Thursday, May 5, 2016

Arts Express: Mothers and Daughters; The Nuit Debut Diaries; Janis Joplin; Carousels, McCarthyism and Twilight Zone Aliens



ELAINE AND VIRGINIA MADSEN: I KNOW A WOMAN LIKE THAT

**I Know A Woman Like That: Mother/daughter documentary collaboration of actress Virginia Madsen and filmmaker Elaine Madsen, celebrating the vital and creative lives of older women. And featuring Rita Moreno, the only Latina actress to have ever won an Oscar - and that was over half a century ago, for West Side Story in 1961. Elaine is on the line from LA, and Virginia is phoning in to the show from Toronto, where she's filming future television episodes of American Gothic.

**Broe On The European Cultural Beat: The Nuit Debout Diaries. A continuing series of Arts Express Paris correspondent Professor Dennis Broe, on location there with updates from the mass labor and student protest movements. Which he indicates have spread to sixty cities across France, while currently spilling into Belgium as well. And with the possibility that Nuit Debut may turn up at the Cannes Film Festival, where Broe will be filing his on location report next week.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Janis: Little Girl Blue: A two part series of remembrance of the life and work of the late iconic performer Janis Joplin, on the occasion of the debut release of the Amy Berg director's cut documentary on television. Celebrating the rock legend's musical impact and legacy. Older sister Laura Joplin phones in from California.

**The Carousel: A Size Doesn't Matter series at the Tribeca Film Festival. A look at the Jonathan Napolitano documentary short documentary screening at the Festival, and touching on the connection between Rod Serling's Twilight Zone, carousels, and McCarthyism. And Serling's observation about his television series during that repressive time, that aliens can say things others cannot.

Arts Express: Thursdays 2pm ET: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY 99.5 FM, and streaming live and archived everywhere at wbai.org.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Tribeca Film Festival 2016: My Scientology Movie, Shadow World, Elvis & Nixon, Dead Ringer




NINA SIMONE AND SALDANA...AND ELVIS & NIXON

**Or Rather, Enactment Or Impersonation? A Commentary. And on the line from LA to share his thoughts about the film Nina, is the composer of the score, Ruy Folguera. Describing the challenge of creating a musical context for such a larger than life iconic figure, essentially diving into the production 'without a parachute' ; how crafting compositions with Roberta Flack and Chaka Khan paved the way for him into this artistic endeavor; how his own trauma coming of age under the military junta dictatorship in Argentina connected him politically and creatively with Nina in this film; and memories of working with the late Anthony Quinn on the movie A Walk In The Clouds back in 1995, while sharing tango stories.

**What do Reagan, Thatcher, Tony Blair and Obama have in common? According to Shadow World, plenty. And having to do with covert roles as brokers for the arms trade in perpetrating endless war. A look at the investigative documentary and a discussion with the filmmakers Johan Grimonprez and Andrew Feinstein. Touching on connections to the Panama Papers, the 35,000 lobbyists in DC; the Pentagon as metaphorical self-licking ice cream cone; and the Gucci Shoe Guys complicit with the US corporate coup d'etat in slow motion. A feature at the Tribeca Film Festival.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Louis Theroux Talks My Scientology Movie: The BBC satirical journalist ventures into the murky depths of the intimidating religious corporate empire. Casting himself as the protagonist on a co-journey with a former leader turned whistleblower defector, Marty Rathbun. While uncovering why the Feds gave a pass to the church despite their many civil rights violations charges, and what it might have to do with 'consensual self-abasement' ; what's up with the possible connection of Scientology to ISIS and even McDonalds - as a corporate franchise serving up spiritual burgers instead; and will or will not Theroux's next weird project be a probe into the newest addition to his extended family - the marriage of his cousin and likewise filmmaker Justin Theroux to Hollywood actress, Jennifer Aniston. A Tribeca Feature.

**Dead Ringer:
Size apparently may not matter, when it comes to the outstanding short films at Tribeca. A presentation of this poetic and musical imagined uprising of the last remaining pay phones on the streets of New York City - raging against their own demise as cell phones proliferate and displace them in our present time. Directed by Michael Tucker, Alex Kliment and Dana O'Keefe.

Arts Express: Thursdays 2pm ET: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY 99.5 FM, and streaming live and archived everywhere at wbai.org.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Arts Express: BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez; Songs My Brothers Taught Me


BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT; FIRST NATION YOUTH IN CRISIS AT PINE RIDGE; INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY; MALCOLM, BARAKA, BALDWIN; TRIAL BY FIRE; MUMIA; BODY BAGS; FBI FILES; GHETTO SUPERMARKETS, AND AMERICA'S SECRET CHERNOBYL ON THE REZ

**BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez: A conversation with the esteemed African American veteran poet, playwright, activist and co-founder of the historic Black Arts Movement, about her film touching of all these subjects, and to be released on International Women's Day. Sanchez phones in from Virginia in a conversation with poetic interludes, about her life work in writing, on stage, and on the battlefields for social change. Touching on her unique fusion of jazz and spoken word; memories of Malcolm, Baraka, Baldwin, Maya Angelou, and a lyrical collaboration with Diana Ross. And what all this may have to do with trial by fire, Mumia, body bags, her still active FBI file, and ghetto supermarkets.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE


**Songs My Brothers Taught Me: Asian American filmmaker Chloe Zhao is on the line to Arts Express to discuss her dramatic feature delving into First Nation youth in crisis on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Along with her Chinese immigrant sense of internal isolation in this country and its emotional connection for her to First Nation alienation; Native American poisoned and polluted land as America's Secret Chernobyl; a story somewhat telling itself and fused with documentary detours by default as the only thing she could afford; and why we did not agree about the critical importance of continuing oppression in telling First Nation stories. 

Prairie Miller

Arts Express: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY and the Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Arts Express: Famke Janssen Talks From Bond Girl To Girl Bonding; She's Beautfiul When She's Angry; Policing The Police; Post-Traunatic Unemployment Disorder

      '...I know what love is, and I know what the loss of love is.'

**Famke Janssen: From Bond Girl To Girl Bonding. The actress is on the line to Arts Express to talk about her latest film, the unconventional family drama, Jack Of The Red Hearts. In which youth in social and economic crisis today converges with autism, and struggling to come of age in this troubled world. Based on the challenges of Jack Of The Red Hearts director Janet Grillo, raising her own autistic child. Additional topics on the table include losing the sex crazed femme fatale assassin in kick butt, toe to toe mode against James Bond in Goldeneye; embracing the dark side of life as creative inspiration; and her upcoming game show sinister satire This Is Your Life, directed by and co-starring Giancarlo Esposito.

**Peace Officer: Or maybe not. An explosive investigative documentary about the deadly militarization of police in this country. And one of its victims - ironically a Utah sheriff who first introduced SWAT teams into the state - phones in. An emotionally shattering revelation and extraordinary case of reverse rage literally policing the police. A March DVD release.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**She's Beautiful When She's Angry. A look at this March DVD release for Women's History Month, delving into the historic struggles of the Women's Movement of the last century. Where did the basic rights females young and old enjoy today come from, and what fierce struggles in the 20th century made them possible, and still relevant today.

**Writers Corner: Miguel Gardel reads from his short story, All The Books In The Library.
Exploring life after the army as a Latino, and what might be termed post-traumatic unemployment disorder; the revolving door inner city existence of rooming houses, recruiting stations, landlords, unemployment lines, and armies addicted to young men. And formulating rebellion and giving it shape through poetry, and a novel's flush of eloquent words. Accompanied by the sounds of the late legend Louie Ramirez and his Latin Jazz Ensemble.

Prairie Miller

Arts Express: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY and the Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Arts Express: Jesse Owens, James Baldwin, And Fifteen Men Who Decide What Movies You See


**Aloe Blacc Talks Race: The Story Of Jesse Owens. Phoning in to the show from LA is soul artist, vocalist, songwriter, actor and performer Aloe Blacc, who wrote music for the Race soundtrack. Blacc describes in our conversation how he saw his contribution of the song, 'Let The Games Begin,' as an opportunity to be part of the Owens legacy. And the outstanding athlete who met the challenge, not only as a track and field legend, but in a faceoff historically, however fleeting, with Jim Crow at home and Hitler's Nazi Germany abroad at the 1936 Olympics. Blacc, the composer as well when finding himself jobless of  'I Need A Dollar' - which went on to become the theme song of the HBO series, 'How To Make It In America,' also contemplates how the sports icon has informed his own life as a Black man in this country.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

**Danny Glover Weighs In On Bias Controversy At The Oscars: The actor and activist during a Sundance sitdown, traces the contentious racial exclusion issue to a much deeper dilemma plaguing the films themselves being made. And compound by "15 men who decide what you're going to see."

**The Last Interview And Other Conversations: Dennis Johnson of Melville House Books discusses his unique instant classic series highlighting the works of late iconic groundbreaker, edgy, offbeat and outsider writers who have passed on - from James Baldwin, Hemingway, Marquez and Vonnegut to Bradbury, Dick, Lou Reed, and others; the struggle of independent literary houses marginalized by corporate publishing takeover conglomerates; and the process of Johnson's intense labor of love in the journey tracking down and gathering the final works honoring the memory of these writing legends.


Arts Express: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY and the Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Arts Express: The Political Power Of Music; PTSD Fueled Psychological Crime Thriller Faceoff


**Thomas Jane Talks Standoff: And the Laurence Fishburne faceoff of damaged souls in this PTSD psychological crime thriller. As one struggles against his inner demons, and the other succumbs to the mental ravages of war. Jane, best known on screen as a different sort of madman, The Punisher, is on the line from LA to mull as well T.S. Eliot, Mickey Mantle, Neal Cassady, WWII atom bombs, Jaws, sci-fi and genetic engineering, Knocking On Heaven's Door - and why passersby gave him spare change to not sing it on the streets of Hollywood when he was homeless and begging, and living out of his car. And, his gig on Hung as an economic hard times call guy in the small screen sex for sale satire series - and that concerning Hung, he is actually not.


**Writers Corner: Chilean New Song - The Political Power Of Music: A Conversation With Professor J. Patrice McSherry. The author's musical memory lane recollections of the fleeting triumph, ensuing terror and tragedy of the creative component to mass uprising illuminating Allende's Chile back then. While reflecting on popular aspirations, towards a creation of new forms of community and political solidarity arising spontaneously and organically from that generation of musicians. Pete Seeger performs from the work of one of those brutalized victims of the subsequent Pinochet dictatorship, Victor Jara. Chris Butters Reports.

**Poetry Corner: Jack Kerouac vintage reading, Sounds Of The Universe Coming In My Window, set to jazz.

Arts Express: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY and the Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Arts Express: Prescription Thugs, Native American Jim Crow; Workplace Satire On The Small Screen



**Prescription Thugs: A Conversation With Director Chris Bell. So what exactly is going on with the deadly prescription drug epidemic in this country. And the filling of overflowing prisons with the incarcerated serving draconian sentences for illegal drugs, seemingly to make way for the legal prescription thug peddlers - pharmaceutical corporations in league with doctors and drugstores - moving in and taking over the business. And raking in billions in the process. Filmmaker Chris Bell talks Prescription Thugs, taking it personally as well as publicly in this documentary, with the related tragic death of his own brother. Welcome to 'The United States of Addiction.'

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE


**Mark McKinney Talks Superstore, Saturday Night Live: The Canadian born actor, writer and comedian, best known for SNL and Kids In The Hall, is on the line from LA to talk about the working stiff audience appeal of stinging workplace comedy after hours, in Superstore. And a small screen satire in which he stars as a befuddled boss along with America Ferrara's department store drudge, and touching on hot topics including race, gender and labor unions. Also, terror and fear on SNL; differences between the American and Canadian sense of humor linked to geography The Sopranos and what led McKinney into acting; and depression in comedians connected to a broken world and possibly fascism.

**Nicholas Sparks Discusses The Choice: The popular novelist phones in to Arts Express to talk about the page to screen, latest adaptation of one of his books. Sparks also fields questions about his First Nation surrogate father, how that relationship has informed his life journey, and what he learned from him about Native American Jim Crow in this country. Also, why writing the last page of a book is always the most fulfilling moment of writing for him.

Prairie Miller

Arts Express: Airing on WBAI Radio in NY and the Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.