Join San Francisco Mime Troupe actress and director Velina Brown who will host the 13-part PBS pilot series called “Kiss the Cook and the Farmer, Too!” Velina is the host of this for-PBS show, which hightlights sustainable agriculture and eating – from planting the greens, to raising the animals, to choosing the ingredients, to cooking it all just right, then eating!
The show is hosting a fundraiser for the series on Saturday, June 4, 2011 in Berkeley, California. Tickets are $150 each. The invitation is below:
Savory Thymes invites you
to a farm-to-table evening to benefit…
Kiss the Cook & The Farmer Too
A Public Television Series About Great Food & Sustainable Agriculture
Saturday, June 4, 2011
7:00 – 10:00 pm
Hillside Gardens, Mill Valley, California
• Local & Seasonal Food and Drink
• Live Music by The Creole Belles
• Sneak Preview of the Series Pilot Organic Roots
• Prizes of goods and services from local farms and sustainable businesses
Ticket Price: $150.00. All ticket purchases are fully tax deductible.
Contact Jan Camp about group tickets without vendor fees.
Tickets by Credit Card
(through Brown Paper Tickets)
I personally lost interest in Essence in the late-80′s when I read the article: “Is Kente Cloth Appropriate at Work?” For me (but not for many people) that was a serious turning point for a magazine that empowered Black women readers and inspired those same readers to aspire to something more than what the mainstream press was presenting to us.
I was one of those Essence babies whose mother read Essence Magazine. Their covers featured dark sisters with beautiful short ‘fros, caramel sisters with natural hair, and lighter sisters with blue eyes. Essence Magazine’s relevance was that it was an answer to the daily degradation Black women were being bombarded with all over the world. When the media was silent about Black women who were overwhelmingly victims of rape, abuse, and abduction, it was Essence Magazine that covered the issues. They were there to tell Black women about the growing risk of HIV contraction by Black women. They were also there to cover our sheroes and women who we would never have heard of if it were not for Essence.
Sadly, that focus has been shifted.
Bossip.com, a premiere Black gossip site that covers Black celebrities, rappers and athletes, recently posted an opinion piece that was sent to one of their editors. The piece was written by a man, namely Raynard Jackson from Washington, D.C.
His opinion piece was well articulated, timely and insightful. Though there are still many supporters of Essence who may disagree with his observations, he does bring up several points that beg for further discussion.
One observation states:
There were unique issues relevant to Black women that other publications were totally ignorant of. Black women could not wear the same makeup that white women could—there are differences in skin type. Black women have unique issues when it comes to styling their hair—there were no mainstream publications that dealt with these differences.
While he gives some background to the history of Essence Magazine, he’s also quite pointed in voicing some of his larger issues with the magazine, for example:
One of the speakers (at the Essence Music Festival) listed under “Empowerment” is “NeNe” Leakes. She is one of the main characters of the reality TV show, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta“…Leakes is a foul mouth, angry, nasty person on the show and from media accounts in real life also…What can they teach women about “empowerment?” Is this really the image of Black women Essence wants to promote?
In times past, Black women used to look forward to reading Essence Magazine for upliftment. That was then, this is now. Black women no longer have the Essence of their mother and grandmother… In Essence, there is no essence!
Whether you agree or disagree, the letter makes some valid arguments. Read the entire letter at Bossip.com
Saturday Night Live alumnas Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig outperform the expectations of the bromance The Hangover 2 in the outrageously funny Bridesmaids. According to the NY Times movie reviewer Manohla Dargis, “Bridesmaids,” an unexpectedly funny new comedy about women in love, if not of the Sapphic variety, goes where no typical chick flick does: the gutter.”
The producers of The 40-Year Old Virgin, SuperBad, and Knocked Up seem to have a special affinity for smart, funny women surrounded by raunchy men. In this case, the women get their turn to be as anti-chick flick as Fight Club… all within the supreme context of feminine achievement, a wedding.
Bridesmaids could also care less about you bringing your kid: It’s Rated R.
Much of the smart comic writing comes from Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo; however, the comic delivery is unsurpassed by the ensemble cast led by Maya Rudolph, who stars as the bride, Lillian. For those of you who still don’t know, Maya Rudolph is the talented actress and comedienne who used to star on Saturday Night Live and is known for her skits featuring imitations of Whitney Houston, et al. She’s also daughter of the inimitable singer Minnie Ripperton, and the goddaughter of the late-Teen Marie. She currently lives with and has a committed relationship with director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights, Magnolia), and the couple have two daughters together.
Some of you may remember that the 2010 International Black Women’s Film Festival had wonderful community partners! Our community partners included MUBI (previously known as The Auteurs), a wonderful social network for real cineastes who love film and larger discussions around film. MUBI also has amazing collaborations with outstanding directors and film festivals, and director Martin Scorsese was one of the first directors to see to possibilities of MUBI/The Auteurs!
Well, MUBI has done it again!
Until June 30th, 2011, the first 1,000 views of the films in their Cannes Retrospective will be FREE for viewing –in their entirety! You must be a MUBI member to view any of their films.
It’s been an ugly, ugly 48 hours, given the racist “study” conducted by Santoshi Kanazawa who concluded that Black women are “uglier” than other races –while contemplating the conundrum of why Black men are so dang handsome.
After reading bits and blurbs of his pseudo-psychological study, I instinctively knew that this “study” was going to be on the same scientific level as the Nazi-era phrenology, that is, scientists who throw objectivity out the window and instead spend their careers trying to prove the inferiority (or superiority) of one “race” over another based on how “different” people look from white/European, blonde-haired, blue-eyed apexes of human beauty.
And, guess what? I was right.
The article outlined how evolution had basically made Black women “uglier” because they have more genetic mutations because we are the genetic “Eves” –and therefore, mothers– of the world. The article which was published on Monday received a flurry of backlash and blogger-lash, wherein, PsychologyToday.com, quickly changed the title to: “Why Are Black Women Rated Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?”
According to Kanazawa:
There are many biological and genetic differences between the races. However, such race differences usually exist in equal measure for both men and women. For example, because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes than other races. And the mutation loads significantly decrease physical attractiveness (because physical attractiveness is a measure of genetic and developmental health). But since both black women and black men have higher mutation loads, it cannot explain why only black women are less physically attractive, while black men are, if anything, more attractive.
The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone. Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently. Men with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore more physically attractive. In contrast, women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive. The race differences in the level of testosterone can therefore potentially explain why black women are less physically attractive than women of other races, while (net of intelligence) black men are more physically attractive than men of other races.
While refusing to admit wrongdoing in publishing a blatantly racist and sexist tome to the hideousness of Black female femininity, Psychology Today’s silence was interpreted as complicity. When Psychology Today couldn’t spin anymore re-titles, they decided to just shut down the article… and removed it.
An unapologetic Kanazawa has no remorse and his past articles have included such outcomes as all women are basically prostitutes.
Given that his peers have distanced themselves from him in the past –and continue to do so– it was irresponsible, unprofessional and questionable as to why his article was even posted.
As of May 18, 2011, PsychologyToday.com has posted a link to an article by Dr. Robert Kurzban titled, “Stopping Stereotyping and Prejudice“. However, the article seems more in defense of evolutionary psychologists and the field of evolutionary psychology rather than addressing the underlying racism attached to the article and the damage done to a group of people in the name of science.
Blacks, in particular, have a very sketchy history with the “scientific community” and there have been countless Black women whose bodies have been used, dissected, put on display, prodded, and probed, in the name of science.
In 19th-century France, South African Saartjie (pronounced Sart-key) Baartman was put on display at a natural history museum in France while the public probed and remarked at her naked, African shape as something “odd” and inhuman.
Ota Benga was a Congolese Mbuti “pygmy” who was paraded around at a human zoo while “scientists” marveled at whether or not he was human.
In the 20th-century there were more famous cases such as the Tuskegee Experiment where Black men in impoverished Macon County, Alabama, were knowingly injected with placebos as a part of a study to track the outcomes of the sexually-transmitted disease syphilis. In exchange for their lives –and the lives of the people they continued to infect– the men received free burial insurance, “medical care,” and meals. They were never treated for syphilis.
There’s also the story of Henrietta Lacks who’s body was reportedly used as an experiment when it was discovered that her cells never died in a laboratory environment, wherein cells previously died outside of the body within 24 hours. Henrietta Lacks’ cells are now called HeLa cells and are used in every laboratory experiment calling for human cells. She died penniless and her family never knew that they’re mother/grandmother/great-grandmother was used in a scientific experiment until scientist and journalist Rebecca Skloot researched and wrote her book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
There are more examples of how some scientists and some members of the scientific community use biased studies to shield their own racists beliefs beneath the cloak of objectivity and science.
As the public becomes more familiar with these tactics, there are some scientists who are combating these studies and questioning the validity of flawed studies from the past and present.
Psychology Today should use this incident as an opportunity to more closely examine their own ethics and to re-examine how studies are conducted and their validity.
Producer Candice Afia’s film “Patient Zero” is getting rave reviews and was selected as an Official Selection at the Newport Beach Film Festival and is screening as a short at the internationally renowned Cannes Film Festival in France.
This short film is a dramatic thriller where two doctors must decide how to stop a peculiar disease from spreading. How far will these doctors go for the greater good…?
Pippa Bennett-Warner is cast as King Lear’s youngest daughter, Cordelia, in Donmar Warehouse’s London stage-production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” The production is sold-out for most shows, but you can see if there’s a cancellation or individual seats.
“King Lear” runs through June 5 at the Harvey Theater.
Read the NY Times glowing review of “King Lear”…click here
The Miss Universe pageant is giving the public an eyeful of why they’re the classiest pageant on television. Since Donald Trump began producing the show it’s kind of become the skank at the debutante ball… you know, she’s pretty but there’s something that’s a little bit off…
Not one to be outdone, Mr. Birther himself has never held the mantle for tasteful self promotion.
Trump’s track record with Miss Universe has cause some eyebrows to raise, even when he came out in support of one of its more controversial contestants, Carrie Prejean, who spoke out against gay marriage during the pageant and was later quoted as saying, “The president of the United States, the secretary of state, and many Americans agree with me in this belief,” a twisted version of Trump’s original comment of, “It’s the same answer that the president of the United States gave…She gave an honorable answer. She gave an answer from her heart.” Trump’s never shied away from controversy or as appearing like he’s crazy like a fox.
Since that fiasco, the attention surrounding the pageant seems to be getting increasingly kooky and the show hasn’t been able to get its bearings ever since.
It seems that their recent attempt to put a 21st century spin on the pageant’s roots as a “bathing beauty” contest that was sponsored by Catalina Swimwear has them putting their 2011 contestants back into swimwear..minus the tops.
The racy promotional photos even prompted former pageant worker Angie Meyer to remark to FOX News that, “It’s alarming that this has been turned into a Playboy-esque masquerade.”
Granted, we’ve seen worse decisions in using women to promote ratings; however, this particular controversy has produced another issue that we’ve seen before –the presentation of the Black woman’s body to attract attention and, apparently, shock and awe.
The image that the media is presenting is strikingly only one, that is, one of an unnamed Black contestant.
Beautifully regal and alluring, and a bit racy, the photo is tame compared to many in fashion magazines and on billboards; however, it seems to be the Blackness of the contestant that’s freaking out the public.
So a larger question for this photos is: Are people upset that the contestant is scantily clad (even though Miss Universe contestants prance out in swimsuits), or that the picture picked up by the media is that of a gorgeous Black body.
Unlike many images that sexual-ize and fetish-ize the Black female body, this contestant’s body isn’t photographically cropped to focus on specific body parts, and she’s not being presented as some exotic siren out to destroy all manhood. Nor is this image that of the subservient eye candy that’s presented in child-like candy pinks for serving sexual fulfillment –like a blow up toy.
Personally, I could care less about the Miss Universe Pageant and Donald Trump (including his tasteless show “The Apprentice”), but I do think that the photos present an opportunity for dialogue around how women –especially women of color– are presented to a larger society that has traditionally controlled how the image of Black women is presented.
Two films with prominent roles by Black women have made the exclusive Cannes Classics –a program introduced in 2004 to re-introduce extraordinary and outstanding films to the international Cannes audience. The films are “A Bronx Tale” and “Sugarcane Alley.”
Sugarcane Alley (1983)
“Sugarcane Alley” (originally titled Rue cases nègres) was written and directed by Martinque-born filmmaker Euzhan Palcy. The film centers around a young boy and his grandmother who live and work on a Martinique sugarcane plantation in the 1930′s. The young boy listens to stories of Africa from the elders and enters an essay contest at
school where he details what he’s heard. He’s accused of plagiarism and the future of his academic career are threatened. “Sugarcane Alley” went on to win over 17 awards, including the César Award (the French equivalent to Academy Award). Ms. Palcy’s remarkable filmmaking talents were also used for apartheid-era film “A Dry White Season” based on a novel by South African writer André Brink. Ms. Palcy also credits her career growth to her mentor, the renowned French director François Truffaut.
A Bronx Tale (1993)
“A Bronx Tale” was based on a one-man stage show by actor Chazz Palminteri, who also starred in the film as neighborhood gangster Sonny. The original play –and movie– is a coming of age story based on Palminteri’s childhood in the Bronx, including the story of him growing up as an Italian teenager who falls in love with an African American teenage girl in from a neighboring school. The young man must choose between the path his jazz-loving, working class father is hoping for him and the fast money and fast life his other father-figure –the mob boss Sonny– is offering to him.
“A Bronx Tale” was directed by actor Robert Deniro who also stars as the young boy’s father. The young actress who played the main character’s girlfriend, was Taral Hicks who went on to star in “Belly” with rappers Nas and DMX, “The Preacher’s Wife” with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston, and the television series “Soul Food,” based on the film with the same name. Main actor Lilo Brancato went on star in other roles, including to hit HBO series “The Sopranos,” but had his career upended when he was involved and convicted in a botched robbery attempt that result in manslaughter.
The full Cannes Classics list is as follows:
A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la lune) by Georges Melies (France, 1902, 16′)
Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick (USA, 1971, 137′)
The Machine to Kill Bad People (La Macchina Ammazzacattivi) by Roberto Rossellini (Italy, 1952, 80′)
A Bronx Tale by Robert De Niro (USA, 1993, 121′).
The Conformist (Il Conformista) by Bernardo Bertolucci (Italy, 1970, 118′)
2590 Pleasant Hill Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Saturday, May 07, 2011 at 7:00 PM (PT)
The Bay Areas funniest Comedians comes to Pleasant Hill. Truly, you know that laughter is the best medicine. So come and enjoy the hilarious Bernard Henderson, Jovelyn Richards ,Julia Jackson and Veronica Dangerfield. Come for good, clean family comedy. Don’t worry, we won’t be cussing at your Momma. This show is a benefit for Beloved Collective, creating support for girls aging out of the Foster Care system and the Pleasant Hill PTA. Give your mother the gift of laughter and make up for all that stress you caused her growing up! We love and welcome Daddy’s too! Last minute Mother’s Day gifts available. This is the funniest show in the Bay Area. PLENTY FREE PARKING and Limited seating. Last minute gifts available-Door and Raffle prizes.
I’m really late with this post, but there’s always the hope that someone who hasn’t seen it yet, will. I first saw this video of Watoto from the Nile (her performing moniker) when Maria (RiRi) “DJ Rimarkable” Garcia forwarded it to me on Facebook.
As someone who receives *a lot* of forwarded videos, DVDs, and whatnot, I almost passed it up –but DJ Rimarkable makes good beats, so I obliged. (She sometimes posts her house-laced beats for free, so be sure to check her out…and hire her!)
I watched the video and was floored. Now, granted Miss Watoto may have had some adult guidance and assistance, but the feel and the intent of her words are all hers.
Watoto calls out the rapper for the way he refers to women, saying, “My daddy says that I’m a queen, but you be calling women other things. I hear you’ve got a little girl. Don’t you think the same of her?”
- Natural Sisters Who Took the World by Surprise- Afro-Surrealism and the Work of Shy Hamilton- Nollywood Nightmare
Yes, it’s been a harrowing but rewarding ride! First, the old Vivid.ID Magazine was re-launched as Tressie Magazine –named after the first documented African American woman to write, direct and film a movie (“A Woman’s Error”) in 1922.
Then the crazy part happened!
When we were ready to launch on time, the design files just decided “they weren’t having ‘it’” and were corrupted.
Not one to be daunted by anything, I went about restructuring and reassembling the magazine. It won’t disappoint!
Tressie Magazine is pretty and informative! Where else can you find an insightful article on avant garde filmmaker Shy Pacheco Hamilton, or here about one woman’s attempt to make a film in the madness of Nollywood?
Where else would you find a magazine that features sisters with natural hair for four full pages?
As the founder, director and curator –and now editor– I didn’t want the magazine to end up as yet another over printed magazine that wastes money, time, and precious trees, just for the sake of saying it’s a magazine.
I decided to give you, the reader, an opportunity to read (and download!) the magazine… for FREE!! If you like the look and feel of the magazine and just have to have a print version to show off on your coffee table, then you also have the option of ordering your copy through MagCloud, HP’s ingenious print-on-demand magazine service! (You’ll have to sign up [for FREE] to access the free PDF version…it also helps us to keep track of how many people are actually downloading/reading the magazine.)
Tressie Magazine is not another Black woman’s magazine that’s telling you “how to get a man” or cluttering up your space with ads for perms and body shapers. It’s a magazine about what Black women from around the world are doing in film, television and media.
Now, you too can have insightful articles that dissect, de-construct, analyze and praise films that impact you!
Why Did I Start This Magazine?
I got seriously tired of reading film magazines geared toward auteurs and analyzers and not seeing one film by and/or about Black women, or Black people in general –like we don’t make films that matter.
I also found that any film by or about a Black woman was seriously lacking in any real depth and usually was relegated to a profile piece about the filmmaker.
I want to read –and see documentaries– that critique, analyze, and create thought-provoking comments, about Black women filmmakers and Black women in film, television and media. I want issues that impact us to be given as much time as the global analyzing of Fellini, the French New Wave, Spanish horror, Scorsese, 60′s realism, feminist neo-realism, and 70′s gore.
I want the reader to interested in our film, film movement, and filmmakers.
It’s bad enough that the new swarm of reality series populating NBC, VH-1, and Bravo, are carbon copies of series where Black women viciously attack one another over seemingly mind-numbing issues like talent (or lack thereof), clothing (or lack thereof), and a job (or lack thereof); but while we were distracted with that, we failed to see the trickling of biters that have been stealing the look, style, and features of Black women who shine in film, television, and music.
We all know how badly the American and European public talked about our rumps up until the early-1990′s when rapper and DJ Sir Mix-a-lot created a parody song celebrating le derrière suprême of Black women. MTV played the video until it became a monster hit on cable video stations and in clubs.
Then, emerging star (and former “In Living Color” Fly Girl) Jennifer Lopez magically received media approval for her gluteus maximus. Even Black men were publicly proclaiming her butt as a work of art –while suspiciously ignoring Black women with comparable and favorable public proclamation. There were tweets about her butt, rap lyrics, and more.
Then came Angelina Jolie’s lips… the same type of lips that had gotten Black women teased, dissed, ignored and scowled at. The same lips that drew comments like soup coolers, DSLs, and other crude and derogatory terms; but somehow Angelina Jolie made them haute couture.
So now it seems that some non-Black women are swiping our looks…again.
As all of these women are beautiful in their own right, it seems like Black women just can’t get any respect for our unique beauty, our fashion innovation, our style, or our physical appearance, without someone wanting to co-op it to push their own career.
So here’s to the new crop of biters. Take a look and tell me what you think…
If you’re “of a certain age,” then you remember the meteoric –yet confusing– rise of The Muppets. Spun off from the creative mind of Jim Henson’s puppet-themed “Sesame Street,” The Muppets were saucier, crazier and in some cases, higher, than your average muppet.
The muppets on “Sesame Street” were never actually called “muppets” –at least not to their face– but that’s what they were. The term came as a blending between your everyday hand puppets and the wire workings of an articulate marionette (Marionette + Puppet = “Muppet”).
In the 70′s and 80′s everyone loved “The Muppet Show” and The Muppets because they played out very real adult emotions in ridiculous characters like, the neurotic Gonzo, the calm yet self-effacing Kermit the Frog, the self centered dramatic diva Miss Piggy, the judgmental judges whose job it was to bring everyone down a notch, and other lovable characters.
Implied drug use was even inserted into some of the jokes when Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem flopped onto the set half distracted, always hungry and half comatose.
The Muppets even had a movie! (Go figure; it was the 70′s.) As a matter of fact, they had eleven movies. And The Muppets were no schleps. They had A-list performers on their show, including Orson Welles, Liza Minnelli, Harry Belafonte, Rita Moreno, and others.
Since the movie business is sputtering away under the heat of CGI, repeat casting, and remake hell, I guess Hollywood decided to go with a winner…this time.
The Muppet Movie is being remade into The Muppets!
(Actually, it’s just titled The Muppets, but I do like the exclamation point to give it a sense of excitement… like The Aristocrats! Anyway…)
Normally, this wouldn’t be news, but IBWFF-favorite Rashida Jones (“The Office,” “Parks & Recreation,” The Social Network) is set to star in The Muppets.
This time, The Muppets haul out the old winner plot: They put on a show to save their old theater.
Now if that doesn’t make you warm and fuzzy inside, I don’t know what will.
Actress Paula Patton (Precious) will star alongside A-list actor Tom Cruise in the latest installment in the Mission Impossible franchise: “Mission:Impossible – Ghost Protocol”.
“Mission:Impossible” apparently is one of the few franchises left that will actually hire Black actresses, so when they do feature us, our careers sky rocket. (Remember when Thandie Newton’s career went off like a bottle rocket after starring in the franchise?)
Hopefully, this film will set her back on track, especially given her knock out performance in the award-winning film, “Precious.”
“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” is set for release December 16, 2011.
DISCLAIMER: This event is NOT sponsored or hosted by the IBWFF. This is a re-post. As with any audition or casting call announcement, you are strongly encouraged to use your best judgment in attending an audition or casting call. It is your responsibility to contact local authorities if you suspect illegal activities, exploitation or violence from the hosts, attendees or other parties in attendance
JLK Publishing and Black River Press
A casting call for the upcoming movie trailer
PLEASE COME PREPARED WITH A 1-MINUTE DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE
On March 29, WMM films will air nationally on PBS and on The Documentary Channel.
New WMM acquisition PUSHING THE ELEPHANT, directed by Beth Davenport and Elizabeth Mandel and produced by Katy Chevigny and Angela Tucker, will have its broadcast premiere on PBS, Independent Lens. This powerful story introduces us to Rose Mapendo, who lost her family and home to the violence that engulfed the Democratic Republic of Congo, then joined the growing number of immigrants in Arizona with nine of her ten children. She emerged from the horrors of war advocating reconciliation and peace in this joyful, hopeful, and moving chronicle of the healing power of forgiveness.
A prominent voice in the civil rights struggle is profiled in BEAH: A BLACK WOMAN SPEAKS, directed and produced by actor LisaGay Hamilton, with co-producers Neda Armian, Jonathan Demme and Joe DiViola, and will air on The Documentary Channel. This film celebrates the life of legendary African American actress, poet and political activist Beah Richards, best known for her Oscar nominated role in GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER.