90 Minutes in Heaven (PG for an intense car
accident and graphic images) Adaptation of Baptist minister Don
Piper's best-selling memoir recounting his real-life ordeal in which
he died and went to heaven briefly before being revived by the
prayers of a Good Samaritan (Michael Harding) at the scene of a car
accident. Co-starring Kate Bosworth, Dwight Yoakam and Elizabeth
The Perfect Guy (PG-13 for violence, menacing,
sexuality and brief profanity) Psychological thriller about a
lobbyist (Sanaa Lathan) torn between her ex (Morris Chestnut) and a
charming new suitor (Michael Ealy) in the wake of a terrifying
revelation. With Charles S. Dutton, Tess Harper and Rutina Wesley.
The Visit (PG-13 for mature themes, disturbing
material, terror, violence, nudity and brief profanity) M. Night
Shyamalan directed this horror comedy, set in Pennsylvania, about a
young brother (Ed Oxenbould) and sister (Olivia DeJonge) forced to
survive by their wits after discovering something sinister while
spending a week on their grandparents' (Deanna Dunagan and Peter
McRobbie) farm. Support cast includes Kathryn Hahn, Celia
Keenan-Bolger and Patch Darragh.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Breathe (Unrated) Homoerotic romp, set in Herault,
France, about a straitlaced 17 year-old (Josephine Japy) who finds
herself attracted to a free-spirited, newcomer (Lou de Laage) with a
dark secret. Support cast includes Isabelle Carre, Claire Keim and
Roxane Duran. (In French with subtitles)
A Brilliant Young Mind (Unrated) Coming-of-age
dramedy about a nerdy math prodigy (Asa Butterfield) who develops
enough confidence with the help of a mentor (Rafe Spall) to compete
in the International Mathematics Olympiad. With Sally Hawkins, Eddie
Marsan and Jo Yang.
Coming Home (PG-13 for mature themes) Romance
drama, set in China during the Cultural Revolution, about the
frustrations of a former political prisoner (Daoming Chen) who
returns home to his wife (Li Gong) from prison only to discover that
she's suffering from amnesia and can no longer recognize him. With
Tao Guo, Ni Yan and Chun Li. (In Mandarin with subtitles)
Meet the Patels (PG for mature themes, suggestive
images and smoking) Dysfunctional family documentary chronicling the
pilgrimage from the U.S. to the subcontinent undertaken by 29
year-old bachelor Ravi Patel to find a Ms. Right from the same Indian
caste with the help of his traditional parents. (In English and
Gurjarati with subtitles)
Paul Taylor: Creative Domain (Unrated) Prestige
biopic offering an intimate peek into the life and 50-year career of
one of the world's most highly-regarded choreographers.
Sleeping with Other People (R for profanity, drug
use, sexual references and graphic sexuality) Romantic comedy about
the love which blossoms between a womanizer (Jason Sudeikis) and a
serial cheater (Alison Brie) despite an agreement to have a platonic
relationship. With Amanda Peet, Jordan Carlos and Adam Brody.
Time Out of Mind (Unrated) Unlikely-buddies drama,
set in a Manhattan, about a mental patient (Richard Gere) inspired to
reconcile with his long-estranged daughter (Jena Malone) by a
homeless jazz musician (Ben Vereen) he befriends at Bellevue
hospital. Featuring Kyra Sedgwick, Steve Buscemi and Colman Domingo.
Welcome to Leith (Unrated) Neo-Nazi documentary
chronicling a notorious white supremacist's attempt in 2012 to take
over the government of a tiny town in North Dakota.
Wolf Totem (PG-13 for disturbing images, animal
cruelty and brief sensuality) Culture clash drama, set in the
Mongolian desert in the late Sixties, about a student (Shaofeng
Feng) sent to modernize the shepherds who instead ends up
appreciating their nomadic way of life. With Shawn Dou, Yin Zhusheng
and Ba Sen Zha Bu. (In Mandarin and Mongolian with subtitles)
overconsumption. Crushing poverty. Resource wars. Climate chaos and
unraveling ecosystems. An energy sector madly trying to power growth
using any means necessary—from splitting atoms to fracking shale to
decapitating mountains in search of coal.
Every major problem
facing humanity is exacerbated by a needlessly ballooning human
population. So why is the explosive growth of the human family...
generally ignored by policy makers and the media?
Anchored by a series of
provocative photo essays, Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
presents the stark reality of a world transformed by human action,
action that threatens our future world and the buzzing, blossoming
diversity of life with which we share the planet.”
-- Excerpted from the
the State of the Union address earlier this year, President Obama
called climate change the greatest threat facing the country today.
To highlight his feeling that time is of the essence, he recently
visited Alaska, where global warming is already exacting a terrible
toll in the form of receding shorelines, a melting Arctic ice cap and
the destruction of animal habitats.
has this issue failed to hold the nation's attention any longer than
the media coverage of the latest flood, tornado, hurricane or other
natural disaster? Perhaps we can blame the populace's notoriously
short attention span. Or
maybe it's due to the fact that debates about rising sea levels,
carbon emissions and atmospheric warming trends rely on mind-numbing
can't effectively communicate the urgency of the crisis.
that reason, Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot represents a
very valuable contribution to the cause. Instead of quoting numbers,
this eye-opening opus relies primarily on photographs to make its
by Tom Butler, the visually-arresting, coffee table book features
shocking scenes of ecological blight all around the world, ranging
from defoliated rain forests to pollution-filled skies to pumped dry,
abandoned oil wells to mountainous trash landfills. Taken together,
the pictures deliver a clear message that the devastation is a direct
consequence of human shortsightedness.
breathtaking shots are supplemented by persuasive essays disputing
the fundamental assumption of capitalism that “perpetual economic
growth is “synonymous with progress.” After reading the text and
taking in heartbreaking tableaux of oil spills, raging wildfires, dry
lake beds and toxic dumps, it's hard to argue with the conclusion
reached by contributor Jared Diamond that “All of our current
environmental problems are unanticipated harmful consequences of our
captivating clarion call for the Green Revolution!
order a copy of Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot, visit:
Filmmaker Discusses Kickstarter Campaign for Emmett Till Biopic
Producer Keith Beauchamp
is no stranger to Emmett Till. It was his Emmy-nominated film, The
Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, that prompted the U.S. Justice
Department, to reopen the case in 2004. Since his production of
Untold, Keith has worked closely with FBI and their Civil Rights Cold
Case Initiative, producing documentaries on other unsolved civil
rights murders in his capacity as Executive
Producer and Host of Investigation Discovery’s (ID) crime reality
series, “The Injustice Files.”
a Criminal Justice major at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Keith
left school to pursue justice for Emmett Till. He remains the only
filmmaker to work closely with the Till family and is dedicated to
sharing their heartbreak and their mission to advocate for change.
he has launched a Kickstarter in support of Till, a feature-length
drama he's making about the life of Emmett Till. “After
dedicating two decades of my life seeking justice for Emmett Louis
Till,” Keith explains, “I'm truly
excited and moved to finally bring his true story to the world."
"Here is a story
that is as much a part of American history as the Boston Tea Party
and may stand as the greatest argument for getting rid of sanctioned
racism," adds Producer Whoopi Goldberg. "Emmett Till's
brutal death at the hands of ignorant, brutish people exposes the Jim
Crow-era South that gave the implicit okay to uphold that kind of
racism without any real fear of repercussions. Today, the return of
rampant, unchallenged racism cries out for the telling of Emmett
Till's story again."
Keith, thanks for another interview.
great speaking with you Kam. Thanks again for the support and for the
What interested you in making a drama about Emmett Till, since you
already did a documentary about him?
life/career has come full circle. I've always wanted to produce a
feature on the Till case. In fact, that's how my journey as a
filmmaker started. The documentary, "The Untold Story of Emmett
Louis Till" was my second vehicle to get the true story of
Emmett Till out to the public. After gathering research, in 1998 I
wrote a screenplay that was later optioned off by producers who had a
deal with Showtime. Not knowing much about the industry, I felt that
I gave my baby away because of the option period and the lack of
interest in a Till film. The option eventually expired, but during
that process I continued to travel to Mississippi and around the
country gathering information on the case. After I discovered vital
information that I felt could be critical in the reopening of the
case, I decided and was encouraged by Mother Mobley to pursue the
documentary so we could use it as a stepping-stone to get the case
Mother Mobley's passing and before the documentary was finally
released in theaters in 2005, the 50th anniversary of Emmett's
murder, I was already, behind the scenes, sharing the evidence I'd
gathered with federal authorities and local officials. It would be
those meetings that led to the reopening of the case on May 10, 2004.
Considering that I was involved with the Till investigation, I had to
be very careful about what was presented in the documentary. The Till
feature will be my second chance to get the full and true story of
Emmett Louis Till out to the masses. Lastly, it also helps to have a
Dream Team that includes, Fred Zollo, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Levin,
Susan Rose, Paul Kurta and my co- writing partner Michael Reilly.
you want to star in the film?
question, Kam. I've devoted 22 years of my life telling the story of
Emmett Louis Till and pursuing justice in his case. I've worked
closely with Mother Mobley for 8 1/2 years before she passed away.
It's very important that my team and I choose someone that will
portray my late friend and nurturer in the right way. Although we
have not locked the title role as of yet, I've been thinking a lot
about Taraji Henson. I've watched her career flourish over the years
and when I saw her performance in The Curious Case of Benjamin
Button, it sealed the deal for me. But there's also Kerry Washington
and others that I believe could play the role well.
going to be the focus of the film?
is adapted from my documentary, The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till
and from research used to get the case reopened, as well as from
Simeon Wright's book, "Simeon's Story: An Eyewitness Account of
the Kidnapping of Emmett Till." Mr. Wright was my missing link
in getting the case reopened. He was also the cousin who shared the
bed with Emmett Till the night he was abducted. Our focus will be
Emmett Till's murder and the catalytic decisions made by his
courageous mother, which led to the mobilization of the American
Civil Rights Movement.
message do you want people to take away from Till?
want people to be inspired and understand that the fight for freedom
and justice is a continuous one, despite the post- racial society
concept, that some of us want to believe. I firmly believe that this
film will be a catalyst for change, just like the murder was in 1955.
think the movie is more relevant, given the rise of the Black Lives
the timing could not be any better than now. As we continue to
witness the ongoing police shootings of unarmed black males with no
accountability and those suffering an injustice within our broken
criminal justice system, Emmett Till's name is often evoked.
you explain the country's sudden attention to the killings of blacks
by police and white men? Is it just that so many incidents are being
captured on cell phones?
what we are seeing today is not a new phenomenon. Police brutality
and hate crimes committed against African-Americans and other people
of color can be traced all the way back to the South Carolina Slave
Patrol and the moment we planted our feet on American soil. Yes, I
believe that because of technology we are now subjected to being
exposed to this epidemic daily. Although it's great to be aware of
what's going on in our country, receiving daily doses of this type of
cruel behavior is very harmful to our spirit and human beingness.
you turn to a Kickstarter campaign to underwrite the project?
chose Kickstarter because I wanted to make a film for the people and
by the people. Over the years, Fred Zollo and I pitched the film to
studios and no one would bite. Perhaps the timing was wrong or they
were just not interested. We decided long ago that we will make this
film with or without a studio being attached, which led us to the
Kickstarter platform. Understand that we are not trying to break any
Kickstarter records with a goal of just $50,000. Our main mission for
using this vehicle is to allow the public participation in the making
of this film, and to garner grassroots support, just like I had in
the making of the documentary. This is not just a movie to me, it's a
movement. It's a way to awaken the “Sleeping Giant for Change”
still reopening cases of unsolved lynchings around the South?
I still have The Injustice Files franchise at Investigation Discovery
and continue to assist the FBI with their Civil Rights Cold Case
Initiative. However, for a year now, I've been on hiatus, gathering
myself so I can fully focus on our Till feature. I will continue to
investigate and produce documentaries on civil rights murders. This
is my golden opportunity that I've been waiting for to crossover into
the feature film genre, but I will always be here for families who
are in need.
many black people do you think were lynched between Emancipation and
are at least 4,000 documented lynchings between Emancipation and
1980. However, there are some experts that believe there were two to
three times more undocumented lynchings... Disturbing data that is
unimaginable to think about.
founder Troy Johnson asks: What was the last book you read?KB:
I have been re-reading James Baldwin's books. "The Fire Next
Time" and his old lectures inspire me, because they speak to the
way I feel at this moment and time.
said "To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively
conscious is to be in rage almost all the time." It is also
great to read the work of someone whose second play, "Blues for
Mister Charlie," was loosely based on Emmett Till's murder.
Was there a meaningful spiritual component to your childhood?
always been a God-fearing man and often felt that what's for me, will
be. I heard it from my mother all my life and, with the experiences
I've had along this journey, I can't help but think there's something
higher watching over me.
Who loved you unconditionally during your formative years?
have to say my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Beauchamp. They have
allowed me to charter uncertain waters without discouragement. You
can't imagine their faces when I decided to leave college in my
junior year to work in film with my childhood friends. I consider
myself an unintentional filmmaker, because I was hoping to become a
civil rights attorney. Early on in my life, my parents instilled in
me the value of speaking for those who can no longer speak for
themselves. If it wasn't for my parents believing in me and financing
Untold, it would not have been made and there would be no Keith
Beauchamp filmmaker today.
Finally, what’s in your wallet?
carry a money clip. Not much there but credit cards. Many of us who
work in the field of civil rights know that it does not come with a
paycheck. So, it's a constant struggle to survive while doing this
work. But I've been very blessed to do this work and maintain a
Thanks again for the time, Keith, and best of luck with the
you, Kam. I'm very happy and excited to bring this to the world.
Another promise fulfilled and dream coming true.
Historical Documentary Chronicles Rise and Fall of Incendiary
late Stokely Carmichael is famous for coining the phrase “Black
power!” What he might not be as well remembered for is founding the
Black Panthers. Frustrated by the tortoise-paced progress of the
Civil Rights movement and by the number of martyrs dying and
disappearing around the South, he decided to leave SNCC (The Student
Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) to form a group for folks
interested in self-defense.
tell the people of Mississippi that all the scared [N-words] are
dead!” he announced. However, Stokely had little to do with the
organization after opening that first chapter in 1965 in Lowndes,
Alabama (an 80% black county where no African-American had ever been
allowed to vote).
it would be fall to Huey Newton and Bobby Seale to popularize the
Panthers. They opened a storefront in Oakland in 1966, but they
didn't really catch fire until Martin Luther King was assassinated.
At that point, many young African-Americans became disenchanted,
which made the idea of confronting the police by brandishing weapons
Panther chapters began spring up all over the country. And it helped
recruitment immeasurably when ex-con-turned-best-selling author
Eldridge Cleaver came aboard as Minister of Information. After all,
the media-savvy spokesperson gave good soundbite, even if it only
served to antagonize the police and establishment.
instance, he called then Governor Reagan “a punk, a sissy and a
coward,” going so far as to challenge the Gipper to a duel to the
death. And after Huey was arrested for the murder of a police
officer, Eldridge threatened open armed war on the streets of the
country, if Newton weren't freed.
J. Edgar Hoover was cooking up a counterintelligence program
(COINTELPRO) designed to bring down the Panthers. The FBI proceeded
to embark on a surreptitious reign of terror which included
frame-ups, disinformation, assassinations and infiltration. The ploy
worked, as paranoia came to permeate the organization, which
splintered when the leadership became suspicious of one another. Huey
called Eldridge a coward. Eldridge then quit and called for hits
against anyone still in the Party.
unfolds The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, a
warts-and-all documentary directed by Stanley Nelson (Freedom
Riders). The film is fascinating not only because of its copious
archival footage, but on account of the many revelations exposing the
dark underbelly of an outfit often given a pass in spite of myriad
flaws in terms of misogyny and machismo.
Black Panthers revisited less as a political party concerned about
the welfare of the people than as an internecine power struggle
between a couple of larger than life egos.
Ethan Hawke and Zoe Kravitz Co-Star as Drone Pilots in Afghan War
Egan (Ethan Hawke) is a U.S. fighter pilot who was grudgingly
grounded to fight the War on Terrorism via drone technology. The good
news was that the reassignment meant his life would no longer be in
jeopardy, since he’d now be stationed in New Mexico on a base
located in the desert where he’d engaged the enemy 7,000 miles away
from the theater of conflict. He was also guaranteed to see his wife,
Molly (January Jones), and daughter, Jessie (Sachie Capitani), every
day after work; and they no longer needed to worry about his safety.
orchestrating remote attacks still took an unexpected toll on Tom,
given the dispassionate fashion in which he was expected to bomb the
Taliban and even accept the occasional killing of innocent civilians
with friendly fire as mere collateral damage. Because he’s
developed the proverbial 1,000-yard stare of a soldier who’s seen
too much combat, Molly started accusing him of being emotionally
complaint to her that “I am a pilot; I am not flying,” only falls
on deaf ears. He doesn’t like the fact that he has to wear a flight
suit either. Consequently, he only finds solace in a bottle of
alcohol, and in crying on the shoulder of his co-pilot, Vera Suarez
(Zoe Kravitz). She’s just as disillusioned about the grisly
business of dropping warheads on foreheads.
comparison, their relatively-cavalier colleague, Danny (Michael
Sheets) claims to be “Living the dream!” He’s the gung-ho type
who doesn’t lose any sleep following orders from their immediate
superior (Bruce Greenwood), despite the periodic presence of
non-combatants in the kill zone. After all, he’s more concerned
with providing critical support for the American boots on the ground.
unfolds Good Kill, an Afghan War saga directed by Andrew Niccol
(Gattaca). The purpose of this modern morality play is ostensibly to
question the wisdom of the widespread use of military drones. In the
end, it rather effectively drives home the point that there is no
such thing as a surgical strike and that a soldier doesn’t have to
be deployed overseas to develop PTSD.
film features a number of noteworthy performances, especially those
Hawke, Zoe Kravitz, January Jones and Bruce Greenwood. In sum, a
sobering, anti-war parable designed to remind the Playstation
Generation, desensitized to violence, of the grim consequences of
joysticks haphazardly delivering deadly payloads.
violence, rape, profanity and sexuality
Road reboots the legendary Mad Max franchise which has been sitting
dormant for several decades. This fourth installment was again
produced, written and directed by Oscar-winner George Miller (for
Happy Feet) who tapped Tom Hardy to replace disgraced Mel Gibson in
the title role as Max Rockatansky, the highway patrol
officer-turned-intrepid road warrior given to dispensing a grisly
brand of vigilante justice.
in 2060 AD, this post-apocalyptic adventure unfolds in the
relentlessly-grim dystopia left in the wake of the series of global
calamities that led to a total breakdown of civilization. At the
point of departure, we find Max haunted by his tragic past and hunted
by desperate scavengers as he drifts around the vast wasteland in a
rusty, rattling, off-road muscle car.
stoic gunslinger’s resolve to go it alone is soon tested when he
crosses paths with Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a fearless
alpha female making a break across the desert with former sex slaves
hidden in the hold of her big rig. She’s just freed the traumatized
quintet from the clutches of Immortan Joe (Hugh
a ruthless tyrant who wants
his breeders back, especially Splendid (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley),
since she’s already pregnant and possibly carrying his first male
enraged warlord has dispatched a caravan of bloodthirsty goons who
will stop at nothing to retrieve his so-called “wives.”
Fortunately, they’ve found a sympathetic soul in Max who agrees to
join forces with Furiosa upon being apprised of their plight.
plan is to drive non-stop across the desert to “The Green Place,”
a Shangri-La rumored to be teeming with water, vegetation and other
scarce natural resources. But getting there proves to be all the fun,
as our intrepid hero and heroine negotiate a relentless gauntlet of
evil adversaries in dune buggies outfitted with a very creative
variety of deadly military hardware.
edge-of-your-seat, adrenaline-fueled, high body-count splatterfest
that remains riveting from start to finish despite dispensing with
the idea of plot development once the basic premise has been set.
disturbing images and relentless intense violence
time: 120 minutes
Warner Home Entertainment Group
Combo Pack Extras: Maximum Fury: Filming Fury Road; Mad Max: Fury on
Four Wheels; The Road Warriors: Max and Furiosa; The Tools of the
Wasteland; The Five Wives: So Shiny, So Chrome; Fury Road: Crash &
Smash; and deleted scenes.
The Sly Fox Film Reviews publishes the content of film critic Kam Williams. Voted Most Outstanding Journalist of the Decade by the Disilgold Soul Literary Review in 2008, Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications around the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, Canada and the Caribbean. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee and Rotten Tomatoes.
In addition to a BA in Black Studies from Cornell, he has an MA in English from Brown, an MBA from The Wharton School, and a JD from Boston University. Kam lives in Princeton, NJ with his wife and son.