2016 New Orleans Film Festival – A Melting Pot of Quality Films

  The 2016 New Orleans Film Festival kicked off its 27th year by opening with the U.S. premiere of Rob Reiner’s new film LBJ. That genius bit of programming was due to the high quality of the presidential bio film and the fact that it was shot in New Orleans. LBJ started the fest that […]

Moonlight

  In just his second feature film, writer/director Barry Jenkins tells a compelling story about sexual repression and ambiguity through the eyes of a vulnerable and confused little boy, who grows up to question his sexual identity as a teen and then finds a thin measure of serenity as a young man.   Based on […]

Kevin Hart: What Now?

Has success spoiled Kevin Hart? Forbes Magazine lists him as 2016’s highest paid comedian with an annual income of $87.5 million, from June 1 2015, to June 1 2016. Unlike many of his cohorts (Jerry Seinfeld, etc.) Hart makes lots of his income from live performances in large stadiums where he can earn $1 million […]

The Birth of a Nation

  Finally a filmmaker unearths one of the biggest secrets in American history: slave revolts. It’s a lesson rarely mentioned in history books, though it’s common knowledge to anyone who has taken a black history course. Kudos to actor-turned-director Nate Parker for shepherding this ambitious project from the kernel of an idea to the completion […]

Denial

  There are points in time when free speech, facts, passion and history collide. It happened in real life to Deborah Esther Lipstadt, an American historian and lecturer who holds a Ph.D. in Jewish History. Her personal and professional challenge stems from an entanglement in a British libel trial involving the history of the Holocaust […]

The Magnificent Seven

  In the original 1960s The Magnificent Seven, seven gunfighters assembled to help a Mexican peasant village fight off villains. That’s the basic premise. This 2016 version is an update that blends old classic Westerns with a new Western genre. What’s on view in this kick-ass cowboy movie are solid production elements, alpha male acting, […]

Toronto Comes Alive During 2016 International Film Festival

There are film festivals all over the world. Few however, take over an entire city and engage locals and visitors on the level of the Toronto International Film Festival. An estimated 480,000 filmgoers attend screenings, eyeball celebrities and scout out the up-and-coming filmmakers at TIFF.   As participants take in the festivities, they tour the […]

Black Films and Artists Triumph at 2016 Toronto International Film Festival

  For 41 years the Toronto International Film Festival has attracted the world’s best films and built and audience. At the 2016 festival, 480,000 film lovers filled seats, screened movies and experienced the festivities.   Credit TIFF’s Artistic Director Cameron Bailey and his discerning team for assembling a high quality and culturally diverse program that […]

Southside With You

  “Thought he was just another smooth talking brother?” says an inquisitive Chicago mom. She’s repeating the words her daughter used to describe a colleague she’s meeting for a first date. Never have eight words been so inaccurate. That “he,” is a twentysomething Barack Obama. The daughter is Michelle LaVaughn Robinson. As this very romantic […]