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Entries in Amandla Stenberg (6)

Monday
Dec032018

Lunch with Amandla and Russell

by Murtada Elfadl

At a lunch to celebrate The Hate U Give at The Whitby Hotel in midtown New York, I got the chance to chat with the film’s stars Amandla Stenberg and Russell Hornsby about the film and their performances.

During the Q&A portion of the luncheon Amandla told the audience about how she read the book early on and pursued the project because it really spoke to her. So when I had a moment to speak to her later, I asked her what other ideas would she like to push forward with her upcoming projects. She informed me that she’s taking her time with a project she’s working on as a writer and director. However she also wanted to share the truth on screen:

I would love to be in a narrative that was not heteronormative where I don’t have to play straight where I could express myself  with authenticity.

As we discussed on a recent podcast, Russell Hornsby has the very difficult task of having to spell out the themes of The Hate U Give in a few speeches he gives to his onscreen children. In particular I asked him about the speech in which he tells his kids about how to behave if ever stopped by the police. Hornsby talked about doing research but then discarding it to be in the moment and finding the truth in the scene:

I looked at Amandla, I looked at those kids and in every turn I was talking to my kids. It wasn’t Maverick, it was Russell talking to his children. This is a passionate honest moment for me as a father, trying to hold my emotions at bay because it hurts so much that I have to do this.

The Hate U Give is still playing in a few screens nationwide so there’s still time to catch these two amazing performances! 

Tuesday
Oct302018

Podcast: The Hate U Give, Burning, Border, Suspiria

Nathaniel R and Murtada Elfadl talk four new films now in theatrical release in select cities


Index (67 minutes)
00:01 The Hate U Give is heavy handed but moving. Amandla Stenberg and Russell Hornsby are very good in it
27:19 Spoiler warning about our discussions of Burning and Border (though in truth we don't get that spoilery. We still speak vaguely but if you wanna go in completely cold, skip!)
28:12 Burning starring Steven Yeun and directed by genius Lee Chang-dong
39:30 Discussion of Oscar's foreign film hopefuls and how they routinely ignores Asian movies
47:00 Sweden's bizarre submission Border and its multiple genres
53:15 Luca Guadagnino's remake of Dario Argento's Suspiria
64:00 Running times and wrap-up.

References / Further Reading
Nathaniel's review of Burning & Border
Dan's Review of The Hate U Give
Chris's review of Wildlife 
• Carey Mulligan drag Instagram cuteness 
Best Foreign Language Film Predictions

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

The Hate U Give and more...

Tuesday
Oct232018

Be More Link

Glamour Amandla Stenberg goes au naturel with the body hair at the Rome premiere of The Hate U Give. Oh and also its their 20th birthday today. Happy birthday to them!
/Film Release date shuffle. Wonder Woman 2 has been pushed back to 2020 so now it's the Terminator reboot (with the original stars) and a reboot of Charlie's Angels facing off in Wonder Woman's old Novemeber 2019 date
Self Styled Siren anecdote of the week involves 1940s and 1950s star Jennifer Jones
MNPP lots of photos of Cory Michael Smith to celebrate his coming out and his new film 1985

MCN first Gurus of Gold chart of the season with the actressing awards and Best Picture
Orlando Weekly Indiana Jones Land is probably coming to Disney World in the early 2020s with various parks dreaming up pitches
Variety it's going to be a big year for traditional studios at the Oscars
Coming Soon In demand Jean-Marc Vallée attached to a Yoko Ono / John Lennon biopic
Variety Critics Choice nominees for Documentaries. I really can't with the randomness of 6-9 nominees (are there any rules) in 12 different categories. It's like CHOOSE. If you nominate everything there is zero drama and no reason to look at what's been chosen.
THR How to Build a Girl about a young woman (Beanie Feldstein) becoming a rock critic is building an impressive supporting cast with Emma Thompson, Paddy Considie, and Chris O'Dowd all joining
New Yorker lottery drawings in the age of plutocracy
Next Best Picture a report on 'lone acting nominations'
Deadline Be More Chill, opening soon on Broadway has already auctioned off its film rights. Meanwhile Hamilton still hasn't ironed out a deal for the film rights but its expected to be a $50 million sale

Exit Video
Hey look & listen, it's a brief soundbyte of a Mary Poppins Returns song in this "special look" that's basically pieces of the original trailer recut with a pieces of a song.

Wednesday
Oct172018

Review: The Hate U Give

by Dancin' Dan

Audrey Wells, the screenwriter of The Hate U Give, lost her battle with cancer the day before the film opened. A sad story, to be sure, but what a send off. The Hate U Give, adapted from the novel by Angie Thomas, is a marvel of a film, one that completely belies its "YA literature" categorization. Its wrangling with the complex issues faced by black Americans surely owes a debt to Thomas's source material, but Wells's adaptation, directed by George Tillman, Jr., brings the novel to the screen in a form that breaks out of any audience box that it might be put in. It may come from a novel for teens, and it may feature a mostly black cast, but make no mistake: This is not just a film for everyone, it's one of the best, most vital films of the year.

Teenage Starr (Amandla Stenberg) and her family live in the "ghetto" area Garden Heights, because her parents think it is important to be with their people (they themselves grew up there), and daddy Maverick owns a grocery store there. But she and her older half-brother Seven attend a private school in a wealthier, whiter neighborhood...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun192018

Amandla Stenberg Comes Out

by Nathaniel R

Here's some sweet news for Pride Month, y'all, since it's not every day that a young rising star comes out of the closet. 19 year-old Amandla Stenberg, who first came to fame playing little Rue in The Hunger Games (2012), has just declared that she's gay in Wonderland magazine and on her own Instagram.

While she's not quite a household name, she is inarguably on the rise so this is a wonderful progressive move. Stenberg is headlining this summer's sci-fi young-people-with-powers flick Darkest Minds (co-starring Beach Rats hottie Harris Dickinson). What's more she'd already delivered her first film-carrying hit with Everything Everything (reviewed). (Everything Everything was the fourth biggest success last year among films directed by women, just after the Oscar nominated Lady Bird)...

Click to read more ...

Friday
May192017

Review: "Everything, Everything"

by Chris Feil

It’s not summer without at least once piece of romantic counter-programming, and for the most part Everything, Everything is a cut above the last few years’ offerings. There is a surprising amount of imagination in this tale of teenage love, and more genuine feeling. Its sappier side is kept at a softer level throughout, more concerned with showing the intricacies of blossoming young love than pulling your emotional strings. The film is more organic and modest in its emotional beats, until it turns its back on its own strengths.

Newly eighteen Maddy (The Hunger Games’s Amandla Stenberg) has been homebound her whole life, suffering from SCID, a genetical disorder that makes her essentially allergic to the world at large...

Click to read more ...