MAY 2000 - BLAST OFF
The motion picture industry can boast of many things. But by far its most
incredible attribute is the many artisans that it uses to create each
and every film. Granted, as digital filmmaking becomes more prevalent,
less people will be utilized, but for now the actor, producer, director,
writer, business-owners and other production pro's that make this industry
tick should be celebrated. In this issue, we have interviews with actors
John Amos and Wendell Pierce. In addition, we have interviews with
writer/directors Reggie Rock Bythewood and David Koepp. Our business
trailblazer this month is Laron Batchelor. These individuals have
to our viewing pleasure and blackfilm.com salutes them. Pull up your chair,
point/click, scroll & stroll through this issue. We hope you enjoy it.
- BLACK FILM PLUS WHITE FILM CRITIC EQUALS?
- There are some who purport that film is just film, that ostensibly there is no significant difference between films that feature predominantly white casts and films that feature predominantly black casts. Wouldn't that be nice?
- THE GHETTO MATRIX
- Like the Matrix in the movie, the ghetto matrix was
developed to protect, maintain and enrich itself. It has evolved to be
self-perpetuating, requiring little upkeep to stay functioning. It is not
in the creators interest for the people to escape. The inhabitants are
discouraged from leaving both physically and mentally
by James Richards
- When Gwyneth Paltro said, "And the Oscar goes to Kevin
Spacey," my hopes sank like the Titanic. My mind wondered
if there is any real American Beauty for how could Denzel
by Shelby Jones
- JUST IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, THE OSCARS WENT TO…
- BEST PICTURE: American Beauty
BEST ACTOR: Kevin Spacey, American Beauty
BEST ACTRESS: Hilary Swank, Boys Don't Cry
- THE OSCAR'S…DON'T YOU JUST LOVE EM?
- We received numerous letters expressing dissatisfaction with the Oscar
choices...Here is a snippet of what you had to say.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
- JOHN AMOS - BEFORE COSBY, JAMES EVANS WAS THE FIRST DAD OF BLACK LIFE.
- "When I would pose arguments about J.J.'s role being too stereotypical, I was regarded as a
negative factor. It ultimately reached a point where it was inflammable, I mean, spontaneous
combustion could happen at any minute."
Interviewed by Margretta Browne.
- PIERCE IS FIERCE
- I moved to NY to study at The Juilliard School. While
living with Wynton and Branford Marsalis, I studied at school
during the day and went to the jazz clubs at night. I learned to act
from Jazz musicians because they understood how…
Interviewed by Shelby Jones.
- SPIDERMAN IS COMING TO THE BIG-SCREEN THANKS TO THE PEN OF WRITER/DIRECTOR DAVID KOEPP
- Writing parts for Blacks and Latinos, as well as casting
them…is of enormous concern to me, and to most other
writers I know… not out of any PC thing, but just
Interviewed by Shelby Jones.
- TRAILBLAZER OF THE MONTH
- As African-Americans involved in film there are so many people we owe
our current artistic freedom to. If it weren't for people like
Oscar Micheaux, Spike Lee and the many pioneers in between where would we be?
Our Trailblazer for the month is Laron Batchelor, partner Starpower.
Interviewed by Sekou
- REGGIE ROCK BYTHEWOOD - BEING HONEST AND ALL ABOUT THE ART
After writing and directing his own plays, and completing the
prestigious Disney Writers Fellowship, his first job as a television writer was
on the highly praised A Different World. This experience was rewarding to him because...
by Nasser Metcalfe
- BLOWING A SPOT FILM FESTIVAL: NO ORDINARY FESTIVAL
- Nearly 400 people attended Cinema Shorts:A Woman's Perspective 2000,
a three day film and video festival which highlighted the work of emerging women
directors with a special emphasis on Latin American and African American
by Latrice Dixon.