By Charles Hallman
Ten years ago, Natalie Morrow wanted to establish an annual Black film screening event on the comparable level as similar events held in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Since then, the Twin Cities Black Film Festival (TCBFF) has been held each September in such places as Augsburg College (twice), at downtown hotels and once at now-vacant Block E. Stars such as Nate Parker, cinema icons such as Pam Grier and countless screenwriters, directors and documentary producers have been special guests over the years as well. Among this year’s 14-film festival September 27-30 at St. Anthony Main Theatre included a tribute to the late Whitney Houston (The Bodyguard), two unheralded 1970s classics (The Spook Who Sat by the Door and Black Brigade), a documentary on the final season of sports at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and a comedy filmed in the Twin Cities. “I’m happy that I am still on the right track in selecting the right films,” says Morrow in an interview with the MSR.
High Card Trumps, a six-minute film, was among several shorts shown at this year’s TCBFF. Continue Reading →
More than a few of us were afraid it would turn out to be something like this: Cocaine, according to the L.A. County Coroner official finding, contributed to a heart failure that killed Whitney Houston, who, as by now the whole world knows, drowned in the bathtub of her Beverly Hilton hotel room. A source connected to the investigation states it is ”very possible” Whitney had a heart attack that caused her to lose consciousness and drown. The heart attack may have been triggered by hardening of the arteries as a result of cocaine use. So, the word is out. Undeniably. Continue Reading →
A new allegation has surfaced that pop superstar Whitney Houston was murdered. Legal television commentator Nancy Grace ignited a firestorm of criticism speculating Houston’s death might have been a homicide. “I’d like to know who was around her, who, if anyone gave her drugs, following alcohol and drugs, and who let her slip, or pushed her, underneath that water,” Grace told CNN. On Feb. 11 Houston was found dead in the bathtub of her Beverly Hilton Hotel room on the eve of the Grammy Awards. Continue Reading →
Whitney Houston was one of us; she was a human being with all the angst, pain and limitations that brings. She was a woman living and fighting the applied stigma of the “weaker” and by implication the second-class sex, in, yes, what is still a man’s world. She was an African American who lived with all the self-doubt, internalized hatred and double consciousness all African Americans live with, the uncertainty and unsureness of footing that comes with never being fully at home. And yes, she was an American who sang the country’s anthem as no other has before or since, and clearly loved her country. And she was a Christian, one who fell down, no doubt, but kept getting back up. Continue Reading →
Whitney Houston (1963-2012)
The stellar career and troubled life of Whitney Houston came to end on the afternoon of February 11 in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. She was 48. Houston vaulted to immediate superstardom with the 1985 release of her self-titled debut album. The way was paved by well-placed family connections in the music industry, her mother being Cissy Houston, her godmother Aretha Franklin, and her cousin Dionne Warwick. This cleared a path that put her enormous talent (a vocal range of three octaves) on a fast track to international success. Continue Reading →