By Raymond Jackson
It has been a while since I’ve seen and heard a Hollywood production with excellent and spectacular appeal. Beyond the Lights is bound to appeal to the young and the old, Black and White. It’s very versatile in its delivery. It is written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the same writer and director of Love & Basketball. She landed a winner in the starring role, Noni, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
Ten years ago, Natalie Morrow wanted to establish an annual Black film screening event on the comparable level as similar events held in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Since then, the Twin Cities Black Film Festival (TCBFF) has been held each September in such places as Augsburg College (twice), at downtown hotels and once at now-vacant Block E. Stars such as Nate Parker, cinema icons such as Pam Grier and countless screenwriters, directors and documentary producers have been special guests over the years as well. Among this year’s 14-film festival September 27-30 at St. Anthony Main Theatre included a tribute to the late Whitney Houston (The Bodyguard), two unheralded 1970s classics (The Spook Who Sat by the Door and Black Brigade), a documentary on the final season of sports at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and a comedy filmed in the Twin Cities. “I’m happy that I am still on the right track in selecting the right films,” says Morrow in an interview with the MSR.
High Card Trumps, a six-minute film, was among several shorts shown at this year’s TCBFF. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
Red Tails isn’t the first movie about the all-Black U.S. combat unit who served in World War II, but it might be the best done thus far. The PG-13 film is scheduled for release January 20. “It is a movie of courage and honor,” stated Charles Floyd Johnson, the film’s co-executive producer along with George Lucas, the famed producer of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. Johnson, whose works include NCIS, JAG, Magnum P.I. and The Rockford Files, added that it took Lucas nearly 20 years to make the film because he wanted to make sure that the Tuskegee Airmen story was told right. “The reason why it took so long is that we had to get the script right. Continue Reading →