Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, members of the feminist Russian activist collective Pussy Riot were released from prison "early" just before Christmas. Their unjust imprisonment for public performances protesting the actions of the Russian government have gained much international attention especially via a widely screened documentary on their work. You can see pictures of them taken after their release here (courtesy Seattle Post Intelligencer) and I've posted the trailer for the must-see film below. (note: if in NZ the good folks at AroVideo just obtained a coupla rental copies.) You also can read an article from Slate.com on their decision to work on drawing attention to the plight of those imprisoned in Russia.
I highly recommend a captivating and energetic documentary on Kathleen Hanna, pioneer of the Riot Grrrl movement and singer for the bands Bikini KIll and Le Tigre. The film is an effective portrait of the groundbreaking fringe punk scenes involving strong women, such as Hanna and her bandmates who were inspired by earlier Feminist activism and innovative figures such as writer Kathy Acker who counseled the young Hanna to stop doing spoken word performances and start a band. Hanna's voice in conversation is low-key, funny, and candid, but on stage incredibly powerful, dynamic and enchantingly listenable as with the best pop music. A host of musicians are interviewed including Carrie Brownstein, Joan Jett, and Kim Gordon. Hanna effectively retired for several years due to the devastating effects of Lyme disease, but has been more recently working again with her new band The Julie Ruin. For more on the film see: http://www.thepunksinger.com/ Trailer posted below as well as some vintage Bikini Kill sounds.
Here's a clip that's getting some wide circulation, and with good reason, it's Iggy Pop walking around his Lower East Side neighborhood in 1993 with Dutch filmmaker Bram van Splunteren. They stop in a bakery and Iggy begs money to pay for their goods, he points out the local graffiti, speaks of his preference for Bob Dylan over Ice T, and talks about recently acting with Tom Waits in Jim Jarmusch's short film Coffee and Cigarettes, posted below. Have an Iggy day!