NEW YEARS CHEER- A Nostalgic Look at Past New Years Through Images, Movies and Music

Welcome 2022!

We have brought back some of our favorite images, videos and music from our last version of this celebration in January 2020 and added a lot of new finds and fun. You will find music, food, drinks, photos and more. From Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald to Chuck Berry, Etta James, The Ramones, L’l Nas, Nina Simone, and  watch The Grateful Dead’s New Year’s Eve 4+ hour concert to close Winterland following a collection of Dead NYE concert posters. There are superheroes, favorite cartoon characters, comedians including Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Laurel & Hardy and the Three Stooges plus how to  countdown to midnight with Star Wars.

 

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THE KING OF “TELL ME MORE”

By C.J. Hirschfield

At the beginning of the pandemic, TIGER KING was the documentary everyone was watching. It focused on an eccentric and unethical schemer/scammer driven by greed–truly a despicable character. Kind of like the president we were forced to endure on screen at the same time.

Maybe now we’re ready to see more documentaries like the recently-released FAUCI, and now LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES, which turn the camera onto people who show up with passion, talent and humility every day– and not just for the money. The film will screen Saturday, October 30th as part of the Decibels Film Festival.

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A Concerto is a (Beautiful) Conversation with Michael Morgan

By C.J. Hirschfield

(Editor’s note: On August 20, 2021 Michael Morgan unexpectedly passed away at age 63 from an infection. In the weeks prior to being admitted to the hospital he had conducted at the San Francisco Symphony and Bear Valley Music Festival. The Oakland Symphony paid tribute to him.)

In April, 2021, ten documentary short subject films were short-listed for this year’s Oscars. At their best, documentary shorts tell a compelling story that, while lacking in length (they must be under 40 minutes) still manage to grab and hold us, leaving us richer for the experience.

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A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION

By Andrea Chase

In conversation after a watch party for A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION, co-subject and co-director (with Ben Proudfoot) Kris Bowers said that part of the reason he wanted to make the film because the Emmy™-winning composer thought his grandfather, Horace Bowers, Sr., was a hero. A hero who should be celebrated. He also wanted to have an in-depth conversation with him while the 91-year-old was still with us. The result is a tender and intimate portrait of strength, joy, and how family shapes us.

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BILLIE documentary is Actually Linda Kuehl on Billie

By Kim Nalley

A 1938 portrait, when she appeared at Cafe Society in NYC with a swatch of gardenias in hair hairstyle, which from then on became her trademark. (Photo by George Rinhart)

 

Billie Holiday. Her name is eponymous with the phrase “jazz singer.” There is no jazz figure so well-known, yet shrouded in mystery, as Lady Day. Many important details of her life and her musical genius have been overshadowed by a lurid interest in her love life and drug use. Recently some articles based on faulty interviews emphasize her persecution in Hoover’s war on drugs without realizing this was a fact of life for all African American jazz musicians. I do not see the same attention given to Miles Davis’s or Charlie Parker’s drug use or their abusive relationships. Davis’s and Parker’s “women” are not given a megaphone to comment on them, and I never have seen their musical genius attributed to drug use. I sometimes see the hardships of being a Black man highlighted but I do not see the same courtesy given to Miss Holiday.

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