Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Good Saturday Morning!

I'm sure we've all been here before... while I certainly don't condone the use of violence as a solution to a problem like the one below, however, quite frankly, there have been moments when I've felt almost as enraged as the man felt... certainly not enough to fire my pistol... not that I even own one... which I don't!

PHILADELPHIA — A family talking during a movie enraged a nearby viewer so badly that he shot the father in the arm, MyFoxPhiladelphia reports.

Philadelphia police say James Joseph Cialella Jr, 29, shot the man after a brief altercation inside the Riverview Movie Theatre.

The victim suffered a gunshot wound to his left arm.

Cialella was still inside the theater when police arrived. He was found with a black Kel-Tec .380 handgun on the front of his waist.

Police arrested and charged him with attempted murder, aggravated assault, violation of uniform firearms act, possession of an instrument of a crime, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

What the hell was this fellow doing with a gun in a movie theatre? Soon, certain theatres will require all patrons to walk through firearm detectors and other security checkpoints!

I looked up the theatre mentioned in the full article (United Artist Theatre Riverview Plaza in South Philly). Apparently, it's a really shitty establishment, based on the plethora of disapproving comments - with most agreeing that screenings are full of loud, inconsiderate, and rude groups of people, calling the customer service "downright awful," and strongly advising others to stay away, and go elsewhere!

Duly noted...


DVD Spotlight - Black Orpheus


A 1959 film, loosely based on Orpheus and Eurydice of Greek mythology, taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during Carnival season.

In the hands of French filmmaker in Marcel Camus, the film feels like a tourist's rendition of the area and the people who live there; it’s like watching a travelogue or an extended commercial for Rio de Janeiro.

Each setting is colorful, lush, bright, etc, but the characters, as well as the story, are thin in their depictions and development; and the acting certainly isn’t the best, although Camus used an unprofessional cast, which is evident.

Maybe the film was meant as more of a celebration of Rio and Carnival, than it is an adaptation of the Greek Myth.

Of course, there's the wonderful soundtrack put together by the great Antonio Carlos Jobim (Girl From Ipanema), which is credited for single-handedly introducing the Bossa Nova to rest of the world.

It's also worth mentioning that the film did win the Palme d'Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival, as well as the 1960 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The below clip is the very last scene of the film, and, in my opinion, the best scene in the entire film. It’s the most fluid and seductive, involving 3 young children (2 boys and girl), a guitar, and a wonderful sunrise. If the rest of the film was just as affecting, it would make for a much more powerful and thus memorable experience. See it anyway!

IDIOT SPEAK - Rev: "Thank White People For Slavery"


With leaders like these...

Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson is president and founder of The Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny (BOND), an American group dedicated to promoting responsible fatherhood amongst African Americans. He has hosted a cable TV program and a syndicated radio talk show. He is a member of Choose Black America and a member of the advisory board of Project 21, an African American conservative organization. He's also a former board member of the California Christian Coalition.

Earlier this week:

Is there a need to bother commenting on nonsense like this? Am I really supposed to take this fellow seriously? Is he just courting controversy, which will likely pay off in dollars, if it already hasn't?

Unfortunately, he's far from alone!

Movie Posters - 1970s

The title of this 1976 film, directed by Greydon Clark, was eventually changed to The Bad Bunch. I'm sure you can understand why.

What's it all about? A white veteran goes to a black ghetto to deliver a letter from his black Army buddy who died in Vietnam. He encounters hostility and trouble from all sides.

That says very little.

I did find one review of it, in which the writer states,

I think (Gredyon) Clark (the writer/director) was trying to deliver a racial drama that he felt was true to life, but the unnecessary nudity, cheapness and the amateur acting takes away from any artistic integrity the film may have hoped to achieve.
You don't say...

Here's a scary clip I found of the film:

Filmmaker Spotlight - Olatunde Osunsanmi

Featured lower on the complete list of 100 or so scripts that made this year's Hollywood
BLACK LIST (SEE PREVIOUS POST) is a screenplay called The Fourth Kind, written by 31-year old Nigerian filmmaker, Olatunde Osunsanmi, whose name instantly got my attention, for obvious reasons, as I scrolled down the list.

I've never heard of this fellow. His short IMDB resume states that he has 1 previous feature film (a 2005 straight to DVD shriek-fest called Within) and 1 short film titled Etat (a 17-minute story on Nigeria's political climate in mid 1970s) to his credit. He wrote and directed both.

Most recently, he worked as an assistant to director Joe Carnahan during the production of Smoking Aces in 2006.

I couldn't even find a picture of the guy!

But the fact that his screenplay (The Fourth Kind) appears on the list of the best unproduced scripts circulating Hollywood currently, guarantees that we'll likely know more about Monsieur Osunsanmi soon enough. Unlike many of the other scripts on the list, his is actually in production, scheduled for a 2009 release.

Milla Jovovich stars, and Osunsanmi is directing as well.

The film is listed as a fact-based thriller involving an ongoing unsolved mystery in Alaska, where one town has seen an extraordinary number of unexplained and unsolved disappearances during the past 40 years, accompanied by accusations of a federal cover up. Jovovich plays a woman investigating the disappearances in the town.

I'll expect to see some sci-fi staples (maybe the culprit is a virus, or aliens, or covert government testing on human subjects, etc), especially if Jovovich is starring in the project. Just take a look at her IMDB resume and you'll see what I mean.

The production is being kept under-wraps for various reasons, so there's very little information on it.

I searched for his short film (Etat), which received high marks on IMDB, hoping to find a clip, or the entire work, but came up empty.

Others might be more successful.

Regardless, I'll be paying attention to Osunsanmi, and his upcoming The Fourth Kind.

The 10 Best Unproduced Scripts In Hollywood (The Black List)

It's supposedly "the hottest read in town" - an annual ranking that propelled films like
Juno into theatres, and their creators to fame.

The list is compiled with the input of over 250 film executives, each of whom contributed the names of up to ten of their favorite scripts that were written in 2008, but, for whatever reason, have not, and will not be produced and released during this calendar year.

This year, scripts had to receive at least four mentions to be included on THE BLACK LIST. Entertainment Weekly published the list of scripts, what they're about, and who's attached to or interested in each.

Here are the top 10, ranked in order of most to least votes (of note, #3 on the list):

1. The Beaver by Kyle Killen
It’s About: Walter Black, a depressed toy manufacturer, loses his family and his business. But then Walter tries on a hand puppet—a chatty British rodent called "The Beaver"—and his personality is transformed. It’s all good at first, but things turn ugly when the puppet won’t let go. It’s Like: Liar Liar fused with the horror movie Magic. Status: Steve Carell is attached to play Walter.

2. The Oranges by Jay Reiss and Ian Helfer
It’s About: Two New Jersey families are thrown into comic turmoil when the prodigal daughter returns for Christmas and falls in love with her parents’ best friend. It’s Like: The Graduate engaged to Meet the Parents. Status: Anthony Bregman (Thumbsucker) and MRC will produce. Julian Farino (Entourage) is negotiating to direct.

3. Butter by Jason Micallef
It’s About: Destiny, a black foster child, faces off against Iowa’s reigning dairy diva, the beautiful but venal Laura Pickler, in an epic butter-carving competition for the ages. It’s Like: Election swirled with Best in Show. Status: Jennifer Garner is in talks to play Laura, while DreamWorks is in early negotiations for the project.

4. Big Hole by Michael Gilio
It’s About: Lee, an old, grumpy ex-cowboy, loses $30,000 to a fraudulent sweepstakes company and sets out to punish those responsible. Lee’s son, the local sheriff, is charged with stopping him. It’s Like: Falling Down splattered with No Country for Old Men. Status: Project is set up with Aversano Films (Failure to Launch).

5. The Low Dweller by Brad Ingelsby
It’s About: Charlie "Slim" Hendrick, a don’t-eff-with-me ex-con, returns home to find that his sweetie has moved on and his bitter brother has gambling debts. When a disfigured, dog-loving thug beats his sibling to death, Slim seeks vengeance. It’s Like: Unforgiven, only less geriatric. And much less forgiving. Status: Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Tony and Ridley Scott will co-produce.

6. F***buddies by Liz Meriwether
It’s About: Emma and Adam have the best relationship ever! They’re twentysomething pals who, you know, do it. A lot. But then Adam goes and falls in love with Emma and ruins everything. Can their perfect non-union survive? It’s Like: When Harry Met Sally… for the Juno generation. Status: Ivan Reitman’s company is developing it.

7. Winter’s Discontent by Paul Fruchbom
It’s About: After the death of his wife of more than 50 years, irrepressible horndog Herb Winter sets out, at age 75, to find sexual fulfillment with another woman. Or, if possible, several. It’s Like: Superbad set in a retirement community. Status: The film is set up at Sony. No director or star is attached.

8. Broken City by Brian Tucker
It’s About: The New York mayor asks private eye Billy Taggart to find out if the mayor’s wife is cheating on him. She is, with the campaign director of the mayor’s political rival, no less, who soon turns up dead. Did Billy’s investigation lead to murder? It’s Like: A modern L.A. Confidential peppered with Glengarry Glen Ross patois. Status: Being developed by the producing team behind Juno.

9. I’m With Cancer by Will Reiser
It’s About: Adam, a 25-year-old single Jewish dude, is diagnosed with spinal cancer. Hilarity ensues. Seriously. It’s Like: The 40 Year-Old Virgin with chemo. Status: Seth Rogen will produce and has signed on to play Adam’s best bud.

10. Our Brand Is Crisis by Peter Straughan
It’s About: A team of American political operatives moves to Bolivia to take on a flailing presidential campaign. Loosely based on the 2006 documentary of the same name. It’s Like: Primary Colors picked The Motorcycle Diaries as a running mate. Status: George Clooney’s company will produce it.

Frankly, none of these really excites me! However, what we have here are simply synopses. The finished products in the hands of the right filmmakers and casts could be worthwhile. Judd Apatow's influence is palpable.

via DHD/EW


R.I.P - Eartha Kitt

I'm sure most of you have already heard the sad news...

She died yesterday, at the age of 81. Colon cancer was the cause.

Happy Holidays!

I'll be M.I.A. from now until Friday afternoon.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate the holiday!

I'll leave you with this rumor that's been circulating the web for the last few days, but is still unverified, although the reporter who announced the news continues to stand by his story.

Eddie Murphy has reportedly been cast as The Riddler in the next Batman movie.

Of course, Warner Bros. immediately shot down the report as untrue, but Gordon Smart, the U.K.-based reporter for
The Sun, claims his source has very close ties with the production, and refuses to back down.

Smart also claims that the same anonymous source was responsible for another rumor back in 2005 that turned out to be true: the casting of Daniel Craig as the new (at the time) James Bond.

“Everyone had a crack at us when we published that one. I was almost laughed out of conference that day, but it turned out to be spot on," wrote Smart in a recent post on The Guardian's Film Blog. "I wish I had had a bet on it.”

Eddie Murphy as The Riddler? Hmmmmm... I don't know...

Also, be sure to contribute your selections of the top 5 films of 2008. You can do so, and see what others have chosen HERE.

Merry Christmas!


Around The Blogosphere...


Some worthwhile posts from other blogs, whether because of the content, or the discussions that followed:

1. Brandon Wilson, AKA Genius Bastard, AKA DriveKowalski laments the current state of film criticism.

2. Undercover Blackman fends off hooks and jabs - thanks to a short video clip of one self-described "colored" person's policies on tipping.

3. My Bed-stuy neighbor Brandon Harris shares his thoughts on the year in film at Filmmaker magazine.

4. indieWIRE gives us a brief rundown of 76 of the best films that didn't received distribution this year. It's definitely worth a look. I skimmed it, and saw a few titles that I'd long forgotten; so, thanks to indieWIRE for the refresher. I'm going to research some of these films and share my findings here.

5. Lastly, about that Bollywood/Hollywood mash-up... is this what we can expect?

That's all...


TRAILER - Not Easily Broken (Taraji Henson, Morris Chestnut)

This is news to me...

4 years after the adaption of his novel Woman Thou Art Loosed stormed American theatres (well, maybe not really stormed, but you get the picture), preacher, evangelist, life coach, and author T.D. Jakes, is taking another one of his literary works to movie theatres next month, in a film titled Not Easily Broken.

The pic stars Morris Chestnut, and an actress who's somewhat hot right now, Taraji P Henson.

What's it all about?

After years of disagreeing on what true happiness, success, and love really are, Dave (Chestnut) and Clarice Johnson (Henson) have finally reached a breaking point in their marriage. When Clarice is hurt in a car accident, the obvious truth that more than just her injuries need immediate attention is exposed. Their odds of making it worsen as Clarice begins to see a physical therapist, and Dave develops a friendship with Julie (Maeve Quinlan) and her teenage son Bryson. The acceptance and comfort he finds in them stirs his longing for a family and a passionate partner. As temptation tugs at Dave, and Clarice pulls farther away, they must confront whether their vows are or are not easily broken.

Let the church say amen!

It's directed by Bill Duke, by the way, and will be released theatrically by Sony Pictures on January 9th! Somewhat perfect timing to take advantage of all the attention Taraji P Henson has been, and will continue to receive up until awards season, for her performance in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Although, I don't think I'll be rushing out to see this one. Woman Thou Art Loosed didn't do much for me.

Here's the trailer:


TRAILER, SUNDANCE - Nollywood Babylon

Below is the trailer for another Sundance Film Festival 2009 entry titled, Nollywood Babylon, a feature documentary about the explosive popularity of Nigeria's movie industry, aka Nollywood, the third largest in the world, behind Hollywood and Bollywood.

This is the second documentary on Nollywood that I am aware of. The first, Welcome To Nollywood, failed to make much of a splash, however is available for sale on DVD via the National Black Programming Consortium.

I hear Nollywood Babylon is better, thorough, and delves much deeper beneath the surface of it all. I hope I get to see it eventually.

Here's the trailer:

POSTER, SUNDANCE - Endgame (Chiwetel Ejiofor)

Behold, the newly released poster for Endgame, the political thriller set to debut at next month's Sundance Film Festival, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and William Hurt - two of some of the better thespians in the biz.

Endgame centers on a businessman who "initiates covert discussions between the African National Congress and white intellectuals to try and find a peaceful solution to the Apartheid regime." Not sure who's playing who.

Looks like a bust. The words, "From the director of Vantage Point" don't help matters much.

We'll see...

The "Benjamin Button" Poster That Never Was

I was just over at SlashFilm and saw the image above.

Apparently, according to SlashFilm, for unexplained reasons, Paramount Pictures/David Fincher chose not to use this piece of promotional art (found in the studio’s Oscar advertising campaign) as part of the film’s theatrical marketing. Now, inquiring minds want to know why.

I actually like it... it's certainly much more striking than any of the other images they decided to use instead. But, maybe it's too cryptic, especially for those not familiar with the story, or that Taraji P. Henson plays a major role in it.

Recognizable faces sell tickets, so, of course we'd expect to find Brad Pitt's mug on every marketing item, as well as Cate Blanchett's. But this would have been an interesting sight on some gigantic billboard around mid-town Manhattan! No titles, no names, no taglines - just the image, and maybe the release date at the bottom somewhere.


Did You Know...?

Did you know that Jenny Lumet, the screenwriter for the critically acclaimed Rachel Getting Married, is the granddaughter of singer-actress Lena Horne?

I certainly didn't know, and only just found out!

Now you know...



Dubai Film Fest Favors North African Films

North African cinema was the big winner at the 5th annual Dubai Film Festival, which wrapped up late last week, with the Franco-Algerian co-production Masquerades winning the Muhr Award for best film.

The comedy about an Algerian man who tries to marry off his narcoleptic sister, also won the festival’s inaugural Fipresci prize.

Another Franco-Algerian co-production, Dernier Maquis, won the special jury prize, as well as nods for editor and composer. The film is about a group of immigrant workers in a Paris suburb who protest when their boss attempts to build an on-site mosque.

Moroccan filmmaker Nour-Eddine Lakhmari’s Casanegra won the best actor prize - shared between Anas Elbaz and Omar Lotfi - as well as best cinematographer.

And, lastly, Algerian actress Hafsia Herzi picked up the best actress award for her turn in Moroccan director Souad El-Bouhati's debut feature Francaise.

I'm not sure if any of these films will ever reach American shores - likely not. But I'll certainly be on the alert.

Although the African Diaspora Film Festival is notable for its ability to attract films like these for those of us in these United States.

See the entire list of winners here: DUBAI FILM FEST

Good Tuesday Morning!


Do you realize that...

Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, and Ernesto "Che" Guevara were all 39 years old when they were assassinated?

Is there something about that number that I'm not aware of? In essence, if you're deemed a revolutionary, is 39 the age at which you can expect your life to come to an abrupt, violent end?

Are there any others who met a similar fate at the same age that I can add to the 3 above?

What Are Your Top 5 Films Of 2008?

Exactly 2 weeks from today, January 5th 2009, from 8PM to 9PM, Monsieur Brandon Wilson (AKA the Genius Bastard himself) and I will countdown our top 5 films of 2008, on The Obenson Report Podcast on black cinema (you can listen to past episodes of the program via iTunes. Just search for "Obenson Report" in the iTunes store).

We would love to know what your top 5 films of 2008 are, so please do share! The January 5th recording of the podcast will be dedicated entirely to top 5 lists of 2008, and we will read some of the submissions we receive on the air.

You can post your selections here, on this blog, or you can email them to; or call and leave a voice message on our toll-free voicemail with your choices at 1-800-765-7249, and we'll play your message on the air.

I strongly encourage your participation. There are no right or wrong answers, so don't be afraid to share your opinions. Some of us might even learn about a film or 2 that we haven't heard of, and decide to see it.

We're looking specifically for films that were released in 2008 - but the format on which they were released is not important. So, they can be films you saw on DVD, that weren't released theatrically, or films that were only released on television (whether network or cable), or films you saw at film festivals, or other microcinema screening events that have no distribution, etc...

Brandon and I will share ours on the podcast. There are still some films I have to see before the year is over!

So... let the good times roll!

Bollywood, Starring Will Smith

Interesting piece from Variety Magazine I thought worth sharing.

It's no secret to anyone that Will Smith is an international superstar; here's a very good reason why:

Hollywood isn't a big deal in India, but Will Smith is. While Hollywood movies must make do with a market share of 5%-10% in a subcontinent dominated by Bollywood and other local varieties of cinema, Smith once again confounds expectations.

He helped launch Sony's Pix channel in India, has done guest turns on talent competition show "Indian Idol" and even has a production deal with UTV, one of India's leading studios.

According to previous accounts, Smith's interest in India came after release plans for the superstar's date-doctor pic "Hitch" were rejected by Chinese authorities. Angry at being locked out of such a growth market, the proactive Smith turned to Sony... who instead of suggesting a solution to the China problem, said they could be more helpful in India, a much more open market.

A month or two later, Smith and Overbrook partner James Lassiter took a five-day trip to India, where they met execs, directors and giants of the Indian scene, including superstar Amitabh Bachchan, and visited the Taj Mahal.

"On his first trip to India, not only did Will have a great time and meet a lot of interesting people, but I believe he really did fall in love with India -- the warmth of the people and the interaction and the buzz of the city and the creative energy of the people of the film world," says UTV topper Ronnie Screwvala.

"I really feel there is a marriage to be made between Hollywood and Bollywood," Smith said at the time, and he joked that he would like to be called "the Big W," an echo of Bachchan's nickname "the Big B."

Smith's global appeal may have much to do both with his interest in the world beyond the U.S. shores and his willingness to engage in a hands-on fashion.

"It's been said, 'Why sell something to 10 people when you can sell it to 10 million people?' You have to have a global perspective," Smith told the New York Times.

He is critical of stars who don't like to travel abroad in support of their movies, and he uses each of his Hollywood tentpoles to target a particular country for intense promotion work - and expansion of his inclusive, arms-wide-open brand.


Screwvala... saw an opportunity to build something, and he quickly followed up with meetings in L.A. and Gotham. That turned into a $30 million deal for UTV and Overbrook to co-produce movies that Sony would distribute.

Plan is to make a live-action film in the region of $10 million and an animated pic costing $20 million. Deal sees UTV provide coin up to a specified sum, beyond which Overbrook has to raise the money. Emphasis is on Smith and Lassiter to develop a script and hire the cast.

"We struck a chord, and it was clearly keeping in mind an Asia and India slant," says Screwvala...


Since that first trip to India 2½ years ago, Smith and Lassiter have returned regularly, visiting more stars, execs and locations. Danny Boyle reports that Smith visited him twice while the Brit helmer was lensing India-set "Slumdog Millionaire."

"There's going to be a massive coming together of Bollywood and Hollywood. It'll only take one person to bring them together, and it'll be huge," Boyle told the Indian press. The Big W could be the man for the job.
As Johnny Caspar laments in Miller's Crossing, "Running things, it ain't all gravy."

I concur!

I had no idea he's made appearances
on Indian television (Indian Idol) - I wonder if there are any clips of this floating around the web. Time to do some digging.

I wonder if any of these Will Smith/Bollywood flicks will reach American screens...


"Blacktrospective" 2008


Below, syndicated critic and columnist Kam Williams gives us his break down of the best and the worst of black cinema in 2008.

I must say, I had a good laugh... a sad, hopeless kind of laugh, but a laugh nonetheless - as his lists indicates just how shitty the climate really is for what we call "black cinema."

Have we progressed much? Or are things relatively the same as they've been in recent years?

I remember after Halle Berry and Denzel Washington both won Oscars in 2001/2002 - voices were chanting the dawn of a new era for blacks in the industry... doors had supposedly been busted down, ushering in the kind of change many had been calling for, since the dawn of film and television media in this country.

What happened?

I suppose one could point to the fact that others followed in the footsteps of Washington and Berry - notably both Jamie Foxx and Forrest Whitaker winning "Best Actor" trophies; as well as those who have been nominated, but didn't win. One could also call attention to the fact that the biggest movie star in the world is a black man - in Will Smith - and the fact that, in this year alone, we've seen some strong performances from black actresses - Taraji P. Henson in Benjamin Button and Viola Davis in Doubt - both receiving plenty of critical and awards recognition.

And all those points are valid... however, are those truly notable, momentous mentions, indicating genuine progress, or just isolated incidences, enough for Hollywood to pat itself on the back for its attempts?

From the pair of lenses that I'm looking through, we still have a looooong way to go! When a top 10 list of the best films in one entire year includes 2 Tyler Perry movies, Beyonce as Etta James, and an Ice Cube family dramedy, or Boris Kodjoe is on the short list of best actors in a lead role, excuse me if I don't climb onto my apartment rooftop and scream with ecstasy!

Here's Kam's list:

Ten Best Black Feature Films (Studio)
1. The Secret Life of Bees
2. Cadillac Records
3. The Family That Preys
4. The Express
5. Miracle at St. Anna
6. Meet the Browns
7. Never Back Down
8. Seven Pounds
9. Soul Men
10. The Longshots

Best Independent Black Films
1. I’m Through with White Girls
2. How She Move
3. Ballast
4. All about Us
5. Blackout

Best Black Documentaries
1. The Souls of Black Girls
2. A Man Named Pearl
3. America the Beautiful
4. Meeting David Wilson
5. All of Us
6. Trouble the Water
7. One Bad Cat
8. The Dhamma Brothers
9. Very Young Girls
10. Disappearing Voices

Best African Films
1. Pray the Devil Back to Hell (Liberia) 2. Rape in the Congo (Congo) 3. We Are Together (South Africa) 4. On the Rumba River (Congo) 5. Youssou N’Dour: Return to Goree (Senegal)

Best Actor (Lead Role)
1. Rob Brown (The Express)
2. Evan Ross (Gardens of the Night)
3. Anthony Montgomery (I’m Through with White Girls) 4. Djimon Hounsou (Never Back Down) 5. Derek Luke (Miracle at St. Anna) 6. Bernie Mac (Soul Men) 7. Boris Kodjoe (All about Us) 8. Don Cheadle (Traitor) 9. Forest Whitaker (Ripple Effect) 10. Will Smith (Seven Pounds)

Best Actor (Supporting Role)
1. Jeffrey Wright (Cadillac Records, W. Quantum of Solace & Blackout) 2. Omar Benson Miller (Miracle at St. Anna & The Express) 3. Columbus Short (Cadillac Records) 4. Michael Ealy (Miracle at St. Anna) 5. Rick Fox (Meet the Browns) 6. Tyler Perry (The Family That Preys) 7. Eamonn Walker (Cadillac Records) 8. Laz Alonso (Miracle at St. Anna) 9. Lamann Rucker (I’m Through with White Girls & Meet the Browns) 10. JimMyron Ross (Ballast)

Best Actress (Lead Role)
1. Lia Johnson (I’m Through with White Girls) 2. Rutina Wesley (How She Move) 3. Sanaa Lathan (The Family That Preys) 4. Thandie Newton (Run, Fatboy, Run) 5. Angela Bassett (Meet the Browns) 6. Danai Jekesai Gurira (The Visitor) 7. Keke Palmer (The Longshots) 8. Queen Latifah (The Secret Life of Bees) 9. Alfre Woodard (The Family That Preys) 10. Rosario Dawson (Seven Pounds)

Best Actress (Supporting Role)
1. Alicia Keys (The Secret Life of Bees) 2. Taraji Henson (The Curious Life of Benjamin Button) 3. Viola Davis (Doubt & Nights in Rodanthe) 4. Beyonce’ (Cadillac Records) 5. Sharon Leal (Soul Men) 6. Tre’ Armstrong (How She Move) 7. Kellee Stewart (I’m Through with White Girls) 8. Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield) 9. Tasha Smith (The Longshots) 10. Gabrielle Union (Cadillac Records)

Best Director (Studio)
1. Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees) 2. Tyler Perry (The Family That Preys & Meet the Browns) 3. Spike Lee (Miracle at St. Anna) 4. Malcolm Lee (Soul Men) 5. George C. Wolfe (Nights in Rodanthe)

Best Director (Independent or Documentary)
1. Jennifer Sharp (I’m Through with White Girls) 2. Daphne Valerius (The Souls of Black Girls) 3. Darryl Roberts (America the Beautiful) 4. David A. Wilson (Meeting David Wilson) 5. Christine Swanson (All about Us)

Worst Movie
1. First Sunday
2. What Up?
3. Nora’s Hair Salon 2
4. Cover
5. Three Can Play That Game

Worst Actor
1. Tracy Morgan (First Sunday)
2. Katt Williams (First Sunday)
3. Mos Def (Be Kind, Rewind)
4. Kadeem Hardison (What Up?)
5. Raz Adoti (Cover)

Worst Actress
1. Tatyana Ali (Nora’s Hair Salon 2)
2. Stacey Dash (Nora’s Hair Salon 2)
3. Malinda Williams (First Sunday)
4. Aunjanue Ellis (Cover)
5. Vivica A. Fox (Three Can Play That Game)

Worst Director
1. David E. Talbert (First Sunday)
2. Dale Stelly (What Up?)
3. Jill Maxcy (Nora’s Hair Salon 2)
4. Bill Duke (Cover)
5. Mody Mod (Three Can Play That Game)

Like I said... *SIGH*


Aaliyah Bio-Pic In The Works?


According to Canada's National Post, Ottawa-born R&B singer Keshia Chante, 20, will reportedly be playing late singer and actress Aaliyah, in a biopic of the singer and actress' life.

The film is expected to be released in the new year.

I didn't realize an Aaliyah biopic was in the works; but, I guess if we're getting a Notorious B.I.G. biopic, then why not one for Aaliyah as well? Expect a Tupac biopic shortly. Although, I'm surprised one hasn't already been made. There have been a few documentaries... notably the Academy Award-nominated Tupac: Resurrection, released in 2003.

Clearly there's interest from studios in feature films about some of our young performers from the so-called hip hop generation - as we've seen over the past decade or so... Eminem's 8 Mile, 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Trying, Biggie's Notorious in theatres next month, Aaliyah's biopic, and whoever else I may be forgetting.

By comparison, it took 27 long years before a big screen telling of Malcolm X's story was produced and distributed; and as we all know, Spike faced some budget battles with Warner Bros, and had to enlist the financial assistant of his contemporaries in order to complete the picture, including the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Janet Jackson, Prince, and Bill Cosby.


Good Monday Morning!


I realize that most new readers are likely to peruse just the first page of any newly-discovered blog. So, I'm going to start posting weekly round-ups of the most popular posts on this blog - likely each Monday morning, covering popular entries posted the previous week.

Here we go... your chance to catch up on what you may have missed over the past 7 days (based on number of comments, number of click-throughs, and the number of other sites pointing to each post). Click each one to visit:

GOLD - August Wilson - "I Want A Black Director!"
By far the most popular - props to all those FaceBook folks who shared this with their FaceBook friends. I got lots of click-throughs from there.

- PICS - Halle Berry On Location
Didn't get a lot of comments, but lots of Google searches landed on this one.

- TRAILER - Madea Goes To Jail
What would a "most popular" post be without a Tyler Perry entry? Still one of the more polarizing figures in entertainment.

Have a good week...!


Movie Posters - 1960s

I Passed for White
is a 1960 film directed and adapted for the screen from a novel of the same name by Reba Lee, "as told to" Mary Hastings Bradley. The film stars Sonya Wilde, James Franciscus, Patricia Michon, and Isabel Cooley. None of those names is familiar to me...

In the movie, a young African American woman living in Chicago with her family, travels to New York and starts a new life as a white woman. She meets and marries the man of her dreams (a wealthy white man) - only she hasn't told him she isn't who she appears to be.

Anyone seen this? I couldn't find any info on the star, Sonya Wilde - specifically, whether she has any African roots, since she is playing the role of an African American woman.


TV NEWS - Tempestt Bledsoe & Husband In Reality Series

Fox has ordered a new series that puts an attention-getting gender twist on the trophy-spouse reality genre.

The network has ordered nine hours of a program called Househusbands of Hollywood, which follows a collection of stay-at-home husbands of successful L.A. women.

The cast includes... drum roll... Tempestt Bledsoe (The Cosby Show) and husband Darryl M. Bell (A Different World), amongst others.

Househusbands, set to bow in August, falls into an ensemble soap category that's provided ample fruit for such high-profile cable players as Bravo, VH1 and E!

Fox Reality hopes to find a new audience with the series and, if successful, expand the Househusbands brand beyond a single series (not unlike a certain group of Real Housewives on Bravo).

I had absolutely no idea Tempestt Bledsoe was married to Darryl from A Different World. I didn't realize she was a so-called "successful L.A. woman." I wonder what she does for a living, because, she's certainly no longer working in TV... until now anyway. I remember having a crush on her when I was in high school :o)

This Househusbands program certainly is a twist on the usual... not that I'll be rushing to watch it. Although, I'm sure I'll hear about it.

By the way... someone should put together one of those "where are they now" scenarios for the entire Cosby Show clan - specifically the kids. I know little Rudy (Keshia Knight Pulliam) is co-starring in Tyler Perry's next - Madea Goes To Jail.

And Theo (Malcolm Jamal Warner) has done some TV shows in recent years - notably Malcolm And Eddie (co-starring Eddie Griffin), and most recently,
Jeremiah (co-starring Luke Perry).

And, of course, Raven-Symone, up until last year, had her own TV show on the Disney Channel, titled That's So Raven; and earlier this year, saw her 4th studio album released.

I have no idea what Lisa Bonet and Sabrina Le Beauf are up to.


VIDEO - Earliest Clips Of Black People On Film

Courtesy of the University Of Indiana Black Film Center Archive...

3 Men Dance 1894

Watermelon Contest 1896

Little Boy Dancing 1897

Morning Bath 1896