As anyone who has regularly reads this column knows, I consider the BBC TV series MI-5 up in the honor roll of great modern TV series (and side note for fellow fans: An MI-5 movie is coming soon). The folks behind it, England’s Kudos Productions, helmed this one too, created by The X Files veteran Frank Spotnitz. It only ran for eight episodes on Cinemax (and can be seen on the channel’s On Demand offerings as well as DVD), but there’s such depth and detailed plotting with near-dizzying twists, turns, mysteries and intrigue that I image I’ll watch it all again within the next few months and like it even more the next time around. Like MI-5, it’s stylish and a bit sexy (but in the most classy way), and set in the realm of private intelligence work in London, it’s a vibrant tapestry of moral ambiguity, mystery and mixed motives that tackles big modern geopolitical issues through the work and actions of people. If you’re into spy game entertainment as much I am, Hunted is well worth seeking out.”
Rad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971-1990 by Little Feat — No 1970s rock’n’roll band quite compares with Little Feat for uniqueness, instrumental virtuosity and distinctiveness, splendidly original songwriting, soulfulness, and general dada/boho/swamp roots ingenuity as Little Feat when led by its prime singer, writer and masterful slide guitarist Lowell George, who died in 1979 at age 34 while he was on tour promoting his solo album, Thanks I’ll Eat It Here (not included). There’s never been a band quite like them since (including the Little Feat regrouped by its surviving members in 1987). Hence this 13-disc set is a worthy investment for any who knew the band in its day and anyone who wishes to discover and delve into one of the greatest American groups ever that lingered in between cult status and the mainstream in its run.
I somehow managed to not see this 1995 movie set in the downtown Manhattan demimonde of the 1980s in which I lived and, yes, partied for nearly 20 years. But as it opens with a tracking shot of rickety wooden stairs up a loft building that felt just like what I’d seen tromping up to this loft party and that, I knew I’d be charmed. It remains probably Parker Posey’s trademark performance as a flighty yet clever scenester, and a fun slice of life that captures much about a time that doesn’t lose its appeal over time.
From The Progressive Populist, July 1-15, 2014
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