The French film Blue Is the Warmest Color has been making news for months.
It won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Then the director and his stars got into a public feud about the conditions on set and the explicit sex scenes between the film's leading actresses. After months of controversy, the picture finally opens in American cinemas this week — with an NC-17 rating.
But before it became the cinematic flashpoint of the year, Blue Is the Warmest Color was also declared the love story of the year.
It all started in 1968 at a pet shop called Fish 'N' Cheeps in New York's Greenwich Village. On the way to a Jimi Hendrix concert, Patricia Wright and her husband dashed into the shop to escape heavy rain. There, a two-pound ball of fur from the Amazon captured their attention. A few weeks and $40 later, this owl monkey became their pet; later on they acquired a female as well.
Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 4:42 pm
Salvadoran journalist Oscar Martinez joins this week's Alt.Latino, kicking off an occasional series of interviews about culture, society and news.
Every year, tens of thousands of Central Americans — from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador — make a perilous overland journey to the United States. They travel north through Mexico to the U.S. border, riding on top of cargo trains known as "La Bestia" or "the Beast."
"We love being the country that freed the slaves," says historian David Blight. But "we're not so fond of being the country that had the biggest slave system on the planet." That's why Blight was glad to see the new film 12 Years a Slave, an adaptation of an 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup. Northup was a free black man who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841 and won his freedom 12 years later. "We need to keep telling this story because it, in part, made us who we were," Blight tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
The new movie 12 Years a Slave has been receiving high praise — critic David Denby recently described it in The New Yorker as "easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery." The film is adapted from the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup, who had been a free black man in upstate New York. A husband and father, he was a literate, working man, who also made money as a fiddler. But in 1841, after being lured to Washington, D.C., with the promise of several days' work fiddling with the circus, he was kidnapped into slavery.