One of my first CD’s was a bootleg of Destiny’s Child The Writing’s on the Wall. My mom gifted me with Survivor not too long after, and I later added …Baby One More Time, The Emancipation of Mimi, and the clean version of Encore (from my dad, of course.) My silver and purple boombox sat on the floor as I played my favorites and gave bedroom concerts to an imaginary audience. When my cousin came over, it was better because we could split up the singing parts. Fake microphone in hand, with my mom’s Von Dutch purses and clear lip gloss on, we thought we were IT. Hitting those runs and high notes had me thinking I was really the 5th/4th Destiny Child. “Who gets to be Beyoncé this time,” was a constant dilemma. I almost always lost that argument because I was the younger one, but it’s okay because I took the part right back after she left.
In 1989, the first film written and directed by a Black woman and produced by a major Hollywood studio was released. That Black woman was Euzhan Palcy, and her monumental, award-nominated film was A Dry White Season. Palcy was the first and only woman to direct Marlon Brando. He received an Oscar nomination for his role- also making her the first Black person to direct an actor to an Oscar nomination.
Just two years later, in 1991, Julie Dash wrote, directed, and produced the first film by a Black woman to get a widespread, US theatrical release. This film was Daughters of the Dust. Both of these films received critical acclaim, making them some of the most historically important and classic films to date. However, many people have 1.) never heard of them; and 2.) never heard of the amazing women behind them. Why is that?
She lays a pillow on the floor in front of the couch. She sits you down on the floor before her and gets right to work with the hair box, grease, gel, comb and brush next to her. Looking back, having my hair done by my mom was one of our most intimate moments. I’ve gotten in trouble for not holding my head straight more times than I can count. I can still remember holding the floor for dear life as she combed through my knots. I remember falling asleep on her lap and waking up feeling like my face had been pulled tight, back into my hair. I didn’t know it then, but my mom was giving me all of her love in those moments. She wanted me to look nice. She would admire me afterwards, like she knew she was succeeding at something. Looking back, I feel nothing but love for those moments.
Atlantics (2019) was first released at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival when it competed for the Palme d’Or. The films director and co-writer, Mati Diop, made history when she became the first black woman who directed a film featured in the competition- also winning the Grand Prix award for it. After its release at Cannes and later in Senegal, the film was picked up and released on Netflix for wide viewing.
ARRAY is the new voice of film artists of color and female filmmakers worldwide. Founded by Ava DuVernay, the independent film distribution company places focus on black stories and female voices, with it’s most recent release, Jezebel, being a manifestation of both.
Jezebel (2019) is a semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age film written and directed by Numa Perrier. The story follows 19 year old Tiffany (Tenille) through the struggles of growing up and losing her mother, while she also finds work as a cam-girl.
This is it. This is the feeling I wish I could leave with every time I watch a new movie in theaters. I guess that wouldn’t make the feeling so special then, huh? So, I’ll just hold on to this for as long as I can. Watching Little Women (2019) yesterday in a packed theater while I get over this annoying cold was a moving experience with an epiphanic ending.
“Make me look good, honey boy.”
That’s what James says to his son, Otis, at the end of the film, when he tells him he’ll be writing a movie about him. “Honey boy” is a term of endearment for Otis from his father, and it’s also the title of this film.
Honey Boy (2019) is the autobiographical screenplay written by Shia LaBeouf and directed by Alma Har’el. It’s the story of a young boy named Otis (played by Noah Jupe) as he finds himself in the spotlight of the acting world while also dealing with the turmoil and abusive relationship with his father James (played by LaBeouf himself.)
Behind every criminally successful man dressed like a clown, there is a Harley Quinn. She’s a maniacal genius, a stone-cold chick, and she looks fabulous in white-paste makeup.
Audiences were first introduced to the live-action ‘Harley Quinn’ in 2016, when Suicide Squad hit theaters. Margot Robbie played Quinn brilliantly. With her ability to hit those comedic notes perfectly and execute those action sequences with animation and badass-ness, Robbie made the role of ‘Harley Quinn’ hers, just like Bale did with ‘Batman’ and Downey Jr. did with ‘Iron Man.’
The Harley Quinn you’re introduced to in Suicide Squad is miles behind the new Harley created in Birds of Prey (2020). Not only is she going through a tough break up, but she is also on a war path of self-discovery, and her story is finally being told from the right perspective- the female perspective- both narratively and visually by writer Christina Hodson and director Cathy Yan.