7 items from 2016
Boyz n the Hood was a history-maker. It made John Singleton the youngest person ever nominated for a Best Director Oscar and the first African-American honored in the category. If those celebrating that landmark had gotten a peek into America 25 years after Boyz n the Hood’s release, they’d probably be rather disappointed — probably some mix of horrified and furious too. As Black Lives Matter protests make headlines following the deaths of Philander Castile and Alton Sterling, and as the Academy recovers from a season marked by the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite (though, on the other hand, Broadway got #TonysSoBlack trending), today marks a quarter century since Boyz n the Hood opened in theaters. Though the 1992 Oscar nominations announcement came with the notable milestone for Singleton, the release of the movie in July 1991 was marked by tragedy: Despite the film’s concluding words, “Increase the Peace,” the movie’s opening weekend »
- Emily Rome
Whether they’re peeping on cheating husbands or reeling in runaway daughters, the cinematic detective, popularized in the ’30s and ’40s, can always be relied upon for a witty line or a sock in the jaw. Often, the detective is a man alone, searching through dark alleys for invaluable clues to some labyrinthine mystery. The detective is often the only soul who will do whatever it takes, no matter how hopeless the circumstances may seem. As Raymond Chandler wrote: “Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean.” In the ’70s, the culture irrevocably changed, but the detective’s job stayed the same — if not perhaps a bit more complex.
The Nice Guys, the newest film from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer-director Shane Black, is out in theaters this week. In the film, a luckless private eye and a grumpy hired thug find themselves an unlikely »
- Tony Hinds
In 1971 a little movie called Shaft, directed by Gordon Parks, was released and, subsequently, gave prominence to the American Blaxploitation genre making Detective John Shaft a household name. Fast forward 45 years and we’re on our way to a reboot! The original film is mostly an action piece with elements of film noir that follows the story of private detective, John Shaft (played by Richard... Read More »
- Graham McMorrow
When the 88th Annual Academy Awards kicked off from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday night, host Chris Rock came out to the iconic rap group Public Enemy's hit 1990 song "Fight the Power." The song was also used to close out the ceremony, where Chris Rock mentioned the "Black Lives Matter" movement. Yesterday, Public Enemy's Professor Griff spoke out against the awards ceremony's use of the song in a statement to TMZ.
"The show can't claim the blackness of Public Enemy's message."
TMZ revealed that the group doesn't own the rights to license the song to the awards ceremony, with the rights belonging to Universal Music Group. Public Enemy front man Chuck D. later took to his Twitter page to discuss the use of the song, and the Oscars diversity issue. He says the song is "beyond" the group itself, although his statement wasn't quite as pointed as Professor Griff's. »
Photo by Donnacha Kenny"Congratulations, Tom; you're one of the lucky eight per cent!" —Stir of Echoes (1999)Joliet, Illinois is probably the American city which more people have dreamed more fervently of escaping than any other. But after spending four hours in 'Prison Town'—long synonymous far and wide with incarceration—I was sad to leave; I'll be glad one day to return. Fortunately, such matters are questions of personal choice. Many of the area's residents, including those not serving custodial sentences, have little realistic option but to remain—trapped by personal, social and/or economic circumstances that can feel as confining as any 6-by-8 cell. "Joliet, or "J-Town", is racially diverse and is known as a crime-ridden city, although the area has shown much improvement since the 1990's... The east side is generally known as the ghetto side and the west side is known as middle class, even though »
- Neil Young
As Hollywood prepares to celebrate its biggest night in film, some of the industry’s biggest names in black entertainment — including Idris Elba, Michael Ealy, Boris Kodjoe, Anthony Hemingway, Stephen Hill, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Evan Ross, Leon Bridges and Carl Weathers — packed Mr. C Beverly Hills hotel on Friday to kick off the fourth annual Icon Mann event.
Actors, journalists and Hollywood executives lined the 12th floor Starlight Ballroom — talking, laughing and exchanging handshakes as music played in the background.
The event, which culminates in an exclusive Power 50 dinner, celebrates black men in entertainment and provides a community that fosters support.
“It’s about creating the space for black men to have great fellowship of like-minded consciousness and to come together and talk about how they want to improve the world around them,” said Tamara Houston, founder and CEO of Icon Mann.
As a talent manager and producer, Houston said »
- Lamarco McClendon
Nile Rodgers, the Strokes' Albert Hammond Jr., author Fran Lebowitz and more reminisce about the style of the early Seventies in the second installment of 1973: Shaping the Culture, a new video series from Rolling Stone, presented by HBO's new show Vinyl.
"What's great about '73 is that, everybody forgets this, but kind of that pimp look," Please Kill Me author Legs McNeil says. "That whole kind of Isaac Hayes, Shaft look. And the white guys made glam out of it ... You gotta remember that men's fashions were really ugly. »
7 items from 2016
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