Showing posts from February, 2014

Tyler Perry and ESSENCE feted spectacular affair for black men in film dinner

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — "This is historic!" a photographer yelled as he surveyed the image before him — Sidney Poitier in the center, Spike Lee to his right, Tyler Perry to his left and more than two dozen other black men in Hollywood, from Blair Underwood to Omar Epps, huddled tight around the legend, posing with a purpose.
"We made it!" shouted out one participant as the men broke out into knowing laughter. It was a night of many emotions as Essence magazine, known for celebrating black women, held its first ceremony honoring the achievements of African-American men in Hollywood in the days leading up to Sunday's Oscar ceremony. Poitier gave a moving tribute to the future and the past, Lee delivered a strong rebuke to what he called Hollywood's exclusionary policies and Perry — who owns his own studio — implored blacks to break out on their own instead of waiting for an open door from the industry. "If they close the door then break a hole in th…

Tracking Lupita Nyong'o's Pre-Oscar Awards Season: The Dresses the Wins and Losses

Lupita Nyong'o has had a big year. 

As soon as 12 Years a Slave opened, it was clear the Kenyan actress had loads of talent, but no one knew she'd be an instant style icon, too.

As the lithe newcomer has made her way through awards season, Lupita has landed on as many best dressed lists as she has year-end critics' lists. With the Oscars just days away, we looked back at each of her awards show appearances to track which awards she won, and what she wore while winning (or occasionally not winning) them.

For a little expert commentary on Lupita's wardrobe we turned to Simona Rabinovitch of sister site Let's start with a look at the actress' awards season fashion palette, along with a tally of wins and losses.

Hollywood Film Awards, Oct. 21, 2013

The Awards: Lupita's first brush with awards season glory came back in October when she picked up the "New Hollywood" award at the Hollywood Film Awards. While she came away with the newcomer aw…

Brother's John Legend Vaughn Anthony return home for sold-out fundraiser

The “Be About It” concert is about A-list entertainment and a “C” for community.“Be About It,” featuring Springfield native and nine-time Grammy Award-winning performer John Legend, his younger brother Vaughn Anthony and the Springfield High School Chamber Choir, will perform for a sellout audience Saturday at the Clark State Performing Arts Center. “This is more than just a concert,” said Corey Holliday, director of community outreach for Clark State Community College. “This is an event for Springfield.” Anthony called it a rallying cry for Springfield. The concert is a fundraiser for his nonprofit Be About It Movement. His goal is to raise funds to eventually open a community center to promote families, education and self-defense training. The evening will begin with Springfield High’s Chamber Choir, followed by the jazzy rhythm and blues stylings of Anthony. Legend and his band will then perform for the hometown crowd for the first time since 2012. “Springfield is his home, where h…

Kanye West Delivers the Best Performance in the History of 'Late Night with Seth Meyers'

Hip Hop artist Kanye West sits for an interview with host Seth Meyers during NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers" on February 25, 2014 in New York City. Sorry, A Great Big World: Kanye West just gave the best performance onLate Night with Seth Meyers of ALL TIME.
On Tuesday evening, the Chicago-bred performer took the spotlight on the second episode of Seth Meyers' new gig, sitting for a surprisingly cheerful interview and eventually breaking into a staggering 7-song medley of his greatest hits.

During his conversation with Meyers, West confirmed that he's been back in the studio working on the follow up to 2013's Yeezus — and that fatherhood is having an effect on his work.

"Everything — my approach to life — everything has changed," West affirmed, adding that he plans to create "artistic, intellectual kid-friendly songs."

"It's all in the way you were raised and have an understanding and an appreciation for what you're lookin…

Hooray for Hollywood?

In July 2013, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, an American film marketing executive, was named president of the Academy of Motion Pictures of Arts and Sciences. She was the first African-American (and only third woman after actresses Bette Davis and Fay Kanin) to be selected to lead the organization. Several decades earlier in

1939, Hattie McDaniel became the first Black person to win an Oscar for her performance in the classic movie Gone With the Wind. Her victory was bittersweet in that her speech was prepared for her and she and her guests were forced to sit in a segregated section of the building where the event took place.

These two similar, yet distinctive, examples are representative of the complex relationship between African-Americans and the Oscars.

While McDaniel’s nomination and victory for best supporting actress was significant by any standard and commendable, it was not until a decade later in 1949 that another Black actress, Ethel Waters, was nominated for best supporting actress …

'12 Years a Slave' Book and Film to be Taught in High Schools

Kids used to read books like Roots and Uncle Tom’s Cabin to learn about slavery in high school, but now films are being added to the curriculum: Best Picture nominee 12 Years a Slave, to be exact. 
Author Solomon Northup’sharrowing book “12 Years A Slave,” and the Oscar-nominated film it inspired, will be added to the high school curriculum later this year, thanks in part to a campaign spearheaded talk show host Montel Williams who, coordinated this initiative, saying in a press statement, “When Hollywood is at its best, the power of the movies can be harnessed into a powerful educational tool.”

The National School Boards Association announced their partnership with Penguin Books, New Regency, and 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen on their website this weekend. In the statement, McQueen says, “Since first reading 12 Years a Slave, it has been my dream that this book be taught in schools.” TV veteran Williams is funding the distribution of the film.

The film follows Solomon Northup…

Hannibal Premiere Fight to the finish Scene. Are you ready?

Hannibal doesn't return until this Friday, February 28, but as a bit of an amuse-bouche, NBC has released the opening scene from the Season 2 premiere to both tickle and terrify your TV tastebuds.

But before you hit play, we have to warn you: It's VERY tense, and even though it's only two minutes long, it's full of 100 percent anxiety-inducing drama that'll leave you salivating for more.

For comparison's sake, we'd say we experienced Breaking Bad-levels of anxiety and emotion while watching it. 
Also before you hit play, here's some set-up: The scene takes place several weeks in the future, as Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) arrives at Hannibal Lecter's (Mads Mikkelsen) home for dinner, and after seeing a murderous glint in Hannibal's eye, a fight breaks out. 
Coincidentally, series creator Bryan Fuller admitted that he wrote the fight into the season premiere because he simply couldn't wait to see it. "I knew that's where we we…

Knicks point Guard Raymond Felton Arrested

NEW YORK - New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton was arrested Tuesday on three counts of criminal possession of a weapon, police said.
Felton turned himself in at 12:50 a.m., shortly after the Knicks lost to the Dallas Mavericks at home, police spokesman Sgt. Thomas Antonetti said.

Felton was expected to be arraigned later Tuesday on charges of criminal possession of a weapon in the second, third and fourth degrees.

Police said the charges don't stem from Felton using the firearm in a menacing manner but from possessing an unregistered gun.

A Knicks spokesman did not immediately return a phone call. It was not clear if Felton had an attorney.

Felton had eight points and seven assists Monday in the Knicks' 110-108 loss to Dallas. The Knicks brought the point guard back for a second stint in New York in July 2012, opting to let Jeremy Lin leave, and Felton helped the Knicks win the Atlantic Division last year.

But he has had a disappointing season, averaging 10.4 points and shoot…

Oscars 2014 Celebrity SWAG Bags: Nominees To Receive $80,000 Worth of Products

While a select group will take home those coveted gold statues at the Oscars on Sunday, March 2, some of the losers will at least have their $80,000 "Everyone Wins at the Oscars" gift bags.Every year some Oscar nominee remarks they don't care about winning, it's an honor just to be nominated. Yeah, right. Then again, getting nominated does guarantee one prize, a prize package valued at roughly $80,000. (By contrast, the Oscar statuette costs about $400 to make, according to CBS Moneywatch.)

For the 15th year, Los Angeles marketing firm Distinctive Assets will once again create swag bags for this year's acting and directing nominees in the Best Actor/Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress, and Director categories. 

Among the goodies in the swag bag: 
Hydroxycut Gummies, Swiss-made Slow watches, Vetvik luxury leather iPhone cases, Le Petit Cirque aerial lessons, a Steamist Total Sense Spa System, Epic Pet Health electrolyte therapy, Max Martin shoes and vacation packages…