Friday, July 12, 2013

Red Alert: 'The Heart of Samba' Beats in New York

Brasil is hot!

It will host the World Cup next year and the Summer Olympics in 2016. It has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and in financial communities is the B in the so-called BRICS, five countries with emerging economies and increasing clout on the world stage. (The others are Russia, India, China and South Africa.)

Most regular folk, however, associate the country with Brazilian waxes, bikini-clad beauties, and most important, Samba!

Samba comes to NYC in a sort of big way on Sunday when famed Rio de Janeiro percussionist Sergio Krakowski lightens the door of DROM. He will be the main act on a program of Brazilian music, film clips (and, doubtless, dancing in the aisles).

All of the jollification is in support of "The Heart of Samba," NYC-based filmmaker and samba singer Irene Walsh's upcoming documentary. (See video at top).

Sergio Krakowski (with Irene Walsh) will provide some percussion. Photo courtesy of Split Rock Films.

IW calls samba the soul of the country. In her forthcoming documentary, she turns the lens on the the Rio de Jeneiro neighborhood of Lapa, which is home to some of the most passionate practitioners and preservationists of samba, including headliner SK who is featured in the film. Lapa is also affectionately known by some as the heart of samba.

The film will arrive before the two aforementioned sporting events. Meanwhile, there is still work to be done such as putting a finish on it, which cost$$$, hence the DROM party.

Visit to learn more about and purchase tickets to "The Heart of Samba" fundraiser; visit to learn more about "The Heart of Samba."

Instructive: 'How to Make Money Selling Drugs'

STUCK in a dead-in job? Wanna make some real money? Sell drugs. Not legal yet no less illicit pharmaceuticals, but illegal drugs like cocaine, meth and marijuana, if marijuana can even be seriously called a drug at this juncture.

This is in part the thesis of "How to Make Money Selling Drugs," the documentary from Matthew Cooke that is playing in select theaters and is available on VOD. But beware, making $8,000 or a cool $1 million a day, has a downside: deadly competition and law enforcement - occasionally one in the same. (See video above.)

Told largely from the point of view of drug dealers, "How to Make Money Selling Drugs," breaks down the business in lay terms. It's essentially a "Drug Dealing for Dummies" manual. Those interviewed are very candid about its interworkings, huge rewards and colossal risks, including the sham publicly and officially known as the "War on Drugs."

Talk about a hustle! And this is not a bunch of bull solely from self-interested drug dealing lawbreakers. Adrian Grenier ("Entourage") allows his role as a co-producer of the film to speak for his stance on the issue.

Those more vocal are sometime hemp planter Woody Harrelson, as well as, Susan Sarandon, Russell Simmons and David Simon, creator of the acclaimed HBO show, "The Wire."

Visit to learn more about "How to Make Money Selling Drugs."

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