Film & TV

Dear Oscars: Don’t Do to ‘Moonlight’ What You Did to These Black Films

Lawrence Ware

This is a historic year, but I’ve learned to temper my enthusiasm about black folks winning Academy Awards. While winning the coveted Oscar is often considered the high mark of one’s career, there are many examples of when the academy failed to recognize the best film made in a given year or even the best actor or actress nominated. I will never forgive the academy for failing to nominate Do the Right Thing for best picture. That year the Oscar went to Driving Miss Daisy.

Oscar-Nominated Doc Brings Back James Baldwin’s Voice for New Generation

Damaso Reyes

If you think the height of documentary filmmaking comes from the brain of Ken Burns, Peck’s taut exploration of the life of one of America’s literary geniuses will come as a welcome revelation. Yes, there is archival footage mixed in with contemporary imagery, but there are no talking heads. There are no historians or professors emeritus explaining what we have or are about to see on-screen. For the most part, we simply have Baldwin himself, alternating mostly between frustration and indignation and occasionally bemusement.

With an Eye on Oscars, Amazon, Netflix Lead at Sundance

Piya Sinha-Roy

After revolutionizing television with bold, award-winning original content, streaming networks are on the cusp of their first potential Oscar wins, and are back at the Sundance film festival looking for more awards-worthy fare. Amazon.com Inc raised eyebrows when it paid $10 million for the North American distribution rights to Sundance drama "Manchester By the Sea" last year. 

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ Hits the Big Screen

Alicia Powell

Based on the acclaimed 1966 novel of the same name by late Japanese writer Shusaku Endo, the drama tells the story of two Portuguese Jesuit missionaries, played by Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield, who travel to Japan in the 17th century to search for their missing mentor, portrayed by Liam Neeson. There, in an era when Christians were persecuted and tortured, the missionaries face a choice: They can save themselves and Japanese converts from death by crucifixion, burning and drowning but only if they renounce their religion.

‘Fences’ Debuts on the Big Screen to Rave Reviews

Nsenga K. Burton

August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play ‘Fences’ has finally made it to the big screen, directed by Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington. Wilson’s masterful storytelling about a working-class family living in a historic Pittsburgh neighborhood and fighting for survival, personally and professionally, jumps off the screen under Washington’s brilliant direction. 

‘Moonlight,’ ‘La La Land’ Score Several Golden Globe Nominations

Piya Sinha-Roy

"La La Land," an ambitious musical about two dreamers falling in love in Hollywood, and the intimate coming-of-age drama "Moonlight" led nominations for the Golden Globes, underscoring their front-runner status in the long road to the Oscars. "La La Land" scored seven nominations in all, including for Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in the comedy/musical acting categories

Mel Gibson Makes His Comeback With 'Hacksaw Ridge'

Piya Sinha-Roy

Gibson has kept a low profile with just a handful of small acting roles since his 2006 arrest in Malibu for drunk driving, after which he apologized for launching a diatribe against Jews and sought treatment for alcoholism. Now, his new war drama "Hacksaw Ridge," out in theaters, is winning the warmest reviews since his 1995 Oscar-winning movie "Braveheart."

'Birth of a Nation' Confronts America's Racial Past and Present

Piya Sinha-Roy

The stakes are high for studio Fox Searchlight, which bought the movie in the midst of the controversy over lack of diversity in Hollywood that prompted the resurgence earlier this year of #OscarsSoWhite. But Parker, 36, said he knew right from the start that he wanted to make a film that "changes the conversation around race in this country." "I feel like this country is more segregated now than it's been in moments in the past."

A Diverse Emmys Lineup Sends Clear Message to Oscars

Jill Serjeant

Six months after #Oscarssowhite upset the biggest movie awards in the world, television's Emmy lineup is telling a different, far more colorful, story. Some 21 actors across the ethnic spectrum have been nominated for Emmys this year. For the first time in the 68-year history of the biggest honors in television, men of color were nominated in all six lead actor categories.

Post-War Film ‘Frantz’ Debuts at Venice Film Fest

Agnieszka Flak

The movie tells the story of Anna, a young German played by Paula Beer, who mourns the death of Frantz, her fiance killed in battle, and meets Frenchman Adrien, starring Pierre Niney, who lays flowers on her fiance's grave. "In Hollywood, there is this convention that everyone speaks English but the audience doesn't want to have that any longer because they want to see truth," Ozon told a news conference ahead of the film's premier.

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