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TOPIC: Music

Who Was Mr. SOUL?

If you’re of a certain generation and familiar at all with the late ’60s and early ’70s groundbreaking public TV show SOUL!, you may recognize the name Ellis Haizlip, but he’s not exactly a household name. The groundbreaking producer and co-host of the show is also filmmaker Melissa Haizlip’s late uncle. While Ellis Haizlip sadly … READ MORE

Listen Up: How Music Was the Heart of SOUL!

by Nick Dedina Today we take it for granted that Black culture is mainstream American culture. But, before the age of hip-hop, cable TV, the internet, streaming, and mobile phones, African Americans basically had to crowdsource their own entertainment guide.  Forget about Black stories being told—so few Black artists were even accepted on TV that … READ MORE

How SOUL! Helped Pave the Way for Black Cultural Programming

By Ade D. Adeniji Mr. SOUL! explores America’s first Black variety television show SOUL!, which ran from 1968 to 1973, and was steered by pioneering Black producer and host Ellis Haizlip. Many have likely seen the pristine sets of SOUL! and not even know it. The series featured legendary black musicians, artists, athlete-activists, and thinkers … READ MORE

Six Unusual Instruments and How They Work

By Ade D. Adeniji Stacy Tenenbaum’s film Pipe Dreams features four young organ players competing in the prestigious Canadian International Organ Competition, held every few years in Montreal. What’s striking is that each musician has a completely different approach to playing the quirky instrument; Nick Capozzoli is all about playing obscure modern music, whereas Alcee … READ MORE

Young Musicians Play Ancient Instrument in the “Olympics of the Pipe Organ”

The Montreal-based filmmaker Stacey Tenenbaum‘s joyful film The Art of the Shine, which aired on PBS, took the director all over the world, from New York to Toronto, Paris to La Paz, Bolivia, to look at the forgotten profession of shoe shining. Now with her film Pipe Dreams, she brings the world to her hometown, … READ MORE

9 Lights for Hanukkah: Finding Light in Dark Times

This Hanukkah, as millions light their menorahs and rededicate themselves to their family, their faith and their communities, we look for ways to find and share joy, light, healing, and blessings. We reached out to filmmakers, authors, and film critics to learn where they’re finding inspiration this year.  Some said family, others offered a meaningful … READ MORE

How the Burning of the Bronx Led to the Birth of Hip-Hop

Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, a geographer and writer who co-edited, with Rebecca Solnit, the remarkable, fascinating book Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, helped us create a playlist to accompany both Decade of Fire and a key map in his book: “Burning Down and Rising Up: The Bronx in the 1970s.” That map puts a geographic spin on … READ MORE

Director Explores Live Streaming Revolution and How Technology Affects Human Happiness

Technology executive-turned-filmmaker Hao Wu takes a raw and human approach to storytelling in an era when culture evolves online, and for his very first feature film, People’s Republic of Desire Wu won a SXSW Film Festival Grand Jury Prize–pretty impressive for a self-taught filmmaker. He expertly tells a real-life Black Mirror-esque tale that is, wrote … READ MORE

Is This Real Life: The Live Streaming Craze Explained

By Siyi Chen When my dad, a small businessman from Southeast China, asked me, his social media-savvy daughter, how to utilize the internet to help sell his agricultural products, the first thing that came to mind was live streaming. “It’s kind of like the TV shopping channels you watch,” I tried to explain to him, … READ MORE