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Global Media Sensation, Dilee, Drops Her Long Awaited Album, “With Love.”
Diana “Dilee” Maher is a creative and inspiring storyteller that uses her voice to heal. Her music continues to bring society together in a vision without hate or jealousy. Come listen to her magic below!
Thanks to her Kickstarter backers, Dilee’s first commercial music album release, “With Love,” will have multiple song tracks submitted for consideration in the 60th Grammy® Awards. Her first single off the album, “Afterglow – A Cappella (featuring Armand Hutton),” has already exceeded expectations with more to follow. Digitally her album “With Love,” will be available August 22, 2017, for download on Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby and the physical CD will be available within a couple of weeks.
Diana “Dilee,” a cross-media artist, began her musical career in the San Diego/Los Angeles, California area. Her mixed lineage (50% broadly Southern European, 50% Southeast Asian including Native American ancestry) fostered a strong desire to bring cultures together in an atmosphere of positivity and spirituality. Dilee dedicates all of her music “to the Divine.” “Devotion to our Creator, to me, means embracing and giving the magic of kindness to every living thing as a particle of the all,” says Dilee, “and I believe each one of us is inter-connected, which is why my new promotional T-shirts and sweatshirts are emblazoned with ‘The love in you is the same in me’.”
Dilee’s resume, which includes a Spoken Word album and several single releases garnered her voting member status in NARAS (Grammys®). These releases coupled with two earlier unreleased musical productions with both Ike Turner and Ike Turner Jr. were the beginning of her musical career.
Being a part of the voting process and being a positive role model are responsibilities Dilee takes seriously. She believes in goodness, equality, love, and the belief that we as human beings should strive to touch each other’s lives in a positive way. Her music is one way of bringing the world’s essence together, transcending all cultural and national borders in order to celebrate life.
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USA Today Magazine published this article on spreading love/peace/unity. Dilee was touched by Susan SurfTone‘s brilliant writing and expanding on her Huffington Post article. Credit goes to Shannon Rose HollyWood for getting this published. The article quotes Dilee’s husband Jeffrey and Dilee says “Jeffrey who’s believed in me more than I have believed in myself and it quotes Bill Hare top, front and center thank you ever so much! You are a joy to work with! Heartfelt quote from Armand Hutton my soul brother from another mother thank you I’m so very blessed to have you and Bill on my team with many more songs to come! So appreciate the quote from Joanne Lazzaro on her flutes aiding in her own interpretation of my song “Twist Like a Dragon” co-written by Nel Gerome (he and I wrote all the album songs). Thank you Kori L Carothers for your quote as well you’re such a wonderful person and that means the most to me that everyone I worked with on this album is a good human being first and foremost. Millions have talent but without heart it is meaningless.” The article shines light on the two charities Dilee serves on the Board for and helps out with regularly: She’s on the Board of Directors for www.drivehope.org and on Advisory Board for www.safepassagelives.org. Photo copyright Harrison Funk.
PDF link below to read. September link online soon and hard copy print to be distributed soon: http://usatodaymag.com
USA Today Magazine article by Susan SurfTone (PDF to read)
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Twenty years ago, Robin Williams approached director Gus Van Sant about developing irreverent Portland cartoonist John Callahan’s memoir, “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot,” with the intention of playing its author — a quadriplegic skirt-chaser, wheelchair racer, born-again bastard, tactlessly un-P.C. disaster — in what sounds like it would have been a wild, Charlie Kaufman-esque pinwheel of a movie. Instead, we get super-chameleon Joaquin Phoenix in the role, and though the end result couldn’t be more different, it’s a keeper in any case.
Coming off a run of some of the most disappointing films in his career (the absolute nadir being 2015’s treacly self-help lesson “The Sea of Trees”), Van Sant has rebounded with one of his best, a life-affirming sweet-and-sour concoction that recalls such crowd-pleasers as “Good Will Hunting” and “Finding Forrester,” and which will very likely launch Phoenix (back at work with his “To Die For” director) and co-star Jonah Hill (as audiences have never seen him before, playing the unlikeliest of life coaches) into the awards conversation.
In the interest of full disclosure, allow me to confess: I’m a sucker for quadriplegic movies. Didn’t put it together until “Don’t Worry” really started to jive (which happens right about the moment Van Sant reveals the cause of Callahan’s injury), but there’s something about seeing real people contend with such extreme disability that gets me nearly every time. Whether they’ve been crippled since birth (à la “The Sessions”) or later in life (“The Sea Inside,” “The Theory of Everything”), their stories have a way of reminding us what really matters. Add to that the circle of support severely handicapped individuals require, and I’m in rapture, for there is nothing more beautiful in all of cinema — nothing — than genuine caregiving.
Not that it has to be nearly so sentimental as depicted here, mind you. It’s the existential aspects of a story like this that impress the most, since Callahan’s injury forced him to reexamine virtually all of his priorities. He’d been a severe alcoholic from his early teens until age 21, when the accident that left him in traction ought to have come as a wake-up call. Instead, it took several more years and a profound spiritual encounter for him to admit he needed help, and eventually seek it out. “Don’t Worry” focuses primarily on this portion of Callahan’s story, as he combats his addiction and reorients his life with the help of his sponsor, Donny (Hill, virtually unrecognizable as an openly gay trust-fund kid who looks like Tom Petty, lives like Liberace, and tells it like it is).
Set in Van Sant’s native Portland, and zeroing in on a very narrow segment of Callahan’s book, the film once again finds avant-gardist Van Sant operating in ultra-conventional Lasse Hallström mode, spinning a handsome, honey-toned inspirational tale (bolstered by one of the warmest scores of Danny Elfman’s career), while relying on Callahan’s own single-panel cartoons to supply the teeth his feel-good script seems to lack. For whatever reason, Van Sant has latched on to the addiction-recovery segment of Callahan’s life story, loosely structuring the film around the 12-step program that steered him toward sobriety (with a subplot about wanting to meet the mother who gave him away for adoption through in for good measure).
Weirdly enough, the director’s upbeat strategy leaves “Don’t Worry” feeling practically evangelical, like some kind of exceptionally well-polished faith-based movie — though frequent talk of cunnilingus, a generally accepting attitude toward “queers,” and a couple of Callahan’s more blasphemous comics could alienate that audience. One can’t help but wonder whether the cartoonist would have recognized himself the way Phoenix plays him, since the actor hardly ever performs the kind of irreverence for which Callahan was celebrated. Apart from the detail of speeding his electric wheelchair everywhere he goes — across live railroad tracks, into oncoming car traffic, up makeshift skateboarding ramps — Callahan comes across fairly well behaved, whereas it would have been fun to see him portrayed as the troublemaker of his rehabilitation clinic, the way Jack Nicholson wrought red-blooded havoc in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Clearly, it would have been a different cocktail entirely had Williams gotten the movie made, though Van Sant compensates for Phoenix’s seriousness by casting comic actors Hill and Jack Black in key supporting roles. That way, while Phoenix does his intense, Method-actor thing, his co-stars keep the tone amusing via improvised conversations. Playing it straight, literally, the great German character actor Udo Kier earns a couple big laughs; ditto indie rocker Beth Ditto, who livens up their group-sharing sessions.
In a sense, without Williams’ involvement, Van Sant could no longer rely on a comedic genius to bring out the oddball personality of another, so he had no choice but to wrestle “Don’t Worry” into a more conventional shape. And yet, the movie remains wildly non-linear, mischievously skipping back and forth in time in a way that brings a measure of unpredictability to a process that — at least as far as his recovery is concerned — seems to be moving right on schedule. Casting Phoenix may be a polar-opposite solution, though the actor’s transformational abilities are staggering and the hair and makeup so good (not just his “electric orange” hair, but tangerine beard stubble to match), he turns someone who looked like something of a comic-strip character himself into a vulnerable, flesh-and-blood human being.
If anyone seems out-of-this-world in this ensemble, it would be Rooney Mara as Annu, the heavily accented Swedish physical therapist who cares for him so well, Callahan eventually sets out to seduce her. Movies have a way of making such courtships seem like foregone conclusions, and yet, there’s a wonderfully grown-up quality to their initial flirtations (we sense that this is the first woman he has ever seen as more than an immediate conquest) that’s nicely offset by the gleefully immature way he whisks her about town astride his wheelchair.
Though everyone in Callahan’s orbit selflessly cares for him, Donny and Annu are the two who demonstrate that dynamic best, and his one-on-one scenes with each of them are not only touching, but laced with insights and aphorisms that audiences can take with them. Some will find it entirely too sentimental, others a tad repetitive (Callahan tends to repeat the same stories), but it’s hard to argue with a movie that celebrates the kind of recovery he went through. Callahan may never have regained the ability to walk, but he came to stand for something, and that’s just as good or better.
Following the footsteps of Isabelle Huppert, critically-acclaimed French actress Juliette Binoche received UniFrance’s French Cinema Award during a ceremony hosted at France’s Culture Minister in Paris.
Binoche, who’s just wrapped the shoot of Olivier Assayas’s “Non Fiction,” was celebrated by UniFrance’s new president Serge Toubiana and managing director Isabelle Giordano and several filmmakers she has worked and bonded with over the years, such as Claire Denis, Jean-Jacques Rappeneau and Danièle Thompson.
The actress was honored for her contribution to making French cinema shine abroad. Binoche remains one of the rare French actresses who have earned global recognition, including in the U.S. where she won an Oscar for her performance in “The English Patient” and earned an Oscar nomination for “Chocolat.” A passionate and thoughtful actress, Binoche has been praised for making consistently good career choices and taking roles that push out of her comfort zone, such as Bruno Dumont’s “Camille Claudel 1915.”
Binoche is just coming off a strong year with Claire Denis’s “Bright Sunshine In” which world premiered at Cannes’s Directors Fortnight and was sold worldwide by Playtime.
“It’s truly moving to be receiving this prize at home, in France (…) I’m often on the road and sometimes I get the impression that I’m better liked abroad, because like many actors I can be very paranoid — that’s a common trait among actors,” said Binoche who was visibly moved to receive the award.
Binoche said she aspired, as an actress, to be a free soul and give hope. She also thanks the directors, notably Dumont, Assayas and Denis, who have helped her grow as an actress through life-changing roles.
She also paid tribute the diversity of French cinema. “French cinema benefits from a support system which is being envied around the world, we should be careful to preserve — like our Social Security for that matter,” quipped Binoche.
Binoche will next shoot “Dans les forets de Siberie” with director Safy Nebbou.
Grateful to have made the 1st cut for Grammy® 1st ballot! FYC in Arrangement A Cappella #FairyinaBubble feat #ArmandHutton mixed by Bill Hare and in Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals #TwistLikeaDragon feat #JoanneLazzaro.
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We live in an era where the specter and awareness of child abuse is so pervasive that you can’t just throw that issue into a narrative without really taking it on — doing anything less would be like introducing the proverbial gun and then never having anyone fire it. Based on Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s 2014 drama of the same title, Sara Colangelo’s “The Kindergarten Teacher” stars Maggie Gyllenthal as the title figure, a dissatisfied working wife and mother on Staten Island whose frustrated artistic aspirations find an outlet of sorts in the discovery that one of her 5-year-old charges is an apparent poetical prodigy.
As her interest rapidly grows from enthusiasm to obsession, she begins crossing the line of acceptable professional behavior — but with viewers uncertain whether she’s simply an over-zealous mentor or someone who poses a real threat to a child’s well-being, the ambiguity with which Colangelo views that line-crossing frustrates as well as intrigues. For the lead actress (also a producer here), this is a chance to play another complex, problematic, not-entirely-likable character in the mode of such prior personal-best roles as “Secretary” and “Sherrybaby.” But the hazy middle ground between “Good Will Hunting” and creepy psychological thriller inhabited here is perhaps a zone a little too grey for a topic as charged as that which “Teacher” ambivalently circles.
Lisa Spinelli (Gyllenhaal) has taught school for 20 years, and is evidently quite good at it. But it’s not enough; nor is an amiable but way-past-passionate marriage to Michael Chernus’ spouse. Their two teenage children (Daisy Tahan, Sam Jules) have their own lives now, and are “conventional” in ways that mom clearly disapproves of. She wants “something more” for them all, but particularly herself: something rooted in self-expression and art. To this end, she’s taking an adult education course in poetry writing, though so far her own work has elicited little enthusiasm from either classmates or the instructor (Gael Garcia Bernal).
One day at work a little boy named Jimmy (Parker Sevak), who’s often stuck waiting after school for his tardy nanny to pick him up, opens his mouth and spontaneously recites a bit of weirdly precocious poetry, seemingly off the top of his head. When this turns out to be more than a freak occurrence, Lisa begins urging the boy’s caregivers (his parents are divorced) to write down any such utterances for posterity, while she commences trying to encourage his muse in any other way she can think of. This leads to her taking him out of class (even during nap-time) for private conversations, and other things that are a little odd between a 5-year-old boy and a 40-year-old he’s not related to. She also starts reading his “work” in her writing class, neglecting to note that it isn’t hers, and getting an immediate uptick in appreciation for a talent that had excited no one before. (Indeed, when later she again reads something of her own, Bernal’s flirty prof is lukewarm once again.)
Feeling increasingly that no one else cares about Jimmy’s “young Mozart”-level potential — or about things like poetry, period, anymore — her actions become more invasive and reckless. Eventually she is doing that thing that is never, ever acceptable in our society today: taking someone else’s child somewhere under false pretenses, without parental permission.
Shaping the basic elements of Laipid’s original script but also freely adapting and altering them, Colangelo (whose underrated 2014 first feature “Little Accidents” was about the aftermath of a fatal mining accident) has created a consistently interesting if slow-moving drama that works very well as a showcase for its lead performer. Gyllenhaal has always been particularly good at conveying reservoirs of disquiet in characters who may not be able to fully grasp (let alone articulate) what their lives lack. But if Lisa compels interest with her restlessness and increasingly dodgy decisions, we expect a film portraying her to have a firmer take on what she’s made of: Are we dealing with potential molestation here? Mental illness? Or just a seeker of truth and beauty who’s found an artistic soulmate the world isn’t quite ready for?
That the fadeout suggests this last scenario is still even a possibility further clouds the film’s impact. The equivocation with which Colangelo presents Lisa’s motivations and actions can’t help but draw us in. The lack of any real resolution in terms of psychological insight, however, leaves this a movie whose glass is half empty — maybe it’s just not possible to have a story about a 5-year-old’s de facto stalker that isn’t sure what it (or we) should think about the matter.
Supporting performances are strong within their limits, with Bernal bringing lots of layers to his few scenes, while pint-sized Sevak is a naturalistic blank just enigmatic enough to pull off the notion of a child who just might spout adult-sounding, melancholic verbiage. The presentation is thoughtfully low-key, with no showy effects in Pepe Avila Del Pino’s widescreen cinematography or Asher Goldschmidt’s piano-based score.