finish. This is music for the soul, a calming balm for turbulent times. It’s as good as it gets. One of the year’s best. Heaven And Earth is available now through Amazon, Itunes and all major music outlets.

Over The Years by Graham Nash. Whether as a member of The Holilies, Crosby, Stills & Nash, or as a solo artist, Graham Nash has written songs that have both captured and transcended the times we live in. Now, he revisits some of his best work on this new compilation. One disc features highlights from his 50 years career including tracks from his most recent solo album, This Path Tonight. The second disc contains demo versions of classics such as ‘Marrakesh Express’, ‘Teach Your Children’, ‘Pre-Road Downs’, ‘Our House’, ‘Just A Song Before I Go’, ‘Wasted On The Way’ and ‘Wind On The Water’. Hearing the completely stripped down demos with just vocals, guitar and/or piano, really reveals intimacy and poignancy behind the material. ‘Chicago’, written in the wake of the events before and after the 1968 Democratic National Convention sounds more timely now than when it was written nearly 40 years ago. It’s a powerful look into the creative arc of one of rock’s most respected and endearing singer-songwriters. Over The Years by Graham Nash will be available this Friday through Amazon, Itunes and all major music retailers.


Room To Dream by David Lynch & Kristine McKenna. The iconic director, musician and painter teams up with long time friend & L.A. Times writer Kristine McKenna for a new book that is both biography and memoir. It features Lynch and over 100 new interviews with former wives, family members, actors, agents, musicians and colleagues discussing the creative approach and process that lead to such classics as Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart, Mullholland Drive, and Twin Peaks, among others. Closing in at nearly 600 pages, it’s remarkably candid, fascinating and highly entertaining, giving us the most comprehensive look of David Lynch to date. A must read for any fan of Lynch and of film. Room To Dream by David Lynch & Kristine McKenna is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Nobel and all major book retailers.


New York City. In The Soup. Written and directed by Alexandre Rockwell, this 1992 feature starred Steve Buscemi as a debt-ridden screenwriter living in a crumbling New York City apartment. Hoping to win the affections of his next door neighbor (Jennifer Beals) – and pay off his debts – he pairs up with a shyster (Seymour Cassel) to get his expansive screenplay made into a feature film. Despite winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, the film all but disappeared, with only one damaged archival print remaining. Now thanks to a successful crowd funding campaign, the film, which also features Sam Rockwell, will get a proper five night run at IFC Center. As an added bonus, Buscemi and Alexandre Rockwell will doing a Q&A after the Friday night 7:15 screening. It’s a wonderful chance to rediscover an indie classic. In The Soup will run at IFC Center June 29th though July 3rd. You can also go to for tickets and more information.

New York City. Gus Van Sant. A Hollywood insider who still operates with the mindset of an independent, the films of Gus Van Sant has challenged and thrilled audiences for over three decades. To coincide with the upcoming release of Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot starring Joaquin Phoenix and , Metrograph will be presenting an extended weekend retrospective of some of his most memorable work. It will include the breakout hits Drugstore Cowboy and My Own Private Idaho; the more timely than ever To Die For, and the Academy Award winning Good Will Hunting. It will also cover later works such as Last Days, Psycho, Paranoid Park and Gerry. It’s a fitting tribute to one of cinema’s most provocative and innovative auteurs. Gus Van Sant will be at Metrograph through July 1st. You can also go to for tickets, run times and more info.

New York City. Warm Up 2018. Now a staple of the season, Warm Up 2018 spotlights the best in live and electronic music. 75 artists will be featured each Saturday throughout 10 Saturdays including Omar-S, HoodCelebrityy, SOB x RBE, Cashmere Cat, Kelsey Lu, Gang Gang Dance, among others. Located within an architectural installation by Dream The Combine featuring large-scale interactive mirrors, attendees are also encouraged to visit the galleries and exhibits within the PS1/MoMa space. If you want to get your dance and love of contemporary art on, consider your summer Saturdays set. Warm Up 2018 wil take place at MoMa PS1 June 30th through September 1st. You can also go to for more information.

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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