Spell

Omari Hardwick’s and Loretta Devine’s performances elevate this horror/suspense/thriller in ways the script may never have imagined. Devine, especially, steals scenes and makes her venomously evil character devilish beyond redemption.  Think back to the 1990 film Misery, which was based on a Stephen King novel. A famous author (James Caan) is in a car crash in […]

Synchronic

Should partygoers put down their Molly and try a tab of Synchronic? This cautionary sci-fi/fantasy/thriller suggests not.   Synchronic is a drug that hurls its users back in time. Time travel with a seven-minute limit. That’s the concept created by co-directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, one that forms a storyline and characters that are further developed […]

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Fiery rhetoric. Conflicting politics. Angry activists. Heated demonstrations. Violent police clashes. Government subterfuge. Duplicitous judges… The anti-war uproar of the late ‘60s is so relevant today. One particular incident pulls all those volatile elements under one roof, into one courtroom: The historic Trial of the Chicago 7.   Writer/director Aaron Sorkin won a Best Writing, Adapted […]

Black Voices Are Loud and Clear at 2020 New York Film Festival

The lineup at the 2020 New York Film Festival included an impressive array of African diaspora films and the festival’s usual collection of international motion pictures.  Attesting to NYFF’s eagerness to hear black voices, the fest featured three main slate films from British director/writer Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) that are part of a […]

The Forty-Year-Old Version

Forty. Something about that age puts people on a precipice. Too old to be young. Too young to be old. And if your career hasn’t taken off by that age…well. Will it ever? This is the space where The Forty-Year-Old Version resides. A crossroads. Radha Blank, a Harlem-based writer, is known for her NEA Award-winning plays (SEED), TV writing […]

Black Films & Artists Matter at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival

TIFF has always been a haven for black films and artists. And now, in this year of BLM, it has stepped up its game showing a particular reverence for African diaspora films. In 2020, film festivals are finding creative ways to present movies to a vast audience as safely as possible. TIFF took a holistic approach. […]

From The Bronx To The World: Ghetto Gastro Is The Movement’s Kitchen

Happy to say that I was a contributing writer for the September/October issue of Essence Magazine. I wrote a profile on a culinary collective from the Bronx, New York that supports BLM and is changing the way chefs enter the food industry. Check out the article in the Essence Eats section and don’t forget to […]

Sibyl

If an audience can relate to a protagonist and her plight, they’re hooked. If a character is fascinating in some way—even diabolical—viewers will pay attention. Relatable? Fanciful? No. Sibyl is puzzling. That’s it. Sibyl (Virginie Efira) is bored with her life as a psychotherapist. As her patients lie on a couch revealing their deepest fears, checkered pasts and testy problems, their doc is M.I.A. Physically she’s in the room. Mentally she’s focused on herself. Surprising her husband and leaving her […]