So I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how I can expand my content on the site…so going forward every Friday (I promise to stick to it 🤥) I will be doing pretty much a weekly wrap-up of new trailers, what’s happening in the biz (+ legal stuff but not celebrity gossip, that’s not my thang), and then a “spotlight on/featured filmmaker/film of the week” section. So here goes…
What’s The Word on the Street?
- First up, a legal update (right up my alley): George R.R. Martin (the man behind the entertainment juggernaut “Game of Thrones” for those who may have been living under a rock the last few years) is seeking to reverse a film option. Apparently, he gave Pike Productions a 5 year film option for his book “The Skin Trade.” He and his lawyer claims that the production company “haphazardly” made (essentially a “token production” which is insufficient) the film right before the end of the term to keep from losing the rights. Martin seeks to reclaim ownership fo the story and seek damages. I’m interested in seeing how this plays out…
- In news that isn’t news…male film critics still outnumber female critics and critics of color remain “dramatically underrepresented” thus white males are dominating the conversation. Surprise, surprise…Critics play a big role in what makes it to the general public and what actually gets distributed. So this is a situation that seriously needs to be rectified because this leads to works by underrepresented filmmakers and voices being overlooked and slept on.
- The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is currently happening virtually and they made passes to the festival free for the public which is amazing because these works and panels need to be seen by the masses. I always knew the ABFF was dope but they get major props for this. I’ve watched a couple of the panels this week and they have been very informative. I look forward to diving into some of the films this weekend. Keep an eye out for some reviews from that.
- There is a new international limited series from France’s Vendome Group and Anonymous Content in the works. The series, called “Code Name Héléne,” is based on the New York Times bestselling author Ariel Lawhon’s WWII spy thriller and is set to star Australian actor Elizabeth Debicki. The story centers around the real-life Nancy Grace August Wake who was a New Zealand-born journalist who became a spy and one of the most powerful leaders of the French Resistance. And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice…I love a good WWII movie…and there’s spies…count me in!
- Here’s a dope conversation…Tribeca Talks At Home: Race & the Industry – “Cut to Black.” Give it a listen.
- Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire” “Lion”) talks about colorblind casting in his new film “The Personal History of David Copperfield” in which he plays the title character. I am all for colorblind casting, especially if its fiction…after all, this is all just make-believe. That’s part of the reason why I liked Hulu’s “The Great” so much…sure it’s about an actual person, Catherine the Great, but its a fictionalized story so why not?! It’s not distracting and it just allows for greater representation not the screen.
- MGM is relaunching Orion Pictures to exclusively amplify underrepresented voices with Alana Mayo at the helm. Mayo most recently served as head of production and development for Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society, overseeing films like “Just Mercy.” This is dope and congrats to Alana!
- “The King’s Man” was supposed to come out next month but it has been pushed to February 2021…bummer, but also yay because I would like to see that one on the big screen…hopefully.
- I saw an article in The Guardian about how productions are having to change the way sex scenes are shot and portrayed on screen and their suggestions were reminiscent of the Hays Code of the 1930s – 1960s (in which films self-censored based on moral guidelines of the times). If you aren’t familiar with “pre-code” films (those prior to 1934) find one and take a look and then compare it to a film shot during the Code years…you’ll see the difference. I get what we’re doing for health concerns and safety but I really hope that we don’t go back to Code years.
- Movie theaters are opening back up…ya’ll going, or nah??
What We’re Looking Forward to Seeing…
Oh boy, I can’t wait…this so speaks to me. This one will be available to stream on Netflix on October 9th.
“Enola Holmes” – Netflix, September 23
Netflix stays coming with the heat! I love “Sherlock” the BBC series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman and this looks like so much fun. AND Sherlock is HOT…word?! I’m definitely in!
“Ammonite” – Neon will release this in theaters November 13th
This looks interesting…and Saoirse Ronan is always good (ie. “Little Women,” “Atonement,” Lady Bird,” “On Chesil Beach”…I can go on…)
“Noughts + Crosses” – Available to Stream on Peacock September 4th
I’m always down for alternative history series so this should be interesting…
“Anthony” – Peacock, September 4th
How many of ya’ll have checked out Peacock? I watched “Brave New World” and really enjoyed it (and that’s one of my favorite books so I had to give it a watch). I’m interested in checking out some of there other stuff. And it seems like they are focusing on putting out films and docs with black voices, so that’s what’s up! They’ve also got “The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show” doc premiering on the streamer on Sept. 10th — I definitely want to check that one out too (Harry Belafonte is the MAN!)
This Week’s Spotlight
It’s Emmy season!
With that being said, I’ve had the privilege to interview a couple of behind-the-camera folks who have been nominated for Emmy’s this year. Re-recording mixer Howard Bargroff is nominated for his work on “Devs.” Sound mixer Phil McGowan is nominated for his work on “Ozark.” And editor/writer/producer Kathryn Robson. Robson is nominated for “Outstanding Writing for a Nonfiction Program” for her work on the doc “Circus of Books” which is currently streaming on Netflix. If you haven’t watched it yet, definitely give it a go! And check out my interview with Kathryn over at AwardsCircuit.
So that’s all I’ve got for this week…if there’s something I missed this week (I’m sure there is) drop a line in the comments.