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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Entries in Emayatzy Corinealdi (3)

Wednesday
Aug192015

Actresses of Color Who Deserve Better Careers

Gugu Mbatha-Raw had a GREAT 2014. Will the roles be there for her? (Photo by Paola Kudaki for Elle) Here's a topic always worth discussing. Actresses of Color who deserve better careers. I made a top ten on this topic many moons ago -- 2007 to be exact over at the old blog which went like so: Anika Noni Rose, Regina King, Naomie Harris, Hazelle Goodman, April Grace, Tonya Pinkins, Audra McDonald, Gabrielle Union, and the list was topped by Viola Davis and Kerry Washington. The past eight years were very very kind to about three of them -- this was before Viola's Oscar nominations and before Scandal for Kerry and before Audra's record breaking 5th and 6th Tony Awards), but others were ignored or their careers stayed roughly the same. Do people even know who Hazelle Goodman is anymore? It will always mystify that April Grace proved she could hold her own, charisma wise, with Tom F'ing Cruise at his most intense in a stand-off in Magnolia and not come out of it with a giant career. Hollyweird.

But the subject is always worth revisiting since Hollywood changes slowly. And, to be honest, it's even a topic that applies to white and blond actresses because Hollywood is not exactly a meritocracy. Make the wrong move here, miss an opportunity there, or don't have the right agent and all the talent in the world might not make for a big career. But back to the subject of actresses of color. Remember when Lupita was in discussions for Southpaw and eventually moved on (the part went to Naomie Harris)? Having seen the picture I think we can all now agree that there's zero reason on earth, plot-wise / character-wise / talent-wise why the juicier wife part couldn't have gone to Lupita (or Naomie) instead of to Rachel McAdams. Even when Hollywood discovers someone as exciting as Lupita they don't come up with opportunities for them, opportunities that are all around if you think about it; Maybe you've noticed that the industry makes multiple HUNDREDS of movies a year.

The topic is on my mind again because Dell on Movies made a list and A Fistful of Films countered with another. Naturally, I don't agree on all of the choices. I think Queen Latifah, for example, often phones it in. Maybe subconsciously she knows that her substantial charisma will smooth over the blank spaces? But there are some obvious YES situations here too: Q'orianka Kilcher (The New World), Adepero Oduye (Pariah), and Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle of Nowhere). I actually wonder if their names aren't part of the problem. Hear me out: I don't mean this in a "too ethnic!" racist kind of way. I've noticed it a lot with white actors, too - especially with stage performers oddly enough. Names are getting SO long and complicated. It seems that "stage names" are a thing of the past but there's something to be said for refashioning your given name towards something that's catchy and easy for the public to remember / obsess over. If it's already catchy like "Lupita Nyong'o" just keep it but if it's hard to remember and difficult to spell why not make it easier for potential fans? Just ask Frances Gumm (who became Judy Garland), Archibald Leach (who became Cary Grant) or Natalie Zacharenko (who became Natalie Wood) and so on. Every once in a while someone new changes their name to something catchier -- did you know that Brie Larson is actually Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers? -- but mostly today's actors are keeping their original names. 

For what it's worth Emayatzy has a series regular role in Amazon's Hand of God starring Ron Perlman (as a businessman who starts speaking in tongues and seeing visions) and Dana Delany as his sharp wife that drops all of its first season episodes in early September. Emayatzy plays Perlman's mistress/prostitute. Pilot reviewed here.

I'm not in the headspace today for a full top ten on this topic but I know it would include Melonie Diaz (such a welcome presence - she always pops), Carmen Ejogo (so gorgeous and talented), Kimberly Elise (just brilliant and so infrequently works in movies), Danielle Brooks (so dependably engaging on Orange is the New Black and I want to see what else she can do), Adriane Lenox (who originated Viola's role on stage in Doubt to a Tony Award), Clauda Kim (Age of Ultron / Marco Polo)... maybe you can help out in the comments with your own? 

Tuesday
Jan012013

Podcast Unchained: Top Ten Sneaks, Actresses of Color, Movie Gifts

Part 1 of 2
For this megamix conversation -- still shorter than most of the Best Picture Hopefuls! -- which is the last before the Oscar Nominations we ignored the act of "predicting" beyond a couple hazy hunches and dug into Quentin Tarantino's new slavesploitation western (which none of us like as much as the internet does as it so happens). But since this is the Film Experience we do love to meander through movie memories and Oscar digressions, Django Unchained is hardly the only film we visit in this 44 minute podcast. [With Nathaniel, Nick, Katey, and Joe.]

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Last minute Oscar hunches: Eddie Redmayne? Michael Haneke?
  • Django Unchained
  • Ann Dowd's self-funded Oscar campaign for Compliance
  • Nathaniel's special Christmas Gift
  • 1947 & 1991 Oscar Winner Flashbacks: Loretta Young and Mercedes Ruehl, anyone?
  • Middle Of Nowhere's transfixing Emayatzy Corinealdi
  • The power and powerlessness of physical beauty 
  • Podcast Bingo

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the bottom of the post. Join in the conversation by commenting! Did you get any movie related Christmas gifts? What's #6 on your (current) top ten list? 

 

Django Unchained, Top Ten Sneak Peeks

Wednesday
Dec192012

National Link Registry

The Hollywood Reporter  A former sitcom writer "kvells and kvetches" about The Guilt Trip and Parental Guidance starring Babs and Bette
PopWatch Mark Harris on Hollywood's love of gun violence. I highly recommend reading this but I highly caution NOT reading the comments because as per usual the gun crazies come out. They'd have us all packing and I so don't want to live in their preferred world.
Cinema Blend Katey & Eric on 12 Unfairly Overlooked Movies of 2012 from Hello I Must Be Going (Yay, Melanie!) through Cosmopolis

Awards Daily Whoa. Ann Dowd is footing the bill for her own Oscar campaign.
The Hollywood Reporter talks to Emayatzy Corinealdi on her breakthrough in Middle of Nowhere. You know. I've been trying not to talk about this because I can't figure out a way to say it that doesn't sound indelicate but in some ways I really hate falling in love with new black actresses in the same way that falling hard for new theater actors can be nerve-wracking. Chances are (unforgivably) strong that no one will give these gifted performers another plum opportunity after their breakthrough and that truly sucks. So I'm crossing my fingers for Corinealdi but I'm still waiting for something real to happen for Pariah star Adepero Oduye, last year's breakthrough actress of color. And I'm still trying to wrap my head around the non-career of the brilliant Kimberly Elise so... 

The Carpetbagger on screenwriter Lucy Alibar's (Beasts of the Southern Wild) crash course in cinema
The Onion "Top Movies of 2012"
David Poland gives himself a new nickname. Or adopts one given.
Vanity Fair Barbra Streisand talks about her legendary duet with Judy Garland in the 60s. Really interesting comment from Babs I think.  
MNPP joins the Zero Dark Thirty fan club 

Oooh, look Quentin Tarantino pays tribute to Pedro Almodóvar saying that his filmography is "the one to beat" -damn straight! Nobody else in the modern era compares.

Finally, I want to extend my annual congratulations to the 25 films that are newly announced for preservation by the National Film Registry. They are:

  • "3:10 to Yuma" (1957)
  • "Anatomy of a Murder" (1959)
  • "The Augustas" (1930s-1950s)
  • "Born Yesterday" (1950)
  • "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" (1961)
  • "A Christmas Story" (1983)
  • "The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Title Fight" (1897)
  • "Dirty Harry" (1971)
  • "Hours for Jerome: Parts 1 and 2" (1980-82)
  • "The Kidnappers Foil" (1930s-1950s)
  • "Kodachrome Color Motion Picture Tests" (1922)
  • "A League of Their Own" (1992)
  • "The Matrix" (1999)
  • "The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair" (1939)
  • "One Survivor Remembers" (1995)
  • "Parable" (1964)
  • "Samsara: Death and Rebirth in Cambodia" (1990)
  • "Slacker" (1991)
  • "Sons of the Desert" (1933)
  • "The Spook Who Sat by the Door" (1973)
  • "They Call It Pro Football" (1967)
  • "The Times of Harvey Milk" (1984)
  • "Two-Lane Blacktop" (1971)
  • "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1914)
  • "The Wishing Ring; An Idyll of Old England" (1914)

As per usual that's a lot of titles that I know nothing about but I'm most thrilled by The Times of Harvey Milk which is one of the most moving and important documentaries ever made. And on a sillier note, can we talk about how ever-watchable the female baseball comedy A League of Their Own is? Sometimes I pine for the 1990s. It's tough to imagine that movie breaking $100 million now but the 90s were a good time for girlpower narratives.  

If you're a fan of A League of  Their Own (who isn't?) I want to know which scene just popped into your mind when you heard that it made the list!