Monday, May 30, 2011

Double Header "The Hangover Part II" & "Kung Fu Panda 2"

Today's review's are going to be short, sweet, painfully to the point. I had high expectations for both of these flicks and they both let me own. Since both flicks were a disappointment I figure they deserve to be in a post together.

Well well well, what can I say The Hangover Part II did one thing right and that is bring in a lot of hype and huge box office numbers ( I guess that's what counts...). This is a movie that tried just a little bit too hard to make us laugh. I think Director Todd Phillips was on such a high from the first one that with this one is pretty much missed the mark. For the most part "Hangover II", plot wise, is very similar to the first one. All the themes and characters from the first one make a return appearance but just in a different fashion. From what I can gage they wanted us to relive the first one and at the same time take it to another level.

So in this one we get to see Stu and the crew travel to Thailand (versus Las Vegas) for his wedding. And of course the night before the wedding something has to go wrong. The stakes (no pun intended) are much higher now that they are on foreign soil. The pre-wedding escapade is definitely one to remember! Missing family members, silent monks, a drug dealing monkey, face tattoo's, hotel rooftops, and some type of drug pretty much describe what this movie entails. And to top it off we even get a surprise guest appearance in the end.

The Hangover II, is a prime example of flick that is too raunchy for its own good. Put it like this some things are better left unspoken. There were even a few scenes in which I felt slightly offended as an African American and I'm sure some Asians felt the same way. This movie was "too hot" for the film screen. As mentioned earlier they tried to hard to make us laugh, using the same gags and switching out some old tricks for some new ones (ex. Monkey instead of a Tiger). Think of this movie like a car that was washed with just water only no soap. To make the car look real pretty it needs to waxed and shined up, and that is what this movie lacked, a good soap & water washing with a wax-on finish.

I will say this, I will not be making another trip to see this movie again, like I did the first one. Now don't get me wrong I laughed but it just didn't hit the core like the first installment did. Actually as I think about it, The Hangover concept could be a great television series, the Wolfpack solving mysteries of trying to find "missing person's"...or maybe not.

Rating: 2.5 out 5 stars


Now this next one really hurt my feelings. I think I really hyped myself with this one, and once again I got my feelings were hurt!!

Kung Fu Panda 2 takes the viewer on another journey with Po and his crew of kung-fu masters to take on an old enemy, with a new weapon. I'm glad that they brought everyone back, but it just didn't have the pizazz, I just cannot put my finger on it.

I will give kudos to the animation and the voice-acting definitely a good job. And it does provide some historical Chinese elements. But overall for me not enough to make me say wow!! One thing in particular is that of the final battle it was like pulling teeth, just dragged out way too long.

Kids may enjoy the movie depending on the age, but adults not quite sure what to make of it. Maybe it was not meant for us, this would not be the first time this has happened.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Weekend Box Office Report 5/27-29

I knew it...I knew it...I knew it...Despite the mixed reviews The Hangover Part II overwhelmingly took the Number #1 spot with Kung Fu Panda 2 coming in second...Check out the numbers below...

1.The Hangover Part II $103,426,875
2. Kung Fu Panda 2 $60,871,175
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides $50,012,338
4. Bridesmaids $20,736,910
5. Thor $12,080,141
6. Fast Five $7,889,650
7. Midnight in Paris $2,555,210

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Black Savant Cinema Feature Spotlight: Filmmaker Mya B.

This week's feature spotlight is from my home state of Illinois and she definitely represents it to the fullest. I must say upon reading her submission I was very impressed, Mya B is a true example of versatility to its finest! Her story is truly motivational. And it is always refreshing to see someone work with such passion. She makes you want to go out and do big things in the world. (I see a lot of me in!!) So without further a do let me introduce this week's Black Savant Cinema Feature Spotlight Mya B. Check her out and see for yourself this true talent...

Mya B. is a young filmmaker born and raised in Chi-town. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY where she came to be around people of like mind in the independent film industry. Graduating from Columbia College with a concentration in film studies gave her the writing and production skills to pursue her passion as an independent filmmaker.

Her first documentary, ‘Warrior Queens’ was shown in 1994 at the Dusable Museum of African American History in Chicago.  From working as a PA and interning on several independent films, she decided to venture into her first documentary project.  After two years of groundbreaking interviews and historical information to research, she completed her first documentary entitled, ‘Silence: In Search of Black Female Sexuality in America.’  The film has won many accolades, festival acceptance, and awards.  Segments of her film, was also show on VH1’s, “Can’t Get a Date”.   Since then, her writing has gotten recognition. 

Her short script, Maya: The Illusion, won honorable mention in the American Gem screenwriting competition and she was a BET finalist in the Rap It-Up competition in 2006.  She is currently in production for the follow up to her first documentary, “Black Men and Sex: The Real Deal”, finishing up her first novel working as a video instructor at a high school and middle school.  In addition to this, she has worked as a DP on many projects: The Dark Seed, Curtain Call, and Monkey Gang.

It doesn't stop you know I had to delve in a little bit more!!

How did you get started?  I have always been a film lover, especially the horror genre.  My parents always took us to the movies, so I had a lot of exposure to them.  That love for being able to lose my self in a good story, motivated me to want to study it in school.  I went to film school at Columbia College in Chicago after starting off as a fiction writing major.

In one word, describe yourself and why…  Determined.  I am determined to make films that I can be proud of and leave behind a legacy of works for the people here now and beyond.

What do you feel is the strongest asset you bring to the film/media industry?  I think my strongest asset is the storytelling I bring to the film/media industry. To me it is important to tell a story about black people in its entirety; create a voice for us from our own eyes and mouths.  With this determination I create films that deal with social issues in the black community.  I want to revolutionize the cinema world again.
How long have you been making films (directors & filmmakers)…or How long have you been acting?  I have been making films since College in 1993. In 2002, I wrote, directed and produced my first documentary, “Silence: In Search of Black Female Sexuality.”

Why did you get involved in the film/media industry? When you started making films, did you have a specific aim? Cinema is my release from the outside world.  I go to the movies almost every week because that is the time I can loose myself in the theater.  I got involved in the film industry because I always wanted to see my writings have movement.  It was then that I went to film school for it.  However, when I first start creating my documentary on black female sexuality, I was coming from a point of view of voicing the diversity in sexual experiences that we have, making it more like a sexual testimonial.  After doing years of research and analyzing sexual stereotypes about black women, I felt that it was my duty to discuss these stereotypes and the effects that slavery had on that.  It became much deeper than I planned.  From that point on I knew that my path was different.  Now I am working on a documentary about black manhood and sexuality.

What is the most important thing you've accomplished so far in this industry?  The most important thing I have accomplished so far in this industry is finishing up a documentary that I wrote, directed, and produced myself regardless of the several hardships I went to.  I did it and made it happen.  The biggest accomplishment was finishing.

What has been the biggest influence on your film/acting/media career? My biggest influence on my film career is thinking about black folks who revolutionized our minds, from Malcolm X to Assata Shakur.  There stories make me want to tell mine and share other’s.  My films are going to wake up people, create dialogue and for that I am thankful. 
From your perspective, what would you like to contribute to the present day film/media?  From my perspective I want to contribute to the present day film world films that give us our power back. Make quality black films that are relatable. EVERYBODY IS THINKING IT, BUT NOT SAYING IT type of movies.

Who is the person you admire most in the film/media industry?  I really admire Spike Lee a lot.  I have a lot of his films in my collection and I have seen all of his films.  I love his vision and would love to one day get to that point where I am making features about Assata Shakur, Nehanda, Fred Hampton, etc.  He has def made his mark as a revolutionary filmmaker to me with his portfolio of work. 

What TV show, movie or play produced in the last year has been most inspiring to you, either personally or professionally?  My most inspiring film that I saw in the last year that inspired me personally was Frankie and Alice and professionally it was Paranormal Activity 2

If you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would you be doing? If I wasn’t doing what I am doing now, I would be doing nothing. This is my life.  I have so many films in my head that I want to create.  I am not going anywhere for a longtime. I have to do it. 

Here's a taste of what Mya B. has already done in the film industry...

For more information on Mya B. and her upcoming projects please check her out at Shoot Films, Not People Production . Here is a sista you definitely want to be on the look out for..."Big Things Poppin'!!"

Also if you would like to be featured on Black Savant Cinema we would love to share your story. Please send all inquiries to .

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stay Tuned for Tomorrow's Feature!!

Stay tuned on 2morrow folks #BlackSavantCinema will be showcasing another #FeatureSpotlight Filmmaker Mya B !! It's going to be another film treat!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New on DVD this week...

Check out what is set to hit the shelves today...

Gnomeo and Juliet (G)
I am Number Four (PG-13)

Very short and sweet...I guess they are thinking a lot of folks will actually be going to the theater this week...I wonder

Monday, May 23, 2011

Afro-Punk...A Provocative look into finding your identity

During the entire month of May I have been taking a course at Georgia State University, called "The African American Experience through the Documentary Lens". During this course, I have had the opportunity to read various scholarly articles, in addition to watching documentaries discussing the same topics within the article. Just recently, I had the chance to view first time director James Spooner's documentary Afro Punk. In this particular posting I took it a step further by giving an analysis between the film and a particular 2008 article.

“An overwhelming energy, a way to let out one’s aggression, a sense of awakening”, these are all things that describe the punk rock culture, as well as what can be seen in just the first few scenes of the documentary, Afro Punk. The introduction alone in this documentary is truly very powerful. There is so much passion within the “punk” genre it is almost contagious. Even amidst the passion, there is also a sense of loneliness and confusion, and blacks have the sad misfortune of being a “minority inside a minority community”. This essay will further investigate some of the connections and distinctions between the 2003 documentary Afro Punk and the 2008 article by Georgia Institute of Technology professor Ruben Ramirez-Sanchez, “Marginalization from Within: Expanding Co-Cultural Theory Through the Experience of the Afro Punk”. Both article and documentary provide an insightful examination of the people and music that expresses the views of a subculture often alienated and rarely seen and/or painted in high regard. When it is all said and done, punk gives blacks an alternative avenue to express their ethnic identity inside and out of the scene by breaking down stereotypes and perceptions of what is "acceptable". It also showcases black punks identity and at the same time give them the opportunity to reconstruct their individual self.

Right from the beginning, the documentary, as well as the article, get straight to the point with the comparison that being black and being a punk rocker are one in the same. Many of the punks interviewed stated that on numerous occasions they were the only black kid. I found it very interesting, and it somewhat a concern, that so many black punks felt as though they were the “lone black ranger”, but would purposely not speak to other blacks because they did not want to feel as though being black was their only connection. To think if they all came together as one unit this might not be an issue of concern. Not only were blacks “figuratively” alone in a “white” punk scene, but they would also in a sense be cast out from non-punk blacks. Just when black punks are trying to be accepted into the “punk” scene, they now have to deal with their own race. In the article and the documentary it is shown that non-punk blacks were far harsher on black punks, than white punks in their own “circle.” This potentially creates more separation within the punk scene, amongst punk blacks, because now they begin to place one another in different categories. Unfortunately, non-punk blacks are even more violent and hateful versus the “name calling” that whites do.

Another common connection between the article and the documentary would be the fact that both show how the punk culture has adopted certain styles from black cultural groups. The article addresses how punk borrowed Rastafarian styles in their music, their clothing, and language. In the documentary, punk singer Tamar-kali explains the connection between punk and the African culture aesthetic. To her she was enhancing and rediscovering who she is as an “African American” woman, instead of just identifying with whites. For the most part, blacks in the punk genre have this emotional connection to reaffirming their blackness within the punk culture. Through their music, the way they dress, and their personality black punks are able to liberate themselves and “be who they want to be”. And by seeking out and capturing this energy they are doing one of two things, transforming and empowering themselves. All in all, these black punk rockers just want a message of truth to be spoken.

In contrast, an interesting thing to note is that the article points out that punk is not a “unified subject position”, however when watching the documentary one might see differently. I get the impression that those involved in the punk culture work as a family unit. One case in particular is that of punk singer Matt Davis (as well as others) living in “punk homes”, and in these homes they help each other with bills, food, household repairs, etc. Considering many of them do not have regular “9-5” jobs each of them have to rely on the other, similar to how we rely on family. Many of the punk rockers being interviewed pretty much viewed “punk” as a means of survival. On several occasions they would leave their homes, disassociate themselves from their “original” family (by choice or force), pass on a decent jobs just to pursue “punk”. Often times this meant becoming a part of a “new family”.

What can be clearly seen in the documentary, but not as much in the article is a visual picture of a group of punk and hardcore kids who probably never thought to question their lifestyle. From watching the film you can see that at times they struggle to “bring together the broken pieces of their fragmented” self to the camera. Even though the punks being interviewed do not know each other they still have very similar, if not the same, stories and experiences, they each have the “same script” just different locations. “Afro Punk” has come a long way from its beginnings, and I think the journey has only just begun. It is unfortunate that black punks continually have to prove themselves to everyone even within their own race, when this should be a time to embrace and showcase this genre of art to other blacks outside the “punk realm” so that they can benefit as well. However, the fact now that you have such artists as Cee-Lo Green, Janelle Monae, Santigold, Res, Jay Electronica and others who are linked with other popular artists, Afro Punk can be exposed in a more positive light than just being aggressive and angry.

Overall, I feel as though the film gives an honest and real approach into the way that race and identity play in the “Afro Punk” genre. This film definitely opens a much needed dialogue and in essence a “wake-up call” to America more specifically Black America. It has a touch of sadness, anger, seriousness, and laughter all combined into one. As long as “Afro Punk” continues to be an open-ended conversation I think more people, in particular blacks will want to learn and embrace the “Afro Punk” culture versus running or rejecting it. In a creative and unique way “Afro Punk” has somewhat of a universal appeal to anyone who feels that they are different from what they are supposed to be.

I must commend my professor (Dr. Gayles) for showing  this film in our class, it gives another outlook and appreciation for "being black." This is a film that everyone should be exposed to, because in some sort of fashion I guarantee it will make an impact in one or another, whether big or small.

For more information on the Afro Punk culture check out !! Trust me there is a wealth of knowledge!! 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Weekend Box Office Numbers 5/20-5/22

Just as I suspected Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, without looking back leaving everyone in the dust, took the #1 spot and Bridesmaids (#2) would push Thor to the #3 spot, that's just how the cookie crumbles!! Here are the specific numbers below*...

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides $90,100,000
2. Bridesmaids $21,058,000
3. Thor $15,500,00
4. Fast Five $10,631,000
5. Rio $4,650,000
6. Priest $4,600,000
7. Jumping the Broom $3,700,000
8. Something Borrowed $3,425,000
9. Water for Elephants $2,150,000
10. Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family $990,000
11. Soul Surfer $950,000
12. Midnight in Paris $579,000

I bet we can predict next weekend's numbers too!! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Long Kiss Goodnight Sequel in the Works!!

OMG!! This is like one of my favorite movies of the 90s. If I say so myself this was an "off-the-chain" movie, a perfect example of a brilliant action masterpiece. Long Kiss Goodnight is like one of those movies that set the mark for female leads in an action role, long before Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman, and even Halle Berry who have made it into a popular art form. Back in 2007 it was announced that Samuel L. Jackson was working on developing a sequel of the 1996 action hit with the film's director Renny Harlin. Keep in mind its been over a decade since it premiered on the big screen, so this will be very interesting to see how this will play out.

Director Harlin has said the sequel is still in development, but that Samuel Jackson is a 100% on board, "I'm right now looking for a writer who would have the same incredible sensibilities in terms of character, humor, and action. Sam is hundred percent committed, he's hundred percent on board...My plan is to focus on a story about Geena's daughter, who was six years old in the original and would now be about twenty-one. It's actually gonna be sort of a buddy story between Geena's daughter and Sam."

Now don't expect to see Samantha Caine to make a return, as this would focus on her daughter Caitlin who is all grown up now. She would for the most part have inherited her mother's skills and would seek revenge on her mother's killing.

Now as excited as I am about this potential sequel I am wondering how different would this be from any other revenge/vendetta story. Only time will tell.

And just in case you forget the first one here's the trailer to jog your memory...

This Just In!! Transformers Gets New Release Date!!

Say it ain't so...this just in literally moments ago!!! Transformers: Dark of the Moon will hit theaters earlier than expected. Paramount has confirmed a Deadline report that Michael Bay’s third installment of the robot franchise is being moved up two days, from Friday, July 1, to Wednesday, June 29.

They are not playing around with this movie!! This definitely makes a statement!!

Trailer Alerts & Updates!!

Here are few trailers that have been updated and you definitely wanna check them out!! See for yourself...

My #1 Movie that I have been waiting on since 2010!! Transformers: Dark of the Moon
In theaters July 1st, 2011

Next on the list X-Men: First Class
In theaters June 3rd, 2011

And finally one for you to look forward to this Fall Real Steel
In theaters October 7th, 2011

Hits Theaters Today!! 5/20/2011

It's Friday so you know what that means...Time to hit up the movies!! Well here's what you have to choose from this weekend...

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (PG-13)
Flamboyant seafarer Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) lands himself in a bit of a bind after being lured onto Blackbeard's (Ian McShane) ship by enigmatic siren Angelica (Penélope Cruz), and forced to seek out the Fountain of Youth. Trapped on the Queen Anne's Revenge with the most nefarious pirate in history, Captain Jack reflects on his past with the elusive Angelica while embarking on his wildest adventure to date. With shambling zombies on deck and gorgeous mermaids beckoning sailors into the icy waters below, this time Jack Sparrow has his work cut out for him.

Louder Than a Bomb (NR)
Following four high school poetry teams as they gear up to compete in the biggest youth poetry slam on earth, this documentary from Jon Siskel details how the expression, pressure, creativity, and camaraderie all make the process both an experience of treasured highs and crushing lows.

35 & Ticking (R)
Some 30-somethings try to figure out their love lives, while they cope with getting older. 

A Beautiful Life (NR)
Two lost souls find meaning in a world of chaos in this independent drama directed by Alejandro Chomski and adapted from the play by Wendy Hammond. Desperate teen Maggie (Angela Sarafayan) is on the run from her abusive father, and young immigrant David (Jesse Garcia) is scouring the streets of L.A. for his missing mother. When David and Maggie meet, their fractured lives finally start to make sense

Bloodworth (R)
A nomadic country musician returns to his estranged family in Tennessee after 40 years on the road, and finds that the damage he did by leaving is nothing compared to the chaos he's stirred up by returning.

Cost of a Soul (R)
Two veterans (Chris Kerson, Will Blagrove) return from Iraq and become trapped in the same crime-ridden neighborhood they joined the military to escape.

Midnight in Paris (PG-13)
A young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better.

For theaters and show-times check out !! Enjoy and don't forget the popcorn!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Black Savant Cinema Feature Spotlight: Screenwriter & Television Producer Kristen V. Carter

Boy do I have a surprise for you all today. Earlier in the week I had mentioned that I would be adding a new addition to the site, well the wait is over!! At least twice a month I will be doing a feature spotlight of a rising filmmaker, screenwriter, director and/ or actor/actress. Black Savant Cinema would like to showcase and introduce to the world some folks that you should be on the look out for, in other words "watch out!!" 

Today's feature spotlight is a woman who wears many hats...Kristen V. Carter.

Kristen V. Carter is a screenwriter, television producer, and teacher from Newark, New Jersey. She has written and produced for a variety of programs including MTV's Countdown to America's Best Dance Crew, Making the Band 4's Live Finale, and the BET Awards Post Show 2008. Kristen is currently enrolled in the Cosby Screenwriting Fellowship in Los Angeles, CA.

Most recently, Kristen wrote, directed, and produced a six-episode web series ‘Sellout’ a story of an Ivy League graduate’s transition back to the inner-city after his mother’s death. Her goal is to produce the feature film version of ‘Sellout’ and her most recent screenplay ‘Dad’s Club.’ In December 2011, Kristen traveled to Los Angeles, CA to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune, which happened to be the same week as her interview for the Cosby Screenwriting Fellowship. The trip was a life-changing opportunity that confirmed Kristen’s decision to relocate to Los Angeles.

Kristen's professional experiences have brought on many motivational speaking opportunities, and she spends her free time mentoring students on professional development. She is involved in NAACP/ACTSO and New York Women in Communications. Due to her tireless efforts, Kristen has won many awards for her professional and social achievements.

Whether it's through screen or stage, Kristen’s ultimate goal is to inspire the world through the medium of edutainment. 

In getting to know a little more about Kristen I asked her a few questions to really get to know who is Kristen V. Carter...

1) How did you get started? My mother always encouraged my art. I grew up in dance classes and singing lessons, and began writing songs, poems, and short stories around 7 or 8 years old. From there, I always had a love for theater, film, and television. When I was in middle school, my two best friends and I decided to write a movie...and I wound up being the only one who was really serious about it. :) I never knew any writers - particularly writers of color - until I interned BET after my senior year of high school. I met my future mentor during my first internship.

2) In one word, describe yourself and why... Passionate. I put my heart in everything I am involved in. I am very passionate about the community, education, media, being my best self, and inspiring others to share their gifts with the world. 

3) What do you feel is the strongest asset you bring to the film/media industry? The strongest asset I bring to the industry is my hunger - hunger to see everyone succeed. I have a voice in the community but I am here to not only give, but to learn. I think that, above even your talent or work, your energy speaks to others around you; it determines if people will help you or even want to work with you. 

4) How long have you been making films? I completed my first feature film 'Sellout' in 2009. I directed web series of the same name in 2010. I finished writing my second feature film 'Dad's Club' in 2011. 

5) Why did you get involved in the film/media industry? When you started making films, did you have a specific aim? I got into film because I have stories that need to be told, perspectives that need to be shared. My goal is to shed light on various topics/issues in our community in a comedic way, to get people to laugh and talk about what's going on in the world around us. 

6) What is the most important thing you've accomplished so far in this industry? Wow, every milestone is important to me so that's hard to pin down. The most important thing I've accomplished is maintaining my integrity. My biggest accomplishment thus far is 1. shooting my webseries and creating a platform for it with no money and 2. being involved in the Cosby Screenwriting Fellowship. 

7) What has been the biggest influence on your film career? Watching other creative minds 'come up.' I've loved observing the careers of those I admire, and seeing that *everything is possible.*

8) From your perspective, what would you like to contribute to the present day film/media? I would like to contribute 'edutainment' -  images that inspire us to laugh, learn, and move our community forward.

9) Who is the person you admire most in the film/media industry? Robert Townsend. Debbie Allen. Bill Cosby. Spike Lee. Malcolm D. Lee.

10) What tv show, movie, or play produced in the last year has been most inspiring to you, either personally or professionally? True Blood. If you look beyond the blood and guts, there's an incredibly spiritual undertone that's being presented. 

11) If you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would you be doing? Creating an educational arts program.

After reading her bio and seeing her responses to the above questions, I must say I am truly impressed!! She definitely has it going on!! 

For more information check her out on her website . And just so you can get a little taste of her work, check out an episode from her web series "Sellout"...

If you would like to be featured on Black Savant Cinema we would love to share your story!! Please send all inquiries to !!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Featured Doc Film Review: "Say My Name"

This is for all my hip-hop fans or to those who just want to learn more about the hip-hop world.

"Here is a story is built around the lives of entrepreneurs, mothers, and artists fighting to be themselves in a society that offers few opportunities for women."

Say My Name is 2009 worldwide musical documentary by Mamamess in conjunction with Women Make Movies.  In this film we literally get to take a trip to see how women have made their mark in the hip-hop scene, and their constant fight to survive in life. One poignant thing that must be said is how this documentary begins and ends, "beautiful music comes from's the backdrop of life."(MC Lyte) That is such a powerful statement, that speaks huge volumes.  It pretty much sets the groundwork for what this film covers.

In the film we get a chance to travel to various cities across the world to see what women are doing to make their voice heard in this game called hip-hop. London, California, Detroit, Atlanta, and we can't forget the birthplace of hip-hop New York all have some significance as it relates to women in hip-hop. Say My Name does a great job of bringing the viewer to where it all started with Roxanne Shante and then seeing the "ups and downs" that have taken place. Her story is quite remarkable, a young teenager rockin' the mic with an exceptional flow. This made women all over realize that they could hang with the big boys, that they could play a part in the male-focused genre. Women were able to realize that they have the power!! I think the Aaries sister's said it best "hip-hop is like a male-bonding session". Everyone from the technician to the artist is a man, so where does the women fit in? This becomes a ongoing focus.

To think that women in hip-hop pretty much had to throw themselves within the lion's den in order for them to make their mark speaks a lot to what they can handle. Women would have to work extra hard just to even get noticed let alone to be taken seriously (lyrically). They would have to make sure that they did not come off as soft, which sometimes could be mistaken for being hesitant. To be able to have voice is such a huge accomplishment, because that same voice would be the tool for them to be able to escape the little world that they may come from. At the same women the film also introduces a theme that pretty much resonates throughout the entire documentary, all of these women have a different story of how they got into hip-hop, but one thing that remains the same is the passion. Regardless of where they are that passion is always front and center.

The more and more I watched the film the more I became empowered as a woman. It not only speaks to the women making their voice heard in hip-hop but in life. Hip-hop is more than just about spitting some rhymes or hyping the audience, its like Detroit's own Invincible says, "hip-hop is the ambassador bridge to the world." Think of it like a "tool for social change". Say My Name also sheds light on various techniques that contribute to making hip-hop unique. For example, the "grime" style of rapping mostly seen in the UK can be described as an aggressive and up-tempo style of rhyming. It stands out for me mainly because it is unorthodox and cannot be placed in a box. That's what I think women have been doing and continue to do in the hip-hop scene.

Now everything is not roses and daisies, like MC Lyte said "beautiful music comes from pain." With everything there comes a downside, its really more so how the situation is handled. Often times women get a bad rap in hip-hop because they are either to loose, or hypersexed. But not everyone fits into that category, and unfortunately that is what is selling also. So when you get artists such as Jean Grae (who I might add is very well spoken), Rah Digga, and Mystic who have the lyrical and intellectual talent and skills they have to further prove themselves credible, so that they are not automatically labeled negatively. When it all boils down this is a game of survival, and accepting the fact that there will be challenges, but also understanding that you have to keep pressing toward the mark of success.

Say My Name features a cadre of talented women that deserve your attention even after watching the documentary. Female artists like Miz Korona, Chocolate Thai, and Sparky D made me realize how much of a huge impact women continue to still have on hip-hop. There will always be great legends like MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Monie Love, and Salt-N-Pepa, but they can't do this by themselves. Great teachers teach great students, who become great teachers to others. In addition to this film, I look forward to expanding my knowledge even further as it relates to women in hip-hop.

Now my only flaw and it's really not a flaw per se, but my only issue is the representation of women in hip-hop in Atlanta. Now as I thought about it, I don't think it was a waste of screen time I just wish there was more substance. If I look at the bigger picture, I would say that the particular women and girl groups featured in Atlanta serve the purpose of showing that hip-hop is diverse and goes "outside of the box". Other than that can't say that I am really impressed.

Say My Name is a an excellent documentary that showcases the significance of women in the genre of hip hop. To be honest hip-hop would not be where it is if it were not for the contributions that women made. Just watching this documentary even gives you a small urge to want to be a hip-hop artist, but you gotta know that it takes dedication, commitment, and drive. The road has not been easy for women in hip-hop, and it probably never will be, but women cannot give's not an option. Hopefully after watching this film both men and women can engage in some serious dialogue. Maybe then will there be some headway!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

DVD Releases 5/17/2011

Check out this week's DVD releases...

The Rommate (PG-13)
The Rite (PG-13)
The Mechanic (R)
I Want Your Money (PG)

Will any of these be making it to your collection??

Monday, May 16, 2011

This Week's Box Office Numbers (May 13th-15th, 2011)

The summer is full speed ahead and as we have already witnessed the box office numbers do not lie, see for yourself...

1. Thor  $34,500,000
2. Bridesmaids  $24,409,000
3. Fast Five  $19,534,000
4. Priest  $14,500,000
5. Rio  $8,000,000
6. Jumping the Broom  $7,300,000
7. Something Borrowed  $7,000,000

Looks like even with all the hype, Bridesmaids was not able to steal Thor's thunder as Paramount Pictures Thor was able to maintain the #1 spot a second week in a row.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Netflix Double Header Indie Flick Spotlight

I cannot speak on how much I love Netflix, this is definitely one of the best creations in the world. Over the weekend I was able to take some time a catch up on a few films that I had missed, but thankfully Netflix had them up and ready for instant viewing. Here are two indie flicks definitely worth watching.

Barry Munday
"It's What's Missing That Makes Them Complete..."
Based on Frank Turner Hollon's novel "Life is a Strange Place" this 2010 American comedy takes us into the life a lonely womanizer, Barry Munday, who wakes up after an attack realizing he is missing "family jewels". And to top it off Barry is now facing a paternity suit from a woman who he does not even remember having sex with, and then there is the budding relationship. Now that in itself is a whole lot and that is just the beginning.

Here is a comedy that is could come off as raunchy but actually does the opposite. Instead it gives an honest and touching approach to manhood and more importantly childhood. Patrick Wilson (Barry Munday) was probably the best match to play this role. He is able to take on the role of a shallow man who eventually becomes caring, deep, and even somewhat emotional man and better yet parent. Then you have Ginger Farley (played by Judy Greer) who plays the quirky, nerdy, out of touch mom-to-be. Initially you might be inclined to be on her side, maybe not, but in the end you just want what is best for both mother and child. I will give her this, Ginger consistently played a witty and reclusive woman who is really just trying to find her place in this world. And even in their supporting roles Cybil Shepherd, Malcolm McDowell, and Jean Smart as Ginger & Barry's parents bring an added comical wisdom. Makes you wonder, "what if these folks were our parents?"

This is a comedy that has an unexpected way of providing several memorable messages. To think one simple can change someone's life forever. Sounds cliche', but it actually does happen, I just think people do not expect to see it in this format. If nothing else Barry Munday demonstrates consistency whether positive or negative can actually bring about a happy ending. People can change, people want to change, sometimes they just need a little push.

I must say this movie definitely exceeded my expectations, was not really sure what to think of the movie but in the end it got a thumbs up from me. For this to be director Chris D'Arienzo debut film this was an excellent beginning. Hopefully this will not be the end. Overall, Barry Munday is a film that will make think twice about just believing everything off of first glance.  After the film is over there will be many thoughts that will stay forever embedded in your mind, and for this to be a comedy that speaks volumes.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Now this is a movie that was recommended to me by a good friend of mine and it was definitely a great suggestion. Here is a movie that totally slipped past my radar, and probably many of yours too. This 2008 drama was directed by Spanish director Isabel Coixet and it is also based on Phillip Roth's novel "The Dying Animal". The film stars Academy Award winners Penelope Cruz, Ben Kingsley, and the late Oscar nominated actor and filmmaker Dennis Hopper.

Here is a professor and cultural critic David Kepesh (Ben Kingsley) who is going through what I would like to call a second trip through young manhood. This is a story about a twisted tale of aging and a jealous far-fetched love affair. The professor is caught in a web of uncertainty trying to balance out if he is truly in love or is this just another love escapade. These feelings that he has may seem ridiculous, but in the end those feelings become life lessons. In just the first few moments there is already so much depth, its quite amazing.

There could not have been a better relationship and matchup than the one between Cruz and Kingsley. Although there relationship may be seen as inappropriate and wrong, the chemistry is undeniable. Both give a breathtaking performance as to be expected. I will note there is a bit of disturbing charm, but this just adds to the emotional roller coaster that I believe the film tries to showcase. Both characters get under your skin to the point where they transform your original way of thinking. And I cannot forget the performance from Dennis Hopper (George O'Hearn) who plays Kingsley's best friend. Even their relationship is one to admire, probably because we have either been down that road or we are currently traveling on it right now.

In addition to a great performance from the actors, the film itself is quite engaging. As you watch the film you are really able to take your time and study the shadows, glances, and faces of the people and places, as the movie takes its time in revealing the true art of the film. Elegy is a classic example of really bringing an excellent narrative to life. The directing and the screenwriting are close to flawless. On a humorous note, the film shows you how lazy men can be as it relates to relationships, but at the same time still want to be in control.

The film is so elegant and engaging as a viewer you become engulfed in each of the character's personalities its almost a bit overwhelming, but in a good way. It's an erotic and beautiful story all combined into one, both young and old have something to gain and take away with them after watching this film. I think a line that really got me was when David says, "She is a throwback to a completely different time. She has to be wooed" speaking about Consuela. Who says that kinda of stuff, those are words that can put you on cloud nine and make you want to stay up there forever!!  Overall, I was quite impressed with this film, it really gets to the core of a lot of different ideas and thoughts, definitely a conversation piece. The most touching of all is the final scene it needs no words, the actions truly speak for itself.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

5 Films To Watch For At Cannes

The story continues, the story begins, the story is invented and re-invented every year and at the same time, the festival team and the city of Cannes prepare to greet artists and professionals from around the world. With, shall we say, love, appetite and impatience. ~Thierry Frémaux

Tomorrow begins one of the biggest weeks for the art of film. Wednesday night is the beginning of the 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival and what better way to start of with a screening of Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris. Now as with any other film festival Cannes has its own querks, traditions, and rituals...and to be honest the film results are not all that important, at least not since 2002's The Pianist . When it all boils down the films that premiere here are taking the first step to being on Hollywood's serious movie list. So I figured I would highlight a few films that (5 to be exact) you should open your eyes to...wide open!!

Midnight in Paris

The Kid With a Bike

This one has no subtitles, but you should be able to get the gist. :-)

The Skin I Live In

Many have already picked this one to win the coveted "Palme d'Or" award.

Sleeping Beauty


No need to speak on these films, the trailers speak for themselves. I will say this you can guarantee at least one of these if not more will get the attention of the folks over there in the Academy.

And for my folks who need a not so serious film or even a film that they can just laugh to, I got two that will fit the bill. These are what I like to call my "Extra Goodies"...

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Kung Fu Panda

I mean you gotta have at least one or two that you can sit and watch with your popcorn and expensive over priced candy :-)!!

To see the complete 2011 Screening Schedule check out Cannes Film Festival . The festival will take place from May 11th-22nd, 2011 in Cannes, France.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Nas Wins An Emmy for "Survival 1" (ESPN DOC)

Now this is very interesting, I happen to stumble upon this article while doing my daily perusing of OkayPlayer.

Hip-hop artist Nasir “Nas” Jones just won an Emmy for the ESPN documentary part of their E:60 series, entitled Survival 1 follows two young amputees, survivors of the Liberian civil war, who go on to form a soccer team–and become champions.

“After all these years of making music, I am honored to have this be the first award I have ever won of this magnitude,” said Nas in his acceptance speech. “An Emmy before a Grammy? Crazy shit.” Nas produced, directed and scored the music for the film.

E:60 Liberian Amputee Soccer Tease feat. Nas from E60 on Vimeo.

Definitely will have to check this out!!

Box Office Numbers (5/6-5/8)

Looks like Thor hammered its way to the top, taking the #1 spot for this past weekend. See the numbers below...

1. Thor $65,723,338
2. Fast Five $32, 445,320
3. Jumping the Broom $15,215,487
4. Something Borrowed $13,945,368

Fast Five pretty much held steady, but the close race was between TriStar's Jumping the Broom and Warner Bros. Something Borrowed, and JTB managed to make it to the third spot.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day from Black Savant Cinema!!

Black Savant Cinema would like to wish a...
Happy Mother's Day to the Moms, Grandmas, Godmothers, Aunties, play mamas and play aunties that leave a mark on the lives of children!! The work from these ladies makes the world a better place to live. (Special S/O to my Mama Doris Gipson & my Grandma Susie Gipson (RIP) )

Make today a great one for those special "Moms" in your life!!

Trailer Alert: Zoe Saldana in 'Colombiana'

If you went to see Jumping the Broom over the weekend (if you have not PLEASE DO!!) then you got an opportunity to see Zoe Saldana's newest trailer for her upcoming film Colombiana. In just the few days that it has been out it has already garnered a lot of attention. Check it out below and see why...

It's set to hit theaters September 2nd, 2011.

Tupac script in the works...

The producers of  Tupac: Resurrection, including Afeni Shakur, have decided to begin filming 'Pac's first screenplay sometime next year.

Preston Holmes and Ivan Juzang's NStar Studios will spearhead the production with Afeni Shakur who will be acting as executive producer. As a matter of fact all three have worked together previously to produce the 2003 documentary Tupac: Resurrection. According to VarietyHustle and Flow producer Dwight Williams will also be joining the production team.

"[2Pac] was a genius, and the net of it is, he was from this community, he knew the struggles these young people were dealing with," Juzang told Variety. "And he's able to talk to young people in 2011, 2012, the same way he was able to talk to young people in 1995."

It has been reported that the film will follow the story of a teenage drug dealer attempting to escape his life of crime. This will be interesting to see how they will make this story different from similar stories. Another intriguing thing to note is that how and why has this been potentially sitting on someone's shelf for about a decade and a for thought. 

One thing is for sure, it will definitely have to be unique with a touch of authenticity. When it all boils down the audiences will definitely be patiently waiting to see what comes from this project.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Tradition worth considering... "Jumping the Broom"

I already knew after watching this preview that I wanted to see Jumping the Broom directed by Salim Akil and executive produced by T.D. Jakes, Tracey Edmonds, Elizabeth Hunter, Glendon Palmer, and Hunter Wallace. And what a perfect movie to come out this mother's day weekend. These are the types of movies that are not only great movies but become timeless classics. Everything that happens in this movie, has taken place in the past, present, and most likely will occur in the future.

We have the story of a downtown man falling in love with an uptown lady...sounds good to me! Amazing how two families from different sides of the tracks can come together and teach the other a few things about the facts of life. After watching this movie you will truly see what it means to love someone with all your heart despite what anyone else may say or do.

Laz Alonso and Paula Patton do an excellent job of portraying the married couple to be Jason Taylor and Sabrina Watson. Looking at their relationship may make you take a personal look at your own and revaluate some things. Even though they had only been together for 6 months, there love was strong enough to get through all the ups and downs. Jason and Sabrina's relationship is like a journey with many pit stops. Each of these characters gives off a vulnerability that can make you empathize with each of them as a couple as well as individuals.

Now let's take a look at the mother's Pam Taylor (Loretta Devine) and Claudine Watson (Angela Bassett), I had to tell my mind that this was not Waiting to Exhale and that these two ladies are not best friends in this But when you think about it these two mothers, although they may come from two different backgrounds, are one in the same. They only want what's best for their children and they will do everything in their power to make sure of it, even potentially ruin a wedding and or marriage. A mother's love for their children is one that is indescribable yet filled with love nonetheless. And each of these mother's probably does something or has a quality that we can relate to in one way or another. These two veteran actresses showed off their remarkable skills, maybe one day they will both get their just due.

And even with all the seriousness, there is still room for humor. You have the crazy uncle Willie Earl, who keeps you laughing but at the same time sheds some quality advice. You almost have to believe it to see!! (lol) And who could resist laughing about the "cougar love" between Sebastian (Romeo Miller) and Shonda (Tasha Smith), trust me when I say you can't help but giggle, because you just can't believe it. Then there are the cousins and the best friends, as much as they want to give advice they might want to consider taking their own advice. I guess you could say they might need to take a dose of their own medicine. All in all, the supporting cast does a wonderful job of supporting. Each character has their own little story that we should all take note of, we can all learn and grow from their escapades.

Now you may ask what makes this movie different from any other wedding movie, well I can say this "art imitates life"!  Although we only have have two hours to tell this story we get an opportunity to delve into the lives of a couple who must fight through the many many small battles to win the war. Director Salim Akil does a great job of portraying a typical black wedding and letting us know that every family has its issues, but they don't have to rest on them. Jumping the Broom has the love, the secrets, the laughter, and numerous lessons to be learned...take my word for it, its a MUST SEE!!

I am truly grateful for movies like this, because they put real life situations into perspective, and I can appreciate that greatly. One thing that I definitely took from this movie, is to "know your role and place and don't overstep." When you watch the movie you will understand what I mean and why I say it. This is a movie I recommend everyone to see, but especially sons and their mothers should go see this together. Your eyes will truly be opened! Its movies like this that deserve our attention and dollars, its worth every penny!

One last note there is some eye candy for both fellas and the ladies that alone should make you want to go see it!! (SMILE)

Job well done!!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


You already know what it is...The Midnight Show!! Tonight's feature is Thor! Thor is a 2011 American superhero film based on the comic book character of the same name published by Marvel Comics. This is also the fourth film released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, the still to be released films will be Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, and Iron Man 3).

The Midnight shows have not disappointed me yet, looks like this Summer is off to a magnificent start!! Thank goodness because after last summer I was beginning to lose hope!

Well let's get right into it! Thor was an example of a well-written screenplay based off of a comic book character. I will admit I was not sure what to expect with this film, but it definitely met my expectations. Now I am not one to like people, or characters for that matter, who are way beyond arrogant, but this Thor character made me make an exceptional to the rule. Thor is a comic book character who some might would call a classic (considering the comic always used Shakespearean drama and archaic language to tell the story of the God of Thunder). And the fact that Kenneth Branagh took on the role as director was a perfect yet surprising combination.  Now even though the movie is called Thor, I think it did an excellent job of not per se exclusively focusing on him. I think a viewer would only be able to take small doses of this egotistical and arrogant warrior. Chris Hemsworth meshed very well with this character, another great match-up. He definitely made the role very believable.

Thor does a great job of showcasing both realms so that we can get a better understanding of how the two connect. You could easily get lost in translation, but Branagh makes sure to keep us on track. This was definitely a movie that I was not sure if they could pull it off considering they would have to balance the Norse mythology along with the Marvel Universe. Thor intertwines the perfect combination of passion and guts with each character on the screen. The visuals are amazing and mind-blowing, I imagine myself taking a whirlwind ride, even though dangerous still fun all at the same time. Thanks to the fine actors and the great direction, the story was truly brought to life in good form. Thor is an example of another comic book movie done right!

Let me just say this Anthony Hopkins is a genius of an actor, this man has skills that are almost untouchable. I cannot think of anyone else to play Odin, father of Thor. Now another actor to take note of who was rather intriguing was that of Idris Elba's character Heimdall, there was this quiet storm about him that made me think this is not someone to mess with at all. He definitely got some swagger. He was truly awesome!! And to think people were hemming and hawing about the fact that he was not white....(geesh get over it folks, give credit when credit is due). And let's not forget the supporting roles of Natalie Portman as well as Tom Hiddleston. Hiddleston in particular should be highlighted for his performance, he represents the true emotional bond between a son's character and his family.

In addition to a great storyline, some good acting we get a chance to see S.H.I.E.L.D (from Iron Man 1 and 2) in action definitely a preview of what is to come for the future Marvel movies. There is really not too much to say without giving away the film. However, I will speak on the one smile gripe that I had with the movie. If anything I would have liked a little bit more action, but other than that it was a job well done. This movie demonstrates more and more why I love the comic book world. A fantasy that just might could be a reality.

***SIDENOTE: Once again you want to make sure that you stay past the credits again as it will provide some very interesting and useful information!! Trust me!!***

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Entire cast returns and Forest Whitaker Directs "Waiting to Exhale" Sequel!!

The news we have been waiting for... (drum roll please)...Today was the day, on the CBS show "The Talk"guest Angela Basset would reveal that everyone from the original cast of the 1995 film Waiting to Exhale is on board and that Forest Whitaker will be directing. (YAY!!) This is great news as we were all wondering if the entire cast would be returning. So we will get the chance to see

"She (McMillan) wrote Getting to Happy and she's written the screenplay...Loretta, Lela, Whitney, Forest. Forest is working on the script now," Basset said.

As you know Waiting to Exhale was a huge commercial success bringing in over $81,000,000+. Despite mixed reviews this film made a huge impact, and I think the sequel will do just the same if not better.  So ladies and gentleman are you ready for this? Well I can't wait!!

"Friends are the people who let you be yourself, and never let you forget it."

Ava DuVernay's "What Color is Indie?" MUST READ!!

Sometime ago I would say about early January I would be introduced to a gentle giant of a filmmaker Ava DuVernay. I had first heard about DuVernay when she featured her films This is The Life and My Mic Sounds Nice just to name a few. I was blown away by her talent and would become further intrigued.  

And most recently her first feature narrative film I Will Follow blew me out the water!! I Will Follow was an official selection of the AFI Fest and Chicago International Film Festivals, and it would also go on to win honors at the Pan-African International Film Festival, BronzeLens, and Urbanworld. Famed film critic Roger Ebert would speak very highly of the film stating, "I Will Follow is one of the best films I've seen about coming to terms with the death of a loved one."  

Just recently, DuVernay would have a Guest Post featured on indieWire Blog Network, check it out below...

My name is Ava DuVernay and I just completed a 7-week theatrical release of my film I WILL FOLLOW in 20 major US cities, including NY and LA, without studio or corporate backing and no formal P&A.  The release was accomplished through AFFRM, a black film distribution collective that I founded.  Have you heard of us?

I may incorrectly assume that most of Ted’s readers have never heard of AFFRM, or I WILL FOLLOW, or the excellent black film orgs that make up the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement—for which AFFRM stands.
Why do I think that? Because we haven’t cracked that American indie establishment circle.  You know, the Tribeca-Indiewire-IFP-FilmIndependent-SXSW-Lincoln Center of it all.  The gate-keepers to the mainstream indie treasures.  We haven’t had their attention.  So we might’ve slipped by you.
It’s weird.  Some new group pulls off an $11,235 per screen full-run simultaneously in multiple cities with absolutely no formal P&A, no four-walling, no touring, no service deal on their first try, and enterprising filmmakers and film pros don’t want the skinny on how? Maybe you just hadn’t heard.  We’ve had full features in NY Times, LA Times, CNN, NPR and USA Today, but not one inquiry from the many DIY, DIWO, new distribution panel programmers or experts?  The circle is tight.
With AFFRM, we sought to take the DIWO approach a step further, to give it infrastructure and branding.  To align like-minded regional black film organizations and push them to go beyond their existing mission, to a renewed vision with national reach.  It worked.  Like, really worked.  And we’re anxious to share what we learned, and to learn from others.  But if you only get your news, views and film picks from the circle, you don’t know about us – and others like us.
My point is… you’re missing stuff.  Many lovely films, many talented filmmakers and maybe a new idea to add to the discussion on how to move film distribution forward without corporate permission.  I’ve been astonished by how many black filmmakers and film pros have approached us in the last few weeks about how we did what we did.  Several dozen. And further astonished by how many of my non-black counterparts have approached. Zero.
Makes me think, what color is indie? I mean, what does it take to be of color and truly considered authentic American indie? To have done something seen as meaningful to the circle of the American independent film establishment, both artistically and as a business model.  Like, if I don’t participate in what a good pal calls “white people festivals”… am I indie enough?  Do you take my film as seriously because I chose to world premiere at Urbanworld in NY instead of submitting to Tribeca?  If I don’t run my film through the labs or diversity initiatives of a recognized institution… do I not have that cool indie cred you need to see my movie with its beautiful black cast?  I wonder. 
I understand wanting your indie film product of color vetted through the proper channels.  I get it.  But just be aware that that is what you’re doing.  Be aware that your indie is handpicked by a select few.  And be clear that your indie is very white boy in view.  Not a bad thing.  White boys like all kinds of cool stuff – other white boys, white girls and the occasional thing of color that speaks to their sensibilities as white boys.  But be real, that’s limited.
It limits you from hearing new marketing and distribution ideas, meeting filmmakers and experiencing films outside of this establishment construct, outside of the circle. You’re missing some good new stuff and ignoring success stories from many folks of color (See: I Will Follow or Mooz-Lum) or are by folks who are just downright colorful (See: Audrey Ewell’s Until The Light Takes Us and Bob Ray’s Total Badass). It’s not progressive.  And it isn’t what I feel most people who love, support and live indie film really want.  I don’t think its purposeful hateration. I think its just this lull of curation and prestige and, to be quite honest, laziness.  Whatever it is… its affecting the whole business.  And its far from positive.
If these statements makes you proclaim that I’m trippin’ and “there IS no circle”– then I’m happy that I’m not talking to you.  Really am.  Thrilled, in fact.  And I invite you to see my film about a grieving black woman shot in Topanga Canyon that Roger Ebert called “one of the best films he’s seen about the death of a loved one.” You’re just my kind of audience member.
If on the other hand, these statements coax you to admit that you haven’t gone to a non-establishment fest or seen a film not featured in Filmmaker Magazine in years, then I invite you to step outside and take a look.  Be like a couple of folks at Sundance Institute who’ve reached out to us to share and compare notes.  Or the folks that head up RiverRun where I was invited to sit on the jury a few weeks back. Those RiverRun people take their mission of inclusion seriously, working to connect with the black community in Winston-Salem by leaping out of theoretical planning meetings and into bold action.  They presented a special festival panel at the local historically black college this year, on which I was pleased to participate. I wondered if it was the first foray of a non-ethnic film festival at an HBCU?  First I’m aware of.  It was super impressive.  And its what we all need to be thinking about.
Bottom line: It would benefit us all to be conversing and connecting. It’s not too late to break the boundaries of what you think this thing called indie should be, should look like.  For instance, I dig that Indiewire, after years of really poor connection with black independent cinema at large, has wooed the wonderful team at to be part of its blog network.  It’s a step in the right direction for iW amidst an ongoing, challenging lack of coverage of black fests and black and brown indies on the main site.
This post is not meant to be a ball buster but a spirited call-to-action. There are new ideas, new paths for distribution, new films and filmmakers you’re missing if you only look from inside. There are riches in the niches.  Both monetary and cosmic.  Heck, you love indie film! You care about its future!  So why not step outside and look around?  Its nice out.
All I can say is let the words speak for themselves. And I love it!! I think this is just what the film/movie industry needed to hear. What are your thoughts? 

For more info and clips check out indieWire .

G-Breezy's Favorite Movies

  • Bourne Identity/Supremacy/Ultimatum
  • Die Hard series
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Fracture
  • Idlewild
  • Imitation of Life
  • Inside Man
  • James Bond series
  • Love Jones
  • Malcolm X