Haitian-American artist Malou Beauvoir introduces The Spiritwalker Collection
Modern Manbo, by Haitian-American singer, songwriter, and actress Malou Beauvoir, proudly unveils The Spiritwalker Collection. This vibrant collection of 100% silk scarves pays homage to the rich heritage of the Haitian Vodou spirits and culture.
Stunning Scarves Showcase the Spirits
The Spiritwalker Collection transports wearers into the enchanting realm of Haitian Vodou. Each scarf in the collection celebrates a unique Lwa (Spirit) through the vibrancy of their favorite colors and the simplicity of their powerful symbols, known as VEVE. These VEVE, unique to Haitian Vodou, carry the knowledge and magic of generations past, serving as portals into personal spiritual power.
The official launch of The Spiritwalker Collection is set for November 1, 2023, the Day of the Dead.
Haitian Vodou, often misunderstood and vilified, was outlawed in the New World and pushed underground to prevent the enslaved from uprising. It became the culture of the oppressed and their memory of ancient traditions.
Malou Beauvoir, founder of Modern Manbo, states,
“Vaudou is more than a religion. It is a culture. It teaches us to respect the earth, all living beings and the elements which co-exist within the universe. It is a means for sharing our universal energy”.
"I hope to change the narrative on Vodou and on Haitian people, to make the young people realize that we are not limited to the way we are portrayed in the press. The images of gangsters, corruption, and poverty are the conditions we endure, not the essence of who we are. Indeed, we are survivors, and we carry within us the legacy of our African Vodou and indigenous Amerindian culture. It is time for us to tell our own stories..”
The tales in Haitian Vodou are rich and colorful, with 21 Nations of Spirits inhabiting the sea, earth and sky. Hundreds of African, Amerindian, Celtic and other spirits make up the Vodou pantheon and provide essential teachings of balance, justice and environmental stewardship.
The SPIRITWALKER collection features five distinct spirits:
• Ayizan: Mother Earth – Ayizan, the healer, nurtures the soul and body with love, plant medicine, and wisdom. Her vibrant colors mirror the lush palm fronds, rich soil, and the golden glow of the sun that sustains all life. Surrender to her healing breeze and the gentle rustle of her palm leaves as you contemplate your life's journey.
• Gran Brigit: Protector of Women - With flaming red hair and fierce determination, Gran Brigit stands as a powerful spirit in Haitian Vodou. As a defender of women's rights, she symbolizes feminine strength and inspiration. Her violet, gold, and emerald green colors reflect her fiery spirit.
• Erzuli: Love Conquers All - Erzuli, a timeless spirit, embodies love's enduring power. She represents beauty, elegance, passion, and sensuality. A source of inspiration for strong Haitian women, she reminds us that love can conquer all. Her colors of pink and red mirror her playful yet intelligent nature.
• Damballah Wedo: The Giant White Snake - Spirit of Creation and Wisdom - Damballah Wedo, a sacred Lwa and father figure, holds immeasurable power and wisdom. He is known for creating the world and guiding transformation, riches, and wisdom. His love for milk, eggs, and sweet almond cakes nourishes his spirit.
• Milokan: The Embodiment of Cosmic Energy – The Milokan, composed of many powerful VEVE, represents the fusion of energy present in all living things, emphasizing unity and cooperation. It symbolizes the crossroads of choices, the eternal wheel of life and optimism. This symbol transcends the boundaries of Haitian Vodou, embodying universal wisdom.
Spiritwalker: A Journey of Spirituality
Beauvoir's journey into the world of Vodou and the creation of The Spiritwalker Collection is a testament to the profound connection between spirituality and art. Summoned by her spirits many years ago, Malou embarked upon a voyage of initiation and self-discovery. She was guided by her uncle, ethnologist, Max Beauvoir, who later became ATI (Supreme spiritual leader of Vodou in Haiti). Max Beauvoir's temple hosted celebrities, writers, and politicians from around the world and served as the basis for Wade Davis's book, "The Serpent and the Rainbow.”
The passing of Max Beauvoir in 2015 and his daughter, Oxford scholar Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique, in 2018, struck a cruel blow to Vodou. It awakened Malou to the fact that their teachers were passing away, taking with them a wealth of knowledge.
Beauvoir felt a responsibility to research and pass on the beautiful oral traditions that are a vital foundation of her community. In 2018, on November 1st, she released her world music album, "SPIRITWALKER," in homage to the Haitian spirits of Vodou. The album resonated in the Haitian community and internationally, and the single “Papa Damballah” was chosen for the end credits of Suzan Beraza’s poignant documentary "MASSACRE RIVER: A WOMAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY." The film exposes the intolerable conditions in the Dominican Republic for people of Haitian descent. 3rd single, "NWAYE," was amongst the winners of the International Songwriting Competition in 2019.
A Vision of Unity and Empowerment
The Spiritwalker Collection celebrates the vibrancy of Haitian Vodou but also embodies a vision of unity, empowerment, and cultural preservation. Beauvoir's journey into her Haitian spiritual heritage has led her to create this exceptional collection, bringing to life the sacred VEVE symbols that have endured for generations.
Beauvoir emphasizes the importance of this project: "I've always known that the spirits walk with me, and I walk with them. For me, this is Spirit Walking; simply being in touch with the spirits that surround us and communicate with us, having that openness to the other world, which we are all in contact with every day."
Beauvoir invokes her ancestors and the powerful Gede spirits to bless this endeavor. Initially, the collection will be available online, with plans to target high-end stores for the release of the Kaftan Collection in spring 2024.
Interested media who wish to interview Malou Beauvoir or receive samples of the Spiritwalker Collection contact Workhouse, CEO, Adam Nelson via Nelson@workhousepr.com. For more information, please visit Modern Manbo's official website here https://www.spiritwalkerscarves.com/
In the labyrinthine streets of New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood, where cobblestone alleys and historic brownstones coexist with sleek skyscrapers, an Italian trattoria quietly hums with the rhythms of life. Here, the arts converge with human drama in a way that could only be captured by the visionary filmmaker Bob Giraldi. As we step into the world of “Dinner Rush,” Giraldi’s 2000 independent feature film, we are welcomed into the vibrant and tumultuous microcosm of Gigino Trattoria, a restaurant steeped in history and secrets. Now available to stream on Apple TV, “Dinner Rush” offers viewers an immersive experience, blending sumptuous gastronomy with an adventurous narrative, all against the backdrop of New York’s frenetic energy.
Before we delve into the intricacies of “Dinner Rush,” let’s savor a taste of Bob Giraldi’s illustrious career. As a director, Giraldi’s visual storytelling prowess has left an indelible mark on multiple mediums, from music videos to commercials. In an industry where innovation is paramount, Giraldi set the tone for music videos during the early days of MTV. His most iconic creation, Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” was a groundbreaking masterpiece that resonated with audiences worldwide. Giraldi’s ability to seamlessly blend music and narrative was further showcased in videos for artists like Pat Benatar, Paul McCartney, and Lionel Richie.
Music videos include “Beat It,” Michael Jackson; “Say, Say, Say,” Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney; “Just the Two of Us,” Will Smith; “Love is a Battlefield,” Pat Benatar; “Hello” and “Running with the Night,” Lionel Richie; “Loaded,” Ricky Martin; “Don’t Drive Drunk,” Stevie Wonder
Beyond music videos, Giraldi excelled in the realm of commercials, amassing a portfolio of over 4,000 advertisements. His award-winning campaigns for brands like McDonald’s, Pepsi-Cola, and Miller Lite showcased his talent for combining storytelling with advertising. In the advertising world, Giraldi’s name became synonymous with creativity and innovation.
More than 4,000 commercials, including award-winning campaigns for Freedom Center, McDonald’s, Pepsi-Cola (with Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie), Miller Lite, Chili’s, 2012 Olympics, I Love NY (with Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin)
Bob Giraldi’s passion for storytelling extended beyond the screen. For over three decades, he has been an integral part of the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City. At SVA, Giraldi has shaped the minds of aspiring filmmakers, sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience. Today, he serves as the Chair of SVA’s MPS Film Directing department, where he continues to nurture the next generation of cinematic talent.
Writer, director, short films, The Routine, Second Guessing Grandma, The Grey Coat, Honey Trap, Cambio, Siren. Feature films, Dinner Rush, Hiding Out
But the pièce de résistance is Bob Giraldi’s “Dinner Rush.” This cinematic gem invites us into the bustling world of Gigino Trattoria, where the sights, sounds, and flavors of the restaurant are as vital to the narrative as the characters themselves. The film’s narrative orbits around Louis Cropa, portrayed with authenticity and gravitas by Danny Aiello. Cropa, the restaurant’s owner, is a complex character shrouded in rumors of mafia connections. Despite his protestations, Cropa’s restaurant is a hub of activity, both culinary and otherwise.
“The film, “Dinner Rush” (2001), the restaurant it’s based on, Gigino Trattoria, (1994–) and the film’s director (1939–), have, over the years, become truly simpatico. I am delighted the film has become such an important part of the curriculum at the Culinary Institute of America.” – Bob Giraldi
At the heart of the kitchen stands Udo “King” Cropa, played by Edoardo Ballerini. Udo is a brilliant chef who yearns to break free from the shackles of tradition, much to his father’s chagrin. His experimental culinary creations push the boundaries of Italian cuisine, making Gigino Trattoria a hotspot for food enthusiasts seeking innovation.
However, the restaurant isn’t just a haven; it’s also a battleground. Duncan, the sous-chef portrayed by Kirk Acevedo, grapples with a crippling gambling addiction, resulting in mounting debts to both the mob and Louis Cropa. His culinary prowess becomes a double-edged sword as he attempts to settle his debts through risky bets.
As the narrative unfolds, the restaurant becomes a stage for a diverse cast of characters, from a celebrity food critic played by Sandra Bernhard to a loan shark portrayed by Mike McGlone. These characters add layers of complexity to the story, creating a rich tapestry of relationships and conflicts that culminate in a thrilling climax.
“Dinner Rush” is a cinematic tour de force that offers viewers a mouthwatering blend of talent, technique, and patience. Its unique narrative structure, set during one fateful evening, adheres to the classical unities of time and space. Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times aptly described it as “a mouth-watering display of talent, technique, and patience” with “more intrigues here than in the court of the Medicis.” The Los Angeles Times says “Effortlessly graceful and burnished to a glow, “Dinner Rush” is surely as satisfying as any of the delicious-looking food served at Louis’ restaurant–and is as full of surprises as any dish Udo ever concocted.” The film’s ability to immerse viewers in the world of Gigino Trattoria while serving up a complex narrative is a testament to Giraldi’s directorial finesse. To stream Bob Giraldi’s “Dinner Rush” on Apple TV visit https://tv.apple.com/us/movie/dinner-rush/umc.cmc.36gj9r08tyq22i81y9q3hh8rw
For three decades, Gigino Trattoria has been a beloved fixture in the Tribeca neighborhood, attracting locals and celebrities alike. Its menu, featuring homemade pastas, fresh seafood, and wood-fired pizzas, is a testament to the enduring appeal of Italian cuisine done right. The restaurant’s warm ambiance, with mellow browns and yellows, offers diners an inviting space to savor their meals.
Beyond the delectable dishes, Gigino Trattoria has been a hub for community engagement. It has sponsored local basketball teams, participated in neighborhood festivals, and even supported first responders during challenging times. The restaurant’s commitment to both culinary excellence and community involvement mirrors the themes of “Dinner Rush.” This year, the hot spot hosted scores of film events with A-list actors such as Alexander Skarsgård, Laura Dean, Michael Shannon, and more.
“Every time I sit at the “round table in the corner” I remember to raise my glass to two departed mates from “Dinner Rush”; the late co-producer and casting director, Lou DiGiaimo and the film’s star and iconic NY actor, the late Danny Aiello. Salute!” – Bob Giraldi
Bob Giraldi’s “Dinner Rush” is not merely a film; it is a cinematic feast for the senses. It serves up a rich tapestry of characters and conflicts, all set against the backdrop of a bustling Tribeca restaurant. With its unique narrative structure and immersive storytelling, the film continues to captivate audiences and has earned its place as a classic in both cinematic and culinary circles. Originally shown as part of the 30th New Directors/New Films series of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the department of film of the Museum of Modern Art, audiences everywhere can now savor the flavors of “Dinner Rush” on Apple TV and be treated to a masterful blend of talent, technique, and storytelling that only Bob Giraldi can deliver. So, pull up a virtual chair, dim the lights, and prepare for an unforgettable dining experience in the heart of Tribeca.
Giraldi’s independent films have also garnered numerous awards and have found their way into collections as diverse as the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Museum of Modern Art. He was inducted into the NY Art Director’s Hall of Fame, one of the few film directors to be honored. In addition to directing Jon Cryer’s teen cult film, “Hiding Out” (1987), Bob Giraldi’s feature film, “Dinner Rush” has appeared on a number of 2001’s Top 10 lists and was selected for the prestigious New Directors/New Films Series at MoMA. “Dinner Rush” was listed by Roger Ebert as “One of the Best 100 Films in the Last 10 Years.”
Official Site: bob-giraldi.com
Gigino Trattoria: https://www.gigino-trattoria.com/
SVA, Chair, MPS Film Directing Department, School of Visual Arts: https://sva.edu/faculty/bob-giraldi
Director’s Guild of America: https://www.dga.org/The-Guild/Members/Profile.aspx?mid=x9hk7%2FiqD4I%3
This interview and photoshoot were conducted before the current SAG-AFTRA strike. Matthew Modine is an American actor who has taken on various roles in different genres that have introduced him to new audiences. From his early career as Private Joker in Stanley Kubrick's “Full Metal Jacket.” Since then, he has been involved in any projects that highlight his versatility and talent, such as “Stranger Things,” “Downwind,” “Oppenheimer,” and the passion project, “The Martini Shot.” Modine also continues to express his love for acting and the creative approach to film through writing and directing...
This interview and photoshoot were conducted before the current SAG-AFTRA strike. Matthew Modine x The Mountains // Fall 2023 // 1st Anniversary Edition // Style & Design Issue "Matthew Modine Goes Big” by Richard Perez-Feria, Photography by Mike Ruiz (exclusively for The Mountains) Available on select newsstands and digital via https://themountainsmedia.com