Staff Picks: Heat

I wanted to include a Staff pick so y’all, our beautiful viewers, can get to know us, the amazing staff behind Mixed Mag. I also wanted to showcase our TV/Film/Theater picks because although it may feel like all you see are white stories or stories of the oppressor, our stories have been here for a while and are extremely diverse and expand over all genres. There is not one specific way to tell our stories and we deserve to be seen and heard. So here is a list of TV/Film/Theater made by or featuring beautiful BIPOC/multicultural/multiethnic artists to expand your mind, start a conversation, or even spark something in your soul. Each month there will be a new theme for our Staff Picks. 

— Maya Renee Castro (TV/Film/Theater Editor)

Issue 9’s Theme: “Heat” (It’s about to get hot. Is it because it’s summer or because of passion/love?)

Maya Renee Castro (TV/Film/Theater Editor)

Film: Do the right thing (Dir. Spike Lee)

Where to watch: Hulu

This might be a basic choice, seeing how Spike Lee is pretty well known and if you ever taken a film class they will most likely recommend this film. However when I thought of this theme (that’s right I come up with each issue’s staff pick theme in this section), it was the first film that popped into my head. Everything about this film screams heat! Set on the hottest day in brooklyn and with racial tensions rising, making it incredibly hotter. Every setting in the film also reminds you what it’s like to be in NYC during the summer. The kids chilling in the street, hanging on the hot stoop, fire hydrant bursting open, the radio announcer stuck in a hot booth, the tiny apartment with one ac that barely works or no ac, sal’s pizza place with the big oven constantly sweating and cooking pizzas, the old lady hanging out her window fanning herself, all of it brings back some early childhood memories of summer in new york with my grandma or mom. My favorite scene in the whole movie is when Mookie (the main character, played by Spike Lee) goes to visit his girlfriend/mother of his son, Tina (played by Rosie Perez). After walking up flights of stairs to get to Tina’s hot apartment, Tina is already heated with Mookie for the lack of time he spends with her and his kid. Not only is Tina heated at Mookie, so is her mother. After realizing how hot Tina is, Mookie decides to “help” cool her down by rubbing cold ice cubes all over her nake body. Everything in this scene is hot from temperature to passion/sensuality. Great scene and one of many reasons this iconic movie is worth a watch 😉

Carolina Meurkens (Editor-in-Chief)

Film: Moonlight 

Where to Watch: Hulu

Moonlight is the quintessential story of queer forbidden love. It’s an epic story of Chiron’s life, as he navigates society as a Black queer man. It’s also an ode to the complicated love and friendship that can exist between two young Black men. While the cinematography lights the characters in hues of blue and purple, the film highlights the cooler element of heat, in the subtlety of Jenkins’ directing and the tension in what goes unsaid between the characters. Set in Miami, you can feel the heat of a hot summer day while the main character Chiron runs from his bullies, swims in the ocean, or shares a stolen kiss with a friend. 

Tayo (Poetry Editor)

Show: Avatar the last Airbender S2 E15: Tales of Ba Sing Se

Where to Watch: Netflix

Tales of Ba Sing Se might be the world’s greatest plot filler episode of all time. But that’s a write up from another time. Today, I’d like to admit that out of the six shorts in the episode I’ve always had the softest spot for ‘The Tale of Zuko’. In a nutshell, Zuko’s uncle and winner of best dad award, Iroh convinces Zuko to go on a date with a local girl in the Earth Kingdom and antics ensue. Ever since I was 10, when the episode first premiered on Nick, Zuko’s inability to be smooth around his crush resonated with me personally because…bruh same. But as I got older and I rewatched the episode every year, I also found fascination with the underlying point the episode was trying to make; that some loves are forbidden. Or maybe not forbidden, but better left alone. The ending of the episode is the most heartbreaking because you realize that sometimes, in the heat of the moment, the most romantic thing you can do is light a candle for your love and leave with the darkness.

Joana Meurkens (Artistic Director/Co Founder)

FILM: Y Tu Mamá También dir. Alfonso Cuaron

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Did someone say, a passionate summer road trip with your bff and the sexy wife of your cousin?? Count me in! This movie is the definition of heat. It follows the story of two bests friends (played by Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal) who embark on a summer roadtrip with the wife of Luna’s older cousin (played by the incredible Maribel Verdú). This movie serves heat not only with its sexy plot and passionate romance but it is set in the beautiful Mexican countryside with beautiful cinematography done by Emmanuel Lubezki. It’s a great film, another masterpiece by Cuaron that will definitely stay on your mind, maybe don’t watch it with your parents though. 

Brittany Zendejas (Intern)

Film: Like Water for Chocolate

Where to Watch: Hulu

The first time I watched this movie I was completely entranced with Tita and Pedro’s love story. It was forbidden, mysterious, and often times painful to watch Tita take a backseat to everyone in her life. The culmination of their love comes to head when they finally have the opportunity to truly love each other. It is passionate and gratifying and in the end, it is a fiery display of how much someone can love someone else. Literally. I never understood how Tita could lose herself in someone else, especially as a young girl who’d never experienced such passion. But I get it now because when the love is so strong, sometimes you just can’t live without it. 

Fefi Martínez (Graphic Desinger)

Film: Vicky Cristina Barcelona 

Where to watch: iTunes///or any service u can rent a movie 

For some reason, this is the one movie I couldn’t get out of my head when thinking about “heat.” Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz, Rebecca Hall, and Javier Bardem …. This is the kind of movie I loved as a teenager. I wanted a summer in Spain with my best friend basking in the sun and potential romance. Looking back on the film now, the dialogue borders on pretentious and the narrators voice is tooooo much. But you have incredibly beautiful settings to tide you over and Penelope Cruz’s performance that withstands the test of time. 

More TV/Film/Theater Staff Picks in Mixed Mag:

Staff Picks: Side Characters (Issue 8)

Staff Picks: Firsts (Issue 6)

Staff Picks: Best of 2020 (Issue 5)

Staff Picks: Comfort (Issue 4)

Editors’ Picks: Horror (Issue 3)


EDITORS’ PICK: Representation (Issue 1)

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