Time, Rod Stewart
When a singer’s career spans five decades, his lyrics can be a window into how each life stage inflects his outlook. As a 33-year-old party boy, Rod Stewart asked, “Do ya think I’m sexy?” At 43, he sang, “But whatever road you choose, I'm right behind you win or lose, forever young.” With this new record, featuring Rod’s first original music in decades, he offers a frank look at the kind of regular-guy concerns that come with closing in on 70: "I could smoke and drink and gamble just as I pleased, now I'm working out daily and watching my waistline."
One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das
Most suburban teenagers in the '70s dreamed of being rock gods. But when Jeffrey Kagel had a shot to be lead singer for Blue Oyster Cult, he chose chanting instead. This inspiring documentary traces the spiritual journey that transformed a kid from Long Island into a world-renowned spiritual teacher known as “the chant-master of American yoga.”
Nature, The Great Zebra Exodus, May 15, 8 p.m.
If the heart-wrenching travails of those adorable stars of March of the Penguins brought tears to your eyes, here’s another heroic march sure to move you: When thunderclouds gather over Botswana's Kalahari each year, 20,000 zebra stallions, mares and young set off on an arduous trek across thousands of miles populated with lions in a quest to find the food and water they need to survive. Featuring gorgeous footage of the epic migration, this Nature special brings the safari experience into your living room.
The Book of Woe, The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry, Gary Greenberg
“Psychiatric diagnosis is built on fiction and sold to the public as fact,” argues journalist/psychotherapist Gary Greenberg in his critique of the American Psychiatric Association’s years-long revision of its bible: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. This fascinating expose reveals a saga fraught with politics and such controversies as whether to list grieving a family member’s death as a mental illness and whether to invent certain maladies that could lead to millions of people being prescribed powerful drugs.
WORTH THE TRIP
Cannes Film Festival, May 15-26
It’s every film buff’s fantasy getaway: hobnobbing with international cinephiles on the French Riviera. This year, Steven Spielberg heads the jury, Sofia Coppola’s new work opens the Un Certain Regard section and Leo DeCaprio will be owning the red carpet on Opening Night. You don’t have to be a FOH (Friend of Harvey) to bask in the rarified atmosphere: There’s a free, open-air cinema nightly on the Plage Mace; Cannes Cinephiles screens free films at four cinemas around town; and you can take in the "History of the Film Festival" exhibition at the Espace Calmette, featuring documents, posters, photographs and video celebrating the most glamorous film festival on the planet.
Pamela Miller is a freelance writer who lives in Los Angeles