Nelson George’s BROOKLYN BOHEMEMarch 13, 2012


Nelson George’s BROOKLYN BOHEME

Showtime

Editor's Note: BROOKLYN BOHEME is now available on demand (FilmBuff).

 

Media savant T Tara Turk goes deep inside cable TV to reveal Video On Demand's Hidden Gems so even the busiest of our readers can get the most out of On Demand TV. Tell Tara what VOD shows you think deserves her attention.

 

BROOKLYN BOHEME

By T. Tara Turk

 

The first time I moved to New York from Detroit for college, one of the first things I did was go straight to Prospect Park to see the place where Spike Lee filmed his bike scene with Denzel Washington for MO BETTA BLUES. This was a clear sign that I was going to be apart of this movement, whatever it was, since my sights to see were vastly different from the usual.

BROOKLYN BOHEME on Showtime On Demand is Writer/Critic/Filmmaker Nelson George’s documentary on the Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene and it’s popular 1990s art scene.

 

It is a beautiful love story

much like that of Woody Allen to New York or Paris

or Scorsese's tribute to Manhattan.

 

Very few filmmakers could shoot this Brooklyn relationship (although poet/writer/filmmaker Pierre Bennu is one I think who could compliment this one brilliantly) because it’s really something you had to be there to see. I know youngsters hate hearing older people say that (gasp- when did I put myself in that latter group?) but it’s definitely true. If you weren’t there and you’re keen to see how a renaissance gets started, you’ll love this labor of truth from George.

 


Nelson George (Courtesy of Showtime)

George’s doc is comprised of very personal interviews with very known people (mostly because they are his friends) like Chris Rock, Spike Lee, Rosie Perez, Talib Kweli, Lisa Jones and Saul Williams to name a few.

 



The chapters of the doc are chronological, starting with the early inhabitants of the then super regular and ungentrified neighborhood, which include Lee, Vernon Reid and Branford Marsalis. This was time when most of those up and coming artists were mostly kids of Brooklynite parents or children of jazz musicians who bought homes in Fort Greene early on due the price and location to the West Village (just two stops away). But then this kids starting creating magical art like “School Days” and stayed in the neighborhood where they worked thus creating a movement of familial synergy and cultural discourse that would last for years on end.

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A BAND CALLED DEATH Takes The On Demand StageMay 23, 2013


A BAND CALLED DEATH Takes The On Demand Stage

Drafthouse Films

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: A BAND CALLED DEATH (Drafthouse Films), is available for digital download and VOD.


See the latest Independent Movie On Demand (IMOD) Trailers here...

 

A BAND CALLED DEATH

By T. Tara Turk

 

As a writer, every so often I read a truth that’s so much stranger than fiction, I almost get jealous I didn’t conjure it myself.

 

The rockumentary A BAND CALLED DEATH is so fantastical...

 

...that I wouldn’t have believed if it the filmmakers hadn’t presented such great evidence of this crazy story of a black pre-punk band made up of three brothers from Detroit and their 35 year comeback.

Let’s cover the parts of the story that aren’t so foreign to most of us, especially garage bands. Three brothers start jamming together. They create what they think is some of the best music that could come out of their veins. They find a studio to record. They almost get a deal. They don’t compromise though and the deal goes the way of the wind. Slowly they disband after trying several incarnations of the music they’ve created only to wind up with one brother walking away and the two remaining brothers forming a bar reggae band in New England.

 

Bob / A BAND CALLED DEATH (Drafthouse Films)

Got it? Good because there’s so much more that’s completely beyond belief.

The fact that Dannis, Bob and David Hackney were able to form a band playing pre punk in 1973, two years before anyone knew what a Ramone was, in the middle of Motown would be surprising to some but not to anyone who’s actually been raised in Detroit. Detroit is and has always been a renaissance city (even my high school is named Renaissance) that could host so many different art forms that it’s a wonder we don’t have music hall of fames, Detroit muse statues and a Mount Olympus of our own.

The fact that Clive Davis offered the band a deal in the mid 70s but David, the group’s leader and visionary, refused to change the band’s name no matter the circumstances is the stuff most hardcore rebel musicians dreams are made of.

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