People ask us why a vast majority of the best mini-documentaries we feature on KobreGuide.com have that unmistakeable aura of doom-and-gloom -- war, poverty, disease, injustice. The reason is simple: That's what media outlets are mostly producing. But why is that? We have our possible explanations, but of course would love to hear yours. For one, we suspect that those are the kinds of stories that get the attention of prize-awarding committees -- they're serious, and therefore meritorious. But perhaps that's too cynical a view. Maybe it's just because that's been the traditional role of journalism -- to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
But journalism is also supposed to reflect real life in all its hues and emotions, including joy and uplift and, yes, humor! And we don't mean the silly "America's Home Video"-style YouTube offerings -- they're fun, but not journalism. The problem is, real humor is far more difficult to capture, and humorous narratives are far more difficult to structure, than stories of sadness and tragedy.
So we call your attention to "An Apollo Legend," the product of a professional multimedia workshop conducted by Brian Storm and his team of MediaStorm magicians. It's a great true story AND it's pure lighthearted entertainment, through and through. It's about two contestants at Amateur Night at the Apollo nightclub in Harlem (a tradition so old that Ella Fitzgerald was a teenage winner). One hopeful is an ultra-confident man, the other a diffident woman. We follow them as they prepare for, and ultimately audition for, their big shot at the brass ring. We won't spoil the ending for you, but suffice to say that one gets booed off the stage, and the other is declared the first-place winner. They make movies out of characters like these.
So treat yourself to a break from death, destruction and despair, and spend a night at the Apollo. Can't wait to hear what you think!
The Subway Portraits of Helen Levitt - Helen Levitt, who apprenticed with Walker Evans in the subways, learned a thing or two about clandestine portraits.
4 days ago