Saturday, November 8, 2014

Let's Create a Generation of Gratitude

            Last night I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of Pop 2 Action, a collection of original artwork inspired by pop culture and mass media influences. The event took place at the Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles and was organized by Dana Ashmore (Mob City) and Laura Bousman (The Devil’s Carnival).

            These amazing ladies are the founders of Gratitude Collaborative, an organization with the mission to generate art that serves a purpose. The goal of this weekend’s exhibit is to raise money to teach art classes to kids, purchase school supplies, feed the hungry, sponsor after-school programs, and support young playwrights.

            I found out about the event on Twitter through Darren Lynn Bousman. The director of Saw II, Saw III, and Saw IV is a fellow alumnus from my alma mater, so I figured it would be great to support his wife and this great cause.

            There were several pieces that really struck my attention. One in particular by artist Tou Vue. His painting portrays a couple laying on the ground with their backs to each other and holding a cell phone. The artist used this as a way to express how technology and social media is a double-edged sword; it brings us together but at the same time it separates us.

            There was art inspired by Kill Bill, The Wizard of Oz, Pokemon, and much more, but I ended up acquiring an amazing painting of Morpheus from The Matrix. It’s basically Morpheus’s face wearing a set of 3D glasses, which represent the red and blue pill that he presents to Neo. The artwork is titled Red Pill, Blue Pill and was created by Lord Byron Bradley.

            If you are in the Los Angeles area make sure you swing by the gallery this weekend, check out some art, and support this great cause. They are located on 2020 South Robertson Blvd. In the words of Dana and Laura, “Let’s create a generation of gratitude.”

Sharing a moment with Laura, Dana, and her husband Shawn Ashmore

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Help Us Adopt

            Hello my friends, happy hump day! I hope everyone’s having a great week and is taking advantage of the season changes such as sweater weather, pumpkin beer, or orange leave-filled streets. Several days ago I had the fortune of supporting Becky Fawcett and Help Us Adopt at their second fundraising event in the Los Angeles area.

            Help Us Adopt is a non-profit organization that was launched in 2007 by Becky and her husband Kipp Fawcett, who are adoptive parents of two kids. The goal of the organization is to overcome the financial obstacles of adoption to build everlasting families, regardless of religion, marital status, race, or sexual orientation.

            Something I’ve learned since meeting the crew of Help Us Adopt is that adoption is a lengthy process that many families can’t afford due to the high cost. “It’s not only about the kids, but also about the parents,” Becky said at the second LA event that took place at Everson Royce Wines on October 9thHere’s a brief Q&A with Becky. If you’re interested in learning more feel free to click here and help spread the word.

How important is it to have a presence in the media for the growth of the organization and how has it made a difference?

Media coverage has been essential to the growth of for several reasons: 1) We are a national organization and media coverage helps us extend our reach into markets that we serve but where we don’t have a physical presence. 2) It has helped us reach members of the adoption community. Believe it or not, in general the adoption community doesn’t readily identify itself. 3) Authenticity.  Having coverage like The Today Show, CNN, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal helps a young organization like ours establish its authenticity and credibility to those that don’t know us personally. 

What's your dream news channel, talk show, etc to appear on? Why?

We’ve gotten an amazing amount of media coverage since our launch in 2007 and for that I am extremely grateful. But there is one name missing: OPRAH.

What is your goal and vision for the organization specifically in LA?

I believe there is a real opportunity for to establish a solid support system in the Los Angeles area. Our mission of family equality resonates in Los Angeles and really means something to people. Family is Family. 

Where do you see Help Us Adopt in ten years? 

In ten years? I imagine we will have some amazingly strong fundraising events in the Los Angeles area (as in hundreds of guests/donors). I also see that we will be raising several millions of dollars a year and giving away most of that in adoption grants. That kind of significant financial growth will impact our adoption grant program with the growth we need to help more children find the forever families they so rightfully deserve. I would also imagine in ten years and hopefully MUCH sooner, that we develop a very strong celebrity following. Celebrities that have been touched by adoption or care about saving the lives of children who need homes could really impact our work in such a positive way. We need their voices!

What do you think has to be done to facilitate the process of adoption? There are clearly thousands of families waiting to be formed, yet, why is it such a lengthy process and what are some ideas to ease it? 

I wish I had the magic answer and I hope someday I come up with it because the number one obstacle standing in the way of millions of children being adopted into loving homes is the fact that adoption is expensive and most families are challenged by the lump sum payment of $30, $40 and sometimes $50,000+. In the meantime, you are asking the wrong person this question. I didn’t write the adoption laws and I certainly didn’t set the bar for the fee structures. I am simply a mother who saw a void in the world of adoption and a group of people who needed help, that’s why I created Your specific question needs to be addressed to the adoption professional community.

Keith Blau (Supporter), Ricardo Ramos, Becky Fawcett (Founder) and Sidney Jackson (Staff)

Monday, September 8, 2014

An Electric Night with Mexican and Latino Filmmakers

            Hello everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend and had some time to read my previous blogpost. I’m writing to share that I had the opportunity to attend the opening night gala of the Guadalajara International Film Festival in Los Angeles at the Egyptian Theatre on Friday. The festival showcases a compilation of the best films screened at the Guadalajara festival over the summer.

            The night kicked off with an introduction to the festival and the contributions it has made for cineastes in Mexico and Latin America. There were also awards presented in different categories to some of the top films showcased in Gudalajara this summer. Then, the “Arbol de la Vida” awards were presented to Emmy-winning reporters Ruben Luengas and Gabriela Teissier, and Academy Award nominee Demian Bichir (A Better Life, The Bridge). The award, which literally translates to “Tree of Life,” is presented to people in the industry who have made significant contributions in their fields.

            Following the awards, the film Las Horas Contigo (The Hours With You) was screened. This feel-good dramedy is about family, growing up, and forgiveness. Presented by La Banda Films, it is produced by Roberto Sneider (Frida, Arráncame La Vida) and serves as Catalina Aguilar Mastretta’s directorial debut. I was lucky enough to meet Sneider and interact with him briefly; unfortunately for us, there was an amazing live group performing some salsa and merengue with the volume a little too high, so it was a challenging to engage in conversation. Regardless, it was great meeting people with my friends Marco Molina from Veva Entertainment and Isabel Echeverry from Olmos Kontakto.

            It made me so happy to be part of such an electric night with Mexican and Latino filmmakers and fans. It’s comforting to know there’s such a great community of artists that are hungry to tell new and compelling stories. I feel lucky to have expanded my network and I look forward to keeping in touch and potentially collaborating with some of the people I met. In the meantime, make sure you check out Las Horas Contigo if it’s playing in your city, you’ll be in for a treat.

Demian Bichir accepts his "Arbol de la Vida"

Friday, September 5, 2014

Write About Things You Know

            Hello everyone, please forgive my hiatus from this blog! It was a busy summer shooting a new sitcom and I just started working in a new Reality show, both of which I’ll write about in the near future.
Last night was definitely one for the books. I got to attend “The Writer’s Room” at the DBA Hollywood. Moderated by Reza Aslan, the discussion panel featured one of my idols, Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar), and Academy Award nominee Craig Borten (Dallas Buyers Club).

            The evening started off with a glass of wine and some house music, followed by a stand-up act by a funny man whose name I can’t remember. Anyway, the main event commenced with Mr. Aslan introducing the gentlemen.

            So many things were covered. From screenwriting methods, getting started in the industry, issues that ranged from lgbt rights to religion, and pressure to keep momentum after working on Academy Award winning films.

            “The most important thing about the story is not an event or a place, it’s a person,” said Dustin Lance Black. He stated that stories are compelling not because they revolve around events, but because they happen to a person. “The king of note cards,” as Mr. Aslan called him, said that even though his stories are based on true events, they are tweaked in a way to provoke the present and spark a bomb that will help change things for the future. For example, he thinks documentaries are interesting because they are informative, but his goal when writing a movie based on true events is to make it applicable to current events so that it can inspire action by people. Something else that Dustin said that really stuck with me was, "Write about things you know."

            It truly was an inspirational night. I’ve been a huge fan of Dustin Lance Black’s work since 2008 and getting to sit in the front row and listen to him speak was definitely a highlight of this year. I also had an opportunity to ask him a question during the Q&A at the end of the discussion panel. I asked, “What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career that you don’t regret because you learned from it?” He thought it was a difficult question and it took him a while to think about it, but he gave me good advice. Black thinks it’s important to place your projects in good hands and to be on top of everyone and everything. He recalled an earlier project that didn’t come to fruition the way he expected because he let others take too much control of it. Borten also added that it is much better to let producers make creative decisions instead of actors. Now, go write something that moves you!

Olympic Diver Tom Daley

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Experience Working on La Voz Kids

            Hello everyone, I hope you all have a great week! I’m taking this time to share with you my experience working on La Voz Kids. Even though the second season of this Spanish/Kid version of The Voice started a few weeks ago, I waited until today to write about it because I worked on the “Battles” portion of the show, which concluded last night. The show, which airs on Telemundo Sunday nights, had three episodes (April 27, May 4, and May 11) of “las batallas” where 18 out 54 kids made it through to the live portion of the show which starts next week.

            I worked as an assistant on the contestant management department, so I dealt directly with the kids and their families. Throughout the week before rehearsals and the tapings began, I made sure they were on time for their meals, their tutoring hours, voice or dance practice, etc. Once rehearsals for the tapings began, I was in the soundstage coordinating they’re arrival to the holding area before it was their turn to go up and perform. At the same time, I also managed to assist the audio department micing lavs on contestants and two family members. Once the actual tapings began, it was pretty much the same drill, except it got crazier but more exciting, since it’s shot as if it was live. The kids were divided in groups of three, totaling eighteen groups. Only one kid per group made it through, so it got pretty intense. It was pretty much “Hunger Games,” as I like calling it.

            I must say this has been one of the best, if not the best, work experience so far. One of my dreams came true, which was to work on a singing competition show. I got to be back in Orlando for almost two weeks, which meant I had the opportunity to catch up and work with friends and colleagues, I swinged by my favorite local spots, and I visited my alma mater and spoke to students about life after college and LA. I got to work on a new department and I learned a lot from both the people above me and even the contestants. It was also nice seeing these three episodes on TV after going through that process with my colleagues, the contestants and their families. I wish the best of luck to everyone on the live portion of the show.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My First NOH8 Picture

            Hello everyone, are you wearing pink today? I am, and I promise it is pure coincidence. Not only is it Wednesday, but it is the tenth anniversary of the theatrical release of Mean Girls. On another note, I am writing a slightly different blogpost than usual to share my first NOH8 picture and my experience with the campaign since I started volunteering back in December of 2013.

            For those who aren’t familiar, the NOH8 campaign is a photographic silent protest that was started in direct response to the passage of Proposition 8 in California back in 2008. Founded by photographer Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley, the mission of this charitable organization is to promote marriage, gender, and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest. Since its inception, over 30,000 portraits have been taken around the world. Many politicians, athletes, and celebrities have joined the cause, including Larry King, Cady Heron (sorry, Lindsay Lohan), Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games), Bryan Singer (X-Men), and even The Power Rangers.

            My personal reasons for posing are to raise awareness for voiceless victims of bullying, violence, and hate simply because of the color of their skin, their beliefs, the person they’re in love with, or for being different. As someone who is in the early stages of a Film and TV career, I also pledge to keep producing my own content that represents the voiceless in a respectful and honorable way, such as Know Your Status and Vicissitude, and I'll continue to do so until eventually I’m able to create material for a global audience.

            Being involved with the campaign is a great way to be part of something bigger than yourself. I am also grateful because I’ve had the opportunity of meeting amazing people the last times I’ve volunteered, including Adam of course, whose work I’ve been following since high school, Rachel Crowe from Season 1 of The X-Factor, and Keith Blau, someone I can now call a great friend and who has been of great advice when it comes to important career decisions. He's an entertainment lawyer at Universal who's been volunteering with the campaign for four years. 
To my friends in Orlando, don’t miss the opportunity to get your picture taken on May 6th, and to my local friends, there will be a photo shoot in West Hollywood on May 10th. I’ll be volunteering, so swing by!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Turkey Donut

            Hello everyone, I hope you enjoyed my last post on Lindsay. If you had the chance to catch the docu-series, feel free to comment on it. I’d like to see if you agree or disagree with me, or if there were some shocking moments I forgot to mention.
This post includes a Q&A with director/writer and my friend Ethan Barrett. He is the creator of Turkey Donut, a YouTube channel he launched a few months ago. There’s also a surprise if you scroll down. I was involved in one of his videos. Make sure you click and watch to find out how.

1. What inspired you to pursue a career in filmmaking?

Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to make movies. On weekends I wanted to go out to the movies. When my friends came over, I asked them to bring movies over. I can't really explain the motivation behind it; it's just always been there. However, I had no idea you could do "filmmaking" as a "career." It never occurred to me - as kids we're told to become something like a firefighter or doctor or teacher or engineer. That lasted basically until I got to college, when I found out other studies were actually taking "film classes" where all they did was talk about and make movies. My first semester I added a film major and the rest is history.

2. What kind of content will we see on your channel?

For my channel you can expect the unexpected. It's a no-holds-barred type of comedy in which the most outlandish thing (within limits) happens and takes a huge turn. Hopefully no one sees the endings coming in Turkey Donut Videos, and it’s all the better for that.

3. How did you come up with the name for your channel?

It's hard to say... Originally the name for the channel was, "Challegne Voidoes." I don't need to explain that was almost impossible to refer people to. So I needed to come up with a new name, and the idea of a walking and talking donut popped in my head. Then I mixed it with a turkey, because they're funny, too. Right?

4. What's the story behind "Haunted Shoes?" What motivated you to do it?

The first time I ever watched a reality show, I laughed my head off because I thought the whole thing was supposed to be a joke. I mean, who's really that vocally open about what's going on around them when it's so obvious? Who needs narrators to elaborately exaggerate minor conflicts? Just taking the idea of having two people walking up to each other and introducing each other on television - that's kind of dumb! There are a dozen camera people around, and of course these people have met before. You can just see it in their faces. Reality TV's just funny to me, and it's never funnier than when it takes itself absolutely seriously. Then, one day a friend was watching one of those "spooky house" shows where a ghost-hunter explores a haunted house in night vision, pokes his head around the corner, and has to TELL us that something really scary is going on.
Haunted Shoes was my reaction to that show. Reality TV is just hokie; it tries to convince us that the situation is much more dire than it really is. Because even though we may be exorcising evil ghosts, in the end they're still just boiling shoes in ketchup.

5. What is your favorite scene from "Haunted Shoes?"

Probably the scene where Bob runs off and we hear the sound of the ketchup squirting out of his shoes. Because everyone's taking everything very seriously while all the while the situation is pretty ridiculous.

6. Can you give us a sneak peak on videos we might be seeing in the near future?

You can definitely expect to see a lot of more of the favorite characters from Turkey Donut. More planned with Major Tim, Bill of Bill Rates, and Shirley Martinelli Buford, Jr. And Sigmund will soon be embracing a career in hip hop.

I still love Ethan, even though he totally just dissed Reality TV...

Monday, April 21, 2014



           Hello everyone! It’s nice to be back after two months. You might remember a blogpost from July 14th of last year in which I talk about the announcement of Lindsay Lohan’s docu-series on the OWN network. Well, today was the finale of the seven-episode show and I will be giving my personal points of view. So, if you haven’t finished watching, stop reading as there will be spoilers.

            I can’t say I didn’t like it since I watched each episode religiously; however, I had so many issues with the show! First of all, I was taken away from the experience many times (especially at the beginning when I was figuring out the tone of the show) because it wasn’t strictly shot like a docu-series, and there was a lot of intervention by the crew. Audio was really bad on some scenes, such as Lindsay’s audio when she’s being interviewed by Oprah at Dina’s house on episodes three and four, and the literary agent’s audio in the sixth episode. One of the things that made me laugh took place on the fifth episode. It’s a scene with the personal assistant, AJ, and someone else having a conversation on the street. People are walking by, aware that they’re on camera but not knowing what to do. They look at the camera, try to hide from it, walk quickly, etc. I just thought it was pretty funny, but also wondered where the second camera was.

            Story wise, Lindsay was pretty much a lost cause until the last episode, maybe? I sympathized with many of the people around her who didn’t get the credit they deserved, which are AJ, the sober coach, and the best character of the show, her personal assistant. I am happy though that the show didn’t really take sides and didn’t mind showing Lindsay be a total b****, as the Indonesian lady from the “natural lighting” photo shoot called her. (I love that they showed that).

            This show was a guilty pleasure that kept bringing back the audience to see if Lindsay could ever clean her act. Oprah reminded us she is a total boss with her speeches, and even though it wasn’t great on a technical level as I’ve mentioned already, I think the people in the story department did a good job considering all the footage that was recorded and all the events that took place.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

#IAMSORRY: An Art Experiment for Many, A Patience Experiment for Me

            Unless you live in a cave with no Wi-Fi or don’t work in the entertainment industry, you probably have no problem associating the words #IAMSORRY (Hashtag included) with actor Shia LaBeouf due to his ever growing eccentric behavior these past few weeks.

            LaBeouf, who is better known for his roles in the Transformers trilogy and Holes, has been topic of discussion on tabloids and social media lately. The 27 year old plagiarized a graphic novel in his directorial debut, a short film that premiered at Cannes in 2012. Also, he plagiarized fourteen apologies he made. You thought that was strange? Well, he stormed out of a press conference for his latest two-part film, Nymphomaniac, and wore a paper bag at the Berlin Film Festival premiere of such film with the words “I am not famous anymore.”

            The paper bag occurrence led to a so-called art experiment in Los Angeles called none other but #IAMSORRY. Taking place at a rented spot across the Buzzfeed headquarters, the experiment consisted of the actor sitting down (with a paper bag of course) for hours. People had the opportunity to walk in and tell him whatever they wanted for as long as they wanted.

            Since I recently wrapped on a show and had the week off, I decided to swing by on the third day of the “show.” Doors opened at 11:00, so I got there between 10:15 and 10:30. Little did I know that the line would already be lengthy, but worse, that I wouldn’t get in.

            You might think I’m crazy for waiting in line that long, let alone for wanting to talk to a stranger with a bag on his head. Honestly, it was refreshing and much needed. I got some sun and observed hundreds of “different worlds” who where there of the same reason. I got to meet people who work in the industry, I witnessed weird and unique people share their stories about moving to LA. Some talked about their favorite music, someone even brought a boom box. Another one in particular, claimed his upcoming book was plagiarized by LaBeouf. The man stayed there all day handing out flyers and explaining his situation. Even Ray J (Known for being Brandy’s brother and the reason Kim Kardashian is famous…) pulled in. He didn’t get in either. He thought he was too good to cut in line, but everyone refused to let him in.

            It was 17:30 and there were still twenty people ahead of me. Doors closed at 18:00, so my chances of getting in were hopeless. I think the reason I didn’t make it was because some lady stayed in the room for almost an hour! I wonder what she told him. That lead me to ask myself what I would’ve said. Honestly, I didn’t plan anything. I probably would have sang Chingon’s version of “Malageña Salerosa” or I would have told him my story about LA in Spanish. The idea of attending was to see what all the hype was about, to experience something I would normally never do, and to test my patience. I was successful.

 Bumblebee showed up!

 Smart lady selling water bottles for two bucks

 Buzzfeed Headquarters across the street

 The things people do to make time pass

Ray J shows up and attracts the media

Copyright Ricardo Ramos 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Top 10 Motion Pictures of 2013: Three Matthew McConaughey movies, four period pieces, and a ton of LGBT characters

It’s that time of the year, the “Top 10” list of the best pictures last year had to offer. 2013 was one of the strongest years in a very long time. If you read my “Top 10” list of 2012, you may recall I wished it could be a “Top 20” list instead. A year later, I’m glad I didn’t “break the rules” and create it; if that had been the case, I would’ve had to make a “Top 30” this year. Anyway, as I mentioned a year ago, my list consists of movies that I consider to be technically and artistically beautiful. These ten pictures have impacted me and left a mark in me. They offered different points of view, and even though some were challenging to watch and analyze, they were of value and importance to me as a person and filmmaker.

10. Mud (Dir. Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter)

Mud is a fine example of a strong independent film with an amazing story about loss and recovery. I’m glad I had the opportunity to watch it at the Florida Film Festival. There is something about the characters, especially Ellis, the leading young boy played by Tye Sheridan (The Tree of Life), that make them relatable in various ways. (I’m glad he was nominated for a “Best Young Actor” award at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards; he definitely steals the movie). This is an underrated movie, at least among my circle of friends and acquaintances. I wish it had gotten a bit more attention.

9. Prisoners (Dir. Denis Villeneuve, Incendies)

Prisoners is a movie with talent galore. It’s sad it didn’t get any recognition in the awards circuit, except for Roger Deakins’s cinematography in the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards and the Academy Awards. Hugh Jackman and Paul Dano steal the show with intense and unforgettable performances, both of these incredibly talented actors, along with the cast, got snubbed from nominations.

8. Kill Your Darlings (Dir. John Krokidas)

Kill Your Darlings is another underrated movie. No one I’ve talked to about it has seen it. This provocative film, which played at Sundance, presents to us a more mature Daniel Radcliffe. “Harry Potter” portrays a young Allen Ginsberg, the American poet who was part of the beginnings of a movement known as the Beat Generation.

7. The Wolf of Wall Street (Dir. Martin Scorsese, Hugo)

If I had to describe The Wolf of Wall Street in one word, it would be “grand.” The movie is out of control and all over the place, which is why I love it. The art direction is the element that appealed to me the most; the clothes, the cars, the houses. Unfortunately for Leo, this year was very competitive for male actors. He delivers the best performance of his career. As the movie develops, you root for him, he makes you laugh, you despise him, you feel sorry for him, and you root for him again.

6. Blue is the Warmest Color (Dir. Abdellatif Kechiche)

Once more, I’m going to go ahead and use one word to describe the next film, and that is “fearless.” Blue is the Warmest Color is a three hour-long film about how two French girls meet, start a relationship, fall in love, and everything that comes after. I wouldn’t be surprised if twenty-year-old Adèle Exarchopoulos didn’t undergo a nervous breakdown during and after shooting this film. I’m glad she received the “Best Young Actor” at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards. Winner of a Palm D’ Or at the Cannes Film Festival, the controversial, NC-17 Rated film, is probably the most honest, brutal, and real story I have seen about a relationship.

5. Blue Jasmine (Dir. Woody Allen, Vicky Cristina Barcelona)

Blue Jasmine has to be one of the funniest movies this year. It is heartbreaking to go through Jasmine’s journey as she falls and jeopardizes the relationships she has with the people closest to her, who also happen to be the most distant. This is one of those movies with strong characters and good dialogue. Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins nail their roles.

4. Philomena (Dir. Stephen Frears, The Queen)

The story of Philomena, which is based on a true story, is incredible. Despite some of the tragedies our leading character goes through, it is a feel-good movie with charming moments, all thanks to the chemistry between 79 year-old Judi Dench and 48 year-old Steve Coogan. Another great Weinstein Company art piece.

3. Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallee, C.R.A.Z.Y.)

Dallas Buyers Club is an informative and eye-opening film about a subject that unfortunately is still taboo in a way. I have many friends who were literally scared to have contact with another human being after watching it. It shouldn’t be that way, but at least I feel that the film left an impact and created awareness in people. This is a film about survival, forgiveness, and starting again. It’s nice that after 15 years, the script finally turned into an outstanding piece of work.

2. Gravity (Dir. Alfonso Cuarón, Y Tu Mamá También)

Gravity is a film that has no categorization. I remember being on the edge of my seat during the entire hour and a half; it felt like 45 minutes. I describe Cuarón’s best film to date as a roller coaster of emotions. You laugh, you sweat, and you cry. Many people bash the story, saying it’s too plain, but I think it’s perfect. Its simplicity makes it grand, going deeper than what you see on screen. There are a lot of metaphors and foreshadowing. If you think about it, this film is pro life, it roots for women, and it is a reflection on the fragility of life, to mention a few. I remember hearing and reading about this film for years, so it was very nice to finally experience it.

1. 12 Years a Slave (Dir. Steve McQueen, Shame)

12 Years a Slave is a film that needs to be shown in US History classes all around the nation. It is sad I didn’t know about the story of Solomon until I saw the movie, like many other people. It is a shame (and a blessing) that this is one of the very few films that truly show what slavery was about. I’m going to have to use the word “fearless” again to describe this film and its director, who happens to be a British making a film about slavery in the United States. McQueen and Fassbender collaborate for the third time and need to continue doing so. This film scarred me but also made me appreciate life a little bit more. Every element works, and even though it was tough for me to decide between this and Gravity, this just had to be the best and my favorite film of 2013.