Friday, August 30, 2013
The movie MUD, now out on rental is not worth wasting time watching. The movie stars Matthew McConaughey & Reese Witherspoon. The publicity that came out simultaneously with the movie's release, was not favorable. Acadamey Award winning actress Witherspoon & her husband were stopped & arrested for drunk driving. While her talent agent husband was intoxicated behind the wheel, Witherspoon jumped out of the car & ranted at the arresting officer, "Do you know who I am? Well you're about to find out." The media disclosed how talented of an actress Ms. Witherspoon is. She had most of us hoodwinked into perceiving her as irreproachable. The facade has been shattered. Ms. Witherspoon should not be persecuted for being cast in MUD which is mired in crud. However, Witherspoon is guilty of flaunting her star status at a police officer who was doing his job by pulling over her husband for DUI. More flagrant than her affront of being above the law, is the fact that she & her spouse chose to get behind the wheel drunk. The shows total disregard to the safety of everyone else on the road. I couldn't tolerate finishing MUD as it was slow as molasses. I will not forgive or forget Witherspoon's flagrant disregard of the law and will pass on any other vehicle in which she is found.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
The fictional story of Cecil Gaines, a black butler to U.S. Presidents from Eisenhower - Reagan, is based on the true life story of Eugene Allen. The film is a time capsule of the 20th C focusing on the atrocities of our nation's violent racial hatred. The movie is also a tribute to the courageous pioneers who valiently struggled to move our nation towards racial equality. Dir. Daniel Lee (Precious) has created a stirring masterpiece by telling a human saga of a family torn apart by opposing moral convictions during the upheaval of the Civil Rights Movement and the War in Viet Nam. Cecil Gaines, played by Forrest Whitaker (who is sure to receive his 2nd Oscar) is the Head Butler at the White House who fades in/out of the background as U.S. Pres. banter about historic civil rights policies. Gaines is the husband to Gloria, (Oprah Winfrey, who can never fade into the background) and father to their two sons. The elder son becomes a Freedom Rider & militant civil rights fighter much to the distress & disapproval of his parents. The younger son leaves for Viet Nam wanting to "fight for his country." Americans "have turned a blind eye for 200 years" to the persecution of African-Americans in our nation. Everyone should feel compelled to see this rousing movie. The Butler is an acknowledgement of our history and a measure of how far the needle of equality has moved. More importantly, it serves as a powerful conscience for racial tolerance. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can." (MLK) "Peace, Love & Soultrain." (D. Cornelius)
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Bruce Davidson's historic photos from the Civil Rights Movement in the 60's are on exhibit @ the Howard Greenberg Gallery on East 57th. Davison was a successful high fashion photographer for Vogue before turning his camera towards the Civil Rights Movement & joining the Freedom Riders. He grew-up in the mid-west in a predominately white community but as Davidson said "something reached inside me and I wanted to see how bad things were for people of color." Having experienced the racial struggles and injustices in the South, early 60's (Montgomery, Birmingham, Selma) "I couldn't come to grips with what I was experiencing in the South," said Davidson. These powerful and disturbing photographs show the Nat'l Guard boarding the Freedom Buses, a young black woman seated at a lunch counter next to a young white woman whose face expresses utter disdain, and a black women with 2 white officers grabbing her arms beneath a movie marque of "The Defiant Ones." There are photos of Dr. King taken in Selma '65 & Birmingham '63. The exhibit is on display through the end of summer. I hope I will have the opportunity to view these historic photos when I return. For those who are in NYC, now is the time to see them.