On a sunny day in May I sat down with Will Smith to discuss his new film Men in Black Three, the third [and some would argue best] in the popular science fiction trilogy. We also talked about what he’s been doing in the three years since he stepped away from acting raising undeniably talented tweens Willow and Jaden and where the biggest box office star in the world finds his joy.
A casting agent working on director Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was fired from the production after placing ads in a regional New Zealand newspaper seeking extras with “light skin tones,” according to Agence France-Presse.
The following are comments from National Newspaper: The Washington Post
“I am an African-American male and I know multitudes of black fathers and mothers who are raising their families and living responsibly. These Tyler Perry clowns are the exception, not the rule.”
DCNATIVESON6192000 :”I dont think that a big black man dressing as a big black woman is funny, didn’t think it was funny when Flip Wilson did it and don’t think its funny now.
“That being said, it’s a movie. It’s a movie where Black PEOPLE are getting paid to act. There was a time when we complained that there were no roles for blacks. Then we complained about the types of roles blacks were given . . .”
Morgan Freeman has been selected by the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Board of Trustees to receive the 39th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film, it was announced today by Sir Howard Stringer, Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees.
Overbrook Entertainment’s Will Smith, James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz are moving ahead on developing a feature for Sony based on modern-day explorer and African-American neuroscience professor Dr. S. Allen Counter.
Debbie Allen is also producing and Farhad Safinia (“Apocalypto”) has been tapped to pen the script.
Smith, who’s worked with Counter in the past on such projects as Haiti relief, is only attached as a producer at this point.
Counter began his research on indigenous peoples in the 1970s in Surinam on the rain forest descendants of 17th and 18th century African slaves. Along with David Evans, he produced a documentary on the culture and history of the rain forest peoples called “I Shall Moulder Before I Shall Be Taken.”
Counter traveled to northern Greenland in 1986 on a scientific mission and found the sons of the North Pole co-discoverers Robert E. Peary and African-American Matthew Henson, then raised funds to finance the journey of these sons and their families to the U.S. to meet their American relatives. Counter also sought recognition for Henson’s contributions to Arctic exploration.
Counter discovered a group of African-descended people in the Andes in 1993 and produced another documentary, “Lost Africans in the Andes.” He has also written “North Pole Legacy: Black, White and Eskimo” and “I Sought My Brother: An Afro-American Reunion.”
Counter is currently the director of the Harvard Foundation of Harvard University and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. He was also appointed Consul General of Sweden in Boston and New England in 2004.
Overbrook produced Sony’s redo “The Karate Kid,” starring Smith’s son Jaden. Smith is returning this fall to topline Sony’s “Men in Black III,” due out in 2012.
Inside the Digital Moving Image Salon takes us on the journey of one of the first African American women filmmakers and animators of our time, Ayoka Chenzira, as she creates an outlet for a new generation of young women to recognize the importance of documenting their story using new media technologies.