Sunday Matinee: At the End of the Day [Film]

 

“After losing his wife and counseling practice, the only thing 32 year-old Dave Hopper has going for himself is his part-time professorship at his alma mater, a growing Christian college. And the only reason he even got that job was because his previous professor, now ambitious dean, pulled a few strings.

The dean’s plans for growth hit a snag when the property he wants to develop has been promised to a gay support group – which has plans to open an LGBT homeless teen shelter if they can raise the money in time. The dean is forced to take drastic measures, offering Dave his dream job, but he only gets it if he goes undercover in the group and stops them from raising the funds needed to buy the property.

Dave reluctantly agrees, and for the first time, is met face-to-face with the community he has been counseling against his entire career. The awkward and emotional experiences that follow lead Dave on a journey of truth, revealing that life and love are not as black and white as he first thought.” – October Coast PR

Filmmaker’s Statement

I grew up in a conservative, evangelical Christian home. I was taught that we had exclusivity to the truth, and the best way to love the rest of the world was to tell them our “truth.” Specifically, we were taught that “love the sinner, hate the sin” was the loving approach to the LGBTQ community.

It wasn’t until I started experiencing life and people outside of that bubble that I realized how dangerous that worldview is, how much I didn’t know, and that the LGBTQ community is full of the most loving, compassionate, and giving people I’ve ever met.

As my faith and views changed, I was compelled to create my first film about the tensions between the church and the LGBTQ communities. I felt an obligation to call out the misinformation that is taught in many churches at the same time I offer a hug to the LGBTQ community, specifically to those youth who have faced religious rejection.

It is my hope that At the End of the Day can bring healing to many who have been harmed, encouragement to those who have been doing the hard work of equality, and an opportunity for others to question their black-and-white worldview.

– Writer/Director Kevin O’Brien

 

 

 

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I have to start this thing off by saying a very bold statement that I am more than ready to to defend: This is a perfect film. I seriously mean that. Everything from the execution, the performances, to the character development and surprising revolutions, and right down to an ending that, even if you see it coming, is going to figuratively (and hopefully not literally) just plain rip your fucking heart out. It has those cringe-worthy moments that just make you feel sad and/or angry for the injustice in the world, yet has some very whimsical and hilarious comedic moments. Not the least of which are some very hilarious bits brought on by an elderly gentlemen, which I will never not enjoy.

I do have to say that the main thing that really struck a chord with me personally was just how perfectly blunt this film was from beginning to end in terms of the opinions that filmmaker and writer Kevin O’Brien was trying (and succeed) to make very clear. Many people may not actually realize how strictly the evangelical world will adhere to the very black and white way of thinking when it comes to having an opinion on nearly anything. This applies especially to their dealings with the LGBTQ community. Through there “love the sinner, not the sin” bullshit rhetoric, they have managed to face the idea of people not being exactly like them with what is basically a condescending and self-righteous statement. And O’Brien has absolutely no problem pointing this out very matter of factly in a wonderful cinematic way.

 

 

And as we tend to do, we have to talk about the cast! What a damn group of brilliant human beings. Stephen Shane Martin and Danielle Sagona are absolutely brilliant in running the show. Paul Saulo was charismatic as fuck, and just a delight in every second he was on screen. Tom Nowicki made me want to punch him in the mouth every time he spoke, which was right in line with the character he was portraying, so obviously he did amazing! I really could go on and on about the rest of the supporting cast, but I will keep it short and just talk about one more….Chris Cavalier. This fucking kid really blew my mind. I truly loved his performance as Nate, one of the most conflicted characters in the film, and thanks to his brilliant performance, one of the most interesting characters of the film. Cavalier has the type of acting chops that are so good that the probability that he will one day reach a level of success that he will one day abandon the world of indie cinema to pursue Marvel movies & unintelligible Sci-Fi movies like some have in the past (looking at you ScarJo), because he is so talented that he can do well in just about any medium…is very plausible. Let’s hope he keeps on taking on roles like this one, but I would honestly watch him do anything. He was just that damn good. He was a brilliant addition to the cast, and his interactions withe Stephen Shane Martin are absolutely brilliant. I’d say they paired better together than a grape soda and a box of Fruit Roll Ups right before midnight.

It was a truly gripping and compelling experience to watch this film, and I hope you all check it out, and let the ideas that the film presents to us all go directly into your hearts. This film has a beautiful message that needs to be spread. And that is a message of love, if I were to be presumptuous. I know that amongst the hate-filled speech that is spoken with this film, there was an overwhelming sense of love to be felt throughout it. And, at the end of the day (see what I did there?) this is simply a brilliantly made and touching film that is going to make you laugh and cry and hopefully understand a bit more about yourself and the world around you.

 

At the End of the Day is available on iTunes and VOD. 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Matinee: The Lavender Scare [Film]

 

 

“With the United States gripped in the panic of the 1950s Cold War, President Dwight D. Eisenhower deemed homosexuals to be “security risks” and vowed to rid the federal government of all employees discovered to be gay or lesbian.  Over the next four decades,the longest witch-hunt in American history, tens of thousands of government workers would lose their jobs for no reason other than their sexual orientation.

But the mass firings have an unintended effect: they stirred outrage in the gay community, helped ignite the gay rights movement, and thrust an unlikely hero into the forefront of the LGBTQ fight for equality.Partly based on the award-winning book by historian David K. Johnson, THE LAVENDER SCARE  illuminates a little-known chapter of American history, and serves as a timely reminder of the value of vigilance and social action when civil liberties are under attack.” – Emma Griffiths PR

 

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Strap in for something special Dear Readers. We have some things to talk about. The Lavender Scare is a film that has taught me so much about something that I quickly realized I was far too familiar with, but wasn’t entirely aware of as far as specifics and event details were concerned.

I will kick things off before getting on my soapbox about the details of the film by stating that The Lavender Scare is a very well made documentary that evokes a plethora of emotions ranging from pride, back to anger, and flips it all around back to complete amazement. But, let’s be honest, we have 24 time Emmy Award winning producer and broadcast executive Josh Howard running the show in his directorial debut, so the odds are that he could be making a documentary about the process of grass growth, and it was going to be well made, even if this is technically is directorial debut. Howard knows how to bring out the most in interview subjects, and move around their quotes to fit a narrative that not only moves the film along in a steady pace, but manages to hit all of the extremely important plot points of the film. Yes Folks, there truly is a narrative and a collection of plot points that need to be done just right even in a documentary. And Josh nailed them, because that is what he has been doing for many moons. The Lavender Scare is a brilliant film that you will surely find yourself lost within very quickly. Also the god damn QUEEN herself, Glenn Close, is narrating! There is no way this isn’t going to be a wonderfully made film!

Now, if I may casually wipe off my worn down Chuck Taylors and step upon my soap box decorated in purple velvet for such an occasion, I have a few things to say. First of all, I completely understand that the specifications of this film can be emphasized by the intolerant and insufferable section of a country completely devoid of human decency and dead set on widening the divide that already exists. I know this. The film focuses on the impact on government employees who are being outcasted and literally stricken of their livelihoods because of who they decide to love. But obviously, it is about so damn much more than this. Please be warned: I am about to say some of the most cliche shit that you have ever heard. But sometimes certain forms of rhetoric become “cliche” because they are absolutely true, and have to be reemphasized from time to time. So…why in the hell did it ever matter? The sexual orientation of a file clerk at the Department of Agriculture wouldn’t, didn’t, and never will affect the work that said employee would ever perform. What does it actually effect? Well, it effects the potential of what said file clerk could possibly accomplish, that nobody knew they could! This can be said about the women, black people, and any other person of color who was denied the opportunity to pursue their dreams based solely on the way the looked. Seriously Folks, just start to let your mind wonder about the lost potential that was driven by (predominately) asshat straight white male Americans who saw themselves as the superior beings and had an inability to see the potential good that was being disregarded.

 

 

I do feel the need to say that I have personally witnessed the impact that allowing openly gay humans to serve in the military and other government duties has had on the security to our nation. And in short: The impact is nothing. Absolutely NOTHING! And when I say nothing, I strictly mean nothing in the negative sense. There have been zero negative impact to ANYTHING! In fact, it could only be positive! The repeal of the absolute bullshit Don’t Ask Don’t Tell nonsense (which I know is praised in the film, but c’mon, what a cop out? I’ll buy a “good start” theory, but seriously?), quickly led me to having an openly gay boss in my day job, which happens to be for the government. And do you want to know what impact it had on me? NONE! He was just a nice person, a great person to work for, and who he decided to be romantic with in his off time had zero impact on how we accomplished our goals for the day. Actually, I met his husband on several occasions, and he was a very nice man! Imagine that Folks, they’re just people! As The Lavender Scare states several times, “the evidence did not exist” for disgusting people like Ike & Dick to present homosexuality as something to be feared. It was simply hate. No way around it. Hate has fueled the government’s actions since the beginning. Hate and Fear. The tides appear to be turning, but only time will tell if this is true.

Now, getting back to the film, shall we. As “woke” or down for the cause of human equality as I would like to believe that I am, I also have to be honest when I say that I learned ALOT in watching The Lavender Scare. I honestly did not know much about what was happening in this era beyond my love for The Beat Generation. My limited knowledge of the 1950’s was surrounding one specific group of people, who made it seem so glamorous to be young, broke, gay, alcoholic, what have you, during this time. I obviously had a lot to learn. One figure that I was particularly unaware of and is heavily showcased in this film was one Frank Kameny. What a hell of a guy, am I right? The fight that this man went through is absolutely incredible. But what struck me the most was the absolute pride he had in what he had accomplished. The man was, deservedly so, proud of himself for what he helped spearhead. And dammit, he deserved to be so proud! I have watched other documentaries where an actor may be talking the way Kameny did towards the end of his life, with pride over a TV series or a particular film, and it simply comes off as arrogant. But, in this case, Kameny deserves to have a very high level of positive arrogance for what he has accomplished. He is freaking HERO, if we have ever had one, and he deserves to be known as such.

I implore everyone to watch The Lavender Scare as soon as humanly possible. Follow the film around social media, do whatever you have to do to take in this masterpiece of a documentary with a very real and engaging message that needs to be spread amongst the masses. Just do it.

 

 

The Lavender Scare will open theatrically in New York (Cinema Village) and Los Angeles (Laemmle Music Hall) on Friday, June 7, 2019, timed to the 50-year anniversary of Stonewall, with a national release to follow. For more details, check out the film’s WEBSITE for further details. 

 

New Music Tuesday: Tremendous – Open For Closing [Single]

 

Oh do we have something absolutely wonderful to share with you all today. Let me start this out by stating that “Open For Closing” is a brilliant, and systematically engineered absolutely PERFECT song. Seriously Folks, this beautiful track has everything that, I personally feel, is required to be a perfect track. From the soft beginning that quickly ramps up into a hard as hell and also anthemic like vocal structure. With ironic and open for interpretation lyrics that breathe into your ear holes with a sound that is part glam rock, part 80’s hair metal, yet has a far greater and more modern collection of guitar work that is more reminiscent of the best of what we heard in the early 00’s, but without the cheese. This is truly an amazing 3 minute experience that you will quickly turn into a 6 minute experience. And then 9, 12, 27, 300, and so on. It’s an absolutely brilliant record, and I am so happy that it was brought to my attention, and you can rest assure that the name Tremendous will be appearing on these digital pages as the year 2019 progresses forward.

“Open For Closing” is the third single from Tremendous’s forthcoming debut full length album, Relentless, that will be coming to the world this coming September, and I am so damned excited to check out this album, and of course share it with you all when the time comes. Tremendous has that sort of sound that is obviously influenced from another era, yet is completely original in its own right. As I expressed before, there are recognizable elements that will be obvious, but there is something extremely modern and sort of cleaned up about the arrangement in which the track is presented. This could be partially due to the fact that they have acclaimed Kings of Leon and Robert Plant producer Gavin Monaghan piecing the whole thing together. But, I dare say that he was handed a proverbial chunk of gold, and was asked to add a few bits of platinum into it. Folks, it is a damn fine track, and it’s definitely going to leave you wanting more and more.

For our readers in the UK, check out Tremendous doing “Open For Closing” & more live for yourself as they will be performing at Dublin Castle in London on April 4th. Check out the event HERE.

 

“Open For Closing’ will be available for streaming and purchase wherever you do these things (iTunes, Spotify, etc.) on April 12th.

Until then, check out this wonderfully original video for the song, and bask in the glory that is “Open For Closing”:

 

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/GlautZGr6HE&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen>

Wendy Robie [Interview]

Hello Folks! I am as usual very excited to showcase today’s amazing guest interview. Especially so, as we are breaking new ground right at the end of our 10 year run here. Today’s guest is Wendy Robie, Everyone! Wendy is a brilliant performer, who absolutely shined in my personal favorite dramatic series of all time, the amazing Twin Peaks. The OG run, of course. Well, also the third season as well. Wendy played the infamously eye-patched Nadine Hurley, and was a personal favorite character of mine.

Wendy is actually the first cast member we have had from the OG run of Twin Peaks. We’ve spoken with some folks who appeared in the most recent third season, but this marks our ability to add Twin Peaks performers to our roster. And seeing that we are a month out from shutting our digital doors, I am very happy that Wendy was able to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.

So Folks, please enjoy some amazing words from an exceptional performer of screen and stage, the brilliant Wendy Robie!

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What inspired you to get into the world of performance? Was it something you have wanted to do since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?    

I’m sorry this will be a boring answer to an interesting question, so I’m glad to get it out of the way. I was one of those kids who put on plays in the back yard for relatives and neighbors.  I was very bossy.  However, opportunities were limited.  Without going into detail, I’ll just say that my route into show business was circuitous indeed. 

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this project that still affect your work to date?    

I played Helena in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Monterey Shakespeare Festival in’82. I learned how seductive laughter can be, and how easily one can hurt oneself doing some pratfall one thinks is just hilarious. On that first job, I observed the professionalism of the actors I admired.  I’ve followed that work ethic ever since. 

You were absolutely incredible as Nadine Hurley in the seminal classic TV series Twin Peaks. I am curious to know what drew you to this insanely original series? What was it about the world that David Lynch created that made you want to live in it for a while?  

In the fall of ’89 when David Lynch and Mark Frost came to Seattle to shoot the pilot for Twin Peaks, I was one of several local stage actors called in to audition.  When I met David and Mark, they told me about Nadine and her eye.  I slapped my hand over my left eye and asked, “This one?”. David laughed and Mark said, “Yes.” Lucky guess. I loved playing Nadine, and I hold her secrets close.  I respect her — her innocence and pain, her yearning and courage.  She never gives up.  She’s like an unstoppable, inconvenient, unwanted puppy.  Her outlandish behavior makes her an easy target for mockery.  Meanwhile, she wanders in a firestorm of loneliness. In Twin Peaks, David Lynch and Mark Frost created a dreamy world of mystery and menace.  Nadine lives there in her own mystery, broken and beautiful where she is broken. 

And how was the return back in 2017 for the latest installment? Was it like old times, and just jumping right back into the proverbial saddle? How was this experience?  

The Return was just astonishing.  I can’t even describe it except to say that it was our Twin Peaks but so much more.  I’ve watched those 18 hours three times since it first aired on Showtime.  Every time I just take the epic ride.  My personal experience was different.  I was so happy and grateful to see these people again, these people that I adore and have missed.  We were so lucky to have shared this experience. When Nadine jauntily marches up that road with her shovel over her shoulder she is earning her own redemption.  How great is that! 

The fandom revolving around Twin Peaks is one of wild devotion and extreme loyalty, I have come to notice. At least that is my perception. But as somebody obviously more well informed, I am curious to know what you think? How have your fan interactions been over the years?

Most of the Twin Peaks fans I’ve met are filmmakers and artists themselves. I’ve met Twin Peaks fans from all over the world.  Agent Cooper is much loved in Finland, you’ll be pleased to know.  The fans know more about Twin Peaks than I do. 

While you have worked in just about every genre imaginable, one of them happens to be one of our all time favorites around here. And that would be the world of horror. I am curious to know how you enjoy working in this world? What do you believe it is that sets it apart from other genres?    

It’s true.  I’ve appeared in a few horror movies.  But I’m not really knowledgeable.  If I had to say what sets the genre apart, I’d say blood, lots and lots of blood. But that can also be said of Greek Tragedy.  I’ve played Clytemnestra in The Oresteia.  She gave her husband a bath and hacked him up with a battle axe.  Trust me: he had it coming.  I’ve played Lady MacBeth a couple of times. Now there’s a play with terror, murder, ghosts, and witches. But we don’t call it Horror.  That’s classical theatre. That’s Shakespeare.  Here’s the secret:  it’s fun.  But there’s a great story and glorious language and profound human truths underpinning all that bloody, frightening skullduggery.   I think that’s true in horror movies, too.  There has to be a human truth and a structure or it just isn’t going to matter.  Wes Craven knew that.   

If you were handed the opportunity to create and/or appear in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?   

This one is easy. Since I was 8 years old my idol has been Amelia Earhart! I would love to write that, to gather all the information available and just see if there’s more her story has to tell us.  Thank you for that question. 

What else does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?    

Watch for Michael Smith’s latest film, Relative ( www.whitecity.com ). We start filming in Chicago this summer.  Yes!  It is time to begin again. 

What was the last thing that made you smile?   

The headline in today’s New York Times: “Chauvin Guilty in Floyd’s Death”. Smile isn’t really a strong enough word.  A prayer of thanksgiving is more like it.

Sunday Matinee: The New West and the Politics of the Environment [Film]

 

“The film explores how iconic Nevada Senator Harry Reid set the foundations for a green new deal in the state using power in new ways to settle water wars with respect for Native Americans, protect endangered species and usher in a just transition to renewable energy.” – PRANA PR

“A quiet, little-known revolution is taking place in American environmental politics in a most surprising place—Nevada. In this feature-length documentary, Earth Focus tells the story of Harry Reid, a politician who grew up in an Old West mining town, saw the possibility of a New West emerging in Nevada, and rode that change to power. Reid used power in new ways to settle water wars with respect for Native Americans, protect endangered species and wilderness, and usher in a just transition to renewable energy. Could this western green new deal set an example for the nation?” – KCET

 

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In the military, at least the Air Force that is, several e-mail correspondences will begin with something called “BLUF”. It stands for “Bottom Line Up Front”. And now that I am typing this out, it may be something used in several other industries, but I really do not know. Either way, I feel as though it is an appropriate addition to this article.

BLUF: Nevada is an immaculately beautiful state, and Senator Harry Reid is a major reason that it has remained as such. But, there is so much more to be done. And this documentary will explain it all in great detail.

 

Still a bit wordy, huh? Well, I think you all get it. The New West and the Politics of the Environment attempts, and succeeds, in demonstrating just how important it is that our political structure (as crumbling as it may seem) is crucial to the idea that human kind may be able to continue to reside on this giant rock for the foreseeable future, if the right people take action. It’s literally the most important issue to date, although it seems as though it is constantly being side-stepped by issues that, while surely are important, shall remain null and void if we don’t have an earth that is functioning for humans because humans just want to screw the whole thing up. I am not the most informed person on the matter, and beyond donating a few bucks to organizations attempting to fix the situation, I could never rightfully call myself an “environmentalist”. But, I do understand that bringing a snowball into a congressional hearing does not prove that Global Warming is a hoax. And I am not lost in the irony that the most legendary “Not A Crook”, crooked Presidents of all time also agreed that saving the planet should be a bi-partisan effort. Which always leads me to wonder…were oil lobbyist just not as prevalent? How did he do that? But, I digress.

While the concept of saving the earth from shitty humans and our inhumane ways is definitely the overall concept expressed in this film, there is one character that truly needs to be addressed. And before you begin to think what I am getting to next, it’s not Harry Reid. Sorry, just had to jump out with that. Harry has done incredible things, and we will get to that later. But, it’s important to stay focused. No, the most important character in this film is actually the state of Nevada. BOOM! (Oh no, that might be inappropriate, please let me explain).

Like so many of the 300+ million Americans living in this land (and the rest of us residing outside of it), when I think of the state of Nevada, I think of one thing only: the hit Comedy Central & now Quibi show Reno 911. Alright, I kid. Yes, it’s Las Vegas. It’s “Sin City”. It’s the home state of arguably the greatest film ever made by Martin Scorsese (arguably by me, and probably no-one else, but I’m ready to argue). Which I would learn in watching this documentary, Harry Reid was a major part of taking all the fun out of, but we shall forgive him because he is making the earth better, which is cool I guess. It’s the only part of the state that I have ever been to for a 3 day stint that involved a time-share presentation that earned free money at the Luxor in which nothing was earned, a surprised topless acrobatic show, and the best Brazilian steakhouse I have ever eaten at thanks to Groupon and their 2 for 1 coupons. But, I have actually have had a couple of close relatives die in the state of Nevada. Others have had their ashes spread in the state of Nevada. And some that have moved to the state of Nevada to wait to die, and most likely have their ashes spread in the state of Nevada. So, the state is a bit more important to me personally than a topless show hosted by the 6th runner up of America’s Got Talent and the best fucking steak I’ve ever eaten in my life, seriously, I believe it’s at the Venetian with the sky on the ceiling and stuff, it was SO good.

 

 

But, it is for certainly not self-involved reasons such as I mentioned above that I have become such a Harry Reid stan. I honestly wish that Harry could watch all 4 of the Lethal Weapon films and realize that he’s “not too old for this shit”. And maybe he has? Not that he watched all of these films, although I hope he has, but that he has noticed that while he has retired from politics, he has been able to focus on the subjects that worry him the most. It’s pretty evident with The New West and the Politics of the Environment. He clearly believes in what he has said in the past as he continues to do so. We all know that there is money in politics to be made, even when they are not active in the matter. But, the idea of saving the planet has never been a factor that leeches to the untamed mind as a way to make a great deal of money. It’s possible obviously, but I truly believe that it is not foreseen in this instance.

Senator Harry Reid is, let’s face it, is an OG “one of the good ones”. Despite your possible stance on the idea of letting the mob continue to run Vegas because you are a regular dude who loves Scorsese so much, you have to admit that he is a phenomenal figure. His appreciation for the cultural traditions of the Native American tribes of Nevada are stupendous. His stance agains the nuclear testing that the USAF is doing to his native land is heroic (yes, I understand the contradictory affects of this statement because of my opening statement, but I shall continue).

While Las Vegas and a popular improvised Comedy Central series may have put the state on the map, Harry Reid has been crucial to keeping the state, and this planet, on the actual map. His work in Congress to make the the state of Nevada, the country, the world, a more sustainable place to exist upon can not be forgotten. And it is of the upmost importance that we honor him and continue to head the message he is providing. He’s still with us, Folks! Often times we seem to “treasure” the ideals of those who have come before us. Which is great. But, let’s honor the wishes of the great Senator Harry Reid while he is still living and being so damn cool amongst us! How do we do that?

Well, start by checking out The New West and the Politics of the Environment. Learn from it. And do as they suggest. Vote. Donate. Activate. That is actually one of the most fun things about this modern age. There are SO many ways that you can help out. Shit, just recycle, if you haven’t already been doing that. It feels weird to think that the latter is such a revolutionary concept, but I promise to you all living on either coast, it’s not an entirely regular practice. But, I digress.

Alright, I feel as though I have sad enough, and definitely more than I intended to say. I am just so excited about the possibilities that this film has brought to the world and the continuation of human kind residing upon this rock. Thank you so much Jaime Monez for directing this gem of a documentary that I hope gets world wide recognition.

If we can start with Nevada, we can continue moving forward with the rest of the planet.

 

 

For more information and how you can watch the film, see dates below and visit KCET.org for details.

 

AIRDATES

  • TuesdaySep29 8:00 PM PT
    KCET-HD
  • WednesdaySep30 12:00 AM PT
    KCET-HD
  • SundayOct4 6:30 PM PT
    KCET

 

 

New Music Tuesday: Honey Gentry – H.G. [Album]

 

Hello Folks! And welcome back to our first New Music Tuesday in quite some time. We have gone away from this segment over the last few months, but today we have an album to talk about that is simply too good to pass up the chance to boast over and tell you all to rush out and get ASAP.

If you all could think way way back to the year 2019. August. A mere 13 months to the date, but feeling like a lifetime ago, we showcased a brilliant singer songwriter and their EP, Dreamlover. It was an absolutely masterpiece of an EP with tracks landing solidly on our Top 100 Songs list. Well, that singer songwriter is Honey Gentry, and it appears as though she is back to steal and/or break our hearts again with her beautiful sad pop songs that evoke just the deepest of emotions. And while escapism is always an option in your musical choices, maybe some times it is best to reflect on the chaos and how sad things can get, in order to make them better. Well, if the latter is to be believed, I can not recommend Honey Gentry’s full length album, H.G., to you enough. It’s a delicate yet impactful album filled with blissful tales of tragedy yet also triumph.

One quality of Honey Gentry’s work that seems obvious to me is her amazing voice. It’s one of those collection of vocal elements that is very familiar, yet incredibly unique, and all around pleasant. She is also one hell of a songwriter. Whether she is tackling subjects like identity, isolation, mental illness, or loss & beyond, Honey makes it an audible experience for the ages. She’ll even bring a low-key Madonna in the 80’s tone on a track like “Losing My Charm” that is beautiful! But, as we tend to lead towards the more catchy and melodic tracks around here, and I love every every song on this album, much like having multiple children….you have to chose a favorite. Sorry, this is just the truth. So for me, it’s a tie between “Valentine” and “The Bell Jar” for the stealing of my heart.

So, listen to it for yourself, Folks! It’s available today. It also happens to be Honey Gentry’s birthday! So let’s make it one that she is not surely to forget. You get to hear one of the best (if not THE best?) albums of 2020, and Honey can continue to bring her magic into the world. Everybody wins.

Seriously Folks, the sky is the limit for this incredible artist, and you are going to want to get on board now. So take a nice look back at her two previous EPs, and check out H.G. today! You truly will not regret it.

 

To grab a copy of H.G. today, head to wherever you listen to music or I would recommend heading to honeygentry.com to get it on digital or limited edition vinyl. Enjoy!

 

Sunday Matinee: American Trial [Film]

 

“AMERICAN TRIAL: The Eric Garner Story is an unscripted, hybrid fiction-documentary about the case that never happened. A mock trial with the real players (with the exception of the actor who plays Pantaleo), the film depicts the trial that would have followed Garner’s death had Pantaleo been indicted. In the pursuit of accuracy, balance and unbiased accountability, the film uses former New York State prosecutors, real attorneys and actual witnesses, all to present to the jury – in this case, the audience – the facts necessary to determine Pantaleo’s guilt or innocence. No script. Only real people and real testimonies in a courtroom setting through a cinematic lens.  In a unique, interactive experience, viewers will then be asked to vote on the charges at the end of the film via an embedded ballot.” – Passion River Films

 

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Folks, I would dare say that we have one of the most original films we have ever had on the history of this site. The description above tells you exactly how it works, but it simply cannot convey the surrealism and emotional journey that the film takes you on. I know it probably goes without saying, but it’s just so damn REAL. If there is any biasness to be had, it’s only in the fact that the film was even made. But, the evidence brought forth on both sides of the courtroom is jarring and has such a very realistic feel to it, that thoughts of biasness should really be taken off the table. As I stated before, this is truly one of the most original ways of filmmaking that I have ever seen. A full on dramatic depiction of the events surround the tragic death of Eric Gardner could have been done, but I believe in my heart of hearts that this was the exact way to get a very troubling and very serious point across.

I know it can sound corny to say, but American Trial is absolutely more of an experience than a film. The film guides you through what exactly might have happened if the justice system in our country had prevailed and did the god damn job, if I’m to be brash. And I’m not trying to give any spoilers here, but I simply must admit that the inclusion of Garner’s widow, Esaw Snipes Garner, was just about the most heartbreaking and brave things I have ever seen a person do. She is a commendable human being, and I cannot convey just proud of a person who I have never met. The courage she showed was incredible. And I also feel the need to add that filmmaker Roee Messinger may already be one of the most original minds of this generation. And this is their first feature film!

I can say with all honesty and sincerity that American Trial: The Eric Garner Story is my favorite film of 2020 thus far. And that it is going to take a lot to move the film out of the number one spot by the end of the year.

 

AMERICAN TRIAL: The Eric Garner Story opens virtually in theaters May 18-21. A live-streamed Q&A with director Roee Messinger and Eric Garner’s wife, Esaw Snipes Garner, will take place on May 21, where the audience jury verdict will be announced.

Please visit the AMERICAN TRIAL website for more information on theaters, tickets and the Q&A: www.passionriver.com/AmericanTrial

 

 

Saturday Special: Cry For The Bad Man [Film]

 

“When a small-town widow is grieving in isolation, she receives a deadly ultimatum from the privileged sons of a local land developer to sell her beloved property. With 24 hours to decide and her pleas to the town’s corrupt sheriff falling on deaf ears, she realizes she must take matters into her own hands. Her quest for justice turns into an all-out battle and grisly confrontation.” – October Coast PR

 

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Hello Folks! Today we are sharing a truly wonderful and suspenseful film that may just surprise the hell out of you if you’re not careful. Cry For the Bad Man is a lot of things, but one thing it is not is subtle. It’s a bloody story of extortion and will power, and holding on to what is rightfully yours by the powers that would not only take it from you, but are willing to let you die in the process. Writer/Director Sam Farmer is a new name for me personally, but it is for sure one that I will be on the lookout for in the future.

 

 

Cry For The Bad Man invokes a lot of emotion and demands strict attention throughout, in my opinion. Of course a lot of this could have to do with the presence of the horror legend herself, Camille Keaton. Camille continues to prove that after 40 years in the world of horror, she knows EXACTLY what she is doing. And while she is obviously wonderful in Cry For the Bad Man, I have to admit that it was the trio of would be villain brothers that truly intrigued me the most, especially Scott Peeler’s performance as Wayne. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about his character simply scared the shit out of me. It’s likely simply a combination of a great performance and well written character, but I feel like there is something even more to it than just that.

I’m telling you Folks, if you are looking for a suspense thriller with enough twists to fill a year, yet takes place over a couple of nights, you are absolutely going to love Cry For The Bad Man. As I would usually say, I cannot recommend it enough.

 

Cry for the Bad Man is available now on DVD and VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment.

 

 

Sunday Matinee: Mossville: When Great Trees Fall [Film]

 

“Mossville: When Great Trees Fall is a powerful and intimate documentary exposing the link between race and environmental injustice.  It’s the story of a centuries-old black community in Louisiana, contaminated by petrochemical plants, struggling with the loss of its ancestral home. The film focuses on one man who stands in the way of a plant’s expansion and refuses to give up on his family home – and his community.” – Maggi Simpson PR

 

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Today we have an absolutely mind-blowing and insanely frustrating film to share with you all today. Mossville: When Great Trees Fall should not only be watched for informative reasons, it should be a god damned message to say the least. Imagine if everything you ever knew was literally taken from you. What if you lived with knowing that a major corporation that is hell bent on destroying the earth for profit, is willing to do whatever it means to move you out of their way? Even if that means essentially murdering you? How do you think you would handle this situation?

The world is in a mass hysteria right now over COVID19. People are understandably furious about the governments reactions to the spread of this virus. But, I implore you all to check out Mossville, and understand that this is not a new concept. Black families have been getting poisoned, killed, and losing their heritage for a very long time now. I am sad to say that I was completely unaware of this, and that is nothing short of white privilege. This I am fully aware of. But it is suffice to say that if you think the rich not giving a shit about the poor is a new concept, you really need to look deep inside your own soul as well as do a bit more research. The genocide is continuous. And it is only the poor who suffers. Always.

 

 

Watching the “residents” of Mossville struggle to retain what little bit of an identity they have to the place they grew up is probably one of the most heartbreaking things I have witnessed on film in a very long time. The actions of one of the film’s subjects, Stacey Ryan, is absolutely commendable, and he should be proud of what he accomplished. He is definitely a stronger man than I would be, I’ll tell you that much for free.

This film from documentarian filmmaker Alexander Glustrom is another example of a film that should be shown in social studies classrooms across the globe. It’s a beautifully made film about a very ugly situation, and I implore you all to check it out as soon as possible.

 

MOSSVILLE: When Great Trees Fall will be broadcast nationally on the PBS series Reel South beginning May 25 and on the world channel beginning May 31st.

 


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/145085489″>&quot;Mossville: When Great Trees Fall&quot; Trailer &ndash; In Theaters March 2020</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/fireriverfilms”>Fire River Films</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Sunday Matinee: Red Rover [Film]

 

“Damon spends his waking hours searching for that elusive something. Whether it’s for deeper meaning, love, or just “treasure” on the beach with his metal detector, but to no avail. So when Damon meets an offbeat musician named Phoebe handing out flyers for a one way trip to Mars, a bond quickly forms. She’s going to help him find that thing he is looking for by sending him 33.9 million miles away, even though what he needs might be right in front of him.” – October Coast PR

 

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I can’t even begin to lie to you, Folks. This one got to me. While I don’t have any specific experiences like the events that occur in Red Rover, I can relate to the feeling of wanting to get away from the real world so badly that I would, hypothetically speaking, rather move to Mars. Well, what if that was a reality? What if you were offered the opportunity to start fresh in a literal whole new planet. What if you feel like your life is in shambles and their are no repairable qualities about yourself? But more importantly, when such an opportunity becomes a reality….what could keep you back? These are the very personal questions that Red Rover presents, and I am here to say that they present it extremely well. Filmmaker Shane Belcourt has directed his way directly into my heart with this film, which is easily one of my favorite films of 2020. I wouldn’t be so bold as to guarantee a placement, but with 8 months left in the year, and a whole lot of time on my hands, I know that when we are talking end of year favorites, Red Rover will be nearing the top.

 

 

The previously mentioned filmmaker and co-writer Shane Belcourt and writing partner Duane Murray have a truly unique story to tell with Red Rover. And that story is merely amplified by some incredible performances. Kristian Brunn and Cara Gee absolutely light up the screen with obvious chemistry and that actually made he yell at my screen, when no one was awake, something along the lines of “What are you DOING man?”. You’ll get it when you see it. Or you won’t, and I am just an insane person. Either way, the latter mentioned performer, Cara Gee, may have just moved into my mental line up as one of the most wonderful performers of the modern age. And I’ve honestly never watched any of her other work, but I certainly will now! If she does half as amazing of a job as she does with Red Rover, I know I will enjoy all that she gives. Simply phenomenal.

So Folks, if you are looking for a film to pull on your heartstrings a bit, and make you feel something for once in your god damned life, I highly suggest Red Rover. It’s funny and poignant at times, down right upsetting with sadness at others, and is an overall delightful film that I can not recommend enough.

 

Red Rover will be available on VOD on May 12th, 2020 from IndieCan Entertainment.