In some ways, the absence of “I Have a Dream” from Selma, incredibly only the first feature film to give the biopic treatment to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, is symbolic of the film as a whole. It’s the four words the civil right leader is most known for, but director Ava DuVernay is interested in far more than just compelling oratory.
Selma focuses its gaze on a three-month period in 1965 when King (David Oyelowo) led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights for African-American citizens. The first act sets up the shrewd tactics necessary to induce change; Having campaigned in Albany for nine months with no results, it’s decided that Selma is the place to stage the protest, the county already a fervent breeding ground of racial inequality and therefore more likely to garner media attention. While the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) work diligently to force President Lyndon B. Johnson (an effective Tom Wilkinson) into action, the film also offers up an examination of how the civil rights movement affected its leader, both at home and as a man.
On paper a western comedy is a very intriguing prospect, only more so with Seth MacFarlane’s name attached to it. ‘The Man Who Killed The Oscars’ earned plaudits as well as a hefty box office reward for 2012’s Ted (the sequel hits cinemas next year), and in addition to writing and directing A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) the film sees him make the transition to live-action acting. Though enjoyable in parts, there is a sense that MacFarlane’s sophomore feature fails to fully maximise its potential.
Hello readers! My first article for WhatCulture! is now live. It is a review of Ruben Fliescher’s Gangster Squad, out in cinemas everywhere today.
You can read the review at WhatCulture! here.
With his live-action directorial debut Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) utilizes the talking animal shtick once again with Ted, which features a talking teddy bear as its main protagonist. The premise is as ridiculous as it sounds, but thanks to the accomplished trio of MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, it is one of the more enjoyable comedies of the year. Having gone into this without having watched an episode of MacFarlane’s popular TV show, I found myself eager to see more of the director’s small-screen work.
Read the rest of this review on Yin & Yang here.