Blog entries from: Shadow and Act

Shadow and Act from IndieWire

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April 23 2014

From Shadow and Act Wed Apr 23 2014, 19:47:50

In 2012, writer-director Keith Miller made his feature debut with Welcome to Pine Hill, an unhurried drama about a reformed drug dealer in New York City. The movie was imperfect but effective in many ways, mostly thanks to Miller's skill in getting moving performances from non-actors playing versions of themselves. This year, with Five Star, Miller once again demonstrates his ability to extract nuance from novices, telling another a story about drug dealers struggling with identity. Miller's tale is a kind of coming-of-age story, set in the projects of Brooklyn and following two men linked by tragedy. Primo (real life gang leader James 'Primo' Grant), is a five-star general of...

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From Shadow and Act Wed Apr 23 2014, 19:15:07

What will Lupita Nyong'o do next? What will she do next? What? What? What? Tell us... While fans wait anxiously for confirmation news of her casting in J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode 7, or her official announcement that she's adapting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel Americanah, maybe this will hold you over. The woman of the hour is final negotiations to join Idris Elba in what is being envisioned as a live-action/CG hybrid movie adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, which is currently set up at Disney, with Jon Favreau directing. This project is not to be confused with the other adaptation of The Jungle Book which is in...

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From Shadow and Act Wed Apr 23 2014, 18:57:34

It was in January when I penned and published a piece for this site titled "Tim Story: The Top-Grossing Black Director Many Apparently Still Aren't Familiar With," in which I tackled a question posed by the Los Angeles Times: Will "Think Like A Man" Put Tim Story On Hollywood's A list? That Los Angeles Times article was published 2 years ago, after that film shocked the industry with an impressive opening weekend, en route to a near-$100 million box office cume. In short, to summarize my response, I made a case for investigating the system within which Story works, and its history, for answers, adding that, the fact that the question was being asked in...

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From Shadow and Act Wed Apr 23 2014, 17:00:36

Film Life, Inc. has announced its lineup of the highly lauded ABFF University Master Class Series to be held during the 18th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in New York City on June 19-22, 2014. Aspiring writers, actors and filmmakers have the opportunity to participate in intense workshops led by highly respected film industry leaders and experts such as actor, writer, director Robert Townsend and actor, director, producer Bill Duke.This year's Master Class lineup includes, "Bill Duke's Actors Boot Camp," one of the Festival's most anticipated, is a 2-day scene study program where performance and the craft of acting is shaped through hands on...

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From Shadow and Act Wed Apr 23 2014, 16:08:37

Maybe one day, Nat Turner's revolt will finally inspire a film that we all get to see; Maybe not. But I suppose if it were indeed to happen, Nate Parker certainly would be an actor who would be suitable for the part. And luckily, he's interested. Actually, he's more than interested. As he told us in an interview while plugging his last film, Non-Stop (the Liam Neeson airplane actioner): One of my biggest passions is to play Nat Turner. That's a project that we're working to get done. A lot of people thought he was a bad guy, but it's perspective. I don't think he was a bad guy at all, but we all have our ideas of what we want and why we want it, and what we'll do to achieve those...

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From Shadow and Act Wed Apr 23 2014, 14:12:30

The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival is in full swing, running through April 27 - film selections includes feature films from 32 countries, including 55 World Premieres, 6 International Premieres, 12 North American Premieres, 9 U.S. Premieres and 5 New York Premieres. Of note, in terms of African diaspora films (since that's our focus here), is Iverson - a feature-length documentary on the legacy of NBA star Allen Iverson, who rose from a childhood of crushing poverty in Hampton, Virginia, to one of the sports' greatest success stories, as Iverson went on to become an 11-time NBA all star.Directed by Zatella Beatty, the film is...

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From Shadow and Act Wed Apr 23 2014, 13:46:10

For those who've been wondering what the status of the Taraji P. Henson sports drama, From The Rough, is, and whether you'll get the chance to see it eventually, you'll be pleased to know that the film now has an official theatrical release date. It'll open this Friday, April 25, via a service deal with Freestyle Releasing. No word yet on specific cities/states it'll run, but I'd suggest registering for updates on the film's website HERE. I'd assume that it'll be a limited release to start. Recall that this is the film which was at the center of a battle for control between director Pierre Bagley and financier/producer Michael A. Critelli, which was very well...

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From Shadow and Act Wed Apr 23 2014, 13:30:21

A film based on the true story of Bob Marley and the Wailers is reportedly in the works, set up at Mandalay Pictures, with writer Barry Morrow (Rain Man) and producer Cathy Schulman (Crash) both said to be currently attached to the project - this according to Production Weekly, which I subscribe to. Titled Buffalo Soldiers (named after song written by Bob Marley), the biopic, as it's being described, will follow Marley and the Wailers and their many struggles faced on their way to eventual success. The title and lyrics refer to the black U.S. cavalry regiments, known as "Buffalo Soldiers", that fought in the American Indian Wars in the last 1800s/early 1900s. Marley's...

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From Shadow and Act Wed Apr 23 2014, 12:46:16

RZA plays a crime boss/lord in 2 films coming to theaters over the next 2 weeks: first, the Luc Besson-produced actioner Brick Mansions, an English-language remake of the 2004 French action film District 13, directed by Camille Delamarre from a script penned by Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen and Bibi Naceri, which opens this Friday; and second, the sequel to the "extreme fighting" thriller, The Protector 2, which will hit theaters May 2nd. Directed by Prachya Pinkaew, the Magnolia Pictures film stars Tony Jaa as a crime scene witness running from the police who gets involved with a crime lord (LC) played...

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From Shadow and Act Wed Apr 23 2014, 11:43:27

Roaming over the weekend, I stumbled onto a sidewalk sale in my neighborhood (common this time of the year), and, as I often do, I stopped to take a look at what the seller had to offer. Books, CDs, DVDs, VHS cassettes, clothing, shoes, etc, etc, etc. I immediately settled on the VHS tapes, because, as I've been lucky enough to experience in the past (in recent years, with the death of that specific medium certain at this point), I sometimes find *forgotten* or relatively obscure films and TV shows that aren't available in any current format (DVD, Blu-ray, streaming or available for download online, etc). It was how I first learned about Wendell B. Harris' woefully under-seen and...

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