Insight News

Feb 12th

Pharrell’s Philosophy

Pharrell’s PhilosophyPharrell - The “Despicable Me” Interview

Pharrell was born on April 5, 1973 in Virginia Beach, VA, the eldest of three sons to bless the union of Carolyn and Pharoah Williams, a schoolteacher and handyman, respectively. At the age of just 12, the aspiring musician started playing with Chad Hugo, a kid he met over summer vacation at band camp.
They formed a group called The Neptunes which was discovered while still in high school by the legendary Teddy Riley who signed the pair soon after graduation.

Since then, Pharrell has embarked on an enviable career, both as a member of The Neptunes, Child Rebel Soldier and NERD and as a solo artist. Furthermore, the triple Grammy-winner’s singing, performing and/or producing services have been sought for recordings by everyone from Beyonce’ to Jay-Z to Ludacris to Madonna to Mystikal to Lupe Fiasco to Snoop Dogg to Shakira to The Game to J-Lo to Britney Spears to Babyface to Usher to Busta Rhymes, to Gwen Stefani to Nelly to P. Diddy to NSYNC and to Fabolous.

Famous Ethiopian director Haile Gerima's Teza comes to Minneapolis July 16

Famous Ethiopian director Haile Gerima's Teza comes to Minneapolis July 16Teza, Haile Gerima’s dramatic and thought provoking Ethiopian cultural portrait highlights St. Anthony Main theatre’s summer lineup July 16th through 29th.

Even the best of intentions can be met with resistance if stemming from an outside source. This has never been truer than for Ethiopian national, Anberber, a German-educated doctor who returns to his homeland with naive idealism, only to be labeled an outsider. Set during the regime of the Ethiopian dictator Haile Mariam Megistu, Teza explores ideas of national identity and ethnicity within a deeply stirring and thought provoking setting.

When Anberber’s intentions of applying the most beneficial teachings of Western culture to his homeland are met with malice, he retreats to his childhood home in the countryside. However, he soon comes to realize that his home no longer offers shelter from the country’s political turmoil, nor his turmoil stemming from within. As an exploration of worldwide social values, humanity, and ethnic disillusionment, Teza is a masterpiece of independent cinema, once again reminding audiences of the power of the big screen.

Kam's Kapsules: weekly previews that make choosing a film fun

For movies opening July 9, 2010

Big Budget Films

Despicable Me
(PG for mild action and crude humor) 3-D computer-animated comedy, set in an otherwise idyllic suburban neighborhood, where a wicked weirdo (Steve Carell) with a black house and a dead lawn is secretly hatching a diabolical plan to steal the moon with the assistance of an army of minions. Hope for averting the disaster rests with three orphans (Dana Gaier, Miranda Cosgrove and Elsie Fisher) in need of a father who see some potential for redemption in the evil villain. Voice cast includes Kristen Wiig, Jason Segel, Danny McBride, Will Arnett, Dr. Ken Jeong, Russell Brand and Julie Andrews.

Atmospheric Irish Drama Released on DVD

Atmospheric Irish Drama Released on DVDThe Eclipse

Recent widower Michael Farr (Ciaran Hinds) has resigned himself to raising his 10 and 14 year-old kids alone. The grieving clan lives along Ireland’s seacoast in a verdant, fog-enshrouded town whose only claim to fame is hosting an annual literary festival.

A schoolteacher by profession, practical Michael put his dream of becoming a writer on hold in order to be able to provide for his family. However, he still harbors the hope of one day pursuing his true passion. Meanwhile, the only brushes he enjoys with the publishing industry is when he works as a volunteer at the aforementioned festival.

Oliver Stone Examines Banana Republics in Documentary

Oliver Stone Examines Banana Republics in DocumentarySouth of the Border

If you’ve read “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins, then you are well aware of the lengths to which CIA and other agents operating on behalf of the U.S. government and Fortune 500 corporations have gone to install puppets as heads of state in countries all across Latin America. But those unaware of America’s role in countless coups in the region, might enjoy the history lesson offered by South of the Border, as informative a history lesson as anybody could hope for.

This damning documentary was directed by three-time Oscar-winner Oliver Stone (for Platoon, Midnight Express and Born on the Fourth of July), a man who has never been afraid to tackle controversial aspects of presidential politics in thought-provoking fashion, whether JFK, Nixon or W. What makes this piece unique is its documentary format, as the aforementioned entries were docudramas, criticized by some for indulging in speculation and paranoid conspiracy theories.

Blacks Serve as Brunt of the Jokes in Insensitive Buddy Comedy

Blacks Serve as Brunt of the Jokes in Insensitive Buddy ComedyGrown Ups

In the opening scene of Grown Ups, a Black kid (Jameel McGill) who has very obviously double-dribbled during a basketball game unreasonably calls the referee a racist for blowing the whistle on him. That scene sets the tone for the rest of a movie which is essentially a series of offensive one-liners coming mostly at the expense of African-Americans.

Unless you enjoy laughing at outdated stereotypes suggesting that Blacks are loud, stupid, lazy, smelly, promiscuous and criminal, you might like to pass on this insensitive exercise in bigotry masquerading as a buddy flick. Don’t be fooled by the fact that Chris Rock is one of the movie’s stars, what’s served up as humor here is cruel, hateful, and anything but funny.

Let me offer a few examples, so you can judge for yourself. Rock’s character, Kurt, is chronically unemployed, a situation that doesn’t sit well with his resentful, expecting-again wife (Maya Rudolph) or with her terminally-sassy mother (Ebony Jo-Ann).

"Bitch Is the New Black"

"Bitch Is the New Black"
A Memoir
by Helena Andrews
Harper Books
Hardcover, $24.99
244 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-177882-7

“I’m such a badass. I am literally the baddest bitch on the planet. If there was a bitch contest between me and every other heartbroken, hissing, red-eyed, puffy-faced woman in the world, I would defeat every last one of them--handily… I’m a bitch, but I swear I don’t want to be. Really, I think I have to be.”
-- Excerpted from Chapter One (pg. 4)
Page 159 of 208

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