August 25, 2003 |
Tears well in the eyes of director Neema Barnette as she pours out the story of the three years it's taken to bring her first feature film, the urban women's prison tale "Civil Brand," to theaters. "A lot of things happened during this project, but I was determined to see it through," she says. Shortly before passing away, Barnette's dying mother encouraged her to do the film. During the difficult shoot, members of the cast and crew came down with pneumonia.
April 7, 1992 |
Two teens, drawn together after witnessing a murder, find their growing attraction affected by another tragedy: societal prejudices. "Different Worlds: A Story of Interracial Love" is today's "CBS Schoolbreak Special" (3 p.m., Channels 2 and 8), a sensitive look at the multitude of barriers that prevent human connections between racial and ethnic groups. Christine (Noelle Parker) and Jordan (Duanne Martin) live in worlds that barely touch: She's white, he's black.
June 15, 1996 |
A gifted female track star overcoming a near-tragic illness to win Olympic gold is a compelling true-life story. Sunday's TV dramatization, "Run for the Dream: The Gail Devers Story," lacks the depth to be as compelling, but Charlayne Woodard in the title role and Louis Gossett Jr. as her tough coach are a class act.
February 14, 1990 |
Ruby Dee has fashioned a rich salute to an obscure American folklorist whose voice is as authentic as Mississippi mud. "Zora Is My Name!" on "American Playhouse" tonight (at 9 on Channel 28, 9:30 on Channel 15) infers that the little-known Zora Neale Hurston was a 20th-Century Joel Chandler Harris who recorded adult folk tales told by those "who lived on the other side of the crik."
September 15, 1991 |
Redd Foxx stands in the middle of the rehearsal stage with a lit cigarette in his left ear, his mouth puckering rhythmically as if blowing smoke rings. Director Neema Barnette is off to the side, working with actress Mariann Aalda on an entrance, oblivious to the figure standing quietly to stage left, puffing away. But as the titters grow to chuckles and, finally, guffaws, she turns around. Even the over-stressed stage manager has given up screeching for quiet on the set. Hold on, Elizabeth!
February 6, 2003 |
A sampling of the dozens of offerings in the 11th annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival, opening tonight, suggests that this may well be the strongest to date. Issues of cultural identity and displacement, a legacy of colonialism, emerge as key themes, and social and political concerns tend to emerge implicitly, rather than didactically, within stylish, personal films. Many of the festival's widely diverse films deserve much wider exposure.