Yolonda-Ross

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Van’s filming the LGBT murder mystery kissmekillmemovie! The film is written by David Michael Barrett and directed by Casper Andreas. Check out these stills  courtesy of Kiss Me Kill Me! for more updates on filming:

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“I think we as fans, audience…those that looked on—we thought we had some say in it. We really didn’t have any say in their love affair. The say we have is of ourselves and our capacity to love, to love ourselves, to love one another and to just spread more love and joy in this world,” Bassett said. “But we really thought we had a say in their love affair…I think it’s a magnificent journey and I hope it will be a reflection into our own lives.”

Bassett said the factors that all people deal with: timing, life choices, “knowing someone’s heart and past” all applied to Whitney and Bobby too. “Some you can handle and some you cannot. Some you have to work on more deeply, but it all starts with loving ourselves and that’s who you bring to any relationship and hopefully it’s the best you that you bring,” she said. “I hope that it’s a jumping off of some sort of contemplation or even conversation.” (source)

The Daily Beast: After all that excitement you were just talking about—wanting to be a part of the movie and the faith you had in Angela Bassett—was it disheartening when Cissy Houston and the family spoke out against the movie?

Yolanda Ross: No. I mean, they’ve been saying negative stuff kind of since forever about one thing or another. Everybody’s got their opinions on something. I think it’s unrealistic to think that a movie wasn’t going to be made about Whitney. I mean, it’s Whitney Houston. What I would be thankful for is knowing that it’s going to be done the right way, and not just any old body putting up a Whitney Houston movie. So a lot of care was taken with it, with the story and the performances. I don’t think it’s anything that people will down upon. We were really respectful in everything that I did. (source)

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Go for Sisters

How many dramatic or crime-centered movies have you seen in your lifetime that had not just one but two female protagonists of color who weren’t maimed or killed halfway through the film and who got what they desired in the final scenes? “Go for Sisters” is the only movie I’ve seen that fits this basic description, one which, hopefully, audiences will barely notice as something out-of-the-ordinary in coming years.

Bernice (LisaGay Brown) enlists her old friend Fontayne (Yolonda Ross) to help her find her missing son across the border in Tijuana after meeting her again by chance in her parole office. Fontayne and Bernice were like sisters in high school, but went their separate ways thereafter. Fontayne met trouble in the form of substance abuse and landed in jail. Their reunion comes at a time when Bernice is willing to do anything -even twist the rules she helps enforce- to find her son. She needs Fontayne’s help because she knows the streets better than her friend. There is a telling moment when Fontayne comments that Bernice was always doing things she wanted but never got in trouble, pointing out that she isn’t allowed to be on her cellphone while driving. We quickly understand that Bernice was privileged and used it, while Fontayne had little help growing up. She’s stuck, but decides to help Bernice, loyal to the end.

During the course of the film, the two represent different sides of the same path, one paved with the best of intentions, but made coarse by their individual difficulties. In the end, they meet at the center, putting a certain kind of classism aside. They are still like sisters, after all.

Another notable feature of the film is it’s lack of violence. We hear that Bernice’s son had his ear cut off, that the Chinese gang who has him is mailing pieces of him across the border as a warning for his ransom. And Bernice carries a gun for their guide and colleague in TJ, Ex-Detective Freddy Suarez (Edward James Almos). As for the only male co-star, detective Suarez’s most aggressive actions are logical and include attaching a tracking device on a van and playing mind-games with a professional rival who kidnaps him. There is very little jumping out of one’s seat over the content of this film.

The most crime film style scene in the film is when the two friends are threatened by local thugs in a shop, she pulls the pistol out of her bag and shoots one of the aggressors in the leg. Having shed some (but very little) blood for very good reasons (self defense in a lawless town), Bernice and Fontayne score points for playing a mindful pair of cops on a very personal mission. The crime and drama genres rarely see such tender and thoughtful activity when it comes to the use of firearms and the treatment of women- particularly attractive women who knowingly walk among treacherous villains. They would normally be punished, in one way of another, for daring to tempt danger with their desires- whatever kind they are, and not just from the vantage point of a misogynist lens, but also the usual logicians who assume enough to portray women in the same positions because it happens in life: a woman in a dark ally meets a sorry fate.

Well, it is with deep happiness that I’ll hereby assess that these women characters are treated very well by the much respected, devoted filmmaker, Indie film pioneer John Sayles. Having self-financed the feature, it’s clear that Sayles was determined to manifest his vision of these women and both their plight and destiny in a noble way, a building block for others to follow with their visions of women in film.

It was a surprise to me that they simply called this movie “Whitney” because after watching the film I thought it would have been better titled “Whitney and Bobby.” Bobby Brown’s story wasn’t 100% pinpointed on, but just as much of his story was shown as Whitney Houston’s. It was probably them highlighting the parts where Whitney and Bobby’s personal lives and relationship truly intertwined, but I think there was a little false advertising in that.

But finally! Not saying it was the best biopic ever, but I do feel it was the best out of these TV premiered life stories that have came out in the last few years. Y’all know which ones I’m talking about. None of these stories have hit very hard and that’s really my downfall with them. Maybe it’s in the acting, I personally want to see a more gritty and raw depiction of these stories, especially when dealing with the beast that is Hollywood, but that’s just my taste. Other than that it was really good.

When combining spot on acting *cough* Yaya DaCosta *cough* and the amazing Angela Bassestt to call the shots I think we have a winner. As this being her directorial debut I believe she did a great job and only hope she gives us just as much if not more the next time.

This is one that I will say is worth the watch.

blogs.indiewire.com
Interview: John Sayles Tells S&A About 'Go For Sisters,' the Future of Indie Film, and 5 Historical Projects That Should Come to the Small Screen

Sayles is one of those writer-directors that other artists rave about, and who’s been mentioned frequently in our interviews with Alfre Woodard, Joe Morton, Reggie Rock Bythewood and others, so it was good to finally speak with him one on one to talk more about “Go For Sisters,” new projects the he hopes to get made, and other insights from his prolific career.

Yolonda Ross Age, Bra Size, Height, Weight, Measurements

Yolonda Ross Age, Bra Size, Height, Weight, Measurements

Yolonda Ross Age, Bra Size, Height, Weight, Measurements

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Yolonda Ross Age, Bra Size, Height, Weight, Body Measurements

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Finally had a chance to see John Sayles’ new film Go for Sisters.  Powerfully written. Shot exquisitely by Kat Westergaard.  Beautifully acted by Yolonda Ross, LisaGay Hamilton, Edward James Olmos and everyone else in the cast.  Olmos is coming to IU Cinema in April for the Latino Film Festival.  Go for Sisters will screen then.  Can’t wait to see it on the big screen.  

Appreciated the chance to see this film via screener for the Independent Spirit Awards.  Yolonda Ross is nominated for her work in the film.  It’s impressive.

Day 275 of A Yearlong Film Viewing Balancing Act.