Movie Madness University ONLINE
One of the most feel-good film stories of the last 10 years didn't happen on a movie screen, but behind one—when the Hollywood Theatre successfully took over Movie Madness, the local video rental store that's more like a movie museum, a hallowed hall of learning for anyone seeking to up their cinephile status. Just before COVID shut everything down, Movie Madness had launched "Movie Madness University," a series of at-home screenings, lectures and discussions, all hosted by film experts. But with some behind-the-scenes adjustments made, the program is not only back, but more accessible and affordable! The courses begin later in May, but the program was announced today, and slots will likely fill up fast, so secure your seat and help support a pair of Portland institutions.
Antony & Cleopatra
National Theatre Home continues its stellar stay-at-home programming with another pair of powerhouse performances after last week's showing of Danny Boyle's Frankenstein (starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller). This week, the one-two punch of onstage brilliance comes in the form of Sophie Okonedo and Ralph Fiennes bringing Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra to life under the direction of Simon Godwin. If you're feeling like diving into the deep end a little, don't sweat that: National Theatre's YouTube doesn't just provide the play in full (with an intermission! Fancy!) but provides a lot of background material to poke through to help you feel up-to-speed before you hit play.
Trial By Media
Netflix takes a break from offering up that smooth-brained binge material to premiere this six-part true-crime docuseries (!) today, from producer George Clooney. Trial by Media investigates the way the court of law became one of America's most reliably entertaining reality shows. If that sounds somewhat dark, that's because it is, and the miniseries takes care to spotlight six different high-profile trials (including a wrongful death suit against The Jenny Jones Show and Rod Blagojevich's crimes against democracy—which he just got pardoned for by our idiot president, btw), and the way the coverage of those trials shifted perceptions and expectations of notions as basic as "justice" and "criminality." And, of course, "entertainment."
Tiny Desk Concert: The Free Nationals feat. Anderson .Paak
Whoa, whoa whoa whoa. Wait a minute: NPR was just sitting on a whole-ass sequel to their most-watched, most-loved installment of their Tiny Desk Concert series? And they were sitting on it for almost two months? Those well-read, well-educated, heavily-cultured little bastards! Anderson .Paak returned to the Tiny Desk studios with the Free Nationals in early March, just before COVID-19 started shutting everything down, and put on another show that will very likely hang around every YouTube recommendation for the next five years like the first one did. Go ahead and get the first of what's probably gonna be a couple hundred loops of this thing out of the way today.
Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott
Hey, speaking of getting a late pass: Did you only just recently find out that there was a "battle" between these two queens of neo-soul? The Verzuz series on Instagram Live has been an island of delight in the constantly churning waters of the coronavirus crisis, and this last Saturday night saw Jill Scott and Erykah Badu trade both hits and stories back and forth for a couple hours. If you want a recap of those highlights, The Root has you covered right here, but if you want to provide your day a soundtrack sure to keep you lifted, just click play on their combined playlists below.