April 29, 2015 at 6:36am
The new Avengers movie doesn't need my help. Believe it or not, this is one movie that will be just fine, even without the highly sought-after Nerd Alert bump. It's going to Hulk smash box office records, and there's nothing you or I can do to prevent the interminable onslaught of comic book movies. I, for one, welcome our new Marvel overlords.
Instead, why not direct you, my dear reader, to The Grand Cinema's Documentary Week? I can't say for sure, but I'm willing to bet that the series of films programmed for the week will not feature many people with super suits, magical hammers or radiation-induced rage-monsterism. Instead, starting Friday, the week will be filled with fairly heady material, including a doc about the exposure of the FBI's overreaching spy programs by a group of activists (1971), a searing exploration of the prevalent rape culture on college campuses (The Hunting Ground), and a doc about the people who get hired to be pundits on scientific topics they know nothing about (Merchants of Doubt), among others.
Of particular interest is the documentary that covers the session musicians who worked in the shadows to shape the state of music in the '60s (The Wrecking Crew), contributing to albums by everyone from the Beach Boys to Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. It's a recognition that finally gives credit to these amazing musicians whose accomplishments would otherwise go uncelebrated.
Saturday, May 2: Free Comic Book Day
Instead of supporting robot James Spader, why not get out and experience some real comic book culture? Free Comic Book Day comes but once a year, and Destiny City Comics will be giving away free comics Saturday. Among the embarrassment of riches being offered this FCBD will be new issues featuring properties like Batman, Superman, Fight Club, Bob's Burgers, Pokemon, Doctor Who, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Street Fighter,and, most excitingly, The Tick.
In an age when comic books are being increasingly popularized through their adaptations into cinematic juggernauts, it can be edifying to be reacquainted with their ink-and-paper origins. There seems to be no end in sight for this blight of superhero movies - and, honestly, the less said about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the better - but there is still art inherent in the medium, and Free Comic Book Day is a great way to jump back in the fray, for those who have strayed, and to continue your obsession if you've remained a fan.
Sunday, May 3: David Sedaris
Completely exhausted with everything related to comic books? I don't blame you. If this is the case, may I suggest checking out a performance from David Sedaris, the wonderful essayist, humorist, and NPR contributor - not to mention premiere Billie Holiday impressionist - who epitomized the conversational, autobiographical tone that so many other writers would attempt to imitate. Sedaris is a fount of hysterical true stories and fanciful bits of fiction, and he doesn't show any signs of slowing down, with the release of his latest: Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls.
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