Author Archive | J. Ken Stuckey

Freak Out!

THE MOST striking feature of Studio 54 is its heft: Amazon lists the shipping weight as 8.2 pounds. Almost any page of this substantial publication confirms what people already know about the legendary nightclub: that it was a playground for celebrities, a temple for disco, and a brand of spectacle not seen before in a nightly venue.

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Talk Like a Man

Jenkins’ film is a triptych, telling the story of the protagonist through three distinct stages from late childhood to young adulthood. This film’s episodic structure harks back to Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (2014).

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Prince’s Legacy: ‘Set your mind free’

  PRINCE ROGERS NELSON was as loved by fans at the end of his life as at any time of his career. When he took the stage of the 2015 Grammy Awards, even the stars were star-struck. The entire audience leapt to its feet at the sight of him and roared its approval. But the […]

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Prince of Paradox

  PERUSING the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart from the back issues of 1978, one has to be struck by the diversity that chart offers in contrast to today. The legacy of hip-hop, which was just being invented around that time, eventually eviscerated every other style of soul music such that Chris Brown, replete with […]

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Make Me Over, or Ripley at Midnight

  “I wanna go places, I wanna do some things I wanna be a star, I wanna have a big name.” — Ike and Tina Turner, “Make Me Over”   ON JUNE 16, 2015, the newly resigned president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the naacp came out on national television. But what she came […]

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The Agony of Victory

  IN THE DOCUMENTARY The Celluloid Closet (1995), Arthur Laurents memorably observes that “minority audiences watch films with hope. … That’s why nobody really sees the same movie.” His observation speaks to the subjective nature of interpretation. Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher validates this truism on a number of levels. The protagonist’s desire is unmistakably the central […]

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A Gay Night at the Oscars

BY MONDAY NIGHT, the details of the best and worst Oscar gowns will have been picked clean like so many chicken bones. But Lupita Nyong’o certainly made a statement with a Calvin Klein gown assembled from 6,000 pearls. The ABC Red Carpet coverage went off mostly without incident under the auspices of Robin Roberts. Still, […]

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