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The Black Financiers Behind QUEEN & SLIM

from ESSENCE

Did You Know There Were Two Black Financiers Behind ‘Queen & Slim?’

WHEN WRITER LENA WAITHE AND DIRECTOR MELINA MATSOUKAS SAID THE FILM WAS “FOR US, BY US,” THEY MEAN IT.

BY DANIELLE YOUNG

Angelo Pullen and Reginald Cash

The brilliance that is Queen & Slim has been described as a “for us, by us” film, with Black women Melina Matsoukas and Lena Waithe at the helm.

The Black excellence was apparent with Waithe telling ESSENCE that she and Matsoukas, who made her directorial debut with the feature film, didn’t use any feedback about their film from anyone at the studio who wasn’t Black.

The “Black out” around Queen & Slim didn’t stop there. In fact, while we were at the AFI Fest premiere last month, we met the CEO and President of entertainment studio 3BlackDot, Angelo Pullen and Reginald Cash. These two Black men are among the financiers behind the film.

[ click to continue reading at ESSENCE ]

Posted on December 25, 2019 by Editor

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Straight from Lena on QUEEN & SLIM

from the LA Times

Why Lena Waithe fell in love with her leads while writing ‘Queen & Slim’

By LENA WAITHE

“Queen & Slim” screenwriter Lena Waithe
Lena Waithe took the idea for “Queen & Slim” and made it her own. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

“Queen & Slim” began at a party, celebrating my wife Alana Mayo. She had just been chosen as one of the Hollywood Reporter’s 35 under 35 execs. I was there gallivanting and having a good time when writer James Frey walked up to me and introduced himself. 

It was kind of funny, because I knew who he was, but I joined in the formalities anyway and introduced myself as well. I think he was aware I was a writer — but at that time “The Chi” hadn’t aired yet (we were still writing the first season) and the “Thanksgiving” episode of “Master of None” was an idea that had not yet entered my mind. I say all this to say: He had no real reason to throw an idea — an idea that would ultimately change the course of my life — into my lap at a rooftop party in Hollywood.

He simply said, “I have an idea for a movie I can’t write.” I responded, “What’s the idea?” And he said, very cavalierly, a black man and a black woman go out on a first date and on their way home they get pulled over by a cop, things escalate quickly and they kill the cop in self-defense and rather than turning themselves in, they decide to get in the car and go.” 

I quickly said to him, “You’re right, you can’t write that.” But I knew I could.

He had another title and an outline in his back pocket, but I didn’t want it. I didn’t need it. That sentence was all I needed to go create a black odyssey that would ultimately become a meditation on blackness and what it truly looks like to search for freedom and joy that’s everlasting.

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on December 20, 2019 by Editor

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NEWSWEEK – The Taylor-Johnson’s on A MILLION LITTLE PIECES

from NEWSWEEK

AARON AND SAM TAYLOR-JOHNSON TALK ‘A MILLION LITTLE PIECES,’ COLLABORATING AND ADDICTION

BY H. ALAN SCOTT

Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson attend the Build Series to discuss ‘A Million Little Pieces’ at Build Studio December 02, 2019 in New York City. DOMINIK BINDL/GETTY IMAGES

James Frey’s book A Million Little Pieces could arguably be considered one of the most controversial books published in recent history.

The controversy surrounding its semi-fictional memoir-style made it one of the internet’s first viral scandals of the publishing world. But beyond the controversy—and the infamous interview Frey did with Oprah Winfrey in 2005—is a story about a person struggling with addiction and desperately trying to find a way out of it. That’s the story director Sam Taylor-Johnson told in her new film adaption of the memoir, starring and co-written by her husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

“I read it and loved it and went on the journey with James,” Sam told Newsweek Conversations. “I continued on the journey with James through what happened with the book and the controversy, public shaming and humiliation.”

Loosely based on Frey’s own journey, Aaron dived into the character by working closely with Frey, communicating regularly, going on a road trip together and even visiting the rehabilitation center where Frey first sought treatment.

“It was really overwhelming for him to step through those doors again,” Aaron told Newsweek Conversations. “He said he hadn’t been back in over 20 years. I guess the rawness of it is he was an addict and now, today, he’s 26 years sober. It’s phenomenal.”

[ click to continue reading at NEWSWEEK ]

Posted on December 19, 2019 by Editor

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PEOPLE Magazine: The Taylor-Johnson’s on A MILLION LITTLE PIECES

from PEOPLE Magazine

Aaron and Sam Taylor-Johnson on the Intense Journey of Making an Addiction Movie Together

A Million Little Pieces is playing in select theaters now

By  Nigel Smith

Aaron, 29, and Sam Taylor-Johnson, 52, are no strangers to working together, having met making Sam’s directorial debut Nowhere Boy in 2009 — but adapting James Frey’s controversial 2003 book A Million Little Piecesmarked challenging new territory for the married couple.

The film adaptation of Frey’s addiction memoir, which he later admitted to partly fabricating, sees Aaron go to some very dark places to play a young drug-addled writer as he undergoes a grueling two-month detox program.

Below are excepts from PEOPLE’s conversation with the pair, who wed in 2012 and have two daughters together now, in addition to two from Sam’s previous marriage.

[ click to continue reading at PEOPLE ]

Posted on December 18, 2019 by Editor

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The Taylor-Johnson’s by James Frey

from Harper’s BAZAAR

Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson Are One of the Most Private Couples in Hollywood—and They Intend to Keep It That Way

BY JAMES FREY; PHOTOGRAPHS BY MICHAEL AVEDON

sam taylor johnson aaron taylor johnson
Hang time. On Sam: Dolce & Gabbana bra and briefs.
On Aaron: Lululemon shorts.

Between lingering kisses and adoring sidelong glances, artist turned filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson and her dashing actor husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, open up to friend James Frey (whose book A Million Little Pieces they have adapted for the big screen) about the coup de foudre they experienced when they first met—and how they keep that spark burning bright more than a decade later.

She was a world-renowned artist, her work hanging in museums around the world, selling for outrageous sums in galleries and at auction, the mother of two young daughters living in London and spending weekends in France or the English countryside. She had also survived cancer twice. She was healthy, brilliant, beautiful, and successful beyond her wildest dreams. She was about to direct her first feature film. Her life was full. Or so she thought. 

“I wasn’t expecting anything that day. Just to see a bunch of actors pretending to be John Lennon.” He was an actor, working since he was six. He’d been onstage, in films, on television, successful enough to get by, but the breakthrough hadn’t come. He’d been preparing for this audition for six weeks. If he got the role, it would change his life. 

“I remember it very, very clearly. I know exactly what she was wearing. This white shirt that she still has, that I love. It definitely changed my life, though not in the way I expected.” 

“We were very professional through the entire film.”

“No funny business at all.”

“But everyone on set knew. And as soon as we finished, he told me he was going to marry me. We had never been on a date, or even kissed.”

“And a year to the minute after we met, exactly one year to the minute, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me.”

“In the 10 years we’ve been together, we’ve only been apart for maybe two or three days.”

“And those were the worst days of those 10 years.”

[ click to continue reading at Harper’s BAZAAR ]

Posted on December 17, 2019 by Editor

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The Chicago Crusader on QUEEN & SLIM

from The Chicago Crusader

Black Lives Matter themes on full blast in ‘Queen & Slim’

By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.

“Queen & Slim” is a story about a Black couple on the run who find themselves in an untenable position shortly after their first date. They are driving along and Slim had briefly passed his cell phone to Queen. She starts being nosey, as some women are wont to do, and he snatches the phone, causing the car to swerve a bit.

And, of course, seconds later, a Cleveland, Ohio, police officer stops the car. The cop’s initial reason for stopping Slim was no signal at a previous turn and that he suspected that Slim was under the influence. The “no turn signal” excuse made me think immediately of the late Sandra Bland, the Naperville, Illinois, woman who met her death at the hands of Texas police officers after a similar traffic stop—although they claimed that Bland committed suicide. An argument ensues, and Queen, who is a criminal defense attorney, questions the officer after he trains his gun on Slim. The officer shoots Queen in the leg, and Slim kills the officer, setting in motion their run from authorities.

[ click to continue reading at The Chicago Crusader ]

Posted on December 15, 2019 by Editor

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Sam & Aaron Taylor-Johnson Fight

from TIME Magazine

Why Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson Fought to Get A Million Little Pieces in Front of Audiences

BY SAM LANSKY

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson attend the Build Series to discuss 'A Million Little Pieces' on December 02, 2019 in New York City.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson attend the Build Series to discuss ‘A Million Little Pieces’ on December 02, 2019 in New York City. Getty Images—2019 Dominik Bindl

“Do what you want with it.” That was more or less what James Frey told the director Sam Taylor-Johnson when she and her husband, the Golden Globe-winning actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, approached him about bringing Frey’s 2003 book A Million Little Pieces to the screen. “I’m not going to be there,” Sam remembers Frey saying. “I’m not going to read your script. I may not ever see the movie. But if you respond to the material and you like it, do it!”

For Sam, director of Nowhere Boy and Fifty Shades of Grey, adapting Frey’s bestseller about his struggle to get clean from drugs and alcohol in a Minnesota rehab was a longtime dream. It also ended up proving a challenge: “Every step of the way with this movie has been pushing a boulder up a hill,” she says now. 

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on December 12, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM – More Than Outlaws

from The Morganton News-Herald

‘Queen & Slim’ is more than an “outlaws on the run” story

by Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

PHOTO CREDIT: Andre D. Wagner

“Queen & Slim” is a movie we’ve seen before, whether in the form of “Bonnie and Clyde” or “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Two attractive outlaws on the lam, running from the clutches of the law, their banter, adventures and funny or violent or romantic encounters punctuating an epic and ultimately fatalistic journey.

“Thelma & Louise” is part of that tradition and, much as sexism motivated and contextualized the events of that outlaw picaresque, racism provides the crucial frame for “Queen & Slim.” The movie begins with a young couple in a diner, in the middle of an awkward first date: When the young man (Daniel Kaluuya) asks his female companion, an attorney played by newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith, why she finally responded to him online, she explains that one of her clients was just scheduled for execution and she was seeking a distraction. “So you turned to Tinder,” he says joshingly.

The characters are unnamed throughout most of the movie, but when a pivotal confrontation on their way home sends them on a desperate escape from Cleveland through the American South and finally to Florida, their identities go through all manner of changes.

[ click to continue reading at The News-Herald ]

Posted on December 11, 2019 by Editor

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Lena Waithe Rising

from The Washington Blade

Rising queer star Lena Waithe drops trailer for new series

Lena Waithe (Image via Facebook)

Lena Waithe, the out lesbian woman of color who has been among those at the forefront in the struggle to bring more visibility and representation to the entertainment industry, is on a roll as 2019 comes to a close.

On the heels of an impressive opening weekend for her debut feature film, “Queen and Slim,” the Emmy-winner dropped the trailer for her upcoming television project on BET. Titled “Twenties,” it’s the first series in the network’s history to be centered on an LGBTQ character.

“Queen and Slim,” the rising industry powerhouse’s first feature film screenplay (from a story she co-wrote with James Frey), surpassed industry expectations by making the top five box-office list for Thanksgiving weekend.

[ click to read full article at The Washington Blade ]

Posted on December 8, 2019 by Editor

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A MILLION LITTLE PIECES “Stellar”

from The Boston Herald

“A Million Little Pieces” stellar tale of addiction, redemption

By STEPHEN SCHAEFER

There is something both shocking and weirdly gallant to see Aaron Taylor-Johnson as James Frey completely unhinged and out of his skull — and clothes — as “A Million Little Pieces” opens.

The brief sequence immediately establishes the mindset of a self-destructive druggie and Taylor-Johnson’s willingness to go wherever to tell a familiar story of rehab and redemption.

Co-written by real-life couple director Sam Taylor-Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) and Aaron, “Pieces” is an adaptation of Frey’s once notorious but still in print bestselling memoir from 2003.

The memoir was notoriously targeted by Oprah Winfrey for exaggeration and embellishing, which today seems quaint and completely out of proportion for the lies told daily in the national conversation.

What the Taylor-Johnsons have done is smoothly engrossing with a first-rate cast.

[ click to continue reading at The Boston Herald ]

Posted on December 7, 2019 by Editor

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A MILLION LITTLE PIECES Premiere

from Instagram

[ click to view on Instagram ]

Posted on December 6, 2019 by Editor

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A MILLION LITTLE PIECES “An effective blunt instrument of a film”

from The Chicago Sun-Times

‘A Million Little Pieces’ works on film, and that’s the honest truth

Aaron Taylor-Johnson does harrowing work as author James Frey in the throes of addiction and rehab.

By Richard Roeper

Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays James Frey at his addictive low point in “A Million Little Pieces.”
 Momentum Pictures

“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” – Mark Twain, quoted in “A Million Little Pieces.”

You had to feel for James Frey.

In January 2006, the School of the Art Institute grad turned best-selling author took arguably the most brutal verbal beatdown in the history of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Granted, Frey brought it upon himself, when it was revealed his mega-successful addiction memoir “A Million Little Pieces” contained major exaggerations and fabrications.

Oprah, who initially had championed the book, was not amused. She called Frey on the carpet in front of a studio audience and millions of viewers. 

It seemed excessive. It was painful to watch.

A few years later, Oprah said she owed Frey an apology. By then, Frey had bounced back in a big way, with a seven-figure deal to write novels for Harper Collins. Since then, his career has continued to thrive, most recently with a “Story By” credit for the acclaimed theatrical release “Queen & Slim.”

Now, some 16 years after the publication of “A Million Little Pieces,” a film adaptation from director/co-writer Sam Taylor-Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey,” no relation) is getting an understated release, and it’s reasonable to assume a good percentage of viewers will have little or no knowledge of the controversial story behind the source material.

Not that it should matter. As a stand-alone work of cinema fiction, “A Million Little Pieces” is an effective blunt instrument of a film — a rough-edged, unvarnished, painfully accurate portrayal of addiction and rehabilitation.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun-Times ]

Posted on December 5, 2019 by Editor

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Sam & Aaron Taylor-Johnson on James Frey

from USA Today

Q&A: Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson on why it’s OK to forgive James Frey

by Andrea Mandell

Sam Taylor-Johnson directs her husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a scene from
A MILLION LITTLE PIECES / Photo by Jeff Gros

Sam Taylor-Johnson knows willpower. Four years ago, it powered an iron stomach through the contentious making of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Now, it’s propelling her James Frey movie into theaters. 

On Friday, the director’s new film, “A Million Little Pieces,” arrives in theaters, starring her husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, 29, as the recovering alcoholic who found himself at the center of one of the biggest memoir publishing scandals in modern history.

[ click to continue reading at USA Today ]

Posted on December 4, 2019 by Editor

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The Contenders: Melina Matsoukas

from DEADLINE

‘Queen & Slim’ Director Melina Matsoukas On Showing “Black People As Victors And Not Victims” – The Contenders L.A. Video

By Amanda N’Duka

Grammy-winning music video director Melina Matsoukas is known for using her work not only to highlight African -American culture but also reflect pertinent issues in the community. That’s what made Queen & Slim the apt project for her feature directorial debut.

“The script for me was everything,” Matsoukas said at Deadline’s Contenders Los Angeles event. “It was political. It was saying something. It was illuminating issues in the black community with police brutality and so many of our struggles. But mostly because it was this beautiful love story as well. It really staddles the line between all kinds of genres. … We get to enjoy this beautiful journey between two black people.”

[ click to view and continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on December 3, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM – “For me, this is a battle cry.”

from BET

Lena Waithe Explains Police Brutality Focus In ‘Queen & Slim’

“For me, this is a battle cry.”

Written by Alexis Reese

With one of the most anticipated Black films of 2019, Queen & Slim, to be released before the start of the new year, producer and writer Lena Waithe is spinning the traditional police brutality narrative.

Sitting down with BET Digital, Waithe speaks to the importance of the film, her vision behind the screenplay, the current state of America’s police force and more.

The drama follows two strangers, Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya), who find themselves responsible for the death of a police officer after going on a first date. Waithe transformed a small anecdote she got from her co-writer James Frey into a fully formed narrativethen brought on Melina Matsoukas as director. With police brutality at an all-time high, the need for the film was urgent if not crucial. “I think for Black people, police have never represented to us an organization that protects or serves us. We almost feel more oppressed by the police. That is something that is an issue and is a problem in our society, because we are citizens just like anyone else. But we feel policed, you can’t live freely in that way,” Waithe says.

[ click to continue reading at BET ]

Posted on December 2, 2019 by Editor

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Costuming QUEEN & SLIM

from Vanity Fair

Queen & Slim: How Black Panthers, Diahann Carroll Inspired the Film’s Designer Costumes

Costume designer Shiona L. Turini walks us through the film’s sleek sartorial choices, from Slim’s custom red tracksuit to Queen’s Brother Vellies boots.

BY YOHANA DESTA

This image may contain Hair Human Person Clothing and Apparel
(L-R) Director Melina Matsoukas, Indya Moore and
costume designer Shiona Turini on the set of Queen & Slim.
BY LELANIE FOSTER/UNIVERSAL.

In Queen & Slim, the sweeping road movie thriller directed by Melina Matsoukas and written by Lena Waithe, the costumes are culled from a world of rich cultural sources. The revolutionary Black Panthers, blaxploitation movies, and Diahann Carroll were all used as reference points by designers like Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, Dapper Dan,and Aurora James of Brother Vellies, all of whom contributed looks to the film about a young black couple (Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith) who go on the run after killing a racist, jumpy police officer. The end result is a film that is equal parts thought-provoking and impossibly stylish, a sartorial vision funneled through the eye of one specific person: costume designer Shiona L. Turini.

Queen & Slim is a first feature for many involved: It’s Matsoukas’s debut as a feature director (she rose to fame after helming sleek music videos for the likes of Beyoncé and Snoop Dogg); it’s Waithe’s first feature screenplay; it’s Turner-Smith’s first time carrying a film. It’s also Turini’s first time costuming a movie. The designer, a former editorial stylist and director who worked at magazines like Cosmopolitan and W, first turned to the screen after a chance meeting with Matsoukas.

“We met on a camping trip in Joshua Tree for one New Year’s Eve and we really just hit it off,” Turini tells Vanity Fair. “We work very similarly, we’re the same age. It was a very instant connection.”

By that point, Matsoukas was already an established music video director (she first worked with Beyoncé in 2007), but Turini had no clue about her friend’s status in the industry. She only realized later when she was making a professional website and asked to see Matsoukas’s site; the director didn’t have one, but pointed her in the direction of her management team, who had catalogued her work thus far.

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on December 1, 2019 by Editor

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Daniel Kaluuya On QUEEN & SLIM

from The LA Times

Why Daniel Kaluuya fought for ‘Queen & Slim’: ‘I like things that are misbehaved’

By SONAIYA KELLEY

Actor Daniel Kaluuya of “Queen & Slim.”
Actor Daniel Kaluuya has gone from success to success.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Daniel Kaluuya is used to getting people talking. 

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.

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on November 30, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM – “A brilliant piece of protest art”

from Rolling Stone

‘Queen & Slim’: Meet the Bonnie and Clyde of 2019

A tale of an outlaw couple on the run in Trump’s racially charged America is a bold new take on an old tale — and a brilliant piece of protest art

By PETER TRAVERS

Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith in ‘Queen & Slim,’ directed by Melina Matsoukas. – Andre D. Wagner/Universal Pictures

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.

[ click to continue reading at Rolling Stone ]

OTHER REVIEWS…

New York Times
TIME
The Wrap
Waco Tribune
Austin Chronicle
Chicago Daily Herald
Boston Globe

Posted on November 29, 2019 by Editor

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Jodie Turner-Smith on QUEEN & SLIM

from DEADLINE

New Hollywood Podcast: Jodie Turner-Smith Talks Cultural Identity And Social Impact Of ‘Queen & Slim’

By Dino-Ray RamosAmanda N’Duka

Shutterstock

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 & Slim written 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.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on November 28, 2019 by Editor

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INTERVIEW: Lena Waithe on QUEEN & SLIM

Posted on November 27, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM – Tomorrow

from Instagram

[ join me on Instagram ]

Posted on November 26, 2019 by Editor

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3BlackDot Launches MisBits

from Venture Beat

3BlackDot unveils MisBits combat game set in a sandbox cartoon world

by DEAN TAKAHASHI

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).

[ click to continue reading at VB ]

Posted on November 25, 2019 by Editor

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Interview with A MILLION LITTLE PIECES Direct Sam Taylor-Johnson

from We Got This Covered

Exclusive Interview: Director Sam Taylor-Johnson Talks A Million Little Pieces

By Luke Parker

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!

[ click to continue reading at We Got This Covered ]

Posted on November 24, 2019 by Editor

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The Music of QUEEN & SLIM

from TIME Magazine

How Queen and Slim‘s Filmmakers Captured the Past, Present and Future of Black Music

BY ANDREW R. CHOW

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.

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on November 23, 2019 by Editor

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A MILLION LITTLE PIECES Red Band Trailer

from Just Jared

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. 

[ click to continue reading at Just Jared ]

Posted on November 22, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM’s Melina Matsoukas New Hollywood Podcast

from DEADLINE

New Hollywood Podcast: ‘Queen & Slim’ Director Melina Matsoukas Talks Changing The Narrative Of Violence Against Black Community

By Dino-Ray RamosAmanda N’Duka

Shutterstock

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.

[ click to listen at DEADLINE ]

Posted on November 21, 2019 by Editor

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Dev Hynes’ Score for QUEEN & SLIM

from The Vinyl Factory

Dev Hynes is releasing his original score for Queen & Slim

by Lazlo Rugoff

Mellow operatic rhythms and delicate piano compositions. 

Composer and musician Devonté Hynes, aka Blood Orange, is releasing his score for Queen & Slim this March via Domino, following its digital release on Friday the 22nd of November.

Written by Lena Waithe and based on James Frey’s original idea, Queen & Slim stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith as a young couple on the run.

It follows the release of the film’s soundtrack, which includes new music from Lauryn HillVince Staples, Megan Thee Stallion and more.

Queen & Slim is the second film score composed by Hynes, following his work for Gia Coppola’s 2013 Palo Alto.

[ click to continue reading at The Vinyl Factory ]

Posted on November 20, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM’s Turner-Smith and Kaluuya Connecting

from Lee Bailey’s ELECTRONIC URBAN REPORT

‘QUEEN & SLIM’ STARS JODIE TURNER-SMITH & DANIEL KALUUYA TALK DEEP CONNECTIONS

by JILLMUNROE

*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.

[ click to continue reading at Lee Bailey’s ELECTRONIC URBAN REPORT ]

Posted on November 19, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM – “Powerful Soundtrack”

from Refinery29

Queen & Slim Get The Powerful Soundtrack They Deserve

by ALEJANDRA SALAZAR

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 yearsRolling 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 BabyBurna 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.

[ click to continue reading at Refinery29 ]

Posted on November 17, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM’s Lena Waithe with David Remnick

from The New Yorker

Lena Waithe on “Queen & Slim”

With David Remnick

Illustration by Golden Cosmos

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.”

[ click to listen to podcast at The New Yorker ]

Posted on November 15, 2019 by Editor

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Instagram A MILLION LITTLE PIECES’ Aaron Taylor-Johnson

from Yahoo! Entertainment

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’.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! Entertainment ]

Posted on November 13, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM Soundtrack Out Now

from RESPECT

Vince Staples’ “Yo Love” feat. 6lack & Mereba From Queen & Slim:The Soundtrack Is Out Today

Image Credit: Queen & Slim Album Cover

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 & EARTHGANGQueen & 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. 

[ click to continue reading at RESPECT ]

Posted on November 12, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM On Racism, Police Brutality

from The Chicago Tribune

‘Queen & Slim’ a tale of outlaws, but also a love story and a meditation on racism and police brutality

By SONAIYA KELLEY, LOS ANGELES TIMES

Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) in “Queen & Slim,” directed by Melina Matsoukas.
Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) in “Queen & Slim,” directed by Melina Matsoukas. (Andre D. Wagner/Universal Pictur / HANDOUT)

For “Queen & Slim,” screenwriter Lena Waithe’s meditation on race relations and police brutality, director Melina Matsoukas drew visual inspiration from sources as diverse as Alfonso Cuaron’s 2001 dramedy “Y Tu Mama Tambien” and Spike Lee’s 1989 classic “Do the Right Thing.” But the biggest influence came from YouTube.

“One of the key references for me has been real life, authentic struggles in the black community,” said Matsoukas, who makes her feature debut with the movie, in theaters on Thanksgiving. “I watched a lot of YouTube videos of black people being pulled over by the police or encountering law enforcement and it not necessarily ending well. Unfortunately, there are so many of those videos, but they were a major influence in how I wanted to approach shooting the opening scene.”

Starring Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith, our protagonists (known simply as Slim and Queen until the end) are forced on the run within the first 10 minutes of the movie. “A Million Little Pieces” author James Frey pitched the idea for the opening to Waithe at a party.

“He was like, ‘Yo, I have this idea for a movie that I can’t write,’” she remembered. “And I was like ‘What’s that?’”

[ click to continue reading at Chicago Tribune ]

Posted on November 10, 2019 by Editor

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