Simi Linton’s ‘Invitation to Dance’ to screen at Moscow film festival

by Phillip Witteveen October 24, 2014
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In 1971, Simi Linton was in a car accident. She lost her husband, her best friend, and the use of her legs. From that day on, she was in a new category. Once a dancer, a student, and an activist, now she would have to navigate all of these social places as a disabled person, too, and in an America that didn’t quite know what to think of her. In a word, she did. And with so much personal inertia that she began to align the movement advocating for social justice. Linton holds a Ph.D., has authored several books, and […]

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Guest blog: Maleficent Maternity

by Shaun Manning October 14, 2014
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The following essay was written by Natasha Saje, whose Windows and Doors: A Poet Reads Literary Theory, was published by the University of Michigan Press in August. I don’t expect feminism from Disney, but The New York Times and Salon praised the film Maleficent as “a new kind of story” and “subversive.”  In fact, however, this Sleeping Beauty tale merely replaces the jealous older woman with another stereotype, the selfless mother. And that stereotype is so engrained in U.S. culture, even prominent film reviewers don’t see it. Maleficent, “strongest of the fairies,” is played by Angelina Jolie. In what is symbolically a date rape, Maleficent loses […]

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On Jazz, Poetry, and Hayden Carruth: Talking Shop about the Human Condition

by Phillip Witteveen September 26, 2014
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WPFW, 89.3 FM, is a station that gets into the “mix of jazz, Third World music, news and public affairs.” It is the sound alternative programming makes in the metro D.C. area, “challenging the norm and passionately serving the under-served of our community.” Coming to us in .mp3, a filmy, dulcet jazz bottoms out into the introduction of a very small, very niche radio show with a very specific mandate: “This is your station for jazz and justice.” The show, as it would be revealed, is called “On the Margin.” “And my name,” says the speaker, “is Giovanni Russonello.” “Today,” (says […]

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Craig Maki Featured on Detroit’s Channel 4

by Phillip Witteveen September 12, 2014
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“When you think of music associated with Detroit, you instantly think about Motown, jazz,” says Channel 4 news anchor Guy Gordon.  ”Electronica comes to mind,” he says. “But there’s another genre you need to consider,” says Karen Drew, rounding out the other half of the classic two-anchor combo. “And that is Rockabilly – country, rock and blues combined – and it really has deep roots in Detroit, but not a lot of people realize that.” Channel 4′s Uniquely Detroit then cuts to a potpourri of interview material. The soundbites (sampled from the old stars of the Rockabilly scene) go from Johnny Powers of Utica, […]

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Aldama Announced as Milwaukee Film Festival Keynote Speaker

by Phillip Witteveen September 11, 2014
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Frederick Luis Aldama, author of Mex-Ciné and co-author with Ilan Stavans of !Muy Pop!, will give the keynote speech at the  Milwaukee Film Festival, which runs September 25-October 9. The festival spotlights a different country each year as part of its “Passport” program, and this year will feature eight films set in Mexico, including seven by Mexican filmmakers. Aldama has written extensively on Latino pop culture, reviewing the influence not only of film but also comic books, poetry, and NFL football. “The prodigious Aldama has done it again,” wrote Richard Gordon in response to the Aldama’s latest book with the University of […]

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