Philadelphia Welcomes RACE Movie & Stephan James

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tinsel & Tine Spotlight on RACE

By Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

Note: below is an embedded slideshow from the red carpet, which will not be visible to those receiving T&T via RSS Feed - Click HERE to view

The Philly Red Carpet Premiere for Race was held 2.18.16 at The Prince PFS Theater and was preceded by a Panel Discussion lead by: Comcast’s Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, David L. Cohen; Moderated by NBC10's Vai Sikahema; Star of the movie, Stephan James, was in Philly but became ill and had to join via Skype; Jesse Owen's real-life granddaughter Gina Strachan; Philadelphia Urban Coalition CEO Sharmain Matlock-Turner; and two former Olympic Gold Medalists: Herb Douglas & Anthuan Maybank.

Here's a short (9min) excerpt from the Panel Discussion
Note: this video will not be visible to those receiving via RSS Feed Click HERE to view

"Race" is a biopic about four-time Olympic gold medalist “Jesse” Owens (Stephan James) at the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin, Germany during Hitler's regime, and never more has the similarities between Antisemitism and racial discrimination of African Americans been so fused together.

Director Stephen Hopkins and writers Joe Shrapnel & Anna Waterhouse give us some standard biopic type moments at the beginning of the movie, like - Owen's quiet spoken mother making him a suit jacket before sending him off to college. A stoic father finding it hard to express his feelings of pride at seeing his son get the chance at a formal education.  The usual bunch of privileged, jack-ass, racist white boys Jesse and friend, Dave (Eli Goree) must endure in the locker rooms at Ohio State University. The bonding with a coach (Jason Sudekis) that first just sees Jesse as a way to keep his job after a string of losing seasons.

But when we get to the Olympic Games, this is where the movie really takes off and soars!

Barnaby Metschurat is chilling as Joseph Goebbels, there's even a subtle sound like an off-key tuning fork that accompanies his presence. The foreboding and knowledge of the evil upon Germany during this time shortly before the war, hangs heavily in the movie without us having to see much of the 3rd Reich in action.

T&T Agrees: Yet one of the most interesting aspects of the movie has little to do with Owens himself, but a supporting character: Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler’s go-to film propagandist and the person who documented Owens' career-making runs for the world to see. Played by Game of Thrones Carice Van Houten, Riefenstahl is an assertive, important character, with her presence filling the void in what would otherwise be a heavily male-dominated film. But her inclusion in the story doesn't come without some controversy. Although Race paints Riefenstahl squarely as a hero, she actually has a far more complicated legacy... READ MORE Casey Cipriani

Stephan James, recently named a Rising Star at the 2015 Toronto International film Festival, should feel very proud, not only to have portrayed such an important figure in American history, but to have done it so convincingly, he plays Owens as a man who knows his self-worth, but questions his responsibilities to his race, country, coach and wife.

Jesse Owens background: Upon returning from the 1936 Olympic Games with 4 Gold Medals and records set that would take 25 years to be broken, Jesse Owens was NOT recognized by President Roosevelt or anyone in Washington. Undaunted, Jesse and wife Ruth went on to raise three beautiful daughters, Gloria, Beverly and Marlene. Sat on the board of the Chicago Boys Club and traveled the country as an inspirational speaker, addressing youth groups, civic meetings, PTA's and church organizations. Finally, in 1976 Jesse Owens was invited to the White House to be awarded the highest civilian honor of the USA - the Medal of Freedom. In 1979, he returned to the White House to be presented with the Living Legend Award and in 1990, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal  (facts supplied by Race Production Notes).

T&T Race Observation: Before the mid-1960's, it would seem most black people tended to be rather homogenized. Black and white seemed to dress alike, talk alike, enjoy the same entertainments, had mainly the same ideals and mannerisms. You would have thought race relations would have been easier back then, but I think it made it harder for the white race because of their need to feel superior.  Then we went into a period of Black Power and Blaxploitation, and eventually Hip Hop making the overall view of the black race as ethnic and urban. I think the stark difference actually made the white race feel more at ease.

Now, tensions have risen again, because the black race is once again becoming mainstream, including a brilliant, dignified yet, cool black President; which once again put the white race on "we're losing our superiority" high-alert.  Now, this is a generalization, of course. I'm usually not one for drawing color lines.  My closest friends, some I've known since first grade, are all white, and my black and white friends mix together just fine. And if I could be anyone in the world, I'd choose to be Gwen Stefani, so I don't mean to sound reverse racist.  However, when I see movies like Race, and "42" about Jackie Robinson, it strikes me that there's no "street" quality in these men, not that there's anything wrong with urban soul, but it's understandable to be put off by "Thug Life". The animosity these men endured was because they were the same as their counterparts, only better. Think about how crazy it is that years and years of oppression, discrimination and abuse, mainly comes down to mere jealousy...

#RaceMovie opened in Theaters Friday, February 19, 2016 and I recommend everyone of all races, creeds or political affiliation go see it, because it's a good movie!

T &T's LAMB Score: 4.5 Outta 5

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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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