This past Sunday, my co-hosts and I hosted our second #CinNoir chat. We discussed the latest television and film news and gave our hopes and predictions for Monday night’s Emmy Awards.
In case you missed it, here it is:
Social justice is a topic that is constantly at the forefront of the media. On the latest edition of Cinema in Noir, my co-hosts and I dedicated the majority of the show to the exploring the theme of social justice. We started by chatting with Shanelle Little. Like the majority of the country, Shanelle has spent the last week watching the volatile situation in Ferguson, MI. She noticed that many celebrities who usually have so much to say about everything were suddenly silent. So Shanelle decided to keep a running list of celebrities who decided to use their social media platform to tackle the issues of social justice (including Jesse Williams, John Legend, and Kerry Wasington). We also discussed whether a celebrity has a responsibility to comment on matters of social justice.
In keeping with the theme of social justice, the ladies and I listed some of our favorite social justice films and television series. At the top of the list, is the WeTV series The Divide. We all agree that it is one of the best shows on television right now. The Divide handles the theme of social justice in a fresh and exciting way (Best explained here).
In addition to covering the latest news in film and television, my co-host Rebecca reviewed the film Expendables 3.
We are sick and tired of stunt casting. On the latest edition of Cinema in Noir, my co-host Candice and I were joined by guest co-host, Afiya Augustine. We discussed the Hollywood habit of stunt casting. By stunt casting, we mean using the same three or four young actor/actresses for roles based on their popularity and not whether or not they fit the role. For instance, Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley are the current Hollywood ‘it girls.” But we think there are other actresses out their who despite the spotlight. and we listed some of the actors who we think have suffered as a result of stunt casting. We think these talented actors deserve more screen time. We also chatted about the recent Hollywood Reporter article that declared the summer of 2014 as the worst summer box office in eight years. And as always, we discussed the latest in film and casting news. LISTEN:
Eljon Wardally discussed her short film turned webseries Docket 32357 . She also discussed getting back to writing after having a stroke at age 29. Eljon Wardally has a story that you need to hear.
We were also joined by actress Pia Glenn when we discussed the racially charged casting notice for women in the upcoming NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton.
Pia shared her experience as a black actress in Hollywood and how she deals with the drama.
In addition to the latest in film and television news, we also reviewed The Purge: Anarchy and the premiere episode of WeTV’s The Divide.
Ernest Dickerson discussed his illustrious career. He also discussed his collaborations with Spike Lee. Ernest Dickerson also talked about the process of getting the classic film Juice made, the current state of television, and what it’s like to direct for The Walking Dead.
We also gave our thoughts about the 2014 Emmy nominations that were announced this week. While we all agree that the list is better in terms of diversity, we still have a few issues with the list. We break it all down…the good, the bad, and the snubbed.
In addition to the latest in film and television news, we also reviewed three new releases (Boyhood, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Life Itself) and the trailer to the new Jimi Hendrix film, All is By My Side.
Happy July! It’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through 2014. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I have been going pretty hard core on my #NFOTD (New Film of the Day) goals for 2014. I have been trying REALLY hard to stay on track and watch at least seven films a week). My goal is to watch 365 new films by December 31, 2014.
For those who don’t know, NFOTD was started by my Twitter homie and director of photography extraordinaire, Cybel Martin. Every day #NFOTD participants watch a film that they’ve never seen before and tweet (and sometimes instagram) about it.
As of July 1, 2014 I have watched 180 films. The break down is as follows:
Narrative Features – 134 (74.4%)
Documentaries – 46 (25.5%)
Short Films – 7 (3.8%)
Foreign Language Films – 5 (2.7 %)
Female Screenwriters – 46 (21.6%)
Female Directors – 42 (21.3%)
Female DPs -14 (7.7 %)
To celebrate half a year of #NFOTD, I decided to highlight some of my favorite films, so far.
Favorite Performance: Regina Hall in About Last Night
Directed By: Steve Pink
Starring: Michael Ealy, Joy Bryant, Kevin Hart, Regina Hall
The 411: It takes guts and true talent to go head to head with the biggest comedian in Hollywood. But Regina Hall holds her own against the comedic firecracker that is Kevin Hart. In About Last Night she excels as a comedic actress and steals the spotlight on more than one occasion.
Favorite Theatrical Release: Belle
Directed By: Amma Asante
Starring: GuGu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson
The 411: Belle tells the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, a mixed race aristocrat in 18th century Britain. The film effectively deals with issues of gender, marriage, social status, and race. Belle benefits from a solid screenplay, great direction, and powerful performances.
Favorite Documentary: Vanishing Pearls
Directed By: Nailah Jefferson
Starring: The fishermen of Pointe La Hache, LA.
The 411: Vanishing Pearls tells the story of a group of black fishermen in Louisiana who suffer devastating consequences after the BP oil spill. The film chronicles the trials and tribulations of these men as they face the aftermath of the long clean-up and as they seek compensation for their losses.
Favorite Foreign Film: Wadjda
Directed By: Haifaa Al Mansour
Starring: Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahnab Al Gohani
The 411: Wadjda is a delightful film, the first shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, that follows a 10-year old girl in her quest to raise the money to buy a bike. It’s also a brilliant coming of age film and a great mother/daughter film.
Favorite Short Film: Next Door’s Next
Directed By: Crystle Roberson
Starring: Marius Mitchell, Sheryland Neal
The 411: Next Door’s Next focuses on a young couple who spend the afternoon baking a cake for their new neighbor. The film plays with time in a creative way that allows it’s protagonists to come face to fact with their future. It’s a great, thought provoking film.
Favorite TV Movie: A Day Late And A Dollar Short
Directed By: Stephen Tolkin
Starring: Whoopi Goldberg, Ving Rhames, Kimberly Elise, Tichina Arnold, Anika Noni Rose
The 411: The cast is the biggest asset in A Day Late and A Dollar Short. Whoopi gives an amazing performance as a woman trying to reconcile her family as they deal with many complicated issues. The supporting cast is equally impressive. The film is a great testament to the power of redemption and forgiveness.
Favorite Throwback: Paris Is Burning
Directed By: Jennie Livingston
Starring: Dorian Corey, Pepper LaBeija, Octavia St. Laurent
The 411: I have heard about Paris Is Burning for YEARS but only recently watched it for myself. And I must say it lived up to the hype. The film takes a look at the drag culture in 1980s NYC. It highlights aspects such as balls and voguing and explains the origins of today’s popular phrases (i.e. reading, shade, realness).
Favorite Historical Film: Cesar Chavez
Directed By: Deigo Luna
Starring: Michael Pena, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson
The 411: Cesar Chavez focuses on the several years that the title character worked as an activist for the migrant grape farmers. Chavez took a nonviolent approach to the system that sought to destroy the Latino and Filipino farm workers. The strength of this film is it’s focus and the extraordinary performance of Michael Pena.
Favorite Netflix Find: GBF
Directed By: Darren Stein
Starring: Michael J. Willett, Paul Iancono, Sasha Pieterse
The 411: In GBF three popular girls vie for supreme popularity by acquiring the school’s first openly gay student as their gay best friend. The film is absurd, but fun and underneath the shallow personas of the main characters, the film has heart and there is an important underlying message of acceptance.
LGBT women in film and tv are more visible today than ever before. On the latest edition of Cinema in Noir, my co-hosts and I celebrated LGBT Pride month by discussing the LGBT women in Hollywood who deserve more screen time. We also listed some the LGBT women whose stories deserve to be told on the big or small screen.
Lastly, we were joined by writer Alj Augustine as we reviewed the season premiere of True Blood and discussed our expectations for the season finale of Penny Dreadful.
In addition to the latest film and casting news, my co-host Rebecca reviewed three films, Transformers: Age of Extinction, They Came Together, and Snowpiercer.
Colorism or not? On the latest edition of Cinema in Noir, my co-hosts and I tackled the hot button issue of colorism in Hollywood.
The discussion was sparked by the online outrage over biracial actress Zendaya Coleman being cast as singer Aaliyah in the upcoming Lifetime biopic. Many people on Twitter believe that the casting was a result of Hollywood’s colorism problem. We were joined by radio personality Albert Butler who had a lot to say on the subject.
In addition to the latest film and casting news, my co-host Rebecca and I reviewed the number one movie in the country, Think Like A Man Too.
On the latest edition of Cinema in Noir, my co-hosts and I paid tribute to the legendary Ruby Dee, who passed away on June 11, 2014 at the age of 91.
The iconic actress and activist will be remembered for her immeasurable talent, her dedication to the civil rights movement, and her enduring love for her husband and partner, Ossie Davis.
We also chatted with Anre Garrett. He is one of the founders of the Minority Independent Producer’s Summit. According to Anre Garrett, the organization seeks to “empower minority independent film and TV producers to achieve greater access and sustainability.”
Lastly my co-hosts recapped Game of Thrones and Orphan Black in anticipation of there season finales this week.