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Marvel Welcomes Lando Calrissian Into its Universe w/ a Graphic Novel Series (Movie or TV Series Next?)

2 hours ago

Late last week, Marvel and Lucasfilm announced that Lando Calrissian will star in his own limited graphic novel series. "Lando #1," from creators Charles Soule ("Death of Wolverine," "Inhuman," "She-Hulk") and Alex Maleev ("Daredevil," "Spider-Woman," "Moon Knight"), hits stores in July, and finds Lando embarking on his "greatest caper ever," says the press release. "Is Lando Calrissian the coolest character in all of 'Star Wars'? Depends on who you ask, probably. But if you ask me, the answer is yes, and I plan to prove it with this story," said series writer Soule. In »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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First Full Trailer for 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Surfaces!

4 hours ago

Of all the upcoming superhero movies that have already been packaged, this is one that I'm most interesting it seeing, if only because I'm curious to see what director Josh Trank has done with the material, given his work on "Chronicle" 3 years ago - a film I appreciated; a different, more grounded take on the superhero origin story. It seems as if the same 5 or 6 directors (all white and male) are/have been directing the majority of the superhero franchise movies - Zack Snyder, the Russo brothers, Bryan Singer, Christopher Nolan (who's now done with the Batman franchise) and a few others. And while Josh Trank is also white and male, he's a fresh voice, at least, and, from all »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Weekend B.O. April 17-19 (It's *Dem Damn Furriners*)

9 hours ago

You just can’t stop "Furious 7." Not only was the film No 1 again at the b.o., as everyone knew it would be, with $29 million, but, this past week, the film opened in China to the largest single day movie opening ever in the country, grossing nearly $69 million on the first day of release. But if that isn’t impressive enough, the film has already grossed over $1.152 billion dollars worldwide in just 17 days, which is the fastest amount of time that any film has ever grossed that amount of money, ever. But it’s those damn furriners who are rocking F7 to such heights. When you break down the b.o. total to date, F7 has grossed $294.4 million »

- Sergio

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Starring in a Revival of 'The Crucible' + a 6-Part BBC Thriller Are in Sophie Okonedo's Future

18 April 2015 9:40 AM, PDT

The UK's Daily Mail reports that Sophie Okonedo is in talks to star in a revival of "The Crucible" on Broadway next year - Arthur Miller's play that centers on the Salem with trials in Massachusetts in the 1600s. To be directed by Ivo van Hove, a Belgian theater director best known for his avant garde experimental theater productions, the revival is said to be set for a Broadway run next year. Premiering on Broadway in 1953, the first run won the Tony Award for Best Play. Okonedo's last appearance on Broadway won her a Tony Award - her role in last year's revival of "A Raisin in the Sun." The Daily Mail also reports that the actress has been tapped to »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch Trailer for Jordan Davis Documentary, '3 1/2 Minutes.' Coming to HBO This Fall

18 April 2015 9:00 AM, PDT

HBO acquired U.S. television rights to director Marc Silver’s "3 1/2 Minutes," after its premiere in documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The very timely documentary chronicles the story of Jordan Davis, the unarmed black 17-year-old, who was shot to death at a Florida gas station by a white fellow customer, Michael David Dunn. "3 1/2 Minutes" explores the aftermath of Jordan's tragic death, the latent and often unseen effects of racism, and the contradictions of the American criminal justice system. HBO will air the film in the fall. "I am grieved that these continuing stories are everyday matters swept away,” »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Spencer Williams’ Groundbreaking Race Film, ‘The Blood of Jesus,’ Coming to L.A. (Yes, There is a Story Behind That Image)

18 April 2015 8:04 AM, PDT

I wrote about this special screening of "The Blood of Jesus" two months ago, and since the event is coming soon, I decided to remind you of it. And of course there is quite a story behind that wonderful image above, which I’m going to relate to you right now. The picture of Satan is from Spencer Williams’ important 1941 race movie "The Blood of Jesus," made on location in Texas. However, when people hear the name Spencer Williams today, the few who are familiar with the name, know him as the rotund guy in the bowler hat, who played Andy in those old, and still very controversial, "Amos and Andy" TV shows back from the 1950’s. But he was a lot »

- Sergio

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Nate Parker Co-Investigates the Disappearance of Common's Daughter in Trailer for 'Every Secret Thing'

17 April 2015 3:23 PM, PDT

"Every Secret Thing" is a crime film directed by Amy J. Berg and written by Nicole Holofcener, that's based on the 2004 novel of the same name written by Laura Lippman, which centers on the investigation into a series of missing children and the prime suspects: 2 young women who, 7 years prior, were institutionalized for the death of an infant. The film stars Diane Lane, Elizabeth Banks, Dakota Fanning, Danielle Macdonald, Nate Parker, and Common; Lane plays the role of Helen Manning, the mother of Alice Manning, an 18-year-old girl (Macdonald) who becomes a suspect in the disappearance of a missing child. Banks plays Detective Nancy Porter, who is investigating the case, and who »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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John Ridley Has Teamed Up with Marvel to Develop a Mystery Superhero Series for ABC

17 April 2015 1:59 PM, PDT

John Ridley is seemingly suddenly a creative in demand (post his Oscar win for scripting "12 Years a Slave," last year). There is his new ABC drama series, "American Crime," which isn't exactly a ratings hit for the network (6 episodes into the season, viewership has dropped 50% from the season premiere), but has drawn much critical acclaim, and may serve as more of a prestige piece for ABC; there's also the scripting he's doing for MGM's remake of the classic sword-and-sandals epic "Ben-Hur;" and Ridley recently inked an overall deal with ABC that will see the writer/director/producer develop new projects for the studio... like this one (in »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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New Trailer for Global Breakdancing Doc 'Shake the Dust' (Music by Nas, Common, Talib Kweli)

17 April 2015 12:48 PM, PDT

From executive producer and Grammy-nominated rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones and journalist-turned-filmmaker Adam Sjöberg comes the buoyant, globe-trotting film "Shake The Dust." The documentary chronicles the influence of breakdancing, exploring how it strikes a resonant chord in the slums, favelas and ghettos of the world and far beyond with a universally-appealing energy.  Says the film's website, "Hip-hop music, and the acrobatic breakdancing culture that arose in tandem with it, may have started on the streets of The Bronx, but their reach is now decidedly worldwide. With a propulsive soundtrack of international hip-hop samples, music from both emerging »

- Shadow And Act

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Watch 4-Part 'Behind the Music'-esque 'Empire' Prequel & Get the Inside Track on the History of the Camelot of Rap

17 April 2015 12:39 PM, PDT

Fans of the hit Fox soap opear should appreciate this "Behind the Music"-esque series likely created to keep you engaged while you wait for the second season next year. I suspect the marketing team has lots of other post-season engagement ideas, and that this YouTube series is just the beginning of what's to come between now and January 2015 (likely) when the show returns. Although this could also serve as a 4-part summary of the first season for those who have yet to watch it, and are plan to later (maybe via binge-watching).  Title "The Inside Track: The Rise of Empire," go behind the drama you watched on TV every week, and get the "inside track" on »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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See Jessie Usher, Mike Epps, Tichina Arnold & More in Shots from the Set of 'Survivor's Remorse' Season 2

17 April 2015 12:17 PM, PDT

Starz Original series "Survivor's Remorse" has returned to Atlanta to begin filming the second season of the critically acclaimed half-hour scripted comedy series from LeBron James, Tom Werner, Mike O’Malley, Maverick Carter, Victor LevinPaul Wachter and Hilton Smith. "Survivor’s Remorse" follows Cam Calloway (Jessie T. Usher), a basketball phenom who is suddenly thrust into the limelight after signing a multi-million dollar contract with a professional basketball team in Atlanta. Cam moves to Georgia with his cousin and confidant, and the two confront the challenges of carrying needy family members who are along for the ride and their strong ties to the »

- Shadow And Act

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Haiti Film Fest Returns May 8-15 in New York City

17 April 2015 11:58 AM, PDT

The third Biennial Haiti Film Fest returns to New York City, kicking off with the Haiti Film Fest Opening Night on Thursday, May 7th at Drom NYC.  Hosted by Haitian radio personality Carel Pedre of Chokarella; featuring short films Freedom by Matthew Brown and La Veuve by Wood-Jerry Gabriel, with performances by Sanba Zao of Lakou Mizik and underground rap artist Ioan Delice. More from the press release below:  As a part of Haitian Heritage Month, May 8 -15, Hcx will present over 15 screenings showcasing a variety of documentary, feature and short films exploring subjects such as exile, memory, »

- Shadow And Act

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Interview: Shameik Moore on Starring in 'Dope' (+ New Official Trailer)

17 April 2015 11:27 AM, PDT

Released today, the new trailer for Rick Famuyiwa's Sundance hit "Dope" shares more of the film's story than we've seen before, with new background on main character Malcolm (Shameik Moore) and his escapades with his "hip hop geek" friends.  Moore recently shared a few thoughts with S&A on making the film. Find his comments below, and below that, the new trailer.  On the story:  Malcolm and his two best friends Diggy and Jib are always caught in between a bad situation and a worse situation, and Malcolm must overcome all of the things thrown his way.   Identifying with his character Malcolm:  There are a »

- Shadow And Act

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With Cannes Looming, Here's a List of African Diaspora Films That Have Won the Palme d'Or (Have You Seen Them?)

17 April 2015 8:16 AM, PDT

The 2015 edition of the Cannes Film Festival announced its Official Selection lineup yesterday, to lots of discussion among film journalists, critics, cinephiles, and everyday fines - as is usually the case every year. See my post on the announcement here for African Diaspora-specific titles that made the cut (here's a hint: there aren't many).  Some of the conversation has been over what film will win the coveted Palme d'Or this year - the festival's top prize. There are no films by black filmmakers, or that tell stories about people of African descent in this year's "In Competition" lineup (the films that qualify for Palme d'Or consideration), so there's »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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'Misfits' Star Antonia Thomas Books Lead Role in 'Rosemary's Baby'-Like Thriller, 'Thea'

17 April 2015 7:52 AM, PDT

"Misfits" star Antonia Thomas has booked a lead role alongside Luke Norris and Eileen Davies in the London-set supernatural thriller "Thea," to be directed by Nirpal Bhogal ("Sket") and produced by Uzma Hasan. The film follows young couple, played by Antonia Thomas and Luke Norris, whose lives are turned upside down when they experience supernatural evils while struggling with the birth of their first child. Co-produced by Gareth Roberts and Jezz Vernon, expect some beastly scares in this one, as Paul Hyett ("The Woman in Black") has signed up to be the film's creature designer. The film is a co-production between »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Chicago Screening of Oldest Surviving Black Film ‘Lime Kiln Club Field Day’ on May 17

16 April 2015 5:14 PM, PDT

Last fall there was huge excitement among film historians, black film historians, black historians and basically just anyone interested in the history of movies. The Museum of Modern Art in New York announced that they had found in their Biograph Studio silent film collection what is believed to the oldest known surviving black film ever made “Lime Kiln Club Field Day”. Shot in Bronx in 1913, the film, which was based on a collection of stories known as “Brother Gardener’s Lime Kiln Club” was left unfinished by the producers of the film and was literally forgotten until it was discovered practically by accident when an assistant curator and a preservation officer found »

- Sergio

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Meet the Cast of 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + the Characters from the American Original They Each Play (Premieres in 2 Weeks)

16 April 2015 4:25 PM, PDT

Announced at Mipcom 2013 (the international TV and entertainment market held in Cannes once every year; where content is introduced for co-producing, buying, selling, financing and distributing), Ben Pyne, president of global distribution at Disney, revealed that an "African version" of "Desperate Housewives" (the once comedy/drama series created by Marc Cherry, and broadcast on ABC from 2004 until 2012) was in development, for a summer 2014 debut. The co-production deal was made with Nigeria-based EbonyLife TV (no affiliation with Ebony magazine) - a multi-platform broadcaster, and subsidiary »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Netflix's 'The Getdown' Directed by Baz Luhrman Has Found Its Female Lead

16 April 2015 2:16 PM, PDT

Newcomer Herizen Guardiola has been cast as the female lead in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Original Series "The Get Down," which is set to debut in 2016. Making her acting debut, Guardiola will star as Mylene Cruz, described as a shining, tenacious girl with a voice from God who dreams of disco stardom from the confines of her family's fiercely religious church walls. Says Luhrmann, "So many really talented actors were seen to play the lead female role of Mylene Cruz, daughter of Reverend Ramon Cruz and niece of Papa Filipe Fuerte Cruz in 'The Get Down.' It’s always thrilling to find a fresh unknown talent, particularly one who is not only a terrific »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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22nd New York African Film Festival Returns May 6-12 - Check Out the Lineup of 15 Features and 13 Shorts

16 April 2015 1:53 PM, PDT

Always a feast for the film lover (especially the lover of African cinema), the lineup for the 2015 edition of the New York African Film Festival (Nyaff), which will run from May 6 - 12. has been announced. You'll recognize some of the titles and filmmakers listed (previously covered on this blog), like the South African crime drama "Cold Harbour" by Carey McKenzie, Senegalese drama "Mossane," veteran filmmaker Safi Faye's last feature film (released in 1996), the feature documentary, "National Diploma" ("Examen d’Etat") from Drc's own Dieudo Hamadi, Côte d'Ivoire native Philippe »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Papa Pope Returns to 'Scandal' - Watch a "Best of Papa Pope" Mashup

16 April 2015 12:27 PM, PDT

Papa Pope (as played by Joe Morton) returns to "Scandal," and to prepare for his "epic" return (according to ABC), here's a compilation of his very best lines through the years, also courtesy of ABC. Watch the video (you'll also find each line) below. The hastag ABC has set up is #PapaPopeIsBack, for all you "Scandal" freaks out there... 1) "Hello Olivia." 2) "I am the hell and the high water."  3) "You have to be what? Twice as good as them to get half of what they have." 4) "Don't use the person that I made to make you into a man. You're a boy." 5) "You know how people say I could tell you but then »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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