Category: Black Cinema

In a statement for People, Whitney Houston’s mother said that learning about the claims of her daughter’s abuse were “overwhelming and unfathomable.”

Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 8.08.50 AMWhitney Houston’s mother says allegations that her superstar daughter and her son were molested by her niece are “unfathomable.”

In a statement to People magazine on behalf of herself and sister singer Dionne Warwick, Cissy Houston revealed they first learned of the claims two days before the documentary Whitney premiered in May.

In the film, Whitney Houston’s longtime assistant said the singer told her that cousin Dee Dee Warwick molested her as a child and Whitney’s oldest brother also made the same claim.

In the statement, Cissy Houston says Dee Dee Warwick may have had her “personal challenges,” but the idea that she would have molested her children is “overwhelming and unfathomable.”

Dee Dee Warwick died in 2008. Whitney Houston died in 2012.

Read More: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-whitney-houston-fred-rogers-ruth-bader-ginsburg-fuel-documentary-boom-1125567

Power’s Omari Hardwick Goes Sneaker Shopping With Complex

Actor Omari Hardwick of “Power” goes Sneaker Shopping with Complex’s Joe La Puma at Stadium Goods in New York City and talks about why the Air Jordan III means so much to him, 50 Cent’s personal style, and looking up to Michael Jordan. Subscribe to Complex on YouTube: https://goo.gl/43ac5w  COMPLEX is a community of creators and curators, armed with the Internet, committed to surfacing and sharing the voices and conversations that define our new America. Our videos exemplify convergence culture, exploring topics that include music, sneakers, style, sports and pop culture through original shows and Complex News segments. Featuring your favorite celebrities, authoritative commentary, and a unique voice, our videos make culture pop.

‘Atlanta Skips A Grade

What is “Atlanta,” exactly? It’s a fair but limiting question.

Fair, because, look, if one week you were watching a show about a couple who might have br28oken up at a German-culture festival, and then the next week they’re gone and you’re watching a road comedy about an exasperated rapper and his pathologically distractible barber, and the episode after that is a mini horror film built around a different character trapped in the mansion of a kooky human mannequin, the changeups might feel destabilizing. But the question is limiting since so much TV in general right now resembles no TV that’s come before it.

“Atlanta,” whose second season wrapped up on FX on Thursday night, proudly embodies that development. No episode looked or felt the same as the one before it.

[Read our recap of the Season 2 finale of “Atlanta”]

The show has four central characters — Earn; Alfred; Darius; and Earn’s sometimes ex-girlfriend, Van — who veer in and out of friendship, selfhood, personal clarity and, often, the show itself. In a classic television sense, “Atlanta” is about them. But it’s also increasingly about itself: what its makers can do with the medium, yes, and also what’s possible for the twinned comedies of race and status. It knows the assorted bars a half-hour “sitcom” faces and sets out to raise, vault over and demolish them, to prioritize “sit” over “com.” “Atlanta” is like a rapper obsessed with his own brilliance. You want to see if the show can top itself because that self-regard is part of the hook. But loving this show means worrying that it might be devoured by its own genius, that it’s too great to last, that, eventually, conceit will cannibalize concept. This second batch of episodes was more obviously, aggressively ambitious. The show became cinema (one ominous aerial shot of a vegetal forest canopy made me want vinaigrette) and appeared to have on its mind the ideas in “Get Out,” the moods of “Moonlight,” the hypnotic ambiguities of David Lynch. Some of that reach toward movie-ness nudged the show into self-conscious precocity, the equivalent of skipping a grade.

Diversity or Celebrity? Cast Change at ‘Great Comet’ Prompts Outrage

In February, the producers of the Broadway musical “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” proudly announced that Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan, a member of the original “Hamilton” cast, would step into the show’s lead male role after the departure of Josh Groban. But this week, the producers abruptly cut short Mr. Onaodowan’s expected nine-week tenure, saying that during his final three weeks, he would be replaced by a major Broadway star, Mandy Patinkin, who became famous with “The Princess Bride,” won a Tony Award for “Evita,” and is now featured in television’s “Homeland.”

Although producers periodically replace lesser-known performers with big-name actors in the hopes of selling more tickets, the move at “The Great Comet” is prompting outrage among some black actors, who have turned to social media to express their concern that Mr. Onaodowan, who is African-American, was not given sufficient opportunity to succeed before being replaced by a white actor. There are multiple complicating factors. Mr. Onaodowan’s tenure was always going to be short — it just got shorter. Mr. Patinkin is unquestionably better known on Broadway, which could boost publicity for the show and ticket sales during a traditionally slow end-of-summer period. (On Thursday, for example, he was interviewed on NBC’s “Today” show.) And the show is among the most diverse on Broadway, with an African-American actress, Denée Benton, playing Natasha, and multiple other nonwhite actors in the company. But some performers are arguing that the casting change reflects a larger problem in the entertainment business. The move “raises questions about how Black actors are valued and supported within Broadway,” declared the website BroadwayBlack.“It’s like the integration of baseball, where a player has to be twice as good,” Mr. Casal said in a phone interview.

Mr. Onaodowan, who spent months preparing for the role, including learning to play the accordion, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The show’s grosses have, to no one’s surprise, dropped since Mr. Groban’s departure. The show had been bringing in about $1.2 million a week with Mr. Groban in the role of Pierre; it brought in $923,571 last week, with Mr. Onaodowan as Pierre. That’s still higher than for most Broadway shows, and still more than the show’s running costs, but not as much as the show is likely to bring in with Mr. Patinkin in the role. Mr. Patinkin is scheduled to play Pierre from Aug. 15 to Sept. 3.

The producers have not said who will play Pierre after Labor Day, but they appear to be considering the occasional use of well-known performers in key roles to excite interest — a strategy many other shows use. This summer, in addition to Mr. Onaodowan, the show has brought in the singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson to play a key role (Natasha’s cousin Sonya). The most prominent performer to express concern is the actress Cynthia Erivo, who won a Tony Award last year for her performance in a revival of “The Color Purple.” Ms. Erivo posted a series of seven messages on Twitter on Wednesday, suggesting the changeover was unfair to both Mr. Onaodowan and Mr. Patinkin.

“I honestly am flabbergasted,” she posted. She added, “The disrespect of both actors is highly concerning.”

Review: ‘America in Color’ Refreshes 20th-Century History

Yo01COLOR-master768u might not learn anything new about 20th-century American history from “America in Color,” a docu-series on the Smithsonian Channel, but the program might make you feel differently about that history. A few splashes of color will do that. The five-part series, which begins on Sunday night, is being promoted as “one of the most ambitious colorizing projects ever undertaken.” It is made up of film clips from various sources that depict events and periods we’re conditioned to think of in black and white, since they occurred before color film became commonplace.

Admit it: You have a hard time connecting to the fellow humans you see in rickety old black-and-white footage, with their ancient cars and long-out-of-fashion clothing and hairstyles. Not here, or at least not as much. Something about the color images makes clearer on an emotional level that these ancestors felt fear and uncertainty, just as we do, and were fallible and sometimes cruel, just as we are.

Each episode covers a decade, beginning with the 1920s. It is in the first two installments, especially, that you can feel the gap being bridged, whether it’s in the treatment of a much revisited event like the 1929 stock market crash, or of a less-remembered one like the catastrophic flooding along the Mississippi River in 1927. These days, it seems, there is news footage of raging water somewhere in the United States just about every week, high-definition stuff that looks and sounds terrifying. Colorizing the images of the 1927 flood helps it compete, as it were, with these present-day inundations, helps define it as what it was: one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

Review: FX’s ‘Snowfall’ Dramatizes an Origin Story for Crack Cocaine

Where would golden-age TV be without drugs? Illicit substances have served shows almost like characters, each with its own circumstances and even personality: heroin in “The Wire,” meth in “Breaking Bad,” marijuana in “Weeds,” bootleg hooch in “Boardwalk Empire.” “Snowfall,” which begins Wednesday on FX, aims to write an origin story for crack cocaine, which spread virally in the 1980s, and to invest viewers in the lives that it changed or ended. Over the first six episodes, though, it doesn’t yet get around to the first goal, and it manages the second only now and then.

Created by John Singleton, along with Eric Amadio and Dave Andron, “Snowfall” sets up a sprawling story. (That’s what drug dramas do; they sprawl.) The first and most compelling part kicks off in June 1983, the camera swooping down on a palm-tree-lined street in South Central Los Angeles, the turf of Mr. Singleton’s 1991 movie, “Boyz N the Hood.” 04SNOWFALL-master768We meet Franklin Saint (Damson Idris), a level-headed kid fresh out of a fancy suburban school he attended on scholarship. At school, there was no place for him — he felt like “a mascot” — so he’s working at a convenience store and doing small-time dealing. When chance connects him with Avi Drexler (Alon Moni Aboutboul), an Israeli coke kingpin with gleaming gold-rimmed shades and a necklace, gun and phone to match, Franklin gets a dangerous opportunity to apply his ambition.

‘Love Jones’ Cast & Crew Celebrate 20th Anniversary in Conversation Moderated by Barry Jenkins

Two nights ago, June 13th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosted the event “In the Mood for ‘Love Jones’ – The Academy Celebrates the Film’s 20th Anniversary,” which included a special screening of director Theodore Witcher’s first and still only feature film, “Love Jones,” in front of a packed house at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The evening also reunited the film’s cast including Nia Long, Larenz Tate and Isaiah Washington and more, in a panel discussion with members of the crew, starting with writer/director Witcher and others.

The conversation was moderated by Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”) and was thankfully videotaped and has now been released online via the Academy’s YouTube page.

Watch the entire panel discussion below, split up into 5 individual videos, for a conversation during which Witcher’s start in Hollywood is talked about, as well as casting the film, the technicals including the film’s look and sound, the cinematography, editing and soundtrack, and more.