GUERRILLA: Writer/producer John Ridley talks 1970s activism – interview

GUERRILLA | © 2017 Showtime

Writer/executive producer John Ridley, an Oscar winner for his screenplay for 12 YEARS A SLAVE, currently has two series on Sunday nights. The third season of his anthology AMERICAN CRIME, this season dealing with migrant farm workers and victims of sex trafficking in North Carolina, is on ABC. Ridley’s new miniseries GUERRILLA, a fact-based story starring Frieda Pinto, Babou Ceesay and Idris Elba, concerns black anti-government activists and undercover police in 1970s England and begins April 16 on Showtime. ASSIGNMENT X: Obviously, you approach storytelling very differently depending on whether you’re doing feature films, AMERICAN CRIME or GUERRILLA. Can you […]Read On »

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MOONLIGHT: Composer Nicholas Britell gets classically serious in the down low hood – Interview

In a tough urban environment, being loud and proud is something reserved for the macho occupations of drug dealing and gangsterism, certainly not in the far more vulnerable act of proclaiming oneself as gay. It’s a contrast that marks both filmmaker Barry Jenkins’ artistically subtle approach to MOONLIGHT, and his composer Nicholas Britell’s classically ethereal score. As divided into three “chapters,” Jenkins paints the quiet coming of age of Chiron, the seemingly meek son of a crack addicted mother who falls under the foster fatherhood of the sympathetic dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali, currently impressing as the far more villainous crime kingpin […]Read On »

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THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: Sarah Paulson on playing Marcia Clark – exclusive interview

Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark in THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON | © 2016 Fx

In FX Network’s THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY, Sarah Paulson plays prosecutor Marcia Clark, who is both horrified and astonished to see what seems at first to be a slam-dunk murder conviction mutate into a media circus and a referendum on gender, race and class. At more or less the same time that Paulson was working on AMERICAN CRIME STORY, she was also working on her fifth season of FX’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY – playing a different character each year, she’s gleaned three Emmy nominations for the series. Both series come from executive producer Ryan Murphy. Florida […]Read On »

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AMERICAN CRIME: Michael J. McDonald chats about Season 2 – exclusive interview – Pt. 1

Timothy Hutton as Russ Skokie in AMERICAN CRIME | © 2016 ABC/Ryan Green

Season 1 of ABC Network’s AMERICAN CRIME was nominated for a Best Limited Series Emmy, and took home the gold for Regina King’s Supporting Actress performance. King is back in AMERICAN CRIME Season 2, which airs Wednesdays at 10 PM, but she – like returning cast mates Timothy Hutton, Felicity Huffman, Richard Cabral, Lili Taylor and Elvis Nolasco – is playing an entirely different character this year. Unlike the first season, which dealt with a racially-charged murder investigation, AMERICAN CRIME’s second year concerns the fallout after male high school student Taylor (Connor Jessup) is apparently raped by at least one […]Read On »

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Interview: SHERLOCK star Benedict Cumberbatch talks Season 3

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in SHERLOCK on PBS | © 2014 PBS

SHERLOCK is back for its third season on PBS, Sundays at 10 PM, and not a moment too soon. The series, created by Mark Gatiss & Steven Moffat from Arthur Conan Doyle’s detail-oriented British detective character, has been much missed by its fans during the long gap since the end of Season 2, which saw Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock apparently falling to his death from a rooftop, much to the grief of his friend and detecting partner Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman). Now Sherlock is back – with an explanation of how and why he disappeared for two years and fooled […]Read On »

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Exclusive Photos from the 12 YEARS A SLAVE Special Screening!

Chiwetel Ejiofor at the Special Screening of 12 YEARS A SLAVE | ©2013 Sue Schneider

FOX Searchlight Pictures, Regency Enterprises and River Road Entertainment Presented a Special Screening recently of 12 YEARS A SLAVE at the Directors Guild of America in West Hollywood. It was a small event with some of the stars in the film. Seen walking the carpet were: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’O, Alfre Woodard, Garret Dillahunt, Jay Huguley, Rob Steinberg, Kelsey Scott, Ashley Dyke, Chris Chalk, Storm Reid, Craig Tate, Director Steve McQueen, Director of Photography Sean Bobbitt, Screenwriter John Ridley, and Composer Hans Zimmer. Unfortunately, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Michael Fassbender and Paul Giamatti were unable to attend. Joining […]Read On »

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Movie Review: 12 YEARS A SLAVE

12 YEARS A SLAVE movie poster | ©2013 Fox Searchlight

Rating: R Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Alfre Woodard Writer: John Ridley, based on the book by Solomon Northup Director: Steve McQueen Distributor: Fox Searchlight Release Date: October 18, 2013 For anybody who is now or has ever been soft on the Confederacy, 12 YEARS A SLAVE is here to beat such sympathies into the ground. Based on an extraordinary but evidently true story, the film is set in the pre-Civil War U.S. Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a well-respected, successful black musician living in Saratoga, New […]Read On »

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Toronto International Film Festival Wrap Up: Part 1 – The Hot

12 Years Slave | ©2013 Fox Searchlight

Going into the Toronto International Film Festival armed with the buzz they received at the Telluride Film Festival the two big films were GRAVITY and 12 YEARS A SLAVE. Four days later is was still just GRAVITY and 12 YEARS A SLAVE. By festival’s end? You guessed it. This was in part because they’re both excellent films and because Toronto has very much become a ‘front loaded’ festival with the first weekend being all important. How front loaded was the festival? So much so that it was nearly a ghost town by mid week. So much so that Entertainment Weekly […]Read On »

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News: 2013 Toronto International Film Festival Award Winners

Toronto International Film Festival logo (TIFF)

After 11 days, more than 300 films, 4,743 industry delegates, 180 guest speakers, 57 panels and countless fans the 38th Toronto International Film Festival ended on September 15th. Below are a select number of awards that were given out. BLACKBERRY® PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS This year marked the 36th year that Toronto audiences were able to cast a ballot for their favourite Festival film, with the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award. This year’s award goes to Steve McQueen for 12 YEARS A SLAVE. First runner up: Stephen Frears’ PHILOMENA. Second runner up: Denis Villeneuve’s PRISONERS.

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Film Festival: By the Numbers at THE 38th ANNUAL TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in GRAVITY | ©2013 Warner Bros.

We’re just past the half way point for the 38th annual Toronto International Film Festival and its time to take stock. Here’s the countdown… (or is that count up?) 0: Number of personal letters Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes) kept from his affair with an underage girl in THE INVISIBLE WOMAN. 2: Number of big buzz films so far. GRAVITY, the 3-D space epic with Sandra Bollock and George Clooney and 12 YEARS A SLAVE starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt. 2: Number of endings there are for AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, the big screen adaptation of the gritty play […]Read On »

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