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  1. Oscar Predictions 2012 Who Will Win, Who Deserves to Win, Who Was Snubbed by Kam Williams On May 16, 1929, the first Academy Awards were staged in Hollywood at the Hotel Roosevelt. Wings, a silent film, won the Oscar for Best Picture that night, a feat which would never be repeated, given the impending innovations in sound technology that ushered in the age of the talkies. But, as they say, wait long enough, and everything comes back into style, and such is the case with The Artist, a nostalgic throwback that’s the prohibitive favorite to prevail at this year’s ceremony. Who’d a thunk that a black & white, silent flick from France would eclipse powerhouse productions by the likes of Spielberg and Scorcese. However, the movie will meet some tough competition in the Best Actor category, where I’m picking popular George Clooney to eke out a victory over virtual unknown Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist’s pantomiming protagonist. I also see perennial-nominee Meryl Streep (17 times) squeaking by The Help’s equally-deserving Viola Davis for Best Actress, more for her 29-year drought than for her spot-on impersonation of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Best Supporting Actor is difficult to handicap, too, since four of the entrants, Nick Nolte, Christopher Plummer, Max von Sydow and Kenneth Branagh, have each enjoyed multiple Oscar nominations, but never won. My gut tells me that Plummer gets the proverbial “body of work” vote. As far as Best Supporting Actress, Octavia Spencer will triumph, since nonpareil comic performances like Melissa McCarthy’s in Bridesmaids continue to be underappreciated by the Academy. Besides peering into my crystal ball to forecast the winners, I have also indicated below which nominees in the major categories are actually the most deserving. And because so many great performances are invariably snubbed by the Academy, I also point out who has been overlooked entirely. Overall, look for The Artist to garner five or six Oscars which, while not exactly a sweep, will still be better than next-best Hugo’s trio of statuettes in technical categories. The 84th Academy Awards will air live on ABC on Sunday, February 26th at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, and will be hosted by Billy Crystal. Best Picture Will Win: The Artist Deserves to Win: The Artist Overlooked: Bridesmaids Best Director Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) Deserves to Win: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) Overlooked: David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) Best Actor Will Win: George Clooney (The Descendants) Deserves to Win: Jean Dujardin (The Artist) Overlooked: Ryan Gosling (Drive) Best Actress Will Win: Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) Deserves to Win: Viola Davis (The Help) Overlooked: Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) Best Supporting Actor Will Win: Christopher Plummer (Beginners) Deserves to Win: Max von Sydow (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) Overlooked: Albert Brooks (Drive) Best Supporting Actress Will Win: Octavia Spencer (The Help) Deserves to Win: Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) Overlooked: Carey Mulligan (Drive) Best Original Screenplay: Will Win: Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris) Deserves to Win: Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids) Overlooked: Lars von Trier (Melancholia) Best Adapted Screenplay: Will Win: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (The Descendants) Deserves to Win: Steve Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin (Moneyball) Overlooked: Tate Tatlor and Kathryn Stockett (The Help) Predictions for Secondary Categories Animated Feature: Rango Art Direction: Hugo Foreign Language Film: A Separation Cinematography: The Tree of Life Costume Design: The Artist Documentary Feature: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory Film Editing: The Artist Makeup: The Iron Lady Original Score: The Artist Original Song: “Man or Muppet” (The Muppets) Sound Editing: Hugo Sound Mixing: Hugo Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  2. Robert Reich, secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, and director Jacob Kornbluth discuss economic inequality in America in their Sundance film "Inequality for All"
  3. La Pirogue - Film Review For those of you interested in great cinema, telling stories of Black people, and are tired the the gnashing of teeth and hand-wringing over Hollyweird's films like "Django" then check out the new Senegalese film "La Pirogue" directed by Moussa Toure. This drama tells the story of 30 Senegalese peasants who make a break for Spain by sea in search of a better life. La Pirogue puts a human face to illegal immigration. If you agree tell someone: https://aalbc.com/reviews/film-reviews.php?id=1703 the film opens in a limited number of theaters next week. If you live near New York City the film will be showing at the Film Forum: http://www.filmforum.org/movies/more/the_pirogue
  4. This eNewsletter is numbered 197, but I've published well over 200. I only have them archived going back to February of 2001. I guess it never occurred to me to save them. I guess I never thought I'd be creating them for so long... http://aalbc.it/newsdec12 Let me know what you think good or bad -- seriously. I've been doing this thing for almost 15 years and there are things I can still learn. At the top of my wish list is an editor, I could also use more fiction book reviews too. There no fiction book reviews in this issue that may have never happened. Book review writing It is a dying art, but so desperately needed. So many reviews I read are simply promotional copy written to benefit the author -- or haters doing the opposite. I see you can get some positive "verified" Amazon reviews written for 5 Bucks over at Fiverr. Indeed reviewers especially for a film will review a movie more favorably than it deserves in order not to lose access to future films or to the principals involved. Would you believe we have lost access to an individual for slamming a film. Reviewing is a corrupt, petty business. Without independent entities with the willingness to tell the truth and ask hard questions we are all being lied to. That is one thing I miss about Thumper he never pulled any punches you could disagree with him but if he did not like your book, that fact would be plain as day -- the same was true if he liked it -- authors and readers appreciated his honesty, nothing political just his honest opinion. I've begun to solicit subscribers to pay a modest $7.99 annual fee to receive the enewsletter. Thank you Cynique and any other lurkers here who may have paid for their subscriptions. The money will help pay book reviewers and the overhead to produce the eNewsletter. I started to drop a few thousand subscribers names from my mailing list to save some money. The bigger your mailing list the more it costs to maintain with these 3rd party services. I ran some queries to identify people who had not opened an eNewsletter in over a year and figured I'd drop them and save some money. But I ran into a couple of snags because unless people down load the images in my eNewsletter, which is optional in programs like MS Outlook, I can't tell if they actually opened the email. The email contains an very small image which tells my system the email has been opened, so if they only read the text or can only accept text, I can't tell if the opened the email. I got too many email from people who said they read the enewsletter when I'd flagged them for deletion. It looks like I'm not going to save any money dropping subscribers - I can't risk dropping people who actually read the eNewsletter. I got an email from someone who wrote they would pay for a subscription if I did not cover Urban Fiction. This is not an uncommon sentiment. I wanted to say go "F" yourself, but I tried to show how I cover all types of authors. I knew I was wasting my time as people like that are really not interested in really understanding a different perspective... I get emails all the time from authors asking if I can review their book or cover them in an eNewsletter. None of these author have paid to subscribe to the eNewsletter. Of course this is not a requirement... I'm just saying. Jayne Cortez, passed a few days ago. More people should have been aware of her work. Frank Yerby, who I included in this month's eNewsletter is perhaps the highest grossing African American author who ever lived, but I don't think anyone knows who he is. Shoot a lot of people don't know who Alice Walker is... Today everyone knows Spike Lee does not like Django, but know one knows the title of Spike's last movie. Maybe if Tarantino would trash Lee's next movie publicly some buzz would be generated. Over the years, it seems to me that Black people know less and less about their culture as time goes on. This is just based upon what attracts people's attention as viewed from the narrow lens of my eNewsletter and website activity. i had no intention of writing all of this. I was just going to post a notice that I'd pubbed a eNewsletter. I guess i needed to vent , before going out an drinking too much for my own good tonight. Happy New Year Everyone!
  5. I watched this film on Netflix last night (yeah I could have read a book but I was too lazy). It is also available on youtube (I've posted links below). I thought Zeitgeist was fascinating. I don't know how much of it was true, but much of it resonated with me: I could not understand, from day one, how the Twin Towers simply imploded in on themselves. The collapse of build 7 simply dd not make any sense. I already knew many of the well known stories from the Bible are at the same as much older stories, and religions. I don;t even want to get started on the financial system... I appreciate that I've shared a lot of information below. If it is too much you can always visit Facebook Zeitgeist: The Movie (2007) http://bit.ly/zeitgeist2007 Full version also available on Youtube (I suggest skipping the first 5 minutes if you watch from the beginning you'll understand -- I almost bailed on the movie before it got going because of the unusual intro) Zeitgeist: The Movie, by Peter Joseph. Originally released in 2007 as a non-commercial performance work - only later to evolve into an unprecedented internet sensation - Zeitgeist: The Movie is a aesthetically driven documentary film divided into three sections - each a commentary on what the director calls angles of "Social Mythology". The first section, entitled "The Greatest Story Ever Told", explores the topic of comparative religion, specifically the controversial relationship between early pagan religions and their influence on the Judeo-Christian system of belief as it is practiced and defined today. The second section, entitled "All the World's a Stage" explores the events of September 11th 2001 from the stand point of inconsistencies, inaccuracies and improbabilities with regard to the official account put forward by the United States Government. The third section, entitled "Don't Mind the Men Behind the Curtain" explores a series of monetary related and power issues, including central banking, money creation, wars for profit and their pretexts, terrorism, the consequence of excessive security, government corruption and much more. Zeitgeist: The Movie has undergone a series of Updates overtime and the DVD provided here is current, including the 2010 Update. Please also note that a free 220 page Companion Source Guide which sources virtually everything in the film can be found online. (Simply search for "Zeitgeist Companion Source Guide") Zeitgeist: The Movie was followed in 2008 by a sequel entitled Zeitgeist: Addendum.
  6. See the first footage from Black & Write - A documentary on black authors and the publishing business. C. Mikki, Ifalade Ta'Shia Asanti, Bryan-Keyth Wilson, Kim Johnson, Sherrice Thomas, Pat Tucker, Nakia R. Laushaul, Renee Daniel Flagler, Kim Green, Dr. Jacqueline Green, Takeyah Young, Jamillah M. Warner, LaVonda Howard, Dr. Venise Berry, James Jackson, Faynetta Lavergne Burrle, Irma Bryant, Dr. Linda F. Beed, Kimberly A. Bibbs, Kim Johnson, Patricia Haley, Tia Ross, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9JmfGVEgco
  7. Kam calls DuVernay's latest film a "...a cinematic masterpiece reminiscent of those rare treasures that have managed to capture an authentic slice of African-American life, ala such black classics as Love Jones (1997), The Best Man (1999), The Visit (2000) and Brown Sugar (2002)." Read the full review
  8. Please share the latest AALBC.com eNewsletter with anyone you think would appreciate (or need) it. This is the direct link: http://aalbc.it/augbooks or you ay click the image below. I really can use your support. Thanks!
  9. Good Deeds -In Theaters: Feb 24, 2012 Wide http://aalbc.com/reviews/good_deeds.html
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