Showing posts with label Steve McQueen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steve McQueen. Show all posts

Friday, October 22, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from October 17th to 23rd, 2021 - Update #25

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


BREAKING NEWS - From Deadline:  The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department confirmed Thursday night that Alec Baldwin “discharged” a prop gun on the New Mexico set of the movie, "Rust."  As a result, one crew member, director of photography Halyna Hutchins, was killed and director Joel Souza was injured and remains in a local hospital - his condition unknown.

From Deadline:  The fatal shooting on the set of "Rust" may have been "recorded" according to detective for Santa Fe Sheriff's Department.

From Deadline:  The production company behind the film, "Rust," will launch an internal safety review after the fatal accident that killed Halyna Hutchins; possible prior gun incidents; and a camera crew walkout.

From CNN:   Crew member yelled "cold gun" as he handed Alec Baldwin prop weapon, court document shows.

From Variety:  Actor Alec Baldwin releases statement on the death of Halyna Hutchins: "There are no words to convey my shock and sadness."

From Variety:  The prop gun that killed “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza on during an on-set accident on Thursday contained a “live single round,” according to an email sent by IATSE Local 44 to its membership.


TELEVISION - From THR:    CBS has given a full-season pickup to its supernatural comedy, "Ghosts."

AWARDS - From THR:  The nominations for the 2021 Gotham Awards have been announced in both film and TV categories.  The winners will be announced Monday, Nov. 29th.

MOVIES - From DeadlineEmily Blunt is in talks to join Christopher Nolan's film, "Oppenheimer."

TRAILER - From ETCanada:  There is a new trailer for the film, "Being the Ricardos," starring Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz.  The film, directed by Aaron Sorkin, focuses on a week in the production of the classic television series, "I Love Lucy."  It will be released on "Amazon Prime" on Dec. 21st.

NETFLIX - From Deadline:   Netflix says that its hit, "Squid Game," the Korean sci-fi dystopian series, has been streamed by 142 million households in its first four weeks.

MOVIES - From THRSteve McQueen has won the inaugural European Film Award for Innovative Storytelling for "Small Axe," an anthology of five films set between 1969 and 1982 that explore the experiences of London’s West Indian community.

STREAMING - From Variety:  Hulu has ordered "History of the World, Part II," a TV variety series that will act as a sequel to Mel Brooks' classic film comedy, "History of the World, Part I" (1981).  Brooks will be a writer and executive producer on the series.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Lionsgate is developing, "The Continental," a three-night, special event TV series that will act as a prequel to the "John Wick" film series.  Actor Mel Gibson is the first star signed to appear in "The Continental," which is set to appear on Starz.

From Variety:  Actor Colin Woodell will play a young "Winston Scott" in Starz's "John Wick" prequel series, "The Continental."  Winston Scott is played by actor Ian McShane in the "John Wick" films.

MOVIES - From VarietyRob Zombie has shared the first cast photo from his film, "The Munsters," which updates or reboots the old 1960s TV series of the same name.  Universal Studios will release the film.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Disney delays the release date of several upcoming films, including "Doctor Strange 2," "Thor 4," Black Panther 2," and "Indiana Jones 5."

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 10/15 to 10/17/2021 weekend box office is "Halloween Kills" with an estimated take of 50.35 million dollars.

LABOR - From DeadlineThe Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) have reached a new film and TV deal that averted the start of a strike by over 60,000 IATSE members on Monday.  This article has the details.


From Variety:  See all the hot trailers for upcoming DC Comics films and TV series from DC FanDome.

From Deadline:  At DC FanDome, director Matt Reeves revealed a new trailer for his film, "The Batman," which is due May 4, 2022.

From Deadline:  A preview of DC Film's "The Flash" gives us a peek at a cameo from a certain Batman...


From TMZ:  Singer and musician, Tommy DeBarge, has died at the age of 64, Thursday, October 21, 2021.  DeBarge was a vocalist and bass player for the R&B/funk band, "Switch," which had it best success in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  Tommy and his brother, the late Bobby DeBarge, were founding members of Switch.  Tommy and Bobby would later leave the group to mentor their younger siblings in the 1980s group, "DeBarge."

From THR:   Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins as died at the age of 42, Thursday, October 21, 2021 after a prop gun incident on the set of the film, "Rust."  Hutchins was known for her work on such indie films as "Archenemy," "Blindfire," and "The Mad Hatter."

From THR:  Actor Peter Scolari has died at the age of 66, Friday, October 22, 2021 after a battle with cancer.  Scolari first game to prominence on the short-lived ABC sitcom, "Bosom Buddies" (1980-82), with friend, Tom Hanks.  Scolari joined the cast of CBS' "Newhart" as a recurring character during the series' second season (1983-84), and then, became a series regular from 1984 until the series' end in 1990.  He won a "Guest Actor" Primetime Emmy for his role on HBO's "Girls."

From YahooNews:   American four-star general, diplomat, and statesman, General Colin Powell, has died at the age of 84, from complications of COVID-19.  He was the first African-American U.S. Secretary of State and a trailblazing figure both in the United States and around the world.  He also served as the 16th United States National Security Advisor from 1987 to 1989 and as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993.

From Deadline:  The actress, Betty Lynn, has died at the age of 95, Saturday, October 16, 2021.  Her best known role was as "Betty Lou," the girlfriend of "Deputy Barney Fife" on "The Andy Griffith Show."  Lynn appeared on the series 26 times from 1961 to 1966.  In the 1950s, Lynn appeared in "Cheaper by the Dozen" (1950) and "Meet Me in Las Vegas" (1956).  Lynn also appeared on four episodes of Andy Griffith's series "Matlock" (1986-92).

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from October 21st to 31st, 2018 - Update #23

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CELEBRITY - From YahooEntertainment:  Actor Todd LaTourrette, who has appeared on TV series like "Better Call Saul" and "Longmire," admitted that he cut off his own arm and is not a veteran who lost it in Afghanistan.

MOVIES - From BleedingCool:  Sigourney Weaver says that Neill Blomkamp's planned direct sequel to James Cameron's "Aliens" (1986) could still happen.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 10/26 to 10/28/2018 weekend box office is "Halloween" with an estimated take of $32 million.

MOVIES - From THR:  Japanese director Shinichiro Ueda talks about his buzzy zombie film, "One Cut of the Dead."

MOVIES - From Collider:  Aaron Sorkin will direct "The Trial of the Chicago 7" starring Sacha Baron Cohen.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Chris Rock will direct Universal's Kevin Hart comedy, "Co-Parenting," which Will Packer is producing.

COMICS-FILM - From ThePlaylist:  Spike Lee says that he is not directing Sony's "Spider-Man" spinoff film, "Nightwatch."

STAR TREK - From Variety:  The streaming service, CBS All Access, has ordered two seasons of the animated comedy, "Star Trek: Lower Deck."

CELEBRITY - From YahooEntertaiment:  25 years after his death in 1993, actress Samantha Mathis is finally able to speak about the death of her boyfriend, actor River Phoenix.

DISNEY - From Deadline:  Disney is exploring rebooting "Pirates of the Caribbean" with "Deadpool" and "Zombieland" writers, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

PIXAR - From Variety:  Ed Catmull, who cofounded Pixar with John Lasseter and the late Steve Jobs in 1986, is retiring from his leadership role at Pixar and at Walt Disney Animation.  He will transition into an advisory role in 2019.

STREAMING - From Collider:  Steve Carell is returning to television in an untitled drama from stars and executive producers Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon for Apple TV.

ANIMATION - From BleedingCool:  Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro is co-writing and co-directing a stop-motion animated version of "Pinocchio."  The project's home is Netflix.

SPORTS-MOVIES - From BleedingCool:  LeBron James and his Springhill Entertainment production company may reboot Paramount's "Friday the 13th" franchise.

SPORTS-CRIME - From NFL:  Former NFL wide reciever, Rae Carruth (Carolina Panthers) was released from prison, the Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, North Carolina, Monday morning, October 22, 2018.  Carruth served 18 years of a 24-year sentence for conspiracy to murder his then-pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams, in November 1999.  After being shot four time, Adams fell into a coma and died nearly a month later.  The child, Chancellor Lee Adams, she was carrying was delivered via cesarean section and will be 19 years old this year.

From SportsIllustrated:  The boy they couldn't kill, Chancellor Lee Adams.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo: The winner of the 10/19 to 10/21/2018 weekend box office is "Halloween" with an estimated take of $77.5 million.

From TheWrap:  With an estimated opening of $77.5 million, "Halloween" has the biggest opening weekend for a film with a lead actress who is older than 55 years old.

AWARDS - From GoldDerby:  The site talks up Regina King's Oscar chances for Barry Jenkins' "If Beale Street Could Take."

CELEBRITY - From People:  Actress Selma Blair reveals that she has MS - multiple sclerosis.

TELEVISION - From BloodyDisgusting:  First footage revealed of Robert Englund as "Freddy Krueger" on the Halloween episode of "The Goldbergs."

MOVIES - From THR:  Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") is back and he never thought of himself as anything other than brilliant.


From ESPN:  Former Major League Baseball player, Willie McCovey, has died at the age of 80, Wednesday, October 31, 2018.  McCovery played 19 of his 22 MLB seasons for the San Francisco Giants.  He was the 1959 National League "Rookie of the Year" and the 1969 National League MVP.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986.  He played in one World Series, as the Giants lost the 1962 series to the New York Yankees.

From People:  American actress Diana Sowle died at the age of 88, Friday, October 19, 2018.  Sowle was best known for playing the role of "Mrs. Bucket," the mother of golden ticket winner, Charlie Buckett, in the film, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

"Widows," "Green Book" to Screen at Austin Film Festival 2018

Austin Film Festival Announces Full Film and Conference Schedule

Slate Includes Centerpiece Film Ben is Back, Widows, Green Book, Friends from College Season 2 Premiere, Wildlife

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference (AFF), the premier film festival recognizing the writers’ contributions to film, television, and new media, announced today the full schedule of films and panels for the 25th Anniversary festival, this October 25-November 1, 2018. AFF’s feature film slate includes 23 World, North American, and US Premieres, a robust retrospective series, and highly anticipated marquee titles, including Steve McQueen’s and Gillian Flynn’s modern-day thriller Widows, Peter Farrelly’s dramedy period piece Green Book starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen, Mike Leigh’s period piece Peterloo, Mickey Rourke-starring boxing drama Tiger, Paul Dano’s Wildlife starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan, and Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges family drama Ben is Back bowing as AFF’s Centerpiece selection, with writer/director Peter Hedges in attendance.

AFF also announced its 2018 television program. Included this year is comedy series Friends From College, launching on Netflix in 2019. Creators Francesca Delbanco and Nicholas Stoller will present a special preview screening of the Season 2 premiere episode. Creator Justin Marks and executive producer Jordan Horowitz will also be on hand at the Festival to present the season 2 premiere of their espionage spy thriller Counterpart, starring Academy Award® winner J.K. Simmons, premiering on Starz later this year.

AFF’s retrospective series will feature Tony Gilroy presenting his 1995 film Dolores Claiborne based on Stephen King’s novel, Graham Yost presenting his 1994 action classic Speed, and writer Mick Garris in attendance for a special Halloween presentation of Hocus Pocus.

Other World Premieres include The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova, F/11 and Be There, The Amaranth, A Girl Named C, and Waiting for the Miracle to Come.

The full Film and Conference schedule can be found at

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft and business of writers and filmmakers and recognizing their contributions to film, television and new media. AFF is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and the Texas Commission on the Arts. All attendees and events are based on permitting schedules and are subject to change and/or cancellation without notice.


Friday, May 26, 2017

Steve McQueen's "Widows" Begins Principal Photography

Twentieth Century Fox and New Regency Begin Principal Photography on Steve McQueen Thriller Starring Viola Davis

Film Was Written by McQueen and Best Selling Author Gillian Flynn

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--From Academy Award®-winning director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) and co-writer and bestselling author Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”) comes a blistering, modern-day thriller set against the backdrop of crime, passion and corruption: “Widows” is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Oscar® winner Viola Davis), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. “Widows” also stars Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Lukas Haas and Brian Tyree Henry. See-Saw Films’ Oscar®-winning team of Iain Canning (“The King’s Speech”) and Emile Sherman (“The King’s Speech”) are set to produce with Bergen Swanson (“Shame”) serving as executive producer.

    “Steve McQueen is a groundbreaking filmmaker and we’re proud to support his vision for this film, and so delighted to be working with him again following our successful partnership on ‘12 Years a Slave.’”

“Emile and I couldn’t be more excited about ‘Widows,’” says producer Iain Canning. “It is a film that continues See-Saw Films’ relationship with Steve McQueen who has brought together a dream cast to tell a compelling story about what lengths people will go to in order to change the circumstances of their lives.” Producer Emile Sherman adds: “New Regency has been such a supportive and committed home for the project and we are excited to be working with Fox on this timely production.”

“Combining visionary directing, writing, an extraordinary cast, and a riveting story that unites thrilling action with nuanced character studies, ‘Widows’ is a project that truly speaks for itself,” said Yariv Milchan, Chairman of New Regency. “Steve McQueen is a groundbreaking filmmaker and we’re proud to support his vision for this film, and so delighted to be working with him again following our successful partnership on ‘12 Years a Slave.’”

“Widows” creative production team includes director of photography Sean Bobbit (“12 Years a Slave”), Academy Award®-winning production designer Adam Stockhausen (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”), costume designer Jenny Eagan (“Beasts of No Nation”) and Oscar®-nominated editor Christopher Tellefsen (“Moneyball”).

“Widows” is a See-Saw Films production in association with New Regency presentation of A Steve McQueen Film and will be distributed worldwide by Twentieth Century Fox. The movie will be released on November 16, 2018.

About Twentieth Century Fox Film
One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of the studio: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox International Productions, and Twentieth Century Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios.

About New Regency:
Founded in 1991 by renowned producer Arnon Milchan, New Regency is actively engaged in entertaining the world. The company has produced some of the most successful and critically-acclaimed films of all time with over 130 films and more than 50 television series in the company’s vast library, including Academy Award®-winner “The Revenant” (2016) and the back-to-back Academy Award®-winning Best Pictures, “12 Years A Slave” (2014) and “Birdman” (2015). New Regency is also dedicated to continuing to foster its unparalleled filmmaker relationships and today boasts partnerships with the most acclaimed and sought-after creative forces in the industry.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from September 25th to 30th, 2016 - Update #30

Support Leroy on Patreon.

JAMES BOND - From Variety:  Daniel Craig is absolutely the first choice to play James Bond in the next film, according to executive producer of last four films.

TELEVISION - From YahooTV:  Long-time (and near legendary) television critic Ken Tucker does not like Woody Allen's new TV series for Amazon, "Crisis in Six Scenes."

MOVIES - From Variety:  More people are joining Kenneth Branagh's "Murder on the Orient Express," including Daisy Ridley and Judi Dench, among others.

MOVIES - From Bustle:  Tim Burton tries and strangely explains why their or so few "people of color" in his films.

BLACK LIVES MATTER - From LAWeekly:  Henry Rollins: White America Couldn't Handle What Black America Deals With Every Day.

ECO - From Time:  Robert Redford says he is standing with Standing Rock Sioux.

COMICS-FILM - From CinemaBlend:  Someone paid $400,000 for the "Batpod," the motorcycle-like vehicle actually used in the 2012 film, "The Dark Knight Rises," which is a terrible-ass movie.

MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  Kenneth Branagh is eyeing Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer for his remake of "Murder on the Orient Express."

MOVIES - From Variety:  Jon Favreau is set to direct Disney's live-action remake of "The Lion King."  Favreau directed Disney's smash hit remake of "The Jungle Book."

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  Charlize Thereon gained 31 pounds for her new movie, "Tully."

TELEVISION - From YahooTV:   As his lawsuit goes forward, former showrunner of "The Walking Dead," Frank Darabont wants $280 million dollars in denied profits from the show.

From THR:  Hot details from Darabont's deposition in his suit against AMC over profits for "The Walking Dead."

COMICS-FILM - From CinemaBlend:  Filming those Stan Lee superhero movie cameos ahead of time.

COMICS-FILM - From CinemaBlend:  Is this Tom Holland changing into his Spider-Man duds in this video.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  FX's "The Strain" to end next year with season four.

COMICS-FILM - From SlashFilm:  "Doctor Strange" to appear in "Avengers: Infinity War."

MOVIES - From Variety:  Viola Davis will star in Steve McQueen's ("12 Years a Slave") upcoming heist thriller, "Widows."  "Gone Girl" screenwriter and novelist, Gillian Flynn, will write the script for "Widows" with McQueen.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Martin Scorsese's "Silence" enters the Oscar race.

OBIT - From NYTimes:  Musician Stanley Dural, Jr., better known as "Buckwheat Zydeco" (also the name of his band), has died at the age of 68, Saturday, September 24, 2016. He was one of the few zydeco (a musical genre born in Louisiana) musicians to achieve mainstream success.  He won a Grammy Award in 2010.  In 2002, he shared an Emmy Award with Brian Keene.

CELEBRITY - From YahooCelebrity:  Goldie Hawn explains why she has not married her partner of 33 years, Kurt Russell.

COMICS - From IGN:  DC Comics has announced that its Batman event comic book miniseries, Dark Knight III: The Master Race, will be 9 issues long instead of 8 as originally planned.  Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello are writing.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Daisy Ridley and Elizabeth Debicki have joined the animation/live-action hybrid "Peter Rabbit."

SPORTS - From YahooSports:  How LSU football coach, Les Miles, went from champ to fired.

BOX OFFICE - BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 9/23 to 9/25/2016 weekend box office is "The Magnificent Seven" with an estimated take of $35 million.

BOOKS - From BleedingCool:  James Patterson was actually publishing a work of fiction that centered on the murder of Stephen King!  He has cancelled it.

CELEBRITY - From SFGate:  Who is the A-lister who raped Corey Haim.

MOVIES - From FlickeringMyth:  John Carpenter has some harsh words for Rob Zombie and his 2007 remake of Carpenter's classic film.  I like quite a few things about both of Zombie's Halloween films, although I think Carpenter's 1978 original is far better than the remake and remake/sequel/re-imagining of "Halloween 2."

OBIT - From YahooSports:  Golf legend Arnold Palmer has died at the age of 87, Sunday, September 25, 2016.

OBIT - From YahooSports:  Major League Baseball pitcher, Jose Fernandez (Miami Marlins), has died at the age of 24, Sunday, September 25, 2016.  He died in a boating accident.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") tops list of highest paid TV actors.

From Variety:  Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family") tops list of highest paid TV actresses.

TECH-POLITICS - From Variety:  California OKs law requiring removal of actor ages by database sites.


From YahooMovies:  See Denzel Washington and Viola Davis square off in "Fences."


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Review: "12 Years a Slave" is the Best of Its Year and Among the Best of All Years

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 13 (of 2015) by Leroy Douresseaux

12 Years a Slave (2013)
Running time:  134 minutes (2 hours, 14 minutes)
MPAA - R for violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality
DIRECTOR:  Steve McQueen
WRITER:  John Ridley
PRODUCERS:  Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Anthony Katagas, Arnon Milchan, and Bill Pohlad
CINEMATOGRAPER:  Sean Bobbitt (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Joe Walke
COMPOSER:  Hans Zimmer
Academy Award winner


Starring:  Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard, Adepero Oduye, Garret Dillahunt, Scoot McNairy, Taran Killam, Chris Chalk, Michael Kenneth Williams, Liza J. Bennett, Devyn A. Tyler, Kelsey Scott, Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Zeigler, Dwight Henry, and John McConnell

12 Years a Slave is a 2013 historical drama and period film from director Steve McQueen.  The film is based on the 1853 memoir and slave narrative, Twelve Years a Slave.  At the 86th Oscars, 12 Years a Slave became the first film directed and produced by a black filmmaker (Steve McQueen) and also the first film to be written by an African-American (John Ridley) to win the Academy Award for “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (for the year 2013).  12 Years a Slave the movie is the story of a free black man from upstate New York, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in antebellum Louisiana.

12 Years a Slave introduces Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man.  In 1841, Solomon lives in New York with his wife, the former Anne Hampton (Kelsey Scott), and his children, Alonzo (Cameron Zeigler) and Margaret (Quvenzhané Wallis).  Solomon works as violinist, and that is what gets him the offer of a two-week job as a musician in Washington D.C.  What Solomon does not realize is that this job offer is a trap.  His erstwhile employers drug and abduct him, and later sell Solomon to a slave trader in New Orleans.

The slave trader gives Solomon a new name, “Platt.”  He is sold first, to sugar cane plantation owner, William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch), and then, to cotton plantation owner, Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender).  It is on Epps' plantation that Solomon meets Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o), a young female slave.  Through her, Solomon learns the true depravity of slavery and falls into despair, believing that he may never see his family again.

12 Years a Slave is not only the best film of 2013, it may also be the best film of the 21st century.  Everything about it is magnificent.  Steve McQueen's directing is a work of art – truthfully.  McQueen stages and composes this film with a painter's attention to detail, dedication to story (both narrative and message), and an artist's quest for the sublime and for even the divine.

McQueen creates a sense of intimacy between his characters – master/slave, oppressor/oppressed, abuser/abused – so that the action and emotions between characters feels like the interactions between real people.  This is a masterstroke in film-making, with the film drama having the power and immediacy of stage drama.  Hans Zimmer's evocative and heartbreaking score has uncannily perfect timing and tone in emphasizing story, setting, and mood, and also in embellishing and strengthening McQueen's choices.

12 Years a Slave is buttressed by three incredible and dumbfounding performances that are also works of art.  Damn, you could take the performances given by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Lupita Nyong'o, individually, in pairs, or as a trio, and hang them on a museum wall.

Fassbender could become the most honored actor of the next quarter-century the way that Daniel Day-Lewis has been the most honored of the last quarter-century or so.  As Edwin Epps, Fassbender personifies both the banality of evil of slavery and also of the institution's naked lust for money (as in the need to recoup costs and to make even more money).  Fassbender received an Oscar nomination as best supporting actor in 2014, but lost to Jared Leto as the cartoonish stereotype, Rayon (in Dallas Buyers Club).  That's a shame and maybe even a tragedy.  For real, it should have been Fassbender's.

On the other side, as Patsey, Lupita Nyong'o becomes the face of the slaves, especially the face of black female slaves, surviving brutality and enduring degradation even while wishing for the sweet freedom that death might bring.  The depth, the poignancy, and the prowess of Nyong'o as an actor defy description, but at least she won her Oscar as best supporting actress for her supernaturally good acting.

Chiwetel Ejiofor lost the best actor Oscar to Matthew McConaughey who played Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club.  McConaughey did deliver an exceptional performance, but the reason film award voters were so impressed with McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club was because they did not know that he had a Ron Woodroof in him.  Up to that point, McConaughey had spent much of his career playing shallow pussy-hounds, grown-ass men in a state of pathetic arrested development, and leading roles that required him to do little more than give good face.  Being a white man also gave McConaughey an advantage with Oscar voters.

On the other hand, it is easy to take Ejiofor for granted; he is always good.  In film, he has perhaps never been better than he is in 12 Years a Slave.  He carries this movie because it is his character's story, a personal and hellish travelogue into the darkest and cruelest countries of mankind's nature.  Ejiofor opens up his heart, his mind, his personality, his emotions – his very being – to the audience.  Through him, we experience the suffering and dehumanization of Solomon Northup.

I think this movie is, in large measure, about how people will make others suffer for their own material gain and how some humans degrade others for their own satisfaction and pleasure.  Few films have depicted that as well as 12 Years a Slave does.  Maybe, it is indeed too hard for some to watch, but 12 Years a Slave is a great film (one of the greatest of all time), and it is a necessary one – more necessary than some of us will admit.

10 of 10

Saturday, March 7, 2015

2014 Academy Awards, USA:  3 wins: “Best Motion Picture of the Year” (Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, and Anthony Katagas), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Lupita Nyong'o), and “Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay” (John Ridley); 6 nominations: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role” (Chiwetel Ejiofor), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Michael Fassbender), “Best Achievement in Costume Design” (Patricia Norris), “Best Achievement in Directing” (Steve McQueen), “Best Achievement in Film Editing” (Joe Walker), and “Best Achievement in Production Design” (Adam Stockhausen-production design and Alice Baker-set decoration)

2014 BAFTA Awards:  2 wins: “Best Film” (Anthony Katagas, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Steve McQueen) and “Best Leading Actor” (Chiwetel Ejiofor); 8 nominations: “Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music” (Hans Zimmer); “Best Adapted Screenplay” (John Ridley), “Best Supporting Actor” (Michael Fassbender), “Best Supporting Actress” (Lupita Nyong'o), “Best Cinematography” (Sean Bobbitt), “Best Editing” (Joe Walker), “Best Production Design” (Adam Stockhausen and Alice Baker), and “David Lean Award for Direction” (Steve McQueen)

2014 Golden Globes, USA:  1 win: “Best Motion Picture – Drama;” 6 nominations: “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama” (Chiwetel Ejiofor), “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Michael Fassbender), “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Lupita Nyong'o), “Best Director - Motion Picture” (Steve McQueen), “Best Screenplay - Motion Picture” (John Ridley), and “Best Original Score - Motion Picture” (Hans Zimmer)

2014 Black Reel Awards 2014:  8 wins: “Outstanding Motion Picture” (Brad Pitt, Steve McQueen, Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Bill Pohlad, and Arnon Milchan – Fox Searchlight Pictures), “Outstanding Actor, Motion Picture” (Chiwetel Ejiofor), “Outstanding Supporting Actress, Motion Picture” (Lupita Nyong'o), “Outstanding Director, Motion Picture” (Steve McQueen), “Outstanding Screenplay (Adapted or Original), Motion Picture” (John Ridley), “Outstanding Ensemble” (Francine Maisler (Casting Director), “Outstanding Score” (Hans Zimmer), and “Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Female” (Lupita Nyong'o); 1 nomination: “Outstanding Song” (Alicia Keys: Performer & Writer for the song "Queen of the Field (Patsey's Song))

2014 Image Awards:  4 wins: “Outstanding Motion Picture,” “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” (Lupita Nyong'o), “Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture - (Theatrical or Television)” (John Ridley), and “Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture” (Steve McQueen); 2 nominations: “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture” (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” (Alfre Woodard)

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for syndication rights and fees.

Friday, February 20, 2015

2015 Cesar Award Nominations - Complete List

First given out in 1975, the César Award is the national film award of France.  Some even think of the César Award as the French equivalent of the American Academy Awards (Oscars). The nominations are selected by the members of the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma, and the award ceremony is held in Paris each February.  The name of the award comes from the late sculptor César Baldaccini, and the trophies are actual sculptures of the artist.

The nominations for the 40th Cesar Awards were announced Friday, January 28, 2015.  The 40th Cesar Awards will be presented on Friday, February 20, 2015 in Paris.

The 2015 / 40th Cesar Award nominees (for the year in 2014) – complete list:

Best Film
Les Combattants, dir: Thomas Cailley
Eastern Boys, dir: Robin Campillo
La Famille Bélier, dir: Eric Lartigau
Saint Laurent, dir: Bertrand Bonello
Hippocrate, dir: Thomas Lilti
Sils Maria, dir: Olivier Assayas
Timbuktu, dir: Abderrahmane Sissako

Best Director
Céline Sciamma, Bande De Filles
Thomas Cailley, Les Combattants
Robin Campillo, Eastern Boys
Thomas Lilti, Hippocrate
Bertrand Bonello, Saint Laurent
Olivier Assayas, Sils Maria
Abderrahmane Sissako, Timbuktu

Best Actress
Juliette Binoche, Sils Maria
Catherine Deneuve, Dans La Cour
Marion Cotillard, Deux Jours, Une Nuit
Emilie Dequenne, Pas Son Genre
Adèle Haenel, Les Combattants
Sandrine Kiberlain, Elle L’Adore
Karin Viard, La Famille Bélier

Best Actor
Pierre Niney, Yves Saint Laurent
Romain Duris, Une Nouvelle Amie
Gaspard Ulliel, Saint Laurent
Guillaume Canet, La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai Le Coeur
Niels Arestrup, Diplomatie
François Damiens, La Famille Bélier
Vincent Lacoste, Hippocrate

Best Supporting Actress
Marianne Denicourt, Hippocrate
Claude Gensac, Lulu Femme Nue
Izïa Higelin, Samba
Charlotte Le Bon, Yves Saint Laurent
Kristen Stewart, Sils Maria

Best Supporting Actor
Eric Elmosnino, La Famille Bélier
Jérémie Renier, Saint Laurent
Guillaume Gallienne, Yves Saint LAurent
Louis Garrel, Saint Laurent
Reda Kateb, Hippocrate

Best Newcomer (Female)
Lou de Laâge, Respire
Joséphine Japy, Respire
Louane Emera, La Famille Bélier
Ariane Labed, Fidelio, L’Odyssée D’Alice
Karidja Touré, Bande De Filles

Best Newcomer (Male)
Kevin Azaïs, Les Combattants
Ahmed Dramé, Les Héritiers
Kirill Emelyanov, Eastern Boys
Pierre Rochefort, Un Beau Dimanche
Marc Zinga, Qu’Allah Bénisse La France

Best Original Screenplay
Les Combattants
La Famille Bélier
Sils Maria

Best Adapted Screenplay
La Chambre Bleue
Pas Son Genre
Lulu Femme Nue
La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai Le Coeur

Best Foreign Film
Winter Sleep, dir: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Boyhood, dir: Richard Linklater
12 Years A Slave, dir: Steve McQueen
Deux Jours, Une Nuit, dirs: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Mommy, dir Xavier Dolan
Ida, dir: Pawel Pawlikowski
The Grand Budapest Hotel, dir: Wes Anderson

Best Debut Feature
Les Combattants
Elle L’Adore
Fidelio, L’Odyssée D’Alice
Party Girl
Qu’Allah Bénisse La France

Best Score
Bande De Filles
Bird People
Les Combattants
Yves Saint-Laurent

Best Editing
Les Combattants
Party Girl

Best Cinematography
La Belle Et La Bête
Sils Maria
Yves Saint Laurent

Best Set Design
La Belle Et La Bête
La French
Yves Saint Laurent

Best Costumes
La Belle Et La Bête
La French
Une Nouvelle Amie
Yves Saint Laurent

Best Documentary
Caricaturistes – Fantassins De La Démocratie
Les Chèvres De Ma Mère
La Cour De Babel
National Gallery
Salt Of The Earth

Best Sound
Bande De Filles
Bird People
Les Combattants
Saint Laurent

Best Animated Film
Minuscule – La Vallée Des Fourmis Perdues, dirs: Thomas Szabo and Hélène Giraud
Jack Et La Mécanique Du Coeur, dir: Stéphane Berla
Le Chant De La Mer, dir: Tomm Moore

Best Short Film
La Femme De Rio
Les Jours D’Avant
Où Je Mets Ma Pudeur
La Virée A Paname

Best Animated Short
Bang Bang!
La Bûche De Noël
La Petite Casserole D’Anatole
Les Petits Cailloux


Sunday, March 9, 2014

"12 Years a Slave," "The Dirties" Lead Vancouver Critics Awards

The Vancouver Film Critics Association or Vancouver Film Critics Circle (VFCC) was apparently founded to represent Vancouver’s print, on-line, and broadcast media.  The group honors the best in Canadian and international filmmaking with the annual VFCC Awards.

In anticipation of the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards, here, is a look at the 2014 VFCC Award winners.

2014 Canadian Screen Awards (for the year in film 2013) – a complete list of winners follows:


12 Years a Slave

Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis

The Hunt

The Act of Killing


The Dirties

Matt Johnson, The Dirties

Sophie Desmarais, Sarah Prefers to Run

Alexandre Landry, Gabrielle

Lise Roy, Tom at the Farm

Jeff Barnaby, Rhymes for Young Ghouls

My Prairie Home

The Dirties

Down River

Al Sens

Corinne Lea


Sunday, March 2, 2014

"12 Years a Slave" Wins 2014 Oscar as "Best Picture of 2013"

Best motion picture of the year:

 “12 Years a Slave”
Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers WINNER


“American Hustle”
Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers

“Captain Phillips”
Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers

“Dallas Buyers Club”
Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers

Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman, Producers

Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers

Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers

Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers

“The Wolf of Wall Street”
Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joey McFarland and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers

Alfonso Cuarón Wins 2014 "Best Directing" Oscar

Achievement in directing:

 “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón WINNER

“American Hustle” David O. Russell
“Nebraska” Alexander Payne
“12 Years a Slave” Steve McQueen
“The Wolf of Wall Street” Martin Scorsese

Saturday, March 1, 2014

"12 Years a Slave" is "Best Picture" at 2014 Independent Spirit Awards - Complete Winners List

The 29th Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards winners were announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, March 1, 2014. The 2014 awards ceremony was held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, and the premiere broadcast will air later that evening at 10:00 pm ET/PT on IFC.

The Winners for the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards (for the year in film, 2013):

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not awarded):
12 Years a Slave
PRODUCERS: Dede Gardner, Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Brad Pitt, Bill Pohlad

Steve McQueen - 12 Years a Slave

John Ridley - 12 Years a Slave

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer):
Fruitvale Station
DIRECTOR: Ryan Coogler
PRODUCERS: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker

Bob Nelson - Nebraska

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  Award given to the writer, director, and producer.  Executive Producers are not awarded.):
This is Martin Bonner
PRODUCER: Cherie Saulter

Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine

Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club

Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years a Slave

Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club

Sean Bobbitt - 12 Years a Slave

Nat Sanders - Short Term 12

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer):
20 Feet From Stardom
PRODUCERS: Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director):
Blue is the Warmest Color (France)
DIRECTOR: Abdellatif Kechiche

17th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – (The 17th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.):
Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston

20th ANNUAL SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – (The 20th annual Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.):
DIRECTOR: Shaka King

19th ANNUAL STELLA ARTOIS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – (The 19th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by Stella Artois, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.):
Jason Osder - Let the Fire Burn

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD - (Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast):
Director: Jeff Nichols
Casting Director: Francine Maisler
Ensemble Cast:  Joe Don Baker, Jacob Lofland, Matthew McConaughey, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Tye Sheridan, Paul Sparks, Bonnie Sturdivant, Reese Witherspoon


Friday, February 28, 2014

"12 Years a Slave" Captures Southeastern Film Critics Awards

The Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) is a professional organization of more than 40 film journalists working in the print, radio and online media, representing the Southeastern section of the United States: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  Since 1992, SEFCA seeks to “promote the art of film criticism, the ethics of journalism and the camaraderie of peers among professionals working in the print, radio and online media in the Southeast.”

2013 SEFCA Winners:

Top 10
1. "12 Years a Slave"
2. "Gravity"
3. "American Hustle"
4. "Her"
5. "Inside Llewyn Davis"
6. "Nebraska"
7. "Dallas Buyers Club"
8. "Philomena"
9. "Captain Phillips"
10. "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave" (Runner-up: Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club")

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine" (Runner-up: Judi Dench, "Philomena")

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club" (Runner-up: Michael Fassbender, "12

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, "12 Years a Slave" (Runner-up: Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle")

Best Director: Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave" (Runner-up: Alfonso Cuaròn, "Gravity")

Best Ensemble: "American Hustle" (Runner-up: "12 Years a Slave")

Best Adapted Screenplay: "12 Years a Slave" (Runner-up: "Philomena")

Best Original Screenplay: "American Hustle" (Runner-up: "Her")

Best Documentary: "The Act of Killing" (Runners-up: "Blackfish," "Muscle Shoals")

Best Foreign Language Film: "The Hunt" (Runner-up: "Blue is the Warmest Color")

Best Animated Film: "Frozen" (Runner-up: "The Wind Rises")

Best Cinematography: "Gravity" (Runner-up: "12 Years a Slave")

Gene Wyatt Award: Jeff Nichols, "Mud" (Runner-up: Greg "Freddy" Cammalier, "Muscle Shoals")


"12 Years a Slave" Dominates St. Louis Film Critics Awards

The St. Louis Film Critics is an association of professional film critics operating in metropolitan St. Louis and adjoining areas of Missouri and Illinois.  Founded in late 2004, the group’s goals (according to the website) are to serve the interests of local film critics, and to promote an appreciation for cinema both as an art form and for its societal, cultural and historical context and impact.

The eligibility requirements for a SLFC Award, according to the group’s website:  a film must have been shown in the greater St. Louis area in a theater or at a film festival or series, or made available to SLFC members by screening or screener during the past year. Films opening in limited run elsewhere for Oscar qualification but which will open in the St. Louis area early in the next year are eligible.

2013 SLFC Awards:

Best Film: "12 Years a Slave"
(Runner-up: "American Hustle")

Best Director: Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave"
(Runner-up: Alfonso Cuarón, "Gravity")

Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"
(Runner-up: Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club")

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
(Runner-up: Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County")

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"
(Runner-up: Will Forte, "Nebraska")

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"
(Runner-up: June Squibb, "Nebraska")

Best Adapted Screenplay: "12 Years a Slave"
(Runner-up: "Philomena")

Best Original Screenplay: "Her"
(Runner-up: "American Hustle")

Best Art Direction: "The Great Gatsby"
(Runner-up: "Her")

Best Cinematography: "12 Years a Slave"
(Runner-up: "Gravity")

Best Musical Score: "Her"
(Runners-up: "Gravity," "Nebraska")

Best Soundtrack: "Inside Llewyn Davis"
(Runner-up: "Frozen")

Best Animated Film: "Frozen"
(Runner-up: "The Wind Rises")

Best Non-English Language Film: "Blue is the Warmest Color"
(Runner-up: "Wadjda")

Best Documentary: "Blackfish"
(Runners-up: "The Act of Killing," "Stories We Tell")

Best Art House or Festival Film: "Short Term 12"
(Runners-up: "Blue is the Warmest Color," "Frances Ha")

Best Comedy: (tie) "Enough Said" and "The World's End"

Best Scene (favorite movie scene or sequence): "12 Years a Slave" — The hanging scene
(Runner-up: "Gravity" — The opening tracking shot)


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"12 Years a Slave" Wins 2014 Satellite Award as "Best Motion Picture"

by Amos Semien

The International Press Academy (IPA) is an entertainment media association with voting members worldwide who represent domestic and foreign markets via print, television, radio, blogs, and other content platforms for virtually every notable outlet.

Each year the IPA honors artistic excellence in the areas of Motion Pictures, Television, Radio, and New Media via the Satellite® Awards.

The 18th Satellite Awards ceremony was held Sunday, February 23, 2014.  Nominations were announced Monday, December 2, 2013.

12 Years a Slave won the "Best Motion Picture" award.  On the television side of the awards, AMC's Breaking Bad won "Television Series, Drama," and Netflix's "Orange is the New Black" won "Television Series, Comedy."

2014 / 18th Satellite Awards winners (for the year 2013) – Complete List:


Best Motion Picture:
12 Years a Slave - Fox Searchlight

Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave - Fox Searchlight

Actress in a Motion Picture:
Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine - Sony Pictures Classics

Actor in a Motion Picture:
Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club - Focus Features

Actress in a Supporting Role:
June Squibb for Nebraska - Paramount

Actor in a Supporting Role:
Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club - Focus Features

Motion Picture, International Film
Belgium - The Broken Circle Breakdown

Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media:
The Wind Rises - Studio Ghibli

Motion Picture, Documentary:
Blackfish - Magnolia Pictures

Screenplay, Original:
David O. Russell, Eric Singer for American Hustle - Sony

Screenplay, Adapted:
Jeff Pope, Steve Coogan for Philomena - The Weinstein Co.

Original Score:
Steven Price for Gravity - Warner Bros.

Original Song:
“Young and Beautiful” (performed by Lana Del Rey; written by Lana Del Rey and Rick Nowels) from The Great Gatsby - Warner Bros.

Bruno Delbonnel for Inside Llewyn Davis  CBS Films

Visual Effects:
Charles Howell, Chris Lawrence, Tim Webber for Gravity  Warner Bros.

Film Editing:
Crispin Struthers, Jay Cassidy for American Hustle - Sony

Sound (Editing and Mixing):
Glenn Freemantle, Niv Adiri, Skip Lievsay for Gravity - Warner Bros.

Art Direction & Production Design:
Beverly Dunn, Catherine Martin for The Great Gatsby - Warner Bros.

Costume Design:
Michael O’Connor for The Invisible Woman - Sony Pictures Classics

Best Ensemble, Motion Picture:


Television.Miniseries / Motion Picture Made for Television:
Dancing on the Edge - Starz

Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television:
Elisabeth Moss  Top of the Lake - Sundance Channel

Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television:
Michael Douglas  Behind the Candelabra  HBO

Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television:
Laura Prepon  Orange is the New Black  Netflix

Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television:
Aaron Paul  Breaking Bad  AMC

Television Series, Drama:
Breaking Bad  AMC

Television Series or Miniseries, Genre:
Game Of Thrones - HBO

Actress in a Series, Drama:
Robin Wright  House of Cards  Netflix

Actor in a Series, Drama
Bryan Cranston  Breaking Bad  AMC

Television Series, Comedy or Musical
Orange is the New Black - Netflix

Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical
Taylor Schilling  Orange is the New Black  Netflix

Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical
John Goodman  Alpha House  Amazon Studios

Original Short-Format Program
#JustSaying, #SamoKažem  Tuna Fish Studio

New Media

Best Overall Blu-Ray
Star Trek: Into Darkness  Paramount Home Entertainment

Youth Blu-Ray
Rise Of The Guardians  DreamWorks Video

Outstanding Action / Adventure Video Game
Battlefield 4 - EA Digital Illusions CE

Outstanding Mobile Game
Badland - Frogmind

Outstanding Role Playing Game
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch  Level 5, Studio Ghibli

Outstanding Sports / Racing Game
Need for Speed Rivals - Electronic Arts, Ghost Games

Best Ensemble, Television:
Orange is the New Black

Special Achievement Awards:

Mary Pickford Award:  Mike Medavoy

Tesla Award:  Garrett Brown

Auteur Award:  Guillermo del Toro

Independent Producer Award:  Gabrielle Tana

Honorary Satellite Award:  Ryan Coogler

Breakthrough Performance Award:
Michael B. Jordan - Fruitvale Station
Sophie Nelisse - The Book Thief


Monday, February 17, 2014

"12 Years a Slave" Wins "Best Film" at 2014 BAFTAs - Complete List

by Leroy Douresseaux

"12 Years a Slave" Wins "Best Film"

The British equivalent of the Oscars is the EE British Academy Film Awards (also known as the BAFTAs).  The 67th British Academy Film Awards took place on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.  The ceremony was hosted by Stephen Fry and broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD.

Gravity was the leading winner with 6 awards, including “Best Director” (Alfonso Cuarón) and “Best British Film” (a designation that was and still is controversial in some circles).  American Hustle won three prizes, including “Best Supporting Actress” for Jennifer Lawrence.

According to what I’ve read, the night wore on, and 12 Years a Slave was not winning in categories it was expected win (adapted screenplay, supporting actress, and even supporting actor).  Some thought that the film would not win any awards, but towards the end of the show, the film picked up the big wins.  First, there was “Best Actor” for Chiwetel Ejiofor.  Then, when it seemed like Gravity and maybe American Hustle would win “Best Film,” 12 Years a Slave escaped with the trophy (going to producers Anthony Katagas, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Steve McQueen.

In the non-competitive awards, director Peter Greenaway was honored with “Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema” and Helen Mirren won “The Fellowship,” the highest honor the Academy can bestow.

2014 / 67th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) winners (for the year in film, 2013):

Best Film: 12 Years a Slave

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Best British Film: Gravity

Best Debut By a British Writer, Director or Producer: Kieran Evans

Best Original Screenplay: American Hustle

Best Adapted Screenplay: Philomena

Best Film Not In The English Language: The Great Beauty

Best Documentary: The Act of Killing

Best Original Film Score: Gravity

Best Cinematography: Gravity

Best Editing: Rush

Best Sound: Gravity

Best Animated Film: Frozen

Best Visual Effects: Gravity

Best Makeup and Hair: American Hustle

Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby

Best Costumes: The Great Gatsby

Best Short Film: Room 8

Best Animated Short: Sleeping With The Fishes

BAFTA Rising Star Award: Will Poulter

Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in 2014: Peter Greenaway

The Fellowship:  Helen Mirren


Saturday, February 15, 2014

"12 Years a Slave" Has Record Night at Black Reel Awards

by Leroy Douresseaux

The evening of Thursday, February 13, 2014 in the Nation’s Capital (Washington D.C., for some of you), the 14th Annual Black Reel Awards ceremony took place.  The Black Reel Awards handed out their prizes for the finest accomplishments and achievements of African-Americans and people of the African Diaspora in feature and independent films and television in 2013.

The runaway winner of the night was 12 Years a Slave.  Directed by Steve McQueen, the film is a harrowing story of a free black man who is kidnapped from his Northern home and family and forced into more than a decade of slavery.  The film won 8 awards, besting previous record-holder, Precious, which won 7 Black Reel Awards out of 10 nominations at the 2010 awards.

12 Years a Slave’s wins included “Outstanding Motion Picture,” “Outstanding Actor” for Chiwetel Ejiofor (who also won “Outstanding TV Movie Actor” for Dancing on the Edge), “Outstanding Supporting Actress” for newcomer Lupita Nyong’o (who also won “Outstanding Female Breakthrough Performance”), “Outstanding Director” for Steve McQueen, “Outstanding Screenplay” for John Ridley, “Outstanding Ensemble,” and “Outstanding Score,” an apparently unexpected win for maestro Hans Zimmer.

Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series was awarded to Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, which also an earned an “Outstanding Director, TV Movie” award for Spike Lee.

2014 / 14th BLACK REEL AWARDS WINNERS (for the year in film and television 2013):

Outstanding Motion Picture
12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor | 12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Actress
Danai Gurira | Mother of George

Outstanding Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi | Captain Phillips

Outstanding Supporting Actress
Lupita Nyong’o | 12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Director
Steve McQueen | 12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Screenplay
John Ridley | 12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Documentary
20 Feet From Stardom | Morgan Neville

Outstanding Ensemble
12 Years a Slave | Francine Maiser

Outstanding Foreign Film
War Witch | Canada

Outstanding Score
Hans Zimmer | 12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Original Song
“Desperation” by Judith Hill | 20 Feet From Stardom

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male
Barkhad Abdi | Captain Phillips

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Female
Lupita Nyong’o | 12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Voice Performance
Samuel L. Jackson | Turbo

Outstanding Independent Feature
Blue Caprice | Alexandre Moors

Outstanding Independent Documentary
The New Black | Yoruba Richen

Outstanding Independent Short
Black Girl in Paris | Kiandra Parks

Outstanding Television Documentary
Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley | Whoopi Goldberg

Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series
Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth

Outstanding TV Movie Actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor | Dancing on Edge

Outstanding TV Movie Actress
Anika Noni Rose | The Watsons Go to Birmingham

Outstanding Supporting Actor, TV Movie
Omari Hardwick | Being Mary Jane

Outstanding Supporting Actress, TV Movie
Octavia Spencer | Call Me Crazy: A Five Film

Outstanding Director, TV Movie
Spike Lee | Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth

Outstanding Screenplay, TV Movie
Mara Brock Akil | Being Mary Jane


Monday, February 10, 2014

Oscar Nominees Luncheon is Today

Oscar® Nominees to be Honored at Academy Luncheon

BEVERLY HILLS, CA — More than 150 Oscar® nominees will come together at noon on Monday, February 10, at the Beverly Hilton when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honors this year’s Oscar contenders at its annual Nominees Luncheon.

Among the Lead Actor and Actress nominees, Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bruce Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey and Meryl Streep are expected to attend the pre-Oscars® event. Supporting Actor and Actress nominees Barkhad Abdi, Bradley Cooper, Jonah Hill, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong'o, Julia Roberts and June Squibb also will join in the celebratory lunch.

All five nominees in the Directing category, Alfonso Cuarón, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, David O. Russell and Martin Scorsese, are expected to attend as well.

Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscars, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

John Ridley Wins USC Libraries Scripter Award for "12 Years a Slave"

[USC Libraries 2014 Scripter Award winner John Ridley with Dean of the USC Libraries Catherine Quinlan and Scripter Literary Achievement Award winner Robert Towne. (Photo Credit: Ron Murray) and courtesy of Busineswire.]

"12 Years a Slave" Wins USC Libraries Scripter Award

John Ridley and Solomon Northup take the 26th-anniversary honor

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Screenwriter John Ridley joined family members of nineteenth-century author Solomon Northup to receive the 26th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award for “12 Years a Slave.” Selection committee co-chair Howard Rodman announced the winners at the black-tie event on Saturday, Feb. 8, at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library.

“Until I read Solomon’s memoir, I didn’t know what being a writer was all about,” Ridley said in his acceptance speech. “The way that Solomon wrote, the clarity with which he wrote, and more importantly, the strength of his character, what he went through without bitterness, without hate—that really taught me something.”

“12 Years a Slave’s” Scripter win adds to the growing number of awards for the Fox Searchlight film, including best motion picture in the drama category at last month’s Golden Globes. The film is nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Scripter, established by the Friends of the USC Libraries in 1988, honors the screenwriter of the year’s most accomplished cinematic adaptation as well as the author of the written work upon which the screenplay is based. Scripter is the only award of its kind that recognizes authors of the original work alongside the adapting screenwriters.

Ridley based his adaptation on Northup’s memoir, a bestseller when published in 1853 by Derby & Miller. In the 20th century, the work lapsed into obscurity until Louisiana State University Press issued an annotated version in 1968, following work by two Louisiana researchers to verify the story’s details.

USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan welcomed the attendees gathered in the Los Angeles Times Reference Room of USC’s historic Edward L. Doheny Memorial Library.

“A library does more than collect ambitious life stories, more than make certain the great literary, philosophical, and scientific thinkers live on to inspire endless generations of discoverers,” Quinlan said. “An excellent library also creates experiences for students that inspire them to seek meaning in their studies, their careers, and their lives.”

Co-chaired by Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Naomi Foner and USC screenwriting professor and vice president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, the Scripter selection committee chose “12 Years A Slave” from a field of 86 eligible films.

The USC Libraries also honored Robert Towne with the Literary Achievement Award for his contributions to the art of adaptation throughout his career. His daughter, Chiara Towne, presented the honor.

“The truth is, there are no shortcuts to great screenplays about the past,” she said. “But growing up, the thing I noticed that set my father’s writing apart was the extraordinary, unending amount of research that goes into his films.”

Towne, a native of Southern California, has set much of his work there, including his scripts for Ask the Dust, which Towne adapted from the 1939 novel by John Fante, and the Depression-era Chinatown, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1975. He is currently working as a writer on the final season of AMC’s television series “Mad Men.”

In receiving the award, Towne credited the guidance and inspiration he has received from writers and other artists throughout his career, “They have given me the advantage of their perspective and given it to me truthfully. What I am standing on is their advice and help.”

Ridley and Rodman in their remarks acknowledged Towne’s work as inspiration to them and the community of screenwriters. “I’m not sure this room has been filled with more wisdom than when Robert Towne stood here alone,” Rodman said.

This year’s event featured a silent auction, the proceeds of which support the renovation of USC’s Leavey Library. Donors to the auction included AOC, Arthur Murray Santa Monica, At Your Side Private Exercise, Bennett Farms, Bouchon Beverly Hills, Coravin Wine Access System, The Chopra Center For Well Being, Dancing with the Stars, The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Jay and Kristine Eagan, Fess Parker Inn, Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, Fred Segal Salon, The French Reflection, Rachel Galey Make-up, The Geffen Playhouse, The Grammy Museum, Grand Pacific Palisades Resort, Kinara Spa, The Kitchen For Exploring Foods, Knock Knock, LA Saddlery, The Los Angeles Clippers, The Los Angeles Lakers, The Los Angeles Opera, Lafond Winery, Lux Dog Daycare, Metropolitan Fine Arts, The Montage Beverly Hills, Neiman Marcus, The NFL, Christine Ofiesh, OPI, OSEA Malibu, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Picca Restaurant, Bob and Betty Plumleigh, Poseidon Stand Up Paddleboards, Victor Raphael / Clayton Spada, Rivera Restaurant, The San Diego Chargers, SBE Restaurant Group, Stephen’s Hay & Grain, Terranea Resort, Total Wine and More, The Voice, WEN by Chaz Dean, and Wilshire Dental Center Group & Dr. Brent Kaplan DDS.

In-kind sponsors this year included John and Dana Agamalian and Blue Ice Vodka; Esquire Bar & Lounge of Pasadena, Calif.; Penguin Group; and the Wine of the Month Club.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Indiana Film Journalists Choose "12 Years a Slave" as 2013's Best

by Amos Semien

Last year, the Indiana Film Journalist Association surprised many when they picked Safety Not Guaranteed as the "Best Film" of 2012.  This time, they went with the familiar and named 12 Years a Slave as the "Best Film" of 2013.  The film's director, Steve McQueen, also earned "Best Director" honors.

The Indiana Film Journalist Association (IFJA) is a film critics’ organization only formed in recent years.  It seeks to promote film criticism in the state of Indiana and also gives out its annual awards in December.

The full list of 2013 Indiana Film Journalist Association Awards:

Best Film: "12 Years a Slave"
(Runner-up: "Her")

Other Finalists (alphabetical)
"All is Lost"
"Before Midnight"
"Captain Phillips"
"Frances Ha"
"Spring Breakers"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"

Best Director: Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave"
(Runner-up: Spike Jonze, "Her")

Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"
(Runner-up: Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club")

Best Actress: Adèle Exarchopoulos, "Blue is the Warmest Color"
(Runner-up: Brie Larson, "Short Term 12")

Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"
(Runner-up: Jeremy Renner, "American Hustle")

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"
(Runner-up: June Squibb, "Nebraska")

Best Adapted Screenplay: "Before Midnight"
(Runner-up: "12 Years a Slave")

Best Original Screenplay: "Her"
(Runner-up: "Rush")

Best Musical Score: "12 Years a Slave"
(Runner-up: "Rush")

Best Animated Feature: "Frozen"
(Runner-up: "The Wind Rises")

Best Foreign Language Film: "Blue is the Warmest Color"
(Runner-up: "The Grandmaster")

Best Documentary: "The Act of Killing"
(Runner-up: "Stories We Tell")

Original Vision Award: "Her"
(Runner-up: "Gravity")

The Hoosier Award: Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart, "Medora"


Monday, January 20, 2014

2014 Producers Guild Awards: "12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity" Tie

by Amos Semien

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) describes itself as “the non-profit trade group that represents, protects and promotes the interests of all members of the producing team in film, television and new media.”  Film fans know the organization because of its annual PGA Awards.

Oscar prognosticators have viewed the PGA Awards as the most reliable predictor of the eventual “Best Picture” Oscar winner.  Over the last 24 years, the Academy and PGA winner for “Best Picture” have matched 17 times, and they have matched the last 6 times in a row (including last year for best picture Oscar winner, Argo).

There won’t be a seventh year in a row.  You see, it is unlikely that there will be a tie for the best picture Oscar, and last night at the 25th Annual PGA Awards, there was a tie for the first time in the awards’ 25-year history.  Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave shared the group’s prize for best picture, “The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures.”

Alfonso Cuaron and David Heyman for Gravity and Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt and the Plan B team for 12 Years a Slave accepted the award.

So this supposedly means an up-in-the-air race for the best picture Oscar.  If you go by the SAG Awards, actors favor David O. Russell’s American Hustle, and, as a group, actors apparently make up 20 percent of the Oscar vote – making them the dominant voting block.  Critics have loved 12 Years a Slave, and Gravity is clearly aspiring to win more than just some tech and visual effects Oscar.

The winners of the 25th Annual Producers Guild Awards (also known as the 2014 Producers Guild Awards) were announced Sunday, January 19, 2014 at the 2014 Producers Guild Awards ceremony, which was in the Dolby Theater at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

2014 / 25th Annual Producers Guild Awards (for the year 2013) – Full list of winners:

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures: (TIE)
"Gravity" (Warner Bros. Pictures) Producers: Alfonso Cuaron, David Heyman
"12 Years a Slave" (Fox Searchlight Pictures);  Producers: Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:
"Frozen" (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures); Producer: Peter Del Vecho

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:
"We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks" (Focus Features);  Producers: Alexis Bloom, Alex Gibney, Marc Shmuger

The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama:
"Breaking Bad" (AMC); Producers: Melissa Bernstein, Sam Catlin, Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Mark Johnson, Stewart Lyons, Michelle MacLaren, George Mastras, Diane Mercer, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett

The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy:
"Modern Family" (ABC); Producers: Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Elaine Ko, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Jeffrey Morton, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Chris Smirnoff, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker

The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television:
"Behind the Candelabra" (HBO); Producers: Susan Ekins, Gregory Jacobs, Michael Polaire, Jerry Weintraub

The Award for Outstanding Sports Program:
"SportsCenter" (ESPN)

The Award for Outstanding Children’s Program:
"Sesame Street" (PBS)

The Award for Outstanding Digital Series:
"Wired: What’s Inside"

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television:
"Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" (CNN);  Producers: Anthony Bourdain, Christopher Collins, Lydia Tenaglia, Sandra Zweig

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television:
"The Voice" (NBC); Producers: Stijn Bakkers, Mark Burnett, John de Mol, Chad Hines, Lee Metzger, Audrey Morrissey, Jim Roush, Kyra Thompson, Nicolle Yaron, Mike Yurchuk, Amanda Zucker

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment and Talk Television:
"The Colbert Report" (Comedy Central); Producers: Meredith Bennett, Stephen T. Colbert, Richard Dahm, Paul Dinello, Barry Julien, Matt Lappin, Emily Lazar, Tanya Michnevich Bracco, Tom Purcell, Jon Stewart