Queenie and the Chocolate Factory

Cioccolato, Schokolade, chocolade, cokolado, chokolade, czekolada, choklad, coklat, cikkulata, sjokolad, suklaa, 巧克力, الشوكولاته, チョコレート, 초콜릿, sô cô la, seacláid, siocled and teòclaid; These are some of the different ways to say CHOCOLATE.

Count Chocula

I love chocolate what else can I say? At least once a day I will eat or drink something that is either made from chocolate or has chocolate on it. Ever since I was a baby I can remember drinking chocolate milk. I love chocolate no matter what form it comes in; whether it is cereal, candy bars, ice cream, cookies or milk.

Cocoa Pebbles

I am aware that I have an obsession with chocolate and, if there was a chocoholics anonymous program my family would have an intervention and try to get me in. However, I wouldn’t go because I am okay with my addiction and I don’t want to get rid of it.

Once my parents said to me “you are addicted to chocolate why don’t you try something else” and I said “I can either be addicted to drugs or chocolate which one would you prefer.” The conversation was over.

I Want a Chocolate Bunny! Get me one PLEASE!

There are many benefits of chocolate. After all, it is made from plants. Some of the benefits include flavonoids, which are antioxidants that help slow down the aging process, nitric oxide, which slows down blood pressure, fuels endorphin production, which provides a sensation of pleasure, acts as an anti-depressant, has theobromine and caffeine which stimulates your system and last but not least it tastes great!

Contrary to popular belief chocolate does NOT cause acne!

If vegetables tasted as good as chocolate I would actually eat them.

MoMA Cookie YUM YUM!!!I was recently invited to the Museum of Modern Art where after my tour I had a full course meal, but it wasn’t like I actually ate most of it. The majority of it was vegetables and Panini’s. What I really ate was the chocolate chip cookies at the end. They were hot and good.

I also went to Petite Abeille (401 East 20th Street), a Belgian/ French style restaurant, and their hot chocolate was awesome!

Some of my favorite chocolate brands include Hershey, Lindt, Nestlé, Ferrero Rocher, and Russell Stover. I have always wanted to try Godiva Chocolatier but they are so expensive; who do they think I am, Willy Wonka?

Chocolates in Heart Box


Bronx Stage and Film Company

“The idea for the festival started about 8 years ago when we [Dante Albertie, Hector Olivieri and Maggie Krupka] decided that the Bronx needed a real film festival that featured films that were on the same level as every other film festival, to fight the notion that the Bronx has no culture, to show films that are on the same level as the Tribcca Film Festival or Sundance.”

Krupka, the director of the festival, went on to write “The mission of The Bronx International Film Festival is to celebrate the history of film in The Bronx by showcasing promising filmmakers while promoting The Bronx as a cultural destination and Bronx venues, like Lehman Stages, as prominent New York performance spaces.”

Albertie, Director of Lehman Stages, had the same feeling saying that the group “felt the Bronx didn’t have anything like it at the time so we wanted to provide it.”

According to the website “The Bronx Stage & Film Company, Inc., is a professional non-profit arts organization dedicated to the discipline of theater and film” and goes on to say, “Our goal is to be a touchstone for emerging artists and to promote art particularly from The Bronx and the outer boroughs.

This year’s Bronx International Bronx Film Festival will run from June 16th through the 19th at the Lovinger Theatre. There is no limit on how many films can be submitted, but there is a limit for what programming what will screen at the festival. Krupka wrote “we fit as many films as possible into this time frame.” What is their average attendance at the festival? Well, it is difficult to say. They do have followers on Facebook (2,189) and Twitter (560).

When it comes to choosing the films that will be showcased at the festival each film is prescreened and then it goes to a panel for judging. Ms. Krupka would not specify the people that would be on the panel. At the end of the festival the panel gives out two main monetary prizes: “Best of Festival”, which is a prize of $1,000, and the recently added “Best Documentary”, which is also $1,000.

Asked about past winners she mentioned first year winner Cary Fukunaga and second year winner Alrick Brown. Both worked on the film “The Adventures of Supernigger: Episode I – The Final Chapter”; Brown was the director and Fukunaga was cinematographer. One of Fukunaga’s recent films was “Sin Nombre” in 2009, where he was both writer and director. For that film he won the Cinematography Award and U.S. Dramatic Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival The Trailer to \”Sin Nombre\” (2009).

Brown and his co-producer received the “HBO Life Through Your Lens Emerging Filmmaker Award” to produce the documentary “Death of Two Sons.” In 2007 he addressed the Motion Picture Association of America on C-SPAN. His most recent film is “Kinyarwanda” for which he won the 2011 World Cinema Audience Award for Dramatic Film at Sundance.

Putting the festival together takes six months from when they make the announcements for submissions until the final programming. However, to Ms. Krupka “the festival is always in process because we are always doing something connected the festival during the course of the year from brainstorming ideas to planning events.”

When asked about future events for The Bronx Stage and Film Company there are not any at the moment that they’re willing to announce.  Right now the company is focused on the festival.

Funds, according to Krupka, go into marketing, prizes, and supplies for the festival.

When asked about her thoughts on the Bronx International Film Festival she said “we see endless possibilities for the festival anything that that will help build the festival. We are always coming up with new ideas to expand and grow.”

Albertie said “I want it to be a festival the Bronx can be proud of. I want it to be a festival that shows the early works of the future greats.”

If You Have Nothing to Confess Then Learn From Sam and Stay That Way

How much do people truly confess when they go to confession and how much of it is true? That is the theme surrounding the short film The Confession. The film was directed by Tanel Toom. Sam and Jacob, who are both nine years old, are best friends. Both children are each other’s foil. Sam is often quite and loves to follow the rules; Jacob on the other hand is one who likes to get into mischief. Set in Britain the story takes a dramatic turn when the young boys, who attend catholic school, are getting ready, in a couple of days, to make their first confession During a conversation with Jacob, Sam reveals that he has never done anything bad and therefore has nothing worth confessing. For Jacob this is a huge problem as so makes it his mission to change that.

As a person who is somewhat a skeptic when it comes to religion Confession was right up my alley. When it comes to confessing one’s sins how much can you truly trust a priest? What if someone came in there and said that they were molesting children, raping women or men, or planned to the night that they went to confession? As a priest would they keep it to themselves or would they tell someone? If they have to keep it to themselves how do they cope with it? I am in the mist of trying to find out these answers and if anyone could help me it would be greatly appreciated.

Jacob’s plan for Sam is that they go into a cornfield and steal the scarecrow. Of course Sam, being the good boy that he is, is a first very reluctant; but feeling peer-pressure from Jacob he finally relents. The problem occurs while both boys are removing the scarecrow and dragging it across the desolate road. As they are dragging it along they hear a sound of a car approaching. Not wanting to get caught, and fearing that they will, they leave the scarecrow in the street and run into the grass to hide.

A young woman driving the car, believing the object is a human being, quickly swerves to get out of the way; and in the process hits a tree. At that point I was screaming inside my head “do something Sam!” The driver even opens her eyes and look at the young, boys but to no avail. Sam once again relents to his friend and leaves the woman there, with a child in the backseat, to die as the car goes up in flames.

This film reminds me of Doubt; the film starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Huffman. Streep as Sister Aloysius, the principal of St. Nicholas a Catholic School in the Bronx, begins to suspect that Father Flynn, played by Huffman, is abusing children. She suspects this because Father Flynn is always having young boys in his office and never gives reasons of why, at least to her liking. This film does exactly as the film title states: It fills you with doubt and it leaves you with it.

The similarity between the two films is that they raise questions about religion and specifically the Catholic religion. With religion you hardly ever get an answer and if by chance you do is it the right one? Is it true?

Later on in the film after Sam says that he will confess to what they have done regardless of the consequences Jacob and he get into an argument. It the mist of that argument Sam pushes Jacob. This leads Jacob to fall in a hole and die instantly.

At the end, however, Jacob did get his wish because Sam did not confess to any of the two events.

This is not Toom’s only short film dealing with a confession. In 1999 in his short film Desert Moon a Surgeon named Jonathan Kaufman confesses a secret to his priest on his death bed.

Nothing Like a WASP to Make You Come Running

What is WASP? A film revolving around a young single mother dealing with four kids. Set in the UK from the outset it is obvious that she is struggling with the job of being a mother. Having already seen the film I watched it not from a perspective of digesting new information, but trying to understand what I had already consumed. Even though in a short film sense the mom was the main character of the film for me the eldest daughter was the star. The little girl took on the role of the mother while the mother behaved more like a repressed teenager. I understand that she is a single mom and being a single mom is a tough job; it is like having two full time jobs and never receiving a paycheck. However she was the one who decided to have four kids. The children had no choice of what kind of mother they wanted. Throughout the entire film I was wondering about how the eldest child was feeling. She is young and she should should be playing with toys and being lost in her own world. She should not be having to deal with adult issues. As I am writing this write now I am so hungry so I can relate to the children when they said they were hungry. I want some McDonald’s too.

Having known people in the mother’s situation myself I am torn. I feel for the kids but I also somewhat feel for the mom. Like I said before being a single parent is the toughest most unforgiving job in the world, but then saying that I feel like I am excusing the mom from her poor choices. I feel that that mother truly loved her children as is evident at the end of the film, but she didn’t have the necessary skills to deal with her situation.