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3 Expert-Backed Ways To Support Healthy Blood Sugar Levels – mindbodygreen.com

Posted: August 14, 2020 at 5:45 pm

In addition to low-glycemic fruits and veggies, as part of your balanced diet, it's important to include plenty of fiber and a variety of macronutrients.

"Getting enough fiber each day is essential for healthy blood sugar levels," says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen. "Adults should get 25 to 35 grams each day, but most of us fall short. If you spread it out to five meals (including snacks) a day, that's 5 grams of fiber per meal."

However, if you're struggling to maintain a consistent nutrient intake (fiber or otherwise), one great solution is a greens powder, which includes dried, powdered forms of various vegetables, fruits, and other nutritious ingredients.* One study found that adding a vegetable powder to a high-carbohydrate diet helped buffer the short-term glucose and insulin response.*

mindbodygreen's organic veggies+, in particular, was designed to help support healthy blood sugar. In addition to a number of nutritious leafy greens and veggies, it features a fiber blend of flaxseed and inulin.

"It also provides cinnamon bark, which promotes healthy blood sugar balance by slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion,*" Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, previously told mindbodygreen. In fact, some studies suggest that cinnamon promotes healthy blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, or making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells.*

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3 Expert-Backed Ways To Support Healthy Blood Sugar Levels - mindbodygreen.com

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Book: Taste of immortality – The Concord Insider

Posted: August 14, 2020 at 5:44 pm

By Insider Staff - Aug 13, 2020 |

Tuck Everlasting

By Natalie Babbitt

(180 pages, junior fiction, 1975)

If you were given the chance to live forever, never aging, would you take it?

Thats a decision the Tuck family never got to make. They unknowingly drank from the magical spring and now they cant age or die. Realizing the power of the spring, they protect it, keeping it a secret to prevent others from the same fate.

When Winnie Foster encounters the Tuck family while out for a walk, she insists on drinking from the spring, not knowing its true power. So what is the Tuck family to do, but kidnap her. They cant let the secret of the spring be revealed.

As Winnie gets to know the family more, she starts to fall in love with one of their sons. Now she must make the decision; drink from the spring and join the new immortal boy she loves or continue on as if she never knew about it. Find out what happens to Winnie in this touching story that delves into the philosophy of immortality.

Visit Concord Public Libraryat concordpubliclibrary.net

Amy Cornwell

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Book: Taste of immortality - The Concord Insider

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

American Horror Story: Every Immortal Character In The Show – Screen Rant

Posted: August 14, 2020 at 5:44 pm

An array of characters in American Horror Story have had the power of immortality or extended lifehere's a breakdown of those notable figures.

An array of characters in American Horror Story have had the power of immortality. The series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk loves to mix a form of reality with some of the world's biggest folklores, fears, and spiritual beliefs. In doing so, the horror anthology features a ton of supernatural elements including monsters, ghosts, and dark entities. Some of the most dangerous figures, however, are humans and their penchant for death and destruction. By creating a fictional universe, American Horror Story made its own rules when it comes tothe characters, especially as it involves a typical lifespan.

Whereas Murder House dove into the world of hauntings and ghosts, Asylum took it up a notch with the presence of angels, serial killers, and aliens. Coven focused on witches, including their powers in contrast to voodoo and black magic. The season heavily focused on the topic of immortality which didn't come back up until season 5, Hotel. The topic was once again involved in Roanoke and Apocalypse, thanks to the presence of ancient figures.

Related:American Horror Story: Every Seasons Connection Explained

It will be interesting to see what other immortal figures are introduced in the future of American Horror Story. The series is gearing up to debut season 10 in 2021, and at least two more seasons are on the way. Considering many new seasons like to bring back old figures, the immortality factor makes this even more plausible. For now, here's every known immortal character in the series.

Papa Legba was the first god-like figure introduced in American Horror Story. The ancient voodoo spirit in Coven served as the Gatekeeper to the spirit world, which is also the loa's history in traditional Haitian lore. Despite being immortal himself, the figure had the gift of giving others the extension of life. Roanoke also referenced the Old Gods, dark deities with special powers that could grant others with immortality. The Blood Moon was a symbol of their everlasting presence.

Asylum's Shachath was known as the Angel of Death due to the fact that she could grant a human's wish for death with just one kiss. As an angel, she was immune to aging or death, meaning that she herself was immortal. The season also featured Satan, aka The Devil, an immortal entity that had the powers of possession. The dangerous being wound up feeding on the negative energy in Murder House. Satan was then able to create the Antichrist in Michael Langdon. As the antagonist of Apocalypse, the Antichrist was the essence of all evil, in addition to being a demon-human immortal hybrid. Through Mallory's use of time travel, Michael's transformation into the Antichrist was put to a stop. A mysterious creature referred to as the Addiction Demon was also known to haunt the Hotel Cortez in season 5.

Certain witches were granted immortality through the use of black magic as seen in Coven and Roanoke. Coven's Voodoo Priestess Marie Laveau was granted the gift by Papa Legba in exchange for the sacrifice of an innocent soul each year. In Roanoke,Scthach, the original Supreme witch, performed a human sacrifice to the Old Gods each year during the Blood Moon. Refusal of these sacrifices would revoke their powers of immortality.

Related:American Horror Story: 1984 Was An Underrated Gem - Here's Why

Hotel featured a new type of immortal characters through the existence of vampires or those afflicted by a blood virus. Countess Elizabeth was one of the most notable figures after being turned into a vampire in 1927. Other characters to be turned included Bartholomew, Ramona Royale, Donovan, Iris, Tristan, Holden Lowe, and Alex Lowe. The vampires must stay on a diet of fresh human blood, which gave them eternal lifespans. Despite the power, they could still be killed like a normalhuman.

American Horror Story's third season, Coven, featured two key human characters that became immortal. There was Bastien, the lover of Marie Laveau and a slave of the LaLaurie family. After one of the LaLaurie daughters claimed she was raped, Bastien was beaten and killed with a hollowed bull's head put over his own head. Marie tried to cure him, but in doing so, he became an immortal Minotaur. In an act of revenge, Marie granted Delphine LaLaurie immortality as well, but after doing so, she buried the woman where she was trapped for centuries.

Next:Every Real Serial Killer On American Horror Story

Why A Suicide Squad Video Game Is Stupid & BRILLIANT

Kara Hedash is a features writer for Screen Rant. From time to time, she dives into the world's most popular franchises but Kara primarily focuses on evergreen topics. The fact that she gets to write about The Office regularly is like a dream come true. Before joining Screen Rant, Kara served as a contributor for Movie Pilot and had work published on The Mary Sue and Reel Honey. After graduating college, writing began as a part-time hobby for Kara but it quickly turned into a career. She loves binging a new series and watching movies ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to hidden indie gems. She also has a soft spot for horror ever since she started watching it at too young of an age. Her favorite Avenger is Thor and her favorite Disney princess is Leia Organa. When Kara's not busy writing, you can find her doing yoga or hanging out with Gritty. Kara can be found on Twitter @thekaraverse.

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American Horror Story: Every Immortal Character In The Show - Screen Rant

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

‘Everybody Deserves To Be Seen As A Hero,’ Says ‘Old Guard’ Director – NPR

Posted: August 14, 2020 at 5:44 pm

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. One of the summer's big movie hits, a summer with movie theaters closed, is the Netflix film "The Old Guard," directed by my guest, Gina Prince-Bythewood. It reached nearly 72 million households in its first four weeks and is already among the top 10 most popular Netflix films ever. She is the first Black woman to direct an adaptation of a comic book. "The Old Guard" is kind of a superhero film. When the film opens, we see several people lying dead, shot up with bullets. But soon, these bodies start moving. They eject bullets from their bodies, rapidly heal their wounds and get back up.

These people, the heroes of the film, are immortals. They've lived for centuries, some dating back to the Crusades. Immortality may sound great. Who wouldn't want to live forever? But these immortals are warriors. And they've been killed over and over again through the centuries. They experienced physical pain and the emotional pain of watching friends and family die. And they know that their immortality will eventually wear out. But they never know when. The first voice we hear in the film is the immortal played by Charlize Theron after she's been killed yet again on a mission.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE OLD GUARD")

CHARLIZE THERON: (As Andy) I've been here before - over and over again - and each time, the same question. Is this it? Will this time be the one? And each time, the same answer. And I'm just tired of it.

GROSS: The plot of "The Old Guard" revolves around a young woman, a Marine, who's killed in Afghanistan but miraculously heals and doesn't understand why. The immortals find her and initiate her into the immortal world that she initially wants no part of. Meanwhile, the head of a pharmaceutical company is trying to capture and study the immortals and figure out how to duplicate their DNA so that they can market immortality. Gina Prince-Bythewood also directed the films "Love And Basketball," about a young woman trying to be good enough to become a professional basketball player, and "Beyond The Lights," about a singer who's pressured into creating her image around her sexuality.

Gina Prince-Bythewood, welcome to FRESH AIR. And congratulations on the new movie. You know, I've been thinking about having a movie about immortality and the pain of outliving loved ones, having that released during the pandemic - I mean, you couldn't have understood the context that this would be released in. Does it change or deepen the meaning for you of the film?

GINA PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: You know, it did. There were two things that, you know, became highlighted for me having this film come out now. It was, you know, both the pandemic and, you know, this certainty of how connected globally we are. You know, for me, one of the beautiful things about the script when I first read it and what I was excited to put into the world was that it was this group of warriors from different cultures and backgrounds and sexual orientations and genders that have come together to protect humanity. And, you know, it just feels, you know, even more relevant. And then the other is this national reckoning that we're having in this moment, which I certainly believe is tied to the pandemic as well.

But the - how important it is to have characters like Nile in the world given how, you know, complicit, really, Hollywood has been in the images of Black people that have been put out that damage our humanity, as well as the invisibility, which does the same damage, certainly of Black women - and so again, you know, to have these images suddenly, not only here but globally, has been, you know, I think, a really beautiful thing and I hope, you know, has given people some inspiration or aspiration.

GROSS: Nile is the young Marine who becomes one of the immortals. And she wears a cross. She believes in God. And Charlize Theron's character watches the young woman pray and basically says, yeah, you know, give up. God doesn't exist. And then when Nile the young woman doesn't believe in the supernatural story about immortality, Charlize Theron says, you already believe in the supernatural. Meaning, you already believe in a supernatural God. So you should be able to believe in this story of immortality. How does that part strike you? How does that part speak to you?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: It's interesting because that was something that I brought to Nile's character is her faith. And it really started with what I felt was truthful to this young, Black woman and knowing how important the church is in the Black community. So it just felt real that she would believe in God. And that goes to, you know, when you take on a project and you take on characters, to really do the work and really dig deep on who they are and the truth of who they are. So in adding that, then suddenly it sparked so many really good conversations with Greg and I about spirituality and about religion. And...

GROSS: Greg Rucka is the screenwriter who also wrote the book that the movie is adapted from.

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Yeah. He - the conversations were so great because he believes - and it makes perfect sense - a character like Andy, who has lived for so long, would not be religious. She would not really have any faith in religion because she's seen the way, you know, religion has been used for thousands of years for - honestly, for negativity and for evil, and the way that, you know, certain religious societies have really denigrated different people. And then on a (laughter) whole nother level, the fact that when people saw that she couldn't die, you know, early on, that she herself was worshipped as a god. But she knows she's not a god.

You know, to her, despite her immortality, she is just a person. And so she saw the hypocrisy in religion for so long that there's no way that she believes in that. And she wouldn't even call yourself spiritual. I think that reconnection to spirituality comes in meeting Nile and her relationship with Nile. But I just felt that that was a really interesting contrast between the two women. And, again, everything that's happening to Nile, the first thing she would do is try to connect with her spirituality and her belief in God to try and understand the why. But that's also why she doesn't stop asking why, because of her faith.

GROSS: Are you thinking any differently about life and death now after having (laughter) made the film and having to think so much about life and death and immortality?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: (Laughter) I've always been afraid of death. Like, ever since I was a little kid, it was just a thing that's always in the back of my mind. And so - so many times in my life, I have said I wish I could live forever because you just think about the courage that that would give you, all the things that you would do if you didn't have that fear. I mean, I have an incredible fear of flying. I have claustrophobia.

So in doing this film, it was so interesting because, you know, early on, there was some pushback in that some wanted to focus more on the aspirational aspects of immortality. And I just think that that is what makes it interesting to talk about the opposite side of what we all envision immortality to be. And the thought of outliving everyone and the loneliness, I think, alone would be so hard to live with. But also, at what point does the - you're just seeing the world just hurt itself on a loop. And, you know, what would that feel like, especially if you, you know, have this ability you think you can protect and save, yet you just feel helpless in that? That just felt so interesting and real to me and did make me kind of question. Maybe I don't want to live forever. Now, I'd love to have immortality for, you know, a couple of years (laughter) so that I could, you know, jump out of a plane, which is something I've always wanted to do. But it really did make me think about - that having a finite end is actually a good thing.

GROSS: I just think it's kind of strange you have a fear of flying, but you want to jump out of a plane. I'll process that later.

(LAUGHTER)

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: I think so that I could get over the fear, but I think that's the wrong way to get over it.

GROSS: Yeah, it might be the wrong way (laughter). OK. Was it ever your ambition to make an action film?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Yes (laughter). I love the genre, and I've always loved it. It's just the nature of Hollywood. You - there was a long time where it was just a thing of - I like action films, but I'd never thought I'd get the opportunity to make one just because those doors were not open at all to women. It wasn't even in the conversation. And it really wasn't until Patty Jenkins did what she did with "Wonder Woman" and had such success not only making such a good film under such incredible pressure but the success of the film. And that absolutely cracked the door open.

And then suddenly, this thing of, oh, I love those movies - you know, I turned it into, I want to make that movie. And just putting that into the ether and now suddenly having, you know, a specific path - OK, how do I get there? What decisions do I need to make to get to that place? - and really started doing that for myself.

GROSS: So how did the door open to making "The Old Guard?"

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: It started with doing the pilot for Marvel's "Cloak And Dagger." And once you do that first one, then suddenly, people think, oh, that's what she does or that - or she can do that also. And that suddenly put me into the conversation of some of those percolating superhero films that were starting to be made and people starting to think, oh, maybe we should have a female director. And that got me to "Silver And Black," which was the Marvel-Sony film that was going to be the first, you know, Marvel film with female characters at the heart of it.

Unfortunately, that didn't go, but that year and a half of my life absolutely prepared me for the moment when Skydance sent me the script "The Old Guard." And they were very intentional on wanting a female director. And it was my previous work that got me in the room, and that is such a different thing because as I've said, it's so hard for women to get into the room because we don't have action on our resume. But how do you get action on your resume if you're not hired to do films with action? And it's such a catch-22, and it's so frustrating.

But the fact that - they loved my previous work with "Beyond The Lights" and "Love And Basketball" and wanted to bring that kind of character and story to "The Old Guard" so that it didn't feel just like an action film but felt like an action-drama, which was what I was so excited about. And so that really connected us, and, you know, we went from there.

GROSS: Do you think that having directed basketball scenes in "Love And Basketball" helped convince people who needed to be convinced that you could create - that you could direct fight scenes?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: You know what? It was interesting. In the meeting with Skydance, I remember Don Granger - it was Don Granger, Dana Goldberg and Matt Grimm and David Ellison. They had talked about - they were so impressed with how I got Sanaa Lathan, who had never touched a basketball in her life, to look so good as a ballplayer in "Love And Basketball." And they knew that this big action film with two women at the heart of it needed to have that same, you know, for lack of better words, dopeness. Like, you had to believe these women as warriors and fighters. And so they felt because I could get that out of Sanaa, I knew how to do that and felt like I could bring that to the two female actors that we cast for these two roles.

GROSS: Let me reintroduce you here. If you're just joining us, my guest is Gina Prince-Bythewood. She directed the new hit film "The Old Guard." We'll be right back after a break. This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIG LAZY'S "CURB URCHIN")

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. Let's get back to my interview with Gina Prince-Bythewood. She wrote and directed the films "Love And Basketball" and "Beyond The Lights" and directed the new film "The Old Guard," which is now streaming on Netflix. It's about a small group of immortals, warriors who have lived for centuries but have had to experience their deaths over and over again before coming back to life.

So I take it you've seen a lot of action films. What do you like and not like about how - and this is a generalization here - but about how women have typically been depicted in action films? - because I'm thinking, like, sometimes there aren't any (laughter) or there's very few of them. And sometimes the ones that are there are, like, just very sexualized.

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Yeah. So when I say this - and you said as well - I'm going to give a generalization. There have been anomalies throughout the years - very few, but there have been. But it is - the female characters are not the center of the story. They're not integral to the plot or the climax. They are usually, if they do have superpowers, are sidekicks or comic relief or do not have full arcs or stories. And the fight scenes, the costume - it is about sexualizing the characters. And that - whenever there's a - you know, a cool fight between two women, it always has to turn into this sexy catfight as opposed to just - these two women are warriors. Let them fight. Let's marvel at their athleticism. That's what excites me, and, you know, I know it's because I am an athlete and grew up an athlete. And those were the women that I grew up with around me. And, also, there tends to be a thought that - OK, we cast this woman in this action role. Let's just design the fights - it doesn't matter that she's a woman; let's just design the coolest fight, as opposed to being true to what a fight with a woman would look like. A woman does not have the strength to pick somebody up and throw them up against a wall, like a man could. But there are different ways that a woman would fight and look cool.

GROSS: What are some of the different ways you had women fight?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: You know, first, I started with the true ways that they were taught to fight. So Nile is a Marine, and there is a specific martial arts that Marines are taught and that female Marines are taught. And so that's what we taught Nile, and that's what we designed her fights around.

GROSS: And she's the young woman. Yeah.

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Yeah, she's the young woman played by KiKi Layne. And, you know, with Andy, Charlize Theron's character, we - she's a little different. She knows every fighting style known to man because she's been around for so long. But, you know, we were very intentional on just the conflict between them and making sure, again, that it stayed true to their strengths, what they could truthfully do. Even if they're stronger than most women, again, they're not superheroes; they just have a supernatural ability to not die.

GROSS: The actors had to learn a lot about fighting for the film. There was a fight choreographer for the film. What did you have to learn about various forms of fighting to direct the film?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: I mean, I certainly had an advantage because I did kickbox for two years, and so I know what it feels like to hit and be hit, which is not fun. But, also, I just know what it looks like, and I know what good fighting looks like. So I wanted it to feel grounded and real. And so that certainly, you know, starts with the action, that things were going to be hand-held. They were going to be at eye-level. I wanted the audience to feel like they were in the fight. I never wanted to have the camera be a character. So for the most part, the camera, you know, was never up high or really down low or swinging around. I wanted you to feel like these are real fights and not - honestly, not movie fights.

So we would talk about, also, the story of each fight, and that was incredibly important because, for me, that's what makes a great action scene, that it has a beginning, middle and end, that it's character-driven, that it's emotional. And so when talking about the story of each one, that helped design the fight and what should happen within the fight. It also helped the actors know what they were doing in the fight so that, you know, it's not just two people punching each other or people just shooting each other. There's got to be stakes to it.

And so it's - you know, it's a fascinating thing to sit and talk about the story, and then they start to build a fight, and then I look at it. And, you know, you know what? I think I want more of this. Like in the plane fight, I wanted a shift in the fight. I wanted Nile to get a couple of shots in, to surprise Andy, to impress Andy, but also to give herself swagger, you know? But then I wanted, you know, Andy to take that back. And that was that face-grab - that was something that I really wanted to push the humiliation in that moment.

GROSS: Sometimes the editing in fight scenes is so - sometimes it's so highly edited that, speaking for myself, I have no idea who's doing what to who. All I see is, like, you know, guns and bullets and arms swinging and chaos, but I don't know, like, who's killing, who is getting wounded.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSS: Is that something you tried to avoid?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Oh, absolutely. It's fascinating. You know, you see how action, it evolves, and it goes in cycles, and people get excited about one thing that an auteur creates, and then everyone tries to copy it for a while. You know, you look at Bourne - the Bourne movies. You know, that first one created a new style of action in - not only just the action itself, but how to shoot it. And it was that super quick-cutting, when you don't quite get what's going on, but it was so well done that you still understood it. But so many people tried to copy it without that same - having that same aesthetic. And it - I think a lot of action following that became this kind of mess, you know, or you're using it to try and hide the fact that you're using a lot of stunt doubles.

And then "John Wick" came, and they suddenly pulled the camera back. And you saw that it is really Keanu, and you could start to understand the choreography, which I think is a really beautiful thing because it just keeps you in it. You're not confused, and you're not having to think. The images are doing that for you. So - but what that takes is an actor willing to put in the incredible work it takes to be able to do, you know, most of your choreography and most of your fights and most of your stunts. And not every actor is - can do that or is willing to put in that work. So, you know, that's a big part of it as well.

GROSS: Well, let's take a short break here, and then we'll talk some more. If you're just joining us, my guest is Gina Prince-Bythewood. She directed the new film "The Old Guard," which is streaming on Netflix. We'll be right back. I'm Terry Gross, and this is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Let's get back to my interview with Gina Prince-Bythewood. She directed the new hit film "The Old Guard," which stars Charlize Theron as the oldest member of a small group of immortals, people who have lived for centuries, fought many battles and died many times before coming back to life. These are warriors. KiKi Layne plays Nile, a Marine who's killed in Afghanistan but comes back to life. The immortals claim her as their own and initiate her into a life she doesn't really want. Meanwhile, the head of a pharmaceutical company is trying to kidnap the immortals so that he can replicate their DNA and market immortality.

Gina Prince-Bythewood also directed the films "Love & Basketball," about a young woman trying to be good enough to become a professional basketball player, and "Beyond The Lights," about a singer who's pressured into creating her image around her sexuality.

In some action films there's, you know, like, two characters who might start as adversaries but fall in love or there's a will-they or won't-they kind of friction going on. But in "The Old Guard," the love story part is that two of the male immortals have been a couple for centuries, and they deeply love each other. And in one scene where they're kidnapped, one of the kidnappers basically says in a mocking way, what are you guys, gay? And so one of the gay guys basically gives a long talk about how, yeah, we are. We've loved each other for centuries. His kiss still means everything to me, even after all these years. And it's a pretty interesting scene for an action film. So talk about that scene a little bit. Was that in the original book?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Yeah, that was in the graphic novel and in the script. And it was just something I hadn't seen before. And I hadn't seen characters like that before. And you know, I think, you know, there's a recognition I think in what I bring as a Black female to my craft in being a director and in recognizing how important it is that everybody deserves to be seen as a hero given that I know how rare it is for myself to look up on screen in these films and see myself reflected that way. It was the same for these characters. And I just felt that they were so different and so distinct and so badass. And their love just felt real and special.

GROSS: What kind of reaction have you gotten to that scene? Well, it's not like you're in movie theaters with people 'cause movie theaters aren't open now. But without generalizing too much, I don't know that the action film audience is the most, like, gay-friendly audience in movie theaters. Is that too stereotyping there?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: No, that's - so it's interesting you say that because we had two - before COVID shut everything down, we had two audience previews of the film. So I actually got to see it in a theater with, you know, 250 people per screening. And you know, they target an audience of people they think will see the film for the previews. And I knew there would be nothing to get me to cut that scene, but we did not know what the audience reaction was going to be - at all.

And I remember sitting in the theater and as we're getting closer to the scene, just having - what is the reaction? And he gives that speech, and they kiss. And the audience erupted in applause both screenings. It was such an amazing moment and surprising, I think, given our generalization of the audience. But it honestly was tied to, I feel, this moment when we were shooting. After we'd finished shooting the scene, two different guys from the crew came up to me and said that they - how much they loved the scene and that when they were watching, like, they didn't see two men; they just saw two people in love. And that, you know - I was like, wow. I think, you know, maybe we did do our jobs here because that's what they felt, and that's what we wanted to feel - love is love.

I didn't actually know, but I guess there is a trope out there where when you have a - often when there's a gay character in the film or a film like this - and foremost, it's never been this overt; it's always been hinted at - but that they die or their partner dies. And I just - again, I had no idea that that was a thing. And so many have spoke out about how happy they were - and surprised - that these two characters got to have a happy existence and a happy relationship and live to tell another day.

GROSS: Let me reintroduce you here. If you're just joining us, my guest is Gina Prince-Bythewood. She directed the new hit film "The Old Guard." We'll be right back. This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. Let's get back to my interview with Gina Prince-Bythewood. She wrote and directed the films "Love & Basketball" and "Beyond The Lights" and directed the new film "The Old Guard," which is streaming on Netflix. It's about a small group of immortals, warriors who have lived for centuries but have had to experience their deaths over and over again before coming back to life.

I want to ask you about your film "Beyond The Lights" from 2014.

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Mmm hmm.

GROSS: And this is about a singer in the hip-hop world who has to do, like, music videos and make stage appearances in very sexualized clothes and do very sexualized choreography. And she doesn't really want to do it. But you know, her mother is kind of like a stage mother and is basically functioning as her manager, too - you know, doesn't flinch about the whole thing and keeps pushing her. No, you got to do this if you want to be a star. And you have, like, a music video in it that is so perfect...

(LAUGHTER)

GROSS: ...In terms of that kind of sexualized music video. So I want you to explain what you put into that video and why you put it in and how you feel about that kind of video.

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Yeah, I mean so many things sparked that film, some personal things, but also, you know, the love that I had for hip-hop, but seeing what was happening with female artists and the way that it felt like there was a blueprint, that you come out hypersexualized. And even young singers - 17, 18, 19 - come out hypersexualized make a name for yourself there. But then they seemed to get locked into that. And they were unable to break free because they break free from that and then, suddenly, people are thinking they're not being authentic, where, actually, the way that they came out was not authentic to them. I wanted to put all of that into the video. And it was a fascinating day on set. It was tough for me as a female to be directing that scene. And, you know, Gugu - and all props to her - you know, she went there.

GROSS: She's the star. She's the leading actress.

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Yeah. And it was uncomfortable for her. And she had - but that was the thing of what I love about actors like her - the work ethic, but also the boldness. And as I said, it was my job to make her feel safe in that environment. And she felt safe because she knew the vision. She knew the story. She knew that we had to go there with this scene because what we are trying to say with this film is I can strip all that away and allow artists to be authentic and stop hypersexualizing, you know, our female artists and, certainly, our Black female artists. But it's - that was a hard day to shoot because there was a couple of times where I just - I'm looking at the monitor and saying, am I really doing this with a couple of the moves that she had? But that's really what we had to do with that video. And it was interesting. In the rehearsals for her, it was something that she had to tap into. You have to tap into a narcissism and a just - I mean, her teacher was Laurieann Gibson, who was so great, who, you know, worked with Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga. You know, I wanted people at that level to work with her and bring that reality to it.

And, you know, early on, we realized that Gugu had to train in front of a mirror. And it was something she balked at initially because it is hard to look at yourself doing that. But we knew she needed to do that. You look at yourself, tap into that, you know, and feed it, you know, feed it from the mirror back to you. And in doing that, that was - that kind of rehearsal was about building the character. And so by the time, you know, we did get to that set, again, she could access that. But, again, it doesn't take away from the fact that, you know, it was hard. And as soon as I would say cut, I'd be the first one there with her robe (laughter), you know, to put it around her.

GROSS: (Laughter) You mentioned the word narcissism. You have to have a certain amount of narcissism to do that kind of choreography for real, to do that kind of performance for real. And I think some women see it as, like, empowerment. And so did you get into conversations with people about, like, is that female empowerment? Or is that just hypersexualization (ph)?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Oh, yeah (laughter). Those were ongoing conversations about - you know, because that is the argument that a lot of people give, that I'm empowering myself. But how is that, you know - the issue is there are some who it is authentic, you know? I don't look at Beyonce and think that she is being exploited. Like, Beyonce has full agency in what she's doing. It is the younger artists who do not have that, who are being told to - oh, you have a magazine cover? Take off your shirt. You don't take off your shirt, you don't get the cover, you know?

And that's happened. In the research in talking to these artists, it was heartbreaking to hear. And a couple of them had that - they had that story of the first time they were told to take off their shirt for a magazine shoot. They all had that same story. And no one around them is stepping up and saying, you know what? Let's not do that. Every single one was, you know, turned a blind eye, was silent in the moment. And then you just - as young artists, you go with it. So that's not empowering. That is exploitation.

GROSS: Your film from 2000, "Love And Basketball," is about a girl who becomes a young woman soon in the film. And she's obsessed with basketball. She's really good. But her temper, her arguments with the refs, kind of hold her back. You are an athlete. You played basketball. What did basketball mean in your life when you were in your teens and 20s?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: It was - sports was everything and especially basketball and track because that's where I had the most success and excelled at, I mean, for so many reasons. But I was very, very shy, foremost, and an introvert and also struggling with self-esteem given the way that I grew up in terms of, you know, being Black and then adopted by white parents and being raised in, you know, mostly all white towns. You just - you never see yourself reflected anywhere. And even more than that, dealing with the racism. And, you know, so much of your existence is that you are other or, you know, it's just a very tough thing.

And so off the court, off the track, I was just this quiet person. But on the track, on the court, I could - it felt like I could be myself - and I am on volume 10 on both of those - where all the beautiful things about being an athlete, everything it teaches you and allows you to be, you know, to tap into, you know, your aggression and your ambition and, you know, this belief that you are the best. I mean, you have to have that as an athlete. That's what pushes you to work hard.

And just outworking everybody and having this incredible passion and just bigness and loudness, like, I loved that. And I wish that I could be that person in every aspect of my life. But I do bring so many of the things that I did learn on the court and on the track to being a director because you do need - especially as a female director, you need those attributes to compete and to succeed in this environment which is, you know, so male driven.

GROSS: Yeah. So competing in basketball, which is so male driven, helped you compete in filmmaking for jobs when most directors were male?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Yeah. I mean, you have to - it's so much about perception in Hollywood. And not only perception, but it's also such inbred biases, where there's an assumption that men can do this and women are not equipped to do it. It makes no sense, but it's just there. So when you walk in a room and you're up for a job, they are looking at you to see, does this person - can I trust this person with millions of dollars? Can this person control a crew of, you know, 200, 300 - in the case of "Old Guard," you know, there's a thousand people that worked on that movie. You know, can this person do it? Can we trust them?

And so you have to come in with a confidence and a swagger that they can feel and believe. And that's me walking on the court or walking on the track because there I knew I was the best person out there. And so I literally bring that mentality into the meetings because, I mean, those things are scary. It's scary to sit across from, you know, this group of folks, most often men and already having a preconceived idea of who you are or what you're capable of, and I got to come in there and twist that immediately.

And so outside that room, I am putting myself back on the court so that when I walk in, I've got that little bop, and I've got that swagger, and I sit down, and it's the way I sit and where I sit and how I present myself that then makes them feel like, oh, damn, you know, I trust her; I think she can do this.

GROSS: How far did you get in basketball?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: With basketball, I got recruited by a couple schools but not UCLA, where I knew I wanted to go to film school. So I ended up running track at UCLA - I did triple jump - for my sophomore year and made it to the Pac-12 Championships. But after that, then I got into film school and finally had to make that definitive choice, that I think I can have a career in film. And I didn't think I had enough talent to get through to the Olympics.

GROSS: Well, let's take a short break here, and then we'll talk some more. If you're just joining us, my guest is Gina Prince-Bythewood. She directed the new hit film "The Old Guard," as well as the films "Beyond The Lights" and "Love & Basketball." We'll be right back. This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF JAY-Z SONG, "'03 BONNIE AND CLYDE")

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. Let's get back to my interview with Gina Prince-Bythewood. She wrote and directed the films "Love & Basketball" and "Beyond The Lights" and directed the new film "The Old Guard," which is now streaming on Netflix.

So I want to talk with you a little about growing up. As you mentioned, you were adopted by white parents. Tell us the story, to the extent that you know the story, of why your birth mother gave you up.

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: It's - you know, it's a fascinating thing because you grow up with being told one story. And it was just - I was told the story that, you know, her and my birth father loved each other, but they were young, and they knew they couldn't handle it, and so they, you know, gave me up to, you know, for the good - the betterment of me. But the truth of it was, in meeting with my birth mother, that their - her parents did not want her to have a Black child.

And I was very close to being aborted, which is just mind-boggling to me. And it was the fact that she had a best friend who was really religious who convinced her not to. And I've always found that fascinating because I'm pro-choice, I mean, incredibly pro-choice. Yet here is an instance where I would not be in the world if it wasn't for, you know, this best friend convincing her of that. Though I have to believe there is a part of her, then, that, you know, wanted me to be in the world as well because she did, ultimately, make that decision. But yeah, her parents were not going to let her have or raise this Black child, and so I was given up.

GROSS: So your biological mother is white, and your biological father is or was Black. I don't know if he's still alive anymore.

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Yeah, I don't know.

GROSS: Have you ever met him? Do you know who he is?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: No, I tried to track him down, and I have not been successful. She was easy, but he - I have not been able to.

GROSS: So you didn't know the real story about why your biological mother gave you up until...

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Yes.

GROSS: ...You found her...

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Yeah.

GROSS: ...And talked with her? Did your parents know the real story? Did they just keep it from you, or did they not know, either?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: They didn't know, either.

GROSS: Do you think it's just as well that you didn't know, that you didn't grow up knowing that?

PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD: Oh, absolutely. It's - I think it was - because there's so much - when you're adopted, there's so many questions when you're little, and it really keeps centering around why were you given up? Why were you tossed away? You know, my parents were very good at making me believe I was chosen, but I still had those questions and that wonder of what was wrong because how do you give up a child? How do you give up your child? So in this - in creating this very positive narrative absolutely helped, it didn't temper the fact that I had this urge and need to find my biological parents, to know where I came from. And I didn't find find her till I was in my 20s. So I think I was better equipped to handle that as well at that age, as opposed to when I was little.

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'Everybody Deserves To Be Seen As A Hero,' Says 'Old Guard' Director - NPR

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Bloodshot Writer Tim Seeley Explains What Makes the Valiant Hero Stand Out – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Posted: August 14, 2020 at 5:44 pm

Valiant's Bloodshotreturns after a brief hiatus with the fully reloaded issue #7 which is jam-packed with extras. That issue is the beginning of the newest arcnamed "Burned" arc, which follows theunkillable hero facing some overwhelming threats. Bloodshot joins forces with an agency known as The Burned in order to rescue Mina Nez, who was forced to work for the Black Bar for some time. The rescue is the easy part; what lies ahead, maybe something not even Bloodshot can stop.

CBR spoke with writer Tim Seeley, who's been writing the newest iteration of Bloodshot since it's recent relaunch, to chat about his take on the titular hero, the brief hiatus between issues, and who'd he like to see Bloodshot crossover with.

Related: Bloodshot Artist Reveals His Favorite Black Bar Monster

CBR: Your work has often taken superheroes and approached them from unusual genre angles; neither Grayson nor Shattershot is a typical superhero fare, and Extracts was in part examining the idea of the superhero. What other genres matter for Bloodshot, and what do you think the series has to say about superheroes?

Tim Seeley:For my take on Bloodshot, I think I definitely dove back into the creation of Bloodshot. I think he's alwaysbeen a sort of Frankenstein's monster. You know, he's an experiment in immortality essentially. Someone who didn't ask to be brought back, which is very much Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. So I picked up a lot of those elements and I'm obviously kind of familiar with horror. So it was an easy angle for me to kind of use as an inspiration for the storyline.

It's also very much an action movie sort of genre. There'sno doubt about it that when you're reading Bloodshot it looks like you're seeing the movie. You can see the elements of the actionmovies of the '80s and '90s where it's sort of the essential hero against overwhelming odds that sometimes ends with that Schwarzenegger style movie rescue.

Issue #7 of Bloodshot ends with a pretty big cliffhanger ending. How was it having to sit for five months waiting for Issue #8 to finally come out?

Not ideal, especially since you knowthat Issue #7was supposed to come out,and then the movie was supposed to be released. It's was supposed to be welcomed by a waiting world with open arms and everybody was excited. And then, of course, it was released the same weekend where things started closing down because the international worldwide pandemic was occurring. So obviously best-laid plans of mice and men and all of that...

I think Valiant did the bestto try and roll with the punches. Having that gap between the two issues where there was not intended to be a gap left readers salivating and waiting for the next part of the story. They'll jump right back in when we will come back out withthe sort of remixed edition to remindeveryone of what happened in Issue #7 and then it will fall in line on a regular schedule.

Do you think Bloodshot is actually being selfish for trying to atone for the bad that he's done when just existing is such a danger to the rest of the world?

Yeah, I think that's my take on the character. I think, to some degree, the character is consumed by this idea that he needs to make up for what was done to him. But also maybe this ishis unwillingness to admit that those people aren't able to control him. I think that he really is defined by a desire to have his own will and even though it keeps going against him, he really that's what he exists for. He has to prove himself so that he can make his own decisions.

Related: X-O Manowar's Long-Awaited Second Issue Scheduled For November Release

With big changes occurring at the end of Issue #7 with The Burned and a vault full of monsters now on the loose. Is the tone for the story going to change overall as Bloodshot is now up against Godzilla-sized foes?

No, it doesn't really change the tone of the book. I mean, obviously, you know, that's a big crazy moment. But my take on it is that it's still an action story, and we have to up the stakes to up the danger. He's a guy who can't die of traditional means. So him getting stomped on by Godzilla isn't going to kill him. But the danger obviously is now all these things are spilling out into the worldso he has to try and stopthem before they can destroy other people's lives. We still treat it the same even though he is up against this immense force, but the difference is he can keep going until he's paste. But it's still really about his relationship with Nix and his relationship with Eidolon and those sorts of connections that he's made. That's what the real story is. It's just the amount of mayhem that we put him through that changes.

How does writing in the Valiant Universe differ from those of Marvel or DC where you've also written?

I kind of think the Valiant Universe is a bit more cynical universe to some degree because it was founded in the 90s. Theres a desire for readers to see that its a little bit more grounded. The Valiant Universe tends to mean that these are characters are coming from an understanding the government doesn't always have our best interests in mind. Or that giant corporations aren't trying to save us either but just looking to make their money. There's a cynicism to that because people in the '90s start to realize it, and it's carried through. I think in every iteration of theValiant Universethat there have been stories of superpowersbeing influenced by corporate interests and by the politics of governmentsfor their wars. It all kind of comes from that viewpoint.

You introduced some comic book versions of Bloodshot film characters in this year's Free Comic Book Day issue. Will they be showing up in the comic anytime soon?

Yeah, I mean, it would have rolled right into the original planwhere you would have got that issue, and then two or three weeks later, you would have gotten the story that connected to that. But obviously things changed. So those characters do show up in issue 10. Basically the segment of the story you get in the free Comic Book Day issuethat all those things it's important to the overall story and all ties in. Actually, I think some of those panels you actually get to see are drawn by Brett Booth in that issue. So it's an important piece of the puzzle and we make sure that it ties all together to the next arc.

Related: Grayson's Tim Seeley Reveals Who Came Up With Grayson's Gorilla Hookup

If you could cross over with any of the other properties you're writing right now with Bloodshot, which one would it be?

I joke that I would do Money Shots. So it would be "Blood Money Shot" or "Money Bloodshot" or "Shotshot" or whatever people want to do. But it actually makes sense that I'm writing a Crow story that shares a pretty similar audience to Bloodshot so that one would be a pretty cool mashup.

Between Bloodshot and Money Shot, what's messier?

Oh, man, I can just feel for Greg from Valiant dying sweating for what I say on this one. ButBloodshot definitely because he's gonna clean up his own guts. That's a much more unpleasant scenario than the Money Shot one.

Next: Rai's Return At Valiant Marks the Perfect Jumping-On Point

Ghost-Maker: DC Debuts First Look at Batman's Newest (Old) Rival

Dan is a lifelong DC comics fan with a passion for helping others find stories and characters they will love. He co-hosts the podcast Supersons with his brother where they try to make DC comics more accessible for new readers. Dan has written for AIPT! and WMQ Comics previously. Any time not spent doing nerdy stuff is with his dog Dinah or his cats Kory & Mera.

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Bloodshot Writer Tim Seeley Explains What Makes the Valiant Hero Stand Out - CBR - Comic Book Resources

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

All 5 seasons of Misfits are coming to Netflix soon – RadioTimes

Posted: August 14, 2020 at 5:44 pm

For those of you who cant get enough of Robert Sheehan in The Umbrella Academy, youre in luck all five series of Channel 4s Misfits are landing on Netflix in September.

The black comedy, which aired between 2009 and 2013, follows a group of young offenders who, whilst working in a community service programme, obtain supernatural powers during an electrical storm.

Netflix teased the series arrival on Twitter, writing: ROBERT SHEEHAN NEWS: If S2 of The Umbrella Academy didnt scratch your itch, *all five* seasons of Misfits will be coming to Netflix UK on 15 September.

The platform also replied to a Misfits fan whod asked for Netflix to acquire the show, with the streamers UK Twitter account replying: K.

Sheehan, who appears to have a penchant for playing super-powered roles, stars in the sci-fi comedy as Nathan Young, a petty thief who gains the power of immortality. He received a BAFTA nomination for his portrayal, but left the show during series three.

Misfits also launched the careers of Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Utopia), Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones), Lauren Socha (Catastrophe), Antonia Thomas (Lovesick), with later seasons featuring Joseph Gilgun (Preacher), Karla Crome (Hit & Miss), Natasha OKeeffe (Peaky Blinders) and Matt Stokoe (Bodyguard).

Created by New Tricks and Hustle writer Howard Overman, Misfits proved wildly popular during its run on Channel 4, with rumours circulating in 2012 of a potential film adaptation.

However, speaking to Digital Spy in 2016, Overman said that despite writing the script for Film4, the film never came about. The movie business is a weird thing and it just never happened, for various financial reasons, I think, he said.

Thats just the nature of the beast. Its a bit of a lottery, the film business, to be honest, he added.

According to Deadline, a US-remake of Misfits has been in the works for channel Freeform since 2017, with Veronica Mars Diane Ruggiero-Wright serving as showrunner.

A variety of US actors have been cast in the series, based on the UK version, with Ashleigh LaThrop (Fifty Shades Darker), Tre Hall (Rebel), Allie MacDonald (Orphan Black), Jack Cannavale (Nurse Jackie), Charlie Saxton (Hung) and Dave Foley (Monsters University) playing the shows main characters.

Misfits is arriving on Netflix in the UK on Tuesday 15th September. Check out our lists of thebest series on Netflixand thebest movies on Netflix,or see what else is on with ourTV Guide.

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All 5 seasons of Misfits are coming to Netflix soon - RadioTimes

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith


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