Shooting The Mafia. The career of Italian photographer Letizia Battaglia is the subject of this new documentary by Kim Longinotto. Done with full corporation with Battaglia, it tells the story of how Battaglia, a recently divorced mother of three, reinvented herself as a photojournalist, becoming the first Italian female photographer to work for a daily paper. Battaglia would find herself on the front lines during one of the bloodiest chapters in Italy’s history, capturing images of how the mob wars effected those had within its inner circles, the public at large and how it spilled out onto the streets. It also shows how she overcame death threats, widespread government corruption and her own weariness of the constant violence, to expose the country – and the world – to the Mafia’s grip on the nation. Using Battaglia’s stunning black & white photos, archival footage, classic Italian films and Battaglia’s own stories, Longinotto has put together a great salute to a photojournalism legend. Shooting The Mafia opens in select theaters this weekend. You can also go to www.cohenmedia.net for more information.
Brass Against 2 by Brass Against. Led and curated by Brad Hammonds, this New York based collective started out playing horn driven covers of Rage Against The Machine, as a means to protest the current administration. The response was immediate -their version of Killing In The Name Of received over 2 million YouTube views – and they’ve received Twitter likes from RATM guitarist Tom Morello. After a series of high profile shows and a critically acclaimed debut album, Brass Against is back for its eagerly awaited follow up. It continues to reinvent the Rage catalog (‘No Shelter’, ‘Know Your Enemy’) but also incorporates songs by Audioslave (‘Gasoline’, ‘Show Me How To Live’), Bob Dylan (‘Maggie’s Farm’), Black Sabbath (‘War Pigs’), Tool (Lateralus, The Pot), and Jane’s Addiction (‘Mountain Song’), with equal effect. Vocalists Maya Azucena, Amanda Brown and Samuel Hope and frequent collaborator Sophia Urista are all also aboard to breath new life and urgency to the lyrics. With great songs and outstanding musicianship, Hammonds has put together another dynamic soundtrack to the resistance. Brass Against 2 by Brass Against is available now through Amazon, Apple Music and all major streaming services.
New York City. Jessica Lange: Highway 61. To coincide with the release of her latest book, Jessica Lange will be presenting a photo exhibition at New York’s Howard Greenberg Gallery. It will featuring some of the best photos that the Academy Award winning actress has shot wil traveling the highway that helped shape and define her. Whether its northern Minnesota or the heart of New Orleans, Lange captures what she calls ‘what remains and what has disappeared’. It’s a terrific insight into the side of the country that we rarely get to see. Highway 61 will be at the Howard Greenberg Gallery through January 18th. You can also go to www.howardgreenberg.com for more information.
Yasiin Bey: Negus. The artist formerly known as Mos Def celebrates the 20th Anniversary of his classic album Black On Both Sides with a new project that practically dares you to listen. Attendees will hear Bey’s latest studio recording – which can only be heard at the Museum – without the distractions of technology (all mobile devices will be locked away in a case). It will also include artworks by Ala Ebtekar, Julie Mehretu, and Jose Parla, along with original music by renowned pianist Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou. It’s a much heralded return to one of hip hop’s best emcees. Yasiin Bey: Negus will be at The Brooklyn Museum through January 26th. You can also go to www.brooklynmuseum.org for tickets and additional information.
The JR Chronicles. For nearly 20 years, the French artist known as JR has thrilled audiences around the world with his combination of photography, street art and social interaction. Much like Banksy, JR is never shown his face in public and operates in a hit and run style. Now the Brooklyn Museum is presenting the first North American exhibition of his extensive work. It will include murals, photographs, videos, films, dioramas and archival materials that cover every facet of his career. The exhibit will also include The Chronicles Of New York City, a new mural featuring more than 1,000 New Yorkers that also has audio recordings from each person telling their story of life in the greatest city in the world. It’s a must see exhibit for fans of photography and street art. The JR Chronicles will be at The Brooklyn Museum through May 3rd. You can also go to www.brooklynmusuem.org for tickets and more information.