Shining in Shadows: Movie Stars of the 2000s (Star Decades: American Culture/American Cinema)

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  1. The Film Stories that Defined the Decade | IndieWire
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Set in Watts, a part of Los Angeles rarely seen in mainstream movies, it centers on Stan Henry Gayle Sanders , a father and slaughterhouse worker whose existential burden weighs heavily on his family as well as his every word and gesture. Burnett is often associated with the L. Rebellion, a group of black Los Angeles filmmakers working outside the white vanguard of independent cinema.

For movie fans who came of age in the late s, Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor were an unparalleled interracial buddy act.

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A steady crescendo of ridiculousness leads to — what else? Poitier, who also directed three buddy comedies starring himself and Bill Cosby, shows a silly side behind the camera that he rarely indulged in front of it. Soon after the movie opens, Victor shares that one of his paintings has been bought by a museum. Collins — a playwright, a professor and one of the first black American women to direct a feature-length movie — was only 46 when she died in from cancer.

And also, specifically, of an independent woman, Nola Darling, and her three lovers.

The Film Stories that Defined the Decade | IndieWire

Here was a film that treated its characters not as symbols, clowns or symptoms of societal distress, but as people engaged in complicated and idiosyncratic pursuits of happiness. A culture-war flash point in its time, this passionate, angry mix of documentary, memoir and poetry that was shown on PBS is a milestone in both New Black and New Queer cinema. The pain it articulates — the racism of white society, homophobia among some blacks, AIDS, invisibility — is overwhelming, but Riggs turns grief and hurt into defiance and beauty and finds new ways to fuse the personal, the political and the aesthetic.

The loose, hectic plot includes rap battles, dance competitions, romantic rivalries and run-ins with the authorities — most notably the weary, hard-working dad played by the great Robin Harris. Set on the Sea Islands off the southeastern United States in the early 20th century, the film is a multigenerational matriarchal epic about the preservation of memory and the necessity of change. Morrison, Ms. Dash is a true American original who dared to fill an empty space in the American imagination.

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Denzel Washington dominates almost every frame of this electrifying epic, which traces the arc of 20th-century America through a single extraordinary life. Washington brings bone-deep feeling and enormous charisma to the story of one Malcolm Little, a street hustler whose prison conversion to Islam finds him walking back into the world a free, profoundly changed man named Malcolm X — religious leader, political seer, American martyr. Exquisitely acted, with a gorgeous, expressionistic Terence Blanchard score , this is one of Mr.

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Based on the Walter Mosley novel of the same title, this picture-perfect detective story finds Denzel Washington again commanding the screen, this time as Easy Rawlins. Set in Los Angeles in , it opens soon after Easy is laid off from his machinist job. The genre beats may seem familiar but race changes everything and now, guided by Mr. Dunye plays a version of herself: a Philadelphia filmmaker working at a video store and dealing with friendship, interracial love and the day-to-day pleasures and challenges of modern black lesbian life.

She becomes fascinated by an old-time movie actress named Fae Richards , better known as the Watermelon Woman, whose biography captures the hidden history of race and sexuality in midth-century America. Please upgrade your browser. Site Navigation Site Mobile Navigation. In the s and '40s, great black actors like Theresa Harris and Clarence Muse were often marginalized in servile Hollywood roles.

But the artistry of their performances still stood out. Micheaux said in The Competitor magazine in Kino Lorber. These films are notable for many reasons, including their synchronous sound recordings — we hear singing instrumental music, sermons, and religious services. Louis Blues. In each train car, nonprofessional actors dramatize various sins drinking, dancing, gambling of the Jazz Age. Lena Horne, who was 40 years his junior, plays his love interest.

Sack Amusement Enterprises. She ended up working a clerical job at Harlem Hospital until John D. Jewel Pictures. And our week-long celebration list of the Best Films of the s has us more excited than ever about what they might be to you tomorrow. But for now, IndieWire is proud to kick things off with our list of the best movies of the s.

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Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. Back to IndieWire. In covering difficult subject matter, from the drug underworld to sexual identity, Moonlight runs deep. The Best Picture Oscar winner is gorgeous to look at and accompanied by an exquisite soundtrack. David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin friended each other to make a powerfully nerdy, talky movie about Mark Zuckerberg and the inception of Facebook.

Equally absorbing are its themes of friendship and loyalty in a playground of petty politics. A superb Jesse Eisenberg as the insensitive, conflicted genius was a revelatory match for Fincher's technical talent. Ryan Gosling's strong, silent Hollywood stunt driver moonlights as a getaway driver. So Drive is basically the coolest movie ever. Its dreamlike, electronic soundtrack -- perfect for travel at night -- layers meaningful messages into a violent fairy tale about an unconventional hero.

Guillermo del Toro's Best Picture Oscar winner is a more than unconventional horror-romance between a mute woman and a dead-eyed fish-man. It balances a harsh s setting with fairy tale magic painted into its big, beautifully-detailed sets. Only del Toro could pull this madness off. The sheer size of this blockbuster, with its sky-high budget, A-listers and ravenous fandom, make Anthony and Joe Russo's film all the more impressive.

To culminate 20 Marvel films in a two-part showstopper is experimental madness on its own. But to end spoiler the first of those parts with almost all your heroes losing This is Christopher Nolan's insane, original concept: a professional thief, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, steals information by infiltrating the subconscious. Sorry, Mr.

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  • Nolan, how are you going to do this? The answer is incredibly engrossingly. Somehow Nolan made a film about dreams both substantial and visceral, with a thrilling dose of physics-defying action. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance uses one mind-boggling continuous shot to literally follow a deluded movie star in the lead up to his latest role on a Broadway show. As you can imagine, sanity, narcissism and basically everything to do with the human condition bleeds through this showbiz satire. Spotlight shines a light on the real-life investigative team of journalists called "Spotlight" from the Boston Globe.

    In the early s, they helped expose the child abuse committed by Catholic priests in the Boston area. The Best Picture Oscar winner wound gripping tension into the unglamorous legwork of journalists, played by a perfectly-balanced ensemble including Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams.

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    • The third in Pixar's Toy Story series seemingly wrapped up the stories of Woody, Buzz and their owner, Andy, in the most poignant, heartbreaking way possible -- until a fourth film followed 10 years later. Still, Toy Story 3 stands as the example of how to blend family wholesomeness with plaything torture horror. One of the best kids movies for grownups out there. When your grandma dies, cult-related ordeal after ordeal doesn't tend to ensue.


      But in Hereditary , it does! That's not to mention the slowly sickening insecurity Annie Graham a better than ever Toni Collette feels in her relationship with her children. Ari Aster's directorial debut constructs its shock-horror moments with the delicate hand of someone building a miniature house. He treats his characters with the same attention to detail, and when it all comes crashing, the impact is traumatic.

      One of the horror genre's greats. A mockumentary about idiotic vampires who share a flat in Wellington, New Zealand, is the kind of content we came to expect from director-writer-actor Taika Waititi. After delivering the best ever vampire comedy as well as the brilliant Hunt for the Wilderpeople, he was ingeniously snapped up by Marvel to direct Thor: Ragnarok. His 12 years of hardship is detailed here in a story that delves into the darkest recesses of Louisiana in the s.

      More than just a prestige, period film, it's a difficult but necessary viewing experience. What is essentially a thriller about jazz introduced the world to the rare talents of Damien Chazelle, who would go on to make La La Land and First Man. This tense, exhaustive journey into the perils of percussion deserves a standing ovation. Alex Garland's followup to Ex Machina takes us into a mysterious, body horror-inducing quarantined zone of mutating plants and animals.