Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Spielberg Signs Movie Deal With India's Reliance

I wrote about this as it developed, and now, as expected the deal has been finalized, and Spielberg is officially a free man, hoping to replicate some of the success he enjoyed after creating DreamWorks with Katzenberg and Geffen.

Here are the details from Business Week Magazine:

Hollywood's Spielberg Express is officially leaving the station. The superstar director has signed a $1.2 billion deal with India's largest entertainment company, Mumbai-based Reliance ADA Group, to launch his own filmmaking company by the end of the year, sources confirm. The deal allows Spielberg to end a contentious three-year relationship with Viacom's (VIA) Paramount studio, which in late 2005 acquired the DreamWorks live-action studio for $1.2 billion.

Spielberg's new production unit is expected to produce about six films a year, with the first at least a year away. Under their arrangement, first reported by BusinessWeek in early September (, 9/1/09), Reliance will invest $500 million in equity for a 50% stake and has helped arrange another $700 million in debt through its longtime bankers, JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

The rest here: CHA-CHING!

The "Death Shake"

Hat tip to The Consumerist for this one:

They're calling it the "Death Shake!" And once you read its nutritional information, you'll understand why.

This 32 oz Heath bar shake has a whopping 2,310 calories (the suggested TOTAL daily intake for the average man is 2,500), 108g of fat, and an incredible 266 grams of sugar - or about half a pound, in one drink!! Wow!

I doubt that the folks who are buying this "Death Shake" realize just how deadly it really is. So, if you're a Baskin Robbins patron, do yourself a favor and avoid the Heath Large Shake. Or, just avoid Baskin Robbins completely! You'll be glad you did.

"I'm A PC"

Microsoft FINALLY creates an ad worthy enough to challenges Apple's longstanding effective "I'm A Mac" campaign, hoping to take a bite out of Apple's rising market share...

"Innovation Guru" Says Innovation Is To Blame For Financial Crisis

As Wall Street continues its steady descent into full-blown chaos, BusinessWeek's Bruce Nussbaum (AKA the Innovation Guru) answers the tough question: Is innovation to blame?

'All Of Us' - Now Playing

For those of you in New York...

"While the HIV/AIDS epidemic does not make the headlines regularly anymore, a new, riveting, documentary by Emily Abt takes the time to dig in deeper to how this epidemic has morphed into a killer of African American women. African American women are now 68% of new diagnoses, yet only make up 6% of the population. This is a crisis. Abt takes us to the Bronx and introduces us to an idealistic young doctor, Mehret Mandefro who has dedicated her career to raising attention to this issue, while at the same time provides compassionate care to women who could easily have fallen through the cracks in an overburdened health care system. The women who share their stories in All of Us are so incredibly brave and impressive and have spoken out so that what happened to them doesn't happen to girls and young women." Melissa Silverstein - Women In Hollywood

The film opens tomorrow, Friday, September 19th in NYC at the Cinema Village, and will premiere on Showtime on World AIDS Day on December 1st. More info here: All of Us

Here's the trailer:

I.O.U.S.A. - The Movie

Definitely worth seeing, by all accounts... certainly topical!

"I.O.U.S.A., the movie, makes you angry about America's debts. The movie shows the background to the Washington Republican nationalization of three gigantic American financial institutions in as many days - Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG. The movie helps explain why Lehman has gone bankrupt, the largest bankruptcy ever, and explains how the huge Merrill Lynch empire has in principle been swallowed up in a few hours by the Bank of America. The filmmakers argue that growing U.S. debts will lead to a collapse of the global financial systems." HuffPo

Sarah Palin's Personal Emails

I'm sure by now, most of you have heard that some still anonymous wiz kids hacked into Repube VP candidate, Sarah Palin's email account yesterday, and posted several of the contents online for the world's eye's only. The account has been reportedly shut down, and the website that hosted the initial screenshots, offending posts, unseen family photos, and emails, deleted them all, wisely.

But somebody still has them. Relish the carnage here before they too are forced to do the same, whether under threat, or moral anxiety:

New York's Cleanest & Dirtiest Restaurants

Thankfully, I've never eaten at any of the 6 dirtiest restaurants on the list, and I'll certainly avoid them!

From The Epoch Times:
New York State Senator Jeff Klein released his third annual lists of cleanest and dirtiest restaurants in New York City.

The report lists the names of the dozen restaurants that received the most and least violation points from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Each year, the Department of Health performs unannounced inspections of all food service establishments in the city. The establishments are rated based on how the food is prepared and served, and on compliance with licenses and laws.

By borough, 78% of the top violators are in Manhattan and Brooklyn, followed by 12% in Queens, 7% in the Bronx, and 3% in Staten Island.

Artuso Pastry Shop 672 E. 187th St. Bronx; Blimpie 85 East Gun Hill Rd., Bronx; Caffe Italia 12-40 A Clintonville St. Queens; Carifesta Restaurant 4251 White Plains Rd., Bronx; Churrsacaria Platforma 316 W. 49th St., Manhattan; Ocean Grill 384 Columbus Ave., Manhattan

El Barrio Restaurant 152 E. 110th St., Manhattan (Insects, cockroaches); Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery 1862 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn (Mice, insects, cockroaches); Guacamole’X 1186 E. 180th St., Bronx (Mice, insects); Merry Jerry’s Jamaican Restaurant 102 Saratoga Ave., Brooklyn (Rats, insects); The Metropolitan Grill 1 Madison St., Manhattan (Mice, insects, cockroaches); Jimmy’s Coffee Shop 900 6th Ave, (Manhattan Insects, cockroaches)


We've Come For What's Ours!

"Let's get into the inner workings and the meaning of this. Let's get into the inner workings and the meaning of a black revolution and why black people have a right to take what's theirs. So the concept is this, basically: The whole black nation has to be put together as a black army and we're going to walk on this nation. We're going to walk on this racist power structure. And we're going to say to the whole damn government, "Stick 'em up, motherfucker. This is a hold-up! We come for what's ours!"" BOBBY SEALE, Co-Founder, Black Panther Party [at a rally]

From Aljazeera:
Shell facility attacked in Nigeria

An armed group seeking a greater share of oil wealth in Nigeria says it has destroyed part of Shell's operation in the Niger Delta.

The claim came days after the group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), declared an "oil war" on foreign companies working in the country.

"A very major trunk crude oil pipeline we believe may belong to both Agip and Shell has been blown up today," the group said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.
It is the third attack in 48 hours on a Shell installation.

Sarah Simpson, a journalist reporting from Lagos, told Al Jazeera: "Shell are still investigating into Mend's report, but they are not yet able to comment on the situation.

"If indeed there has been an attack, it could be a significant pipeline. Most likely a pipeline carrying crude oil, which could affect Nigeria's oil exports.

The rest here:

Get Out Of My Head!

It's only a matter of time before we're all linked neurologically, like The Borg; a collective consciousness. We'll be able to hear each others thoughts, and effectively communicate telepathically... we won't be able to run or hide from anyone, or any entity, and data will be transmitted en masse, or ideas will be disseminated on a mass scale, and even behavioral drugs: "OBEY!" "DESTROY!" "KILL!" "SLEEP!" What's scarily humorous about news like this is that literature and film have long predicted society's development of these kinds of questionable ideas, and their potential ramifications, both short and long term, good and bad... from HG Wells, to Aldous Huxley, and their present-day spawn...

Check out this article from Time Magazine:

Soldiers barking orders at each other is so 20th Century. That's why the U.S. Army has just awarded a $4 million contract to begin developing "thought helmets" that would harness silent brain waves for secure communication among troops... Ultimately, the Army hopes the project will "lead to direct mental control of military systems by thought alone"... The Army's initial goal is to capture those brain waves with incredibly sophisticated software that then translates the waves into audible radio messages for other troops in the field... "Having a soldier gain the ability to communicate without any overt movement would be invaluable both in the battlefield as well as in combat casualty care," the Army said in last year's contract solicitation... "It would provide a revolutionary technology for silent communication and orientation that is inherently immune to external environmental sound and light"... And don't overlook potential civilian benefits.

Read it all here: MIND CONTROL



While You Were Sleeping...

A death and a birth... While Wall Street and 25,000+ employees were abuzz over Lehman Brothers' unexpected tumble (the death of a revered institution), Bank of America (BOA) was busy devouring Merrill Lynch, a transaction that when complete will make BOA the largest banking institution in America, according to Slate, with arms in nearly every aspect of the financial industry (the birth of a new behemoth).

It will be able to provide a bank account to save your money in, a mortgage to spend it on, a credit card to go into debt with (a debt you'll owe to them), and now, with the addition of Merrill, advice about how to invest it, combining consumer and investment banking in a way that few other financial institutions manage. It adds Merrill’s $966 billion in assets to its own already impressive $1.7 trillion!

The government refused to bail Lehman Brothers out; however, new reports state that floundering insurance giant AIG won't be as unlucky, as Uncle Sam intends to lend a hand in the form of a financial lifeline. AIG is significantly larger than Lehman Brothers, so it's understandable.

The question as one writer suggests is whether BOA will now become too big to succeed, and if, in another dozen years or less, we'll be talking about another death and another birth, as BOA falters under its own weight, and thousands of men and women, and in turn, the economy, suffer for it, as the government struggles with the decision to either let the giant fall, or save it from collapse, while the next behemoth rises to take its place, repeating the cycle.

As I've said previously on this blog, I'm all for the free market that capitalism provides us, and I'm not endorsing blanket government regulation of industry, but clearly there's a problem here that needs to be evaluated and a solution eventually reached. Surely there's a happy medium. As BOA becomes even larger, and dominant, a company with almost 300,000 employees, and $3 trillion in assets (much of it being money belonging to the customers its several factions serve), I would expect that government officials would be concerned that a repeat of what we've seen in recent weeks, and even over the last several decades, will indeed occur, with even more devastating economic consequences, warranting an intervention once again.

How about taking a cue from the now-infamous Bush Doctrine and applying it locally - preemptive measures, with the difference being strictly economic, not military? It might mean punishing an entire industry for the sins of a few, but maybe that's not such a bad idea. It'll be like a parent holding all of his/her children accountable when one of them fucks up, especially if the others looked the other way as the problem child was fucking up. Every child gets a smack on the wrist, regardless of contribution, which will then force the "innocent" ones to not only ensure that they behave as expected, but also to make sure that the child who fucked up behaves just as well, or do whatever they can to isolate him/her into obscurity!

By the way, it's worth noting that both Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch are among the biggest donors to the presidential campaigns of both Barack Obama and John McCain, with Lehman donating more than $370,000 to Obama's camp, and Merrill Lynch giving close to $300,000 to McCain's. Interestingly, both candidates agree, calling for tougher regulation of financial institutions!

Italian Villas For Sale - Two Dollars Each!

Here's your chance to own a piece of one of the so-called most romantic places in the world, Italy - specifically a small Sicilian town called Salemi. And it'll only cost you 1 Euro, or about $2. Of course, there's a small catch; although, given the current state of the housing market here in the USA, it might not seem unnattractive!

Read on...

From Newsweek:

An earthquake devastated the Sicilian village of Salemi in 1968, killing 200 people and reducing thousands of buildings to rubble. Down the hill, a faceless modern city sprung up in the village's place, but the historical center has been a ghost town ever since. Except for a few dozen habitable villas, the ruins are frozen in time: tattered curtains hang on broken windows and rusty table legs protrude from heaps of rubble.

Now Salemi is taking an unusual step to reincarnate the old town: it is giving the dilapidated villas away. The city's new celebrity mayor, Vittorio Sgarbi, a former national deputy culture minister and an avid art critic and colorful television personality, is offering 3,000 of the villas for the bargain-basement price of €1 a piece. The catch? The new owners have two years to renovate, staying true to each building's original characteristics and, when possible, using the area's local artisans, masons and builders.

The rest of the story here: 2 BUCKS VILLA

Sarah Palin's 'Jeremiah Wright' Moments - Where's The Outrage?

This really should be getting a hell of a lot more airplay on TV, radio, in print, etc. The media devoted weeks, if not months, to Obama's connection to Reverend Jeremiah Wright and his Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, influencing the obviously weak minds of numerous Americans. I think it's only fair that the same treatment be given to Sarah Palin, given the below revelations and more.

From Huffington Post (apparently, the video that follows was censored by YouTube!):

On June 8, 2008 in the Wasilla Assembly of God, her church of over 25 years, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin declared United States military forces in Iraq to be "out on a task that is from God." Head Pastor of that church, Ed Kalnins, has also made statements indicating that he views the current conflict in Iraq as part of an apocalyptic end-times struggle. Palin recently stated her enthusiasm, in a widely televised interview, for war with Russia - a country that, along with the United States, possesses vast stockpiles of intercontinental nuclear ballistic missiles.

The American public has a right to know if Palin believes, as does the Third Wave movement in which her churches take part, that she has a divine mandate or "anointing" to do battle to purge those she views as evil from the world (as expressed in the below video).

Most Americans do not want an American jihad to conquer the world in the name of God let alone a global nuclear war. Judging from the churches Palin attends and from her public statements we have to take very seriously the prospect of having a Vice President, a heartbeat away from the United States presidency, who holds such apocalyptic goals.