Category Archives: Celebrity Chatter

Dolly Parton at 71: Her first kiddie album and so much work she looks like a kid (of sorts)

That bosom buddy Dolly Parton is doing another first. No, not another breast reduction. (The last time we spoke, she confided her 40DD bust were “hurting my back”.)

We’re not kidding around when we reveal the 71-year-old is releasing  I Believe In You, her first album written and recorded for kids (and those young-at-heart). A digital release of the new album on Dolly Records/RCA Nashville will be available September 29; the physical CD hits shelves October 13.  We ask that Dolly accepts aging and stop the plastic work.

Dolly Parton: I Believe In You
“My first album was released 50 years ago and it’s been an amazing 50 years since then,” Dolly coos. “I am very excited that now I’m coming out with my first children’s album in all of those 50 years. I’m proudest of all that all of the proceeds from this CD will go to the Imagination Library. It’s been 20 years since the Imagination Library was launched. We’ve seen 100 million books get into the hands of children and hopefully there will be many more.”
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Since its beginning in 1996 in Dolly’s hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee, the Imagination Library has expanded into four countries serving more than one-million children by providing a brand new, age-appropriate book each month. In North America, every child’s first book is the classic Little Engine that Could.

I Believe In You Track Listing

  1. I Believe in You
  2. Coat of Many Colors (new recording)
  3. Together Forever
  4. I Am a Rainbow
  5. I’m Here
  6. A Friend Like You
  7. Imagination
  8. You Can Do It
  9. Responsibility
  10. You Gotta Be
  11. Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny
  12. Chemo Hero
  13. Brave Little Soldier
  14. Bonus track spoken audio: Coat of Many Colors (book read by Dolly Parton)

Remember the Bay City Rollers? Read about their world of sexual depravity and drug use!

If you still like the Bay City Rollers, you can keep on dancing. Yet did you know their story is one of the greatest scandals of the music industry? Turn to When the Screaming Stops: The Dark Story of the Bay City Rollers (Overlook Press, $30) in which biographer Simon Spence offers up a rigorously investigated and unflinching exposé of the sinister undercurrents and dark truths behind “Rollermania”—the hysterical adulation for the Bay City Rollers that spread throughout the U.K., U.S., and around the world during the ’70s.  (They came up with their names by throwing a dart at a map of the United States, which landed near Bay City, Michigan.)

With the release of their debut album Rollin’ and the No. 1 Billboard 100 smash hit “Saturday Night,” the Bay City Rollers quickly went from average Scottish teenagers to international heartthrobs. Everywhere the band went mountains of screaming girls, calling themselves the Tartan Horde, followed. The band’s skyrocket to fame led by Tam Paton, one of pop music’s most notorious managers, was one for which they were wholly unprepared.

Paton, their Svengali bandleader, controlled his charges and promoted them as clean-living, wholesome teens. What the world did not know was that behind this happy facade the band was continuously subjected to various forms of mental and sexual abuse. In Paton, the industry cliché of the manipulative and venal pop manager found its most grotesque expression. Dazzled by sudden global fame and corrupted by Paton’s unquenchable sexual appetites, the Bay City Rollers soon fell into his world of depravity, victimhood, crime and psychosis. Band members became hooked on drugs, and their fall was almost as rapid as their rise, leaving them penniless and emotionally destroyed. Three years after they fired Paton in 1979 he was finally imprisoned, convicted of gross indecency with the teenage band members. The band then spent a decade in litigation with Sony Records over the millions of dollars never paid to them under Paton’s management.  

That such gross exploitation could have happened to one of the world’s most famous boy bands is a brutal reminder that conspiracies of silence about sexual exploitation were once the norm in the music and entertainment business. When the Screaming Stops: The Dark Story of the Bay City Rollers is a no-holds-barred exposé of sex, drugs, and financial mismanagement. Based on more than 500 hours of interviews with many of the Bay City Rollers’s closest associates, including former band members, Spence’s look into this chilling scandal is an essential read for those interested in the inner-workings of the pop music industry.

Thames & Hudson keeps the fashion of great books with “A Life in Fashion: The Wardrobe of Cecil Beaton”

When fashion photographer and costume designer Cecil Beaton died in 1980, it was not surprising that one of his tailors was telephoned with the news before Buckingham Palace, despite Beaton’s close association with the Royal Family.

CB in later years, still handsome

Yep, that’s how famous and informational he was. From the moment Cecil arrived at Cambridge University in 1922 wearing an evening jacket, red shoes, black-and-white trousers and a large cravat, to his appearance nearly 40 years later at Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball, Beaton expressed a flamboyant sartorial nonchalance. He had accounts with the best Savile Row tailors; he bought his shirts from Excello in New York; and his clothes from Lanz of Salzburg. Clothes hound par excellence. Those duds now reside, along with other elements of his wardrobe, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Benjamin Wild’s luscious A Life in Fashion: The Wardrobe of Cecil Beaton (Thames & Hudson, $50)Life in Fashion: The Wardrobe of Cecil Beaton - 藝術 | 誠品 ... is the first book to showcase the evolving wardrobe of the famed fashion photographer and designer, whose brilliant style is being celebrated as classic tailoring comes back in vogue.

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CB’s photo of BS

A Life in Fashion is a lively and informative study of Beaton’s style, which kept evolving over the decades, driving and reflecting the transitions in men’s fashion that followed World War II. Drawing on unpublished records and interviews with Beaton’s former tailors, fashion historian Benjamin Wild delightfully scrutinizes Beaton’s approach to fashion as well as his influence on such designers as Giles Deacon and Dries van Noten. “I don’t want people to know me as I really am,” Beaton is quoted as saying, “but as I’m trying and pretending to be.”

In his Introduction to the book, Wild notes “if the style and sartorial savvy of Cecil Beaton are significant, they have hitherto been sidelined by writers focusing on his accomplishments as a photographer and costume designer…

A 1932 Standard Rolleiflex, a type of camera used by Beaton

While renewed interest in Beaton’s wardrobe is part of a more general contemporary appreciation of vintage styles, it is his personal engagement with fashion, and his critical understanding of it, that makes him a unique and enduring figure in the annals of style.”

 

 

 

In “Opening Wednesday,” Charles Taylor explores what B-films embody of ’70s America

Classics such as Cabaret, The Godfather, Taxi Driver and The Wild Bunch reigned over ’70s cinema. But there are riches found in the overlooked B-movies of the time . . . flicks that were rolled out wherever they might find an audience, perhaps tell an eye-opening story about post-Watergate, post-Vietnam America. Missed them? Catch up with  Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-In Near You: The Shadow Cinema of the American ’70s (Bloomsbury, $27), in which acclaimed film critic Charles Taylor revisits the films that don’t make the Academy Award montages and explores what these B-films embody of ’70s America.Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-in Near You: The Shadow Cinema of the American ’70s

Opening Wednesday unlocks a forgotten treasury, films that display the honest, almost pleasurable, pessimism of the era, with a staying power that stands in opposition to what Taylor calls the current “infantilization” in Hollywood. Taylor argues that movies today—beginning with the unprecedented success of Star Wars in 1977—have devolved to “spectacle and gimmicks,” with sequels and remakes and spinoffs as the bulk of mainstream moviemaking, while films from the 1970s portray a “connection to the world, and to real-life emotions.”

In the essays of Opening Wednesday, Taylor pays homage to the trucker vigilantes, meat magnate pimps, blaxploitation “angel avengers,” and taciturn factory workers of grungy, unartful films such as Prime Cut, Foxy Brown and Eyes of Laura Mars.

He creates a compelling argument for what matters in moviemaking and brings a pivotal American era vividly to life in all its gritty, melancholy complexity.

A literary warning: “Frankenstein Dreams” offers scary thrills and scarier chills

Warning! Do not read this book at night. Or in the dark. Or when you are home alone.

Michael Sims has edited Frankenstein Dreams: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Science Fiction (Bloomsbury, $22), a collection of chills and thrills that will be released in September. We are giving you advance warning.

Sims, whose elegant introduction provides valuable literary and historical context,  has gathered many of the finest stories, some by classic writers such as Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells, but many that will surprise general readers. Dark visions of the human psyche emerge in Thomas Wentworth Higginson’s “The Monarch of Dreams,” while Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (below) a glimpse of “the fifth dimension” in her provocative tale “The Hall Bedroom.”   

Perpetual human concerns meet modern anxieties in these tales that grapple with time, mortality, the senses and the unknown. The tales showcase the ways in which Victorian writers confronted the philosophical and spiritual repercussions of the new technologies and scientific revelations of the 19th century. The major themes of modern science fiction emerge: Space and time travel, dystopian societies, dangerously independent machines, all inspiring the speculative fiction of the Victorian era.

You’ve been warned. Again.

Terry Newman’s “Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore ” fits like a glove . . . or a Gucci

After working professionally in the offices of Redbook, Us Weekly, United Feature Syndicate and sundry other spots, I no longer dress when I work. And write. The daze of black ties and tuxes are over with. Forever. No more Oscars and Tonys and Grammys and other stuffy, star-studded events.

A new book? That calls for me to wear T-shirts and boxers.
Another article? Perhaps sweats or pjs.
Another blog? The naked truth in the naked truth.

It’s no wonder I didn’t make Terry Newman’s delicious new book, Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore (Harper Design, $29.99). This innovative gift book took a clue from the horse-faced Diana Vreeland who, in her 1984 autobio D.V., reminded all “Where would fashion be without literature”?

Newman presents 50 fully illustrated profiles of prominent men and women of letters, highlighting their key works, signature fashion moments from their wardrobe that express their persona and how they influence the fashion world today. This segues into an examination of how this particular item of clothing or style makes up part of fashion’s lingua franca, getting under the skin of the fashion story and talking in more detail about its historical trajectory and distinctive impact on popular culture.

Under the garb are revealing anecdotes about the authors and their work, archival photography, first-person quotations, little known facts, and clothing-oriented excerpts that exemplify their writing style—make this a lively look at the authors we love.

Joan Didion, smoking and leaning against a sleet Stingway, stars out from the cover. In 2015, she was the face of Céline. Everything Didion writes is distinctly Didion; she is an original and that’s something designers can connect with. Her personalized journalism where innermost emotions and ideas are transparently communicated or experimental fiction such as her novel Democracy where she, as the author, takes center stage as narrator are bodies of work that reflect the soul. Her style does the same.

There is only one thing more interesting than a writer, and that’s a stylish writer. The shape and twist of their hair, how they hold a cigarette, or penchant for wearing a particular item is their creative DNA on display, whether it’s an exotic turban like Zadie Smith’s signature head-piece, James Joyce’s wire-framed glasses, or Samuel Beckett’s Wallabees (left).Image result for Samuel Beckett’s Wallabees Quite often a writers’ wardrobe is distinctly out of fashion and for that very reason stands out and alone. Likewise, curious fashion-hounds find writers a stimulating muse in today’s non-linear fashion climate.

For some writers, their style does not mirror, but rather, deflects. Take Sylvia Plath, her Bell Jar wardrobe was prim and proper, and a foil for her tormented psyche. The pearls and twinsets, and later, her less formal but still sensible choices, all projected assimilation and a non-confrontational, even somewhat bland persona, yet her work was dark, confessional. For Plath, fashion was aspirational: she dressed in the way she wanted to be seen, rather than exhibit her interior turmoil.

Delving into the wardrobes of literary icons—past and present—and the way they write about clothes provides a glimpse into the world they each inhabited and their moment in time. A testament to the notion that reading and writing never go out of style, this beautifully designed book is sure to captivate lovers of fine literature and dedicated followers of fashion.

My fave remains Jacqueline Susann (below). The iconic author wrote the best novel ever, Valley of the Dolls, a sordid saga of show-biz. (“Sparkle Neely sparkle!) More than 40 million copies of the bible have sold and I am not even mentioning Jackie’s luck with The Love Machine. After all, once is not enough. Susann sits on the tiled floor of her 200 Central Park South apartment, clad in a mini Pucci (circa mid-60s), diagramming Love Machine‘s Robin Stone on a blackboard.Image result for jacqueline Suzanne pucci

And the quotes! Newman choose some whoppers, the way Liza would have chosen the right Halston before she got fat and drunk and slovenly.

Dorothy Parker: “Gingham’s for the plighted maid; satin’s for the free!”

Maya Angelou: “Seek the fashion which truly fits and befits you. You will always be in fashion if you are true to yourself, and only if you are true to yourself.”

Oscar Wilde: “Fashion is what one wears oneself. Whit is unfashionable is what other people wear.”

Tom Wolfe: “You never realize how much of your background is sewn in the lining of your clothes.”

Newman writes: “What you read is as important as what you wear. And what authors wear is source material for designers’ creativity. The literary and fashion worlds are therefore synchronized, and the geek chic of librarians is a look that is set to prevail.” She adds: “Fashion is a history book as well as a mirror, and the incidental assimilation of who is wearing what, where, why, and when adds density to a cultural read.”

 

 

 

 

 

Andrea Bucko: An actress who bucks up her career by accepting roles that will “make an impact”

It’s always important to fight for freedom. Always.

The next major big-screen fight will be found in the upcoming film Freedom Fight, starring Sam Neill, David Kross and Ella Purnell.  in which Canadian actress Andrea Bucko and leads a cast of “next-generation” actors, in a harrowing portrayal of a true Cold War escape. Directed by Hungarian actor/director Endre Hules, Freedom Fight takes place in 1956, and vividly follows the first-person account of journalist Frank Iszak and his struggle to divert a domestic Hungarian flight across the Iron Curtain to safely find refuge in West Germany. The film is based on the book Free to All to Freedom.

The movie begins shooting this fall, and is director Endre Hules’ powerful follow-up to his CINE Golden Eagle Award-winning feature The Maiden Danced to Death. He is a  director whose work has been seen on every continent and at more than 50 festivals, and Hules hand-picked Andrea Bucko’s for the role. “She has impressed me immediately with her talent as an actress,” he says. “Andrea’s sensibility and quirky sense of humor made her perfect for one of the film’s vital roles.” 

Bucko brings to light the liberating journey that began on a rainy afternoon on Friday, July 13, 1956. She plays Monika, one of seven desperate young people boarded a twin engine DC-3 in the Eastern Bloc People’s Republic of Hungary, with plans to redirect it to freedom. They had no weapons, no map and no idea whether the plane carried enough fuel. They braved Russian MiG fighters in hot pursuit and a harrowing flight over the stormy Alps, without navigation. Failure would mean certain death.

It is a moment of ascension for the energetic actress. Bucko is a thoughtful artist making a name for herself in Hollywood by selecting ambitious projects that reveal with untold true stories. Freedom Flight adds to a series of films she has in the works, each drawing on historical incidents to create powerful narratives.

“Reading Frank Iszak’s inspiring true story, I felt it must be told,” she says. “Storytelling can make a difference and sometimes have a huge impact on the world. I want to make an impact with the stories I choose to be a part of.”

Other upcoming roles clearly demonstrate her sincere passion. She’s slated to portray Evelyn in Jubilee, a feature film by Mason Freeman that will star Peter Fonda and Tarynn Manning. This movie chronicles the path of the Underground Railroad and the lives of enslaved Americans seeking liberation on a long road towards justice. She will also play the role of Danielle Devert in another of her upcoming film projects, an international co-production that draws from the riveting facts of the 1973 kidnapping of Paul Getty III.

Want her sooner? Bucko will next be seen on camera in September as Trina in Neon Candy,psychosexual thriller takes place in the early ’90s along Route 66 and the Las Vegas outskirts. written by Courtney Paige Theroux and directed by Kate Twa.  The cast includes Sean Carrigan, Courtney Paige Theroux and Sarah Porchetta.

Do we dare say Bucko, known for the films Big Eyes, Gord’s Brother and Meridiem, is also eye candy?

UMe releases another Supreme(s) winner. Get going a Go-Go!

Label this gem truly supreme. Make that Supremes. UMe continues to reissue the old, the forgotten, the important recordings that must be heard.cid:image003.jpg@01D2A719.7D954040

Now up:  The Supremes A’ Go-Go, the group’s first-ever No. 1 album (and first by an all-female group) featured the chart-topping “You Can’t Hurry Love” and covers of fellow Motown artists’ hits; the new version includes covers of Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones

By the time Motown released the group’s ninth studio album, on August 25, 1966, the group had already scaled the charts with hits like “Where Did Our Love Go?,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Back in My Arms Again” and “I Hear a Symphony.”

The Supremes A’ Go-Go solidified Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard’s hold on the American and global marketplace, the first of their albums to go to No. #1 on the Billboard 200, marking the first LP by an all-female group to do so, spawning two Top 10 hits in the No. 1 “You Can’t Hurry Love” and the No. 9 “Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart.”  The album also featured the trio tackling an array of hit cover material, mostly from their Motown stablemates the Four Tops, the Temptations, Martha & the Vandellas, Barrett Strong and the Isley Brothers, but also contemporary hitmakers Nancy Sinatra (Lee Hazlewood’s “These Boots are Made for Walkin’”) and the McCoys (Bert Berns and Wes Farrell’s Brill Building chestnut “Hang on Sloopy”).

UMe will now reissue the classic album in a deluxe, expanded two-CD edition, featuring the original 12 tracks, featuring both the stereo album, along with rare mono album mixes, alternative vocal versions and mixes, as well as a duet of “Shake Me Wake Me (When It’s Over)” with the Four Tops. There are also rarely heard album outtakes, such as covers of fellow ‘60s stalwarts Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satsifaction.”

The Supremes A’ Go-Go remained on the Billboard chart for 60 weeks, going on to sell 3.5 million around the world, including one million in the U.S., knocking off The Beatles’ Revolver from the top spot for the honors. It also went to #15 in the U.K. album charts, with “You Can’t Hurry Love” peaking at #3 on the U.K. singles chart.

The production represented the peak of the fabled Motown team, headed by producers Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier, the Funk Brothers and even the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on hand.Image result for vintage supremes

This expanded edition will also contain two 24-page booklets. The first chronicles the album’s production and success, as well as a timeline, and both rare and never-before-seen photos. The second booklet is a recreation of the Supremes 1966 tour book.

Said All Music’s Bruce Eder about the album, referring to its winning formula of having The Supremes cover Motown’s greatest hits: “In fact, back in the days when vinyl was the only game in town, used copies of this record sold faster and better than any of their other common ’60s LPs, and for good reason.”

Glen Campbell and pals say “Adios” to his recording career

His career ends on a bittersweet note. Legendary singer and guitarist Glen Campbell’s final studio album, Adiós, will be released June 9 on UMe, capping off an extraordinary career that has spanned more than five decades and 50 million albums sold. The album will be released on CD, vinyl and digitally and is available for pre-order. Pre-order Adiós here: UMe.lnk.to/AdiosPR

Adiós was recorded at Station West in Nashville following Campbell’s “Goodbye Tour” which he launched after revealing he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The album was announced with an exclusive statement from Kim Campbell, Glen’s wife of 34 years. In her touching notes, Kim reveals the genesis of the album, details the recording process and explains why Adiós is finally being released.Image result for glen campbell

She says: “A new Glen Campbell album coming out in 2017 might seem a bit odd since he hasn’t performed since 2012, and even more odd–if not absolutely amazing–when you consider that he has Alzheimer’s disease. Glen’s abilities to play, sing and remember songs began to rapidly decline after his diagnosis in 2011. A feeling of urgency grew to get him into the studio one last time to capture what magic was left. It was now or never. What you’re hearing when listening to Adiós is the beautiful and loving culmination of friends and family doing their very best for the man who inspired, raised and entertained them for decades–giving him the chance to say one last goodbye to his fans, and put one last amazing collection of songs onto the record store shelves.”

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Kim and Glen on their wedding day, October 25, 1982

For Campbell’s final recording session, Glen and Kim turned to Glen’s longtime banjo player and family friend Carl Jackson to helm the production, play guitar and help his old friend. In preparation for the recording, Jackson, who joined Campbell’s band in the early ’70s as an 18-year-old banjo player, laid down some basic tracks and vocals for Campbell to study and practice. Jackson encouraged him every step of the way and although Campbell struggled at times because of his progressing dementia, he was clearly ecstatic about being in the studio.

The 12-track collection features songs that Campbell always loved but never got a chance to record, including several from Jimmy Webb, his longtime collaborator behind some of his biggest hits like “Wichita Lineman” “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” and “Galveston.” In addition to the bittersweet title track, “Adiós,” first popularized by Linda Ronstadt, Campbell also sings Webb’s longing love song “Just Like Always” and country weeper “It Won’t Bring Her Back.” He revisits“Postcard From Paris” with his sons Cal and Shannon and daughter Ashley singing the line, “I wish you were here,” resulting in a powerful and heartfelt message of a family singing together one last time.

Adiós sees Campbell putting his spin on several classic songs including “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right,” inspired by Jerry Reed’s Jversion of Bob Dylan’s timeless tune and “Everybody’s Talkin’, a banjo-filled take on the song that Campbell never recorded but famously performed on the “The Sonny & Cher Show” in 1973 with a 19-year-old Carl Jackson. Campbell’s daughter Ashley plays banjo on the song and joins her dad on several tracks on the album. Other songwriters featured include Roger Miller with “Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me),” which begins with a home recording of Miller singing the tune at a guitar pull before going into Campbell’s rendition with Vince Gill on harmonies, Dickey Lee’s honkytonk heartbreaker “She Thinks I Still Care” and Jerry Reed’s Johnny Cash hit “A Thing Called Love.” Willie Nelson joins his old pal for a poignant duet of Nelson’s 1968 “Funny How Time Slips Away” while Jackson tells Campbell’s life story in “Arkansas Farmboy.”

“I wrote ‘Arkansas Farmboy’ sometime in the mid- to late-’70s on a plane bound for one of the many overseas destinations I played with Glen between 1972 and 1984,” reveals Jackson. “The song was inspired by a story that Glen told me about his grandpa teaching him ‘In The Pines’ on a five-dollar Sears & Roebuck guitar when he was only a boy. That guitar led to worldwide fame and fortune, far beyond what even some in his family could comprehend.”

Adiós was a labor of love and a way for Glen Campbell to have one more chance to do what he loves to do and leave a musical gift for fans. Campbell, who turns 81 on April 22, is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease. He lives in Nashville where he is surrounded by his loving family and getting the very best of care.

 

Cohen Film Collection releases a trio of Claude Chabrol masterworks . . .oui! oui! oui!

Once again, Cohen Film Collection has released, for the first time in HD, a collection of films by Claude Chabrol, one of the most prolific and widely respected of French film directors.  As one of the prime instigators of the French New Wave, Chabrol directed lean narrative films whose keenly observed realism typically drew inspiration from the suspense film and psychological thriller. The triumvirate of films include:

Betty
In one of Chabrol’s darkest dramas, Marie Trintignant gives an astonishing performance as Betty, a woman whose alcohol-soaked life has finally fallen to pieces.  She fortunately falls under the care of an older woman (Stéphane Audran) with a similar background, but her benefactor’s sympathies may be misplaced. Gushes the Chicago Sun Times: “One of the most eerily disturbing and mesmerizingly powerful films.”

Torment (L’Enfer)
Based on a script by Henri-Georges Clouzot, Chabrol explores the point at which jealousy and obsession turn to madness.  François Cluzet plays Paul, a young husband who, along with his beautiful wife (Emmanuelle Béart at her sexiest) runs a country hotel.  Paul soon becomes obsessed with his wife’s flirtations, but is it all in his head? Roger Ebert’s take? “Made with the practiced ease of a master.”The Swindle
Isabelle Huppert and Michel Serrault star as a couple of small-time con artists looking for the next big game in this psychological thriller tinged with wry humor.  Into their web stumbles a naïve financial courier (François Cluzet) accompanying what might be their biggest score yet.  “Disturbing, compelling, and very smart stuff”, says Entertainment Weekly.