Tuesday, December 29, 2009

First meeting of 2010!

Ok Soul of Cinema Brothas and Sistas! Here we go with our first meeting of the year!

The Featured Film for the month of January is.....

Hollywood Shuffle

directed by Robert Townsend

Where: Highland Mills Cafe 2909 North Davidson St., Charlotte, NC

When: January 9, 2010

Time: 5:30 pm (Please note the new time!)

Come on out and join the fun with a free movie and a delicious dinner along with good conversation and good friends!

Check out the movie clip!

OMGosh! Check this one out!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Soul of Cinema Family

My Soul of Cinema Family,

2oo9 is coming to a close and I just want to tell all of our Soul of Cinema Movie Review family....THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

We have had some very good times this year. From our very first meeting in my home watching the movie Cover to eating fried fish and greens at Sadie's listening to the soulful poetic lyrics to For Colored Girls to ending this year at the Highland Mills Cafe watching This Christmas. And we brought the house down!

When Soul of Cinema was just an idea in my head I had no idea that the people who supported this idea so would touch my heart. You guys have been my support and my inspiration and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And to top it all off, one of our members, Charles Rorie, put together this video of our last meeting. He told me that he wanted the world to see us through his eyes. And he felt that the song, Lioness on the Rise, was appropriate to describe the ladies in the group. I certainly agree! This video brought tears to my eyes. I saw us smiling and beautiful. And these pictures take me back to memories to previous meetings and I can't stop smiling. Thank you Charles for your creative appreciation. There is no other like you, believe that!

And there is no better group of people in this world than my Soul of Cinema family. And you better believe that too! I hope you enjoy the video and if you like it please post a comment!

Love, Peace and Sooouuul of Cinema,

TamaRa Nzadi

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Movie for the month of December

Jazz in the Diamond District

starring Wood Harris and Clifton Powell

Join us for our last meeting of 2009
Where: Highland Mills Cafe
2909 N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC 28205
Time: 6pm
Free movie, delicious food and great conversation!
Come do something out of the ordinary!
This event will take us out of 2009 and into 2010!
We will have:
* A live performance by our songstress Soul of Cinema Sista Kim Fraizer!
* Free dvd and movie give-aways!
* and a Toys for Tots Tree for donations!
About the Movie!
When Jasmine Jazz Morgan (introducing Monique Cameron) loses her mother to a long-time battle with lung cancer, she can only focus on one thing pursuing her dream of becoming a famous singer. Ignoring the wishes of her father, Blair Morgan (Clifton Powell, RAY), a strict doctor who prefers that she return to college, Jazz spends the summer entrenched in the hyper-sexualized, drug-influenced Washington, D.C., music scene, dragging along her naive younger sister, Leah (introducing Erica Chamblee).One night, after an impromptu audition, Jazz is invited to join a local Go-go band (music by Likeblood Entertainment, Uncalled 4 Experience) that is managed by a laid back barber, Gabe (Wood Harris, REMEMBER THE TITANS) and supported with drug money provided by the lead MC, Flight (introducing Andre' Strong). With ease, she falls in line with the band and in love with the stage and together they reach new heights of popularity. But just as quickly as her success builds so does the pressure and Jazz recklessly tries to maintain control.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Movie Review for Precious



starring Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, MO'Nique, Paula Patton and Mariah Carey.

directed by Lee Daniels

with executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry
This film is based on the novel Push written by African-American author, Sapphire. This is an emotionally gripping story of a young black teenage girl living in Harlem. She has been abused in more ways one could imagine by the very people who were suppose to love and take care of her. Her life is hard, however, she finds solace in a program that is geared to help troubled teen girls finish school and find a new direction in life. This young girl soon finds, from her teacher, classmates, social workers and others around her, that there are people who love and care about her and through it all she finds enough to love herself and her children.
This movie is a tear jerker. I mean, enough to jerk the eyeballs out the socket! I could sit here and type all night about this film and I still would not express everything this movie made me feel. This is a straight no chaser kind of film. Gabourey Sidibe is wonderful! She played her character very well. It was believable. Every aspect of this film was believable. Though, the subject matter was hard to digest, it tells a story of many young girls. Girls who suffer and continue to suffer physical, sexual and emotional abuse. I'm not mad at all about it.
There was no glamour in this film. No make-up or Maybeline! Never saw Mariah look that "plain Jane" before! Although, Paula Patton needed no make-up and I'm sure her hubby Robin Thicke is not complaining! MO'Nique! She played the crazy, emotionally umbalanced, bitter mother. She did her thing! As a matter of fact, everytime I saw her on the screen she made my stomach hurt!
This film will take you through every emotion imaginable. Even though this is a serious drama, there are some light-hearted moments that will make you chuckle and laugh. Plus, Lenny Kravitz made me want to get back into nursing sick people! Lee Daniels brought the same fire as he brought to Monster's Ball, which earned Halle Barry an Oscar win! Maybe, there's another one here? I don't know but his directing in this film was phenomenal! I loved it. I am already planning to see it a second time.
If you have seen this movie, tell us what you think! Post your comment.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Movie Review for November

Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned


If you have ever been incarcerated and was faced with the challenges of creating a new life in the free world then you would understand the plight of Socrates Fortlow (Lawrence Fishburne). Always Outnumbered is a film adaptation of the novel by the same title by Walter Mosely.

Socrates plays judge and jury as he protects his community and fights social and economic prejudice as an ex-con and also finds himself worthy of being loved by a beautiful woman (Natalie Cole). Other talented actors in this film are, Cicely Tyson, Bill Nun (Radio Raheem from School Daze), Issiah Washington (Dr. Preston Burke from Grey's Anatomy), Paula Jai Parker (Hustle and Flow) and the ever so smooth, Bill Duke. Um, um, um. This has got to be one of the best dramatic films I have seen of Lawrence Fishburne.

Come on out and enjoy the fun!

When: Saturday, November 7, 2009

Where: Highland Mills Cafe

2909 N Davidson St, Suite 200

Charlotte, NC 28205

Time: 6pm

Come out and enjoy a free movie, delicious food, engaging conversations and a chance to win free a pair of movie tickets! The movie will start promptly at 6:30, so please arrive early so you can get a good seat and order your dinner. If you have questions about the event please contact me, TamaRa Nzadi at 704-281-4477 or email me at soulofcinema@yahoo.com.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chris Rock's Documentary Good Hair Opens This Weekend

All of our Soul of Cinema Movie Review members, the Chris Rock documentary is here and is opening this Friday! We are going to be there! If you are going to see it too, please post your review and critique of the film.


When Chris Rock’s daughter, Lola, came up to him crying and asked, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” the bewildered comic committed himself to search the ends of the earth and the depths of black culture to find out who had put that question into his little girl's head! Director Jeff Stilson’s camera followed the funnyman, and the result is Good Hair, a wonderfully insightful and entertaining, yet remarkably serious, documentary about African American hair culture.An exposĂ© of comic proportions that only Chris Rock could pull off, Good Hair visits hair salons and styling battles, scientific laboratories, and Indian temples to explore the way black hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships, and self-esteem of black people. Celebrities such as Ice-T, Kerry Washington, Nia Long, Paul Mooney, Raven SymonĂ©, Maya Angelou, and Reverend Al Sharpton all candidly offer their stories and observations to Rock while he struggles with the task of figuring out how to respond to his daughter’s question. What he discovers is that black hair is a big business that doesn’t always benefit the black community and little Lola’s question might well be bigger than his ability to convince her that the stuff on top of her head is nowhere near as important as what is inside.

courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Check out the trailer!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Soul of Cinema Star for October

Forest Whitaker
Actor, director, producer and Igbo chieftain, Forest Whitaker, is a native of Longview, Texas. He played defensive tackle in high school which he was later granted an athletic scholarship to play at Cal Poly Pomona. He later transferred to University of Southern California where he excelled in the performing arts. He debuted on the big screen at the age of 21 in the comedy, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” where he played Charles Jefferson, as what? A football player. However, his acting talents bum rushed him on his cinematic journey staring in films, such as, “North and South”, “Platoon”, “Good Morning Vietnam”, and Clint Eastwood’s directorial project of the life and career of jazz legend Charlie “Bird” Parker, “Bird”, a film for which he won the Cannes Film Festival award for best actor and a Golden Globe nomination.

His repertoire of the characters he has played in later films is quite colorful. Among them were a kidnapped British soldier with a questionable sexual preference in the “Crying Game”, a gay fashion designer in “Ready to Wear”, a geeky alien hunter in “Species”, and a mafia hit man who follows the codes of the Samurai warrior in “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai”. He started his creative ventures behind the camera by starring and co-producing the movie, “Rage in Harlem”, with Gregory Hines and Robin Givens, and made his successful directorial debut in the national black woman’s theme movie, “Waiting to Exhale”, starring Angela Bassett, Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon. A few of his most recent and more notable works include, “The Last King of Scotland” where he plays the brutal Ugandan president, Idi Amin, a role for which he won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in 2007, “The Great Debaters”, “Vantage Point” and “Where the Wild Things Are” as the voice of Ira. Included in his upcoming works are, “Repo Men” with Liev Schreiber, “My Own Love Song” with Renee Zellweger, “The Experiment” with Twilight’s, Cam Gigandet.

Aside from being married to the beautiful former model, Keisha Whitaker and the father of four adorable children, he created his own multimedia company, Spirit Dance Entertainment, which produced movies such as , “The First Daughter” and the 2002 Emmy Award winning film, “Door to Door”. Forest was given a star on the Hollywood Walk in April of 2007. Forest Whitaker, has done extensive humanitarian work, he has been involved with organizations like, Penny Lane, an organization that provides assistance to abused teenagers. PETA and Farm Sanctuary are organizations that protect animals' rights. During the last couple of years, he has become a spokesperson for Hope North Ugandan orphanage and Human Rights Watch. Oh yeah, if you were ever wondering about that suspicious looking eye, it is a condition that is called ptosis or drooping eyelid. Whitaker has considered corrective surgery, not for cosmetic reasons but because it is affecting his sight. “Put a li’l bit of that barbeque sauce on dat eye and wake it up!” (Mike Epps, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins) And yes, through genetic DNA testing, Whitaker traced his roots back to the Nkwere people of the Igbo tribe in Nigeria and was honored with the chieftain title at the African Movie Academy Awards. Let’s Hear It For The Honorable Igbo Chieftain, Nwannedinamba of Nkwerre, (which means, A Brother in a Foreign Land). You are the Soul of Cinema Star of October!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Soul of Cinema Star for September

Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson is an award-winning African American actress. She was born and raised in Harlem, New York by her West Indian parents Theodosia and William Tyson. Tyson worked as a secretary when her stunning beauty was discovered by a photographer which lead her to start a career as a model. Her first uncredited role was in the film, Carib Gold in 1957. From there she went on to do television - the celebrated series East Side/West Side and the long-running soap opera The Guiding Light.
She appeared in The Comedians in 1967, and had a featured role in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter the following year. In 1972, she received an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the critically acclaimed Sounder, the same year Diana Ross was nominated for Best Actress in Lady Sings the Blues. In 1974 she won two Emmy Awards for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Other acclaimed television roles included Roots, King, in which she played Coretta Scott King, The Marva Collins Story, When No One Would Listen and Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (for which she won another Emmy). In 2005, Tyson co-starred in the movies Because of Winn-Dixie and Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Tyson co-founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

She has dedicated her career in playing only roles of strong women. She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and has a high school named in her honor, The Cicely Tyson High School of Performing and Fine Arts located in East Orange, New Jersey. Tyson was married to legendary trumpeter Miles Davis from 1981 to 1988. Her career and contributions span over decades and she will forever be a star of Soul of Cinema Movie Review.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Movie for the month of July


A Family Affair !

Let this month be about family. This month's meeting is dedicated to celebrating the love of family and quality time. This is an opportunity for families to come and share in the magic of, The Wiz, one of Micheal Jackson's most celebrated movie roles in his career.

"Let the spirit move you", to come out and enjoy a delicious dinner and watch a wonderful movie.

Date: Sunday, July 19th

Time: 5pm
Place: Sadies Soulful Southern Experience

5708 N Sharon Amity Rd

Charlotte, NC 28215-5083

(704) 532-5570

A re-imaging of The Wizard of Oz, set against an urban background with an African American cast. Dorothy is a 24-year-old kindergarten teacher from Harlem, who along with her dog Toto are lost in a snowstorm on the night of Thanksgiving and end up in the Land of Oz, which looks like a strangely surreal version of New York City. Dorothy learns the only way she can get home is to ease on down the road to see the Wiz. Along the way she meets a scarecrow made of garbage who wants a brain; a Tin Man, who is a turn-of-the-century mechanical carnie from Coney Island who wants a heart; and a lion who was banished from the jungle and must make his living as a statue in front of the main research branch of the New York Public Library. courtesy of IMDb

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Soul of Cinema Star for July

Michael Jackson

Soul of Cinema Movie Review is proud to dedicate the "Star of the Month" profile to Michael Jackson. We will always remember his role as the Scarecrow in the 1978 film, The Wiz. The Wiz was an urban adaptation of the classic story, The Wizard of Oz written by L. Frank Baum in 1900. The product of Berry Gordy's production company, Motown Productions, this film featured many talented African American greats during that time, such as, Diana Ross who played a real mature Dorothy, Nipsey Russel as the Tin Man, Ted Ross and the Lion, Mabel King as Evillene, Lena Horne and Glinda the Good and Richard Pryor as The Wiz. Quincey Jones was also the musical supervisor and music producer for the film. And although, I love Diana Ross, the song I could not get out of my young head was, (singing) "You can't win, chile...". I love that song and still sing it today.

Michael Jackson, with his brothers, had just left Motown and signed with Epic Records at the start of the the production. Michael Jackson worked very hard, as he always has, to prepare for this role. According to critics, Micheal's performance was the "only memorable performance" in the film and he possessed "genuine acting talent". However, his talent could not save Motown and Universal from taking a $10.4 million loss, making the film, at that time, the most expensive film musical ever made. And even though it did not take home any awards, the film was nominated for four Academy Awards, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Original Music Score, and Best Cinematography.

Although I was too young to concern myself with Hollywood's stamp of approval, I did not care about what the critics thought. I loved me some Michael Jackson! After my experience with the dry saltine cracker song and dance of the 1939 version of the Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland, I was happy to hear the soulful crooning of the scarecrow while he grooved on down the yellow brick road with Dorothy from New York (What up, yo!). And even though, the scary flying monkeys on the motorcycles creeped me out, ( oh, and that subway peddler was creepy too) I was twisting and turning my little six-year-old body along with the Red, Green and Gold people singing and dancing in front of Emerald City and just had to learn the words to "You Can't Win, You Can't Break Even". And in keeping with tradition I made sure that my girls watched the film and we would sing "You Can't Win" before they go to bed. Well, that's not the best song to leave in their heads to dream about, but, it was Michael Jackson, we just wanted to sing it like he did.

Despite, the criticisms of the film, I loved it. I loved the music, the dancing and the colors that played well on the screen. As with many films with an all Black cast, I was happy to see people who look like me tell a classic story they way I, a young black girl, could really relate to. A story that reflected my culture. This film was one of the influences that helped nurture my creative spirit. I would watch it again and again just so I could see Michael Jackson sing and spin down through out the movie. Even with those big, over-sized brown shoes, I could not help to wonder how he could dance without falling flat on his face!

We have all been influenced by Michael Jackson in one way or another, however, as far as film goes The Wiz will be the Alphaof his greatest film performances. People can dwell on the negative about this man's life, however, no one on this earth can judge him. As for me, I will always remember him as a man who gave the world his all. His music spoke to everyone and we all enjoyed it. His memory as well as his music will live on forever. We love you Michael!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Movie For the Month of June

Another Special Viewing!

Date: Saturday, June 27th

Time: 6pm

Location: Sadies Soulful Southern Experience

5708 N Sharon Amity Rd

Charlotte, NC 28215 (704) 532-5570

May was dedicated to the women, so now June is dedicated to the men!

Diary Of A Tired Black Man is a humorous and deep look into why relationships fail to work from the point of view of a good black man. It is part scripted and a series of interviews with real people from across the country. This story follows the life and relationships of a successful black man as he tries to find a happy place to rest his heart. He is constantly challenged by the anger he finds in the black women he gets involved with. From his wife, whom he divorces, to the other women he tries to date after her nothing but Drama Drama Drama! So what's a black man to do? He tries dating outside of his race, which brings up a different set of issues for him to deal with. It's an interesting ride into the reality of black relationships that a lot of people will relate to, and a lot of people will learn from.

Starring Jimmy Jean-Louis, Paula Lema,Natasha M. Dixon, Shavsha Israel & Little Cierra Lockett. Written, Produced & Directed by Tim Alexander.

Tim Alexander , writer, producer and director.

After dropping out of high school Tim Alexander taught himself how to be a locksmith at the early age of 17. When his sister was getting married, she asked Tim to photograph the wedding, because in her words, ”Tim can do anything”. He didn't even own a camera at the time so he rented a camera, shot the wedding and decided to become a wedding photographer. Three weddings were enough for him and he changed his direction to shooting models instead. That decision led to a 28-year career as a world traveled fashion photographer and make-up artist. He later established Castle Studio, a web design, retouching, print design and visual marketing company that worked with celebrity clientele. This background has lead Tim creatively to where he is today, a filmmaker. He has successfully obtained distribution for his first self-produced film. Over-achiever, Tim Alexander wrote, produced, directed, shot, edited and scored Diary Of A Tired Black Man himself. The film's a message for us all.Films, Life, and Positive Thoughts. http://www.spikespillberg.com/

To find out more about Diary of A Tired Black Man visit http://www.tiredblackman.com/.

If you have any questions about the event please contact me Tamara Brown
at soulofcinem@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Must See Documentary for Black Filmmakers...

This film is not only a must see for black filmmakers but for everyone who loves black cinema. But first, I have to send a BIG THANKS and much love to one of our Soul of Cinema sistas who turned me on to this film, Tori Abraham. Thank you so much.

This is a very important piece of work by one of the pioneers of revolutionary black cinema, Melvin Van Peebles. If there should be any convincing testimony on the importance of supporting black cinema and the continuing efforts of preserving black cinema to those who are have little or no thoughts on the subject, it would be found in this dvd.

For many years I have been frustrated with Hollywood and how it has stereotyped blacks in movies and also how it has tried to ignore us behind the scenes as directors and producers. Melvin Van Peebles chronicles the racially charged stereotypes of blacks in Hollywood from the "Old Negro" to the "New Negro". He also pointed out how this discrimination has inadvertently influenced how we perceive ourselves and each other in our community, which is evident in some of our black films.

Melvin Van Peebles is not only brilliant and cultured but his writing in this film is profound, not to mention he is notably suave and smooth! As I was watching this film I felt as if I was being schooled by one of our "Street Teachers". You know those cats that walk around here like; a bus driver, a shop owner or just that dude that hangs out on the corner with a toothpick in his mouth, you know the one, you wonder if he has a job or not. You don't think they know anything. You don't see them on your college campus but their knowledge comes from experience, observations and yes, books! They read too. He directs his lessons from history and his personal experiences from growing up in the ghettos of Chicago, showing his first film in Paris to upsetting Hollywood.

I absolutely love this film and look forward to sharing this film with my Soul of Cinema family and friends real soon. However, I do suggest that if you get the chance check it out for yourself.

Peace, Love and Sooouuul of Cinema,

Tamara Brown

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Movie for the Month of May

Special Viewing

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide. When the Rainbow is Enuf. written by Ntozake Shange
with Alfre Woodard, Ntozake Shange, and Lynn Whitfield.

for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf is a choreopoem, a poem (really a series of 20 separate poems) choreographed to music.

The play begins and ends with the lady in brown. The other six performers represent the colors of the rainbow: the ladies in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The various repercussions of "bein alive & bein a woman & bein colored is a metaphysical dilemma" are explored through the words, gestures, dance, and music of the seven ladies, who improvise as they shift in and out of different roles. In the 1970s, when Ntozake Shange herself performed in for colored girls..., she continually revised and refined the poems and the movements in her search to express a female black identity. Improvisation is central to her celebration of the uniqueness of the black female body and language, and it participates in the play's theme of movement as a means to combat the stasis of the subjugation.

The next meeting will be at Sadies Restaurant 5708 N. Sharon Amity Rd, Charlotte, NC 28215, Saturday, May 30th at 6 pm. We will also feature a poetry presentations from Moody Black,
L Monique Wallace, and Majadi Baruti. Come early for good seats. If you have any questions please contact me at soulofcinema@yahoo.com.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Soul Cinema Star Director of the Month

Spike Lee

Spike Lee was born Shelton Lee in 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from a proud and intelligent background. His father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a school teacher. He attended school in Morehouse College in Atlanta and developed his film making skills at Clark Atlanta University. After graduating from Morehouse, to go to the Tisch School of Arts graduate film program. He made a controversial short, The Answer (1980), a reworking of D. W. Griffith's, The Birth of a Nation (1915) -- a ten-minute film. In 1986, Spike Lee made the film, She's Gotta Have It (1986), a comedy about sexual relationships. His next movie was School Daze (1988), which was set in a historically black school and focused mostly on the conflict between the school and the Fraternities. Lee went on to do his landmark film, Do The Right Thing (1989), a movie specifically about his own town in Brooklyn, New York. The movie portrayed a neighborhood (Bed-Stuy, to be exact) on a very hot day, and the racial tensions that emerge. The movie garnered an Oscar nomination, for Danny Aiello, for supporting actor. It also sparked a debate on racial relations and exactly where Lee was taking the film.

Lee went on to make other movies, such as, Mo Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, Get on the Bus and many others. Bamboozled (2000), proved so over the top and too much for Hollywood. The movie made a near mockery out of television and the way African-Americans are perceived by white America and the way African-Americans perceive themselves. The movie, however, was a resounding critical success. His personal life has become somewhat well known, too. He had a relationship with Halle Barry and started a family with Tonya Lewis Lee , with whom he has two children. Lee is also known to have an obsessive love of the New York Knicks.

What is your favorite Spike Lee movie and why? Please post your comments. Thank you.

This bio is courtesy of Internet Movie Database. For more information on Spike Lee please visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000490/bio.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Soul Cinema Star of the Month

Dorothy Dandridge

was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio. Her mother, Ruby Dandridge, was also an actress and encouraged Dorothy and her sister, Vivian, into show business. The sisters would later join up with a young singer named, Etta James and form the singing trio, Dandridge Sisters. Soon after she left high school, she appeared in small roles, such as the 1942 film, Drums of the Congo. In 1945. she would marry Harold Nicholas of the tap dancing sensation, The Nicholas Brothers. They were married for six years and had one child, a daughter, named Harolyn, who was born with severe brain damage. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1951.

Dorothy Dandridge found success as a solo act in which she performed in such venues as the Mocombo Club in Hollywood with the Desi Arnez band. She performed all over the world and became an international star. Her first starring role was the 1953 film, Bright Road, where she played opposite Harry Belafonte. However, she is most noted for her outstanding performances in the 1954 film opera, Carmen Jones, directed by Otto Preminger and the 1959 film, Porgy and Bess, where she co-starred with Sydney Poitier.

Unfortunately, her career would suffer the consequences of racism in Hollywood. Many in the film industry disapproved of her interracial affair with Otto Preminger and because there were not many suitable roles for the actress because of her fair skin, she was forced to appear in less appreciated films, such as, Island in the Sun and Tamango. Her personal life suffered as well. Her second marriage in 1959 to Jack Denison left her practically penniless after she invested most of her savings into his failing restaurant. He left her soon after. Sadly, these unfortunate events forced her to take her daughter, Harolyn, out of private care and place her in a state mental institution and later contributed to her own mental break down. On September 8, 1965 she was found dead in her Hollywood home. There are many questions surrounding the details of her supposed suicide.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Movie for the Month of March - Cover

When Valerie Maas and her husband Dutch, decide to relocate their family to Philadelphia for his career, everything seems perfect. While Valerie must leave her job in Atlanta as a commercial photographer, she is able to work as a portraitist for her friend Zahara Milton and the family quickly settles into life in their newly adopted city and the upper echelon of Philadelphia's African-American community. As Dutch is less available with his new job, Valerie begins to question her husband's fidelity. Then, an unexpected tip-off results in a shattering discovery that threatens to destroy Valerie and everything that she holds dear. With a New Year's Eve shooting resulting in murder, Valerie now finds herself as the prime suspect, facing off against a veteran detective, with only her strength of character and her stalwart faith to help her escape alive from this unthinkable ordeal.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Welcome to the Soul of Cinema!

This Soul of Cinema Movie Review blog spot is exclusively dedicated to celebrating the history of black film making and honoring the works of African Americans who have made contributions, big or small, in the film industry. Also, the Soul of Cinema Movie Review group is inspired to promote a new awareness of black films and independently produced projects, such as, movies that are featured at Black Film Festivals. We want to initiate discussions about various aspects of the films, such as, the actors, directors, cinematography, soundtracks and any social issues that the movies may address.

It has been perceived to some individuals that black films lack quality and substance, therefore, they are not worth the attention, respect and support that is given to Hollywood produced movies. While it is in fact true that many black film makers lack the resources to produce big budget movies, it is also a fact that spending big money on a project does not guarantee a hit at the box office, like, the 2001 movie, Town and Country, starring Dianne Keaton, Charlton Heston and Warren Beaty, whose sticker price was $90 million and only brought in $6.7 million at the U.S. box office. Or just ask Kevin Costner about his Water World project.

However, there are many African American writers, directors and actors/actresses that have produced works that are engaging, insightful and entertaining. There is a rich history of genius in black films that transcend the pseudo-science of Hollywood. We can look at the the works of Hattie McDaniel, Sidney Poitier, Dorthy Dandridge, Spike Lee, Pam Grier, Morgan Freeman, Halle Barry, Denzel Washington or Jennifer Hudson to start the list. Or, you could just go and talk to Tyler Perry whose movie, Madea Goes to Jail, debuted at number 1, taking in $41,030,947 at the U.S. Box Office. (Smile!)

The Soul of Cinema Movie Review is only dedicated to reviewing African-American films, however, there are no restrictions on who is welcomed to the review meetings. Anyone who has a thirst for culture, appreciates riveting discussions and love movies is invited with open arms.

Thank you so much for your interest and please subscribe to our posts at the bottom of the page or join our mailing list to receive information about meetings and other events by sending an email to soulofcinema@yahoo.com.

Love, Peace and Hair Grease!

Tamara Brown