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|Fri, January 28, 2011 at 2:54 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – They'll laugh, they'll cry, they'll squeal, they'll smile, and after some 100 minutes of heart-racing, in-your-face 3-D footage, even the most casual of teen fans and the stodgiest of parents will exit the movie theater a complete Justin Bieber convert.
At least that was our experience viewing an early screening of Justin Bieber's movie "Never Say Never" (out February 11) at Paramount studios, just down the road from the "Glee" set, where two of Bieber's own hits -- "Baby" and "Somebody to Love" -- were in heavy rotation as the cast shot the show's upcoming Valentine's Day episode.
It was a fitting coincidence considering how much heart the film oozes at every turn - from Bieber's earliest performances behind the drum kit at a neighbor's house, to his time in Atlanta, where he wowed Usher and Island Def Jam head L.A. Reid, to middle school showcases, state fairs, and finally, the arena stage. If one theme is a constant: it's how musical this 16-year-old truly is.
Of course, it will be no surprise to the Justin Bieber loyalists of the world that "Never Say Never" tells a truly uplifting story of a small-town-kid who sees his big city dreams come true. Those kids have been there from the get-go, watching fuzzy Youtube clips, obsessing over every flip of the hair and bat of the eyelashes, tweeting incessantly and pushing for their guy when the pop world was rolling its eyes at the thought of a Jonas successor.
In fact, the tight-knit Bieber camp welcomes the challenge and relishes in being the underdog -- manager Scooter Braun says so himself in the movie. But they have a greater purpose: spreading love, be it through a sea of hand-shaped hearts, irresistible pop ditties like "Smile," "Eenie Meenie," and "Baby," or the swoon-worthy "One Less Lonely Girl," which, like N Sync before Bieber (remember "God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You"), hits female tweens at the core, and even finds one lucky lady brought up onto the stage.
The beauty of 3-D is that anyone can feel like they're the girl plucked from the crowd and invited to watch the show from the front row (team Bieber gifts several fans at every tour stop), but the effects go way beyond just having a good seat, you get to see everything -- from behind-the-scenes to above the stage, the dressing room where Bieber, you know, dresses, to the tour bus to his hometown, in Stratford, Ontario, where life as its most famous resident couldn't get more surreal. But bring your earplugs, parents, and expect the shriek volume to hit the red zone with every point of Bieber's finger -- and there are many.
The timing for "Never Say Never" couldn't be better. On February 6, Bieber will appear in a Best Buy ad that airs during the Super Bowl. Two days after the movie's release, Bieber will be at the Grammy Awards, where he's nominated for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal album. On the 15th, "Glee" airs. Does that mean Bieber fever is about to hit its peak? To the contrary. It's more like this team is just getting started.
(Editing by Zorianna Kit)
|Fri, January 28, 2011 at 6:00 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
The Highly Anticipated Salute Will Honor Directors; KEENEN IVORY WAYANS, ROBERT TOWNSEND, TIM STORY, AND MELVIN VAN PEEBLES
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) January 28, 2011
In anticipation of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards weekend, comedic superstar Kevin Hart is announced as host for the 2011 “Eye on Black”: A Salute to Directors dinner. The event serves as the largest salute to African American Directors in Hollywood’s history while recognizing film pioneers whose works, over the past 30 years, have re-shaped the black experience on the silver screen. “Eye on Black”: A Salute to Directors will be presented by Anheuser Busch and contributing sponsor The KESS Agency on FRIDAY FEBRUARY 25th, 2011 at the California African American Museum (CAAM).
The special salute will honor ROBERT TOWNSEND, KEENEN IVORY WAYANS, and TIM STORY for their pioneering accomplishments in film and television. Presenters will salute the panel of distinguished Directors through film and music, and by high- lighting turn-key moments in their careers that solidified their contributions to black cinema. Concluding the evening, legendary director and black cinema pioneer MELVIN VAN PEEBLES will receive the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award; A namesake honor that will forever be named for him. The ceremony will also include the recognition of an emerging minority director in film, music, and theater. The 2011 “Emerging Face” award will be given to an upcoming minority director paving the way for a new generation of Directors.
This salute is expected to boast an A-list Hollywood celebrity guest-list as well as corporate and entertainment insiders. Promising to be a night full of celebration, the event will feature a sponsored cocktail and red carpet lifestyle lounge prior to the formal dinner for 200 VIP guests. A portion of all proceeds and private silent auction contributions will be donated to the Melvin Van Peebles Foundation.
About Keenen Ivory Wayans
An accomplished actor, comedian, director and writer is known as the host and creator of the FOX sketch comedy series In Living Color, which is credited with sparking the careers of fellow cast members, Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, brothers Damon Wayans, Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans, sister Kim Wayans, David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson and featured star, Rosie Perez. Wayans is the director/Creator of Scary Movie, the highest grossing movie ever directed by an African-American and has also directed notable films such as, “Im Gonna Git you Sucka”, “A Low down Dirty Shame”, “White Chicks”, and “Little Man”.
About Robert Townsend
A true pioneer in African American film and television, Robert Townsend has appeared in, directed and or produced over 118 projects for film and or television. Leading the way into the new digital platform of webisodes, Townsend helped inspire a new generation of film makers and is consistently re-energizing an already accomplished resume with cutting edge creativity. Townsend is most notably known for his films “Eddie Murphy’s RAW”, “The Meteor Man”, “The Five Heartbeats”, “B*A*P*S”, “Carmen: A hip opera”, “Jackie’s Back!”, and many more. Townsend has worked with an
|Thurs, January 27, 2011 at 3:47 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Two years ago, the Grammy Awards appeared to mark the end of Chris Brown's career. This year, it is serving as a new beginning.
Life for the multiplatinum sensation dramatically changed on the eve of music's biggest night in 2009, when he assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna and both were forced to bow out of the ceremony. In the months that followed, he saw his reputation tarnished, he had to plead guilty to a felony, and his comeback CD, "Graffiti," was a commercial disappointment.
But with the success of his brush-off anthem "Deuces," three nominations at this year's Grammys (including best contemporary R&B album), an upcoming CD and an Australian tour in April, the focus on Chris Brown has returned to his music, without adding the Rihanna-prefix.
"We feel good now that everybody's talking about his music, which is exactly what Chris' intention is," said Tom Carrabba, the executive vice president and general manager of Jive Label Group, Brown's home label since he released his first album at age 16. (Brown's representative said the singer would not be interviewed for this story and, as of now, would not be attending the awards).
Carrabba says Brown has a newfound confidence, which he believes is the reason for the singer's current success.
"I think when he was a little bit younger he was still trying to find his way a little bit and fine-tune his craft, but I think over the last two years he's absolutely developed a confidence and is very secure in his decision-making process," Carrabba said.
Brown, now 21, is serving five years of probation after pleading guilty to felony assault for the attack on Rihanna in the early morning hours before the 2009 Grammys. The Virginia native was commended in November for completing more than one-third of the required 180 days of community service and for almost finishing his domestic violence counseling.
Over the past year, Brown has released a flurry of music. After "Graffiti," released in December 2009, failed to create a buzz for the singer like his past albums, Brown put out various mixtapes. One of those, "Fan of a Fan," a collaboration with rapper Tyga, featured "Deuces," a mid-tempo tune that hit No. 1 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart for nine weeks; the platinum-selling single peaked at No. 14 on the Hot 100 chart. The music video for the song was No. 1 on BET's Top 100 videos of 2010.
Brown, who has acted in movies such as the popular "Stomp the Yard," also hit No. 1 at the box office last year as part of the ensemble cast in the heist film "Takers," which also starred rapper T.I. and Idris Elba.
"Deuces" is up for best rap/sung collaboration at the upcoming Grammys, where it will compete with Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind," Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie" and B.o.B's "Nothin' on You," songs that are all up for the coveted record of the year award and had been No. 1 pop hits in 2010.
Carrabba says the Grammy nominations are "another step in the right direction for Chris Brown." "Graffiti," Brown's third album which has only sold 336,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan, is one Carrabba says will be more appreciated in the future.
"We always thought one day when Chris is where he belongs, people will go back to that record and say, 'You know what, this is a record that was overlooked,'" Carrabba said. "We'll see in time, but right now that's behind us and we're kind of looking forward."
|Wed, January 26, 2011 at 12:22 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am has teamed up with Intel Corp. to become their new Director of Creative Innovation.
The Grammy Award-winning musician will be assisting with the development of devices including laptops, smart phones and tablets, Intel announced Tuesday at their internal sales and marketing conference.
Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, hopes to gain the attention of younger generations by incorporating both entertainment and technology, according to Deborah Conrad, the company's head of marketing.
Will.i.am will be involved in a multiyear collaboration with the technology giant, which is said to be a hands-on, creative partnership.
Intel's chips currently run more than 80 percent of the world's personal computers.
The Black Eyed Peas have sold 29 million records and have won 6 Grammy Awards.
(Editing by Zorianna Kit
|Sun, January 23, 2011 at 9:29 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
PARK CITY, Utah (Hollywood Reporter) – Nearly two decades after making his film debut at Sundance in the indie drama "Zebrahead" -- and returning subsequently in countless indie films -- actor Michael Rapaport is back in Park City with his first effort as a documentary film director.
In "Beats, Rhymes & Life," the Bronx-born multihyphenate chronicles the public and private dramas of the hip-group group A Tribe Called Quest. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Rapaport comes clean about the pain of realizing his passion project, what he remembers about his first Sundance, and the "bloodbath" that is independent filmmaking.
HOW DID BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE COME ABOUT?
Rapaport: I've been a huge fan of A Tribe Called Quest since they started. In 2006 they performed at the Wiltern Theater in L.A. and I went backstage and said to somebody 'I want to do a documentary about these guys.' Two years later, they were the headliners of the Rock the Bells tour, so I approached them about doing it and they gave me the green light.
WHY IS TRIBE A GOOD DOCUMENTARY SUBJECT?
Rapaport: Well, first, there's never been a formal, proper independently-made documentary about a hip-hop group. They were one of the first acts to seamlessly use elements of jazz -- taking the records that were in their parents' record collection and putting them in hip-hop. There was a consciousness without being overbearing and fun and innocence, at the same time Public Enemy was out. Tribe's music had inclusiveness. It was definitely soulful, black music, but it was for everybody.
YOU'VE SAID THIS PROCESS CAUSED YOU A LOT OF ANXIETY. WHAT WAS THE SCARIEST PART?
Rapaport: (Laughs) When I had the green light and all the elements were laid out I thought, 'Oh s---, I have to really make this happen.' I have such respect for Tribe and so do the fans. I really didn't want to f--- this up.
WERE THERE SPECIFIC MUSIC DOCUMENTARIES YOU TURNED TO FOR INSPIRATION?
Rapaport: Absolutely. Gimme Shelter. The documentary, Jimi Hendrix. The concert footage in Dave Chapelle's "Block Party" was amazing. Anvil was one I liked and Wilco's "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart."
TO WHOM DID YOU HAVE TO PITCH THE PROJECT INITIALLY?
Rapaport: I personally financed this movie out of my own pocket, so the only people I had to pitch was the group. I approached Q-Tip first because I knew him.
LAST DECEMBER Q-TIP WENT PUBLIC WITH HIS CONCERNS ABOUT THE FILM. WHAT WAS HE MOST WORRIED ABOUT?
Rapaport: It's hard for me to say. He cares a lot about the film and I know he cares a lot about the legacy of Tribe. I think it kind of became a reality like, 'Oh s---, this is coming out.' But we've gotten past that. They do have a lot of opinions though, trust me. My big question to answer as a director was: Will a Tribe Called Quest make more music? That was sort of my mission statement throughout the film.
ARE YOU ABLE TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION IN THE MOVIE?
Rapaport: Yeah, we are able to answer it. You got to see it though. I got to leave some cliffhangers.
YOU'VE HAD A LONG RELATIONSHIP WITH SUNDANCE. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE BACK HERE IN YOUR FILM-DIRECTING DEBUT?
Rapaport: The first time I ever saw myself in a movie was at the premiere screening of "Zebrahead" in 1992 at Sundance. It changed the course of my life. So to be here as a director 19 years later is truly an honor. My personal goal for "
|Sat, January 22, 2011 at 1:02 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) – At age 83, his days of singing calypso tunes to thousands of fans are behind him, but Harry Belafonte says he still has one song to sing for people around the world -- his song of justice.
Belafonte is at the Sundance Film Festival this week with a new documentary, "Sing Your Song," that tells of his life from being born in Harlem and raised in Jamaica to becoming a star singer of the 1950s and '60s with hits such as "Banana Boat Song," also known as "Day-O."
But what the nonfiction film focuses on -- and what Belafonte thinks may be lost on some people, especially younger generations -- is the work he and others did to advance civil rights and justice in the United States and around the world.
The movie's title comes from something African-American singer Paul Robeson told Belafonte when he was a young man: "Get them to sing your song, and they will know who you are."
Asked what he believed his song was, at 83, Belafonte's answer was: "The same melody. It just needs to be sung again. What it needs are more voices of harmony. It's a beautiful chord that everybody gets to sing in the same place at the same time with the same purpose. The song is the same: justice."
"Sing Your Song" was among the opening night films this past Thursday at Sundance, the premiere U.S. festival for makers of movies outside Hollywood's mainstream studios.
The event, which is backed by actor and activist Robert Redford's Sundance Institute, has long been a place where independent filmmakers screen movies, and much of their work deals with social issues, so "Sing Your Song" fit perfectly.
In fact, on opening night festival director John Cooper said, "at our core, the life of Harry Belafonte and Sundance are almost intertwined."
But Belafonte admitted to some trepidation about making a documentary of his life when approached by producer Michael Cohl because, he said, "it looked like self-indulgence."
He was swayed by family members and by his own concern that the groundbreaking history of women and men like Dr. Martin Luther King, was lost on a younger generation.
"What I looked at were the (issues) of the day and the absence of people being inspired and fueled to take charge and take responsibility for changing," Belafonte told Reuters.
"The great void that I hear expressed by people who say, 'I don't know what to do' or 'there's nothing we can do' must be challenged. And the best way to challenge that myth is to say, 'take a look at the history that proceeded you.'"
"Sing Your Song" traces Belafonte's career as a singer and in movies and on television. He was a major star of his generation, yet in the late 1950s and 1960s when traveling to segregated U.S. cities, he was barred from some restaurants, hotels and other public places because he was black.
The documentary tells how he fought racism in very public ways by marching with civil rights protesters such as Dr. King and singing and dancing with white women on TV at a time when such a thing was not done in some communities.
In the 1970s and '80s, Belafonte extended his influence to the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, and was instrumental in distributing the song, "We Are the World," which raised money to help feed people around the globe.
"I don't think you can get into a place of act
|Sat, January 22, 2011 at 6:00 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Urban Audio launches a new boutique production music library that focuses exclusively on Urban Music. Urban Audio’s library contains tracks for hip hop, R&B, neo soul, pop, soul, funk, jazz, techno and house.
Bellwood, IL (PRWEB) January 22, 2011
Urban Audio launches a new boutique production music library that focuses exclusively on Urban Music. Urban Audio’s library contains tracks for hip hop, R&B, neo soul, pop, soul, funk, jazz, techno and house. These tracks can be used for film, TV, commercials, video games, underground and indie artist and any other projects that require urban music. All music is royalty free. http://www.urbanaudiotracks.com
Urban Audio does not attempt to be all things to all people. You will not have to scroll through thousands of useless tracks without finding the one you need. Urban Audio was developed for those projects that need a urban track and need it now.
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Hiram KirkendallUrban Audio630-697-8882Email Information
|Fri, January 21, 2011 at 3:53 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
DURHAM, N.C. – Reynolds Price, a long-time Duke University professor and award-winning writer whose novel "Kate Vaiden," received national acclaim, died Thursday after suffering a heart attack. He was 77.
Duke spokesman Keith Lawrence said Price died after he was stricken last Sunday.
A native of Macon, Price graduated summa cum laude from Duke in 1955, where he studied creative writing under William Blackburn, whose other Duke students included noted authors William Styron and Anne Tyler.
Price was a Rhodes Scholar and studied in Oxford, England. He returned to the United States and took a teaching job at Duke in 1958. He was warned that the position was for three years and there was no chance for an extension.
"That seemed a little discouraging, but I thought, 'Well, three years is three years,'" Price recalled in a 2008 interview. During those three years he wrote his first novel and was asked to stay on, which he did for the next 53 years.
In 1962, Price earned the William Faulkner Award for a notable first novel for his book, "A Long and Happy Life." He published numerous books after that, including the novel "Kate Vaiden," which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1986.
Considering himself an "outlaw" Christian, Price's 2007 book, "Letter to a Godchild," was a christening gift to his godson, intended as a brief guide for the child's spiritual future. He also published two biblical translations, "A Palpable God" (1978) and "The Three Gospels" (1996).
At Duke, Price taught courses on creative writing and the work of 17th-century English poet John Milton, as well as a course on the gospels in which students wrote their own version of a gospel story. Price's Halloween reading of ghost stories and poems became a tradition on campus that lasted more than a decade.
Price became confined to a wheelchair in 1984 when a cancerous tumor affecting his spinal cord left him paralyzed from the waist down.
In a 2006 article in The News & Observer of Raleigh, it was noted that Price had pondered and accepted that God's ways are often beyond understanding or finding out, as written in the Book of Job.
"The fact that my legs were subsequently paralyzed by 25 X-ray treatments ... was a mere complexity in the ongoing narrative which God intended me to make of my life," he said. Price's account of cancer survival is captured in his 2003 book, "A Whole New Life: An Illness and a Healing."
Price's third volume of memoir, "Ardent Spirits: Leaving Home, Coming Back," was published in 2009. The book explores six crucial years in Price's life, from leaving home in 1955 to attend Oxford University to his return to North Carolina and the start of his career as a university teacher.
"With a poet's deep appreciation for language, Reynolds Price taught generations of students to understand and love literature," said Duke President Richard H. Brodhead. "Reynolds was a part of the soul of Duke; he loved this university and always wanted to make it better. We can scarcely imagine Duke without Reynolds Price."
At Price's request, there will be no public funeral. The school has not yet announced plans to honor Price.