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Letitia Wright, Urban Hymn

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The Insult, Ziad Doueiri

MCN Originals

The Weekend Report

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Black Panther devoured seventy percent or more of the marketplace, with a record-setting box office estimated at $192.2 million (all numbers reflect three-day portion of holiday weekend). Two films premiered nationally as counterprogrammers: animated Early Man wound up slotting seventh with $3.1 million, while faith-targeted biblical drama Samson earned $1.9 million.

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Friday Box-Office Estimates

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Gurus o Gold: Counting Down To Oscar Night

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The Gurus are working through this final stage of the Oscar season. This week, The Top 4s. Next week, The Top 3s. Then, The Top 2s. And on show week, Only The Winners. (They’re all winners… it is an honor just to be nominated.)

And as you asked… The Gurus currently thinking no movie wins more than four Oscars. And the second biggest number of Oscars to… Dunkirk.

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The DVD Wrapup: Ballad of Lefty Brown, Wonder, Blades, Seijun Suzuki, Fellini, Hellraiser, Paradise and more

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The Weekend Report

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Friday Estimates

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The DVD Wrapup: Only the Brave, LBJ, Suburbicon, Aida’s Secrets, Clouzot’s Inferno, Jackie Gleason and more

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“Myriad reasons have been cited as to how this happened: The characters’ ethnicities are not explicitly stated until the second book; Alex Garland began working on the adaptation before he was officially attached to the project and therefore before the second book was published. Etcetera. The bottom line seems to be ignorance, as Garland, Portman, and Leigh have all stated that they simply didn’t know. It’s not difficult to believe there was no malicious intent in the casting. But the statements still read like apologies that somehow lack the word ‘sorry,’ and shuck responsibility for what happened onto a nonexistent second party.”
Annihilation Again Taken For Task For Not Hewing To The Sequels To The Novel It’s Adapted From

“There’s a very big problem of representation in Hollywood. There’s fewer women onscreen than men. And particularly women of color are not seen onscreen — and this movie also has wonderful representations of women of color as well! I feel very strongly about the issue, and there just needs to be more representation, and I would hate to be part of that problem. We based it on the first book, which does not mention race at all. I think we live in a post-‘Hamilton’ world where we don’t even need to think about what’s authentic to the character, like faithful to the character. It should just be that everyone can empathize with everyone. And also going against a horrible history of over-seeing white actors and under-seeing otherized people and minorities.”
Natalie Portman

“On February 9 at about 3:20pm, as Konkol was putting finishing touches on the piece, I watched in horror as he deleted the headline I had written in our shared Google doc, ‘J.B. Pritzker’s ‘African American Thing.’ He replaced my headline with, ‘Uncoding J.B. Pritzker: He Wanted A —— Democrats Could Control.’ At 3:48pm, I left a comment that read: “I’m not into it, I’m sorry. Saying African-American isn’t as strong I know but I’m not down with this. It doesn’t feel right.”
Behind Chicago Reader’s Cover And The Firing After Seventeen Days Of Executive Editor Mark Konkol


“I’m going to post my Oscar ballot this week and I noticed that Netflix ads are crammed into the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Which triggered me: Do I want a Netflix project to win an Oscar? My answer: not really. Sure, Netflix has proved it can muscle into any domain it wishes to, but I don’t want it to muscle into the Oscars. Why am I telling you all this? I want to keep theaters around. Also the moviegoing experience. And I don’t want to see Netflix’s streaming universe get rewarded with Oscars based on a symbolic one-week theater opening.”
Industry Elder Peter Bart

“They’ll find the combo of snacks, distractions, booze, socializing, workspace and ideology that results in the best tech worker: the most standardized, replaceable, productive and affordable to employ worker it is possible to produce. Because what exactly they are optimizing for when they ‘optimize your life’ is a important thing to consider, and your employer is their customer – not you.”
Why WeWork

Black Panther is a movie about injustice, what we do about it, how power factors into that. So I want to talk to the Killmonger inside of all of us younger Tanzanians and fellow rage-riddled strugglers for peace and love: Yes, I know. Believe me: I know. There are days when I can’t go out because the siren song of righteous violence whips through my veins and I need to get into a fight…”
Elsie Eyakuze

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“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson 

“The difference between poetry and prose, and why if you’re not acculturated to poetry, you might resist it: that page is frightening. Why is it not filled? The two categories of people who don’t feel that way are children and prisoners. So many prison poets; they see that gap and experience it differently. I’m for the gap!”
~ Poet Eileen Myles