Sunday, November 6, 2016
With this weekend's NY and LA release of Loving, let us get to know a bit about Ruth Negga, the actress portraying Mildred Loving. Ms. Negga was born in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Abba to an Ethiopian father and Irish mother. Raised in Limerick Ireland since early childhood, she began her career in theatre, her screen debut coming in the lead role of Irish film Capital Letters. Recognizing her talent, director Neil Jordan reworked the Breakfast on Pluto script to include her. In addition to a burgeoning film career, Ruth worked steadily on BBC, including her role as Welsh singer Dame Shirley Bassey. As well as continuing to work on stage, Ruth has done voice work and in 2013 appeared in 12 Years a Slave and took on the role as Tulip O'Hare in the popular AMC series Preacher. With her latest feature film role in in Loving and the talent she's displayed thus far, Ms. Negga will surely shine for many years to come.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
I love Ireland, everything Irish and being a child of the '80s. So it was with great excitement that I recently went to see a movie that satisfied these interests. Sing Street is set in 1985 Dublin and focuses on a teenager discovering his place in the world and finding first love in the process. In these pursuits, he forms a band with his schoolmates, one of whom is a kid named Ngig, who is black. Although aspects of Ngig's journey would likely diverge in one of the most geographically and culturally isolated places on Earth, where running into a person of color is rare, in other regards, there isn't much difference, as he goes about playing his keyboards in his friends' burgeoning band and traveling down the same emotional road, as has many a teenager throughout the history of modern humanity. Along with the nostalgic music, it made the heart and spirit of this biracial girl leap with joy to know that at least in this darling film, there is goodness and harmony in this complicated world.
Monday, May 9, 2016
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Prince Rogers Nelson is gone. He was in the peace and solitude of his suburban Minneapolis home when, at the age of 57, he succumbed to what's been reported as a bout of the flu. When he wasn't relaxing at his home, which he called Paisley Park, he spent his days as a professional musician and songsmith, prolifically producing albums and traveling the world using his first name as his moniker while entertaining millions internationally, and what a legacy he brought unto the masses! Prince began his illustrious career at the age of 19, writing all the songs and playing all the instruments on his debut album. Utilizing this unique skill set, Mr Nelson sold 100 million albums earned 7 grammys, and a Golden Globe. In addition to peer accolades, Prince rightly endeared himself to hearts everywhere with his humility, his one-of-a kind fashion sense and in the words of the man himself his "foreplay or prayer" musical philosophy. His particular brand of spiritual soul, with his inviting vocals and stand-apart falsetto will be sorely missed. Prince spoke regularly regarding his belief in the afterlife, and now that he's joined the chorus of angels, it must be one jammin' and beautiful place! Farewell and Godspeed Mr Nelson, you have left us so much joy and the celebration will go on.
Thursday, March 31, 2016
I was recently alerted by a friend of the release date of yet another film I've been highly anticipating. This time around it's Loving, the true tale of Richard and Mildred Loving, married parents of two sons and a daughter. In 1958 the Lovings, an interracial couple, traveled to Washington DC to get married, returning to their native environs of rural Virginia to enjoy socializing with friends and family, attend weekend drag races and raise their three children until the authorities intervened to split them up, citing a state law making marriage between blacks and whites illegal. Although sentenced to a year in jail, this was suspended for 25 years on the condition that they leave their home state. The defiant Richard and Mildred, having resettled in Washington, DC, continually snuck back for visits with family and friends until getting caught. The homesick Lovings' desire to live their lives in Caroline County led them to seek the assistance of Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, who referred them to the ACLU. ACLU attorneys helped wage a nine-year battle to legalize their nine-year marriage and the determined couple became victorious, when on June 12, 1967, the US Supreme Court validated their union and made interracial marriage legal in the states where it had previously been forbidden. Tragically, Mildred was widowed in 1975 when Richard was killed in a car accident in which she was injured. Mrs. Loving never remarried and remained devoted to her husband's memory until her 2008 death, a powerful and steadfast testament to two folks who never set out to make history, just to be happy, in love and at home with each other.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
I was leaving a less-than-stellar movie recently, when I was immediately cheered up by seeing the poster for The Free State of Jones, set to be released this May. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning, as I've read one of the two books on which this film is based. The story of Newton Knight, of Jones County, Mississippi is an incredible one of a man waging guerilla warfare against the then-powerful Confederacy, made all the more astounding because this man was one of them. Newton Knight was a Confederate soldier who reluctantly joined up so as not to be conscripted away from his friends. Not long after, however, he deserted and proceeded to wreak havoc on a system he'd always considered unjust. Hiding in the swamps, he proclaimed his native area Free State of Jones, and fighting along with runaway slaves, farmers and former soldiers, he worked to undermine those who would foment grave crimes against humanity and exploit those working to make a basic living. In the midst of his heroic deeds, Mr. Knight, although already married to Serena, with kids of their own, formed a common-law marriage with Rachel, one of his grandfather's former slaves, living openly with her and their children, a fairly revolutionary act at the time. Upon Rachel's untimely death in 1899 "Capt" Knight as he became known, insisted on having her buried in his family plot, where he lies next to her. Through his adult life, Newton Knight worked alongside those suffering from the deepest oppression to achieve harmony and bring about a more ideal America that we still struggle towards today.