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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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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.”

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Posted on October 30, 2019 by Editor

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James Frey AMERICAN CLASSICS

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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.

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Posted on October 22, 2019 by Editor

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Friends

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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Posted on October 4, 2019 by Editor

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476 by James Frey

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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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