Monday, September 16, 2019

CeeLo Green, LaToya Jackson, and Caitlyn Jenner Shows for Face Forward and Abused Victims.

By Laura Medina



A-listers such as Caitlyn Jenner, LaToya Jackson, and CeeLo Green showed up in support for Face Forward's fundraising gala.

What's Face Forward, https://www.faceforwardla.org/?  Forward Face is a charity made up of plastic surgeons, that was started by a domestic abuse victim, where they offer reconstructive surgery to victims of terrorism, harassment, sexual abuse/trafficking, acid attacks, and domestic abuse where they fix the physical and facial damage, in order to restore self-esteem so the victims can move forward to a better life.  Hence, Face Forward.


Patients, who got help from Face Forward, were honored guests at the black-tie Beverly Hills gala.


After the three-course Scottish gourmet dinner, fit for "Downton Abbey," the real treat was the CeeLo Green concert where folks got up and burn calories.

The guests all understand Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," especially for Face Forward patients and how they got here.

Of course, to all the real haters who abuse their victims, the Face Forward folks got behind CeeLo when he sang his hit, "F*ck You," to all the real haters, the abusers, the terrorists, and the abusive pimps.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Ad Astra's Director, James Gray Makes It Real with Help from NASA's Artemis Program and Women Astronauts, as a Launch Base for "Ad Astra" with Brad Pitt.

By Laura Medina

Yesterday on the Fox Studio Lot was NASA/Science Day, as the leading up to Brad Pitt's/Director James Gray's "Scientific Realism Fantasy."

Despite being lumped in and marketed as a sci-fi movie, the nitty-gritty director, James Gray wants "Ad Astra" rooted in realism as much as possible.


NASA's Multimedia Department was more than happy to help, obviously when movies and tv series tackle their history and how their projected image is handled.  All about keeping the records set.  NASA's Multimedia Department was extremely helpful in "Hidden Figures."

Now, they're more than happy to help keep James Gray's "Ad Astra" grounded in realism by having their active women astronauts, some active in the current "return to the moon" Artemis program, advise James Gray's production design and FX teams.

If the Apollo missions from fifty years ago were about just surviving a single trip from the moon, Artemis (Artemis is the Greek goddess of the Moon and the Sun God, Apollo's twin sister) is continuation of the Apollo missions. From being just a mere Apollo daytripper to actually using the Moon as a permanent base for farther and further exploration into deep space, https://www.nasa.gov/artemis

In "Ad Astra," the Moon is already a space exploration base then the movie takes off from there.

Yesterday's "Ad Astra"/NASA panel discussion explained how they kept it realistic by NASA's current team of active women astronauts who are going to the moon.

One of them, Tracy Caldwell Dyson chatted about being a Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle Endeavour flight STS-118 in August 2007 then Expedition 24 crew on the International Space Station between April 4, 2010 and September 25, 2010. She has completed three spacewalks, logging more than 22 hrs of EVA including work to replace a malfunctioning coolant pump. 

Even a fellow woman astronaut on the panel explained how part of the human experience is about exploring space and enjoying the beauty of it.  Tracy said that the reality of living and working in space, is fixing the space station, no different than normal repairs on Earth but it's way more dangerous out in space.  This is why her two favorite space movies are "Star Wars" for inspiration and "Gravity" for the reality for surviving and living in space.


Tracy said it was only during her down time that she had the time to "smell the roses."  For her, it's taking a breather to enjoy the Earth and space.


One of the women astronauts did say her eyes welled up in tears, once she saw the entire Earth as moving marble of a planet.  But she added the reality of living and working in space, her tears did not roll down, like they do on Earth.  Her tears bubbled up, filling her eyeballs and blurring her sight.
It's these personal anecdotes of the little but real incidents that informed James Gray and keep "Ad Astra" grounded.
"Ad Astra" panel discussion continued with Jet Propulsion Laboratory, already thinking about making the Moon liveable.  One researcher discussed using old lave tunnels there, into living quarters and towns as bases for deep space explorations farther into space.

NASA helps keeping Brad Pitt's/James Gray's "Ad Astra" grounded and real.

James Gray calls "Scientific Realism Fantasy."





Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Univision's "El Dragon," When "Breaking Bad" Meets Martial Arts, Busting Ethnic Stereotypes & Telenovas While Blending, Crossing, & Updating Cultures Into the 21st-Century.

By Laura Medina


On September 30th, at 10pm, on Univision, Arturo Perez-Reverte will debut his series, "El Dragon."

Arturo Perez-Reverte, highly-esteemed Spanish journalist and author, wrote a tv series tackling today's Hispanic/Latin culture and dated ethnic stereotypes that he, as an Hispanic intellectual has to deal with, outside of Spain and Hispanic culture.

Thinking of what it means to be a stereotypical drug-cartel legacy in today's world, he came up with "El Dragon," a third-generation narco heir who wants to bring his family business legitimate but still has rivals out to wipe their competition off the face of the earth.  After rivals killed his parents in a hit, the protagonist, El Dragon moved away to Japan to get away from violent Mexican drug culture and to improve himself to better seek justice and vengeance, to learn the way of a real warrior, the way of the samurai.  Hence, El Dragon played by Sebastian Rulli.

Written by renowned author Arturo Perez-Reverte and produced by Patricio Wills, “El Dragón” is a fast-paced, action-packed saga of epic proportions. This highly stylized production was shot on location in five different countries with an expansive gallery of richly drawn international characters. This is the story of Miguel Garza, a man caught between two worlds, both geographically, as well as morally. One centers on his childhood in Mexico, marked by the untimely murder of his parents and the family “narco” business he is destined to inherit. The other is a world of culture and sophistication in Japan, where he is sent by his grandfather in hopes of becoming a legitimate financial success. Called back to Mexico to avenge his parents’ deaths and save the family “business,” Miguel must draw on both worlds if he wants to protect his family and save his soul.  (W Studios/Televisa)

After the murder of his parents when he was a little kid, Mexican Miguel Garza is sent away to Japan. 20 years later, he has to go back to his home country as the new heir of his family's cartel.

Patricio Wills, Televisa Estudios, Univision's Silvia Garcia, senior vice-president, multi-platform and media planning strategy, with Carlos R. Bardasano is president of W Studios, the new production joint venture between Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) and internationally acclaimed producer Patricio Wills (Reina del Sur and La Viuda Negra) have brought Arturo Perez-Reverte's saga on contemporary Mexican culture that is relevant to today's world.

Univision's Silvia Garcia, “It is a true, first of its kind for Spanish-language television that establishes an all-new genre – jetsetting global crime melodrama, featuring best-in-class production value with modern, smart and fast storytelling, global locations, and an A-list cast and writer,” Silvia Garcia, senior vice-president, multi-platform and media planning strategy. The global production, along with its star-studded cast is the perfect catalyst for a 360-marketing campaign that combines our vast media portfolio of broadcast and cable television, radio, digital and social platforms, with a targeted local approach that together fully engages our audience wherever they may be.”

Shoot in Japan, Spain, Mexico and the U.S., this is one of Univision's most ambitious series to date.


Univision's El Dragon shows a contemporary third-generation Mexican who has a love of Samurai culture, admirer of Asian martial arts discipline, and breaking stereotypes of what it means to be Mexican, honoring another culture's values to make himself a better person overall.  Almost a Mexican Batman/Wayne Bruce, using Samurai culture as basis as a crime fighter, going beyond vengeance.


Carlos R. Bardasano introduced the launch at Yamashiro Hollywood.



The pilot shows the new and real El Dragon, played by Sebastian Rulli, running a legitimate corporation while learning the ways of the samurai then intercuts with his past and the old-school narco grandparents and the dated mentality that El Dragon is trying to leave behind, until trouble returns and forced him back.



The two leadsSebastián Rulli who plays El Dragon aka Miguel Garza and Renata Notni  who plays Adela Cruz. 

During the press conference launch, there might be an hint of an English-language crossover version of El Dragon.

Stay tuned here.

If you want to get your story on, catch the premiere on September 30th, at 10pm, on Univision.







Tuesday, September 10, 2019

When Cannabis Economy Meets Music, Elle King launches High Note Sessions, curated by G Pen x Eaze x Jam in the Van.

By Laura Medina

With the legalization of cannabis during times of anxiety and stress, the resulting cannabis economy is coming on strong.

With that comes gentrification of dirt, cheap industrial warehouse districts.



G Pen, Eaze, and Jam in the Van teamed up to set up 1700 Naud into an intimate, personal concert/sound stage for their own cannabis meets music.  Their version of "Austin City Limits."


Elle King kick off the series, first thing on a Monday morning.  She exclaimed how thrilled she was doing a cannabis music series, "I smoked a joint before noon, I feel great!"


She covered Stevie Nicks' "Quit Dragging My Heart Around."



Of course, she performed her hit, "Xs & Os."


As soon as Elle is done and tired from her noon time concert set, the personal-sized audience were ushered next door into G Pen and Eaze chill lounge to literally cool off and chill with Revive Kombucha Sodas...


Their healthy kombucha soda will knock you out of your cannabis calmness then get you going since the day is still young or at least, keep you going until 10pm.


Obviously, the pre and post-concert chill lounge is sponsored by G Pen and Eaze where folks can try and sample the latest in cannabis therapy.

Grenco Science’s G Pen  Gio vaporizer has a cartridge filled with cannabis oil that you insert into a pen to inhale to calm down.


Their sponsor partner, Eaze, is a dispensary delivery service that brings the shop to you.

For lunch, people lunched on Rap Snacks, http://www.rapsnacks.net/

For a Monday, this is a pretty cool way to start the week.








Friday, September 6, 2019

Zadig & Voltaire's Fall/Winter 2019 collaboration with the NBA

By Laura Medina

Fashionistas, yes women, are also sports fans.  Sport nuts, notably, women sport nuts deserve clothes in better style, tailoring, fabrics, and fresher contemporary cuts.

This ain't athleisure.  This is where real sportswear becomes streetwear.

Show it here...

NINA GARCIA & JAMEELA JAMIL ALONG WITH E! ENTERTAINMENT, HOST ELLE WOMEN IN MUSIC OCTOBER ISSUE LAUNCH PARTY, WITH SPOTIFY, GUESS?, Inc. and L'Oréal Paris.

By Laura Medina

Whomever appears in ELLE Magazine's October Music Issue, performed at its issue launch party, conveniently done during New York Fashion Week.

Yes, Vogue dominates New York Fashion Week but Elle zag when Vogue zig.

Let Vogue have the September Issue.  The October Music Issue belongs to Elle.

Jameela Jamil DJed the Spotify booth.

Camila Cabello sang her heart out.

The event celebrated Elle’s Women in Music Issue, honored the brave and bold female artists breaking boundaries and inspiring others with their limitless confidence and ability to express themselves through their work.  Elle.com to showcase Spotify Playlists curated by featured artists. 


Nina Garcia is to Elle as Anna Wintour is to Vogue.

Nina plays host to this music meets fashion.  Rock and Roll, to an older extent, jazz and country/western also have style, in their own right.

This upcoming Elle's October, Women in Music Issue makes for a quick but deep fashion anthropology.