Recent Articles

Belle a well-crafted period film about race, class, and privilege

By Howard McQuitter II
Contributing writer

The beautiful biracial daughter Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) of Admiral Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode) and a slave woman is adopted by great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkerson)and his wife Lady Mansfield (Emily Watson) in 18th century England. The Mansfields raise Dido like their own daughter along with her cousin Elizabeth Murray (Sarah Gadon).On the face of it,Dido seems to enjoy the luxuries of aristocratic England except shes often barred from her family’s dining area because of her cream-colored skin. She has to face other humiliations ,both subtle and not so subtle, such as from Lady Ashford (Miranda Richardson), mother of Oliver Ashford (James Norton) and her older son James Ashford (Tom Felton). Belle is told in Jane Austen style in England during the slave trade before abolition. Both Dido and Elizabeth are eligible and suitable to find aristocratic husbands – during which envy brews in Elizabeth over Didos potential husband and Elizabeth’s suitor. Continue Reading →

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The 2012 MSP International Film Festival darling returns



They wiggled, they jiggled, they wore low cut gowns and short shorts, they kowtowed to the club owners and smiled at the customers…and they did it all, just to play the music they loved. The Girls in the Band tells the poignant, untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their fascinating, groundbreaking journeys from the late 30′s to the present day. These incredibly talented women endured sexism, racism and diminished opportunities for decades, yet continued to persevere, inspire and elevate their talents in a field that seldom welcomed them. Today, there is a new breed of gifted young women taking their rightful place in the world of jazz, which can no longer deny their talents. The Girls in the Band is playing at St. Continue Reading →

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Baggage Claim takes you on a pleasant, yet predictable trip



By Charles Hallman

Staff writer


Baggage Claim is a delightful but predictable movie that hit theaters September 27. The David E. Talbert movie is like one of lighthearted screwball fare that I can sit and watch on Turner Classic Movies all day long. However it probably won’t make the channel’s line-up simply because of its mostly Black cast, which in itself destines the film for a future small-screen premiere on BET, TV One or Bounce TV. The cast, or for that matter the movie itself, isn’t on the same scale as the classic Uptown Saturday Night (1974) that boasts an all-star Black cast of legends, but Paula Patton headlines a notable cast nonetheless. Aaron Park, of Brooklyn Park, calls Baggage Claim “a nice refreshing movie” after seeing it at the September 23 special preview that the MSR — among others — co-sponsored. Continue Reading →

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Lincoln, the movie: What’s missing?

By Gary L. Flowers

Guest Commentator


“‘Negro History’ is the missing segment of world history.” — Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson was right when he essentially said that Black history is the missing pages of world history. Never was such so true than in the movie Lincoln. While I, as a “weekend historian,” was impressed by Daniel Day Lewis’ portrayal of the 16th president of the United States, my knowledge of history begged questions: “Why were Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman not portrayed or mentioned?” or “Why was the ancient Egyptian mathematical formula attributed to the Greek mathematician Euclid?”

The movie Lincoln is politically presidential, yet porous on people who influenced the end of the American Civil War. The holes in the Steven Spielberg’s epic film are rooted in Hollywood’s tendency to omit key historical personalities and events from biopics. History reminds us that Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth all played significant roles in the American Civil War, and thus in the decisions of President Lincoln. Continue Reading →

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This week’s entertainment spotlights

TU Dance

Nov. 16-18
The O’Shaughnessy
2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, 651-690-6700
 Founded by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands,
TU Dance combines modern dance, classical ballet,
African-based and urban vernacular movements. Tickets are $18-$31 for general admission
and $14-27 for students/seniors and SCU/UMN community members. Dragon Feathers

Nov. Continue Reading →

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