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Marchesa Donates Crazy Rich Asians Gown to the Smithsonian at Los Angeles Event
Dress Joins Collections in the National Museum of American History
Marchesa is donating the iconic blue dress that played an integral role in the Warner Bros. Pictures film Crazy Rich Asians to the National Museum of American History. The dress will be presented May 18 during “The Party: A Smithsonian Celebration of Asian Pacific Americans,” a Los Angeles event hosted by the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center at City Market Social House. “The Party” will celebrate and recognize the many contributions of Asian Pacific Americans to history and culture across industries, including music, film, sports and culinary arts. Tickets are available at Smithsonianapa.org.
This blue gown is part of a pivotal moment in the film’s plot in which Rachel Chu, played by actress Constance Wu, attends a high-profile wedding in defiance of her boyfriend’s disapproving mother Eleanor Young, played by Michelle Yeoh. The gown is a floor-length Grecian-style dress made of light blue tulle with floral applique, a deep V-neck and a cinched waist. The original version of the dress designed by Marchesa for its fall 2016 collection featured long sleeves, but they were temporarily removed by the film’s production for aesthetic purposes. The museum will receive the altered sleeveless version that appeared in the film.
“The film’s use of fashion is not merely decorative or secondary,” said Theodore S. Gonzalves, curator in the Division of Culture and Community Life at the National Museum of American History. “The cast’s clothing plays a crucial role in marking social class among its characters—from multi-generational moneyed elites of Peranakan (Straits-born Chinese immigrants), to the nouveau riche strivers of Singapore, to working class Chinese immigrants in the United States and their Asian American model minority progeny.”
Crazy Rich Asians is notable for having a mostly East Asian cast, the first Hollywood film to do so since The Joy Luck Club in 1993. The Warner Bros. film grossed $238 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing romantic comedy in a decade. The Crazy Rich Asians Marchesa gown joins a rich collection of museum artifacts with origins in film and entertainment such as Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz, Batman’s cowl from Batman and Robin and a handmaid’s costume from The Handmaid’s Tale TV show. The museum’s Archives Center also has a number of other theatrical scripts, video and audiotapes in its Luther Davis Collection.
“Representation of Asian Pacific Americans in film and media is critical to the visibility of a community who has made many contributions to the arts,” said Lisa Sasaki, director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. “By collecting the film’s iconic dress, the Smithsonian is better able to present these contributions to the world.”
Marchesa is an American brand specializing in women’s wear based in New York City. Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig established it in 2004.
From its establishment in 1997 as an initiative critical to the mission of the Smithsonian until today, the vision for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center has been to enrich the American story with the voices of Asian Pacific Americans. Asian Pacific America is the story of a vibrant, diverse and resilient set of communities that have been part of the American experience for more than 200 years. The center believes that people’s understanding of America and America’s standing in the world is richer, more compelling and more powerful when it includes the Asian Pacific American story. “The Party” also marks the launch of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Keystone Initiative, which is designed to rally support for the first permanent Asian Pacific American Gallery within the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center serves as a dynamic national resource for discovering why the Asian Pacific American experience matters every day, everywhere and all of the time.
Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. It helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more informed future. The museum is located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information, visit http://americanhistory.si.edu. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.
Netflix released Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, which presents an intimate look at her historic 2018 Coachella performance that paid homage to America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Interspersed with candid footage and interviews detailing the preparation and powerful intent behind her vision, Homecoming gives a peek into the process and emotional physical sacrifices it took to conceptualize and execute a performance of that magnitude that became a cultural movement. This stand-alone Netflix original is now available globally on Netflix.
As the first black woman to headline Coachella, Homecoming recognizes the African American visionaries who inspired Beyoncé, including HBCU alums Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, activist Marian Wright Edelman, and scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, in addition to cultural luminaries such as Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Audre Lorde. Beyoncé’s personal knowledge of the relevance and celebration of HBCUs started with her father, Mathew Knowles, an alumnus of Fisk University.
Shot over eight months, the film follows the global entertainer as she returns to the stage after the birth of her twins, highlighting the comprehensive preparation involved in creating her groundbreaking performance, which included four months of band rehearsals followed by four months of dance rehearsals with over 150 musicians, dancers, and other creatives, — all of whom were hand-picked by the artist herself.
In juggling dual roles as both the director of her live performance and the film that captured the process of making it, Beyoncé says, “It was one of the hardest jobs I have taken on but I knew that I had to push myself and my team to go beyond great to legendary. We knew nothing like this was ever done on a festival level before and it needed to be iconic beyond compare. The performance was an homage to an important part of African American culture. It had to be true to those who know and entertaining and enlightening to those who needed to learn. In making the film and re-telling the story, the purpose remained the same.”
Many in the cast; band, singers, dancers and steppers are former HBCU students, immersed in the HBCU marching band tradition. They joined Beyoncé’s own group of performers, some who have toured with her for years. Viewers not only get to see the intense dance rehearsals and talent of these amazing artists, but hear their personal journey from HBCU student to artist and the lifelong impact that comes with performing alongside Beyoncé in this historic concert.
“So many people who are culturally aware and intellectually sound are graduates from historically black colleges and universities, including my father,” she says in the film. “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”
As a treat to her fans, the film also includes, in the end credits, her remake of “Before I Let Go” by Frankie Beverly and Maze, a 1981 R&B classic that’s commonly performed at HBCU games. The single will be available on the film’s soundtrack, Homecoming: The Live Album, available today from Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records. smarturl.it/BH9102
Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé was directed and produced by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Longtime collaborator Ed Burke served as co-director. Steve Pamon and Erinn Williams are executive producers.
“Crazy In Love”
“Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing”
“Sorry”/”Me, Myself and I”
“I Been On”
“Drunk In Love”
“Don’t Hurt Yourself”
“Mi Gente (Remix)”
“You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)”
“Check On It”
“Déjà Vu”(featuring JAY-Z)
“Run the World (Girls)”
“Lose My Breath” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)
“Say My Name” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)
“Soldier” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)
“Get Me Bodied” (With Solange Knowles dancing)
“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
“Love On Top”
Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with over 148 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.
About Parkwood Entertainment
Parkwood Entertainment is an entertainment and management company founded by entertainer and entrepreneur, Beyoncé in 2010. With headquarters in New York City the company houses departments in music and video production, management, marketing, digital, creative, philanthropy, fashion, publicity and a record label. Under its original name, Parkwood Pictures, in 2008, the company released the film Cadillac Records (2008), in which Beyoncé starred and co-produced. The company also released the film, Obsessed (2009), with Beyoncé as star and executive producer. Parkwood Entertainment produced The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour (2013-2014) and The Formation World Tour (2016), and co-produced the ON THE RUN TOUR (2014) and ON THE RUN II (2018).
Every once in a while pop culture encounters a rip in its continuum. The latest breach comes from one of the most effervescent entertainers of all time, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter, as the first Black female to headline one of the most prolific festivals since the iconic Woodstock. Introspective yet intimate, Homecoming is positioned to be one of the most immersive concert series in the history of music and streaming services. Beyoncé, the Director and Executive Producer of the film, creates a visually captivating story from the beginning to end. The documentary answers a plethora of questions, at which the infamous Beyhive has had about the historical moment.
With intermittent quick cuts of her family before, during and after the epic performance, Beyoncé gives herself permission to exhibit her vulnerability. After all, she planned to take the stage at Coachella in 2017 before she was pregnant with her twins. The tour was postponed and we fast forward to ‘Mrs. Carter’ having to deal with the aftermath of a complicated pregnancy, which ultimately ends in a c-section. Similar to friend, and professional tennis superstar, Serena Williams, Beyoncé bounced back harder than ever after her tough pregnancy. Throughout the piece she digs deep and pummels through some of the most difficult days she has ever encountered. She even speaks to her weighing 218 lbs and how she was only able to zip her costume up after months of hard work alongside of a dedicated clean/raw food diet – no meats, carbs, sugars. The director of photography expertly captured an extremely intimate and vulnerable side to the strong and flawless Queen Bey.
Having family members as graduates of some of the prominent HBCU (historically black colleges and universities), Beyoncé was able to tap into the most celebrated moments of their collegiate life. Her full show not only highlighted the history of these schools but also their social networks and fraternal organizations; transforming the stage into one of the most dynamic Black Southern spaces of cultural legacy and pride. Much of it was enunciated with their boot dancing, a traditional dance style for HBCU called J-Setting, in between transitions. These dance formations visually anchored the performance. Contortionists contributed an urban Cirque du Soleil vibe to the display which can be more accurately described as an infused gumbo of Chicago (the musical), Moulin Rouge! and the Off-Broadway play Stomp. To date, the pyramid stage has been persevered onsite at this year’s Coachella as an art installation.
A group of 200 people shared the stage with Queen Bey including Jay Z, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams and Solange Knowles. The expansive crew that Beyonce worked and practiced with for 8 months is featured in the documentary, as each individual had their own part in making the event a success. The dancing in her set is not technical, but emotional. The crowd, as well as audiences watching the documentary at home, are meant to feel something from just the way Beyoncé and her dancers, who she handpicked herself, move with each other. The concert experience not only exhibits the immense talent of HBCU musicians but works towards using this heightened exposure to aid these institutions that have been struggling with little resources and grants since their establishment.
After the the release of Homecoming, Netflix will more than likely notice a spike in downloads/subscriptions; Beyonce will notice an increase in her fan base and HBCU enrollment rates will most likely skyrocket. Overall, most audience members will be thrashed into a world of black honor, history and preservation. While the Pew Report notes that there is a varying “black/white digital divide” concerning internet usage, (87% whites, 80% blacks), there is little divide when it comes to mobile platforms. The growth of black presence in media, such as on social media, in streaming services and more, will only continue due to the imminent success of Beyoncé’s partnership with Netflix. Her myriad of success as a dominant Black woman breaks down barriers in the same way Jordan Peele has done for young Black filmmakers across the diaspora. This will become one of the most treasured pieces of mass media and should offer encouragement to both women and minorities to bust through the glass ceiling on all fronts especially digitization and technology.
Illustrator: Alejandra Villagra
Photo by @AndresHernandez
Ethan Paisley is a force to be reckoned with. He is a filmmaker driven by social change with over twenty film and TV projects under his belt that are being distributed internationally. Paisley is currently hosting and executive producing a six-part episodic project for DVD Netflix (a Netflix company) titled Set Life and hopes to inspire young artists into their passions with the release of the show. This new endeavor will add “host” to Paisley’s extensive resume of talents, which include writing, directing, producing, and acting. Even though he is busy making headlines with his on-camera work, Paisley is even busier breaking down barriers with his recent film and TV projects. Last year, he was the inaugural recipient of the Best Young Director Award for his film Indelible at the Young Entertainer Awards, an awards show that included nominees Peyton List and Anthony Gonzales. He recently produced two short films now in post-production titled Tell Me When To Forget and Go with the Flow, and will begin shooting his third feature film Turn Out later this year along with a Manhattan-based TV Series titled Screwed. Learn more about Ethan Paisley, and do not miss out on his upcoming releases. For all things Ethan Paisley go HERE.
Celebrities Attend Eagerly-Anticipated Gringotts Wizarding Bank Launch in London
Jason Isaacs, Dan Fogler and Claudia Kim amongst the celebrities in attendance as Studio Tour reveals its biggest expansion to date
Wizarding World cast members made a special appearance at the launch of the new Gringotts Wizarding bank set at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.
Jason Isaacs who portrayed Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series, as well as Dan Fogler and Claudia Kim who played Jacob Kowalski and Nagini respectively in the Fantastic Beasts film series, attended the VIP event.
Guests to the exclusive evening were welcomed into the new hub by a full-size Ukrainian Ironbelly Dragon. The dragon has been created by the original team of filmmakers from over four tonnes of clay. After this mystical entrance, guests were welcomed into the authentic Gringotts Wizarding Bank.
Lined by towering marble pillars, the grand banking hall is decorated with three magnificent crystal chandeliers and finished with real brass leaf. Inkwells, quills, ledgers and piles of Galleons, Sickles and Knuts complete the goblin tellers’ desks as seen on screen. The Prop-making Department, led by Pierre Bohanna, created over 210,000 coins for the final two films alone
Gringotts Wizarding Bank is famously run by goblins. Walking through the imposing marble columns, guests can discover the costumes and prosthetics belonging to Bogrod, Griphook and many other goblin bankers. Each prosthetic mask took weeks to create, with every hair individually inserted and veins painstakingly painted by hand. It took four hours to transform actor Warwick Davis into Griphook in the films, which included him wearing black contact lenses and dentures with extremely sharp teeth to complete the goblin look.
Once through the banking hall of Gringotts, visitors can enter the depths of the Lestrange Vault used to store the treasures of Bellatrix Lestrange, including the Sword of Gryffindor and Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup, one of Voldemort’s many Horcruxes. During filming 38,000 pieces of rubberised treasure were created for the Lestrange vault including 7,014 Hufflepuff Cups.
Officially opening on Saturday 6th April, the 16,500sqft Gringotts Wizarding Bank expansion is the Studio Tour’s biggest addition to date and has been designed and built by many of the original crew members who worked on the hugely successful magical film series.
Birders descend on Morro Bay each year over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend to attend the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival and capture glimpses of the massive migrating madness as they dive, swoop and scatter by the hundreds. This is Insta-worthy at its finest. But, you don’t have to attend the festival to marvel at these fine feathered friends because Morro Bay is a distinctive coastal destination for birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway through March.
The coastal Mediterranean climate sets the stage and creates the perfect backdrop for bird watching, no matter where you roam: the Morro Bay State Park boardwalk, bustling Embarcadero, iconic Morro Rock, or up close and personal from kayaks, paddleboards and boat tours. The Morro Bay National Estuary Preserve and its unique 800-acre wetland filled with salt marshes and mudflats are home to more than 250 species of land, sea, and shore birds as well as dozens of endangered species all winter long, including Peregrine Falcons.
ߦ The 23rd Annual Winter Bird Festival: January 18 – 21
This popular Winter Bird Festival, hosted by the Morro Bay Audubon Society, takes place each year over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. With more than 130 events, including nature treks, presentations, workshops, and lectures, there is a lot to discover. This event is designed to promote the understanding and appreciation of wildlife and environmental conservation. Topics range from geology and biology, to photography and more.
ߦ Saturday Art, Wine & Nibbles Reception – NEW
On Saturday, January 19, from 5:30 – 6:30 pm attendees have an opportunity to browse festival exhibits at a wine reception that includes light snacks. Afterwards, attendees will head over to the South Bay Community Center in Los Osos for James Currie’s keynote presentation.
ߦ Bird Festival Bazaar
Check out birding and bird inspired vendors, public presentations and environmental groups at the Bird Festival Bazaar Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
ߦ Self-Guided Tours
Get out in the field on your own schedule and at your own pace with the Winter Bird Festival self-guided tours. Try El Moro Elflin Forest Natural Area. With a raised board walk over the edge of the Bay, this is a great place to observe the unique plants and spot over 100 species of birds. Find the 13th Street entrance of Santa Ynez Street by following the signs in Los Osos.
ߦ Family Day
No preregistration or registration fee is required to participate in the family day events which take place on Saturday January 19th at the Museum of Natural History. Programs include arts & craft, educational talks, hikes, kayak and canoe rides, and up-close encounters with birds, reptiles, and insects. Children participating in Family Day will also be given a gift from the Morro Coast Audubon Society. Programing runs from 9:30 am-3 pm.
ߦ Mind Walks Series: Peregrine Falcons
Biologist Steve Schubert chronicles the efforts of nest site attendants and endangered species management techniques, captive breeding, double clutching, captive hatching of thin, fragile wild eggs, and the fostering of falcon chicks into the wild nests that have assisted in the recovery of a once-imperiled species. Author of the book The Peregrine Falcons of Morro Rock: A 50-year History, he is past president of Morro Coast Audubon Society. In its 25th year, the Mind Walk Series offers lecture on topics of interest to residents of the Central Coast, including cultural history, natural history, and current issues every Monday, January-March.
THE LAST RACE is an intimate portrait of a small-town stock car racetrack and the tribe of passionate blue-collar drivers that call it home, struggling to hold on to an American racing tradition as real estate development threatens its survival.
Award winning filmmaker Michael Dweck’s stirring imagery takes you inside the world of grassroots racing and eye to eye with the cars’ snarling grills and white roll bars that protrude like bones out of scarred metal. Yet a patient camera lets us know the drivers as everyday people and learn that the racetrack is tied to a deep sense of identity. The track is on the only piece of undeveloped land in the area—it’s worth millions—and the only thing keeping the bulldozers at bay is track owners Barbara and Jim Cromarty’s love of the track and its community.
Hermosa Beach will celebrate its starring role in the Academy Award®-‐winning film “La La Land” and the City’s historical connection to jazz by celebrating “La La Land” Day at the Beach on Oct. 27. Magical moments in the popular musical featured a sunset stroll on the Hermosa Beach Pier and jazz performances at the City’s Lighthouse Café.
Hosted by the City of Hermosa Beach and Kinecta Federal Credit Union, “La La Land” Day at the Beach will feature performances by the Lou Giovanetti Jazz Orchestra and professional dancers from 5-7 p.m. Friends of the Parks will then provide a free screening of the award-winning movie on a beachfront screen.
The 12 vintage-style street lamps that lit the Hermosa Beach Pier in the movie will be returned to the pier to re-create the lighting for scene in the movie when actor Ryan Gosling’s walked on the pier and performed a few verses of the Academy Award®-winning tune, “City of Stars.”
In advance of “La La Land” Day at the Beach, the street lamps will be illuminated Oct. 24-26 at 6 p.m., and the Lighthouse Café will provide jazz performances on the pier from 6-7 p.m. Oct. 24-26. The Lighthouse Café is considered the epicenter of the West Coast jazz movement, hosting performances by many of the legendary jazz greats, including Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Chet Baker.
All events will be free, open to the public and accessible (ADA compliant).
5-7 p.m. Saturday, October 27, for the musical and dance performances; 7:30 p.m. for the movie.