I was on a commercial flight yesterday, heading back from a visit to Atlanta, when the captain announced that the plane was transporting the body of a slain serviceman. I was sitting at the back of the plane, so when we finally arrived at LaGuardia, I had to wait several minutes for my turn to exit. When I finally stood up from my seat, the scene was surreal. The entire left side of the plane was empty. But everyone on the right side of the plane was still in their seats— faces pressed against the window. I walked past thirty rows of seats before I finally found an open window, and could see what everyone was looking at. The soldier’s name was Ibraham Torres.
The Colored Museum - The Hairpiece / Exhibit 6 - Danitra Vance - Vickilyn Reynolds - Loretta Devine
we’ve performed this so many times…enjoy one of the top renditions of it!
Tens of thousands of revelers have poured into downtown Port-au-Prince for the “Carnival of Flowers” a three-day celebration President Michel Martelly has revived from the Duvalier era. (
Looks like its from a Terrence Malick film…
Mitsuhiko Kamada, The vision on clouds
SAVE THE DATE: 4th annual New Voices in Black Cinema - March 27-30/Brooklyn — Narratives.Docs.Shorts.Dopness
Today’s movie. #CityOfGod (2002) directed by Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund. #DayNine #100ClassicFilmsInA100Days
WES ANDERSON - FRANCOPHILE
“I want to try not to repeat myself. But then I seem to do it continuously in my films”
Wes Anderson’s films are meticulously crafted into one unified style. They are rooted in nostalgia, wholly unnaturalistic and expose the artificiality of filmmaking itself. Because of his systematic approach, he has been labelled an auteur. A notion that was conceived in the 1960s by the French New Wave movement.
Indeed, Anderson has cited the impact of directors such as Godard and Truffaut as particular influences on how he makes his own films.
Take Truffaut’s debut, The 400 Blows (1959). Largely autobiographical, it was a hauntingly honest, observational film. A far cry from what we have come to expect with the style of Wes Anderson. Yet, like The 400 Blows, Rushmore (1998) is based on Anderson’s own childhood experiences, albeit a private high school education in Houston, Texas. In both films, the protagonists are outsiders, do poorly in school and are eventually expelled. Similarly, a scene in The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) shows Ari and Uzi steal bottles of milk from outside a shop in clear reference to when Antoine does the same thing in The 400 Blows. (See photo 1)
Both The Royal Tenenbaums and Jules et Jim (1962) open with a narrator detailing the lives of the characters and their back-story in quick succession. Anderson has also lifted dialogue from this Truffaut film in The Life Aquatic (2004). Steve and fellow seaman Klaus are stood outside the room of a woman whom they are both trying to court. Steve pulls him aside saying “Not this one, Klaus”, mirroring the line from Jules et Jim as the two men stand outside the room of Catherine. “Not this one, Jim”.
It appears Anderson has taken influence from the way Truffaut portrayed his characters and instead utilised Godard’s radical and iconic ‘collage’ style. Take the scene in The Life Aquatic where Steve directly addresses the audience, before we are guided through a beautifully ambitious single gliding shot of his ship. This scene is an almost direct copy from Tout Va Bien (1972), where Godard’s camera pans across the meat factory set. (See photo 2)
Furthermore, both Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and Godard’s Pierrot Le Fou (1965) can be compared. Strangely both female protagonists are involved in violent acts with scissors. In Anderson’s film, Suzie stabs a scout whilst on the run with Sam, while Marianne, from Godard’s feature, stabs and kills a man as she is attacked in her home. In both examples, the editing itself is elliptical. We never see the action in real time. (See photo 3)
For all of these influences, Wes Anderson’s films can still comfortably fit within Hollywood filmmaking. His homages still differ greatly from the overall themes of films from The French New Wave. The final images always echo a clear sense of resolution. Although tragedy may have occurred, a feeling of hope is always expressed, with the characters having endured a journey causing them to change for the better.
Kwaku Ananse filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu has initiated the project “Damn the Man, Save the Rex” to preserve one of Ghana’s most important cultural heritages; the Rex Cinema. The Rex Cinema in Accra is Ghana’s oldest cinema and was built by Kwame Nkrumah, but it is at risk of being sold-off to foreign developers by the Ghanaian government. The kickstarter aims to raise $8000 to restore the cinema - to renovate and transform into an alternative creative space for art, music, and film.
With the money raised through Kickstarter, Owusu will repair The Rex, install video and film projectors as well as a light and sound system.. The Rex’s first event will be a screening of Owusu’s award-winning film, Kwaku Ananse along with a concert by Koo Nimo, Kyekyeku, Nana Asaase, and This House is Not For Sale.
“Shortly after winning the Africa Movie Academy Award, I had this idea to open up one of Ghana’s oldest cinema houses and premiere my film, Kwaku Ananse there. On my visits, I noticed the venue was in complete disrepair. It was nearly impossible to hold events there. No public toilets. No projector. No sound equipment. No cinema. One of the people I met on my visit was the late actor/theater director Evans Nii Oma Hunter, (on the far right of this photo). He expressed much grief about Ghana’s dying cinema culture and how back in the day he never waited around for the government to offer help before embarking on art projects most important to him. He passed away a few weeks after taking this photo with me. RIP Evans Nii Oma Hunter”
Africans and Africans of the diaspora…support!
Donate to the Kickstarter
10 days left to Save the Rex!
Opening this Friday here in NYC at Village East Cinemas & AMC Empire 25 is the latest John Sayles (The Brother From Another Planet, Lone Star) film GO FOR SISTERS which stars ActNow friend and New Voices in Black Cinema ‘13 alumni Yolonda Ross (Four, Breaking Night), LisaGay Hamilton (TV’s ‘The Practice’, Honeydripper) and Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver, American Me) as well as Harold Perrineau and Isaiah Washington.
Yolonda Ross and John Sayles will be present for a post-screening Q&A this Friday night following the 7:05pm Village East Cinemas screening! We’ll be there so come out and support this wonderful film from these fantastic talents.
Bernice (LisaGay Hamilton) and Fontayne (Yolonda Ross) grew up so close people said they could “go for sisters”, but time sent them down different paths. Twenty years later, those paths cross: Fontayne is a recovering addict fresh out of jail, and Bernice is her new parole officer.
When Bernice’s son Rodney goes missing on the Mexican border, his shady associates all in hiding or brutally murdered, Bernice realizes she needs someone with the connections to navigate Rodney’s world without involving the police… and turns to her old friend. The pair enlist the services of disgraced ex-LAPD detective Freddy Suárez (Edward James Olmos) and plunge into the dim underbelly of Tijuana, forced to unravel a complex web of human traffickers, smugglers, and corrupt cops before Rodney meets the same fate as his partners.
As much a story of relationships as a story of crime, GO FOR SISTERS is a welcome return to the border for master filmmaker and two-time Academy Award nominee John Sayles (Lone Star, Passion Fish)
Go to http://goforsistersmovie.com to see where the film may open in your city in the next few weeks (Los Angeles is next week, followed by Boston, Columbus, Atlanta, Santa Fe, and MORE)
Sand Sculptors of Durban:
"Most often spotted alongside the pier, armed only with a spade, their hands and imagination, the sand-artists spend their days creating marvellous works of art for public admiration in the hopes of a steady stream of donations as this is often their only means of survival. Passers-by sometimes offer extra money so they can be photographed with these works of art, some of which can take up to a week to complete depending on size and detail, only to be destroyed in minutes.
So why do their creators make them? Some of these guys are homeless teenagers - sculpting often means they don’t have to go to bed on an empty stomach. For others, the money they make is used to travel to and from home, or to pay for shelter for the night.” (Source)