The Florida Project, the new highly-anticipated film from Sean Baker (Tangerine), stars Brooklynn Prince (in a breakout role) as a young girl in Orlando, Florida, who spends her summer engaging in mischief and going on adventures with her ragtag friends while the adults around her struggle with hard times living in a motel on the outskirts of Walt Disney World.
Cities often grow because they have a fine harbor, an excellent climate, and a railroad junction. For these reasons the City of Tampa grew, and became the largest Gulf port in the state of Florida. But West Tampa, just across the Hillsborough River from Tampa, grew, not of the geographical or climatic possibilities, but because one “Tampan” (Hugh C. Macfarlane) saw an opportunity, and grasped it. West Tampa was planned and thought out beforehand. There were great developments, because such developments had been anticipated. It was, in brief, a city that was conceived, flourished and grew, and passed out of existence in twenty-nine years. Paradoxically, while the city can still be found, it is no longer, theoretically, a city.
Warner Brothers’ second adaptation of the beloved Stephen King novel, directed by Andy Muschietti (Mama), follows a group of misfit kids that come together when a monster (taking the form of a clown) begins terrorizing and preying upon the town’s children.
Girls Trip is perhaps the biggest surprise of the year, and by far the most memorable film I’ve seen this summer. In the R-Rated raunch-fest, four life-long friends (Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish-in a breakout role) head over to the New Orleans’ Essence Festival for a weekend of debauchery as hilarity ensues.
Atomic Blonde is the breath of fresh air this summer desperately needed. Amidst all the latest franchise-installments and box-office-bombs is Atomic Blonde: a thrilling, expertly-crafted (not to mention feminist) spy thriller. In the film, Charlize Theron stars as Lorraine Broughton, an undercover M16 agent sent to Berlin during the Cold War to recover a top-secret list of double agents.
68 Kill, adapted from the graphic novel of the same name, stars Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds) and AnnaLynne McCord (Excision) as Chip and Liza, a young couple whose plan to steal $68,000 from Liza’s sugar daddy leads into something more deranged and violent.
In my years of growing up in Ybor City, which was the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, there was one man who stood out head and shoulders above the population. All who aspire to intellectualism, to appreciators of art and music, and to be leaders in the politics of that day, basically a long sputtering fight against communism, had to look up to Don Victoriano Manteiga. He was our leader.
If you are old enough to remember “soda fountains”, consider yourself lucky. The great age of soda fountains is long gone, but what a fun time it was for those of us that had the opportunity to experience this slice of Americana.
Three of Tampa’s popular soda fountains located downtown were Kress, J. J. Newberry and Woolworth’s. The three stores were all next to one another on Franklin Street. For 5 or 10 cents you could have a milk shake or malt with at least three scoops of ice cream. You could also ask the soda jerk to mix you a cherry or vanilla coke.
When an unknown woman showed up on her doorstep, Ignacia’s life changed dramatically. As the two women spoke, she discovered the man she loved and the father of her children had a secret of his own–he had a wife in another town.
The two women spent the afternoon talking, comparing their lives and trying to make sense of the painful discovery. It became clear how easy it was for this man to lead two separate lives. His job as a railroad engineer took him from town to town for long periods of time.
Fresh out of the Sundance Film Festival comes another dark comedy from graphic novelist, Daniel Clowes (author of the source material for the 2001 cult-film Ghost World) who teams up with director, Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins), for a cynical, offbeat dramedy about an anti-social man (Woody Harrelson) who re-connects with his ex-wife (Laura Dern) and his teenage daughter (Isabella Amara).