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"Passing Strange" film trailer: A Spike Lee joint

I've always said that the musical Passing Strange was the bomb.  Here's what The Onion's AV Club says about the film version: Like Jonathan Demme's Stop Making Sense it captures with visceral power the sweaty intensity and raw intimacy of a live performance before a packed, euphoric crowd…In Passing Strange irony, post-modern meta-commentary, pop-culture geekery […]

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UPCOMING: Advanced Screening of "Passing Strange" + Tamar-kali performance — Aug. 11

On Tuesday, August 11, our friends over at Imagenation are presenting an advanced screening of Spike Lee's film of the black rock musical Passing Strange.  You'll recall that the musical won a Tony Award last year.  The film went to Sundance this year, where it was acquired by PBS and, I understand, will have its […]

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Thoughts (pre- and) post the National Black Arts Festival

l to r: Farai Chideya, Rob Fields, Boston Fielder, Barry Jenkins photo: Yemi Toure So, the first things first: It was an honor to participate in this year’s National Black Arts Festival.  Thanks to Leatrice Ellzy, the programming director and outgoing executive director Stephanie Hughley, for the opportunity.  It’s no small thing to be asked […]

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"Soul Power" opens today in NYC & LA

In 1974, the most celebrated American R&B acts of the time–James Brown, B.B. King, Miriam Makeba, The Fania All-Stars (featuring Celia Cruz), Bill Withers, The Spinners, The Crusaders, Sister Sledge– came together with the most renowned musical groups of Southern African for a 12-hour, three night concert held in Kinshasha, Zaire.  The dream-child of Hugh […]

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Upcoming: 2009 Afro-punk Festival

It's that time of year again.  Lots of great music, film and skating to be had.  So get out and enjoy. From what I understand, Living Colour is no longer part of the lineup.  But the bands that are playing are pretty amazing: Pure Hell (the first all-Black punk band); Saul Williams; Game Rebellion; Earl […]

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Documentary on African music legend Youssou N'Dour — June 6

Film's NY Premiere set for June 6 @ Brooklyn Academy of Music This looks to be pretty powerful.  According to the press release: Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love is a music-infused cinematic journey about the power of one man’s voice to inspire change. Described by Rolling Stone as “a singer with a voice […]

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Tonight: Wyatt Cenac ("Medicine for Melancholy") at BAM Cafe–5/2

Comedy night at BAM Cafe features several performers, not least of which is Wyatt Cenac, who played Micah in Barry Jenkins' "Medicine for Melancholy". May 2930pmFree More info on the show at the BAM Cafe site. zv7qrnb

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"Medicine for Melancholy" now playing in Detroit

Detroit, stand up! "Medicine for Melancholy" is now playing in your area through Feburary 22.  It's at the Detroit Film Theater at Detroit Institute of Arts 5200 Woodward AvenueDetroit, MI313 833

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"Medicine for Melancholy" and the dynamism of Blackness

Another side of being black and indie. Barry Jenkins' award-winning debut film is exciting, accomplished and provocative. Ostensibly about two African-American twenty-somethings who get to know each other after a one-night stand, Medicine for Melancholy comes at race, class and gentrification from some refreshingly odd angles. The film takes place in San Francisco.  The city […]

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Opening tonight: "Medicine for Melancholy"

IFC Films is starting the city-by-city rollout of Barry Jenkins' film tonight in NYC.  It's kind of a "Before Sunrise" with two black hipsters in San Francisco. You can read reviews in the  Village Voice or The NY Times, but here's what's got me excited to see this.  In his review of the film, Voice […]

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