Friday, December 26, 2014

SELMA becomes the MUST see movie of the Holiday Season ..

MUST SEE ,, trust me go to SELMA before the INTERVIEW : When a black female director, Ava DuVernay teams with a black female Producer, Oprah Winfry to tell the story of Martin Luther King at a historical moment at Selma, the story telling is very difference. After 50 years of a male centric version of the Civil Rights movement in the US, women are finally upfront and seen as partners and participants in changing history. Yes Diane Nash is present (ever since Stanley Nelson's excellent doc Freedom Riders I have been trying to learn more about the woman who was the first person to climb back on the bus after the attack and ambush in Birmingham and role modeled.a respectful no to all the mail civil rights movement leaders who were telling the riders get off the bus and go back home and just stopped the Freedom Ride). SELMA in no way diminishes the role of black men. But the women's presence acts to humanizing what could have been one more mythic iconic history. Martin Luther King was a young adult and that is how he is presented in his interaction both with his wife and with President Lydon Johnson. Johnson finally gets the deserved credit for being able to move the passage of the Civil Rights Bill despite his attempts to slow down the  Freedom Rides and the civil rights actions in the south. The cast is truly an ensamble that all together make real,  history in the making. Tom Wilkenson as Lyndon B. Johnson and Tim Roth as George Wallace shine , but the two actors who keep this film rooted in a dramatic personal, understandable life are  David Oyelowo as Martin and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta. A remakable script credited to Paul Webb (but it is well know that DuVeray was also hands on ) that moves back and forth and includes all the players all in the context of a human drama that keeps our feet on the ground. The Kings are humanized and this is very important for young people today to see..SELMA  is a movie for all of us. A movie about how change can happen and it's appearing at this particular moment is so important for people to understand YES WE CAN 


THe first screening in New York City was for members of the Screen Actors Guild. It was a last minute invitation that went out the day before the nominatting committee was to submit their ballots. The room was packed with actors and a good many of color, When the lights came on the actors rose to give the Director and actors a standing ovation that last 5 minutes. But most members of the nominating committee h had already mailed in their nominating ballots. This actor oriented film did not receive a single Screen Guild nomination .. I think the latness of the screening is the only reason it did not. Here is a video of the Q&A that took place after the screening with the Director and the two principal acitos, There was little lighting in the theater so it looks pretty bad , but the audio is fine and because it was a only the second screening before an audiend (1st in LA the day before for SAG members) I suggest it is well worth to hear listen the Q&A .... it was exciting to be there.

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