1) Cat Power performs her rescheduled show at the Tabernacle with Dirty Delta Blues.
2) Real Men Cook for Charity celebrates Fathers Day with a feast at Georgia Railroad Depot while raising money for various nonprofits.
3) Stone Mountain holds its annual Arts and Crafts Festival.
4) The first annual Atlanta Gospel Festival is held at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center.
5) Grace Braun performs at the Earl.
(Photo by Stefano Giovannini)
1) Unwed Sailor plays the Earl with Sybris.
2) Managing editor Hank Klibanoff of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution discusses and signs The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation with Doris Derby and Brett Gadsden at the High Museum of Art.
3) Zappa Plays Zappa performs at Variety Playhouse.
4) Zombie Romance, comic-inspired paintings by Rod Whigham, continues at Rabbit Hole Gallery.
5) Star Bar hosts Freakout!!! with Derek Lyn Plastic, Mammals and the Shining Path.
(Photo by Jaret Ferratusco)
For years, Ive studiously avoided Top Chef, Bravos reality chef-competition show which is unusual for me considering my near obsession with practically all things Bravo reality-TV programming. (And in my defense, I do believe the best of the crop, Project Runway, is a multi-Emmy nominee, no?)
But Top Chef eluded me for years mainly on the argument that there was really no way for me to judge whether or not the resultant work was any good. And so, generally speaking, it all came down to the drama, and even during those unavoidable Bravo marathon screenings of the series helpful at times, annoying the other 90 percent of the time I just couldnt get on board. Until now.
The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, the 40th anniversary of which is remembered today, was the first historical moment that had any kind of resonance with me. There remain only fragments of it: plopped on my familys living-room floor while my family, including my Massachusetts-born father, watched the news coverage. I knew something bad had happened, and I think I remember it being Kennedys murder, but mostly something bad. But the more vivid memory came days later, on our way down to South Florida for a summer vacation, when my dad lost it and yelled at us in the back seat while we were playing with each other. His anger and grief had overcome him. That emotion resonates and stays with a person over the years.
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Thats history for you, especially when youre young. Sometimes you only remember swatches of moments, and images. Four decades on, RFK seems to live on in a variety of those swatches. Like his speeches, whether on the campaign trail or after Martin Luther King Jr.s assassination, in which he did his level best to tamp down on the violence sure to come
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Kennedy, like his brother John, has endured a rather spotty interpretation on film (but for the excellent American Experience documentary). He was portrayed with surprising timidity by Linus Roache in the 2002 TV movie, RFK, which failed to capture but a lick of his charisma and depth of feeling. My favorite portrayal comes from Martin Sheen, who at various times has portrayed both brothers but was brilliant in the 1974 TV movie The Missiles of October, about the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. (I can barely remember how Steven Culp portrayed him in Thirteen Days, which was more a vehicle for Kevin Costner as a presidential aide than anything else.) Last year brought us RFK Must Die! The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy, which raises new questions about whether Sirhan B. Sirhan (still serving a life sentence in a California prison) actually pulled the trigger.
1) Mixed-media artists Ernesto Cuevas and Cullen Washington Jr. open their dual exhibit New Perspectives during Turner First Thursdays Downtown Artswalk at the Rialto Center for the Arts.
3) MSNBC correspondent Richard Engel reads and signs War Journal: My Five Years in Iraq at Jimmy Carter Library and Museum.
4) Round two for Screen on the Green features Big Mommas House in Centennial Olympic Park.
5) Jimmy Buffett performs at Lakewood Amphitheatre.
(Photo by Ernesto Cuevas)
Last night was a great night for TV watching, particularly if you love informative filmmaking, but a horrible one if you don't have TiVo. It was bad enough that Turner Classic Movies dedicated the evening to its "Race and Hollywood: Asian Images in Film," which runs Tuesdays and Thursdays in June. The 35-film retrospective, hosted by Robert Osborne and University of Delaware professor Peter X. Feng, started with the 2006 documentary, Slanted Screen, and continued with screenings of The Cheat (1915), Broken Blossoms (1919), The Dragon Painter (1919), Mr. Wu (1927) and The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932).
If you missed that history lesson, the series continues Thursday night with the 2008 documentary Anna May Wong Frosted Yellow Willows: Her Life, Times and Legend, followed by The Toll of the Sea (1922), Old San Francisco (1927), and Piccadilly (1929).
But then there was the season-three premiere of Morgan Spurlock's always-entertaining "30 Days" (F/X, 10 p.m. cable 43), which features the star/director of the thrilling Super-Size Me (and the near-woeful Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?) spending a month in the lives of compelling characters and situations. To kick the season off, instead of placing someone else in a compromising position, Spurlock spent a month in his native West Virginia as a coal miner. It was, quite simply, great television, showing once again Spurlock at his best (offering a bird's eye view of coal miners' lives and humanizing them every step of the way) and his worst (his cloying voice-overs are as awkwardly delivered as his camera-facing confessionals are naive and obvious).
But as harsh as I've been on Spurlock, he does his fair share of digging, so to speak, and he paints a picture of a people addicted to the good-paying ($60,000 a year) yet lethal jobs that while charging our homes and lives also rape the beautiful West Virginia landscape. By the end of the hour, you really feel like you know the people better, and that in the end is Spurlock's goal. (Next week: Morgan throws a dude into a wheelchair for a month.)
I hate Dave Kehr, and not just because he's one of the best film critics in the world. He's also got one of the sweetest movie-writing gigs in the world: his weekly DVD column in The New York Times. This week features two very interesting titles, and I'm stunned I've seen neither of them for a variety of reasons: What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966) and Mandingo (1975).
Kehr does his usual job of placing these films in their proper historical and cinematic context, particularly What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, made by Blake Edwards at the height of his directing powers. But for me the more interesting movie is Mandingo, which I was startled to remember I'd never seen and now plan to. Shot in Louisiana, the movie centers around a decaying Southern plantation family in which the matriarch, Warren Maxwell (a fading James Mason) is playing matchmaker for his family is the most devious ways. This of course means more interracial dating than was appreciated in the 1860s or the 1970s, for that matter. Does anyone recall the hilarious Mandingo II parody sketch on "Saturday Night Live," featuring (of all people) host O.J. Simpson (playing the Ken Norton character) as well as a dolled-up Garrett Morris.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a clip of that parody on YouTube, but I DID find an even better scene, in which house slave Mede (Norton), helps hunt down a fellow slave, Cicero, played by one of my favorite character actors, Ji-Tu Cumbuka. (Remember him as the leader of the slave rebellion in the mini-series Roots.) For a film that's not to be so great, Cicero's speech is priceless.
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Thanks to everyone who played our Summer Guide Contest this year. We had 180 submissions, which if memory serves was double the total of last year's contest. Last Friday was the deadline, and we had a flurry of last-minute entries for the drawing that was held under a pounding June sun on Monday afternoon. As you can see, it was quite a challenge for Marketing Director Shana Langfur (pictured above right and below), who had her hands full in keeping track not only of all the submissions, but also of the prize package. Before we announce the winner, let's tell her what she won:
* Two passes to see the IMAX film Ends of the Earth: From Polar Bears to Penguins, which opens Saturday, June 7, at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. (We also threw in two general-admission Fernbank passes.)
* Two tickets to the opening-night performance of Broadway Across America's touring production of Mamma Mia!, which opens Tuesday., June 10, at the Fox Theatre.
* Two tickets good for any performance of Georgia Shakespeare's season: As You Like It (June 11-Aug. 1), The Merchant of Venice (June 26-Aug. 2) and All's Well That Ends Well (July 10-Aug. 3). Performances are held at the Conant Performing Arts Center. Two tickets (good for any performance).
* Two tickets to Creative Loafings BeerFest: Beerlympics, on Saturday, June 14, at Woodruff Park.
* Two tickets to any remaining screening of the Coca-Cola Film Festival: Shine a Light (June 5), Horton Hears a Who! or Atonement (June 8), Casablanca (June 17), No Country for Old Men (June 18), Enchanted or Ben-Hur (July 13). Screenings at the Fox Theatre.
* Four tickets and two parking passes to the series-opening game between the Atlanta Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, June 23, at Turner Field.
* Admission for two on the guest list for Corndogorama on June 26-29 at Lenny's Bar.
* Two tickets to see the Dave Matthews Band on Monday, July 7, at Lakewood Amphitheatre.
* Two tickets for Cocktails in the Garden, which runs from July 10-Sept. 1 at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Also, two general-admission passes for Atlanta Botanical Garden.
* Two tickets to attend the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, which runs from June 12-15 in Manchester, Tenn.
* Two tickets to see Mark Knopfler on Tuesday, July 29, at the Delta Classic Chastain Park Amphitheater.
Shana did plenty of rummaging through the lottery bin before finally pulling out the name BARBARA PAYNE! She found all 11 of the (oh so hard to find) clues to the best of the 111 things to do this summer. Thanks for playing, Barbara.
(Photos by Edward Adams)
Is Ted Turner the real Captain Planet? That's what he says in Lizz Widdicombe's hilarious "Talk of the Town" segment of this week's New Yorker ("Born Green"), in which she catches up with the man who claims to be the one who beat Al Gore to telling the world an inconvenient truth with his now-defunct TBS cartoon, "Captain Planet and the Planeteers." (Sounds like a bad 70s funk ensemble.) The story comes from an Atlanta fundraiser for Turner's Captain Planet Foundation. In the article, he boasts that he was his own inspiration for the Captain Planet character, who does battle with all the earth-unfriendly nasties out there.
Here's a sample from the article:
With the show, Ted Turner is fond of saying, he invented a television genre that he called edu-tainment a noble endeavor but one that has taken a lot of grief over the years. Critics of Captain Planet have pointed to the broadness of its allegory (characters include Kwame from Africa and Gi from Asia), and the heavy-handedness of its plots (battles against a villain named Hoggish Greedly and a Pollution Syndicate), to suggest that its less entertainment than a vehicle for left-wing propaganda, as one watchdog group put it. But Turner remains unfazed. In terms of programming, its the best thing I ever did, he said the other day.
Really, Ted? As opposed to, um, non-programming? Whatev, it definitely struggles to stand the test of time, as this clip demonstrates. But there is a kitschy charm about the whole thing. See for yourself, Planeteers!
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Never heard of SuperDeluxe? Guess that was a big part of the problem. For the uninformed, SuperDeluxe was a comedy website created by Turner Broadcasting here in Atlanta to showcase original videos and cartoons. Quietly launched in January 2007 to foster a word-of-mouth following, the site initially used material from FARKtv before hiring a number of local jokesters and improv groups to create videos. One of those funnymen was ex-Loafer Noah Gardenswartz, who still writes comedy reviews for us.
But before SD could truly go viral, it soon found itself upstaged by the headline-making debut of the similar Funny or Die. That website's inaugural video, The Landlord, starring co-founder Will Ferrell, has been viewed more than 50 million times. That's a difficult number to compete with. It's also tough to go up against Funny or Die's roster of celebrity cameos: Michael Cera, Katherine Heigl, John C. Reilly and Bill Murray.
Last week, Turner canned the SD staff and announced it would soon roll the existing SD content into the Adult Swim website. And that, unfortunately, is no joke.
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