A few weeks ago, I was going on about a new documentary that I was looking forward to checking out, called Fresh Dressed, which is essentially a visual/verbal history lesson on hip hop fashion, from how it originated, trends, a run-down of name brands that everyone was kitted out in back in the day, pioneers in the game, and added commentary from the likes of rappers Kanye West, Pharrell, Diddy and Pusha T, and former US Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley, as well as other cool names from the world of music and fashion.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to see this film on the big screen anywhere in the UK any time soon, but thankfully UK-based experiential cinema company, We Are Parable, have taken it upon themselves to rectify that, and not only are they publicly screening the film this Saturday, they have organised a whole themed-based weekend to accompany it, which will include:
Saturday October 24th
An exclusive screening of “Fresh Dressed”, at the Rio Cinema, Dalston on Saturday October 24th from 2pm.
At the same venue, a panel discussion featuring some of the most prominent streetwear experts in the UK, including designers Marc Hare (@therealmrhare); Wale Adeyemi (@bysidebywale); Course Fashion Director of Sportswear at London College of Fashion, Claudine Rousseau and designer/consultant Richard ‘Rich Blk’ Mkoloma (@richBlkShoots) who will be sharing their experiences and thoughts on the film.
An afterparty at a secret London location, for which you can use your film ticket stub to access, for an immersive night of fashion and music, featuring tunes from artists shown in the film.
Can you believe classic black movie Love & Basketball, starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan, is 15 years old this year? No? Neither can we? Well it is, and due to the general awesomeness of the film, such as the brilliant way in which he and to always manage to produce that warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of your stomach when you remember your own ‘first-love’ (it does that to you EVERY time, doesn’t it!?!), we think this milestone deserves some sort of celebration.
Well, luckily for us (and you), new experiential cinema company, Amacoast Cinema, in association We Are Parable, who have taken on the mission of ‘creating pop-up events exclusively around black film’, are producing a full-scale immersive event celebrating all things ‘Love & Basketball’ for their first outing, which is scheduled for the 16thOctober.
A screening of the movie at York Hall in Bethnal Green on that day, will be followed by a basketball themed after-show, complete with live cheerleader performances, a slam-dunk competition and basic ‘hoop’ skills with players from the British Basketball Leagues London Lions. In addition, there will be a live DJ, giveaways and food vendors, to turn this cinematic event into an all American basketball experience.
Co-founder of Amacoast Cinema, Dele Aro, said of the event: ‘I’m a huge black film fan but I’ve seen very few in the cinema and I was pretty sure I wasn’t the only one. So I thought it would be great to not only provide a communal cinematic experience for black film, but turn the screenings into an immersive celebration allowing the audience to create new memories.’
Sounds good us!
As you can imagine tickets for this event are going fast.
So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted, been meaning too, but something always gets in the way. I have a lot of saved posts that never quite got published (I will post them up soon somehow, I promise). But there is definitely something in the air that has bought me out of hibernation – it seems like old school urban fashion is having a bit of moment of late. Two main things from both sides of the pond which have got me thinking this way… are, number one: The much anticipated upcoming release of new US documentary, Fresh (which has already been making waves at festivals such as Sundance), which chronicles the history of hip-hop/urban fashion ‘and its rise from southern cotton plantations to the gangs of 1970s in the South Bronx, to corporate America, and everywhere in-between.’
The film features commentary from notable hip hop and fashion industry names like Kanye West, Diddy, Nas (whose brand Mass Appeal is one of the producers of the doc), Pharrell, Andre Leon Talley, Big Daddy Kane, Kid N Play and Karl Kani.
Expect to see the likes of street fashion legends Cross Colours (my personal favourite), the aforementioned Karl Kani, Ecko, as well as others such as Mecca and FUBU, featured, as well as high end brands Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Tommy Hilfiger. For a long time no one was sure if that whole Hilfiger ‘not wanting black people to wear his clothes’ thing was a urban myth or not, but I’ve since seen interviews where the man himself says it wasn’t true… So I guess it was a myth.
The second big thing that’s got me all excited about nostalgia and fashion recently is a new photography exhibition I saw advertised on Instagram called ‘Ruffnecks, Rudeboys & Rollups - A Unique Journey of London Streetwear from 1989-2001‘. This is a unique showcase which celebrates the influential era of 90s streetwear, featuring both professional and amateur photography.
So for all those who remember when the likes of Chipie, Sonetti, C17, Chevignon, Replay and Pepe and Naf Naf puffa jackets were the British urban streetwear of choice, this one is definitely for you!
It’s a free exhibition and to catch it, just pop down to:
5th Base Gallery23 Heneage Street, E1 5LJ, London, United Kingdom
Where it is showing from:
Friday 22nd May 2015:
Private Viewing: 19:00pm – 21:00pm
RSVP – firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 23rd May 2015: 12pm – 7pm Sunday 24th May 2015: 12pm – 5pm
Jazzie B (Soul II Soul) / Normski / Helen Hale Art / Krate & Co / Graphatik / Slick Don / RichieRichTheBoyWonder / Nathan Massiah (Founder of Fresh Laces)
It really seems like this is the year for TV show cast reunions with A Different World, The Wonder Years, Boy Meets World (whose reunion has actually come in the form of new series Girl Meets World)… and now Blossom. Did I just hear somebody say ‘Whoa!’? *Joey Russo voice*
Yep, everyone’s favourite floppy-hat-wearing teen (I know I wasn’t the only one that adopted that style back in the day) and her slightly dysfunctional family, (well the actors who played them) made many a 90s kid’s dreams come true when they posed for a reunion pic recently. Well, the family minus the parents Mayim Balik (Blossom), Joey (Joey Lawrence) and Anthony (Michael Stoyanov) and including Blossom’s 1000 word per minute-talking best friend Sixx (Jena von Oy). I mean it would have been just plain wrong to leave out Sixx!
By now it’s old news that popular chat show host Jimmy Fallon has taken over The Tonight Show hosting job from Jay Leno! But no doubt viewers are still buzzing from the antics served up on his debut show, which aired last week featuring A-List actor Will Smith, as a guest, who as well as giving an interview joined Jimmy for a wholly entertaining ‘evolution of hip hop dance’ journey.
Jimmy more than held his own against the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as they performed dances such as The Humpty Dance, The Running Man, The Wop, Twerking and the ‘Carlton Dance’. Hilarious stuff!
Tributes poured in for respected comedy actor and writer Harold Ramis, last night, after the Ghostbusters star passed away at the age of 69, following a long battle with an autoimmune disease. The star will probably be remembered best for playing Egon Spengler in both the Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 movies, but hardcore comedy fans will know that Harold was a veteran writer for the big screen, and along with the Ghostbusters movies , he was responsible for writing and co-writing classic movies such as Animal House, Groundhog Day, Stripes, Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation and Analyze This. He laos wrote for TV and worked on several episodes of the US version of The Office.
With the 30th anniversary of the first Ghostbusters movie coming up this summer – this is very sad! That movie was very popular in my house growing up, as were several of those he wrote the screenplay for! RIP Harold Ramis – your legacy will live on in your brilliant work!
‘Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher Harold Ramis. May he now get the answers he was always seeking’ – Dan Akroyd
‘Sad to hear my friend Harold Ramis passed away. A brilliant, funny, actor and director. A wonderful husband and dad. Big loss to us all’ – Billy Crystal
‘Harold Ramis. Funny, gracious, kind hearted. A joy to have known you’ – Steve Carell
‘Very, very sad to hear that Harold Ramis has died. He was a lovely man and I loved working with him. RIP’ – Elizabeth Hurley
‘Today is a sad day. RIP Harold’ – Rick Moranis
‘Harold Ramis was a brilliant, shining example for every comedy writer hoping to achieve excellence in the field. He will be sorely missed’ – Seth MacFarlane
‘I collect spores, molds, and fungus’ – condolences to the family and friends of the great Harold Ramis’ – Jimmy Kimmel
‘REST IN PEACE Harold Ramis: a continued source of everything funny’ Henry Winkler
‘So sad about Harold Ramis. Comedy legend. And a lovely man’ – Rashida Jones
‘Very sad to hear that we lost Harold Ramis. Exceptionally talented, exceptionally kind’ – Julianne Moore
‘So sorry to hear about the death of Harold Ramis, a comedy master. Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, and more’ – Steve Martin
‘Egon was my favorite Ghostbuster. Feels like we lost one of the Beatles’ -Jason Reitman
‘Harold Ramis. Ugh. this movie. This movie was EVERYTHING #STRIPES’ – Martha Plimpton
‘Stunned and saddened to hear of the death of Harold Ramis. A comedy hero…’ – Stephen Fry
‘So sad about Harold Ramis. His work changed my life and inspired me and made me want to do what I do. Very nice man and a good neighbor too’ – Tom Arnold
‘Sad to hear brilliant comedian, writer & director Harold Ramis has passed. A giant talent & extremely nice man. RIP’ – Pee-wee Herman
THE A TEAM: L-R: Face, Murdock, B.A & (front) Hannibal
‘(Ten years ago / In 1972), a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire… The A-Team.’
I haven’t been as excited about a movie as I am about the NWA biopic in a long time! The casting, the trailer, everything looks so on point, and immediately takes me back to 1988! The movie is released on August 14th over here so the countdown has begun… For me anyway. Check out the two released trailers below, with the latter featuring a cool introduction from members Dr Dre and Ice Cube, along with some interesting cameos. Once again, will you be going to see this movie?
Original story posted: June 19th, 2014
Exciting news this week, as the makers of the highly anticipated NWA biopic announced that they have finally cast the three leads, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and the late Eazy-E, for ‘Straight Outta Compton’, the big screen movie about the legendary gangsta rap-pioneering hip hop outfit. And, thankfully they are all unknown actors!
‘After more than five years, four writers and a tough-to-please trio that holds cast and script veto power, Universal’s N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton” is finally getting the green light.
Sources say the studio has assembled its leading threesome to tackle the roles of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and the late Eazy-E. The three parties with approval – Cube, Dre and Eazy-E’s widow Tomica Wright – have signed off on the actors who will play the core members of the seminal rap group.
It’s no secret that Cube has been lobbying for his son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., 24, to be cast as the teen version of his father, and it appears he got his wish.
Less known is the classically trained actor who is said to have won the role of Dre, Marcus Callender. Although the alum of New York’s Shakespeare Lab at the Public Theater might be more familiar with Chekhov than Compton’s gang-plagued streets, he beat out a phalanx of would-be rappers (the Beats co-founder originally wanted Michael B. Jordan to play him, but the actor is about to take on a Fantastic Four reboot at Fox). Still, Callender has some screen credits, including the pilot for Steve Zaillian’s Criminal Justice on HBO, as well as bit parts in the CBS series Blue Bloods and Elementary.
Even more obscure is Jason Mitchell, who insiders say landed the film’s lead role of Eazy-E after an out-of-the-park screen test. The New Orleans-based actor, who is repped by Talent Connexion, has played small roles in Broken City and Contraband.’
I, for one am very excited about this movie, which has been in development for five years already, with multiple changes in terms of writers and directors! I am also so happy they didn’t just decide to go with a bunch of known actors who they felt would bring in a fan base as the NWA legacy can do that all by itself.
There was talk recently of comedian Katt Williams playing Eazy-E… Hmmm… I can see where they were going with that, but not sure to be honest. Also, I don’t think I could believe Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) in the role of Dr. Dre… He is a good actor and all, but that is way too random for me. Even going by the fact that I felt the same way about Lil Mama playing Left Eye in the TLC movie last year, and then having to admit afterwards that she actually did an amazing job! Choosing fresh-faced actors hopefully means these young men are actually the best people for the job, and they will do the roles justice! The above picture shows (l-r) Oshea Jackson Junior, Jason Mitchell and Marcus Callender, crouching in front of (l-r) Ice Cube, the film’s director F. Gary Gray and Dr. Dre.
Will you be going to see this movie when it finally comes out?
Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy sat down recently, on The Arsenio Hall show, to chat about a possible sequel to their classic 80s movie Coming to America! I’d love to see one personally, but check out what Eddie and Arsenio had to say and their memories on the original film.
Check out the pair on Arsenio’s show back in the day! Below!
US actor James Avery, who played one of my (and millions of others around the world) favourite TV dads of all time, Uncle Phil from the 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel- Air, passed away yesterday after complications with open heart surgery. It was a very sad way to start the New Year, and of course the tributes have been pouring in, most notably from his TV family on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Alphonso Ribiero, who played James’ onscreen son, confirmed the news many fans were hoping was a hoax (a couple of years ago it was rumoured that James had passed, but it was found to be a ruse), yesterday evening by tweeting:
“I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away.
“He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.”
While Jada Pinkett Smith, who is married to the star of the now defunct sit-com, Hollywood actor Will Smith, posted on Facebook:
“Happy New Year everyone! I was hoping to start the new year differently but we have lost yet another friend.
“James Avery who we all lovingly know as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince has passed.
“Our condolences to aunt Florence (his mother), Miss Barbara (his wife) and all those who loved him. Rest in peace James.”
Taytana Ali, who played James’s TV daughter, Ashley Banks also tweeted her condolences, saying: ”James was my teacher my protector & the most magnificent actor. We’re feeling his loss very deeply. He’ll always be a part of me #JamesAvery.”
James Avery served in Vietnam in the US Navy from 1968 to 1969, before he began writing TV scripts and poetry for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). he later appeared in shows such as Greys Anatomy, The Closer and Star Trek: Enterprise, and movies such as Fletch, License to Drive and Doctor Doolittle 2.
A statement issued by his publicist, Tony Benson, said Avery was survived by his wife of 26 years, Barbara, his mother, Florence Avery, and his step-son, Kevin Waters.
The statement added, that James had been working until September 2013 on the Zach Braff film Wish I Was Here, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Below are some clips of the role that fans will most remember James Avery for… Enjoy!
And here is my favourite ever Uncle Phil moment. This scene always makes me cry and let fans of the show know that the actors (James included) on the show weren’t just good at making us laugh – they could tug at a range of emotions, such was their talents! R.I.P James Avery – Your legacy lives on.