Blog entries from: Shadow and Act

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September 21 2014

From Shadow and Act Sun Sep 21 2014, 13:00:36

Yet again another one of those dystopian YA movies based on some popular dystopian YA book I've never heard of was No.1 this weekend at the box office. I'm referring to Fox's "The Maze Runner," which I couldn't tell apart from "Divergent" or "The Giver" or "The Hunger Games," and which all seem to have to same exact premise and the exact same cast of pasty faced white 20-somethings passing themselves off as teenagers.  And there are reportedly at least another 60 film adaptions of other YA novels currently in the works. Which begs a question: Are there any black YA novels out there and are any of them being adapted into movies? ...

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September 19 2014

From Shadow and Act Fri Sep 19 2014, 13:02:31

Here are 2 of the 8 BBC Storyville "Why Poverty?" projects - an initiative that saw a set of 8 ground-breaking international documentaries that screened in 180 countries, that explored why, in the 21st century, 1 billion people still live in poverty. The films have now been released online in full, and I've embedded 2 of them below: The first, titled "Stealing Africa," was directed by Christoffer Guldbrandsen, and tells the story of Rüschlikon, a village in Switzerland with a very low tax rate and very wealthy residents. But it receives more tax revenue than it can use. This is largely thanks to one resident - Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of...

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From Shadow and Act Fri Sep 19 2014, 11:33:32

Note: This news comes a couple of months after the country's Industrial Development Corp. announced an initiative targeting black filmmakers called the Emerging Black Filmmakers Fund, which was set up by the IDC in cooperation with the National Film and Video Foundation, and the Industrial Development Corpn. The new plan intends to transform the industry by allocating budgets of R5 million (about $450,000) to 6 projects a year, over 3 years. The South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies yesterday launched the newly developed R1 million [about $91,000) threshold South African Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive programme. The objective of the incentive...

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From Shadow and Act Fri Sep 19 2014, 10:44:15

Jada Pinkett Smith just might take her "Gotham" nightclub owning character (Fish Mooney) to "Magic Mike XXL," the sequel to the hit 2012 movie starring Channing Tatum, and based on his early days as a male stripper. If talks are fruitful, and she signs up to join the film's cast, Pinkett will also play the owner of a club - except this time it'll be a strip club - a role that originally was originally written for a man.  Director Gregory Jacobs has said that the sequel will be different from the first film, saying, "It's a road trip movie, and put it this way: It's different enough that once you see it you'll understand why we made a sequel... No one will...

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From Shadow and Act Fri Sep 19 2014, 10:18:53

Anthony Mackie has signed up to co-star alongside Sandra Bullock in David Gordon Green's political dramedy "Our Brand is Crisis," which is currently set up at Warner Bros. Based on Rachel Boynton's award-winning 2005 documentary of the same name, the story centers on American political campaign marketing tactics and their consequences. George Clooney's production company, Smokehouse, picked up feature film remake rights to the documentary, which is currently being scripted by Peter Straughan. No word yet on what role exactly Mackie has signed up to play, but production is set to begin this fall. Mackie most appeared Marvel's "Captain America: The...

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September 18 2014

From Shadow and Act Thu Sep 18 2014, 18:45:20

Making its world premiere at the 39th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) earlier this month is Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck's latest work, titled "Murder in Pacot" - a feature film loosely inspired by Italian director, Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1968 drama/mystery "Teorema," which starred Terence Stamp as a mysterious stranger who injects himself into the home of a wealthy Italian family, and seduces everyone in it, including the maid, which leads to each of them reaching some unique epiphany, leaving viewers (and the characters in the film) wondering who this enigmatic, nameless visitor...

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From Shadow and Act Thu Sep 18 2014, 18:19:44

The 18th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival (, presented by BET Networks with founding sponsor HBO, kicks off today, running from September 17-21 at Manhattan's AMC Loews 34th Street 14, and various other locations in New York, with a roster of over 70 films, including a whopping 12 world premieres, as well as host of panels, conversations and more.  "Beyond the Lights," the latest from writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood, will be the opening night film, screening tonight, Thursday, September 18 at the SVA Theater, at 333 W. 23rd Street. The BET/Relativity Media-backed next feature film tells the story of Noni Jean, a...

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From Shadow and Act Thu Sep 18 2014, 17:43:28

UP presents the UP Original Movie "My Other Mother," an emotional, heartwarming drama about a demanding national TV news anchor who reconnects with her equally-demanding birth mother.  Starring Essence Atkins (Haunted House 2, "Half & Half"), Lynn Whitfield (The Josephine Baker Story, UP's The Dempsey Sisters and Somebody's Child) and Jasmine Guy ("The Vampire Diaries," "A Different World"), My Other Mother will make its world television premiere on UP on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 7 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. PDT.  Produced by Swirl Films, the film is directed by Stan Foster (Peacher's Kid, "Tour of Duty").  The ensemble cast also includes GregAlan...

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From Shadow and Act Thu Sep 18 2014, 16:34:27

2 TIFF pickups of films covered on this blog:  First, Broad Green has taken US distribution rights to "Samba," the latest dramedy from Frenchman Omar Sy, which made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film, directed by Sy's "Intouchables" helmers - Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano - co-stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Tahar Rahiin in a tale of a Senegalese worker who battles to stay in France with the help of an immigration worker. Broad Green plans a second half 2015 release of the film, which might suggest they have awards aspirations for it, especially given how well it was received at TIFF. I'm surprised that The Weinstein...

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From Shadow and Act Thu Sep 18 2014, 16:11:33

Critics Nick Pinkerton and Nicolas Rapold have a series they program at various repertory movie theaters called "Overdue" which takes a look at movies that haven't received the praise they deserve, or have been overlooked in general. One of the films they've chosen, which happens to be screening today at 7, is Hype Williams' directorial debut (and only feature-film to date) "Belly." I would describe it, but the BAM website has already done a great job explaining why this shouldn't be missed: "Fuck a book," says star DMX, and indeed this is post-verbal filmmaking, with vital plot points rendered in Jamaican patois. Belly opens with a blacklight nightclub...

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