Sunday, December 21, 2014

When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong: Sony Pisses Off Wrong Dictatorship

It's been a no good, terrible, horrible, very bad week for Sony Pictures Entertainment. From being hacked last month and having numerous memos and internal documents leaked, to cancelling press for their film, "The Interview," to shutting the movie down altogether, it has indeed been a week to forget. Oh and there were those rather crude comments about President Obama and some movies he might like.

As amusing as this fodder might be, it's worth noting that a major Hollywood film is not coming out because of serious threats made against it and its parent company -- Sony. This sets somewhat of a dangerous precedent as it has been argued what happens if someone else makes a movie that pisses people off? Is that film also going to be pulled from theaters? George Clooney gave a very interesting take on the matter.

The United States has implicated North Korea in the hacking scandal but the real question is what happens now? Sony is poised to lose millions of dollars in advertising and production already spent on "The Interview," and they're not getting those funds back. That's a serious hit for any studio. Let's see how this one plays out.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Chris Rock on Working in Hollywood

With the release of his latest film, "Top Five," last week, Chris Rock has been on the press junket giving interviews and publicity in support of his movie. Rock was recently interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter and gave some candid quotes on his experiences as a black man working within Hollywood. The whole article is definitely worth a read. Below is a quote Rock gave on what exactly it means to cross over.

"If someone's people don't love them, that's a problem. No one crosses over without a base. But if we're just going to be honest and count dollars and seats and not look at skin color, Kevin Hart is the biggest comedian in the world. If Kevin Hart is playing 40,000 seats a night and Jon Stewart is playing 3,000, the fact that Jon Stewart's 3,000 are white means Kevin has to cross over? That makes no sense. If anybody needs to cross over, it's the guy who's selling 3,000 seats."

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Black Out Black Friday

Can't say that I was surprised about the no indictment decision regarding Darren Wilson who shot and killed Michael Brown last August. What has surprised me however, is the response across America (and even in places like Toronto, Canada) to this case and the number of people who felt compelled to march, protest and simply just make their voices known.

What followed in the immediate aftermath of the decision was protests that at points descended into property damage in the form of fires and some looting. But it is important to remember that this was just a small sect of people. Many more marched peacefully not just in Ferguson, but in New York, D.C., Boston, Oakland, and Los Angeles just to name a few.

Protesters blocked highways, flooded Times Square, marched to the White House, and also made their presence known on a day when consumption is usually king -- Black Friday. The hashtag #blackoutblackfriday was re-tweeted by many and led to people doing lay ins in malls in and around Ferguson as a symbolic way of laying their lives on the line for the cause. This is a movement that will not go quietly into the night.

With any movement that gains steam and hence increases in the amount of eyes and ears paying attention, you best believe that there is an art component not far behind. Whether it be photos, music, or in this case of this post, video, the arts have always helped us hold a mirror up to society to see just what's really going on. The same has happened in the aftermath of this case. Check out the video below directed by Terence Nance. Powerful stuff.

Blackstreet - Joy (1995)

Really couldn't appreciate this song as a child in the mid-90s, but I sure do now.