Film

Nina Simone in “What Happened, Miss Simone?” (Photo courtesy of Photofest/Netflix)

The Civil Rights Movement of 2015 Could Use a Voice Like Nina Simone

By

“They’re shooting us down, one by one,” Nina Simone told the thoroughly middle class crowd matter-of-factly at Long Island’s Westbury Music Fair, three days after Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. She and her band had just debuted “Why? (The King of Love Is Dead),” a worthy tribute to Simone’s great friend, written by her bass player Gene Taylor before MLK was even buried. Taylor’s response was in line with Simone’s radical and reactionary nature at the time, as captured in full swing that night on the live album ‘Nuff Said
… Read More

Oscar Isaac in "Ex Machina" / Tom Hardy in "Mad Max: Fury Road" / Karidja Touré in "Girlhood"

The 10 Best Movies of the Year So Far

By

Well, kids, we’re closing in on the halfway mark of 2015, and you know what that means: lists! I kid, and not just because nobody needs a calendar as an excuse to make a list; you see, here on the movie beat, studios and distributors are so bent on unleashing their prestige movies in that… Read More

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 4.10.00 PM

Disney Is Making a Film About Charles Darwin From the Writer of ‘Traffic’

By

Odd proclamation: Stephen Gaghan, the writer of Traffic and Syriana, is developing a movie — which he’ll be writing and directing — for Disney. Second odd proclamation: it’s about Charles Darwin. As Darwin famously developed theories of natural selection and evolution, he obviously hasn’t been popular among religious zealots and conflicted biology teachers, and Disney’s surprising decision could lead to some very funny protests whenever this film gets completed. 
… Read More