4 items from 2014
The third season of Black Folk Don’t, the satirical documentary web series challenging common stereotypes of African Americans, ends with this final episode, which considers the relationship between black folk and the NRA. This season, the series headed to California, with engaging interviews of celebrities like John Norwood Fisher of the punk band Fishbone, director Ava DuVernay, actress Lisa Gay Hamilton and renowned feminist Sikivu Hutchinson, as well as everyday black folk. The series, a project of TuckerGurl LLC, is funded by National Black Programming Consortium (Nbpc) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and ran weekly on Mondays for six weeks through January »
- Tambay A. Obenson
You have seen this story before, ad nausea. A gutsy yet compassionate teacher takes a job working at an inner-city school and inspires a cast of potential addicts and dealers into model students. He or she equips them with the tools to combat the danger in their lives through some sort of reformation, like poetry, sports or a spelling bee. We have seen these tales told on the big and small screens so often that we know their didactic formula by heart. And therein lies the problem. If we know exactly what a story is going to provide, there must be a hook to engage us in the plight of the characters – both the educator and his or her pupils.
There is nothing wrong with watching a group of misfits find purpose and overcome adversity, unless the writer and director does little to differentiate their story from better works that have come before. »
- Jordan Adler
A man trying to make a fresh start is given a shot at redemption in our exclusive clip from Life of a King. Cuba Gooding Jr. stars as Eugene Brown, who gives back to his community after serving 18 years in prison, by establishing a chess club to get kids off the street. Take a look at our exclusive scene where Eugene tries to impress Shiela King (Lisa Gay Hamilton) with his determination, despite lying on his job application.
Life of a King is the true story of one man's mission to give inner city kids of Washington DC something he never had - a future. After being incarcerated for eighteen years, Eugene Brown established the Big Chair Chess Club to get kids off the streets and working towards lives they never believed they were capable of. This is his inspirational story
Life of a King comes to theaters January 17th, »
Please note, the absence of titles like Spring Breakers, Paradise: Faith, Frances Ha, No, and The Place Beyond the Pines is due to the fact that I saw these in 2012 and considered them as some of the best ‘unreleased’ films of that year. The following ten selections are the best films I saw this year that also made it to theatrical release also this year. Without further ado, here are my Top Ten Films for 2013 commencing with my number 10 pick…:
The only directorial debut on my list, Ryan Coogler, took home the top audience and critic’s prize at Sundance, for his emotional, well played reenactment of the last days in the life of a young man whose life is cut short. Featuring stellar performances from Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, and Melonie Diaz, Coogler’s debut is an engaging and important cinematic achievement, »
- Nicholas Bell
4 items from 2014
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