The Filtered Excellence: February 13, 2020

 

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.


WATCH THIS

Ali & Cavett:  A Tale Of The Tapes.  Between 1968 and 1979, Muhammad Ali made frequent appearances on The Dick Cavett Show.  Topics ranged from his exile from the ring, politics along racial, religious grounds, and, of course, to his exploits inside the ring.  These appearances form the basis of this new HBO documentary from director/producer/writer Robert S. Bader.  It presents Ali as the first athlete who truly embraced television, along with the news/talk show format that put his intellect, his sense of humor and his socio-political views on full display – with Cavett being both instigator and comic foil.   The doc also reveals why the two became friends on and off camera, with Cavett, giving Ali a forum to be himself, but also challenging Ali on his belief systems without being combative or condescending.  While the film serves as a time capsule of America at its most divisive, Bader also put together a story of how two people from starkly different backgrounds were able to forge a friendship that spanned decades.  With appearances by Reverend Al Sharpton, sportswriter Larry Merchant, Ali biographer Thomas Hauser, columnist Juan Williams and author Ilyasah Shabazz, Bader has put together a loving look at two cultural icons.  Ali & Cavett: A Tale Of The Tapes is available now on HBO, HBO Go and HBO Now.  You can also go to www.hbo.com for more information.

LISTEN TO THIS

We’re New Here: A Reimagining by Malaya McCraven by Gil Scott-Heron and Malaya McCraven.  To coincide with the 10th anniversary of Gil Scott-Heron’s comeback album, I’m New Here, XL Records asked renowned jazz drummer/producer Malaya McCraven to reimagine what would become Heron’s final work.  Rather than do a straight ahead, across the board remix project, McCraven completely deconstructs Heron’s lyrics and observations and peppers it with entirely new arrangements, turning into a musical conservation between two exceptional artists.  Heron was always one of our greatest social commentators, and with this re-invention of his final fully realized work,  it begs us all to re-examine the full Gil Scott-Heron canon.  We’re New Here:  A Reimagining by Malaya McCraven is available now through Amazon, Apple Music and all major streaming services.

DO THIS

New York City: 100 Years, 100 Women.  The Park Avenue Armory has partnered up with the National Black Theatre, The Apollo Theater, The Juilliard School and other major cultural institutions for a day long symposium marking the centennial of the ratification of 19th Amendment.   Participants will include actors Kathleen Turner and Tantoo Cardinal; photographer and scholar Deborah Willis, spoken work performer Carmer De La Lux ‘La Bruja’; vocalist Martha Redbone; visual artist Renee Cox, performance artist Karen Finley and many others.  Each conversation and performance will deal with the 19th Amendment’s passage and the complex legacies attached to it.  Covering a variety of topics and genres, this promises to be a day that will be informative, entertaining and enlightening.  100 Years 100 Women will be at the Park Avenue Armory on Saturday, February 15th.  You can also go to www.armoryonpark.org for more information.

New York City: Dorothea Lange:  Words & Pictures.  A documentary photographer and photojournalist of the highest order, Dorothea Lange is best known for her work with the Farm Security Administration and capturing the devastating consequences of the Great Depression.  Now, The Museum Of Modern Art will celebrate Lange’s life and legacy with their first full blown retrospective in 50 years.  It will feature iconic shots, and other less seen photographs covering street photography to a project dealing with criminal justice reform.  Also included are her corresponding thoughts on these works, which are just as powerful as the images.  It’s a much deserved look back at one of the titans of journalism.  Dorothea Lange:  Words & Pictures will be at MoMa through May 9th.  You can also go to www.moma.org for tickets and more information.

Los Angeles: Vanity Fair:  Hollywood Calling.  Oscar season may have come and gone, but Vanity Fair has teamed up with the Annenberg Space For Photography for a new exhibition that captures all of the glitz and glamour of the magazine’s famed post Oscar parties.  Featuring over 130 photographs by over 50 photographers – including shots by Annie Leibovitz, Harry Benson, Helmet Newton, Herb Ritts and Cass Bird, among others  – the exhibition will also display every VF Hollywood issue cover and portfolio, and an exclusive documentary on the making of the 2020 Hollywood issue.  It puts you behind the lens and behind the scenes in a way that will blow you away.  This is a must see exhibit for any true Hollywood and photography fan.  Vanity Fair:  Hollywood Calling will be at the Annenberg Space For Photography through July 26th.  You can also go to www.annenbergphotospace.org for more information.

 

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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 Blurb.com.

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Earl Douglas
Earl Douglas
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 Blurb.com.