Moonlight

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Moonlight is one of the best films of 2016. Recently had the chance to see the film in limited release in NYC. Amazing.

As the line on the poster says, “This is the story of a Lifetime”. The film begins simple enough. But then frame by frame, scene by scene it becomes something much larger, much more profound.

It is told in 3 chapters: Little, Chiron, and Black. Each a different name for the same character. We follow this boy/teen/man through his shy beginnings and are along for the ride of emotional highs and lows. And wow, do you start to root for this character.

It’s one of those films that stays with you. Slowly getting under your skin and suddenly changing your perspective on so many things. The direction is incredible, visual, compelling, like a force of gravity.

Even found myself looking at men of color on the streets in a new way, with more compassion. And a reminder that we don’t know what stories others have lived through. What events have made them who they are today. If we did there would be much more compassion in the world.

Know that it has violence, sexuality, drugs, conflict, beauty, calm, and wonder. And of course much more.

Sure to be up for Best Picture as it currently sits with a 99% Rotten Tomatoes Score.

Do yourself a favor and go see it. It’s remarkable.

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Ashton Sanders in Moonlight, a film directed by Barry Jenkins

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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

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Mark Manson, who I have previously blogged about, has written a book. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. And guess what, it’s pretty awesome.

While the title may be off-putting to some, taking it at its face value, it is in fact an exploration of a counter-intuitive approach to how we can live our lives.

There are so many self-help books out in the world with a variety of messages. What is refreshing about this book and the author’s approach is the embracing of the hard aspects of life. The flaws, limitations, failures, challenges.

Easy to read, thought-provoking, and irreverent.

It’s Finally Here! Two Years In The Making, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Is About to Rock Your Face Off

 

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Hi. I’m Mark.

 

 

Queen of Katwe

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Clearly, I am a big fan of the Disney live action, motivational films. Queen of Katwe is another excellent addition to the roster.

It is a far better film than it should be. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, and Madina Nalwanga. Based on a true story and a book by the same name.

From Google: “Living in the slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) and her family. Her world changes one day when she meets Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), a missionary who teaches children how to play chess. Phiona becomes fascinated with the game and soon becomes a top player under Katende’s guidance. Her success in local competitions and tournaments opens the door to a bright future and a golden chance to escape from a life of poverty.”

It’s directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake) with astonishing care and authenticity. And the performances by the leading actors are really awards worthy. Lupita Nyong’o is truly remarkable and a formidable talent. David Oyelowo and Madina Nalwanga also deliver exceptional work.

And I agree with the NYTimes reviewer, A.O. Scott who writes, “If there is anyone out there capable of remaining unmoved by this true-life triumph-of-the-underdog sports story, I don’t think I want to meet that person.”

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Lupita Nyong’o and Madina Nalwanga star in the triumphant true story QUEEN OF KATWE, directed by Mira Nair.

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The First Monday in May

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Found the documentary The First Monday in May to be mesmerizing. The documentary is about the Met Gala in 2014 which was hosted by Ann Wintour. The film follows the path to the event and all the key players involved; designers, museum curators, assistants, celebrities, and more.

The theme of the event in 2014 was China: Through the Looking Glass. And extraordinary feat for the annual fundraising event. Fascinating to watch all the elements and creative minds come together to produce this large scale extravaganza which takes place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

And what they produce brings up the question of art, what is art, and can fashion be considered art on the level of great works already housed in The Met.

You’ll have to watch and decide for yourself.

Currently available on iTunes and Netflix.

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