Wake Up


Check it out — taking action via social media, Ava DuVernay’s AFFRM will host a 12-hour long Twitter takeover “with over 40 black feature filmmakers to raise awareness for AFFRM’s mission called Array Releasing. AFFRM + ARRAY’s amplifies varied voice and visions in film and is currently in the middle of a member drive at www.arrayaction.com.”

Filmmakers from far and wide are standing with AFFRM + ARRAY from hot festival favorites like Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) and Rick Famiyuwa (Dope) to studio stalwarts like Tyler Perry (For Colored Girls), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond The Lights) and Malcolm Lee (The Best Man) to filmmaking legends like Euzhan Palcy (A Dry White Season), Haile Gerima (Sankofa) and Julie Dash (Daughters of Dust). This 12-hour Twitter takeover will be hosted by AFFRM founder and SELMA director Ava DuVernay. Each filmmaker will take questions from fans on Twitter to shed light on their talent of filmmakers of color and the need for diversity in cinema.

If you’d like to participate, use hashtag #ARRAY.


In one of the best pieces ever published on The Daily Beast, Jodie Foster takes a public stand in support of Kristen Stewart, something no other famous person has done. Her essay is not just about Stewart but about herself, and what kind of savage beast we the public have morphed into.  We are No Name in Spirited Away, seemingly harmless; we love our celebrities until that moment comes where we must eat them alive. And before long, we are eating everything in sight until we can barely walk. It is repulsive to watch if you are my age and you remember a time when it was not like this.  “They can take it,” you might think. “After all, no one asked them to be famous.” It isn’t about them; it’s about us. We have sunk to a collective low. Even as Foster writes so eloquently about the topic of destruction of self – the commenters immediately jump in “you are absolving her of her SIN!!!!” They not only miss the point completely, and see themselves as the moral authority on what is right and what is wrong, but they use it as yet another opportunity to devour every living piece that’s left.  Really? No other cause worth fighting for? I have a long list if you’re interested.


My mother had a saying that she doled out after every small injustice, every heartbreak, every moment of abject suffering.  “This Too Shall Pass.” God, I hated that phrase. It always seemed so banal and out of touch, like she was telling me my pain was irrelevant. Now it just seems quaint, but oddly true … Eventually this all passes. The public horrors of today eventually blow away. And yes, you are changed by the awful wake of reckoning they leave behind. You trust less. You calculate your steps. You survive. Hopefully in the process you don’t lose your ability to throw your arms in the air again and spin in wild abandon. That is the ultimate F.U. and–finally–the most beautiful survival tool of all. Don’t let them take that away from you.

Still hungry? I’m sure there are plenty more wide-eyed starlets out there waiting. They better watch themselves. They better not become hated by the hungry beast. Sometimes it isn’t even anything they’ve done. Sometimes it’s just because it was their turn.

As usual, around this time of year we’re going to open up our comments section to our little FYC, just for fun. Please let those Academy members know what you think you should win. Of course, it will have no impact on a group that simply votes for what they like best but you never know.

Since my site is basically one annual FYC campaign, I shall abstain from this practice. Oh, what the hell, I just have one:

1. Please consider Roger Deakins’ cinematography for True Grit. Good lord, people. What is it going to take?

And that, as they say, is that. The Big Prize? Well, that is all over but the shoutin’. And the shoutin’ continues. In the end, this is THEIR choice. It’s THEIR vote. No one wants to be told what they should like and what they should vote for.¬† It doesn’t diminish the greatness of the films that lose – it is always great just to be nominated, and if you aren’t nominated it doesn’t make that much of a difference either. If you win it means they liked you, really really liked you for about five minutes. The Academy makes their own history. Their choices reflect back upon them, not on the films that are submitted for their approval.¬† And don’t forget to love the movies you love, whether they are the popular choice or not.

As it always goes with Oscar, one never knows how the Best Song race will shape up. Remember how we all thought that Springsteen song from The Wrestler was going to take it? Well, so then The Academy happens. Anyway, this John Legend song from Waiting for Superman is a good bet. Legend played it on Oprah this afternoon and right now I can’t see this losing. Precedent: Melissa Etheridge winning for An Inconvenient Truth. Please tell me I got that right.

“The story is heartbreaking and gut-wrenching,” Legend says of “Waiting for Superman.” “It tells the story of these kids who have to enter a lottery to try to get to the best school in their neighborhood, and if they don’t they’re likely to go to a school that produces a lot of dropouts and not many college attendees. So, their life is being decided by the flip of a coin, by a lottery. And knowing that, and knowing that some of their potential could go to waste, I felt inspired to write something.”

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