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James Frey Reads AMERICAN CLASSICS

from Youtube

Posted on November 7, 2019 by Editor

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Melina and Lena On QUEEN & SLIM

from AllHipHop

‘Queen & Slim’ Creators Melina Matsoukas & Lena Waithe Talk Making Art That Creates Change

“We’ll give you an authentic view of what it means to be Black in America today.”

by Yohance Kyles (@HUEYmixwitRILEY)

(AllHipHop News) Melina Matsoukas and Lena Waithe are two of the producers behind the forthcoming motion picture Queen & Slim. Matsoukas also made her feature-film directorial debut, and Waithe wrote the screenplay.

In the movie, Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) are on the run after a police officer is killed in self-defense during a traffic stop. As two Black fugitives, the retail worker and the lawyer unwittingly become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief, and pain for people across the country.

“Filmmaking is a war, and those are my war wounds up on that screen. I feel like you have to fight for your vision,” expresses Matsoukas. “That’s my favorite kind of art to create, that speaks to people and also creates change.”

Matsoukas is a two-time Grammy winner for directing Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Beyoncé’s “Formation” music videos. Lena Waithe won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (Netflix’s Master of None), and she is the creator of the Showtime program The Chi. Best-selling author James Frey and Waithe developed the story for Queen & Slim. 

“You’re trying to find it through the visuals, I’m trying to find it through the words, and the actors are trying to find it in their performances,” says Waithe while speaking with Matsoukas. 

The Chicago native continued, “All these Black artists are trying to find truth in something or some form of honesty. Whoever’s watching it, whether you like it or not, it’s going to make you feel something.”

[ click to continue reading at AllHipHop ]

Posted on November 6, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM BTS Featurette

from MOVIEWEB

Queen & Slim Featurette Goes Behind-the-Scenes of Modern Day Bonnie & Clyde

by B. ALAN ORANGE

From two-time Grammy award winning director Melina Matsoukas, the visionary filmmaker behind this generation’s most powerful pop-culture experiences, including HBO’s Insecure, the Emmy award-winning “Thanksgiving” episode of Netflix’s Master of None, and Beyonce’s “Formation,” and from trailblazing, Emmy-winning writer Lena Waithe (Netflix’s Master of None), comes the unflinching new drama, Queen & Slim.

Joining a legacy of films such Set It Off and Thelma & LouiseQueen & Slim is a powerful, consciousness-raising love story that confronts the staggering human toll of racism and the life-shattering price of violence.

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.” Waithe wrote the screenplay 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. The executive producers are Pamela Hirsch, Kaluuya, Aaron L. Gilbert and Jason Cloth.

This drama is already being praised as an awards season contender with Oscars in its sights, with the full ensemble including Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Chloë Sevigny, Flea, John Sturgill Simpson, Indya Moore. Melina Matsoukas directs from screenplay by Lena Waithe with a story by: James Frey and Lena Waithe. Producers include James Frey, Lena Waithe, Melina Matsoukas, Michelle Knudsen, Andrew Coles, Brad Weston, Pamela Abdy. Executive Producers include Pamela Hirsch, Daniel Kaluuya, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth.

[ click to read full article at MOVIEWEB ]

Posted on November 4, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM – The Contenders

from DEADLINE

Universal’s ‘Us’ And ‘Queen & Slim’ Roam A Broken American Dream – The Contenders LA

By Geoff Boucher

Queen & Slim Featurette Goes Behind-the-Scenes of Modern Day Bonnie & Clyde

he ominous caverns that may be hidden below the fractured landscape of contemporary America are the violent playground for two Universal Pictures films, Us and Queen & Slim, that were represented on Saturday at Deadline’s The Contenders Los Angeles by two filmmakers who plugged into the nightmare side of the American Dream with fascinating results.

First to the stage was Melina Matsoukas, who made her directorial debut this year with the Universal/Makeready spree film Queen & Slim, which follows in tradition of Natural Born Killers, Bonnie & Clyde, Thelma & Louise and other outlaw-duo-on-the-run tales.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on November 2, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM Not Bonnie & Clyde

from the LA Times

Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas don’t want you comparing ‘Queen & Slim’ to ‘Bonnie and Clyde’

By SONAIYA KELLEY

Lena Waithe, left, and Melina Matsoukas at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles.
Lena Waithe, left, and Melina Matsoukas at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles.(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

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 Cuarón’s 2001 dramedy “Y Tu Mamá También” and Spike Lee’s 1989 classic “Do the Right Thing.” But the biggest influence came straight 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?’”

Frey described a scenario in which a black couple driving home from a first date are pulled over by a cop and forced to kill him in self-defense. “I was like, ‘You’re right, you shouldn’t write that,’” said Waithe. “But then we exchanged information. I think he thought he was never going to hear from or see me again, but it just stayed with me.”

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on October 30, 2019 by Editor

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James Frey AMERICAN CLASSICS

from Instagram

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Posted on October 27, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM’s Jodie Turner Smith

from ESSENCE

‘Queen & Slim’ Star Jodie Turner-Smith Has Us Under Her Spell

BY SYDNEY SCOTT

IN THE BLACK LIVES MATTER–INSPIRED LOVE STORY “QUEEN & SLIM,” NEW STAR JODIE TURNER-SMITH TAKES OUR BREATH AWAY.

When it was announced last year that Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas had tapped a relatively unknown Jodie Turner-Smith to star in their film Queen & Slim, playing opposite Daniel Kaluuya, fresh from his Oscar-nominated role in Get Out, the Internet began chattering about the striking British-Jamaican actress. Some remembered Turner-Smith from her star turn as Melantha Jhirl in SyFy’s Nightflyers and her appearance in Zayn Malik’s “Pillowtalk” video. But in Queen & Slim, directed by Matsoukas, written by Waithe from a story by James Frey, the actress is poised to make her mark as a leading lady.

In the flick, there’s a scene in which Turner-Smith glides slowly into frame after her uncle’s girlfriend-—played by Pose’s Indya Moore—takes out her braids so as to be less recognizable to the authorities chasing her. At Turner-Smith’s arrival, the audible gasp from the audience at an early screening dispelled any notion that the actress was someone who would shrink into the background. When the film hits theaters on November 27, viewers won’t be able to take their eyes off her. 

Turner-Smith has a powerful presence. A captivating beauty whose sultry energy makes her a scene-stealer, she’s thoughtful when speaking. And while she began her career playing a siren on HBO’s True Blood and popped up in projects like TNT’s The Last Ship, it was only a year ago that she caught our attention in the adaptation of the George R. R. Martin novella Nightflyers.

[ click to continue reading at ESSENCE ]

Posted on October 22, 2019 by Editor

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Friends

from Instagram

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Posted on October 14, 2019 by Editor

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Lena On LA

from AdWeek

Lena Waithe on Why LA Was the Perfect Place to Make Her Dreams Come True

The prolific writer, producer and actor’s first feature film is debuting next month

By Lisa Lacy

Lena Waithe
Lena Waithe moved to Los Angeles from Chicago in 2006.
Photography by Lelanie Foster; styled by and wearing Richfresh;
hair by Dominique Evans; makeup by Rebekah Aladdin

Lena Waithe says she moved to Los Angeles from Chicago in 2006 knowing she wanted to conquer it. And with 22 projects in active development with some of the biggest names in the business—including Amazon, BET, Disney, HBO, Netflix, Showtime and Universal—as well as a star-making turn on the Netflix series Master of None, which earned her an Emmy, she’s arguably done just that.

Season 3 of The Chi, a drama Waithe created for Showtime about the South Side of Chicago, is now in production. She did a food tour of L.A. with David Chang for his new Netflix limited series Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, premiering Oct. 23 (the show also features Chrissy Teigen and Kate McKinnon). And next month, she’s bringing her talents to the big screen with the film Queen & Slim, for which she penned the screenplay (it’s based on a story she wrote with author James Frey). The movie, about what happens to a couple on a first date after they get pulled over by the police, stars Jodie Turner-Smith and Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya in the title roles.

[ click to continue reading at AdWeek ]

Posted on October 13, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM Soundtrack

from Variety

‘Queen & Slim’ Soundtrack Features Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, Ms. Lauryn Hill, More

by LATESHA HARRIS

(from left) Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) in Queen & Slim, directed by Melina Matsoukas.
CREDIT: UNIVERSAL PICTURES

The soundtrack to the highly anticipated film “Queen & Slim” will be released by Motown on Nov. 15, it was announced today. The 17-song collection features new tracks from Ms. Lauryn HillMegan Thee StallionLil BabyVince Staples featuring 6lack X Mereba, Tiana Major 9 & EARTHGANG and Coast Contra featuring BJ The Chicago Kid and Syd. Classic songs by Roy Ayers, Bilal and Mike Jones can also be heard.

Starring Daniel Kaluuya, who was nominated for an Academy award for his role in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” and Jodie Turner-Smith (“The Neon Demon”), “Queen & Slim” is a modern re-telling of Bonnie & Clyde that confronts race relations and police brutality in America. Melina Matsoukas (“Master of None,” “Insecure”) makes her feature directorial debut with the film. Lena Waithe, the first black woman to win the Emmy award for outstanding writing for a comedy series, is credited as a writer alongside James Frey, of “A Million Little Pieces” fame. 

[ click to continue reading at Variety ]

Posted on October 11, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM Bonnie and Clyde meets Thelma and Louise

from THE SOURCE

THE BLACK BONNIE & CLYDE: ‘QUEEN & SLIM’ PREMIERING THIS FALL

BY SOURCESTAFF

Are you ready for a modern-day Black Bonnie and Clyde? Lena Waithe, the Emmy-winning screenwriter, already has everyone on the edge of their seats for Queen & Slim as she explains to Complex.

The film is “Bonnie & Clyde meets Thelma & Louis meets Set It Off. Waithe worked closely with writer James Frey as they adapted an original idea for the story. Universal Pictures will release Queen & Slim a romantic thriller film directed by Melina Matsoukas on November 27.

[ click to continue reading at THE SOURCE ]

Posted on October 4, 2019 by Editor

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476 by James Frey

from Instagram

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Posted on September 30, 2019 by Editor

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Best Fall Films – QUEEN & SLIM

from Teen Vogue

The Best Movies of Fall 2019

From international spies to little women.

BY TEEN VOGUE STAFF

The Best Movies of Fall 2019
LIZ COULBOURN

Teen Vogue is excited to debut its Fall Preview of shows and films that we’re obsessed with. We’re highlighting a diverse range of programming that touches on love, family, friendships, trauma, curiosity, and innovative perspectives about the world around us.

With fall comes cozy sweaters, brown leaves, and a number of fresh films for your viewing pleasure. Instead of spending another evening at home on the couch binging Netflix, consider heading to the nearest movie theater for the slew of premieres this season.

Queen & Slim

Premieres: November 27

Melina Matsoukas’ directorial debut does not spare emotions as she tells the tragic story of two people who forge a bond after getting into a deadly encounter with a police officer. No traditional love story in any form, Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) go from two strangers on a first date to fugitives, bound together by their situation.

Written by Lena Waithe (The Chi), we follow the pair across state lines in an uncomfortable, yet cinematically-stunning portrayal of being on the run. From Ohio down to Louisiana and eventually Florida, the melanin-enriched pseudo-Bonnie and Clyde narrowly escape obstacle after obstacle in the hopes of freedom.

“I wanted to give voice to all the nameless faceless men and women of color whose lives were taken unjustly and who didn’t make it home,” Lena told press at ESSENCE Fest in July. “I actually refer to them as fallen soldiers but unfortunately, they were fighting a war they didn’t know they were in. There is so much Black deaths surrounding us … I wanted to turn the tables where we could keep breathing and the opposer didn’t.”

The raw truth is that oppression of Black people in this country is so insidious and innate that every second of the film feels tension-filled. In addition to running from the law, the film is a beautiful love letter to African Americans’ solidarity, particularly in times of great need.

Conscious and convicting, Queen & Slim is by no means an easy watch — but it is a must-watch. — Danielle Kwateng-Clark

[ click to continue reading at Teen Vogue ]

Posted on September 29, 2019 by Editor

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Charlie Hunnam Leads ‘Shantaram’ for Apple

from DEADLINE

Charlie Hunnam To Headline ‘Shantaram’, Apple Series Based On Novel

By Nellie Andreeva

photo: Brian Bowen Smith

EXCLUSIVE: Former Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam is returning to television as the lead of Apple’s sweeping international drama Shantaram, which has been greenlighted to series by the streamer, I have learned.

Apple landed the project, based on Gregory David Roberts’ best-selling novel, more than a year ago in a competitive situation to develop for straight-to-series consideration.

Shantaram hails from Anonymous Content and Paramount Television, which in early 2018 won a monthlong bidding war for the rights to Roberts’ 2004 novel set in Australia and India that explores love, forgiveness, courage and redemption, as well as for Robert’s sequel novel, The Mountain Shadow.

Written by Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle), Shantaram tells the story of Lin (Hunnam), a man on the run from an Australian prison looking to get lost in the teeming city of Bombay. Cut off from family and friends by distance and fate, he finds a new life in the slums, bars and underworld of India.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on September 28, 2019 by Editor

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New Greta Van Fleet for A MILLION LITTLE PIECES Soundtrack

from Alternative Nation

Greta Van Fleet New Song “Always There” Revealed

By Brett Buchanan

Greta Van Fleet have reportedly recorded a new song titled “Always There” for the soundtrack of the film ‘A Million Littles Pieces.’ The film is set for release on December 6th, and is based on the 2005 book by James Frey. Greta Van Fleet singer Josh Kiszka squatted in a bathing suit photo yesterday, before later deleting it.

The book is described as, “At the age of 23, James Frey woke up on a plane to find his front teeth knocked out and his nose broken. He had no idea where the plane was headed nor any recollection of the past two weeks. An alcoholic for ten years and a crack addict for three, he checked into a treatment facility shortly after landing. There he was told he could either stop using or die before he reached age 24. This is Frey’s acclaimed account of his six weeks in rehab.” The film is starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Odessa Young, Giovanni Ribisi, Juliette Lewis, and Charlie Hunnam. Sam Taylor-Johnson is the director of the film.

[ click to continue reading at Alternative Nation ]

Posted on September 27, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM – Trailer 2

Posted on September 26, 2019 by Editor

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A MILLION LITTLE PIECES – In UK Theatres Today

Posted on August 30, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM To Open AFI

from The Hollywood Reporter

Universal Drama ‘Queen & Slim’ to Open AFI Fest

by Etan Vlessing

Getty Images From left: Lena Waithe, Daniel Kaluuya, Melina Matsoukas

Universal’s Queen & Slim is set to open AFI Fest 2019, it was announced Tuesday.

The drama hails from Emmy-winning writer Lena Waithe and director Melina Matsoukas, who helmed Beyoncé’s “Formation” and the Nike “Equality” campaign, and stars Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith, along with Chloe Sevigny.

Waithe wrote the script based on an original idea by best-selling author James Frey. Waithe also produces via her company Hillman Grad Productions, along with Matsoukas via her production company De La Revolución Films. Frey produces via his production company 3BlackDot, alongside Andrew Coles and Michelle Knudsen. Makeready’s Brad Weston and Pam Abdy also are producers.

Queen & Slim was financed by Makeready and will be distributed by Universal Pictures worldwide, with eOne handling distribution in select territories including the U.K. and Canada. The pic is slated to hit theaters Nov. 27.

[ click to read full article at THR ]

Posted on August 27, 2019 by Editor

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More ST-J on A MILLION LITTLE PIECES

from The Guardian

Sam Taylor-Johnson: ‘I’ve lost people very dear to me through addiction’

The film-maker on adapting James Frey’s controversial rehab memoir A Million Little Pieces, whether she’s still making art and the joy of chickens.

by Tim Lewis

Since leaving the art world to become a film-maker, Sam Taylor-Johnson has shown impressive range. Her debut feature film, Nowhere Boy (2009), was a tender depiction of John Lennon’s childhood. She followed it with the less tender Fifty Shades of Greyin 2015. Now she’s back with A Million Little Pieces, an adaptation of James Frey’s scandalous semi-memoir about his rehab after years as an alcoholic and drug addict. Taylor-Johnson co-wrote the screenplay with her husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who also stars in the film. They live, most of the time, in Los Angeles.

You read A Million Little Pieces when it came out in 2003. It obviously stayed with you?
Yeah, it did. I remember reading it and being really overtaken by it; I think is the right word. I was in the world with him and on the journey. Then when it got optioned by whatever studio it was and it was going to be made into a big movie and there was this director and that director, I’d always have a tinge of jealousy. Even though I wasn’t a film-maker then, I’d be like: “What an amazing piece of material to have.” So I tracked it for a long time and I’d always keep my ear to the ground.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on August 25, 2019 by Editor

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Frey and Taylor-Johnson on A MILLION LITTLE PIECES

from Vogue UK

“We Were Living And Breathing It”: Sam Taylor-Johnson On Making A Million Little Pieces With Her Husband

by LIAM FREEMAN

JEFF GROS

Vogue sat down with James Frey, author of the infamous 2003 memoir A Million Little Pieces, and his friend Sam Taylor-Johnson, who has directed her husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a hotly-anticipated film adaptation hitting cinemas next week.

The response to James Frey’s 2003 memoir A Million Little Pieces is the stuff most authors only dream of. His unflinching retelling of his alcoholism, drug addiction and subsequent rehabilitation, aged just 23, spent 15 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Three years later, in 2006, controversy hit when it was revealed that Frey had embellished certain details. Yet, while he was publicly criticised for this – in particular by one of his most ardent supporters, Oprah Winfrey; at the time, A Million Little Pieces was the fastest-selling book in her television books club’s 10-year history – his captive audience only grew, and to date it’s sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

Frey sold the film rights to A Million Little Pieces in the early 2000s, however, the movie was never made. Until now. Directed and co-written by Sam Taylor-Johnson, a friend of Frey’s and director of Nowhere Boy and Fifty Shades of Grey, the film debuted at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Taylor-Johnson collaborated on the script with her husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who stars as Frey, and he’s joined on screen by Charlie Hunnam, Juliette Lewis and Odessa Young as Frey’s fellow patient and girlfriend Lily.

Vogue sat down with Frey and Sam Taylor-Johnson to hear about the making of the long-awaited big screen adaptation.

[ click to continue reading at Vogue ]

Posted on August 22, 2019 by Editor

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A MILLION LITTLE PIECES Director on FIFTY SHADES

from THE LIST

Sam Taylor-Johnson would never want to repeat Fifty Shades directing experience

Sam Taylor-Johnson
Sam Taylor-Johnson

Sam Taylor-Johnson says she had an “intense and maddening” experience while working on the first instalment of the Fifty Shades of Grey’ film series

Sam Taylor-Johnson would “never want to repeat” the time she spent working on ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.

The 52-year-old filmmaker, who is married to Aaron Taylor-Johnson, 29, confessed that her intense experience directing the first instalment of the erotic drama film series, based on the novel trilogy by E.L James, is not one she wishes to repeat. 

In an interview with the Sunday Times’ Stella magazine, she said: “Making that movie taught me so much that I didn’t want to learn and I would never want to repeat those lessons, but it did make me focus on what I do want to do.

“It was an intense; maddening experience – but then, would I have made this movie had not gone through that? It’s that thing of never looking back.”

The ‘Nowhere Boy’ director recently worked on 2018 drama film, ‘A Million Little Pieces’ – based on the novel by James Frey – which follows a young drug-addled writer coming to the end of his time at a detox facility.

Sam’s husband Aaron plays James and Sam revealed that after reading the book originally following its publication in 2003, she knew immediately that she wanted to transform the story into a film.

[ click to continue reading at THE LIST ]

Posted on August 20, 2019 by Editor

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A MILLION LITTLE PIECES – Official Trailer

from Vanity Fair

A Million Little Pieces: James Frey’s Notorious Memoir Goes to Hollywood

Watch the exclusive trailer for the upcoming movie, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

[ click to view at Vanity Fair ]

Posted on August 8, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM Official Trailer

Posted on August 4, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM One-sheet Released

from BLACKFILM

Poster To Queen & Slim Starring Daniel Kaluuya & Jodie Turner-Smith

Written by Emmy Award winner Lena Waithe, Queen & Slim hits Theaters November 27

by Wilson Morales

Universal Pictures has released the poster to the independent romance drama “Queen & Slim,” written by Emmy Award winner Lena Waithe and starring Academy Award nominee Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) and introducing Jodie Turner-Smith. 

Queen & Slim hits Theaters November 27.

From Melina Matsoukas, the visionary director of some of this generation’s most powerful pop-culture experiences, including Beyonce’s “Formation” and the Nike “Equality” campaign, comes Makeready’s unflinching new drama, Queen & Slim.

[ click to continue reading at BLACKFILM ]

Posted on July 30, 2019 by Editor

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A MILLION LITTLE PIECES – August 30

from The Mirror

New movies coming out in August 2019 – upcoming UK film releases

New August 2019 UK film releases include Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, plus many more

By Lewis Knight

It’s set to be a varied month of cinema releases this August!

If action-packed blockbusters are what you are looking for then you will be pleased to know that Hobbs & Shaw has got you covered as Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham return for the latest instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise. 

Meanwhile, beloved director Quentin Tarantino returns with his new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which features Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as characters trying to survive in 1969 Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie plays tragic real-life starlet Sharon Tate. 

Here’s what we have to look forward to in August 2019.

A Million Little Pieces

Based on the book by James Frey, A Million Little Pieces follows a young drug-addled writer (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) approaching the bottom of his descent submits to two months of agonising detox at a treatment centre in Minnesota. Whilst at the centre, he meets an array of interesting characters. Sam Tayor-Johnson directs the film that also stars Billy Bob Thornton and Charlie Hunnam.

A Million Little Pieces release date: August 30, 2019

[ click to read full article at The Mirror ]

Posted on July 29, 2019 by Editor

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Queen & Slim – Protest Art

from BLACKGIRLNERDS

Lena Waithe on Meeting James Frey and Using The Story of ‘Queen & Slim’ as Protest Art

By Jamie Broadnax

Photograph: David Levene

Lena Waithe is on fire with a never-ending series of projects under her belt, and this holiday season, her next film Queen & Slim will take you on a wild ride through some unexpected adventures.

One evening at a party, author James Frey approached Lena Waithe about a story involving a Black couple. A Black man and a Black woman on a first date. It’s not going well, but not going horribly either. They’re on their way home. They get pulled over. A cop gets aggressive. They kill him in self-defense, and they go. Frey knew that this was a story worth telling, but not through his lens.

Enter Emmy-winning writer Lena Waithe (Netflix’s Master of None) and filmmaker Melina Matsoukas — the mastermind behind Beyonce’s “Formation” music video — and now we’re telling a story through the lens of brilliant Black visionaries that can add nuance with ease.

The unflinching new drama Queen & Slim released by Universal Pictures, stars Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya as Slim and Nightflyers‘ Jodie Turner-Smith as Queen. After Queen and Slim are pulled over in their vehicle, the situation escalates and Slim is forced to kill the police officer in self-defense. In a complicated situation predicated on a history of state-sanctioned violence and criminal injustice against African-Americans, the two fear for their lives and is forced to go on the run.

Their story is complicated further when the incident is captured on video and goes viral. Queen and Slim become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief, and pain for people across the country. BGN was invited to the set a week before Mardi Gras in New Orleans to chat with the cast and crew of the impending feature film.

On Meeting James Frey and the Idea Behind the Script

One evening at a party, Lena Waithe meets novelist James Frey. He is notably known or notoriously known for his book “A Million Little Pieces” that became an Oprah book club selection. However shortly after reports emerged that his autobiography was more fiction than fact, the author was under fire. Oprah wasn’t all too pleased, and eventually, the beef between the two was squashed.  James Frey clearly has a creative mind, and negative scrutiny hasn’t stopped him from writing.

According to Waithe: 

“James Frey pitched me the opening at a party and [he] was like, “I can’t write this movie. I need a person to write it who understands it.” So all he gave me was an opening and that opening I was like, ‘Got it. I know what the movie is. Let me go figure this out.’ He had a different title that wasn’t right. Titles are really important.  [I thought] what are some things that I can do to make every Black man, every Black woman, no matter what your walk of life is or where you are coming from, can look at them and see a piece of yourself in them?”

The two exchanged emails, and Waithe asked Frey if he had an outline and if he had a title.

[ click to continue reading at BLACKGIRLNERDS ]

Posted on July 8, 2019 by Editor

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Black Bonnie and Clyde

from MTV

QUEEN & SLIM INTRODUCES THE ‘BLACK BONNIE & CLYDE’

THE HARROWING AFTERMATH OF A TRAFFIC STOP GONE WRONG

by BRITTANY VINCENT

Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith have joined forces for a harrowing new drama that looks like a terrifying story that could be a little too close to reality.

Queen & Slim, written by Lena Waithe (The Chi) and James Frey (A Million Little Pieces), follows a black couple (the titular “Queen” and “Slim”) who set out on their first date together when they’re forced to pull over for a minor traffic issue.

The Queen & Slim clip first appeared during the 2019 BET Awards on June 23, and it looks like a heavy story to take in, but well worth the potential discomfort it might cause some viewers due to the subject matter. Here’s to hoping the star couple finds something of a happy ending in the end, or at least as happy as it can be due to the happenings that kick the movie off.

Queen & Slim is set to debut in theaters on November 27, 2019.

[ click to continue reading at MTV ]

See also…
The Hollywood Reporter
Chicago Tribune
SlashFilm
Entertainment Weekly
Deadline
Vanity Fair

Posted on June 24, 2019 by Editor

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Malcolm X, MLK, Queen & Slim

from BET

Jodie Turner-Smith On Being The Malcolm X To Daniel Kaluuya’s MLK In ‘Queen & Slim’

The romantic drama from Lena Waithe explores a Black couple on a first date who find themselves on the run from the law.

Written by Jerry L. Barrow

Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith on the set of 'Queen & Slim'

Jodie Turner-Smith runs her fingers through her reddish brown, low-cropped fro and smiles through the Louisiana heat. Shooting for her first feature film, Queen & Slim, has taken her from the freezing polar vortex of Ohio to the outskirts of New Orleans. A tiger-striped dress clings to her lithe frame revealing a bandage tied around her thigh. The late February sun has just hit its peak in the sky, but it looks like she’s already had a really long day. She’s pleasant and engaged, but the trauma of her character, Queen, is still visible in her eyes.

TV watchers may know Jodie as the genetically enhanced first officer, Melantha Jhirl, from Syfy’s space odyssey, Nightflyers. When word first got out about a “Black Bonnie & Clyde” film being produced by Lena Waithe and directed by Melina Matsoukas(the gifted eye behind Beyonce’s “Formation” and Nike’s “Equality” campaign) she made it a point to get an audition.

In the script written by Lena Waithe and based on an original idea by bestselling author James Frey, Queen is a defense attorney who goes on a date with Daniel Kaluuya’s(Get Out, Black Panther)working-class character, Slim, and things go from bad to worse as the couple find themselves on a very unforeseen road trip.

[ click to continue reading at BET ]

Posted on June 23, 2019 by Editor

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Queen & Slim BtS

from The Root

First Look: Behind the Scenes and on the Run With Queen & Slim

by Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Entertainment Writer Tonja Renée Stidhum on the set of Queen & Slim
Photo: The Root

Y’all. Meet Queen & Slim. And instantly fall in lust, love and lure.

Penned by Lena Waithe (from an original idea by A Million Little Pieces author James Frey, who approached her about it at an industry party) and helmed by Melina Matsoukas, at first glance, Queen & Slim looks to bolt its way into the likes of classics such as Bonnie & Clyde and Thelma & Louise. Except we won’t have to compare it to those films anymore, we’ll have our own—and it’ll be black as fuck.

Two days after the 2019 Academy Awards, I hopped on a plane to New Orleans to visit the set of Queen & Slim with a bunch of other black-ass journalists on a mission to get the scoop from Waithe, Matsoukas, Kaluuya, Turner-Smith, and costume designer Shiona Turini. From that slick-ass Pontiac 400 (which Kaluuya drove around; there wasn’t a process trailer!) to the gritty cloth of their wardrobe, we immediately felt a part of the world Matsoukas and her crew had created. I was so geeked, I almost forgot about that oppressive ass humidity.

[ click to read full article at The Root ]

Posted on June 22, 2019 by Editor

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Queen & Slim & Police Violence

from COMPLEX

Lena Waithe’s ‘Queen & Slim’ Takes Aim at Police Violence

BY KHAL

Jodie Turner-Smith, Melina Matsoukas, Donna Langley, Lena Waithe, and Daniel Kaluuya
Image via Getty/Alberto E. Rodriguez

When you’re Living While Black in America, life can come at you fast. There are countless stories of black folk minding their own business and being harassed, assaulted, or gunned down by the police. Rarely do you hear of those roles being reversed—or, at the very least, a situation where an interaction between a black person and a police officer ends with the officer being gunned down. That’s the premise of Queen & Slim, the Daniel Kaluuya-starring project that’s been whispered about for the last six months (and received major buzz during CinemaCon back in April). This film marks the first feature-length project for multi-hyphenate Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas (who serve as writer and director, respectively).

The week before Mardi Gras, Universal Pictures sent a select group of African American journalists and outlets to New Orleans to visit the set of what’s been described as a “black Bonnie & Clyde.” The film (which hits theaters on November 27, 2019) is essentially a road movie, taking viewers on a cross-country trek with a black couple featuring the eponymous Queen & Slim—portrayed by fresh-faced Jodie Turner-Smith and Kaluuya respectively—who are on the run from police after their terrible first date turns into a traffic stop that  ends with a cop being killed—but Waithe has described it in the past as “protest art.”

“I can’t always make it to the marches or the rallies,” Waithe explained during a break in shooting, primarily due to how often she’s working on shows like The Chi or other projects she’s involved in. “When I sit down at my computer, that’s me. That’s my rallying cry. That’s me trying to figure out who we are.” Waithe also understands why some might compare the film to Bonnie & Clyde or Thelma & Louise, but she had a different classic in mind. “It’s such a huge compliment. Bonnie & Clyde changed the conversation. Thelma & Louise is iconic. But the thing that they aren’t realizing is another reference for me would be Set It Off. In terms of black people being at a very difficult place with their back being against the wall and nothing that they [can] do [but] to keep going.”

[ click to continue reading at COMPLEX ]

Posted on June 21, 2019 by Editor

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BRIGHT SHINY MORNING (New French Edition)

from Facebook

[ click to join me on Facebook ]

Posted on June 10, 2019 by Editor

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Melina Matsoukas Rising

from Yahoo! UK

These female directors are changing the landscape of film as we know it

Melina Matsoukas

A music video director who has been behind the camera of some of your favourite Queen Bey, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Kylie Minogue vids, we’re all counting down until Matsoukas’ directorial feature film debut, Queen and Slim, written by Lena Waithe and James Frey and starring Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya, scheduled for release in November 2019.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! UK ]

Posted on May 11, 2019 by Editor

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2020 Best Picture Oscar Prediction – James Frey & Lena Waithe’s QUEEN AND SLIM

from Gold Derby

2020 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

by Paul Sheehan

Oscars-new-logo-and-statue

Predicting the winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture is never easy. We were sure the top prize at the 2019 Oscars would go to “Roma” but it was “Green Book” that won. In coming up with our 2020 Oscar predictions, we considered a slew of factors, starting with the preferential ballot used to determine the winner. Add in the pedigree of the filmmakers, the critical reception to the films, the box office tally and the track record of the studios. We take all of these into consideration again as we look ahead to the 2020 Academy Awards. (Scroll down for the most up-to-date 2020 Oscars predictions for Best Picture.)

Contenders began to emerge at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Others will be seen for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival in May. However, most of the top tier of Best Picture hopefuls won’t screen until September at four film festivals: Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York. And a few will be held back till the last weeks of eligibility, getting limited releases in December.

Please note: Only those films with confirmed release dates are listed below. Check back often as new contenders are scheduled while other are dropped due to delays or critical reaction.

“Knives Out” (Lionsgate – November 27)
Writer/Director: Rian Johnson
Cast: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer.
Plot: A modern murder mystery in a classic whodunit style.

“Queen & Slim” (Universal – November 27)
Director: Melina Matsoukas
Writers:  James Frey, Lena Waithe
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Bokeem Woodbine, Jodie Turner-Smith
Plot: A couple’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over.

“The Souvenir” (A24 – May 17)
Writer/Director: Joanna Hogg
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Honor Swinton-Byrne, Tom Burke, Richard Ayoade
Plot: A film student in the early 1980s becomes romantically involved with a complicated and untrustworthy man.

[ click to read complete list of contenders at Gold Derby ]

Posted on March 11, 2019 by Editor

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