The Filtered Excellence: October 24, 2019

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

The Watchmen.  Damon Lindelof’s interpretation of the  Allan Moore/Dave Gibbons’ classic graphic novel has already sparked a great deal of debate among fans of the comic and Zack Synder’s 2009 film adaptation.  Picking up 34 years after the events of the film, it takes place in an alternate America in which Nixon has Mount Rushmore status, Vietnam is our 51st state, and Robert Redford has been President for 25 years.  A white supremacist group called The 7th Kalvary has pulled off an attack on cops that was so successful, it forces law enforcement to don masks to protect their identities and their families.  Regina King stars as Angela Abar, whose presents herself as a retired Tulsa cop running a bakery, but is, in reality, still on the force fighting crime under the name Sister Night.   After Tulsa police chief Judd Crawford (Don Johnson) is found murdered, Angela finds herself trying to her mentor’s killer – which is just part of a larger plan to bring the country to brink of collapse.  While Lindelof plays homages to both comic and Synder’s film, he strikes out on a new terrain that alludes to everything from the 1921 Tulsa Riots to what’s happening within today’s so-called ‘alt-right’ movement.  It also probes how the line between law and order and mob justice can easily gets distorted to the point where, in the end, you ask who gets to watch the watchers.  King shows yet again why she’s one of the best actors working today as Sister Night, trying to find the balance between avenging angel, keeping her family and and trying to keep them out of harm’s way.  She anchors a solid cast that includes Jeremy Irons, Tim Blake Nelson, Jean Smart, and Louis Gossett, Jr.  Yet another HBO series that has all has the makings of TV’s next great series.  The Watchmen airs Sunday night at 9pm East on HBO.  You can also go to www.hbo.com for the more information.

The Deuce.   David Simon and George Pelecanos’ critically acclaimed HBO series wraps up its 3rd and final season.  It looks at how the rise of the porn industry in the 70s and 80s would have a social and economic impact on New York City that is still being felt today.  The growing AIDS epidemic and porn’s move from movie theaters to home entertainment have played a big part in this story arc – particularly with those within the orbits of its lead characters Eileen ‘Candy’ Merrill (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and Vincent Martino (James Franco).  Also in play is how the city – led by mayoral aide Gene Goldman – (Luke Kirby)- is working with the NYPD and real estate developers put into play a comprehensive plan to clean up Times Square (which, in turn leads to city wide gentrification).    Full of twists and surprises, it should be interesting to see the final fates of many of show’s characters that we have come to know and love.  The series finale of The Deuce airs Monday, October 28th at 9pm on HBO.  You can also go to www.hbo.com for more information.

Western Stars.  Bruce Springsteen knew he wasn’t going to tour in 2019, but he still wanted to do something special for his 19th studio album.  So he teamed up with long time collaborator Thom Zimny to create part concert film and part ode to the American West that provided much of the album’s inspiration.  The concert portion was shot in front of a small audience of friends in an 100 year old barn on Springsteen’s Colt’s Neck estate in New Jersey.  This is peppered with shots of the American West, both past and present, along with intimate footage of Springsteen and his wife Patti Sciafla made in the 1990s.   To hear Springsteen – backed by Scialfa, a 30 piece orchestra and backup singers – bring the voices of the many of the album’s characters to life is just short of breathtaking.  Beautifully shot and anchored with music that evokes the sounds that came out of Southern California in the 70s (there’s even a spirited cover of Glen Campbell’s ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ that closes it out), Springsteen has crafted yet another classic in an already iconic career.  Western Stars will open in select theaters this weekend.  You can also go to www.brucespringsteen.net for more information.

READ THIS

The Polaroid Diaries by Linda McCartney.  Before she was known as the wife and bandmate of Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney was an in demand photographer, shooting extensively at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East shows and for Rolling Stone magazine.  Even as she would travel around the world as a member of Wings, Linda never stopped shooting, experimenting with a variety of formats including Polaroid film. The work she did with everyone’s favorite instant camera is the basis of this new book.  It features over 200 pictures that she took from the early 1970s through the mid 1990s  of everything from Arizona and Scottish landscapes, chance encounters with celebrities such as Steve McQueen and Adam Ant, to, of course, candid shots of Paul and their children.  Pre-dating Instagram by several decades, this collection shows Linda McCartney as an artist at the peak of creative powers.  The Polaroid Diaries by Linda McCartney is available now through www.taschen.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all major book dealers.

DO THIS

Los Angeles. Psycho – Live With Orchestra.  Just in time for Halloween, LA Opera will team up with The Theatre at The Ace Hotel to present Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller with a twist that would make the Master Of Suspense proud:  It will feature The L.A. Opera Orchestra performing Bernard Hermann’s legendary score live!   It’s one thing to relieve this horror classic on the big screen.  It’s another to have it amplified by the power and intensity of a live orchestra.  Be prepared to be freaked out all over again.  Psycho – Live With Orchestra will be at the The Theatre At The Ace Hotel October 25th through the 31st.  You can also go to www.theatre.acehotel.com for tickets and additional information.

 

Want more excellence? Read last week’s the filtered excellence.

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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.