Between Westworld, Red Dead Online, and Lil Nas X, there has never been a better time to be a Black cowboy than now, and with the upcoming release of The Harder They Fall on Netflix, I’m going to need to get fitted for my frock coat immediately. Regina King, LaKeith Stanfield, and Idris Elba lead a brilliant cast of some of Hollywood’s most dynamic actors in this Jeymes Samuel (They Die by Dawn and JAY-Z: Legacy) epic, new-school Western.Continue reading “Regina King and LaKeith Stanfield Lead Dynamite Cast in ‘The Harder They Fall’”
“When the police masked [in the events of the show], it raised the question of accountability, because at some point, [it becomes a question of] who’s the good guy/who’s the bad guy” — Christal Henry, Supervising Producer of Watchmen (2019)
This quote, which kicked off the most fascinating panel/segment in the DC FanDome for Watchmen: Unmasked, embodies more than just what was going on in the narrative of the show. It’s a quote that fully embodies what we’re seeing in our society today. When you replace the metaphor of a mask with a badge, we understand that Watchmen is, as the graphic novel was too, an absolute reflection of the sins of society told through the lenses of both the empowered and the powerless. And therein is why Watchmen is perhaps one of the best television events in the past decade.Continue reading “DC FanDome: How ‘Watchmen’ Explores the Issues of Corrupt Power and Systemic Racism”
by Adam Chau
Since the finale of HBO’s Watchmen, I’ve been trying to reconcile my initial and absolute love for the show along with the eventual (and building) disappointment that I felt by the final episode for the Vietnamese characters and lịch sử brought into the show — but also keeping in mind that at its heart it’s a story about a Black Female Protagonist, the impetus for PTSD the Tulsa Race Riots, aka Massacre (which people still don’t know about), and the trauma and rising of a Black American lineage — không gia đình Việt Nam.
In that way it’s not a straight line from one thought to one conclusion — it’s the questions and the feelings they’ve brought up, their validity in a fictional world clearly designed to take on racism by POC, where there is inclusivity, but where I also can’t help but feel some of the underlying tones are still a recycle of already recycled stories, fictional and beleaguered, where Vietnamese and Asian Americans are still not fully embraced.
Before December 2019 ends, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on one of the most significant pop culture artifacts of the year. This is the month, after all, in which one of the co-creators of the iconic series Lost gave us a critically acclaimed and universally praised ninth episode of a series that breathed new life into a franchise that had not been this beloved since the mid-1980s. By shifting the focus away from the historically white male heroes of the original and toward a story centering women and people of color, the creators had to also confront the toxic — and often racist — fan culture that had laid claim to the property for over thirty years. Plus, they were able to do all of this without the consent of the property’s original creator.
Of course, I’m talking about Watchmen on HBO.
(This post contains out of context spoilers)
There is no question the work of writer and activist James Baldwin is timeless and timely because no matter how long ago he wrote his books, essays, and social commentary, his words are always right on time. Barry Jenkins’ new film If Beale Street Could Talk is an adaptation of the novel of the same name that works to capture the essence of Baldwin’s message of love, poverty and a broken justice system.
The film stars Kiki Layne and Stephan James as Tish and Fonny, young lovers from Harlem in the 1960s. When Fonny is accused on a crime he didn’t commit, and Tish discovers she is pregnant, her family rallies together to prove Fonny’s innocence.
With the film releasing in select theaters in New York and LA, The Nerds of Color are just in time with interviews. I enjoyed talking with the charming young actress Kiki Layne about love, family, and working with legendary actress Regina King.
Barry Jenkins’ new film If Beale Street Could Talk is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by James Baldwin. When writing the book, I’m sure Baldwin never thought his works would be translated on screen. A conversation can also be had on whether or not James Baldwin ever thought his work would be as poignant today as it was 44 years ago. The justice system is still screwed, Black folks are still in poverty in America, but hopefully the public’s view of ‘Black love’ will change upon viewing this film.
New York City isn’t the diverse utopia many think it is. If there is any system that shows just how broken things are, it is the city’s police force where “protect and serve” is on a circumstantial based on the color of your skin. This is among the many themes in James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk, which is in good hands with director Barry Jenkins.