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Showing posts from February, 2009

Would Martin Luther King Jr. Have Been As Successful Without Black, Gay Civil Rights Activist, Bayard Rustin?

Bayard Rustin was an integral part of the American civil rights movement. He worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. with the Montgomery bus boycotts and was instrumental in organizing the historic March On Washington, yet, because he was gay, his name is only now emerging from the closet of history. Thanks to Bennett Singer, co-director and producer of the documentary, Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, this oversight is finally being addressed.

Also on the show is my chat with BaKari E. Lindsay, choreograper and co-Artistic Director of COBA (Collective of Black Artists)

PLAYLIST FOR FEB. 21st SHOW
Jimmy Cliff, "Wonderful World, Beautiful People" from Reggae in Your Jeggae compiliation CD
Dr. Matin Luther King, Jr. speech "Birmingham 1963-Keep Moving" + SNCC Freedom Singers "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around" from Every Tone a Testimony Compilation CD
Melanie Durrant "Sky" + "Bang Bang" from Where I'm Goin' CD (Cdn)

Why Hasn't the BBC Released this Black Comedy Series on DVD?

The Real McCoy. Think In Living Color, but British and Caribbean.

Two Misery's West Indian Restaurant Sketches from the BBC Series, The Real McCoy. Enjoy!

Despite on-going requests from its legions of fans, the highly successful BBC series, The Real McCoy (1991-1996) is still not available on DVD? There is a group on Facebook and an online petition. Clips are available on Youtube, but this series and its talented actors deserve a quality transfer to DVD.

The Real McCoy--I'm Sorry We're Full


(This one of for The More the Merrier Supporter and CIUT Member, GYLES)

Oscar...Oscar..Oscar...Who Won?

So, how did Kirk and I do with our Oscar picks? Have a look:

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
KC: THE CLASS
dg: THE CLASS


WINNER: DEPARTURES, dir. Yojiro Takita (JAPAN)



BEST PICTURE
KC: MILK
dg: MILK
WINNER: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
DIRECTING
KC: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (Danny Boyle)
dg: MILK (Gus Van Sant)
WINNER: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (Danny Boyle)


LEAD ACTOR
KC: SEAN PENN (Milk)
dg: SEAN PENN (Milk)
WINNER: SEAN PENN (Milk)




LEAD ACTRESS
KC: KATE WINSLETT (The Reader)
dg: MELISSA LEO (Frozen River)
WINNER: KATE WINSLETT







SUPPORTING ACTOR
KC: HEATH LEDGER (The Dark Knight)
dg: HEATH LEDGER (The Dark Knight)
WINNER: HEATH LEDGER






SUPPORTING ACTRESS
KC: VIOLA DAVIS (Doubt)
dg: VIOLA DAVIS (Doubt)
WINNER: PENELOPE CRUZ (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)




CINEMATOGRAPHY
KC: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
dg: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
WINNER: ANTHONY DOD MANTLE (Slumdog)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
KC: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
dg: FROST/NIXON
WINNER: SIMON BEAUFOY (Slumdog)


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
KC: IN BRUGES
dg: IN BRUGES
WINNER: DUSTIN LANCE BLACK (Milk)

And the Oscar Goes To...

The Oscars are coming up next Sunday (Feb. 22nd) and Kirk Cooper is more excited about them than I am. Maybe it's because he has something to root for in Slumdog Millionaire. During the second part of my Feb. 14th show (see In the Mood for Love post) we talked about our picks for the 81st Annual Academy Awards. He is feeling the magic of Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, a magic that I have never felt since seeing the film at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. To me and the few others I have met who are not enamored of the film, it is understandable why most people have enjoyed this film about two impoverished brothers from the slums of India aspiring to wealth--rags to riches stories always do well with the general public. What we don't understand is why this film has become so award-worthy. The only thing I would accept this film winning an award for is cinematography, but anything else is baffling. It's a case of the Emperor having no clot…

In the Mood for Love

In a continued celebration of Black History Month and Valentine's Day, I invited Kirk Cooper to the show for a quick chat about Black Love in film. Our conversation mostly centred on romantic comedy/romance DVDs. Turns out most of our selections were from "back in the day". There haven't really been any significant Black romances released in the past few years (Tyler Perry films dominate the Black film scene, but you wouldn't exactly call them romantic). As for films featuring Black Lesbians and Gays, we came up with a couple of suggestions, but that market is sadly lacking in product. Other peoples of colour (Korean, South Asian, Chinese) have seen some development in LGBT romantic films, but when it comes to Black LGBT films--forget it! The phrase "down low" or "DL" came out of our culture, and our closet is large, deep and conspicuously silent.

Here are some of the films we talked about and some we recommend, but didn't have a chance to…

d'bi young.anitafrika: "rivers...and other blackness...between us"

We've never met, but her welcoming laughter greets me over the telephone as if we are friends reconnecting. I am kicking off my Black History Month celebrations with an interview with d'bi young.anitafrika, the extraordinarily gifted dub poet, actor, playwright. d'bi (rhymes with "to be") has won many awards for her work, including a Dora Mavor Moore award for Outstanding New Play (2006) award for her play, blood.claat--one womban story.

We discuss her book of poems, "rivers...and other blacness...between us". The book is divided into those 3 segments as broken up by the title. The number 3 is a magical number for young, and she tries to encorporate its mysticism into her writing.

She's Black, young and political, so I ask her about her audience, wondering if they were a predominently young crowd. It turns out that her audience is more varied than one would expect. She supposes that her diverse fan base is an off-shoot of being surrounded her …

Michelle Williams is Brilliantly Understated in WENDY and LUCY--Opens Feb. 6th in Toronto, Feb. 13th in Vancouver

If you listen to my show on a regular basis then you know I am not a fan of the film Rachel Getting Married nor Anne Hathaway's showy performance as a recovering drug addict. Hathaway has received an Academy Award nomination for in the Lead Actress category, but I feel that Michelle Williams should have been the one nominated. Williams is absolutely flawless in Wendy and Lucy, the story of a young woman who's car breaks down on her way to Alaska. Stuck in a small Oregon town until her car is repaired, Wendy (Williams) and her dog Lucy cope with hunger and dwindling funds as they interact with a few of the town's citizens--some nicer than others.

Director, Kelly Reichardt documents Wendy and Lucy's situation in a minimalist, realistic manner that relies heavily on Williams, whose style of acting appears effortless. I tried to look for the "acting" but I never once saw it (even in documentaries the subjects can sometimes seem too aware of the camera).


Filmm…

NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY Opens Feb. 6th at the Yonge/Dundas AMC--Let's Get 500 People in the Theatre This Weekend!

I never thought I would see a Canadian film, set in Toronto, that had characters mention nonas and St. Elizabeth, Jamaica--Kingston, yes, St. Elizabeth, no.


Nurse.Fighter.Boy screens at Yonge/Dundas AMC Theatre and the Royal Cinema. Filmmaker Charles Officer will participate in Q & A’s, Friday and Saturday, February 6 and 7, at the following Nurse.Fighter.Boy screenings:
-After the 7:15 pm shows at Yonge & Dundas, 10 Dundas St. East .
-After the 9:30 pm shows at the Royal, 608 College St .

Nurse.Fighter.Boy needs 500 "bums in seats" this week-end in order to remain at the Yonge/Dundas AMC theatre. Director, Charles Officer is hoping for a 3 week run, an ambitious hope for any Canadian film, let alone this intimate look at a single mother, her 12 year-old son, and the world-weary fighter that enters their lives. Outside of the Quebec market it is extremely difficult for English Canadian films to find an audience given their limited promotional budgets. As I've said…