Culture Writer, Audio Producer, Rotten Tomatoes-approved Film Critic email@example.com Bylines: THR, NYT, NPR, Time, Parade, Level, Cherrypicks, Hyperallergic and several others.
“I love the fact that this is a Black-ass show,” said one woman on the call, “so we can have an angry person and a happy person, a sad person, a ratchet person. Give me everything—the whole window of emotions.”
I was sitting in on a regular Zoom meetup with 30 young Black professionals discussing the recent season finale of the HBO hit Insecure...
While the fight for racial justice isn’t new for many, some are searching for ways to become better allies and to understand systemic oppression for the first time. And they’re turning to movies to help educate themselves.
Now, 2011’s “The Help” has become the most-watched film on Netflix. But many Black people and critics say the film is not the movie you should be watching to better understand race relations.
The vast majority of Hollywood films over the past hundred years were made by, about and for white people. The industry’s first blockbuster — 1915’s The Birth of a Nation by D.W. Griffith — was a Ku Klux Klan propaganda film featuring white actors in blackface.
Rather than ignore such characters as the film industry has often done in the past, mainstream and indie directors alike explored their lives, and sometimes the results were astonishing.
When “Unchained Melody,” also known as the music from the pottery wheel scene in “Ghost,” shows up in a movie, it’s clearly meant to evoke romance.
In the teen high school comedy “Booksmart,” a bubblegum-pop cover plays when Molly takes her bestie, Amy, to the airport to leave for a gap year. Having a crush is still part of the movie’s angsty teen equation, but the song choice signals something new: that deep friendship isn’t a fallback...
The slogan “listen to black women” emerged as a familiar refrain after the 2016 election, and with good reason. Some of the first people to decry Donald Trump’s actions as a political figure were black women, from the 94 percent of us who didn’t vote for him to Congressional leaders like Maxine Waters, who pushed for the now unfolding impeachment inquiry long before her peers. I couldn’t help but think about all this after watching Joker...
onald J. Trump is mentioned more than once in American Psycho. He’s an aspirational figure for Paul Bateman, an investment banker by day and a serial murderer by night in the 1980s-set indie. Bateman (Christian Bale) is a Wall Street guy who sits around conference tables with other cocky Wall Street guys in gray suits. Hilariously we never see him do any actual work—unless you count insulting his secretary (Chloë Sevigny) or dimwitted business card quality competitions with his peers.
To explain the persistence of lower rates of breastfeeding among black mothers, we should look to systemic and historic factors rather than individual choice. That's the argument of Skimmed: Breastfeeding, Race, and Injustice (Stanford University Press) by law professor Andrea Freeman, which provides in-depth historical, socioeconomic and legal context that sheds new light on black motherhood.
For KPCC's The Frame: In the new documentary, "Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am," we learn about the woman behind the work to see how she got to this distinguished place in American culture. Directed by photographer and filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, the movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last January. Film critic Beandrea July reviewed it for Out magazine at the time. Now that it’s in theaters, she takes another look at the film with the help of a leading expert on Morrison’s work.
Last year when the paradigm-shifting series Shrill premiered on Hulu, lead Aidy Bryant was truly “not expecting” the positive response from viewers. In particular, the “fat babe pool party” scene in which Annie finds the confidence to strip down to her bathing suit thanks to the colorful, confident, gyrating curvy women she’s surrounded by, sparked think pieces in outlets like The New York Times and The Lily and extensive social media conversation.
French cinematographer Claire Mathon was part of the creative team behind not one but two of the best films of 2019. Mati Diop’s Cannes prize-winning Senegalese drama Atlantics is now on Netflix, and Celine Sciamma’s masterful meditation on desire Portrait of a Lady on Fire received a wide US theatrical release starting Feb 14.
When the clock struck midnight, DJ Sam “the Man” Burns always began his sermons on the decks the same way: “Good morning, Washington, D.C.!” And at some point that night, he would inevitably remind wallflowers of his number one rule. “No texting on the dance floor,” he’d shout.
After Barry Jenkins’ acclaimed indie breakout Moonlight won Best Picture at the 2017 Academy Awards, the very next year the faux racial harmony buddy flick Green Book from Peter Farrelly nabbed the same honor. This isn’t surprising because Hollywood’s move to tell more inclusive stories is often a one-step-forward, two-steps-back endeavor.
Not so at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where not only were there more stories with black (and Asian-American) lead characters, the vast majority of the...