WBAI-FM Upcoming Program
Arts Express

Wed, Dec 14, 2022 9:00 PM


** "Why would a man shoot himself in the chest 192 times - in a country that worships guns, explosives and comic book superheroes...."

2nd Chance: A Conversation With Director Ramin Bahrani. And what this bizarre documentary has to do with pizza maker Richard Davis and his basement, mythmaking and origin stories, a sex and violence magazine, and fascism.

** "I called up Ringo, and he said Edgar, I'll do it for you. And that touched my heart...That really kind of exemplifies how the whole album came about, it just took on a life of its own."

Edgar Winter Talks 'Brother Johnny.' The rock musician has released an unusual new album, Brother Johnny. A collaborative tribute to his late rocker brother, Johnny Winter, who passed away in 2014. Winter phones in from Texas to talk about the music, nominated for the upcoming Grammy Awards as Best Contemporary Blues Album. 

And how that collaboration including Ringo Starr came together, and why. Along with Winter reflecting that "at the end of the album, I just had this beautiful sense of serenity, of peace and healing. And you know, it's probably not the album Johnny would have made, but I think the album he would have wanted me to make..."

** "A supposedly slice of life which is instead, simply an array of toned Hollywood types masquerading as ordinary..."

Bro On The Global Television Beat: Social Realist TV - Escaping The Corporate Streaming Bubble. Arts Express Paris Correspondent Professor Dennis Broe's deep dive into 'flawed characters all, but the flaws of each have everything to do with a middle class under constant pressure to pretend all is well - and a desperate breaking bad into a sense of how fellow feeling enables budding class cooperation to bloom..."

Plus...A hip poem...Julian Assange and an arresting development in the media...

Emancipation Review: Same Slavery, Different Day...

More often than it should be, unfortunately, movies are the few sources in this country of truth in history, and the resurrection of buried or distorted history. Such is the case of the enormously, simultaneously powerful and devastating Emancipation. Based on the tragic, but persevering life of brutalized but never broken escaped slave Whipped Peter, whose Civil War era photo of his mutilated, scarred back from torture in bondage went viral in Harper's Weekly across a shocked world, Emancipation is the director Antoine Fuqua's finest contribution to what may be termed 'critical race theory cinema' this awards season.

Whipped Peter (Will Smith), designated as simply Gordon by his Louisiana plantation captors, is inspired by the distant sounds of cannons rumored to be a defeated Baton Rouge by the Union Army, sets out on his difficult, terrifying flight across the Louisiana swamps, and battling near death at the hands of plantation mercenaries and alligators alike. And determined to demand his freedom from a leader up North known as 'Lincoln.' And when finally reaching the Union encampment he does just that - but what ensues is the devastating heart and buried history of this movie.

Rather than rumored emancipation, Whipped Peter is confronted by a deriding army which designated escaped slaves as 'contraband' - and offered the options only of toiling in their fields, or becoming a soldier. Choosing the latter, he finds himself sent to the front lines in one of the many segregated contingents, clearly a suicide mission as cannon fodder. While former slaves who made up ten percent of the Union Army, received fewer wages than the white soldiers, and were never considered less than property by the military.

And tremendous credit to Fuqua, who bypasses the usual pressure to depict US patriotic heroics and rarely the dark side, in exposing this disappeared historical reality. Which beyond this movie, points the way not only towards that other period film Gangs Of New York, when white immigrants there staged draft riots in a horrific massacre of blacks, slaughtered, hanged and burned alive because they were blamed for the war regarding a precipitating issue of slavery. But in fact an emancipation that is yet to be attained, with the continuing bondage in violation of the 13th Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery, that still prevails among the mostly millions of color incarcerated in forced slave labor across this country.

Prairie Miller



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