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Joshua Reviews Peter Nicks’ The Force [Theatrical Review]

Since its inception, the award given to the best documentary director at the annual Sundance Film Festival has seen a who’s who of documentary auteurs. Be it Errol Morris for a film like A Brief History Of Time or Morgan Spurlock for Supersize Me, the award, in all of its various iterations, has helped spark the careers of some true non-fiction film making titans.

After The Force, director Peter Nicks is absolutely one of them. Previously known for the underrated The Waiting Room, Nicks is back with The Force, and it’s a stark change in pace for the filmmaker.

Inspired in many ways by the films of Fredrick Wiseman, Nicks’ latest film is classical cinema verite. The film introduces us to the Oakland Police Department, which at the start of 2014, was in the middle of ever increasing controversy. Itself a the A1 example of the modern state of policing,
See full article at CriterionCast »

L.A. Riots 25th Anniversary Documentaries, Ranked: Which Ones Best Explain the Unrest Now

  • Indiewire
L.A. Riots 25th Anniversary Documentaries, Ranked: Which Ones Best Explain the Unrest Now
There’s no question that Rodney King was brutally beaten by Los Angeles Police Department officers – video taken of the savage act proves it. Yet the four men seen clubbing King were acquitted by a Simi Valley jury in 1992, lighting a match for one of the deadliest and costliest civil unrests in U.S. history.

Read More: How Spike Lee, John Singleton and John Ridley Left Their Marks on the 25th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots

It’s 25 years later, and Los Angeles – and the Lapd – have changed. But has the rest of the country? Regular reports of police brutality, now well-documented in an age of phone cameras, makes it clear that we haven’t come all that far. Several new documentaries explore the L.A. riots, including the underlying reasons, the actual events, what happened next, and how it relates to today. Among the filmmakers putting their own
See full article at Indiewire »

John Ridley on 'Guerrilla,' Black Activism, Resisting Trump

John Ridley on 'Guerrilla,' Black Activism, Resisting Trump
Through a combinationof crazy prolificacy and an accident of timing, John Ridley's name is behind somany hours of television this month that he could program an entire network forthe better part of a day. As it stands, three different Ridley projects willoverlap by the end of April, each a testament to his interest in social justiceand upheaval, from contemporary labor and immigration problems in NorthCarolina to racial upheaval and violence in the early 1970s England and early 1990sLos Angeles. Though Ridley has been working steadily on TV and film for twodecades,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Sundance Film Review: ‘The Force’

Sundance Film Review: ‘The Force’
If the Fred Wiseman of the ’60s made a film about cops in the age of body-cams and Black Lives Matter — a verité documentary called “Police,” to place alongside his classic lean and clear-eyed institutional studies “High School” and “Titicut Follies” — it might look something like “The Force.” An even-handed, no-easy-answers exposé that won this year’s Sundance documentary prize for Best Director (the filmmaker is Peter Nicks), the movie chronicles two tumultuous years in the life of the Oakland Police Department. It starts in 2014, the year after a new chief has come in — the fifth one in a decade. Why the rolling heads? Because the Oakland police, after clash upon clash with the local community, were being held up as a paragon of law enforcement in need of reform.

In 2002, the department was placed under federal oversight, yet none of the changes implemented seemed to work. Then Chief Sean Whent came in.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Willie Williams, Former L.A. Police Chief, Dies at 72

Atlanta (AP) — Willie L. Williams, who was the first black police chief in Philadelphia and in Los Angeles, where he took over in the wake of the Rodney King riots, has died. He was 72. His daughter-in-law Valerie Williams told The Associated Press that he died Tuesday evening at his home in Fayetteville, Ga. She said he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In Los Angeles, Williams was selected in April 1992 to succeed police chief Daryl Gates, whose lengthy tenure had been shaken when four white officers were accused of beating King, a black motorist. Gates

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Film Review: ‘Straight Outta Compton’

Film Review: ‘Straight Outta Compton’
The ferocious rhymes of hip-hop icons N.W.A.’s controversial 1988 anthem “F–k tha Police” scarcely seem to have aged when they blast on to the soundtrack of “Straight Outta Compton,” echoing into a world where the abuse of black Americans at the hands of law-enforcement officials remains common headline news. But if “Compton” is undeniably of the moment, it’s also timeless in its depiction of how artists and writers transform the world around them into angry, profane, vibrant and singular personal expression. A conventional music-world biopic in outline, but intensely human and personal in its characterizations and attention to detail, director F. Gary Gray’s movie is a feast for hip-hop connoisseurs and novices alike as it charts the West Coast rap superstars’ meteoric rise, fractious in-fighting and discovery that the music business can be as savage as the inner-city streets. A very smart piece of counter-programming in a
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Paramount Pictures to Distribute Scott Rudin's Cop Film L.A. Rex

Paramount Pictures will distribute producer Scott Rudin's new cop film L.A. Rex, which is based on the novel by Will Beall, who is also attached to write the script. Rudin is currently looking at actors to cast, and still has yet to hire a director to take on the project. Beall is also writing the script for Warner Bros. new movie Gangster Squad, which I'm really looking forward to seeing. He's also set to write Warner Bros. Logan's Run remake, which I'm not so excited about.

L.A. Rex follows an Lapd cop who becomes a mole investigating a crime against the head of the Mexican mafia. He and his partner soon become involved in web of corruption and retribution involving gang bangers, dirty cops and the mexican mob.

Sounds like a hardcore cop flick, and I love a good cop flick. This could end up being a film worth getting excited about.
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Daryl Gates: The Story the L.A. Times Didn't Tell

Daryl Gates: The Story the L.A. Times Didn't Tell
By David Cay Johnston 

When Daryl Gates, who died on Friday,  ran the Lapd from 1978 to 1992 he also ran a worldwide political spying operation. And he lavished time on it, sometimes several hours each day, including all the dossiers and reports he got on the lawful activities of L.A. leaders, elected and not, as well as political and religious groups he suspected were up to no good.

On Page 231 of "Chief: My Life in the Lapd," Gates recounts how he knew every time Lew Wasserman, the head of McA, the big movie and record company, got on an airplane to Las Vegas. He says when he told Wasserman a...
See full article at The Wrap »

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