Tuesday, December 29, 2009
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.....
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
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,
Sunday, November 29, 2009
starring Wood Harris and Clifton Powell
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned
staring LAWRENCE FISHBURNE
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Check out the trailer!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
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
Friday, July 10, 2009
"Let the spirit move you", to come out and enjoy a delicious dinner and watch a wonderful movie.
Date: Sunday, July 19th
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
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
Another Special Viewing!
Date: Saturday, June 27th
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
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
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,
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
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 email@example.com.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
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
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
Thursday, February 26, 2009
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love, Peace and Hair Grease!