The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #33

Ladyhawke: 35th Anniversary

Ladyhawke poster

1985 is alive with Richard Donner’s enchanting gothic fantasy Ladyhawke, screening just in time for its 35th anniversary!

In medieval Europe, Phillipe “The Mouse” Gaston (Matthew Broderick) is a thief who narrowly escapes execution and makes a run for it. He unexpectedly cross paths with the former captain of the guard Navarre (Rutger Hauer) and his hawk, Ladyhawke. Phillipe soon discovers the heartbreaking curse bedeviling Navarre and his lover Isabeau (Michael Pfeiffer) and it falls to him to break the spell and reunite this couple that is “always together, forever apart”.

Nominated for two Academy Awards, Ladyhawke is a visually breathtaking film everyone nostalgic for the 80s should see.


“The film is gorgeous to watch, especially since the quality of light is so central to the plot: Is it afternoon or sunset?” – Eve Tushnet, Patheos.com

“This is a criminally neglected piece of good gothic fairy tale fun.” – Ian Nathan, Empire

“Ladyhawke is a very likeable, very well-made fairytale that insists on a wish for its lovers to live happily ever after.” – Variety

 

 

LINK: https://thefridacinema.org/event/ladyhawke-35th-anniversary/

The Frida Cinema Blog Post #15

The Writer’s Room: Favorite Christmas Films

Olivia Hussey in Black Christmas
Olivia Hussey in Black Christmas.

Every holiday season, one can’t help but look forward to the movies that make the season special. Whether it’s a film from our childhood or a recently discovered gem, these movies make us feel like it really is the most wonderful time of the year. The writers of The Frida Cinema have put together a list of our favorite Christmas films, including movies that deal directly with the holiday or ones that are simply set during Christmas. Regardless of which category they fall into, they make our holiday season that much merrier!


Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas

Trevor Dillon: Four years before the release of John Carpenter’s horror phenomenon Halloween, Bob Clark (Porky’sA Christmas Story) quietly made the first great slasher movie with the original Black Christmas. Awesome performances from Margot Kidder and Olivia Hussey are among the best that the genre has ever produced, but it’s Clark’s steady hand behind the camera and ability to create atmosphere (with help from the holiday season setting) that steals the show. Also, the idea of phone calls from the killer (a trope that would be used throughout the 70s and 80s) is played to perfection here. This one still gets under my skin almost fifty years later.

 

 


Olive the Other Reindeer (1999)

Olive the Other Reindeer

Isa Bulnes-ShawThe Nightmare Before Christmas is my favorite movie period, so I don’t think of it as a Christmastime film per se. Olive, the Other Reindeer, however, is an obscure holiday special close to my heart that just oozes Christmas through and through. It’s about a dog named Olive who loves Christmas but feels out of place. When Santa reveals Blitzen is injured, he announces that Christmas might have to rely on “all of the other reindeer”, which she mishears as “Olive, the other reindeer”. Convinced that she’s actually a reindeer and that Santa needs her help, she journeys to the North Pole with a con-artist penguin named Martini and evading a Christmas-hating mailman determined to thwart her mission.

I watched it at least once every year ever since I can remember – I still remember all the songs despite not having seen it in a few years! Just looking at stills from it makes me nostalgic, taking me back to childhood Christmas seasons and reminding me of other beloved cartoon specials: SpongeBobPowerPuff GirlsFairly OddParentsAnimaniacs, the list goes on!

What always stood out to me most was the art style, which I can now appreciate fully knowing that it’s actually three-dimensional CGI made to look identical to the unique illustrations of the picture book it’s based on. It’s also awesome to know that Matt Groening and Drew Barrymore produced as well as lent their voices to the film. The thing is wholesome on the purest level with a genuine spirit that makes me feel cozy and warm.

 

 


Jingle All The Way (1996)

Jingle All The Way

Adrienne Reese: While I know that Jingle All the Way is considered a bad movie, the 8-year-old in me knows in her little untainted heart thatit’s the greatest Christmas film of all time! As a child of the 90’s that loved action hero TV shows, this movie understood me, and its portrayal of the capitalist ethos underlying Christmas toy frenzies continues to remind me of the Cabbage Patch Kids and Tickle Me Elmo crazes of my day. Arnie, Sinbad, and Phil Hartman (three actors with some of the best comedic timing in the game) star in the movie and spectacularly commit to their performances amidst the utterly ridiculous hijinks going on around them. If you do not like this movie, it’s because you’re watching it wrong – it’s a reindeer-punching, Santa-fighting, weird movie that is not supposed to be taken seriously.

Its screwball comedic style, cheesy one-liners, and heartfelt drama all come together to make the movie lightning in a Christmas snow globe. When it’s Christmas time, that also means it’s “turbo time” for me!

 

 


Tangerine (2015)

Tangerine

Atalia Lopez: Sean Baker’s Tangerine is a somewhat unlikely pick for a Christmas movie, but I always find time to watch it during the holidays. Notable for its use of the iPhone 5S for all principal photography, Tangerine is a raw look at the city of Los Angeles from the vantage point of its protagonists, Sin-Dee and Alexandra. The two friends (who are both trans prostitutes of color) reconnect the morning of Christmas Eve after Sin-Dee’s release from a brief stint in jail. When it’s revealed that Sin-Dee’s fiancé and pimp has been cheating on her while she was locked up, Sin-Dee embarks on an odyssey across the city to track down the “other woman” in the space of one day.

With the exception of a few short trips on public transit, the journey shows us the streets up close and we follow the characters as they navigate the city on foot. This reflects the imbalance of power that the women experience through the clear connection between transportation, power, and autonomy: the johns have cars, while the girls do not. Unlike other notable Los Angeles movies like ChinatownBlade RunnerSunset Boulevard, etc., the streets are not a blur that pass by in the background but are the domain of these characters.

Ultimately though, Tangerine is a film about friendship and family – both the family we have and the family we choose.

 

 


National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Christmas Vacation

Reggie Peralta: A lot of words come to mind when one thinks of National Lampoon: “wholesome” isn’t one of them. Yet somehow, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation proves to be one of the most wholesome holiday movies of the 80s, if not all time. Not in the sense that there aren’t crude jokes or profanities: there are, but the movie isn’t just a pretext for them to be made. Rather, the film has a surprisingly warm tone that contrasts with the mean-spiritedness you might expect from a Christmas comedy aimed at adults.

This is thanks in no small part to the dynamic between Clark and Ellen Griswold. Played by Chevy Chase as an everyman constantly pushed to his breaking point, Clark is a hero for the modern age while Beverly D’Angelo is a fitting foil as the supremely supportive Ellen, effortlessly defusing her husband’s rants and outbursts and standing by him as he tries to put on the best Christmas yet. The perfect blend of sentiment and satire, Christmas Vacation makes for hilarious, highly rewatchable viewing.

 

 


Babes in Toyland (aka March of The Wooden Soldiers) (1934)

Babes in Toyland

Justina Bonilla: Among all the magical Christmas films that give me a warm and fuzzy feeling, my favorite is legendary comedic duo Laurel and Hardy’s musical comedy Babes in Toyland. Based on the 1903 operetta of the same name, the operetta gave life to the beloved Christmas songs “Toyland” and “March of the Toy Solders”. Other adaptations were made over the years such as Disney’s 1961 version starring Annette Funicello and a 1986 production featuring then-child stars Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves, but none speak to me the way the original does.

Babes in Toyland follows goofy toymakers Ollie De (Hardy) and Stanley Dum (Laurel), who live in Toyland with their sister Little Bo-peep and their mother Widow Peep. Though Bo-Peep is in love and engaged to Tom-Tom, the greedy and shrewd Barnaby wants Bo-Peep for himself. Despite Barnaby’s dastardly attempts to force Bo-Peep to marry him, he is outsmarted by the screwball antics of Laurel and Hardy and resorts to summoning the monsters of Bogeyland to attack Toyland. It ends up falling up to our two unlikely heroes to save the day.

A fun musical filled with cutting edge special effects, dark fairy tale elements and hilarious slapstick comedy, Babes in Toyland is essential viewing for every Christmas in my home and will be for many years to come.

 

 


Joyeux Noel (2005)

Joyeux Noel

Sean Woodard: Based on a true story, Joyeux Noël focuses on the ceasefire between French, Scottish, and German forces on the Western Front on Christmas Eve in 1914. I believe one of the film’s strengths is the filmmaker’s choice to have each actor speak their native language rather than dub them. This language barrier makes the eventual bond over music and celebrating Mass more impactful. The contrast between the camaraderie they share for one day and the consequences the soldiers face following their unofficial truce is heartbreaking. While some may argue that the film is overly sentimental, the film reminds us that the ties that bind us together are stronger than the forces that try to tear them apart.

 

 


Tokyo Godfathers(2003)

Tokyo Godfathers

Sammy TrujilloTokyo Godfathers is a lovely holiday film because it takes the common tropes found in Christmas films and turns them on their head. The three wise men in the film are not kings but vagrants living on the streets of Tokyo. They are not royalty but societal outcasts in the form of a trans woman, an alcoholic, and a teen runaway. While most Christmas films have a miracle towards the finale to solve any remaining conflict, Tokyo Godfathers relies heavily on coincidences so unlikely that one must assume divine intervention is at play. Most importantly, the three protagonists have all abandoned their families and instead find comfort and love in the makeshift family to protect each other from the cruel world that mistreats them. It’s a Christmas film that wins over even the biggest of Scrooges like myself!

 

 

LINK: https://thefridacinema.org/the-writers-room-favorite-christmas-films/

Latin Heat Entertainment #2

Latino Films Inducted To The National Film Registry

By Justina Bonilla

Since 1988, the National Library of Congress’ National Film Registry has chosen 25 films a year to preserve for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. This list in the past has inducted iconic and groundbreaking films from To Kill a Mockingbird to The Godfather and Disney’s Snow White. The 2019 film inductions are more diverse than ever, with ten films directed and/or featuring ethnic talent, including five Latino/Hispanic talent.

Director/Writer Luis Valdez
Writer Josefina Lopez

Inducted this year, are two highly regarded films in Latino American and Chicano cinema, Zoot Suit and Real Women Have CurvesZoot Suit is the second film written and directed by the Father of Chicano theater Luis ValdezReal Women Have Curves is a modern classic by Chicana playwright Josefina Lopez, who created the story and co-wrote the screenplay.  Both Real Women Have Curves and Zoot Suit began as plays, showing the significant influence of plays in Latino American film history.

Latino/Hispanic talent was also featured in other inducted films, namely Purple Rain (leading actress Apollonia Kotero), Boys Don’t Cry (actress Hillary Swank), and Platoon (actor Charlie Sheen).

Past inductees featuring significant Latino/Hispanic stories and/or talent include:

 

West Side Story Rita Moreno, Jose de Vega
The Revenge of Pancho Villa Edmundo Padillo (Dir)
Dracula (Spanish Version) Lupita Tovar
Ben Hur(Silent Version) Ramon Novarro (Lead)
Stand & Deliver Edward James Olmos
El Mariachi Robert Rodriguez (Dir)
Chulas Fronteras Doc Mexican Border Music
High Noon Katy Jurado (Lead)
Night of the Living Dead George Romero (Dir)
Gilda Rita Hayworth
Salt of the Earth Rosaura Revueltas, Juan Chacon
El Norte Gregory Nava (Dir.)
La Bamba Luis Valdez (Dir)

In 2018, the National Film Registry faced criticism, due to its lack of diversity in its list of 750 films. According to TIME Magazine Only 36 films were directed by people of color. Now, the National Film Registry is adding more films with ethnic talent behind and in front of the camera. Solidifying the importance and impact of ethnic talent and stories in American cinema. Contributions that have been overlooked for years, due to preferences for non-ethnic stories and limited and/or stereotypical ethnic roles.

Latino oriented films and significant films with Latino talent that should be evaluated for consideration by the National Film Registry for induction include:

 

Alambrista Domingo Ambriz, Trinidad Silva
American Me Edward J. Olmos (Dir. & Actor), Sal Lopez
Blood In Blood Out Benjamin Bratt, Jessie Borrego, Enrique Castillo
Born In East L.A. Cheech Marin (Writer, Director, Actor)
Crossover Dreams Leon Ichaso (Dir.), Ruben Blades
Desperado Robert Rodriguez (Dir), Antonio Banderas
Kiss of the Spider Woman Hector Babenco (Dir.), Raul Julia
Mi Familia Gregory Nava (Dir.), Jimmy Smits, JLO
Requiem for a Heavyweight Anthony Quinn
Selena Gregory Nava (Dir.), Jennifer Lopez
The Book of Life Jorge Gutierrez (Dir.), Zoe Saldana
The Bronze Screen Nancy de Los Santos (Dir. +2)
The Girl From Mexico Lupe Velez
The Three Caballeros Aurora Miranda, Carmen Molina

Significant Films featuring Latino talent:

The Goucho Lupe Velez
Ocean’s 11 (’60) Cesar Ramiro, Henry Silva, Sammy Davis Jr.
Star Trek II: Wrath of Kahn Ricardo Montalban
Anna Lucasta Sammy Davis Jr.
The Fugitive Dolores del Rio, Pedro Armendariz

LINK: https://www.latinheat.com/spotlight-news/latino-films-inducted-to-the-national-film-registry/

The Frida Cinema Blog Post #14

Top 5 Christmas Horror Films

Black Christmas + 2 Other Christmas Horror Movies screen Friday, December 27th

Gremlins Gizmo

In honor of the 45th anniversary of the slasher horror classic Black Christmas, I’d like to take a look at five Christmas-themed films that every horror fan should see!


Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)

Anna and the Apocalypse poster

A Christmas musical, Anna and the Apocalypse is filled with holiday cheer, zombies, and blood galore. A zombie apocalypse breaks out in a quaint Scottish town, with the majority of residents being infection. Schoolgirl Anna and a handful of her classmates attempt to find their loved ones and escape while also dealing with teenage struggles. A Breakfast Club meets Dawn of the Dead and White Christmas, it’s a unique cinematic experience that will undoubtedly become a horror holiday classic.

 

 


Krampus (2015)

Krampus poster

A modern take on the European Christmas folk tradition, Krampus introduces a new generation to the legendary demon. When the dysfunctional Engel family gathers for Christmas, their resentment and hatred for each other leads to the loss of the Christmas spirit. This summons Krampus, who seeks to terrorize the family and drag them all – even the children – to hell. Now, the Engels must put aside their differences and and come up with a way to beat the beast and survive the night. A great Christmas horror film, Krampus is one to watch snuggled up with loved ones.

 

 


Silent Night, Deadly Night(1984)

Silent Night Deadly poster

One of the most controversial and heavily protested films of the 1980s, Silent Night, Deadly Night offended family groups with its depiction of a murderous Santa in advertisements. After witnessing the death of his parents by an assailant in a Santa outfit, Billy is sent to live in an abusive orphanage. When he grows up and leaves the orphanage, Billy snaps and goes on a murderous rampage dressed as Santa. Although other movies depicting a killer Santa came out before this one, the backlash for Silent Night led the studio to pull the commercial from television and ultimately, the film itself from theaters. However, it became a cult classic beloved by horror fans to this day.

 

 


Gremlins(1984)

Gremlins poster

An unlikely horror-comedy classic, Gremlins has become more beloved with every passing Christmas. After being given an unusual pet in the form of the Mogwai Gizmo, Billy doesn’t follow the care instructions for the creature. This leads to the creation of an army of Gremlins who take over the town. It’s up to Billy and Gizmo, with a little help from their friends, to defeat the mischievous monsters. It’s a visually and musically incredible experience, as well as one that features one of the cutest creatures in film ever.

 

 


Black Christmas(1974)

Black Christmas poster

Nine years before Bob Clark directed the comedy classic A Christmas Story, he helmed Black Christmas, the quintessential holiday horror. A group of female college students throw a Christmas party at their sorority house during winter break. After receiving an obscene and threatening phone call, one of them goes missing. Soon, more sorority sisters are killed and the calls continue, leading them to suspect that this phantom killer and the phone caller might be the same person. A trailblazing film, Black Christmas established many signatures of the horror genre today with its plot twist and visual styles.

 

 

Link: https://thefridacinema.org/top-5-christmas-horror-films-to-see/

The Frida Cinema Blog Post #13

The Irishman: A Modern Scorsese Masterpiece

The Irishman

Martin Scorsese made a name for himself writing and directing realistic dramas like Casino and Goodfellas. At first glance, one might see The Irishman as just another gritty gangster movie, filled with Scorsese signatures such as Catholic imagery, familiar actors, and intense attention to on-camera details. However, Scorsese reaches new heights with this film, examining brotherhood, family, and coming to terms with one’s own mortality. It’s a melodrama beautifully realized by Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, three titans of crime cinema.

De Niro himself described The Irishman as “…a classic story about loyalty, about brotherhood and betrayal. But a betrayal for a reason that people can understand.” Said story is based on the nonfiction book I Heard you Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, a former criminal investigator. It chronicles the life of Frank Sheeran, a union driver turned hitman for the Bufalino crime family who also, supposedly, played a key role in the disappearance of teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa.

The film opens in the 1970s as Sheeran (Robert De Niro) drives his friend Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and their wives to a wedding. The trip is accompanied by narration from Sheeran about his life with the mafia, from his chance meeting with Bufalino in the mid-50s and becoming an alleged established hitman to his complex relationship with Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). Eventually they make it to the wedding when Hoffa suddenly disappears. When no trace of Hoffa can be found, everyone suspected of being involved with his disappearance either dies or goes to jail for unrelated crimes. After Sheeran is released from jail, he’s left to face the consequences of his actions as well as his own demise.

 

The Irishman

 

In order to capture a vast age range for the film’s main cast, Scorsese and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto used CGI to de-age the actors. At first, many were concerned about how the actors would look, as other attempts at CGI de-aging in other films looked extremely fake. The moment the movies goes back in time however, you can’t help but be surprised at how much the main actors look like they did in iconic, earlier roles of theirs in movies like The Godfather Part III and A Bronx Tale. The CGI is seamless, with it making you forget at times that De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci are all in their mid-to-late 70’s.

Seeing De Niro, Pacino and Pesci act together in a Scorsese film is a joy for many who grew up watching their films. Funnily enough, Pesci hadn’t acted in anything for 10 years when he was asked by De Niro to be in the movie. It’s very fortunate that Pesci agreed to come out of retirement for the film as it wouldn’t have been as impactful without his supporting performance. He solidifies this remarkable acting trinity with his calm yet commanding presence. Also making appearances are an array of famous comedians, including Ray Romano as the teamster attorney Bill Bufalino and cameos by Sebastian Maniscalco as Joseph ‘Crazy Joe’ Gallo and Jim Norton as the legendary comedian Don Rickles.

Thanks to Netflix funding the project and allowing Scorsese the creative freedom to make it the way he imagined, the movie gives viewers both the comfort of a Scorsese film and the experience of seeing a new creative venture. It’s already recognized by the Board of Review as the Best Film of 2019 and listed on AFI’s Motion Pictures of the Year 2019 list. Without a doubt, this movie will be nominated in several Oscar categories and hopefully win a few.

Though the film is almost three-and-a-half hours long, it kept my attention the whole time. I was drawn immediately into the story and floored at how fast it went by, keeping me mesmerized for every minute. Filled with nostalgia, suspense, great music, relatable characters and beautiful imagery, The Irishman is sure to be remembered as one of Scorsese’s best films ever.

 

 

Link: https://thefridacinema.org/the-irishman-a-modern-scorsese-masterpiece/

The Frida Cinema Blog Post #12

Director of the Month: John Waters

John Waters

Celebrate this holiday season with a dash of filth courtesy of John Waters, the Prince of Puke and our Director of the Month!

From a young age Waters was attracted to the strange and macabre. His desire to be in show business started following a guest appearance in the “peanut gallery” on the classic children’s television show Howdy Doody. While most children might become disillusioned when seeing how their favorite television show functions, Waters saw this and wanted it to be his life. At the tender age of ten he put on local puppet shows, enchanting the neighborhood children. Then at sixteen, his grandmother gave him his first camera, starting Waters’ early experimentation as a director.

Despite being kicked out of NYU film school, Waters was not deterred from his passion for film. With the help of a loan from his parents and the participation of his band of misfits, including the shockingly glamorous Divine, Waters created Pink Flamingos, an underground masterpiece described as an “exercise in poor taste”. This unexpected hit catapulted Waters career, establishing him as a godfather of both modern social satire and American indie films.

Waters uses film to criticize social norms with tongue-in-cheek humor, whether it’s a cult favorite from his Trash Trilogy or an upbeat musical like Hairspray. He fought film censorship and forced audiences to question their beliefs, stances that took on further significance in light of Waters’ status as a gay man. Using his platform for gay rights and pride, he became an important voice for LGBT cinema and culture in America at a time when being gay was demonized and even criminalized in some jurisdictions.

Today, Waters is a pioneer of cinema along such giants from his generation as Martin Scorsese and George Lucas. All hail the Duke of Dirt for making filth look so fabulous!

 

 

Polyester (1981)

Polyester

Catch a whiff of “Odorama” with Polyester, a comic classic from the Pope of Filth!

Hefty housewife Francine (Divine) and her extremely dysfunctional family, are the black sheep of their middle upper-class Baltimore suburb. With her adult movie theatre owner husband cheating on her, their delinquent teenage children running amok, and her cocaine-sniffing superficial mother constantly berating her weight, Francine turns to alcohol. Suddenly, her life and family begin to turn around as she starts a romance with the dashing Todd Tomorrow (Tab Hunter), but is this new romance really all it’s cracked up to be?

Presented with scratch-n-sniff Odorama cards, Polyester is truly a film experience unlike anything you’ve ever smelled!

Written by Justina Bonilla

 

 

Desperate Living (1980)

Desperate Living poster

Live a little with Desperate Living, the second installment in Waters’ Trash Trilogy!

Wealthy housewife Peggy Gravel and housekeeper Grizelda Brown are on the lam after murdering Peggy’s husband. After the pair are arrested and assaulted by panty-sniffing policeman Turkey Joe, they find themselves in a town called Mortville where they get entangled with the sex-change-seeking wrestler Mole McHenry. All the while, the town’s tyrannical ruler Queen Carlotta continues to terrorize her subjects, with Peggy and Grizelda now in the thick of it.

Widely considered a staple of the queer horror genre, Desperate Living is a hilariously twisted offering from Waters.

Written by Isa Bulnes-Shaw

 

 

Pink Flamingos + Female Trouble Double Feature

Pink Flamingos poster

Wrapping up this month’s holiday filth-tacular is a double feature of Waters’ funniest and filthiest films, Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble.

An infamous celluloid counter-culture explosion, Pink Flamingos stars regular John Waters collaborator and legendary drag queen Divine as an exaggerated version of her outrageous self. In this case, she’s a trash-talking hedonist who fancies herself “the filthiest person alive” and lives in a motor home with her mad hippie son Crackers, her “traveling companion” Cotton, and her infantile mother Edie, who spends her days gorging on eggs in a giant crib. When Baltimore locals Connie and Raymond Marble – “two jealous perverts” who sell heroin to schoolchildren and kidnap and impregnate female hitchhikers – decide that they themselves are “the filthiest people alive,” this sets off an epic battle of wills that culminates in a shocking climax and a most infamous final scene.

Divine returns in Female Trouble, her second shamefully side-splitting collaboration with Waters. This rollercoaster adventure follows the life of bad girl teen Dawn Davenport (Divine), who only wants a pair of cha-cha heels for Christmas. When she doesn’t get them, Dawn runs away, gets pregnant, and falls into a life of crime with her high-school pals Chiclette and Concetta. Through a series of comedically deplorable events including an acid attack to the face, Dawn becomes a model for two deranged salon owners, playing into her notion that “crime and beauty are the same.”

Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble are both rated NC-17. No one under 17 will be admitted and viewer discretion is strongly advised.

Written by Justina Bonilla

 

Link: https://thefridacinema.org/director-of-the-month-john-waters/

 

Latin Heat Entertainment #1

 

Latin GRAMMY: 20 Years of Excellence

By Justina Bonilla

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Latin GRAMMY Awards, The GRAMMY Museum with the Latin Recording Academy debuted the first permanent Latin music gallery of Los Angeles, the Latin GRAMMY: 20 Years of Excellence, on November 18, 2019. To further recognize the importance of this event, L.A. City Council proclaimed November 18th, 2019 “Latin GRAMMY Day”.

As Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy and host of this monumental event announced, “Latin music is a worldwide influence and we are honored to partner with the GRAMMY Museum to showcase the talented musicians, monumental Latin music moments, and significant milestones that have contributed to its popularity…and look to the feature to showcase this beautiful art form”.

Michael Sticka, President of the Grammy Museum also added, “Our expanded partnership with The Latin Recording Academy will significantly increase the GRAMMY Museum’s impact by creating a consistent presence dedicated to celebrating the many genres of Latin music”.

A year of planning and months of construction for this two-million-dollar project has created a breathtaking exhibit on the third floor of the first Grammy Museum, established in 2008.  The exhibit displays an array of memorabilia highlighting two decades of the Latin GRAMMY show and its most iconic performances and special moments. This exhibit also features the cultural and social impact of this music nationally and internationally.

On hand for the unveiling were (Pictured in the featured photo), Gabriel Abaroa Jr., The Latin Recording Academy® President/CEO; Christian NodalÁngela AguilarGiselle FernándezMichael Sticka, President of the GRAMMY Museum®; supervisor Hilda Solis, and Albert Lord (Los Angeles City Council)

Highlighted memorabilia of the exhibit include:

Juan Gabriel’s outfit from his show-stopping 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards performance.

Ricky Martin’s shirt from his musically innovative performance with the Blue Man Group, at the Latin GRAMMY Awards:

And the first professional drum set of Mana’s drummer Alex Gonzales. Plus, many other featured iconic artists, such as Gloria and Emilio Estefan Jr.ShakiraJulio IglesiasThaliaLos Tigres del Norte, and Sheila E.

The Latin Recording Academy (previously known as the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) was founded in 1997, by the Recording Academy (previously known as the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences) responsible for the GRAMMY awards. It was created as a response to properly cover the vast and growing diversity of Latin music genres.

The first Latin GRAMMY Awards were held on September 13, 2000, with 39 categories. Today, it’s grown to an astounding 50 categories!

Having this exhibit in Los Angeles is monumental, due to this city being both “The entertainment capital of the world”, and the American city with the largest Hispanic/Latino population of 4.9 million (Pew, 2018).  A further donation by the Latin Academy, over half a million dollars, will be used over a three-year period to further extend this exhibit and other “Latin-inspired exhibits”. Further emphasizing the cultural and social influence Latinos and Latin music has had on the city and the music industry.

This historical exhibit is now open to the public as of November 20th, 2019 to Spring 2020. A must-see for anyone who’s passionate about music, L.A. culture, history, and/or the Latino experience.

For further information: https://www.grammymuseum.org/exhibits/latin-grammy-20-years-of-excellence

 

LINK: https://www.latinheat.com/events/latin-grammy-20-years-of-excellence/

The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #32

Polyester

Polyester poster

Adding a whiff of “Odorama” to Frida After Dark is Polyester, a comic classic from Director of the Month John Waters.

Hefty housewife Francine (Divine) and her extremely dysfunctional family, are the black sheep of their middle upper-class Baltimore suburb. With her adult movie theatre owner husband cheating on her, their delinquent teenage children running amok, and her cocaine-sniffing superficial mother constantly berating her weight, Francine turns to alcohol. Suddenly, her life and family begin to turn around as she starts a romance with the dashing Todd Tomorrow (Tab Hunter), but is this new romance really all it’s cracked up to be?

Presented with scratch-n-sniff Odorama cards, Polyester is truly a film experience unlike anything you’ve ever smelled.


“Only John Waters would think of marrying Douglas Sirk melodrama to William Castle showmanship.” – Matt Brunson, Film Frensy

“Polyester is definitely one of Water’s best films, and I highly recommend attending an ‘Odorama’ screening for a unique night at the movies.” – Mark Stafford, Electric Sheep

Polyester

 

 

LINK: https://thefridacinema.org/event/polyester/

The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #31

Pink Flamingos + Female Trouble Double Feature

Pink Flamingos poster

Wrapping up Director of the Month John Water’s holiday filth-tacular is a double feature of his funniest and filthiest films, Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble.

 

Pink Flamingos

An infamous celluloid counter-culture explosion, Pink Flamingos stars regular John Waters collaborator and legendary drag queen Divine as an exaggerated version of her outrageous self. In this case, she’s a trash-talking hedonist who fancies herself “the filthiest person alive” and lives in a motor home with her mad hippie son Crackers, her “traveling companion” Cotton, and her infantile mother Edie, who spends her days gorging on eggs in a giant crib. When Baltimore locals Connie and Raymond Marble – “two jealous perverts” who sell heroin to schoolchildren and kidnap and impregnate female hitchhikers – decide that they themselves are “the filthiest people alive,” this sets off an epic battle of wills that culminates in a shocking climax and a most infamous final scene.

 

Female Trouble

Divine returns in Female Trouble, her second shamefully side-splitting collaboration with Waters. This rollercoaster adventure follows the life of bad girl teen Dawn Davenport (Divine), who only wants a pair of cha-cha heels for Christmas. When she doesn’t get them, Dawn runs away, gets pregnant, and falls into a life of crime with her high-school pals Chiclette and Concetta. Through a series of comedically deplorable events including an acid attack to the face, Dawn becomes a model for two deranged salon owners, playing into her notion that “crime and beauty are the same.”

Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble are both rated NC-17.

No one under 17 will be admitted and viewer discretion is strongly advised.

The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #30

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Nightmare Before Christmas poster

Frida After Dark is making Christmastime with Henry Selick’s macabre holiday tale The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, grows tired of the holiday and wishes to try something new. When he accidentally comes across Christmas Town, he is inspired by what he sees and decides to put his own twist on the wintertime celebration. With the help of his friends, they make Christmas their own, but with decidedly disastrous results.

Filled with breathtaking stop-motion imagery, The Nightmare Before Christmas is an unconventional take on the holiday season as well as one of producer Tim Burton’s most beloved films.


“Part Avant-garde art film, part amusing but morbid fairy tale, it is a delightfully ghoulish holiday musical that displays more inventiveness in its brief 75 minutes than some studios can manage in an entire year” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“Burton and his collaborators present a movie musical that’s unlike nothing you’ve sever seen.” – Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel

“Visually a macabre knockout, this 75-minute fantasy boasts some of the wittiest, most vigorous stop-motion animation effects in the history if the process.” – John Hartl, Seattle Times