The Sentence. The latest in HBO’s acclaimed documentary series takes a look at mandatory minimum sentencing and that it has on one family. Directed by Rudy Valdez, it tells the story of his sister, Cindy Stark, who, despite, having no previous record and willingly providing information to the authorities, received a 15 year mandatory minimum sentence for conspiracy charges related to her dead ex-boyfriend’s crimes. Valdez draws upon hundreds of hours of footage of everyday family moments that Stark missed while she was away, augmented by audio of Stark detailing the events leading up to her incarceration and her trying to maintain familial ties while she’s away. It also covers efforts by her family and legal team to be granted clemency in the final days of the Obama Administration. While the doc deals with the one-sided aspects behind mandatory minimum sentencing, this is, at its core, a story of a family trying to overcome heartbreaking odds to keep it together. It’s a film that will rethink our efforts on the so-called war on crime and the toll that it has on those who are incarcerated and the families left behind. The Sentence premieres October 15th at 8pm Eastern on HBO. You can also go to www.hbo.com for more information.
Pod Save America. As Election Day approaches, hosts Jon Favreau (not the actor-director), Tommy Victor, Pheiffer and Jon Lovett take their podcast, Pod Save America, on the road to have in their words, a ‘no bullshit conversation about politics’. They travel to California, Pennsylvania. Texas and Florida to speak with the candidates, activists and voters about the issues that are most pressing to them during the midterm elections. Nothing is off the table as the PSA crew talks to those who will help shape how the country moves forward. A great way to get you amped up for the election cycle. Pod Save America premieres Friday, Ocotber 12th at 11pm on HBO. You can also go to www.hbo.com for more infomation.
Solo Anthology: The Best Of Lindsey Buckingham. A pitvol player in the Fleetwood Mac machine, Lindsey Buckingham pushed the band to new sonic heights and unpreceedented success as a singer, guitarist, arranger and producer. It continued as a solo artist, racking up such hits as ‘Holiday Road’, ‘Trouble’, and ‘Go Insane’. This new collection culls together the best of his solo material from his 1981 album Go Insane to his recent album collaborative album with Christine McVie. There’s also a full disc of material that was cut live at various stops during his solo tours that reaffirms his status as a dynamic performer. It’s a great primer for those looking into dive into Buckingham’s work outside of Fleetwood Mac and a great summation of a brilliant career that has spanned over five decades. Solo Anthology: The Best Of Lindsey Buckingham is available now through Amazon, Itunes and all major streaming services.
Contact High: A Visual History Of Hip Hop by Vikki Toback. As hip hop went from block parties, rec centers and clubs to concert halls, theaters and arenas, a number of photographers were there to capture its ascendency. Journalist Vikki Toback collects over 100 master shots and outtakes to take us on a visual walk through of 45 years of a global phenomenon. From old school to alternative, analog to digital, Toback treats the contact sheets as diaries with essays by Fab 5 Freddy, Rhea L. Combs, DJ Premier, RZA, Bill Adler, Michael Gonzales, and Young Guru, among others to give proper context. It’s the perfect companion piece for those who love music and photography. Contact High: A Visual History Of Hip Hop by Vikki Toback will be available on October 16th.
Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin. To coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary, surviving members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones have teamed up with Reel Art Press to release this new 400 page illustrated book documenting their legendary run as one of rock’s most iconic groups. It features over 300 photographs – many of which that have never been released – of Zeppelin on and off stage, in the studio and in candid moments, along with rare, unseen artwork from their archives, documents and images from the Atlantic Records vaults. The book also features remembrances from each of the band members, giving Zep fans the closest thing to a band autobiography. While the fate of any future live dates remains uncertain, this new book gives us another reason why the band is so beloved. Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all major book retailers.
New York City. The Velvet Underground Experience. Though their run as a band was relatively short, the impact that The Velvet Underground left behind is still being felt today. This new exhibit will celebrate the band’s legacy and the mark they left on the world of music and all things pertaining to pop culture. It will contain six films, over 350 photos, 1000 objects and the projects that brought the atmosphere behind their iconic debut album – with artwork by Andy Warhol – to life. There will also be special events, concerts, lectures, pop-up installations, art exhibits, screenings, and much more. It is the ultimate experience for the newbie and hardcore fan. The Velvet Underground Experience will be at 718 Broadway in New York City through December 30th. You can also go to www.velvetunderground-experience.com for tickets and more information.
New York City. Eugene Richards: The Run-On Of Time. As one of the most respected photographers of his generation, Eugene Richards spent his entire career documenting the most profound aspects of the human experience. Birth, death, family, poverty, prejudice, the mental and physical health of communities and its individuals remained a constant thread in this work. The International Center of Photography has put together a new, thematically organized exhibit featuring the best of those subjects that found Richards captured with his lens throughout his near 50 year career. Brutally honest, yet lyrical, beautiful and compassionate, it’s the work of a giant of photography revealing aspects of life that all of us can relate to. A must see exhibit. Eugene Richards: The Run-On Of Time will be at The ICP Museum through January 2019. you can also go to www.icp.org for tickets and more information.
New York City. The War At Home. Glenn Siber and Barry Alexander Brown’s powerful Oscar-nominated 1979 documentary gets a reissue at Metrograph. Using Madison, Wisconsin as a microcosm, of the U.S anti-war movement, it covers anti-war protests and civil disobedience from 1963 though the end of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Featuring a treasure trove of rare archival film, it features interviews with student activists, police and Vietnam vets to give their insights into a war and a period that altered the American landscape forever. It also runs an eerie parallel to what is happening in today’s political climate. There will also be a series of select post screening Q&A discussions with the directors and special guests Paul Rudd and Alex Gibney. Reissued just in time for the upcoming midterm elections, it’s a film that is as important now than when it was released nearly 40 years ago. The War At Home will be at Metrograph this weekend. You can also go to www.metrograph.com for tickets and complete info.
New York City. Charles White: A Retrospective. A virtuoso draftsman, painter, and printmaker, Charles White used his talents to make definitive statements about the struggle for racial and economic justice for Black people in the U.S. He had a profound impact on the next wave of artists, becoming a key figure in the creative communities of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. The Museum Of Modern Art will present the first major museum exhibition of his career, with over 100 works covering everything from his drawings, paintings and prints, to his photographs, illustrated books and album covers. It will also feature a ton of archival materials and audio featuring White, long time friend Harry Belafonte, Kerry James Marshall and much more. A long overdue look to an artistic iconoclast. Charles White: A Retrospective will be at MoMa through January 2019. You can also go to www.moma.org for tickets and additional information.
Los Angeles. Festival Of Disruption. After making its way east earlier this year, this David Lynch-curated festival returns to its home base at The Ace Hotel. It will feature live performances by Mike Patton, Mercury Rev and a live film score from RZA; talks and screenings with Lynch, Francis Ford Coppola, Grace Jones and cast members from Twin Peaks, exhibits and much more. As with previous incarnations, there will also be segments devoted to meditation and how it can help reduce anxiety related to post traumatic stress disorders. A must see event for all true David Lynch fans. Festival Of Disruption takes place October 13th and 14th at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. You can also go to www.festivalofdisruption.com for tickets, a full rundown of events and more info.