Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

POSTER - Mugshots Of Madea Goes To Jail

Courtesy of AOL BlackVoices - Movieweb has released 4 mug shot posters for Tyler Perry's upcoming film, Madea Goes to Jail, which comes out on February 20.

The film stars Tyler Perry, Derek Luke, Keshia Knight Pulliam, David Mann, Tamala Mann, Ronreaco Lee, Ion Overman, Vanessa Ferlito, Viola Davis, Sophia Vergara, Robin Coleman, and Bobbi Baker.

WARNING: Extremely Disturbing Images Ahead :o)

Like I said, disturbing...!


GOOD IDEA/BAD IDEA - Sacha Baron Cohen is Black Jesus

Regarding Sacha Baron Cohen's next film, titled, Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America For The Purpose Of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable In The Presence Of A Gay Foreigner In A Mesh T-Shirt... according to the UK Sun and SlashFilm:

Universal Pictures has begun to hold test screenings for Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen’s follow-up to Borat. Early audiences say that Cohen’s new movie will shock and “wind certain sections of society up”.

One of Cohen’s key characters in the film is a black model called Jesus, complete with a loincloth and a crown of thorns. That’s sure to upset religious groups.

And apparently one of the film’s major story points takes aim at Madonna. Bruno and his boyfriend “Diesel” adopt an African orphan named David, and proceed to parade the child around “the chic fashion capitals of the world.“

Apparently, if you thought Borat was risque, Bruno will likely give you a heart-attack!

I'm still not so sure what I think of Sacha Baron Cohen and his antics. I saw Borat, and left the theatre feeling more annoyed than shocked. I'll admit there was some humor in it, but I found much of it juvenile and silly.

I do love jarring people out of their complacency, and making them feel uncomfortable, as long as the motivation for doing so is genuine and meant to challenge, especially ignorant, long-held beliefs. I'm not so sure if that's his intent, or if he's simply a shock-jock, padding his wallets at the expense of others.

The film is scheduled for a May 15th, 2009 release, and will likely make a shitload of money, just like Borat did.

TRAILER - Fighting

Watch Terrence Howard play
sheisty mentor to Channing Tatum in a film called Fighting.

The film looks just as profound and generic as its title. The flick hits theaters on April 24th 2009.


Happy Friday!


Spider-Man meets Barack Obama.

President-Elect Obama is feature in issue #583 of The Amazing Spider-Man.

Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada says that “President-Elect Obama is a collector of Spider-Man comics” and “a Spider-Man fan moving into the Oval Office is an event that must be commemorated in the pages of ‘Amazing Spider-Man.’”

Might be an issue worth picking up as an investment... could be worth something later :o)

(Click to enlarge)


CONTEST - Netflix FIND Your Voice Film Competition

Just announced this afternoon...

Netflix, Inc. and Film Independent (FIND) are joining forces to "discover the next great independent filmmaker."

The "Netflix FIND Your Voice Film Competition" will award one aspiring filmmaker the means, guidance and resources to make a full-length, narrative film.

The winner of the competition, who will own all rights to his or her film, will be determined between now and July 2009, will be given distribution online at Netflix.

In addition to production resources needed to make the film, the winner will receive a $150,000 cash production grant funded by Netflix. Film Independent will provide advisement and mentorship to the winning filmmaker throughout the production of the film and will also screen the winner's movie at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

So, what do you have to do to qualify?

The competition is a three-stage process:

– First, from today until February 9th, the competition will accept applications from aspiring filmmakers at You'll need to fill out an application with all the usual (name, D.O.B, synopsis of your script, a list of cast and crew (if applicable), a budget top-sheet, a DVD containing footage of your best work or a link that provides online access to such footage, etc, etc, etc) and submit along with your 80 - 120 page screenplay.

For the rest of the story, go to

This is one good reason why it's a good idea to write continuously, if you're filmmaker, so that you'll always have a completed script or two, sitting around, waiting to be made, because you never know when an opportunity like this, with such a short application window, will arise. If I had a completed feature script, I certainly would participate, but, alas, I don't, so I can't! Granted I've got until February 9th - a whole month - but that's just not enough time to put together something good enough to submit.


SUNDANCE 2009 - More On "Push" With Lee Daniels + Audition Clip

Just found this interview
indieWire held with director/producer of the upcoming Sundance selection, Push. As stated by indieWIRE's editor, "this is part of a series of interviews, conducted via email, profiling dramatic and documentary competition and American Spectrum directors who have films screening at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival."

It's not a profoundly insightful interview, but I did learn a few things about Daniels, his history and his methods, that I wasn't aware of previously, like the following bits and pieces below:

- In high school, I lobbied hard for the part of Max Detweiler in the "Sound of Music" and convinced my drama teacher that a black student could do this role. That took a lot of fast talking! (And that was also something that left an lasting impression on me; namely that roles should be cast based on talent and not color.)

- In LA, I was a talent manager for many years. I represented many African-American actors. After a while, I became disheartened over the shortage of roles for African Americans. I decided I was going to do something about it by producing my own films that included meaningful and compelling roles for black actors. So, I jumped into producing with my first film "Monster's Ball."

- While I am not a musician, I love music... I believe my love for music has made me partial to working with musicians in my films. I find musicians to be wonderfully talented and soulful.

- Why would anyone care about a poor, 300-pound, uneducated black girl as dark as night? The answer to this question is what this film is ultimately about.

- Future projects? I am still searching for this answer. My family and friends want me to direct a big studio action movie; my boyfriend wants me to make a musical; my investors have expressed interest in a childrens's movie; but I do not know...I still feel drawn to dark movies with endless human maybe a drug movie!

Read the entire interview HERE.

And thanks to Must Love Movies, by way of Black Girl Lost In A Book, below is an audition clip of Gabourey Sidibe, the star of Push, which apparently has been circulating online, unknown to me... not anymore. Here's the 3-minute audition segment:

SIGHTINGS - The Hughes Brothers


I wonder what they've been doing for the past 8 years, since their last effort, the mediocre
From Hell, was released... their individual IMDB resumes state their involvement in a television series called Touching Evil, in 2004, serving as producer and director respectively. But not much else.

Having already wrapped their arms around one set of pimp chronicles on the east coast, the Hughes Brothers have decided to focus their cameras on yet another group of pimps, for a television series, but this time set in Oakland, California - a move that's apparently causing quite a stir amongst Oakland residents, who fear the potentially harmful effect that the negative images captured for the film will have on their beloved city by the bay.

The conflict with the city aside, as I said in a previous post a few months ago - given that the brothers haven't made a film in 8 years, I would expect that their return to center-stage would be something other than a rehashing/revisiting of themes and ideas they've already explored - and not very well, in my opinion. Come on fellas! Surely, there are fresher, more interesting stories to tell than this.


The Hughes Bros have run into resistance from officials in Oakland, Calif. who are reluctant to grant the filmmakers a permit to shoot their upcoming pimp drama in the city.

Authorities are worried that "Gentleman of Leisure," which follows the life of a legendary Oakland pimp as he tries to leave the game, will depict Oakland in a bad light, reports The San Francisco Chronicle,

The series, written by Evan Reilly, delves into the overall hustlers' subculture by examining the conflict between old-school pimps and the younger guys whose approach incorporates the violence of the drug culture.

The City of Oakland feels the show may take advantage of the negative reputation already associated with the Bay Area and create an environment that will lead to the further exploitation of women.

That image would stand in exact opposition of Mayor Ron Dellums' plan to create a "model city."

The Hughes brothers, however, argue that their aim is to do for Oakland what "The Wire" did for the city of Baltimore by staying as true to reality as possible.

"It's The Wire meets The Sopranos set in Oakland in a crime element never used before," Allen Hughes told Chronicle. "It's not just about pimps and prostitutes, but also about the history of a city that never got its due. Like Detroit or Miami and a lot of other cities, Oakland is steeped in heavy street industry, in rackets. I'm just going to say it, Oakland is a pimpin' town. It's flourished there. And whenever and wherever street life is celebrated, the city gets a shout out."

I'll probably have to pass on this one... however, I can be convinced otherwise. I stayed clear of The Wire upon its initial run 6 or so years ago, for obvious reasons. But, after a friend strongly urged me to shed my prejudices and watch a few episodes, I was hooked! Maybe Gentlemen of Leisure might be The Wire set in Oakland... maybe a question to ask is whether we need another version of The Wire... maybe it'll turn out to be a great show... maybe... maybe not!


FYI - "Chandni" To Have Widest U.S. Release Of Any Bollywood Movie

This just in...

Warner Bros. Pictures will be releasing the Bollywood film Chandni Chowk to China in North America on January 16th. The film will open on more than 125 screens in over 50 markets (I'm sure New York City, my home, will be one of them), making it the largest and widest ever release of any Bollywood film in the United States and Canada.

The film will also be released in 40 international markets.

The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

What's Chandni Chowk to China about? Here's the long version:

The first ever Bollywood Kung-fu comedy takes you on a madcap journey from the by-lanes of Chandni Chowk in Delhi, to Shanghai, marrying in its wake hilarious gags, breathtaking action, spectacular locations and heart stirring emotions.

Our protagonist Sidhu (Akshay Kumar) is the lowest on the totem pole, cutting vegetables at a road side food stall in Chandni Chowk in Delhi. He longs to escape his dreary existence and looks for shortcuts - with astrologers, tarot readers, & fake fakirs - basically believing anything except himself, despite his father figure's best efforts.

His redeeming moment arrives when two strangers from China claim him as a reincarnation of a war hero in the past and take him to China.

Sidhu now dreams of wine, women and a princely existence in foreign lands. Thanks to the devious translator, a conman by the name Chopstick (Ranvir Shorey), little does he know that he is being taken to the promised land to rid the Chinese village of the vicious smuggler Hojo (Gordon Liu)!

So Sidhu blissfully sets forth to China with Chopstick who instigates dreams of a delicious future and forgets to reveal the perils which await him. Along the way he meets Sakhi (Deepika Padukone), Ms. Tele Shoppers Media (Ms TSM) who has embarked on a journey to pay homage to the land of her birth and her dead father and twin.

Initially Sidhu through a series of lucky coincidences manages to sidestep being beaten by Hojos men but finally Hojo catches up with him and exposes him as the country buffoon that he really is.

Sidhu has the fire of revenge in his belly and finds the one man who will make him a Kung-fu expert and set the village free. Armed with his Sifu (master), faith in himself and the love of the fair Sakhi, Sidhu sets forth to conquer all!

Pheeewwwww! Got all that? :o)

I'll see it! From the looks of the trailer below, it looks like a 2-hour escapade! Plus, I don't know how often the Indians and the Chinese work together on film productions! The merging of cultures should be edutainment! It might provide some respite from the January doldrums.

The film's website, which is chock-full of goodies, can be found HERE.

Watch the fun trailer below:


Good Thursday Morning!

Something humorous to start your day with...

Ha! I think he really wanted to get in. I laughed hardest when it gave itself a running start and jumped against the door, as if it thought that would somehow jar it open!

PICS - Push Exclusive

As filmmaker Lee Daniels gears up to unveil his latest piece of work,
Push, to the Sundance Film Festival next week, has obtained the above exclusive image from the gritty drama.

The eagerly anticipated film, based on the best-selling book of the same name, boasts an all-star cast including Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Kimberly Russell, and Sherri Shepherd of The View.

Newcomer Gabourey Sidibe plays the starring role.

Push tells the story of a confused, overweight African-American girl named Clareece "Precious" Jones. Verbally and sexually abused by her family, her troubles lead to problems in school. Precious, as she is known, has no friends, no money, two kids (from her father), and she's illiterate. She is accepted into an alternative school where a teacher (played by Patton) helps her find an alternative path in her life. Along her journey, she comes across a concerned social worker (played by Carey) and a nurse (played by Kravitz).

I haven't read the book, although I've heard great things about it from those I know who have.

I'll guess that, despite the books already built-in audience, the film will likely have some difficulty finding a distributor, even with Sundance on its resume.


SIGHTINGS - Michael Clarke Duncan & Vivica Fox

Just in case you've been wondering what Michael Clarke Duncan has been up to, as I'm sure you all have...

He's starring in a film called Slammin’ Salmon, which will premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in a couple of weeks.

In the film, a brutal former heavyweight boxing champion Cleon “Slammin’” Salmon (Michael Clarke Duncan), now owner of a Miami restaurant, creates a competition to see which of his waiters can earn the most money in one night, with $10,000 as the winning prize, while the loser will endure a beating at the hands of the champ.

Of course, hijinx and hilarity ensue... what else, right?

The film also features Vivica Fox.

I seriously doubt that this will see a theatrical release!

Here's its trailer:

DIVERSIONS - Obama's Beast-Like Ride

The inauguration of Barack Obama will unveil the newest, biggest and baddest in a long line of Presidential limos.

According to Presidential vehicle experts, the new limo is a "beast-like General Motors truck-based Cadillac that is so tough it's like a 'rolling tank with windows.'"

Among the vehicle's main features are windows that are 5 inches thick, 19.5-inch Goodyear RHS tires (same as super tough trucks), and possibly even a lock safety mechanism that seals off the car like a bank vault in case of an emergency.

In an interview with CNN, security expert Ken Lucci says rubber gaskets likely protect the car against chemical weapons and that the body will be made out of a tougher material than before.

Despite the immense secrecy, reports have leaked that the limo also comes with a 10-CD changer, which will inevitably end up playing Obama favorites like Steve Wonder and Bob Dylan.


DVD Spotlight - Nothing But A Man


In the deep south of the early 1960s, Duff, a somewhat reckless young man (the late Ivan Dixon who would go on to direct The Spook Who Sat By The Door) is drawn to Josie, a grounded preacher's daughter (played by the late Abbey Lincoln, star of stage and screen); they unite; they part, he realizes he prefers stability to freedom, and they reconcile.

Like most "black-themed" films of its era, Nothing But a Man was written, directed and produced by whites: Michael Roemer and Robert Young, two Jewish filmmakers with documentary, American cinema verité backgrounds and Harvard degrees.

Most of the film was shot in New Jersey and not in the south, where the story is set; however, it's worth noting that the production team earnestly researched southern life and Jim Crow custom, reportedly staying with Black families throughout the South for an entire year before production began.

The original soundtrack features Motown stars like Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells, Martha and the Vandellas, The Miracles, and The Marvelettes.

I'll review Nothing But A Man fully during a future podcast. In the meantime, if you haven't seen it, do yourself a big favor and pick up the DVD.

Here are the film's first 6 minutes:

Film Finds - The Redemption Of General Butt Naked

Found this on my desk this morning...

The film is called The Redemption Of General Butt Naked (don't laugh) - the true story of a blood-thirsty Liberian warlord turned Christian evangelist.

A friend's friend is the filmmaker. No idea what the film's future plans are.

Here's its trailer:

FESTIVAL - The International Black Women’s Film Festival

My first time hearing about this festival... found at Must Love Movies.

According to the
festival's website:

The International Black Women’s Film Festival was established in 2002 by Adrienne Anderson, a San Francisco Bay Area-resident and San Francisco-native. Though an academic and collaborative technology trainer by profession, Ms. Anderson is also a journalist, writer and cultural activist. It was through her contact with music artists and filmmakers that she found that many films being presented had little, if any, fair representation of the complexity and human emotions of Black, female characters. Surprisingly, she found this consistency among films from other countries as well.

She decided to create a festival where the accomplishments, talents, creativity and filmmaking skills of Black women could be celebrated, featured and fairly represented. Looking beyond the usual Hollywood-style stereotypes of Black women, she introduced new and innovate cinema, primarily directed by Black women, and/or featuring Black women in non-stereotypical roles.

To date, the festival has received over 400 entries and has garnered international attention around the world from the Netherlands, Germany, Paris, Ghana, Canada and Australia! The festival has also received personal support and sponsorship from STAR WARS director and creator George Lucas and his media company LucasFilms, Ltd.

Below is a trailer for the festival competition:

via MLM

Good Wednesday Morning!

Good morning earth people!

It's cold and raining in New York City today; the stock market's in the red, as is my portfolio.


But as Gloria Gaynor once sang, "I will survive!" Although I'm neither afraid nor petrified... just bleh!

She also did sing, "Anybody want to party?" That's one sure way to lift one's spirits during days like this.

Maybe this'll cheer you up:

The image above shows the 8 actors recently enlisted to star in Sylvester Stallone's next epic titled, The Expendables (although the spelling on the image is incorrect - I didn't create it).

Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke (his next after his award-winning performance in The Wrestler), Dolph Freaking Lundgren (where the hell has he been? Recall he fought Stallone in Rocky IV, as the imposing Russian boxer Ivan Drago - ha-ha; now they meet again, except this time, they're both playing for the same team), former UFC heavy-weight champion Randy Couture, my man Forest Whitaker, whose been in a few films lately, but none that's packed much of a whallop (I hear he's a bad-ass in this film), and last but not least, Sir Ben Kingsley who's usually reliable, regardless of the role!

Interesting, eclectic cast, don't you think? A mixture of what we could term genuine actors in Rourke, Whitaker and Kingsley, and real life martial artists in Jet Li, Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren, a 3rd Degree Black Belt. Although Rourke was a professional boxer 20 or so years ago, and still hangs around the gym with other fighters. Also both Stallone and Statham certainly aren't slouches when it comes to throwing punches and kicks.

Needless to say, this is likely going to be one rump of a movie!

The film is about an “expendable” team (the men above), hired to do jobs that no one else can or will. The team is sent to infiltrate a South American country to overthrow its ruthless dictator and liberate the country.

Hmmm... just once, I'd like to see a film about a team sent INTO the US of A to overthrow its ruthless dictator and liberate the country :o)

Although, I wonder what South American country will be in focus, or whether the country's name simply won't be spoken. I'm no South American scholar, but I'm certainly not aware of any South American countries with "ruthless dictators" that need American jackals to intercept and liberate them.

The most likely would be Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, given how vocal the man has been, and continues to be about American imperialism - especially over the last 8 years, under Bush's reign; but I wouldn't consider him a "ruthless dictator," nor say that the people in Venezuela need to be liberated... far from it actually.

So, Stallone and company need to tread carefully about the message they might be sending with The Expendables. I know it's "only a movie," as some might be quick to state, but American movies have long vilified groups of people, notably Arabs, which I think we can all agree has contributed (whether intentionally or not) to the ignorance and xenophobia that plagues much of our society. The moving image is probably the most powerful educational tool there is!

So, if one is going to make a film about an American-lead force invading another country to "liberate its people from their ruthless dictator," something that some Americans would like to believe is their raison d'etre, then the story had better have some real factual information to support it. Now isn't the time to help engender even more fear and ignorance... even if it's "only a movie."

Or, maybe there's a plot twist within the film's second act... maybe the "expendable" team goes south, enters whatever make-believe country they intend to liberate, only to learn that the information given to them about this "ruthless dictator" and his/her people, is all false and intentionally fabricated, and, in the process, they uncover some American government conspiracy to assassinate this make-believe South American country's supposed "ruthless dictator," who they learn is actually a Marxist in the mold of a few real-life South American leaders, both historically and currently, intent on keeping his country free of American-like materialism, consumerism, and greed - and the "expendable" team sides with the South Americans in a battle against the North American conspirators, which unfolds in the film's 3rd act!

Now that would be true-to-life! After all, how many South American leftist leaders from yesteryear were assassinated by American-backed insurgencies?

Principal photography for The Expendables is set to begin in Brazil and Louisiana in March, aiming for a summer 2010 release.

HO-HUM - A Boring Day In The Neighborhood...


It's that time of year again - the January doldrums, which means slow news days like today. There just isn't much going on in the world of cinema - specifically "black cinema;" so, there's not much worthwhile to report.

Glad to say that I'm starting feel better than I did over the last 4 days. Bouts of sneezing, blowing, sniffling and coughing have dwindled to just bouts of coughing. So, I'm almost there!

So what's new, you ask? Not much...

Director F. Gary Gray's return to the big screen is starting to take shape as four more actors have joined Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler in the vigilante thriller, Law Abiding Citizen.

The Hollywood Reporter states that among the new additions are Michael
Gambon, Leslie Bibb, Colm Meaney and Theresa Randle.

Citizen is set in motion when a district attorney orchestrates a plea bargain that sets free the killers of another man's family. The aggrieved victim then seeks personal justice from the D.A. Not sure who's playing who. I'll guess that Jamie Foxx plays the said "aggrieved victim" and Randle plays his wife?

Randle, whose film credits include Spike Lee's Girl 6 and Sugar Hill, was last seen on the big screen in 2003 with Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys II.

The film will start shooting this month in Philadelphia.


Here's a pic of Terrence Howard on the set of his next outing titled, Fighting, which stars Channing Tatum, also pictured with Howard.

The synopsis: “Barely earning a living selling counterfeit goods on the streets, his luck changes when scam artist Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard) sees that he has a natural talent for streetfighting. When Harvey offers Shawn help at making the real cash, the two form an uneasy partnership. As Shawn’s manager, Harvey introduces him to the corrupt bare-knuckle circuit, where rich men bet on disposable pawns. Almost overnight, he becomes a star brawler, taking down professional boxers, mixed martial arts champs and ultimate fighters in a series of staggeringly intense bouts. But if Shawn ever hopes to escape the dark world in which he’s found himself, he must now face the toughest fight of his life.”

And lastly...

3. Prince is planning to release three new albums in 2009 without the assistance of a record label, according to an interview with the Los Angeles Times. A "major retailer" is in talks with the artist to release the music physically, while a new Prince Web site will sell it in digital form.

The two new Prince albums are the tentatively titled "MPLSOUND" and "Lotus Flower." He was also heavily involved in a third album titled "Elixir" from his protege, Bria Valente. "We got sick of waiting for Sade to make a new album," he said of that project.

As for "MPLSOUND," recorded at Prince's Paisley Park compound in Minneapolis, the Times describes at "electro-flavored" and full of "trippy, experimental pop songs." Q-Tip guests on one track.

"Lotus Flower" is more guitar-driven, an approach Prince says he came to after touring as the guitarist in singer Tamar Davis' band in 2006. Tracks include "Dreamer," a cover of Tommy James and the Shondells' "Crimson & Clover," "Colonized Mind" and "Wall of Berlin."

Like I said... a slow news day...

Cheers mateys!


Movie Posters - 1970s

In this 1970 drama, Calvin Lockhart of classics like Uptown Saturday Night and Cotton Comes To Harlem fame, must keep tensions in control at a predominantly black high school faced with the busing in of a few white students.

A young Jeff Bridges and Rob Reiner also star along with many familiar faces.

I found a "special report" on the film at a site called, which states some interesting facts about the film:

"Halls Of Anger" was intended as a smash hit for United Artists. It starred Calvin Lockhart as Quincy Davis, yet another Wonder Teacher from that era who achieves the impossible in a biracial setting, this time a Los Angeles High School. Black and white grownups would like it, black and white kids would like it, U.A. would make a fortune, the careers of the cast would be assured and the charismatic, handsome and talented Mr. Lockhart would be the next Sidney Poitier, right? Wrong...

From the start, there was extreme hostility on the set and why wouldn't there be? Whose brilliant idea was it to make the black kids the unmitigated villains of the piece?


Since there had already been movies about black discrimination, why not make one about the discrimination white students face when they're bussed to a predominantly black high school?

Positive black role models? Only a handful are mentioned, including O.J. Simpson. Moreover, white principal Boyd Wilkerson (John McLiam) acts like he's actually the Warden of San Quentin. Now this already looks like a terrible idea on paper. Imagine how it played out when the mostly unknown cast members realized that making "Halls Of Anger" might be all the careers they would ever have.

I haven't seen nor heard of the film, and the above write-up certainly doesn't make me want to. Anyone?

Check out a 4 minute clip below:

CONTEST - Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival

This just in... Sent to me via email a few hours ago for interested filmmakers:

The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival announces a competition to find the official trailer for the 2009 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. For the first time in the three-year history of the Festival, Tribeca and ESPN have created a unique competition to find the official Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival trailer that will be scheduled to play prior to all of the films in this year’s sports film festival. The 2009 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will take place during the Tribeca Film Festival, April 22 through May 3, 2009.

To participate in the competition, contestants will need to shoot a reenactment of a scene from a classic sports film. Three scenes from two classic Walt Disney Pictures, Remember The Titans and Cool Runnings, have been preselected for contestants to recreate. All recreations of the scenes should keep within the spirit of the original film and be under 30 seconds. A panel of Tribeca and ESPN notables will select the top submissions and choose the final winner. The competition begins Monday, January 5, 2009 and ends Saturday, March 7, 2009.


Contestants should log on to download the script pages to both films and then submit their videos.

In addition to having the scene play as the official trailer for the 2009 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, the grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to New York City (including airfare and hotel accommodations) for two nights to attend the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, dinner for two at the ESPN Zone, one Apple TV with an I-Tunes gift certificate in the amount of $100, and a 17-inch Apple Mac Book Pro fully loaded with Leopard OS and Final Cut studio.

Sounds good - especially the 17-inch Mac Book Pro fully loaded with Final Cut Studio. That alone is a $4,000+ package.

Interesting that they picked 2 films with predominantly African American casts.

Although, it seems pointless to recreate a scene from an already existing movie, doesn't it? How much flexibility does one have with each rendering? What exactly are they looking for here?

Some suggestions:

• Have your friends and family play the roles of the tough football players in Remember The Titans.
• Get your kids to play the surly, yet inspirational coach.
• Have one person play all the roles.
• Swap genders in the roles.
• Set the scene in a different place and time.

In short, be as creative as you want to be!

For a refresher, I included clips from both films below.

Here's a clip from Remember The Titans:

Here's a clip from Cool Runnings:

So, what are you waiting for? You've got 2 months to put something together. I just might participate this time!

Here's the link again:

AUDIO - Movie Soundtracks?

Sitting at home all day today, feeling ill, yet utterly restless - a deadly combo - combing YouTube for entertainment, since I can't bring myself to focus on anything that requires any intellectual maneuvering, I had a moment of sudden revelation, otherwise known as an epiphany: it's rare that we talk about movie soundtracks, specifically those created by a single composer, as opposed to some mosh pit of singles by a select group of "top 40" musicians.

As a filmmaker, I have my eclectic wish-list of artists whom I'd like to work with some day, in producing a soundtrack for future films I direct.

Here they are:

- From the moment I heard her Bitter album, one of the few that I can listen to from beginning to end, without skipping a single track, songstress Meshell N'Degeocello has been at the top of my wish-list. She's one of those pure musicians who refuses to be categorized, or relegated to one specific genre. She incorporates a variety of styles and musical elements quite effectively, from one album to the next, and I cheer in response, given just how often rich, complex, and moving each track on each album can be. She doesn't quite get the attention and the radio play that I believe she deserves. But, we can say that about a lot of other artists. So it goes...

- Cliff Martinez: His ethereal work with long-time collaborator, filmmaker, Steven Soderbergh, is inspiring - notably Traffic and Solaris; as was his work in Narc.

- Little Dragon: They are a relatively new Swedish band featuring a Japanese female lead singer, with music that nearly runs the gamut - electronic/soul/folk/lounge/jazz and more. Their 2006 debut LP is the self-titled Little Dragon.

- Johnny Greenwood: My introduction to his work was in Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood. I'm not even quite sure how to categorize the sounds he created for the soundtrack of that film. Maybe that's a good thing. He's described as a multi-instrumentalist; many will know him as guitarist and keyboard player for alternative rock group Radiohead!

- Jon Brion: Speaking of P.T. Anderson... Brion scored 3 of his 5 films (Hard Eight, Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love); But the Brion composition I love the most is the work he did for Michel Gondry in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, one of my favorite films.

- Last on my short but evolving list is Michael Nyman, the English composer of minimalist music, pianist, librettist and musicologist, perhaps best known for the many films whose scores he composed during his lengthy collaboration with one of my favorite filmmakers, Peter Greenaway - The Draughtman's Contract, Drowning By Numbers, and, of course, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover - all highly recommended viewing, by the way.

Soooo... for you filmmakers reading this, who is at the top of your wishlist of musicians you'd like to work with? And for you non-filmmakers, who are some of your favorite composers, or what are some of your favorite movie soundtracks? I'm always on the hunt for new music and musicians to check out, so, I'm looking forward to seeing your selections.

Good Monday Morning!

Still feeling icky today... my voice sounds like Darth Vader on crack... so, I canceled tonight's podcast recording.

In the meantime...

Turner Classic Movies put together a beautiful video montage remembering the actors, actresses, directors, writers, producers, and musicians who died in 2008. Eartha Kitt was not included - likely because this was produced before her death.

The song you hear is called “God Only Knows” by Joe Henry.


FYI - Bleh...!


I've been holed up in my apartment since Friday, thanks to a nasty virus that I caught.

Coughing, sneezing, sniffling, nose-blowing, sour throat, almost non-existent voice, etc, etc, etc...


I tend to get rather irritable and unable to focus when in this state, so don't look for any new postings on this blog until, at least, sometime tomorrow, or soon thereafter!

In the meantime, watch Tom Cruise kill Oprah Winfrey... cracks me up every time: