Being of a different century altogether, the most interesting thing about the film Lincoln is how our government held session 150 years ago in a nation divided over the Thirteenth Amendment.
Lincoln is not action-driven or a film about war. Instead, the film is dialogue heavy, yet amazing. With players like Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field, the film is worth watching alone. You can’t fuck with Norma Rae, and we all know Steven Spielberg is great.
The film captures a funny president who reasons his way through his actions. And as we all know, Lincoln changed our country forever. This character would be a challenge for any actor to play.
According to an article in IndieWire.com, Spielberg spent years convincing Day-Lewis to play Lincoln. But once onboard, he immersed himself in the character and would text Sally Field as if he were Lincoln for real. In an interview with LATimes.com, they met in character, Field said. This definitely comes through in their performances.
Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln is spot-on, like Jamie Foxx in Rae. And, that is strange to think being that we can only make assumptions about Lincoln’s personality and character based on what is written. DDL is worthy of both a Golden Globe and an Oscar.
Good luck, Daniel! On a side note, I hope Sally Field wins for Best Supporting Actress, as well.
Christoph Waltz (nominated) does an incredible job playing his oscar-nominated role of the whimsical and articulate Dr. King Schultz, the bounty hounter that pairs up with Django and becomes his friend.
The writing (nominated) is pitch perfect. The story is driven further when Django agrees to continue working with Dr. Schultz if they can return to free his wife Broomhilda, who is played by Kerry Washington. This brings us to Leo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson who are, of course, fucking fantastic.
In classic Tarantino style, there are great costumes and plenty of violence. And, the director makes an appearance. If you’re a Tarantino fan, you’ll love it.
Django Unchained is also nominated for Best Picture and Sound Mixing.
If you’re an Alfred Hitchcock fan, then you know that Hitchcock starring Anthony Perkins and Helen Mirren uses the production and filming of Psycho as a backdrop. This offers fans an insight to important moments during the production of what could be the best horror movie of all time.
Let us give credit where credit is due: the film Psycho was inspired by Robert Bloch’s book of the same name published in 1959. In his screenplay, Joseph Stefano challenged the Hollywood Production Code by weaving a toilet as a prop in the film. This was the first time that a toilet was shown in a film. According to an interview Stefano did for “The Making of Psycho,” it was his idea. However, the film Hitchcock mocks and touches more on the issues the Hays Office had in regards to nudity.
Psycho is a good choice to use as a backdrop because it broke a lot of new ground. This film marks the birth of the sociopath and successfully introduces him into the horror film genre. It also brings about a new kind of acceptable violence to the movies. It’s a filmmaking milestone, without a doubt, making Psycho is the granddaddy of all slasher films.
And yes, I saw it! ”Mama.”
1. Rinse quickly in fresh water whether you were at the beach, the pool, or just taking a leak.
2. Blot it, of course, and give it some encouragement. It just f*cking drowned.
3. Remove the SIM card and blot/air dry. Set aside for later use.
4. Blow dry device for 7 minutes and 28 seconds from every angle between hot and cool. Do not discriminate.
5. Submerge in dry, uncooked rice. Flip on occasion for 2-3 minutes. Again, do not discriminate. It’s not of this time.
5. Bake at 325 degrees for 3-4 hours. Go with your gut.
6. Wait until after the 24th hour. If you don’t wait until AFTER 24 hours, you’re gonna fuck it up.
7. Say a prayer. If you’re not used to praying, then just play “Save A Prayer” by Duran Duran. The hook applies.
9. Lather, rinse, repeat.
10. Power up, baby.
The re-election of President Barack Obama is the best thing to have happened in the U.S. in terms of Black masculinity within the new millennium. It offers a new perspective. The election of an African American president helps counterbalance the negative aspects of hip-hop culture and how a Black man defines success.
A great example of this juxtaposition was when President Obama called Kanye West “a jackass” after the rapper interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance of an MTV Video Music Award in 2009.
In his documentary “Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes,” filmmaker Byron Hurt addresses the elements of violence, misogyny, and homophobia that exist in rap music. This documentary brings up important issues about Black masculinity within hip-hop culture, and the filmmaker’s concerns with African American youth become apparently admirable as the story line progresses. As a Black man and a fan of the music genre, Hurt challenges himself as an independent filmmaker by asking influential people in the industry the questions no one else seems to be asking. Hurt explains: “I guess what I’m trying to do is to get us men to just take a hard look at ourselves.”
The first question: “Why are so many rappers preoccupied with violence and gunplay?” This anger and need for violent retribution has to stem from somewhere, with respect being at the root of it. Who knows? The average rap artist may not understand the true origin of it himself. At this point, it may just be highly perpetual. It is what sells. As stated in the documentary: “It’s a prison for us!”
In the early days of rap and hip-hop, there seemed to be a different focus with acts like Digable Planets, A Tribe Called Quest, and De La Soul. In its defense, the roots of hip-hop are traced to the South Bronx in the early 1980s, and the violence in rap videos is a true representation of what it means to be a thug. This is life in the hood. Hip-hop has always been gimmicky, and the executives that run the record industry are halfway in control. Furthermore, why isn’t the Hollywood film industry criticized for depicting violence the way hip-hop is?
In terms of misogyny, women hold the true power. If every woman were to take control of how they are being depicted in rap videos, we would see a different representation and the possible eradication this type of objectification. The art form would change. However, this is highly unlikely as people often feel like amazing things are happening when they take off their clothes and are half naked. The women enveloped in this culture may simply enjoy that type of attention.
But, things are beginning to change with such artists as R&B’s Frank Ocean, who has come out as being gay. That takes guts.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z have given Ocean support. And, Jay-Z has voiced that he is pro same-sex marriage. This may be related to his professional collaboration with Ocean. In a world where masculinity is defined by straight men, this is a huge milestone. And, not just for gay Black men but for gay men everywhere. It is up to artists like Ocean to help pioneer a new beginning.
One cannot escape the elements and images of violence, misogyny, power, and homophobia in rap music. They are fully integrated in hip-hop culture, and many could never imagine the music genre without it. The characteristics of today’s hip-hop will continue to impact impressionable young people everywhere for years to come.
You can make a name for yourself and achieve success in the rap and hip-hop industry, but it is hard to say that one can become a great person by rapping about violence and the objectification of women. You can become a great rapper and highly influential, but not necessarily a great person.
There is a lot of truth to the saying: “Behind every great man there is a great woman.” Three, if you count Sasha and Malia. Four, if you count Beyoncé. Five, if you count Ivy.
One day that saying may change: Next to every great person, stands another great person.
It’s okay to be masculine and tough but does there need to be violence and discrimination to the point where our youth is led to believe that this is what it means to be a man?
What would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have to say? Now, he was great. And finally, what position do female rappers take on this?
You need MDMA to enjoy MDNA. Either that, or a few beers from the concession stands at Yankee Stadium, which by the way, is massive. It is huge!
Madonna’s MDNA Tour hit Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, and it was a little bit of a foul ball. In comparison to the stadium’s size, the video screens are tiny, and this does nothing for fans who could only afford seats in the sections higher up and/or towards the back. Perhaps, bigger screens like the ones at Madison Square Garden would have helped the show become more than just a blur. After all, Madonna concert tickets are expensive. The technology exists for bigger screens.
Who cares about the rain on the night of Saturday, September 8th?
It is also perplexing to learn that “Like a Virgin” and “Papa Don’t Preach” are on the MDNA show’s set list. Seriously. How many times have we not heard these songs either on other tours or on the radio? Perhaps, Madonna has had vaginal rejuvenation, and this compels her. Or maybe, she should start getting ready for Vegas.
Why not rock up rare oldies like “Physical Attraction,” “Angel,” or “Over and Over,” which have not been performed live since The Virgin Tour in 1985? Many fans would have settled for “Cherish,” “Swim,” or even “Spotlight.” On a positive note, one definite highlight is the flamenco-style version of “Open Your Heart,” which is highly reminiscent of how she reworked “Erotica” for The Confessions Tour.
The MDNA Tour is not strong thematically when compared to other Madonna shows, which is what she is so well known for. She can definitely borrow and make something her own. Madonna knows how to put on a show. Unfortunately though, MDNA is not necessarily cathartic and lacks an emotional arc. If anything, the show is dramatic with the “beautiful killer” theme but difficult to put into context collectively when trying to factor her in as a cheerleader. Throw me a bone!
In The Confessions Tour, an equestrian theme starts the show and a 1970s theme ends it. Somehow, Madonna made it work from every angle. In The Drowned World Tour, everyone remembers the giant wingspan of the kimono she wore while singing “Frozen,” as well as the Cirque du Soleil acrobatics. She literally flew across the stage while performing “Sky Fits Heaven.” That show kicked ass!
Madonna is a visual, and we know this because her videos on MTV helped jump start her career. She understood the video medium extremely well and knew how to capitalize on it. There has definitely been a mixed reaction to MDNA. Fans who sat up close thought the show was amazing. Those who did not have a hard time saying exactly where she rocked it out.
I don’t have digital, or even diddly squat. But, who knows? Things may turn around and getting to see MDNA up close may become a possibility when Madonna returns to New York City for two more shows in November 2012 at Madison Square Garden.
I finished reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy last night (8/23/2012). It is an amazing story that has changed my life. Better yet, it has reinforced it. At a time when my focus and confidence were gone, here comes The Road out of nowhere. It was cathartic.
It was an extremely difficult summer: unemployment runs out, a failed relationship, no job, no money, no school, and at times, no food. It was The Road repackaged minus the child. After reading this story, I knew that surviving was somehow possible. I had to find a way. I connected. I did not have a choice.
I bought a used copy of The Road for $2 at a small sidewalk sale held at the Miracle Garden on my block. They let me join in, and I was selling my stuff on the sidewalk. I made $83 and walked away with $81: a miracle. I made more money than they did. I could do this!
It is clear why The Road was made into a film. Yet, screenwriter Joe Penhall should have written a scene where the mother (Charlize Theron) interacts with the boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee). The book never specifies the child’s age, and the boy in the film should have been cast younger. A scene of this nature and a younger child actor would have made the film a lot more compelling.
Then again, the story is about the relationship between a father and his son. As in the novel, the character of the wife/mother is somewhat static and only exists in flashbacks. It is slightly unnatural to me that a relationship between a mother and her son is not depicted. And, it is not like they did not have one.
The Road reinforces so much in me that I have always known to be true but took a while to figure out. As McCarthy writes when the father (Viggo Mortensen) kills a man in his child’s defense: ”This is my child, he said. I wash a dead man’s brains out of his hair. That is my job. Then he wrapped him in the blanket and carried him to the fire.”
Would my father have done the same? Fuck it! If I can’t have a child, I’ll adopt a dog.
NOTE: This post is originally dated August 23, 2012. I was just too chicken shit to post it.