Today is Sunday, which means we aired another awesome episode of our podcast, "Cinema in Noir." We chatted about what has become the most buzzworthy film this year, 12 Years a Slave. Our co-host, Rebecca Theodore-Vachon, also shared a review of the documentary, American Promise, which "provides a rare look into the lives of two middle class Black families as they navigate the ups and downs of parenting and educating their sons." Watched the trailer below:
If you're at all interested in stories about the education system like I am, especially as it pertains to students of color, this sounds like someone you definitely want to add to your must-watch list.
We took on the much talked about topic of "SNL" star Kenan Thompson's controversial comments about the state of black comediennes and their qualifications for being on the sketch comedy show. If you're unfamiliar with this bit of news, check out his TVGuide.com here, in which he is quoted as saying, "It's just a tough part of the business. Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready" when asked about the lack of black female talent on the show. Honestly, my first thought (after laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of his statement) was that it sounds like he's trying to keep his job and not go against the system. But of course, the idea of there simply not being enough black talent out there is just a preposterous and inaccurate notion in and of itself.
You might also be interested to read the Directors Guild of America's yearly report of the diversity ratios on the small screen here. The show with the most diversity (there doesn't seem to be a specification of whether it's women or minority helmers) is The Game on BET, which is tied at 100% with The Hustle, Real Husbands of Hollywood (an underrated show, in my opinion) and The Rickey Smiley Show. The show that fails the diversity test? It's actually a 13-show tie at 0%, which includes Hemlock Grove, Hot in Cleveland, iCarly and Supernatural (which I thought was canceled years ago).
We ended the show with two really fascinating interviews with Lucy Mulloy, writer/director/co-producer of the wonderful Spanish-language drama, Una Noche. She talked about her experience directing the piece with three first-time young Cuban actors in the country that is still at a level of unrest. It's a honest, striking drama you definitely should see if you have't already. Check out the trailer here:
Our second interview was with Ashlee Blackwell, who is responsible for the really cool new blog,
Graveyard Shift Sisters, which chronicles the efforts and accomplishments of women of color in the horror genre (from Pam Grier in Scream Blacula Scream and the less familiar black female filmmakers breaking ground in the industry). She talks about what inspired her to take on this subgenre in film criticism, being a superfan of horror and finding very few black representation, and where she hopes to take the initiative.
Missed the show? Listen here.