Tag: John Singleton

Ice Cube Honored with Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Ice Cube (photo via vibe.com)

by Jessica McKinney via vibe.com

It’s hard to think that after roughly 30 years in the music industry and blessing the culture with hits like “F**k the Police” and both the Barbershop and Friday series’, that Ice Cube hasn’t already gotten a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But in reality, he actually hasn’t. That is, until today (June 12), when the hip hop icon was honored with his very own star on Hollywood Boulevard.

Director of Boyz in the Hood, John Singleton, was one of  people who spoke at Ice Cube’s star ceremony Monday afternoon. “The mark of a true man is how many people he influences in his lifetime,” Singleton said. “That’s how I see Cube.” Dr. Dre was also in attendance to watch his longtime friend and former N.W.A partner be honored. While the multi-faceted artist has definitely influenced many, he suggested the honor was still somewhat surprising.

“When you coming up doing music, movies, just trying to be creative, you never figure you’ll be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame one day,” he said.Ice Cube’s Walk of Fame ceremony comes only three days after the release of the 25th anniversary edition of the rapper’s politically-charged album, Death Certificate. Coincidentally, it is only three days before his 48th birthday.

To read more, go to: Clap For Him: Ice Cube Finally Honored With Hollywood Star

John Singleton-Produced Documentary “L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later” to Air April 18 on A&E Network 

Director John Singleton (photo via Variety.com)

article by Cynthia Littleton via variety.com

A&E Network will mark the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots next month with a two-hour documentary from filmmaker John Singleton. “L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later,” set to debut April 18, tells the story of the civil unrest that shook the nation from the perspective of those who lived through a week of upheaval following a jury’s acquittal of four Los Angeles Police Department officers charged in the 1991 beating of African-American motorist Rodney King.

King’s arrest and savage treatment at the hands of veteran LAPD officers was caught on videotape by a local resident who gave the incendiary footage to KTLA-TV Los Angeles. KTLA’s coverage and airing of the nine-minute recording depicting cops kicking and beating King with batons while he was lying on the ground set off a firestorm of outrage and protest over the LAPD’s treatment of minorities.

The incident coincided with the dawn of the 24/7 news cycle fueled by the growth of cable news and the spread of home video recording technology.Singleton, a native of Los Angeles, was fresh out of USC film school and had just launched his career as a movie director with 1991’s Oscar-nominated “Boyz n the Hood” when the riots erupted on April 29, 1992, the day acquittals of the four officers were handed down by a nearly all-white jury.

Five days of violence and unrest left at least 55 people dead, more than 2,000 injured and inflicted more than $1 billion in property damage.“I believe the 1992 L.A. uprising has never truly been given a voice until now,” Singleton said. “We’ve attempted to chronicle the untold stories and unique perspectives of people whose lives were profoundly affected by this event. As a native Los Angeleno I know the actions of that three-day event didn’t just appear out of thin air. The city was a powder keg boiling at the seams for many years under police brutality and economic hardship of people of color.”

Among those featured in the documentary are actor-activist Edward James Olmos, police officers, rioters, bystanders caught in the crossfire and reporters who covered the upheaval. “L.A. Burning” hails from Entertainment One and Creature Films. The doc is directed by One9 and Erik Parker.

“L.A. Burning” is one of several TV productions in the works to mark the anniversary of the violence that shook Los Angeles and the world. Filmmaker John Ridley is behind the two-hour ABC special “Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992,” set to air April 28.  On April 18, Showtime will air the documentary “Burn Mother—–r Burn!,” examining the history of racial tensions and rioting in Los Angeles.

To read full article, go to: A&E Network Sets Los Angeles Riots ‘25 Years Later’ Documentary From John Singleton (EXCLUSIVE) | Variety

‘Rebel’ Cast Set: John Singleton’s BET Pilot Stars Danielle Moné Truitt & Giancarlo Esposito

Danielle Truitt and Giancarlo Esposito
Danielle Truitt and Giancarlo Esposito (photo via deadline.com)

article by Nellie Andreeva and Erik Pedersen via deadline.com

BET has set the cast for Rebel, its two-hour police-drama pilot from filmmaker John Singleton. Stage actress Danielle Moné Truitt is set as the lead, Oakland cop Rebecca “Rebel” Knight, and Breaking Bad alum Giancarlo Esposito will play her lieutenant, who’s a friend and mentor. Mykelti Williamson, Cliff “Method Man” Smith and Brandon Quinn co-star.

The show examines the unique and conflicted relationship officers of color have with their jobs at a time when police forces are rife with brutality and misconduct. Officer Cole has excelled by playing by the rules but always has known that she must be better and smarter on the job because she is both black and female. After her brother is killed by police, Rebel soon becomes disillusioned with the system and is forced to take matters into her own hands and become a private investigator and a champion for her community. Caught between family loyalty and the fraternity in blue, Rebel’s actions set in motion a cause-and-effect crisis that can’t be undone.

Mykelti Williamson Method Man Brandon Quinn 3-shot

Williamson will play Rebel’s father Rene Knight, a strong but broken man. Although he loves his daughter dearly, he blames her for the death of her brother, Malik. Smith is TJ, Rebel’s ex-husband. They share a history in the military that bonds them for life. Although he’s moved on, there is still a lot of passion between them, and he can’t seem to stay away. Quinn will portray Rebel’s partner Thompson “Mack” McIntyre, whose decision to shoot at Rebel’s brother places him squarely between her career and her family.

Rebel is produced by MarVista Entertainment for BET and co-written, executive produced and directed by Singleton. Dallas Jackson also is an Executive Producer. Production on the two-hour pilot began this week in Los Angeles.

To read more, go to:  http://deadline.com/2016/06/rebel-pilot-cast-giancarlo-esposito-danielle-truitt-john-singleton-bet-1201769874/

Erika Alexander Joins ‘Bosch’; Malcolm Mays In ‘Snowfall’ Pilot

FX Picks Up John Singleton’s TV Pilot “Snowfall”

Director/Producer John Singleton
Director/Producer John Singleton

According to Deadline.com, John Singleton’s take on the beginnings of the crack cocaine trade in Los Angeles has found a new home. Originally bought by Showtime, John Singleton’s Snowfall pilot has now been picked up by FX, Presidents of Original Programming Nick Grad and Eric Schrier announced today.

Snowfall takes us on a wild ride through one of LA’s most fascinating cultural and social periods, and no one can tell this story better than John Singleton,” said Schrier. “The pilot script by John and Eric brilliantly depicts the era through the story of three captivating characters, and we can’t wait to see John’s execution of it.”

Singleton (“Boyz In The Hood”, “Baby Boy”, “Higher Learning”, “Shaft”) co-created and co-wrote the early-1980s set Snowfall pilot with Eric Amadio and will direct the pilot for FX Productions, with production set to start this summer. Justified’s Dave Andron will serve as an Executive Producer along with Singleton, Groundswell Productions’ Michael London, Amadio and Trevor Engelson. With the drug storm about to come, Snowfall focuses on a trio of main characters – ambitious dealer Franklin Saint, ex-Mexican wrestler and now gangster Gustavo Zapata and prodigal son Logan Miller.

“I have always been fascinated with that volatile moment in time before crack changed everything,” added Singleton. “It’s a tense, insane and sexy era that touched every aspect of our culture. I couldn’t have better partners for this journey.”

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Born on This Day in 1958: Michael Jackson, the Incomparable King of Pop

Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas has launched the #MJWeAreOne campaign in conjunction with MichaelJackson.com.

Fans worldwide are urged to use Instagram by sharing videos — using the hashtag #MJWeAreOne — honoring MJ and sharing ideas of how to make the world a better place.

The MJ Global Party has fans celebrating Jackson’s birthday in live-time around the world using the hashtag #MJGBP2014. Check out the website here.

The fifth annual Michael Jackson Tribute Festival of the Arts is underway in Jackson’s birth home of Gary, Indiana. The three-day festival celebrates Jackson’s life and career while helping revitalize part of Gary.

So on this day, remember the King of Pop in your own way. Listen to your favorite MJ song. Watch your favorite Michael video for the thousandth time.

Below I’m posting one of my all-time favorite Jackson songs and videos, the John Singleton-directed “Remember The Time” and I know I’m going to shake my head (for the thousandth time) when Magic Johnson says “Behold, great Pharoah Ramses!”, laugh (for the thousandth time) when Eddie Murphy’s eyes bug out at Iman crushing on Michael, stare in awe (for the thousandth time) at the dance moves, and lose it (for the thousandth time) when Michael sings the “Rah dah /dah dah dah / What about us, girl?!” part because it is just so uniquely Michael, uniquely musical and uniquely inspiring.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

John Singleton-Directed “Tupac” Biopic Acquired by Open Road Films for Wide-Screen Release

Tupac ShakurAccording to Deadline.com, Open Road Films has acquired U.S. rights to Tupac, the long-awaited feature film on the life of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, directed by John Singleton. Written by Jeremy Haft & Ed Gonzalez and Singleton, the movie traces Shakur’s life from growing up as the son of activist Black Panther Party members in East Harlem, to reaching superstardom as a songwriter, music and movie star, to his position in the East Coast/West Coast rap war, to his untimely shooting death at 25 in Las Vegas after the 1996 Mike Tyson bout.

The film is being produced and financed by Morgan Creek Productions and Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, and one of the executive producers on the project is Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur.  It’s a reunion of sorts for Singleton and Tupac, as Singleton directed him in the 1993 film Poetic Justice.

The casting will start shortly, for a late summer production start in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

John Singleton Back as Director for Tupac Shakur Biopic

John Singleton Tupac Movie
Director John Singleton (Lester Cohen/WireImage)

After falling off the project two years ago, all eyes are on John Singleton to return to Morgan Creek’s untitled Tupac Shakur biopic — a film he’s long wanted to make.  Singleton has closed a deal to rewrite, direct and produce the biopic about the iconic rapper, which would follow his rise to being one of the most popular hip-hop artists as well as his murder following a boxing match in 1996 in Las Vegas. Morgan Creek is co-financing the film with Emmett/Furla/Oasis.

“Tupac was the guy who I planned to do a lifetime of films with,” Singleton said. “His passing deeply affected my life as well as countless people in this world. His life story is as important to my generation.”  The next move is to find the actor to play Shakur. Singelton will soon dive into rewriting the script, with hopes of beginning production sometime this June.

Singleton had once been linked to the project, but the deal fell through and the film has been in limbo ever since. James G. Robinson and David Robinson, along with Program Pictures’ L.T. Hutton, are also producing the pic.  The film’s long history also includes a legal battle between Morgan Creek and Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur, over the rights that eventually led to a settlement and Afeni becoming an exec producer on the project. Training Day director Antoine Fuqua attached himself after Singleton’s original flirtation, but bowed out after he couldn’t get the right script in place or find a lead (Morgan Creek tried an open casting, but that didn’t pan out).

Continue reading “John Singleton Back as Director for Tupac Shakur Biopic”

Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Kyle Abraham Hip-Hop Performance Pieces Captivate at Lincoln Center Out of Doors

Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s “Word Becomes Flesh” was performed at Lincoln Center Out of Doors. (Photo: Ruby Washington/The New York Times)

In a split bill at Damrosch Park Bandshell in New York City, Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s “Word Becomes Flesh” and Kyle Abraham’s “Pavement” explored race, power and, most specifically, what it means to be a black man in contemporary society as part of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors series last Thursday night. Using spoken word, movement and music, Mr. Joseph takes on the issues confronting black fatherhood in “Word Becomes Flesh,” which program notes describe as a “choreopoem.” First performed in 2003 by Mr. Joseph, the work is a recitation of letters written to his unborn son. Now “Word” is reimagined for an ensemble cast of six. The performers share their fears about bringing a child — first addressed as “heartbeat” and later as “brown boy” — into the world.

Spurts of movement — diagonal runs from the wings; slow, exaggerated steps; and springy jumps — often serve to accentuate the wistful text, which magnifies the idea of multiple, insecure fathers-to-be. “You have an intrinsically intimate relationship with your mother,” one dancer says, “but your dad didn’t check out when you were in the womb.”

For all of its words, Mr. Joseph’s loquacious piece lacks poetry. Mr. Abraham’s “Pavement” is more elegiac, yet the thorny sightlines of the Damrosch bandshell did the piece few favors. Mr. Abraham is a beautiful dancer — unpredictable and spry, with the kind of articulation that is likely to become only more refined and subtle with age — but his packed productions are somewhat unconvincing.  “Pavement,” influenced by the writings of W. E. B. Du Bois and John Singleton’s 1991 film “Boyz N the Hood,” is set in the historically black neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. It was there, at 14, that Mr. Abraham first watched the Singleton movie; audio clips from the film are included in the production.

Tension is wonderful in a work, and Mr. Abraham’s propensity for moving his dancers in multiple directions — his movement phrases show a body swirling one way and then the next before evading momentum with a backward hop in arabesque — can be exhilarating. But the push and pull between narrative and dancing throughout “Pavement” gives it a choppy, locomotive feel. The film audio is overkill.

Continue reading “Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Kyle Abraham Hip-Hop Performance Pieces Captivate at Lincoln Center Out of Doors”

‘Boyz n the Hood’ Reimagined by Interpretive Dancer Kyle Abraham

Kyle Abraham.jpg

The thirty-five-year-old choreographer Kyle Abraham has come a long way in just a few years. In 2006, he established his company, Abraham.In.Motion, and since then has produced dances that have earned him awards and critical acclaim. In December, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre will première a work that it commissioned from him. For someone whose career has taken off in such a big way, though, he retains a strong connection to his Pittsburgh roots, and shows great integrity in his dance-making, both of which were evident in his newest work, “Pavement,” which Abraham presented recently at Harlem Stage.

Abraham, who is African-American, went to high school in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, a historically black neighborhood, and in several of his previous works he drew on his experiences there. For “Pavement,” he went back to 1991, to reimagine the film “Boyz n the Hood,” about gangs in South Central Los Angeles, which was released that summer. He used the film as a springboard for examining life in Pittsburgh’s African-American communities in the Hill District and East Liberty Homewood and reflecting on the state of the black American experience in the two decades since its release.

But Abraham’s conception was even more sweeping. He also wanted to look at the history that had preceded the strife represented in “Boyz n the Hood,” and found a pertinent source in “The Souls of Black Folk,” the 1903 book by W. E. B. Du Bois, whose essays became instrumental in African-Americans’ struggle for equality in the twentieth century. Du Bois’s text made no appearance in “Pavement,” but Abraham included a quote from it in the program, which hovered over the dance: “Men call the shadow prejudice, and learnedly explain it as a natural defense of culture against barbarism, learning against ignorance, purity against crime, the ‘higher’ against the ‘lower’ races.” In the light of Du Bois’s words from more than a century ago, the realities as depicted in the film are sobering. From the perspective of 1991, when the ravages of H.I.V., crack addiction, and gang genocide were entrenched, not much seems to have gone right.

Continue reading “‘Boyz n the Hood’ Reimagined by Interpretive Dancer Kyle Abraham”