*Los Angeles – The heat has returned to Los Angeles once again.
This is unusual, when you consider that we are several weeks into the Fall season, in the homestretch for the upcoming Holiday season.
Residents had the option of going to Cooling Centers, Libraries, and the Mall or to the Movies to escape the heat.
I opted for the latter. I joined a group of baby boomers, oops! Scratch that, I meant to say a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural group of Grownups for AARP The Magazine’s 2nd Annual Movies for Grownups Los Angeles Film Showcase.
The four-day film showcase celebrated 50+ moviegoers and their love of Cinema. The showcase took place at Regal Cinemas, L.A. LIVE’s premiere house theater from November 6-9, 2014. The AARP Movies for Grownups Film Showcase screened ten of this year’s most buzzed-about films with storylines and performances that speak to a “grownup audience.”
I was fortunate to view one of the films during the showcase. “I Am Ali” directed by Clare Lewins. This is a fascinating movie that gave viewers an intimate and touching look inside the life of boxing legend, beloved father, humanitarian and activist, Muhammad Ali, Sr., from an insider’s perspective. The director had exclusive access to Ali’s personal archive of “audio journals.”
Ali’s life story was told through a combination of audio journals, film footage and testimonials and interviews with members of his inner circle. The story is told in various segments or chapters of his life. The Manager’s Story with Gene Kilroy, The Brother’s Story-with Rahaman Ali, who spoke about their early childhood, how Ali got into boxing. The segment also features footage of Ali’s parents and the house where he grew up in, in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Trainer’s Story featured insight from legendary trainer Angelo Dundee, and The Daughter’s Story, offered more intimate, touching moments from Ali’s oldest daughter, Maryum “May May” Ali, who also happens to be a former rapper. “The Journalist Story” with Ken Jones.
The soundtrack to the movie was spot on, especially during the segment entitled “The Advocate’s Story” with football legend, Jim Brown. Ali explains why he changes his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali and his conscious awareness during the social revolutions of the 60’s and 70’s.
Additional segments/ chapters that complimented the movie consisted of “The Image Makers” with George Lois and Carl Fischer, “The Entertainer’s Story” with vocalist Tom Jones, “The Son’s Story” with Muhammad Ali Jr., and the “The Contenders Story” with George Foreman speaking about the famous fight in Africa “Rumble in the Jungle.”
In “A Wife’s Story” we meet and hear from Ali’s former wife, Veronica Porche Ali that features more insights, as well a brief discussion about infidelities in their marriage.
I Am Ali offered insights from people from every phase of his life, “The Fans Story” with Russ Rutheledge, “A Daughter’s Story” featuring Hana Ali, The Rival’s Story and “The Rookies Story with Mike Tyson.
I Am Ali have something for everyone. Historians, Sociologist, Fathers, Sports Fans, and others will all walk away from this compelling, profound movie with a greater appreciation of Ali- “The Global Champion” of the people. The Post-screening Q&A followed with a lively discussion with Maryum “May May” Ali, the oldest daughter of Muhammad Ali and Meg Grant. I Am Ali is available for purchase beginning Tuesday, November 11, 2014. This would make a great stocking stuffer for both men and women.
AARP joined with The Food Bank for Fighting Hunger in Los Angeles. Movie goers were asked to help fight hunger in Los Angeles by bringing a non-perishable food items to the film showcase. Food collected will help the Food Bank supply food to more than 670 charitable agencies, with more than 1,000 sites that provide food for low-income children, families, senior citizens and individuals in need throughout Los Angeles County. The food bank currently provides the equivalent of 830,000 meals every week. Much needed food items include canned protein tuna, sardines, stews, soups, peanut butter and jelly, canned fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, and staples such as beans, rice and pasta. Please contact The Los Angeles Food Bank www.lafoodbank.org to make a donation. AARP’s Drive to End Hunger Program is focused on pairing real needs with both short and long term, sustainable solutions in communities across the nation and right here in Los Angeles.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]