As former casting director and a person of color, the subject of casting is matter of marketing not being accurate, at least not when the character is a person of color. I once worked on a popular reality television program where secretly said we are looking for a white family. We let Asian, Latino, and African Americans walk through the door, fill out applications and videotaped interviews knowing they would never be the selected family. From big screen to small screen, casting people of color continues to be an issue. People already get upset which someone of another culture plays someone in their culture or in the Black community when someone lighter or darker plays the part of famous person. Currently this is happening with Zoe Saldana, an afro latina playing the famous dark jazz singer Nina Simone. It happened with Denzel Washington playing Malcom X, Jennifer Lopez(Puerto Rican) playing Selena(Mexican American). Even the heroine Katniss of Hunger Games is described as olive skinned and fan imagined she may be biracial, latina or Native American. Esai Morales(Puerto Rican) plays a Mexican American in La Bamba.
Ironically Esai Morales who has played roles of Mexican characters time after time, posted on his facebook page an article about Hollywood’s Whitewash of characters. He prefaced the article by saying, “Whitewashing has hurt my career options in ways that I can’t even begin to calculate.”
Even if you’ve never heard of Hollywood whitewashing, chances are you’ve seen it anyway. It’s a kind of casting where film studios have placed white actors in lead roles under the assumption that the majority of Americans would rather see a white face than a non-white one—despite what the role calls for. And while Hollywood may not resort to putting actors in blackface anymore, the practice of just bending the race of a character is not an uncommon one. Hence, Jake Gyllenhaal playing a Persian.
Read the More of the artice, 25 Minority Character That Hollywood Whitewashed
You can’t leave the movie theater without thinking this one is an instant classic. It is the story of two sisters, princesses of course. One has magical capabilities but lives with this gift as if it were a curse. In trying to protect her younger sister, they become estranged yet the little sister does not know why. Yes, there is some boy meets girl in the story too.
The music is just waiting to be made a Broadway production. And it is easy to think Broadway with the dazzling vocal ability of Idina Menzel brings the character Elsa to life especially when she sings, Let it Go. Buy the dvd, buy the soundtrack and get to know the new Disney characters. The Frozen is sure to melt some part of your heart.
The Food: The characters desire chocolate but have fun with your kids with this one. Make some snow cream from the first snow or frozen hot chocolate. If you are adult crowd enjoying this flick then pour a glass of ice wine and enjoy.
Rating: Sunny Side Up
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The Wolf of Wall Street is an in your face outrageous looney and often times vulgar ride. It the telling of the real life story of Jordan Belfort. In the 1990s, he founded the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont which functioned as a boiler room marketing penny stocks, where he defrauded investors with fraudulent stock sales All I could think is this is going to be a DVD collectors classic in the likes of Donnie Brasco instead you are watching “corporate gangsters.” Leonardo DiCaprio is utterly amazing as crooked New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort. His physical comedy is hilarious. Matthew McConaughey role is brief but freakishly entertaining. Jonah Hill is also provides an impressive performance. The characters are great and the story keeps you guessing, “What is going to happen next?”
The Food: Guys, if you catch this in movie theaters then a more upscale restaurant may be in order. If this winds up being a movie night at home. Then have some fun with champagne and caviar.
*Advisory: Not for children, nudity, cursing, and sex
Ranking: Sunny Side Up
Recently, I published my long await Best Foodie Film list here on the Multi Cultural Cooking Network Blog and on IMDB. On LinkedIN’s Movie addicts page there was lots of feedback. The Godfather and Godfather 3 have some fantastic foodie moments revolving around meatballs, sausage and gnocchi. Francis Ford Coppola is definitely a foodie. It creeps out with taking the time to do a cooking lesson by the character Clemenza and Michael Corleone in “The Godfather.” Back then we didn’t realize he would start Coppola Winery.
Foodie Moment: Clemenza tells Michael:
Come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you may have to cook for 20 guys some day. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil, you fry some garlic, then you throw in some tomatoes, some tomato paste, you fry it, you make sure it doesn’t stick, you get it to a boil. You shove in all your sausage and your meatballs, add a little bit of wine, and a little bit of sugar — and that’s my trick.
See the gnocchi scene in Godfather 3 (In Italian)
Babette’s Feast one of the best Foodie films ever.
I’ve been meaning to do this for year but apparently Anthony Bourdain has beat me to it. And since I am a fan of the chef and writer. I will defer to him for part of this list of Best Foodie Films. This list has no ranking of one film versus the next. These are simply some of the best foodie films. – Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN Editor (Film and Food Critic)
- Soul Food -The film centers on the trials of an extended African-American family, held together by longstanding family traditions(coming together over Sunday dinner of soul food) which begin to fade as serious problems take center stage
- Chocolat– A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community. Film stars Johnny Depp and Juliet Binoche
- Pressure Cooker -The Documentary follows two semesters of students in a Culinary arts program under the supervision of a no-nonsense Chef/Teacher who helps to push these Philadelphia high school students to excellence in and out of the kitchen.
- Eat Pray & Love – Based on the best selling book of the same name, Julia Roberts stars in a film which partly celebrates Italian Food.
- Kings of Pastry-is a truly thrilling and informative look at the somewhat secretive and incestuous world of French patisserie.
- Last Holiday – stars Queen La’Tifah as woman afraid of her own shadow but loves cooking. When thinks she is facing death, she decides to taste the full flavors of life.
- Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – is based on a children’s book which made its debut in 1978. The weather comes three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is always food and beverages.
- Princess and the Frog– This Disney film is all about a New Orleans gal who wants to open a restaurant. She doesn’t expect a Prince Charming to make her dreams come true.
- Spanglish- This one my sister would probably vote for considering that it is one of her favorite film. Adam Sandler plays a chef. Watch Sandler learn how to make “The World’s Greatest Sandwich”
Bourdain Listing is below. Everything would be a pick of mine but Tempopo because I have never scene it.
It is a bloody means to an end but I am glad I took the journey to see Django Unchained. As a fan of Tarantino’s work it is a must see. The Black Film Critics cirlce has given a thumbs up to film. Despite the torturous unending use of the word, nigger and the gore fest of blood and guts, Tarantino provides a meaningful way of entertainment. Over the years, many African American have grown weary of watching stories of slaves a powerless victims. However, painful it a truth many don’t like to visit. The fictious tale of Django presents a plausible power shift carefuly wrapped in legal technicalities to drive the story.
One of the more poignant aspects of the film includes history. The violent world of Black slaves wrestling is a reality of history and of image of a Black man during slavery times riding a horse is featured. I reasoned with myself what would the issue be of a Black man riding on a horse be. I have rationalized that it may been his ability to look down at whites. According the Chapman University’s Historical Review, “Slave owners kept the horses in closed locations because if slaves were able to steal the horses they could quickly escape from the plantations. Due to these reasons, horseracing was limited. Horsemanship was also the mark of a gentleman.” The Chapman University Historical Review has a great article worth reading entitled, Sports in Shackles: The Athletic and Recreational habits of slaves on Southern plantations. READ MORE
Written by Crystal A. Johnson
See Film and Foodie Review of Django Unchained
Skyfall is a stellar action packed film with back story to boot! Daniel Craig fits Bond like a glove in this well crafted film. The boldly artistic opening sequence establishes a tone like a vortex wrapping around you and bringing you further into the film. The story strings together a series which brings new chapters to the Bond series and closes an old one. New characters enter while old characters exit. Enter, Javier Bardem as a sinister sexually ambilavent villian hell bent on vengeance.
Let the flirtation and 007’s international appetite for women continue. READ MORE
Image from the Chicago Food and Film Festival
It’s baaaaack. NYC Food and Film Festival will take place on October 18th and this time MCCN is a media sponsor. To us it was a natural fit because we feature the film and foodie section on our main website at multiculturalcookingnetwork.com . MCCN’s editor Crystal Johnson is a foodie with a masters degree in English/Screenwriting. Last Year MCCN had the opportunity to cover both the New York and Chicago Festivals.
The Food Film Festival sprang from the imagination of Festival Director George Motz, the documentary filmmaker behind the award-winning Hamburger America film and book, along with co-creator Harry Hawk, formerly of Schnack and Water Taxi Beach. Through documentaries, features and short films, the Festival showcases the best, and the most memorable, of the world’s favorite foods. Along with a heaping helping of mouth-watering films, Motz, Hawk and company serve up the food that guests are watching on the screen for a multi-sensory, full-bodied experience. If your are registered at Multiculturalcookingnetwork.com, you get 10% of the ticket price. Once registered you may access a code. See Details
Tickets are now available. Hope to see you there.http://thefoodfilmfestival.com/tickets-sale-full-event-details-announced/
Read Coverage of NYC Food and Film 2011
Read Coverage of Chicago Food Film 2011
The name is the same. The premise is generally the same but the execution of the story takes a new path while beating to a new drum for a new generation in the remake of Sparkle Instead of Harlem the setting is Detroit. Aside from some familiar songs,Carmen Ejogo (Jefferson in Paris) is the element bringsSparkle of old and new together with her performance as Sista. At time she embodies Lonette McKee yet she offers her own brand to the interpretation. Deep in my heart I wish she was playing opposite the acting chops the likes of the talent Mary Alice, the original woman cast as the mother of the three daughters. However, I understand this was Whitney Houston’s dream to make and it serves as a beautiful goodbye to a beloved singer. READ MORE
Film Producer TD Jakes and Singer/Actress Jordan Sparks
Imran Khan born Imran Pal 13 January 1983 is an Indian American film actor. He is the nephew of actor Aamir Khan and producer-director Mansoor Khan.