Monday, 29 September 2014

Gone too Far Screening


'I don't think I have ever laughed from beginning to end watching a film. EVER.'

I've secretly been dispirited with UK Film recently. 
Since Kidulthood graced our screens in 2006 we've had an array of Inner City features that have never really been on par.
Victim 2011, written by Michael Maris and Ashley Chin gave us hope that the UK was doing something right - since then nothing has brought back my love for UK independent films...
Until watching Gone Too Far.

My talented (actress) friend and blogger Shanika invited me to the press screening of Gone Too Far earlier this month.
She plays the feisty, man-hungry Armani - which she absolutely nailed!
As I sat in the comfy cinema chairs, the opening sequence revealed Peckham high street, I smiled as I saw South London being shown.
Yemi played by Malachi Kirby immediately caught my attention. His face first graced the screen, in a POV shot of him checking himself out in the mirror - Then MUM bursts in - in true african mummy mode her accent pierced through the cinema speakers in a tone that only those who have grown up with 'typical african' parents would understand.
I was in total ore.
I don't think I have ever laughed from beginning to end watching a film. EVER .


"When Peckham teenager Yemi meets his long-lost Nigerian brother Iku for the first time, his estranged sibling’s African heritage and unimpressive fashion sense soon start to endanger Yemi’s street cred, particularly when trying to impress local troublemaking temptress Armani. Adolescent angst and cultural tensions erupt in this razor-sharp comedy from a team of vibrant new British talent."


As a women from Nigerian decent I could definitely emphasise with the issues raised. 
I never knew my 'African' side as my father was non-existent so I had no choice but to embrace my Vietnamese side. My earliest memory of denying my African side was when I started a new primary school in year 5 and someone asked me my ethnic background, I answered 'Vietnamese and Black'.
I mean what the hell was BLACK? 
African? Jamaican? Small Island? 
They took it and assumed I was Jamaican and I never thought to correct them.
So every time someone asked I would simply say 'I'm half Vietnamese and Half Black'. It had taken me all through primary school to secondary school. It wasn't until I started college that I realised African's where more accepted and I guess it was somewhat 'OK' be African.

Sad. But true.

Gone Too Far addresses issues that we still deal with until this day.
Black, white, brown, yellow - we are all equal.
Told through comedy this film demonstrates how important it is not to let anyone make you feel you are worth nothing just because of where you originate from.
I know I for one am very cautious not to judge people because of their backgrounds but you can't help stereotype.

****

Virgos and Kisses Rating

I can honestly say this is one film I would happily watch over and over again. I think it is important that even though this is a comedy it can be shown throughout schools and educational purposes to highlight prejudice within our community.
Directed by Destiny Ekaragha and written by Bola Agbaje this extraordinary story makes you feel as though you are on this journey with the characters. Every character, every feeling and emotion becomes you when watching Gone too Far - I can not recommend this film enough!

Out in cinemas October 10th!  

A huge thank you to Shanika Warren-Markland and Caroline at Rabbit Publicity for the invitation!


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Blogger Blogger where for art thou?

Blogging for over a year and a half now I've learnt a few things on my blogging journey that I thought I could share with you guys...



I know when I first started Virgos and Kisses I was stepping into an unknown territory and would have loved for someone to explain how it works.

So here goes...

PS. Please don't take this for gospel...Everyone's views and opinions are different.

*****

Never take it too serious 
I have a full time job and I try my best not to look at blogging as a my real job - as I have one which pays the bills - so I always try to have fun with it.
I remember when I first started, I got a lot of criticism from people I never knew telling me that my posts were random and I should stick to one genre. I felt disheartened - but I had to remind myself... I don't get paid for this ish! I can post what I like!

Blogging is a Community
In order to get readers and bloggers to come over to your blog you need to communicate with other bloggers and readers. Comment on their blog posts, join blogging communities on Facebook and Twitter and just use social media as much as you can - but be very careful not to spam!

Your bank account may take a few hits
I have learnt to control myself now, but I used to be heavily influenced by bloggers that would post amazing items... and my bank account would suffer. It's so easy to fall into - as bloggers tend to style items in ways which encourage you to purchase them - I have to remind myself that majority of the time they are being sent free things from PR companies. Where us Z-list bloggers (if you can call us that) have to spend our pennies to look half as good!

Freebies and Free events are not always beneficial
Who doesn't like receiving blogger mail and being invited to 'exclusive' fashion/blogger parties? I couldn't turn down a freebie or an invite for the world, but you also need to know your blogs worth. Not every item is your style and not every party is your scene. 

Re-Read your writing
One of my biggest learning curves from blogging.
I hardly used to re-read my work and if I did it would occasionally be once or twice. I recommend writing up a draft and going back to it the next day with fresh eyes. Spelling errors are the worst and my friends used to pick up on it straight away!

Invest in a DSLR
My pet hate on blogging is when images are grainy and have blatantly been shot from a phone. Don't get me wrong, iPhone and android have amazing picture quality and some bloggers that I follow produce stunning pictures via them but I kid you not, investing in a great DSLR will do your blog the world of good. 

Have Fun!
As mentioned above - blogging is fun.
It's your blog and I've realised that readers elevate to how your personality comes across. It's your name on the domain not someone else's. Have fun and let your personality show!

I would love to hear your tips on blogging too... leave comments!

*Images sourced from Tumblr.

Monday, 22 September 2014

LFW Round Up by Grace Jones


Due to work commitments and a festival or two I was unable to attend LFW this season. So gutted as I particularly love the SS collections. However my dear friend and budding journalist was more than happy to help me out and attend on my behalf.

******

Day 1. Friday 12th September 

My insane rush and dash to LFW started out at Somerset House to watch Jean-Pierre Braganza present his Architectonic collection. However I was slightly late and it quickly came to my attention that LFW & Lateness doesn't go together.

Check out some of the images from the collection below.








I picked up my frown, opened my eyes and realised I wasn’t late at all because all the remarkable fashion and faux pas were right in front of me and I had ample time before the next show to actually soak up and shoot the surreal atmosphere of Somerset House.

Not admitting defeat but looking at the time which is was only 4pm I strolled over to the ME Hotel for a for a glass of Pino Noir and to my surprise I am escorted into the MEdia Lounge which was strictly for press officials for the Phannatiq Parkour Presentation which started 6pm just my luck as Paul Costello starts at 5.30 across the road… Damn!!!

Downing my glasses in record time I look up and see the boys from Rough Copy so I head over and get a few snaps.
Joseph and Kazeem, two out of three aint bad!!


My day is starting to look up as one of my girl friends slips into the chaos, then it becomes drinks on the roof, celeb spotting, the fashion hit and misses but not before I bump into Tomasz Donocik Awarding winner hand-made jewellery designer.


I’m jotting down notes in my lil' pad, snapping up the atmosphere and sipping on Pinot Noir - this is the life and its becoming more and more apparent that the 60’s and 70’s are back in full effect. Long slender cuts, police sunglasses, extra-long lashes, long over coats low-rise pockets, bold mixing of colours mixed in with a more recent urban shabby chic grunge look and and I to say I’m loving it!

I’m keeping an eye on the time as the social butterfly is coming out of me glass by glass.
The mayhem along the Strand was ridiculous and I was not going to be late for the Paul Costelloe Show so with a heavy heart I leave the buzzing atmosphere of the MEdia Lounge and compose myself and head across the road. As luck would have it again I was magically rushed through the crowd and given a prime spot!





The show was amazing, my thoughts on the roof top were confirmed.

*****

Day 2. Saturday 13th September

#Fashionforpeace

I’m hanging. The sunglasses are on and London Transport have decided they really want to test my patients today... major works everywhere… GREAT!! 
The closest I can get is Charing Cross so I begin the long walk to Soho trying my best to not think about the banging headache I have and how fast my legs are trying to carry me across town. 
I arrive at Fashion Scout Freemason Hall and I'm wondering why it's so quiet. 
I make my way through the guided hall and BANG the atmosphere hits me the headache goes and its lights, camera, action!
This is what I’ve clearly been waiting for the glitz, the glam, the chic and the damn right outrageous!  The lights dim and we’re in complete darkness, the show begins lil ole me is fighting for a space alongside the other bloggers, newspapers, magazines and photographer’s its crazy but I’m loving every minute of it.

 Anna K | Yasya Minochkina

Anton Belinskiy | Leonid Zherebtsov | Lara Leshchova

*Images courtesy of Trace Publicity and Grace Jones
*Word by Grace Jones, edited by Michelle Hung