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My Guilty Pleasure

September 20, 2009
I heart you!

A New Reason for Must See TV

As they say, laughter is the best medicine.  Joel McHale and Chevy Chase bantering in a classroom is cool but Donald Glover who plays Letterman-wearing jacket Troy, is why I’m tuning in to NBC on Thursday nights.  Check out this funny video from his comedy troupe Derrick Comedy and look for their new film “Mystery Team” opening in select cities this Fall.

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To Weave or not to Weave

September 1, 2009

Summer is ending and there are tons of great movies slotted to premiere this Fall.  I usually get excited around this time of year but so far the only films I’m geeked to see are the Oprah/Tyler Perry produced, Precious; The Lovely Bones, and Chris Rock’s Good Hair. Those of you who know me are aware that I am a master of hair disguise and I sooooo can’t wait to organize and facilitate a discussion with women of color about the “good hair” debate.

In related news, this weekend I attended the wedding of my oldest childhood friend and like a true Black woman I gave entirely too much thought about what coif to rock.  In the end I decided to weave it up- my first in 10 years. That same weekend I attended a high school reunion and to say that my new locks gave me an extra boost of confidence would be an understatement.  I worked the floor, flirting, dancing, and mingling with all the hot guys who wouldn’t give me the time of day all those years ago when I was a chunky monkey with chubby cheeks and short, stringy tresses.  Perhaps the weight loss added to my increased self-esteem but I couldn’t help but feel the entire night that in the end, men- especially Black men are in search of  those unbeweavable Beyonce types.

Remember when weaves used to be taboo in the Black community?  For the record I NEVER have a problem getting play when I wear my hair natural but in truth, we live in the age of the mixed-race video vixen with hair longer than her IQ.  Ok that was harsh but you know what I mean.  I don’t even watch BET much these days but it seems that every time I see a new video, Weavie Wonder is front and center doing her little dance.  And one need not only look to Black music to understand what I’m talking about.  The Britney’s and Lindsey’s love “extensions” too.

I just wanna know are weaves more attractive to Black men?  Do Black women wear them to compensate for other insecurities?  Does hair even matter?  Of course I can’t make sweeping generalities for an entire race but whatever the answer is, Seabiscuit and I will be in the front row of our local theatre watching Chris Rock do his thing.  The film opens in select cities on October 9th and nationwide on October 23rd.  See you at the movies!

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District 9: Political and Pure Awesomeness

August 17, 2009

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When I saw the trailer for District 9 I was immediately taken by the concept of a Peter Jackson-produced tale in which aliens and humans coexist.  Even more surprising was the fact that a major sci-fi flick would take place not in America but rather the birthplace of civilization.  Pretty freaking cool, indeed.  Lest I give away too much of the film (which is hard because I’m so juiced about what I witnessed in the frenzied theatre full of Trekkies no doubt) let it be known that this is a movie about apartheid, bigotry, and intolerance under the guise of marvelous visual effects and creepy characters.   And as my friend Dan just put it so eloquently, apparently an alien film is the only way the people can talk about racism comfortably.  Thanks Dan.  By the way, check out his blog on sports, hip hop, and beards- yes, as in facial hair at www.fearthebeard.org.

So here we are in a peculiar time in political history where aliens land in South Africa not to take over the world but just because by some strange happenstance they arrive without rhyme or reason.  After being forced into District 9, a ghetto where drug abuse, prostitution, gun-running, and violence inevitably abound; the government-controlled powers that be decide to move the aliens (derogatorily referred to as Prawns) even further away from the city into another slum…not without first exploiting their weaponry of course.  Nice.  Picked to head the relocation is Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copely) who as the film progresses, transforms from a prejudiced government lackey into a tolerant and sympathetic advocate.

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District 9 is engrossing, clever, and peppered with humor- whereas cat food of all things is like crack to the Prawns.  In the August 14th edition of Entertainment Weekly D9’s director, Neil Blomkamp, a South African gent, observes “it was not (his) intention to make a film about apartheid” but rather to portray the realism of something that could possibly happen.  It is difficult however not to draw parallels between an imaginary film and the political hot topics of today.  People fear what they do not understand and will rush to town hall meetings to scream about socialism if given the chance and camera time.  I’m just saying.  Obama is not saying anything he didn’t say during his campaign, but I digress…

So for it’s political relevance and propensity to spark debates about the bastardization of a culture of any sort District 9 gets tres Siggys.  Go see it and confront that ubiquitous elephant in the room patiently awaiting a discussion.

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So Bad it’s Good?

July 28, 2009

I so love the idea of poking fun at ridiculous films and the bonding experience that they can create.  Besides, they produce some of the best quotes.  Holiday Heart, anyone?  There are those who cringe at the idea of seeing Ving Rhames in full drag.  And then there are those who wish they could croon like Miss Diana, adopt a family, and battle pimps and drug dealers while looking fab.  Discuss amongst yourselves.

Check out this link to the theatrical trailer for The Room.  The psychology behind the buzz is beyond fascinating.

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Update: The Soloist on Energy Talk Radio

May 2, 2009

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Do you want to share an experience about the coping qualities of music?  The May 4th recording of “The Movie Shrink” on www.energytalkradio.com will feature a discussion about films that describe music as a therapeutic agent.  Our featured guest will be the San Francisco-based R&B musician B Soulz, who will perform and describe the film that inspired him to pursue a career in music.  Call Energy Talk Radio at (415) 576-1008 between 6:00 and 7:00 pm PST and let it all out.  And as always, visit www.energytalkradio.com for programing that will make you feel good and help others.

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Music as a Healing Agent in The Soloist

May 2, 2009

THE SOLOIST

To describe this fillm  as “mesmerizing” or “inspirational” only scratches the surface of what I experienced while watching the story unfold.  A touchingly raw portrait of the denizens of Los Angeles’ Skid Row The Soloist is the true story of the friendship between Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx) a homeless and mentally ill musical prodigy and Steve Lopez, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.  While prowling through the streets of L.A. in search of a story for his column, Lopez encounters a psychologically disocciative Ayers playing a violin in the park and is taken by his intelligence, politeness, and talent (Ayers plays  the violin on two strings).  As Lopez investigates the reasoning of how a gifted musician transitions from a prestigious musical education at Julliard to homelessness his fascination makes him a permanent fixture in Ayers’ life.

What follows are scenes in which Lopez  attempts to connect Ayers with community resources and people that can provide housing and psychiatric services.  In between are  flashbacks of Ayers’ upbringing, relationship with his family, and the onset of his auditory hallucinations while in his early twenties at Julliard.  As Lopez focuses on solutions he becomes frustrated by Ayers’ bizarre behaviors, beliefs, and unwilligness to cooperate.  However it is Lopezes minimal understanding about schizophrenia and the all-too-common dual diagnosis of substance abuse and mental illness that frustrate him the most.  Is medication and counseling enough or is Ayers his peers incapable of healing via traditional therapeutic mediums?

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The less Lopez focuses on fixing Ayers’ mind and encourages his talent Lopez understands what it means to be a better person, friend, and husband.  While Ayers certainly would benefit from housing and psychological support his problems are beyond what Lopez or any specialist can do for him.  At this particular moment in his life, Ayers’ therapeutic outlet is his music.  Schizophrenic or not Ayers is more than his past diagnoses but rather a gifted cellist who just happens to enjoy the acoustics of the underpasses and streets of Los Angeles.  All he needs is someone to look beyond his mental state and meet him at his level.  Sometimes being a friend is just enough. 

I’d be surprised if anyone left the theater without feeling a tug on the heart strings (no pun intended).  A cellist during my adolescent years, the character that moved me the most  is the soundtrack.  Music, very much like film, can too provide an outlet for healing and growth.  This message is brought to you in memory of my favorite “Golden Girl”,  Bea Arthur.  Thank you for being a friend. 

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TAKING IT TO THE AIRWAVES

April 2, 2009

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Beginning April 21st the Movie Shrink will be a featured host on Energy Talk Radio, an online station dedicated to providing fun and inspirational programming for your mind, body, and soul.   “The Movie Shrink”  will be a critical yet entertaining exploration of the therapeutic messages and themes in movies past and present.  We will share humorous and emotional stories of how movies have the power to impact us at various stages in our lives.  I invite you to call in, have fun, and share tidbits of the characters and films that have moved you.  I so look forward to hearing your stories!  Also, feel free to leave comments here and I will read them on air…with your permission of course!

Energy Talk Radio is unique such that the programs are not only uplifting but 30% of the net profits are donated to various charities.  Help us rid the world of hunger, thirst, and poverty just by listening!  ETR will feature programs dedicated to divorce, motherhood, astrology, nutrition, hip hop, and tantric counseling among others.  Go to energytalkradio.com for more information.

Oh yeah, did I mention that Energy Talk Radio will be LAUNCHING ON APRIL 21st?  See you on the air!