The Yes List—David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's Imelda Marcos Musical
Each week, The Daily Beast scours the cultural landscape to choose three top picks. This week, David Byrne's Imelda Marcos musical, an indie film tackles Don't Ask Don't Tell, and the true story of the Amanda Knox trial.
David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s Imelda Marcos Musical
Is Imelda the next Evita—musically speaking? Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and Fatboy Slim have collaborated on Here Lies Love a two-CD musical tribute to legendary Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos. Here Lies Love features 23 performers (21 of whom are female), including Tori Amos, Martha Wainwright, Natalie Merchant, Cyndi Lauper, and Filipino jazz singer Charmaine Clamor singing about the life and times of the world’s most famous shoe freak. In the introduction to the disco-influenced CD, Byrne writes, “The story I am interested in is about asking what drives a powerful person—what makes them tick? How do they make and then remake themselves? I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if—as this piece would be principally composed of clubby dance music—one could experience it in a club setting? Could one bring a ‘story’ and a kind of theater to the disco? Was that possible? If so, wouldn’t that be amazing!” A theatrical version of Here Lies Love is also being planned for New York’s Public Theater.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: The Movie
Gays in the military is a hot-button issue today, but it was even more complicated a generation ago, so much so that anyone in uniform who hinted at homosexuality invited not only scrutiny, but opened himself up to violence. Such is the atmosphere of Handsome Harry, from ‘70s counterculture scribe Nicholas T. Proferes and veteran director Bette Gordon. The indie film follows Jamey Sheridan ( Law & Order, Trauma), who plays an ex-Navy man haunted by having assaulted a fellow shipmate (Campbell Scott) upon discovering he was gay. (The two men perhaps had feelings for each other that they could not act on.) At the behest of one of his dying Navy buddies, Sheridan’s character must not only confront the man he beat up, but other ex-officers who were in on the discrimination and must now re-trace the sins and hatred of their past. Amber Wilkinson of the Eye for Film blog writes, “Wonderful performances abound,” and it’s true. Though the subject matter is less than conventional, Sheridan turns in one of the classically tightest performances of his career.
Angel Face: The Killer Inside Amanda Knox
Was beautiful college honors student Amanda Knox a sexually rapacious killer who murdered her roommate? Or was she a victim of a biased Italian justice system? The Daily Beast’s Rome correspondent Barbie Latza Nadeau covered the sensational trial for months and presents the most comprehensive portrait of Foxy Knoxy (who was sentenced to 26 years in prison for the crime) in her new book Angel Face. Nadeau, who developed inside sources on both the prosecution and defense, provides the definitive account of Meredith Kercher’s brutal murder and delivers a portrait of Knox far beyond what the jury saw. Angel Face is the second release from Beast Books, a joint venture between Perseus Books and the publisher of this newsletter. It’s available as an e-book and a paperback original.