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McMenamins
PBS Documentary Revisits Rise of Jazz Age in Paris

This critical interval in the evolution of jazz was chronicled by the late Berkeley Professor William Shack in his book "Harlem in Montmartre," and it is now the subject of a most entertaining and informative documentary of the same name directed by Emmy-winner Dante James ("Slavery and the Making of America").


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Before there was the sprawling Neverland ranch in California, before he became a superstar with the best-selling album of all time, "Thriller," a tiny house in the industrial city of Gary was home for Michael Jackson.


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Emmy-Winning Filmmaker Discusses His Upcoming PBS Documentary

Born in Grand Rapids, Mich., Emmy Award-winner Dante James is an independent filmmaker who has produced and directed numerous award-winning documentaries as well as a critically-acclaimed dramatic short film. In June 2006 James, accepted an appointment as Artist-in-Residence instructor/filmmaker at Duke University, and the following year he conceptualized, produced, and directed "The Doll," ...


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Barack and Michelle Obama edged out Hollywood stars on Vanity Fair's International Best-Dressed List.

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Born Dec. 14, 1988 in Salinas, Ca. to a father of Irish and Native American extraction and a mother who is Filipino, Chinese and Latina, Vanessa Anne Hudgens grew up living all along the West Coast from Oregon to Southern California. She began her career in the world of musical theatre at the tender age of 8, enjoy early roles in stage productions ...


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Curtis James Jackson, III, aka 50 Cent was born on July 6, 1975 in South Jamaica, Queens, where he was raised by his single-mom until she was murdered when he was only 8. He was taken in by his grandparents, but began hanging out with the wrong kids and began selling crack by the age of 12. While still a teenager, he was arrested and convicted for drug dealing, and turned his life around while serving out a six-month sentence...

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Niecy Nash was born Carol Denise Ensley in Palmdale, Calif., on Feb. 23, 1970. She developed an interest in show business at a very early age after seeing the fabulous Lola Falana on TV. But she first earned a B.A. at California State University before embarking on a career in Hollywood, starting out as a standup comic ...


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DJ Does Hip-Hop Remix of Birth of a Nation

Listen, if it’s okay in the world of pop music for DJs to remix snippets of classic songs in order to rap over them, why shouldn’t a hip-hop era filmmaker be able to do the same thing with an old movie, especially if its copyright is expired and its now part of the public domain? That’s precisely what we’re dealing with in the case of “Rebirth of a Nation,â€" a sophisticated overhaul of D.W. Griffith’sâ€" Birth of a Nation.â€" ...


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Maryland Native Jada Pinkett Smith studied dance and acting at the Baltimore School for the Arts and the North Carolina School of the Arts before getting her big break when she landed a role on the long-running NBC-series, 'A Different World.' The multi-talented actress, producer, director and philanthropist continually challenges herself in a variety of ways ...


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Borat, a shock comedy chronicling the misadventures of a crass journalist from Kazakhstan as he traveled across the U.S., was, in this critic's opinion, the funniest film of 2006. Its star, Sacha Baron Cohen, landed an Oscar nomination for writing that faux documentary which employed a controversial bait-and-switch casting style to dupe a series of unsuspecting straight men to unwittingly make absolute fools of themselves ...


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