6 items from 2015
Stanley Nelson’s new documentary about the Black Panther Party is admirably sober, but it nevertheless evokes great urgency and passion. Using archival footage and interviews — with historians, with the Panthers themselves, and with the cops who pursued them — it brings to life a still-contentious historical moment and, without too much insistence or obviousness, artfully draws parallels with today. Watching it, we recognize that the things the Panthers fought against remain a part of our society. Whether that’s a testament to the quixotic nature of their project, or just a sign that more work needs to be done, is up to us to decide.Though the period he’s tackling lasts only about a decade — from the group’s formation in 1966 by activists Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, through to its fragmentation in the mid- to late-70s — Nelson (Freedom Riders, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple »
- Bilge Ebiri
Academy invitee Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything.' Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures." According to the Academy's press release, "those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2015." In case all 322 potential new members say an enthusiastic Yes, that means an injection of new blood representing about 5 percent of the Academy's current membership. In the words of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (as quoted in the press release), in 2015 "our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization." In recent years, the Academy membership has »
- Anna Robinson
©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Construction will begin this summer, and ceremonial groundbreaking festivities will occur this fall.
“I am thrilled that Los Angeles is gaining another architectural and cultural icon,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My office of economic development has worked directly with the museum’s development team to ensure that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will create jobs, support tourism, and pay homage to the industry that helped define our identity as the creative capital of the world.”
“We are grateful to our incredible community of supporters who have helped make this museum a reality,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Building this museum has been an Academy »
- Michelle McCue
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go. The Academy has spent the last eight to 10 years attempting to diversify its membership and this year's class mostly reflects that. There are significantly more invitees of Asian and African-American descent, but the male to female disparity is still depressing. Out of the 25 potential new members of the Actor's Branch only seven are women. And, no, there isn't really an acceptable way for the Academy to spin that sad fact. Additionally, It's important to realize the 322 people noted in the release have only been invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.
Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Acad, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices. For example, 323 films were eligible for 2014 awards — which means AMPAS should theoretically »
- Tim Gray
It doesn't take much beyond a glance at the headlines in the past year or so to know that racial and class inequality are still among the major issues facing the country. The intersection of both has been the basis of decades of protests and activism, and certainly one of the loudest voices as such in the '60s and '70s was the Black Panther Party. Headed to the Sundance Film Festival is "The Black Panthers: Vanguard Of The Revolution," a new documentary look at the organization: today, we have an exclusive clip from the film. Directed by Stanley Nelson ("Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple"), the doc dives into a trove of archival footage to tell the story of the Black Panthers and provides new interviews. The film intends to bring a fresh context to the group beyond its incendiary activity. That much is clear from this clip, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
6 items from 2015
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