The Filtered Excellence: May 10, 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.


Dear White People, Vol 2. The new season of Justin Simien’s TV adaptation of his biting 2014 satire is back on Netflix. It continues the ongoing stories of Samantha (Logan Browning), Reggie (Marque Richardson), Troy (Brandon P. Bell), Lionel (DeRon Honton), Coco (Antoinette Richardson) and Joelle (Ashley Featherson), black students at the predominately white Ivy League school Winchester University dealing with issues centering around race, identity, sexuality and class. This season dives even further into topics while also addresses themes such as PSTD, Twitter trolls, modern day segregation and the rise of the so called ‘alt-right’ in the wake of the 2016 Presidential election. As the film and last season proved, the show isn’t afraid to be ironic, self-deprecating, and taking darker, sharper detours when dealing with such hot button issues, while still managing to mine a lot of laughs. It also forces you to take a step back and self-analyze as well. With great writing, direction and a solid cast, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best shows on TV. Dear White People, Vol 2 is available now on Netflix.

Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years Of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Before becoming the most celebrated artist of his generation, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a scuffling artist barely surviving in a city on the brink of economic collapse. But it was that sense of self-preservation that fueled his artistic spirit – a drive that would change the art world forever. Director Sara Driver, who was also part of that rich cultural movement, looks back at how Basquiat navigated his way through the city’s decaying landscape, tapped into its vibrant arts scene and went on to make history. Using never before seen works, photos and writings, and interviews with friends, fans and contemporaries, Driver puts a fresh spin on an all-time great. Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years Of Jean-Michel Basquiat opens this weekend. You can also go to for more information.

Always At The Carlyle. World renown for its first class service and maintaining a strict privacy policy for its guests, The Carlyle Hotel is the premier landing spot for Presidents, heads of state, and some of the top names in film, music, Broadway, TV and fashion when they are in New York City. Now director Matthew Mieles reveals some of the many stories that until now, stay within its legendary walls. We get a grand tour of the building, from its Art Deco layout to its now iconic murals, bar and ballroom. Mieles also talks with long time staff members and a parade of stars that includes George Clooney, Anjelica Huston, Sofia Coppola, , Lenny Kravitz, Jon Hamm, Anthony Bourdain, Tommy Lee Jones, Jeff Goldblum to discuss the power and mystique that makes The Carlyle so special. Loaded with elegance and a touch of mystery, Mieles has crafted a moving tribute to a New York City institution. Always At The Carlyle opens this weekend. You can also go to for more information.

Filmworker. Leon Vitali was an active actor on British television when he was cast as Lord Burlington in the Stanley Kubrick film Barry Lyndon. Vitali was so impressed with working with Kubrick’s approach to the craft, that he sacrificed his acting career to work exclusively for the legendary director. Over the course of three decades, Vitali became Kubrick’s right hand man, doing everything from supporting and bit parts to being casting director, acting coach, assistant director, color corrector, sound engineer, location scouter, and eventually, film restorer. Vitali recalls his relationship with Kubrick in this new documentary from Tony Zierra. With access to Vitali and Kubrick’s vast archives, we get a birds eye view into Kubrick’s creative process, which includes tons of research and his memorable obsession with details. Vitali is also joined by some of Kubrick’s on screen collaborators including Matthew Modine and, R. Lee Ermey, who recently just passed away. Told with unflinching love, openness and honesty, Zierra and Vitali have put together a heartfelt tribute to one of cinema’s all-time greatest lensmen. Filmworker opens in New York this weekend and in select theaters on May 18th. You can also go to for more information.


Mark Seliger Photographs by Mark Seliger. For over 30 years, Mark Seliger has been one of the premier portrait photographers. His work has graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Vogue, books and album covers and, in recent years, has provided exclusive shots at The Academy Awards. Seliger’s latest book compiles some of his best-known portraiture along with outtakes and a new interview between him and Judd Apatow. Featuring stories and incredible images of some of the most influential people of our time, it’s an extraordinary look back at a career at one of the best photographers working today. Mark Seliger Photographs is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all major book retailers.

Caddyshack: The Making Of A Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty. Now considered one of the greatest and most influential comedies of all-time, Caddyshack launched the directorial career of Harold Ramis, turned Rodney Dangerfield and into bankable movie stars, and solidified the star status of Ted Knight and Chevy Chase. But in this new book by Entertainment Weekly film critic Chris Nashawaty, no one thought a culture clash comedy set on a country club golf course was going to be anything special. In fact, the film’s writers and studio executives thought the film would bomb. Nashawaty goes behind the scenes covering everything from the writing of the film (which was inspired by Ramis’ and Brian Doyle-Murray’s days working as caddies), its contentious, drug-fueled, ego-driven production (highlighted by a hurricane, tension between Murray and Chase, and a lot of cocaine), script revisions and how some of the improv done by Murray and Chase ended up in the final cut. The book also provides a requiem for co-writer (and National Lampoon co-founder) Doug Kenney, who passed away before seeing the film become a box office hit. Packed with great stories and insight, it’s a loving look back at a comedy classic. Caddyshack: The Making Of A Hollywood Cinderella Story is available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all major book retailers.


New York City. A Bitta PIL by Dennis Morris. As a musician, graphic artist and photographer, Dennis Morris was a key player within the new wave of British music that emerged in the late 70s and 80s. He was the frontman for the group Basement 5, which released the groundbreaking album 1965-1980 and as a photographer, shot iconic photos of Bob Marley, Marianne Faithfull and The Sex Pistols. Lydon would establish Public Image Limited in the wake of the Pistols breakup, and brought in Morris to design the group’s memorable logo. Morris had unprecedented access to PIL during its formative years, many of which made its way onto its early releases. Coinciding with PiL’s 30th Anniversary, these and other those shots will be on display at The Theodore Art Gallery in Brooklyn. forming the basis of this new exhibit to coincide with PIL’s 30th Anniversary. It captures the band at its most sardonic, ironic, biting and captivating with Lydon, as always leading the charge. Morris is at the peak of his ascension as visual and creative force, pushing himself and the band to new heights. A brilliant document of a key moment in the post-punk movement. A Bitta PIL will be at The Theodore Art Gallery through June 17th. You can also go to or for more information.

New York City. LES YES: Photographs of 1970s and 80s Lower East Side Photos by Meryl Meisler. Before gentrification and ‘urban renewal’ took hold, the Lower East Side was a tight knit neighborhood comprised of immigrants, working class families and aspiring artists. To celebrate Lower East Side History Month, Meryl Meisler – who was one of those artists who lived there – will be presenting an exhibit capturing this unique and special stretch of Manhattan. It highlights the best of New York City’s great melting pot, it’s sense of community amidst a city that was struggling to regain its financial footage. It’s a wonderful trip back in time to a city that we are unlikely to see again. LES YES: The Photographs Of 1970s and 80s The Lower East Side will be at The Storefront Project through June 3rd. 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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