3 items from 2016
“The Birth of a Nation” premiered to cheers and a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival and was bought for a record $17.5 million by Fox Searchlight. After two years of #OscarSoWhite, Nate Parker’s drama was a light of hope for an optimistic, diverse awards season. All of that is now in doubt now that Parker’s 1999 sexual assault allegations have resurfaced; even though he was acquitted, the news has so far tarnished the film.
The filmmaker and “Birth of a Nation” co-writer Jean Celestin were accused of raping a woman while they attended Penn State in 1999. In 2001, both were brought to trial on charges of rape and sexual assault, with Parker cleared of all charges and Celestin found guilty, though the conviction was overturned. Adding another layer of controversy, Parker (and the media) learned last week that the accuser had committed suicide in 2012.
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- Liz Calvario
Forget Caltiki and forget The Blob: 'The Stuff' doesn't eat you, you eat it! Larry Cohen takes a page from Professor Quatermass for this satirical slap at blind consumerism and unregulated commerce, in a thriller packed with ooky glob-monsters and people hollowed out like Halloween pumpkins. It's the smart side of '80s sci-fi: Cohen knows how to make the genre sustain his anti-establishment themes. The Stuff Blu-ray Arrow Video (Us) 1985 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 87 min. / Street Date April 19, 2016 / Available from Amazon / 39.95 Starring Michael Moriarty, Andrea Marcovicci, Garrett Morris, Paul Sorvino, Scott Bloom, Danny Aiello, Patrick O'Neal, Alexander Scourby, Harry Bellaver, Rutanya Alda, Brooke Adams, Laurene Landon, Tammy Grimes, Abe Vigoda, Clara Peller, Patrick Dempsey, Mira Sorvino, Eric Bogosian. Cinematography Paul Glickman Makeup Effects Ed French, Michael Maddi, Steve Neill, Kim Robinson, Rick Stratton, Craig Lyman Editor Armond Lebowitz Original Music Anthony Guefen Produced by Paul Kurta Written and »
- Glenn Erickson
Welcome to chapter 4,535 of #OscarsSoWhite, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter: An Oscar voter named Rutanya Alda, a member of the Academy's actors branch, wrote a letter in defense of AMPAS' current voting practices. In it, she defends the Academy's historical appreciation of nonwhite performers with a variety of empty stats and uselessly vague anecdotes. Read the whole thing, but here we'll be responding to the grimmest portions of her plea. We begin with a shockingly assertive, wildly unnecessary claim: "Actors are the least racist people I have ever known in my life." Is this an actual talking point? Alda somehow ranked the racism within every profession in her social orbit, and -- without citing any sources -- came to the conclusion that the sprawlingly broad world of actors is unified in its lack of racism. That strikes me as a reach! I learned from the news once that Mel Gibson is a very racist person, »
- Louis Virtel
3 items from 2016
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