September 19, 2013
Special to the NNPA from the St. Louis American
The Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter John Legend and his supermodel girlfriend Chrissy Teigen were married in an intimate wedding at Villa Pizzo in Lake Como, Italy on Saturday, Sept. 14,
A source told US Weekly two decided on the specific location because “they first fell in love” there. The two began dating in 2007 and were engaged in December 2011.
Family and friends, including Kanye West and Stevie Wonder, were among the guests.
Wonder performed with Legend as a special treat. Actress and model Brooklyn Decker was a bridesmaid and Biz Markie helped DJ the celebration.
Teigen, 27, wore three Vera Wang dresses for the big occasion, including an ivory strapless open back, V-neck ballgown for the ceremony, and an ivory strapless mermaid gown with a pleated bodice for the reception. She finished off her stunning looks with a crimson strapless mermaid gown with a hand-draped bodice and inverted flange skirt with crystal embroidery for the after party.
A source told US Weekly that the couple made the decision to say “I do” before Legend left to tour in October.
Information from US Weekly contributed to this report.
September 19, 2013
By Kam Williams
LAWT Contributing Writer
It’s the Fourth of July in suburbia where we find 16 year-old Abigayle (Aja Naomi King) caring for her bedridden mother (Yolonda Ross) while her father Joe’s (Wendell Pierce) job has taken him out of town. Normally, Joe can trust his dutiful daughter to dote on her mom, but on this evening, for some reason, raging hormones have her hot and bothered to the point of distraction.
After a little phone sex, she invites a guy she met in the mall over for what he arrogantly expects to be a 15-minute booty call. Dexter (E.J. Bonilla) is a former, high school basketball star whose glory days ended abruptly when he graduated from high school.
He’s been in a drug-fueled, downward spiral ever since, and all that he has going for him is an ability to charm gullible young girls out of their pants. But when Abby has second thoughts about succumbing to Dexter’s powers of seduction so easily, she talks him into taking her out for a ride.
Meanwhile, her dad isn’t really away on business, but up to monkey business on the other side of town. Turns out Joe is secretly bisexual and has rendezvoused with a gay kid (Emory Cohen) he met online who is also in the closet but obviously inexperienced and needs to be shown the ropes.
Thus unfolds Four, a compelling character-driven drama about a very eventful day-in-the-lives of four lost souls each searching for a little independence on Independence Day. The movie marks the auspicious writing and directorial debut of recent Columbia Film School grad Joshua Sanchez.
A cautionary tale featuring spectacular Fourth of July fireworks of the emotional variety.
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated R for sexuality, profanity and brief drug use
Running time: 75 minutes
Distributor: 306 Releasing
To see a trailer for Four, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybjnRE7VAfw
September 19, 2013
By Stacy A. Anderson
Phylicia Rashad is best known for starring roles on stage and television, but as a director she decided to commemorate a historic moment that helped spur the civil rights movement.
The Tony Award-winning actress directed a reading of the play "Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963" at the Kennedy Center Sunday to mark the 50th anniversary of the bombing at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. Four girls were killed in the explosion, which was set by white supremacists and helped spur passage of landmark civil rights legislation.
Rashad, who is recognized for her portrayal as the matriarch on "The Cosby Show" TV series and Broadway's "A Raisin in the Sun," said she wanted the reading to emphasize the "sanctity of joy, human existence and the value of all life."
The play was written by Christina Ham and starred students from Howard University and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Rashad, an alumna of Howard University, said acting and directing are both challenging and rewarding. In her role as director, Rashad said she works to keep the creative energy in line with the writer's vision, "while leaving room for people to add to the vision in a collaborative effort."
September 19, 2013
NEW YORK (AP) — Spike Lee will receive the 20th annual Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, which carries a reward of $300,000.
The Gish Prize Trust announced the selection Wednesday. Selection committee chairman Darren Walker said Lee was chosen “for his brilliance and unwavering courage in using film to challenge conventional thinking.”
Lee said in an interview that was he was well acquainted with Lillian Gish as the actress of “The Birth of a Nation” and “The Night of the Hunter,” but he was unfamiliar with the prize that was established in Gish’s will. She requested that the prize, one of the largest and most prestigious in the arts, be given every year to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.”
“I hadn't even heard of it,” Lee said in an interview. “It was a phone call that came completely out of the blue.”
“It was one of the best phone calls I’ve ever had,” the director added.
The prize will be presented to Lee at the Museum of Modern Art on Oct. 30. Past honorees include Bob Dylan, Arthur Miller and Frank Gehry.
Lee’s films range from the racially charged 1989 Brooklyn drama “Do the Right Thing” to the 1992 biopic “Malcolm X” to the post-Katrina New Orleans documentary “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.” This November, Lee will release “Oldboy,” a remake of the Park Chan-wook South Korean thriller.
“I wanted to build a body of work, to hone my craft and get better as a storyteller,” Lee said. “All my favorite filmmakers are storytellers.”
In July, Lee launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund his next movie, which he vaguely promised would be about “the addiction of blood.” The crowd-sourcing campaign succeeded in raising $1.4 million.
The $300,000 of the Gish Prize is a huge boon to any independent filmmaker. Recipients are free to use the money however they like.
What will Lee use it for?
“What I do with it is nobody’s business,” said Lee. “I will do what I want. You’re not the IRS or somebody else. This is something I did not ask for, even know about, and thank God I got it.
“I will promise you this: I will make good use of it.”
September 19, 2013
CHICAGO (AP) -- Earvin "Magic" Johnson is getting a little help from Chicago rapper Common for his newest off-court endeavor.
The former NBA star launched his "Friends of Magic" initiative Wednesday. The idea is to help at-risk students, including dropouts, graduate from high school.
Johnson, Common and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn attended the event at Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy in Chicago, an education facility backed in part by Johnson's business enterprises.
An emotional Johnson spoke after listening to one of the students who has had success in the academy's education programs.
Wiping away tears, Johnson said he's trying to give back and felt gratified by his organization's work. Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy contracts with Chicago Public Schools to help dropouts.
Common is a Grammy-winning artist and actor.