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Watch A Program Of Charles Burnett’s Short Films (1967 – 2007) Today!

A reminder for B… As part of MoMA’s Charles Burnett retrospective that began last week, today, at 4:30PM titled Charles Burnett: The Power To Endure, you can watch a program of short films by Charles Burnett when they screen tonight at MoMA – films that I doubt most of us have seen! These are films he made between 1969 and 2007, since his student days through the recent past. So, consider it a treat!

Titles, years and running times include: Several Friends, 1969, 21 min; The Horse, 1973, 14 min; When It Rains, 1995. 13 min; Olivia’s Story, 2000. 14 min; and Quiet As Kept, 2007. 6 min.

That should be interesting viewing, and I’m looking forward it!

And keep in mind that the retrospective runs through April 25th, with practically Burnett’s entire oeuvre in the lineup of films to screen, although a week into the series, several have already been shown. However, there will be some repeats; for example, the shorts will screen again tomorrow, the 16th, at 7:30PM.

So you’re encouraged to check the calendar below for the remainder of the event, and head over to MoMA’s website to order your tickets.

Here’s what’s left:

Continue reading Watch A Program Of Charles Burnett’s Short Films (1967 – 2007) Today!

Interview: Black Masculinity in Comic Books with Jonathan Gayles

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Scholar and University of Georgia Professor, Jonathan Gayles, about his upcoming documentary entitled — Shaft or Sidney Poitier: black masculinity in comic books. The Professor’s film is a retrospective on the comic book industry, as Black [male] Superheroes emerged during the late 60′s to mid 70′s. The Profession had a lot to say about the industry and how like most mediums we discuss here at Shadow and Act, there was [and is] a pervasive trend of defining black men and women by these very narrow characteristics.

Check out my interview with Professor Gayles below and don’t forget to share your thoughts on this fascinating subject!

Continue reading Interview: Black Masculinity in Comic Books with Jonathan Gayles

Ten African Filmmakers To Pitch Projects In Co-Production Deals w/ Spanish Producers & Al-Jazeera

News on the march... courtesy of the Black Film Center/Archive… definitely something I’ll be keeping an eye on from here on, and reporting as things develop; coincidentally, at the conference I was a panelist on last weekend, one of my cohorts alerted us to the fact that Al-Jazeera is actively seeking films that highlight under-represented communities all over the world – especially documentaries. So, don’t limit your search for production funds and distribution to conventional models.

Co-productions between African filmmakers and European production houses/financiers certainly aren’t new. A film I’ve talked about a lot on this site, Viva Riva!, was a Congolese, French, Belgian and South African co-production, funded by Canal Plus and Belgium’s film fund.

So, these are all films that we probably will be talking about in coming years.

TARIFA: Ten African film directors will be pitching their new film projects at the third Africa Produce Co-Production Forum to Spanish film producers and TV commissioning editors including representatives of Al-Jazeera Documentary Channel. África Produce takes place as part of the eighth Tarifa African Film Festival (FCAT) in Spain, from 11-19 June 2011.
There are four feature projects and three documentaries selected from Cameroon, Mauritania, South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Congo and Equatorial Guinea from a total of 41 entries from 17 African countries, also including Namibia, Ivory Coast, Niger, Senegal, Zimbabwe, RD Congo, Ghana, Mali, Kenya, and Mozambique.

Three other projects have been specially invited to participate, two from Spain but focusing on African stories and with African authors or protagonists and one documentary project from Egypt, due to the special relevance of the peaceful revolution there for the entire region and continent.

Continue reading Ten African Filmmakers To Pitch Projects In Co-Production Deals w/ Spanish Producers & Al-Jazeera

Condoleezza Rice Will Appear On “30 Rock” Says Tina Fey

In an interview with Leonard Lopate on his radio show yesterday, 30 Rock’s Tina Fey announced that former Secretary of State under George W. Bush’s regime, Ms Condoleezza Rice, will appear on an upcoming episode of the show this season, likely playing herself.

Cue the audience laughter and applause.

I’ve never watched a single episode of 30 Rock… zero interest… though I hear it’s absolutely hilarious, especially with Tracy Morgan’s hijinx. I’ll still pass though.

Vulture reminds us that this won’t be the first time Ms Condoleeza Rice has been a subject on the show, although it’ll be the first time she’ll physically appear in it. Previously, she was Alec Baldwin’s character’s girlfriend for a season one episode, in which she was regarded as his “neocon inamorata;” they broke up because they “weren’t compatible.” So, I suppose this, her first physical appearance, will reflect that storyline???

*Kanye Shrug*

But doesn’t she look cute in that photo, with that off-guard grin :)

If interested in the interview, you can listen to it HERE.

Samuel L. Jackson Narrates “African Cats;” But Jules Winfield May Have Been More Entertaining

Maybe it’s just me, but I couldn’t help but chuckle at listening to Samuel L. Jackson narrating this upcoming Disney film African Cats which gives viewers an “up-close view of some very special lions and cheetahs – mothers and their babies, fathers and their sons – as they raise their families in the midst of this extraordinary place.” I guess I’m just used to hearing him yelling so much on screen. Listening to a calmer, softer Sam-U-el just seems a bit off. I keep wanting him to go all Jules Winfield or something, and ask if Marcellus Wallace looks like a bitch; or scream about how he’s had it with these motherfucking lions on this motherfucking plane. The film opens April 22nd in honor of Earth Day. Watch the 3 preview clips below.

Continue reading Samuel L. Jackson Narrates “African Cats;” But Jules Winfield May Have Been More Entertaining

Meet The Cast Of “Attack The Block” (Video Character Profiles)

We’ve talked about this film a lot already, so I won’t rehash. Search the site for previous posts if you need to.

Continue reading Meet The Cast Of “Attack The Block” (Video Character Profiles)

Poetic Cinema: Langston Hughes’ “The Weary Blues”

“United We Stand: South African Cinema During Apartheid” At Anthology In NYC

Isaach De Bankolé, Jim Jarmusch, “Night On Earth” – Tomorrow, Friday April 15th, 7pm MAD, NYC

Why Isn’t Jennifer Hudson Being Offered More Roles?

I have to admit, since Jennifer Hudson has lost weight I’ve been silently waiting for her to announce some NEW acting gigs in the making. After all, she’s not just thin…she’s “Hollywood white girl” thin meaning a size 4 or under. Like it or not, mainstream studio films are not big girl friendly. Of course, the exception to that is Queen Latifah and black women who play the “best friend” roles.

So as I’ve watched Jennifer promote her new album on various talk shows and entertainment programs, there’s been no discussion of any upcoming superstar roles. In fact, the only film I know of is the Winnie film which seems to be getting the put-on-hold treatment. If I go by the Hollywood “is she bankable” standard, Jennifer has appeared in THREE blockbuster films: Dreamgirls, Sex And The City and The Secret Life Of Bees. Also, she was just named on Peoples magazine annual “most beautiful people” list. So what gives? Why isn’t she being picked to appear in more “A” list films?

When you look at all the established and up-and-coming “IT” girls, no matter what their race, being on the super slim side is something they all have in common so I just assumed Jennifer would be joining the club.

Arguments have been made on this site, both pro and con, about Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) losing weight for health and career purposes. However, now I’m wondering if the career advancements really do exist for black women in the same way once they shed the pounds.

This is a little perplexing so I’d love to read your theory.

Halle Berry Is No Longer Going To “The Mountaintop” On Broadway; But Samuel L. Jackson Is

First announced for a Broadway run last spring, Katori Hall’s award-winning play, The Mountaintop, imagines a meeting between an enigmatic hotel maid and Martin Luther King Jr, the night before his assassination.

The play premiered in London in 2009 to much critical acclaim, selling out almost throughout its run. British actors David Harewood and Lorraine Burroughs assumed the starring roles, and both earned nominations for their performances.

It’s making its move to Broadway, with a fall 2011 debut planned, at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater, with previews beginning September 22 and an opening on October 13; Tony Award nominee Kenny Leon, who directed Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in last year’s revival of August Wilson’s Fences, will direct The Mountaintop.

Samuel L Jackson was to play Martin Luther King Jr., and it appears he’s still very much attached to the part. However, this afternoon brings word from the producers of the play that Halle Berry, who was supposed to play Camae, the hotel maid at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, will no longer be involved in the production – a role that would have been her Broadway debut.

Continue reading Halle Berry Is No Longer Going To “The Mountaintop” On Broadway; But Samuel L. Jackson Is

John Singleton says “Hollywood doesn’t care about black people”

And I think that’s how we all feel don’t we? In a recent interview to talk about his upcoming new film Abduction, which we have already profiled here on S & A, John Singleton talks about his new film and the film business in general.

In the piece he praises Tyler Perry (… well someone has to ya know?) and talks about how Hollywood ignores the black audience, taking them basically for granted.

He also briefly talks about his plans to make black films again, though he gives no actual specifics on a new project or whether he actually has one currently in development.

The entire interview is right HERE for your perusal.

(a special h/t to Anne)

Watch Clip Of Mike Tyson Explaining Why He Was Crazy (Diversions)

Here’s a clip of Mike Tyson explaining his past craziness. He’s the gift that keeps on giving! :-)

2 More Madea Movies On The Way; “A Madea Christmas” Will Probably Be Next

I was just reading THIS article announcing the next Tyler Perry stage play, titled, A Madea Christmas, which will begin running at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, GA, on May 13 and 14, with tickets going on sale tomorrow. I’m not sure if this show will travel like like last year’s cross-country tour of Madea’s Big Happy Family.

I bring this up because, as we’ve witnessed, after last year’s theater tour of Madea’s Big Happy Family (or it may have been sometime during its run), we learned a film adaptation of that play was coming; and of course, we already know that it’s been produced, seen the creative posters, the trailer, and know that it’ll be released in theaters in a week.

So, Obvious Guy says, well, does this mean that the next Tyler Perry Madea movie will be A Madea Christmas?

We already announced Lionsgate’s new agreement with TP, extending their relationship even further, with promises of at least 2 more Madea-centered movies. So, maybe we should just consider this stage run of A Madea Christmas to be a kind of audience test for what may be the next Madea movie.

I found the full list of Tyler Perry’s plays, and of the 13 titles he’s performed, 7 have been made into films, meaning, there are 6 potential Madea movies left: I Know I’ve Been Changed (1993), Madea’s Class Reunion (2003), What’s Done in the Dark (2006–2007), The Marriage Counselor (2008–2009), Laugh to Keep from Crying (2009) and the aforementioned A Madea Christmas (2011).

So, what’s A Madea Christmas about? The AJC gives the synopsis as: “a wealthy family meets for Christmas at their posh Cape Cod estate; family arguments and secrets cause quite a stir. It takes Mr. Brown, Cora and the almighty Madea to save this Christmas and make it into a foot-stomping good time.

Bring it :)

To our ATL readers, if you’re interested in checking out the play, visit Ticketmaster. Tickets are $25.

OH NO! ABC to cancel “All My Children” and “One Life to Live”

These are truly the final days for All My Children and One Life to Live. ABC has just announced that they are canceling both of their long-running daytime soap operas and will replace them with newly created health and lifestyle shows.

All My Children will be the first to go in September, to be followed by One Life to Live in January 2012. They will be replaced with two new shows: The Chew (The Chew???? That’s the best title they could come up with?) which will be “a live show about anything and everything related to the world of food and beyond”.

The second show, which has the tentative title of  The Revolution, will be a positive health and lifestyle transformation show.

But to be honest I thought AMC and One Life to Live had been cancelled years ago. Are there any daytime soap operas left on TV anymore and, if so, is anyone watching them? The television landscape has changed drastically over the years, and I’m surprised that some soap operas have still held on, despite dropping (or literally dying) viewership. It’s a TV genre that is long past its expiration date.

Listen To Episode 2 Of The New Shadow & Act Livecast Season (Morgan Freeman, Tyler Perry, Yaya DaCosta, Birth Of A Nation)

If you missed last night’s episode, you can listen to it now! Another lively discussion on the Shadow and Act Livecast, recorded last night, Wednesday, April 13th, from 8PM to 9PM EST.

Myself, Tambay, Stephanie, Cynthia and frequent Shadow And Act commenter CareyCarey spent an hour sharing our thoughts on some of the hottest topics from the blog: Morgan Freeman’s recent comments, Reuben Cannon’s comment about Tyler Perry spawning a new generation of filmmakers, Yaya DaCosta—could she be the new Hollywood It Girl? Birth of A Nation almost 100 years later and more!

Several of you dropped into our chatroom, shared your thoughts and asked questions, which was great!

You can listen to the full hour using the player below; Or you can also subscribe via iTunes (HERE), where you can download and transfer to your mobile listening device, or via RSS (HERE) if you prefer.


Cannes 2011 Lineup Announced! Mostly “Color-Free” But We’ll Be There Anyway!

Hot off the presses…! Earlier this morning, the lineup of the 64th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, which will run from May 11th to the 22nd, was announced, and it’s a mostly good one!

I’m especially excited about the festival this year, because, as I’ve already announced, Shadow And Act will be at Cannes this year for the first time, and hopefully not the last! MsWOO will be there, delivering the best coverage you’ll find online (and that’s no hyperbole :)), particularly from an African Diasporic POV. So, you should be excited too!

Several familiar names and Cannes alumni will be returning with titles this year, from Pedro Almodovar to Aki Kaurismäki, the Dardenne Brothers, Lars von Trier and others. Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris is the opening night film; he’s certainly no stranger to the festival.

As for “black representation” this year… well, if you read my “Shadow And Act Is Going To Cannes” post a week or two ago (read it HERE), you’ll know that there weren’t exactly any films by and or about black people that I thought were guaranteed to play the 2011 installment of the festival, and, well, on going over the below lists, I didn’t immediately notice any.

Continue reading Cannes 2011 Lineup Announced! Mostly “Color-Free” But We’ll Be There Anyway!

Trailer For “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Is Here!

Well… here it is. The first trailer for the Planet Of The Apes prequel/reboot/whatever you want to call it; it’s titled, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and it stars James Franco, Frieda Pinto, David Oyelowo, Tom Felton, and a whole bunch of computer generated apes, which I can’t say I’m sold on just yet. Can’t get past the obvious effects, especially when juxtaposed against the real. The film will be out on August 5th.

Continue reading Trailer For “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Is Here!

Chiwetel Ejiofor Starring In Serial Noir Thriller Centered On Murder Of Drug Baron For BBC2

By most accounts, Chiwetel Ejiofor is an actor who really should be working much more often than he currently is. It’s quite unfortunate when one takes a look at his resume to see that he doesn’t have much coming up in the near or distant future; 2 films really – 1 in which he plays a freed slave in a Civil War era drama, and in the other he’s part of an ensemble cast.

We last saw him in a thankless role alongside Angelina Jolie, in the 2010 derivative Salt. That was last summer. He hasn’t been in anything else since.

So, it was with pleasure that I read the news that he’ll be starring in an upcoming new BBC TV thriller series titled The Shadow Line.

In it, Ejiofor leads a cast that includes Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Stephen Rea (The Crying Game, Breakfast on Pluto) and a few others. Chiwetel stars as Detective Inspector Jonah Gabriel, who suffers from amnesia, thanks to a bullet lodged in his brain, which leaves him doubtful of his own moral compass and his colleagues regard him with suspicion. Gabriel is on his first case, since being shot during a botched police operation that left his partner dead. He’s now been assigned to investigate the murder of a drug baron, and has to follow an increasingly complicated line of investigation, all the while wondering whether he can trust anyone, not least, himself.

Continue reading Chiwetel Ejiofor Starring In Serial Noir Thriller Centered On Murder Of Drug Baron For BBC2

Showtime Will Premiere Nick Cannon’s First Stand-Up Special In May

You know, I forgot that Nick Cannon is/was a stand-up comedian. I can’t say I’ve seen his act though, so I’m not equipped to critique his work.

But it looks like someone at Showtime Network appreciates his skills, as it’s just been announced that they will produce Cannon’s first-ever stand-up special, which was filmed last month at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and will eventually air on Sunday, May 14 at 9 p.m. on the premium cable network.

So, what can we expect to see and hear in the special? Well, THR says Cannon “riffs on his journey to stardom and his current jet-set lifestyle as well as his marriage to Carey and pending fatherhood… also addresses his well-publicized feud with Eminem… that escalated into a full-blown Twitter feud.

Boy I tell ya, there’s nothing like a full-blown Twitter feud. Nothin’ at all! Tweets are the new fists :)

I love being married to one of the most famous people in the world,” he says. But the downfall is people feel like they can say whatever they want to say about my wife to my face. So I hear the strangest things. But that lends itself to a lot of great humor... I see stand-up as a therapeutic outlet to say whatever I want… When you’re up there on stage, it’s no holds barred. You don’t have to be politically correct. All the pressure is gone. It’s just you and the microphone,” Cannon tells THR.

Can’t say I’ll be watching for this, but maybe you will.

Watch Elise Neal Slap The Black Off Melyssa Ford…

Literally. So, as usually, the question is… Funny or not…?

THE SLAP – watch more funny videos

Mike Tyson Will Appear On Fox Comedy “Breaking In”

Since his successful appearance in the summer blockbuster The Hangover, Mike Tyson has been bitten by the acting bug. The 44 year old former boxing champion has just signed on to make a guest appearance on the Fox comedy show Breaking In. He’ll be playing himself.

According to EW.comTyson plays a new client of Contra Security who becomes involved in a case that’s investigating a teen cyber bully. The bully causes Ox (Christian Slater) and his Contra team to go undercover at a high school (à la 21 Jump Street).

Breaking In is about a high-tech security firm that takes extreme, and often questionable, measures to sell their protection services. The show is produced by Adam Sandler and stars Bret Harrison, Alphonso McAuley, Trevor Moore, Christian Slater, Odette Annable-Yustman and Michael Rosenbaum.

With a lead in of American Idol, the show premiered last week as Fox’s highest-rated live action sitcom telecast in years.

Watch Trailer For John Singleton’s “Abduction” Starring Taylor Lautner

Abduction will be in theaters on September 23rd.

Continue reading Watch Trailer For John Singleton’s “Abduction” Starring Taylor Lautner

Tracee Ellis Ross and Malcolm Jamal Warner to headline new series for BET

If you’ve anxiously been waiting for the return of Tracee Ellis Ross and Malcolm Jamal Warner to the airwaves then your wait will soon be over. It was announced today that the both of them will star in a new family series for BET, Reed Between the Lines.

The show will deal with a married couple (Ross is a psychologist and Warner is an English professor) and their lives with their three children. Hmmmm sounds rather Cosby-esque doesn’t it?

The show is scheduled to premiere in October.

And as no surprise, BET also announced that it has renewed both their series – The Game and Let’s Stay Together – for another season. New episodes will premiere in January 2012.

Film Society Of Lincoln Center Saluting Sidney Poitier w/ 38th Annual Chaplin Award

News on the march… I’m going to try to attend this…




New York, NY (April 13, 2011) -The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today the presenter line up for the upcoming 38th Annual Chaplin Award, being presented to Academy Award-winner Sidney Poitier on the evening of Monday, May 2, 2011 at Alice Tully Hall. The event will be attended by a host of notable guests and celebrities honoring the film legend’s groundbreaking career and will feature film and television clips commemorating his prolific career as both an actor and as a director, culminating in the presentation of The Chaplin Award.

Continue reading Film Society Of Lincoln Center Saluting Sidney Poitier w/ 38th Annual Chaplin Award