Today’s panelists, Jessy Blanchard, the owner of her own cupcake company; Danielle Winston, a screenwriter and yoga instructor; and Shirley Joel, a retired advertising veteran who currently executive produces a bi-monthly cable television program; hook up with our host, Stefanie Alleyne, at the Wix Lounge, a free work and event space for creative professionals in the Flatiron District in New York City to discuss the thoroughly modern romantic comedy, “Friends with Kids.”
Based on her own life experiences with friends having kids and falling off the radar, Jennifer Westfeldt’s directorial debut, “Friends with Kids,” grapples with a number of contemporary parenting scenarios. Expect shrewd observations on age and gender as well as Continue reading →
Our host, Stefanie Alleyne, sits down to discuss the consuming film, “Rampart,” with today’s panelist, Robyn Ferrari, a theatrical actress; Olivia Narcisse, project manager for a commercial furniture design company; and Ashley Benzwie, a multidisciplinary artist; at the upscale retro restaurant, The Highliner Diner in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.
It’s 1999 Los Angeles and Rodney King’s request for us all to just get along has come and gone, as have the riots that followed. Most residents are eager to move on from these embarrassing events in the City of Angels, while a precious few can not. Meet Dave Brown…Vietnam Vet and a battle scarred cop who has more fondness for his moniker, “Date Rape Dave,” than he does for his badge. A vigilante in the express lane on the Highway to Hell, Dave Brown hates all people equally yet is a master in the art of seduction that no woman can rebuff. Confident and eloquent, he has the word or action for every scenario…good, bad and all in between.
Loosely based on true events, “Rampart” is co-written by James Ellroy (who also wrote “L.A. Confidential”) and Oren Moverman, who is also the Director of this film. “Rampart,” is a character study set in the Wild, Wild West of present day. Woody Harrelson gives a irresistible performance as Dave Brown. You wanna hate him but damn yourself for extending compassion to a rogue…and a rogue cop at that! The cast is rich with surprise performances including Broadway legend and operatic diva, Audra McDonald, Cynthia Nixon, of Sex and the City fame, and even rapper-turn- actor, Ice Cube, pops up for some fab face time. Expect to also encounter Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright and Ann Heche, some caricatures and some not. Brie Larson commands the screen in her every scene as Helen, Dave’s teenage daughter coming to terms with the character (or lack of) of her dad. Deliberately slow paced but intense with ambiguity, “Rampart” is a hypnotic ride on cruise control in low gear. But, don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt; it’s still going to be a very, bumpy ride.
More About our Fabulous Panel
Ashley Benzwie is a multidisciplinary artist. She studied studio art at New York University concentrating in Sculpture and Installation. Ashley spent a few years in Berlin, Germany establishing two artist collectives. There she became drawn to film making, mesmerized by the element of possibility the medium offers. Currently she divides her time between Berlin and New York collaborating with various artists to transform spaces, and create interactive experiences. Additionally she works as a Director of Photography and an Editor. Ashley chooses not to define herself as any one thing. She is a firm believer in taking on many roles, embracing the unknown, and adapting to it.
See her work at ashleybenzwie.com
Olivia Narcisse is a Brooklyn, New York native. Olivia studied Dance in New York University. Her love for set design lead her to pursue a career in Interior Design. She is currently a Project Manager for a commercial furniture design company in New York City and teaches dance part-time at various venues throughout New York City. A serial hobbyist, she is currently studying furniture design and woodworking and enjoys playing capoeira.
Robyn Ferrari is in love with the art of performance! Bringing characters to life and telling stories through words, music and movement fascinates her every day. Robyn began her training in the arts as a dancer and has gone on to earn her Bachelors of Music from New York University in Classical Vocal Performance. She currently studies acting with Anthony Abeson, and voice with Tom Burke in NYC while working in all three of her disciplines. She has worked in theatre, concert, voice over, and film, and feels at home singing everything from Mozart to Musical Theatre to Madonna! Robyn looks forward to performance opportunities that allow her to continue to grow both artistically and professionally.
Our host, Stefanie Alleyne meets today’s panelists, Ginger Broderick, a CPA and talk show host; Jenni FDB, an on-air personality; and Susan Carnahan, a photographic artist; at the dynamic new restaurant, Maimonides MOB in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn, New York to review the decadently stylized film, W.E.
W.E. is the sophomoric directorial offering of pop icon, Madonna. The film interweaves true life details of the early 20th century love affair in Great Britain between the future King of England, Edward VIII and the American-born divorcée, Wallis Simpson, with a fictitious tale of a modern day trophy wife, Wally Winthrop, in New York City, who reclaims her own life, desires and needs. Written by Madonna and Alex Keshishian, her writing-partner-in-crime of the 1991 documentary, “Madonna: Truth or Dare,” W.E. (the title uses the first initial from Wallis and Edward’s names) is an elaborate extravaganza of eye candy on designer steroids. The gorgeous costumes, luxurious sets and immaculate attention to detail will leave you intoxicated with opulence.
Shot on locations in some of the most beautiful places in France, Italy, England and New York City, W.E. allows its viewers a myopic glimpse into the life of the very wealthy and the very privileged. Andrea Riseborough, who plays Wallis Simpson steals the show and for her efforts, received a Spotlight Award at this year’s Hollywood Film Festival. Others in the cast include Abbie Cornish as Wally Winthrop, James D’Arcy as Edward VIII and Oscar Isaac as Evgeni. Madonna recently received a 2012 Golden Globe Award (Best Original Song – Motion Picture) that she shares with her co-writers, Jimmy Harry and Julie Frost, and her co-producer William Orbit. Arianne Phillips, the film’s Costume Designer has been nominated for a 2012 Academy Award for her outstanding achievement in Costume Design.
More About our Fabulous Panel
JenniFDB “From Da Bronx” (The Renowned Smack Talker) This bi-racial, Staten Island native is the creator and on-air personality for the 2chix 1mic Talk Radio Show. Lover of all things pop culture, entertainment and romance, she keeps her fingers firmly on the pulse of current events and dating trends. Her fluidity, humor and ability to create a fun and comfortable interview dialogue, can be seen in her many appearances on national television and radio programs. In her free time, she punches crotches as a rising social pundit and stand up/sketch comedienne.
Ginger M. Broderick, CPA has worked many years in the public accounting industry and provides accounting, money management, tax and business planning for individual and corporate clients. She is President of Broderick Consulting Group, Ltd. and has experience with industries as diverse as media and entertainment, contemporary art, non-profit and professional service firms. For eight years, she appeared regularly on weekend morning financial segments for WABC Eyewitness News. She has appeared on Good Day New York, WNBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business News, Bloomberg, NY1 and on WOR Radio discussing tax-related issues. She has interviewed with top financial publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Wealth Manager. In addition, she now has her own talk/variety show, GingerNewYork. Segments of the show are aired live at the MNN studios and are also taped at the Gibson Guitar Showroom/Rehearsal Studios in New York City.
Susan Carnahan is originally from Dallas, Texas. She completed her undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas and eventually earning her MFA in Photography at Syracuse University. Her photographic artworks have been exhibited in New York, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Chicago, Ohio, Texas and most recently in Australia and Finland.
Much of her work originates from her probing her past in order to assess her present identity. The latest chapters of her life have allowed her the opportunity to reexamine her ideas from many different perspectives. In the last ten years, she has brought three new people in the world and lost the two who gave her life. Now a parent, she examines her art from the perspective of a child’s eyes. Through this process, she has gained insight of her own role in life and how all of these cycles come together full circle. She lives with her husband and three sons in New York City.