Lost Tapes of ‘Studio 17’ deliver unheard reggae music from top artists

By Gregory Crofton In the heart of Kingston, Jamaica, reggae took root above Randy’s Record Mart. In the late 1950s a second-hand record store owned by Vincent “Randy” Chin became a “watering hole” for musicians and songwriters. Chin had gotten…

Imposing journalist Molly Ivins is sorely missed these days, doc helps us remember why

By Gregory Crofton Good journalists can be a check on political power. In the day and age of President Donald Trump, a stalwart journalist and advocate of citizen rights like Molly Ivins is something we as a country are sorely…

Once it Gets Warmed Up ‘The Seven Five’ plays like a Hollywood drama

By Gregory Crofton Director Tiller Russell (Operation Odessa, Cockfight, Chicago Fire) knows a great story when he finds one, and “The Seventy Five” (2014) is certainly that. It stars an unapologetically corrupt cop named Michael Dowd, someone who can be…

The Obamas’ ‘American Factory’ Reveals Stark Difference Between U.S. and Chinese Culture and the Challenge of Globalization

By Gregory Crofton Procedural documentaries are some of my favorites. “American Factory” is an excellent addition to the genre. It’s the first film released via Netflix by the Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions. It tells the story of…

New Film on Leonard Cohen is Rich, Nuanced But Comes With Few ‘Words of Love’

By Gregory Crofton Leonard Cohen, the beloved poet and troubadour from Montreal, surely was a narcissist, but name a great artist who doesn’t carry at least a touch of self obsession? More interesting was Cohen’s struggle with depression, his heavy…

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