Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Good Wednesday Morning!


Another unusually warm and sunny day in New York City - we're close to 60 degrees Fahrenheit today (15.5 degrees Celsius). I actually ran my AC a little bit this morning as I got ready for work.

Ok... I'm lying... I didn't. But it's warm out there today!

So, what's happened since my last post?

FIRST - Elvis Mitchell and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders are readying a sequel to their acclaimed HBO special The Black List: Vol. 1, assembling a group of noted African-Americans sharing candid stories and revealing insights into the struggles, triumphs and joys of black life in the U.S.

For Vol. 2, a new crop of influential people such as Motown Records pioneer Suzanne de Passe, Academy Award nominated Laurence Fishburne and filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles were interviewed.

The 1-hour documentary will debut Feb. 26 at 8:00 PM ET/PT on HBO.

SECOND - According to Forbes Magazine, Will Smith is the world's most bankable star! He's at the top of a list that includes names like Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Denzel Washington - all of whom are in the top 10. It's obviously still a white man's world. Of the top 20 names on the list, just 5 are either African American or female. The rest are white men - specifically white men over 40! You can see the entire list of 100 names HERE.

THIRD - The Hollywood Reporter details the journey Lee Daniels' Push took from Sundance winner, to the subject of a court battle between two powerful film companies - Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company. It's an interesting, revealing read, giving the reader some insight into how these closed-door deals can sometimes go awry. Read it HERE.

FOURTH - Queen Latifah will be performing at the Oscars later this month, singing the song "I'll Be Seeing You," from the 1938 Broadway musical Right This Way. When I first read this, I thought, "wait a minute; Dana Owens can't sing; she's raps." But then I remembered that she actually CAN sing, as she did belt out a few notes on several of her albums in the 90s. AND, she was nominated for her performance in Chicago, the adaptation of the Broadway musical. The Academy Awards broadcast happens on February 22nd, on ABC.

FIFTH - Angela Bassett will be stepping behind the camera for the very first time, as director of a film based on a book by Percival Everett called Erasure, stating, "I always thought that I had a third eye, but it's frightening and I always wonder if I can pull it off... It's a good story. I've had opportunities in the past to direct smaller, independent movies and television shows. I never want to do it just for the heck of it."

Erasure has been sitting in my ever-growing pile of books to read for about a year now. It's about an African-American writer who "overcomes" his intellectual tendency to "write white" and ends up penning a parody of ghetto fiction that becomes a huge commercial and literary success. I've moved the book to the top of my cue, right after I finish Reginald Lewis's Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?. I'll report on my "findings" afterwards. Read Wilson Morales's interview with Bassett, in which she reveals her first directorial effort, HERE.

SIXTH - Lastly, below, watch Viola Davis discuss her role in Tyler Perry's upcoming Madea Goes To Jail. I don't know if I've ever heard anyone speak about a Tyler Perry film with this much depth and complexity. You'd think she was talking about a Toni Morrison novel. Well... not really... but I'm sure you catch my drift.

AND That's news to me...


  1. SolShine7 said...

    Wow, Viola Davis keeps impressing me with her interviews.

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