Elvis... Friend or Foe
..I will tell you I have watched 4 of the SAG Best Male Performances Nighy, Farrell, Fraser and Butler are all amazing. Any of them could win and it would be fair. This is a Yes .. and situation tho. Fraser was amazing in The Whale, period BUT what Butler is able to do with such an iconic person. In the last live performance there was a switch from Butler to Presley and for a minute I wasn't sure who was who. Prior, to the screeners I had no desire to watch this film, I really at first wasn't clear why this film was even made, what else can you say about Elvis ? Luhrman truly has a style that is all his own which I really appreciate, At times a little ornate for me but I really love creative people who actually creative. I thought Tom Hanks was very effective but it's just Butler's film. I will say, I struggled with the film, as much as this was supposed to illustrate how he was influenced by Blk music and culture, Significant Black artists were props, just visual mediums with no voice. It was uncomfortable to watch artists like Little Richard, Rosetta Tharpe, Fats Domino and Big Mama Thorton being relegated to posters. The images of just black wailing was reductive and dismissive. It was clear Luhrman is not a man of faith because he had no greater understanding of catching the Holy spirit than Discovery channel going to Sea World. Elvis Presley was a man of faith but you would have never known that watching this film. For a images of Blk ppl like this in 2022, that was truly disappointing to watch. Conversely, with Priscilla, if you are going to show the crimes of the Colonel, don't show a 13 year old Priscilla in a 25 year old woman's body. In addition, she seems to have little to no voice at all in the film, even his mother was relegated to drinking and crying. However, with all this said... okay one more, I should preface my mother LOVED, LOVED LOVED Elvis Presley, on my first tour while I was in Memphis I went to Graceland to honor her. I personally struggled more with him for the obvious reasons but... again with alllllll that said... against my whole soul I have to admit. He was a force and this film does a great job of capturing that. He was sensual, he was magnetic, reflective, and prior to all the substance abuse, he was a physically beautiful man. There is a shot at the end of the film of the actual Elvis and is eyes are just.. wow. As problematic as I believe he was and at times this film, my blackity black behind had to admit, he was definitely an enigma. Lurham really honored him, in the same way that the Billie Holiday film did not honor her. #SAGAwards #elvispresley #elvis #fatsdomino #bigmamathorton #southern #rockandroll #bealestreet #bazlurhman #oscars #goldenglobes
I will keep saying this, New York City mental health situation is out of control. From this report written in 2018
there are 28 mental health facilities with a total of approx. 3,700 beds in a city of more than 8 million. Cuomo's administration opted for out-patient group therapy as way of bringing down costs, there has been a steady rise of mental health related incidents since 2014. Each month we are seeing a rise of incidents in the city, I don't know what it will take for this to become a forefront issue in this city. It is unfair, that the brunt of this is being felt by people on the subways. Defunding along with CRT have to be two of the most misunderstood terms in our culture right now. What defunding the police,is NOT reducing the police, is not closing precincts, it REDISTRIBUTING funds that would normally fall under their jurisdiction to other institutions, or professionals who might be better at handling the situation. Police departments, while officers do are paid modestly especially in their first year, there is alot of money allocated to the overall department. In this particular situation, what defunding would look like, taking some of that budget and putting into facilities and trained practitioners. Police can not address this the growing presence of breakdowns that we are seeing on a regular basis. The subway shooter, was diagnosed as bipolar, and taking medication for schizophrenia. There are countries that are doing this much better than us, like Sweden, why can't we learn from them. Why not to try to adopt another model, we can't continue to put our head in the sand. Living in New York City, is challenging if your mental health is stable, if you are dealing with multiple ailments it's basically a prescription for disaster. Additionally, if you add financial woes, it is a powder keg. This is a city that has billionaires, Cuomo, Giuliani and Bloomberg have created a mini Dubai with their coddling of developers. When a hospital was closed create a high rise development the writing was on the wall. We are now experiencing the effects of irresponsible capitalism. This is worse than COVID right now and I fear we have not seen the worse of it, I really, really hope I am wrong. #mentalhealth #govhocul #Subway
united states vs. billie holiday
Rarely do I watch a film that makes me feel so deeply, unfortunately it wasn't the feeling I was hoping for. I am so glad that the story of her subtle yet fierce defiance in the name of protecting black bodies has finally seen the light and illuminating yet again how the FBI has been as deterimental as the KKK in many ways in attempting to silence us. Thank you Lee Daniels and Suzi-Lori Parks for that Yet as we share our pain we must also celebrate the resilence.
If you watch united states vs. holiday you walk away understanding that billie holiday was a sad junkie, who dated men who were bad for her because she needed control, she wasn't a friend you could rely on, she occassionally went to hotels with white bulldaggers, ( their words not mine) she sometimes gave tips to the musical director, she chose musicians, and her momma didnt love her. Oh, she also had sang strange fruit because she saw a lynching. You get to witness a beautiful , nuanced performance by Audra Day but what you witness on the screen was a piece of a woman, and not the badass of Billie Holiday.
You do not come away understanding that Billie Holiday is the most influential woman in Jazz, there are several great women in jazz inc. fitzgerald, vaughn and washington. That is not being said that lightly. That she slept with so many woman they nicknamed her Mr. Day, that she never sang the song the same way twice she had several versions, she composed, she wrote, she arranged. She rose from NOTHING, with no mentor, no self help books, she went from a brothel to international fame, Do you know the tenacity it takes to go from working in a brothel, to being on the stage, to negotiating with men on arrangements, to having a maid ( a white one) to having the courage to get on the stage of Carnagie Hall? You have no family, no visible support you have to find the courage from deep inside to believe your voice matters. You love Cardi B? Well then, bow down to Lady Day because she did without a reality show or social media. We talk about imposter syndrome, and now there are books, videos, podcasts and she did it ON.HER.OWN. More than 60 years after her death, her name still reigns, the word that is thrown around way too much, actually applies to her is..ICONIC. After all this time, no one sounds like Billie Holiday, no one. I don't know if people makes themselves feel better to only see the "pain" of these women, these divas, these lights that shine fast and bright but I don't care what needle you want to show in her arm. what man slapping her across the face, she is and will always be F*CKIN BILLY HOLIDAY and nothing, nothing will ever replace that. You do not get to be a supernova by accident, it takes work, it takes talent, and it takes courage and I want to see the film that honors all of that. Life is complex, its not one thing, your not all good or all bad you are amalgamtion of life and it d*mn time that women get to be seen like that. I am so sorry Ms. Lady Day you deserved so much more than that... film. #billieholdiay #legend #unitedstatesvsholiday #film #lynching #civilrights #drugs #jazz #unitedstates
An Actor/Director sharing her thoughts on creativity in this crazy metropolis, New Yawk Citay.