John Legend

Selma

“That’s why Rosa sat on the bus; That’s why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up.” Those lyrics can be heard in John Legend and Common‘s “Glory,” a new song that plays during the end credits of Selma and makes the connection between the 50-year-old events depicted in the movie and the current events continuing to affect the nation. No, the movie isn’t about or related to Rosa Parks, but that line represents the beginnings of the African-American Civil Rights Movement that 10 years later was still unfinished, even after the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and obviously remains unfinished to this day. Had there been more time for the completion of the movie and soundtrack, perhaps there’d also be another lyric in “Glory” referencing Eric Garner’s last words of “I Can’t Breathe,” which has been adopted as a statement of protest against race-related police brutality and lack of repercussions. When the Ferguson Grand Jury decision was announced late last month, there was backlash against “insensitive” tweets and other public acknowledgment of the link between the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting and Selma, which was a month away from hitting theaters (we’ve still got a week until it opens in limited release on Christmas, while most of America won’t have the chance to see it until its January 9th expansion). The issue was mostly taken up with anyone remarking about the movie’s Oscar chances in the wake of the Grand Jury results. They immediately noted the accidental relevance of a movie about the 1965 Selma […]

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Found footage dance films

In news that sounds as if it was ripped straight out of some kind of Movie Mad Libs, Deadline is reporting that R&B singer John Legend has teamed up with rising screenwriter star John Swetnam to make the world’s first found footage dance film. The film will be titled Breaking Through and is described as “a documentary-style dance drama for the YouTube generation.” In addition to producing the film alongside Legend, Swetnam will also pen the feature and helm it, making it his feature directorial debut. As random as the news may sound, Swetnam’s still-growing resume is actually evidence of his interest in both subgenres – he’s got a pair of found-footage-heavy features in the can (Evidence, which was based on his short of the same name, along with the natural disaster found footage feature Into the Storm, which arrives in August) and a dance film with a beloved pedigree on the way (he wrote the fifth Step Up film, Step Up: All In, which will hit theaters in July). If anyone can make a found footage dance film, Swetnam sure sounds like the right guy, and he’s certainly got the heat on his name to make it happen. Also? It’s high time that found footage expanded out into other subgenres, and this new one (call it found FOOTage and then pretend I never said that) is just the next step in popcorn cinema progression.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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