All Articles Tagged "denzel washington"
2002 was a year of firsts for the people who would come together to create the film based on the life of a man named Antwone Fisher. The screenplay, written by Fisher was his first, it was the first time Denzel Washington stepped behind the camera to direct and it was the first feature film for rising star Derek Luke. And though there was a lot of new talent blossoming, the film about a man with a troubled past struck a chord with critics and audiences alike. You remember how the movie impacted you, you might have a copy of the DVD at home; but we bet you didn’t know the behind the scenes secrets of the film. Check them out on the following pages.
As talented and fabulous as these modern-day celebs may be, we can’t help but listen to their music or watch them in movies and feel a little nostalgic. Sure, they’re doing their thing, but we hope they realize just how similar to their predecessors their “things” really are. Do these younger stars remind you of some older ones?
May has arrived and you know what that means: summer is almost here! Once Memorial Day weekend hits, the start to family barbeques and trips to the beach with friends and lovers has arrived. If you’re like me, you are also gearing up for the summer blockbuster season of 2013. With an array of movies to choose from this summer season, here is a list of my top nine films that call for your undivided attention, featuring some of the most celebrated Black actors and actresses and those to watch.
From The Grio
Whether you love him or hate him, it seems as though Tyler Perry is the only game in town these days when to comes to movies targeted specifically at black audiences.
His melodrama Temptation is set to hit theaters this weekend and will surely do big business, but will its success be a tribute to Perry’s popularity or largely a reflection of a minority movie-going audience that feels underrepresented and under-served?
Director Spike Lee, who once averaged about one film per year, has become far less prolific in lately. And his colleagues like John Singleton and the Hughes Brothers have transitioned from making epic urban films to helming big budget genre pictures with multiracial casts.
What is a “black film”?
Meanwhile the definition of a ‘black film’ has grown more fluid in the age of Obama.
It’s now no longer groundbreaking for an African-American A-lister like Denzel Washington or Halle Berry to anchor a film by themselves. And while the smash hit Django Unchained touched on distinctly black themes with a bevy of African-American stars, its appeal was broader because it reflected the vision of its white director, Quentin Tarantino.
Just twenty years ago, the multiplexes presented a very different picture of black Hollywood.
There were a variety of choices for black film fans: There were star vehicles (Sister Act 2, Philadelphia,The Pelican Brief), biopics (What’s Love Got to Do With It), comedies (CB4, Cool Runnings), action (Demolition Man) and hard-hitting dramas (Poetic Justice, Menace II Society).
In comparison, last year there was the romantic comedy Think Like a Man, the WWII drama Red Tails, and three different Tyler Perry vehicles. Perhaps it’s no wonder that black audiences are frequently nostalgic for the 90s.
Read more at TheGrio.com
Forget You Too Halle: Reports Say Aretha Franklin NOW Wants Jennifer Hudson Or Audra McDonald To Play Her In Biopic
Remember all that time Aretha Franklin was saying she would want Halle Berry to play her in a biopic about the Queen of Soul’s life? Well, I’m sure you also remember that Berry declined, citing the fact the she can’t sing a lick (“If I could carry a tune, I’d consider it. Someone should tell Aretha that I can’t do her justice.”). Plus, there were many critics of Franklin’s choice who felt that the starlet and the icon looked absolutely nothing alike. So Franklin has moved on, and the diva has been very open about the biopic some thought wasn’t going to happen. According to Shadow and Act, she has a director (Taylor Hackford who did Ray), some actresses in line to play Clara Ward and the Famous Ward Singers (who inspired Franklin), and she even wants Denzel Washington to play her dad.
In an interview with Glamour late last year, she discussed why out of everyone in the world, she wanted Washington–despite the obvious fact that he can act his butt off:
“He [Taylor] mentioned Denzel first, and I was thinking of Billy Dee [Williams]. That’s who I was thinking of. And he mentioned Denzel, and I said ‘Hmm…’ And when I thought about Malcolm X, and what he did with that, I said, ‘Yes! He could do it. He could handle it. If he put a little more weight on and glasses, he could handle it.’”
But the most interesting new info is that now, Franklin is trying to figure out if she wants Broadway favorite (and Tony winner) and former Private Practice star Audra McDonald to play her, or Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson to take the reigns as the Queen of Soul in her biopic. In that same Glamour interview, she opened about why she liked both ladies:
“I went to see Audra in Porgy and Bess, and I was very impressed with her dramatic ability. She was terrific.”
“And Jennifer had voice. Audra has voice. The question is whether or not Audra can cross over into soul. You know, she does Broadway magnificently. But can she get over into soul is the question.”
Another real question is whether or not McDonald would even want to play Franklin, considering that she would have huge shoes to fill. But in an interview with Broadway.com, she made it clear that if she were approached, it would be the opportunity of a lifetime. “It would be an honor to play her. Other than that we leave it to fate. Who knows.” Hudson hasn’t responded to the casting rumor, but we’re sure if asked, she wouldn’t turn it down either.
So it seems like this movie could be coming to the big screen sooner than we thought…
Question is, who should play Franklin? And what do you think about the possibility of Denzel acting as her father in the movie? Would he even say yes…?
This Black History Month, we celebrate some of pop culture’s most influential movers and shakers who have changed the landscape of the world of entertainment. From the first African-American billionaire to the one of the hardest working men in radio, African-Americans have pioneered various media outlets, some even simultaneously.
Here are only a few of pop culture’s African-American innovators in the areas of music, television and film. We threw in a bonus, above: Michael Jackson. Besides his singing career both with the Jackson 5 and as a solo artist, and his investments across the music industry (including The Beatles portfolio), he invented the moonwalk, a move that continues to mystify and inspire dancers good and bad around the world. Check out this slideshow for more on the late, great MJ.
Tags:berry gordy, BET, Bill Cosby, black history month, Blair Bedford, business, careers, cicely tyson, denzel washington, don cornelius, film, innovators, Little Richard, Motown, music, oprah, pioneers, robert johnson, Sidney Poitier, soul train, Suzanne de Passe, television, The Cosby Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Tom Joyner
It’s been four years since Denzel Washington was recognized America’s Favorite Movie Star. Now the Oscar nominee has reclaimed that title.
In a Harris Poll, conducted online within the United States between December 12 and December 18, 2012 among 2,141 adults (ages 18 and over), Washington was named the Favorite Movie Star, and surprisingly Clint Eastwood, despite his embarrassing “Obama chair” incident at the Republican National Convention (or because of it?), came in next place, for the second year in a row. Tom Hanks took the number three slot.
Rounding out the top ten list were, according to a press release: Johnny Depp, who fell from number one to a tie for number four; Brad Pitt, shares the fourth spot (unbelievably he has not been on the top ten list since 1998); the late John Wayne is on the list, this year dropping one spot to number six; George Clooney, who goes from number six to number seven; Harrison Ford remains in the number eight spot; Meryl Streep makes this list at number nine; and Matt Damon is number 10 (his first time on the list was in a tie for the seventh spot in 2007).
Sandra Bullock, Will Smith, and Adam Sandler all dropped off the top ten this year.
When breaking down the stats, men favored Clint Eastwood, and women still love Denzel Washington. “Echo Boomers (those ages 18 and 35) and Baby Boomers (ages 48 to 66) agree on Washington as their favorite actor. For Gen Xers (ages 36 to -47) the number one spot is a tie between Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp. John Wayne is the favorite among Matures (those ages 67 and older), says the release.
And, Eastwood is the favorite for Republicans and conservatives, while Washington is the favorite for Democrats, liberals — and moderates. Independents picked Tom Hanks as their favorite.
Do you agree with the poll?
According to a number of West African publications including Ghana Vibe, Academy Award-winning actor and top on the list of everybody’s favorite black actor Denzel Washington, is in Nigeria for the filming of his first Nollywood film.
There is not much more information about the alleged film, particularly what it is about. However the reports all say that the film is called Spider Basket and that is is supposedly co-funded by Nigerian businessman Dennis Osadebe, who is quoted in saying, “Denzel is just one of many Hollywood stars that I want to witness the talents in this country and to impact significantly on Nollywood. Others are coming.”
Don’t know if this is genuine or just some wishful thinking, which has spun out of control on the internet; however the idea of a major black, Hollywood star, particularly one of Washington’s caliber, signing up for a film produced out of Nollywood, makes me extremely excited. Something like that could progressively pave the way for more trans-Atlantic collaborations between blacks on different continents. It would be like a Marcus Garvey dream realized – at least on film.
Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit, however there does appear to be a number of American, black actors seeking work in Africa. And I’m not just talking about mainstream, or even independent, Hollywood Out-of-Africa films, which might feature a American black actor and is largely conceived out of the fantasies of white directors. I’m talking about films, conceived and written from the minds of black folks.
Like Isiah Washington, who has virtually disappeared from Hollywood after being fired from his hit television “Grey’s Anatomy” for calling his former cast mate a gay slur. Last year Washington starred in the Nigerian film Dr. Bello, a story about a American black doctor, who goes to Nigeria on the hunt of a special African potion that will cure cancer, and could help save his medical career and an African doctor from prison. The film, which also stars Haitian-born actor Jimmy Jean Louis and A-list Nigerian actresses Genevieve Nnaji and Stephanie Okereke, was written and directed by Tony Abulu, a Nigerian-raised founder of Black Ivory Communication, who has a history of taking Pan-Africanism approach into his film making. According to his bio, his previous film Back to Africa, also joined together an American cast and crew with their Nigerian counterparts. According to a recent article in the New York Times, Washington said, “…he signed on in part because he was drawn to the opportunity to “cross-pollinate” Hollywood and Nollywood.”
Vivica Fox, who is staring opposite of Washington in Dr. Bello, has also appeared in other black African-produced cinema, most recently Jeta Amata’s Black Gold and Niyi Towolawi’s Turning Point, a film, which also giving new life to mostly forgotten about American black actors Ernie Hudson (Ghost Busters) and Todd Bridges (“Different Strokes”). Nollywood has also provide opportunities for current working actors, whose success in Hollywood has yet to reach household name status. Such is the case for Gbenga Akinnagbe, a American actor born to Nigerian parents and most known for playing Chris Partlow on the television show “The Wire.” He was able to not only star but produce his very own crime drama in Nigeria called “Render to Caesar.” According to publish reports, Akinnagbe was able to secure funding for his project from former Nigerian banker.
Depending on whom you ask, Nigeria’s Nollywood is either the second or third largest film industry in the world. What is certain though, is that Nollywood is definitely holding its own with Hollywood and the Indian counterpart Bollywood, producing over 2,000 films annually and generating profits into the hundred of millions. According to an article last year in Black Enterprise:
“Similar to model used by African-American filmmaker Tyler Perry in the states, the films are typically produced at a very modest budget and yield a high return. With an average production rate of $15,000, Nollywood films often yield up to 10 times that amount in return. Nollywood filmmakers—eager to use Black American talent in order to broaden their international appeal—say that while the actors might not be able to demand the same paycheck as actors like Denzel Washington would for “Safe House” or Viola Davis would for “The Help,” the sky’s the limit on the types of stories they can tell.”
The pie in the sky is not also limited to story telling as Nollywood’s ever-expanding distribution network. Last year’s launch of a streaming-video library called iROKOtv, helped bring African cinema to new audiences across the African Diaspora, particularly in the UK, Caribbean and America markets. Likewise, a recent report suggests that the global popularity of the Nigerian film industry will be a major growth driver, with an expected compound annual growth of 3 percent in the country’s leisure sector. With that said, Nollywood is still a work in progress and more often then not, Nollywood films are plagued by poor story development, shoddy audio and technical error. However it’s continued growth over the years – not just in dollars but in actual film production – also proves that the industry has longevity and is able to stand on its own, outside of Hollywood’s power and authority.
The latter is extremely important, especially when considering solutions to the difficulty that black writers, directors and actors in the West face in terms of finding work or getting a project financed and backed through Hollywood. Not to mention the continued debates which spawn from the representation of black folks in films like Django Unchained and the soon to be released Nina Simone biopic. Nollywood might not be perfect but it should also be thought of as another viable avenue for blacks in the film industry to validate our own.
Celebration! “Beasts of The Southern Wild” Star Quvenzhané Wallis Is Youngest Best Actress Oscar Nominee Ever At 9
While you were sleeping, Academy Award nominations were being announced this morning (and we’re talking EARLY since it’s still early as I type this), and out of all the nominees, snubs and surprises, the nomination that has us most excited is the one little Quvenzhané Wallis received for her role in the movie, Beasts of the Southern Wild. She is up for the Best Actress Oscar, pitting her against seasoned actresses and “It girls” like Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts and Jessica Chastain (ya’ll remember her as the lovable ditzy wife from The Help?). Wallis is now the youngest woman–er, young lady, to be nominated in the Best Actress category ever, at just nine years old. What in the hell was I doing at nine???
If you missed out on Beasts of the Southern Wild, an extraordinarily touching piece of work, Wallis plays six-year-old Hushpuppy, an optimistic and independent child thanks to her father, Wink, a single dad who teaches her how to be able to fend for herself. So much so that he can come off kind of cruel. It also helps that teachers at her school teach the local children how to prepare for the arrival of a prehistoric creature called an Auroch, which plays a big part in the movie. After a storm hits and the life around her starts to crumble, Hushpuppy is forced to put everything she’s taught to good use and goes in search of her long-lost mother, who she pined for in a majority of the movie.
I’m so happy to see not only this little girl, but this movie receive its just dues from the Academy. I was shocked to find that the Golden Globes and other big awards shows didn’t nominate Wallis, the director, Behn Zeitlin, or the movie as a whole, so I was expecting a big snub like Pariah received last year. But someone must have wised up because Wallis will be sitting pretty on Oscar night, as well as Zeitlin, who was nominated for Best Director and for Best Adapted Screenplay, and the movie received a Best Picture nom. Please check out this gem of a film if you can find it, because it is available on DVD. I had the opportunity to check out it sometime last year, and was blown away by this little lady, as well as by how visually emanate the film was at all times. If you didn’t know Quvenzhané’s name already, it will be stuck in your head now! Congrats!
And on a side note, congratulations are also in order for Denzel Washington once again, who has been nominated in the Best Actor category for his role in Flight, another amazing film. And Django Unchained received a Best Picture nomination (and Best Original Screenplay for Quentin Tarantino), though Christoph Waltz was the only actor from the film nominated. I know Leo DiCaprio is somewhere fuming…Big ups to all!
Actor Malik Yoba is doing his thing on both the big and small screens with his role in “The Alphas” and the military film, “Allegiance.”
During an interview with BET.com, he chatted about an opportunity to portray Martin Luther King, Jr. in an upcoming TV movie. But more importantly, he discussed his thoughts about Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker and Katt Williams.
Let’s cut right to the good stuff.
Read more at EurWeb.com.