1. ”Selma Star David Oyelowo Says Academy Favors ’Subservient’ Black Roles.” The actor, who was snubbed for his portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr., said: “We, as black people, have been celebrated more for when we are subservient, when we are not being leaders or kings or being at the center of our own narrative.”
” As evidence, Oyelowo argued that ’Denzel Washington should have won for playing Malcolm X’ and that Sidney Poitier should have won his Oscar for In the Heat of the Night rather than Lilies of the Field. ’So this bears out what I’m saying,’ the actor continued, ’which is we’ve just got to come to the point whereby there isn’t a self-fulfilling prophecy—a notion of who black people are—that feeds into what we are celebrated as, not just in the Academy, but in life generally. We have been slaves, we have been domestic servants, we have been criminals, we have been all of those things. But we have been leaders, we have been kings, we have been those who changed the world.’ The audience responded with applause.”
2. “Exxon Finally Has an LGBT Nondiscrimination Policy.” Because President Obama Made Them.
“ExxonMobil has a pretty shoddy history when it comes to preventing worker discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. In fact, back in 1999 when Exxon bought Mobil Oil, the company actually rolled back the domestic partner benefits that Mobil previously offered employees. This move gave Exxon the dubious honor of being the first Fortune 500 company to actually move backwards in its nondiscrimination policy. The company also resisted shareholder resolutions to adopt LGBT protections 17 times, according to the Human Rights Campaign.”
3. “Rick Rubin Annotates Kanye West, Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash Songs on Genius.” The producer has annotated several entries for songs he worked on, including stuff by Kanye West, Johnny Cash, Beastie Boys, Jay Z, Slayer, LL Cool J, the Dixie Chicks, and more.
“What I came to realize about that whole Johnny Cash experience was that he was a great storyteller. The song didn’t matter—all that mattered were the words. All that mattered was if the character of Johnny Cash—the mythical Johnny Cash, the man in black—would say those words. If that’s what you would want to hear him talking about, then that would be a good song to do. So it was never about like melody, it was just about if the lyrics were right.”
4. “Dreaming Bigger.” Cracking The Forbidden Room, Guy Maddin’s Inception-like genre explosion.
“Maddin conceived The Forbidden Room as a series of title-for-title remakes. The adaption process blurred when ’the spirits of many other lost movies, and the spirit of loss in general, haunted our sets and demanded to be represented in front of our cameras.’ So while submarine thrillers were popular as early as 1915, and there were specific lost films to note, The Forbidden Room’s version is a visual amalgamation, spanning designs and shooting styles from early silent pictures through World War II–era films. The segmented submersible also gave the filmmakers a built-in structural device. ’The process of the submarine, like the moving from one end to another, would suggest a kind of momentum,’ Maddin says. Unlike his past films, The Forbidden Room strives to click into Hollywood’s classic mode: the three-act structure. Maddin admits it was a struggle. He never writes like that. ’We bought screenwriting books! Even though we knew we were making a feature, we still found it easier to think of each story separately and wrote them. It was a matter of finding places for them.’
5. “Tell It Like It Is.” Film Comment’s Violet Lucca on black independents in New York.
“Unlike other movements of the 20th century such as Third Cinema or Cinema Novo that sought to reconfigure or subvert dominant cinematic forms and narratives, there is no single, easily identifiable moment that inaugurated or crystallized black independent filmmaking in the U.S. Though some argue that D.W. Griffith’s Civil War melodrama cum Ku Klux Klan recruitment film Birth of a Nation threw down the gauntlet, with the first and most notable response being filmmaker Oscar Micheaux’s 1920 refutation Within Our Gates, the Chicago-based Foster Photoplay Company had been producing shorts with all-black casts and crews since 1910. William Foster, the company’s founder and a journalist who wrote for many black newspapers across the country, argued passionately for the importance of film and its ability to uplift the community both inside and out.”
Video of the Day: Richard Linklater discusses a sequence from Boyhood:
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