Archive for the ‘African-American’ Category

The Fosters: Season 5

October 19, 2017

The Fosters keeps getting better. Hard to believe the kids are so grown up after only five years. Stef and Lena continue to navigate parenting with a home full of teenagers. Each child has their own life, friends, loves, hopes, dreams. Side stories with the legal parents, birth parents, foster parents. It can seem like a lot, but it’s life and love and creators Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg do such a great job. I look forward to a new season each year. 4 out of 5 for this heartwarming family drama from Free Form.

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The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson

October 15, 2017

David France’s (How to Survive a Plague) sophomore documentary effort, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson creates an essential conversation. Unfortunately the film meanders in unknown directions. Too bad because the focus of trans people of color, disenfranchised and destitute warrants examination and solutions. How do marginalized people travel in the world? How do we help others out of poverty, homelessness, and a myriad of other issues which keep them stuck in a bad place? How do we empower people while honoring their individuality? France covers all of that. But the focus on the film vacillates between an amateur sleuth story of Johnson’s friend Patricia trying desperately to uncover the truth of her friend’s death, a modern story of a trans woman’s murder, and the chaotic world of Marsha’s friend, Sylvia Rivera. Not sure how a film that features a person’s name can become so convoluted during editing. Watching it proved frustrating knowing that a better focused film would have brought the viewer into a world which desperately needs our respect and support. 3 out of 5 for the film.

Find out more about transgender issues and how you can help:
National Center for Transgender Equality 
Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami – Official Trailer

September 16, 2017

From Trafalgar Releasing,

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami takes the viewer on an intimate and electrifying journey that moves between four cinematic layers – performance, family, artist and gypsy – to explore the fascinating world of this pop cultural phenomenon. Here we see her behind the mask as a daughter, mother, sister and grandmother, alongside taking to the stage for a specially commissioned performance, with legendary hits including Pull Up to the Bumper and Slave to the Rhythm showcased in full. Larger than life, bordering on cartoon, wild, scary and androgynous – Grace Jones plays all these parts.

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Happy 70th Birthday Sylvester

September 6, 2017

The Queen of Disco would have turned 70 today. Your music still lives on Sylvester. XOXO.

Listen to Reel Charlie favorite Menergy from Patrick Cowley featuring Sylvester.

The 20 Best LGBTQ Movies of the 21st Century (Indiewire)

September 5, 2017

From Indiewire,

“Moonlight.” “The Handmaiden.” “Carol.” The last few years have not only brought LGBTQ films and stories further into the mainstream, but queer films have dominated awards seasons and found commercial success. This has been a long time coming: The New Queer Cinema was a major influence on the indie film boom of the ’90s, and set the bar high for the many queer films to follow.

From the list of 20, Reel Charlie favorites include,

Far From Heaven
Pariah
Tarnation
Milk
I Killed My Mother
The Kids Are All Right
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Tangerine
Weekend
Stranger by the Lake
Carol
Moonlight

Click on the film titles above to read Reel Charlie’s reviews.
Read Reel Charlie’s Best Gay Films 2010 – 2015.
See the complete list at Indiewire.

Disjointed

September 3, 2017

So disappointed I didn’t love Netflix’s Disjointed. Love Kathy Bates. And a show about a pot dispensary in California is certainly ripe for the present moment. Too bad the creators relied too much on dull traditional network sit-com formulas – audience laugh amplified, one-dimensional characters. They even stole several ideas from Grace and Frankie – Lily Tomlin’s hair extensions for Kathy Bates character, worn out pot jokes, aging hippie women, and a dorky African-American son. Too bad. Like I said the premise felt fresh. In the end, we were left with seeds and stems. Sorry, couldn’t resist. I’ve been waiting years to use that line. 2 out of 5 for Disjointed. Next.

Matewan

August 31, 2017

John Sayles’ 1987 film, Matewan creates the perfect introduction to independent film for the American Director’s series screening at the library this Fall. I wanted to show a Sayles film from the 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s. I believe Matewan will mesh beautifully with Lone Star and Sunshine State. Based on the true story of beleaguered coal miners in 1920 West Virginia, Sayles’ enlists his signature ensemble cast featuring Chris Cooper, Mary McDonnell, David Strathairn, Gordon Clapp, and Joe Wright to tell an important American story. Was Sayles the first filmmaker to not only use groups of diverse actors but feature strong stories based on the lives of people of all races? Certainly this theme follows Sayles through the other two films featured in the series. Matewan stands strong after 30 years and remains just as essential now as we face a nearly non-existent middle class with no labor relations to protect working people from corporate greed. Matewan reminds us there’s no going back to sending humans into dangerous, life-shortening mining jobs. Sayles masterfully crafts a film about a time when companies treated humans like disposable slaves, as the workers began to assert their rights for a decent and honorable life. A must-see. 5 out of 5 for Matewan.

Read about the real Matewan Massacre on the West Virginia Archives and History website.

Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party

August 24, 2017

What I thought might be a sweet YA indie film about a young Christian gay man coming out, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party turned into a much more complicated and satisfying look at suppression and desire in an ensemble of adults and teenagers. Henry Gamble turns 17. During the course of his birthday party young adults and their parents grapple with the confines of their lives – in particular their religious faith while examining their desire for love, happiness, and personal truth. A real surprise. I’m glad I finally gave Henry a shot. 3.5 out of 5.

How to stream the Mayweather-McGregor fight (CNET)

August 21, 2017

Back from my long weekend with family in Pennsylvania. It’s probably not PC of me to promote the Mayweather-McGregor fight since Floyd called Conor a faggot during the lead-up to the fight and never got called out by the boxing organization to apologize for using hate language. Ironic since together they already look like an interracial gay porn couple. But I recognize this fight is a big deal for boxing fans – set to the be the most watched fight in history, so I’ll use it as a platform to show how cord cutters are accessing premium sports events without cable or satellite. The fight is unique in that it’s pay-per-view at $99/device. From CNET,

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are set to enter the ring on Saturday, August 26, at 9 p.m. ET in Las Vegas, Nevada for what’s expected to be the most watched fight… ever.

As usual, the fight is only available to those who pay the nearly $100 pay-per-view fee. However, breaking from the traditional means of purchasing directly from a cable or satellite provider, CBSrecently announced the fight will also be available to stream on the Showtime PPV website or iOS and Apple TV app. (Disclaimer: CBS is CNET’s parent company.)

 

Another option for streaming the fight is to purchase it directly from the UFC . The cost is the same, only instead of being limited to just streaming on a site or Apple devices, the UFC supports quite a few devices including the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Roku, and Apple devices.

Read the full article on CNET.
For those of you who want a violence-free evening, consider checking out DVDs of BBC’s As Time Goes By from your local library or Netflix.

Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark

July 30, 2017

Trevor Noah’s latest stand-up special, Afraid of the Dark was filmed November 2016, the weekend before the U.S. Presidential election. Noah covers world history (with a series of great accents), immigration, and NYC – the special was filmed at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan. I found Noah’s earlier stand-up, African-American more insightful and thought-provoking. 3 out of 5 for Afraid of the Dark.


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