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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Spike Lee's Environmentalism: Science Fiction

AAEA President Norris McDonald met Spike Lee in Washington, DC where he was signing his new biography by Kaleem Aftab, That's My Story and I'm Sticking To It. Spike is planning a documentary on Hurricane Katrina's impact on New Orleans. McDonald suggested that he consider including climate change in the documentary.

AAEA-Hollywood noticed that Spike has not made movies with environmental or science fiction themes. His biography states that he did produce a 16mm science fiction film when he was in college called She Wore Black Shoes, which, "featured a woman with nice legs who wore black stockings and carried slime in here purse. Anybody who got touched by the slime would die instantly." We think it would be great if Spike made a science fiction movie with an environmental theme.
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Saturday, October 22, 2005

2005 Black Movie Awards

Film Life's 2005 Black Movie Awards was hosted by Cedric "The Entertainer" and honored the best in Black cinema, both in front of and behind the camera - - past, present and future. Broadcast on the TNT cable channel, executive producers were Jeff Friday, CEO of Film Life and Suzanne de Passe, CEO of de Passe Entertainment.

Sidney Poitier received the Distinguished Career Achievement Award and the Color Purple was inducted into the Black Movie Awards Classic Cinema Hall of Fame. The ceremony was taped at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on Oct. 9.
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Friday, October 21, 2005

Bruce Willis - Apocalyptic Environmentalist?

AAEA President Norris McDonald recently met Bruce Willis at an event honoring him for his commitment to the environment -- notwithstanding EPA hassling him in Idaho. The event on Randall's Island, in the shadow of Manhattan, made McDonald consider the constrast between the environmentalist Bruce Willis and the apocalyptic environmentalist he portrayed (James Cole) in the movie, '12 Monkeys.' The film begins in our future in the year 2035, and presupposes that the surface of the earth has become uninhabitable by humans due to a viral plague that wiped out 5 billion people beginning in 1996, leaving less than 1% of the world's population to survive in a harsh life underground. The post-apocalyptic scenes of the underground society were shot in an abandoned power plant.

In the year 2035, a team of underworld scientists "volunteer" prison inmate James Cole (played by Bruce Willis) for a special mission: to return in time and find the source of the pure virus, so that a cure might be found that would return humankind to the surface of the earth. The abuses in the minds of lunatic environmental activists are rampant consumerism, animal exploitation and environmental devastation. These abuses are brought to light mainly through the character of Jeffrey Goines (played by Brad Pitt), the mentally ill son of a famous virologist, animal activist and the organizer of "The Army of the Twelve Monkeys."

While detained in a mental asylum with Coles, Goines points to a television and explains the sin of consumerism. As the manic mental patient, Mr. Pitt created a vivid character full of tics and tirades. It is Goines' colleague, the assistant of Goines' virologist father, who steals and purposefully releases the virus that kills 5 billion people. Cole is a messiah figure who ultimately suffers mental derangement by trying to bridge two worlds and ultimately fails to avert the plague of 1996, and in the end cannot even save himself. At the last moment he puts together the actual cause of the disease, reports it, and gets himself killed in an attempt to stop a man from carrying samples of the original virus onto an airplane. The story is brought to a full circle as the young Cole sees his future self shot dead at an airport. In a final scene one of the scientists is shown taking a seat on an airplane next to the man in posession of the original virus, and introducing herself as "in insurance". We are left to conclude that Cole's mission was a success, and provided some hope of salvation for the humanity of his era.

Although some of Bruce's other films, such as 'The Fifth Element' and 'Armageddon,' also have environmental themes and subtexts, '12 Monkeys' is the deepest. And it doesn't hurt that Bruce is one of the coolest actors in Hollywood. He is also not above 'sending up' self righteous, elitist environmentalists in roles: In the opening of 'Armageddon,' Bruce Willis is atop an offshore oil rig amusing himself by driving golf balls at environmental protesters buzzing around below in their zodiac boats.

It is being reported that Halle Berry and Bruce Willis will film a thriller in 2006.
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Saturday, October 15, 2005

A CIVIL ACTION: A Quintessential Environmental Litigation Film

Jan Schlittman (John Travolta) is a humble, cynical, successful, bachelor lawyer with a nice car, a nice house, and a career that has amassed huge rewards. He agrees to represent eight families whose children died from leukemia after two large corporations leaked toxic chemicals into the water supply of Woburn, Massachusetts, even though the case could mean financial, and career suicide for him.

Jan thinks it is one more case he can easily knock out of the park and make a fortune, as well as a name for himself and his firm. With a class action lawsuit to file, Jan willingly puts himself and his firm as representatives of those families. However, it's one case that could ruin Jan: his pride, his ambition, and ultimately, his career.

James Gandolfini portrays a victim in this film -- it was 1998 before his Soprano's fame. Robert Duval plays an evil defense lawyer (what else is new). John Lithgow is the judge. We hate litigation at AAEA. Interesting too that the name of the company, Beatrice, was the name of one of the largest black-owned firms in history (Owner: Reginald Lewis).
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Thursday, October 13, 2005

James Brown, Prince & MJ on Same Stage: Energy to Burn

You might not believe it, but click on the link below to see James Brown bring Michael Jackson and Prince up on stage with him.
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Saturday, October 08, 2005


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Friday, October 07, 2005

Michael Jackson, Katrina & Oil

After the trial, Michael Jackson took his two sons and daughter to Bahrain, an island off the coast of Saudi Arabia. It is an oil-rich country about 3 times the size of Washington, DC. The heir to the Bahrain kingdom is generously hosting Jackson and evidently helping to finance his comeback. Michael Jackson is evidently using this oil money to produce a song, From The Bottom Of My Heart, to benefit victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Published reports say that Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, son of the king of Bahrain, owns the label (2 Seas Records) where the song will be recorded. It is also being reported that he has bought a house on 14 acres in Bahrain.

Although the name appears all kinds of ways, according to the CIA The World Fact Book, here is the hierarchy: chief of state: King HAMAD bin Isa Al Khalifa (since 6 March 1999); Heir Apparent Crown Prince SALMAN bin Hamad (son of the monarch, born 21 October 1969)
head of government: Prime Minister KHALIFA bin Salman Al Khalifa (since 1971)

Performers rumored to be participating on the song include: James Brown, Jaz-Z, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Lenny Kravitz, R. Kelly, Snoop Dogg, Ciara, Mariah Carey, Wyclef Jean, Lauren Hill, Yolanda Adams, Babyface, and the O'Jays.
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Desperate Housewives Mirror U.S. Energy Dysfunction

Just as the wacky inhabits of Wisteria Lane on the hit TV show Desperate Housewives want happiness, they seem to do everything in their power to prevent being happy. Notwithstanding the stereotypical slutty latina with a criminal husband and the young black male carrying a gun to feed a mysterious missing father figure hidden in the basement, the pristine suburbs are straight Americana. The whites on the show are pretty dysfunctional too, with murderers, slutty SWF, nutty kids and fornicators everywhere. A typical manicured, SUV-in-the-driveway suburb?

Well isn't this like our energy situation in America. We want energy conservation and freedom from being addicted to foreign oil, yet we salivate for huge homes and SUVs. We don't want a gas pipeline, powerplant or factory near us, but we want 6 televisions, 3 cars, 3 computers, cell phone chargers, printers and every other gadget we can think of in our homes. We say we want solar and wind power when we know it will not work to provide enough electricity. We fear nuclear power when it emits no polluting gases. Nobody wants a coal fired electric power plant in their neighborhood but coal provides 50 % of the nation's electricity. Our energy behavior is right out of Wisteria Lane.
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Monday, October 03, 2005

Luther Vandross Songs

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