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Tagged with “studio 360” (22)

  1. Studio 360 American Icons: Shaft

    t’s been 46 years since Richard Roundtree stepped out of a subway entrance to the Oscar-winning sounds of Isaac Hayes — and changed American movie-making. The box-office success of “Shaft,” about a fiercely independent, courageous, and sexy private eye, led to an explosion of black action B-movies, and crystallized a version of black macho cool that hadn’t been shown on the big screen before. And it was all put together by one of the most important American photographers of the mid-20th century, Gordon Parks. The story of Shaft is told by those that made the movie, and those they inspired.

    —Huffduffed by smokler


    No matter how old you are, there are things you know about the Civil Rights Movement. You’ve heard Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. You’ve seen the protesters getting blasted by fire hoses in Birmingham, Alabama. And you know the songs — “We Shall Overcome,” “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” “A Change Is Gonna Come.” But, it turns out, that’s only a tiny part of this music. Hundreds of other songs you’ve never heard of have been hidden for decades

    —Huffduffed by smokler

  3. Author Paul Beatty on Studio 360

    What would happen if a poor black and Latino neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles reinstated segregation? And what if it actually improved things — drove the crime rate down, test scores up, raised the quality of life? That’s the premise of The Sellout, Paul Beatty’s scathingly satirical novel about America’s most sensitive subject, race. The book manages to be both funny and genuinely shocking, like the best of Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut. The Guardian recently declared Paul Beatty "the funniest writer in America."

    Part of what makes Beatty’s writing so subversive is his willingness to engage stereotypes. His main character, Bonbon, is an African-American farmer who grows famously delicious watermelons and potent marijuana in his Los Angeles backyard. For Beatty, stereotypes like this aren’t just comic fodder — they’re an excuse to turn the spotlight on the reader’s own preconceptions. “I like to start at this base level of how we perceive people, and try to turn that around,” Beatty tells Kurt Andersen. “We look at everything through these blinders, and I’m just trying to pull those back a little bit.”

    —Huffduffed by smokler


    Tavi Gevinson was just a misunderstood middle school student from suburban Chicago who started a fashion blog with photos of her exuberantly eccentric outfits. That blog, Style Rookie, won her celebrity friends, invitations to Paris fashion shows, and a lengthy profile in The New Yorker — all by the time she was 14.

    See some of Tavi’s early style below.

    Gevinson graduated from high school this year and she’s showing no signs of slowing down. Now the editor of the online magazine Rookie, she has acted in a few movies and has just made her Broadway debut in This Is Our Youth, a play by Kenneth Lonergan about three kids growing up privileged and confused. Gevinson plays Jessica Goldman, a 19-year-old who frets about how age will change her.

    —Huffduffed by smokler

  5. Robert Rodriguez on Studio 360

    Robert Rodriguez burst on to the scene in 1992 with the very, very low-budget action film El Mariachi. (Apparently, he earned money to make the film as a test subject in scientific experiments.) He made hits like Once Upon a Time in Mexico and the Spy Kids series, but unlike other indie directors of his generation who joined the studio system, Rodriguez stayed in Austin and turned his home into Troublemaker Studios. He continued to make movies with remarkable thrift — mixing, editing, and even designing special effects himself. So his latest project feels like a big departure: Rodriguez is overseeing a new cable TV network.

    —Huffduffed by smokler

  6. Neenah Cherry Live on Studio 360

    Neneh Cherry has floated between underground acclaim and pop stardom. She has the life of a musical Zelig: raised by jazz great Don Cherry among cultural luminaries like Allen Ginsberg and Miles Davis, she left home early to join a first-generation punk band in London, the Slits. She made her mark in the funkier, multiracial postpunk scene. In 1988, her “Buffalo Stance” was the first pop song to incorporate rap, and scored her a huge hit worldwide.

    Cherry went on to help shape trip-hop, the dance music popular in the UK. But she has not been quick to capitalize on success, and has gone more than a decade without making a record. “I’m not ambitious in the way where I’m driven by my career. I think a lot of people said, ‘She could have been really successful and sold a lot of records after “Buffalo Stance,”’ a lot of people were expecting that,” she tells Kurt Andersen. “But I couldn’t do it, I wasn’t able to go down that road.”

    When Cherry does put out an album, it matters. Blank Project, released this month, seems to combine all the strands of her work into something wholly distinctive: minimalist club punk funk — a soul record that will rip your eardrums a new one.

    —Huffduffed by smokler

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