Tuesday, December 31, 2013

NFOTD 2013

As indicated by the tweet below the Twitterverse of Tweeters who tweet about #nfotd (New Film of the Day) tweeted their favorite films of 2013.
Below are my choice with expanded commentary in reverse order.


#nfotd2013 4. FAV DOC: 3 WAY TIE: Marley, Hoop Dreams & Iceberg Slim: Definition of a Pimp. The last doc is excellent and the first two are phenomenal.

I found that the key to a good documentary is extraordinary coverage and archival footage and or photos. By extraordinary coverage I mean good interviews with KEY people related to your subject. For example, if you’re going to make a documentary about the Jackson 5 it’s important to have interviews with ALL the surviving members, not just two of them.

I saw Marley because I read so much about it and a friend of mine had it on his desk forever. I watched it and WOW it was everything that people said about it and more. Filmmaker Kevin MacDonald had interviews with everybody and I mean EVERYBODY who was related and or worked with legend Bob Marley. The interviews alone do not make extraordinary piece of work, but the story crafted with all that footage and archival material does! A phenomenal documentary.

I heard about Hoop Dreams since it came out in 1994, but never got around to seeing it…until 2013. LOL. Once again, everything I heard about it was true and once again, the story crafted with footage and archival material made this a phenomenal documentary.

The other doc in this tie, Iceberg Slim: Definition of a Pimp, isn’t phenomenal, but it damn sure is excellent. Replete with aforementioned “extraordinary coverage” it offers a great look into the life of the “seminal pimp” who became famous for writing his autobiography which included his life as a pimp. It has tons of interviews with the man called Iceberg Slim and gave a great focus on his literary life. He wrote several more novels making him one of the best-selling African-American writers of his generation.


#nfotd2013 3. Fav most obscure/ or overlooked: Gimmie the Loot Such a wonderful film and one of most authentic NYC pictures I've seen in a long time.

Read my full review @ here


#nfotd2013 2. Fav on DVD/streaming: Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox DC makes some of the best superhero animated films out there, but out of the many great ones they have made, and yes there are many, I was not expecting this film to be one of their BEST. Story and action, an excellent animated film.

You can read my review/reaction on Instagram here


#nfotd2013 1. Fav nfotd in theaters: TIE Mother of George and Gravity

First and foremost I thought both were excellent pictures, but their
cinematography put them in my #1.

I saw the utter brilliance of Bradford Young's cinematography as it should be seen
on the BIG screen in Mother of George and had a Pure Cinematic Experience watching Emmanuel Lubezki's cinematography in Gravity in 3D.

People who follow me online know my love for Mother of George. I saw the film in May as the Closing Night Film of the 2013 Maryland Film Festival and just hadn’t seen anything to top it the remaining seven months of the year. Yes there were higher budgeted extravaganzas that I thought were excellent, but this small indie hit every note of a great film across the board acting, story, direction and especially cinematography.

The other film that blew me away on a larger scale could also be called “small” as far as story. Even though visually it was expansive (with OVER 500 people working on the Special Effects and Visual Effects), the story was straight forward—survive. The characters were minimal, the story minimal, but the experience—big! It also was one of the handful of 3D experiences I thought was truly worth the money.

You can read my further comments about Mother of George here


You can see my previous posts about NFTOD here

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Sharknado LIVE TWEETS

After initially ignoring this nonsensical TV movie I too jumped on the bandwagon and watched the replay on July 18th to see what it was all about and...well you can see my reactions below.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

FIRST REACTION: My reaction to that Kendrick Lamar verse on 'Control' [AUDIO]

Kendrick Lamar
I haven't been on social media that much today. I checked this afternoon and all I keep seeing is "Kendrick Lamar this", "Kendrick Lamar that". I'm like why the FUCK is everybody talking about Kendrick Lamar?

After a few skimming I find out it's about some rap verse on somebody else's song. I read that everybody is saying it's the shit and will change rap forever and some bullshit. Well all that don't mean shit until I LISTEN to it. I find people get all hyperbolic over bullshit and I must be the voice of reason. I must tell everyone to calm the fuck down and realize  whatever it is for...whatever it is. Well I listen to it and

GOTDAMN! As fire as it was I gotta agree with what my boy Dominque Spencer said on Facebook
 "KL been killn but now he getting SOOOO much hype for doing what he does on a consistent basis ..." I totally agree! That motherfucker been fire since like forever! 

Like Stan Ski said on Facebook "He changed the regular flow of things when he added the names of all his peers into his verse..." in total agreement with that as well!

Listen to the track below

and now BIG SEAN'S reaction  

Enough from me. Read and LISTEN all about it here

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

For the Love of Wolverine

I get what he's saying, but...and you knew there was one. I hate to see Wolverine monopolize another film. Prime example was X-Men 2: X-Men United. Cyclops the Field Leader of the X-Men was in the movie like 5 minutes while Wolverine was pretty much there the whole time and had a major subplot devoted to him. I was like is this an X-Men picture or a Wolverine picture? It was more like Wolverine & The X-Men.

I get that Wolverine is a very popular character and that Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is equally popular, but sometimes less is more...or an equal balance of Wolverine in other movies can be struck. 

The whole Wolverine piece by Drew Magary is below
I love Wolverine, and I love Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. But he doesn't need his own flick. Wolverine is the guy who pops into the movie every fifteen minutes or so, does a shot, says something badass, and then kicks some ass. That's the proper dose of Wolverine. Without a Wolverine cave or a couple of dead parents to mourn, you can't make a whole movie about him, much less a quasi-reboot of a Wolverine movie they made just a few years prior. Wolverine should just do cameos. Like in that new Woody Allen flick! That would be something.—Drew Magary, GQ Magazine 
SHOUT OUT to @FilmFatale_NYC on Twitter for retweeting that quote.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Let's Talk About Riddick

As stated I saw him for the first time in Pitch Black and thought he was dope and a new kickass action star! 

I even watched him in xXx that shit sucked, but I still thought he had great screen presence. 

I'm not into fast cars and stuff so I had NO INTEREST in the original Fast & Furious. But I did watch that Chronicles of Riddick animated joint Dark Fury that served as a bridge between PB & the Chronicles movie. That was cool as was the live action follow up. 

Again what I didn't like was that fake ass mythology about Riddick. Brooklyn accent—GTFOH! All of a sudden this damn arch criminal is a prince or the chosen one or some bullshit? Yeah. Ok. Let a badass be a badass. 

Having said all that, I'm all aboard for this new Riddick movie on September 6, 2013

In a September 4, 2013 Hollywood Reporter article they stated "Instead of continuing in the extravagant vein of the second film, they returned to basics" YOU KNOW I agree with that!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The 2013 Maryland Film Festival

Well the time is upon us time for the biggest film festival in Maryland to start! (You can see what the opening night films will be here)

As I did last year, I will attempt to LIVE TWEET my experience and share it on the ‘Nother Brother Entertainment social networks, Facebook and Twitter.

As in previous years, I will also give up to the minute reviews of the films I see EXCLUSIVELY on the ‘Nother Brother Entertainment Facebook Page

Last year I had a blast and posted a lot about it via my iPhone and managed to conserve some sort of battery life while going to back to back screenings. LOL

This year as the festival has expanded I’m going to try and post more, the optimal word being TRY. Anyway, the best way to find out is to Like our Facebook Page or Follow Us on Twitter. (Twitter users you can follow me at the hashtag #NBE_MFF)

What was my experience generally like last year? Click the link below

Maryland Film Festival 2013 Opening Night Shorts

Quvenzhané Wallis in Boneshaker
Below are the short films that will open the 2013 Maryland Film Festival. These shorts are exclusive to Opening Night and will not be shown the rest of the festival.

Boneshaker (Frances Bodomo, 12 minutes)
An African family, lost in America, travels to a Louisiana church to find a cure for its problem child.

The Chair (Grainger David, 12 minutes)
A mysterious outbreak in a rural Southern town leads one young boy to a hauntingly poetic consideration of the wonder, mystery, and menace of the natural world.

The Cub (Riley Stearns, 5 minutes)
Wolves make the best parents.

Flutter (Dara Bratt, 8 minutes)
John Bedford is a 76-year-old amateur butterfly collector. Immensely visual, the film follows John on his excursion to the jungles of Vietnam, plunging audiences into a world of wonder and childlike excitement. But as the film reveals, our subject is as fragile as the habitat he loves and seeks to preserve. Extending beyond the exotic and gorgeous butterflies, this is the reflective and meditative portrait of a lonely man seeking companionship in the arms of nature.

Jujitsuing Reality (Chetin Chabuk, 16 minutes)
Despite living with ALS, screenwriter Scott Lew maintains his voice in the world through his scripts, giving added meaning to the expression "living to write".

Social Butterfly  (Lauren Wolkstein, 14 minutes)
A 30-year-old American woman enters into a teenage party in the South of France. Some of the guests wonder who she is and what she is doing there.

See all of my posts about the Maryland Film Festival here

Maryland Film Festival Website

Friday, May 3, 2013

Urban Dictionary: Traidar

Trailer-radar. The ability to tell from movie trailers if a movie is bad or not.

View the word at Urban Dictionary: Traidar

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Brown Center at MICA

Photo I took of the Brown Center May 7, 2011
Below is some of what I said on Facebook when I posted my photos in 2011. MICA stands for Maryland Institute College of Art.
When I volunteered for the Maryland Film Festival I was assigned to the Brown Center at MICA (A second site for showing films). I thought WHAT a beautiful building. The architecture was amazing. I never been inside a “glass pyramid” before. 
Brown Center plaque
While walking around, I saw the above plaque and to my utter amazement and surprise the Browns of the Brown Center were black folk! Besides Reginald F. Lewis I didn't know there were black folks in Maryland with money like THAT. Not only did they have money, they were philanthropic. That’s what I call giving back! 
Internet photo of the Brown Center 
I'm still proud and amazed at the Brown Center and I have been there about a dozen times for various events.

You can see more of the building at here
You can read more about the Browns here

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

About Your Headshot

Excerpt from pro photographer Joe Henson 4/16/2013

Joe Henson
Having worked in New York City (one of the most actor-concentrated areas in the world) for the past 30 years as a professional headshot photographer, and having photographed over 16,000 clients, I have learned much about what makes the most effective headshots and I’d like to share some of that information with you today! 

[Having seen over several hundred headshots myself, as a director looking for actors, I agree with the below.—Dankwa Brooks]

Make sure that character comes alive in the elements of your headshot. A great photographer acts as a translator, giving visibility to information. Every element of the photo should combine to create the impact and statement of the shot. Let’s start with wardrobe. Use what you wear to help define your type. Your headshot wardrobe shouldn’t feel like a costume, it should be what you normally wear, but tailored to the way it frames your face, works with the palette of the shot, and represents your type. Romantic leads should wear clothes that are attractive, like you might wear out on a date. Bad guys wear dark, that’s just the way it is. Working class characters wear denim or flannel. It’s a language and your photographer should be able to make suggestions and help you prepare.

Once you have the wardrobe, work on expression. As dumb as it sounds, stand in front of a mirror and try some different expressions. Find what looks good on your face, practice, watch the evolution of an expression, find at what point of energy it looks best. Models do this all of the time. Your face is an instrument, learn to play it. Again, your photographer should be able to recognize the expressions that make you look your best and make your character come alive and help capture them at their peak. Big tip – you know the look that you give yourself in the mirror before you go out on the town and you are kind of flirting with yourself? Definitely try to reproduce that look in your session. Years of looking at your face has taught you the combination of minute muscle contractions that create your most attractive face. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, spend more time in front of the mirror. And watch the James Franco section of this amazing New York Times video called 14 Actors Acting. He and it are awesome!

Another element to play with in your session is body language. The physical attitude you present yourself in helps tell the viewer how to perceive you. Again, to the mirror, try looking powerful; what does your body want to do? Try nonchalance; how would you pose? These are all building blocks, and great photographers use them like brush strokes.

Joe Henson is a headshot photographer located in New York City. He also shoots frequently in Boston, Washington DC, various colleges and universities, and at large. You can see his work at http://www.joehenson.com. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Project X – Mini Review

Directed by Nima Nourizadeh
Produced by Todd Phillips
Screenplay by Matt Drake & Michael Bacall

Thomas Mann
Oliver Cooper
Jonathan Daniel Brown

Cinematography by Ken Seng
Editing by Jeff Groth

Release date: March 2, 2012

Summary: Three friends throw a birthday party to make a name for themselves and as the night progresses it spirals out of control.

Mini Review: Despite one flaming ludicrous moment this was a totally, totally fun movie! Filmmaker note: Really great hand held camera work and editing!

I have to give props to director cinematographer Ken Seng, the 40 people listed as "Camera & Electrical" department and editor Jeff Groth.

Principal photography was scheduled to begin on June 14, 2010, in Los Angeles, California on a budget of $12 million. Filming took place over twenty-five nights between 5pm and 5am on the Warner Ranch in Burbank, California. The set contained a faux residential area featuring multiple houses.  
The production decided to film on a set because locating a real neighborhood that could be effectively closed off and which would allow filming throughout the evening and early morning proved difficult. Phillips explained that using a real neighborhood would have also proven difficult because of the fire damage required for the film. Much of the set was destroyed as part of filming. The film was largely shot in chronological sequence as repairing the set damage from a later scene to film an earlier one would have been difficult. Mann described the filming as a "party atmosphere", with New York disc jockey Jesse Marco on set performing music even when the cameras stopped rolling to maintain the energy of the cast and extras. Many of the same extras were brought back for multiple nights of filming, and would continue to party between scenes. Periodic takes of up to 20 minutes were made of just extras dancing. During filming, Burbank police were called to the set concerning noise complaints made by nearby residents. 
Project X was filmed in cinéma vérité style, only displaying the events of the film through the first-person view of the cameraman observing the party, to create the effect of the audience being in attendance at the out of control party. Director Nima Nourizadeh stated that the style allowed the film to seem "real" and "show some of the realities of what kids do".
Cinematographer Ken Seng and Nourizadeh tested twelve different camera systems before choosing the digital-HD Sony F23 video camera, basing their decision on its ability to handle sudden extreme changes in lighting due to natural daylight and strobe lights.  
The film is primarily presented from the perspective of the character Dax and his camera, but Nourizadeh also obtained footage by providing the cast and extras with recording devices such as BlackBerrys and iPhones to capture events occurring outside of the perspective or knowledge of the cameraman. This resulted in hours of unusable footage that had to be observed by Nourizadeh and his team to find segments that could be incorporated into the final film. Nourizadeh stated "when you have real material being shot by real people, it then kind of feels like it is. It is found footage. I hated spending 10 hours looking through bits of flip footage – people didn’t press stop, it’s like in their pockets. But yeah, it was great, man." Other footage was provided from fictional police and news cameras to give a different perspective on the events.—Wikipedia
"Project X was filmed on eight different camera systems. It’s a POV film told by the masses of people who attend the party, which gives it a totally unique point of view on the situation. We also really looked at how best to capture the size of this event and the level of destruction with our resources. For instance, how we could make 200 or so extras look like more than 1,000"
– Cinematographer Ken Seng on filming Project X.

See the full cast and crew of the film here

Commentary: I'm kinda tired of the "found footage" handheld camera movies, but this one was done really well. As you can imagine there was A LOT of stuff going on and the camera crew did a great job at capturing it.

A good related article Found Footage Films Need To Stay Hidden

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Childhood in New York

Actuated by the tweet below and their hashtag I went on a "Twitter Rant" about my own #ChildhoodInNY

New York Subway train in the late 70's/early 80's

Late 70's/early 80's graffitti covered subway train

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Victory with Notorious B.I.G. and some cat named Puff Daddy

Actually the song is "Victory" is a song by Puff Daddy (Now known as "Diddy") that features The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes.  The song Produced by Sean "Puff Daddy/Diddy" Combs and Steven "Stevie J" Jordan also heavily sampled the Bill Conti song "Going the Distance", which featured on the soundtrack to the movie Rocky.

Victory on my iPhone
I’ve always loved this song and listening to gets me HYPED! Jay-Z is said to listen to "Victory," before he takes the stage in huge arenas and I can see why it’s that type of song.

The whole song is great, but I guess as it should be it's actually Puffy's verse that sets the song OFF. His delivery isn't spectacular, but the lyrics coupled with Biggie’s ad libs and the rising horns set that shit OFF!
Puffy’s verse:
Yo, the sun don't shine forever
But as long as it's here then we might as well shine together
Better now than never, business before pleasure
P-Diddy and the Fam, who you know do it better?
Yeah right, no matter what, we air tight
So when you hear somethin, make sure you hear it right
Don't make a ass outta yourself, by assumin
Our music keeps you movin, what are you provin?
You know that I'm two levels above you baby
Hug me baby, I'ma make you love me baby
Talkin crazy ain't gonna get you nuthin but choked
And that jealousy is only gonna leave you broke
So the only thing left now is God for these cats
And BIG you know you too hard for these cats
I'm a wing cause I'm too smart for these cats
While they makin up facts you rakin up plats
This song is all the more poignant because this is one of the last songs that Biggie ever recorded for. Below is an excerpt from my review of the book Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G. 

  • Page 239 of 368 of Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G. 
Chapter 8: 'You're Nobody Till Somebody Kills You'. 

The chapter just stated how the last things Biggie recorded were the guest verses on 'Victory' and 'All About The Benjamins' IMO some the illest rhymes he EVER spit. THIS page starts recounting that fateful night @ the Petersen Automotive Museum. 
— Nov 27, 2011 04:15am 

My review of the Biggie BioPic Notorious here

My review of the Biggie biography Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G. here

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Why I'm Probably Through With 'The Walking Dead'

March 2016 update at the bottom! 
Season Three cast of The Walking Dead

Watching it LIVE throughout the season that is. I watched Season Three of The Walking Dead in binges. I watched each Premiere and Finale (Season and Mid-Season) LIVE, but the other episodes I watched maybe two to three at a time and I’m glad I did because the season wasn’t that great.

Michonne (left) and The Governor (right)
The first half of the season the two big main characters The Governor and Michonne were a yawn. The Mid-Season Finale brought out the best of both characters and both got better in the second half of the season. Especially Michonne. The Governor was crazy, but not as menacing as I thought he would be. In the second half of the season Michonne finally got some character development and did more than scowl. In fact I agree with this quote below.
The fleeting glimpse of Michonne in the Season 2 finale had longtime TWD fans (myself included) thrilled that everyone's favorite katana-wielding badass would finally make her entrance onto the show. Though the television Michonne is everything we would expect on the surface -- she is a master chef with the katanas and looks pretty much the same as she did in the comics -- her character has been woefully underwritten. Though Danai Gurira has mastered the art of the silent scowl, Michonne's lack of personality beyond "I'm a loner and could stab you at any moment" has held us back from truly caring about her long-term safety. In the comics, we were treated to a world of backstory. We knew about Michonne's 'pets'. She revealed gradually herself -- though perhaps sparingly -- so that she was more than simply a one-woman terminator, but a character whose past drove her, with deep sorrow that made us root for her as a person, not just a human ginsu. It's one thing to slowly dole out a character's motivations in order to heighten tension and keep things a mystery, but too often Michonne acts like a dope in order to preserve this 'mystique' (like following Merle into a Walker-infested part of the prison just a few episodes after he led a band of governor-appointed redshirts to murder her in the woods, then making no attempt whatsoever to escape). Jason Pinter, The Huffington Post
The Governor? The whole season Merle was more menacing to me than The Governor.

Crazy Rick was Boring Rick. They went a little too long with that storyline. To me these lulls in the storylines are directly attributable to the behind the scenes shuffle.

The first season writing staff consisted of series developer and executive producer Frank Darabont, who wrote/co-wrote four of the six episodes; executive producer Charles H. Eglee; executive producer and creator of the comic book, Robert Kirkman; co-executive producer Jack LoGiudice; consulting producer Adam Fierro; and Glen Mazzara; who all contributed to one episode each.

In July 2011, series developer and showrunner Frank Darabont stepped down from his position as showrunner for the series.It was believed that he was unable to adjust to the schedule of running a television series. However, The Hollywood Reporter reported he had been fired over disputes over planned budget cuts and executive meddling. Executive producer Glen Mazzara was then appointed the new showrunner.

After the conclusion of the third season, Glen Mazzara will step down from his position as showrunner and executive producer for the series, in a mutual agreement by both Mazzara and AMC. The press release read, "Both parties acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward, and conclude that it is best to part ways."Scott Gimple will succeed Mazzara as showrunner for season four,with new writers joining the writing staff, such as Curtis Gwinn, Channing Powell, and Matt Negrete.

So the scorecard is 
Frank Darabont left after Season One during the development of Season Two

Glen Mazzara was then appointed the new showrunner during Season Two and did so all of Season Three then stepped down.

Season Four will have Scott Gimple as the showrunner.

I got Season One for Christmas and rewatched it. At only six episodes and under the direction of Frank Darabont the first season was great!

Season Two, after Darabont left, was mostly a snooze (I went into more detail here) and only seem to gain traction in the very last episodes (I surmise after the new showrunner Glen Mazzara finally gained traction himself)

Season Three had the addition of great characters, but took way too long to develop them. Speculation is that the network (AMC) recognized this and forced Glen Mazzara out. That’s only speculation though.

Season Four we haven’t seen yet, but the show has been all over the place because the people who control it have been all over the place.

Unless this new showrunner Scott Gimple is some outstanding wunderkind I don’t see how the show can possibly get better. I think it will continue to be ok and for that I can watch in a season long binge like I have watched other series like Dexter and Homeland in season binges and I hold them in much higher regard than The Walking Dead.

Not a knock on Gimple's abilities, but for such a popular show to be on its third showrunner in four years makes you wonder about its long-term stewardship.
Jason Pinter, The Huffington Post

Some info from Wikipedia.


The Huffington Post
The Walking Dead Season 3 Finale: 5 Reasons Why It Fell Flat With Fans

MARCH 31, 2016
As we are approaching the Season Six Finale in three days (April 3, 2016) I have to say much credit to Executive Producer Scott Gimple who took over in Season Four (S4) and despite the torrid "super flu" storyline that inhabited the first half of S4 where it seemed like Gimple was trying to gain his footing, the show FINALLY got into its groove near the end of Season 4. 

While like every television show there are some "filler" episodes that are a yawn, Seasons Five and Six show that Gimple and the rest of the writers have finally caught their groove and I'm reall looking forward to the Season Six Finale.

Friday, March 22, 2013

R.I.P. Chinua Achebe

Novelist Chinua Achebe dies, aged 82

Nigerian author recognised for key role in developing African literature has died in Boston, where he was working as a professor
By Alison Flood
Friday 22 March 2013

Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian novelist seen by millions as the father of African literature, has died at the age of 82.

African papers were reporting his death following an illness and hospital stay in Boston this morning, and both his agent and his publisher later confirmed the news to the Guardian.

Simon Winder, publishing director at Penguin, called him an "utterly remarkable man".

"Chinua Achebe is the greatest of African writers and we are all desolate to hear of his death," he said.

In a statement, Achebe's family requested privacy, and paid tribute to "one of the great literary voices of all time. He was also a beloved husband, father, uncle and grandfather, whose wisdom and courage are an inspiration to all who knew him."

A novelist, poet and essayist, Achebe was perhaps best known for his 1958 novel Things Fall Apart, the story of the Igbo warrior Okonkwo and the colonial era, which has sold more than 10m copies around the world and has been published in 50 languages. Achebe depicts an Igbo village as the white men arrive at the end of the 19th century, taking its title from the WB Yeats poem, which continues: "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."

"The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers and our clan can no longer act like one," says Okonkwo's friend, Obierika, in the novel.

The poet Jackie Kay hailed Achebe as "the grandfather of African fiction" who "lit up a path for many others", adding that she had reread Things Fall Apart "countless times".

"It is a book that keeps changing with the times as he did," she said.

Achebe won the Commonwealth poetry prize for his collection Christmas in Biafra, was a finalist for the 1987 Booker prize for his novel Anthills of the Savannah, and in 2007 won the Man Booker international prize. Chair of the judges on that occasion, Elaine Showalter, said he had "inaugurated the modern African novel", while her fellow judge, the South African Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, said his fiction was "an original synthesis of the psychological novel, the Joycean stream of consciousness, the postmodern breaking of sequence", and that Achebe was "a joy and an illumination to read".

Nelson Mandela, meanwhile, has said that Achebe "brought Africa to the rest of the world" and called him "the writer in whose company the prison walls came down".

The author is also known for the influential essay An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1975), a hard-hitting critique of Conrad in which he says the author turned the African continent into "a metaphysical battlefield devoid of all recognisable humanity, into which the wandering European enters at his peril", asking: "Can nobody see the preposterous and perverse arrogance in thus reducing Africa to the role of props for the break-up of one petty European mind?"

According to Brown University, where Achebe held the position of David and Marianna Fisher university professor and professor of Africana studies until his death, this essay "is recognised as one of the most generative interventions on Conrad; and one that opened the social study of literary texts, particularly the impact of power relations on 20th-century literary imagination".

From USA Today

Chinua Achebe: Chinua Achebe has died. The author was known for his widely read book Things Fall Apart and other works which helped to bridge culture gaps and popularize African literature. "If you don't like someone's story, write your own," he said in an interview with The Paris Review. And watch a remembrance in this clip from the BBC: "He was an African hero... some people say he's the Nobel Prize literature winner Nigeria never had. That's how big he was."


I was going to write something new, but then I realized I said it before in my review of his book below.

Things Fall ApartThings Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another one of my required readings for Humanities as part of my undergrad, but I have to admit I only skimmed through it to past the test. Yeah I can admit that…now.

Actually post graduation is when I actually read the book from cover to cover and WOW was it excellent. I thought I WOULD LOVE to make a movie out of this. Even in my new-sprung eagerness to strike out with my degree in film…I knew I could never find funding for something like this.

Maybe one day…,but until then you can read this amazing book.

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 21, 2013

This Is The Life

Had a dope dream this morning.

I was chilling in a club in Brooklyn with Jay-Z. Not his club, some "hole in the
wall", you know the kind with black floors, black walls, black ceilings—yeah all
black everything. What we were talking about I don't know. All of a sudden a hip
hop song comes on and Hov starts rapping along. Right then L.L. Cool J walks in
with one of those airbrushed shirts on with his face on it. He comes over to me
and says what's up, like he seen me from around the way, and gives me a pound.

L.L. goes over to the other side of the club and I'm still trying to figure out
what this song Jay-Z is rapping to, I pull out my iPhone and uses this program
that listens to a song and tell you what it is and who it's by. The song that
pops up is called THIS IS THE LIFE. Yes I can read in my dreams.

Well I wake up like right after that and I think THAT has to mean something. So
I grab...my iPhone and does an Internet search. Nada. Not a hip hop song anyway.
So I search "This is the Life hip hop" and come up with this doc by one of
My recent favorite directors Ava DuVernay. (This Is the Life (2008):
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1178658/) WTF?!

Anyway, we can't control our dreams, but grandma has always taught me that
dreams meant something, I just wished I knew what this was.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Well I Lost the Rights to that John Grisham Book

Actually I never HAD the rights, but I was hoping. I thought interest in adaptating John Grisham books had died down. His last book that was adapted for the screen was 2004’s comedy, Christmas with the Kranks. Yeah I hardly heard of it too.

I’ve been a John Grisham fan like forever and as I have read more books penned by him I guess you can call him my favorite author. When I read his newest book and it had a black protagonist (a first as far as I know) I thought it would be really cool if a long time fan would be able to adapt this book…in five years or so. Well time waits for no man and neither did this book. LOL.

The book I speak of is his 2012 book The Racketeer. According to this morning’s The Hollywood Reporter,
Daniel Espinosa, who helmed Universal's hit "Safe House," is developing the adaptation as a directing vehicle. 
Fox 2000 and New Regency are teaming up to adapt The Racketeer, the latest novel from John Grisham. 
Double Feature Films, the shingle run by Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher, is on board to produce the adaptation, which also has Daniel Espinosa developing the project as a directing vehicle. Espinosa will exec produce with his manager and producing partner Shelley Browning.
Racketeer sees a federal judge murdered at a lakeside cabin and the contents of his safe emptied. The only man who knows the whos and whys is a former attorney serving time in federal prison who hopes to parlay that into getting revenge on the people who put him there. 
The book hit shelves in October with an initial printing of 1.5 million copies. It hit No. 1 on both The New York Times and USA Today best-seller charts and has been on the lists since its release.
Now just because they own the rights as of now still does not mean that the film would get made. Sometimes these things wind up in “development hell” and the owner relinquishes the right to the book because they can't quite get the movie made. Here’s hoping.

My review of The Racketeer

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Introducing Sundance 2013 Sensation ‘Fruitvale’

I just wanted to give MAD PROPS to Sundance 2013 sensation Fruitvale and its writer/director Ryan Coogler (pictured left). The Principal Cast of Fruitvale is Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O'Reilly, Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray.

As detailed in the article below the film was picked up for distribution (bought so they can put it theaters and of course make a profit) by The Weinstein Company (TWC). This is a really big deal because The Weinstein Company has been notorious for picking up potential Oscar winners. Past films picked up for distribution by TWC include Oscar contenders My Week with Marilyn (2011), The Artist (2011, only USA and Australia), The Iron Lady (2011, only USA), Undefeated (2012) Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary, The Fighter (2010, international distribution) and The King's Speech (2010) Academy Award Winner for Best Picture.

Of course TWC picks up many more pictures that aren’t exactly Oscar contenders, but it’s a great sign that this film got picked up by them so early.

I refuse to read reviews before I see a film, but I’m reading great blurbs about the film and its star Michael B. Jordan. Below is more about the film you should know about for the awareness of such a film should start early.

Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale
Sundance 2013: Weinstein Co. buys 'Fruitvale'
By John Horn and Amy Kaufman | Los Angeles Times

January 21, 2013, 1:45 p.m.

PARK CITY, Utah -- In a deal for about $2 million, the Weinstein Co. has acquired rights to the drama “Fruitvale,” shown at the Sundance Film Festival, according to a person close to the film who was not authorized to speak on the record.

“Fruitvale” is based on the 2009 shooting of 22-year-old African American father Oscar Grant by a BART police officer in Oakland, an event that sparked outrage among community activists.

The film, starring up-and-comer Michael B. Jordan in the lead role and directed and written by Ryan Coogler, follows Grant in the 24 hours before his death, during which he spends time with his family and decides to stop dealing marijuana.

Sundance 2013 Awards Emcee Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Fruitvale Wins Top Prizes at Sundance
January 26, 2013

The Sundance Film Festival honored its top entries during an evening ceremony Jan. 26 near Park City, where 26-year-old Ryan Coogler’s drama Fruitvale was honored with both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize.
Associated Press - Director and screenwriter Ryan Coogler reacts as he accepts the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic for "Fruitvale" during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP

“It’s about how we treat people we love the most, and how we treat the people we don’t know,” Coogler said. “To get this award means it had a profound impact on the audiences who saw it.”

Emcee Joseph Gordon-Levitt expressed his feelings for the film, based on the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant by BART officials in Oakland, a little differently: “I f---ing love that movie!” he exclaimed after the film took home the Audience Award.

—Info from The Hollywood Reporter



Fruitvale is now Fruitvale Station and is coming to select theaters July 12th and nationwide July 26th. Below is the new poster and the new trailer.



Read more about Fruitvale at Sundance at http://filmguide.sundance.org/film/13025/fruitvale

Read more about Ryan Coogler in Filmmaker magazine here