“John Lewis: Good Trouble,” a remarkable, heartfelt look at the life and career of the legendary civil rights activist and Democratic representative from Georgia, makes its premiere on demand via various digital and streaming services July 3.
Using interviews and rare archival footage, the documentary chronicles John Robert Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration.
Using present-day interviews with Lewis, now 80, director Dawn Porter (“Spies of Mississippi,” “Trapped”) explores his childhood experiences, his inspiring family and his fateful meeting with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957.
In addition to her interviews with Lewis and his family, Porter’s primarily cinéma verité film also includes interviews with political leaders, congressional colleagues, and other people who figure prominently in his life.
These include bold congressional newcomers like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), civil rights movement giants such as Rep. James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) and the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) (to whom the film is dedicated), as well as 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams of Georgia, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to name just a few.
“John Lewis has consistently delivered a message of doing your best, being honorable, and respecting others for the past 65-plus years,” says Porter, who will next profile official Obama White House photographer Pete Souza. “I think it’s really needed at this particular moment in history.”
For more information visit: www.johnlewisgoodtrouble.com.
THE WAIT IS OVER: For those who haven’t or weren’t willing to experience the blockbuster musical “Hamilton,” a sensational filmed version of the original cast in performance arrives to Disney+ July 3 at midnight.
Creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda is joined by the now famous cast of Leslie Odom Jr. (“Harriet”), Renée Elise Goldsberry (“Waves”), Daveed Diggs (“Snowpiercer”), Christopher Jackson (“Bull,“ “Freestyle Love Supreme”), Anthony Ramos (“A Star Is Born,” TV’s “She’s Gotta Have It” – He’s the new Mars!), vocal powerhouse Phillipa Soo, Okieriete Onaodowan (“Station 19”) and Jasmine Cephas Jones (“The Photograph,” and yes, her dad is “This Is Us” scene stealer Ron Cephas Jones).
New to the show are Ephraim Sykes (Tony nominated for his David Ruffin in “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations”) and Ariana DeBose (“So You Think You Can Dance”).
The free trials have ended, so it will cost $6.99 a month. Next month’s premiere of the visual album “Black Is King,” produced, written and directed by Beyoncé, may be worth hanging around for.
That and the studio’s catalogue along with Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar.
TASTY QUIP: “It really bothered me that I’ve done seven Marvel movies where every producer, every director, every stunt person, every costume designer, every PA, every single person has been white. But then when you do Black Panther, you have a Black director, Black producer, you have a Black costume designer, you have a Black stunt choreographer. And I’m like, that’s more racist than anything else. Because if you only can hire the Black people for the Black movie, are you saying they’re not good enough when you have a mostly white cast?” – ANTHONY MACKIE (“The Avengers” franchise and upcoming Disney+ series “Falcon and The Winter Soldier”) in Variety.
THE SHOW GOES ON: Bruno Mars, Common, BBD, Nas and Big Freedia are some of the performers for this year’s virtual Essence Festival. With a theme of UPLIFTED: Healing Now. Empowered Future, the festivities including a wellness house, beauty carnival, and panels on wealth and power are scheduled through July 4 at www.EssenceStudios.com.
In addition, festival sponsor Ford is donating $700,000 through the National Urban League and other organizations to Black women in COVID-19 hit L.A., New York, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta and New Orleans this year.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME: After distributing 10,500 meals to the Inglewood community in May, Janelle Monáe and her Wondaland Music Group, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán, Yara Shahidi and Angela Rye are returning for another #WONDALUNCH!
The next contact-free drive through or walk-up service meal distribution consisting of boxes of fresh fruit, vegetables and poultry will take place on July 7, from noon to 3 p.m. adjacent to Ted Watkins Park at the intersection of Success Avenue and East Century Boulevard. All families must pre-register at www.tinyurl.com/WondaLunchOnUs.
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE: Ringo Starr announced “Ringo’s Big Birthday Show,” a broadcast to benefit four charities: Black Lives Matter Global Network, the David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares and WaterAid, will air on his YouTube at 5 p.m. July 7, Starr’s 80th birthday.
The show will include unique home performances as well as never before seen concert footage from Starr, Paul McCartney, Gary Clark Jr., Sheryl Crow, Sheila E, Ben Harper, Jeff Bridges, Peter Frampton, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Keb Mo and more.
POLITICAL SPIN: Celebrity DJs D-Nice, Jermaine Dupri, Diplo, Hannah Bronfman, Cassidy and Black Girls Rock! founder Beverly Bond are uniting for “Get Up Stand Up” to raise funds online for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. The event, to be hosted by Sen. Kamala Harris, will commence July 9 at 4 p.m. at secure.joebiden.com/a/getupstandup.
TRACKING SOUND: One of the biggest surprises of HBO’s hit reboot of “Perry Mason” starring Matthew Rhys, John Lithgow and Chris Chalk, is the lush theme and score by none other than six-time Grammy-winner, Oscar nominated trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard (“Da 5 Bloods,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Malcolm X”).
“It is an honor to work on a series whose direction is so clear and able to take chances that are so daring. This is not your parent’s Perry Mason,” said the prolific Blanchard about the drama set in 1930s Los Angeles. “I tried to create a mixture of sonic colors from the period without being bound to it. At the same time, I wanted to create something contemporary and fresh.”
“Perry Mason: Chapter 1 (Music From The HBO Series – Season 1)” through WaterTower Music is now available on all digital platforms. As episodes air on Sunday nights, fans can look forward to additional music being released over the course of the season, culminating in a soundtrack at the season’s end.
TC ON TV: July 3 – “iHeartCountry 4th of July BBQ” (CW): Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina and others perform live from the backyards of their homes to celebrate Independence Day.
July 4 – “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular” (NBC): Craig Melvin of “Today” emcees from New York with musical guests to include John Legend and Black Eyed Peas. “A Capitol Fourth” (PBS): Vanessa Williams and John Stamos host from D.C. with performances by Patti LaBelle, The Temptations, Yolanda Adams, Brian Stokes Mitchell and more. “The Fourth In America” (CNN): Don Lemon and musical gifts from Carlos and Cindy Santana, CeCe Winans, The O’Jays, Barry Manilow, Harlem Gospel Choir, Pat Benatar and Burt Bacharach with musicians from the Berklee College of Music, for starters.
July 5 – “Hollywood Game Night” (NBC): Twitch, Yvette Nicole Brown, Amanda Seales. “Sunday Best” (BET): Kirk Franklin with judges Erica Campbell, Kelly Price and Jonathan McReynolds kick off the 10th season with part one of “The Auditions.” “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted” (NGC): Chef travels to Guyana. “Desus & Mero” (SHO): The Bodega Boys are back from hiatus with a schedule change. They will now take on hot topics on the new night of Sundays in addition to their regular Thursday evening show.
July 6 – “The History of White People in America” (World YouTube): Through musical and spoken-word narration, this timely, three-part animated series examines key moments and figures in U.S. history from a workers’ rebellion in Jamestown to the development of the Slave Codes of Virginia to the complicated truths of the relationship between Sally Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson. Episodes two and three will debut at noon the next two days. “Celebrity Game Face” (E!): Kevin Hart is executive producer and host of this special pitting four celebrity couples (including himself and wife Eniko, along with Terry and Rebecca Crews, Sarah Hyland and her fiancé Wells Adams, and Joel and Sarah McHale) in outrageous at-home challenges. “F—, That’s Delicious” (VICE): Action Bronson, Mayhem Lauren and The Alchemist taste iconic foods in New York, Boston, Connecticut and L.A. “To Catch A Beautician” (VH1): This gotcha show led by Tamar Braxton and top hairstylist Johnny Wright moves to a new time slot.
July 7 – “Live With Kelly & Ryan” (ABC): Jada Pinkett Smith “Nick Cannon Presents” Wind ‘N Out” (VH1): Naughty By Nature vs. Pivot Gang “Primetime: What Would You Do?” (ABC): Anchor John Quiñones presents a 16th season of complex situations.
July 8 – “Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado” (Netflix): The famed astrologer vanished at the peak of his fame. This documentary poignantly explains what happened. “Game On!” (CBS): Tiki Barber and Ken Jeong join Venus Williams and Rob Gronkowski for this round of stunts.
July 9 – “Untold Stories of Hip Hop” (WE): Angie Martinez gets the quarantining Swizz Beatz and Fabolous to spill some beans from their homes.
TASTY QUIP: “I’ve been drinking too much. And the world’s falling apart in a race apocalypse. And we’re in a global pandemic. And yeah, we’re doomed. But other than that, I’m fantastic.” – ERIC ANDRE (Netflix’s “Legalize Everything”) to Vulture.
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at email@example.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.