Interview with Filmmaker Justin Simien in Philly - DEAR WHITE PEOPLE

Saturday, October 18, 2014

 Tinsel and Tine would like to introduce a new Blog Contributor - Mikhail Revlock 

who's first assignment was to cover the interview with writer/director Justin Simien

Justin Simien’s Dear White People  (click for trailer) follows the lives of four black students during a racially charged semester at the Harvard-esque Winchester University. Sam White (Tessa Thompson), accustomed to dishing out satirical advice as the host of the titular radio show, attains new found clout when she is elected president of her traditionally black residence hall, Armstrong Parker House. Troy Fairbanks (Brandon P. Bell), the well-liked son of the dean (Dennis Haysbert), struggles to meet the high expectations of his father while concealing his weed habit and joke-writer aspirations. Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams), a “technically black” Mumford & Sons fan finds acceptance at the all-white student newspaper when he volunteers to cover the growing civil unrest at Armstrong Parker. Colandrea “Coco” Conners (Teyonah Parris) films a viral video about the proper use of the word “weave,” and plots to exploit the burgeoning tension for reality television.

Filmgoers expecting a traditional black college film in the vein of Drumline, The Great Debaters, and Higher Learning, may be surprised by the unique aesthetic of Dear White People, complete with an elegant mise–en–scène, numerous master shots, and an abundance of visual references to classic films.

It evokes Persona in one moment, The Third Man in the next. “I’m a cinephile,” Simien says. “As a filmmaker, I wanted to follow in the footsteps of the auteurs I’ve always admired. You don’t expect a black college movie to reference Ingmar Bergman or have a classical score, and it gave me a subversive thrill to do that with this type of movie.”

Like Spike Lee, Simien’s work is often motivated by contentious issues. “Rings,” his senior thesis at Chapman University, draws a parallel between interracial and gay marriage. Though Simien describes “Rings” as a “message movie,” he feels that this categorization does not apply to his feature debut. “None of the characters agree on the message in Dear White People,” he explains. “I never want to make a point without making a counterpoint.” This evenhanded approach is highlighted in a tense confrontation between Sam White and Kurt Fletcher, the outspoken, white son of the university president. For every cutting remark about white privilege in Sam’s arsenal, Kurt has a ready answer regarding affirmative action.

In an era of cinema inundated with superheroes, teen dystopias, and “reimaginings,” it will come as no surprise that #DearWhitePeople was a difficult production to finance. In fact Simien wrote the screenplay knowing that few studios would take the bait. Determined to develop a following for the project, he began tweeting Sam’s acerbic thoughts on interracial dating, token friendships, and inappropriate hair-touching. The public response to the twitter handle and eventual concept trailer was enthusiastic, and he soon raised $40,000 in funding through Indiegogo.

Code Red Films provided the remainder of the budget. Upon touring the festival circuit, Simien’s film scored the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at Sundance. Critics have received it with rapturous acclaim. Although Simien is pleased with the accolades, he remains cautiously optimistic about Dear White People’s box office viability.

“It’s important that people come out to see this film,” Simien says with a laugh. “Not just because I made it, and I want it to do well but because I miss this genre". 


I feel like a lot of the positive reaction we’ve received come from people who miss hearing specific, singular voices in cinema. There are a lot of talented people who are trying to get through the door, and movies like mine have to be successful to ensure their voices are heard.” Simien’s film is an increasing rarity. Thought-provoking and powerful, Dear White People (click for facebook page) marks the arrival of an exciting new talent and represents a bold alternative to mainstream cinema. Its creative value far exceeds the price of the ticket.

Dear White People Opens in Philly Friday, October 24th
Mikhail Revlock is a freelance journalist and fiction writer. His hobbies include bicycles, books, and food. A Philadelphia native, he lives in University City with his girlfriend and two cats.

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There's Still Time to Enjoy Rumtoberfest at Bahama Breeze Island Grille

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

This is my 3rd Blogger's Event invitation to Bahama Breeze to celebrate new menu items and specialty cocktails. As a nod to autumn and Oktoberfest, Bahama Breeze introduced RUMTOMBERFEST!

 Every Thursday Night at 8pm until November 2nd
featuring a late night party, with live music, contests and of course, rum!

Bahama Breeze has introduced five new fresh fruit Mojitos. 
Each hand-crafted drink features fresh-pressed sugar cane juice, crushed mint and fresh fruit. Variations range from sweet to spicy, including a Strawberry Mojito crafted from Bacardi DragonFruit rum and fresh strawberries, Coconut Tropical Mojito and the Mango Jalapeño Mojito made with Cruzan Mango rum, mango puree and fresh jalapeño peppers.

I never had a Rum & Coke flight before, but I can definitely say, I'd have another.  
The Island Rum Tour features Seven Fathoms, Pyrat XO Reserve and Zaya Gran Reserva 12 Year rums. The Zaya (with pronounced vanilla & caramel flavors, ending with a little spice) was definitely my favorite.  It was the only one I enjoyed straight without the coke.

 Guess what these beauties are?  Rum & Coke Wings!  
They are served with a thick, molasses like Rum and Coke sauce, in addition, squeeze a lime on these babies and you'll be in tropical chicken wing heaven ;)

Speaking of which, you can win a trip to the islands during Rumtoberfest by entering in the Bahama Breeze’s Instagram Sweeps. One winner will be selected each week to receive a getaway for two to the Super-Inclusive® Breezes Resort & Spa in the Bahamas.

To Enter: guests must post a photo on Instagram (@bahamabreezeislandgrille) from the restaurant using #RumSweeps. Offering more chances to win, each Bahama Breeze will also host in-restaurant giveaways for gift cards, t-shirts and more each RumThursty party.

Brittany & Seyda
I like dining at Bahama Breeze even without a food blogger invitation, as the food is prepared like a small family owned restaurant, rather than a huge chain. I've always encountered friendly and knowledgeable servers. And the location in King of Prussia is a stone's throw away from the United Artist Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX movie theater -  Film & Food!

I thought we were just invited to partake of the rum and music with a little bar food mixed in, but we actually got to order dinner too!  I've tried a number of things on the menu in the past, but this was my first time having the Fresh Pan-Seared Salmon Pasta - (Savory cream sauce and bow tie pasta mixed with fresh spinach, basil, tomatoes and mushrooms)  Hand to God, I'm not giving it 4 Tines because it was complimentary.  This was so very satisfying, hot and creamy. It was a generous portion and I wanted to save some for my lunch the next day, but I just kept eating!

To end the evening, we topped it off with a Rum Cake with Butter Raisin Rum Sauce and Ice Cream.  Some alcohol infused cakes tend to be too wet for my taste or too sweet.  This was neither of those things. In fact, it's a very good cake consistency - and as my readers know, I know cake!

Thanks Bahama Breeze
 had a great time and hope to stop back in during Rumbtoberfest before it ends

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While You're Here Check Out Past Bahama Breeze Posts:

Legendary Island Cocktails Event

New Rice Bowls Event

  to get notices on Free Screenings, Giveaways and Upcoming Philly Events!

Check Out Tinsel & Tine's

Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog


Philadelphia Film Festival PFF23 - October 16-26, 2014

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Coming in 2015

Coming in 2015
Tribeca Film & Well Go USA Entertainment have co-acquired Scott Foley’s (“Scandal”) directorial debut "Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife", a hilariously dark comedy about helping a friend out of a bad relationship by any means necessary. “A playful, funny even slightly perverse look at marriage and friends, this is a wonderfully funny satire that will engage and provoke anyone who has ever contemplated ways to end a bad relationship.” “Patrick, James and I are thrilled that our passion project has garnered so much interest. Let's Kill Ward's Wife is a movie that we're all very close to and we know that Tribeca Film and Well Go USA is the perfect home for our film,” said Scott Foley. See More at Tribeca Film

Opening Christmas Day: Into the Woods


I know biopics often get a bad name, they can be cliched and predictable or the reverse, so creatively told that you lose the gist of the story and the heart of the intended subject. I tend to like them good or bad, from offerings like The Runaways (Cherie Currie & Joan Jett) which didn't quite hit the mark, to Ray (Ray Charles) and Walk The Line (Johnny Cash) that rightfully became critically acclaimed films. I'm just fascinated with the whole rise and fall aspect of telling life stories READ POST

David Oyelowo will star as Martin Luther King Jr in "Selma"

Looking forward to Eva DuVernay's (Producer:Oprah) "Selma" she'll be working again with one of my favorite actors David Oyelowo who also starred in her movie "Middle of Nowhere"

What Did You Think Of: AND SO IT GOES

What Did You Think Of: AND SO IT GOES
Perhaps purposefully, art imitates life, as Oren's son, (Like Douglas' own son) because of or in-spite of a privileged up bringing, has screwed up his life with drugs. The one thing he's done right is produce an adorable 10 year-old daughter, Sarah (Sterling Jerins), who Oren meets when his son drops her off at his doorstep, as he's leaving to go serve time. READ POST


Personally, I still maintain, what made the book(s) a guilty pleasure can't be captured in a movie, it's just not the type of story that will translate well on screen. That being said, I'll still be the first one there come Valentine's Day 2015! Here's Tinsel & Tine's Review of the Books - My Two Cents on Fifty Shades of Grey (Book / Movie)

What Did You Think Of: BELLE

What Did You Think Of: BELLE
#Belle is a beautifully shot film (on the Isle of Mann), the writing gives us many poignant thoughts and thought provoking dialogue. The romantic chemistry between Dido Belle and Mr. Davinier (Sam Reid) is what all us hopeless romantics look for in a movie. And Gugu Mbatha-Raw acts with such expression in her eyes, she's simply lovely (despite her unappealing name). I adore this movie! I also got such a delight every time someone referred to Dido as Miss Lindsay, as that's my last name, of course it makes me wonder, could I be a long, long lost relation?...READ MORE

YOU SHOULD STREAM: Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Director: Kenneth Branagh) Believe it or not, I've never seen The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger or The Sum of All Fears (movies featuring author Tom Clancy's character Jack Ryan) So why did I want to see this one? I didn't really, but I needed to see something in between the screening times of The Hobbit and Hercules.

But I'm glad I did see it...READ MORE

Recent Post: I Origins

Recent Post: I Origins
The movie theorizes that eyes are like snowflakes, no two are the same. So if you were to find a match in the eye scanning database (which actually exists) of someone who's already dead, then it begs the question, would that be a glitch in the system? Or has that person returned for a second life, seeing things anew through their old eyes?READ MORE

Hot Movie Coming this Fall - ADDICTED

This rather reminds me of one of my favorite movies "Unfaithful"

SYNOPSIS: Based on the best-selling novel by Zane, ADDICTED is a sexy and provocative thriller about desire and the dangers of indiscretion. Successful businesswoman Zoe Reynard (Sharon Leal) appears to have attained it all – the dream husband she loves (Boris Kodjoe), two wonderful children and a flourishing career. As perfect as everything appears from the outside, Zoe is still drawn to temptations she cannot escape or resist. As she pursues a secretive life, Zoe finds herself risking it all when she heads down a perilous path she may not survive.

DIRECTED BY: Bille Woodruff
CAST: Sharon Leal, Boris Kodjoe, Tyson Beckford, Kat Graham, and William Levy
SCREENPLAY BY: Christina Welsh and Ernie Barbarash

#ADDICTED opens in theaters nationwide on OCTOBER 10th, 2014!

Recent Post: Boyhood

Recent Post: Boyhood
How I wish I could have filmed the last 12-15 years of my life, because I swear it often feels like I've done nothing, barely enjoyed myself, have made no progress, can't think of a single anecdote to tell and the small significant moments of in-significances, just don't seem to be stored in my brain. But if I could look back at even one day of each year, I'm sure I would be so much happier with who I am, what I've experienced and how far I've come...READ POST


I'm sure every decade has a movie that you love because you're balling your eyes out; however, I truly think Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort in #TFIOS could be what Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal were to Love Story for audiences in 1970.READ MORE


Latest distribution from AFFRM - VANISHING PEARLS:Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Nailah Jefferson's VANISHING PEARLS chronicles the untold story of personal and professional devastation in Pointe à la Hache, a close-knit fishing village on the Gulf coast.

Philly Event Coverage: Cake Competition Recap

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If you read this blog frequently, you know I mention cake quite a lot. I'm a self-confessed cake-aholic, but I'm also a cake snob. I don't want just anything with icing on it, and in fact, it is crucial that the icing not be too sweet, too thick and preferably only on top. It's difficult to put into words what constitutes good cake, it's like describing a sunset or an orgasm, you just know it when you're in the moment of it...READ MORE

Philadelphia Magazine » Blog » Foobooz

15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"


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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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