The too-easy shorthand description of legendary exploitation filmmaker Larry Cohen is that he’s New York’s answer to Roger Corman. The two share an affinity for the weirder margins of storytelling, have made cult hits with enduring fame for a dime and possess a mighty work ethic that keeps them creating from morning till night, even today. But where they differ is in motivation. Where Corman wants to make money telling whichever story he foresees will be hot (and he’s been frequently right), Cohen approaches even his most outlandish pictures, like The Stuff (1985), from a personal angle. He infuses them with a message, some kind of moral that you might miss if you’re only paying attention to the killer yogurt. In that way, Cohen is less like Corman than he is a sort of cousin of horror filmmakers like John Carpenter or Wes Craven. As those directors have won greater critical consideration, Cohen finally gets his in Steve Mitchell’s King Cohen: The Wild … [Read more...] about King Cohen Makes the Case for the Artistry of an Exploitation Film Hero
Why martin luther king is a hero
Humans tend to set their leaders and heroes apart, expecting them to be flawless rather than flawed.“The Mountaintop,” premiering Friday at the Omaha Community Playhouse, turns that inside out as it examines the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.Katori Hall’s script provoked a lot of talk among members of the theater’s play-selection committees, said Playhouse Artistic Director Kimberly Faith Hickman. Among other things, she said, they discussed what it means when a work of historical fiction takes a leader and examines his humanity, down to his smoking habit and the holes in his socks. “It really does humanize him in ways other plays do not,” she said. “It’s a very emotional play.”Hickman said it was important to Hall to create an unvarnished look at the man who was the faces of the civil rights movement. He got tired, he got cranky, and he wasn’t perfect.The play deals with how King juggled his work with being a husband … [Read more...] about 50 years after his death, MLK is subject of Playhouse show
It’s an oft-expressed complaint from some finicky filmgoers: Movies based on historical events often get the story wrong. Sometimes they’re completely whack, like Michael Bay’s “Pearl Harbor,” which tore World War II to confetti so that world-changing real events didn’t get in the way of a story about two boyhood friends turned Army pilots fighting over a red hot nurse. Sometimes they’re well intended but incomplete, like the carefully laundered portraits of Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson in “Selma.” But truth be told, they don’t generally insist that the truth be told. On the other hand, consider the fact-based disappointment “The 15:17 to Paris,” a slow-paced film about a high-speed train. Clint Eastwood directed this dramatization of three everyday American tourists who heroically saved an Amsterdam-to-Paris passenger train from a terrorist attack in 2015. Adapted from the book written by the three men … [Read more...] about Truth be told: Clint Eastwood’s reality-rich ’15:17 to Paris’ is dull
On the day A Wrinkle in Time opens wide in theaters nationwide, Ryan Coogler has penned an ode to friend and director Ava DuVernay that calls her a "pioneer" and "inclusion, equity and representation." "Ava DuVernay is someone who makes the impossible look easy. It's why I feel privileged to call her my big sister. I met her in 2013, but she's one of those people who you feel like you've always known," Coogler writes to open his piece, which published Friday on ESPN.com. The Black Panther director recalls how DuVernay, a publicist turned director, was "already one of [his] heroes" before he met her, given how much he admired her 2010 and 2012 films I Will Follow and Middle of Nowhere. Coogler also nods to her work on 2014's Selma — "she took one of the most sought-after scripts in Hollywood and turned it into the best film about Dr. Martin Luther King that anyone will ever make" — and her work on the Netflix documentary 13th, which Coogler says … [Read more...] about Ryan Coogler Pens Essay to “Pioneer” Ava DuVernay on ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Opening Day
When I was younger, Martin Luther King Jr Day was like a preview for Black History Month. We were taught about King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the March on Washington, and how he took his inspiration from Gandhi to pursue non-violent tactics towards Civil Disobedience. I was not taught that, in his time, King was seen as an extremist.American History tends to mythologize its heroes to the point where it becomes blurry as to what was the actual truth about the men, women, and movements that helped shape this country. Martin Luther King Jr. has been used as the equivalent of rolling a D20 (D&D reference there) in discussions about groups like Black Lives Matter, The Black Panthers, or other Civil Rights leaders like Malcolm X. During the election, I would see Bernie supporters complain that black people who were voting for Hilary over Bernie were “choosing a Goldwater girl over someone who marched with MLK!!” They complain that groups … [Read more...] about How Yesterday’s Enemies Become Today’s Heroes: Martin Luther King Jr.