Last summer, before an inch of film was ever shot on the set in Mississippi, the actor who played Jackie Robinson in 42 met up with the director of The Help in Atlanta, they rented a car and road tripped it together to Augusta. Getting the most minute details of James Brown’s life right was a top priority for Get on Up director Tate Taylor and actor Chadwick Boseman, who plays The Godfather of Soul in the new biopic opening in theaters today. With the tsunami of lawsuits and arguments that swirled after the soul pioneer’s 2006 Christmas Day death in Atlanta, it probably didn’t hurt to have the support of the Brown estate either.
Arriving at Tuesday’s advance screening of Guardians of the Galaxy, the latest superhero summer popcorn movie from Marvel Studios, two-time Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou didn’t duck out for dinner with studio reps once the lights went down. Instead, Hounsou donned his 3D glasses, and settled into a seat with a large bottle of water and a bag of popcorn to watch the two-hour intergalactic comic book come to life. Hounsou is part of an ensemble cast that includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, The Walking Dead’s Michael Rooker, Lee Pace, John C. Reilly, and Glenn Close. Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel lend their voices to the flick, portraying mutant, mouthy raccoon Rocket, and Groot, a walking, talking tree with a severely limited vocabulary.
The album cover consisted of a sticky spider web entangling two dazed women and their confused man. The salacious image told listeners everything they needed to know about Caught Up, R&B singer Millie Jackson’s epic 1974 “soul opera.” The only thing more shocking than dropping the needle on Side One to hear a collection of songs from the perspective of the "other woman": Flipping the 12-inch piece of vinyl to discover Side Two and songs from "the wife."
Fans will get a two-night crash course in the history of the Athens music scene this weekend, thanks to two icon-studded bills as part of Art Rocks Athens: The Music. Tonight at the 40 Watt in Athens, the music of The B-52’s, Pylon, The Side Effects, R.E.M., Is/Ought Gap, Club Gaga, The Fans, and Kevin Dunn will be celebrated. On Saturday night at the Georgia Theatre, music vets and newbies on the Athens set will pay tribute to Method Actors, Squalls, Kilkenny Cats, Dreams So Real, Oh-OK, Bar-B-Q Killers, and others.
“Child, what are you up to?” Instantly recognizing the voice behind me, I froze midway into shoving the crumpled dollar bill into the brown interoffice memo envelope. It was the morning of October 3, 1995. In Los Angeles, the verdict was about to be read in the O.J. Simpson trial. And on the eighth floor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Features Department, I was collecting up the office pool. As the department’s unofficial class clown/kid brother and a writer for the paper’s Peach Buzz column (the copy desk lovingly referred to me as Buzz Boy), this was in my job description. The voice behind me belonged to Celestine Sibley, a newspapering icon and state treasure. Red-faced, I explained to “ma’am” what in the hell I was doing (I never, ever called her Celestine. I had grown up reading her, after all). She toddled off and I assumed she was on her way upstairs to demand that the publisher fire me and then tie me to printing presses in the basement and use my blood to pump out the afternoon’s Extra edition. A minute later, Celestine handed me a dollar and said, “Put me down for a guilty.”
Describing her tumultuous two-year marriage to former Atlanta Braves outfielder Otis Nixon, Candi Staton doesn’t sugarcoat a thing: “It was hell on earth. My God, it was the most terrifying and devastating time in my whole life. I was going through the fires of hell trying to figure out how to live with him and then how to find a way out of that crazy marriage.”
For their latest project, Grammy-winning Sugarland brothers Brandon and Kristian Bush have ventured far afield of their usual country-pop hybrid. The Bush bros reached back to classic cinematic composers, including Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Elmer Bernstein and John Berry for inspiration after the two Turner Classic Movie nuts got the assignment to pen a score for a brand-new 30-second TCM ID, marking the Atlanta-based cable channel’s 20th anniversary.
For decades, as the lights dimmed before every Fashionata runway show, Rich’s fashion director Sol Kent would position himself in the wings backstage and whisper to each of his anxious models, “Be Divine!” Kent’s words ended up inspiring “Be Divine: A Tribute to Fashionata,” Thursday night’s sold-out tribute to the city’s long-running Rich’s-hosted style extravaganza at The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Midtown. The evening served as a benefit for the Breman.
Of his legendary style sense, Rich’s fashion director Sol Kent once wryly observed to Atlanta Constitution columnist Celestine Sibley, “There’s nothing so unchic as a woman who looks too new.” Kent’s genius at merging the new with the traditional and his eye for discovering future classics will be on dazzling display at tonight’s tribute to his career, “Be Divine: A Tribute to Fashionata” at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Midtown. The evening benefiting the Breman also serves as a social set finale for the museum’s six month-long “Return to Rich’s: The Story Behind the Store” retrospective set to close on May 27.