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Jay-Z To Produce Netflix Film 'The Harder They Fall' - Vibe

Posted: 25 Jul 2019 08:14 AM PDT

Montego Bay's Catherine Hall Event Centre began to buzz at a quarter to midnight. The sun had long retired, with the moon taking up residence in the pitch-black sky, yet most attendees were awake with anticipation for Reggae Sumfest 2019's major headliner. All, however, but one.

"Mi nuh like ow Buju perform," one man defiantly said in patois. Donning a blue-and-white plaid shirt, the freckle-faced concertgoer sat on a hot pink couch inside the Jamaican Tourism Board's VIP lounge and audaciously critiqued the entertainer.

"No sah, yuh mus mad. Buju? Yuh nuh like ow Buju perform?" his friend questioned.

A playful quarrel ensued between the two as their argument was quickly drowned out by the blaring music.

Buju Banton's return to the stage has been met with overwhelming praise. After serving seven years inside a federal prison for drug and gun charges, the 47-year-old Grammy Award winner has made up for lost time with his Long Walk To Freedom tour while performing throughout the Caribbean. It would be another five hours before the lanky 6'2" dreddy would hit the stage, so for now, Mr. Freckles' blasphemy would go unchecked.

For 27 years, Montego Bay has been home to the reggae music festival, which willingly opens its arms to all who enjoy the music, so it's not surprising to bump into travelers from Holland, Japan, and the States. However, if you want to partake in the glory of the chunes dem, you must journey to MoBay.

Sumfest organizers knew early on that owning the music and location of its birth is not only a savvy marketing tool for tourists but also an economic necessity for the island.

"Reggae is our ownable asset. No one else can own reggae," Donovan White, JTB's director of tourism said. "Jamaica is the heartbeat of the world and Sumfest is a manifestation of our musical heritage. We are so proud of who we are and our contributions through music. When the rest of the world is looking for something that makes their heart throb, they look to Jamaica."

However, looking away from Jamaica, ironically, was a lot of what my own childhood consisted of. Like most immigrant parents, my mother traveled to America in hopes to earn her piece of the American dream. She wanted her daughter to have a different life than the one she fled from, and in the process assimilated, only speaking patois in the home and perfecting her best New York accent out and about.

Kingston 13's Bartley Lane (my mother's childhood stomping grounds) was never spoken of in high regard. Montego Bay was always viewed as the country from her city girl vantage point, and Jamaica was a place she was born, but not home. So for me, venturing to Montego Bay was just supposed to be an escape from the rat race and constant crescendo of New York City life. Instead, it ignited questions about the island I never had before.

What's wrong with Kingston? Why don't I know more about Jamaica? What did Jamaica do to not earn my mother's outward love and pride?

The first time I went to Jamaica I was four years old and made the journey with my aunt Lavern, who for all intents and purposes is my surrogate father. (Rumor has it when I was just days old, I threw up in the car ride home from the hospital. I cannot confirm or deny such scathing allegations.)

Visiting Jamaica didn't have any effect on me as a kid. I wasn't astute enough to pick up on the lifestyle or economic differences between the island and America. I would only realize just how polar opposite my life was compared to the life distant family members lived when I returned as a teen to visit my grandfather.

I saw the unfinished roads and the shanty house my mother grew up in, and just a few miles away from the dilapidated Bartley Lane, stood the luxury and beauty of the Pegasus Hotel. The grass was green, manicured and plush. The roads paved. Kingston's visitors were treated better than the city's inhabitants, but I was an adolescent who didn't grasp the blatant disregard. It would be a year later when I returned for my grandfather's funeral that I was taken aback by how much I had compared to what little many in Kingston had to make do with.

I never thought too much about Jamaica after that, nor did I have a pressing desire to reconnect with the island. So when the Jamaica Tourism Board invited myself along with several other scribes to write about the festival and the country, I found the task odd, as if I have to convince people to visit and partake in the almost 30-year-old festivities. But alas, I will remind readers that to smell like the Jamaican sun is an honor, that the culture and curry are unmatched, and that Jamaicans were the sole proprietor of the word "ting" long before Drake was born or made it mainstream.

Being in Montego Bay for Sumfest was a rooted experience. It felt good to walk throughout the center and see oceans of black and brown people who grew up not eating Wheaties for breakfast but instead ackee and saltfish with fried dumplings, plantain, and steamed banana. The week-long festival with non-stop parties (or bear bashment, as we Jamaicans often say) that culminated in two days of performances from the world's brightest reggae entertainers was a mere backdrop to what became an unintended connection to my mother's home.

Blackness is universal and while black people were stolen mostly from the shores of West Africa and settled all over the world, we're more similar than different. Jamaicans are an especially colorful crop of people who've only been free from British rule for little more than half a century, (Aug. 6, 2019, will mark 57 years of independence) and despite the island's issues, we're a loving and intentional community energized by the sun and the homegrown Blue Mountain coffee.

The pride and sheer will of fellow yardies can be seen in the details like the crow's feet accessorizing the corner of a woman's eye as she balances a bowl of bananas on her head and leisurely goes about her day. Nothing will stop her from reaching her destination, bananas and all.

And while Jamaica is one of many islands within the Caribbean, there is no other that is as rightfully boasty. We know our culture has had a global impact and we intentionally used reggae as a vehicle. You can try to convince a yahd man there's a better island than Jamaica, but it would just be that, a fool's try.

While Beenie Man, Bounty Killa, Spice, Chronixx, Koffee and others performed, I felt at ease in a place I only last visited when laying my grandfather to rest. Jamaica, unlike the many times before, became an opportunity to feel connected to a home I didn't know I had. Contrary to what some political leaders will have you believe, I was eager to "go back" to where my family came from because at least there I could learn and build upon a legacy.

Mr. Freckles never returned to the VIP section. His sacrilegious comment about Buju may have tired him out, and who can blame him? Protoge took the stage at about 1 a.m. and by the time Mr. Mark Anthony Myrie skanked across the stage, the night sky had been replaced by a strawberry and mango sunrise.

"Me want to walk like a champion/Talk like a champion/ What a piece of body gal/ Tell me where you get it from/Knock 'pon your entrance/Ram pa pa pam pam/Gal let me in/ Me have a thing that you are waiting."

Buju's endurance, energy, and charisma was met with a gracious, welcoming crowd equally eager to hear his beloved rusty growl reverberate throughout the center. There was no need to explain, defend or dissect the feeling of his performance, or the festival or MoBay. It felt right. It felt safe.

It felt like home.

The 50 best Netflix original movies, ranked according to critics - Business Insider

Posted: 06 Jul 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Netflix churns out a number of original movies each year.

Some of the films the streaming service has released have received critical praise, and have included Oscar-winning films.

Using Rotten Tomatoes scores, INSIDER has determined what the 50 best Netflix movies are as of June 2019. No documentaries or concert films, like Beyoncé's "Homecoming," are included. In cases of tied scores, the audience score was used as a tie-breaker.

Here are Netflix's 50 top-rated movies.

Coco, Spielberg, Beyoncé and me - Daily Californian

Posted: 01 Aug 2019 09:01 PM PDT

There are countless reasons why I became a film major — the job security, the financial stability, the look of respect people at UC Berkeley give you when you tell them your non-computer science major, etc. But it comes down to this: I really fucking love movies. (Well, that and I made a promise to myself never to step foot in a math class after I graduated from high school.) I love them so much that I decided to study them over literally anything that could actually give me job prospects after college.

Everyone has their passions — the topics they can talk on and on about, that they get overly competitive about in trivia, that make them smile just a little bit wider. What I especially love about passions is that each one has its own unique origin story. Coco Chanel grew up in a French orphanage, where the nuns taught her to sew. Steven Spielberg wanted to earn a Boy Scout merit badge for photography and, after learning that his dad's still camera was broken, asked to borrow his 8 mm to make a short film instead. Beyoncé floated down from the heavens on a cloud and was immediately given a microphone and a record deal when she touched the earth.

Everyone's passion begins somewhere and evolves as they get older. My love affair with movies is a trilogy, and it started with Universal Studios in Hollywood. Yes, the reason I'm staking my entire future on a degree that's about as useful as the paper it's printed on began at the theme park everyone settles for when they can't go to Disneyland.

I grew up in three different states, but California, and specifically Los Angeles, has always been a constant in my life because my aunt lives there. No matter where I was living, whenever we went to visit her, she would always take us to Universal Studios because she had "connections" there in a way that only Angelenos do. For some inexplicable reason, I fell in love with the park's studio tour, where they take guests around famous movie sets. The first time I sat in the tram, cruising along the streets of New York one minute and the outskirts of the Wild West the next, I felt an intangible magic in the air. I was an escapist child, always living in made-up worlds; in my young mind, these backlots were where imagination thrived, where any story you wanted to tell could be brought to life. It was love at first sight.

My love of film may have started at America's second-favorite theme park franchise, but it was fostered by my parents. Before they married, going to the movies was their No. 1 date activity. Was it because they were secretly cinephiles? Was it because Korea is absurdly hot and humid in the summer and this was a cheap way to stay cool? The world may never know. But either way, watching movies was how they spent their time together, and when my sister and I came into the picture, it became the Lim family standard for spending time together as well. From Blockbuster to Netflix to Redbox and back to Netflix, Friday and Saturday (and sometimes Thursday, if we were lucky) nights were dedicated to watching the widest possible array of movies that catered to my family's respective tastes. (It's why I watched the R-rated "Stand By Me" in third grade and why my dad has seen more Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson rom-coms than he ever needed to.) So growing up, movies connotated cherished family time.

Now, my love of movies is also fueled by a passion for social justice. I cheer when I see Asians like me play lead roles that they wouldn't have had the opportunity to play a few years ago. I tear up when I watch Lady Gaga perform "Til It Happens to You" at the Oscars among the crowd of sexual assault survivors and can almost feel the decades of hurt in their voices. I am outraged when I learn about yet another case of a character being whitewashed. Because of their global reach, movies have the power to tell stories that shape our perspectives and give us opportunities to experience life in someone else's shoes. This is a type of magic that goes beyond being able to recreate medieval Europe or bring dinosaurs back to life.

From the backlots of Hollywood to my living room television to my work as an arts reporter, movies have been a part of me for most of my life. This is my passion's origin story. I am still the 6-year-old in awe at cruising through the Bates Motel and Amity Island, the 8-year-old crushing on River Phoenix while watching (in hindsight) an extremely depressing movie about childhood with her family, the 21-year-old balling her fist Arthur-style when I hear that another damn minority role has been given to Scarlett Johansson. Movies will continue playing an integral part in my life, and my passion will continue to evolve — even if I never end up doing anything with this damned degree.

Julie Lim writes the Thursday column on how media shapes our perceptions of the world. Contact her at [email protected].

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