“I wish people would be able to spot the real hero which is the graduate student mum, not me,” the professor said.
AdBrilliant Car Cleaning Hacks Local Dealers Wish You Didn’t KnowThe WrapBarry Jenkins and ‘Underground Railroad’ Stars on Significance of Show’s Literal, ‘Fantastical’ Railroad“As a child, when I first heard the words Underground Railroad, I saw Black people on trains, underground,” Jenkins tells TheWrap Barry Jenkins makes his TV debut Friday with the launch of Amazon Prime Video’s “The Underground Railroad,” his adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s 2016 novel of the same name about 19th century slaves who use the Underground Railroad in their pursuit of freedom from a Georgia plantation. And as it is in the historical fiction novel, a network of secret routes and safe houses that were used to help slaves escape to freedom is made into an actual, literal, incredibly fantastical railroad on the limited series. For “If Beale Street Could Talk” director Jenkins, this track-and-train interpretation of the historical system harkens back to his initial reaction to the concept as a child. “I attempted to adapt [Whitehead’s] first novel, ‘The Intuitionist,’ which is about elevator inspectors – but it creates this whole mystical, almost like Jedi kind of world out of elevator inspectors and an official stand-in for New York,” the “Moonlight” filmmaker told TheWrap. “I just thought he was just a really brilliant writer. And as a child, when I first heard the words Underground Railroad, I saw Black people on trains, underground. I just, I believed it was real. There was something very powerful about that. And so when I first heard that Colson had written a book titled ‘The Underground Railroad,’ I knew there was going to be something about the conceit of it that was unexpected. And then when I read it, those suspicions were confirmed. I thought, ‘Oh, here goes that feeling again. I have to find a way to adapt this book.'” While the power of the literal Underground Railroad is a feeling shared by conductor Jenkins and his stars, each of the leading cast members has their own personal understanding of its significance, based on how it impacts their characters. “What I really appreciate about the fantastical take on it is that it encouraged you to see and experience the story in a different way to what we’re used to, and when it comes to the story of the enslaved Black body,” Thuso Mbedu, who plays runaway slave Cora, told TheWrap. “And I think it allowed for the way that Barry shot it, where it feels so beautiful, but umbrellaing the brutality that came with the context, or the within the circumstance, in which the story is set. Seeing the literal underground railroad that people can confidently say wasn’t a thing encourages one to think beyond what they think they know because it makes you think. And it’s something that one of the characters says, Caesar asks Fletcher, ‘Who built all of this?’ and then Fletcher says, ‘Who built anything in this country?’ So it makes you think about that. Even in their journey of creating their own freedom, the Black body had to endure a whole lot of blood, pain, sweat and tears and a whole lot of effort went into it.” Cora escapes her prison on a Georgia plantation with Caesar (played by Aaron Pierre) a slave who came from Virginia and knows how to read and write and what a better — but not perfect — world looks like, and encourages Cora to leave with him in the first place. “What that fantasy element of the literal railroad does, I think it’s a really beautiful idea and concept and a really powerful one,” Pierre said. “And I think, you know, this series already has ample urgency. But I think that the fact that they need to board trains, adds to that urgency, adds a different layer of urgency to the story.” “Good Place” alum William Jackson Harper took on the role of born-free Black man and Underground Railroad conductor Royal, a change of pace for the comedic actor. “There is something about him that is quiet and confident and it comes from a place of being able to just live by your own code and his role as a conductor, which is something that in that world, was not not afforded to Black people in the South and, honestly, pretty much anywhere,” Harper said. “But I think what him and his role in the railroad represents are possibilities of what life as a free person is like. And the hope for that future.” For Joel Edgerton, who plays the part of slave catcher Ridgeway, who is obsessed with bringing Cora and Caesar back to their owner, he focuses in particular on how the Underground Railroad becomes larger and more intricate the further the escaped slaves get on their journey. “The Underground Railroad made real in Colson’s book is, in my mind, like a rendering of a moving towards power,” Edgerton said. “And through the show, we see these underground railroad in physical form start to become bigger, better designed, bigger infrastructure. And there’s something symbolic about that metaphor becoming a kind of a symbolism, a symbol for power and growth and a moving towards something larger. And I thought that that aspect, along with the fact that Cora gets to experience things other than pain through the show, she gets certain episodes which are all about the abundance of her experiencing love and letting go and trusting again and having romance and finding joy, which becomes special. So there were things that I got to discover by reading the book and various expansions in the screenplay that opened up avenues that weren’t just about that heaviness, which I was happy to know and happy to be a part of.” “The Underground Railroad” launches Friday on Amazon Prime Video. Read original story Barry Jenkins and ‘Underground Railroad’ Stars on Significance of Show’s Literal, ‘Fantastical’ Railroad At TheWrap
1h agoInternational Documentary Association Names Richard Ray Perez Executive DirectorFilmmaker takes over for Simon Kilmurry, who held the role since 2015 The International Documentary Association (IDA) has named filmmaker Richard Ray Perez as its executive director, taking over for the outgoing Simon Kilmurry. Kilmurry announced in November he would be stepping down in mid-2021 after serving with the IDA since 2015. Perez will take over the role immediately. “Rick” Perez is a documentary filmmaker known for the films “Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election” and “Cesar’s Last Fast,” which premiered at Sundance in 2014 and was named one of 20 essential films to capture the Latinx experience as part of a New York Times feature. He’s also a nonfiction film strategist focused on the convergence of storytelling, thought leadership and themes vital to contemporary societies. Perez most recently served as the director of acquisitions and distribution strategies at GBH | WORLD Channel, where he curated and acquired documentary film projects for the platform’s three original series. Prior to his position at WORLD Channel, Perez was director of creative partnerships at Sundance Institute, where he developed, designed and led artist-based filmmaking programs. That included Stories of Change, a multimillion-dollar Sundance Institute partnership with the Skoll Foundation that supported the development and production of 46 documentary, fiction, virtual reality and episodic storytelling projects. He also designed and led the Institute’s Documentary Story and Edit Lab in Beijing, a program that advanced the work of independent filmmakers in China by providing creative mentorship and grants to lab participants. At Brave New Films, Perez executive produced two documentary series and directed a third. He also serves on the Brave New Films board of directors. “We are thrilled to welcome Rick into the IDA family. We strongly believe that Rick is uniquely qualified to lead the IDA through these continued extraordinary times where our voice in the field, as well as the depth of resources we offer to the documentary community as a whole, will matter even more,” IDA board president Brenda Robinson said in a statement. “We were all fortunate to have Simon Kilmurry with us during these past six very meaningful years, as his leadership has truly been transformative for the IDA. Simon has laid the groundwork for a solid foundation that all of us can continue to build upon. In that regard, he leaves a lasting legacy that truly changed the course of the IDA towards an even more promising future.” “I am excited and honored to lead the IDA at this pivotal moment where the work of nonfiction filmmakers is increasingly vital to the health and wellbeing of societies,” Perez said. “I look forward to leading a talented team to support and advocate for documentary filmmakers and engaging partners and collaborators across the field to foster a vibrant, sustainable, and equitable industry responsive to these times.” Read original story International Documentary Association Names Richard Ray Perez Executive Director At TheWrap
1h agoChernobyl staff record rise in nuclear activity within safe limitsScientists have recorded a rise in nuclear activity in the destroyed nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine since it was covered over in 2017, but the rise has levelled off and does not exceed safety standards, staff said on Wednesday. Staff at the plant said the rise in "neutron flux density", which if significant could indicate an uncontrolled nuclear reaction, did not pose a threat of such an event based on their mathematical models. "After the establishment of a new safe confinement which has been in the designed position for more than four years, an increase in the neutron flux density is actually observed," scientists at Ukraine's Institute For Safety Problems Of Nuclear Power Plants said in a statement. headtopics.comRead more: Yahoo Singapore »
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