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11 items from 2017


Solange Knowles Explains Why She Looks Up to Icons Like Nina Simone

12 February 2017 11:24 PM, PST | POPSUGAR | See recent BuzzSugar news »

Sunday night's Grammy Awards served as a pretty significant benchmark for Solange Knowles. After slaying the red carpet, the music artist also joined the winners' list, earning a best R&B performance victory for "Cranes in the Sky." Backstage in the press room, Knowles spoke to the press about her win and the influential messages woven into her work. With deep-meaning songs like "Cranes in the Sky" and the notably symbolic "Don't Touch My Hair," it's clear her album A Seat at the Table is quite charged. As it turns out, Knowles draws this power and intention from icons of the past, most notably, Nina Simone. "I look to Nina Simone and Marvin Gaye and the artists of our time that have really pushed political messages through, through their music and their artistry. I think that all we can do as artists, and especially as songwriters, is write about what's true to us. »

- Ryan Roschke

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16 Songs from the Past Century of Protest Music

10 February 2017 3:20 PM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Using music as a tool of protest isn’t anything new. But with the current political climate, we have a sneaking suspicion that music in the U.S. is about to get ever-so-slightly more angry. Here are the most important ones from the genre’s history in America.

“I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier” (1915)

One of the first anti-war pop songs, this song was a hit in 1915, selling 650,000 copies. It also drew scorn from a number of people, including Theodore Roosevelt, who said, “Foolish people who applaud a song entitled ‘I Didn’t Raise My Boy »

- Alex Heigl

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Elton John Honors George Michael as ‘One of the Best Vocalists Ever’ on Beats 1 Tribute Show

7 February 2017 2:50 PM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Mere days after George Michael was found dead in his home on Christmas day, friend and fellow music superstar Sir Elton John paid tribute to the later singer with an emotional performance of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”—which the pair sang together in 1990. Now John has honored the singer on his Beats 1 show, Rocket Hour.

“Not only was he a good friend, but he was probably one of the most brilliant songwriters this country’s ever produced, and certainly one of the best vocalists ever,” he told listeners. “One of the best in the world. »

- Jordan Runtagh

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Oscar-Nominated Docs Push Boundaries

7 February 2017 8:30 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Five expertly crafted, thought-provoking and moving films are nominated in the doc feature category for the 89th Academy Awards. All made the cut from 145 films submitted, to the short list of 15, to nominee. Per AMPAS rules, only those members who’ve seen all the films can vote; each doc comes with an extensive list of previous kudos or nods from festivals, critics’ associations, guilds, and doc peers.

The Golden Bear winner at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival, director Gianfranco Rosi and producer Donatella Palermo’s “Fire at Sea,” turns the camera on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, evocatively capturing the impact of the international refugee crisis on the island’s citizens, who by chance of geography, have come to be at its center. Director Raoul Peck, along with producers Remi Grellety and Hebert Peck, brings author James Baldwin’s unfinished treatise on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and »

- Kathy A. McDonald

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Espn’s ‘O.J.: Made in America’ Goes Long as Unconventional Oscar Frontrunner

24 January 2017 2:29 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Oscar best documentary feature nominee “O.J.: Made in America” is a staggering achievement, a film magisterial in its scope, riveting in its detail. It lets you feel like you’ve finally taken the full haunting measure of the O.J. Simpson saga — cultural, biographical, sociological, legal, forensic. Yet it still seems fair to ask: Why has Ezra Edelman’s five-part epic swept the year-end film critics’ awards, and why is it now the frontrunner to win the Oscar for best documentary? The movie, which is seven hours and 47 minutes long, was first presented as part of Espn’s “30 for 30” series, (and it now has the distinction of being the longest film ever nominated for an Academy Award). It was conceived, and made, to be shown on television.

That may sound like a quibble. “O.J.: Made in America” has been racking up film honors, and is now in the thick of the Academy Awards race, »

- Owen Gleiberman

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24 Political Protest Songs to Put on Repeat Today

20 January 2017 8:25 AM, PST | POPSUGAR | See recent BuzzSugar news »

The Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and Black Lives Matter: political protest goes hand in hand with powerful music. The American songbook is rife with political messages, from antiwar rock songs of the 1960s to hip-hop anthems calling for racial equality. In recent years, we've seen political-message songs touching on everything from marriage equality to abortion rights. This 24-song playlist spans causes and decades, and every track has a message and lyrics that we can learn from. If the outcome of the 2016 election is inspiring you to take action, allow this playlist to serve as your soundtrack. "Fight the Power," Public Enemy Relevant lyric: "Our freedom of speech is freedom or death / We got to fight the powers that be." "What's Going On," Marvin Gaye Relevant lyric: "You see, war is not the answer / For only love can conquer hate." "Fortunate Son," Creedence Clearwater Revival Relevant lyric: "Some folks are born, »

- Nancy Einhart

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Upcoming Bam Exhibition Celebrates Black Women’s Cinema

17 January 2017 9:02 AM, PST | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Daughters of the Dust”: Bam

Cinephiles, your February just became a whole lot busier. Brooklyn Academy of Music (Bam) recently announced its “One Way or Another: Black Women’s Cinema, 1970–1991” exhibition, which commemorates the theatrical and Blu-ray re-release of Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust” with screenings of films from black women directors. According to the exhibit’s website, this event was designed to honor the “black women directors who blazed the trail for that landmark film.”

“One Way or Another” features a variety of film (long-form, short-form, documentary, narrative, and animation) and explores a wide cross-section of topics, especially those specific to black women’s culture, including body image, identity, the role church plays, the complexities of black hair, colorism, representation in the media, Zora Neale Hurston’s work, and black feminism.

Screenings of “Daughters of the Dust” will kick-off the event on February 3. Other films to screen include Dash’s shorts (“Standing at the Scratch Line,” “Four Women,” “Illusions,” and “Praise House”), Debra J. Robinson’s “I Be Done Was Is,” Liz White’s “Othello,” Cheryl Chisholm’s “On Becoming a Woman,” Elena Featherstone’s “Visions of the Spirit: A Portrait of Alice Walker,” and Euzhan Palcy’s “Sugar Cane Alley.”

Below is the full list of films that will screen at “One Way or Another,” courtesy of Bam. Visit the Bam website to buy tickets or find out more. The exhibit will run from February 3–23.

Daughters of the Dust” — Directed By Julie Dash

Feb 3 — Feb 5, 2017

Julie Dash’s shimmering, dreamlike evocation of early-20th century Gullah life (which was a key influence on Beyoncé’s visual album “Lemonade”) is a sumptuous celebration of folk traditions and black womanhood.

Losing Ground” — Directed By Kathleen Collins

Feb 3 — Feb 5, 2017

A married couple experience a reawakening on a summer idyll in upstate New York. This revelatory comedic drama is one of the first films to explore sexuality from the perspective of a black female director.

“I Be Done Was Is ”— Directed By Debra J. Robinson

Feb 4 — Feb 9, 2017

Director Debra Robinson profiles four black female comedians, offering insight into what it means to be a sharp-witted woman navigating the male-dominated world of stand-up.

Julie Dash Shorts

Feb 5 — Feb 6, 2017

This program surveys Julie Dash’s (“Daughters of the Dust”) remarkable career from the 1970s to the present, including her breakthrough work, “Illusions,” which explores black representation in 1940s Hollywood.

“Standing at the Scratch Line”

A look at the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Four Women

A dance film set to the music of Nina Simone.

Illusions

Explores African-American representation in 1940s Hollywood via the story of a black studio executive passing as white.

Praise House

A performance piece made with Urban Bush Women founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.

Camille Billops Program

Feb 6 — Feb 15, 2017

The films of Camille Billops are heartrending, fearlessly personal meditations on a range of emotionally charged subjects. This program brings together a cross section of Billops’ documentary work.

“Suzanne, Suzanne”

A harrowing portrait of a woman processing her abusive father and her own drug addiction.

Finding Christa

An autobiographical record of the filmmaker’s reunion with the daughter she gave up for adoption.

Take Your Bags

Billops’ examination of slavery and cultural theft.

“Zora is My Name! ”— Directed By Neema Barnette

Feb 7, 2017

The great Ruby Dee scripted and stars in this tribute to visionary writer and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston.

Performers and Artists

Feb 7, 2017

This shorts program spotlights several extraordinary black women artists, including dancers Syvilla Fort and Thelma Hill; sculptor Valerie Maynard; and drag king and activist Stormé DeLarverie.

“Valerie” — Directed by Monica J Freeman

Monica J. Freeman’s 1975 portrait of sculptor Valerie Maynard.

“Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification ”— Directed by Barbara McCullough

An experimental performance film by Barbara McCullough, inspired by Afro-diasporic ceremonies.

“Syvilla: They Dance to Her Drum” — Directed by Ayoka Chenzira

Ayoka Chenzira’s 1979 tribute to dancer-choreographer Syvilla Fort.

“Remembering Thelma” — Directed by Kathe Sandler

Kathe Sandler’s 1981 portrait of dancer Thelma Hill, a founding member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

“Storme: The Lady of the Jewel Box” — Directed by Michelle Parkerson

Michelle Parkerson’s 1987 profile of Stormé DeLarverie, a drag king, gay rights activist, and heroine of the Stonewall uprising.

“Visions of the Spirit: A Portrait of Alice Walker ”— Directed By Elena Featherstone

Feb 8, 2017

This revealing portrait of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker offers essential insight into the experiences that shaped her perspective as an outspoken black feminist.

Twice as Nice + A Minor Altercation

Feb 8, 2017

Jackie Shearer’s 1977 docudrama, about two girls during the desegregation of Boston’s public schools, screens alongside Jessie Maple’s portrait of twin college basketball players.

“Twice as Nice” — Directed by Jessie Maple

Jessie Maple, who made history as the first black woman admitted to New York’s camera operators union, explores the bond between twin college basketball players, scripted by S. Pearl Sharp.

“A Minor Altercation ”— Directed by Jackie Shearer

Jackie Shearer’s docudrama catching the tensions between two girls — one black, one white — during the desegregation of Boston’s public schools.

A Different Image + Perfect Image?

Feb 9, 2017

Two shorts, by Alile Sharon Larkin and Maureen Blackwood, about black women grappling with questions of identity, beauty, and societal norms.

A Different Image” — Directed by Alile Sharon Larkin

An art student sets out to reclaim her body and self-worth from Western patriarchal norms.

“Perfect Image?” — Directed by Maureen Blackwood

Two actresses, one light skinned, one dark skinned, in a series of freewheeling, sometimes musical, sketches exploring black beauty standards

Othello” — Directed By Liz White

Feb 13, 2017

Created by an entirely black cast and crew, including Yaphet Kotto in the title role, Liz White’s rarely screened adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy offers incisive commentary on the play’s racial dimensions.

Grey Area + 2 By Fronza Woods

Feb 13, 2017

These psychologically rich films are fully realized portraits of black female consciousness, offering unusually complex depictions of the experiences and inner-thoughts of African-American women.

Grey Area” — Directed by Monona Wali

The film revolves around an African-American woman reporter for a local television station who must seemingly compromise her political principles to keep her job, just as a former Black Panther Party member gets out of prison, only to realize that the old comrades in the struggle have moved on with their lives. It is also a plea for community development in Watts and other black L.A. neighborhoods, a concern that connects many of the L.A. Rebellion projects.

“Killing Time” — Directed by Fronza Woods

An offbeat, wryly humorous look at the dilemma of a would-be suicide unable to find the right outfit to die in, examines the personal habits, socialization, and complexities of life that keep us going.

“Fannie’s Film ”— Directed by Fronza Woods

A 65-year-old cleaning woman for a professional dancers’ exercise studio performs her job while telling us in voiceover about her life, hopes, goals, and feelings. A challenge to mainstream media’s ongoing stereotypes of women of color who earn their living as domestic workers, this seemingly simple documentary achieves a quiet revolution: the expressive portrait of a fully realized individual.

Sky Captain

Feb 15, 2017

Two heartrending portraits of black childhood: a hip-hop-infused South Bronx fantasy about teen suicide and a young girl’s perspective on her struggling single mother.

Sky Captain ”— Directed by Neema Barnette

Neema Barnette’s hip-hop-infused South Bronx fantasy that tackles the issue of teen suicide with a surplus of cinematic imagination.

“Your Children Come Back to You” — Directed by Alile Sharon Larkin

Alile Sharon Larkin’s first film is a contemporary allegory about values and assimilation. The film literalizes the meaning of a “mother country” by means of the story of a young girl, Tovi, torn between two surrogate mothers: one comfortably bourgeois, the other nationalist.

Cycles + On Becoming a Woman

Feb 16, 2017

Two films exploring the relationships of black women to their bodies: a woman performs Caribbean folk rituals in Zeinabu Irene Davis’ “Cycles” and Cheryl Chisholm addresses reproductive rights in “Becoming A Woman.”

Cycles” — Directed by Zeinabu Irene Davis

Rasheeda Allen is waiting for her period, a state of anticipation familiar to all women. Drawing on Caribbean folklore, this exuberant experimental drama uses animation and live action to discover a film language unique to African American women. The multilayered soundtrack combines a chorus of women’s voices with the music of Africa and the diaspora — including Miriam Makeba, acappella singers from Haiti, and trumpetiste Clora Bryant.

“On Becoming a Woman ”— Directed by Cheryl Chisholm

This documentary provides rare insights into some important health issues for African American women. Filmed primarily during the National Black Women’s Health Project workshop sessions, this historic film also demonstrates models for trust and communication between mothers and daughters.

I Am Somebody + The Maids

Feb 16, 2017

This program mines the complicated relationship between black women, capitalism, and the workplace as documented by a 1969 hospital workers’ strike in Charleston and the history of domestic service.

I Am Somebody” — Directed by Madeline Anderson With Coretta Scott King

This civil rights documentary tells the story of black female hospital workers going on strike to demand union recognition and a wage increase.

“The Maids” — Directed by Muriel Jackson

Offering a sophisticated analysis of the racial and sexual division of labor in this country, this intriguing and articulate documentary looks at the history of domestic work since slavery and the ambivalence felt by African American women towards it.

“One Way or Another (De Cierta Manera)” — Directed By Sara Gómez

Feb 18, 2017

Pioneering Afro-Cuban filmmaker Sara Gómez’s radical narrative-documentary hybrid delivers a complex critique of regressive machismo in a post-revolutionary Cuba.

A Dream is What You Wake Up From

Feb 18, 2017

This program of films about black families, neighborhoods, and home life in the 1970s includes portraits of African-American communities in Harlem and Hamilton Heights.

“A Dream is What You Wake Up From”— Directed by Larry Bullard and Carolyn Johnson

The everyday lives of three Black families with different approaches to their struggle for survival in the United States are represented through a mix of fiction and documentary scenes, a docudrama style inspired by the work of Cuban filmmaker Sara Gómez. Filmmakers Larry Bullard and Carolyn Y. Johnson relied on a mix of documentary and drama to record families engaged in their day to day activities at home, at work and in school.

“A Sense of Pride: Hamilton Heights”— Directed by Monica J. Freeman

Monica J. Freeman’s serene portrait of Hamilton Heights at the peak of its brownstone revival is a testament to the cohesion and spirit of an African-American middle class fighting hard for its place in a depressed city, and, in the process, returning a grand old neighborhood to its rightful splendor.

“Black Faces ”— Directed by Young Filmmakers Foundation

A montage of faces from the Harlem community in early the 1970s.

Animation Program

Feb 19, 2017

The contributions of black women to the art of animation are celebrated in this program of shorts about African-American hair, identity, love, and more.

“Hair Piece: A Film for Nappy-Headed People”— Directed by Ayoka Chenzira

A musical satire on the politically charged subject of African-American hair.

“Zajota and the Boogie Spirit”— Directed by Ayoka Chenzira

A rhythmic celebration of African dance with a score by Mino Cinelu.

Picking Tribes” — Directed by S. Pearl Sharp

A young girl navigates her identity as a black Native American.

A Powerful Thang”— Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis

An inventive mix of live-action and animation exploring sex, love, and relationships.

“Namibia: Independence Now!”— Directed By Pearl Bowser and Christine Choy

Feb 20, 2017

This urgent, eye-opening documentary, shot inside refugee camps in Zambia and Angola, is an essential record of the role that women played in the struggle for South-West African liberation.

The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy — Directed By Kathleen Collins

Feb 21, 2017

This lost treasure from Kathleen Collins, whose 1982 film “Losing Ground” was one of the major rediscoveries of 2015, is a magical realist tale of three Puerto Rican brothers and their father’s ghost.

Sugar Cane Alley”— Directed By Euzhan Palcy

Feb 23, 2017

A teenage orphan sets out to make something of himself in acclaimed director Euzhan Palcy’s gorgeous vision of black life in French colonial Martinique.

Upcoming Bam Exhibition Celebrates Black Women’s Cinema was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Tribeca Film Institute Names Amy Hobby Executive Director — Exclusive

11 January 2017 6:55 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The Tribeca Film Institute has promoted veteran film producer Amy Hobby to the role of executive director, effective January 3. Hobby joined Tfi as vice president of artist programs in 2015, the same year she produced the Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone?” about legendary singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone. The film earned Hobby an Emmy Award and Peabody Award.

Read More: Tribeca Film Festival Hires Jeff Deutchman as Programmer at Large

Hobby replaces Tfi’s interim executive director Anna Ponder, who stepped down last month. Beth Janson held the position of executive director at Tfi from 2003 to 2014. She left to become founding director of the Rent the Runway Foundation

before being named CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.

In her new role at Tfi, Hobby will oversee all programming at the year-round nonprofit arts organization, which provides funding for filmmakers and has awarded more than $6.7 million »

- Graham Winfrey

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Rebecca Ferguson Will Not Perform at Donald Trump’s Inauguration After All

10 January 2017 4:35 PM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Singer Rebecca Ferguson will not perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration after all. “There are many grey areas about the offer for me to perform that I’m unable to share right now, but I will not be singing,” she wrote in a statement on Tuesday. “However, I genuinely wish your nation nothing but love. I would also like to pay homage to a few of your great female artists: Nina SimoneBillie Holiday, and the brave and remarkable Eartha Kitt and her beautiful untold story.” Last week, Ferguson was asked to perform at Trump’s inauguration, and the singer »

- Beatrice Verhoeven

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Exclusive: Zoe Saldana Says Her 2-Year-Old Twins Are 'Totally Gangsters': 'It's Just Vicious'

6 January 2017 8:25 PM, PST | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

Forget terrible twos! Zoe Saldana's got a couple of gangsters on her hands!

Et's Carly Steel caught up with the 38-year-old actress at the junket for her new film, Live By Night, on Friday, where she said that life at home with her 2-year-old twins isn't too far off from the gangster flick.

Related: Zoe Saldana Shares Rare Look at Twins Bowie and Cy in Throwback Dubsmash Video

"They're totally gangsters," Saldana said of sons Cy and Bowie. "These kids are like up at night!"

"One is more into talking in Spanish. The other is expressing himself more in English," she added. "One is like, 'No quiero! No quiero!' And the other is like, 'I don't wanna!' You're like, 'It's time to go to sleep,' and they're both yelling at you all these things."

"And when they start fighting, they just look like two lads at a pub fighting over like the wrong »

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Rebecca Ferguson Says She’ll Sing at Donald Trump’s Inauguration on One Condition

2 January 2017 9:53 PM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Rebecca Ferguson took to Twitter on Monday to reveal she had been asked to perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

The 30-year-old British singer posted a response on Twitter, saying she would agree perform, but only if she could sing “Strange Fruit,” a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday.

Ferguson said the song “has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial. A song that speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the United States.”

Inauguration ceremony

Read: https://t.co/CHVDH7Qzbx

Rebecca Ferguson (@RebeccaFMusic) January 2, 2017

//platform. »

- Alexia Fernandez

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

11 items from 2017


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