There's a scene in the original Carrie that made me tear up the first time I saw it, at age 12 or so. It's not one of the movie's famous scare scenes—not the ones at the prom, not the pants-peeingly unexpected shock ending, not even the senseless murder of a pig—but it's one that resonated for being profoundly upsetting in an entirely different way.
Roll Jordan, roll Roll Jordan, roll I want to go to heaven when I die To hear ol' Jordan roll
A rising tide. This is the closest feeling and image I can give to describe the impact of watching Steve McQueen’s film 12 Years A Slave, based on the true narrative by Solomon Northrup, a free black man who was captured and sold into slavery in 1841. It is a tide that hits, even when you’re not ready, recedes, then comes back with a force more powerful than the last.
This tide keeps coming, and you keep anticipating it, but nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming fear and loathing that fill your body when slave owner Master Epps (Michael Fassbender) enters the frame, and Solomon’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) face falls heavy with an aquatic force.
Wadjda is the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia. But while director Haifaa al-Mansour's grueling effort to make the film is certainly impressive, Wadjda doesn't rest on the accomplishment of being an international first—the film is excellent by any standard. It would be a great film even if it were the fourth film shot in Saudi Arabia or the hundredth.
What's refreshing about the film is it does not try to tell a moral story. Instead, it follows a young girl named Wadjda through her daily life, resulting in an intimate look at the kind of life that's rarely seen.
There is a wedding scene at the beginning of Andrew Dosunmu's Mother of George that exudes such richness, visual beauty, magic, and love, that I wanted to be in it. At a traditional Nigerian wedding ceremony in Brooklyn, main characters Adenike (Danai Gurira) and Ayodele (Isaach De Bankole) forge a union that's blessed by elders, Orishas and full of lively music, hennaed hands, and shimmering gold fabric.
The new movie The Conjuring has been called "scary as hell" and "the summer's scariest movie"—it's so frightening, in fact, that it earned an R rating despite an absence of any explicit violence, sex, gore, or foul language. According to star Patrick Wilson, the film gave the ratings board a case of the willies that was simply too intense for a mere PG-13.
The title of In a World… references the catchphrase of one Don LaFontaine, who until his death in 2008 was the voice behind thousands of movie trailers. He teased car-chasing, landmark-exploding action pictures and epic, tearjerking bids for Oscar nominations with an impossibly plummy voice that earned him the nicknames "Thunder Throat" and "The King of Voiceovers," not to mention millions of dollars. In the movie, LaFontaine's real-life death is the catalyst for an epic rumble of another kind—the bid for a new set of pipes to take over as reigning monarch of blockbuster voiceovers.
My grandmother, Geneva Wright, in the 1950s in Syracuse, New York.
I grew up hearing a story.
My grandmother was a cleaning lady for a white family that kept the fingers and toes of black people in a jar on their mantle. No, this was not slavery. This was 1940's South Carolina. When I saw Lee Daniels' The Butler, I thought of my grandmother's experience, and how one can endure and somehow withstand dehumanization on a daily basis, only to survive, and love after it all.
I love a summer blockbuster. I'll take a dystopic future flick, a classic underdog tale, and all of the explosions you can send my way. When it comes to summer movies, escapism is a major draw; it's nice to sit back and fully immerse yourself in an alternate reality.
But it's hard to immerse yourself in a reality where people like you are relegated to the margins of the storyline. Which was my experience when watching this summer's Elysiumon the big screen.