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The Playlist

Juneteenth first became recognized as a national holiday in 1980. But it’s been a part of the fabric of Texas culture well before that. Also known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth is the celebration of the announced and enforced freedom of enslaved people in 1865—more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

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MTR Network

Erika (Ayako Fujitani), Rachel (Lynn Chen), and Yea-Ming (Yea-Ming Chen) are women with different perspectives, living different lives. But, as they try to move forward and grow, a past love Goh (Goh Nakamura) returns to disrupt their lives. As the last entry to a film trilogy, I Will Make You Mine explores these characters' lives. Lynn Chen’s directorial debut film delves into the complexity of love when trying to move on.

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MTR Network
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MTR Network

Thrillers continue to thrive in the streaming era. Whether documentary series like Netflix's Don't F*ck With Cats and The Pharmacist or Hulu's fictional Little Fires Everywhere, audiences gravitate to their binge-worthy plots. At first glance, new series, Defending Jacob, has the necessary ingredients to be an engaging ride. But, Apple TV+ new series, based on the William Landay novel of the same name, falls short of the mark. 

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MTR Network

“You’re in your twenties, it gets better,” the man encouragingly tells Bridget (Kelly O’Sullivan),  after she tells him she’s a server at a restaurant. Bridget, in a dry tone, responds, “Actually, I’m 34.” The awkward silence that follows is probably not unfamiliar to Bridget, in a world that expects life clarity to appear in your 30’s. But Saint Frances - written by O’Sullivan herself - bucks against this world. A story as messy and unclear as the protagonist, the film gives an honest portrayal of a life in flux.

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MTR Network
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Rotten Tomatoes

Black History Month is a time where we reflect on the Black pioneers of the past and celebrate the Black change-makers of today and tomorrow. Today, Black film and TV is thriving: Filmmakers such as Ava DuVernay, Spike Lee, Jordan Peele, Barry Jenkins, Dee Rees, and countless others are creating art across genres, in theaters, and for TV that centers on people and communities that look like them. As they forge new ground in this space, we’re taking a look back at the forebears who paved the way for their work.

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MTR Network

Oenanthe javanica is a plant of many names but is widely known as minari in Korea. With its fibrous roots - thin, branching and growing from the stem - the minari plants itself down and grows upward. It’s also an apt name inspiration for Minari, written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung. Like the fibrous roots, the Yi family branch away as they struggle with their new life in Arkansas. They are reminded that they are part of the same stem while experiencing challenges. And with that reminder, healing grows.

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MTR Network
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Teen Vogue

They’ve got a vision. This year’s Sundance film festival brought directors new and established to the mountain to showcase and celebrate their films. 2020 saw 15,100 submissions and only 244 accepted projects. The accepted slate spanned across 44 countries, 47 first time feature filmmakers. And the lot are diverse: 44 percent of projects by female filmmakers, 37 percent by filmmakers of color and 19 percent by LGBTQ+ filmmakers. Here are eight (of many) directors to breakout through the Utah cold and shine bright during the festival.

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MTR Network

In the 2013 Oscilloscope documentary 12 O'clock Boys, a then 13-year old Pug had aspirations of one day joining the biker gang. “I’ve been on this earth for a decade and a couple of years. So what that makes me? I’m a grown-ass man,” he said, decidedly. That young and misguided energy inspired the character of Mouse in Sony Picture Classics’ Charm City Kings. A love letter to West Baltimore’s biking culture, the film examines toxic masculinity and the unhealthy obsession to grow up fast.

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Teen Vogue

“Toxic” by Britney Spears is known for its unique pop sound and the pairing of the boom with strings. The track takes on a whole new persona when the strings are isolated, enhanced, and slowed down to a menacing crawl. It's perfect as the marquee tune for Promising Young Woman, written and directed by Emerald Fennell. 

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MTR Network

BAD HAIR sets its sights on the roots of our hair in its first scene. If you’re a Black woman who had a relaxer during your childhood, you can recall the moments played out: the burning, “that means it’s working” in response to said burning, and sometimes the scalp injuries.

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MTR Network

It was the tweet thread heard ‘round the internet.

In 2015, A’Ziah “Zola” King spun a dramatic tale in 148 tweets as shiny as gold. A 48 hour-adventure that delved into the unpredictable underbelly of sex work and violence. If you’ve been a Twitter user as long as I have, you see threads with dramatic arcs come and go down the timeline. But no thread before - or since - Zola’s had the nuance and length that kept you refreshing your feed. 

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Rotten Tomatoes

When Rotten Tomatoes spoke to Rob Morgan during his Just Mercy press run, we described the interview as a victory lap, of sorts. Morgan was humbled about the description (“Aww thank you. Rotten Tomatoes for the win, baby.”) The description is apt: Morgan has had a busy 2019. He ended his run as Turk Barrett, the connective tissue of the Marvel Netflix Universe. Not to lag behind, Morgan began doing the film festival circuit with two heavy hitters. 

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A/V Club

Obsession is not a new concept, but it is one that’s been magnified in the digital era. From stan Twitter accounts and Reddit threads to communities on Tumblr, many collectives are fueled by their fixations. After the premiere of Serial, millions of listeners became obsessed with true crime podcasts. Leveraging storytelling to challenge the criminal justice system in a new way, the case the podcast delved into even made it to the Supreme Court (where the court ultimately denied Adnan Syed’s request for a new trial). 

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MTR Network

By now, you’ve seen the story countless times in reviews: during the 2019 TIFF premiere of Uncut Gems, someone from the crowd yells “Give An Oscar To The Sandman!” I attended this premiere and can confirm the love for Sandler was palpable. Sandler's less-to-be-desired film projects have made his career record spotty. Thankfully, the Safdie Brothers-directed Uncut Gems serves as a reminder that Sandler - when given the right material - can act with the rest of them.

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The Hollywood Reporter

Sterling K. Brown has stretched himself a bit this year. The Emmy-winning This Is Us actor has turned his focus to other projects beyond the NBC show, such as a guest arc on Amazon Studios' The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and lending his voice to Frozen 2 as Lieutenant Destin Mattias. Plus, in A24's Waves he took on a father figure who's very different from Randall Pearson, playing a demanding dad with high expectations of his son, Tyler (played by Kelvin Harrison Jr.).

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MTR Network

Pope Benedict cheekily tells Cardinal Bergoglio, “You know there’s a saying, 'God always corrects one pope by presenting the world with another pope.' I’d like to see my correction.” An apt quote, it sets the tone of Bergoglio and Pope Benedict's various discussions on faith, the church and the duties of the Pope. The Two Popes, directed by Fernando Meirelles, is an inside look at the ideological differences - and unlikely friendship - between the current and former head of the Catholic Church.

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MTR Network

Let's get this out of the way first: this is a film that could've gone wrong at multiple points. Honey Boy, written by Shia LaBeouf while in rehab, is a self-reflection of LaBeouf's abusive relationship with his father. LaBeouf plays a version of his father acting next to a younger (Noah Jupe) and older (Lucas Hedges) version of himself, named Otis. The story is messy, raw, and extremely personal to the point of discomfort.

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IGN

The building of a legacy can best be compared to the building of a house: every brick, nail, and piece of material come together to form the finished product. The house itself is wonderful, but it truly lacks purpose without being used and lived in by people. The same goes for legacy: who you impact and what you leave inside of people is how you fortify purpose. Queen & Slim, directed by Melina Matsoukas and written by Lena Waithe, on the surface is a thriller following a Black couple after their first date on the run after accidentally killing a white police officer.

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IGN

Marie Buchanon (Janelle Monae) comforts Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo) after she returns to Maryland for her husband John (Zackary Momoh), only to discover he has remarried after her escape to freedom. “What’s a man to a woman touched by God?” Marie points out, a statement that’s appropriate to a woman whose faith guided her in her riskiest journeys. In Harriet, co-written and directed by Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou, Talk to Me), we follow the Underground Railroad’s most famous conductor. Despite its standout performances, the film suffers from a formulaic delivery.

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SYFY Wire

You don't need a suit of armor to be a superhero. That's the message Disney+'s upcoming show Marvel's Hero Project wants to convey when it premieres on November 12. Leading the charge for Disney's non-fiction slate of upcoming projects, Marvel's Hero Project centers kids who are local heroes for their community. In celebration of them being change agents, they become immortalized in their own Marvel comic book.

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Paste Magazine

“I want the world to know I exist,” Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) declares in Dolemite Is My Name. Awareness on a grand scale is an ambitious goal—but it didn’t stop Moore from trying. A figure who could have been an offensive caricature in the wrong hands, Dolemite, in Craig Brewer’s film, is so much more; we go beyond the surface of the character, exploring one man’s quest for stardom and the entrepreneurial risks he took to be the talk of the town. We get a film befitting of Moore’s legacy while simultaneously reminding audiences the star power of Eddie Murphy.

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Paste Magazine
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MTR Network

There’s a laughable irony in how Todd Phillips’ Joker had many eyes (and controversy) surrounding it before it’s been released, considering its main character has a history of attention-seeking. In that aspect, the film doesn’t disappoint; leaning into spectacles fitting for the clown prince of crime. But beyond the spectacle is a story that just isn’t as audacious as it thinks it is.

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Paste Magazine

“You gotta take pride in what you do, son,” Ronald (Sterling K. Brown) sternly tells Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). A man of high expectations, Ronald pushes his son to perform—and Tyler doesn’t handle those expectations in the best way. Written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, Waves explores grief, trauma and healing as a consequence of a young man snapping under pressure.

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IGN

"The whole country is a strip club: you’ve got people throwing the money and you’ve got people doing the dance,” Jennifer Lopez’s Ramona says at a pivotal point of Hustlers; a simplistic but apt way of describing the search for power and control that drives this layered and unexpectedly weighty heist movie. Inspired by the 2015 New York Magazine piece “The Hustlers at Scores,” the Lorene Scafaria-directed and written film explores a group of strippers who brazenly embezzle money from rich club attendees.

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IGN

Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) hands his first draft of his profile of Mister Rogers (Tom Hanks) to his editor. Exasperated, he explains his whole hesitation about the piece, saying “I just don’t know if he’s real.” This is not an uncommon reaction to the lore around Fred Rogers.

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IGN

When defense attorney Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) first meets Walter “Johnny D” McMillian (Jamie Foxx), wrongfully convicted for capital murder, a wave of skepticism hits the room. After lamenting about the lawyers that have come and gone in his life with no real solution, McMillian leans in, looks Stevenson directly in his eye and asks “what you gonna do different?”

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The Hollywood Reporter

For David Oyelowo, Don't Let Go has been a study in how to refine a project. The actor — also a producer on the project — plays Det. Jack Radcliff, a man who receives a phone call from his recently deceased niece (Storm Reid) and investigates why the calls are happening in the first place as he seeks to prevent her murder.

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Decider

Fast Color, co-written and directed by Julia Hart, was introduced to audiences at the 2018 South by Southwest Film Festival. The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Lorraine Toussaint and Saniyya Sidney as three generations of Black women with supernatural abilities. Last month, it was announced that Viola Davis’ JuVee Productions – in partnership with Hart and her co-writer Jordan Horowitz – would make a series based on the film for Amazon Studios. 

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MTR Network

During a chill night, Luce (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) and his track buddy reflect on their teammate DeShaun (Brian Bradley) and his sudden removal of the team. Luce attempts to express his frustration seeing his fellow Black teammate penalized. His white teammate scoffs at the comparison: “DeShaun’s…BLACK Black.” Hesitant, Luce asks “then what am I?” Oblivious, the white teammate responds “you’re Luce.”

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Stylecaster

"I think we’re all done being fucking knocked around.” Ruby (Tiffany Haddish) expresses to Kathy (Melissa McCarthy) and Claire (Elizabeth Moss) after consoling Claire at the hospital. Written and directed by Andrea Berloff, The Kitchen explores the underbelly of a 1970’s crime-ridden neighborhood from the lens of three women. But strong performances don’t save this film, whose sum doesn’t match its parts. 

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MTR Network

"In the East, a person's life is a part of a whole," Haiban (Jiang Yongbo) tells Billi (Awkwafina) with condescension in response to her probing. The root cause of this disagreement is also the heart of this fragmented family: Nai-Nai (Zhao Shuzhen), Billi's grandmother. Faced with her mounting feelings, Billi must war with respecting her family's wishes and her American-influenced beliefs. The Farewell, written and directed by Lulu Wang, weaves a tale full of heart, drama and humor. 

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Mediaversity Reviews

“I didn’t think I’d have to save the world this summer,” says Peter Parker (Tom Holland) when reflecting on his unexpected—and unwelcome—adventure in Spider-Man: Far From Home. His dismay is warranted. Following Peter’s local New York City escapades in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), the young superhero has since gone to space, been dusted for 5 years thanks to Thanos’s population-decimating “snap” in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), was brought back to life, and then just as quickly lost his mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) on the battlefield in this year’s Avengers: Endgame

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MTR Network

The Lion King beings with a recognizable image, Pride Rock.  Lebo M's enchanting voice hits you as ushers in the chants that swells into "Circle of Life." Rafiki (John Kani) holds up Simba and presents him to his future subjects. This scene is pretty faithful to its original 1994 animated version. This Jon Favreau-directed adventure aims to bring the much-loved animated world into the new age. And while it succeeds in that objective with transformative animation, it fails to have the emotional weight of the OG.

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MTR Network

When Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) sings “Yesterday” to his group of friends, they are emotionally overwhelmed – and not just because his rendition is great. Wowed, Jack’s manager/best friend Ellie (Lily James) asks him “When did you write that?” Lost, Jack responds “…I didn’t write it, Paul McCartney did, The Beatles.” 

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MTR Network

“I’m just fucking exhausted” exclaims a monotoned Rue (Zendaya), the suffering narrator of Sam Levinson’s Euphoria. Much like the exhaustion Rue describes while bringing the audience up to speed on with her addiction and the cause, the series in itself triggers a certain exasperated weariness. But not in a bad, boring way – quite the opposite.

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MTR Network

"I've spent my entire writing life trying to make sure that the white gaze was not the dominant one in any of my books" acclimated novelist Toni Morrison said to Charlie Rose in an interview from the 90s. Indeed, Morrison's work stems from the philosophy that Black characters and perspectives should be centered. And with a career that spans almost 50 years, Morrison has not strayed from that directive – to great success. 

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The Hollywood Reporter

For Regina Hall, one thing stuck out about working with Samuel L. Jackson on Shaft. Hall plays Mya, the ex-wife of John Shaft II (Jackson) in the new film, and she found her co-star didn't just learn his own lines.

“What's interesting about him, he even knew my lines and that means he knew everything,” she tells The Hollywood Reporter.

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Mediaversity Reviews

We’ve done this “MIB” dance before, when Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones capped off their successful trilogy in 2012. Now seven years later, the spin-off is here with new faces, an international romp, and hopes to recreate the magic of the OG series.

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Mediaversity Reviews

Rocketman follows the highs and lows of Elton John in this fantastical interpretation from director Dexter Fletcher—a director you may remember from another musical biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody (2018). In his previous film, Fletcher came into the last weeks of production after Bryan Singer’s scandal-tinged departure and helped usher Bohemian Rhapsody toward an impressive array of awards.

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MTR Network

When Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) is in front of the Cave of Wonders, the cave - in its ominous glory - states that it’s looking for a “diamond in the rough” that can retrieve the golden lamp. The search of this “diamond in the rough” could be said about this live action version of the classic Disney animated film. Aladdin is the third installment of a new wave of films taking our beloved Disney animated heroes into the human world. And like our hero Aladdin, there’s rough spots throughout the film but there’s still a few gems in the midst.

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MTR Network

Talking to C.J. (Eden Duncan-Smith) as she speaks about time travel, Mr. Lockhart (played by someone that knows a lot about time travel) says "If you had that kind of power. what would you do? What would you change?" This hypothetical is put to the test for C.J. and her science partner Sebastian (Danté Crichlow) when they face a moment that hits close to home. 

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MTR Network

Based on the novel by Nicola Yoon, The Sun Is Also a Star centers Natasha (Yara Shahidi), a teenager who meets another teen, Daniel (Charles Melton) during a critical time in both of their lives. Natasha is a second-generation Jamaican immigrant who is getting deported within 24 hours and frantically searching for a solution. Daniel is on his way to an alumni interview for Dartmouth. 

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Nerds of Prey

Animals. Wolf Pack. “Wilding.” These words were not only used to describe five Black and Brown boys in Harlem, but also managed to set the tone for a judicial system that isn’t always implemented fairly.  “These kids are on a rampage!” exclaimed Linda Fairstein (played by Felicity Huffman). In the Ava DuVernay-directed When They See Us, we follow the Central Park Five through coerced testimonies, convictions and eventual freedom. 

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SlashFilm

Sabrina is talking to someone on the phone in the first scene of Jezebel. She’s hard at work as a phone sex operator, moaning in her husky voice to really sell her performance. What makes the scene jarring is realizing her younger sister Tiffany is wide awake nearby, hearing everything.

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SlashFilm

While staring at an exercise advertisement in a coffee shop, Annie (Aidy Bryant) is confronted by “Toned Tonya,” the woman pictured in the ad. She speaks to Annie in a condescending manner, talking about her weight as if it’s a burden of some sort. “There’s a small person inside of you, dying to get out!” Tonya says with enthusiasm (and unknowing disrespect). Annie’s weight (and the conversation surrounding it) is something that many plus-size women experience.

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SlashFilm

While on the phone with her coach, Winter Olympics athlete Penelope (Alexi Pappas) rambles about her training and her hopes for the competition. “I hope that I really feel like an olympian when I’m done,” she says with nervous energy.

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Bustle

n this op-ed, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School graduate Joi Childs explains how her experience as a Black woman at an Ivy League school affects how she feels about the alleged college admissions cheating scam involving prominent Hollywood actresses and CEOs.

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SlashFilm

Series creator Tarell Alvin McCraney spoke to the audience about his show’s protagonist David during the Q&A at the premiere of OWN’s David Makes Man. “I said to myself, ‘This is the job,'” he said. “Not to change him into somebody else, to take his gifts outside of the community. But to make the community greater by giving all that he’s got back to it.”

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SlashFilm

What happens when your whole worldview shifts and you discover the choices you made for yourself were not the only viable options? For two teen girls who are quickly approaching graduation, they discover that the fun of their teenage years has almost slipped out of their hands – and they have one night to fix that. 

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SlashFilm

At her sixth interview, the interviewer asks Sasha in a slightly snarky way “How do you expect to get experience?” Sasha’s responds in a pleading and confused manner: “…By getting a job?”

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SlashFilm

At the SXSW Premiere of US, director/writer/producer Jordan Peele reflected on going beyond the standard horror beats. “I love horror” he mused about the conventions of the genre and what inspires him. “At the same time, who cares?” he said to laughs.

The Hollywood Reporter
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RaMell Ross explores the lives of black Alabama residents in the nonlinear documentary, which is nominated for an Oscar.

NBCBLK
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“Pahokee,” the debut feature film by directors Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan which premiered at Sundance, is set in the small town of Pahokee, Florida, one of the poorest towns in the Sunshine State.

Broadly
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Director Ryan White talks to Broadly about his new documentary on Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the legendary educator who took sex out of the bedroom and onto the dinner table.

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Broadly

Mindy Kaling as a plant worker. Awkwafina grappling with loss. Alfre Woodard as tormented prison warden. These five films had everyone talking at Sundance.

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Polygon

When describing Big Time Adolescence to a Sundance Film Festival audience, writer-director Jason Orley aptly characterized his debut film as “a John Hughes film layered in weed smoke.”

Out Magazine
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Speaking to Paloma (Celeste O’Connor) as she takes photos of the cheer squad, Selah (Lovie Simone) goes into the hardships of being on the cusp of adulthood: “They always try to break you down when you’re 17.” 

NBCBLK
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At this year's Sundance Film Festival, the energy was infectious as the cast and crew of the new TV series “Boomerang” celebrated the show and BET Networks’ renewed commitment to original prime-time programming.

Polygon
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At the post-screening Q&A of her new movie, Late Night, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, writer and co-star Mindy Kaling joked that audiences might assume her character Molly’s rough experience in a late-night talk show writers room reflected her own experience on The Office.

Nerds of Prey
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Young adulthood involves many turns that can become life-changing. When coupled with love and relationships, it can also become daunting. For Ayana (Zora Howard), a 17 year old Harlemite on the cusp of college, one summer changed her life and outlook – and it all started with one boy.

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The Hollywood Reporter

The actress — whose 'Little Monsters' premieres at Sundance — also reflects on the "glorious" sisterhood on the set of 'Black Panther,' working with Jordan Peele on 'Us' and the one thing that creates "the best art."

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The Hollywood Reporter

The Yale grad counts fellow alum and 'Black Panther' star Winston Duke as a friend ("helped me move") and is paying it forward to the next generation of the drama school's Black students.

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SlashFilm

Disney is celebrating their most iconic character in an interactive way, with an 16K square-foot exhibition in NYC called Mickey: The True Original Exhibition that’s a fun commemoration of Mickey’s influence on art and pop culture. 

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Shadow And Act

This is what makes the film Rafiki shine bright: While the community may question the seriousness of the love between these two women, we as the audience get a personal, intimate view of how real and complex their relationship truly is. Director and co-writer Wanuri Kahiu doesn’t shy away from discussing the fact that black, queer relationships do occur in Kenya, a country dictated by legislation that currently rules most sex acts between same-sex couples as well as same-sex marriages illegal. To have a female, Kenyan filmmaker speak to the truth of this community and create this piece of art is an act of bravery. 

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Shadow And Act

Beyond the grief of losing your spouse, the financial responsibility of a loved one’s death is often overlooked, especially if you happen to be down on income. However, if you’re the wife of a man who stole from a gang, being down on income is the tip of the iceberg. In Steve McQueen’s Widows, Veronica Rawlings (Viola Davis) finds herself in this situation, inheriting her deceased husband’s $2 million debt, which spurs her to complete his last planned hit. The film is full of manic, complex performances that once again proves no genre's off-limits for women on the big screen. 

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SlashFilm

John David Washington was just a shocked as you were when he learned about the story of a Black cop infiltrating the KKK. The actor is staring in BlacKkKlansman, directed by Spike Lee, which tells this true story from Ron’s Stallsworth book of the same name. Washington’s energy is palpable, and he brings that energy into his role as the Colorado Springs cop who takes the fight against racism to an almost unbelievable level.

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SlashFilm

Rafael Casal has a lot to say in limited time. His film Blindspotting premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year and was released in theaters in late July. The Oakland artist, in every sense of the word, co-wrote the film’s script with his friend, collaborator and co-star Daveed Diggs (of Hamilton fame). 

Okayplayer

When it was announced that Desus Nice and THE KID MERO were going to be hosting a late night talk show for Viceland two years ago, I was elated and also concerned. Elated, because I was an avid fan of the Bronx comedy duo from their Complex podcast, Desus vs. Mero

America Magazine

On April 19, ABC aired the final episode of Scandal. The series, created by Shonda Rhimes in 2012, ran for seven seasons and starred Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, the manager of a crisis management firm. Throughout its run, the series became a cultural phenomenon...

SlashFilm

“This is not a film that we made. This is, I promise you, a movie” director Steven Spielberg said to the audience at the surprise premiere screening of Ready Player One at the SXSW Film Festival.

Black Girl Nerds

Black Panther is storming through the box office and has already established itself as one of the most successful Marvel Cinematic Universe films a mere two weeks after its release. But behind every successful film is a successful marketing campaign that brought excitement to the fans.

The Hollywood Reporter

'Black Panther': How Letitia Wright Became a Marvel Breakout

The actress who plays T'Challa's scientist sister Shuri recognizes this is a special role: "I grew up seeing so many stereotypes on TV and I didn't want to play that as well."

Black Girl Nerds

Morris “Moe” Berg was a man of many secrets. While his career was being a major league baseball catcher, he was a multi-Ivy League graduate, a speaker of many languages, and was drafted by Office of Security Services (the precursor to the CIA) during WWII to become a spy. Based on a true story, The Catcher Was A Spy attempts to tell a story as interesting as Moe’s life, but falls short.

Black Girl Nerds

Joan Jett is no one hit wonder. Sure, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” is an iconic rock anthem that still gets a crowd going to this day. But the story of Joan Jett is more layered than one monster jam. Bad Reputation gives us insight into Joan’s extensive career from her and her loved one’s accounts.

Black Girl Nerds

Science Fair is a joyous documentary that follows some of the best and brightest teens

as they navigate life on their journey to compete at an international science fair. Directed by Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster, the film gives us an insider look of the highs and lows of prepping your young life’s work for the mainstage.

Black Girl Nerds

The Rider is written and directed by Chloé Zhao (Songs My Brother Taught Me), an stars by Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau and Lilly Jandreau. It is placed in the Spotlight Section at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Black Girl Nerds

After teasing us during his Love music video, it was just announced that Kendrick Lamar and Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith are et to curate and produce "Black Panther The Album".

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The Hollywood Reporter

The actor says he never thinks of sequels when he signs up for a role, but admits, "I want to know what happens next with him."

The Hollywood Reporter
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Robert Rodriguez is stepping out of his comfort zone with Alita: Battle Angel. The filmmaker, known for working in the mid-budget range on films like 2005's Sin City and the Spy Kids franchise, is stepping decidedly into big-budget territory with the upcoming anime adaptation.

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Shadow And Act

If there was one kind word to describe Amma Asante’s interracial love story set in Nazi Germany, it would be “ambitious.” Indeed, the writer/director aspires to hit many points in her film: An introduction to fascist Germany’s contentious relationship with interracial people, the forced sterilization of black Germans, labor camps during World War II, etc. These topics are all interesting avenues to explore. However, Where Hands Touch fails to provide a proper, deep dive into this, and instead grounds this story in romance. This choice is not only troubling for a variety of reasons, but it also becomes the source of the film’s downfall. 

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The Hollywood Reporter

History has a way of repeating itself. At least that was the murmur on the Lincoln Center red carpet at Thursday night’s New York premiere of Operation Finale. Set during the post-World War II period, the based-on-a-true-story film details Mossad agent Peter Malkin’s (Oscar Isaac) covert mission to Argentina in 1960 to track down Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley), the Nazi officer who masterminded the transportation logistics that brought millions of innocent Jews to their deaths in concentration camps.

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SlashFilm

What do you do when you’re a Black person trying to infiltrate the local chapter of the KKK?

If you’re a Black person being asked this question, your immediate response should be “no thanks,” for obvious reasons. But if you spend the time thinking through the frankly ridiculous ask for the sake of the exercise, you could imagine that it would take detailed planning and a gracefulness needed to pull it off. After all, that’s the premise of the based-on-true-events BlacKkKlansman.

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IGN

With Cloak and Dagger wrapping up its first season on August 2, IGN spoke to executive producer Joe Pokaski about the show's connections to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe and its crossover potential, given that the show has already been renewed for Season 2.

The Hollywood Reporter

Justice Smith is taking a trip to Jurassic World.

The 22-year-old Los Angeles native known for his role as Ezekiel “Books” Figuero in Netflix’s The Get Down is making his big-budget movie debut in this weekend's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. In the sequel, he plays Franklin Webb...

Okayplayer

Netflix’s First Match, written and directed

by Olivia Newman and starring Elvire

Emanuelle is a new woman-led film that’s changing the game.

The Hollywood Reporter

Filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood agreed to helm the Freeform pilot after her young son asked, "How come no superheroes look like me?"

SlashFilm

T’Challa has the responsibility to protect his nation as the Black Panther, but protecting right alongside him are the members of the Dora Milaje – the elite, all-female warrior group of Wakanda. Known as “the adored ones,” the Dora have a focused duty to watch over their king and they take that task very seriously.

Cassius Life

This year, Marvel Studios celebrates ten years on the silver screen. With over 17 connected films in the universe, we’ve had our fair share of aliens, gods, and super-soldiers captivate us and take our money. Black Panther is the newest film in the universe, ushering in a new phase of heroes and shaking up the current roster.

Black Girl Nerds

I had the opportunity to sit down with director and screenwriter Sara Colangelo at Sundance to discuss her new film The Kindergarten Teacher, an American adaptation of an Israeli movie with women directors at the forefront!

Black Girl Nerds

The pursuit of wealth can be dangerous; primarily because that pursuit can become an addiction. So much so, that one may never be satisfied even if their wealth is in abundance. 

Black Girl Nerds

In discussing Lisa's (Maggie Gyllenhaal) job as a kindergarten teacher, her poetry professor (Gael Garcia Bernal) describes what's crucial about teaching at that transformative age - its a time where what they kearn and experince presents some of the most impactful lessons to their psyche.  

Black Girl Nerds

For a moment, I thought fate decided that i would never see this film. The lead up to see an evening screening of Proud Mary a day before its official release was never promising for a multitude of reasons.

Black Girl Nerds

Grown-ish has had a lot of pressure to deal with since the announcement of the Freeform series in May 2017. There have been minor concerns and critiques as details of the show have taken shape, including the idea that the social media promotion feels a bit contived with all the Gen Z buzz-terms.

The Hollywood Reporter
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The actor — who did acclaimed work this year on Broadway ('Lobby Hero'), in film ('Widows' and 'If Beale Street Could Talk') and on TV ('Atlanta') — also opens up about his process for picking roles and the challenges of his 'Beale Street' "war cry": "It was not easy to watch."

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The Hollywood Reporter

Miles Morales is Sony's new Spider-Man, as was made clear during an energetic panel Saturday at New York Comic Con, where the audience was treated to a surprise look at the first 35 minutes of the animated film.

Shadow And Act
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Overwhelmed with emotion after the TIFF world premiere of If Beale Street Could Talk, Brian Tyree Henry reacted candidly: “Black love is f*cking beautiful. Barry, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it like that.” It’s true that the “Barry” mentioned, director Barry Jenkins, has a penchant for centering Black love in his films. But it’s the way he chooses to show this love on screen in particular that makes it an intimate experience. If Beale Street Could Talk deepens this calling card, using James Baldwin’s words as the foundation and Harlem as its home, making for a beautiful, slow burn of a film. 

IGN
cloak-and-dagger-ep-5-1533245711869_400w

With Cloak and Dagger wrapping up its first season on August 2, IGN spoke to executive producer Joe Pokaski about the show's connections to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe and its crossover potential, given that the show has already been renewed for Season 2.

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The Hollywood Reporter

The Flint water crisis is an environmental scandal that has not been resolved: As recently as July, tech mogul Elon Musk pledged to "fix" the water there. Neil Meron, who executive produced the TV movie with Craig Zadan, recounts for THR how they and the filmmakers confronted a unique challenge: How to tell a story that is far from over.

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The Hollywood Reporter

Hannah John-Kamen has been working with legends for the past year, starring in Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One in March and sharing a surprisingly touching scene with a childhood hero in Ant-Man and the Wasp.

John-Kamen plays Ava, also known as the antagonist Ghost...

IGN

What happens when one moment bonds you to another person for life, meaning that no matter where you are, physically and emotionally, you are forever linked by tragedy? Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger explores this story in a raw and poignant way - presenting a tale that is sometimes heartbreaking...

The Hollywood Reporter

The actress and writer is dreaming of a film about her TV hero: "I don’t think people are expecting that from a black lesbian from the south side of Chicago. But, I read her autobiography more times than I can count."

Black Girl Nerds

The Light of the Moon is lived-in, in every sense of the word. The cinematography and filming locations help support these Brooklynite characters with daily events, errands, and experiences. And because the film moves in that simple pace...

The Hollywood Reporter

Kayla Sutton created #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe after her son explained why he was so excited for the film: "He's like the coolest in all of the comic books and all of the stuff. And he's Black like me."

Black Girl Nerds

“If I don’t find a way to express myself, I’ll go insane,” Sophia (Vivian Bang) exclaims, which gives you an indication of how important her art is to her. The art itself is performative and oddball, whether it be planting face-first into some cheese doodles for social media, or performing monologues with a portable microphone at Whole Foods. 

Black Girl Nerds

Black people aren’t allowed to be weird. This isn’t a grandiose statement I’m making to prove anything, but a broader observation of how we put constraints on Black people to not move and do things freely.

Black Girl Nerds

Hanging out with friends of a friend is always awkward, especially when you do not know the people well. That awkwardness ramps up when you realize you’re the only Black friend in the friend circle; the language ,conversations and culture are so different it can put you on edge.

Black Girl Nerds

The Guilty is directed by Gustav Möller in his feature-length debut, starring Jakob Cedergren in an official selection of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Black Girl Nerds

The game of poker, at its crux, is being strategic with what cards are dealt. As the game begins you may have a strong hand that you think will take the distance.

Black Girl Nerds

Pitch Perfect 3 is the third in the Universal Pictures trilogy, written by Kay Xannon and directed by Trish Sie (OK Go’ s "Here It Goes Again Music Video", Step Up All In). The Barden Bellas go global, reliving the magic of their college glory days while performing for an overseas tour. 

The Verge

In 1986, young Black Brooklynite Spike Lee made his first feature length film with a small budget and big aspirations. The plot was a simple but fresh one in that decade...

Black Girl Nerds

On November 12, 2012, two men embarked on a journey to connect people who desired to meet the people they had been interacting with online. One of the men was clearly skeptical about these online relationships.

Black Girl Nerds

Winner of the Jury Grand Prix Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, Senegalese director Alain Gomis new film Félicité set a precedent for foreign cinema. The audience can expect a solid film that showcases how much a mother will go through to provide for her child.

SYFY Wire

There are many reasons why Thor: Ragnarok is being hailed as a distinct and vital new take on Marvel's God of Thunder. It's funny, trippy, and introduces a character tweak that is both minor and revolutionary.

Black Girl Nerds

Paramount Pictures released the teaser for Annihilation today, garnering excitement from awaiting fans. Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation is about a biologist (played by Natalie Portman) searching for her missing husband...

Black Girl Nerds

I, Tonya is a film directed by Craig Gillespie, starring Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Julianne Nicholson, Paul Walter Hauser, Bobby Cannavale and Allison Janney. In 199, the figure-skating world was a rocked by a brutal on US medal hopeful Nancy Kerrigan.

Black Girl Nerds

Professor Marston & The Wonder Women is a film directed by Angela Robinson starring Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote. This biopic is centered around William “Bill” Moulton Marston, the American psychologist who put his progressive ideals about female...

Black Girl Nerds

Now gather ’round kids, and pay attention to this spectacle. We’re dealing with an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival...

Black Girl Nerds

The Carter Effect is a documentary directed by Sean Menard and is an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film features appearances from Steve Nash, Director X, David Stern, and global megastar Drake, with Drake and Lebron James as Executive Producers.

Black Girl Nerds

Let Boyega be great. Last weekend was Notting Hill Carnival, London’s premiere festival celebrating Caribbean music, culture and costumes.  This type of festival is a global event, albeit named in different ways.

Black Girl Nerds

This past weekend was AFROPUNK, a celebration of Black excellence and, more importantly, the weekend where Black people pull all the fashion stunts. I’ve always viewed AFROPUNK looks as a cross between fashion and cosplay, and these festival-goers don’t disappoint. Here are our favorite looks!

Black Girl Nerds

The tech space is growing and it’s important we see Black women in those spaces. I got to speak to Kimmoy Matthews who is a content strategist at Google, working in the tech space and runs the website 

keepingupwithkimmoy.com. Prior to that, she was a tech writer in the DC area.

Black Girl Nerds

STEP was released in theaters on August 4th to rave reviews. The documentary centers around high school seniors Blessin Giraldo, Tayla Solomon, and Cori Grainger as they juggle a major step show victory, college applications, and everyday young adult complications.

Black Girl Nerds

Taraji is taking names. Earlier this week we reported about the first poster, released exclusively by Buzzfeed. Now, we have the first trailer for Proud Mary.

Black Girl Nerds

STEP was released in theaters on August 4th to rave reviews. The documentary centers around high school seniors Blessin Giraldo, Tayla Solomon, and Cori Grainger, as they juggle a major step show victory, college applications, and everyday young adult complications.

Black Girl Nerds

She’s killing for the man every night and day. In a surprise drop, Buzzfeed posted the first poster for the upcoming Proud Mary film. Buzzfeed will also be dropping the first trailer on July 20th, exclusively sharing it with those excited for the film.

Black Girl Nerds

STEP begins with a view of a pressurized Baltimore: protests happening by its inhabitants, the mourning of Freddie Gray, and a city scrutinized under a microscope. Director Amanda Lipitz sets this tone as a reminder that everything that is on the news is not what it appears to be.

Black Girl Nerds

The queen of the Royal Family deserves better. Today, the ABC/Marvel partnership released the new Inhumans trailer. Originally planned to be a part of the MCU, the studio switched gears making it a series and releasing the first chapter in IMAX theaters.

Black Girl Nerds

Mr. Boseman has been busy. A few weeks after the world was blessed with the Black Panther trailer, Chadwick Boseman appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” with a sneak peak of his upcoming film, Marshall. After his appearance, Open Road films released the official trailer.

Black Girl Nerds

A film about small things is expanding. Hannah John-Kamen has been announced to be attached to Marvel Studio’s Ant-Man and The Wasp directed by Peyton Reed.

Black Girl Nerds

I’ve never watched an episode of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette in my Black ass life. This is not stopping me from recapping this season, as this season is a game-changer for the long-running ABC franchise. If you’ve been living under a rock, for the first time we have a Black woman who is the bachelorette.

Black Girl Nerds

Meet The Ladies of BGN: Women’s History Month! As Women’s History Month comes to a close, I wanted to celebrate some of the most kick ass ladies I have the pleasure of working with while podcasting/writing for BGN.

Black Girl Nerds

All hail the Queen of Wakanda. Letitia Wright has been attached to Marvel Studio’s Black Panther since October of last year. Fans speculated that she might play T’Challa’s sister, Shuri, but we just received confirmation from the studio yesterday.

Black Girl Nerds

G.I.R.L. has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? We left Nadia Pym in her 1st issue meeting some of her lady scientist goals and taking out her first baddie post-Red Room. In Issue #2, we follow Nadia and Jarvis (aka Tony Stark’s lifelong butler) as she begins recruiting for G.I.R.L.