Showing posts with label Movies Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies Related. Show all posts

4 April 2021

IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]

by
IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]
IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong"
IMAX scored its biggest domestic opening weekend in more than a year as "Godzilla vs. Kong" earned $4.5 million on 284 screens. Over 1,000 domestic IMAX shows were sold-out over the 5-day opening, nearly 25% of all IMAX showtimes over that period. 
  • Globally, the Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures' monster hit continued to smash expectations, earning $13 million this weekend across all markets.
IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]
IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" (screengrab)
"'Godzilla vs. Kong' has emerged as a symbol of the enduring strength of the theatrical experience for blockbuster filmmaking, delivering great box office even with many theatres still closed and significant capacity restrictions," said Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX. "Make no mistake — this film has become a global event because it received a global theatrical release, and the phenomenal pipeline of tentpole films ahead have the chance to capitalize on the same opportunity."
Despite capacity limitations of up to 25% in North America, a particularly challenging environment for IMAX given its theatre design, and a day-and-date release on streaming, "Godzilla vs. Kong" now stands as IMAX's best domestic opening since January 2020. IMAX screens accounted for 9.3% of the overall weekend box office domestically. Notably, many capacity restrictions including the 25% limit in California are planned to be eased in the coming weeks.

IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]
MAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" (screengrab)
The film continued its success globally, earning another $6.5 million since Wednesday in China while reaching a 10-day cume of $18 million, over 13% of the nationwide box office and the highest 10-day cume of the Godzilla and Kong franchise ever for IMAX in China. The China cume to-date is already nearly double the final IMAX China box office for "Kong: Skull Island" and "Godzilla: King of the Monsters".

The impressive results follow a pandemic-best opening internationally for the film last week, with some markets increasing their IMAX box office over last weekend's openings. IMAX has earned $28 million across all markets globally for the film to-date, 10% of the overall total.

TheTrailer:


  • "Godzilla vs. Kong" will continue its run in IMAX through April 21 in domestic markets and mid-to-late April in most international markets including China, with openings in Brazil and Japan, scheduled for April 29 and May 14, respectively.
IMAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" [Trailer Included]
MAX Stomps to Biggest Domestic Opening in Over a Year with $4.5 Million for "Godzilla vs. Kong" (screengrab)

About "Godzilla vs. Kong":

"With the world still shaken from the battle between Ghidorah and Godzilla, humanity has begun to try and co-exist with the Titans. But after Godzilla begins his own reign of terror, humanity must call on another legend to stop him: Kong. Not everything is as it seems when Monarch travel to Skull Island, where a mysterious young girl known to communicate with Kong must warn him of the impending danger. As Godzilla rages across nations, destroying everything in his path, the fate of the world in the hands of these two legendary Titans as both Kong and Godzilla battle for the right of King, and to stop the real threat that faces them..."

31 March 2021

'Star Trek' Production Illustrator John Eaves to Receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 25th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards

by
'Star Trek' Production Illustrator John Eaves to Receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 25th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards
Production Illustrator John Eaves to be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Art Directors Guild at the 25th Annual ADG Awards on April 10, 2021.
Concept Artist John Eaves, known for his iconic illustrations and designs for the Star Trek series and for the numerous science fiction realms he created, will receive the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illustrators and Matte Artists (IMA) at the 25th Annual ADG Awards

Herman Zimmerman, Emmy-nominated Production Designer for the Star Trek franchise, will be presenting the award to Eaves. 
  • The event will celebrate Eaves' artistic contribution to the many space vehicles, sets, and concepts that have become classics in the Marvel, Star Trek and Sci-Fi worlds that we know today.
The Awards ceremony, set for Saturday, April 10, 2021, will break with tradition in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be presented on a virtual platform, streaming to a worldwide and more inclusive audience. This is the final of four Lifetime Achievement Awards to be announced by the Art Directors Guild. 

  • The event is free to everyone, but registration is required at adgawards25.com.
"For the past 36 years, John's work as a Production Illustrator has been an integral part of over 100 films and television shows. From props, to sets, to vehicles, to gadgets, and, most prominent and recognizable, a small fleet of starships for the Star Trek franchise, John has inspired many and left an amazing mark on our industry. We celebrate his creativity, talent, and contributions to the Craft and honor him with this year's Lifetime Achievement Award," said Tim Wilcox, ADG Illustrators & Matte Artists Council Chair.
John Eaves has worked as a concept artist on many of Hollywood's most successful franchises, creating iconic Sci-Fi images of futuristic worlds, vehicles, spaceships, and otherworldly designs that have become the foundations and concepts of over 100 award-winning motion picture franchises. These include four Star Trek movies; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Spider-Man: Homecoming; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Iron Man 3.

His talented prop designer and diverse model maker skills are on display in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Ant-Man and The Wasp, Ant-Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 2, Batman Forever, Toys, Die Hard 2, RoboCop 2 and The Hunt for Red October, among many others.

Eaves' groundbreaking work has garnered him numerous awards, including four previous ADG awards. As a child, John was fascinated with aircraft and science fiction and how films came together, a fascination that continued into adulthood and which led to a highly successful 36-year career and still counting.

'Star Trek' Production Illustrator John Eaves to Receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 25th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards
The event is free to everyone, but registration is required at adgawards25.com
As previously announced, Ryan Murphy, one of television's most successful award-winning writers-directors-producers whose shows have consistently reflected the highest quality of production design, will receive the esteemed Cinematic Imagery Award, presented by actor Matt Bomer, star of Ryan's "American Horror Story," "Glee," "American Crime Story," "The Normal Heart" and, most recently, "The Boys in the Band."

Academy Award- and Emmy-winning Production Designer Stuart Wurtzel, ADG, known for his work on Hannah and Her Sisters and "Angels in America," will receive the ADG Lifetime Achievement Award from the Production Designers and Art Directors Council (AD). Martha Johnston, ADG, dynamic artist best known for her over 60 movie and television design credits, is set to receive the ADG Set Designers & Model Makers (SDMM) Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Scenic Artist Patrick DeGreve, ADG, best known for his prolific backings, sets and props for shows created at CBS TV City over the past 45 years, will receive the ADG Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scenic, Title & Graphic Artists (STG). 

  • A complete list of past honorees can be found on ADG's website. #iwillbethere #adgawards
  • Producer of this year's ADG Awards (#ADGawards) is Production Designer Scott Moses, ADG. 
Final online voting will be held through April 7, 2021, and winners will be announced at the virtual gala ceremony on Saturday, April 10, 2021. ADG Awards are open only to productions when made within the U.S. by producers signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions. 
'Star Trek' Production Illustrator John Eaves to Receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 25th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards
The Invite - Art Directors Guild (IATSE, Local 800)

SOURCE: Art Directors Guild (IATSE, Local 800)

25 March 2021

Michael Douglas Shares Life Lessons About His Career, Family, Fatherhood, and the Future in AARP The Magazine's April/May Issue

by
Michael Douglas Shares Life Lessons About His Career, Family, Fatherhood, and the Future in AARP The Magazine's April/May Issue
Michael Douglas Shares Life Lessons About His Career, Family, Fatherhood, and the Future in AARP The Magazine's April/May Issue (original picture via AARP)
With an award-winning career in entertainment spanning 50-plus years, Michael Douglas is an icon, but he also holds important titles as a father, grandfather, husband, friend and mentor. 
The Hollywood vet recalls powerful advice, pivotal college moments and more in his AARP The Magazine cover story. After a year of what Douglas calls "couch potato-ing," the 76-year-old is looking forward to getting back to work, with no plans to retire anytime soon.

  • Currently, Douglas plays an acting coach who is past his prime, grappling with the question of what actually matters in the long run of life in the Netflix comedy "The Kominsky Method." The first two seasons are streaming now, with the third season in progress.
The following are excerpts from ATM's April/May 2021 cover story featuring Michael Douglas available in homes starting in April and available online now at www.aarp.org/magazine.

Michael Douglas Shares Life Lessons About His Career, Family, Fatherhood, and the Future in AARP The Magazine's April/May Issue
Michael Douglas Shares Life Lessons About His Career, Family, Fatherhood, and the Future in AARP The Magazine's April/May Issue (screengrab from video)

On the importance of honesty:

"If you lie, people lose faith in you and it just makes everything more difficult."

On being mentored by Karl Maiden:

"Those days, when you were the second banana on a police show, usually you were a step or two behind the lead because the focus couldn't hold both actors. Karl was the first guy who said to me, "Come on up." He shared the spotlight, cared about others, said I was the son he never had. A good mentor can save you a lot of pain."

On the lessons he'd like to pass on to his children and grandchildren:

"A work ethic. Courtesy to your fellow human beings. And kindness. Which are traits you have to work at and rehearse."

On collaborating with women:

"My mother was an actress. I spent a lot of time with her backstage at the theater. So I've never been threatened by formidable women. I'm proud that for nearly every woman I've worked with, it's been one of her best roles. Kathleen Turner, Geneviève Bujold way back in Coma, Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, Annette Bening, Sharon Stone. I try to make the environment as comfortable as possible, give them respect and protection. This season of "The Kominsky Method" will be my fourth time working with Kathleen and there is a wonderful comfort in that."

On continuing to work into his 70s:

"Work keeps you going, keeps you sharp. Of course, these days I'm looking around the set, like, I'm the oldest person here, man. Where did the time go? But I love the whole process. We're not doing brain surgery; we're showbiz."

Michael Douglas Shares Life Lessons About His Career, Family, Fatherhood, and the Future in AARP The Magazine's April/May Issue
Michael Douglas Shares Life Lessons About His Career, Family, Fatherhood, and the Future in AARP The Magazine's April/May Issue (image via AARP)
SOURCE: AARP

11 March 2021

Marcus Nel-Jamal Hamm to Release Short Film 'The Black League of Superheroes' on April 30th [Trailer Included]

by
Marcus Nel-Jamal Hamm to Release Short Film 'The Black League of Superheroes' on April 30 [Trailer Included]
'The Black League of Superheroes' - Poster
Former pro wrestler turned writer, director, actor and producer, Marcus Nel-Jamal Hamm, will be releasing his anticipated short film, The Black League of Superheroes – available to watch on April 30th through the film's website and via YouTube.
Marvel and DC enthusiasts will enjoy following the story of a young hero, Miles Morales Spiderman, who discovers that an intentional injustice was covered up as an accident. To prevent this from happening again, he takes advantage of his gifts and "borrows" a powerful glove to summon his elders: Spawn, Blade and Black Panther. The band of superheroes must then decide how to best address the tragedy that has unfolded before them.

  • With the current political climate and the ascent of the Black Lives Matter movement, Marcus was inspired to create a film where Black individuals can see themselves reflected as superheroes.
Marcus Nel-Jamal Hamm to Release Short Film 'The Black League of Superheroes' on April 30 [Trailer Included]
'The Black League of Superheroes' -Miles Morales Spiderman (screengrab)
"Being able to create positive Black images is extremely important in times like this, and it's also important for Black people who are being victimized and brutalized from mischaracterizations to regain a sense of empowerment," Marcus explains.
  • Among the aforementioned superheroes, audiences will also see fan favorites including Superman, Storm, and Bayne.

The Trailer:

Synopsis:

(Via IMDb)
Spoilers Alert! The synopsis below may give away important plot points.
"A young hero, Miles Morales Spiderman learns of a tragic incident claimed to have been accidental that turns out to have been intentional. His hidden abilities make him capable of knowing the truth from lies but he can't reveal this to the world to protect his identity. Instead, he takes advantage of his gifts and "borrows" a powerful and mystical glove using it to summon four of his elders who he believes will help him to right the wrong that has happened and that he knows will continue to happen if nothing is done about it. These heroes, Spawn, Blade, Black Panther have never met one another and must quickly make a decision that can be the difference between life and death. They were all in the middle of their own experiences at the time that they were summoned and one unique hero, an unrecognized Superman is of the same universe that Miles has taken the others to so he is not summoned, but invited the old fashioned way. The 4 wait impatiently for his arrival in order to learn the reason for their sudden relocation into an empty room in a place unrecognized. Young Miles is hopeful that his elders will show him the way to deal with the harshness of reality. Spawn, Blade, and Black Panther were all summoned from their own universes so we will see the events that were unfolding at the time prior to being called upon. Black Panther, in a tactical pursuit, to claim his greatest treasure, the X-Men's Storm. Blade was on the hunt for a tough vampire who was once a prize MMA fighter named Pogona. Spawn was in the alley streets watching over his friends when one is suddenly attacked. Each of their stories are told while they wait for the arrival of Superman and then Miles Morales proceeds to reveal the reason for his bringing them there. They must then decide on how they can best address the tragedy that they learn has unfolded...."
Marcus Nel-Jamal Hamm to Release Short Film 'The Black League of Superheroes' on April 30 [Trailer Included]
'The Black League of Superheroes' - Blade (screengrab)

About Marcus Nel-Jamal Hamm: 

Born in Washington D.C. and a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice, Marcus Nel-Jamal Hamm emerged into the entertainment scene through the world of pro wrestling under the moniker of Marcus Jordan. He is a multi-title holding main event performer.

Marcus transitioned toward acting with a role on two episodes of the HBO series, The Wire. He's continued to gain momentum working as a television, theatrical and commercial actor, and is trained in film/TV stunt fighting.

This June, Marcus will be producing and starring in Heaven's Revenge, the full-length feature of the hit short of the same name (which he also stars in and can be seen on Amazon Prime).

  • Now an L.A. mainstay, Marcus is an advocate for global world peace and a promoter of a new Urban Renaissance where he inspires youth from all walks of life.
Marcus Nel-Jamal Hamm to Release Short Film 'The Black League of Superheroes' on April 30 [Trailer Included]
'The Black League of Superheroes' - Black Panther (screengrab)

SOURCE: Marcus Nel-Jamal Hamm

12 February 2021

Happy 85th Anniversary, Green Hornet!

by
Happy 85th Anniversary, Green Hornet!
Britt Reid - The Green Hornet (by marvelmania)
The last day in January 2021 marks the 85th anniversary of the first appearance of The Green Hornet. A year-long virtual celebration to one of America's earliest superheroes, his most powerful sidekick Kato, and the world's first supercar, the Black Beauty.
George W. Trendle wanted a timely, relevant, hero character on the radio at WXYZ-Detroit to appeal to voting age Americans, as opposed to his earlier creation, The Lone Ranger, created for children.

In an era without television or internet, news traveled slowly, primarily printed in a newspaper. Britt Reid, the alter ego of The Green Hornet, published such a newspaper, The Daily Sentinel, where he receives inside information about corruption and organized crime from his reporters' sources. With his sidekick Kato, The Green Hornet uses his non-lethal weapons to subdue the criminals and leave them for law enforcement to arrest and prosecute. Because police see The Green Hornet as a vigilante, therefore a criminal, both sides of the law are after him, which forces him to wear a mask, so no one discovers his true identity.

Happy 85th Anniversary, Green Hornet!
The Green Hornet (by StevJVaz72)
Whether it is an original radio broadcast, one of the serials, a tv episode, an issue of a comic book or a movie; the plot usually consists of corrupt government officials or organized crime leaders who seem innocent and above reproach.

George W. Trendle's creation of The Green Hornet introduced many firsts to the American audience. The masked avenger in a modern city, Bruce Lee as a martial arts sidekick, and a black stealth supercar to keep Americans safe.

Happy 85th Anniversary, Green Hornet!
The Green Hornet:(by voyageYOUKOH )

More About The Green Hornet:

(Via Wikipedia)
Though various incarnations sometimes change details, in most versions the Green Hornet is the alter ego of Britt Reid, wealthy young publisher of the Daily Sentinel newspaper by day. But by night, clad in a long green overcoat, gloves, green fedora hat and green mask, Reid fights crime as the mysterious vigilante known as "The Green Hornet," and is accompanied by his loyal and similarly masked partner and confidant, Kato, who drives their technologically advanced car, the "Black Beauty." Though both the police and the general public believe the Hornet to be a wanted criminal, Reid uses that perception to help him infiltrate the underworld, leaving behind for the police the criminals and any incriminating evidence he has found.

In the original radio incarnation, Britt Reid is the son of Dan Reid, Jr., the nephew of John Reid, the Lone Ranger, making the Green Hornet the grand-nephew of the Ranger. The relationship is alluded to at least once in the radio shows, when Dan Reid visits his son to question him on why Britt has never captured the Hornet. On learning the truth behind his son's dual identity, Dan Reid recalls his days riding in Texas with his uncle, as the William Tell Overture plays briefly and softly in the background.
 
[Click here to read more....]
Happy 85th Anniversary, Green Hornet!
Green Hornet - Inked (by zanthiel)

Trivia:

(From IMDb)
A poster for The Lone Ranger can be seen in Britt Reid's room. In the original radio program, Reid was the The Lone Ranger's grandnephew. His father rode with The Lone Ranger on some of his adventures, and they shared the family name of Reid. Both radio programs were created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker. [Click here for more trivia...]

Happy 85th Anniversary, Green Hornet!
The Green Hornet: TV logo

10 February 2021

Steven Spielberg Announced as the 2021 Genesis Prize Laureate [Video Included]

by
Steven Spielberg Announced as the 2021 Genesis Prize Laureate [Video Included]
Steven Spielberg Announced as the 2021 Genesis Prize Laureate (screengrab)
The Genesis Prize Foundation today announced film director, producer, and philanthropist Steven Spielberg as the 2021 Genesis Prize Laureate.

  • The annual $1 million Genesis Prize, dubbed the "Jewish Nobel" by TIME magazine, honors extraordinary individuals for their outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values.
The award recognizes Spielberg's outstanding achievement as one the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema; his social activism and prolific philanthropy; and his principled stance against anti-Semitism and all forms of intolerance. 

The Prize also recognizes his extraordinary work to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and prevent future genocides through film, public advocacy and philanthropy.

For the first time in the history of the Genesis Prize, the voice of global Jewry was a major factor in Laureate selection. Two hundred thousand Jews on six continents cast their votes for the 2021 Laureate; millions more engaged on social media. While the Prize Committee had the ultimate discretion about the selection of the recipient of this prestigious award, the fact Spielberg received the most votes was a major determining factor.
"The Genesis Prize celebrates Steven Spielberg's unique talent, his commitment to making the world a better place, and his unparalleled contribution to teaching the post-war generations about the horrors of the Holocaust," said Stan Polovets, Co-Founder and Chairman of GPF. "We are delighted to welcome Steven Spielberg to the distinguished family of Genesis Prize honorees, which includes such luminaries as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Natan Sharansky, and Michael Bloomberg."
This is the latest in a series of prominent awards bestowed on Spielberg, which among others include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award of the United States; Legion d'Honneur, the highest order of the French Republic, and Germany's Federal Cross of Merit.
"Spielberg is a great Jewish visionary and storyteller," said the legendary human rights activist Natan Sharansky, who was awarded the Genesis Prize in 2020. "Key Jewish themes are often woven into his narratives: importance of identity and belonging, maintaining humanity in a ruthless world, caring for the other, and honoring the moral obligation to do the right thing. His talent makes them universal: told by Spielberg, these stories come alive in people's hearts across the globe."
Steven Spielberg becomes the 9th Genesis Prize honoree. All previous Laureates chose to direct the $1 million Prize award to philanthropic causes about which they were passionate. Sharansky, who preceded Spielberg as the Genesis Prize Laureate, directed his $1 million award to support individuals and organizations working to alleviate the Covid-19 health crisis and prevent future pandemics.
"Congratulations to Steven Spielberg on this important Jewish award," said Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel and Chairman of the Genesis Prize Selection Committee. "He is an example of great Jewish talent, whose extraordinary work in film and philanthropy is infused with the values of his people – a quest for justice, compassion, humanism, and a heartfelt desire to make the world a better place."
Steven Spielberg Announced as the 2021 Genesis Prize Laureate [Video Included]
2021 Genesis Prize Laureate Steven Spielberg. (Credit: WFPA / Alamy Stock Photo)

About the 2021 Genesis Prize Laureate:

Steven Spielberg is widely considered to be the most successful film director in the history of cinema. His films grossed $10bn and his imagination has captivated tens of millions of people around the world. After establishing his reputation with blockbuster films such as Jaws, ET, Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones, he began to explore serious topics such as justice, slavery, women's rights, corruption, and morality of war in films such as Saving Private Ryan, Lincoln, The Color Purple, The Post, Munich and Bridge of Spies.

His films also have delivered compelling narratives of Jewish history and present day events – the Holocaust, terrorism, and the maturing of the State of Israel. Spielberg's 1993 masterpiece Schindler's List has had a profound impact on humanity's perception and awareness of the Holocaust. Fifty years after the Shoah, Spielberg's film fostered a strong emotional connection with this tragedy for a vast, global audience – touching the post-war generations in a way that no other medium could. Spielberg channeled all of his proceeds from Schindler's List to fund philanthropic causes – both Jewish and non-Jewish. In 1994, he established the USC Shoah Foundation, dedicated to preserving Holocaust survivor testimonies. Concerned with prevention of genocide, the Foundation also works to preserve the memory of other 20th century genocides – in Cambodia, Armenia and Rwanda. Over 55,000 survivor testimonies have been recorded to-date.

  • Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw founded the Righteous Persons Foundation, which has made more than $100 million in grants to various Jewish organizations. Through the Wunderkinder Foundation, Spielberg has given extensively to health, arts, youth and education.

About the Genesis Prize and Prior Laureates:

The Genesis Prize is a global award that celebrates Jewish achievement and contribution to humanity. Launched in 2013, the Prize is financed through a permanent endowment of $100 million established by The Genesis Prize Foundation.

Previous Genesis Prize laureates are former New York City Mayor and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg (2014); actor, producer and peace activist Michael Douglas (2015); Itzhak Perlman, virtuoso violinist and advocate for individuals with special needs (2016); sculptor and advocate for the rights of refugees Sir Anish Kapoor (2017); Oscar-winning actress and social activist Natalie Portman (2018); owner of New England Patriots and founder of the leading foundation to combat anti-Semitism Robert Kraft (2019); and legendary Jewish leader and human rights activist Natan Sharansky (2020). In 2018, the Genesis Prize Foundation honored U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to social justice and equal rights.

27 January 2021

COVID-19 Movie 'Songbird' is a Disaster – We Need Better Pandemic Stories [Trailer Included]

by
COVID-19 Movie 'Songbird' is a Disaster – We Need Better Pandemic Stories [Trailer Included]
COVID-19 Movie 'Songbird' is a Disaster – We Need Better Pandemic Stories (Image via STX Films)

If the reality of COVID-19 were not enough, you can now watch Songbird, a new blockbuster movie which pictures the world in 2024 trying to deal with the ravages of COVID-23, a new mutation of the coronavirus. As one reviewer writes, the film combinesa Romeo & Juliet-lite love story with a sub-Contagion thriller”. Hailed as the first feature film about the pandemic, released during the pandemic, Songbird has not received the warm welcome its producers might have hoped for.

COVID-19 Movie 'Songbird' is a Disaster – We Need Better Pandemic Stories [Trailer Included]
'Songbird' (screengrab)
One of the most generous reviews is from The Guardian, which described the film as “a fascinating historical document of how some creatives found their way around the rules during an impossible time for a struggling industry”. In contrast, Canada’s Globe and Mail, cautioned viewers to “physically distance” themselves from Songbird, which it described as “crass and gimmicky”. Other reviewers also saw the film as a “schlocky and opportunistic” production. Viewers, meanwhile, have criticised it as being in bad taste for trying “to bank on the current times and failing just about every step of the way”.

The range of these responses tellingly reveals the complexity of the bigger questions behind the film, namely: what role does culture play when it comes to disasters? This question is not new. Yet the seemingly never-ending current global health crisis gives it a sense of urgency.

Cultural representations of disasters can show ways to make sense of crises. Whether it’s the allegorical painting of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, HBO’s Chernobyl, or Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), a magical realist response to Hurricane Katrina, these cultural representations act as social commentaries. They anticipate political action, shape and express environmental ethics, and – most importantly – they can help us to imagine what a possible future could look like.

Not in the same boat

Films, TV series and books about disasters show, again and again, that there is no one way of experiencing any disaster. Zadie Smith’s recently published Intimations, an essay collection of pandemic reflections, describes this in clear terms: “The misery is very precisely designed, and different for each person.” As the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 clearly demonstrates, we are all not in the same boat. This has been captured by poetry, and confirmed by research.

The pandemic has not struck with the same force nor at the same time. What COVID-19 has revealed is ever-starker socioeconomic divides. The pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on certain demographic and labour groups. It has cut a swath through the most vulnerable populations, the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions as well as the key workers who are keeping the cities, hospitals, and schools running. In short, the impact of the pandemic (and we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg) is contingent on pre-existing, long-term, and sustained vulnerability.

COVID-19 Movie 'Songbird' is a Disaster – We Need Better Pandemic Stories [Trailer Included]
'Songbird' (screengrab)
In response to the profound suffering and disruption to all aspects of our lives, many yearn for some, even small, return to “normal life”. Yet, it is precisely this “normal” – the reality of fatal inequalities, racial violence, injustice, and disenfranchisement – that is the problem.

No return to the pre-pandemic conditions is possible, nor should it be wished for. Rather, post-pandemic recovery has to work to address and repair these long-term structures of injustice, racism, and political, social and cultural marginalisation. Good artistic works aim to recover these hidden narratives and voices, voices that need to be central to any long-term recovery processes.

Starting slowly

The future starts slowly. How it will look depends on long-term community efforts and – even more so – on policy changes and political decisions. Yet waiting for these might mean waiting too long. In the meantime, artists, neighbourhood groups, mutual aid and solidarity groups forge their way through the crisis, start this slow labour of recovering, already pointing towards what alternative futures, in a small way, might look like.

The future starts with listening to the discordant experiences of those most affected by the impact of the pandemic. For Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich, reflecting on writing in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, it soon became clear that “the book that I’m going to write will take years”. Indeed, her novel Chernobyl Prayer took ten years to complete. This “novel of voices”, as she calls it, captures precisely those discordant meanings, ongoing sense of irreparable loss and confusion.

Understanding what the current pandemic means and what its real impact is will also take years. Undoing long-term vulnerabilities will take even longer. Yet this work has to start now and continue day in, day out. For British philosopher Nigel Warburton, Albert Camus’s The Plague (1947) provides inspiration, with its depiction of “ordinary people rising to an occasion and doing extraordinary things”.

Whether an artistically uninspiring, ethically problematic contagion-themed love story where the pandemic is exploited as a jumping-off point can capture the many voices of the pandemic experience, sketch a horizon of post-COVID-19 life, or provide an inspiration for such ordinary work of slow healing and recovery, is highly unlikely. Tellingly, for one viewer of Songbird, in order to enjoy the film, one must “ignore what’s happening” in real life.

While seeking an escape might not in itself be bad, as film scholar Alfio Leotta reminds us: “The kind of escape we seek matters.” It is thanks to the other worlds offered by books, films, that we can gain a better, more critical, but also more courageous, imaginative, view of the present we are in and, not least, of what can the future hold.

About Today's Contributor:

Kasia Mika, Lecturer in Comparative Literature, Queen Mary University of London

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

20 January 2021

Eric St. John Stars with Chris Brown and Young Thug in New Mini Movie / Music Video [Video Included]

by
Eric St. John Stars with Chris Brown and Young Thug in New Mini Movie / Music Video
Eric St. John Stars with Chris Brown and Young Thug in New Mini Movie / Music Video (screengrab)
Eric St. John has continued to shake the entertainment industry as he is currently working with award-winning artist Chris Brown and talented rapper, Young Thug, on a new mini -movie / music video. 

  • Eric St. John has already shown the world his incredible acting skills, and he is set to star in "De Gringo a la Tumba," an amazing movie by international writer and director Jacob N. Stuart.
City Girls set in 1940's Hollywood in an exclusive cabaret-style club, is narrated by "A Bronx Tale" star Lillo Brancato Jr. Throughout the video Chris Brown sings, along with Young Thug, and the cabaret girls put on a show, until the scene explodes into a cinematic shootout.

City Girls - The Video:

"I am truly impressed with Executive Producer Matt Goldstein and I am grateful that he hired me for this acting role on his incredible production!" said Eric St. John.
Eric St. John is fast-becoming a sought-after brand in the entertainment industry as the American actor and producer has caught the attention of major stakeholders in the industry. Not too many people will be surprised that Eric is working with Chris Brown on a new music video, considering the fantastic acting skills he has displayed in recent times.

City Girls (Behind The Scenes) - Video:

  • City Girls  was directed by talented Jake Miosge, in his directorial debut. Eric is grateful to work with Miosge stating " It is an honor to work with Jake on his directorial debut!"
Eric has expressed his delight in working with Chris Brown and Young Thug. "Chris Brown is one of the premier musical talents of our generation, and I am grateful that he brought me on board for his awesome project! Young Thug is the epitome of cool!" said Eric St. John.
Eric St. John Stars with Chris Brown and Young Thug in New Mini Movie
Eric St. John

About Eric St. John:

Eric St. John is a talented American actor and world-class martial artist, trained in multiple disciplines with some of the best in the world. The multifaceted entertainer looks set to take the industry by storm as he continues to deliver captivating performances on movie sets.

SOURCE: Eric St. John

15 January 2021

US: Fathom Events Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth With First Film Series This February [Trailers Included]

by

This February, Fathom Events will launch the company's first Black History Month film series, Fathom Events Celebrates Black History Month, in cinemas across the U.S. 
Movie-goers will have the opportunity to delve into the diverse lives, historic accomplishments and award-winning filmmaking of some of the most influential African American entertainers in modern history. The five-film series includes acclaimed feature films that highlight the lives, experiences and impact of American musical icons, a documentary that explores an entertainer's groundbreaking work with NASA, and a faith-based drama about the importance of family and lifelong faith.

The lineup for the 2021 Fathom Events Celebrates Black History Month film series is:

  • Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA
  • Ray
  • Get on Up
  • God's Compass
  • TCM Big Screen Classics: Boyz n the Hood 30th Anniversary
"Fathom specializes in curating and distributing a wide variety of content for all movie-goers. We are privileged to utilize our platform to honor Black History Month with films that bring important stories to the big screen," said Ray Nutt, Chief Executive Officer, Fathom Events. "We hope this film series will reach new audiences who will learn about the amazing contributions of these entertainers and experience some great movies."
US: Fathom Events Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth With First Film Series This February
'Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA'

Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA (2020)

  • DATE: Tues., Feb 2
  • CAST: Nichelle Nichols, Ashley Eckstein, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Dorn, George Takei and Pharrel Williams.
  • DIRECTED BY: Todd Thompson

Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA - Trailer:

In 1977, with just four months left, NASA was struggling to recruit scientists, engineers and astronauts for their new Space Shuttle Program. That is when Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek's Lt. Uhura, challenged them by asking the question, "Where are my people?" With NASA's backing, she embarked on a national PR blitz, recruiting 8,000 of the nation's best and brightest, including the trailblazing astronauts who became the first African American, Asian and Latino men and women to fly in space. This is her—and their—story.
ADDED VALUE: Following the feature presentation, fans will be treated to an exclusive behind the scenes documentary about the making of Woman in Motion, which includes additional interviews with Nichols and other notable guests from the documentary, deleted scenes and additional footage from the making of the film.

US: Fathom Events Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth With First Film Series This February
Ray

Ray (2004)

  • DATE: Tues., Feb 9 & Sat., Feb 13
  • CAST: Jamie Foxx, Regina King and Kerry Washington
  • DIRECTED BY: Taylor Hackford
  • SCREENPLAY: James L. White

Ray (2004) - Trailer:

Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx (Dreamgirls) stars as the one-of-a-kind innovator of soul who overcame impossible odds to become a music legend. Ray is the triumphant and remarkable story of one of America's true musical geniuses, Ray Charles. From his humble beginnings in the South through his meteoric rise to the top of American music charts, Ray's inspirational journey is a tale of hope, redemption and the power of the human spirit. "Ray is Electrifying" hails Peter Travers of Rolling Stone. Witness the incredible true story of a musician who fought harder and went further than anyone could imagine.
US: Fathom Events Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth With First Film Series This February
Get on Up

Get on Up (2014)

  • DATE: Tues., Feb 23 & Sat., Feb 27
  • CAST: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, and Viola Davis
  • DIRECTED BY: Tate Taylor
  • SCREENPLAY: Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth

Get on Up (2014) - Trailer:

Based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul, Get On Up gives a fearless look inside the music, moves, and moods of James Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Chadwick Boseman (42) stars as Brown, and is joined by Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis, Jill Scott, Craig Robinson, and Dan Aykroyd in the Tate Taylor directed drama.
US: Fathom Events Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth With First Film Series This February
God's Compass

God's Compass (2016)

  • DATE: Thurs., Feb 25 & Fri., Feb 26
  • CAST: Karen Abercrombie, T.C. Stallings, Jazelle Foster and Joey Ibanez.
  • DIRECTED BY: Stephan Schultze

God's Compass - Trailer:

On the night Suzanne Waters celebrates her retirement, she is faced with a series of decisions that change her life forever. Trusting God's direction, her truth becomes clear as she takes in a troubled teenager, Eli, and her family embarks on the journey of adoption, healing, and renewed faith.
  • 2016 "Best Screenplay" winner - International Christian Film Festival.
ADDED VALUE: An exclusive introduction from beloved lead actress, Karen Abercrombie, as she revisits God's Compass for its special return to the big screen.

US: Fathom Events Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth With First Film Series This February
Boyz n the Hood

TCM Big Screen Classics: Boyz n the Hood 30th Anniversary

  • DATE: Sun., Feb 28 & Wed., Mar 3
  • CAST: Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Morris Chestnut, and Larry Fishburne
  • WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: John Singleton

Boyz n the Hood - Trailer:

Writer/director John Singleton's acclaimed debut is a graphic and powerful look at life in South-Central Los Angeles as a trio of young men attempt through different means to escape the violence-filled life of the streets.
  • Singleton was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay at the 64th Academy Awards, making him the youngest person and the first African-American to be nominated for Best Director.
ADDED VALUE
: This special 30th anniversary event includes exclusive insights from Turner Classic Movies.
Tickets for Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASARay and TCM Big Screen Classics: Boyz n the Hood 30th Anniversary are available now at FathomEvents.com/blackhistorymonth or at participating theater box offices. Visit the Fathom Events website to purchase tickets for all titles in the series which will become available closer to the event date. 
  • Please continue to check the Fathom Events website and sign up for alerts. (theaters and participants are subject to change)
SOURCE: Fathom Events

7 December 2020

Director & Filmmaker Antonio Arecibo Explores Horrific Possibilities of False Awakenings in Short Film Project - 'Somnambular Tremors' [Trailer Included]

by
Director & Filmmaker Antonio Arecibo Explores Horrific Possibilities of False Awakenings in Short Film Project - 'Somnambular Tremors'
"Somnambular Tremors" Movie Poster
Award-winning, independent filmmaker, Antonio Arecibo recently announced he was deep into the production of a horror feature anthology entitled "Somnambular Tremors." An exploration of the profoundly frightening phenomenon known as false-awakenings, "Somnambular Tremors" will explore multiple characters in an interwoven narrative style similar to the "Creepshow" and "Tales From the Crypt" anthologies. 
  • While thus far financing the project out-of-pocket, Antonio brings his signature one-man-production style to a genuine indie-film experience that has already generated early critical buzz.

False Awakenings: An Eternal Nightmare:

False awakenings happen when someone believes they have woken up from sleep, only to realize at some later point that they are still dreaming. Often a part of a larger, over-arching lucid-dreaming phenomenon, false awakenings are categorized as hybrid states, and can represent a significant psychological strain on an individual, who must often struggle through the delusions of wakefulness to reach conscious awareness. These struggles are all the more profound when sleepers are fighting to wake up not from a normal dream, but a nightmare. False awakenings are usually part of composite experience that can include lucid dreaming, sleep paralysis, and feelings of despair or foreboding.
"Dreams have fascinated mankind for thousands of years," said Antonio Arecibo. "They are normally a source of magic, joy, mystery, and can be a welcome escape from a life that is dull or painful. We're taught as children to follow our dreams as a source of inspiration, because the dream state comes with an inherent sense of positivity. And we also know that dreams aren't real – they eventually end and are always escapable, even when they turn bad. But what happens when that's no longer true? What happens when the dreamer and the dream merge as one? What happens if we can't wake up, and our nightmares follow us out into the real world? That's what I wanted to explore."

The Trailer:

About Filmmaker Antonio Arecibo:

A native of Puerto Rico, Antonio is a New York City based independent filmmaker who writes, directs and edits his own work, while also serving as a visual effects creator, cinematographer and producer. A one-man production crew, Antonio is skilled at working brilliantly and efficiently on a shoe-string budget, producing results that have high production values and critical acclaim potential. Arecibo has collaborated with Director/Producer Josh Taub on several projects, and is currently working on a short-film anthology that explores the mercurial nature of nightmares and false awakenings. 

Director & Filmmaker Antonio Arecibo Explores Horrific Possibilities of False Awakenings in Short Film Project - 'Somnambular Tremors'
IndieX Festival
SOURCE: Antonio Arecibo

30 November 2020

Marvel’s First On-Screen Muslim Superhero — Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel's Alter-Ego — Inspires Big Hopes

by

Marvel’s First On-Screen Muslim Superhero — Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel's Alter-Ego — Inspires Big Hopes
Some Ms. Marvel comic storylines have revealed her as a well-rounded character while others have advanced Islamophobic themes. (Marvel)

Amid the stress of a rising second wave of COVID-19, comic book fans found something to celebrate this September. Marvel Studios announced the casting of its first on-screen Muslim superhero, Kamala Khan, the alter-ego of Ms. Marvel.

Much like Canadian teen actress Iman Vellani who was plucked for this role, Kamala has been a virtual unknown outside of comic fandom despite being a sensation since her series debut at the top of comic book sales charts in 2014.

It should be no surprise then that Marvel Studios decided to capitalize on this success and signed Kamala for her own TV series on Disney+ for an anticipated debut in late 2021 or early 2022.

As a researcher who has examined Muslim superheroes in American comics, I find Kamala to be the most intriguing of all American Muslim superheroes. She has an ability to destabilize stereotypes of Muslims while reinforcing ideas about American exceptionalism. In the hands of different writers in various comic iterations, she has appeared as multi-dimensional and stereotype-breaking, but also as a one-dimensional figure that advances Islamophobic themes.

Marvel’s First On-Screen Muslim Superhero — Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel's Alter-Ego — Inspires Big Hopes
Kamala Khan is a Pakistani American who speaks Urdu. Panel from Volume 1, digital edition. (Marvel)

Muslim characters post 9/11

It may seem that Marvel Studios is taking a big risk spotlighting a Muslim character when we are living in a time of rising anti-Muslim hatred in the West. But while there has been a resurgence of Muslim superheroes in American comics after 9/11, some of these representations reiterate stereotypes.

Muslim characters underwent a mini-makeover in popular culture after 9/11. Characters emerged from being buffoonish villains to figures who gave off the appearance of depth while simultaneously regurgitating stereotypes. American studies and ethnicity scholar Evelyn al Sultany coined the term “simplified complex representation” to describe this approach in her book, Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation After 9/11.

Certainly, Muslim superheroes were a thing before 9/11. But after 9/11, a spate of Muslim superheroes emerged, including characters like the orientalized Sooraya Qadir (Dust), who appeared in New X-Men in 2002, Simon Baz, member of the Green Lantern Corps featured in Green Lantern, and Josiah X who first appeared in The Crew. This is fascinating to me since superheroes often function as patriotic symbols, and Muslims are regarded as the quintessential “other” because Islam is usually framed as incompatible with the West.

After reading Sooraya Qadir’s debut, it became obvious to me that comics found a new way to sensationalize Muslim representation.

Enter Kamala Khan

To me, Kamala seemed to be the rare glimpse of hope that existed on the other side of the rainbow if we just characterized Muslims — who make up almost one-quarter of the world’s population — as something more nuanced. And she delivered on that front, particularly in her early days.

Readers met her as a Pakistani American that spoke Urdu. This means we saw representation of Muslims in the West escape the frequent stereotypical assumption that all Muslims are Arabs and vice versa.

Marvel’s First On-Screen Muslim Superhero — Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel's Alter-Ego — Inspires Big Hopes
This panel from Ms. Marvel, Volume 1, digital edition, written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Adrian Alphona, depicts Kamala Khan as a believable character in a possible real-world setting. (Marvel)

Later in Magnificent Ms. Marvel #13, written by the Arab American writer, Saladin Ahmed, the sole focus shifted away from Kamala Khan when an Arab American sidekick named Amulet was introduced.

Successful sales, popularity

In Ms. Marvel’s earlier volumes written by the Muslim writer, and white Muslim convert, G. Willow Wilson, we saw Kamala anointed with her superhero mantle to the tune of Amir Khusro’s poetry. We saw her juggle her schedule between battles and mehendis, and even got a glimpse of her great-great grandmother’s move from India to Pakistan during Partition.

Back then, I remember comic book store clerks telling me how popular Ms. Marvel was with customers. The print collection of the series sold half a million copies alone. As Wilson notes, the first issue had had eight separate printings and its digital edition became Marvel’s best-selling digital comic of all time. Its first volume, released in 2014, was ranked again amongst the top five in sales rankings in September 2020.

I remember thinking that this Urdu-speaking Muslim powerhouse could be the start of a new type of Muslim character. She was proof that creators didn’t need to recycle the tireless oppressed Muslim woman or terrorist Muslim male tropes for sales.

G. Willow Smith discusses Kamala Khan as ‘A Superhero for Generation Why.’

Introducing Islamophobic themes

But following the success of the Ms. Marvel series, Kamala appeared in Marvel’s Champions series about a team of teenage superheroes. Perhaps Marvel intended to further boost the popularity of the already-successful Ms. Marvel series by bringing in Mark Waid, a high-profile non-Muslim white writer, who authored the popular comic series (and award-winning graphic novel) Kingdom Come and others.

In Champions, some tired stereotypes surfaced. In the third issue, the team flies to a fictional South Asian country. There, they rescue hijabi Muslim girls from violent men who conform to stock villain Muslim stereotypes like the terrorists seen in Hollywood movies such as True Lies.

Here, Kamala is effectively used as a racist weapon against brown men and is depicted to suggest proof of western superiority. Sadly enough, I was concerned she could be used this way before she actually was.

I was reminded that such tropes may exist simply because of implicit bias as opposed to profitability.

Celebrate and watch

Marvel’s First On-Screen Muslim Superhero — Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel's Alter-Ego — Inspires Big Hopes
Kamala’s selfie with Wolverine, from ‘Ms. Marvel’ Volume 2, digital edition. (Marvel)

For now, we should celebrate the debut of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first Muslim superhero. I have hope that the Disney+ series will do her justice as its showrunner is the stand-up comedian and writer Bisha K. Ali, known for incisive commentary.

However, Marvel plans to move Kamala eventually to the silver screen and there’s already talk of a Champions type of superhero team series featuring Kamala.

If anything of the likes of Kamala as a racist weapon to prove western superiority is featured, I can’t say there will be much cause for celebration.

About Today's Contributor:

Safiyya Hosein, PhD Candidate in Communication and Culture, Ryerson University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

You Might Also Like