In spite of everything that has plagued 2020, Hip-Hop and R&B have become an essential delight for lovers of contemporary music.
JaJuan M. Morris - Guity
Without any question, this Summer has been a far cry from the normalcy of frolic and freedom we’ve learned to love and sort of expect from this season.
Just when we thought the era of randomly catching syndicated re-runs of our favorite classic Black series such as Girlfriends, Moesha, and The Game on cable was sleeping and steadily on its way out, Netflix has announced a spectacular update for proponents of this golden era in Black television.
Ever since the onset of season one, which premiered on October 9th, 2016, almost an entire four years ago, it isn’t baffling how or why this show’s flame has persisted to spark since its humble beginnings.
Although this year has been shrouded in moments of awe and pop culture phenomenon, the bad sometimes outweighs the good.
On October 21st, the Knockturnal was able to cover the critically – acclaimed play production entitled “Ferguson,” brought to life by the Theatre Verité Collective. This production dramatically reimagines the grand jury testimony and surrounding first – hand accounts revolving around the 2014 tragic death of 18-year old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri. On August 9th, 2014, Missouri Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown allegedly with intent for self – defense This staged version of the grand jury through the eyes of writer Phelim McAleer, a notable UK film director, prides itself in incisively modeling the explicit, unadulterated account of the case’s actual grand jury trial without the external filters of media or broadcast news. Just absolute candor and objectivity. Members of the cast played their roles with impervious conviction, inciting an unyielding sense of resonation and sympathy among viewers that stick. Some of the most salient, yet powerful performances of the production include Dorian Johnson, Brown’s good friend who was present at the time of the shooting (Cedric Benjamin), Mark Williams, another good friend of Brown’s who provided his first – hand account of the shooting (Chaundre Hall – Broomfield) and the infamous shooter of Michael Brown, Darren Wilson. (Ian Campbell Dunn) Their talents help to enliven the stage show and enhance the overall experience. Albeit this play broadcast the prowess of many tremendous actors and actresses, McAleer’s interpretation has been confronted with widespread scrutiny for multiple years. Dubbed as being overtly sympathetic to Darren Wilson, casting him as an undeserving victim of criminal punishment for his actions and arguably even as the protagonist of this story, many actors and production groups denounced any involvement with the play. However, after many years of struggle, the play has been able to gain traction with the “Theatre Verite Collective” company in NYC. Precisely aligned with McAleer’s vision, the production group “is dedicated to telling the truth through art. No matter who it offends.” For anyone interested in seeing an incredible cast, akin to, gaining a more objective scope on the misfortune of Michael Brown and ensuing injustices that follow, this play is definitely suitable.
On October 1st, the annual Texan film festival “Fantastic Fest” hosted an early release screening of the action thriller film entitled Brawl in Cell Block 99 at the Alamo Drafthouse theatre in Downtown Brooklyn, both written and directed by S. Craig Zahler, whose most notable for creating Bone Tomahawk, an American Western horror film starring Kurt Russell.
On Saturday, September 23rd, the first – ever Tribeca TV Festival kicked off an exclusive American debut of the first episode in Sundance TV/ ITV’s new six-part dramatic thriller miniseries “LIAR.” In conjunction with the immensely popular Tribeca Film Festival, which typically occurs during the Spring season, the “TV” festival was held between September 22nd – September 24th this year and was designed to showcase some of the most highly anticipated episodic premieres of the fall. The Knockturnal was present to cover the premiere of the first episode, along with a poignant panel discussion starring main character Laura Nielson played by Golden Globe Award – Winning actress Joanne Froggatt, who’s most notable for her role as “lady’s maid” Anna Bates in all six seasons of the period drama Downton Abbey and the creators of the series brothers Jack and Harry Williams. Located at Cinepolis Cinema on 23rd St. and 8th Ave., the showing was directly followed by a panel discussion.
Primarily aired in the United Kingdom, episode one of LIAR revolves directly around Laura Nielson (Joanne Froggatt) and Andrew Earlham (Ioan Gruffudd), a teacher and surgeon respectively whose initial attraction leads to a date. Following the night, the actions and following consequences that transpire leave viewers puzzled, disconcerted and on an ever-shifting roller coaster to discover and decode whose truth is absolute versus whose truth is an utter lie. The first episode is intriguing because it establishes the overall mystery oriented for the entire six – part series and allows viewers to gain a thorough understanding of each character’s personality and pathology. The overall series of LIAR can be described as a “show that brings us complex difficult characters and uses the freedom of a six-hour run time to reveal them to us.”
Following the episodic premiere of LIAR, the panel discussion addressed many pertinent topics within the show including subject matter, the rationale behind the idea for the show and characters, and the dynamic between characters. In particular, Ms. Froggatt expounds on why she decided to take the role of Laura as she states, “she’s determined, she’s strong, she’s so strong minded, she will not be driven from her path … when I read the script, I thought it was so thought provoking and ultimately, a brilliant piece of entertainment but a brilliant piece with intelligence behind it. This is what stuck with me. In addition, I felt like the subject matter was sort of taboo, so I wanted to be apart of starting the conversation and breaking down that taboo.”
Also, when asked about the form of research taken towards the making of this series, brothers and creators Harry and Jack Williams provided a thorough response as they stated, “We did a fair amount, we were very aware that we are two men writing about this subject; we showed it to counselors, we showed it to women in the office, we wanted to make sure things sounded right and that we did our research properly. It was important that we be responsible. We started from there and then tried to construct a story that wasn’t based upon any one particular story but once you know the reality of the matter, you can then turn around and write a meaningful story about it.”
Ultimately, LIAR is a well thought-out, carefully crafted mini-series that is suspenseful, jaw – dropping at times and masterful in-depth of plot and written script. For all interested in entertaining thrill, this is definitely a show that will keep you suspended and yearning for more at the end of it all. The Tribeca TV Festival has truly garnered a true gem with this one. Stay tuned for the next five episodes.
In wake of an annual, yet exciting excursion of the popular American Tennis tournament, “The U.S. Open,” Emirates Airlines decided to dismantle, re-create and completely enhance the exclusive “Emirates Suite.”
Before feeling compelled to deem this film as totally unfathomable, be one of the first to check out “Old Spice’s” first feature film entitled “Invisible World.” It is now LIVE and openly accessible at “OldSpiceMovie.com.”