Category: New Discoveries

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D’ Rok THE Menace

Psychonauts rejoice! Instead of bragging about his money and hos — indeed, he announces his intention to “embrace imperfections” and view life through his Third Eye — the rapper D’ Rok THE Menace applies his mad skills to the ethereal charms of LSD, DMT, and magic mushrooms. He’s a stone cold killer, murdering his ego....

Amy Schumer in “I Feel Pretty”

Although we can understand it’s appeal to connoissuers of vulgarity, we’re not a big fan of Amy Schumer’s saucy stand-up comedy. Which is why her performance in “I Feel Pretty” knocked us out. Yes, she’s funny. But in this movie about one woman’s journey of self-acceptance (of her body, of herself), Schumer is vulnerable, brave,...

Bodied

We regret that the sensationally smart, funny, and illuminating feature film Bodied has a title that offers little clue to what the film’s about. Namely: battle rap. This sub-culture of popular culture is both fascinating and ripe for satire, and the brain trust behind the movie — producer Eminem, writer Alex Larsen and director Joseph Kahn...

Third Eye Spies

The Central Intelligence Agency has earned both renown and scorn for its “secret” programs designed to encourage American hegemony over the rest of the world. For years a tantalizing rumor circulated around the Internet: The CIA was using psychics to perform “remote viewing” of distant targets. The new documentary Third Eye Spies confirms the rumor —...

Peanut Butter Falcon

Few movies combine backwoods professional wrestling, Outer Banks crabbing, and a main character with Downs Syndrome. Few movies are as charming, endearing, and ravishingly human as The Peanut Butter Falcon. Based loosely –very loosely — on Huckleberry Finn, “PBF” charts the unlikely friendship between an escapee from  a state-run residential facility (Zack Gottsagen) and a felonious fisherman (Shia...

Adam Rudolph’s “Ragamala”

Drummer, composer, and master sonic collagist Adam Rudolph assembled 40 celebrated musicians from his Go: Organic Orchestra and the Brooklyn Raga Massive. The result, now available on all formats, is an epic, milestone recording called Ragmala – A Garden of Ragas. Beyond category, “Ragamala” is one of those musical projects that’s better heard than described....

The Fifth Risk

If you require additional evidence that the presidency of Donald J. Trump poses an existential danger to the United States of America, read The Fifth Risk, the latest work of journalism from popular author Michael Lewis. This short (fewer than 225 pages), easy-to-follow book profiles several dedicated federal employees in various Departments, including Energy, Agriculture and...

Knock Down the House

The award-winning documentary Knock Down the House by director Rachel Lears, covers four working-class, “regular” women — a registered nurse, a bartender, a coal miner’s daughter — running for Congress during the 2018 mid-term elections, including the sensationally charismatic, eloquent and inspiring Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, who, most of us now know, shocked the world by defeating an entrenched...

Free Solo

The impossible is possible. We understand the concept in theory; films like “Free Solo” remind us of the thrilling truth. The movie documents climber Alex Honnold’s attempt to scale Yosemite’s iconic El Capitan cliff face — more than 3,000 feet of virtually perpendicular rock — without ropes, clamps, or nets, using only his claw-like hands,...

Vocal Jazz, Old and New

The ethereal jazz singer Jeanne Lee would have been 80 this year. A re-release of her duet album with New England Conservatory titan Ran Blake, “The Newest Sound You Never Heard,” more than 40 years after its 1966-7 recording, reveals a thoroughly modern singer unafraid to sound like no one but herself. This vocal individuality...