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Malcolm X (1992) More at IMDbPro »

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Ava DuVernay Meets Raoul Peck: How Black Narratives Collide In Two New Documentaries — Nyff

14 October 2016 1:50 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The following essay was written by a participant in the 2016 New York Film Festival Critics Academy, a workshop for aspiring critics co-produced by IndieWire, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Film Comment. 

We exist in a world of cycles. Perhaps nowhere else in society are these cycles as prevalent as they are in the entertainment industry. When I grew up in the ‘90s, there were a plethora of black faces on the big and small screens. From Will Smith’s “Fresh Prince” to  “Living Single” (aka the original “Sex and the City”), I could turn to any network television station to see myself, or the people closest to me, represented in some way on screen.

Though diverse programming was rich and plentiful in that first decade of my life, the second decade ushered in a near complete erasure of brown faces. While megastars like Will Smith and Denzel Washington »

- Aramide A Tinubu

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‘The Good Wife’ Spinoff Adds Delroy Lindo to Cast

13 October 2016 3:30 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Delroy Lino has joined the cast of the CBS All Access spinoff of “The Good Wife.” Lindo is set to play Robert Boseman, a lawyer who poaches Diane Lockhart’s associates and clients and threatens her ability to stay in business when Lockhart, played by Christine Baranski, falls upon financial hard times.

“Boseman is a character who dominates every scene, intimidates every lawyer, and is  beloved by every client. He needs to look like a Chicago lawyer, but have a Shakespearian  facility with language, and Delroy Lindo was really the only actor who came to mind,” said executive producers Robert and Michelle King. “Obviously, we always loved his work in ‘Get  Shorty’ and ‘Clockers,’ but it really was his work in ‘Heist’ that jumps off the screen. It’s an incredible character he created and we are thrilled that Delroy agreed to come on board. Just thinking of his scenes with Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo makes »

- Daniel Holloway

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Black films matter – how African American cinema fought back against Hollywood

13 October 2016 10:44 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The late 80s and 90s heralded a breakthrough led by Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and John Singleton’s Boyz N the Hood. At first, Hollywood embraced this wave of talent, then it ignored it. Now, in the wake of #OscarsSoWhite, black film is rising again

‘Black film properties may be to the 90s what the carphone was to the 80s; every studio executive has to have one,” wrote the New York Times magazine in the summer of 1991. It’s a comment that speaks volumes about both a cultural moment and its transience. The piece was titled They’ve Gotta Have Us, referring to Spike Lee’s 1986 breakthrough movie She’s Gotta Have It. The group portrait on the cover brought together an impressive collection of young, black film-makers – what has been labelled “the class of 91”. Lee was head boy, of course. By that time he was well »

- Steve Rose

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Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks Make a Case for Star Power

25 September 2016 12:03 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Antoine Fuqua knew what it would take to get him to remake “The Magnificent Seven,” John Sturges’ 1960 classic about a band of gunslingers. The film, which was itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 movie “The Seven Samurai,” is an oft-told story about a band of mercenaries who save a town. Its genetic code can be found in everything from “Star Wars” to “The Three Amigos.” But Fuqua knew how to give the familiar yarn a fresh spin.

In an interview with NPR, Fuqua said he turned to studio executives and told them, “Personally, what would make this an event for me to really want to make this movie is to see Denzel Washington on a horse in all black as a cowboy.'”

Of course, getting Denzel to ride into town takes a big check and often a taste of the backend. But in an era of diminishing star power, »

- Brent Lang

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Netflix Orders Series From Spike Lee Based On His Film She’S Gotta Have It

15 September 2016 10:41 AM, PDT | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

Today’s modern television culture has opened the floodgates for all sorts of creatives. In the past, TV was a medium that was oftentimes creatively constricting, and as such, many auteurs stuck to film, where their visions could flourish. The past decade has seen a definite shift away from episodic storytelling to more serialized content — content that could exist in an ongoing format or as a limited series.

This has attracted a good number of filmmakers and actors to the medium, who see unique opportunities. The latest filmmaker to make the jump from film to TV is Spike Lee, the director of such films as Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing, Inside Man, Bamboozled, and He Got Game. Now, according to Deadline, Netflix has just ordered a series from Spike Lee. The project: 10-episode re-imagining of Lee’s 1986 breakout film She’s Gotta Have It.

Here's what the outlet said »

- Joseph Medina

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Denzel Washington on diversity western The Magnificent Seven: ‘Audiences like to know who they’re rooting for’

15 September 2016 8:07 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The veteran actor joins Chris Pratt to discuss his remake of the classic western. But why are they so keen to play down its obvious radical political subtext?

It is mid-afternoon and the Venice Lido is a ghost town baking in the sun. The film festival wound down the previous evening, and now the thoroughfare between the beach and the cinemas is deserted except for construction workers in threes and fours dismantling the decorations. The glitz has faded. The stars are gone.

Well, most of them. Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt are the last men standing in this tumbleweed town. In the street, their faces loom menacingly out of the posters for the remake of The Magnificent Seven, in which an ethnically diverse cast of outlaws and miscreants defend oppressed townsfolk from a brutal tyrant. Seated at a table in a hotel room, the actors appear somewhat less than magnificent. »

- Ryan Gilbey

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What happened to 1990's 10 most promising movie executives?

31 August 2016 2:31 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Simon Brew Sep 2, 2016

Premiere magazine highlighted 10 movie executives to watch in 1990. So what happened to them?

In its May 1990 issue, the sadly-missed Us version of Premiere magazine published an article, highlighting ten young movie executives, and suggesting that these were people with very big futures ahead of them in the industry.

Given that much is written about movie executives, without actually digging much deeper to find out who they actually are, I thought it was worth tracing what happened to these ten, and – 26 years later – whether Premiere was correct in saluting them as the future of the industry. So, er, I did...

Lance Young

Senior production VP, Paramount Pictures

Pictured in the article on an office swivel chair with some snazzy purple socks, Lance Young, Premiere wrote, had been “groomed for big things since joining Paramount at the age of 23”. He was 30 at the time the article was published, and »

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Netflix and Women: Hot Documentary Titles At The Toronto Film Festival

11 August 2016 6:00 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Every year, IndieWire asks the Toronto Film Festival’s ace documentary programmer, Thom Powers, to dig into the new lineup. The doc czar’s influence extends beyond Toronto to IFC Center’s Stranger than Fiction series, The SundanceNow Doc Club, and November’s influential festival Doc NYC, which selects the infamous Short List, many of which head for Oscar contention.

This year, the Tiff doc program (September 8-18) numbers 37 titles. It’s led by four veterans — Steve James, Raoul Peck, Errol Morris, and Werner Herzog—big names who will pull audiences, playing alongside newcomers who will benefit from the Tiff spotlight. Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio have made a new documentary that they hope will push the needle on climate change. Netflix boasts four high-profile offerings likely to factor in the always intense doc Oscar race. And there’s a plethora of new titles that await discovery — and buyers.

Read »

- Anne Thompson

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Netflix and Women: Hot Documentary Titles At The Toronto Film Festival

11 August 2016 6:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Every year, IndieWire asks the Toronto Film Festival’s ace documentary programmer, Thom Powers, to dig into the new lineup. The doc czar’s influence extends beyond Toronto to IFC Center’s Stranger than Fiction series, The SundanceNow Doc Club, and November’s influential festival Doc NYC, which selects the infamous Short List, many of which head for Oscar contention.

This year, the Tiff doc program (September 8-18) numbers 37 titles. It’s led by four veterans — Steve James, Raoul Peck, Errol Morris, and Werner Herzog—big names who will pull audiences, playing alongside newcomers who will benefit from the Tiff spotlight. Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio have made a new documentary that they hope will push the needle on climate change. Netflix boasts four high-profile offerings likely to factor in the always intense doc Oscar race. And there’s a plethora of new titles that await discovery — and buyers.

Read »

- Anne Thompson

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4 Podcasts to Inspire and Entertain You

29 June 2016 8:00 AM, PDT | | See recent Backstage news »

For these performers, taking their careers into their own hands was as simple as “Testing, 1, 2, 3...” “Denzel Washington Is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period”They say the formula to success on the Internet is specificity. If you couldn’t tell by the title, W. Kamau Bell and Kevin Avery—comedians, hosts, and co-creators of “Dwitgaoatp”—have that part down. But what makes their podcast stand out goes beyond niche. Bell and Avery have made it their mission to mark, with unabashed adoration, all of the reasons Denzel Washington lives up to their appellation, and in the process manage to marry equally humorous and grounded observations about the craft of acting, Hollywood, and the state of film and television for actors of (and not of) color. Over the course of 80 episodes thus far, our hosts discuss every Washington movie ever made, alongside Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, David Alan Grier, Michael Rapaport, »

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Michael Davis: Shirley Temple & Bruce Lee Take The A Train

14 June 2016 10:00 AM, PDT | | See recent Comicmix news »

I was 16, coming home on the subway from a party in Manhattan. It was 2 or so in the morning, and I was on the A train. Regardless of what romantic notion you may have of the A train because of Duke Ellington’s immortal song “Take the A Train,” that train is the last place you want to be at 2 in the morning.

What took my situation from bad-to-worse, the A train is (or was, this was 30 plus years ago) a local at that time in the morning. For those of you who deprived of the sheer delight – or utter dread – of an NYC subway ride, a local train stops at all stations on the line.

No matter where I boarded, I was going to the end of the line.

The “end of the line” on the A train on two occasions was not just my destination, but nearly a bad New York Post headline. One night while waiting for the A train I was stabbed during an attempted mugging.  Another time while trying to defend a young white girl some thug put a gun to my forehead, pulled the trigger, but his gun jammed.

For asking him to be cool, I almost get shot in the head.

Take the A train?  No. The Duke, a musical genius? Yes. Giver of great advice? No.

On this particular early morning, I was sitting alone with my feet up on another seat. My feet were up for a couple of reasons; the first was so I could look hard. Hard in a “do not mess with me because I’m hard and may have a weapon on me because I’m hard” kind of way.

The second reason my feet were placed on the seat next to mine was to discourage people from sitting there. Before the Rudy Giuliani era in New York, the subway was a Mecca for the homeless, and you don’t want a New York City homeless person sitting next to you.

After all these years I’m now a bleeding heart liberal, and I feel for those less fortunate than I. These days’ homeless people sadden me.

That’s these days.

At 16 what I felt for the homeless was an evident scorn. I may have felt that way because my mother, sister and I were truly just a grandmother and a paycheck away from being homeless ourselves. That perhaps hardened my heart towards homeless people. Maybe I didn’t want to be reminded that there for the grace of God go I… yada, yadda, yadda…bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, yadda, yadda and yadda.

I’m not that deep now, and I certainly was not that deep at 16.

The real reason I did not want a homeless person sitting next to me is that they stank.

You have not smelled stank until you smell an NYC homeless person. The smell is beyond horrible. Somehow NYC homeless people all manage to stink the same. The smell is indescribably bad to the point you’d almost rather die than get even a small whiff of it.

So, there I was, 16 years old at 2 in the morning riding the A train trying my best to look hard so a smelly homeless person would not sit next to me and force me to deal with my mortality.

At the Howard Beach stop a black man in his mid 20s boards the train. He made a beeline right to me even though there were plenty of empty seats. “Can I sit here?” He asked very nicely. I moved my feet so he could sit down. Frankly I was glad he asked because the train was waiting at the Howard Beach stop for some reason or another and since we were the only two black people on the train at that point I welcomed the company.

Howard Beach was known as hardcore crazy white boy territory during the time I grew up. In 1986 a young black man was beaten to death by a  mob of white boys in a racially motivated attack. There have been incidents before and since. Black people knew not to mess with those crazy white boys in Howard Beach and not just because of racist attitudes there.

Howard Beach was also the home of John Gotti, the then-head of the Gambino crime family. I don’t like fish, so the idea of sleeping with them was not one that appealed to me. This was a place where African Americans had better fear to tread. I did indeed welcome this guy’s company because clearly we were on enemy ground.

Brandon was his name, and we clicked immediately. That may have been because we were both keenly aware that any minute a gang of crazy white boys could board the train and lynch us both. Our getting along so fast, I’m sure, was due to the fact we wanted to present a united front. Both hoping that would give the illusion we were two badass motherfuckers and any lynch mob should think twice about harassing us, strength in numbers and all that.

We sat at Howard Beach for another quarter hour when the doors finally closed and we could relax a little. The next stop was Broad Channel. Broad Channel was not nearly as bad as Howard Beach – it was more akin to crazy white boys lite, but still crazy white boys.

I realize I’m throwing “crazy white boys” around a lot. Back when I was 16 “crazy white boys” were my mindset and referring to white people in an all-white neighborhood where black people feared to tread was how I saw things.

After Broad Channel was the beginning of the hood, so Brandon and I needed just to chill (chill means just to be calm, but you knew that from reruns of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, didn’t you?) until the perceived danger was past. Broad Channel came and went as did our gangster conversation.

Brandon asked where I was getting off, and I told him. Beach 60th Street. “You want to come hang at my house?” Brandon inquired. That made me a bit uncomfortable. The Howard Beach threat over, I now returned to my general suspicions of those not from my hood.

“I’ve got stuff I’ve got to do at home,” I said. Yeah, I had to get into my bed and give the impression that I was home all night before my mother got in from working the midnight to 8 in the morning shift at the nursing home this after she had the 3 in the afternoon to 11 at another job. She would be in no mood to lecture me or even hit me, after her 16 plus hour day she would go straight to the .38 and shoot me.

I couldn’t come out and say to Brandon “my mommy would kill me if I’m not home” that did not fit my hard-core persona.

“Come on. We can have some real fun.” Brandon said, his hand now on my leg. That hand was slowly but steadily creeping up. He seemed to be talking in a much softer voice and was smiling in a strange way.

Where had I seen that kind of smile before?  Shit, I know where! I’ve seen it on me whenever I happened to glance in a mirror while alone in my room with some Vaseline and a Penthouse magazine.

Now I get it!

Brandon was a faggot and he wanted to ravish my young sexiness. Yeah, I said the ‘F’ word, I was 16, remember? Unfortunately, that was my mindset then.

Brandon still had his hand on my leg, and it was still creeping up. “What the fuck are you doing?” I said, trying to sound real hard. I wanted to look thuggish, but I was scared, so my voice rose and I sounded like I girl.

Not just any girl. Shirley Temple. So, imagine Shirley Temple saying “What the fuck are you doing?”

“Come on; it’s cool.” He responded even more softly than before. “Get your motherfucking hands off me, faggot!”  screamed Shirley Temple. I was hoping, this time, he could see I was pissed and back off.

Nope. He squeezed my crouch. I guess he was into hardcore black boys from the hood with Shirley Temple voices. Then again, who isn’t?

I leaned back as far as I could on the seat and kicked him squarely in the chest. I wanted to kick him in his face but felt at the last moment if I leaned back any further I would have fallen off my seat. I hit him so hard he fell off his seat landed on the floor his head slamming against the subway floor. I may have sounded like Shirley Temple, but I kicked like Bruce Lee.

“Motherfucker, I’m not a goddamn faggot!” I shrieked at the top of my Shirley Temple lungs while looking to land my next kick right between his good ship lollipops. Brandon sat up his hands in front of him making a “no more” gesture. He looked up at me and said “Jesus, man what is your problem?”

It was with that I realized most of what I thought was going on, wasn’t. His hand was on my leg, but it wasn’t slowly but steadily creeping up. He did not grab my crouch nor had his voiced gotten softer. I had turned an innocent most likely accidental touch into a full on man rape in my mind.

So absorbed in my own horribly tainted view of the world I had imagined this was what was on his mind. To make matters as worse as they could be I then kicked away any guilt I felt at being wrong by responding; “Get the fuck away me.”

That was over 30 years ago. Today I would never use the ‘F’ word to describe a gay person. I hate to use the cliché some of my best friends are gay, but… some of my best friends are gay. My attitude towards gay people changed when I changed high schools in the 11th grade. My new school, the High School of Art & Design, had a diverse student body and being gay there was not a big deal at all. But being stupid was.

Stupid I was when I said something so gross my first week at Art & Design it could have tainted my entire time there. It was a gay guy named Frank who saved my ass by laughing at an insult giving the impression to everybody present I was making a joke. I wasn’t and Frank knew I was wasn’t.  He whispered “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Michael, grow up.”

Thank god, I did.

After meeting and getting to know many gay people in my new school it dawned on me that they were no different than I was. They just happened to like sex with the same gender. Hell, in high school outside my loving relationship with the girls of Penthouse I was not having any sex at all, so they were one up on me.

Accepting gay people, having grown up in the severe anti-gay atmosphere of a black housing project was not as hard as you would imagine for me. My mother had a “no prejudice” rule in our home. Remarkable when you know just how dreadfully bad her encounters were with racists growing up.

Changing my position on gay people wasn’t hard, but it was still a huge deal for me because of my environment. It represented the first of many sea changes for me in my existence.

When I was not in school, I was still a resident of Edgemere projects in Far Rockaway Queens, which at the time was well on its way to being one of the worst projects in New York.

I was living a double life, and I intended to keep it that way. There was no way in Hell I would have ever acknowledged that I no longer found gay people repulsive to anyone in Edgemere.

Oh no, that would certainly not do. Why not stand up for my beliefs?

In the African American community where I grew up, there was little love for individuals who accept gay people. I may as well have stood up for and proudly proclaimed the Klan as the greatest group since The Temptations. Repealing my position on gay people would have gotten me branded as such, my ass kicked or worse in Edgemere.

At 16, noble I was not. No longer being able to participate in any reindeer games would have had a profound effect on me. It did not occur to me till much later that may have been a good thing.

I don’t want to give the impression that all black people I grew up with condemned the gay lifestyle, not the case at all. Many saw gay people as having every right as anyone else. But even today unfortunately among some in the African American community I’m in the minority, at odds with those, still light years if not eons away from embracing gay people at least in public.

“I gotta find this guy.”

Dwayne McDuffie said as he and I searched the corridors of a New York City comics convention in 1992. We were looking for Ivan Velez Jr., the remarkable writer of Tales of the Closet. The book was a look at the high school lives of gay and lesbian students and what they experienced.

Exceptionally written and drawn with a simple yet effective style the book instantly drew me back to A&D and thoughts of Frank and his crew. Ivan is a man of little words outside of what he puts on the page. He’s a big, gentle, quiet soul who lets his work do the talking for him. However, when he feels he has something to say few can match his oratory abilities, so it’s best not to engage him on the wrong side of an issue.

I thought about Frank, Ivan, the creators and fans of Prism Comics and my brother from another mother Andy Mangels when I heard the news of the Orlando massacre. I thought about how it must feel just to want to love who you want and be slaughtered for it.

I thought about how stupid I was at 16 and wondered how on earth some who claim to love their God can commit cold blooded murder on his behalf. I wonder how Donald Trump could brag about predicting another attack then hours later issue a more humane statement and not express his outrage or even mention the Lgbt community then blatantly lie about the murderer being born in Afghanistan.

He wasn’t. He was born in the good old USA.

So was I and as far as I know most of the people at the Pulse nightclub, that night was born here also.

This was an attack on a lifestyle, an attack on America and an attack on freedom everywhere. Yes, it was all that.

It was also an attack on Frank, Ivan, Prism Comics and Andy. It was an attack on my friends. If you fuck with my friends, you fuck with me because unlike some people I know I stand with my friends no matter what.

No matter what.

If you don’t, soon they will come for you. They will because no matter who you are or what you believe in, you’re at risk. If you let this horror go then the next before long knowing you stand for no one but yourself, then those who disagree will know you stand alone.

Malcolm X said a man who will stand for nothing will fall for anything.

And fall you will. »

- Michael Davis

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‘Ali’ Director Michael Mann on the Greatest, the Man Behind the Movie (Guest Column)

8 June 2016 10:30 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

One of Muhammad Ali’s biggest struggles culminated in 1974’s Rumble in the Jungle, where it seemed that the spirit of the progressive forces in the world was about to battle the spirit of the repressive status quo.

Early on, Cassius Clay related to the wider world. His father was interested in Marcus Garvey and pan-Africanism. Cassius started reading “Muhammad Speaks” in 1959. In the early ‘60s, the front page may have featured the opening of a Nation of Islam haberdashery on 64th Street in Chicago, but buried in the middle pages were national liberation struggles in the third world, Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, gleaming new public housing in Nkrumah’s Ghana.

Then, when he became world champion and changed his religion and declared himself free of every Jim Crow assumption and expectation including his slave name (“I had to prove you could be a new kind of black man. »

- Michael Mann

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Roots: Inside the Searing 1977 Series That Started a National Conversation

27 May 2016 10:10 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

People tend to get stuck on the numbers, and rightly so, they're impressive. When the original Roots aired in 1977, nearly 85 percent of American homes watched some part of the eight-night event on the saga of Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton) and his descendants. The finale alone attracted 100 million viewers, which is astounding when you consider that this is before most Americans had ever encountered acronyms like DVR or Vcr. But even more shocking than the historic ratings, is that the fact that Roots ever got made at all. The new History Channel update and the 1977 series were based on Alex Haley's of the same name. »

- Alynda Wheat, @AlyndaWheat

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Jim Jarmusch Talks ‘Paterson,’ His Love for Poetry & Hip-Hop, Tilda Swinton, and Being Grateful

23 May 2016 9:28 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Legendary American independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has been a frequent visitor to the Cannes Film Festival ever since winning the Camera d’Or for Stranger Than Paradise in 1984. He took the Grand Jury prize in 2005 for Broken Flowers but has never managed to nab the Big One. His latest film, Paterson, which premiered last week in competition here, is the story of a bus driver (played by Adam Driver) named Paterson who lives in Paterson NJ, walks his wife’s bulldog, Marvin, and writes poems in his spare time. We sat down with the great silver-haired Son of Lee Marvin to talk hip-hop, Tilda Swinton, and the poetry of everyday things.

Some critics have called this your most personal film. How do would you respond to a statement like that?

I don’t know. With our last film, Only Lovers Left Alive, everyone said “Aha! His most personal film!” I don’t know. »

- Rory O'Connor

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On This Day: Marilyn Mania and Sarah Connor x 3

19 May 2016 6:00 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

May your 19th be beautiful.

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1536 Anne Boleyn is beheaded. Her tragedy is later reenacted by hundreds of actresses on tv, stage and film including Natalie Portman, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter, and Genevieve Bujold (Oscar nomination).

1836 Cynthia Ann Parker is kidnapped in Texas during an Indian raid after her family is slaughtered. That's a tough break but not many people get to live on in history through multiple classics albeit under pseudonyms like "Debbie Edwards" (Natalie Wood in The Searchers) and "Stands With Fist" (Mary McDonnell in Dances With Wolves). 

1925 Malcolm X is born. 67 years later Denzel Washington wins his second Oscar playing him (Shut up! This is our preferred version of history because Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. Ugh, really?)

1941 Nora Ephron is born spewing witticisms.

1958 Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is released in movie theaters. »


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The Furniture: Joy's Emerald City of Home Shopping

9 May 2016 7:30 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber on Joy, now available on DVD and Bluray

It seems impossible that production designer Judy Becker has only received a single Oscar nomination, if not supremely unfair as well. At the very least, she should have snagged a second nomination for Carol. Her resume includes such diverse triumphs as We Need to Talk About Kevin, Brokeback Mountain, Shame and I’m Not There, as well as a neat early credit as a set dresser on Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. And so it seems totally appropriate that Becker is the first production designer to merit a repeat appearance in 'The Furniture'.

Becker’s most fruitful collaboration has been with David O. Russell. She's worked on every one of his features since The Fighter and she earned her lone Oscar nomination for American Hustle. Her sets for Joy, particularly »

- Daniel Walber

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Watch Ed Bland’s Only Film 'The Cry of Jazz' (1959) on the "Fantastic Ingenuity of the Negro in America"

25 March 2016 12:59 PM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

One of the 25 films to be inducted for preservation in the 2010 National Film Registry of the Library of Congress (Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" was on the short list that year), is the experimental film "The Cry of Jazz" - a fascinating 34-minute critical analysis of Jazz music, directed by Ed Bland (an African American), his only film. He went on to a career as a composer, arranger, and producer for the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, and on films like "A Raisin In The Sun," "Ganja And Hess," and "The Cool World." Shot on 16mm black-and-white with really no budget, and a volunteer cast and crew, the film is essentially a thesis on the »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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The Story Of God’s Morgan Freeman: “The biggest question we ask is about resurrection”

18 March 2016 12:21 PM, PDT | ChannelGuideMag | See recent ChannelGuideMag news »

The Story of God With Morgan Freeman premieres Sunday, April 3 at 9/8Ct on National Geographic Channel. By his very nature — the soulful eyes and regal bearing, legendary voice and sonorous delivery — when Morgan Freeman tells you something, you believe it. You just do. Hence, the Oscar winner is frequently tapped to play noble sorts — doctors, lawmen, statesmen, even revolutionaries like Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X. Even God. And God is the reason Freeman is here today, seated beside his Revelations Entertainment partners Lori McCreary and James Younger in a Pasadena hotel suite. Not because he’s portraying God. … Continue reading →

The post The Story Of God’s Morgan Freeman: “The biggest question we ask is about resurrection” appeared first on Channel Guide Magazine. »

- Lori Acken

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‘Black-ish’ Is the Ideal Sitcom for the Age of Black Lives Matter

23 February 2016 9:40 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

It’s a small prop, dwarfed by other items on the dark wooden table.

Among the books, decorative objects and remotes on the coffee table in the large family room, which is at the heart of the action in most “Black-ish” episodes, lies a copy of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me.”

In the Feb. 24 episode of “Black-ish,” Coates’ National Book Award-winning work is not only mentioned, there’s a joke about the fact that Andre Johnson (executive producer and star Anthony Anderson) has trouble pronouncing the author’s name.

It might seem strange for a broadcast network comedy to wring a punchline from a searing meditation on police brutality and the persistence of racism in America. But it’s more than just a well-crafted comedy: Over the course of its first two seasons, “Black-ish” has emerged as the ideal family sitcom for the age of Black Lives Matter. »

- Maureen Ryan

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Today in History... Malcolm X Was Assassinated - Watch Comprehensive Documentary Portrait, 'Malcolm X: Make It Plain'

21 February 2016 7:39 AM, PST | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

A birth and a death... yesterday in history, February 20th, 1927, Sidney Poitier was born (read my piece on that here); Today in history... February 21st, 1965, Malcolm Little/Malcolm X/El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was assassinated in New York City, while addressing his Pan-Africanist Organization of Afro-American Unity (the Oaau, which he founded about a year earlier), at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights. He was just 39 years old. Of course, I'm sure we all know of Spike Lee's 1992 epic film based on the life of the man - a film that rests among the nation’s treasures in the world’s largest archive of film, TV and sound recordings, after being »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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