movies

Recent Articles

Recently e-published writer ‘digs humanity’

Name the subject — any subject — and Dwight Hobbes will have something unique to say about it. After his writing appeared over the years in such publications as Reader’s Digest, Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, Essence and the MSR, Hobbes finally relented after being oft-asked when he’d write a book. Continue Reading →

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Few acting roles for Black females

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

Final installment of a four-part series

12 Years a Slave made five out of nine top-10 films of 2013 lists by movie critics, and Fruitvale Station made two such lists; these two movies featured Black males as leads.  However, only two Black females — Halle Berry (The Call, Sony Pictures) and Paula Patton (Baggage Claim, Fox Searchlight) — were leads in movies released by major Hollywood studios in 2013. “Critics don’t look at a film and notice that every one of the lead roles is White,” Uptown Magazine Editor Ronda Racha Penrice said in an October CNN.com article. A UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies released the “Hollywood Diversity Brief” in October and it stated that there is “a dearth of gender, racial and ethnic diversity in film and television — both in front of and behind the camera.”

Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow) and Kerry Washington (Scandal) are the only Black female leads on prime time network television this season. “I’m 5’1 and an African American woman. I just didn’t think anyone would have me to play the cop,” said Beharie of her character in an Essence magazine interview. Continue Reading →

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A conversation with veteran actress Yolanda Ross

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff writer

 

Third in a multi-part series

 

Yolanda Ross made her lead screen debut in Stranger Inside, a 2001 HBO feature film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She made her stage debut seven years later as a member of New York’s Labyrinth Theater Company. Since then, the actress have appeared in a dozen films, and her television roles that has reached double figures as well, including five episodes of HBO’s Treme. She also had a couple of roles specifically written for her, such as a part in David Mamet’s The Unit. “I was shocked, thrilled, and thankful — I was really amazed,” said Ross in a recent MSR phone interview. Continue Reading →

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‘Ordinary African American woman’ LisaGay Hamilton has an impressive acting resume

 

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff writer

Second in a multi-part series

Despite her impressive filmography, LisaGay Hamilton humbly points out that her name isn’t a household one. “I’m an ordinary African American woman,” she told the MSR in a recent phone interview. “Personally I am not exotic looking. I’m not curvaceous… I just have to be really great — really, really good.”

Hamilton nonetheless pointed out that she tries not to take acting jobs “just to make money. Continue Reading →

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LisaGay Hamilton and Yolanda Ross star in new John Sayles thriller

 

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff writer

 

The first of a four-part series that takes a look at Black women in the movie industry

 

Go For Sisters, a John Sayles movie, made its local debut in Minneapolis December 13 at Landmark Theatres’ Lagoon Cinema. The film is currently scheduled to run for one week only. The 122-minute film (which is unrated, but not recommended for persons under 15 due to violence, drug scenes and strong language) is about two women, once friends growing up who then grew apart. They reunite after 20 years to find a missing son, with the help of an ex-police detective. Sayles said in his director’s statement, “I usually don’t write screenplays with specific actors in mind. Continue Reading →

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Twin Cities Black Film Festival 2013 local filmmakers

 

(Part one in a series of articles about the Twin Cities Black Film Festival)

By Charles Hallman

Staff writer

 

Local filmmakers were featured at this year’s Twin Cities Black Film Festival (TCBFF).  The MSR was in attendance at the four-day event held September 26-29 at St. Louis Park’s Showplace Icon Theaters. “We had 11 [local] filmmakers, and his was the only one that sold out,” proclaimed TCBFF Founder-Director Natalie Morrow on Ménages, a two-hour film directed by Edith Rene Tchuichoui.  It was part of her “Celebration of Minnesota Filmmakers.”   The movie’s main characters are Samantha, a U.S. citizen and Joseph, a Cameroon immigrant are brought together who are forced to make choices based on emotions or interests. “I started working on this movie in ’09,” said the filmmaker, who added that it was originally filmed as a short, but later lengthened it after audience reactions that saw it were positive. Continue Reading →

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