Filmmaker Byron Hurt did not have to journey far to find the inspiration for his newest project – "Soul Food Junkies" – which premieres on PBS Jan. 14.
Inspired by his own family's complex relationship with "soul food" – fried chicken, ribs, macaroni and cheese, peach cobbler and the whole panoply of down-home foods made with grease, sugar and love – Hurt asks whether this diet is nurturing or destroying the African-American community.
With humor and heart, Hurt questions the effects of "soul food" on the health of not only African-Americans but all who guiltily consume this most comforting of American comfort foods.
Viola Davis was born on Aug. 11, 1965 on her grandmother's farm in St. Matthews, S. Car., but raised by her parents in Central Falls, R.I. After earning a degree in theater from Rhode Island College in 1988, she did post-graduate work at the prestigious Juilliard School prior to embarking on a critically-acclaimed professional career. Here, she talks about her new film, "Won't Back Down," a female empowerment saga, where she plays Nona Alberts, a jaded teacher who joins forces with a frustrated single-mom (Maggie Gyllenhaal) to turn around an underperforming public school.
For movies opening October 12, 2012
“Argo” (R for profanity and violent images) Ben Affleck directed and stars in this fact-based espionage thriller, set in Teheran during the Iranian Revolution, revolving around a CIA exfiltration specialist who hatches a plan to rescue a half-dozen American diplomats hiding at the home of the Canadian ambassador (Victor Garber). Cast includes Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston and Philip Baker Hall.
Before rap music did the same thing to many major record labels that Toyota did to General Motors, musical artists loudly and regularly complained that the recording industry's systematic control over their output was a major bane to their careers and lives.
Perhaps it was Prince who best brought such dissatisfaction to mainstream attention. During his high-profile war with Warner Brothers, the artist then formally known as The Artist Formally Known As Prince began to appear publicly with the word "Slave" painted on his face.
Hardcore rapper Snoop Dogg, who started out as Snoop Doggy Dogg, has converted to the Rastafarian religion and subsequently decided to change his stage name to Snoop Lion.
In that religion, the "lion" referred to is "the Lion of Judah," from the Old Testament of the Bible, which creators of the religion believed to be a future reference to Haile Selassie, who was emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. (How they came to that conclusion is another story.)
For movies opening October 5, 2012
"Frankenweenie" (PG for scary images, mature themes and action sequences) Oscar-nominee Tim Burton (for Corpse Bride) directed this animated horror comedy about a young boy (Charlie Tahan) whose scientific experiment to bring his beloved pet dog (Frank Welker) back to life results in unintended consequences. Voice cast includes Winona Ryder, Robert Capron, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Landau and Christopher Lee.