Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Flying Ace (1926)

A couple of nights ago I saw the film “The Flying Ace”. Never heard of it? Well, neither had I.

The film was released in 1926 by The Norman Studio in Jacksonville, Florida. The plot of the film, as written at imdb.com states: “A veteran World War I fighter pilot returns home a war hero and immediately regains his former job as a railroad company detective. His first case: recover a stolen satchel filled with $25,000 of company payroll, locate a missing employee, and capture a gang of railroad thieves.”

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The writer, producer, and director of the film was Richard E. Norman. According to his grandson, who was present at the screening, Richard E. Norman was “ahead of his time.” Richard E. Norman set out to showcase black life through inspirational characters. It was through his “race films” that Richard E. Norman set out to give Black audiences characters and stories they could aspire to.

On hand at the screening were historians, movie buffs, and aviation enthusiasts. Opening remarks were given by Dan Norman, the grandson of Richard E. Norman. Dan Norman is currently a Delta 757/767 Captain. Dan’s father was also an airline pilot. The film was accompanied by a conductor and musicians playing various instruments. This music brought the silent film to life.

For over an hour I sat transfixed at the screen as images of black people in roles of fighter pilot, love interest (believed to be inspired by the aviatrix Bessie Coleman), detective, and railroad manager played on the screen. I sat there thinking, “all of this happened in 1926!”

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Tonight in Hollywood the 88th Academy Awards will be celebrated. Many of today’s Black actors and actresses plan not to be in attendance. The #OscarSoWhite movement has highlighted, once again, the lack of Black actors and actresses who have not been nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

According to Dan Norman this film will be available on DVD shortly as the music is currently being scored. When it becomes available I’ll be sure to pick up a copy. I encourage you to check it out as well.

Thanks Richard E. Norman for making this film. That’s entertainment!

 

Coldplay and Song Airlines?

When Coldplay was announced as the halftime act at Super Bowl 50 I was excited to see the show, hear the songs they’d play. As it turned out they were headliners and joined (some would say eclipsed) on stage by Beyonce and Bruno Mars. There was even the popular actress who mistook them for Maroon 5 and sent out a tweet about it. Oops. From the first time I heard Coldplay, I’ve always been a fan.

Many years ago I interviewed for a startup airline within-an-airline. Eventually that airline became known as Song. At the time of the interview it didn’t have a name (code named FreshAir). We were brought in and told to be ourselves; that this new venture was all about self expression.

It was during our initial training that we were shown the video below. It featured an amazing voiceover and a very cool song I had never heard before. I was totally drawn in. The song was Clocks by Coldplay. Ever since then whenever I hear this song I’m reminded of Song. During my years as a Star (that’s what we were known as; we were also referred to as Talent) I learned so much about myself, so much about customer service, so much about what it means to work in an environment that was inclusive, supportive. For 3 years I lived what going to work should be like. Song gave us all the opportunity to shine, to blossom.

Enjoy the video!