All Rebel Rockers
Michael Franti has been knocking around the fringes of the rock and rap scene for almost 20 years. Franti first surfaced as a member of a punk band called The Beatnigs, then fused punk and rap with the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. Last year he nibbled at the edges of mainstream popularity with a righteously angry and delightfully funky anti-war album, Yell Fire.
Read: The Gift of Years
Directed by Danny Boyle (Fox Searchlight, 2008)
Just in time for our now officially recognized global recession, British film maker Danny Boyle has created a rollicking, riotous, and not infrequently gut-wrenching Dickensian fantasy in which a poor orphan from the slums of Mumbai skyrockets to fame and fortune as a contestant on India's version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Hollywood tells us that cleaning up Washington depends on the integrity of those we send there. But that’s only part of the story.
Soon the 2008 presidential campaign will be over, and the airways will be free of electoral promises and polls, for a few months at least. During this brief hiatus political junkies who can’t get their daily dose of campaign stories and scandals from the “real TV” we call network and cable news will have to rent movies about the drama and comedy of electoral politics.
Rachel Getting Married
Director Jonathan Demme and writer Jenny Lumet’s ensemble film about a big sprawling suburban wedding reminds us that marriage is a mix of chosen and un-chosen unions. The coupling of husband and wife also joins together a menagerie of pleasant and decidedly unpleasant relatives who become, for better or worse, our in-laws and lifelong companions.
Catholic and Feminist
Alejandro Escovedo has been in the rock and roll business for 30 years now, but Real Animal, his first major-label release, is the breakthrough that puts together his disparate pieces.
Learning to Bend
Singer-songwriter-cellist Ben Sollee, 24, is at the beginning of what promises to be a very interesting American roots music career. Yes, you read that right—“cellist” and “roots music” in the same sentence. You hear “cello” and you think chamber music? Well, this young Kentuckian wants to change that—and more.