Published an article on the Newhouse School website about “The Man Who Saw Too Much,” an independent Mexican film about crime photographer Enrique Metinides, who has gained a cult following in his 50 year career. The screening came as part of the 14th annual Syracuse University Human Rights Film Festival, which is organized by multiple schools throughout the university.
Traveled from Miami to Austin TX for my first SXSW experience. Connected with old partners, linked up with new ones and helped run a successful event. Here is a recap of #NoBigDealSXSW with A3C, Erace The Hate, and Reebok. Performances featured Mick Jenkins, Nick Grant, Hefna Gwap, and more. All hosted by Virginia’s own MicxSic. Thanks to all who came out.
No longer just re-runs of ‘Sesame Street’ and ‘Masterpiece Theater,’ The Public Broadcasting Service has expanded the scope and direction of its programming to some impressive results. First it was the Beat Making Lab series, which features two hip-hop educators on a globetrotting mission to bring beats, rhymes and life to communities lacking in resources and outlets.
Then, there was the widely publicized and debated “Latino Americans,” a six part documentary that actually validates and acknowledges our imprint on this nation. Though many of cultural subtleties were overlooked, the fact such a comprehensive history was documented and presented to the American public, is in itself, a victory.
The latest addition in the re-imagining of public broadcast programming is the inclusion of Jimi Hendrix in the American Masters Series, aptly titled ‘Hear My Train Comin’ after the guitar god’s classic cut.
While we’ve all heard the albums, read the books and watched the performances, but never has such a well compiled piece regarding the late Hendrix been produced for a wide audience. The documentary comes complete with interviews, never-before-seen performance footage and rock history all condensed into a two hour retelling of a story nostalgic rock dads know so well.
Despite the brevity and overall difficulty of condensing the Hendrix saga into a mere two hours, the doc is sure to please both casual and diehard fans alike. It will be interesting to see what PBS unveils next, after detailing such an iconic figure.
Welcome to ‘mannerisms’ a vacation of the mind, featuring yours truly, heatmaker extraordinaire Original Vision and the good folks at Higher Education Records. This serves as the first single off ‘cantaloupe & rum’ a full length sonic journey chronicling the lives of two young, displaced, latinos searching for balance in the heartland of America. There will be triumph, sorrow, love, lust, drugs, fear, fire, art and rum lots of rum, enjoy.
A fitting title for the scene’s mood. This mini-doc captures the first person view of Curtis and Alle as they embark into the depths of a dank and cold Vienna night, looking to bomb a train. Creepy, intimate and sporadic shots coupled with a chilling instrumental gives the clip an eery aesthetic, palpable even through a computer screen. Brief but poignant, viewers will be immersed in the tagging experience and the risks associated with painting the world.
Source: Mass Appeal
While the concept of short films as tools for album promotion is nothing new, Cali emcee/producer Alexander Spit delivers a gratifying and original effort for his album A Breathtaking Trip To That Otherside.
Equal parts Tarantino as Hunter S. Thompson, the short film serves as an extended music video featuring clips from each track on the album. As one could guess from the comparisons , both the music and video present a dystopian, dark and psychedelic adventure through the mind of Spit.
Through brooding soundscapes and self-loathing/abusive lyrics, Spit provides the backdrop for a non-linear narrative about a young girl-turned-stripper and her abusive, junky father. While the plot line may seem a bit tired, the actual execution is what elevates the film to something larger than just a long music video. The dark lens and dissonant shots create a sort of magical realism to be appreciated by spacey and sober minds alike.
Overall, Spit does an excellent job of complimenting the music with comparably sinister visuals. If you enjoy this, you will almost certainly appreciate the video done for the album’s title track, a direct ode to Fear And Loathing and the dissolution of the American Dream.
Recently the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles introduced it’s latest project, a partnership with Youtube entitled MOCAtv. This endeavor is an attempt to bring contemporary art to the virtual world in a way that deconstructs the elitist nature typically associated with such material.
With 5 sub-categories the channel has a little something for everyone. I was personally introduced to the site through it’s Art In The Streets playlist, which explores street art and it’s expanding influence on popular culture. Having gained some notoriety for it’s controversial “tribute” to Jean-Michel Basquiat, the site is not without it flaws. However one particular piece I found worthy of replay was a doc-style short film on Bay Area Artist Barry McGee and his mid-career retrospective at the Berkeley Art Museum.
Filmed through a first person perspective, the video attempts to capture the perspective of the artist, and how he filters all of the sensory input that fuels inspiration. The abstract approach, made for an intriguing experience and gives the viewer some insight into the artistic lens, while remaining accessible to anyone who may stumble upon the video while casually perusing Youtube.