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8 Years Ago Today, Katrina Struck. Some Films That Address The Hurricane & Its Aftermath...

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • August 29, 2013 9:24 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Today in history, August 29, 2005... America suffers its most destructive natural disaster. Hurricane Katrina stormed ashore in southeast Louisiana, killing 1800 people, and destroying homes. 100,000s are forced to flee. The sluggish response to Katrina only adds to the misery. Local and federal government officials all faced sharp criticism for their handling of the tragedy. Despite some progress in rebuilding, full recovery continues to be a long hard road, while debate over the disaster goes on...

Emmett Till Was Killed Today In History... Remembering Him On Film

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • August 28, 2013 10:29 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Today in history... August 28, 1955, Emmett Till, a black teenager from Chicago, is abducted from his uncle's home in Money, Mississippi. Two white men - Roy Bryant Jr. and J. W. Milam - seize Till after he supposedly whistled at a white woman, and days later, he's found brutally murdered, his body mutilated. An all-white jury would eventually acquit the two men of the crime. Although they would later confess in a paid interview with journalist William Bradford Huie, for Look magazine.

Huey P. Newton Died Today... A Look At Past & Future Films On His Life

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • August 22, 2013 10:32 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Today in history... August 22nd, 1989... Black Panthers' co-founder Huey P. Newton was shot to death in Oakland, CA. He was just 47 years old.

Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion Happened Today - Past And Future Films On The Historical Event

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • August 21, 2013 11:52 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Today in history... August 21st, 1831, in Virginia, Nat Turner led a slave rebellion, hoping to inspire a slave uprising in the south. Several dozen whites are killed before the revolt is defeated. Turner is later capture, tried and hanged. 182 years later, many are still waiting for a definitive Nat Turner movie to be produced.Maybe the most notable is the hour-long documentary, Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property, directed by Charles Burnett, and released in 2003, which played the festival circuit, and eventually aired on PBS about a year later. It's not the full-length, scripted, big screen biopic that many have been hoping for, so, it'll have to do for now.I did find out that there's an independently-made Nat Turner film in development, titled Nat Turner Unchained (likely a nod to Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained), written, produced and directed by Josh Harraway, who calls himself "The world's first Tupac impersonator."Upon first discovering the film, I thought it was maybe a spoof, parody, work of satire or something similar, given the title, the tagline, and the teaser I watched (embedded below); but it turns out it's a very real film.Xango Henry and Beckett Meyersfield are currently listed as cast members, with Xango apparently playing Nat Turner in the film.Director Harraway has even made the script available online for anyone who'd like to read it. If you're curious, you can download it HERE. I only just learned about the project so I obviously haven't had time to read the script and offer any commentary on it.But if the below teaser is anything to go by, I'm not sure how well the film will go over with audiences - even black audiences. Take a look at it for yourself. Harraway does say on the project's Facebook page that his film will be...:... the most viciously accurate rendition of the events surrounding the infamous Nat Turner slave revolt of 1831. No holds barred. Nothing whitewashed. Historically accurate far beyond anything William Styron's distorted imagination could ever have dreamed up.William Styron is of course, the author of the 1967 Pulitzer Prize-winning, though deeply problematic novel, The Confessions of Nat Turner. Norman Jewison almost directed an adaptation of the novel in the late 1960's, starring James Earl Jones as Nat Turner. Styron essentially imagined Turner as a fictional character, as Harraway alludes to above. And as you'd expect, the project was met with what Jewison called an "incredibly angry exchange of ideas" with black revolutionaries at the time, who objected to the idea of a white director directing the film, as well as distortions of historical facts in Styron's book.Needless to say, the film never happened, and thank goodness for that!Whether or not Harraway's film gets made remains to be seen. I'll dig into the script in the next week or so, to see what he has in store for us, and report my findings. But if anyone beats me to it, feel free to share your thoughts here, or email me (obensont@gmail.com).First, here's the teaser for Nat Turner Unchained (warning, it's graphic and unnecessarily gratuitous). And underneath, watch Charles Burnett's documentary Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property, in full.

Malcolm X Was Killed Today... Watch Detailed Portrait Doc "Malcolm X: Make It Plain" Now

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • February 21, 2012 1:05 PM
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  • 4 Comments
A birth and a death... yesterday in history, Sidney Poitier was born; Today in history... February 21st, 1965, Malcolm Little/Malcolm X/El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was killed in New York City.

The Egyptian Revolution Started Today... Sundance Doc "1/2 Revolution" Captures The Uprising's Immediacy

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • January 25, 2012 6:17 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Today in Cairo's Tahrir Square, thousands of Egyptians rallied to mark the first anniversary of the country's 2011 uprising that began on Jan. 25, 2011, which led to then president Hosni Mubarak officially stepping down on February11, 2011, only to be replaced by military rule; and thus, what has cpme to be known as the Egyptian revolution essentially continues...

Algerian Rebellion Against French Colonial Rule Began Today... ("Battle Of Algiers")

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • November 1, 2011 3:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Today in history, November 1, 1954, in North Africa, Algerian nationalists began their successful 8-year rebellion against French rule - a period that's realistically and rivetingly documented in Gillo Pontecorvo's landmark 1966 film, Battle Of Algiers; a film we've mentioned a number of times previously on this site, and strongly recommend you see NOW if you haven't already!

Talking Pictures Arrived On The Silver Screen Yesterday...

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • October 7, 2011 1:37 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Didn't have time to post this yesterday... but yesterday in history, October 6th, 1927, The Jazz Singer heralded in talking pictures to prohibition era movie-going audiences. The film starring Al Jolson, features both silent and sound synchronized scenes.

Miles Davis Died Today... Who'll Get To Play Him First On Film? Don Cheadle Or Snoop Dogg?

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • September 28, 2011 3:26 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Today in history... September 28, 1991... Jazz legend Miles Davis died at age 65.

Commemorating 9/11 On Screen...

  • By Tambay A. Obenson
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  • September 11, 2011 6:38 AM
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  • 3 Comments
First, if you live in New York City, TONIGHT, at 7:45PM, the Walter Reade theater at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, will be screening Spike Lee's 25th Hour - the first major motion picture shot on location in New York after September 11, 2001.