Film & TV

Dreaming of Future Possibilities in New Documentary, ‘Inventing Tomorrow’

Mandy Day

The International Science and Engineering Fair or ISEF, put on by the Society for Science and the Public, draws 1,800 students from 80 countries every year to compete in all levels of science including Environmental Science, Becker told AsAmNews. Inventing Tomorrow’s director, Laura Nix, and producers had the tremendous task of finding just a few projects to feature among the more than 1 million students who compete for a spot at ISEF every year. In the final cut of the film, just four projects and their creators were featured.

‘9-22’: Animated Drama Explores Deceptions of U.S. Foreign Policy

Tara Taghizadeh

The film 9-22, is about a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer who ends up fighting for his life, as he struggles to investigate the untold, dark history of U.S.-Iran relations in the 1980s to save his client (an imprisoned former Navy Special Operations pilot). 9/22/1980 was the date Saddam Hussein invaded Iran and started the Iran-Iraq war. 9/22 was also the name of Saddam Hussein’s chemical warfare program’s code name. 

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Is an Important Cultural Breakthrough for Hollywood

Christina M. Oriel

Based off the best-selling book of the same name by Kwan (who served as an executive producer of the film), the romantic comedy follows American-born Chinese economics professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu, “Fresh Off the Boat”) as she joins her boyfriend Nick Young (Golding) on a trip back to his hometown Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. Nick forgets to tell Rachel a minor detail, however, that his family is one of the wealthiest in the country. 

How Public Broadcasting Strengthens Local Communities

Brandpoint

As some news sources struggle to maintain profitable business models, public broadcasting continues to offer in-depth coverage of important issues. Because its primary mission is public service and not profit, it can remain independent of corporate influences without sensationalizing news issues to boost ratings. As such, public channels are more highly trusted than commercial channels for the accuracy, reliability and impartiality of their news coverage.

‘Ocean’s 8’: The Art of Scamming in NYC

Anne Branigin

Ocean’s 8, in theaters Friday, takes scamming to the next level, adding another chapter to the Ocean’s franchise, which originated in 1960 with Sinatra as Danny Ocean. Three more Ocean’s films, starting with Ocean’s 11 in 2001, revolved around the debonair Ocean (played by George Clooney) and his motley crew of scammers and con artists, each operating like cogs in a well-oiled machine, to pull off improbable and glamorous scams. Ocean’s 8 riffs on the same formula, this time with Danny’s sister at the center. 

Why ‘Roseanne’ Is Actually a Documentary

Michael Harriot

In the post-Obama era, America was all-too-willing to explain how racism was a thing of the past. After all, what could be a greater symbol of America’s progress on race relations than an African American president? As soon as Obama took office white people began collectively washing their hands as if they were brain surgeons who had removed a hate tumor. Instead of realizing that prejudice was just hiding behind artificially-whitened smiles, they pointed to Oprah, Tyler Perry and Olivia Pope as evidence that racism had gone the way of smallpox, the Dodo bird and the upper lips of any Caucasians older than 32. 

Daniel Day-Lewis and the End of a Hollywood Era

Karolina Tagaris

Day-Lewis, 60, the only man to have won three lead actor Oscars, shocked the film world in June by announcing, without explanation, that he was retiring as an actor. His decision came after he finished filming “Phantom Thread,” a dark romance set in 1950s postwar London which took director Paul Thomas Anderson two years to research and write.

Buyers Jockey for Indie Films at Sundance

Piya Sinha-Roy and Lisa Richwine

Evolving movie-watching habits have brought new buyers in recent years, with Netflix and Amazon.com Inc leading the march of digital outlets to Sundance. The streaming services had started to outbid Weinstein Co for standout films. Filmmakers prospered as Amazon paid $12 million for “The Big Sick” and Netflix paid $12.5 million for “Mudbound” in 2017. This year, it was unclear whether those outlets will replace Weinstein as the pacesetters.

'The Greatest Showman' and the Problem of ‘Exploitainment’

Adam Gravano

The Greatest Showman takes the second perspective. These aren't just “freaks.” Yes, the draw is their perceived defects and differences, but what would they be without them? Why shouldn't they take pride in these and showcase them to the world? Is this even right? Is it being done in such a way as to appeal to the coarse and base in us? The question should remain unanswered, as there's plenty of exploitative media to go around for the able-bodied and sound of mind as well: every cable news confrontation, the entire reality television niche, and the revelations of #MeToo lay bare an industry to which Barnum would hardly be a stranger — perhaps even unreconstructed. 

Family, Legacy Celebrated in Mexican Animated Film 'Coco'

Piya Sinha-Roy

“There’s a lot of divisive rhetoric that aims to make us (Latino people) less than,” said Benjamin Bratt, who voices Miguel’s musical idol and late great-great-grandfather Ernesto de la Cruz. “It’s unintended but by demonstrating what really exists, (this film) goes a long way to showing that we’re all in fact in this together and are more alike than we are different,” Bratt added.

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