Category Archives: TV/movie

Comedy + Undocumented Immigration: Do they mix?

Scene from film short, La Línea

When I received an E-mail from a man named Evan about a film described as “An indie feature comedy about undocumented immigration” – I was intrigued but also wary. “How can undocumented immigration be funny?” I asked myself.

I continued to read Evan’s E-mail, giving him the benefit of the doubt and followed the link he gave me to a Kickstarter campaign where I could find out more. (Kickstarter is a website where one is able to raise funds for projects.) The project, Sun Belt Express, is a film he wants to produce – and, well, I’ll let him tell you about it.

Even after viewing this video and sensing real sincerity from this guy, I was still a little skeptical. Mixing comedy with such a sensitive topic wouldn’t be easy, and if done without care, could do a lot of harm. I didn’t want to endorse something I wasn’t totally certain about so I asked if I could see the full length version of the film short, La Línea, to get a sense of what he’s up to. After watching it, I was sold. I can see why La Línea received the recognition that it did at film festivals and I can’t wait to see more from Evan and his team. What they’re working on is something special – something that deserves to be made.

The more I think about it, what could be more representative of Latinos than the ability to find humor in even the most difficult of situations? It’s one of the things I identify with and admire most about the culture.

I started to think about Carlos’s journey to the United States and some of the stories he’s told me – and yes, there are some funny ones – Maybe I’ll share them here one day, but for now, if you want to know more about Sun Belt Express, click over to their Kickstarter campaign, support them with a donation, and spread the word so they can get funded before the fast approaching deadline.

We Women Warriors

Today I want to share a really inspiring film with you. We Women Warriors is “an independent documentary feature that follows three native women who are caught in the crossfire of Colombia’s warfare and who use non-violent resistance to defend their people’s survival.” Check out the trailer and if you feel moved, see below for ways you can view the full film and help their cause.

This August you can see screenings of this film in New York and Los Angeles. Tickets are now available. Don’t live in NY or LA? You can still support We Women Warriors – visit the Take Action page of their website to find out how.

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Related link: Colombian Youth Choose Soccer over Violence

Dora the Explorer (like you’ve never seen her before)

All the episodes of Dora the Explorer I sat through when my boys were younger are suddenly worth it. Check out our favorite belly-baring bilingual niña in her latest adventure.

(Note: If you have little Dora the Explorer fans hanging around, watch this parody video when they’re taking a nap – It’s definitely not for them.)

(Hat tip to my little sister for sending this to me.)

La Bondad, Pásala – (Kindess, Pass it on)

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. English translation is below!

Image source: Paul

Hay unos comerciales que salen en la televisión que no están vendiendo nada salvo la idea que podemos hacer actos de bondad, y practicar otras virtudes como la honestidad. Esos comerciales son producidos por La Fundación para una Vida Mejor y cuando los veo, a veces me sacan las lágrimas porque me pongo a pensar que bonito podría ser el mundo si todos intentaban tratar a los demás con amabilidad.

Puedes ver más comerciales en español de La Fundación para una Vida Mejor en su sitio de web, UnaVidaMejor.org. (Mi favorito no estaba disponible en YouTube. Aquí está.)

Viste los comerciales de La Fundación para una Vida Mejor? Cuál es tu favorito? Cómo te hacen sentir?

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

There are some commercials on TV that are not selling anything but the idea that we can do acts of kindness, and practice other virtues like honesty. These commercials are produced by The Foundation for a Better Life and when I see them, sometimes it brings tears to my eyes to think how beautiful the world could be if everyone just tried to treat others with kindness.

You can find more commercials in Spanish at the Foundation for a Better Life website, UnaVidaMejor.org. (My favorite was not available on YouTube. Here it is.)

Have you seen the commercials from the Foundation for a Better Life? Which is your favorite? How do they make you feel?

Guest Post: Espinoza Paz, un hombre sencillamente “talentoso”

I have something really special and super chévere for you today. At a recent event I met la bella Teresa Garza of Checa La Movie and we got to chatting. Weeks before I had seen on Facebook that she met Espinoza Paz at an event promoting the movie “Girl in Progress” – and so I told her I’m a big fan of Espinoza and asked her about her experience, how he is in person, etc.

It turns out that Teresa had some video of her face-to-face chat with him that she hadn’t uploaded and she agreed to share her thoughts on meeting Espinoza along with the video right here on Latinaish as a guest post!

So bienvenida y gracias Teresa!

Espinoza Paz, un hombre sencillamente “talentoso”

by Teresa Garza of Checa La Movie

Espinoza Paz y Teresa Garza

Espinoza Paz, “El Cantante del Pueblo”, es de las artistas más sencillos que conozco. Roba el corazón con su sonrisa sincera y se expresa con naturalidad utilizando palabras francas y directas. “Me pasa de todo en la vida”, – dijo el popular cantante, ” pero son más las cosas lindas gracias a Dios”.

Durante el día de prensa de “Girl in Progress” tuvimos la oportunidad de conversar con él y ¡que plática tan amena!. Espinoza Paz nació el 29 de octubre de 1981 en La Angostura, Sinaloa. Emigró a los Estados Unidos y su llegada a este país fue decisiva en su camino al éxito.

Una serie de eventos inesperados, pero casi mágicos, fueron uniendo los puntos para trazar una ruta que cambio para bien la vida de Isidro Chávez, ahora conocido como Espinoza Paz.

Primero se convirtió en uno de los compositores más importantes de la música mexicana y posteriormente decidió interpretar sus propias canciones, logrando en poco tiempo convertirse en uno de los consentidos del público. Trabajando arduamente por consolidarse en su carrera se encontró por casualidad con la directora de cine Patricia Riggen, cuando ella estaba en el proceso de elegir al elenco de la película “Girl in Progress”.

“Hubo una fiesta de amigos …Patty y yo tenemos amigos en común y ahí la conocí”, dijo Paz, “mis amigos me dijeron le caíste muy bien y quiere que salgas en una película”.

Paz confiesa que inicialmente pensó que era una broma de sus amigos sobre todo que en ese momento de su carrera no era tan popular como en la actualidad. La cuestión es que aclarado el asunto Patricia Riggen y Espinoza Paz se reunieron para hablar sobre la posibilidad de tener una breve intervención en la cinta cantando. La química fue tal que Paz terminó no solamente por cantar en “Girl in Progress” sino por filmar escenas adicionales que la directora agregó para darle una mayor proyección. “Obviamente ella acomodo las cosas”, dijo Paz quien asegura que Patricia tuvo la visión de presagiar un futuro victorioso. “Creo en Dios.. Dios es el destino”.

En cuánto a dedicarse a la actuación, definitivamente no descarta la posibilidad. Pero siempre que estos proyectos no lo obliguen a abandonar su verdadera pasión que es la música y la composición.

De hecho existe la posibilidad de que la vida de Espinoza Paz pudiera llevarse a la pantalla grande. Ya se han reunido en varias ocasiones la directora Riggen y Espinoza Paz, así que no debiera sorprendernos que de repente lo veamos protagonizando una película, que de acuerdo a sus declaraciones podría estar basada en su propia vida.

Comparto con ustedes un video que tome el día de la entrevista, no lo había subido a Youtube porque les confieso que lo grabe en el Ipad y era la primera vez que lo utilizaba. Pero las imágenes en este caso, no son tan importantes como escuchar el mensaje de Paz que nos confesó cual es su fuente de inspiración, nos contó cuál es su película favorita y hasta nos dio un adelanto de su disco de Mariachi que esta por salir. Tienen que escucharlo cantar.

Did you enjoy this post? Check out the latest movies including behind-the-scenes and interviews with celebrities on Teresa Garza’s blog, Checa La Movie.

The Hola Mexico Film Festival

“Hola Mexico” is a Film Festival in Los Angeles, California and this year’s theme is “¡Adiós Clichés! ¡Hola Mexico! (Goodbye Cliches! Hello, Mexico!), which seeks to explore and continue dialogue on what it means to be Mexican today. The films reflect the diversity in Mexico, including stories that portray different landscapes, histories, experiences, economic and social classes, politics, and sexual orientation.

If you live in the area, the 2012 Hola Mexico Film Festival will be held at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood, California from May 24th to the 30th. For more information, visit www.holamexicoff.com, follow them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/holamexicoff and find them on Twitter @HolaMexicoFF.

Of course I’m much too far away to attend, but I watched the trailers for all the feature length and documentary films this morning (I couldn’t find any of the shortfilms online but there will be several at the festival), and chose a few I’d want to see if I could. (A complete listing of films can be found at www.holamexicoff.com.)

Días De Gracia / Days Of Grace (Film)

Aquí Entre Nos (Just Between Us) (Film)

Adiós Mundo Cruel (Goodbye, Cruel World) (Film)

El Cielo en tu Mirada (Heaven in Your Eyes) (Film)

De Panzazo (Barely Passing) (Documentary)

Félix: Autoficciones de un traficante (Felix: Self-Fictions of a Smuggler) (Documentary)

Agnus Dei – Cordero de Dios (Documentary)

Surprisingly there was one film about Salvadoran Archbishop Romero and the civil war in El Salvador. This is the only film I noticed that wasn’t about Mexico or Mexicans. It is emotionally upsetting so I’m going to link it rather than embed – You can decide whether you want to click through.

El Cielo Abierto (The Open Sky) (Documentary)

As you can see, the Hola Mexico Film Festival has a diverse mix of films – some funny, some serious but all of them thought provoking and worth checking out.

Which film trailer did you like best? Which films would you go see at the Hola Mexico Film Festival?

Mamá Americana, Niño Latino

After a busy weekend with friends, today we’re just watching a fútbol game, (Manchester United vs. Swansea City), and relaxing. On a commercial break this commercial in Spanish from Kraft Mac & Cheese came on and it was so cute, I knew I had to share it here.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored or paid post. I shared this video because I like it. Congrats to the people at Kraft for not only making a great commercial but for having the smarts to make it available online so people can share it via social media. Other companies, take note – this is how it’s done.

Salvadoran salsa dancers come to Q’Viva!

I was contacted many times with the opportunity to interview any of the contestants of Jennifer Lopez’s and Marc Anthony’s new show, Q’Viva The Chosen. I responded that if they had any contestants who were Salvadoran, I’d be interested.

Well, I got my wish! Junior and Emily are half-Salvadoran salsa dancing siblings from California. Check out my exclusive interview with Junior below!

Latinaish: I saw your auditions with Marc Anthony in Q’Viva and it’s very clear that you guys are professional dancers and that you love to dance. At what age did you start learning to dance?


(See Junior and Emily at minute 2:25)

Junior: We love what we do! We have been dancing salsa for 12 years together. Emily started when she was 10 years old and I started when I was 14 years old. It’s an incredible feeling to do what you love and to do with your sister. To be able to travel and share amazing and unforgettable moments with family.

Latinaish: You guys dance salsa but do you like other types of dance as well?

Junior: We love all types of music and dance. Our specialty is salsa but we also do other types of social dances.

Latinaish: What are your favorite songs to dance to right now?

Junior: We love to dance to everything! As of right now we have been very into doing music by Rodrigo y Gabriela. 


Latinaish: You guys are siblings and you have a lot of chemistry when you dance together, but siblings have a tendency to argue and annoy each other. What does your brother/sister do that annoys you more than anything?

Junior: We have learned to work together. We have learned to separate the personal and the professional. We have been dancing for 12 years together so like everything else, it’s a learning process. The thing that we try and focus on most is pushing each other past our comfort zone and constantly pushing limits. We always have to keep each other positive and motivated when things get really tough because for us it’s a never-ending process to create new limits and continue to innovate.

Latinaish: Your biography says that you’re from San Francisco, California – but I also heard you’re Salvadoran. My husband is from Soyapango, so I’m curious – who in your family is from El Salvador? Your father? Mother? (From what part?)

Junior: That’s exciting to hear that your husband is Salvadorean as well! We were both born and raised in San Francisco, California, but we currently live in Los Angeles, California. We are both half Salvadorean and half Korean. Our father is from Santa Ana, El Salvador and our mother is from Seoul, Korea.

Latinaish: Have you visited El Salvador?

Junior: We have been invited to perform in El Salvador before, but unfortunately we have never been able to go because of schedule conflicts. We would definitely love to visit someday!

Latinaish: In the Q’Viva competition, you guys represent the United States, but do you also feel like you represent El Salvador?

Junior: Yes, we were representing the USA, but we definitely felt that we represented El Salvador as well. Our parents divorced when we were really young and we were raised by our father. We were brought up knowing only our Salvadorean side of the family. It was such an honor to represent both countries.

Latinaish: What else can you tell us about your part on the show Q’Viva?

Junior: Q’Viva was an amazing and unforgettable experience for us. It was so incredible to see such amazing talent from all over the world and for us to be a part of that was an honor. We definitely were extremely excited and nervous at the same time performing for Marc, Jennifer, and Jamie. It will be a moment that we will never forget!

Marriage, I Love Lucy-style

Lucy Ricky argue I Love Lucy

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz argue as Lucy and Ricky on the show I Love Lucy

It seems cliché that I, a gringa married to a Latino, should identify so much with I Love Lucy, but some scenes feel like watching home movies of our marriage that I didn’t know anyone was taking.

One episode in particular gets to me every time it’s on. This same scene, which I’ve seen dozens of times, makes me laugh at the familiarity, but it has also made me cry on occasions.

The episode is called “The Matchmaker“, (not to be confused with “Lucy is a Matchmaker” which is another episode.) In “The Matchmaker” episode, Lucy invites an unmarried couple over for dinner with plans to show them what a happy marriage looks like. Unfortunately, the baby cries, dinner burns, and when Ricky finds out what Lucy is up to, he sabotages the effort by pointing out and exaggerating all the negative aspects of marriage – As a result, Lucy and Ricky have a big argument right in front of their guests.

Ricky Ricardo, I Love Lucy

The next morning Ricky waits at the kitchen table for his breakfast, but Lucy hasn’t forgiven him for ruining everything the night before. Another argument unfolds where some pretty harsh words are spoken.

Lucy, I Love Lucy

Lucy: Well for once I decided not to do what you told me!

Ricky: For once?! You never do what I told you!

Lucy: Then why don’t you quit tolding me?!

Ricky: Ay qué barbaridad, por qué tiene la cabeza mas dura de ninguna mujer que yo conocido en toda la vida entera!?

Lucy: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but Spanish names won’t hurt me!

Ricky: Sometimes I wish I never left Cuba!

Lucy: That makes two of us!

Ricky and Lucy fight on I Love Lucy

It’s just a TV show, and yet it’s not. Lucy and Desi’s off-screen marital problems are no secret. They were passionately in love but they couldn’t always get along. I guess it scares me sometimes because Carlos and I are the same way. Even after fourteen years of marriage, our relationship still resembles an episode of I Love Lucy more often than not. Each episode is full of humor, plans gone wrong, misunderstandings, arguments, hurt feelings, and ultimately, the realization that despite it all, they not only love each other – they can’t live without each other.

In this particular episode, after that argument in the kitchen, Ricky goes out, saying he’ll never return. When night falls and he still isn’t home, Lucy begins to wonder if it’s true. At Fred and Ethel’s apartment she seeks comfort and Fred assures Lucy that Ricky is just doing what any man would do – he’s just staying out late enough to give her a good scare.

Lucy crying, I Love Lucy

Lucy decides she’ll give Ricky a scare of his own by not being in their apartment when he returns and sends Fred up there to watch the baby so she can stay downstairs with Ethel. Fred goes upstairs, crawls into Lucy’s bed and falls asleep but soon Ricky has come home with a box of chocolates and flowers.

Ricky brings home candy and flowers, I Love Lucy

Sitting on the edge of his bed, Ricky apologizes to who he thinks is Lucy, but, as we know, is really Fred beneath the blankets.

Ricky apologizes, I Love Lucy

“Lucy, Lucy…” he says sweetly, “I’m home. Sweetheart, I guess I owe you an apology. I shouldn’t have said all those awful things that I said. I was in a bad humor and I just blew my top, that’s all. But darling, you know I love being married to you, honey. You are the dearest, sweetest, most wonderful person in the world. You know, I wasn’t going to come home tonight just to teach you a lesson… And then I got to walking around and I, I started thinking about all the wonderful times that we’ve had together and how much we meant to each other and well… I brought you some flowers and some candy. Honey, I won’t blame you if you never spoke to me again, but sweetheart, please say you forgive me, darling?”

At this point, Fred pops out from beneath the blankets, and Lucy and Ethel appear, laughing, having overheard the whole thing. Embarrassed and angry, Ricky puts his hat and coat back on, ready to leave once again. Lucy blocks the door and begs him to stay.

Lucy begs Ricky to stay, I Love Lucy

Just at that moment, the doorbell rings – it’s a telegram from the unmarried couple they had invited for dinner at the beginning of the episode. Lucy reads the telegram aloud:

“We figured if you two characters could put up with each other for thirteen years there must be something to this marriage business so we’re giving it a try.”

Everyone laughs, Ricky and Lucy kiss, and they all live happily ever after… until the next episode.

I Love Lucy heart - blank

Note: All images are screen captures of video still frames. The rights to I Love Lucy are owned by CBS.

Telemundo brings back Herederos del Monte heart throbs in Corazón Valiente

If you had a thing for José (played by José Luis Reséndez), and/or Gaspar (played by Fabián Ríos) in Telemundo’s novela, Herederos del Monte, then prepare yourself… Telemundo has brought both actors back in their new telenovela, Corazón Valiente.

Fabián Ríos as Willy del Castillo

José Luis Reséndez as Juan Carlos Arroyo

Here’s two promos, one featuring José who plays a character named Juan Marcos Arroyo and the second one features Fabián playing the part of Willy del Castillo.

Watch Corazón Valiente, weeknights at 9pm starting March 6th, 2012. Not fluent in Spanish? English subtitles will be available in closed captioning options. For more information visit Telemundo.com or follow @CValienteTV on Twitter.

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