After appearing in the first season of Charlie Brooker’s dystopian anthology series “Black Mirror,” the British actor went on to deliver a breakout performance in Jordan Peele’s genre-redefining psychological horror film “Get Out,” for which he was nominated for an Oscar.
In the two years since, he’s had memorable turns in Marvel’s megahit “Black Panther” and Steve McQueen’s critically acclaimed “Widows” before once again taking the lead in the Thanksgiving release “Queen & Slim,” directed by Melina Matsoukas from a script by Lena Waithe.
“It’s a blessing, man,” he said over a late October lunch at Mid-City’s Paper or Plastik cafe. “I realized I’m always there at the beginning of things: Doing Jordan’s first [directed] film and then Lena’s first film, the first [season] of ‘Black Mirror,’ ‘Black Panther.’ It’s a nice thing to affirm something that could be in the zeitgeist.”
In the same way that “Get Out” and “Black Panther” sparked broad and unexpected cultural conversations when they were released, “Queen & Slim” is primed to do the same. A love story about an unlikely black couple on the run after an altercation with a police officer, the film was intended as a meditation on police brutality and feels decidedly of the times.
Racial justice and the outrage at its absence courses through the visual and emotional powerhouse that is Queen and Slim. There’s also the exhilaration that comes from watching talents new to movies seize their moment with a passion that pins you to your seat. Director Melina Matsoukas — and artist of Greek and Afro-Cuban heritage — is best known for music videos such as Beyonce’s “Formation”; she also helmed Master of None‘s brilliant “Thanksgiving,” episode of Master of None, the same episode that made screenwriter Lena Waithe the first black woman to win an Emmy for writing a comedy. Now they’ve teamed up on what’s being labelled “the black Bonnie and Clyde.”
Queen & Slim is more than that, of course — way more.
Jodie Turner-Smith started off in modeling and has appeared in TV series such as Nightflyers,The Last Ship and True Blood and has appeared in feature films like The Neon Demon. She now stars opposite Daniel Kaluuya in the Melina Matsoukas-directed Queen & Slimwritten by Lena Waithe (opening November 27). The film is garnering critical acclaim and awards season buzz for shedding an authentic light on the Black experience, flipping the script on the timely narrative about police violence against the Black community. As her first lead role in a major feature film, Turner-Smith stopped by Deadline’s New Hollywood Podcast to tell us all about it.
3BlackDot is unveiling its MisBits, which is a multiplayer combat game set in a sandbox cartoon world. The PC title is entering closed beta testing now and should launch on Steam in 2020.
In the game, toys have taken over a house. Players will build their own combat gear in a multiplayer action-adventure world. It’s a sandbox environment where there are no rules. It’s sort of like happens when Toy Story-style characters are set loose in a world where they can go berserk.
It’s the first game from a new game studio in Los Angeles, founded by industry veterans from Ubisoft, Monte Cristo, Cliffhanger Products, Sproing, and Purple Lamp Studios. MisBits aims to be the next generation of sandbox games, where anything can happen.
The founders include former Machinima executives Angelo Pullen and Luke Stepleton, along with top-ranked YouTube gaming influencers Adam Montoya (SeaNanners), Tom Cassell (TheSyndicateProject) and, Evan Fong (VanossGaming).
Collaborating for the first time since 2009’s Nowhere Boy, Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are bringing A Million Little Pieces to the screen, a passion project which the married couple wrote together. Sam, who also directed the film, has had a special attachment to the material for years. A bond so strong that even when James Frey, author of the source material, was chastised for fabricating some of the details in his book, Sam was still eager to to tell this story.
The film, which stars her husband in the leading role, follows a version of Frey who, like in the memoir, is left in rehab to work the drug addiction out of his system.
We Got This Covered recently had the opportunity to speak with both Sam and Aaron about the upcoming film. You can check out our conversation with the director down below, in which discussed her experience partnering with her husband again, as well as working alongside the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Juliette Lewis, and Giovanni Ribisi. Enjoy!
This article contains mild spoilers for the movie Queen & Slim.
Melina Matsoukas has directed some of the most influential music videos of the past decade. She placed Beyoncé atop a flooded car in “Formation” and built heaven and dystopia in Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” She introduced Lady Gaga’s zany theatricality to the world in “Just Dance.” Through her many conceptually ambitious and uniquely stylized works, Matsoukas shifted the modern ambition and aesthetic of the music video, bringing it closer to those of a feature film.
So it’s no surprise that her directorial feature debut, Queen & Slim, is deeply indebted to music. The film has been called a modern-day Bonnie & Clyde: it follows the two eponymous characters (played by Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya) who flee south after Slim kills a police officer in self-defense. The pair spends much of their time alone on the road—but according to Matsoukas, music “becomes another character on their journey.” It seeps out of car radios, New Orleans homes and Mississippi juke joints, serving as a romantic spark, a chaotic agent and a soothing balm.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson Debuts Red Band Trailer of ‘A Million Little Pieces’ – Watch Here!
Aaron Taylor-Johnson keeps it cool and casual while the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversation screening of his film A Million Little Pieces held at SAG-AFTRA Foundation Screening Room on Thursday (November 21) in Los Angeles.
The 29-year-old Golden Globe winner sat down for a Q&A panel to dish about the American drama film, based on the book by the same name written by James Frey. The film is also co-written by Aaron‘s wife Sam Taylor-Johnson.
A Million Little Pieces follows the story of a 23-year-old alcoholic and drug abuser by the same name, James Frey.
Melina Matsoukas is known for directing some of the most compelling and visually striking music videos including Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Beyonce’s game-changing “Formation” — both earned her an MTV Video Music Award. This year, she made her foray into the feature space with Queen and Slim. Written by Emmy winner Lena Waithe and starring Academy Award nominee Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith, the film has been causing buzz ever since it was announced.
*Imagine a bad Tinder date turning into a life or death situation that includes a manhunt for murder, folklore status and love.
That’s the backdrop to the new Universal Pictures upcoming release, “Queen & Slim,” The feature-film directorial debut from Melina Matsoukas (executive producer/director of HBO’s Insecure) stars Academy Award® nominee Daniel Kaluuya as “Slim” and rising star Jodie Turner-Smith (Syfy’s Nightflyers), as “Queen.”
The film was written by Emmy winner Lena Waithe from a story created by Lena and bestselling author James Frey (A Million Little Pieces.) The film has already become a hot topic on social media, with many celebs weighing in on the movie’s heavy topics. Snoop Dogg mentioned he was so emotional, he had to walk out of the theatre.
EURweb’s Jill Munroe spoke with Kaluuya and Turner-Smith to discuss why the film has already connected with the audience, Kaluuya’s experience not only starring in the film, but producing it as well and what would be on their “on the run” playlist.
Oscar Wilde’s stolen ring found by Dutch ‘art detective’
A golden ring once given as a present by the famed Irish writer Oscar Wilde has been recovered by a Dutch “art detective” nearly 20 years after it was stolen from Britain’s Oxford University.
The friendship ring, a joint gift from Wilde to a fellow student in 1876, was taken during a burglary in 2002 at Magdalen College, where the legendary dandy studied. At the time it was valued at £35,000 (40,650 euros, $45,000).
The trinket’s whereabouts remained a mystery for years and there were fears that the ring — shaped like a belt and buckle and made from 18-carat gold — had even been melted down.
But Arthur Brand, a Dutchman dubbed the “Indiana Jones of the Art World” for recovering a series of high-profile stolen artworks, used his underworld connections to finally find it.
The Queen & Slim soundtrack is a high-octane ride with a tender heart — just like the movie it’s made for.
The soundtrack dropped Friday from the iconic Motown Records, ahead of Queen & Slim’s theatrical release later this month. Queen & Slim stars Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya and model and actress Jodie Turner-Smith as a “black Bonnie and Clyde” running from the police. After a forgettable first date in Ohio, the pair are pulled over on a minor traffic stop — but the situation ends suddenly and tragically, with a police officer dead after Kaluuya’s character fights back in self-defense. The incident goes viral, and the two (him a retail employee, her a criminal defense lawyer) go on the run and become national figures.
The 17-song soundtrack is a display of Black talent and artistry, featuring a genuinely staggering lineup ranging from rising hip-hop superstars to soul and R&B legends. A new, fiery Megan Thee Stallion track kicks off the proceedings, followed by original songs by artists including Lauryn Hill — her track “Guarding The Gates” is her first new music in five years, Rolling Stonereports, though fans might recognize it from her live shows.Other artists on the soundtrack include — *takes deep breath* — Vince Staples, 6LACK, Mereba, Syd, Coast Contra, BJ The Chicago Kid, Lil Baby, Burna Boy, and Blood Orange, who also composed the film’s score. Classic songs by Bilal (“Soul Sista”), Mike Jones (“Still Tippin’”), and Roy Ayers (“Searching”) are on the list, too, along with Tiana Major9 and EarthGang’s new single “Collide,” which dropped with an accompanying music video.
Queen & Slim was written by Lena Waithe, and draws inspiration from a short story by her and author James Frey. Waithe worked with Queen & Slim director Melina Matsoukas and Motown Records’ president, Ethiopia Habtemariam, to assemble the soundtrack, which is intended to sound like a musical road trip mirroring the characters’ journey together. It is also meant to be a bold artistic statement — a modern take on the history of Black music in the U.S.
Downtown Los Angeles was introduced to the wellness benefits of Swissx and its CBD products this weekend, as Swissx Labs served as a co-sponsor of Akon Lighting L.A. Just before its launch, Swissx CEO Alki David announced that the company would sponsor the urban conscious music and art event, which was hosted by Grammy Award-nominated singer, Akon.
During Akon Lighting L.A., which benefited AKON Lighting Africa, also highlighted how Swissx is the purest and most respected brand available on the market. All Swissx products come from specially developed strains of hemp grown and processed in Switzerland. The brand counts such celebrities as Tommy Chong, Scott Disick, Dave Navarro, Donatella Versace, Ray J and Jonathan Rhys Myers as fans, and Snoop Dogg has even praised Swissx on social media.
Tonight at 9pm, Snoop Dogg will hit the stage when he hosts the special set DJ SNOOPADELIC.
The all-vegan festival also features kundalini yoga, meditation and indigenous people ceremonies.
The event continues todayuntil 11PM, Saturday the 16th.
3BLACKDOT is at 1580 Jesse Street, L.A. CA 90021 For tickets and more information, here.
The screenwriter Lena Waithe talks about “Queen & Slim,” her new feature from. For many black people, Waithe says, the police “represent Jim Crow, they represent injustice, they represent death to a lot of us.”
Aaron Taylor-Johnson Reminds Fans on Instagram of His Upcoming Film ‘A Million Little Pieces’
by Gabriela Silva
The American drama film, ‘A Million Little Pieces’ is based on the book by the same name written by James Frey. The film is co-written by Sam Taylor-Johnson who is known for directing ‘Nowhere Boy’ and the first installment of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.
Alongside Taylor-Johnson is her husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who is starring in the film as James Frey. Aron is known for his roles in ‘Kickass’, ‘Savages’, The Avengers films and ‘Nowhere Boy’.
Vince Staples’ “Yo Love” feat. 6lack & Mereba From Queen & Slim:The Soundtrack Is Out Today
Today, Motown Records released Vince Staples’ “Yo Love” feat. 6lack & Mereba. The new song is from Queen & Slim: The Soundtrack, which will be released this Friday, November 15.Zane Lowe debuted “Yo Love” earlier today as a World First on Apple Music’s Beats 1.The track is featured today on the cover of Apple Music’s New Music Daily playlist. Download / stream “Yo Love” HERE and view the pseudo video HERE.
Those who pre-order / pre-save the albumin digital format will instantly receive “Yo Love” plus “Ride or Die”by Megan Thee Stallion x VickeeLo and “Collide” by Tiana Major9 & EARTHGANG. Queen & Slim: The Soundtrack is available for pre-order / pre-save HERE.
Starring Oscar® nominee Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Queen & Slim isa powerful, consciousness-raising love story that confronts the staggering human toll of racism and the life-shattering price of violence. The film, from GRAMMY®-winning director Melina Matsoukas and Emmy®-winning writer Lena Waithe, is due in theaters November 27 following its November 14 premiere at AFI Fest in Los Angeles, where it opens the festival.
The music in the film serves as an additional voice and showcases the range of talent across Black artists with a compelling blend of genres. The 16-song soundtrack also features new tracks by Ms. Lauryn Hill, Lil Baby, Coast Contrafeaturing BJ The Chicago Kid and Syd, plus classic songs by Roy Ayers, Bilal, Mike Jones and others. Blood Orange composed the film’s score and is featured on the soundtrack.
“Collide,” by Tiana Major9 & EARTHGANG, has amassed over three million combined global streams. Produced by Benny Cassette (Kanye West, John Legend), the track was the #1 Most Added song at Urban AC Radio. It has topped Spotify’s The Newness playlist, placed in Apple Music’s “Me & Bae” playlist and appears on the biggest R&B playlists on Pandora (Top R&B Hits), YouTube Music (R&B Wave) and Amazon (R&B Rotation).
Lena Waithe wrote the screenplay for Queen & Slim from a story by herself and bestselling author James Frey (A Million Little Pieces, Katerina). The film is produced by Frey, Waithe, Matsoukas, Michelle Knudsen, Andrew Coles, Brad Weston and Pamela Abdy.
It was not only the beginning of a new chapter for Germany and the World, but also a new chapter in David Hasselhoff’s career. The actor and singer had made a name for himself in the U.S., especially as the star of the TV show Knight Rider, but he became even more of a celebrity in Germany after his song “Looking For Freedom” (an English adaptation of the 1978 German hit “Auf Der Strasse Nach Süden,” often translated as “On the road to the South”) came out in 1988, followed by the album of the same name in June 1989. It topped the charts in West Germany, in large part because its lyrics about the long search for freedom struck a chord among those living in a divided Germany. The coincidental timing of the song’s release and the wall’s destruction made Hasselhoff a surprising symbol of the end of the Cold War, a position cemented by his performance at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate on New Year’s Eve 1989.