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7 items from 2010

Interview: Director Tanya Hamilton on How ‘Night Catches Us’

8 December 2010 5:23 AM, PST | | See recent news »

Chicago – In the 1970s, there was a period in history when the civil rights movement began to splinter and disintegrate. Government infiltration, internal divisions and lack of direction especially hurt organizations like the Black Panthers movement, a focus of Writer/Director Tanya Hamilton’s new film, “Night Catches Us.”

In 1976, after years of absence, Marcus (Anthony Mackie of “The Hurt Locker”) returns to his Philadelphia neighborhood, where he was a member of the Black Panther movement. His reappearance arouses new suspicions regarding his sudden vanishing, his colleagues suspect he sold out a fellow Panther. The only acceptance he seems to find is from his old friend Patricia (Kerry Washington). Together, they must somehow come to terms with a past from which they can’t seem to escape.

Tanya Hamilton makes her feature film debut with Night Catches Us, several years after after winning Best Short Film at the 1996 Berlin International Film Festival for “The Killers. »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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Review Of Jessie Maple’s Landmark 1981 Feature-Length Film, “Will”

4 November 2010 10:34 AM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

Presented by the Women’s Film Preservation Fund, on Monday, November 1st at 6:30Pm, at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater.

As an Fyi, Jessie Maple is considered to be the first African American woman to direct an independent feature-length film, after working/training at Channel 13 and Third World Cinema, apprenticing as an editor on films like Shaft’s Big Score (1972), as well as handling camerawork and editing for New York’s ABC, CBS and NBC affiliate TV stations.

Will, shot on location in 1980s Harlem, focuses on Will (played by Obaka Adedunyo), a girls’ basketball coach fighting through a heroin addiction, while mentoring a 12-year-old street kid, adopted by Will and his wife (played by Loretta Devine).

After reading the post (Here) about Jessie Maple, I felt guilty for not knowing of her. I got my tickets immediately and was eager to know and learn about Mrs. Maple. »

- Alece Oxendine

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Various Artists: Can You Dig It?: The Music and Politics of Black Action Films 1968-1975

23 August 2010 2:00 AM, PDT | | See recent PasteMagazine news »

Compilation collects sound of aninfamous genre In 1971, Gordon Parks’ low-budget shoot-’em-up Shaft grossed $12 million and ushered in a new genre: Black Action. By 1976, the 50-odd films directed, acted, produced and scored by black professionals had been dubbed “Blaxploitation” by the NAACP and sparked so much protest from the Congress for Racial Equality that Hollywood essentially stopped funding them. African-American academia had good reason for shunning flicks like Shaft, Super Fly and Foxy Brown. Featuring black dealers, prostitutes and vigilantes as protagonists, the films peddled hard-boiled hustler stereotypes and luxuriated in the very myths they created. Pushers drove »

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Seith Mann Takes Over “Miss: Better Living Through Crime” Graphic Novel Adaptation

17 August 2010 10:19 PM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

Long-time readers of this blog should be familiar with Seith Mann; last year, we featured his critically-acclaimed, impressive 20-minute short film called Five Deep Breaths, his Nyu Mfa thesis project in 2002, which helped get Mann work, directing several television shows – notably episodes of HBO’s hit, The Wire.

Television producer Robert F. Colesberry saw Five Deep Breaths and introduced the other producers of The Wire to the short, who then approached Mann with an offer he couldn’t refuse, asking him to shadow their already-hired directors, during production of the show’s third season in 2004. 2 years later, in 2006, Mann joined the directing crew of The Wire’s fourth season, and later went onto helm episodes of not only that series, but also Grey’s Anatomy, Cold Case, Entourage, Friday Night Lights, and Heroes.

Mann had been working on a feature film script titled Come Sunday, which was to be his debut. »

- Tambay

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Introducing The “Shadow And Act Black Filmmakers To Watch” Series…

9 July 2010 8:38 AM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

I’ve been wanting to do this for some time – a periodically (maybe annually) updated list of up-and-coming black filmmakers, especially those working mostly outside the mainstream; something we could call “black filmmakers to watch,” preceded by a year, not-so unlike Filmmaker magazine’s annual “25 New Faces of Independent Film” list.

As I’ve already made known on this blog, I’m not necessarily a fan of lists, especially ranked lists where the arts are concerned.

However, I do see Some value in providing black cinema enthusiasts like yourselves (or cinema enthusiasts regardless of race) with the names of noteworthy black filmmakers who may otherwise go unnoticed by the the mainstream press, and even indie film publications like Filmmaker magazine. We’re celebrating those black filmmakers… propping them up, you could say. If a site like ours doesn’t do that, we certainly can’t complain when more prominent media outlets don’t. »

- Tambay

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How did this slip past us?

2 July 2010 1:53 PM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

I hate to admit that but we’ve been lax at S & A. I was at the post office this afternoon and saw This, a new stamp in the Usps Black Heritage series honoring filmmaking pioneer Oscar Micheaux. I had no idea about this. Did you?

The stamp was introduced and issued on June 22 in a ceremony in New York. Of course, I don’t expect the mainstream media be on top of this, but the black media should have been. This is important, if I do say so myself. Without Micheaux there wouldn’t have been a black cinema in America or in the world. No Gordon Parks. No Gordon Parks Jr. No Spencer Williams. No Allan and Albert Hughes. No Julie Dash. No Michael Schulz or Spike Lee. No George Tillman. No Gina Prince-Bythewood. No Charles Burnett And yes even no Tyler Perry either. No, not even those »

- Sergio

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Los Angeles and New York Acting Schools and Coaches

18 June 2010 7:06 AM, PDT | | See recent Backstage news »

The following is a list of Los Angeles-area stage and film acting schools, teachers, and coaches organized by category and alphabetically.Each of the entries contains the following information, if applicable: name of teacher or school; address; phone and fax numbers; email address and/or website; average number of students per class; whether beginning, intermediate, or advanced students are taught; whether auditing is permitted; whether a work/study program is offered. Descriptions of the class, school, or coaching are provided by the instructor of institution and edited by Back Stage.Schools of teacher who have been omitted may contact, in writing, Listing, c/o Back Stage, 5055 Wilshire Blvd., 6th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036, so that we may include you in our next list.  Acting Technique/Scene StudyAARON McPherson STUDIOWest Hollywood, CA aaron@aaronmcphersonstudio.comwww.aaronmcphersonstudio.com310-918-5335Class size varies, 12 max. for auditioning class, 40 max. for scene study; day »

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