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“I Am Not Your Negro” will make you wish James Baldwin was still around to witness and challenge the racial divide in our nation. Director Raoul Peck, cinematically completes the unfinished story by James Baldwin, “Remember This House.”  The book, which was only 30 pages long by the time Baldwin died in 1987, told the stories of his closest friends, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers. With the approval from the owners of Baldwin’s estate, Peck refashioned the story, while keeping the same plot line, into a narrative documentary that eloquently syncs Baldwin’s words and archived interviews narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, into a historical and present day context of what it means to be Black in America. “I Am Not Your Negro” proves that Baldwin addressed the issues of civil rights not just in writing but in peaceful demand. The film, which is nominated for an…

As the Oscars drew to a close on Sunday night, viewers witnessed something that has never occurred at an Academy Awards ceremony. When actor Warren Beatty and actress Faye Dunaway came on stage to announce the much-anticipated Academy Award for Best Picture, Beatty hesitated after looking inside the envelope. Thinking that he was joking, Dunaway announced that the winner was “La La Land” and the hugs and emotion began for the entire company of the film. However, in the midst of the producers’ speeches, Oscar crew members interrupted them to inform them that they did not, in fact, win Best Picture.“We lost, by the way,” said “La La Land” producer Fred Berger as the confusion grew within the crowd of actors and actresses. It was “Moonlight” that was supposed to win the battle for the gold. At first, the producers and director Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”) did not believe them. That…

2017, with all of the nominations, looks like it’s shaping up to be a great end to the Academy’s eighth decade of awarding Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers. In the past 89 years, the Academy has done more than just award those famous golden-figured Oscar trophies. The Academy has given people the courage to achieve their dreams no matter where they live or what they hope to accomplish in life. They make filmmakers want to get up and do what they do everyday, which is to entertain and inspire people all across the world. Remember, if it wasn’t for audiences, then what would be the point of making films? After making some hard decisions, I have managed to pick who I think should win in each of the major categories. However, it is fair game for all of the nominees and each one has an equal opportunity to win gold. BEST…

Carol, the film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s revolutionary novel The Price of Salt, does not disappoint. Highsmith’s 1952 novel was the first LGBT book to not end in catastrophe, conversion or death. Carol can be considered revolutionary in the same way because it’s (FINALLY) a non-hetero romance film done right. I am elated this piece does not call for a rant on what should have been. The very intimate glances, simple touches shared between Carol (Cate Blanchett) and Therese (Rooney Mara) sent shivers down my spine. I was transported back to the 50s, portrayed with excellent set and costume design. Unlike the gal-pal dynamic between Jenny and Kitty in Jenny’s Wedding, no one doubts the connection felt on screen between Carol and Therese. Carol surpasses Jenny’s Wedding in every cinematic aspect. Long, drawn-out verses of “She Keeps Me Warm” are replaced with a beautifully fitting score composed by Carter Burwell,…

It was a night chock full of politically charged acceptance speeches and live performances at the 2015 Academy Awards on Sunday. It was also a night marked by (mostly) well-deserved wins. A good number of the awards were distributed wisely; others were anything but spot-on. We will be focusing on the winners which truly deserved their awards, as well as the rightful winners of others.   Well-deserved Wins: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) -Best Picture -Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu) -Best Original Screenplay (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo) -Best Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki)   Birdman is a film that truly lived up to its hype and deserved every one of its awards. The fact that the Academy was smart enough to give credit where credit is due is a sign that they are perhaps coming back to their senses. Birdman is the first truly phenomenal…

As you might be aware, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) has received a total of nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Innarritu), Actor (Michael Keaton), Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), and Supporting Actress (Emma Stone). It seems highly unlikely that Birdman will walk away from the night without any well-deserved wins. It is, after all, a serious contender for the coveted Best Picture award. Here are five simple reasons why Birdman deserves Best Picture. It would be yet another mistake on the Academy’s part if the film doesn’t win, and will probably be the greatest injustice since Goodfellas losing to Dances with Wolves. It Isn’t Political  Far too many Best Picture winners get the award by hitting the audience over the head with an attempt at a political, social, or historical “message.” We have seen this demonstrated time and time again, especially within the last…