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Last week, I posted The Griot’s list of the Top 10 Most Important Black Films of the last decade.
Today, I present to you Black Voices’ (Bv) list of the 10 Best Black Films Of the last 10 years.
I can actually say that I did see All of the below films on the list – some more willingly than others. Bv doesn’t specify what its criteria is to determine what constitutes a “black film.” But I think we’d all agree that the films on their list can be defined as such. They also don’t say what the consider good, or the “best,” other than describing them as “witty, entertaining and inspiring.” So, I dunno… I can’t really say much about what they’ve got here.
The list follows below, from #10 to #1:
10 – Brown Sugar
9 – Drumline
5 – Precious
It’s that time of the year… the time for “lists.” As the first 10 years of the 21st century come to a close, lots of “best of the decade” film lists have been popping up here and there; but this is the first one I’ve seen that’s specifically focused on “black cinema.”
It comes from the folks at TheGriot, although their list isn’t made up of the Best black films of the last decade, but rather, the most Important black films of the last 10 years.
So, naturally, the next question one would ask is, how do they define “important?”
According to the post, each film on the list had to meet 3 criteri, which are: Overall influence or ability to shift perceptions, reveal truths; Originality and excellence in filmmaking (i.e. acting, story-telling, directing); Shelf-life or ability to remain timeless.
And their definition of what makes a black film, »
The precursors have been squeezed into an unusually small period this year. The Globes, Bfca, Nyfcc, Lafca and SAG all announced in the space of one week. That's not business as usual. I guess this is one way to squeeze out all those regional critics groups because... who will care now? What does all this mean for Oscar? Generally clear consensus between the major precursors means that Oscar will be nearly a carbon copy. But with an unusual amount of time between the actors announcement and the announcement of Oscar nominations (Still more than a month away) it Might mean that Academy voters react to and against these lists, rather than along with them if you know what I mean. Do you know what I mean?
The Hurt Locker team is having a great awards season run.
Thankfully they »
- NATHANIEL R
By Eric Ditzian, with reporting by Josh Horowitz
Photo: Warner Bros.
From "Ray" to "Hotel Rwanda," from "Monster" to "Milk," the Hollywood biopic has proved to be a rich source of both storytelling and awards-season recognition. Often, though, it is the legacies of the real-life people who the likes of Charlize Theron and Sean Penn portray — rather than their accents, their mannerisms, their quirks — that have stayed in the public consciousness.
Not so in the case of "Invictus," the true story of Nelson Mandela and the South African national rugby squad's World Cup journey in 1995. Morgan Freeman plays Mandela and Matt Damon plays Francois Pienaar, the team's captain and a hero in his native land.
"He's Michael Jordan in South Africa, »
Almost every year, it seems there are complaints about it being a bad year for women's roles. For some reason, that buzz is especially loud for 2009, as critics are making their year-end lists and finding the women's categories falling short. At which point, I have to feel some empathy for actors like Jess Weixler—who poured her heart and soul into the small indie romance "Peter and Vandy"—and it makes me wonder what more critics could want. Weixler commands the screen in the film, which focuses almost entirely on the two title characters. She's in every scene, playing a range of emotions, from repressed anger to deep infatuation. It's a terrific role and she doesn't miss a beat. Yet her name doesn't appear on any year-end critic's lists.The same can be said of Sophie Okonedo, a previous Oscar nominee for "Hotel Rwanda," who earned raves for her turn »
I get the feeling that Africa is going to be a go-to for stories in the coming decade. It's already in the public mindset of news and current events, and films like Hotel Rwanda and the upcoming Invictus (I'm not really counting District 9...) have already taken audiences to the continent. I'm guessing it won't be long until we see a film version of "Things Fall Apart." The next in line is apparently Justin Chadwick, the director of The Other Boleyn Girl, who will be telling the story of an elderly man in Kenya who takes the government's pledge to free education seriously by signing up for it. Starting in the first grade. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The First Grader, is based off a true story (since that matters), and is being penned by Chronicles of Narnia writer Ann Peacock. Apparently, Naomie Harris (who couldn't act her way out of a paper bag in Ninja Assassin) is »
- Dr. Cole Abaius
Jose here with some award news.
Continuing to establish itself as a front runner in the awards race, Precious: Based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire, has been chosen by the Producers Guild of America to receive its prestigious Stanley Kramer Award for illuminating provocative social issues in an accessible and elevating fashion.
This award not only confirms the movie will be one of the ten chosen by the PGA for its Producer of the Year award, but bodes well for its chances of getting even more Oscar attention.
The Academy simply loves social issues (remember 2005?) and Kramer (who directed and produced Inherit the Wind and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner among others) was an icon in this aspect, even if the quality of the films he made didn't amount to much artistically. Stanley's films always talked about things we wanted to ignore. He taught us so much about ourselves »
There have been several recent films looking back on the African genocide, including The Last King of Scotland and Hotel Rwanda. In spite of the knowledge of the events, the entire region hasn’t received the kind of support and help that it deserves. For most people in the developed world, the searing films that the genocides “inspired” seem to be the only witness of the events. Now comes Shake Hands With the Devil, which is based on a book by General Romeo Dallaire about how his request for more aide before the 1994 Rwandan genocide went unanswered by the United Nations. The film is being directed by Roger Spottiswoode (The 6th Day, Tomorrow Never Dies) and stars Roy Dupuis in the role of General Dallaire. The film actually premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival but has just recently picked up a distributor. It is planning to be released in »
At its core, acting is really just a grand lie told in the name of entertainment. It’s a bit incongruous, then, that when actors walk off the stage, we expect the opposite from them: the truth. We want to know who they are and what they stand for — and Kristanna Loken is one of the few actors who tells us.
Loken, who publicly came out as bisexual four years ago, has appeared in T3: Rise of the Machines, Painkiller Jane and The L Word. She also starred in Lime Salted Love, an independent film that became available on DVD last month.
In this exclusive interview with AfterEllen.com, Loken opens up for the first time about her separation from husband Noah Danby and about the new love in her life.
Photo credit: Collin Stark
AfterEllen.com: I understand a lot has changed in your personal life in »
Jonathan Rhys Meyers is set to star alongside Kevin Bacon in a new comedy, “Whole Lotta Sole.” The film will begin shooting in Belfast, Ireland in 2010. “The Tudors” star Rhys Meyers will play a thief who attempts to steal from a fish market, and takes Bacon’s character hostage in the process. According to Entertainment Tonight, the Irish actor’s character fights to stay one step ahead of both the police and a local gangster. “My Dog Skip” director Jay Russell has signed on to direct the comedy, which was written by Thomas Gallagher and “Hotel Rwanda” screenwriter Terry George. "This is a great comedy project, not like Terry's usual political fare,” Russell said. “It's very exciting to have one of the best young actors today, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, teamed up with one of the greats, Kevin Bacon." Another Irish actor, James Nesbitt, who co-starred with Liam Neeson in the »
They say that in the specific you find the universal, and Sophie Okonedo can relate. The actress was raised in such a very unique household, having been born in London's East End to a Nigerian and an Ashkenazi Jew, yet from those particular roots, Okonedo's found herself able to play cultural realities that are very far afield from her, whether it's a Tutsi wife (her Oscar-nominated role) in Hotel Rwanda, a genetically modified super-agent in Aeon Flux, or even Winnie Mandela in the upcoming film Mrs. Mandela.
Okonedo's current film is Anthony Fabian's Skin, the devastating true story of Sandra Laing (Okonedo), born to two white Afrikaner parents in Apartheid-era South Africa yet torn asunder by a legal system that couldn't fathom such a possibility. It's a meaty role for Okonedo, and one I tried to convince the reticent actress to open up about. »
By William S. Gooch At first glance, Anthony Fabian draws a strong resemblance to Alan Cummings, so I expected him to be funny, which he was; witty, which he undoubtedly is, and a bit irreverent, which I saw shades of as well. Maybe because he's British, I was slightly offset by his relaxed charm and uncomplicated manner. I expected him to have a stiff upper lip and be all about business. Well, he was all about business, the business of promoting his first feature film, Skin. And that's a good thing. Rarely does passion; creative genius and insightful nuance come together to create a cinematic product that examines the worst of us and the best of us at our most basic need, the need to be loved and accepted. In Skin, Anthony Fabian has created a liberating work that gets beneath the skin of pretension, revealing what is true, real and truly felt. »
Brendan Gleeson, who plays Alastor .Mad Eye' Moody in Harry Potter, and Hotel Rwanda star Don Cheadle will team up to take on an international drug smuggling operation in director John Michael McDonagh's pic, The Guard.
Gleeson is set to play Seargeant Gerry Boyle, an unorthodox Irish policeman who joins up with unrelenting FBI Agent Wendell Everett, played by Cheadle. Boyle's confrontational personality along with a subversive sense of humour, a dying mother, and a penchant for prostitutes leaves him with little interest in the global cocaine smuggling operation that brings Everett to his door.
>> Real the whole article | on Screenrush - Friday 30 October 2009
I don't understand why studios don't release a scary feature on Halloween weekend, or at least weekend's where Halloween falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Of course, I know the attempt is to rake in the first weekend dollars beforehand and then hope the fact it is Halloween will make sure second weekend grosses are higher than they would normally be, but with the current release model everyone that's going to see movies like Saw VI or The Stepfather have already seen them to this point. For these reasons we end up with a weekend like this one where the top movie was released on Wednesday and the following selections are either completely unknown or so bad the studio didn't even screen them.
Michael Jackson's This is It There isn't much more I can say about this one that I didn't already say in my review. Then again, tickets »
- Brad Brevet
Principal photography for a new Irish comedy thriller, 'The Guard', has commenced in Spiddal, Co. Galway. The feature is written and directed by John Michael McDonagh (Ned Kelly) and stars Brendan Gleeson (Into the Storm) and Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda). Announced today by Martin Cullen Td, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, the film sees Emmy winner Brendan Gleeson playing an unorthodox Irish policeman who joins forces with Don Cheadle's straitlaced FBI agent in a bid to take on an international drug-smuggling gang. Other Irish acting talents featured includes Ifta winners Liam Cunningham (Hunger), Fionnula Flanagan (Lost, Transamerica), Pat Shortt (Garage) and David Wilmot (Intermission, The Clinic). Director of photography for the project is Larry Smith (Eyes Wide Shut) and production designer is John-Paul Kelly (Venus). 'The Guard's costume designer is Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh (Brideshead Revisted) and the film's editor is Chris Gill (28 Days Later). »
Sophie Okonedo in Skin Winner of four audience awards, including at the AFI Dallas and Santa Barbara film festivals, Skin tells the factually inspired (and quite curious) story of Sandra Laing (Hotel Rwanda’s Academy Award nominee Sophie Okonedo as an adult; Ella Ramangwane as child), the "black" daughter of "white" Afrikaner parents (veterans Sam Neill and Alice Krige), who until then — South Africa in the 1950s — had been unaware that they must have had some black ancestors. Though raised as a white girl by her parents, Sandra soon discovers the importance of her skin color after she’s officially reclassified as black and is expelled from her school. Her parents then fight a judicial battle to have their [...] »
- Andre Soares
Playing a biographical figure poses a host of challenges—most pointedly accuracy, or at least capturing the person's essence. Sophie Okonedo doesn't dispute that, though she insists mimicry is not her style and in the end the script is her bible. In her latest film, the weird and disturbing "Skin," she plays the still-living Sandra Laing, a woman of mixed heritage. Set in apartheid-era South Africa, it recounts the tormented experiences of a black child born to two white Afrikaners who are unaware of their black ancestry and determined to raise their child as a Caucasian. Sandra has no idea she is black—or even of mixed race—until she is 10 years old and brutalized and ostracized at the white school she attends. The film follows Sandra's 30-year journey, including her love affair with an abusive black man, estrangement from her parents, and ultimate reconciliation with her mother.Okonedo met »
Parker Posey has joined the cast of the Bureau of Moving Pictures feature "Highland Park," now shooting in Detroit. The Bureau's Andrew Meieran is directing and producing the dark comedy, which he co-wrote with Christopher Keyser.The film, which stars Danny Glover, focuses on a high school faculty in a struggling community. In the story, a teacher wins the lottery and uses the largesse to restore the local library and energize the community in the process.Posey will play Shirley Paine, one-time homecoming queen and now the opportunistic mayor of Highland Park."Highland" has a real-life motive: It's designed to help reopen the neighborhood's McGregor Library, shut down in 2002 because of a lack of funds. Meieran plans to simultaneously direct a documentary tracing Highland Park's history and the library restoration efforts."We're excited to have the opportunity to be a part of bringing jobs to Michigan and the revival »
Parker Posey has joined the cast of the Bureau of Moving Pictures feature "Highland Park," now shooting in Detroit. The Bureau's Andrew Meieran is directing and producing the dark comedy, which he co-wrote with Christopher Keyser.
The film, which stars Danny Glover, focuses on a high school faculty in a struggling community. In the story, a teacher wins the lottery and uses the largesse to restore the local library and energize the community in the process.
Posey will play Shirley Paine, one-time homecoming queen and now the opportunistic mayor of Highland Park.
"Highland" has a real-life motive: It's designed to help reopen the neighborhood's McGregor Library, shut down in 2002 because of a lack of funds. Meieran plans to simultaneously direct a documentary tracing Highland Park's history and the library restoration efforts.
"We're excited to have the opportunity to be a part of bringing jobs to Michigan and the revival »
- By Jay A. Fernandez
For the first time, a film has won both the audience award at Sundance and Toronto. Precious, by Lee Daniels, took home Tiff's audience award this weekend. Unlike other festivals, at Toronto the audience award is the top honor, and has previously been won by Hotel Rwanda, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Slumdog Millionaire. Meanwhile, in the new audience award set up specifically for the genre-based Midnight Madness program at Toronto, Sean Byrne's The Loved Ones was the winner. Precious has been doing well since it debuted at Sundance. (It played there under the title Push (Based on the Novel by Sapphire).) The film was already considered a significant Oscar contender before Tiff, but this second audience award is a big push for the film. In the real world people are seeing the trailer and reacting well to it, but the film still looks like a hard sell to »
- Russ Fischer
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