Moments of escape can be moments of clarity!

"Oh, had I but followed the Arts"-William Shakespeare

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bits & Bobs, New Chapters & Mystery Characters.


I thought I would try to get in a Blogpost before the end of summer.  Even though my schedule is the same all year round, summer seems to evoke a false sense of slowing down and an abundance of carefree moments...none of which is true.
For the most part it has been slow in the creative realm. Although I am always writing, always singing and always perfecting my drumming skills, actual paid work ebbs and flows, lately ebb is in the lead.
My documentary did finally get it's international & local premiere. A very long time coming. I must say the international premiere in Montreal was a much more satisfying affair.  Even though I was unable to attend, I was very well represented by photographer extraordinaire Reggie Hodges, who moved heaven and earth to get there.    


https://vimeo.com/214318808

The local premiere ended up reflecting the subject manner of the documentary.  I was so grateful for the people who showed an interest and did so with so much enthusiasm and lifted my spirits. 

https://vimeo.com/136153336

Where I go from here, is as always a work in  progress. But I'm looking forward to some musical endeavors I'm working on.




I have managed to find some quiet moments for one of my favorite pastimes, reading. I have just finished one of PATRICIA CORNWELL'S latest, CHAOS:




Dr. Kay Scarpetta finds herself looking over her shoulder while investigating the death of Eliza Vandersteel, a young woman found dead in a park. Kay is also dealing with past hurts and old rivalries bubbling to the surface during a visit from her sister. Past discoveries and current cases weave together to form new threats and Kay must untangle them before those she loves get caught in it's threads.

I have a bad habit of not reading books with recurring characters in order.  Sometimes it doesn't make a difference because the books can stand on their own.  Not in the case of the Kay Scarpetta books.  I have missed a few before this one, so I felt like I didn't know what was going on. Especially in the relationship between Kay and ,her friend/co-worker, Moreno. 
CHAOS was incredibly slow moving.  For me, it took almost 300 pages before it caught fire. I would still recommend sticking with it.  After the 300 pages it picks up steam and builds to a very satisfying conclusion.


Since it is almost the end of Summer and we are looking at the hibernation months (at least I am) I have compiled a list of my top ten ( Well I had a tie, so there is actually 11) favorite mystery  Series characters.  

1. Charlie Parker: By John Connolly
2. DI Lynley: By Elizabeth George
3. Ella Clah: By Tony Hillerman
4  Lincoln Rhyme: By Jeffrey Deaver
5. Blanche White: By Barbara Neely
6. DI Jimmy Perez: By Ann Cleeves
7. Lucas Davenport: By John Sanford
8.Temperance Brennan: By Kathy Reichs
9.Kay Scarpetta: by Patricia Cornwell
10. Lydia Chin/Bill Smith: By S.J. Rozan
11. Inspector Morse: Colin Dexter

So if you are looking for a mystery to cuddle up with in the dark winter months ahead, these'll do you.




Sunday, July 2, 2017

THE CONUNDRUM OF CHESTBURSTER INC.




Now that the hoopla has died down, I'm throwing in my two cents worth on ALIEN COVENANT (2017)
Ridley Scott has waded once again into the ALIEN franchise. First of all I really need some WOC Geek friends, 'cos  the theatre  was 99% white guys.
I'm a huge ALIEN franchise fan,  I remember when I first saw ALIEN.  I was plagued with nightmares for weeks.  I couldn't even turn my back to the bedroom door for fear I would be beset upon by Xenomorphs. My favorite installment is ALIEN V PREDATOR.  It was the best of both worlds, and of course it had the Black Girl Magic of Sanaa Lathan, surviving til the end of the movie to boot.

Now, the ALIEN franchise for me, lost it's way after ALIENS.  PROMETHEUS was a royal clusterfuck.  ALIEN COVENANT starts off in all the familiar ways. There's a ship, terra-farmers, a beacon which takes them off course...shortly after that it falls off a cliff.
If I can predict what happens moment to moment, why can't the ship's crew. ALIEN COVENANT lacked tension and suspense.  The slaughter was quick, no build up.  It was like everybody had better things to do, including the Xenomorph. The Xenomorph even took a back seat to Michael Fassbender's (David, Walter) having an endless, boring conversation/existential crisis with himself, while simultaneously chewing the scenery.

There was plenty of Blackcrifice. You'd think with this being only the 2nd ALIEN movie with a Black woman who actually speaks, they'd give us a little leeway.

Ridley Scott really needs to go back and watch ALIEN & ALIEN 2, because I think he's forgotten not only the plot-line, but everything that made the franchise the litmus test for great Sci-Fi movies.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"LOVE IS THE OPENING DOOR"




                                                photo courtesy of Wikipedia


This week's reel is 2017's "EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING":

Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) leads an extremely sheltered & insulated life due to a rare auto-immune disorder. Her only daily companions are her mother/Doctor (Anika Noni Rose) and her nurse, Carla (Ana de la Reguera), until Olly (Nick Robinson) moves in next door.
Funny, awkward, forward Olly, whose life, like Maddy's is a bit sheltered and cracked, opens up a yearning and a hopefulness that's both exhilarating and frightening for both of them.
Maddy & Olly embark on a journey to discover if their budding romance can survive the glass between them.

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING was uplifting, sweet, romantic and delicate. It made me breathe deeply and wax nostalgic. I was able to forget what lay beyond the movie theatre...at least for an hour and half. EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING was mesmerizing and the chemistry between the two lead actors was palpable.
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING was...everything.

 I was excited to get out there and support a Film directed by a WOC. It's so important to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to this issue. Currency is what Hollywood understands. It was worth it and I look forward to Stella Meghie's next project!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

THE RAGE IN THE MIST

I finally managed to stay focused enough to get a Reel out this week. I'm gonna try to be more...ah never mind.  This week's Reel is 2016's "SPECTRAL"


In some not so distant future, America still finds it self involved in wars and civil unrest. In "SPECTRAL" the latest incarnation of the Army, has been called in to quell unrest in the country of Moldova. During recent skirmishes, soldiers and some civilians have been killed by an indescribable and brutal entity.
The Army is baffled and left with no defenses against this new enemy. They call in Dr. Cline (James Badge Dale) a brilliant and innovative scientist who has come to the aid of the Armed forces in the past. Dr. Cline must unravel the origins of the SPECTRAL force so he can turn the tide, before there is no one left to save.
Although a bit formulaic and having casting flaws, I quite liked SPECTRAL.  It was fast-paced, scary and suspenseful. It definitely took a page from the God of all Sci-Fi franchises, ALIEN, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Now did it pass my WMWOCA (Where my Women of Color At) test? NO! There were no women of Color at all. It's ridiculous and frustrating that WOC are still rarely cast in Sci-Fi & Fantasy movies. There were a few white women. One who worked for the Army, but not as a soldier. The fact that there were no female soldiers was really strange. There were two Black male characters (But we all know what that means...at least Black people do...) I guess I wanted to hate SPECTRAL, but as far as being an entertaining Sci-Fi movie? It was. Does that mean that I have officially lowered my expectations for mainstream films?  Yes, but indie films had better get on board & take up the slack. Anyway, I'm looking forward to whatever Ava & Amma have coming up. They always pass the test! "Wrinkle In Time" anyone?

Monday, February 13, 2017

A TENTATIVE CIRCLING TOWARD UNDERSTANDING

Hunkered down and in semi-hibernation, so I have no excuses left to continue to avoid writing my first Reel of the New Year. Also if I can avoid looking out the window at the 18+ inches of snow, it's a win-win. I also need a little "kitten" time away from the daily battle of activism.

This weeks Reel is 2014's "LILTING"


When Kai (Andrew Leung) , a young man of Chinese-Cambodian descent dies, his mother Junn (Pei Pei Cheung) struggles to adjust to her new life in an assisted Living facility. When Richard (Ben Whishaw), Kai's lover of 4 years comes to visit Junn, she is reluctant, confused but also curious about his motives. Junn sees Richard as an interloper and the reason her son had been distant before his death. Richard, still grieving his lover's death, seeks connection and feels an obligation to Junn and to Kai's memory. Richard and Junn must find a way past, not only a language barrier, but also Junn's pain and her dawning realization that she only really knew about a very small part of her son's life.

"LILTING" is a story of love, compassion and understanding how the human condition connects us all. Although I am a closure,  happy ending, please tie up all the loose ends type person and "LILTING" lacked all that.  I loved it for it's warmth and truthful story telling.  If you are not a fan of sub-titles, soldier through anyway.  It's well worth it!