Insight News

Feb 13th

Feel-Bad Flashback Flick Deconstructs Failed Marriage

Feel-Bad Flashback Flick Deconstructs Failed MarriageFilm Review: Blue Valentine

The marriage of Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) was doomed, almost from the start. When they met, she was a promising premed student, and he a high school dropout who had to take a dead-end job just to keep a roof over his head.

At that time, she was attending a college in rural Pennsylvania while he was eking out a living a world away in Brooklyn. Their paths crossed quite by coincidence when Dean was assigned by his moving company to help an elderly gentleman (Melvin Jurdem) relocate to a nursing home on the very same day Cindy was there visiting her ailing grandmother (Jenn Jones).

Young Muslim searches for identity in Mooz-Lum

Young Muslim searches for identity in Mooz-LumEver since 9/11, Muslims have become the N-word of the new millennium, being indiscriminately demonized in much the same way young African-Americans were vilified by the FBI during the rise of the Black Power Movement. In the wake of the civil unrest triggered by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, just walking the streets with an afro was sufficient probable cause for a cop to stop and frisk anyone who resembled a radical figure like Huey Newton, Stokely Carmichael or H. Rap Brown.

Such state-sanctioned mistreatment inflicted great harm, unlikely ever to be undone, on impressionable young minds trying to figure out their place in the world. It made the U.S. feel more like an oppressive police state rather than the proverbial land of the free and home of the brave. And it is a similar sort of predicament which is sensitively explored in Mooz-Lum, a coming-of-age flick by Qasim “Q” Basir.

Hubba Hubbard!

Hubba Hubbard!Erica Hubbard: The “Let’s Stay Together” Interview

Talented, gorgeous and “The Girl Next Door” are words used to describe Erica Hubbard. Born in Chicago on January 2, 1979, the versatile actress has been lighting up the big and small screens with her contagious and enticing smile for the past seven years and can now be seen as one of the leads on “Let’s Stay Together,” the eagerly-anticipated, original comedy produced for the BET Network, which debuted earlier this month.

Erica knew at the tender age of nine that she wanted to be an actress after performing in her first stage play. Never giving up on her dream, she attended Columbia College in Chicago where she majored in Broadcast Journalism, minored in Theater and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in just three years!

The King’s Speech Lands a Dozen Nominations; Mo’Nique Miffed by Snub of Halle Berry

The King’s Speech Lands a Dozen Nominations;                  Mo’Nique Miffed by Snub of Halle Berry2011 Oscar Nominations

The Oscar nominations were announced early Tuesday morning at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills by last year’s Best Supporting Actress-winner Mo’Nique (for Precious) along with Academy President Tom Sherak. The King’s Speech, the inspirational bio-pic about King George VI’s struggle to cure his stutter, has emerged as the early favorite in the annual awards sweepstakes, landing nominations in a dozen categories, including Best Picture, Actor (Colin Firth), Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush), Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter), Director (Tom Hooper) and Original Screenplay (David Seidler).

Tribute to “The Sultry Divas of Jazz”

“Nancy Wilson & Peggy Lee: The Sultry Divas of Jazz,” with Ginger Commodore and Connie Evingson, is the next concert in the Legends series at the Capri Theater. Performances are at 7 pm Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, and 3 pm Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011. Single tickets are $25 and can be ordered online at, or by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111.

“Legends” series artistic director Dennis Spears says that Peggy Lee and Nancy Wilson are a natural combination because of their similarities. “They are both known for their sultry and sassy jazz styles, their class and elegance, and their experiences in acting,” said Spears.  The concert promises a Valentine’s Day assortment that combines the sweet with the bittersweet.

FairVote MN offers background, analysis -- and its second online Best Picture poll

FairVote MN offers background, analysis -- and its second online Best Picture pollRanked Choice Voting reprises its starring role in the Oscars ceremony as the Academy of Motion Pictures again uses this smarter, fairer, more broadly representative system to determine the Best Picture.

For the second consecutive year, the Oscars will use instant runoff or “preferential” voting – what we in Minnesota call Ranked Choice Voting – to determine this year’s Best Picture award. The Academy returned to preferential voting last year after decades of using a plurality voting system.

From materialism to meditation

From materialism to meditationRussell Wendell Simmons was born in Queens, New York on October 4, 1957, the middle of three sons to bless the marriage of Daniel and Evelyn Simmons, a public school administrator and NYC parks administrator, respectively. Russell and Rick Rubin co-founded Def Jam Records, the legendary hip-hop label, in 1984.

Russell parlayed his success in music into several fashion lines, most notably, Phat Farm and Baby Phat. Meanwhile, as Chairman and CEO of his umbrella organization, Rush Communications, he also ran an ad agency, produced movies and TV shows, and published a magazine.

Forbes Magazine recently named Simmons one of "Hollywood's Most Influential Celebrities." And USA Today dubbed him one of the "Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years," calling him a "hip-hop pioneer" for his groundbreaking vision that has influenced music, fashion, jewelry, finance, television and film, as well as the face of modern philanthropy.
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