Insight News

Sep 03rd

The Hill House Chamber Players in concert

The Hill House Chamber Players is the resident ensemble of the historic James J. Hill House.  Now in their 25th season at the mansion, they perform a regular series in the art gallery of the Hill House, co-sponsored by The Schubert Club and Minnesota Historical Society.  The unique instrumentation of the group includes classical guitar along with violin, viola, cello and piano. Each concert in the series is planned with a unique keyboard from the Schubert Club Museum's historic collection.

Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work

 Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work“There are many possible interpretations of what it means to create dangerously, and Albert Camus… suggests that it is creating as a revolt against silence, creating when both the creation and the reception, the writing and the reading, are dangerous undertakings, disobedience as a directive…

Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. This is always what I’ve thought it meant to be a writer. Writing, knowing in part that no matter how trivial your words may seem, someday, somewhere, someone may risk his or her life to read them.

Coming from where I come from, with the history I have—having spent the first twelve years of my life under both dictatorships of Papa Doc and his son, Jean-Claude—this is what I’ve always seen as the unifying principle among all writers."
-- Excerpted from Chapter One (pgs. 10-11)

Twin Cities Black Film Festival showcases unique talent

Twin Cities Black Film Festival showcases unique talentFor years the Twin Cities Black Film Festival has celebrated African Americans in the arts and entertainment field by showcasing movies from around the world that explore and promote our unique cinematic endeavors.

This year, the festival, founded by Natalie Morrow eight years ago, brought with it a dynamic opening-night film produced by Effie T. Brown entitled, The Inheritance. This project is one of a few Black horror films which stars Golden Brooks, Darrin Dewitt Henson and Shawn Michael Howard. The feature was made here in Stillwater, MN in 2008.

Slaphappy Stuntmen Serve-Up Jaw-Dropping, 3D Sequel

Slaphappy Stuntmen Serve-Up Jaw-Dropping, 3D SequelJackass 3D

No movies have made me squirm in my seat and shout out loud more than those in the Jackass franchise, and this 3D version is no exception. Yes, Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O and the rest of their merry band of intrepid stuntmen have returned for another round of jaw-dropping, death-defying feats.

Make no mistake, the picture is based on locker room antics apt to offend females despite simultaneously appealing to males in much the same way The Three Stooges inexplicably touch men’s primordial chord while being completely lost on women. I don’t know what it is about just the right combination of comedy and slapstick violence, but Moe, Larry and Curly knew what they were doing, and so do Jackass’ practical jokers.

DVD Features Janitor Going Postal in Offbeat Romantic Comedy

DVD Features Janitor Going Postal in Offbeat Romantic ComedyLast Day of Summer

Joe (DJ Qualls) is on edge and right at the end of his rope. He’s the janitor at a fast food joint being run like a boot camp by Mr. Crolick (William Sadler). While all the workers at Burger Heaven find themselves the brunt of their boss’ abuse, the sadist taskmaster really seems to revel in torturing his custodian, teasing the gangly young man about everything from his looks to his intelligence.

Thus, it’s no surprise that Joe might be a prime candidate for “Going Postal” in this era when an automatic weapon is many a disgruntled employee’s answer to discontent on the job. This candidate’s breaking point arrives the day that Mr. Crolick gives him a new toilet brush in front of the entire staff before forcing him to plunge his arm elbow deep into a feces-filled bowl. Then, to add insult to injury, before he has a chance to quit, Joe’s fired for insubordination. So, he quietly plots his revenge, purchasing a pistol and recording a farewell tape explaining why he’s about to go on a rampage.

Night Catches Us: Tanya Hamilton interview

Night Catches Us: Tanya Hamilton interview We’ve heard of love in the time of war, but sometimes war supercedes the time that is necessary for creating love. But not through the eyes of Tanya Hamilton.

Hamilton’s debut feature film Night Catches Us, is an urban tale centered on the love of Marcus Washington (Anthony Mackie), a former Black Panther turned drifter, and Patricia Wilson (Kerry Washington), the whisper of a love that he’d left behind when he fled Philadelphia. Washington finds himself returning home to the grounds where his political journey began. Yet time has given him new eyes and no longer does he agree with the direction his comrades have taken their mission. As his love for the movement fades, his heart begins to collect those lost shadows, bringing to him an unrequited desire to meld the haze of yesterday with a love that’s here and now.

Night Catches Us, premiered on the third night of The First Annual Twin Cities Film Festival. Hamilton was also presented with a “Distinction in Filmmaking” award by Minnesota Women In Film & Television, an organization which also assisted Hamilton in finding some of the resources necessary to explore her vision within the canvas of filmmaking.

The Quintessence of Essence

The Quintessence of EssenceEssence Atkins - The “Are We There Yet?” Interview

Essence Atkins was born in New York City on February 7, 1972. Between her innate sense of comedy and girl-next-door charm, it makes sense that she has become one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents. Last year, she played a lead role in Dance Flick, a spoof of the dance genre produced by the Wayans Brothers.

On the UPN comedy series Half & Half, she starred as Dee Dee Thorne, a privileged, honor-roll law school graduate searching for her identity. Still, Essence is probably best known for her role as Yvette Henderson in the syndicated Disney series The Smart Guy and for her recurring role as Marnie on Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.
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