When They See Us. On April 19, 1989, Trisha Meili was brutally raped and assaulted while jogging in Central Park. Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise were arrested, tried and convicted in a case that came to symbolize a city caught in the grips of rampant crime and heightened racial tensions. There was only one problem: They were all innocent. Ava DuVernay (Selema, The 13th) directs this new four part limited Netflix series that looks back at this critical moment in New York City history largely through the prism of the falsely accused. She captures how a springtime excursion into the park turned into a 25 year legal nightmare for five young men, and the lingering effects it had on them and their families. It also points out how this case put into motion many of the policies – and the people behind them – a forum that’s still being played out today. DuVernay – with a huge assist from cinematographer Bradford Young – assembles an exceptional cast that includes newcomers and veteran actors such as Vera Farminga, John Legiuziamo, Blair Underwood, Michael K. Williams, and, ripe with irony, Felicity Huffman as one of the prosecutors, to tell a gripping story of justice that was long delayed and denied. One of the year’s best from one of our best filmmakers. When They See Us is available now on Netflix.
Deadwood: The Movie. 13 years after its abrupt cancellation, HBO’s Emmy Award winning series gets to tie up loose ends with this two hour movie. It takes place 10 years after the season 3 finale, with South Dakota achieving full statehood status and how the occupants of Deadwood are making their way through its transition. Show favorites Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) and Marshall Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) are back, ready to clash with George Hearst (Gerald McRaney) who is now a California Senator. Expect some bloodshed and swearing that will reach a Shakespearean level. A welcomed one to one of TV’s most respected shows. Deadwood: The Movie premieres Friday, May 31st at 8pm East on HBO. You can also go to www.hbo.com for more information.
Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story. Throughout his 17 year career, Metta World Peace – formerly known as Ron Artest – gained a reputation as one of the league’s top defenders. He was also one of the game’s most volatile personalities, receiving the longest suspension in NBA history for his involvement in a brawl during the Pacers-Pistons game. The turning point came, when, as a members of the Lakers, Artest became an advocate for mental health after thanking his psychiatrist in the post game interview during the NBA FInals. In this new Showtime documentary, Artest looks back at his formative years growing up in Queens, a stellar career at St John’s, the highs and lows of his NBA career, overcoming mental illness and finally coming to terms – and peace – with himself. It’s a doc that will move and inspire. Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story premieres Friday at 10pm East on Showtime. You can also go to www.sho.com for more information.
Turbulent Times by Hundred Watt Heart. When he wasn’t performing with The Roots on The Tonight Show, or on tour, guitarist ‘Captain’ Kirk Douglas was hard at work on his band Hundred Watt Heart. Recorded at the legendary Electric Lady Studios, Douglas is joined by long time collaborators Mark Kelley (bass) and Ricc Sheridan (drums) for a solid mix power trio fueled rockers, soulful, introspective odes to loved ones (including a song about the guitar that was famously smashed by Prince), and songs that address the current political landscape. A rock solid debut album. Turbulent Times by Hundred Watt Heart is available now through Amazon, Itunes, and all major streaming services.
Keith, Unfiltered. To coincide with the re-launch of The Rolling Stones ‘No Filter’ tour, The Morrison Hotel Gallery will be presenting a gallery of some of Keith Richards’ most memorable shots at its’ New York, Los Angeles and Maui locations. Legendary shots of Keith in the studio, at home and, of course, on stage will be featured, and a limited number of Richards’ Talk Is Cheap 30th Anniversary box set will be available for purchase. It’s a great chance to see Richards’ personal and career evolution from the mid 60s through the current tour. A fitting salute to rock’s greatest guitarists and outlaws. Keith, Unfiltered will be at the Morrison Hotel Gallery through June 22nd. You can also go to www.morrisonhotelgallery.com for more information.
New York City. BookCon. Billed as the event ‘where storytelling and pop culture collide’, BookCon allows literary fans to interact with authors, publishers, celebrities and content creators of every book genre. Alyssa Milano, Frank Miller, Neil Patrick Harris, Bo Bolander, and Tegan & Sara are all scheduled to take part in Q&A’s, autographing sessions, storytelling podcasts, special screenings and much more. If you are looking for the one place that have your favorite stories, come to life, this is your ticket. BookCon will take place at the Javits Center June 1st and 2nd. You can also go to www.bookcon.com for tickets, a complete schedule of events and additional information.