HAPPY NEW YEAR – 2010
Greetings My friends & loyal supporters!
I first would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year and may all of you reading this blog enjoy: Good Health, Happiness, Wealth, Love & Prosperity in 2010.
May you life be abundantly good in this New Year!
Well, where do I start, secondly I should thank everyone that supported Kush in 2009, without you we would not be here now and I surely would have packed my bags and looked for creative satisfaction somewhere other than the UK, so THANK YOU MY BROTHERS & SISTERS.
I really do have to thank you because there are so many brothers & sisters here in the UK that do not support black businesses or even contemplate the sorrowful plight here of black people (whether African or African-Caribbean’s). Its like many of us here in the UK are living in a state of illusion – believing things are better than what they actually are. At the same time I am also aware that many of my brothers & sisters here are totally ignorant of what they can truly be. Too many of us are content with having their head above water and just surviving, whilst everyday on TV they see others prospering and earning wealth they could only dream of – without realising dreams are created; to eventually manifest & become reality!
For as the ancient Egyptians used to say: As You Believe, So Shall You Become!
Live your dreams my Brothers & Sisters, believe and you shall prosper! And remember the more you give; the more you will receive, don’t stop the flow!
Okay, I hope I have inspired at least someone out there to make change and to support his fellow man in one way of another – so on to the film news.
2009 Xmas Film Boutique Screening Event
Our Xmas screening of the excellent film “American Violet” went very well and was well attended with a packed venue. Everyone loved this true-to-life story of one woman’s battle against corrupt elements in the DA’s office in the US state of Texas.
It’s so sad that things like that are still going on in this day and age in the United States the country supposedly leading the way for Democratic reform in the so called Third-world (If you do not know what I am talking about try to see the film or go read up about it).
Unfortunately “American Violet” was never released in the UK theatrically or on DVD, like so many other films made in America each year (will touch on this fact again a bit further down blog).
I am pleased it appears everyone liked the films including the first ever UK screening of the new Jamaican comedy series Me & Mi Kru. We plan to screen the whole series over a 6-week period starting next month, February 2010. We are still not sure of the venue yet this is still been discussed, but as soon as we know you’ll be the next to know.
We plan to organise another small screening of “American Violet” at the end of this month (Jan 10) – check this blog site for further details.
Our newly re-branded online DVD store site is gradually picking up and we have a small bunch of loyal supporters who are consistently buying their favourite black films and helping us to grow this venture – Thank You!
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD AND TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY ABOUT WWW.ILUVBLACKFILMS.COM.
Four reasons for supporting www.iluvblackfilms.com
- iluvblackfilms.com is unique as one of the very first online e-commerce websites in the UK to specifically provide Europe’s African & African-Caribbean communities with access to mainstream & Independent black films past & present.
- Where else in the UK can you go and purchase your favourite black films (apart from Amazon – as some of you will tell me, still they only have some titles)?
- iluvblackfilms.com is efficient and cost-effective whilst at the same time able to compete on prices with Amazon for many titles. Even though we have just started up and do not have the brand name like Amazon and cannot command the dealers discounts Amazon can (but with your continued support we will gain widespread international awareness in the next 5 years).
- iluvblackfilms.com will preserve selected black films and make them readily available to you and our younger generation. Without a site like iluvblackfilms.com many of our classic and much loved black films will disappear and become hard to find or even become deleted on DVD forever – help us provide this much-needed service and help us preserve black films for the next generation.
Please do not compare us to Amazon, I am only using them as an example as they are the obvious leaders in the market. Amazon has had a 10 year (if not longer) start on us and it will take many years for us to get anywhere near their size, so please don’t go to Amazon and checkout their prices and then come back to us and say we can get it cheaper on Amazon.
All I would say there is; If you do not realise the significant of what we are trying to achieve along side the symbolic nature of www.iluvblackfilms.com then I wish you all the best and can only hope you one-day realise that without ownership of our own cultural identity we will always be open to other’s manipulation of our place in world history. Hopefully for you it will not only be about the money! Not withstanding that we will always endeavour to be competitive and in most cases more cost-effective than others.
Kush & Kush TV
I am currently looking at the very realistic possibility of launching Kush TV by Summer 2010. Currently in the UK there are no dedicated distribution outlets or public viewing platforms for black films. For many years we have been hearing about diversity on British TV and channels like Channel 4 were going to provide more opportunities etc, etc, etc. 10-15 years later nothing! Absolutely nothing!
This is our opportunity to disseminate quality black programming to a starved public. Our children also NEED positive images of people like themselves to create inspiring role models from.
The funny thing is; and I believe I am correct in saying this; we had more black faces on TV in the 1980’s than we do currently now (please correct me if you think I am wrong?) and they weren’t all murderers & robbers.
As I see it, it is well-overdue time that we stop waiting for others to do for us, isn’t it about time we did for ourselves, and stop walking around with our hands out begging for support. It must be absolutely clear now that support will never truly come. Yeah of course you can get the usual derogatory handout – accompanied by Jump-Through-Hoop regulations. But how will that really help you especially when you go back a second time, to only get a slapped wrist saying naughty boy, you had some already, the pot is small and we have to spread it around to keep you all quite to meet government statistics.
What would happen if we reversed the psychology and instead of waiting for handouts, we went off and did our own thing and created sustainable ventures?
I believe the so-called mainstream hierarchy would take serious interest (not liking to be left out of the picture) and would come to us with offers of support simply to allow them to be apart of the process and get a foothold in our viable market place.
There is no one better to make black films viable than black filmmakers themselves, promoters & the African & African-Caribbean community. We know what we want and how best to give it to us. The mainstream industry is currently walking around saying black films are not viable (that’s why you are no longer seeing mainstream American black films been released in UK cinema’s).
I say it’s not viable for them, for they simply do not know what they are doing and do not understand the black marketplace – that is quite evident to me been 11 years in the film business.
It is amazing to me that multi-talented actor/filmmaker Tyler Perry has released around about 6/7 films with at least 4 of them going to No 1 in America and not one of his films have been released theatrically or on DVD in the UK – WHY IS THIS????
I am currently trying to get access to him, but this is proving very difficult. I have spoken to his distributors in the UK & the US, one of his producers Mr R. Bob, left a long message on Tyler Perry’s blog, called his LA offices, sent a letter to his US publicist, but all to no avail. Maybe Tyler is also been told the UK is not a viable marketplace and his has decided to overlook us. Still I will carry on trying to make contact and hear what he has to say personally!
Since 2005 we have had roughly 3 mainstream American films released here in London (can’t speak for the rest of the country, because a lot of the time distributors do not release films outside of a small select group of main cities): The films were: Dreamgirls, Notorious & Obsession starring Beyonce & Idris Elba – and that’s all I can remember!
So if they are no longer releasing mainstream American black films, what chance is there for UK Independent black filmmakers – weigh that up!
Well, for me “Its Time To Put A Stop To This Lack of Vision” and get jiggy and start doing things for ourselves and that’s why I intend to launch Kush TV bringing to a worldwide audience quality Black British films & lifestyle programming.
We will need all the help we can get with FINANCE, EXPERIENCED & SUPPORT STAFF, and the cooperation of black FILM/TV INDUSTRY PERSONNEL.
So if you would like to support this will-happen venture please give me, Marlon Palmer a call on 07961 977 749. I am especially looking for people who would like to invest in this essential & profitable venture.
Yours support is needed and would be most greatly appreciated.
To make this a permanently sustainable venture we all need to come together, industry, public & Kush!
HELP US TO DO THE RIGHT THING – IT’S A NEW YEAR, ‘IT’S TIME FOR CHANGE!
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog – please send me any comments you have! email@example.com
Naomie Harris shot to stardom in Britain with her performance in TV drama White Teeth, hit the big screen with 28 Days later, established herself in Hollywood with Pirates of the Caribbean and consolidated with Miami Vice. She’s now firmly enmeshed in the UK and American acting scene and looks like going on and on.
Naomie Harris career in pictures and video below.
Clip from White Teeth.
28 Days Later
Pirates of the Caribbean interview
Miami Vice interview
Among the stars of the film is London born and bred Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje who we profiled on Kush Blog a couple of weeks ago.
Here’s an interview with Adewale on the filming of GI Joe – Rise of the Cobra.
“It was a rigorous training schedule that started two months before the movie, and believe me, these guys are serious. To do a scene where you’re jumping over a wall 15 times, carrying a gun and wearing a suit that’s 30-40 pounds, you’ve got to be really prepared. I certainly had to shed a lot of fat and build up the muscles. After the training session, you’d do stunt fighting, and then if you were a really good boy, they’d let you go play with the guns.”
“It’s every boy’s childhood dream to play a superhero and fight bad guys,” he says. “This isn’t Shakespeare. It’s a big, fun adventure ride with sexy ladies and powerful men.”
“I asked [director] Steve [Sommers], ‘Can I have my accent, play my character English?’ and he said, ‘OK, you can be the British sergeant,” notes Adewale. “So I got to have funny British one-liners. There’s a phrase, ‘Bloody hell! Bloody hell!’ that comes out at interesting moments.”
Now this looks like an interesting film. Due to hit UK cinema screens in September this year, Rage is a comedic exposé of people working at a New York fashion house. Made to look as though it was shot by a school boy with his mobile phone, the film takes place over seven days in which an accident on the catwalk becomes an unlikely murder investigation.
The cinema premier will take place simultaneously in London and New York with a satellite linked Q&A. And Babelgum will premiere the film as a series of episodes on mobile phones and online at the same time as the cinema and DVD releases.
Oxford born David Oyelowo, who plays a funny Shakespeare quoting detective, said “This was a truly unique, artistic experience, in that it felt like a meeting point for film, theatre, literature and photography. [Director] Sally [Potter] used all of these art forms to tell the story and reveal her characters. I could tell from reading Sally’s script that she had a very complete and complex vision for the film, but the pleasant surprise was how much that vision grew and shifted with new input. The World she revealed felt alien yet familiar, whilst juxtaposing falseness and truth. Two words say it all, unique and creative.”
London born Riz Ahmed said “Working with Sally on this film was a very unique and liberating process, even before we got the body paint out! Sally works in a very detailed but very relaxed way, and I think this works perfectly when completing these one take shots which are very theatrical in a sense, but also very intimate. I think this healthy tension really helped with the whole tone of honest confession versus self-conscious performance for these characters.”
Here’s the trailer.
Richard Blackwood and James Earl Jones to star as Broadway hit ‘Cat On A Hot Tin Roof’ comes to London.
Richard Blackwood, Derek Griffiths and Nina Sosanya will join the previously announced Sanaa Lathan, Adrian Lester, Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones in Debbie Allen’s sell-out Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Produced by Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones for Front Row Productions, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof will run at the Novello Theatre from 21 November to 10 April 2010.
The cast is Richard Blackwood (Brightie), Guy Burgess (Lacey), Claudia Cadette (Nanny), Peter De Jersey (Gooper), Derek Griffiths (Reverend Tooker), James Earl Jones (Big Daddy), Sanaa Lathan (Maggie), Susan Lawson-Reynolds (Sookey), Adrian Lester (Brick), Joseph Mydell (Doctor Baugh), Phylicia Rashad (Big Mama) and Nina Sosanya (Mae). They are joined by Yvonne Gidden who will understudy Big Mama.
A powerful Southern family gathers at a birthday celebration for patriarch Big Daddy who is unaware he is dying. In a scramble to secure their part of his estate, family members hide the truth about his diagnosis from him and Big Mama. Tensions mount between alcoholic former football hero Brick and his beautiful but sexually frustrated wife Maggie ‘the Cat’. As their troubled relationship comes to a stormy and steamy climax, a shockwave of secrets is finally revealed.
This is a top-notch cast, in an outstanding play, by a brilliant playwright so whatever you do, don’t miss it.
This is the first in a series of weekly profiles of black British actors and directors on Kush Blog and we’ve got a cracker for you in the massive character of Adewale Akinnouoye-Agbaje.
Born in Islington (behind the fire station on Upper Street to be exact), Adewale has a degree in Law from Kings College London, is fluent in English, Italian, Swahili and Yoruba (his parent’s Nigerian dialect) and is now a bona-fide Hollywood star.
Known to his friends in London as ‘Triple A’ (for obvious reasons), Adewale began his acting career in Dawn Penn’s 1994 classic music video ‘No No No’ (below, sorry track only, couldn’t find the video).
But it’s his portrayal of the character of Mr Eko in HBOs smash hit drama Lost that made his name, no bias here but he was our favourite character in that show. Here’s a clip from Lost.
‘Triple A’s’ brilliant performances in Lost have now led to his recent central role in Paramount Pictures’ high budget action movie GI Joe: Rise of The Cobra. Check out the trailer for that below, looks like a great Sunday afternoon trip to the movies to us.
And here’s Adewale talking about it and how he’s got to where he is, really interesting, be sure to watch this (apart from the patronising reporter).
Finally, you can catch a funny interview with Adewale talking about how he convinced the director of GI Joe to let his character be British and shout “bloody hell” a lot – read it here.
Big respect Adewale – you worked hard, did well for yourself and entertained us along the way. Keep it up, we want more.
UK Produced ‘Skin’ starring Sophie Okonedo to open in the UK next Friday (24th July). See the trailer here.
Produced by UK based Elysian Films and starring UK born actress Sophie Okonedo, ‘Skin’ is a portrayal of the remarkable life of Sandra Laing, a dark skinned girl born to Afrikaan parents in South Africa during the Apartheid era. Intriguingly, Okonedo’s own upbringing was not too dissimilar to Laing’s
“What interests me is that I’ve been brought up in a white family, and, being black myself, I can really relate to that side of it – questioning your heritage and where you’re from; asking, “Is this really my parent?” Particularly when you’re young, and everyone says, “That can’t be your mum.” Nowadays everyone’s mixed race, it’s not such a big deal, but in the 70s when I was growing up it was more unusual. I used to say, “Mum, am I adopted?” So I can really relate to that – knowing something’s not quite right but not being quite sure what it is. My mother’s Jewish, so my family is Jewish, and it was hard to believe this young girl with a huge afro had a Jewish mum. But nowadays, anything goes.”
Sophie Okonedo was talking to The Guardian and you can read the rest of the interview here.
Watch the trailer to Skin below. If anyone has seen it already and would like to submit a review to be published on Kush Blog, get in touch.