Imitation of Life (1934) - News Poster

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Someone pitch a "Beulah" Miniseries. Hear me out.

Imitation of Life (1934) starred Claudette Colbert and Louise Beavers who went into the pancake business

On this day in 1902 Louise Beavers born in Cincinatti. Though she was never as famous as the similarly cast Hattie McDaniel she also had her own big film moments in the studio system including the original Imitation of Life in which Claudette Colbert got wildly rich off of her recipe while she Beavers struggled with her light-skinned daughter. Free Pitch Idea For Writers Of Color: Don't you think a prestige miniseries on Black Hollywood throughout the years would be fascinating?

More on Louise Beavers and other "on this day" items after the jump...
See full article at FilmExperience »

NYC Weekend Watch: Todd Haynes, ‘1941,’ ‘Gun Crazy,’ ‘Battleship Potemkin’ & More

Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.

Film Society of Lincoln Center

The release of Carol (our coverage can be found here) brings “Todd Haynes: The Other Side of Dreams,” which will pair the director’s work with his personal favorites. Safe and Imitation of Life show on Friday; on Saturday, see “Todd Haynes: Rarities” — which brings Dottie Gets Spanked,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Cummings Pt.2: Working with Capra and West, Fighting Columbia in Court

Constance Cummings in 'Night After Night.' Constance Cummings: Working with Frank Capra and Mae West (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Actress Went from Harold Lloyd to Eugene O'Neill.”) Back at Columbia, Harry Cohn didn't do a very good job at making Constance Cummings feel important. By the end of 1932, Columbia and its sweet ingenue found themselves in court, fighting bitterly over stipulations in her contract. According to the actress and lawyer's daughter, Columbia had failed to notify her that they were picking up her option. Therefore, she was a free agent, able to offer her services wherever she pleased. Harry Cohn felt otherwise, claiming that his contract player had waived such a notice. The battle would spill over into 1933. On the positive side, in addition to Movie Crazy 1932 provided Cummings with three other notable Hollywood movies: Washington Merry-Go-Round, American Madness, and Night After Night. 'Washington Merry-Go-Round
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Case of the Missing Academy Award and an Oscar Winner Is Racism Victim Even After Death

Hattie McDaniel: Best Supporting Actress Oscar competition and missing Academy Award plaque (See previous post: “Hattie McDaniel Oscar Speech.”) Besides Hattie McDaniel for Gone with the Wind, the 1939 Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominees were Geraldine Fitzgerald for Wuthering Heights, Edna May Oliver for Drums Along the Mohawk, Maria Ouspenskaya for Love Affair, and Olivia de Havilland for Gone with the Wind. It should be noted that de Havilland, who, according to some, was not at all happy at having lost the Oscar, had much more screen time than Hattie McDaniel. In fact, de Havilland had lobbied David O. Selznick to list her as a lead actress, alongside Vivien Leigh. Selznick, however, balked, fearing that de Havilland might steal away votes from her fellow Gone with the Wind player. In the next decade, Olivia de Havilland would receive four more Academy Award nominations, all in the Best Actress category, including
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Baseball Biopic Overperforming: Will Easily Top Domestic Weekend B.O. Chart

Baseball Biopic Surpassing Expectations: Will Easily Top Domestic B.O. Chart This Weekend Written and directed by Academy Award winner Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential screenwriter), and starring Chadwick Boseman as pioneering black baseball player Jackie Robinson and veteran Harrison Ford as the Brooklyn Dodgers' team executive Branch Rickey, the biopic 42 was the no. 1 movie at Friday's domestic box office; it'll surely be the weekend's top film, too. As per early, rough estimates found on the web site Deadline.com, the period drama will be the only movie grossing more than $20 million at the domestic box office. (See below more information about Scary Movie 5 and last weekend's holdovers.) (Pictured above are an unrecognizable Ford as the Brooklyn Dodgers' team executive Branch Rickey and Boseman wearing Robinson's baseball uniform.) The 42 movie brought in an estiamted $8.5 million at 3,003 U.S. and Canada venues on Friday (April 12) and by Sunday evening may possibly
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Is The Help helping?

The African-American servant or 'Mammy' is one of Hollywood's more troublesome cliches. Does new hit film The Help subvert or reinforce the stereotype, asks Xan Brooks

Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House is an amiable 1948 comedy that casts Cary Grant as an imperilled advertising executive who is rescued, on the day of the deadline, by his beaming black domestic servant. "If you ain't eating Wham, you ain't eating ham," quips the servant, bustling in with a freshly prepared breakfast and casually providing a slogan to save her master's bacon. Naturally Blandings is delighted. "Darling!" he calls to his wife. "Give Gussie a $10 raise." This, back in 1948, was what passed for a Hollywood happy ending.

These days, thank heaven, the help are paid more fairly. For evidence, check out The Help, a 60s-set, Mississippi-based drama about a bunch of servants who "help" a white journalist write a book and
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

New Movies Streaming on Netflix Instant Watch: June 20 – 26

Well, this week is a bit of a bummer. Due to some contractual spats between Starz and Sony, all of the movies Sony has home video distribution over were pulled from instant streaming. Notable movies include Easy A and Grown Ups but the biggest loss will be felt this week with The Social Network staying unavailable until the corporations get all the Bs squared away.

The Movies that Would be Available to Stream this week, without the Starz/Sony Contract Dispute

The Social Network – June 20th

Burlesque – June 20th

Punch Drunk Love – June 23rd

Tamara Drewe – June 23rd

According to Netflix, the contract issue will be fixed soon and is only “temporary.”

New to Netflix Streaming On Tuesday June 21th

The best show on all of TV right now, Louis C.K.’s “Louie” is available stream this week.

New to Netflix Streaming On Friday June 24thSlap Shot (R | 1977)

Flickchart Ranking:
See full article at Flickchart »

Clip joint: Melting

Enjoy a selection of those moments when solid cinematic gold is transformed into liquid assets – and suggest your own below

It's springtime at last. And that means summer will come. And that means heat. And that heat means melting. Everything does it, from the tarmac on the streets to that ice lolly you bought moments ago that's already dribbling down your hand. Movies are the perfect medium to experience this effect of heat in motion, turning solids into something a bit more viscous. Of course you can photograph a bit of ice, but until the advent of cinema the motion of this in effect was unfilmable and thus this facet of the majesty of nature was left unrecorded. It didn't take long for those entertainment boffins to realise that melting, far from simply being a neat visual shorthand for the passage of time and the circularity of the seasons, was
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Today’s Birthdays 3/8/10

Boris Kodjoe is 37 today. The Hollywood heartthrob was last seen in 2009’s Surrogates, opposite Bruce Willis (a forgettable movie), and has 3 projects in various stages of production, notably his starring role in wunderkind director/producer J.J. Abrams’ upcoming TV actioner, Undercover, which has been described as Mr & Mrs Smith meets The Bourne Identity.

Cheryl “Salt” James from the 80s/90s all-girl rap group Salt-n-Pepa, is 46 years old today! Wow! Time sure flies doesn’t it? I’m sitting here thinking she’s in her late 30s. Cheryl has done a bit of acting here and there, over the years, but nothing memorable. She last played a Puerto Rican detective in a Mario Van Peebles straight-to-dvd movie in 2000 titled Raw Nerve. Anybody see it? On TV, there was The Salt-n-Pepa Show reality TV program in 2007, and lately, she’s been hanging out with Pepa on her own reality TV show titled Let’s Talk About Pep,
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Holiday season gifts for the Black film lover

In my quest to figure out good Xmas and Kwanzaa gifts for my people this year, I realized we always recommend movies, DVD’s and VODs, but I’ve seldom read about good books here on S&A. So, I’ve compile a great list for of Black cinephile-based books for the filmgoing audience. Some you’re definitely familiar with, others maybe not, but nonetheless here it is:

Donald Bogle’s books

I’ve been reading Bogle’s books for 20 years now, so considering I’m just on the precipice of my (eek!) mid-30’s, that’s saying a lot of the amount of Black film knowledge that he’s imparted to the masses for decades.

Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies & Bucks

Arguably Bogle’s greatest, if not simply his best known book, “Toms…” is the definitive study of American Black film images going back to the beginning with Birth of
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Toxic Birthday Suits

Your cinematic birthdays for 12/02. If it's your big day, let us know.

Steven, Lucy and Warren

1894 Warren William, charming snake, pre-code movie star who was often paired with formidable actresses like Claudette Colbert (Imitation of Life, Cleopatra), Joan Blondell (Gold Diggers of 1933, Stage Struck) and Bette Davis (Three on a Match, Satan Met a Lady)

1914 Ray Walston, the Damn Yankees! devil had a lengthy career on screens small and large

1914 Adolph Green, musical giant of 'Comden & Green' fame. I can't even begin to choose a favorite song by that duo. Plus they wrote the screenplay to Singin' in the Rain!

1923 Maria Callas, La Divina. Fanny Ardant recently played her in Callas Forever. The next actress who'll have a go at her is Eva Mendes in Greek Fire

1925 Julie Harris was Oscar nominated for her film debut (The Member of the Wedding), co-starred with James Dean (East of Eden) and
See full article at FilmExperience »

My Apologies to Vera Farmiga

I dream of celebrity. I don't even know what day it is anymore. I was sick all weekend and sleeping erratically. When I woke up this morning (last night? yesterday afternoon?) I was convinced that I had just been interviewing Vera Farmiga. She looked exactly like Sarah Paulson.

Instead of asking Ms. Farmiga about the her new picture, the Oscar contender Up in the Air -- view trailer -- I kept asking her what I should have for lunch. Did she maybe have the pancake recipe that made Claudette Colbert wealthy in Imitation of Life? If so, could I borrow it? Vera/Sarah became very frustrated that I wasn't interested in her career (but I am. Even though I never write about it!)

"Order the damn Blt" she finally declared with exasperation.

I ignored her and ordered the tuna melt instead.

P.S. Fans of I Heart Huckabees will sadly
See full article at FilmExperience »

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