Inside the Music of ‘Reminiscence’

This week, Warner Bros. releases Reminiscence, from the terrific Lisa Joy (co-creator of Westworld), in theaters and on HBO Max. And to celebrate, The Nerds of Color was recently invited to a virtual roundtable with Joy, Grammy-nominated music producer Jeff “Gitty” Gitelman, musical artist Lonr, and legendary composer Ramin Djawadi (Iron Man, Pacific Rim, Game of Thrones, Westworld). Together they discussed the process of writing and composing the moody tones featured in the film, as well as Lonr’s original song for the film, “Save My Love.”

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Check Out the Official Trailer for ‘See’ Season 2

Apple TV+ just released the season two trailer for See. The cast of the action-packed, post-apocalyptic drama series includes Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista, Alfre Woodard, Eden Epstein, Tom Mison, Hoon Lee, Olivia Cheng, David Hewlett, and Tamara Tunie. The new season will be a total of eight episodes and debut globally on Friday, August 27 with the first episode. New episodes will be followed followed weekly, every Friday.

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First Trailer for Lisa Joy’s ‘Reminiscence’ is Finally Here

The Greatest Showman stars Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson genre-swap the technicolor movie musical for sun-kissed film noir as they reunite for the mind-bending action thriller, Reminiscence. Lisa Joy takes her Westworld sensibilities to the big screen, making her directorial debut — and re-teaming with Thandiwe Newton — with another project that has characters navigating between reality and reverie.

Check out the first trailer for the noir-ish thriller below!

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See the Official Trailer and Poster for Netflix’s ‘Awake’ Starring Gina Rodriguez

The new Netflix film drops on Wednesday, June 9. Awake has an extremely talented cast, including Gina Rodriguez, Ariana Greenblatt, Frances Fisher, Shamier Anderson, Finn Jones, Lucius Hoyos, Gil Bellows, Barry Pepper, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

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NOC Interview: The Cast of Prime Video’s ‘The Wilds’ Talk About Their Dystopian Survival Drama

The end of 2020 is in sight and to help usher us into a new year full of more binge-worthy, stream-ready television the Amazon Original, YA survival drama series The Wilds. Part survival drama, part dystopian slumber party, The Wilds follows a group of teen girls from different backgrounds who must fight for survival after a plane crash strands them on a deserted island. The castaways both clash and bond as they learn more about each other, the secrets they keep, and the traumas they’ve all endured. There’s just one twist to this thrilling drama: these girls did not end up on this island by accident.

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‘Devs’ is Unlike Anything Else on TV

Devs, the science-fiction drama that is now streaming on Hulu, is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Written and directed by Alex Garland, the mastermind behind the sci-fi films Ex Machina and Annihilation, Devs follows computer programmer Lilly Chan — played by frequent Garland muse, Sonoya Mizuno — as she unravels the mysterious disappearance of her boyfriend. At the center of the mystery is the inscrutable tech genius, Forest (Nick Offerman), who employs them both at his sprawling Amaya corporate campus somewhere in Silicon Valley.

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Southern Fried Asian: Marie Lu

Southern Fried Asian is back! This time, Keith is joined by New York Times-bestselling YA science-fiction author Marie Lu. Her new novel, Rebel, the follow-up to her epic Legend series of books, will be available in bookstores October 1 — as will the graphic novel adaptation of her DC Icons story, Batman: Nightwalker.

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Race, Intersectionality, and the End of the World: The Problem with The Handmaid’s Tale

by Shannon Gibney and Lori Askeland

Hulu’s reboot of The Handmaid’s Tale opens with a car chase: the protagonist (Elisabeth Moss), who will later be called “Offred,” is racing with her husband Luke (O-T Fagbenle) and daughter Hannah (Jordana Blake) in their faded, old model Volvo through a frozen landscape, sirens of their invisible pursuers wailing.

The decision to introduce us to Offred as a member of an interracial family revealed an obvious break from the overwhelmingly white world of the novel and 1990 movie. Many reviewers construed that fact — and the powerful presence of Samira Wiley in the role of Offred’s badass lesbian friend, Moira — as undeniable evidence that the series would be more intersectional in its approach to feminist themes than the novel had been.  (“There’s intersectionality, too, with Moira, a lesbian, played by a black actress, Ms. Wiley,” was the breezy quip of the New York Times’ Katrina Onstad.) But sadly, bodies of color alone do not a liberatory racial narrative make. Indeed, a deeper look at the series shows the uncomplicated, and therefore, problematic effects of this “colorblind” casting.

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One-on-One with Into the Badlands’ Daniel Wu

AMC’s Into the Badlands is in their second season and are going strong with their viewership, storyline, and martial arts. Unlike other series that attempts the martial arts genre, Into the Badlands’ stellar moves can be attributed to executive producer, and star of the series, Daniel Wu.

The Nerds of Color got a chance to sit down and chat with the actor about the second season and what makes the show so appealing to audiences.

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Netflix is 3% Closer, but Still Fighting White Supremacy Saviors

At this point, it’s damn near impossible to keep up with the onslaught of Netflix original programming. Along with all of the film and series content, the tentacles of the entertainment Kraken inevitably started reaching out for more international collaborations. Around Thanksgiving we were treated to the Brazilian series 3%. In terms of originality, it doesn’t score high: another variation on the theme of a future world where young adults do what they have to do to survive.

It does have its points of deviation though from say The Hunger Games and Divergent with a touch of Elysium. Brazil has had a long and appalling history of income inequality, which I’m sure is where the idea of the tagline came from: “In a dystopian future there is a clear divide between the rich and poor, but when a person turns 20, they have the opportunity to cross the divide.” As implied, by free will all the candidates get to try to make it from the miserable mainland to the utopian island Mar Alto; that looks kind of like Recife to Fernando de Noronha on the map. The tests they undergo are less physical and more psychological until they are whittled down to the fabled 3%. The setting, albeit futuristic, feels closer to present as we undergo our own survival in the collapse.

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Butler, Dystopia, Propaganda, and a Way Through?

This is an excerpt from a book I started in 2008. I wanted to take a more academic approach to afrogeek and afrofuturist culture and cultural artifacts. I felt this section was important in the present, in light of our new political reality. The books is done, but I’m not sure how I feel about publishing an academic text in a time when we need information to be as clear as possible. Continue reading “Butler, Dystopia, Propaganda, and a Way Through?”

NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: Bloody Barons

After last week’s episode ramped up the stakes for our heroes, we headed into the first season finale with a lot of questions that needed answers. Who poisoned Jade? Will Quinn take advantage of M.K.’s gifts? Will Sunny turn on his young apprentice to secure passage on the River King’s ship? Did the Widow survive her duel with Sunny? Will Veil blame Sunny for the death of her parents? Will the show come back for a second season? And why are there only six episodes for the season?

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NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: The Butterfly Effect

Continuing our recap catch up, the penultimate episode of Into the Badlands was clearly the most interesting of the season. And that’s too bad because after this weekend’s season finale, we don’t know if AMC will be bringing the show back for a second one. We hope so since all the pieces are finally in place for an epic showdown between good, evil, and everything in between.

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NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: Warriors vs. Clippers

Last night’s Into the Badlands — clunkily titled “Two Tigers Subdue Dragons” and not to be confused with this — was tasked with propelling us into the end of the season. In addition to a promised Baron v Baron showdown, the episode was the first to effectively use an episode-ending cliffhanger to guarantee viewers will tune in for the final two entries of its debut season. But did it deliver?

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NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: Who Run the World? Girls!

The third episode of Into the Badlands — “White Stork Spreads Wings” — will be the last one to follow The Walking Dead since last night was the mid-season finale for everyone’s favorite zombie show. How Badlands will fare without its massive lead-in will be a question to be answered next week. If this episode is any indication, viewers should be coming back in full force even without a zombie pre-show.

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NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: #WheresWidow

For obvious reasons, we’ve been riding the Into the Badlands train from jump, and now that it’s here — and a huge hit — we couldn’t wait to add the show to the Recap rotation. We’ve been holding on to this one for a while too, since we got an early look at episode two a few months ago. As much as I dug the pilot, I always thought the second episode was where the series was going to take off with audiences. And if nerd twitter was any indication Sunday night, everyone else agreed.

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NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: The Time is Now

Originally posted at Angry Asian Man

As we near the end of 2015, one thing is for sure: it’s a great time to be an Asian American television consumer. For the first time in history, you’ll need two hands to count the number of major television programs to feature Asian American leads! On ABC alone, you have shows like Fresh of the Boat, Dr. Ken, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Quantico.

This Sunday night, the biggest network of them all — AMC — throws its hat into the ring with Into the Badlands, a dystopian martial arts drama starring Daniel Wu. And I can safely say the show is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

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Concrete Park Vol. 2: R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Another Huge Endorsement

I can only talk about the second volume of Concrete Park,RE-S-P-E-C-T,” in relation to music. I wanted to use other graphic novels or films as benchmarks, but I’d be talking more about the evolution to make the book, the shift in materials and not the meta-shift I want to capture here. While I enjoy what GeekCulture has to offer, it doesn’t transform me the way that music does. There has yet to be a geek-influenced film, comic, graphic novel, or anything else that has affected me the way Bad Brain’s 1983 life defining album Rock For Light did.

Well, that is until now.

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Talking Advantageous with Jennifer Phang

Last week, one of the most-lauded science fiction films of the year was released digitally, on demand, and in cinemas in New York and the Bay Area. The film, Advantageous, a special jury award-winner at Sundance, tells the story of a single mother and the sacrifices she makes for her daughter in a pre-dystopian, near-future not unlike our own time.

Starring Jacqueline Kim (Star Trek Generations), Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty), and Ken Jeong (The Hangover), the film’s writer/director Jennifer Phang recently joined Keith for a special one-on-one edition of Hard NOC Life.

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Why I Hate All Things Mockingjay

Originally posted at Black Nerd Problems

While the book Mockingjay was released in 2010, this is your spoiler alert for both the book in its completion and the movie, Mockingjay: Part 1.

Several years ago I was introduced to The Hunger Games, a new book gaining popularity as a young adult dystopian novel featuring a female lead. I borrowed a copy from the library and was introduced to Katniss Everdeen from District 12, and she was everything I wanted her to be. Clever, bold, and independent, The Hunger Games’ leading lady was instantly a crowd favorite, and the world of Panem made for a breezy thrill ride as I sped through it in 3 days of subway rides and bedtime reading. When the second book came out, Catching Fire expanded the world from the Battle Royale of the games, to the larger theme of dystopia and revolution. “Tread carefully,” I remember thinking. But most of my thoughts were still preoccupied with wishing Katniss would finally leave Peeta to die and ride out with Team Gale, so I was still a fan, to say the least. Before the first movie was even announced I tried to pre-order tickets by holding my Fandango app in my hands and concentrating really hard.

All of that ignores the existence of Mockingjay.

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NOCs of the Roundtable: Fangirling over Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Now that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 has finally been released in multiplexes the world over, it’s time to finally talk about it! There is so much in the film to digest that we decided to convene the Roundtable once again. And who better to talk about the continuing adventures of Katniss than the two newest Nerds: Connie and Christelle!

So proceed with caution because after the jump, there will be many spoilers and SO MUCH CAPSLOCK!

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Mockingjay’s Big Box Office: Why Audiences Love The Hunger Games

This weekend, Mockingjay Part 1, the third installment of The Hunger Games film franchise, was the victor of the box office with a $123 million haul. On its opening Friday alone, the film made $55 million, making it the best opening day debut of 2014, in addition to having the year’s largest domestic weekend debut (beating Transformers: Age of Extinction’s $100 million opening weekend from June ). Despite being “the weaker tribute” compared to the first two films domestically (The Hunger Games: $152.5 million; Catching Fire: $158 million), Mockingjay Part 1 grossed $275 million worldwide. Those are some kickass numbers, Katniss.

So how do The Hunger Games movies manage to hit the target — you’re welcome, reader, for this archery joke — year after year? Is it the draw of a dystopian society that is so popular in young adult novels? Is it the idea of kids killing each other for TV ratings? Is it Jennifer Lawrence?

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