Insight News

Thursday
Oct 23rd

DVD features Morgan Freeman in Oscar-nominated performance as Nelson Mandela

DVD features Morgan Freeman in Oscar-nominated performance as Nelson Mandela Invictus - DVD Review

When Nelson “Madiba” Mandela (Morgan Freeman) became President of South Africa, part of his mission was to cultivate a collective consciousness among the populace in the wake of Apartheid. This proved to be no mean feat, for the nation had just finished a bloody civil war which left Blacks and whites very suspicious of each other.

Although Mandela himself had endured extreme hardships at the hands of the Apartheid regime, including 27 years of brutal incarceration as a political prisoner, he was determined to govern impartially, seeking to balance Black aspirations against white fears. Then, in 1995, with the country set to host the Rugby World Cup Championship, he seized on the idea of using the event to unite the people by encouraging everyone to rally around the Springboks, the South Africa national team. So, ignoring the skepticism of his closest advisors, Mandela announced that, “Reconciliation starts here!”
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Students express personal insights through theater

Students express personal insights through theaterA note from the students at Central HS:
The news today is full of school closings, students struggling with achievements, students dealing with deaths, or being judged for who they are but the news isn’t all bad. Central Touring Theater has created a play that covers these issues and presents them to students across Minnesota providing healing and support. We use theater to begin a discussion with our peers about things important to us.


Saint Paul Central Touring Theater presents “There is No Box for Me” and “Seeds of Change,” two original plays created by youth ensembles at Macalester College in the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, 1600 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul on Friday May 21 and Saturday May 22 at 7:30 pm each night.

Tickets are $5.00 with special rates available for families and groups.
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Zany Sample Night offers smorgasbord of area artistry

Zany Sample Night offers smorgasbord of area artistrySample Night Live presents its next monthly show Wednesday, June 2, 2010, at History Theatre in downtown St. Paul. A dozen arts organizations will offer ten-minute previews of upcoming or ongoing works. The first act, at 7 pm, is G-rated and family friendly. The second act, at 8:15 pm, is unrated and uncensored. Tickets to the show range from $5-$20, and can be purchased online at www.SampleNightLive.com or by calling the box office at (651) 788-5992. All performances are ASL interpreted.

Now in its third season, Sample Night Live connects high-quality local arts organizations to new audiences with a fun rock-and-roll-style show the first Wednesday of every month. Since its inception in 2008, Sample Night Live has connected more than 300 high-quality arts organizations with more than 4,000 new fans.

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Reverential documentary pays homage to Black pioneers of comedy

Reverential documentary pays homage to Black pioneers of comedyWhy We Laugh - DVD Review

This alternately hilarious and enlightening documentary is designed to pay homage to the trailblazing pioneers of Black comedians while simultaneously recounting the evolution of the art form in light of the prevailing African-American political and cultural experience. The film was directed by Robert Townsend who compiled a most impressive cast to contribute to the project via a combination of present-day interviews and archival footage, including the posthumous performances and reflections of such late great entertainers as Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley, Richard Pryor, Flip Wilson, Mantan Moreland, Stepin’ Fetchit, Bernie Mac and Robin Harris.

The film winds its way to the present in chronological fashion, so it opens with a discussion of minstrel performers like Bert Williams, a Black man who darkened his face with cork to work in blackface. Former Congressman Walter Fauntroy says that during the ugly days of Jim Crow segregation, humor was relied upon as “tools of the spirit through which we cut a path through the wilderness of our despair.”
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Grieving widow reluctantly dates ardent admirer in cross-cultural romance drama

Grieving widow reluctantly dates ardent admirer in cross-cultural romance dramaShanghai Red Film Review

Meili Zhu (Vivian Wu) was inconsolable in the wake of the murder of her husband, Lian Wei (Kenny Bee), because she had not only suddenly lost her life partner, but would now have to raise their 7 year-old son, Bebe (Lu Yao), alone. Obviously, we all mourn differently and, in the case of this grief-stricken widow, the loss triggered a passionate reaction that rose to the level of a lust for revenge.

And, as she matter-of-factly states at the outset of Shanghai Red, “Sometimes you must do the honorable thing by dishonoring yourself.” So, ordinarily-modest Meili uncharacteristically donned a clingy, crimson dress to pose as a call girl for an escort agency. But this is all a part of her plan for vengeance, as her very first client is her late hubby’s business partner (Roger Yuan), whom she suspects was behind the slaying. Upon entering the hotel room, Meili removes her oversize sunglasses to reveal her true identity to her prey right before pumping him full of bullets.
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Just “La”

Just “La” Queen Latifah - The “Just Wright" Interview

Dana Elaine Owens was born in Newark, New Jersey on March 18, 1970, the second child of Lance and Rita Owens, a police officer and a schoolteacher, respectively. The versatile entertainer first found fame in the world of hip-hop upon the release of her debut album “All Hail the Queen” while still in her teens. As Queen Latifah, she has since enjoyed an enviable recording and concert career featuring seven solo CDs plus countless collaborations with colleagues across a spectrum of musical genres.

“La” added acting to her repertoire in 1991, when Spike Lee cast her in Jungle Fever. Next, she made House Party 2, following that up with critically-acclaimed appearances in The Bone Collector and Brown Sugar. But it was for her breakout role as Matron Mama Morton in Chicago that she became the first rapper to land an Oscar nomination.
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