Showing posts from 2016

The Adventures of Selika has started filming!!

Things are up and running with The Adventures of Selika film!
Shoot day 1 in the bag! What an absolutely incredible team. — Frederick Shelbourne (@freddiejps) December 29, 2016 Selika and Madame #TheAdventuresofSelika 🎬🎥 Day1. Can't wait to show you ! 😍👌🏾 — Karidja Touré (@Karidjatoure) December 28, 2016 I am very excited about this project. As a reminder Selika Lazevski is the woman in this picture.

Karidja Touré of Girlhood fame is staring as Selika Lazevski along with Jennifer Daley, and Luke Elliott.

Underground Season 2 Premiere Date & Teaser Trailer

WGN America has set a premiere date for Season 2 of Underground — Wednesday, March 8, at 10/9c. 

The second season for Underground will be 10-episodes. The season follows the aftermath of the Macon 7’s daring escape attempt and will feature legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman (Under the Dome‘s Aisha Hinds).

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II casted in The Greatest Showman On Earth

We talked about The Greatest Showman On Earth previously on the blog. We also speculated on what role Zendaya could be playing.

The cast now includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II who will be playing a character named WD Wheeler. According to Deadline Wheeler is a hand-to-hand acrobat partner who is a smart, no-nonsense guy. A google search brings up nothing for that name. However, there was a Black acrobat at the Barnum and Bailey circus. 

His name was John Doogs, Nicodemus the indescribable! John Doogs a talented and powerfully built acrobat gained fame in the late 1800s, performing with Barnum and Bailey and the Worth’s Museum.
Perhaps, they are creating a composite or derivative character. However they go about it, I am excited to see what is to come with this film.

Betty and Coretta (2013) Review

Note: I watched this film nearly three years ago when it first premiered in 2013. I wrote a review and everything however, I never published it for some reason. After I recently bought the DVD I was surprised to see that I had already had a review written for the film. After re-watching the film my opinion of the film remains the same.

The Review: From the very beginning I was in love with the visuals and tone of the film. We start off with images of Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King with words from the legendary Ruby Dee. Ruby Dee is the narrator of the film. Her warm voice lends a personal point of view to the film. The costumes, locations, makeup, and hair were all perfectly historically accurate. 
                     Some of the looks were even exact replicas of photographs of the women. 

One thing I hate about period films is that sometimes the makeup to age the actors looks so unrealistic; not so in this case. It was evident throughout the entire film that thought was put …

The Birth of a Nation Featurette - Women of Rebellion (2016)

A Birth of a Nation Featurette featuring the women of Birth of a Nation.
Aja Naomi King as Cherry  Gabrielle Union as Esther  Aunjanue Ellis as Nacy Esther Scott as Bridget

Fences Teaser Trailer (2016)

A former professional baseball player (Denzel Washington) creates tension in his family when he denies his teenage son's dream of playing college football and comes home with the baby he had through an affair.

Release date: December 16, 2016
Director: Denzel Washington
Screenplay: August Wilson
Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, and Russell Hornsby
Period: 1950s

One Word Reaction: INTENSE

A Book Haul

I haven't been watching many movies. The movies that I have watched have not had black charcters as the main characters.

My movie watching time has been replaced with nonfiction book reading time. I love nonfiction because history really is a passion of mine. The more I read about various subjects the more I desire more diverse period films featuring Blacks as main characters.

I plan on do much more book related things for Blacks in Period Films.

Check out my haul!

In New Project News!!

John Legend is on a roll! After executive producing the successful series Underground and executive producing the promising film Southside With You Legend is adding another period project to his executive producing resume. Joining him in the development of the project is the stunning Tika Sumpter (Sparkle, Bessie, and Southside With You).

The project will be set in early 20th century Greenwood, Tulsa infamously known as Black Wall Street. During the 20th century this neighborhood was the site of a thriving Black community; one of the most successful of it's time. That is of course until the 1921 Tulsa race riot when the community was destroyed by angry Whites. The series will most likely build up to the 1921 riot.  I'm very excited about the series because it is set in a time period not often done in Black period films, the 20th century costumes will look amazing, and seeing wealthy Black Americans in a period film/series will be a nice change of pace.

The estimated premiere d…

Hidden Figures | Official Trailer

The trailer for the Hidden Figures film.
Hidden Figures is about NASA mathematicians Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) as they work together to help launch astronaut John Glenn into outer space. 
I love this trailer. I can't find anything that I would consider a flaw. It gave me everything that I want out of a period film. Beautiful and accurate costumes, great acting, and romance. We all know Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer will be wonderful. However, it was interesting to see Janelle Monae in an acting role and I believe she will be amazing. I'll be watching this film in theaters come January 2017.
What do you think about the trailer?

The Greatest Showman on Earth - Zendaya Casting

NOTE: This is a speculative post I don't have any Insider information everything I say below is based on my personal opinions and hopes for the film.

Now that Zendaya is officially credited on the The Greatest Showman on Earth (2017) IMDB I’ll write about what her role could possibly entail. In my opinion the possibilities are thrilling because of the time period this film will be set in. The film is described as a Biodrama Musical about the story of American showman P.T. Barnum, founder of the circus that became the famous traveling Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Because P.T. Barnum lived from 1810 to 1891 the film will be a period drama. This will be Zendaya’s first role in a period costume drama. Sources say Zendaya will be playing opposite Zac Efron as his girlfriend.

Besides the time period we also have to consider how Zendaya's race will play into the film. There are three options. The film could not mention her race at all, they could make her a light s…

The Greatest Showman on Earth (2017) - A Speculative Post

There has been talk about a film in the makings called The Greatest Showman on Earth. It focuses on the life of P.T. Barnum. My interest in this film was first peaked when I heard about the possible casting of Zendaya as Zac Efron’s girlfriend within the film. I began doing research on P.T. Barnum and was pulled into his interesting life and circus attractions. Once I began reading up on his circus attractions I began to think about the possibilities for this film to include diverse talent. One of the features of a great circus is diversity after all. 
Barum did not have a life or circus that only included White Americans so the last thing this film should do is portray it as such. Here are just a few of the attractions from his museum and circus that included people of color throughout the 1800’s:
William Henry Johnson  aka Zip the Pinhead (1842-1926)

Prince Randian aka The Snake Man/The Human Caterpillar (1874 – 1934)
Chang and Eng Bunker aka The Siamese Twins (1811-1874)

Joice Heth (1…

LOVING - Official Trailer

Here is the trailer for the much awaited LOVING film (there is a lot of Oscar talk circling the film). I was already looking forward to it but I must say the look of the film made me even more excited!  From her small bits in the trailer this Irish and Ethiopian woman delivered a heck of a Virginia accent. Some might disagree with me but I'm pleasantly surprised. Let's see how it pans out in the film. The film will be in theaters November 4!

What do you think about the trailer? Is it exciting or underwhelming?

Blacks in Period GIFs!!

This is the first gif that I have made myself and I am so excited about the possibilities. 

I gif'd this image because it encapsulates the beautiful costumes and romantic air that are a staple in many period films. To have these qualities applied to a black character is such a rare occurrence. How many chances do we get to see Black women in beautiful period correct bonnets with parasols in the cinematic landscape? Not often. But that's a post for another time.

Re-watching The Color Purple

I recently re-watched the Color Purple and I appreciate it much more as an adult than I did as a teen. Even as a teen I knew the movie was a beautiful piece of art. But now as an adult with much more life under my belt I can understand and articulate why the film is so beautiful to me. 

Upon my re-watch I noticed a major theme that I had not before. The theme of hope is present throughout the entire film. No matter what Celie is going through the surroundings are still bright. Besides complementing the beautiful brown skin of the cast the coloring also serves as a sign of hope. The message is simple yet uplifting. In this world we experience pain, suffering, and lose but we must not give up on ourselves or others. 
At the end of the film I realized that everything Celie lost she gained back by the end of the film. She lost her children but gained them both back. She lost her sister for a while but in time she gained her beloved companion back. Finally she lost her voice and joy but r…

Harlem Rides the Range - A Review

Harlem Rides the Range                1939 ‧ Western ‧ 56 mins
Harlem Rides the Range has the typical 1930's Western fanfare. I first thought the main character's name was Harlem which I found quite hilarious. But once I began the move realized the character's name is actually Bob Blake. Which means the movie is most likely called Harlem Rides the Range because of its All-Black Cast. You get it ... Harlem ... All-Black cast ... Get it?

The cast does a great job. Herbert Jeffrey (As Bob Blake) is credited as Hollywood's first singing black cowboy. He lives up to the title in this 56 minute film. His baritone voice, good looks and charisma makes him the perfect lead for a film of this kind. The surrounding cast fills in their respective roles perfectly. Lucius Brooks as Dusty the sidekick, Wade Dumas as the Dog City sheriff and Artie Young as Miss Margaret Dennison the beautiful women in need of assistance.

Like many Westerns of its kind the story is a bit p…

Reading Roots: a quick mid-point reflection

I am now a little over half way done reading Roots. There are 888 pages and I have reached page 500. I decide to reflect on how I feel at this point in the book. There is so much acclaim and history surrounding this book and the 1977 miniseries. I was born after the series premiered and while I might have watched Roots as a child I have to honestly say I don’t remember much. I know many of the classic scenes (Kunta Kinte’s refusal to be called Toby for example) from second hand sources. I’m more familiar with Alex Haley’s Queen. When I found out Roots was being remade I decided it was time to read the famous novel and form my own opinion of the material. With this knowledge I’d be able to watch the rebooted Roots with reasonable expectations and personal knowledge of what to expect.  

Half way through the novel and I believe the acclaim surrounding the novel is well founded. I have been absolutely engrossed in the book. The characterization of Kunta Kinte is brilliant. Watching him g…

Exciting Project and Casting News! Teyonah Parris as Buffalo Soldier Girl

According to Deadline Teyonah Parris is in talks to star in ‘Buffalo Soldier Girl’ for filmmaker Christine Swanson! I'm excited about this potential project. I came across a picture of Cathay Williams some time ago and was very intrigued with her story and stories of her kind. Cathay Williams posed as a man to fight during the Civil War under the name William Cathay.

Although the press release did not mention Cathay the summary provided fits Cathay's story. I take that to mean it will not be a biopic but instead a movie that draws from her experience.

Teyonah Parris is beautiful with period film ready natural hair. I am so ready for set photos. I hope this project works out. I have seen, read, and heard people that believe there aren't many period stories to tell about Black Americans; that simply isn't true. Black American history is dynamic. So whether they tell this as a biopic or not it has entertaining history to draw from!
What do you think about this film?  

Amandla Stenberg in Amma Asante’s ‘Where Hands Touch’

This Amma Asante project seems very interesting. It is another period film this time involving a mixed-race German girl and an SS officer in 1940s Berlin.

Amandla Stenberg is best known for her role as Rue in Hunger Games. I think she'll be awesome in the film and I can't wait to see her in the amazing 1940s period fashions.


Stompin' At The Savoy (1992) Film Review

Like many films of its kind Stompin' at the Savoy begins with actual vintage images of Black people from the portrayed time period. I think this is done for two reasons.

1. It helps transition the viewers into the story and time period.
2. It is a device that is used to remind the audience that Black Americans were actually present during that era.

Regardless of the reason I like the effect it gives during the viewing experience. The reason why this device works is because the entire film works towards fully immersing the viewers into the period of spirit of the era. I really enjoyed the first half of the film. It was very enjoyable to see beautiful Black women of various shades decked out in period correct 1930's attire. You could put screenshots along side actual photos from the period and not know which one is real and which one is from the film. What do you think?

The fun music and dancing at the Savoy (the famous Harlem nightclub) pulled me right into the film. I wanted t…

A Picture from The Roots Reboot

This is the first image that I have seen from the Roots Reboot. With talents like Laurence Fishburne (as Alex Haley) and Anika Noni Rose (as Kizzy) the final result can't be too bad. I trust the casted actors and actresses to give amazing performances. I am just worried about the pressure that comes with adding to a classic with such a legacy. I don't want to be underwhelmed when I'm done watching.

I like the coloring of the picture. Another thing that makes me happy about this picture is Anika Noni Rose and her hair. Her natural hair looks so great. I hate period films that refuse to actually style kinky Black hair. Contrary to popular belief ... first hand slave narratives and runaway slave advertisements actually prove enslaved Black women (and men) cared about their appearance and took time to style their hair.

I can go on and on about this topic so I'll stop here and save some for another time.
What do you think about this image?

Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005) Film Review

The first time I came across the 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God was on my older sister’s desk. She was reading it for school. Years later I read from the same copy when I was assigned the novel to read. I feel in deeply in love with the novel. After reading the novel I watched the film. What would be better than a film version of a beloved book, right? WRONG! This was a major mistake on my part because the film is very different from the book in various ways with entire scenes and characters left out. Years later as an adult I have decided to give the film another chance. This go around I tried my very best to take it at face value without comparing it to the genius that is Zora Neale Hurston. This method of watching the film served me well as I enjoyed it immensely this time around. 

Everything that I look for in a period film was present in the film. I can honestly say the costumes, music, scenery, dialogue, and historical accuracy were all spot on. There was one costume i…