oscars race controversy

The 2016 Academy Awards nominations instantly left a sour taste in the mouth. Although many great movies and talented artists received Oscar nods this year, there was one snub that was quickly recognized: anyone who wasn’t white. For the second year in a row, all 20 acting nominees were white and only one of the directing nominations went to a person of color. The firestorm that followed, organized under the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, led to passionate responses from casual movie fans and film industry veterans alike. Everyone had an opinion on this matter and rightfully so – this isn’t just an Oscar problem, but a Hollywood problem.

And now, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has issued an official statement on the matter.

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Spike Lee Oscars boycott

Out of all the films and artists that were snubbed for Academy Awards nominations last week, one area of oversight stood out for being particularly egregious: the lack of nods for people of color. Of all the major nominees, only one person, The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu, was not white. And for the second year in a row, the 20 acting nominees didn’t include a single person of color.

Naturally, the internet got outraged and rightfully so – it’s not like this year was lacking in tremendous work from performers of all ethnic backgrounds. The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag became a thing again and think pieces from both sides of this controversy began to spring up across the internet. And now, prepare for things to get even more heated: director Spike Lee, who was just awarded an honorary Oscar in November, is boycotting this year’s ceremony.

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Spike Lee Michael Jackson Documentary

In just one week, some of the /Film crew will be heading to Park City, Utah to partake in some independent cinema at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. We’ll have plenty of coverage from the mountains about what will be worth seeing later this year, what gets picked up at the fest and much more. But before then, some of the movies on the roster are already being teased, and the Spike Lee Michael Jackson documentary coming to Showtime next month is one of them.

Watch the trailer for Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall after the jump! Read More »

Chi-Raq

Like a lot of you, I’m currently in the process of figuring out my top 10 films of the year. This time of year is always busy, because you’re always trying to play catch up on some titles, afraid you’ll forget to mention that movie you’ll probably fall in love with and kick yourself in the head for not including on your list.

One of the movies I’ll make sure not to miss before posting a top 10 is Spike Lee‘s Chi-Raq, which has been praised as one of his most vital and best films in years. The film, distributed by Amazon, finally has a streaming release date — but unless you’re willing to pay extra on top of your Prime subscription, you won’t be able to see it before 2016 rolls around. Find out the Chi-Raq streaming date for Amazon Prime customers after the jump.

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Chi-Raq trailer

Days ago a release date for Spike Lee‘s newest film, Chi-Raq, was announced. Shortly after, a wild trailer for the picture was released, promising a passionate, energetic, and satirical story. The film deals with the overwhelming gun violence in Chicago in recent years, so some were taken aback by the somewhat humorous tone of the footage. As a response, a more serious trailer for Chi-Raq has been released.

Watch the new Chi-Raq trailer after the jump.

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Touched With Fire trailer

We haven’t seen Katie Holmes in too many quality films in the last decade. Woman in GoldMiss MeadowsThe GiverJack and JillThe Extra Man, Mad Money, and others misfires haven’t exactly lived up to her work in GoPieces of April or the absolutely wonderful Wonder Boys. She’s in a film coming out next year that may break her cold streak, though. Watch the Touched With Fire trailer after the jump.

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release for chi-raw

Spike Lee‘s Kickstarter film, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, came out earlier this year. The director behind Do the Right Thing and The 25th Hour caused some controversy — not the first time in his career — when he started the campaign for his “vampire” movie, and the actual film itself was just as divisive. But it’s not the only movie we’ll see from Lee in 2015. There are three Spike Lee movies this year: Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, plus Livin’ Da Dream and Chi-raq.

Learn more after the jump.

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Do the Right Thing 2

It’s been 26 years since Spike Lee‘s provocative Do the Right Thing debuted, and since Hollywood has been digging deep into the past for sequels, reboots and remakes, it only makes sense that they would revive the racially charged drama.

However, in case you haven’t noticed, Brooklyn has changed a lot since 1989. As Jimmy Kimmel noted during one of his episodes being taped in New York last week, “There used to be muggers right in this neighborhood stealing old ladies’ purses. Now those old lady purses are being worn ironically by hipsters in the area.” And that’s exactly what inspired the trailer for Do the Right Thing 2, starring Billy Crudup, Zooey Deschanel and more white people. Read More »

gold first look

Stephen Gaghan (above, center) doesn’t direct as many movies as we’d like to see him make. The Academy Award-winning writer behind Traffic hasn’t directed a movie for the big screen since 2006’s Syriana. Gaghan is known for writing more adult material than your typical studio movie, and because of that, he probably struggles to get his movies made. Thankfully, the writer and director is back behind the camera again, with Matthew McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez headlining his newest picture. We now have our Gold first look. Behold the film’s bald and sweaty McConaughey after the jump.

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Teyonah Parris in Dear White People

Not to be outdone by Netflix, Amazon is also jumping into the original features game. Their first foray into that realm will be Chi-Raq, Spike Lee‘s contemporary retelling of the classical Greek play Lysistrata.

The company’s latest statement on the project reveals some new details, including a full cast list that includes Teyonah ParrisAngela BassettJohn Cusack, and Samuel L. Jackson. Get all the details on the Amazon Chi-Raq project after the jump.  Read More »