Fall 2016 TV Preview and Our Fave Actors Under 25 (Cinema in Noir)

The Fall 2016 television season is upon us!  Tonight, my co-hosts and I will be live-tweeting the Emmy telecast as we root for some of our favorites who are nominated.
5da611e5-5d70-4b0e-b77d-982668a4b23cThe fall 2016 season officially kicks off tomorrow with the premiere of many new and returning shows.

Last week on  Cinema in Noir, we talked about the shows we are most looking forward to this fall 2016 season. The most highly anticipated show of the season is Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar, which premiered on September 6. Rebecca and I reviewed the show which is a joy to watch. Additionally, Rebecca reviewed Atlanta and the Netflix series Luke Cage.

Fall 2016

Other shows I am looking forward to include Issa Rae’s Insecure, NBC’s Parenthoodesque This is Us.  Also, I am super excited about Pitch.  Kylie Bunbury stars as the first woman to play professional baseball. Finally, the TV adaptation of Lethal Weapon is also on my list of shows I am looking forward to.

We are witnessesing a boom in the number of talented young actors working in Hollywood. Due to this resurgence, we chatted about some of our favorite actors under 25. Most noteworthy, include Ethan Hutchison and the entire younger cast of ABC’s blackish.

Fall 2016

Finally, if you missed it, you can catch the podcast here:

Missed a podcast? Catch up and listen to our shows from July and August.

Tony Awards Preview and Remembering Muhammad Ali (Cinema in Noir)

The Tony Awards are TONIGHT!! On the latest edition of Cinema and Noir, my co-hosts and I chatted about the 2016 nominees, the shows we are most excited about and Broadways ongoing commitment to diverse and inclusive casts.

Eclipsed Tony Awards

Of course,  the show I am most rooting for tonight is the groundbreaking musical Hamilton.  With a 16nominations, it is expected to win big.  But I am also hoping Eclipsed and The Color Purple get some love tonight.

Tony Awrds

We also remember the late Muhammad Ali who passes away June 3, 2016. We talked about Hollywood’s treatment of The Champ and discussed the films and documentaries that best explored his life and career.

In case you missed the podcast, you can catch up here:

#BlackPantherSoLIT – #CinNoir Chat (ICYMI)

During the latest #CinNoir chat, my co-host Rebecca reviewed the film Captain America: Civil War. The film features Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther.  The character and casting news about the upcoming Black Panther movie inspired the hashtag #BlackPantherSoLIT. We discussed the casting and the popularity of the hashtag  with creator @ChadwickNChill.


Lastly, in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, chatted about @StarringJohnCho, the hashtag and social movement dedicated to showing  the world “what it would look like if today’s Hollywood blockbusters cast an Asian-American actor as their leading man.”

In case you missed it, here is the recap:

Beyonce’s LEMONADE and the Black Feminist Film (Cinema In Noir)

LEMONADE, Beyonce’s recently released visual album and film almost broke the internet when it debuted on HBO on August 23. On the latest edition of Cinema in Noir, my co-hosts and I discussed LEMONADE,  it’s representations of black feminism, artistic celebrations of black women, and of course Becky with the good hair.  We also discussed other films and television shows that exemplify the black feminist tradition that LEMONADE follows (Eve’s Bayou, Something New, Living Single). Lemonade

May is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To commemorate the month, we discussed cinematic representations of illness and grief.  One of my faves is Ava DuVernay’s I WILL FOLLOW.  The film is an excellent meditation on grief for those left after someone passes. I highly recommend it. lemonade and grief

We also discussed one filmmaker in particular who seems to continuously miss the mark (#TylerPerryMovieCancer)

Also, in addition to the lastest film news, we discussed the recently released trailer to SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU, the film that reimagines Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date in Chicago back in 1989.  The film, which is directed by Richard Tanne, stars my fave Tika Sumpter and newcomer Parker Sawyers and is produced by John Legend. I  am SO excited about this film.  It got solid reviews at Sundance this year and I look forward to seeing the story on the big screen.  To quote my co-host Candice, SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU could be the blerd romance we’ve been waiting for.”  You  can check out the trailer here:

In case you missed the podcast, you can listen here:

Need to catch up on other episodes of Cinema in Noir? Catch up here, here, and here.

#ICYMI – CONFIMRATION and Whitewashing in GHOST IN THE SHELL (#CinNoir Chat)

During the latest #CinNoir chat, my co-hosts ad I reviewed and discussed several new releases. Among them was the HBO film Confirmation, based on the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court Confirmation hearing and the sexual harassment allegations that followed. The film starred Wendell Pierce as Thomas and my fave Kerry Washington as Anita Hill.


We also chatted about the whitewashing controversy surrounding the upcoming film Ghosts in the Shell as well as Islamaphobia in film and television.

In case you missed it, here is the recap:

ICYMI – #CinNoir Chat

During the latest #CinNoir chat, my co-hosts and I reviewed and discussed several new releases and premieres. One of my faves was Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill starring the incomparable Audra McDonald.

#CinNoir Chat
My co-host Candice also reviewed  Eclipsed on Broadway starring Lupita Nyong’o and written by Danai Gurira  (You can read her full review here). We also chatted about Billie Woodruff’s The Perfect Match and season 4 of fan favorite House of Cards.

In case you missed it, here is the recap:

Missed our February Chat? Check it out here


It was Saturday night and I was seated for the 7:00 PM screening at Southpoint Cinema in Durham, NC.  Anticipation does not begin to explain what I was feeling. Something NewA few months earlier while seated for  Pride and Prejudice at the same theater, I watched the trailer of  Something New and was overcome with excitement.  Fast forward two months.  On opening night,  Friday, February 3, 2006, I received two separate calls from friends telling me I HAD to go see the movie. Now this would not have been a miraculous event had it been ANY other two friends, but these two generally agreed on very little. So I was immediately even more psyched to see Something New.

After I saw the movie, it instantly became one of my all time favorites. Aesthetically it is gorgeous. I think director Sanaa Hamri’s background in music video added an extra something to the visuals. And the table scene in the beginning, with the camera circling the table is AWESOME! You feel like you are in the middle of the women’s conversation.

The screenplay is something special. Writer Kriss Turner transforms the basic rom com  into a film that addresses issues of race and class in the context of a romantic relationship.  The premise is simple, but complicated. Sanaa Lathan plays Kenya, a black, professional woman who is very reserved. Brian, played by Simon Baker,  is a white gardener/landscape artist who is a free spirit. She doesn’t do dogs, he owns one. They are complete opposites. Something NEw 3

Something New effectively addresses the issues and adversities that a mixed race couple might face. I loved the “Black Tax” references, although honestly, I had never heard the term before (but was familiar with the concept). One of my favorite scenes occurs in the grocery store where Kenya wants to talk about her hard day and Brian isn’t in the mood for another race chat. The question of right and wrong is never debated, that’s your opinion, but the honest dialogue is refreshing.


When Mark (Blair Underwood) enters the picture, he and Kenya look like the perfect couple. He understands her world, moreso than Brian. He is a much better fit, not because he is black, but because he is wealthy, educated and is a member of the  high society community Kenya is accustomed to. But he does not have her heart. And ultimately that’s the only thing that counts.

The only gripe I have about Something New is the limited amount of  screen time dedicated to  Kenya’s girlfriends played by Golden Brooks, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Taraji P. Henson.  Although the opening  table scene was great, I would have liked more interaction with them. However, they did deliver some of the more comedic moments in the film.Something New Women

The flaws in Something New are overshadowed by what works in the film.   As the first major studio film directed, produced (Stephanie Allain), written by and starring women of color, I am proud of Something New. I am inspired by it and the work these amazing women put into making this historic film.  It is the epitome of Black Herstory.

Something New is currently streaming on Netflix.

#OscarsSoWhite + Writer Kirk Moore (#CinNoir Chat)

The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag which was created by April Reign last year resurfaced when the Academy Award nominees were announced and no people of color were nominated in the acting categories. On the latest #CinNoir chat, my co-host and I discussed the hashtag with April and chatted about the Oscar controversy.


We also discussed Acedemy president Cheryl Boone Issac’s response to the public outcry for more diversity in the Academy.


We also chatted with Kirk Moore, writer on the hit ABC series American Crime.

In case you missed it, here’s the recap:

My Movie Resolutions of 2016 (Cinema in Noir)

Resolutions are usually broken by February.  Last year, I posted an extensive and detailed 15 point list of my 2015 Movie Resolutions.  Honestly, I abandoned the list before February 1st.  This year, I vow to take a simpler approach to my movie resolutions. Below are my personal resolutions. It is my hope that these will make me a better movie watcher and a better movie blogger.

2016 Resolutions

Watch 365 New (to me) Films in 365 Days (#TeamNFOTD) – This is a yearly goal for me. I have not accomplished it yet, but I feel like this may be my year. 2016 resolutions


Watch more foreign films. I am especially interested in those that spotlight the black experience in other countries.


Expand #BlackWomenDirect. It’s more than a hashtag, it’s a movement.


Write and blog more. Self explanatory.


Watch, support and share  more films directed by and/or written by women of color. Between this space here and Cinema in Noir on Blog Talk Radio, I hope to expland the conversation of women of color in film both in front of and behind the camera.

Team Cinema in Noir Resolutions

In case you missed it, on the latest edition of Cinema in Noir, my cohosts Candice, Rebecca and I discussed the film trends we want to see sustained over the course of 2016. We also gave our personal movie resolutions. Lastly, we discussed the 2016 Golden Globe nominees and our hopes for the winners.


#NFOTD2015 – A Year in Review

Happy New Year! As you all know, I have been participating in #NFOTD (New Film of the Day) for the past three years. For those who don’t know, NFOTD was started by film-lover and director of photography, Cybel Martin. Every day for the last year, #NFOTD2015 participants have watched a film that they have never seen before and tweet (and/or Instagram) about it. In 2015, I watched a grand total of 248 films (yes, a LOT less than the 300 plus I watched in 2014).

Every year, we post our #NFOTD superlatives, so here are mine for #NFOTD2015:

Favorite Theatrical Release: Creed


DIrector: Ryan Coogler

Screenwriter: Ryan Coogler, Aaron Covington

CInematographer: Maryse Alberti

Starring: Michael B. Jordan Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson


Favorite Streaming/DVD selection:  Appropriate Behavior

#NFOTD2015Director: Desiree Akhavan

Screenwriter: Desiree Akhavan

CInematographer: Chris Teague

Starring: Desiree Akhavan, Rebecca Henderson, Scott Adsit


Favorite/Most Obscure: The Barber


Director: Basel Owies

Screenwriter: Max Enscoe

Cinematographer: Allen Liu

Starring: Scott Glenn, Chris Coy


Favorite Documentary: Little White LieWL

Director: Lacey Schwartz, James Adolphus

Screenwriter: Lacey Schwartz, Mehret Mandefro

CInematographer: James Adolphus

Starring: Lacey Schwartz


Member’s Choice: Anita


Director: Freida Lee Mock

Screenwriter: Freida Lee Mock

Starring: Anita Hill



Favorite Short Film: Muted


Director: Rachel Goldberg

Screenwriter: Brandi Ford

Cinematographer: Richard J. Vialet

Starring: Chandra Wilson, Daniele Watts, Brandi Ford, Malcolm Jamal Warner


Favorite Made for TV Movie: With This Ring


Director:  Nzingha Stewart

Screenwriter:  Nzingha Stewart

Starring: Regina Hall, Jill Scott, Eve, Brooklyn Sudano


Favorite Throwback Film: Rocky


Director: John G. Avildsen

Screenwriter: Sylvester Stallone

Cinematographer: James Crabe

Starring: Sylvester Stallne, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith


Favorite Stand-Up/Comedy Special: Jay Pharoah, Can I Be Me?


Director: Ryan Polito

Screenwriter: Jay Pharoah

Starring: Jay Pharoah