Is East Chicago the Next Flint?

Source: The Atlantic.

Demetra Turner and her family moved into the West Calumet Public Housing Complex in East Chicago, Indiana in May 2016. A month later, she found out she would have to evacuate her new home due to extremely elevated levels of lead and arsenic in the soil and water. It turned out the public housing complex was sitting on top of a Superfund site, one of the most toxic in the country.

East Chicago is one of many low-income, majority black communities that disproportionately suffer from environmental harm across the country. “We’re going through the same thing Flint went through – neglect,” says resident and activist Sherry Hunter. “And it all has to do with poor black people.”

For more, read The Compounded Pain of Contamination and Dislocation.

Inside “The Defiant Ones,” the raw HBO docuseries on Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine

Source: Billboard.

Allen Hughes says that the biggest challenge he faced while filming “The Defiant Ones,” a four-part HBO documentary series that premieres July 9, was “thinking that it would be easy.” The 45-year-old Hughes brother (one half of the directorial duo, along with fraternal twin Albert, behind “Menace II Society” and “Dead Presidents”) got an immediate green light from HBO in 2013 when he pitched a project on the life of Dr. Dre, 52, whom he had met on an N.W.A music video set 25 years ago.

What was supposed to be a hip-hop documentary ended up as a music-business education centered on the relationship between Dre and Jimmy Iovine, following Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats in 2014. Hughes filmed the series — which features commentary from Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Nicks — over three years, after initially planning for a 12-month shoot; in early June, he was still finishing an interview segment with Kendrick Lamar for the final episode.

“I thought it would be fun, and challenging,” Hughes says of helming the series, “but I didn’t think it would be brutal.” Along with offering insight into Dre and Iovine’s working relationship as Beats Electronics co-founders — Eminem’s line “Jimmy is the levitator, Dre is the innovator” has become the standout sound bite from HBO’s ad campaign — “The Defiant Ones” explores the failures and hardships each has suffered, from Iovine’s high school struggles in 1960s Brooklyn to Dre’s effort to move on from Tupac Shakur’s 1996 death. “When [Hughes] called me to do this, Dre thought it was a good idea, and I trust him,” says Iovine, 64.

Continue reading “Inside “The Defiant Ones,” the raw HBO docuseries on Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine”

‪Kevin Durant to release “Still KD” documentary chronicling path to NBA title

Source: Sporting News.

Kevin Durant couldn’t beat them.

The four-time NBA scoring champion had an MVP-caliber point guard by his side in Russell Westbrook, one of the league’s best defenders in Andre Roberson and a pair of promising big men (Steven Adams and Enes Kanter). The Thunder had captured a 3-1 lead in the 2016 Western Conference finals against the defending world champion Golden State Warriors. After shooting a combined 20 of 62 in Games 5 and 6 before a tough Game 7 loss to be eliminated, Durant sought refuge instead of revenge.

Durant signed with Golden State — whose roster already included two-time MVP Stephen Curry, 3-point champion Klay Thompson and annual Defensive Player of the Year candidate Draymond Green — then helped lead the Warriors to their second title in three years, earning NBA Finals MVP honors as they dispatched of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games earlier this month.

His choice, much like James’ decision to leave the Cavs for the Miami Heat in 2010, caused critics to question his character, labeling him a coward who couldn’t handle being the alpha on a contender.

Now, following a finals that saw him average 35.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.6 blocks, Durant is telling his story with the release of “Still KD,” a Nike documentary set to be released on July 11.

Check out the trailer below.

Documentary scours our noisy world in “In Search Of Silence”

Source: KCLU.

The premiere of John Cage’s famous/notorious composition 4’33” in Woodstock, New York in 1952 stirred some measure of the outrage that greeted Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring,” only here the audience was upset by the notes they didn’t hear, instead of the ones they did. The first of three movements started with the pianist opening the keyboard lid and ended with him closing it; that same pattern was repeated for the next two. After four minutes and 33 seconds, the composition was over and the fury began: “Good people of Woodstock,” one audience member declared, “I think we should run these people out of town.”

The good people of Woodstock felt cheated because they came to a music concert and heard no music. Cage’s piece implies that the deliberate, conscious silence heightens awareness of the fact that music is everywhere—in the natural sounds bleeding through from the outside, in the shifting of seats, in the whispers of “isn’t this pretentious twaddle?” wafting down from the balcony. In the decades since, Cage has won the argument: 4’33” remains his most widely discussed and celebrated work, and it’s been performed by underworked orchestras in venues as exalted as Carnegie Hall. It seems the noisier the world gets, the more essential Cage’s work as an aural palate-cleanser.

Patrick Shen’s documentary “In Pursuit of Silence” include Cage’s work in a spectrum of other sounds, from the quiet of a Kyoto tea ceremony to the decibel-bursting street noise of Mumbai during its three-month festival season. Its central purpose is the same as Cage’s: To make the viewer aware of the sounds they accept without thinking and the ones they’re not attuned to hearing at all. Shen makes his case through a globetrotting survey of different soundscapes and interviews with doctors, theologians, scientists, and others who proselytize about the virtues of quiet and solitude.

Continue reading “Documentary scours our noisy world in “In Search Of Silence””