Friday, April 2, 2010

You gotta watch this trailer for Babies

Several months ago, I saw a movie trailer in the theater for a film called Babies. I liked the trailer so much I came home and immediately began searching for more info about the film online. No luck. I finally managed to find the movie, under its original title Bébé(s) on IMDb. It's a French production set to open in the U.S. on May 7th.

Maybe I'm just an old softy, but this two minute preview really got to me, and apparantly I'm not alone.

The movie is a nearly wordless documentary about the first year in the life of four babies in four different cultures around the world. The trailer is simply hypnotic. There is something magical about watching babies doing even the simplest things, and I have a feeling we're all gonna be talking about this film in the weeks and months ahead. This USA Today story says:

Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst, says Babies has all the signs of a sleeper hit in the making. "I am not a baby guy, but I was riveted by the trailer," he says. "It's difficult to impress and surprise people, but this is one of those times where you say, 'I got to see this movie.' "

Dallas police charge singer for nekkid music video

Singer Erykah Badu, a native of Dallas, has now been charged by police in the Texas city with disorderly conduct for undressing in front of tourists, including children, during a music video shoot last month in Dealey Plaza, where President Kennedy was assassinated.

Those unfamiliar with the lovely singer's work should know that she's a multiple Grammy winner sometimes called the Queen of Neo-Soul. In other words, she's no upstart, but an artist with serious ambitions, as well as critical and commercial success.

The video in question has been removed from YouTube, but you can still watch it (for now) on Badu's website. While there, you can also listen to the rest of her new album. Stream it by clicking on the album cover image on the home page.

Meanwhile, people still confused about exactly what Badu was trying to say with the video may get some answers Saturday night when she appears on the late night FOX talk show hosted by Wanda Sykes. In a Tweet to fans, the singer acknowledged that many have failed to understand what she was getting at:
I would never disrespect JFK. his revolutionary thinking is my inspiration. my performance art has been grossly misinterpreted by many.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Blanche ads draw prime time fire on MSNBC

Arkansas's senior Senator Blanche Lincoln played a leading role in tonight's Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.

At issue: the seeming disconnect between Lincoln's ads running on black radio stations claiming she "stood with our president to pass healthcare reform" and an earlier TV spot in which she took credit for fighting against the public option healthcare plan.

The network's prime time liberal host, who has openly encouraged and supported Bill Halter's challenge to Lincoln, named our Democratic senator tonight's "Worst Person in the World!!!"

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Imus, Wallace react to Cokie Roberts comments

I wrote yesterday about Cokie Roberts' reaction to some locker room humor on the Don Imus radio program. (I'm shocked - shocked! - to learn that there is such low brow material on the Imus show.)

Today, Imus and his guest Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday tried to explain their joke, and in the process managed to insult Cokie by calling her measured comments on the issue "hysterical."

Israeli lawmaker wants to cap the price of movie popcorn

You listening, Arkansas General Assembly?

This article about the proposed legislation says a large popcorn sells for about $5 at Israeli theaters. Sounds like a bargain compared to what I've seen around these parts.

The report in the Yediot Aharonot newspaper features a predictable response from those responsible for the high prices:
Yaacov Cohen, the owner of one of Israel's largest theatre complexes, said owners made virtually no profit from ticket sales and would be hard pressed to survive if food sales were limited.

"It would destroy the entire industry," he told Yediot.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

NPR's Cokie Roberts talks gender politics

Interesting interview with Cokie Roberts today on Tell Me More, an NPR program we don't air here in central Arkansas.

The topic: why so many male politicians keep getting caught up in sex scandals while so few women encounter the same fate. Roberts also discusses why female lawmakers can get along civilly when their male counterparts seem able only to shout insults across the aisle during contentious debate.

The program delved into some media analysis, with Cokie offering her reaction to a little locker-room humor engaged in by Don Imus and Fox News' Chris Wallace during a recent discussion of Sarah Palin:

It's appalling. It's just appalling.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Broyles' memory is selective on race issues

Today, I covered Frank Broyles speaking at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center about racial integration of Arkansas Razorback athletics. Here's my story, along with audio of the coach's complete remarks.

The event was organized by several of Broyles' former black players, but not everyone is on board in praising the long-time football coach and athletic director for his record on race relations. For one thing, Broyles comes off rather badly in a new book about Nolan Richardson. Not only was he documented using the "n" word on several occassions, but the facts of his work to add black players to his teams are somewhat different than what the 85-year-old coach told his Little Rock audience today.

The Arkansas Times blog has a rather spirited discussion going on this issue.

My take? I tend to think Broyles has a selective memory when it comes to these things.

He told the crowd it was the rules (or perhaps some unspoken rules) of the Southwest Conference that delayed his recruiting of black players. But that fails to explain why SMU had its first black varsity player in 1966 and Jon Richardson didn't play for Arkansas until 1970.

During the event, Broyles praised Nolan Richardson to high heaven, saying that his race played absolutely no part in the decision to hire him in 1985 as the first black head basketball coach at a major southern school (something for which Broyles should be recognized). As the coach spoke, I wanted to shout "Then why did you force Nolan out?" After the program, I asked Broyles that very question. He told me that it's hard to say, that both men got bad advice, and that while the two are not friends, Broyles now respects Richardson and hopes the feeling is mutual.

Then I asked coach why he refused to be interviewed for Rus Bradburd's new book about Nolan. Broyles either has a crummy secretary, a very poor memory or he outright lied in response. He told me first he didn't remember being asked for an interview, though Bradburd told me he had asked to speak with Broyles dozens of times over a period of months. Then, in the next breath, coach said he was unfamiliar with the author anyway. So, did he know nothing about any request for an interview, or was it that he was afraid of talking with anyone outside of the loyal, unquestioning Arkansas sports media.

I predict this AP story will be one of the few to even mention any of this, by bringing up the lingering bad taste over the Nolan firing and subsequent lawsuit. Let's see if TV or the Dem-Gaz make any mention of the negatives, or if they just go with a feel-good story about a celebration of 40-years of racial integration of Arkansas sports.

UPDATE: Here's KARK 4's story.

I can't find a KATV 7 story online, but here's KTHV 11's: