movies

Exclusive Interview: Malia Dawkins (Writer, "Rapunzel Jackson")

Malia Dawkins is known for her acting work on shows like Jonas and Wizards of Waverly Place, but now she’s adding the titles of screenwriter and producer to her list of talents.

Dawkins’ first film, Rapunzel Jackson, created through her production company East to West Productions, is set to show at Los Angeles’ Pan African Film Festival, and I was excited to speak with Dawkins about the film, which focuses on a girl who gets her first perm. We also discussed black women’s complicated relationship with hair, the self-placed boundaries between natural and permed hair, and where the conversations about both hair types can meet in the middle.

Rapunzel Jackson is directed by Dabling Harward (who, as Dawkins said, was a “dream director,”) and stars Morgan Ashley in the title role. The rest of the cast includes Dawkins, Juanita Jennings, Haley Powell, Coley Speaks, Bruce Lemon, Demitris Dajoun and Marissa Herrera. Rapunzel Jackson will screen at the Pan African Film Festival this Sunday, Feb. 8 at 2:10pm and Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 1:40pm. You can learn more at the festival’s site.


 

"Selma": David Oyelowo States Academy Awards More for "Subservient" Black Roles

David Oyelowo is proving why I made him an MOC Monday post. This guy not only knows when to help folks who’ve made mistakes (i.e. his buddy, Benedict Cumberbatch), but also when to hold people to task for racially-charged selective memories. Today, Oyelowo took the Academy to task for their penchant for only awarding black actors who take on “subservient” roles.

"Selma": Birmingham, AL, Trenton, NJ and Google Join in on Free Screenings

Selma is still going strong, and I couldn’t be happier, especially since the free student screenings have finally come to Birmingham (as well as Trenton, NJ)! I was waiting on this to happen, since Birmingham is one of the epicenters of the civil rights movement. I am surprised Mayor Bell, who always has something to say about something happening “for the good of the city,” didn’t have a quote in the press release.

Queer Coded: Loki (the "Thor" Franchise)

There is a lot to unpack about Loki. First, he’s a mythological character that has the ability to change from a man to a woman to an animal to anything else. He’s also advancing the LGBT cause in his own comic book, in which he’s bisexual (not to mention able to change gender, although this isn’t entirely knew; he spent many Marvel issues back in the day cavorting in Lady Sif’s body and in Norse mythology, he turned into a mare and gave birth to Slepnir, a horse with eight legs and proclaimed the best of all horses).

But the comic book also poses a bit of an issue: has Loki become a pro-LGBT character simply because he’s popular and could actually be a great way to diversify Marvel’s pantheon of characters? Or is has he been turned into an bisexual character because he’s a villain? In short, was he a character that suffered from queer coding before he was actually turned into an LGBT character?