The Queer Brilliance of Jill Soloway's Transparent

Categories: Film and TV

Jill Soloway, who has described her new series, Transparent, as just like any other family series, understands the difficulty of family. Her feature debut, Afternoon Delight, proved as much; exploring the unhappiness of marriage, it's a perfectly blunt, comic approach to depicting a woman who couldn't cope with the boredom of marriage. And, as she's shown throughout her writing (Six Feet Under, United States of Tara), most people are damaged, most people struggle, and those who claim they don't are simply hiding behind a veil.

See also: Meet the Men Behind the Provocative Short Film Dolphin Lover

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Jack Feldman on Writing Lyrics for Newsies and "Fansies"

Photo by Deen van Meer
In 1992, Disney took a chance on a little story about scrappy newsboys who formed a union and changed the industry. The movie, Newsies, bombed in the theaters. But nearly two decades later, Disney adapted the movie to a live-action musical and began to reap the rewards of their hard work.

"[The movie] did not do well at all, it actually lost money," remembers Newsies lyricist Jack Feldman. Newsies was written off and forgotten about. That is, until the golden age of the Internet when online blogs devoted to the early 90s film started popping up and entire songs could be found via a simple YouTube search. High schools and amateur theater groups were even performing unauthorized versions of the production.

Could a once flop have amassed such a cult following that it merited a revival?

See also: Miami International Film Festival Announces 2015 Lineup

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Congratulations to the Mastermind Awards 2015 Finalists

Categories: MasterMinds

Every year the New Times accepts applications for our annual Mastermind Awards. This year we received over 120 applications and, while it was a difficult choice, we've whittled it down to 10 finalists.

Each of our finalists will be featured in a upcoming issue of the New Times. In addition, they'll also have the opportunity to exhibit their work at our annual event, Artopia, held February 26 at the Coral Gables Museum. The New Times, with the wise counsel of past Mastermind winners, will pick three winners from our group of finalists and award them a $1,000 grant. If you're interested in celebrating these amazing artists, you can buy tickets at

See also: Miami International Film Festival Announces 2015 Lineup

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The Ten Best Things To Do This Weekend in Miami

Photo by Monica McGivern

If you're a real Miamian, you're probably thinking that the recent cold snap is practically a winter blizzard. So put on the Floridian's equivalent of winter wear (it's called a sweatshirt) and get yourself ready for the weekend. The city has a lot to offer this weekend, from opera to rock, Shakespeare to Andrew W.K., champagne sipping and more.

Happy weekend, Miami.

See also: Six Reasons We're Excited About Mario Lopez as Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade Grand Marshal

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Sundance: Eat Through L.A. With Pulitzer Winner Jonathan Gold

Categories: Film and TV

Halfway through Laura Gabbert's documentary City of Gold, a salute to Jonathan Gold, the Pulitzer Prize–winning food critic's brother Mark reveals a dark family secret: Gold grew up devouring iceberg lettuce and orange Jell-O.

Every day, we eat. It's a must. And those meals tell a story: The peanut sauce Grandma invented, the Korean tacos that signify L.A.'s mash-up culture, and even that Jell-O, a shorthand for a childhood in South Central, where Gold's father, a probation officer who dreamed of being an English professor, cared more about filling his sons' heads with high culture than he did filling their bellies with fancy food.

He fed them right. Gold doesn't just judge a black mole — he compares it to sculpture. In his reviews, the merits of a bowl of pho spill over into opinions on punk rock, gentrification, and the American Dream. Food is vital, interpretative and alive. Every small restaurant represents someone's homeland and hope. As Gold tells the camera, "Taco should be a verb."

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Miami Ocean Studios Negotiating Deal to Bring "Hollywood-Class" Project to Miami-Dade

Categories: Film and TV

Miami Ocean Studios is in negotiations to lease 160 acres of land between the Palmetto Expressway and Florida's Turnpike. The company expects to begin construction next year on a "Hollywood-class" studio. The land being negotiated falls just north of Opa-locka Executive Airport near the Dade-Broward county line and is currently known as the Country Club of Miami.

The area purposed in the deal is home to three charities. The current contract would require Ocean Studios to provide space for the groups -- Arc of South Florida, His House, and Center for Family and Child Enrichment -- either on the property or somewhere nearby that's deemed suitable.

See also: City of Miami Breaks Ground on Film Studio

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Knight Arts Challenge 2015 Kicked Off This Week at Gramps

Photo by Monica McGivern
Tuesday night in Wynwood, interested possible applicants, proud previous winners, and engaged Miamians gathered at Gramps for the Knight Arts Challenge Kickoff event, sponsored by Infraculture.

A major funding project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight Arts Challenge awarded $2.29 million to 47 projects last year to help grow and improve the arts scene in South Florida.

See also: Knight Arts Challenge Winners Announced: Exile Books, Weird Miami, and More

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Miami International Film Festival Announces 2015 Lineup

Courtesy of Miami International Film Festival
Tuesday at the recently renovated Tower Theater on Calle Ocho, Miami Dade College's Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) announced the lineup for its 32nd edition.

Running from March 6 to 15, with screenings at seven theaters throughout Miami-Dade County, MIFF will exhibit 125 films from 40 countries. They include 94 features and documentaries, 18 shorts, 11 student films, and two works in progress.

As the only major film festival worldwide produced by a college or university, MIFF honors the Miami community as much as promotes its diverse international programming. Standing in front of posters propped up on easels at the front of the theater, MIFF Executive Director Jaie Laplante called upon local filmmakers and directors in the audience to come up and introduce themselves and their nine works that will be screened.

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Meet the Men Behind the Provocative Short Film Dolphin Lover

Courtesy of Malcolm J. Brenner
Malcolm Brenner and Dolly
It's hard not to look at the poster for Dolphin Lover and immediately wonder whether the documentary is serious. It doesn't get much more provocative than the words "This man had sex with a dolphin," and it's a surefire way to pull folks in to Kareem Tabsch and Joey Daoud's short film, Dolphin Lover. The documentary -- directed/produced by Tabsch and shot/edited/produced by Daoud -- presents the story of Malcolm J. Brenner and his romantic and sexual affair with a captive, bottlenose dolphin named Dolly.

To many, that revelation is likely terribly shocking and truly awful, but Dolphin Lover wasn't made to shame Brenner. Rather, it allows him to tell his story through film, and it's surprisingly captivating to watch him genuinely bare it all. It's a candid film, inspired by Brenner's book, Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover, comprising a lengthy interview with Brenner -- who describes his relationship with affection and detail -- along with archival footage from Floridaland, Brenner's personal photos and footage, as well as original art for the film.

See also: Zoophiles love and have sex with animals. Will the world ever accept them?

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Too Late, Obama: Cuban Art Has Been Shown in Miami for Years

Categories: Art

In Miami on April 22, 1988, Manuel Mendive's painting El Pavo Real was set on fire. The Cuban painter's work had been purchased at a fundraising auction for the Cuban Museum of Art and Culture, but its buyers weren't exactly art collectors. Rather, the winners of the auction were members of the Bay of Pigs 2506 Brigade, which paid $500, picked up the artwork, and marched out to the street. There they set Mendive's painting ablaze while the Cuban national anthem blared from a nearby radio.

Two weeks later, the museum was bombed by exile hardliners who claimed it was exhibiting artists sympathetic to the Castro regime. In June 1990, the museum was bombed a second time. More than a dozen trustees resigned and Miami commissioners voted to evict the museum, which never really recovered and dissolved in 1999. Its collection and archive were donated to the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami.

These days, Ileana Fuentes, who served as the Cuban Museum's last director in 1995, insists the burning of Mendive's painting planted the seed for new ideas, opening artistic expression in Miami. "Today those protests and tirades against Cubans exhibiting or performing in Miami are ancient history," she says. She adds that although President Barack Obama's recent diplomatic thaw between Cuba and the United States might have heightened expectations for greater cultural exchange, the fact is that Cubans have been showing their work in the Magic City for years.

See also: Rent Debuts in Cuba, First Broadway Musical Staged In 50 Years

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