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BAM presents Brett Story’s ‘The Hottest August’

From Friday, Nov. 15 through Monday, Nov. 21, BAM presents Brett Story’s remarkable new documentary, official BAMcinemaFest 2019 selection “The Hottest August” (2019). The film is accompanied by In This Climate: Brett Story Selects, in which Story curates four contemporary portraits of climate change, Tuesday, Nov. 12 through Thursday, Nov. 14. Comment
The controversy surrounding whether or not the image of liberationist Harriet Tubman should grace the $20 bill would be over if Hollywood writer/director Kasi Lemmons has anything to do with convincing the powers. Comment
NEW YORK (AP) — Raise your tea cups! The big-screen encore of “Downton Abbey” handily (but very politely) thumped both Brad Pitt’s “Ad Astra” and Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo: Last Blood” in theaters over the weekend in one of the more unlikely box-office upsets. Comment
Quentin Tarantino has, for a while now, been reminding us what’s so great about movies — or at least, what he thinks is so great about them. Comment
NEW YORK (AP) — In 1964, Stanley Kubrick, on the recommendation of the science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, bought a telescope. “He got this Questar and he attached one of his cameras to it,’’ remembers Katharina Kubrick, the filmmaker’s stepdaughter. “On a night where there was a lunar eclipse, he dragged us all out onto the balcony and we were able to see the moon like a big rubber ball. I don’t think I’ve seen it as clearly since. He loved that thing. He looked at it all the time.” Comment

‘Spider-Man’ soars with $185.1M over six-day holiday weekend

NEW YORK (AP) — It pays to have one of the biggest lead-ins ever. “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” the first Marvel movie after “Avengers: Endgame,” swung past any franchise fatigue to dominate the July Fourth holiday weekend, raking in an estimated $185.1 million since opening Tuesday and earning $93.6 million from Friday to Sunday in North American theaters. Comment

Trini film producer wins top award

Trinidad and Tobago: “Extra Innings,” a period drama produced by Trinidadian born filmmaker Jolene Mendes, won the top award for Best Feature Film at the 2019 Manhattan Film Festival held in Cinema Village, New York in May. Comment


For the month of July, ADIFF curates the Trans-Cultural Dialogues Film Series, an attempt to illustrate an international dialogue between cultures in different parts of the world. The series has an international perspective that is built around a need to understand our human experience on a larger scale. Comment

‘Inna de Yard’ delves into the ‘Soul’ of Jamaica

Jamaica: KINGSTON/PARIS, June 24, 2019 (IPS) — Dogs barking in the distance. Birds chirping nearby. A man walking through the mist, surrounded by lush vegetation. A distinctive vibrato singing “Speak Softly, Love” over it all. Comment

‘Reggae Boyz’ doc premieres at Brooklyn Film Fest

Jamaica: Reggae Boyz; doc premieres at Brooklyn Film Fest; By Vinette K. Pryce; Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz are first to take a Caribbean soccer team to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Championship Competition. Comment
Guyana: There was loud applause, from the packed Rose Cinema in Brooklyn Academy of Music, (BAM), as the credits roll. A clear sign, that no one left the theatre during the only screening of the movie “See You Yesterday,” a thought-provoking, Si-Fi, action adventure, that traces two science geniuses, who set out to work their chemistry magic to reverse a tragedy. Comment

Annual Caribbean Cinema Nights return to Brooklyn

Caribbean: The Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA) has announced its 5thAnnual Caribbean Cinema Nights lineup that began in May, and will continue through October, with film screenings at Joli Studio, 1131 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn, from 6:30 pm. Comment
Brooklyn: Oprah Winfrey seemed to bask in a glow of pride last week standing onstage at the Apollo Theater in Harlem with a cast of thespians that dramatized the 30-year-old sensationalized Central Park Jogger case she helped finance. Comment

Trinidadian ‘Hero’ stops into Manhattan

Trinidad and Tobago: Trinidadian filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon is hoping Caribbean nationals will turn out in droves to the US premiere screening of “Hero” on May 30 at the Walter Reade Theater where the 26th annual New York African Film Festival will spotlight the unheralded contribution of Ulric Cross, a trailblazer and worthy Caribbean national. Comment
For the Birds (Unrated) Biopic about Kathy Murphy, a woman whose 200 pet ducks, chicken, geese and turkey are putting her at odds with her husband and animal activists. Comment

Hippie era revisited via Rock Music retrospective

“Echo in the Canyon” Comment
Diamantino (Unrated) Carloto Cotta plays the title role in this dysfunctional family comedy about a champion soccer player forced to confront his long-estranged, evil twin sisters (Cleo Tavares and Carla Maciel about the meaning of genius. With Chico Chapas, Margarida Moreira and Anabela Moreira. Comment

Rebel Wilson headlines romantic musical comedy

“Isn’t it Romantic” Comment
Buddy Bolden (1877-1931) was born in New Orleans, where he took up the cornet at an early age. His unique approach to the instrument involved a novel form of improvisation while playing a combination of gospel, blues and ragtime. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

All Creatures Here Below (Unrated) Harrowing tale of survival revolving around a desperate homeless couple (David Dastmalchian and Karen Gillan) on the run from the police as they travel from L.A. to Kansas City. With Jennifer Morrison, David Koechner, John Doe and Richard Cabral. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

All Is True (PG-13 for profanity, mature themes and suggestive material) Kenneth Branagh directs and stars as the Bard of Avon in this biopic revisiting the last days in the life of William Shakespeare. Cast includes Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and Jack Colgrave Hirst. Comment

Biopic on early years of legendary fantasy writer

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) was a British fantasy novelist best known for “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.” After being orphaned at an early age, he attended King Edwards, an exclusive boarding school where he forged close friendships with classmates which would endure over his lifetime. Comment
Violet Valenski (Elle Faning) is a 17-year-old living with her single-mom (Agnieszka Grochowska) on a modest family farm on the Isle of Wight. She secretly dreams of becoming a pop star, but has no time to pursue it between school and several part-time jobs. Besides attending to animals at home, she waitresses at a pub and clerks at a convenience store. Comment
Ask Doctor Ruth(Unrated) Reverential retrospective chronicling the career of Holocaust survivor-turned-celebrated sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Comment



Jamaica: NEW YORK (AP) — The 25th James Bond movie and Daniel Craig’s fifth and final installment as 007 is heading home to Jamaica. Craig, Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, and director Cary Fukunaga on Thursday, April 25 launched the film from the Caribbean island nation where Ian Fleming wrote all of his Bond novels. The still untitled movie will be partly set in Jamaica, which was also a setting in “Dr. No” and “Live and Let Die.” Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Aurora (Unrated) Horror flick, set in the Philippines, about a tiny island left haunted by ghosts after a passenger ship crashes on its shores. Ensemble cast includes Anne Curtis, Marco Gumabao and Mercedes Cabral. (In Filipino and Tagalog with subtitles) Comment
Roman Coleman (Matthias Schoenaerts) has too quick a fuse to think before he acts. That’s why he’s done a dozen years and counting in a maximum-security prison for impulsively delivering a brutal beating that left his victim permanently brain-damaged. Comment
Despite being saddled with a couple of generic American names, John Smith’s (Marcel Ruiz) life story has been anything but boring. It’s just too bad that the shy, 14-year-old has been too embarrassed to share it. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Fast Color (PG-13 for violence and brief profanity) Sci-fi thriller about a woman (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) forced to abandon her family and go on the run by a sheriff (David Strathairn) who discovers she has superpowers. With Lorraine Toussaint, Saniyya Sidney and Christopher Denham. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

A Dark Place (Unrated) Suspense thriller set in a sleepy Pennsylvania town where a sanitation truck driver (Andrew Scott) becomes obsessed with solving a young local boy’s (Nolan Cook) “missing person’s” case. With Christa Beth Campbell, Jason Davis and Denise Gough. Comment
Guyana: Queen’s College of Guyana Alumni Association, New York, under its newly elected president, Patrick Stephens, and executive, have announced an exciting lineup of films for its second annual QCAANY Night of Film 2019, Cinema Femme — The Caribbean Woman in Frame. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Amazing Grace (G) 1972 concert flick featuring Aretha Franklin performing gospel songs with the choir of the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts. With Clara Ward, Bernard Purdie, Reverends James Cleveland and C.L. Franklin, and Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts. Comment

Docudrama recounts 2008 Mumbai massacre

On Nov. 26, 2008, radical Islamists from Pakistan launched a series of coordinated attacks around the city of Mumbai which would claim 174 lives and leave hundreds more wounded. Within hours of the raid, the authorities were able to secure all of the sites except for the legendary Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Comment
Abby Johnson (Ashley Bratcher) was recruited by Planned Parenthood to do volunteer work when she was still an undergrad at Texas A&M. Her first job was to escort women seeking abortions from the parking lot into the building, past picketers calling them baby killers. Comment
The Beach Bum (R for pervasive profanity, graphic sexuality, and drug and alcohol abuse) Matthew McConaughey plays the title character in this screwball comedy revolving around the misadventures of a hedonistic rebel who lives by his own rules. With Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Martin Lawrence, Jonah Hill and Zac Efron. (In English and Spanish with subtitles) Comment
Caribbean: The Caribbean Film Series celebrated its milestone with a 5th Anniversary Festival that premiered the film “Yardie” – an adaptation of the novel with the same name, by Jamaica-born Victor Headley, that showcases the directorial début of British actor, Idris Elba. Comment
Dennis “D” Campbell (Aml Ameen) had the misfortune of growing up in the slums of Kingston, Jamaica in the Seventies at a time when the ‘hood was infested with drugs. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised by an older brother he admired, Jerry (Everaldo Creary). Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Dragged across Concrete (R for profanity, sexuality, nudity, grisly images and graphic violence) Action thriller about a couple of cops (Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn) who turn to a life of crime after being suspended without pay for police brutality caught on camera. With Don Johnson, Fred Melamed, Michael Jai White and Jennifer Carpenter. Comment
Stella Grant (Haley Lu Richardson) is a typical 17-year-old in most regards. However, she is also suffering from Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a genetic disease which makes her very susceptible to a variety of breathing disorders. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

The Aftermath (R for sexuality, nudity, violence and some disturbing images) Adaptation of Rhidian Brook’s best seller of the same name, set in the ruins of Hamburg in 1946, chronicling the tensions which arise when a German widower (Alexander Skarsgard) with a troubled daughter (Flora Thiemann) is forced to surrender his mansion to the British colonel (Jason Clarke) in charge of rebuilding the city. With Keira Knightley, Fionn O’Shea and Kate Phillips. (In English and Russian with subtitles) Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

An Elephant Sitting Still (Unrated) The late Hu Bo wrote and directed this adaptation of his short story chronicling the serendipitous series of events inspiring four strangers (Yu Zhang, Yuchang Peng, Uvin Wang and Congxi Li) to board a bus for a long-distance trip to the city of Manzhouli’s zoo to see a mythical, motionless elephant ostensibly oblivious to the outside world. With Jing Guo, Wei Kong and Xiang Rong Dong. (In Mandarin with subtitles) Comment

Stefon Bristol, Spike Lee to release Netflix movie

Guyana: Stefon Bristol, writer, director, of “See You Yesterday,” who proudly says his parents, Elizabeth and Clinton are from Georgetown, Guyana, is excited his feature film, produced by Spike Lee, is set to be released on movie channel Netflix soon. Comments (2)

‘Babylon’ premieres: ‘Yardie’ begins BAM Reel Caribbean Series

Books: For the fifth consecutive year, the Brooklyn Academy of Music will spotlight more than a few fine films that feature factual and fictitious aspects of Caribbean life. From Haiti, Antigua, Guyana, Dominica, Trinidad & Tobago, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and Jamaica, vintage and new documentaries provide celluloid testimony to the diversity of the tropical landscape located south of the border. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

The Changeover (Unrated) Adaptation of Margaret Mahy’s young adult novel, set in Christchurch, New Zealand, about a 16 year-old girl (Erana James) drawn into a battle with the evil spirit draining the life out of her little brother (Benji Purchase). Supporting cast includes Timothy Spall, Melanie Lynskey and Lucy Lawless. Comment
Every now and then, a film turns history on its head. For example, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter made over $100 million dollars at the box office by suggesting that the 16th President of the United States was also a legendary stalker of the undead. And Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, which had Hitler dying in a movie theater fire rather than by committing suicide, made three times as much money. Comment
Joseph Grant (Toussaint Morrison) was riding in a car with his brother Cole (Malick Ceesay) and BFF Derek (Geoff Briley) one afternoon when they suddenly found themselves being tailed by a police cruiser. Although they hadn’t violated any rules of the road, they were inexplicably pulled over by a couple of overly zealous cops (Addison Pennington and Matt Cedarberg), ostensibly for merely “driving while black.” Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Birds of Passage (Unrated) Colombian crime thriller, set in the Seventies, about an indigenous family that comes to regret dealing drugs. Co-starring Jose Acosta, Carmina Martinez and Natalia Reyes. (In English, Spanish and Wayuu with subtitles) Comment
Gloria (Gina Rodriguez) is a Hollywood makeup artist sorely in need of a break from her abusive boss. The straw that broke the camel’s back came the day he condescendingly responded to her resourcefulness with the insulting, “Honey, we’re not paying you to think.” Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Chokehold (Unrated) Action thriller about an MMA fighter (Melissa Croden) who stops training for a title fight to avenge the murder of her father by Russian mobsters. With Casper Van Dien, Lochlyn Munro and Kip Pardue. Comment

Bullied schoolboy morphs into King Arthur

British schoolboy Alex Elliot (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) is the unlikeliest of heroes. After all, the pint-sized 12 year-old and his nerdy BFF, Bedders (Dean Chaumoo), are bullied on a daily basis at Dungate Academy. Comment
Arctic (PG-13 for profanity and bloody images) Tale of survival about a man (Mads Mikkelsen) stranded near the North Pole who must decide between remaining with the helicopter wreckage and embarking on a perilous trek back to civilization across the frozen tundra. With Maria Thelma Smaradottir. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

The 5 Browns: Digging through the Darkness (Unrated) Skeletons-in-the-closet documentary about a quintet of siblings whose meteoric rise to super-stardom as classical piano prodigies was spoiled by the shocking revelation that their manager/father had sexually abused his three daughters. Comment

Docu reveals classical prodigies abused by dad

“The 5 Browns” is a musical quintet composed of siblings born in Houston, Texas between 1979 and 1986, all of whom started studying classical piano at an early age. In 1991, they moved to Utah where they were home schooled.The promising prodigies eventually came to the attention of Juilliard which made the unusual gesture of enrolling them all to the exclusive conservatory simultaneously. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Adult Life Skills (Unrated) Midlife crisis drama about a reclusive slacker (Jodie Whitaker), living in her mother’s (Lorraine Ashbourne) backyard shed for years, who finds herself forced to finally grow up as her 30th birthday approaches. With Ozzy Myers, Edward Hogg and Brett Goldstein. Comment
“A Dog’s Way Home” Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Anthem of a Teenage Prophet (Unrated) Coming-of-age drama about the fallout visited upon a clairvoyant teen (Cameron Monaghan) whose premonition about the death of his best friend (Alex MacNicoll) becomes a reality. With Juliette Lewis, Peyton List and Grayson Gabriel. Comment
Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman) is a veteran LAPD detective whose partner, Chris (Sebastian Stan), died when his cover was blown during an undercover operation gone bad. Courtesy of flashbacks, we learn that he was murdered by Silas (Toby Kebbell), the leader of the gang of bank robbers the two had infiltrated. Comment

The 10 best, no, the 100 best films of 2018

Kam’s Annual Assessment of the Cream of the Cinematic Crop Comment
American Hangman (Unrated) Tale of vigilante justice about a judge (Donald Sutherland) who is kidnapped and put on trial live over the internet after botching a criminal case. With Vincent Kartheiser, Oliver Dennis and Paul Braunstein. Comment

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