2 items from 2015
Queen Latifah delivers a fierce performance in “Bessie,” the upcoming HBO biopic about blues legend Bessie Smith. The character is prone to sudden outbursts of violence — slapping and smacking and turning over tables — that are startling to see from a woman, even one of such physical stature, and even when they come in self-defense.
There is also a ferocity in the way the camera artfully captures the character’s intimidating, in-your-face aspect that makes it hard to believe that “Bessie,” which premieres May 16 on the premium cabler, is the work of a director with only one previous feature-length narrative film under her belt. But there’s more than a little of Bessie Smith’s determination in writer-director Dee Rees.
“Bessie doesn’t go around things; she goes straight through. She’s always coming right at the camera,” Rees explains. “I used a lot of Steadicam to (add) that dynamic movement to the character. »
- Cynthia Littleton
Exactly a year ago I did a revealing and very informative interview with the pioneering African American graphic designer Art Sims (read Here) whose advertising and marketing agency 1124 has been responsible for cutting edge ad campaigns for many of the most important black and urban themed films and TV productions, such as HBO’s When The Levees Broke, Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, Mo Better Blues, Love and Basketball, Clockers, and The Color Purple among so many other films. And last month at the Michigan State University in East Lansing Michigan , which is where the Detroit native graduated from, in its museum opened an exhibition of his most famous movie »
2 items from 2015
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