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10 items from 2011

Essential Viewing: The Week in Pictures

3 June 2011 10:00 AM, PDT | Essence | See recent Essence news »

Essential Viewing 6/3The Week in RewindThis week Memorial Day weekend set off the unofficial start of summer and our favorite celebs were out and about celebrating and having a good time. Prince wowed a crowd of loyal fans this week in sunny California, and Keri Hilson put on a great show in sexy Miami Beach. Some of our favorite A-listers also kicked back at the NBA Playoffs Games. Serena Williams and Gabrielle Union were a couple of starlets who were spotted courtside enjoying the game. Check out who else had fun and rocked it out this week!Serena WilliamsSerena Williams enjoys a basketball game courtside at Game 1 of the NBA Finals in Miami.Keri HilsonKeri Hilson went all out during her performance at the 2011 'Spring Fest' in Miami.We love her edgy accessories!President Barack ObamaIt has been a devastating tornado season this year. President Obama speaks at memorial service »

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10 of the best films set in New York

1 June 2011 8:31 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

One of the most cinematic cities in the world has been showcased in literally hundreds of movies. We gave Guardian film editor Andrew Pulver the unenviable task of choosing just 10 great films set in the city

As featured in our New York city guide

Manhattan, Woody Allen, 1979

"He adored New York City. He idolised it all out of proportion." Woody Allen could never be accused of ignoring his native city, returning time and again to eulogise the virtues of its buildings and its inhabitants. With this black-and-white story of faithless lovers and nervous courtships wending their way through major art galleries, celebrated restaurants and picturesque landmarks, he came closest to the perfect love letter to the place. Filmed in jazz-age black-and-white, and opening with a stunning montage set to Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Manhattan is suffused with an affectionate, excited nostalgia.

• Queensboro Bridge; Guggenheim Museum; Museum of Modern Art »

- Andrew Pulver

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Flashback To 1992 – Watch Alex Haley Host “Dialogue With Black Filmmakers”

7 April 2011 9:16 AM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

I was just reminded of this short-lived series which Alex Haley hosted not-so long before he died in 1992, titled Dialogue With Black Filmmakers. The title should be self-explanatory.

I believe the episodes were shot in 1991, but I actually couldn’t find very much online written about the series; I couldn’t even find any absolute confirmation that it even aired at all! And it doesn’t appear to exist in any home video format (DVD, VHS, etc). Although it supposedly eventually aired on Black Entertainment Television, in 1992/1993 season. Yes, Bet! This was before it devolved into ass-shaking-music-video-heaven (or hell, depending on your Pov), when they had shows like Teen Summit, and Ed Gordon’s news program.

Maybe someone out there can fill in the blanks on this…

Regardless, I found a few episodes of the program on YouTube; apparently, Haley talked to several filmmakers over the course of the series, »

- Tambay

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Tracking Product Placement In Movies… (Diversions)

27 March 2011 1:34 PM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news » is a site that lists all product placement found within #1 studio feature films, going back to 2001.

Something to pay attention to next time you sit down to watch a movie, and to later discuss, when you and your pals go to Starbucks afterward and order cappuccinos, oblivious of the fact that you might be doing so because a character in the movie you just saw was drinking one

For example… Limitless, last week’s number 1 movie, featured brands that include: adidas, Apple, At&T, Bentley, BlackBerry, Bloomberg, Dell, Google, Ibm, Levi’s, Louis Vuitton, Maserati, Mercedes, New York Post, Percocet, Red Bull, Smartwater, St. Regis Hotel, Trump, and Two Men and a Truck.

Several “high end” brands there. I haven’t seen the film however. But since you’re technically supposed to be able to tell who the target audience of the film is, by looking at the brands featured in the film, »

- Tambay

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Interviews: Classic TV, Movie Stars at the Hollywood Celebrities & Memorabilia Show

25 March 2011 8:03 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Chicago – It’s Hollywood Celebrities & Memorabilia Show Weekend, and the stars of TV and movies will be available to meet all their fans at the Hilton Rosemont/Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel (click the link at the end of the article). Also available, lots of vendors with TV and movie items for any collection.

The Hollywood Celebrities & Memorabilia Show is a biannual event that brings celebrities to Chicago to meet, sign autographs and interact with their admirers. Every session has in attendance, and Joe Arce is also there to photograph all the celebs. The last show in September brought out classic TV and movie stars, who sat down for the following interviews.

Marcia Wallace of “The Bob Newhart Show” and “The Simpsons

Marcia Wallace has created two memorable characters in TV history. As Carol Kester on “The Bob Newhart Show,” she traded quips with Dr. Bob Hartley (Newhart) for six seasons. »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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Joshua Reviews Gordon Parks’ The Learning Tree [DVD Review]

4 March 2011 3:25 PM, PST | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

It goes without saying that filmmaking is truly a labor of love.

Whether it be a film breaking box office records with a team of writers and a director who is simply there to shoot actors acting, or be it the smallest of small independent film, within any production you will find a person or group of people putting their heart and soul into the film.

This may not be any more clear in the 1969 film, The Learning Tree.

Written and directed by Gordon Parks, the film is based off of a 1964 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, penned by Parks, and now, 22  years after being selected to join the National Film Registry here in the Us, the Warner Archive has brought the public this beloved and absolutely fantastic look at not only growing up, but growing up in a time and world where you aren’t wanted.

Learning tree »

- Joshua Brunsting

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Author of Shaft Novels Didn’t Like “Shaft” Films

25 February 2011 11:12 AM, PST | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

“I was shocked when he (Tidyman) walked into my office, because I was expecting a black person, because Shaft was about African-Americans.”

That’s what French Connection producer Philip D’Antoni recalls about former newspaperman- turned-pulp novelist and writer of Shaft novels Ernest R. Tidyman in the documentary Making the Connection: The Untold Stories.

“Not only was he white, but a very WASPy person from Ohio,” he said.

At the time, Tidyman was a 42 year old former New York Times reporter who, based on the social changes taking place, contemplated and decided to write Shaft.

“The idea came out of my awareness of both social and literary situations in a changing city,” Tidyman told a writer in 1973. “There are winners, survivors and losers in the New York scheme of things. It was time for a black winner, whether he was a private detective or an obstetrician.”

In Shaft’s forty »

- Cynthia

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Gordon Parks’ The Learning Tree now available on Warner Archive DVD

1 February 2011 6:49 PM, PST | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

Back during the early days of S & A I wrote about legendary photographer, author, composer filmmaking pioneer and all around Renaissance Man Gordon Parks’ truly wonderful and beautiful 1969 film The Learning Tree. (Here)

The film based on Parks autobiographical novel about growing up in rural Kansas during the 1920′s starred Kyle Johnson (Lt. Uhura Nichelle Nichols’ real life son) and was the first film to be directed by a black director for a major Hollywood film studio, Warner Bros and I lamented that this wonderful film was not available on DVD. However that has been, at last, finally corrected. Today the film was released and is now available on DVD on the Warner Archive label (Here).

Unfortunately, as with all Warner Archive releases and other DVD-on demand from other companies, there are no special extras (a commentary by Johnson would have been great) but at least we finally now have »

- Sergio

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Bubbas, Chop-Sockies, Splatters And Sleaze – Oh My!

23 January 2011 5:04 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Since the earliest days of American cinema there has been a shadowy counterpart to the commercial mainstream:  exploitation movies — pictures whose appeal lies in their sensational treatment and leering promotion of often lurid and prurient material.  Pre-1960, when mainstream Hollywood worked within severe restrictions on content, exploitation movies offered audiences titillating glimpses of the deliciously taboo, usually under the guise of being some sort of instructional cautionary against the very subject matter being exploited i.e. sex in “hygiene” movies like The Road to Ruin (1934), drugs in anti-drug movies like Tell Your Children (1936, re-released in the 1960s/70s as camp classic Reefer Madness), and gambling in the anti-vice Gambling with Souls (1936).

By the 1950s, as the studios entered their long post-war decline, downscale producers launched a new vein of exploitation moviemaking, churning out low-budget thrillers (mostly sci fi and horror) aimed squarely at the burgeoning youth audience.  Again, the movies were cheap, »

- Bill Mesce

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/Film La: Edgar Wright Programs The New Beverly January 14-31

3 January 2011 6:00 AM, PST | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

The New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles is one of those movie theaters that film fans must visit at some point in their life. Maybe it's not the prettiest theater in the world, but the tickets are cheap, the popcorn is cheap, and it regularly has some of the best, if not the best, repertory screenings imaginable, mostly in double features. Now, for their 2011 season, they've decided to kick it off the Wright way. The Edgar Wright way. The New Bev will play host to over two weeks of films programmed by director Edgar Wright. They did it three years ago and now, the director of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (which will screen as one marathon) is back for The Wright Stuff II. Wright has chosen twenty films to play over 18 days beginning January 14 and most of the films are specially themed double features. »

- Germain Lussier

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