john david washington interview

John David Washington was just a shocked as you were when he learned about the story of a Black cop infiltrating the KKK. The actor is staring in BlacKkKlansman, directed by Spike Lee, which tells this true story from Ron’s Stallsworth book of the same name. Washington’s energy is palpable, and he brings that energy into his role as the Colorado Springs cop who takes the fight against racism to an almost unbelievable level.

Here, we chatted about working with Spike Lee, the film festival circuit, and keeping that same energy when talking to anyone. 

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BlacKkKlansman trailer

What do you do when you’re a Black person trying to infiltrate the local chapter of the KKK?

If you’re a Black person being asked this question, your immediate response should be “no thanks,” for obvious reasons. But if you spend the time thinking through the frankly ridiculous ask for the sake of the exercise, you could imagine that it would take detailed planning and a gracefulness needed to pull it off. After all, that’s the premise of the based-on-true-events BlacKkKlansman.

Luckily for new Colorado Springs detective Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), he was able to succeed with none of that in his arsenal. As for the Spike Lee-directed film based on his 2014 book however, gracefulness would have gone far to reduce the heavy-handedness of this film’s message. It’s a spirited film, but also a clumsy one.

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rafael casal interview

Rafael Casal has a lot to say in limited time. His film Blindspotting premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year and was released in theaters in late July. The Oakland artist, in every sense of the word, co-wrote the film’s script with his friend, collaborator and co-star Daveed Diggs (of Hamilton fame). Casal plays Miles, a hilarious, violent, white Oakland native, who in Casal’s eyes “is built on what he thinks of the way you are supposed to best care for your people.” Just like the complexity of his character, Casal is a person with much insight, emotion and passion for this project and his city.

I had a chance to chat with Casal about Oakland slang, what The Miles EP will sound like and how gentrification is its own breed of violence.

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Sorry to Bother You Interview

The cast of the Boots Riley-directed Sorry To Bother You were matching. No, seriously: Steven Yeun (Squeeze) and Jeremy Fowler (Salvador) were wearing the exact same light blue stripe nautical-esque tee, while LaKeith Stanfield (Cassius “Cash” Green) wore the matching hat (also light blue and striped).

Whether or not the outfits were planned, I couldn’t be sure. But that’s mainly due to the ease and sense of closeness that this cast has that it could be imagined that some of the men wanted to match for the hell of it. In this world that Riley has created, anything goes.

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ready player one box office

“This is not a film that we made. This is, I promise you, a movie” director Steven Spielberg said to the audience at the surprise premiere screening of Ready Player One at the SXSW Film Festival. He continued on, mentioning how this “movie” needs to be seen on a big screen. Spielberg made it clear: Ready Player One is a pop culture experience. Pair that statement with the cult ’80s poster recreations and other nostalgia-centered marketing, and you see that the team behind this production also views the movie as such.

And while it is indeed an experience, it is not always a positive one. But it’s mostly a good one.

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black women of black panther

T’Challa has the responsibility to protect his nation as the Black Panther, but protecting right alongside him are the members of the Dora Milaje – the elite, all-female warrior group of Wakanda. Known as “the adored ones,” the Dora have a focused duty to watch over their king and they take that task very seriously.

The Dora serve as the muscle of Wakanda in the comics and there are similar parallels to Black Panther (the film) and its talent behind the talent. As director Ryan Coogler assumed the role as the leader of the production, his own Dora Milaje provided extraordinary skills that brought the film to life. It’s time to celebrate some of these women for their art and give a lesson on their work achievements. These are the women of color who helped bring Black Panther to life.

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