(Welcome to Movie Mixtape, where we find cinematic relatives and seek out interesting connections between new releases and older movies that allow us to rethink and enjoy what’s in our theaters as well as the favorites on our shelf. In this edition: Black Panther.)
When Gone with the Wind premiered in 1939 in Atlanta, one of its stars wasn’t allowed to attend because Georgia law at the time prevented black people from entering whites-only movie theaters. Two months after being barred from seeing the launch of her own movie, Hattie McDaniel became the first black Oscar winner, accepting the award in a whites-only hotel in Los Angeles, allowed in the building only because David O. Selznick was powerful enough to ask a favor.
Gone with the Wind is the highest-grossing movie of all time adjusted for inflation. By every definition it is a blockbuster. Its depictions, its compromises of its own artists, and its legacy are all important background to consider now that, a little over 78 years later, Black Panther is about to roar onto screens.
No, Black Panther isn’t the first black superhero movie. No, it’s not the first blockbuster with a black director. But the sheer scope of its cast (including multiple Oscar winners who thankfully didn’t need favors to get into the room where they hoisted their statues) and the massive, mainstream cultural cache that comes with any Marvel movie make Black Panther an event on another level.
78 years between the two. Something to think about while we consider some other movies to double feature alongside T’Challa’s first solo adventure.
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Posted on Sunday, January 26th, 2014 by David Chen
Dave and Devindra get a rundown on the best of Sundance from Germain Lussier, discuss the documentary Mitt on Netflix, and grapple with how Fruitvale Station blurs the line between fact and fiction. Be sure to check out Jessica Testa’s piece on Jodon Romero and Slate’s breakdown of the facts behind Fruitvale.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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Posted on Monday, December 23rd, 2013 by Angie Han
If you’re both 1) desperate for some distraction from the holiday hubbub and 2) eager to get a leg up on the rest of your office for the annual Oscar pool, here’s a way to kill two birds with one stone.
Over thirty screenplays for some of 2013’s top films have just been made available, legally and for free, through the studios. Highlights include John Ridley‘s 12 Years a Slave, Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy‘s Before Midnight, Terence Winter‘s The Wolf of Wall Street, and many more.
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I was very moved by Ryan Coogler‘s film Fruitvale Station when it played Sundance under the title Fruitvale. Michael B. Jordan stars as Oscar, a young man detailed by police at an Oakland, CA BART station after a brawl on a train early on New Year’s Day. The night ended in tragedy, and the cell phone cameras carried by many witnesses documented an almost inexplicable display of police force.
The film succeeds by drawing a portrait of Oscar as a troubled young man with ambitions rather than pretending he was a saint. Jordan’s performance is impressive and he displays an incredible ability to express himself in bursts of energy without going outside the tone that Coogler generally strives to maintain. This first trailer gives you a good look at all of Oscar’s characteristics, from his serious problems to his best moments. It comes right up to the line of showing precisely how the night ended, and is a good primer for the film. Read More »