Uptown & The Strangelove Below
Harlem is on the come-up. First Starbucks, then the MAC store (both on 1-2-5) and now the Imagenation Soul Cinema. Just like the Tribeca Screening Room, this uptown art house will screen independent films from the African Diaspora-- supposedly it's the first in the country. And even though it doesn't open until 2006, like any and everything else here in Gotham in search of legitimacy, there's going to be a press release and requisite launch party to mark the occasion (so what if the ISC isn't opening for another year, there's plenty of photo opportunities right now?!?). So on Thursday night I took my spiritual mother to what I thought would be another crudité passing, chardonnay sipping, long speech having affair. But lo and behold these imagenation folks are not playing. The event was held at Lincoln Center in the Kaplan Penthouse -- a huge room with a ton of windows, a wraparound terrace and amazing views of the Westside. In one word it was Decadent, but with an urban twist. They even had FOOD-- good food too. I'm talking collard greens, fried chicken, tuna noodle salad and corn bread. There was wine but there was also cognac for the serious heads. They showed a few shorts that were all exceptional (especially The Bet by Whut's Up Budweiser director Charles Stone) and there was even live music. Tamar-kali, who is officially my favorite unsigned artist-- actually one of my favorites period-- performed. As usual she killed it and left the headliner Guru to perform in a half empty room. I mean I like Gangstarr and all but at that point we had grubbed, saw 4 great shorts and just had our wigs blown back by songs like this... not to mention all the liquor that had been guzzled. There was nothing else for folks to do but go home and embrace the Itis and sleep. It was a hot night and if that's what the ISC is about (soul food will be served at the concession stand!) then I can't wait! I'm loving this whole Independent Movement-- music, film, and of course books. This has got to be the Love Below that Andre 3000 was referring to and thank god it looks like it's on the come up.
Talking about love and flicks... I finally saw this classic last night and loved it. Peter Sellers is a comic genius. It's all in the subtleties of what he does. Kubrick made movies that required you to pay attention to detail. That's a beautiful thing-- a needful thing... a lost art now. I'm hopeful though and am seeing signs everywhere that independent artists are on the rise making some serious noise creating a little strangelove of their own. Uptown baby... it's in the details!