Wattstax [SLYT] is a 1973 documentary film about the 1972 Wattstax music festival, held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots. Featuring performances by Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Rufus and Carla Thomas, The Staple Singers, The Emotions, The Bar-Kays, and other greats of soul, R&B, and gospel, Wattstax also incorporates relatively unknown comic Richard Pryor's musings on life for black Americans in 1972, "man-and-woman-on-the-street" interviews, and audience footage. [NSFW] [more inside]
In seven minutes, you can see the evolution of London, as seen in its road network, from the Roman port city of Londonium through the Anglo-Saxon, Tudor, Stuart, Early Georgian and Late Georgian, Early Victorian and Late Victorian, Early 20th Century and Postwar London, set to the scale of the 600 square miles of modern London, though the original city core is a very dense square mile. [more inside]
"The cinema was made for horror movies. No other kind of film offers that same mysterious anticipation as you head into a dark auditorium. No other makes such powerful use of sound and image. The cinema is where we come to share a collective dream and horror films are the most dreamlike of all, perhaps because they engage with our nightmares." And so Mark Gatiss opens his three-part series, A History of Horror. "One of the great virtues of this series is that it is thoroughly subjective. Gatiss does not feel any particular obligation to give us an A to Z of horror, but instead lingers lovingly over his own favourites," taking the viewer with him from the Golden Age of Hollywood horror through the American horror movies of the 1960s and 1970s. [more inside]
Ola Belle Reed came down from the mountains and carried that old-timey sound with her. Her voice and her banjo took her from family sing-alongs to rubbing elbows with some of America's best-known country and bluegrass musicians. Radio stations played her work, and with a little help from friends like Marty Stuart and Del McCoury, her musical legacy lives. Or, as Reed herself sang, "I've worked for the rich, I've lived with the poor; Lord, I've seen many a heartache, there'll be many more; I've lived, loved and sorrowed, been to success's door; I've endured, I've endured." [more inside]
On the 18th June 1912 workmen burst through the floorboards of a disused London tenement at 30-32 Cheapside and discovered "Probably the most remarkable find ever recovered from British soil." The stock of an early Stuart goldsmith - the most astonishing array of precious and semi-precious stones from around the world - hidden c.1630, The Cheapside Hoard is the finest collection of Elizabethan jewellery in the world. [more inside]
Stuart Cable, founder and drummer of the British band Stereophonics, has died after a "marathon drinking session" at his home in south Wales.
When King James VII of Scotland died in 1700, Louis XIV of France gave his word and his support to the cause of his son, James VIII, or the "pretender" as he was known to his enemies. One of history's most famous lost causes, the story contains smaller tragedies, like the downfall of the Radclyffe family of Cumbria. An almost embarrassingly romantic tale, it includes a "murdered" (actually executed) Earl (sound), a haunting (and some say haunted ruin), an "incorruptible" corpse, a daring prison escape and, according to at least one novelist, a possible American connection. [more inside]
From the award-winning comic series ACTION PHILOSOPHERS! comes these biographies of the titans of thought! Thrill to the killer koans of Bam-Bam Bodhidharma! Shudder before the noble savagery of Terrible Thomas Jefferson! And enjoy (Or pick apart) tales of Crusher Carl Jung, Nasty Niccolo Machiavelli, Rowdy Rene Descartes, uh, Terribler Thomas Aquinas, The Pre-Socratics, and Gentleman John Stewart Mill!(Scroll down)