“JazzFest A New Orleans Story”: Film/ Review Podcast

Posted: June 16th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast, Music, New Orleans | No Comments »

If you are here, you understand that I am obsessed with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

JazzFest.

I’ve attended 34 of them, all but one since 1988, and refer to the gathering to honor the culture, cuisine and music of the Crescent City as “the gravitational pull of my year.”

So, when a new documentary about the Fest came out, I was all over it. Watched it the first moment available on Amazon Prime. (Even though it’s being screened in theaters nationwide, none are doing so in my town.)

That was a week ago. The delay in this review is simply explained.

Such is my emotional attachment to Fest, it’s taken this long for me to conjure a reasonably objective assessment of the flick.

Which doc is, despite some personal objections I have to editorial decisions made, an invigorating take, which depicts the Fest in all its glory.

I recommend you watch. After, of course, listening to my significantly more informational podcast review below:

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“The Conversation”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: June 9th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | 2 Comments »

Though almost fifty years old, this Francis Coppola film starring Gene Hackman is a relevant today as it was when released.

It’s about privacy and security and paranoia.

Hackman plays Harry Caul, a professional bugger, hired to tape a conversation with a couple having an extra-marital affair.

Mystery subtly evolves when Caul, and the audience, start to wonder what’s really going on.

The film deservedly won many awards.

For further reasons why, listen to my podcast review below:

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“Emergency”: Film Review/ Podcast

Posted: June 2nd, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Culture, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Is it possible to take a hackneyed movie genre and turn it into something else entirely?

Like, say, the it’s the last night of school before vacation let’s party til we puke and do stupid things flick, and use that premise to make a comment on socio-cultural reality, all the while being entertaining.

The answer we now know is Yes.

Thanks to “Emergency,” available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

Sean and Kuhnle are all set to be the first black dudes at their college to complete the seven stop Legendary Tour of parties before spring break.

Coming home for their “pregame,” they discover a white girl they don’t know, passed out stoned and drunk on their living room floor.

What to do?

The weirdness usually present in this genre of flicks comes about. But, so too, a take on what it’s like to be young and black in a moment fraught with peril in today’s culture.

This is not diatribe or finger pointing. What this is is an often very funny, continually entertaining and engaging, and periodically revelatory film.

For more, Listen to my podcast below.

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“Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn”: Review Podcast

Posted: May 28th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Culture, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Alrighty then, here’s something completely and absurdly different.

A Romanian film, shot during the pandemic in Bucharest.

About a respected teacher at an upscale school, who makes a private sex tape with her husband.

Which somehow gets uploaded to the interweb.

Parental disapproval ensues.

This fascinating film, which — Caveat Emptor — contains graphic imagery and lots of dirty, really nasty words, provides an interesting take on the culture of that country, as well as the racism, contention and hypocrisy that is endemic world wide.

Plus, it’s really funny.

Well done, it won the top prize at the ’21 Berlin Film Festival.

I’d suggest actually listening to my podcast before going to Hulu or Amazon Prime to watch.

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“Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent: Review/ Podcast

Posted: May 19th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Culture, Film Reviews Podcast, Personalities | No Comments »

So, Nick Cage, he’s like a thing, right?

Because of his over the top acting style and other stuff, he’s more than an actor. A cultural icon, or, at least curiosity.

So it would seem.

He’s won an Oscar. He’s been in a 109 films. He’s made some bold choices in his portrayals, daring even.

Some hit. Some have you walking out of the theater, scratching your head. Even before the movie’s over perhaps.

He’s a flashpoint for aesthetic colloquy.

Now, he plays himself, along with his alter ego Sailer Ripley, his character in “Wild at Heart,” in what is either an astute bit of self deprecation, or vanity in the extreme.

Way more the former, I’d opine.

In “Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” you get all Nick Cage all the time.

It’s pretty danged funny. Astute. Often a brilliant send up of the movie industry.

For more on the movie, listen to my podcast below:

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“Slow Horses”: Review Podcast

Posted: May 13th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast, TV | No Comments »

There are times when a singular aspect of a movie or TV series makes it all worthwhile.

Even though this six-part Apple TV+ series about MI5 spy agency is most engaging and watchable, the performance of Gary Oldman takes it to another level.

He’s the head of Slough House, where, for one reason or another, the agency has parked agents who have messed up or the powers in charge just want out of HQ.

Oldman’s character is a drunk.

He smokes too many cigarettes.

He is flatulent.

He constantly denigrates those who work with him.

But he’s a most astute operative, and I, for one, couldn’t get enough of him. It’s a master class in acting.

For more on “Slow Horses,” listen to my podcast below.

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JF First Weekend, Part Deux

Posted: May 4th, 2022 | Filed under: Food, JazzFest, Music | No Comments »

Though not a world traveler, I feel fairly comfortable opining that there are not any other cities around the globe with as musically an influenced culture as New Orleans.

No, Memphis, put your hand down.

From the time slaves were allowed to dance in what is now called Congo Square, just outside the Quarter past Rampart and Basin Streets, through the advent of jazz, the honky tonks of Storyville, the brass band tradition, Satchmo, Fats, T0ussaint and to this day, this city swings, sways and dances.

Even immediately after funerals to assuage the grief.

I can’t get enough.

So, I have contemporary local faves, some of whom I’ve already heard, some are playing this coming weekend. Then there’s the newcomers, carrying on the tradition, like Tuba Skinny, and others like Naughty Professor, extrapolating from it.

Below I chat about a few of the New Orleans/ Louisiana based acts that had my attention this past weekend

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JazzFest Weekend One, Part Uno

Posted: May 3rd, 2022 | Filed under: JazzFest, Music | 2 Comments »

Too much to say in one podcast about my return to New Orleans for the first JazzFest since ’19. So I broke it in half.

More important than the music or incredible food which inform this unique city’s culture, to see it resilient as ever, as alive as ever, warms the heart.

Just being back brings arguably the most joy.

But, of course, the soft shell crab at impeccable GW Fins, a late lunch at Peche and Crawfish Strudel at the fest bring joy to my taste buds.

Then, oh yeah, the music at the best music festival extant in the world’s most music centric city.

Name Drop Interlude: At my friends Marc and Jill’s crawfish boil the other night, I was chatting with a pal of theirs, whom I’ve know for years. Who, I just learned the other night was roommates in the early 60s in military school with Duane Allman. Who was good friends with Robert and his parents, who hosted Duane and brother Greg for holidays, and whenever they came to town to play. Just sayin’.

Below I discuss some of the non local acts that grabbed my soul.

Stay tuned, Part Deux Coming Soon.

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Back In New Orleans for JazzFest

Posted: April 28th, 2022 | Filed under: Culture, JazzFest, Music | 5 Comments »

My favorite thing in life, the New Orleans JazzFest, the best musical experience extant, is back after a two year hiatus because of You Know What.

So am I.

This will be my 33d Fest, the first in ’76.

Seven days of music on consecutive weekends, on ten stages inside Fairgrounds Racetrack complex from 11:30 in morning until 7:00.

Did I mention it’s in New Orleans, where you can also find something worthwhile to eat when out to dinner with friends?

I am beside myself with joy.

For the reasons why, listen below:

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“Severance”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: April 19th, 2022 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast, TV | No Comments »

There are oh so many folks who wish they couldn’t think about work when they are out in real life.

And others, who become so immersed at the office or factory, they can’t conjure their after work existence.

So, what if that happened, you know, literally?

When at work, you have no knowledge whatsoever of life outside. And vice versa. Though you are aware such separate existences exist within you.

That is the underlying premise of “Severance,” an Apple TV+ series that’s completed S1, with another on the way sometime in the future.

To be a worker bee at the mysterious, cultish Lumon Corporation, you must get that severed chip implanted.

Weirdness happens.

This is a chilling, but truly compelling streaming series.

For significantly more info about it, listen to my podcast below:

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“Everything Everywhere All At Once”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: April 13th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

Dysfunctional family dynamics.

Mother/ Daughter. Wife/ Husband. Daughter/ Father.

Characters living in multiple universes at the same time.

Kung Fu Fighting.

All of which weirdness commences during an IRS audit, with an agent named Deidre Beaubeidre out for her exaction.

Sound like something you might not have experienced before in the movie house?

Believe it.

For significantly more details, to figure out if it’s worth your time, listen to the podcast below:

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“The Square”: Film Review Podcast

Posted: April 7th, 2022 | Filed under: Cinema, Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »

I jotted a note to myself when this movie won the Palme D’Or at Cannes, what, four or five years ago.

Which note is sitting in a stack of others, with the names of tens of other pictures in which I’m interested.

I finally got around to viewing “The Square” on Amazon Prime.

“The Square” is an ambitious film, with a couple of themes, both somewhat unrealized. How everyone should be treated equally, despite their station in life. And, the pretension of the art world.

It’s all focused on Claes Bang, who plays the curator of a contemporary art museum in Stockholm.

The film is entertaining.

Especially a couple of extended scenes, which I thought were brilliant.

For more, listen to my podcast below:

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