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Watch N.Y. Times' 'Dream' Short With Quvenzhane Wallis

9 December 2012 10:06 AM, PST

In today's Sunday magazine in the New York Times, which is their annual Hollywood issue, the focus this year is on actresses; in particular actresses who stood out this year as heroines in films. So, of course, how would that list be complete without Quvenzhane Wallis from Beasts of the Southern Wild? For the issue, the Times comissioned a series of experimental shorts, called Wide Awake, directed by Tierney Gearon. Each actress is profiled in shorts that are meant to symbolize each actress' "dreams and transformations." Here's Quvenzhane's short: »

- Sergio

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Weekend B.O. Dec. 7-9 (The Biggest Brit B.O. Hit Ever)

9 December 2012 9:41 AM, PST

Holdovers are still holding solid with Skyfall jumping back up to the No.1 slot this weekend. The film is now officially the biggest grossing film in the U.K., beating the previous record holder Avatar. Skyfall is now only just $80 million short of reaching the exalted $1 billion total in worldwide b.o. grosses. What's the secret of its success, aside from being a damn good film? There's something about it that has captured the public's attention. Next weekend The Hobbit. Who knows what that could bring... 1) Skyfall Sony $11,000,000 Total: $261,620,000 2) Rise of the Guardians P/Dw $10,540,000 Total: $61,914,000 3) The Twilight Saga: »

- Sergio

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Jamie Foxx Spoofs Tyler Perry On SNL

9 December 2012 8:43 AM, PST

Just in case you missed it, last night on Saturday Night LiveJamie Foxx spoofed Tyler Perry's disastrous turn in that recent Alex Cross movie, which disappeared as soon as it appeared.  You have to admit it's an easy target. Just like shooting ducks in a barrel. Though I'm surprised Perry hasn't been spoofed more often. He's a fair target just like every other celebrity who's been spoofed. Goes with the territory of being a famous celebrity. Aside from that notorious Boondocks episode, I can't think of any others. Why is that? But getting back to Foxx's SNL skit,  is it funny or not? Tell us what you think. »

- Sergio

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Watch Morgan Freeman In Trailer For Sci-Fi Spectacular 'Oblivion'

8 December 2012 5:26 PM, PST

Here's your look at the international trailer for the new Tom Cruise sci-fi spectacular Oblivion, directed by Joseph Kosinski who directed Tron: Legacy, set to be released next April from Universal.. You don't get a real good sense of what the film is going to be about, but according to the official synopsis, Cruise plays one of the last "few drone repairmen stationed on earth. ...whose soaring existence is brought crashing down when he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands." Don't you hate it when that »

- Sergio

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Adiff NYC 2012 - Today, Spotlight Panels On Namibia Film Industry w/ Charles Burnett Present

8 December 2012 7:46 AM, PST

We're down to the last few days of the African Diaspora International Film Festival (Adiff) here in NYC. So if you haven't yet attended any screenings, panel discussions, and other events at this year's 20th anniversary celebration for the festival, and you've been meaning to, you have 3 ays left (today, tomorrow and Tuesday). Today might be of special interest to some of you, as the festival continues its spotlight on Namibian cinema (following screenings of short films from the country earlier this week), with two panel discussions: - First, at 2pm, "A Conversation with Namibian Filmmakers" with directors whose short films were screened at the festival »

- Courtney

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Listen To Quentin Tarantino’s Epic 75-Minute Interview w/ Howard Stern On 'Django' & More

7 December 2012 4:11 PM, PST

If you've got 75-minutes to kill, here's something to listen to as I say farewell for the night, after holding down S&A HQ for the last 2 days, while Tambay takes a couple of days to rest. It's an epic 75-minute interview that Quentin Tarantino did with Howard Stern a couple of days ago.  Of course he was there to talk about Django Unchained, but, given that it's Howard Stern, you know that they get into a heck of a lot more. But the focus is Django Unchained naturally - they talk about his preparation for the film, they get into Will Smith's casting (Howard is a bit relentless on that point, really trying to get Quentin to talk about why he (Howard) thinks »

- Courtney

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Chicago Screening For New Doc 'Perseverance: The Story Of Dr. Billy Taylor'

7 December 2012 2:43 PM, PST

Word has been going around about this powerful new documentary, Perseverance: The Story Of Dr. Billy Taylor, after it made its world premiere last month in Ann Arbor, Michigan and will make its Chicago premiere next month, before moving on around the country. Directed by Daniel Chace and Bob Hercules, the film chronicles the highs and lows, the tragic life and ultimate triumph of BIlly Taylor, a true legend in college football. Considered the greatest running back ever for the University of Michigan, Taylor went on to play pro ball for both the American and Canadian football leagues. That is until two tragedies turned Taylor's life upside down which led to »

- Sergio

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Quentin Tarantino Wants To Do 2 More Slavery Movies, But w/ Different Stories & Characters

7 December 2012 1:30 PM, PST

If your concern about Django Unchained is that it'll be too *real* for you, in terms of the violent depictions of the cruelty of slavery in this country, then you'd better avoid the film altogether, because, as some early reactions have indicated, as well as the director himself speaking on the film's honest brutality says, there's plenty of that within the film's lengthy running time. But it's a Quentin Tarantino film, so it comes with the territory. Plus, we are after all talking about slavery here, so would you prefer some sugar-coated, distant depictions of it, or a film that takes you right into it, and places you as close to the reality of it as possible - »

- Courtney

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Denzel Washington Will Be Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn In 'The Equalizer' (F. Gary Gray Was In The Mix)

7 December 2012 12:33 PM, PST

This is Hot, if you don't mind me saying so! Those who've seen his last film, last year's criticaly-acclaimed thriller Drive, should know why this is a good look for the project, and for its star, Denzel Washington. Director Nicolas Winding Refn has been tapped to direct Denzel Washington in its big screen adaptationg of the 1980s TV show, The Equalizer for Sony Pictures and Escape Artists, from a script written by Richard Wenk. First announced over a year ago, when Russell Crowe was said to be attached to star, Denzel replaced him in the film earlier this year. The TV series was set in New York, and centered on a former secret »

- Courtney

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Zoe Saldana & Sister Cisley Saldana Option Mystery Thriller 'Hell Or High Water'

7 December 2012 12:14 PM, PST

Via their production company Saldana Productions, Zoe Saldana and her sister Cisley Saldana, have teamed up with Jane Startz Productions and Aida Bernal’s Spellbound Entertainment to bring the mystery/thriller novel Hell Or High Water (the debut novel from Joy Castro) to the screen, although it's not determined as to whether it'll be a feature film for the big screen, or a TV series. What's Hell Or High Water about? Here's Amazon's description of the novel: Nola Céspedes, an ambitious young reporter at the Times-Picayune, finally catches a break: an assignment to write her first full-length feature. While investigating her story, she also »

- Courtney

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Issaka Sawadogo ('The Invader') Tackles Immigration & Romance In The Netherlands In 'The New World'

7 December 2012 12:04 PM, PST

The name Issaka Sawadogo may not immediately sound familiar to you, but his face and the last film he starred in, which got lots of pub on this site, probably will, since your reactions to it were mostly, strongly negative. That film was The Invader, which stars Burkinabé actor Issaka Sawadogo and Italian actress Stefania Rocca, as Amadou ("a robust and bold illegal immigrant"), and Agnès ("a married upper-class woman who works in the real-estate and artistic sectors"). The pair meet, get involved against all expectations, and have an intense but brief love affair. When they break up, »

- Courtney

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Creative England Dev. Funding Preview: 'Paa Joe: Dead Not Buried' (Ghana's Fantasy Coffins)

7 December 2012 11:16 AM, PST

This is very intriguing and awesome, in a morose kind of way, given the kind of work the man does for a living. He makes coffins, but "fantasy coffins" as they're called. And what I find awesome about this is just how fantastical his creations are. They are works of art, even though dead bodies are buried in them, and they are, in turn, buried underneath earth; and he's seeking recognition for his artistry. A work that's in development, titled Paa Joe: Dead Not Buried, the feature production from director Benjamin Wigley, tells the story of a pioneer in the Ghanaian "fantasy coffin" trade, who seeks international success in the contemporary art world in »

- Courtney

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Next For Tom Tykwer's One Fine Day Films: Kenyan Dramas 'Something Necessary' & 'Veve'

7 December 2012 10:39 AM, PST

If you didn't already know, when he's not busy adapting what has been deemed unadaptable, while working with the Wachowski siblings on Cloud Atlas, German filmmaker Tom Tykwer (Run Lola, Run, Perfume) is producing Kenyan films via his alternative film production company, One Fine Day Films , which he co-founded in 2008 with his girlfriend/partner, Marie Steinmann, with the goal being to promote and support filmmaking for aspiring filmmakers in Nairobi (Kenya), with Nairobi-based producing partners Ginger Ink.   S&A has covered every film that's been developed under the One Fine Day Films »

- Courtney

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ABC's 'Scandal' Scores Series Highs Across the Board + #1 Series In 10pm Hour For 2nd Week

7 December 2012 10:00 AM, PST

Speaking of Scandal... The key stats being: Posting its best-ever young adult lead-in retention... ABC's winter final of Scandal beat CBS' Elementary for the first time in Adults 18-49 to stand as the #1 series in the 10 o'clock hour for the 2nd week running. If these week-to-week up-ticks continue through the second half of the season, expect a 3rd season to be ordered by ABC. All the goodies via press release from ABC: ABC's "Scandal" Scores Series Highs Across the Board Gaining week to week in viewers (+4%) and young adults (+5%), ABC marked its strongest Thursday since mid-October with regular programming on the night - since »

- Courtney

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Rotterdam Bright Future Preview: 'Corta' (On The African Craft Of Harvesting Sugarcane In Colombia)

7 December 2012 9:42 AM, PST

From the looks of the teaser below, as well as the description of the film, it's probably safe to say that it's more of a visual mood piece that would likely be better appreciated in a museum that in a movie theater. Not that there's anything wrong with that at all. Just making an observation. But I haven't seen the film, so it may be something totally different than what I imagine. One of 68 feature films in this year's Rotterdam Bright Future section (which is devoted to first or second features), where it made its world premiere, is Corta by Felipe Guerrero, a Colombia/Argentina/France co-production about the craft of harvesting sugarcane in Valle del »

- Courtney

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Preview In-Development Feature Documentary 'Black Russians - The Red Experience'

7 December 2012 9:07 AM, PST

Titled Black Russians - The Red Experience, the film will explore "the lives and experiences of the black Americans who went to the Soviet Union during the Stalinist era in search of an ideal life. Escaping from racism and the Great Depression, they dove into new lives, having “nothing to lose” and no reason to turn back. Did they find what they were looking for? Their descendants who live in Russia and America today will share a story of their ancestors as well as their own." I'm already hooked on the premise. Today Russia is a country where racism is ever-increasing, especially with an influx of African immigrants also looking for better lives »

- Courtney

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Watch First Episode Of Comedy Web Series 'Last Laff'

7 December 2012 8:51 AM, PST

Just two weeks ago, I wrote about an upcoming new comedy web series called Last Laff, which was soon to make its premiere this month. The series is exec produced by Chicago-based filmmaker Maurice Dortch, teaming up with director and cinematographer Aksel Fauzi, who calls his series a "labor of love" that's been in production since the beginning of the year. And now the first of the planned eight episodes for this season, called Homework Time and Moment of Clarity, premieres online today. The cast for the series, made up entirely of  Chicago's improvisational actors and comedians, includes Brian “Wildcat” Smith, Aaron »

- Sergio

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MTV Takes Viewers To 'Washington Heights' w/ New Docu-Series Premiering January

7 December 2012 8:35 AM, PST

Some of you probably live in Washington Heights (NYC). The 11-episode series "shines a light on the vibrant and diverse New York neighborhood of Washington Heights, following nine best friends from the area." All the details via video and press release from MTV: Get More: MTV Shows MTV Takes Viewers To "Washington Heights" On January 9, With New Docu-series Premiering At 10:00 P.M. Et/Pt Series Follows Best Friends As They Dream Big, Love Hard and Hustle Even Harder In the Vibrant New York Neighborhood of Washington Heights New York, NY (December 6, 2012) - MTV today announced that it will premiere the new docu-series »

- Courtney

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In Light Of Last Night's Steamy 'Scandal' Sex Scenes, Revisiting TV's 1st Interracial Kiss Between A White Man & A Black Woman

7 December 2012 8:05 AM, PST

In light of last night's steamy episode of Scandal, as we saw Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope and Tony Goldwyn as Fitzgerald "Fitz" Grant heated up our TV screens with one or two scenes that made some of us wonder how they got past network TV censors, and also because it's Friday, I thought I'd take us back about 44 years, to the November 22, 1968 Star Trek episode titled Plato's Stepchildren, which is popularly-cited as the first example of a scripted kiss between a white man and black woman on American television (between Kirk and Uhura). I couldn't help but make connections between the two, as I wondered just how far TV (and this »

- Courtney

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CNN Presents Another 'Black In America' Special (...Groan....)

7 December 2012 7:43 AM, PST

Look Out! Duck! Hide! Run For Your Lives!!!!!!!!!! CNN's Soledad O'Brien is going all black and cultural again, which means it's yet again, time for another of her patented Black In America specials for CNN. Or as I like to call them, her "Let's-explain to-white-people-just how-weird-and-screwed-up-black-people-are" specials. I mean, really again? Let's face it. These programs are not made for us. I think we know pretty well what it like to be Black in America, and O'Brien can do 1000 of these shows and it still would just scratch the surface. So if they're not made for us, then who?  Hmmmmmmmm. In fact, last year, I »

- Sergio

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