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This Quiz Shows It’s Actually Pretty Hard To Tell Walter Mercado And Paquita La Del Barrio Apart

The hair, the jewelry, the shiny outfits… can you really tell them apart?

Walter Mercado Was An Iconic Astrologer And A Gender Nonconforming Legend And Now There’s A Documentary About Him Coming To Netflix

Entertainment

Walter Mercado Was An Iconic Astrologer And A Gender Nonconforming Legend And Now There’s A Documentary About Him Coming To Netflix

Waltermercadotv/ Instagram

Walter Mercado was a source of wisdom. His horoscopes eased many Latinxs into New Years, months and days full of new possibilities and opportunities. Equal parts Oprah, Liberace, and Mr. Rogers, Walter was a celebrated daily part of Latino culture—until last November, when he sadly passed away. But his legacy lives on, and this year, he’s getting his own Netflix documentary. Here’s everything we know so far about “Mucho Mucho Amor.”

Late television personality and astrologer Walter Mercado is the subject of a Netflix documentary.

Extravagant Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic, and gender nonconforming legend Walter Mercado charmed the world for over 30 years with his televised horoscopes. And this summer, a the feature-length documentary based on the life and work of the iconic astrologer, “Mucho Mucho Amor” will stream on Netflix. And it’s scheduled to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film was selected to premiere at the 2020 Sundance Festival.

The independent-film festival announced its lineup earlier this month, and Miami is well represented among the 118 films selected. Although Mucho Mucho Amor might seem timely in light of the astrologer’s passing in November, Tabsch and his codirector and coproducer — Cristina Constantini and Alex Fumero — have been working on it for more than two years.

The film explores Walter’s complex story.

“Mucho Mucho Amor”, follows Mercado’s story, from the rural sugarcane fields of Puerto Rico to international astrology superstardom, rising above homophobia and the heteronormative beliefs of the Latino society with a message of love and hope. “If you think about the way he came on television, starting from 50 years ago,” said one of the film’s directors, Kareem Tabsch in an interview with WLRN, “he blended gender expressions — the masculine with the feminine on Latino television, which is very macho-centric.”

The film was directed by two Latinx co-directors.

Kareem Tabsch and Cristina Costantini (Science Fair, Festival Favorite Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival) both set out to create “Mucho Mucho Amor” as a love letter to Walter Mercado.  “He was uniquely his own. In a very macho Latino culture, he presented his nonbinary gender expression, and it was so brave,” Tabsch said to Miami New Times.

“Mucho Mucho Amor” unpicks how Walter Mercado became an icon of gender-fluidity for an entire generation.

The filmmakers, who grew up watching him with their abuelitos, craft a film with levity and a playful spirit. Light-years ahead of his time, Walter has become a nostalgic cult icon of self-expression and positivity for the gender-fluid youth of today.

And indeed, Walter Mercado induces millennial Latinos into deep nostalgia.

For Latino audiences, Mercado also represents a form of warm nostalgia. “You think of Walter today, and so many of us think of our abuelitas,” the Cuban-American filmmaker says in an interview with Miami New Times. “The memory takes us back to childhood. It takes us back to sitting with our grandparents. In making this film, we realized that was a universal experience [for Latinos].”

The director also spoke about the significance of premiering their film at Sundance.

The fact that an international film festival of Sundance’s prominence has recognized a film such as Mucho Mucho Amor is an important win for not only Tabsch and his team but also Latino culture. “It’s a huge recognition not just for Miami film, but for film created by, for, and about Latinos,” Tabsch says. “We’re telling our own stories.”

The film premieres at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24 and runs through January 31. It will be available on Netflix this summer.

Italian Mayors Are Showing J.Lo A Lot Of Love After She Mentioned Wanting To Move To The Country

Entertainment

Italian Mayors Are Showing J.Lo A Lot Of Love After She Mentioned Wanting To Move To The Country

jlo / Instagram

Jennifer Lopez has checked off more than all the bucket list life experiences “Jenny from the Block” could have even imagined, but there’s still one more she yearns for: to live abroad in a small town in Italy or in Bali and enjoy the simple things in life. The 50-year-old singer, actress, producer, and businesswoman has graced the cover of Vanity Fair alongside an in-depth interview that affirms the importance of Latinas gaining power in the U.S. and a long-held desire to leave it all behind for a “more simple and organic” life. In the wake of J.Lo’s recent Academy snub for her role in “Hustlers,” she confirms that she is very intentional about why she’s only hired female directors for all her productions to date. “It’s about breaking the mold of what people are used to,” she told Vanity Fair’s Britt Hennemuth.

It’s clear that J.Lo is committed to breaking the glass ceiling for Latinas and all women alike here in the United States, but that hasn’t stopped mayors across the Italian countryside from wooing Jenny from the Block to move to their idyllic town.

Lopez revealed that all she wants to do is “ride a bike, and buy bread, and put it in my basket, and then go home and put jelly on it.”

CREDIT: @JLO / TWITTER

For Lopez, that kind of life may only be possible somewhere very far on the other side of the world, more removed from her celebrity. “I would love to live somewhere other than the United States, in a small town in Italy, or on the other side of the world, in Bali. Find another life where it’s a little bit more simple and organic and where I get to ride a bike, and buy bread, and put it in my basket, and then go home and put jelly on it, and just eat and paint, or sit in a rocking chair where there was a beautiful view of an olive tree or an oak tree and I could just smell. I have fantasies like that,” Lopez told the magazine.

“If you ever do move overseas don’t forget to take Arod with you,” one Twitter user implored of J.Lo. While it doesn’t seem like Americans are taking her fantasy too seriously, the rest of the world certainly is. 

Several mayors around Italy have publicly reached out to the Puerto Rican Renaissance Woman.

CREDIT: @JLO / TWITTER

The mayor of San Quirico d’Orcia, a town in the Tuscan countryside, announced, “We are the Italy that Jennifer Lopez is looking for. We are a small but beautiful town surrounded by endless olive groves and a landscape recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage area.” Mayor Bartoli didn’t forget to mention that “we have great bakeries that produce wonderful bread.”

Cagliari’s mayor, Paolo Truzzu, tossed his beloved town into the running as well. “Dear Jennifer, come and live with us in Cagliari” to enjoy “good things to eat, a slow rhythm of life, contact with nature and a lovely climate,” he said. The residents of some of these towns have reached out to Lopez to second their mayor’s invitation. “Hey @JLo! Did you receive the invitation from Cagliari’s mayor Paolo Truzzu to come to live here? He’s available to host you. Let us know!” one Cagliari resident tweeted at J.Lo. JLo, come to live in Italy there are many beautiful villages!! come on the Amalfi Coast or in Cilento,  I recommend also San Valentino Torio the land of lovers, 20 min from  Pompei,” another Italian Twitter user informed the superstar. 

Lopez also emphasized the importance of hiring female directors.

CREDIT: @JLO / TWITTER

Vanity Fair aptly acknowledged that Lopez had mostly been directed by men, but that she has an exclusively female line-up of directors for her future projects under her own production. “It’s about breaking the mold of what people are used to,” Lopez added, saying, “There are so many great female directors; why aren’t we using them more? It’s hard to break patterns, even in yourself, so we have to make a conscious effort to change the paradigm.” The 2020 Oscars snubbed all women when they only nominated male directors during a time when there are more female directors than ever before. 

“It’s also a great time for Latina women to take the stage at the biggest all-American event,” Lopez said of her upcoming Superbowl Halftime show with Shakira, emphasizing its importance “with everything that’s going on in the country right now.” Lopez added, “I’m super-happy to represent my community, to represent women, and to represent everybody, you know? “

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