spike lee

Celebrating the Diversity of the 2019 Oscars

Nsenga K. Burton

Ruth Carter earned a nomination for Best Costume Design and Hanna Beachler is nominated for Best Production Design for Black Panther. It is lovely to see Carter, whose amazing body of work goes back to 1988 with Spike Lee’s School Daze, is finally getting the recognition she deserves, having long been honored in African-American film circles. Beachler’s nomination makes her the first African-American to be recognized in this category. Spike Lee’s first-ever nomination for Best Director for BlacKkKlansman is also history-making.

The Best – and Award-Worthy – Films of 2018

Dwight Brown

An unlikely story, based on true events, features the best acting duo of the year. The brilliant scholarly actor Mahershala Ali plays a concert pianist who is driven around the South, in 1962, by a burly Italian chauffeur/bodyguard played hysterically by Viggo Mortensen. The most unlikely director in the world, Peter Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber), tells the tale with a nod and a wink and peppers it with social and racial themes, real drama and historical facts. An organic crowd-pleaser.

‘The Grandmaster,’ Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

In “The Grandmaster,” director Wong Kar Wai pays homage to Ip Man (also known as Yip Man), a Chinese grandmaster who trained a number of influential martial artists, most notably the deceased action star Bruce Lee. Although Lee is better remembered than his master, things are changing thanks to several recent film projects centered on Ip Man and his legacy. These include “Ip Man” and “Ip Man 2,” Hong Kong action films featuring Donnie Yen as the title character. 

Sneakerheads: The Rise of Sneaker Culture in the U.S.

Yolian Cerquera

Adidas, Nike, and Reebok dominated the sneaker wars of the ‘80s and ‘90s, but before them it was Pro-Keds and Puma Clyde’s that pro-ball players sought out. Nonetheless, as impactful as these designs were, neither would be as paramount on and off the court as the Air Jordans. In an unprecedented event, in 1984, Michael Jordan signed a $2.5 million endorsement deal with Nike during his rookie year when he had not yet reached his “superstar status” and was not considered a commodity.

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