Cabrina Charity Chastity. Nastasha Lyonne (Orange Is The New Black) wrote and directed this surrealistic short film for the French fashion house Kenzo. Conceived as the third part of a trilogy that connects Fellini’s Nights Of Cabiria and Bob Fosse’s Sweet Charity, it stars Maya Rudolph as Chastity, a gibberish-speaking performer trying to connect her vaudevillian past with her current incarnation as an art-pop singer. In between there’s clowns, models (all decked out in the latest fashions) and appearances by Macaluey Cauklin and Fred Arimsen. It’s trippy with a capital ‘T’ highlighted by yet another incredible turn by the remarkably versatile Rudolph. What’s even more impressive is Lyonne’s work behind the camera, creating a world that pays homage to two film classics but has a visual style that has the mark of a veteran. It makes want Lyonne to go out and do a full on feature. Just on sheer audacity alone, it commands multiple viewings. Prepare to have your mind blown. Cabrina Charity Chastity is available exclusively at www.kenzo.com.
Prophets Of Rage by Prophets Of Rage. As the madness of the 2016 Presidential election began to take shape, guitarist Tom Morello – who never takes a break from political activism – felt compelled to act. Putting his own solo album aside, he recruited what he called ‘an elite task force of revolutionary musicians’ to take on the power structure through music. The group included fellow Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave bandmates Tim Commerford (bass) and Brad Wilk, B-Real of Cypress Hill, and Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord. Named after the classic Public Enemy song, Prophets Of Rage toured throughout the States performing a mix of classic PE, Cypress Hill and select Rage Against The Machine material. Once the election cycle ended, they hit the studio to record all new material. The self-titled album plays to everyone’s strengths: The relentless, sledgehammer riffage that drove the sound of Rage Against The Machine coupled with Chuck D’s and B-Real’s politically driven rhymes. Thematically, they touch on themes such as racism, homelessness, police brutality, a call for the legalization of marijuana, of course, the current goings on within the halls of Washington. Calling it ‘the soundtrack to the resistance’, this is the rock/rap fusion at its best, serving as both a call to arms and a creative second wind for all its band members. A vibrant, urgent work. Prophets Of Rage is available now through Amazon, ITunes and all major music outlets.
The Individualist by Ricky Powell. For over 30 years, photographer Ricky Powell has been capturing the good, the quirky, cool and the funky happening in New York City. Always with a camera in hand, Powell, a long time Village resident, found himself at the epicenter of New York’s hip hop, street art, fashion and art scene during the 80s, 90s and right through today. His latest book compiles some of his best images and features a virtual who’s who of NYC cool. Hip hop legends (Run DMC, KRS One, Wu Tang Clan, and, of course The Beastie Boys, of which he is closely associated with), sports titans (Joe Namath, Mike Tyson, Walt Frazier, Derek Jeter) art work icons (Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Chuck Close), street art/graffiti artists (Dondi), actors (Laurence Fishburne, Debi Mazur, Bonz Malone) influences (George Lois, Ron Gallela, Burt Glenn, George Kalinsky, Elliot Erwitt), skate kids, neighbors and every day street people are all lovingly and warmly captured through Powell’s lens. The book is also a celebration of how each of Powell’s subjects – along with Powell himself – embody a strong sense of self, confident and proud of the individualistic streak that fuels each of their crafts. With great stories by Bill Adler, Nemo Librizzi and Powell himself, and crisp editing by Tono Radvany, Powell has put together his best book to date. A must have for anyone who loves New York City culture. The Individualist by Ricky Powell is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all major book retailers. You can also go to www.therickfordinstitute.com for more information.
The Village Voice. Co-founded by Norman Mailer, The Village Voice became one of the premier outlet for New York City’s counterculture scene. For over 60 years, its beyond the cool headline coverage has won the publication three Pulitzer Prizes, The George Polk Award and the National Press Foundation Award. It’s also known for providing seminal pieces by such writers as Nat Hentoff, Marty Robbins, Robert Christgau, Andrew Sarris, J. Hoberman, Ezra Pound, Greg Tate, Toure and Joe Levy, being the go-to newsweekly to find out what’s what as far as politics, news, entertainment and, of course, it’s anything goes classified ads. In August, it was announced that The Voice will cease its print publication and go exclusively to a digital format. This week is the last print edition and its going out in grand style. It features an iconic picture of Bob Dylan by Voice photographer Fred McDarrah for its cover, classic ads, memorable shots, illustrations and new portraits of its staff, both past and present. It’s a warm and moving print sent off to a New York and cultural institution. The last print version of The Village Voice is available throughout New York City. It can also be viewed online at www.villagevoice.com.
Picturing Prince: An Intimate Portrait by Steve Parke. Thanks to the recommendation of a mutual friend, artist Steve Parke met Prince for the first time in 1988. Impressed with his work, Prince would bring Parke aboard as the Paisley Park art director designing everything from album covers and merchandise, to video and tour sets. He also, at Prince’s request, shoot a number of photographs of the Purple One at home, in the studio, on tour and even on the street. After Prince’s passing in 2016, Parke revisited the shots that he took during his 13 year stint at Palsey Park, most of which form the basis of this new book. Many of the shots have never been seen publicly and shows Prince at his most creative, relaxed and playful. Long time friend and collaborator Sheila E wrote the book’s forward, making this one of the most intimate looks at one of music’s most reclusive artists. A must have for any Prince fan. Picturing Prince is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all major book retailers.
New York City. The New York Film Festival. 55 years strong, The New York Film Festival is now America’s premier film festival, becoming a strong barometer for many of the productions that will make the rounds during the awards season. This year’s lineup is in a word, loaded. It will open with Last Flag Flying, starring Steve Carell, Laurence Fishburne and Bryan Cranston, and directed by Richard Linklater; and close with Wonder Wheel, written and directed by Woody Allen and starring Kate Winslet. Also slated to screen will be new films by Todd Haynes (Wonderstruck), Noah Baumbach (The Meyerowitz Stories), and Greta Gerwig, making her directorial debut, with Lady Bird. There will also be new documentaries on Arthur Miller (directed by his daughter Rebecca), Jean-Michel Basquiat and Bob Dylan; panel discussions, revivals of classic films, a Robert Mitchum retrospective, free events and much more. This is the must see event of the fall season, a feast of sights and sounds that will satisfy all fans of cinema. The New York Film Festival runs September 28th through October 15th. You can also go to http://www.filmlinc.org/nyff for a complete run down of events, tickets and more information.
New York City. Also Starring Harry Dean Stanton. This week long retrospective was supposed to coincide with the release of the new film Lucky, but it’s now turned into a tribute to a movie icon. Stanton, who died last week at the age of 91, was a formidable character actor for nearly 60 years, working alongside some of cinema’s finest actors and directors. Whether it was a big budget Hollywood features or a small, independent films, the mere listing of Stanton’s name in the credits gave it instant credibility. This series represents his output in both worlds, ranging in everything from Cool Hand Luke, Pretty In Pink, and Alien to Paris, Texas, The Missouri Breaks, The Rose and Escape From New York. His collaborations with long time friend David Lynch are also part of the series including Wild At Heart and A Straight Story. Closing out the retrospective will be Lucky, a new film written specifically for Stanton and co-stars Lynch in a rare acting role. It’s a fitting tribute to one of cinema’s most beloved actors. Also Starring Harry Dean Stanton will be at Quad Cinema September 22nd through October 1st. You can also go to www.quadcinema.com for a complete schedule, tickets and more information.
New York City. Photoville. New York City’s premier photo festival is back once again to celebrate all things related to photography. With The Brooklyn Bridge as a backdrop, attendees can check out indoor and outdoor exhibitions, attend talks and workshops, do walking tours with top photographers, test new gear and much more. There’s also will be night time screenings of films and a beer garden to help you unwind from all of the activities. Best of all, its all free. Whether you are a pro or a first timer, this is the great way to scratch your photo itch. Photoville will take place at Brooklyn Bridge Plaza through September 24th. You can also go to www.photoville.com for more information.
Los Angeles. Museum Day Live. Smithsonian Magazine hosts this annual celebration of some of the region’s (and nation’s) greatest art institutions. The Fowler Museum at UCLA, The Grammy Museum, The Zimmer Children’s Museum and The Museum Of Latin American Art are just some of the participants, which is also a great way to introduce someone to the wonderful slabs of culture that museums provide across the country and around the world. The best part of the event is that its all free. Go to www.smithsonianmag.com to download tickets, get a full list of participating museums and additional information.